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Michael Howard

8 February 1996
A Genius for War: A Life of General George Patton 
by Carlo​ D’Este.
HarperCollins, 977 pp., £25, November 1995, 0 00 215882 5
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... who like all such heroes (including Rommel) was underrated and betrayed by an incompetent and politicised High Command. It is presumably this reputation that has induced a historian of the calibre of Carlo d’Este to devote nearly a thousand pages to a biography, half of which deals with Patton’s career before World War Two even began: that, and the undeniable fact that Patton was a fascinating ...

Mule Races and Pillow Fights

Bernard Porter: Churchill’s Failings

27 August 2009
Warlord: A Life of Churchill at War, 1874-1945 
by Carlo​ D’Este.
Allen Lane, 960 pp., £30, April 2009, 978 0 7139 9753 8
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... Carlo D’Este, a retired US army lieutenant-colonel much admired in military history circles for his books about World War Two, knows a real soldier when he sees one, and on most counts Churchill doesn ...

Der Tag

John Bayley

26 May 1994
D-Day: Those Who Were There 
by Juliet Gardiner.
Collins and Brown, 192 pp., £16.99, April 1994, 1 85585 204 7
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D-Day 1944: Voices from Normandy 
by Robin Neillands and Roderick De Normann.
Orion, 320 pp., £5.99, April 1994, 1 85797 448 4
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Battle Tactics of the Western Front: The British Army’s Art of Attack 
by Paddy Griffiths.
Yale, 286 pp., £20, May 1994, 0 300 05910 8
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The D-Day Encyclopedia 
edited by David Chandler and James Lawton Collins.
Helicon, 665 pp., £35, January 1994, 0 09 178265 1
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D-Day 1944 
edited by Theodore Wilson.
Kansas, 420 pp., £34.95, May 1994, 0 7006 0674 2
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Decision in Normandy 
by Carlo​ D’Este.
HarperCollins, 554 pp., £10.99, April 1994, 0 06 092495 0
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... would have been out of place on D-Day, and in most of this century’s wars. All of these books do a good job in sorting out and demonstrating the complexities and problems of Operation Overlord. But Carlo d’Este’s history of the whole Normandy campaign, first published in 1983, is in a different class altogether, as are the essays edited by Theodore Wilson. The most comprehensive is of course the ...


David Fraser

22 December 1983
Monty. Vol. II: Master of the Battlefield 1942-1944 
by Nigel Hamilton.
Hamish Hamilton, 863 pp., £12.95, October 1983, 0 241 11104 8
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Decision in Normandy: The Unwritten Story of Montgomery and the Allied Campaign 
by Carlo​ D’Este.
Collins, 555 pp., £12.95, October 1983, 0 00 217056 6
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... that all had gone according to plan. His obsession with being right at all points has harmed his reputation. Hamilton recognises this, but, some will think, inadequately so. Which brings us to Carlo D’Este’s book. For in this carefully researched, militarily perceptive and lucidly written work on the planning of OVERLORD and the fighting in Normandy, the author argues cogently that between ...

‘We’re Not Jittery’

Bernard Porter: Monitoring Morale

8 July 2010
Listening to Britain: Home Intelligence Reports on Britain’s Finest Hour May-September 1940 
edited by Paul Addison and Jeremy Crang.
Bodley Head, 492 pp., £18.99, May 2010, 978 1 84792 142 0
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... among those same working classes, and not only them, in the resolution of their political leaders to see the war through. To read some accounts of the British effort in the Second World War – Carlo D’Este’s recent Warlord: A Life of Churchill at War is one* – you might get the impression that it required Churchill’s stirring oratory in 1940 to rally a wavering people to the cause; but ...

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