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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 28, 2009 03:26AM) (new)

Bentley | 44125 comments Mod
The Second World War, Volume 1 The Gathering Storm by Winston S. Churchill

Folks, this is the folder for the complete syllabus for The Second World War - Volume I - The Gathering Storm.

Book I is called From War to War - 1919 - 1939 and Book II is called The Twilight War - September 3, 1939 - May 10, 1940

Reading Assignments for January, February, March, April:

The Second World War – Volume I (The Gathering Storm)
- Winston S. Churchill
Edition: Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Edition


January 19 - January 25 ~~ Book One – Chapters I– III (1-46)
Also: Introduction (IX – XII by John Keegan)
Also: Europe, 1921 – After the Peace Treaties – page 7 (Map)

January 26 – February 1 ~~ Book One – Chapters IV -V (47 - 80)
Also: Preface (XIII – XIV)
Also: Appendix A. A Conversation with Count Grandi (607)
Also: Appendix B. My Note of the Fleet Air Arm (608 – 610)
Also: Appendix C. Memorandum on Supply Organization (611 – 612)
Also: Appendix D. My Statement…..July 28, 1936 (613 – 618)


February 2 – February 8 ~~ Book One – Chapters VI - VII (81 – 116)
Also: First page after cover regarding Winston Churchill
Also: Appendix E. Comparative Output of First-Line Aircraft (619)
Also: Appendix F. Tables of Naval Strength…1939 (620 – 625)
Also: Appendix G. Minute of September 12, 1939, etc. (626 – 628)

February 9 - February 15 ~~ Book One – Chapters VIII – X (117 – 168)

February 16 – February 22 ~~ Book One – Chapters XI – XIII (169 -214)

February 23 – March 1 ~~ Book One – Chapters XIV – XV (215 – 249)


March 2 – March 8 ~~ Book One – Chapters XVI – XVII (250 – 289)

March 9 – March 15 ~~ Book One – Chapters XVIII – XX (start) (290 – 329)

March 16 – March 22 ~~ Book One – Chapters XX – XXI (330 – 360) - (Completing Book One)

March 23 – March 29 ~~ Book Two – Chapters XXII – XXIII (361 – 394) - At this time in March you should find yourself beginning and completing the first two chapters of Book Two: War and The Admiralty Task


March 30 – April 5 ~~ Book Two – Chapters XXIV (395 - 403) - I have given you a catch up week to begin April with the chapter The Ruin of Poland

April 6 – April 12 ~~ Book Two – Chapters XXV - XXVI (404 - 434)

April 13 - April 19 ~~ Book Two – Chapters XXVII - XXVIII (435 - 458)

April 20 - April 26 ~~ Book Two – Chapters XXIX - XXX (459 - 493)

April 27 - May 3 ~~ Book Two – Chapters XXXI - XXXII (494 - 527)


May 4 - May 10 ~~ Book Two – Chapters XXXIII - XXXIV (528- 556)

May 11 - May 17 ~~ Book Two – Chapters XXXV- XXXVI (557 - 585)

May 18 - May 24 ~~ Book Two – Chapters XXXVII- XXXVIII (586 - 601)

End of Book - We have already assigned all of the appendices.

We will start the Barzon book on Monday, June 1st. We will have one week off in order for folks to get ready for the next book. I will update the start date for the next major selections. I cut back on some of the assignment pages in order to give some of you an opportunity to get caught up.


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44125 comments Mod
Oldesq and Antoine,

Welcome, fortunate enough to have the book arrive safe and sound and the correct volume yesterday.

Winston Churchill wrote in 1949 that for this new edition that they had chosen larger type; how small was the type chosen back then? I was thinking to myself that I would have preferred a larger font!!! The font size is OK but I may need to use the reading glasses. I have started it and I immensely enjoy Winston Churchill's style of writing.

message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44125 comments Mod
Without starting the discussion early, I felt very bad for the French when I read the first chapter. Churchill has a way of grabbing you and making you feel the pain back then and what were the feelings at that point in time. His style is very conversational and chatty and engaging. Those are my first impressions.

So chapter two the assignment for me today will get me prepared for the discussion; I have done all of the other readings (the intro and the map too, chapter one, etc); so hopefully I will be ready starting Monday. Only chapter three will be left for the weekend.

There is a lot to digest as Churchill sets the stage; I was thinking how fortunate we are to have had a man like Churchill back then on the world stage. He really helped the English get through it all and was a great war time leader; but also to have been fortunate that he wrote so well and was such a prolific writer. He knew the importance of reporting history and was able to do it so well and with such a grasp of the language. This work must have been quite the undertaking for him back then.


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44125 comments Mod
Antoine, I agree with you. I think Churchill was quite evenhanded in his discourse and how he related these events. Yes, Corporal Hitler!!! Being so against monarchies they exchanged a lesser evil for a much more abhorrent one. I have heard that saying often. I think that neither war is very easy to understand; just like I cannot understand what is going on in Gaza; the pictures are horrendous. I guess I do not understand the pain and suffering that humans can inflict upon each other and how they try to rationalize it away as defending themselves or in the name of religion. There seems to always be enough fault and blame to go around on both sides.

Why the Germans despite the enormous reparations turned to the dark side is a puzzle. I think they believed in obedience and discipline or were afraid to counter what they had to know was transpiring. There is no excuse for what happened there; and all of these atrocities are too much even to imagine. When traveling through France and stopping by many of the wartime monuments, cemetaries and the like; to me seeing rows upon rows of young men cut down before they even could make anything of their lives was heartbreaking. France did lose so many. I do not think the population has recovered yet even today; they lost their male population and available mates, husbands and the like. No wonder they still have a population issue.

I think Winston is very enlightening and explains the "atmosphere" at that time; not simply what the outcome was or the facts. What I like most is that he is talking really about the psyche of the peoples at that time and the forces for and against all of them. Antoine, I really wish wisdom was a pill that some of these countries could have been given a daily dose of. I do agree with you and what you have said; even though I do not excuse the German's actions at that time any more than I can excuse our own folly in going into Iraq. In that I think we were duped so I understand how these things can happen. Like you said, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

I have not read Mailer's book. What is your take on it?


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