On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in a bunker in Berlin. But victory over the Nazi regime was not celebrated in western Europe until May 8. Why did a peace agreement take so much time? How did this brutal, protracted conflict coalesce into its unlikely endgame?
Combining exhaustive research with masterfully paced storytelling, Michael Jones recounts the Fuhrer’s frantic last stand; the devious maneuverings of his handpicked successor, Karl Donitz; the grudging respect Joseph Stalin had for Churchill and FDR, as well as his distrust of Harry Truman; the bold negotiating by General Dwight D. Eisenhower that hastened Germany’s surrender but drew the ire of the Kremlin; the journalist who almost scuttled the cease-fire; and the thousands of ordinary British, American, and Russian soldiers caught in the swells of history.
Through it all, Jones traces the shifting loyalties between East and West that sowed the seeds of the Cold War and nearly unraveled the Grand Alliance.