The Last 100 Days

  • by John Toland
  • Narrated by Ralph Cosham
  • 27 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A dramatic countdown of the final months of World War II in Europe, The Last 100 Days brings to life the waning power and theultimate submission of the Third Reich. To reconstruct the tumultuous hundreddays between Yalta and the fall of Berlin, John Toland traveled more than 100,000 miles in twenty-one countries and interviewed more than six hundred people - from Hitler's personal chauffeur to Generals von Manteuffel, Wenck, andHeinrici; from underground leaders to diplomats; from top Allied fieldcommanders to brave young GIs. Toland adeptly wove together these interviewsusing research from thousands of primary sources.
When it was first published, The Last 100 Days madehistory, revealing after-action reports, staff journals, and top-secretmessages and personal documents previously unavailable to historians. Sincethat time it has come to be regarded as one of the greatest historicalnarratives of the twentieth century.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

More the sum of the parts

This book is, as of this review, about 50 years old and hence the information tends to be a bit out of date. Mr Toland interviewed hundreds of people in the writing of this book and some of what is written was new and ground-breaking at the time, but subsequent accounts have tended to modify some of what is written or to at least put a different light on the subjects. In addition many newer books cover the same ground as in this book, even if with a slightly different view. Nonetheless this is a good book and covers much of what happened during the last 100 days of the European Theater of World War II.

Rather than a direct history of the ending of the war in Europe Mr Toland decided to present the ending days of World War II as a series of vignettes, each representing one part of the final days of The Third Reich, and this format works very well and presents information often not covered in normal histories of this period. For example there is a section on the greatest sea tragedy of World War II in Europe - the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff and its mostly civilian passengers by a Soviet submarine, we see into the minds of many of the German commanders who are given impossible orders by German generals who seem to have lost contact with reality and we see the tragedy of Poland, again to be betrayed, this time by the West. All in all this produces a history which is greater than just the sum of the individual pieces.

The book is narrated by Ralph Cosham who seems to have gotten some very bad reviews on this website. I have several histories that Mr Cosham has narrated and, in those as well as this, he does a fine job. However this particular book suffers from having what is perhaps the worst sound track of any of my many Audible books. The narration is a patchwork of cuts and re-recordings and the reader is constantly subjected to narration that changes in pitch and sound and these changes are very annoying. I do not blame Mr Cosham but it almost appears as though something happened to the original recording in places and Mr Cosham has had to constantly insert small segments into the original recording. Those changes are jarring to the ear and interrupt the smooth flow of the narrative. In reviewing this book I have tried to differentiate between the narration of Mr Cosham, which is just fine, and the cut-and-paste of the final result, which is just terrible.

All in all a mixed bag. The sound track, which sounds as though it was recorded at a much lower quality, is poor and listeners might want to listen to the sample fully before deciding if they wish to buy. The book itself is a worthwhile addition to understanding the end of WW II in Europe even if hard to listen to.
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- Mike From Mesa

Excellent book!

If you could sum up The Last 100 Days in three words, what would they be?

A riveting account.


What did you like best about this story?

It was very informative.


What does Ralph Cosham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I ws not bored by his reading of the book. It was excellently read.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The story of the failed rescue of Gen. Patton's son in law.


Any additional comments?

It is well worth the time spent.

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- Kevin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-01-2014
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.