Gallery, David. Twenty Million Under the Sea (Bluejacket Books, 2001).
In June 1944, U.S. Navy Task Group 22.3, a “hunter-killer” force commanded by Daniel Gallery to track down German submarines, boarded and captured U-505 off the coast of Africa. It was the first time that an enemy ship of war had been captured on the high seas by U.S. Navy sailors since 1815, when the USS Peacock seized HMS Nautilus as part of the War of 1812. The extraordinary feat is described in gripping narrative by Gallery himself, who chronicles the long and arduous battle against the German U-boat under the most hazardous conditions. Once they succeeded in capturing and towing their prize seventeen-hundred miles across the Atlantic Ocean, U-505 proved to be of inestimable value, yielding secrets to radio codes among other things. U-505 is now on exhibit at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.
Gaskin, Margaret. Blitz: The Story of December 29, 1940 (Harcourt, 2006).
Churchill called it his nation’s greatest trial and its finest hour. Europe had fallen to Hitler and Britain stood alone. Determined to bomb the English into submission, the German Luftwaffe attacked London nearly every night, targeting the “Square Mile,” the heart of the city and the site of some of its greatest landmarks. In this gripping historical narrative, Margaret Gaskin puts the reader into the middle of the Blitz, its horror and its heroism, by vividly reconstructing the night that Hitler tried to burn the city to the ground—the night that one of the war’s most haunting photographs was taken, showing St. Paul’s still standing amid burning ruins. Stunningly vivid and compelling, Blitz uses the voices of those on whom the bombshells fell—the ordinary and the famous, including Edward R. Murrow and FDR—to tell the story as it has never before been told.
Gerard, Philip. Secret Soldiers: How a Troupe of American Artists, Designers, and Sonic Wizards Won World War II’s Battle of Deception Against the Germans (Plume, 2002).
They were Eisenhower's secret weapon-an elite troupe of artists, actors, electronics wizards, designers, and writers. These men created dazzling theatrical battlefield ruses, fooling the German high command into attacking the wrong place, defending the wrong bridgeheads, even retreating from phantom attackers. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. helped pioneer the tactics of this unlikely band of heroes, which included future fashion king Bill Blass, abstract painter Ellsworth Kelly, and artist Hal Laynor. Drawing on recently declassified records, interviews, diaries, and letters, Secret Soldiers provides a fascinating and long-overdue tribute to these uniquely talented soldiers.
Gershon, Karen. We Came As Children (Harcourt, Brace and World, 1966).
"The reminiscences of men and women who escaped to England as child refugees from the Nazi terror. " As our population ages, there are a dwindling number of Holocaust survivors. Here are detailed accounts of survivors whose stories have not been widely told: those who were children at the time.
Gershon, Karen. A Lesser Child (Peter Owen Publisher, 1992).
Gershon (1924-1993), writer and poet, is known for her book We Came as Children: A Collective Autobiography (1966) which told of the traumas experienced by refugee children in Britain during WWII. This recounts her childhood as she came of age in Germany under Hitler's growing power. The granddaughter of a prominent member of the local Jewish community, and part of a close-knit and loving family, she was not only academically gifted, but also a natural poet. Still, as the youngest of three sisters, she thought of herself as a lesser child. The book is more than just an account of Gershon's childhood. She illuminates the period leading up to the Holocaust, showing how Jewish families were trapped into becoming victims, while the German people were gradually conditioned to condone it. She vividly recreates the atmosphere of the period, and her analysis of her family's psychology is beautifully and convincingly told.
Giese, Otto. Shooting the War: The Memoir and Photographs of a U-Boat Officer in World War II (U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2003).
The war diary of former German naval officer Otto Giese recounts a seafaring career of extraordinary scope. It begins with the dawn of World War II, while the author is a junior officer on board the ocean liner SS Columbus, and continues through his confinement in a British prisoner-of-war camp after the war. This book showcases more than one hundred high-quality photographs taken by Giese throughout his wartime service to present a unique historical overview. Interspersed among tales of hardship and loss are colorful anecdotes that relay the camaraderie surrounding plots to escape detention at Angel Island, the unlikely processing of German seamen at Ellis Island, and Giese's experiences policing guerilla warfare in the Malayan jungle. He greets the incongruous movements of war with equanimity and offers an unwavering assessment of the dictates of duty.
Gilbert, Martin. Churchill and the Jews: A Lifelong Friendship (Henry Holt and Company, 2007).
Winston Churchill was a young man in 1894 when Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army, was convicted of treason and sent to Devil’s Island. Despite the prevailing anti-Semitism in England as well as on the Continent, Churchill’s position was clear: he supported Dreyfus, and condemned the prejudices that had led to his conviction.
Churchill’s commitment to Jewish rights, to Zionism—and ultimately to the State of Israel—never wavered. In 1922, he established on the bedrock of international law the right of Jews to emigrate to Palestine. During his meeting with David Ben-Gurion in 1960, Churchill presented the Israeli prime minister with an article he had written about Moses, praising the father of the Jewish people. Drawing on a wide range of archives and private papers, speeches, newspaper coverage, and wartime correspondence, Churchill’s official biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert, explores the origins, implications, and results of Churchill’s determined commitment to Jewish rights, opening a window on an underappreciated and heroic aspect of the brilliant politician’s life and career.
Gilbert, Martin. The Boys (Phoenix, New edition, 1997).
In August 1945, the first of 732 child survivors of the Holocaust reached Britain. First settled in the Lake District, they formed a tightly knit group of friends whose terrible shared experience is almost beyond imagining. This is their story, which begins in the lost communities of pre-World War II central Europe, moves through ghetto, concentration camp and death march, to liberation, survival, and finally, fifty years later, a deeply moving reunion. Martin Gilbert has brought together the recollections of this remarkable group of survivors. With magisterial narration, he tells their astonishing stories. The Boys bears witness to the human spirit, enduring the depths, and bearing hopefully the burden and challenge of survival. 'Martin Gilbert is to be congratulated on producing a masterly and deeply moving tribute to those who had the courage and luck to survive' (Literary Review).
Gilbert, Martin. Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction (HarperCollins, 2006).
On November 7, 1938, a young Jew, enraged by his family's expulsion from Germany, walked into the German embassy in Paris and fired five shots at a junior diplomat. Three days later the diplomat was dead, and Germany was in the grips of skillfully orchestrated anti-Jewish violence. In the early hours of November 10, Nazi storm troopers and Hitler Youth rampaged through Jewish neighborhoods across Germany, leaving behind them a horrifying trail of terror and destruction. More than a thousand synagogues and many thousands of Jewish shops were destroyed, while thirty thousand Jews were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. This was the moment when deliberately inflamed hatreds ignited nationwide destruction.
With rare insight and acumen, Martin Gilbert, one of the leading historians of our time, examines Kristallnacht –the Night of Broken Glass—and describes how the rest of the world reacted in its wake. His narration of that night and day of terror is chilling, vividly conveying its scale and intensity through more than fifty previously unpublished eyewitness testimonies and graphic newspaper accounts of the events as they unfolded. No other attack on Jews during the course of the Second World War was as widely reported by contemporary observers.
Kristallnacht marked the beginning of the systematic eradication of a people who traced their origins in Germany to Roman times and was a sinister fore-warning of the Holocaust. By setting the tone for the terrible war to follow, it shaped the second half of the twentieth century and continues to haunt us, almost seventy years later. Meticulously researched and masterfully written, this is an eye-opening study of one of the darkest chapters in human history.
Gilbert, Martin. The Second World War: A Complete History (Holt Paperbacks, Revised edition, 2004).
It began with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. By the time it came to an end on V-J Day-August 14, 1945 -it had involved every major power and become global in its reach. In the final accounting, it would turn out to be, in both human terms and material resources, the costliest war in history, taking the lives of thirty million people.
In one brilliant volume, eminent historian Martin Gilbert offers the complete history of the Second World War. With unparalleled scholarship and breadth of vision, Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill as well as one of the leading experts on the Holocaust, weaves together political, military, diplomatic, and civilian elements to provide a global perspective on the war, in a work that is both a treasure trove of information and a gripping, dramatic narrative.
Gilbert, Martin. Churchill: A Life (Owl Books, Reprint edition, 1992).
Distilled from years of meticulous research and documentation, filled with material unavailable when the earliest books of the official biography's eight volumes went to press, Churchill is a brilliant marriage of the hard facts of the public life and the intimate details of the private man. The result is a vital portrait of one of the most remarkable men of any age as well as a revealing depiction of a man of extraordinary courage and imagination.
Gildea, Robert. Marianne in Chains: Everyday Life in the French Heartland under the German Occupation (Metropolitan Books, 2003).
In this study of the German occupation of France during World War II, a British historian examines the social codes and negotiations that arose between the German troops and the French populace, Gildea draws on archival research and interviews with survivors who lived in the Loire Valley.
Ginzburg, Eugenia Semyonovna. Journey Into the Whirlwind (Harcourt, Brace and World, 1975).
Both witness to and victim of Stalin's reign of terror, a courageous woman tells the full story of her harrowing eighteen-year odyssey through Russia's prisons and labor camps.
Glantz, David M. Red Storm over the Balkans: The Failed Soviet Invasion of Romania, Spring 1944 (University Press of Kansas, 2006).
Working from newly available Russian and long-neglected German archives-plus Red Army unit histories and commanders' memoirs-Glantz reconstructs an imposing mosaic that reveals the immense scope and ambitious intent of the first Iasi-Kishinev offensive. His re-creation shows that Stalin was not as preoccupied with a direct route to Berlin as he was with a "broad front" strategy designed to gain territory and find vulnerable points in Germany's extended lines of defense. If successful, the invasion would have also eliminated Romania as Germany's ally, cut off the vital Ploiesti oilfields, and provided a base from which to consolidate Soviet power throughout the Balkans.
Glantz discloses General Ivan Konev's strategic plan as the 2nd Ukrainian Front prepared its Iasi offensive and fought a climactic battle with the German Eighth Army and its Romanian allies in the Tirgu-Frumos region in early May, then the regrouping of General Rodion Malinovsky's 3rd Ukrainian Front for its decisive offensive toward Kishinev, which aborted in the face of a skillful counterstroke by a threadbare German Sixth Army. Glantz describes how the Wehrmacht, with a nucleus of combat veterans, was able to beat back Soviet forces hampered by spring floods, while already fragile Soviet logistical support was further undermined by the Wehrmacht's scorched-earth strategy. Although Konev's and Malinovsky's offensives failed, the Red Army managed to inflict heavy losses on Axis forces, exacerbating the effects of Germany's defeats in the Ukraine and making it more difficult for the Wehrmacht to contain the Soviet juggernaut's ultimate advance toward Berlin.