Book Review: “Churchill, Master and Commander: Winston Churchill at War 1895–1945”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author & historian Anthony Tucker-Jones https://www.atuckerjones.com published the book Churchill, Master and Commander: Winston Churchill at War 1895–1945 at the end of November 2021. He has published more than 50 military history books.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’. As the title implies, Winston Churchill is the focus of this book.

The author dedicates the first few chapters to Churchill’s military and journalist career during the late 19th century. He saw service in India, Sudan, and South Africa. Much of what he wrote as a journalist irritated the military. He also had difficulty refraining from slipping into a military role when serving as a journalist.

He struggled with his political career at first. He was eventually was elected as an MP and served in different government positions. He was appointed as First Lord of the Admiralty before WWI. He ended up with much of the blame for the failed ANZAC campaign at Gallipoli on his shoulders.

He was in and out of office from 1917 until he was finally asked to form a government as Prime Minister in 1939 after Germany had invaded Poland and Norway. He led the British Empire through WWII until just after victory in Europe.

I enjoyed the 12+ hours I spent reading this 510-page biography and WWII history. Churchill was undoubtedly a charismatic leader. Many credit him with stirring the British people to resist the Nazis’ onslaught. He was the Prime Minister and also filled the position of Minister of Defense, which he had created. This gave him a large influence over the British conduct of the war. His interference in military matters was not always appreciated by the British or the Americans. While he and President Roosevelt generally got along well, Churchill’s desire to save the British Empire was upsetting.

To Churchill’s credit, he recognized the Nazi threat early and spoke out against it. While he saw Stalin and the Russians as an ally to win the war, He did not trust them. He feared they would eventually become an enemy. The author does a good job of looking at Churchill from every angle. While the book is about Churchill, there is a good narrative documenting what is happening in the world around him. I like the selected cover art. If you are interested in the history of WWII you will enjoy this book. I rate the book as a 4 out of 5.

Further information:

  1. Book Churchill’s Flawed Decisions: Errors in Office of The Greatest Briton
  2. Podcast The History of World War II Podcast Episodes 81–86, 88–99, 102–106, 119

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

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If you have an interest in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 560 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

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