(Cohen A240) (Woods A123)

Let us begin by recording all the major criticisms of this, Winston Churchill’s most famous work.

1) It is not history.
2) It is filled with grandiose prose, inflicted on apathetic readers who only wanted peace and a quiet life.
3) It is highly biased; the author never puts a foot wrong and publishes hundreds of his own memoranda and directives, but few replies to them.
4) It moralizes incessantly about dictators and their empires—but not Britain’s.
5) The impact of the war on Britain and the details of Cabinet meetings are vague; Churchill alone confronts the French, Hitler, the Soviets, the Americans; one critic says, “Every instance of adversity becomes an occasion for the narrator’s triumph.”
6) Churchill didn’t write much of it; he relied on a team of researchers, military and political, known as “The Syndicate” (brilliantly recounted in David Reynolds’ 2005 book, In Command of History).

These indictments contain—in the words of Arthur Balfour—much that is true and much that is trite, but what’s true is trite, and what’s not trite is not true.
Churchill himself insisted that the volumes were memoirs: “This is not history—this is my case”—his “life effort,” in which he was “content to be judged.” In other places he calls them “a contribution to history.” Some of his admirers would say he dissembles and is too modest. Professor John Keegan, in an introduction to a recent new edition, calls The Second World War “a great history” of “monumental quality…extraordinary in its sweep and comprehensiveness, balance and literary effect; extraordinary in the singularity of its point of view; extraordinary as the labour of a man, already old, who still had ahead of him a career large enough to crown most other statesmen’s lives; extraordinary as a contribution to the memorabilia of the English-speaking peoples.”
If that seems too pro-Churchill a view, consider Malcolm Muggeridge’s appropriate evaluation: the volumes are “historic rather than historical.” Or Manfred Weidhorn’s: “a record of history made rather than written….No other wartime leader in history has given us a work of two million words written only a few years after the events and filled with messages among world potentates which had so recently been heated and secret. Britain was led by a professional writer.”
Wishing to build up “the Churchill Legend,” goes another familiar refrain, our author ignored or buried unpleasant facts, or twisted them to suit his purpose. I have not read a memoir that didn’t. Yet few memoirs are so magnanimous, as illustrated by a principle Churchill adopts in his Preface: “never criticizing any measure of war or policy after the event unless I had before expressed publicly or formally my opinion or warning about it.” The effect, Keegan tells us, “is to invest the whole history with those qualities of magnanimity and good will by which he set such store, and the more so as it deals with personalities.”
Churchill’s prose “could often be aversive [sic] to modern readers,” wrote another recent analyst, and, by the time the books appeared, “the world had moved on into an exhausted flatness that had little to do with, and little time for, the high-flown attitudes and language of Churchillian rhetoric.” If that’s so, why was The Second World War able to sell over 300,000 copies of each volume as it was published, millions since, eighteen translations into foreign languages, three major serializations, and several million abridgments?
So much for the non-trite and non-true. The other criticisms are mainly valid but hardly crippling. That Churchill assigned whole passages of military and political history to his team of experts should hardly surprise us, as David Reynolds points out in his book. Churchill was over seventy, not in the best of health, and exhausted after six years of energetic leadership in a struggle for survival. How many septuagenarians would take on such a task without asking help? And Churchill, of course, signed off on every word, correcting galleys until beyond the last moment, driving his publishers mad.
The Second World War is indeed intensely personal, considering the war from Churchill’s angle not Britain’s, and it moralizes because the memoir-writer passionately believed in those morals. He even gave the work its own moral: “In War: Resolution; In Defeat: Defiance; In Victory: Magnanimity; In Peace: Good Will.” I am not sure what is so wrong about that. It is biased, it exaggerates, it commits sins of omissions and contains, as Reynolds delicately puts it, “counterfactuals.” Every personal memoir does.
Churchill had a right to make his case. Many times in his career he had been second-guessed or misjudged: over Antwerp and the Dardanelles in World War I; over how to respond to Bolshevism; over the General Strike of 1926; over India, the Abdication, Franco, Mussolini, and Hitler. During the war he had attacked an ally’s fleet, fired generals, lost battleships, stalled on launching a second front, argued with Roosevelt and Stalin, engaged in carpet bombing… Perhaps he felt the need to defend his actions, knowing that very soon he would be second-guessed by postwar critics, former colleagues and historians eager to seize on and emphasize his faults and mistakes—which were manifestly there. In fact, “revisionism” had begun as he worked: “In view of the many accounts which are extant and multiplying of my supposed aversion from any kind of large-scale opposed-landing, such as took place in Normandy in 1944,” Churchill wrote in Volume II, Chapter XII, “it may be convenient if I make clear that from the very beginning I provided a great deal of the impulse and authority for creating the immense apparatus and armada for the landing of armor on the beaches…”
Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies (who really didn’t get along well with him during the war) told Churchill in 1948, in the light of hindsight: “You realize that five years after your death…clever young men will be writing books explaining that you were never right about anything?” Churchill snorted, “You think so, do you?” “Yes,” Menzies added, “but not many years later, the clever young men will have been forgotten, and your name will be seen clearly at the pinnacle.” Well, the recent spate of Churchill critiques (some good, some dreadful) are going out of print, and The Second World War is still selling.
The merits of our author’s six substantial volumes tend rather to eclipse their evident flaws. There is, first, what Robert Pilpel calls “the warm sense of communion,” through which only a great writer can place the reader at his side in the march of events. Those events are conducted like a symphony. “In the great drama, he was the greatest,” said de Gaulle of our author, and The Second World War is magnificently dramatic. Manfred Weidhorn compares its greatest scenes with those of a first class novel: “Such is the eerie sense of déjà vu and ubi sunt upon his return in 1939, as First Lord [of the Admiralty], to Scapa Flow, exactly a quarter of a century after having, at the start of the other world war, paid the same visit during the same season in the same capacity….The collapse of the venerable and once mighty France and Churchill’s agony are beautifully rendered by the sensuous detail of the old gentlemen industriously carrying French archives on wheelbarrows to bonfires. Another powerful scene is that of the vote of censure, moved by Churchill’s critics in the wake of the Singapore and Tobruk disasters, even as the battle rages in the desert. The ensuing debate…was an ‘accompaniment to the cannonade’; a climax was being reached in parliamentary and desert fronts simultaneously….Near the end of the work appears one of the greatest scenes of all. On the way to the Potsdam conference, Churchill flies to Berlin and its ‘chaos of ruins.’ Taken to Hitler’s chancellery, he walks through its shattered halls for ‘quite a long time’….The great duel is over; the victor stands on the site from which so much evil originated….’We were given the best first-hand accounts available at that time of what had happened in these final scenes.'”
Amid the pathos, humor bubbles incessantly to the surface, Pilpel writes, “as if Puck had escaped from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and infiltrated Paradise Lost.” Few other memoirs, let alone histories, leaven their wisdom with such merry wit. There is Churchill’s famous desert conference with his Generals, “in a tent full of flies and important personages”; an amusing lunch with King Saud of Arabia, whose religion forbids tobacco and alcohol, which Churchill says are mandated by his religion; his courtly letter to the Japanese Ambassador, signed “your obedient servant, announcing “with highest consideration” that a state of war exists with his country (“When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite”); parties with Stalin where Churchill pooh-poohs the storied drinking bouts (“I had been properly brought up”). All this levity “somehow sits well with the cataclysmic and lugubrious matter of the story,” Weidhorn adds, “for Churchill does not allow the humor to take the sting out of events or reduce war to a mere game. He simply refuses to overlook the light side….Such a tone, markedly different from the histrionics of the other side, may well be a secret of survival. As Shaw said, he who laughs lasts.”
It is important to remember that The Second World War is not all memoirs. Each volume contains lengthy appendices of personal minutes, telegrams, and directives to military and civilian officials which Churchill had secured permission to publish. Here again he has been accused of bias, selectivity and an air of infallibility; some of the documents are trivial—even unworthy of him. But in the main they had a powerful effect: they kept everyone’s eyes on the prize.
My favorite example appears in Appendix C to Volume III, The Grand Alliance, where Churchill responds to General Brooke’s report on an invasion exercise called VICTOR, which presupposed that the Germans landed five divisions on the Norfolk coast and established a beachhead within forty-eight hours. Churchill writes:

“I presume the details of this remarkable feat have been worked out by the Staff concerned. Let me see them. For instance, how many ships and transports carried these five Divisions? How many Armoured vehicles did they comprise? How many motor lorries, how many guns, how much ammunition, how many men, how many tons of stores, how far did they advance in the first forty-eight hours, how many men and vehicles were assumed to have landed in the first twelve hours, what percentage of loss were they debited with? What happened to the transports and store-ships while the first forty-eight hours of fighting were going on? Had they completed emptying their cargoes, or were they still lying in shore off the point protected by superior enemy daylight Fighter formations? How many Fighter airplanes did the enemy have to employ, if so, to cover the landing places?…I should be very glad if the same officers would work out a scheme for our landing an exactly similar force on the French coast at the same extreme range of our Fighter protection and assuming that the Germans have naval superiority in the Channel….”

Professor Eliot Cohen, citing this memo in a paper on “The Problems of Supreme Command” at the 1993 Churchill Conference, tells us that “Brooke replied on April 7th, giving the figures noted by Churchill…plus the assumption that the Germans would consume petrol and food found on British soil. Churchill responded a few weeks later, noting how much more difficult than this British landings in Greece had proven, and continuing to press his inquiries. He noted that on the last two days of the exercise the British were credited with 432 fighter sorties, and the Germans with 1,500, although the Germans had further to fly….Gamely enough, Brooke continued to reply, until the exchange petered out.
“What is the significance of this episode?” Cohen continued. “It is noteworthy, first, that the commander in charge of the exercise, Brooke, stood up to Churchill and not only did not suffer by it, but ultimately gained promotion to the post of Chief of Imperial General Staff and chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. But more important is Churchill’s observation that ‘It is of course quite reasonable for assumptions of this character to be made as a foundation for a military exercise. It would be indeed a darkening counsel to make them the foundation of serious military thought.’ At this very time…Churchill was arguing—against the position of several of his military advisers—that the risks of invasion were sufficiently low to make the TIGER convoy [of armored vehicles to the Middle East] worth the attempt. TIGER went through, losing only one ship to a mine and delivering some 250 tanks to the hard-pressed forces in the Middle East.
“By no means did Churchill always have it right, but he often caught his military staff when they had it wrong,” Cohen concluded. “Churchill exercised one of his most important functions as war leader by holding their calculations and assertions up to the standards of a massive common sense, informed by wide reading and experience at war. When his military advisors could not provide plausible answers to these harassing and inconvenient questions, they usually revised their views; when they could, Churchill revised his. In both cases, British strategy benefited.”
Space is running out and I haven’t told the half of it. The Second World War, a prose epic like The River War and Marlborough, belongs with them amongst the first rank of Churchill’s books. Flaws and all, it is indispensable reading for anyone who seeks a true understanding of the war that made us what we are today. Manfred Weidhorn summarizes it better than anyone I’ve read: “When viewed beside the achievements of its statesman-narrator [The Second World War] remains not just a unique revelation of the exercise of power from atop an empire in duress but also one of the fascinating products of the human spirit, both as an expression of a personality and a somewhat anomalous epic tale filled with the depravities, miseries, and glories of man.”
-Richard M. Langworth

From the Reviews
“Never before, it is safe to say, has the publication of a book in the English language received such widespread acclaim. Newspapers of all political complexions have treated it as a great public event. That the acclamation has been even greater than might have been anticipated is the measure of his unique achievement—to have given the authority and the majesty of history to the stuff of his own times.”
-Harold Nicolson in The Daily Telegraph, 4 October 1948

“What a theme for a painter in words. It is an incomparable privilege to see the war as Mr. Churchill, directing our Herculean effort, saw it then and as he sees it now. Through chapter after chapter one never loses the realisation that here is one of the lasting works of English literature, one of the enduring memorials of our time, one of the noblest tributes to the endurance and resourcefulness of the British people. These memoirs are the master-work of a master-mind. Distinction shines on every page.”
The Yorkshire Post

The American Edition preceded the English by six months because Houghton Mifflin were less willing than Cassell to wait for the numerous revisions Churchill was making. To the ire of Cassell he insisted they all be in the English Edition, which he considered definitive. Therefore, the author’s “final revise” (among first editions) appears in the English, not the First Edition. The American Edition is aesthetically inferior to the English for other reasons: it lacks the latter’s many folding maps, and textual maps are printed black instead of two- or three-color, as in the English.

In America this set is the most common of Churchill’s works next to Blood, Sweat, and Tears, but is not often seen in true first edition either in the U.S. or in Britain, where it sometimes commands inflated prices. Sets including later impressions may be found for less. Yet cheaper in all these forms is the BOMC Issue (see BOMC entry).



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First Edition
Cohen A240.1 / ICS A123aa

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1948-53
Six volumes
Brick-red cloth blocked gilt and black. On cover, facsimile author signature gilt on black panel; on spine, volume title on black panel, THE SECOND | WORLD WAR and one to six stars] at head, WINSTON S. | Churchill below volume title, publisher name at foot. Top page edges usually stained yellow; headbands usually at head and foot. 8vo.
Vol. I published 21 June 1948 at $6, 800 pages numbered (i)-(xvi) and (1)-784. Vol. II published 29 March 1949 at $6, 768 pages numbered (i)-(xvi) and (1)-751 (+1). Vol. III published 24 April 1950 at $6, 928 pages numbered (I)-(xvi), (1)-716 (+2), 717-794 (+2) and 795-903 (+5). Vol. IV published 27 November 1950 at $6, 1,024 pages numbered (i)-(xvi), (1)-20 (+2), 21-222 (+2) and 223-1000 (+4). Vol. V published 23 November 1951 at $6, 768 pages numbered (i)-(xvi) and (1)-749 (+3). Vol. VI published 30 November 1953, 816 pages numbered (i)-(xvi) and (1)-800. All volumes variously illustrated with maps and diagrams.
Most First Editions were printed by The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts (verso on title page). See “Variants” for other printers.
Note: The two stars on the title page of Vol. II are inverted. Type on the title pages and spines is hand-drawn.

Editions, Impressions and Quantities
The following first impressions were published: Vol. I, 75,000; Vol. II, 35,000; Vol III, 61,000; Vol. IV, 70,000; Vol. V, 60,000; Vol VI, 60,000. The work remained in print hardbound until the late 1980s, when prices had risen to $29.95 per volume; the publisher has since issued the volumes softbound. See Cohen for the publishing history.
Identifying first editions: The most common form of First Edition has yellow stained top page edges, headbands at head and foot of spine, and identifies Riverside Press on title page verso. (See also “Variants.”) All First Editions must display date of first publication on title page (1948 for Vol. I, etc.). All reprints omit the title page date.

Dust Jackets
First Edition dust jackets all carry the price $6.00 on upper right corner of front flap; the price was quickly raised to $6.50 but any such jacket is not from the First Edition. Jackets printed red, black and yellow (or cream) on white paper, designed by Ronald Murray, who also drew the type for the jackets, spines and title pages. I own a copy of Vol. III inscribed: “I not only designed this book. I drew the jacket, and shook the hand of the author, Mr. Churchill. -Ronald Murray”
Murray alternated the colors to make each jacket distinctive:
Vol. I yellow, printed red and black, spine panel red; Vol. II red, printed yellow and black, spine panel black; Vol. III black, printed white and yellow, spine panel red; Vol. IV black, printed yellow and red, spine panel yellow; Vol. V red, printed yellow and black, spine panel yellow; Vol VI yellow printed black and red, spine panel black. Note: the three stars on the jacket face and spine of Vol. III are inverted.

The enormous demand for Churchill’s war memoirs in the United States caused both the publisher and the Book-of-the-Month Club (BOMC), who published almost simultaneously, to contract with four different manufacturers—and to use each other’s manufacturer during shortages. This created numerous variants and much confusion. In the late Sixties, the London bookseller Harold Mortlake made yeoman efforts to sort out what the publisher told him was “a bibliographic nightmare”; but his list was confusing and the descriptions incomplete. These notes combine and amplify Mortlake’s observations. For those who may have his catalogue, his reference letters are mentioned. (See also this section in the following entry on BOMC issues).
Vol. I. Type 1: the most common form, printed only by Riverside Press, which is named on the title page and verso. Brick red cloth, headbands, yellow top page edges. Title page mentions the firm of Emery Reves, Churchill’s literary associate, who placed the work outside the British Empire: “Published in association with The Cooperation Publishing Company, Inc.” (Mortlake “C”). Type 2: As above but without yellow page edges or headbands; verso of title page names H. Wolff, New York, as manufacturer (not in Mortlake).
Vol. II. Type 1: Brick red cloth, headbands, yellow top page edges, title page and verso follow the style of 1A (Mortlake “C”).
Type 2: As above on third and later impressions the Cooperation Publishing Company line was dropped (Mortlake “A”).
Vol. III. Type 1: Brick red cloth, headbands, yellow top page edges; Riverside Press on title page and verso. (Mortlake “B”). Type 2: Pink-red cloth (like BOMC), no headbands or yellow top page edges, no BOMC “dot” on rear board. Title page names Riverside Press but verso states PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. Probably produced by a BOMC manufacturer to fill a shortage of trade editions. (Not in Mortlake).
Vols. IV-VI. All are found in only one form: brick red cloth, headbands, yellow top page edges, Riverside Press on title page and verso. (Respectively Mortlake “A,” not listed, and “D.”)
Vol. VI. Among Churchill’s many corrections to the American text was a significant one: omitting, after the First Edition, the name of Averell Harriman from the account of the 9 October 1944 Moscow meeting (Chapter XV, page 226). This is when Churchill made his now-much-criticized “percentage proposal” dividing Eastern Europe into Russian and British spheres of influence. Harriman’s name appears in no American reprints thus far examined, nor in any British editions at all.
One may conclude that sometimes after publication of the American Edition, but before the English, Harriman was removed, perhaps on request. In his Special Envoy (1975), Harriman writes that he did not attend the Moscow meeting and did not learn of the “percentage paper” until the 12th.



Canadian Issue
Cohen A240.2 / ICS A123ab

Publisher: Thomas Allen Ltd., Toronto, 1948-53
Six volumes

An offprint of the Houghton Mifflin Edition produced in association with them but printed in Canada. Published at $6.00 (Vols. I-IV) and $6.50 (Vols. V-VI). Identical to the First Edition except for several distinguishing characteristics: Bound in distinctly darker red cloth, top page edges stained light yellow, white headbands; title page names the American and Canadian publishers, verso notes Canadian origin. Dust jackets are in the Houghton Mifflin style but spines read THOMAS ALLEN | LIMITED on the spines (in oblong panels on Vols I-III).
The Canadian Issue is bound in a richer red cloth, but complete sets are extremely scarce and hardly ever seen, especially in dust jackets. I have never encountered a set and have had to build mine up from odd volumes. Original Allen dust jackets are even scarcer. Despite this and their handsome appearance, the Canadian issue draws little interest among collectors outside Canada: a shame, since odd volumes can be acquired cheaply, and building a set is a challenge. A complete jacketed set would certainly command the price of a comparable American First Edition.
Note: some dust jackets do not contain prices on front flaps, and some copies originally sold at $6 bear $6.50 jacket prices.



American Book Club Issue
Cohen A240.3 / ICS A123aa

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company for the Book-of-the-Month Club, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, 1948-53
Six volumes
The most common form of Churchill’s war memoirs in America, the Book-of-the-Month Club (BOMC) Issue was published virtually simultaneously with the First Edition. Confusingly, BOMC first impressions carry publication dates on their title pages, just like First Editions, but there are other ways quickly to identify them.
Most BOMC issues are bound in a pinkish-red rather than brick red cloth, carry unstained page edges and have no headbands. Most also carry a small debossed blind or black dot on the lower right corner of the rear boards. BOMC dust jacket front flaps do not contain prices but instead contain a line, identifying the work as a selection of the BOMC. Any jacket with the front flap clipped at top and bottom may be strongly suspected to be BOMC’s.

The Haddon Craftsmen, Scranton, Pa. were the chief manufacturers of BOMC volumes, but the huge press runs created variations. Continuing our list expanded from Harold Mortlake’s catalogue (see “Variants” of the First Edition), the following BOMC issues have been encountered. All are as described in the preceding paragraph unless otherwise noted. Where Mortlake assigned an identifying letter, they are indicated:
Vol. I. Type 1: Haddon Craftsmen, Scranton, Pa. named as manufacturers on verso of title page; blind dot on rear board (Mortlake “E”). Type 2: Kingsport Press, Kingsport, Tenn. on t.p. verso; black dot on rear board (Mortlake “H”). Type 3: Riverside Press, Cambridge, Ma. on t.p. verso; large blind dot blind on rear board (often mistaken as a trade edition).
Vol. II. Type 1: Haddon Craftsmen on t.p. verso; blind dot. Type 2: Kingsport Press on t.p. verso; small dot debossed black on rear board (confusingly, also called “E” by Mortlake). Type 3: Riverside Press on t.p. verso with code letter “W”; large blind dot on rear board.
Vol. III. Type 1: Haddon Craftsmen on verso; blind dot on rear board. Type 2: As above, later impression with large blind square on rear board. Type 3: Kingsport Press on verso; black dot on rear board (Mortlake “B”). Type 4: As above, dated 1951 on t.p.; small blind dot on rear board. Type 5: Riverside Press on verso. Type 6: H. Wolff on verso; small blind dot on rear board.
Vol. IV. Type 1: Kingsport Press on verso; black dot on rear board (Mortlake “B”). Type 2: No manufacturer on verso; large blind square on rear board. Type 3: Both H. Wolff and Riverside Press on verso; large blind dot on rear board.
Vol. V. Type 1: Kingsport Press on verso; small black dot on rear board (Mortlake “B”). Type 2: H. Wolff and Riverside Press on verso; large blind dot on rear board. Type 3: As above but dot is now embossed; a later Wolff printing.
Vol VI. Type 1: Haddon Craftsmen and Riverside Press on verso; small blind dot. Type 2: Kingsport Press and Library of Congress catalogue card number on verso; small black dot on rear board (Mortlake “G”). Type 3: As above but large blind square on rear board. Type 4: Riverside Press and code letter “W” on verso, no dot or headbands but top pages edges stained yellow, bound in BOMC pinkish-red cloth; apparently bound by Riverside to fill a BOMC shortage.
The BOMC issue is readily available in the USA Ultra-fine sets in sparkling jackets are scarce. This is the ideal reading copy among the North American editions.



First English Edition
Cohen A240.4 / ICS A123ba

Publisher: Cassell & Co. Ltd., London, 1948-54
Six volumes

Black cloth blocked gilt on spine (WINSTON | CHURCHILL, main title, roman numeral I-VI at head and CASSELL at foot). Top page edges stained dark red; no headbands. 8vo.
Vol. I published 4 October 1948 at 25s. ($4.25), 658 pages numbered (I)-(xvi), (1)-610 (+2) and 611-40. Vol. II published 27 June 1949 at 25s. ($4.25), 704 pages numbered (i)-(xviii), (1)-684 (+2). Vol. III published 20 July 1940 at 25s. ($3.50), 838 pages numbered (i)-(xviii), (1)-819 (+1). Vol. IV published 3 August 1951 at 30s. ($4.20), 936 pages numbered (i)-(xviii), (1)-917 (+1). Vol. V published 3 September 1952 at 30s. ($4.20), 692 pages numbered (i)-(xviii), (1)-673 (+1). Vol. VI published 26 April 1954 at 30s. ($4.20), 736 pages numbered (i)-(xviii), (1)-716 (+2). All volumes variously illustrated with maps and diagrams.

Editions, Impressions and Quantities
The following first impressions were published: Vol. I, 221,000; Vol. II, 276,000; Vol III, 300,000; Vol. IV, 275,000; Vol. V, 275,000; Vol VI, 200,000. Churchill complained about the small type size of Vol. 1; its second edition of 4 November 1949 was entirely reset in two points larger type, which matched the type of Vols. II-VI. Identifying first editions: Title page versos state “first published 1948 [and successive dates] with no indication of successive reprints.

Dust Jackets
The original, and long running, dust jacket was printed red and a second color against a grey background containing alternating rows of rampant lions and the initials “WSC,” the background carrying over both panels and the spine. Printed red were the main title on the jacket face and the volume number and volume title on the spine. Printed in a second color were the author’s name, volume number and subtitle on the face and main title, author’s name and CASSELL on the spine. The second colors were as follows: Vols. I and V, navy blue; Vol. II, deep purple; Vol. III, dark green; Vol. IV, blue-green, Vol. VI, light green.
First Edition jackets should contain the original price and should not advertise any title which came after them. For example, a Vol. II jacket advertising Vol. III on the rear flap is not from a First Edition. Also, most later impression jackets contain a large spine panel indicating a later impression. More recently, jackets have been laminated on white stock with varying color panels containing titles.
Jacket variants (first editions): Volume I jackets of the Book Society variant (see below) lack the volume number on the spine. Volume V jackets exist with back panel overprinted in large black type with a blurb about the contents.
Some jackets (seen on Volumes I, V and VI) are wrapped with a red paper promotional band about two inches wide printed white.

The publisher bound 100 presentation sets in black leather. These are handsomely done and easily distinguishable: plain except for gilt spine lettering, issued without dust jackets. They are hotly desired by collectors.
Among standard bindings, Volumes I, V and VI (at least) exist with red wraparound bands. A variant of Volume I states, on the copyright page: “THIS EDITION ISSUED ON FIRST PUBLICATION BY THE BOOK SOCIETY , LTD., IN ASSOCIATION WITH CASSELL & CO. LTD. OCTOBER 1948” in place of “First published 1948.” It is otherwise with normal first editions.
Some dust jackets are marked “OVERSEAS EDITION” at the bottom of the front flap, but the books underneath are conventional editions.

All of Churchill’s revisions and “overtake corrections” were scrupulously entered by the Cassell which, combined with two- and three-color textual maps and many finely printed folding maps, makes the English Edition more aesthetically pleasing and more definitive than the American/Canadian. But this was not the end, or even the beginning of the end: Churchill kept revising, based on comment from colleagues and readers, through 1955, when the Chartwell Edition proudly produced the absolute final text!

Since our author insisted that the English Edition was the definitive version, this is clearly the set to own if you plan only to own one. Fortunately, it is in plentiful supply, though it’s best to buy all six volumes as a set rather than try to piece them together: the last volume is considerably harder to find than the others. To be truly fine, books should display no spotting on page edges, good color on the top page edges, pristine boards and unspotted contents; jackets should be as bright on their spines as on their faces, and the red spine type, which is liable to fade, should be clean and bright. Scruffier jacketed and unjacketed sets or later impressions are not in the same league. Jackets with the red and white promotional bands command a premium. The Presentation set in black leather commands a premium price and is very rare.



Australian Issue
Cohen A240.5 / ICS A123bb

Publisher: Cassell & Co. Ltd., Melbourne, 1948-54
Six volumes

Volumes I-V printed in Australia by Halsted Press, Sydney, probably by offprinting. Volume VI is likely English sheets bound in Australia. Published at A 30s. (Vols. I-IV) and $6.50 (Vols. V-VI). Identical to the First Edition except for several distinguishing characteristics: Bound in textured black shiny cloth, top page edges unstained; bulks thicker owing to thicker page stock; verso of title page names the Australian Edition and notes Australian origin. Dust jackets are in the Cassell style but priced in Australian currency. Identifying first impressions: Volume I had three impressions, the others only one each. Volume I first impressions state “First Australian Edition 1948” on the title page verso, with no indication of later reprints.
The Australian Issue is wholly more satisfying to handle and read than the English because of its superior page stock, although full sets outside Australia are rarities. Not published concurrently with the English edition, it does not carry the same precedence, so prices tend to be lower. Truly fine sets are hardly ever seen.
Note: Mr. Cohen’s numbers were unavailable at this writing for later editions of The Second World War.



Reprint Society Edition
Cohen A240.6 / ICS A123d

Publisher: Reprint Society/World Books, London, 1950-56
Six volumes
Smaller (5 1/4 x 8″) than the First English Edition, this set was issued a volume at a time by the book club, each with reset text incorporating all of the author’s corrections. Bound in ivory or white cloth with author’s facsimile signature blocked maroon on top board and in block type on spine; also on spine: titles and Reprint Society logo, gilt on maroon panels. Issue dates: Vol. I 1950, fourteen impressions; Vol. II 1951, nine impressions; Vol. III 1952, ten impressions; Vol. IV 1953, six impressions; Vol. V 1954, six impressions; Vol. VI 1956, two impressions. The member price was 7s. 6d. (91¢) per volume; in 1952 the first three volumes were offered for only 22s. 6d. ($3.15).

Top page edges are found plain, stained yellow and (rarely) stained dark red.

Completion of this set in 1956 occasioned issue of a large-scale folding map, boxed and entitled “Dunkirk to Berlin,” showing Churchill’s wartime journeys in four-color on heavy art paper. No jackets. The sets are of incidental value. A three-volume set (vols. 1/2, 3/4, 5/6) was issued in blue cloth.



Chartwell (First Illustrated) Edition
Cohen A240.7 ICS A123e

Publisher: Educational Book Co., Ltd., London, 1955
Six Volumes
In a special note to this edition dated 1 October 1954, the author writes: “Now a special edition is being published illustrated for the first time, in which all those first minor errors have been corrected.” Thus this beautiful edition produces an entirely new text in fine readable large type, along with hundreds of illustrations on coated paper—interspersed not in thick 16-page sections but spread around in two- or four-page inserts. Each volume contains a color frontispiece and three-color maps, silk head and tail bands and duplex endpapers, although the folding maps of the First English Edition are eliminated. There were no dust jackets; the volumes instead carried plain glassine wrappers.

The books were offered by mail order in early 1955 in thick, stout boards bound in two versions by “Britain’s finest craftsmen” which were rightly described as “beautiful examples of the Bookbinders’ art.” Standard: red canvas, titles on brown leather spine panels; on top boards the volume title gilt with a specially commissioned embossed medallion of Churchill on a leather label, £12 19s. 6d. ($35.93) or £13 13s. by monthly subscription (20s. on delivery, twelve further 20s. monthly payments). Deluxe: quarter blue “Oasis” morocco leather with art vellum cloth, beveller boards, spine blocked gilt, £19 19s. ($55.86) or £21 by subscription (20s. on delivery, twenty further 20s. monthly payments.)

This beautiful edition is the most elaborate and luxurious rendering of Churchill’s war memoirs, and would be the second set to add after a First English Edition—which it complements nicely, being not only profusely illustrated but fully corrected with all of Churchill’s revisions since the original volumes. The Standard binding has lately become scarce in truly fine condition (perfect spine labels, bright colours, no interior gutterbreaks and has risen dramatically in value. The Deluxe binding can command yet more if it is in pristine condition. Gutterbreaks are common on these large, thick volumes, and the leather spine labels of Standard bindings are often chipped; such sets sell for half these prices, but even then, they are worth it; this is a truly desirable edition.

Specimen Sample
One function of the Educational Book Company was the support of students, who sold Chartwell Editions door to door. The young salesmen usually carried a “sample” bound in black leatherette, blocked “SPECIMEN” in gilt on the top board. The boards fold back to reveal the two bindings, the color frontispiece and title page of Volume I, excerpted textual pages including twelve maps from Volume II, and twenty-four pages of photographs plus four color plates.



Abridged Edition, Home Issue
Cohen A240.8 / ICS A123ca

Publisher: Cassell & Co. Ltd., London, 1959
Black cloth blocked gilt on spine (title: THE SECOND | WORLD WAR | ABRIDGED EDITION), 16mo, 1056 pages numbered (i)-(xviii), (1)-1033 (+5), illustrated with maps and diagrams. Published 5 February 1959 at 35s ($4.90). Seven impressions were published: February 1959, September 1960, September 1961, February 1963, June 1964, June 1965, December 1967.
Identifying first impressions: “First published 1959” with no reprints noted on verso of title page. Dust jackets printed multicolour on white stock including globe of the world artwork.
This edition was prepared by an indefatigable Churchill literary assistant, Denis Kelly, whose acknowledgments appear on page (vi). To it the author added an Epilogue on the years 1945-57, tracing his personal involvement from the end of his wartime premiership almost to the age of space exploration—Churchill’s last original writing for book publication. Cassell paid him £20,000 for 10,000 words. Emery Reves wrote the author, “I believe this is the highest amount ever paid for a manuscript, £2 per word.” (Gilbert, Never Despair, London and Boston: 1988).
The Epilogue considers in retrospect Churchill’s Fulton speech, the Berlin blockade, the Marshall Plan and NATO, his attempts for a “summit” with the Russians, the Suez debacle, his hopes for peace in the same first-person narrative as the original six volumes. With so much original material it is highly collectible and belongs in every serious Churchill library. Copies are fairly common but seem always to have gutterbreaks at the title page, probably owing to the many pages and rather loose binding. A fine, unbroken copy in like dust jacket could be worth up to $100/£60, because such are rarely seen.



Abridged Edition, American Issue
Cohen A240.9 / ICS A123cb

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1959
Green cloth with titles blocked gilt within red boxes on top board and spine. Entirely reset, but retaining English spelling and identical in content to the English Edition except that Denis Kelly’s notes are replaced by a “Publisher’s Note” in which he is not mentioned. 16mo, 1088 pages numbered (I)-(xviii) (+2) and (1)-1065 (+3). Dust jackets were originally printed red and black on white stock with no artwork. Published 1959 at $8.75.

There are three states to this issue:
First State: bound as described, red top page edges, headbands at spine ends.
Second State: red cloth with black title boxes, plain top page edges, headbands.
Third State: as above but no headbands with a jacket marked $9.00.
All three volumes carry the 1959 date on the title page which normally signifies a Houghton Mifflin first edition. There appears no difference in value, about $50/£30 for a fine jacketed copy, but most collectors will want the First State. This issue has been almost continually in print, the last form issued by Bonanza Books as a hardback.



Time-Life Illustrated Abridged Edition
Cohen A240.10 / ICS A123f

Publisher: Time-Life Inc., New York, 1959
Two volumes
Taking its text from the First Abridged Edition, this elaborate quarto set is illustrated by photographs and paintings from the files of Life magazine, many published for the first time, and unique maps specially drawn for this edition. Bound in half blue (Vol. I) or half green (Vol. 2) and black leatherette, blocked gilt on spine and top boards, it was published in two formats:
Standard: in dust jackets (blue and green respectively), published at $25.
Deluxe (pictured):slipcased with a 33 1/3 rpm record containing excerpts from Churchill’s wartime speeches, published at $39.95. (The record came in a glassine envelope; the volumes were not jacketed in this format).
The Time-Life Edition is unique and attractive, but some tend to think it’s worth more than it is. It had a huge sale (the Standard version is quite scarcer than the Deluxe), and copies are not difficult to come by.



School Edition
Cohen A240.11 ICS A123j

Publisher: Cassell & Co. Ltd., London, 1961
A reprint of the Blenheim Edition bound in black cloth with a printed pictorial cover design; at least fourteen impressions are known to exist. Published without dust jacket.









Blenheim Edition
Cohen A240.12 / ICS A123i

Publisher: Cassell & Co. Ltd., London, 1960
Another juvenile, this one for a rather older audience, say 12-18, the Blenheim Edition was expertly compiled by Dr. Andrew Scotland. Nicely illustrated with photographs, maps and diagrams, it is desirable for its visual features, as well as its instructive values. Red boards blocked gilt on spine only, dust jackets printed red, yellow and black with the Karsh “angry lion” photo on the top face; two impressions, both 1960.








The Gathering Storm First Penguin Edition
Cohen A240.13 / ICS A123g

Publisher: Penguin Paperbacks, 1960
This paperback was the only volume published of an intended six-volume series which was forestalled by copyright negotiations. Reprinted 1962.



Golden Press Edition
Cohen A240.14 / ICS A123h

Publisher: Golden Press, New York, 1960
A one-volume adaptation of the Time-Life edition, abridged for young readers by Fred Cook. “Certain passages have been paraphrased by him for the purpose of condensation” (but Time-Life carefully sets these off in small type and daggers). Quarto, 384 pages, profusely illustrated, this work is easily recognized by pictorial boards, the top board illustrating the national flags of Britain, USSR, USA, Germany, France, China and the Japanese naval ensign. This design is repeated in the dust jacket. Endpapers are multicolored maps of the European and Asia-Pacific theatres. Published 1960 at $7.95; at least two impressions, 1960 and 1961. Not often seen but never expensive, this is still the ideal introduction to Churchill’s war memoirs for young people under the age of twelve.



Bantam Edition
Cohen A240.15 / ICS A123k

Publisher: Bantam Books Inc., New York, 1962
The first American paperback edition, sold initially as a boxed set, has had numerous impressions to date. Originally published at $2.50 each. Boxed sets were later offered for $25.



Second Illustrated (Paperback) Edition
Cohen A240.16 / ICS A123L

Publisher: Cassell & Co. Ltd., London, 1964
Twelve volumes
The second full edition to be illustrated, this paperback broke the original twelve books (two per volume) into twelve individual volumes. The volume titles are those of Churchill’s “books,” e.g. Volume 5 is “Germany Drives East.” The text was reset for this edition, and each volume contains an eight page signature of photographs on coated paper. Wrappers are printed red-orange and black on white, each illustrated with a photograph. Originally published at 6s. 6d. (91¢) for Volumes 1-6, but these almost always have their price obliterated by stamps or sticky labels; Volumes 7-12 are marked 5s. (70¢). Mostly found in Britain, this set is chiefly valued for its photographs; the page stock was pulpy and is almost always yellow and brittle. There were several impressions.



Taiwan Issues
Cohen A240.17 & .18

Publisher: Zhou Zheng and the Zhongshan Bookstore, Taipei, Taiwan, 1967/68
Both the six-volume original and the 1959 abridgment were published in Taiwan on cheap page stock, reproducing from the Cassell English editions. Whether or not these are “pirated” I leave to the bibliographers, but that is the general impression in the book trade, where they command very low prices.
One-volume Abridged (.17): Offprinted from the English Edition, with a Chinese inscription printed on page (iv). Bound in beige cloth blocked silver on spine only.
Six-volumes Unabridged (.18): Offprinted from the English Edition, possibly a later edition, since the title pages are not from the English first. On rear free endpapers of each volume is a Chinese inscription rubber stamped in purple ink (2 x 1 1/8″). Measuring 5 1/2 x 8 1/4″, the books are smaller than the English Edition, but similarly bound. Dust jackets also mimic the English but with different printing: Vol. I, black and red; Vol. II, dark purple and red; Vols. III, IV and VI, dark green and red; Vol VI, dark blue and red. The Vol. VI dust jacket states “Overseas Edition” in red on front inside flap; none of the others do.



Heron (Third Illustrated) Edition
Cohen A240.19 / ICS A123m

Publisher: Heron Books Ltd., London, 1974
Twelve volumes
This novel edition issued to mark the Churchill Centenary was described by the publisher as “quarter brown morocco and olive Kivar” (a kind of imitation kidskin) with a gilt Churchill medallion on the cover; much rarer is the variant binding in full blue leatherette, blocked silver. Profusely illustrated (Vol. I contains eight groups of four page photo sections), head and foot bands, yellow cloth page markers, decorative endpapers. The text was reset for this edition; maps and charts were redrawn and printed in halftone rather than two- or three-color. The setting is shared with the Diner’s Club “Major Works” edition of The Second World War (see Appendix).
Sold via mail order by the Heron Books firm at £2.75 ($7.70) each plus post, the volumes were advertised as offering “the luxury of real leather” and “the grandeur of 23 carat gold.” The textual history of the Heron books is interesting. As with previous twelve-volume works, they break the original six volumes into Churchill’s “books.” The text of Volumes I-IV was offprinted from the considerably revised Second Edition of Gathering Storm and Finest Hour (1949, 1950). Volumes V-VII appear to be offprinted from First English Editions, but Volume VIII (“Book Two” of The Hinge of Fate) comes from the 1968 Fourth Edition, second impression. Volumes IX-X are from the 1966 Fourth Edition of Closing the Ring, while Volumes XI-XII are from the 1954 Second Edition of Triumph and Tragedy. Evidently all these were the current trade editions in 1974.
Heron Editions pop up in bookshops now and then, but as the Chartwell Editions get scarcer, more people will turn to this illustrated alternative for gift giving and presentations, so the value is rising. The text contains most of Churchill’s final revisions.



Cohen A240.20 / ICS A123n

Publisher: The Franklin Mint Corp., Franklin Center, Pennsylvania, 1978
A completely reset edition (but with maps offprinted from the American trade edition), this handsome single volume is printed in two-color (dark blue and black) and contains reportorial sketches by Capt. Bryan de Grineau, M.C. 8vo, bound in full navy morocco, decoratively blocked gilt on boards and spine, with two raised spine bands, all edges gilt, grey silk page marker, grey moire endpapers; issued with a 24-page illustrated booklet entitled “NOTES FROM THE EDITOR,” in the Limited Edition Collection, “The Greatest Books of the Twentieth Century.”
The Franklin Mint produced a magnificent volume here, and it is only a shame the other five volumes were not included. The most distinctive feature is de Grineau’s 16-page collection of sketches of the Battles of France and Britain, which convincingly invoke the feeling of those terrible, glorious times. Copies of this volume are extremely scarce, even in the United States.



American “Chartwell” Issue
Cohen A240.22 / ICS A123o

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1983
Nicely bound in half navy leather and tan linen cloth, with a Churchill painting of Chartwell tipped onto the front boards, this work was undertaken as a premium for the Book-of-the-Month Club, which offered the set for only $35 to newly joining BOMC members. To justify a book club edition, however, Houghton Mifflin decided to produce 200 sets of a trade edition, priced at a staggering $295. Accordingly, there are two distinct bindings: BOMC Binding: rust stained top page edges and prominent debossed dot on lower right corner of rear boards. Trade Binding: yellow stained top page edges and no debossed “dot” on rear boards. Endpapers contain excellent three-color maps relevant to each volume. Note: some BOMC members who ordered this work received the trade binding, probably to cover a shortage in BOMC bindings.
The trade binding is far scarcer than the book club version, and has thus far commanded a healthy premium on the secondhand market, It bears mentioning, however, that the text is a direct offprint from the First American Edition, and contains none of the many changes Churchill rendered through 1955.



American Paperback from British Sheets
Cohen A240.26 / ICS A123p

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1985
Volume I carries a new introduction by John Keegan. Issued in paperback as boxed sets, in both trade and book club varieties. Book club variants do not display prices on the book wrappers.



Easton Press Issue
Cohen A240.27 / ICS A123q

Publisher: Easton Press, Norwalk, Connecticut, 1989
Another offprint taken from Houghton Mifflin first edition sheets with no textual alterations save for reset title pages. Bound in black pigskin, decorated gilt on boards; five raised spine bands with titles gilt on two red leather labels. Gold moire endpages, yellow cloth page marker, all edges gilt. Offered by mail order at $260/£156.
Like all “limited editions,” this is nothing more than a fancy reprint, and because so many cheaper sets are around, it was no bargain. Textually it retains all the drawbacks of the First American Edition from which it is taken; what a shame Easton Press, which is capable of highly professional reprints, did not print from the English Edition instead! The pigskin binding is heavily dyed, carries no aroma and cracks audibly when the stiff boards are opened. Although it has appeal to collectors of leather-lined libraries, there is really nothing to recommend it over the many other fine editions described above—and much to condemn it. I have not seen the set on the secondhand market. I do not think it will hold its original price.




Foreign Translations



Published by Political Books, Cairo: 1962; and General Egyptian Org., 1970.


Bulgarian: MEMOAPU (6 Vols.)



Published by Hasselbalch: Copenhagen 1948-54. Published in brown wrappers or dark brown leather, both with brown dust jackets; blue leatherette with pictorial dust jackets; and full red leather (publisher’s presentation binding).


Dutch: MEMOIRS (10 vols.)

Published by Elsevier: Amsterdam 1948-54; Volumes I and VIII, at least, were reprinted. Bound in dark green cloth; black cloth blocked gilt on red panels; quarter red-orange leather over grey cloth (limited edition of 750). Later issued in paperback.
Republished as DE TWEEDE WERELDOORLOG (12 vols.) by De Boekenschat: Amsterdam c. 1974; red leatherette, produced by Edito (Geneva) in the style of the Heron Edition (ICS A123m). Also published by Elsevier: Amsterdam 1979: navy cloth and silver dust jackets with author’s portrait spread across the composite jacket spines. Reissued by Tirion-Baarn: 1989 in yellow-green boards with the same spread-out portrait.



Published by Librairie Plon: Paris 1948-54; notable for Churchill’s additional remarks in the Foreword to Vol. 1, exonerating the French poilu from the debacle of 1940. The true “Editione Originale” was printed on Lafuma paper with cream wrappers (320 copies) or on Aussedat paper in pale blue wrappers (1800 copies). Standard editions used the same pale blue wrappers fitted with dust jackets and had many impressions. Republished 1964-66 by Le Cercle du Bibliophie Edition, produced by Edito (Geneva) in the style of the Heron Edition (ICS A123m), hardbound in red leatherette.
TRIOMP ET TRAGEDIE was published in two volumes in 1954 by Editions Romaldi: a special limited edition to mark Churchill’s Nobel Prize for Literature, with special color illustrations; limited to 2500 copies plus a special edition of 80.





(3 vols.; a variant bound in 4 vols. also exists)
Published by Editions Sphinx: Brussels 1951-53 in three enormous (9 1/2 x 12″) illustrated volumes elaborately bound in deep maroon leatherette, with an artwork portrait of Churchill on the covers. The variant uses the same binding but divided the work into four volumes.
This is the most luxurious and desirable foreign language edition, printed two-colour and replete with specially drawn maps. Many photographs are unique, including a rare photo of Churchill orating in the well of the House of Commons and a beautiful photo of Roosevelt inscribed in 1942 to Churchill (“with the affectionate regards of his old friend”). Scores of other photos repeatedly depict the Prime Minister and virtually every significant military and political figure of the Second World War. The frontispiece (Vol. I only) is a colour reproduction of the Salisbury portrait of WSC which now hangs at Chartwell. I strongly recommend these volumes. Whether or not one reads French, the captions are brief and easily understood; it is virtually a scrapbook of “Who Was Who.” Low demand for foreign translations means that these sets are affordable, though they are not common outside Belgium.



Published by La Palatine: Geneva 1948-54 using Plon sheets, bound in brown and black wrappers with red, black and white dust jackets.


German: DER ZWEITE WELTKRIG (12 vols.)

Published by Scherz: Bern 1948-53 in blue cloth. The first two volumes were later published by Toth, Hamburg, then Parnass, Stuttgart for Vol. III, Book One; then Scherz & Govert, Stuttgart for the rest. Finally, Scherz & Govert republished the earlier volumes in finer black cloth. Still in print in 1992.
Republished in six volumes by Toth: Hamburg (date unknown) and Ullstein (1985, boxed paperbacks). The one-volume Abridged Edition was published by Scherz: Berlin 1960 (grey cloth, blue and white jacket); Deutsche Buch-Gemeinschaft: Berlin-Darmstadt-Vienna 1962 (quarter black leather and dark red paper boards); an Scherz: Berlin 1985 (grey cloth, silver jacket).


German (Swiss): DER ZWEITE WELTKRIG (6 vols.)

Published by NSB (Neue Schweizer Bibliothek), c. 1960s in white paper boards blocked maroon and gold, white dust jackets.


Greek: [THE SECOND WORLD WAR] (12 vols.)

Published Athens 1948-54.


Hebrew: [THE SECOND WORLD WAR] (6 vols.)

Published by Am Hasefer (“People of the Book”) jointly with A. Naoz: Tel-Aviv 1959-60, illustrated. Bound in red cloth with solid colour dust jackets, the colour varying with the edition. Later bund in red-orange cloth. A most novel edition, nicely illustrated and reading back-to-front, the standard Hebrew format.


Hungarian: A MASODIK VILLAGHABORU (2 Vols. abridged)

Published by Europa Konyvkiado: Budapest, 1989.



Published by Mondadori: Rome 1948-53 as large-format paperbacks (L1400 per volume); white cloth in white and gold dust jackets (L2000 per volume); or a numbered limited edition signed by the publisher. The latter was issued in dark blue leather or dark blue textured paper covered boards with an elaborate “WINSTON CHURCHILL” blocked blind on the full height of the top boards. Some of these were numbered, some not; the colophon mentions 1030 examples, perhaps 30 of which were numbered.
This was followed by several six-volume hardbound printings, the first in white cloth, slipcased, the ninth published in 1966. Later published by Oscar:1970 in a boxed twelve-volume paperback set.


Japanese: [THE SECOND WORLD WAR] (24 vols.)

Published by Mainichi Newspapers, undated. Bound in deep red cloth with glassine dust jackets, each volume in a uniquely printed cardboard box. A new edition has recently been published.


Korean: [MEMOIRS OF WORLD WAR II] (8 vols.)

Published by Pak moon: Seoul 1970 with the volumes arranged as follows: 1.The Gathering Storm,. 2. Their Finest Hour, 3. The Sound of Firing in the Balkans, 4. The Grand Alliance, 5. A Dinosaur in the Pacific, 6. The Hinge of Fate, 7. Closing the Ring, 8. Triumph and Tragedy.
Although this was the first Korean appearance of the full text, there were at least two previous appearances of individual volumes: Memoirs of World War II, published by the International Culture Association: Seoul 1949 (probably Their Finest Hour); and SEUNG REE HWA (Triumph and Tragedy) published (for obvious political reasons) by Minjung su kwan: Seoul 1954.
The Abridged Edition was published in two volumes as Churchill’s Memories by Ham rim Chulpan: Seoul 1971. Finally, the full work was republished in twelve volumes as Memoirs of World War II by Hyang woo: Seoul 1983 (misdated “1900” in the volumes).


Norwegian: DEN ANNEN VERDENSKRIG (12 vols.)

Published by Cappelens: Oslo 1948-55 in paper wraps, half cream cloth over red patterned paper boards and red-orange half leather with grey and read paper boards, all in green dust jackets. Also known in quarter black leather with red spine panels and smooth dark blue paper covered boards.



The Abridged Edition text, published by Z. A. Lozil Zavod: Lublin: 1964.


Portuguese: A SEGUNDA GUERRA MONDIALE (6 vols.)

Published by Centro Ed.: Rio de Janeiro 1948-53, bound in blue cloth in the style of the Houghton Mifflin American Edition.


Russian: [THE SECOND WORLD WAR] (6 vols.)

Published by Chekhov: New York 1954-55 in brown wrappers. This was intended to be a twelve-volume work, but progressed only through Volume III, Book Two. Republished in the 1990s in six volumes with colourfl dust jackets.


Serbo-Croat: DRUGI SVETSKI RAT (6 vols.)

Published by Prosveta: Belgrade in the 1960s. Careful examination suggests the Yugoslavs left nothing out, including criticism of the Soviets.



Published in Barcelona during 1948-53. Reissued in Barcelona, 1960 in distinctive tan leatherette blocked red, white and blue.


Swedish: ANDRA VARDLSKRIGET (12 vols.)

First published in twelve jacketed paperbacks by Skoglund: Stockholm 1948-53. Republished by Skoglund in six volumes in grey cloth with dust jackets and two varieties of leather bindings. Also published in Swedish by Holger Schildts, Helsinki, Finland.


Turkish: CORCIL ANLYATIYOS (4 vols.)

Published by Vatan: Istanbul 1949-50. Intended to be twelve volumes, the Turkish Edition progressed only through Volume II, Book Two. Emery Reves licensed all publication outside the British Empire, and Mrs. Wendy Reves has this amusing comment: “Emery took it away from them—they refused to pay!”


Combined Work: SEKYE INMOOL TAE HOI KOROK (Korean)

Literally “The Great Memoirs of Our World”). Taken from the abridged texts of The World Crisis and The Second World War. Published by Korean Publishing Corp., Seoul: 1989, 325pp.




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Click here for a list of terminology, bibliographic information, and other notes.