Five Days That Shocked the World: Eyewitness Accounts from Europe at the End of World War II

Five Days That Shocked the World Eyewitness Accounts from Europe at the End of World War II In the momentous days from April to May the world witnessed the death of two Fascist dictators and the fall of Berlin Mussolini s capture and execution by Italian partisans the suicide of

  • Title: Five Days That Shocked the World: Eyewitness Accounts from Europe at the End of World War II
  • Author: Nicholas Best
  • ISBN: 9780312614928
  • Page: 262
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In the momentous days from April 28 to May 2, 1945, the world witnessed the death of two Fascist dictators and the fall of Berlin Mussolini s capture and execution by Italian partisans, the suicide of Adolf Hitler, and the fall of the German capital signaled the end of the four year war in the European Theater In Five Days That Shocked the World, Nicholas Best thrills reIn the momentous days from April 28 to May 2, 1945, the world witnessed the death of two Fascist dictators and the fall of Berlin Mussolini s capture and execution by Italian partisans, the suicide of Adolf Hitler, and the fall of the German capital signaled the end of the four year war in the European Theater In Five Days That Shocked the World, Nicholas Best thrills readers with the first person accounts of those who lived through this dramatic time.In this valuable work of history, the author s special achievement is weaving together the reports of famous and soon to be famous individuals who experienced the war up close We follow a young Walter Cronkite as he parachutes into Holland with a Canadian troop photographer Lee Miller capturing the evidence of Nazi atrocities the future Pope Benedict returning home and hoping not to get caught and shot after deserting his infantry unit Audrey Hepburn no longer having to fear conscription into a Wehrmacht brothel and even an SS doctor s descriptions of a decadent sex orgy in Hitler s bunker.In skillfully synthesizing these personal narratives, Best creates a compelling chronicle of the five earth shaking days when Fascism lost it death grip on Europe With this vivid and fast paced narrative, the author reaffirms his reputation as an expert on the final days of great wars.

    One thought on “Five Days That Shocked the World: Eyewitness Accounts from Europe at the End of World War II”

    1. This book takes readers through the short, but tumultuous, period at the end of WWII; from Saturday the 28th April to Wednesday, 2nd May, 1945. Events are really bookended by the deaths of Mussolini and the news of Hitler’s suicide, but take in an enormous amount of major political, and historical, events. This is very much a popular history and the author uses a lot of very famous names (as well as those in the very middle of the action) and explains their part in events – these include Mus [...]

    2. Honestly, when I first came by this book I didn't thought I will enjoy it. Obviously, the last days of the war were significant with a lot of important events such as Hitler`s death and the surrender of Nazi Germany. But if you try to focus on single events that had a big influence on the war, days like D-day or the beginning of Operation Barbarossa will probably be the ones that come to mind (yes, I know there are a lot of books about these important events). Well, I was wrong. I think that thi [...]

    3. Şunu söyleyebilirim, bir film izliyorken esas karakterin vurduğu yerde yatan figürana bakıp onun da bir ailesi vardı yazık oldu diye düşünenler bu kitabı okumalı. Sadece sığınaktaki Hitler ve Eva Braun ekseninde değil, 6 çocuğuna elleriyle siyanür içiren Magda Goebbels'i de anlatan bir kitap çünkü. Hep tarihi olaylar, iyi kötü tarihi kişilikler ekseninde anlatılır; bu kitapta bunun yanında sıradan insanın gözünden Hitler ve Mussollini'nin öldüğü günler anlat [...]

    4. I've read quite a few books detailing the period leading up to WWII and it remains the period that I find most interesting due to the descent of a cultured nation into the worst kind of barbarism. However, this book focuses on a brief period at the end of the war - five days (actually a bit more than 5 days). I found it interesting the way the author viewed the past through some select individuals rather than simply listing facts, events, and timeframes. I think this is a sobering message for th [...]

    5. This is one book that can make your head spin and will surely put a heavy weight on your soul. Most likely for a long time.

    6. La carne de la Historia: Cinco días que estremecieron al mundo, de Nicholas BestUno de los mayores problemas al aproximarse a la Segunda Guerra Mundial es la ingente bibliografía que existe. Varios cientos de volúmenes apilados en las estanterías de mi estudio así me lo recuerdan cada vez que intento quitarles el polvo o buscar una referencia. No en vano, es uno de los temas sobre los que más se ha escrito, algo realmente notable si pensamos que sólo duró seis años. Pero el impacto que [...]

    7. I enjoyed reading this account of the final five days of World War Two in the European theatre. In terms of the historical detail; for the most part, it was a revisit of detail which was substantively previously reported in the press and academic accounts over the years. However, the appeal lay in the personal accounts of some of the principal players at the time (eg Admiral Donitz), but perhaps more so from the minor players (eg Sophia Loren, Kurt Vonnegut, Spike Milligan, Pope John Paul etc). [...]

    8. The most comprehensive account of the end of the Second World War that I have read. Nicholas Best has an amazing gift of putting events in perspective and making them so poignant. Refraining from romanticizing the war as most authors often do, his accounts paint a very honest but ghastly picture of human folly. I already knew most of the stories from the end of WW2 before I started reading the book. However, his descriptions echoed a new perspective and meaning. The book is filled with first-han [...]

    9. El mejor libro que he leío al momento. 5 días que fueron descritos de forma congruente y natural. El libro esta dividido en 5 partes, que son los 5 dias que se mencionan; del 29 de abril al 3 de mayo de 1945.Muy recomendable su lectura, no viene explicado tácticas militares o decisiones de algún General, se describen el acontecer de varios personajes en esos 5 dias -conocidos y no tan conocidos- y lo que enfrentaron justo antes de la rendición de Alemania.Justo el libro que estaba buscando. [...]

    10. I really liked this historical read about the end of WWII. It's different in that you see the end from the point of view of people who later became famous or played important political roles then and in the future. One cool thing, at the back of the book-you're told what happened to each of these people. Some of it I already knew, most I didn't. One hint-while you're reading, if a particular person interests you-check the back to see what happened to them. I realized too late and it would have m [...]

    11. Note - I am reviewing the updated edition of this book with ISBN 9781786080318.I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher - In the five momentous days from April 28 to May 2, 1945, the world witnessed the death of two Fascist dictators and the fall of Berlin. The execution of Benito Mussolini, the suicide of Adolf Hitler, and the fall of the German capital signaled the end of the four-year war in the European Theater [...]

    12. Tengo una curiosa admiración por Hitler como personaje, únicamente por el hecho de como un sólo hombre logró llevar al mundo por algunos años, a un punto de balance trágico. El tema de la 2da. guerra mundial despierta en mi mucha curiosidad, carente de morbo por cierto.Este es el primer libro que, al empezar a leer su epílogo, sentí la nostalgia y pena de la despedida de una persona querida, que estará lejos de uno por un tiempo, pero que seguirá entre nosotros. Descubrí no pocas cosa [...]

    13. After 3 long, schedule hectic weeks, I am proud to say I have officially completed reading this phenomenal book. At first, I had immediate apprehension reading the book primarily because it was on clearance - an evident indication that the book may be horrible for its lack of interest. I am glad to say, this book boasts of one of the most greatest compositions in the WW2 genre. From Mussolini's death, to Dachau's liberation, to the surrender of Italy, Germany, then to the death of Adolf Hitler, [...]

    14. In "Five Days That Shocked the World: Eyewitness Accounts from Europe at the End of World War II", Nicholas Best gives a detailed & at times disturbing look at the events from April 28-May 2, 1945. In great detail & using first hand accounts from not only the major players but also people who would become famous for other things post-war, he describes each segment of the events leading up to the surrender of both Italy & Germany. The book itself is divided into 5 parts one for each o [...]

    15. An interesting look into what happened in certain parts of Europe during the last five days of WWII. From Hitler to Mussolini to Stalin to the Allied troops; there were plenty of shocking things that took place, not to mention shocking things that occurred during the war that came to light once the Nazi shield was removed. The Nazi leadership had some seriously F'd up people. Many of them decided participating in sex orgies and/or killing themselves would be better than facing the consequences o [...]

    16. I initial got this book because I thought it would go into detail what those soon to be famous people like Walter Cronkite, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn and Pope Benedict were doing in the last days of the WWII in Europe. While it does contain small episodes of what these people did it really covers the last days in a number of different locations like Berlin, Italy and death camps. While it was not what I expected I found it to be a fascinating book none the less. The episodes in the book are t [...]

    17. The last five days of WWII as seen through the eyes of an eclectic variety of people- from private soldiers to heads of state. It was interesting to read of the wartime experiences of people who went on to become household names - Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Bob Dole, Kurt Vonnegut, Gunter Grass, Joseph Heller and Roman Polanski to name just a few. The almost total absense of Eisenhower was interesting - one assumes that he must have been up to something during those days. This was a rather un [...]

    18. The back cover says this one reads like a suspense novel and that is a correct summary. I found this one way more interesting than the western I was reading at the same time. This is one of those books that takes history and presents it in a way so you don't fall asleep while reading it. In other words, it isn't just one long list of dates and facts. I like history but I want to know more about the people than I do the date. It is people who make history not the calendar. I did end up googling s [...]

    19. Grim, compelling, eyewitness accounts about the last days of the Third Reich and the manipulations, politics and chaos of that time. Not a pretty read but one that is hard to put down. This book relates the winding down of the War in Europe through personal accounts and it's a remarkably dificult read at times. The many histories of WWII and the end of the Reich. even at their best, are either sanitized or scholarly and often make war, its effects and aftermath remote. These, the stories of thos [...]

    20. This was a very intense book. It covered five days leading up to the end of WW2 with first-person accounts of those who lived through that time, many of them famous then and others who became famous later. I would have given it an extra star, had there been maps included. I am not familiar with German or other European geography, so did not know just where the different towns and cities were located, in relation to what later became East or West Germany. An epilogue at the end gives information [...]

    21. Five days that shocked the world reads like a novel and has been set out in chronological order. There is a sense of urgency to the way it reads, fast paced with some of the texts feeling slightly abbreviated but in doing so Best has crammed in a lot of information and had me on the edge of my seat. Towards the end, a combination of the chronology and all the different characters became a bit of a challenge - I wasn't sure if Best was revisiting a character from a previous part of the book or es [...]

    22. There's not a lot new here history-wise, but Best has done a great job collecting stories about the last days of World War II in Europe from people who were well known at the time, people who were just there, and people who would someday become well known (two future Popes and a future Archbishop of Canterbury among them - I had no idea Robert Runcie was a tank troop commander and an MC). The organization dots around a little, but all in all this is an enjoyable read about five days that must in [...]

    23. This book was packed with fascinating details. However it was a bit of a dry read. The author tries to be pretty clever by mentioning names that I ended up googling. At the end of the book, he gives a summary and ties those names to their current positions in modern day. I think it would have been more fascinating to give those updates as the book progressed. There were parts that definitely dragged, but it was worth reading just to find out the information.

    24. Kiivastahtinen ja näkökulmilla leikittelevä, kevyehkön otteen tietokirja toisen maailmansodan viidestä viimeisestä päivästä. Lukija pääsee nopeasti vaihtuvissa "kohtauksissa" seuraamaan Mussolinin kuolemaa, Hitlerin romahdusta, keskitysleirien vapautusta, Berliinin valloitusta ja monia muita sodan viimeisten hetkien tapahtumaa. Aihepiiri on kiinnostava ja ote hyvin journalistinen, mutta toisaalta kirja on paikoin puuduttava, vaikka se pyrkii vahvaan dynaamisuuteen.

    25. A seriously awesome book. I've read a lot of books about WWII over the years but this is quite different. The range of characters covered by the book is impressive in itself, but what the book really brings home is just chaotic things were in the last few days of the war. Best's writing brings a light touch to momentous events; he doesn't interfere with too much commentary or analysis, just lets the facts speak for themselves. Highly recommended

    26. I really liked this book. Well written, had a bunch of good data and a great flow. Kept me engaged throughout. Best does a nice job moving the story along while bouncing to different groups during the waning days of the German surrender. From the liberation of the camps to the final hours before surrender, Best weaves in some great direct accounts as well. he also injects some nice surpsises and famous individual stories. I give this one a solid 4 stars.

    27. Tells history from a first person view. Good mix of scenes featuring famous figures like Mussolini, Hitler as well as individuals (which would have significant influence on the world in the future) such as Henry Kissinger and Audrey Hepburn. Though the latter figures' scenes are few, but it makes you feel the emotions of the various characters in the book.

    28. Skilfully weaving together eye witness accounts from the famous and the infamous Best has vividly brought to life again the shocking experience of the last days before VE Day. Reading this really helped me gain a deeper insight into both the enormity of the war and the importance of the individual's actions even in the most extreme of circumstances.

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