Books: End of a Nation

ASSIGNMENT TO CATASTROPHE, Vol. II: THE FALL OF FRANCE (333 pp.)—Major-General Sir Edward Spears—A. A. Wyn ($5).

Like "the gavel of fate striking the dome of time," Big Ben struck 1 a.m. In London, General Spears sat alone with Prime Minister Churchill, a "heavy hunched figure in black." At this moment on June 10, 1940, Italy had entered World War II. Churchill began to speak, and "for the first and only time in my experience." writes General Spears, "I heard words akin to despair pass his lips."

The Fall of France, Spears's sequel to his...

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