Endgame 1945
David Stafford

Endgame 1945

The final days of the Second World War, and the first few weeks of peace, in Europe as experienced by those who were there. Based on letters, diaries, and personal memoirs, the book begins with Hitler’s fateful decision to fight to the end in his Berlin bunker, and ends with arrival of American and British forces in the shattered capital of his Third Reich several weeks later. It covers such dramatic episodes as the deaths of Mussolini and Hitler; the final stages of the campaigns in Italy and Germany; the myth of the ‘Final Redoubt’; the race for Trieste and the Baltic; the hunt for Nazi war criminals, scientists, and looted art and gold; the capture of leading Nazis; the lootings, rapes, and killings of the post-liberation phase; the struggle to impose law and order in occupied territory; the liberation of the concentration camps and the fate of their inmates and millions of displaced persons; and the eventual arrival of western forces in Berlin on the eve of the Potsdam Conference.

Book Details:

  • Author: David Stafford
  • Published Year: 2006
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Little Brown
    • US: TIme Warner
    • Holland: Mouria
    • Hungary: Gold Book
    • Brazil: Objetiva
    • Poland: Magnum

David Stafford

David Stafford is an historian and former diplomat who has written extensively on espionage, intelligence, Churchill, and the Second World War. The former Project Director at the Centre for The Study of the Two World Wars at the University of Edinburgh, he is now an Honorary Fellow of the University and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, where he and his wife now live. He has frequently acted as a TV and radio consultant, has written radio documentaries for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the BBC, and his latest book, Ten Days to D-Day, formed ...
More about David Stafford

Book Reviews

  • "…as thrilling as a John LeCarre novel."
    Newark Star-Ledger
  • "For those who think wars end when the truce has been signed, let me recommend Endgame 1945: The Missing Final Chapter of World War 11 ...Through the eyes of a diverse group of observers, this vivid historical account tells what went on in Europe for the three months following Germany’s surrender in April 1945..."
    American Spectator
  • "..a definitive account of the final chapter of the European War, from Hitler’s last days in 1945, through the aftermath of the conflict that same year, has been missing. In a magisterial account, David Stafford essentially closes the book on the cruel and chaotic last chapter of the war in Europe .."
    News Star Louisiana
  • "...seamlessly interweaves the personal experiences of several participants with the broader conflict over a three-month period from April to July 1945."
    Booklist
  • "Drawing on the memoirs of participants – from Nazi test pilots to concentration-camp inmates – and on an impressive body of historical work, Stafford delivers a useful survey of a transformative time."
    Kirkus
  • "Read Mr. Stafford's book slowly: and read it twice. Endgame 1945 is masterfully conceived and superbly executed. It ranks among the better histories of Germany's unfathomably brutality in the Second World War. You might be inclined to ask: What's new about that? My answer is: a lot that's new and that what isn't new compels repeating......"
    OSS newsletter
  • "...well constructed and well written."
    Contemporary Review
  • "The last century’s great drama yields another great book...His epic narrative is illuminated with telling detail."
    Independent
  • "a gripping story of a dark time, powerfully told."
    Toronto Globe & Mail
  • "...superb but grim...Stafford’s skilful narrative...Stafford brilliantly weaves his individual human stories into the wider picture..."
    Sunday Telegraph
  • "a harrowing account of the end of World War Two in Europe. Stories of remarkable courage and implacable cruelty combine to create an unforgettable portrait of a continent all but destroyed by war."
    London Review of Books Books of the Year
  • "...the story is so expertly told by historian and intelligence expert David Stafford. While never losing sight of the sweeping historical perspective, he makes it intimate and compelling by describing it largely through the eyes of nine very different individuals."
    Mail on Sunday
  • "...harrowing masterpiece of modern history..."
    Sunday Express
  • "...Stafford’s gripping and moving book...makes brilliant use of the individual stories of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events."
    Sunday Times
  • "...a seamless, urgent and richly textured history."
    Scotsman
  • "Stafford skilfully provides a connecting framework for a narrative of almost Tolstoyan proportions [and is] to be congratulated on his even-handed treatment of a subject which, in the depths of its almost incredible inhumanity, brutality, violence and scale, beggars the imagination and which only a writer of the first calibre, strongest nerve and monumental intellectual stamina could tackle."
    Noble Frankland (former Director of the Imperial War Museum), Spectator, 26 May 2007
  • "Stafford proves himself the master of a dazzling and complex narrative, providing us with sufficient detail about the various main characters, drawn from their letters and diaries, to fix their humanity against a panoramic background of abysmal inhumanity…"
    Christopher Silvester, Daily Express, 31 August 2007
  • "David Stafford … weaves an often majestic tapestry of testimony from the anguish of those who survived Belsen, those who liberated Berlin and those whose fate we hear far less of… Time and again, you sit up and take notice in ways that more conventional history lets slip… The success of Stafford’s method, using ordinary men with ordinary voices … is to make such testimony still moving and urgent six decades on… You know what war was like, is like and will be like again. You see the mistakes and evasions. You look into the depths and shudder….."
    Peter Preston, The Observer, 26 August 2007
  • "...an engaging and illuminating read...a most readable account."
    BBC History Magazine
  • "…a writer of the first calibre, strongest nerve and monumental intellectual stamina…"
    Spectator
  • "David Stafford, a practised chronicler of World War II… has assembled a remarkable gallery of human stories- heroic, tragic, squalid, moving- for his book, which reminds us that victory, even in a ‘good’war, iis almost as bitter as defeat… [his] book is a vivid reminder of the misery that persisted across Europe long after the shooting stopped in 1945."
    Max Hastings, Daily Mail
  • "…fascinating… The purpose of this book is to put a human face on the bewildering scale of death and devastation. David Stafford does it most compellingly."
    Allan Mallinson, Times