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The Hinge of Fate: The Second World War, Volume 4
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The Hinge of Fate: The Second World War, Volume 4 (The Second World War #4)

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,269 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
At the onset of the fourth volume of Churchill's masterful eyewitness history of World War II, prospects are bleak for the Allies. The Japanese have captured Singapore and Burma in a series of bold offensives; meanwhile, aggressive U-boat attacks in the Atlantic were preventing American, British, and Dutch shipping vessels from supplying the war effort. Rommel was turning ...more
1207 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1950)
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Nov 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you've done something almost supernaturally brilliant and far-sighted, and it works better than you could have dared hope, you really want to get the credit. Even Churchill is not immune. Back in 1940, when Britain was under siege and things looked almost desperate, he made a terrific strategic decision: not to go all-out on defence, but move tanks so as to be able to hold Egypt. That might give long-term chances of a counter-attack. Miraculously, it worked. We won the Battle of Britain; th ...more
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, spring, war
I ought to have known. My advisers ought to have known and I ought to have been told, and I ought to have asked.

Winston Churchill's WWII series has turned out to be intriguing reading, albeit very long reading. This volume is the first one in the series where relief, not much but relief nevertheless, starts to show. After the first three volumes focused on one disaster after another, Churchill leads the reader to what he feels is the turning point of the war.

The British people can face peril o
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The time frame of this book covers approximately one and a half years, from late 1941 until May 1943, during which a cascading series of events, some of them catastrophic, tried the resolve of the British peoples and their Prime Minister. There were several bright spots early-on, including the recent thumping that the British Commonwealth armies had given to German General Rommel in the North African desert, and the long-hoped-for entry of the United States into the war.

This latter development
Mikey B.
This fourth volume takes us from January 1942 to May 1943. During this period, as the title indicates, the fulcrum of the war shifted from one of constant defeats to one of victory. The tide had changed, but as Churchill continued to warn, the road to triumph was still to be long, costly and arduous.

Page 493 (my book) June, 1942

We had survived the collapse of France and the attack on Britain. We had not been invaded. We still held Egypt. We were alive and at bay; but that was all. On the other h
Feb 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, everyone out there, pop quiz. Who knew before now that just after the United States entered WWII our shipping was attacked constantly by the German Navy, even just off shore of New Orleans and in the Chesapeake Bay and all around Florida? We didn't have very effective anti-submarine defense at the time and they picked off ships at will. Even to the point of picking and choosing which ships to sink. Two-thirds of the ships that went down were tankers, since they were the most important. 70 sh ...more
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Winston Churchill was remarkable, as much as for any other reason, for the sheer volume of words he produced. In a long life, during which he was often preoccupied by both family matters (he had four children) and matters of state, he nevertheless found the time to compose an inordinate number of books. I say compose, because he perfected a system during the first war, which revealed its efficacy more than ever in the second, of working through secretaries. There are many odd anecdotes told abou ...more
David Rubin
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth volume in Winston Churchill's monumental work on the Second World War. This is not history of a grand scope, but rather, Churchill's personal memoir of the war. Of course, being a key player on the allied side, Churchill brings a wealth of information and insight to the decision making process.

We Americans are so inculcated with the American roles and perspectives of the war, that Churchill's quintessential British version of events is a refreshing view. The book is composed
Jeff Elliott
Being 1,000 pages it took me a while to get through. There were a few good chapters on leadership (4 and 5). Having been a fan of Churchill this became a must read. During the time I have been reading this book I have learned some other things about him from another perspective. It's hard to read someone's work objectively until you have outside sources. Churchill's tendency to meddle in areas outside of his domain was what cost him his job before the war but also led to his success during it. A ...more
Aug 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read almost every one of Churchill's books. Reading any of them is like going to a technicolor movie.
Michael Scott


--- Considering ElAlamein as "the hinge of fate" is, to put it mildly, British-centered. It was a battle of great tactical importance, which opened up the campaign in Italy, but "the" hinge? How about Stalingrad (Russia)? How about Midway and Guadalcanal (US)? Admittedly, Churchill does say "Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat." (Emphasis mine.)

--- The terse treatment of Stalingrad and, in general, of the Russian plight. Although Churchill does compla
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Redemption of Winnie 3 11 Jul 06, 2016 06:31PM  
  • Churchill and America
  • To Lose a Battle: France 1940
  • Decision in Normandy
  • The Third Reich at War (The History of the Third Reich, #3)
  • The Rommel Papers
  • History of the Second World War
  • The Battle for History: Re-fighting World War II
  • A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II
  • The Collapse of the Third Republic
  • Crusade in Europe
  • Scorched Earth: The Russian-German War, 1943-1944
  • Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945
  • Flames Across the Border: 1813-1814
  • Rousseau and Revolution (The Story of Civilization, #10)
  • Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and the Partnership that Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe
  • Bomber Command
  • When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler
  • Japan's War: The Great Pacific Conflict
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, and again from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman, orator and strategist, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army. A prolific author, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his own historical writings, "for his mastery ...more
More about Winston S. Churchill...

Other Books in the Series

The Second World War (6 books)
  • The Gathering Storm (The Second World War, #1)
  • Their Finest Hour (The Second World War, #2)
  • The Grand Alliance (The Second World War, #3)
  • Closing the Ring (The Second World War, #5)
  • Triumph and Tragedy (The Second World War, #6)
“There is no worse mistake in public leadership than to hold out false hopes soon to be swept away. The” 1 likes
“Great Britain will certainly do her utmost to organise a coalition resistance to any act of aggression committed by any Power, and it is believed that the United States will co-operate with her, and even possibly take the lead of the world, on account of her numbers and strength, in the good work of preventing such tendencies to aggression before they break into open war.” 0 likes
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