Monty's Greatest Victory: The Drive for the Baltic April - May 1945 by Charles Whiting
Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery became a national hero overnight with his victory at EI Alamein, but his triumphant final battle culminating in the surrender of all German forces in May 1945 made him a world figure.
This highly readable and entertaining book delves into the secrets of Monty's last and greatest campaign. Conscious of both his own prestige and that of his country, he turned his Army's intended 'flanking' role into a race against the Russians for the key ports of Hamburg and Bremen and domination of the Baltic.
As we all know, it was a race he won with untold consequences for the shape of Europe in the postwar years.
Born in the Bootham area of York, England, he was a pupil at the prestigious Nunthorpe Grammar School, leaving at the age of 16 to join the British Army by lying about his age. Keen to be in on the wartime action, Whiting was attached to the 52nd Reconnaissance Regiment and by the age of 18 saw duty as a sergeant in France, Holland, Belgium and Germany in the latter stages of World War II. While still a soldier, he observed conflicts between the highest-ranking British and American generals which he would write about extensively in later years.
After the war, he stayed on in Germany completing his A-levels via correspondence course and teaching English before being enrolled at Leeds University reading History and German Language. As an undergraduate he was afforded opportunities for study at several European universities and, after gaining his degree, would go on to become an assistant professor of history. Elsewhere, Whiting held a variety of jobs which included working as a translator for a German chemical factory and spells as a publicist, a correspondent for The Times and feature writer for such diverse magazines as International Review of Linguistics, Soldier and Playboy.
His first novel was written while still an undergraduate, was published in 1954 and by 1958 had been followed by three wartime thrillers. Between 1960 and 2007 Charles went on to write over 350 titles, including 70 non-fiction titles covering varied topics from the Nazi intelligence service to British Regiments during World War II.
Charles Henry Whiting, author and military historian died on July 24 2007, leaving his wife and son.