Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945

Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945

by Carlo D'Este
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Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945 by Carlo D'Este

As riveting as the man it portrays, Warlord is a masterful, unsparing portrait of Winston Churchill, one of history’s most fascinating and influential leaders. Carlo D’Este’s definitive chronicle of Churchill’s crucial role in the major military campaigns of the 20th century, Warlord uses extensive, untapped archival materials to provide “a very human look at Churchill’s lifelong fascination with soldiering, war, and command.” (Washington Post)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060575748
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/10/2009
Pages: 845
Sales rank: 313,386
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.66(d)

About the Author

Carlo D'Este, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and a distinguished military historian, is the author of the acclaimed biographies Patton: A Genius for War and Eisenhower: A Soldier's Life, among other books on World War II. He lives in Massachusetts.

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Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
willyvan More than 1 year ago
Carlo D'Este is a renowned historian of World War Two. His previous books include Decision in Normandy, Bitter Victory: the battle for Sicily 1943, Fatal decision: Anzio and the battle for Rome, and a biography of General Patton. Now in this extraordinary book, he studies Churchill's role in Britain's many wars from 1897 to 1945. Churchill wrote in 1897 from the war on India's North-West Frontier, "All who resist will be killed without quarter. The Mohmands need a lesson - and there is no doubt we are a very cruel people. . with fire and sword in vengeance . we proceeded systematically, village by village, and we destroyed the houses, filled up the wells, blew down the towers, cut down the great shady trees, burned the crops and broke the reservoirs in punitive devastation. . I wonder if people in England have any idea of the warfare that is being carried on here . no quarter is ever asked or given. The tribesmen torture the wounded & mutilate the dead. The troops never spare a man who falls into their hands - whether he be wounded or not . The picture is a terrible one . I wish I could come to the conclusion that all this barbarity - all these losses - all this expenditure - had resulted in a permanent settlement being obtained, I do not think however that anything has been done - that will not have to be done again." Very prescient, given the current Anglo-American commitment to endless, futile war on Afghanistan. Churchill participated in Britain's wars across Africa, from north to south. The Daily Mail's war correspondent wrote of Omdurman, "It was not a battle but an execution." Of the Boers, Churchill asked, "What sort of men are these we are fighting? They have a better cause - and cause is everything." D'Este calls World War One 'the most colossal folly in the history of mankind'. Even within this folly, Churchill's disastrous Gallipoli scheme stood out. Early in World War Two, Churchill directed reinforcements from North Africa to Greece. This stopped General O'Connor from taking Tripoli, leaving it open for Rommel to seize. "This removal disastrously changed the course of the war by spawning disastrous setbacks in Greece and North Africa - and later in Crete." D'Este believes this was 'the most serious strategic misjudgement of the war'. Churchill argued that Allied operations in the Mediterranean would not delay the cross-Channel assault beyond 1943, but of course they did just that. The Italian campaign, as D'Este notes, 'simply distracted the Allies from their real task: crossing the English Channel and opening the endlessly delayed second front." He recounts the great 1944 controversy - should the Anglo-American air forces knock out the French railway system to prevent Hitler reinforcing his troops in Normandy, as Eisenhower, backed by de Gaulle, proposed? Or should they carry on bombing Germany, as air-force chiefs Harris and Spaatz, backed by Churchill, wanted? Harris and Spaatz adhered to the Trenchard doctrine that strategic bombing alone could win wars, so they thought that the D-Day invasion was unnecessary. Eisenhower, rightly, overruled them all.
Poppy2 More than 1 year ago
Mr. D'Este has crafted a much needed and incisive look at Churchill the soldier and war chief. D'Este zeroed on his subject with laser like precision and was never distracted from his stated mission of presenting and defining Churchill's life-long attraction to all things military; particularly the British military. Other works have touched on Churchill's military service, experiences, and leadership but none, to my experience, have done as thorough a job of presenting Churchill the soldier. It's a brisk read that doesn't waste a page, paragraph, or word as D'Este presents a "warts and all" look at one of the two or three leading citizens of the Twentieth Century.
HistorybuffMD More than 1 year ago
Warlord by Carlo D'Este presented an interesting aspect of Winston Churchill's life in that it emphasized his influence both good and bad on the military campaigns of both world wars. Without question Churchill was one of the giants of the 20th century; however, as a military strategist and tactician he blundered as often as he inspired the war efforts. He was as much a thorn in the side of his military commanders as a help and guide. His courage was unquestioned but his military judgements were often disastrous. i
MikeZ More than 1 year ago
I am certain that as you read this book you will hope that it never ends. A fascinating, human portrait of one of the most interesting men of the last century. A must read in combination with Churchill: A Life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This presentation was enlightening. I have always been a Churchill fan but have to admit that most of what I knew about him was from his own writings. Warlord exposed some weaknesses I wasn't fully aware of. The book was still overwhelmingly pro-Winnie and I haven't changed my overall opinion of him.
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A remarkable view of history as lived by Winston Churchill. An excellent vision of the man and the world he lived in and had a strong hand in shaping.