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Masters and Commanders

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Masters and Commanders: The Military Geniuses Who Led the West to Victory in World War II By Andrew RobertsMasters and Commanders is a 2008 book by the historian Andrew Roberts about the Western Alliance between the United States and Great Britain at the highest level during World War 2. This is a comprehensive and absorbing study of the decisions that were made, the conferences, the disputes, the arguments over strategy, the friendships, the fractious relationships, and so on. It revolves around the four men who were key in the Anglo-American Alliance against Hitler; Prime Minister Winston Churchill, President Franklin Roosevelt, Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, the head of the British Army, and General George C Marshall, his American counterpart. The interactions between and around these four very different men and the ever changing problems they faced are fascinating to read about. ‘In all they had met seven times,’ writes Roberts of them. ‘And at these hard-fought meetings had hammered out a victorious strategy. There had been some individual defeats and disappointments in battle against the Axis, of course, but no campaign reversals. Above all the timing of the greatest amphibious assault in history had been justified by the only truly unanswerable criterion of warfare: success. Through their rows, standoffs, fist-shaking, charm offensives, hard-fought compromises and occasional tantrums, the Masters and Commanders performed that miracle and won victory in the west.’

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