As an international war correspondent and radio commentator, William L. Shirer didn’t just research the fall of France. He was there. In just six weeks, he watched the Third Reich topple one of the world’s oldest military powers—and institute a rule of terror and paranoia. Based on in-person conversation with the leaders, diplomats, generals, and ordinary citizens who both shaped the events of this time and lived through them on a daily basis, Shirer shapes a compelling account of historical events—without losing sight of the personal experience.
From the heroic efforts of the Freedom Fighters to the tactical military misjudgments that caused the fall and the daily realities of life for French citizens under Nazi rule, this fascinating and exhaustively documented account from one of the 20th Century’s most important historians.
For over a decade, William L. Shirer worked as a news broadcaster for CBS in Europe. His tenure saw the rise of Adolf Hitler in the early 1930’s, the start of World War II, and the earliest stages of the Nazi invasion of Europe. This selection of his iconic broadcasts compiles two and a half years’ worth of war-time broadcasts from Shirer’s time on the ground during World War II. He was with Nazi forces when Hitler invaded Austria and made it a part of Germany under the Anchluss; he was also the first to report back to the United States on the armistice between France and Nazi forces in June of 1940. His daily round-up of news from Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Rome, and London, which documented Nazi Germany and the conditions of countries under invasion and at war, was looked to for guidance and information. He was the first journalist hired by CBS to cover World War II in Europe, and his radio broadcasts became famous for their gripping urgency. Shirer brought a sense of immediacy to the war for listeners in the United States and worldwide, and his later books on the war, including the seminal Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, became definitive works on World War II history.
This collection of Shirer’s radio broadcasts offers all the original suspense and vivid storytelling of the time, bringing World War II to life for a modern audience. Shirer’s first-hand series of accounts from countries throughout Europe is a vivid unfolding of events from the perspective of an eye-witness.
The Bismark wasn’t just any warship. Its guns were much stronger and more accurate than any others in its day—meaning it could easily sink enemy ships without getting in range of their fire. It was one of Hitler’s most powerful weapons, and the Allied forces had to put it out of commission—before they lost the war. With the fate of the world in the balance, Allied forces chased the Bismark across the stormy North Atlantic—culminating in a thrilling sea battle that changed the course of World War II.
Unfolding with the taut suspense of a blockbuster movie, this book brings the excitement and danger of World War II to younger audiences—and demonstrates William L. Shirer’s mastery as a writer of history and a spinner of tales.