Excerpt from No End Save Victory by Stephen Ambrose, Robert Cowley, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

No End Save Victory

Perspectives on World War II

by Stephen Ambrose, Robert Cowley

No End Save Victory by Stephen Ambrose, Robert Cowley
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2001, 704 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2002, 704 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Manstein had many talents that made these successes possible, but one stood out above the rest: an unmatched capacity to fuse traditional Prussian strategy with the new armored tactics. He had broken step with many of his fellow military aristocrats by recognizing that General Guderian's new panzer divisions must not be slowed or hampered by the actions of infantry and artillery. (In fact, one of Manstein's most significant interwar achievements had been the development of mobile and self-propelled support artillery, which freed more tanks for the job of penetration and exploitation.) Faced with the task of planning the movements of Army Group South in the Polish campaign, Manstein quickly decided to concentrate most of the available armor in one of the group's three armies - the Tenth, under General Walther von Reichenau - in order to achieve a decisive breakthrough and the earliest possible encirclement of Polish forces west of the Vistula. The other two armies - the Fourteenth on the right flank, commanded by General Wilhelm List; and the Eighth, forming the group's left wing and commanded by General Johannes Blaskowitz - would play roles in this hoped-for envelopment, but the spearhead assignment went to Reichenau's panzers.

In this effort to blend the Prussian strategy of envelopment with modern armored tactics, Manstein was assisted by Army Group South's chief of operations, Colonel Günther von Blumentritt. The two men shared the same intellectual style, and during the months before the invasion they put in many extra hours attending to every detail of the operation. Manstein later recalled: "As often as not, the things that attract us to another person are quite trivial, and what always delighted me about Blumentritt was his fanatical attachment to the telephone. The speed at which he worked was in any case incredibly high, but whenever he had a receiver in his hand he could deal with whole avalanches of queries, always with the same imperturbable good humor."

Army Group North was given to General Fedor von Bock, a forceful and sometimes difficult commander, and comprised the Third and Fourth armies. The Third Army troops were transported to their launching area in East Prussia by sea, under the guise of participating in a huge celebration of the German victory over the Russians at Tannenberg in August 1914. The Fourth Army, under General Günther von Kluge, was positioned in east Pomerania, opposite the Corridor.

General Guderian's Nineteenth Panzer Corps - the first unit that came close to embodying the panzer leader's ideas concerning armored operations - was placed under von Kluge. There was initially some resistance to the idea of including such a heavy armored force in the Fourth Army's operations, but Guderian's careful cultivation of Hitler soon had its desired effect, and the führer personally intervened to secure Guderian's role as the spearhead of the forces that would cut the Polish Corridor.

By August 20, the German army was ready. Yet despite the immense effort they had devoted to marshaling their forces, the German generals remained unenthusiastic. Throughout the summer, Chief of Staff Halder had secretly contacted the governments of both France and Great Britain, trying to relay the message that the army high command was powerless to stop Nazi designs because of Hitler's immense popularity with the German people. Only firm commitment on the part of the Western Allies, Halder said, could take the wind out of Hitler's sails. Halder's urgings fell on deaf ears.

On August 22, Hitler called his senior commanders to Obersalzberg for a "conference," which, as was often the case, degenerated into a long diatribe by the führer. The tone was set by Hermann Göring, who arrived wearing a comical jerkin, shorts, and long silk socks. "Up till now," Manstein later wrote, "I had assumed that we were here for a serious purpose, but Göring appeared to have taken it for a masked ball....I could not resist whispering to my neighbor, General von Salmuth: 'I suppose the Fat Boy's here as a strong-arm man?'"

Reprinted from No End Save Victory Edited by Robert Cowley by permission of G.P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright (c) 2001 Edited by Robert Cowley. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Summer Before the War
    by Helen Simonson
    Set on the cusp of World War I, The Summer Before the War exudes strength and spirit as a small town...
  • Book Jacket: Lincoln in the Bardo
    Lincoln in the Bardo
    by George Saunders
    George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo is a philosophy discourse brilliantly disguised as a ...
  • Book Jacket
    Tender
    by Belinda McKeon
    Most of us have heard the slightly trite saying: "If you love something, set it free." But one can ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Sellout
by Paul Beatty

The first book by an American author to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Fifth Petal
    by Brunonia Barry

    Beloved author Brunonia Barry returns to the world of The Lace Reader with this spellbinding new thriller.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Caught in the Revolution
    by Helen Rappaport

    A masterful retelling of the Russian Revolution from the author of The Romanov Sisters.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Your F C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.