Having learned nothing from Wilson’s failures at Versailles, Franklin D. Roosevelt was determined – working in tandem with Churchill – to see the pastoralization of Germany after the Second World War. One of the members of the brain trust, Henry J. Morgenthau, Jr., had devised the plan and if he was not a fellow traveller he must have at least been one of Lenin’s useful idiots, holding such positions as, We can hardly expect the nation-state to make itself superfluous, at least not overnight. Rather what we must aim for is really nothing more than caretakers of a bankrupt international machine which will have to be transformed slowly into a new one. The transition will not be dramatic, but a gradual one. People will still cling to national symbols.
We had everything to fear with exhausted allies unwilling to stop Soviet designs to take over the West the scenario was set for a Chesterton debacle where, Evil always wins through the strength of its splendid dupes; and there has in all ages been a disastrous alliance between abnormal innocence and abnormal sin. Providence delivered us, but barely, with the death of FDR and the defeat at the polls of Churchill, we found hope in the incompetence of Clement Atlee and the vision of Harry Truman – the man from Independence in so many ways.
You will not find too much of this in Stafford’s book but you will find a good ground level recording of how the great game played out among the minor players in the drama. At once tragic and frustrating but finally hopeful the book is more than well worth the reading of it.
Endgame, 1945 : the missing final chapter of World War II David Stafford New York : Little, Brown, 2007 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xix, 581 p.,  p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. -568) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
To end a history of World War II at VE Day is to leave the tale half told. While the war may have seemed all but over by Hitler’s final birthday (April 20), Stafford’s chronicle of the three months that followed tells a different, and much richer, story.
ENDGAME 1945 highlights the gripping personal stories of nine men and women, ranging from soldiers to POWs to war correspondents, who witnessed firsthand the Allied struggle to finish the terrible game at last. Through their ground-level movements, Stafford traces the elaborate web of events that led to the war’s real resolution.
The deaths of Hitler and Mussolini, the liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau, and the Allies’ race with the Red Army to establish a victors’ foothold in Europe, to name a few. From Hitler’s April decision never to surrender to the start of the Potsdam Conference, Stafford brings an unprecedented focus to the war’s “final chapter.”