Book Review: Organizing Victory: The War Conferences, 1941-1945


by Andrew Rawson

Stroud, Eng.: The History Press / Chicago: Trafalgar Square, 2013. Pp. 368. Illus., notes, index. $24.95 paper. ISBN: 0752489259

The Allied ‘Summits’ that Shaped the War

Rawson, author of Eyes Only: The Top Secret Correspondence Between Eisenhower and Marshall, gives us the first comprehensive survey of the Alliws summit conferences of World War II.  His presentation uses a uniform format. 

For each conference Rawson us a short introduction.  This sets the stage and gives some details about decision to hold the conference, the choice of location (even Khartoum came under consideration!), the movements of the principals, the agenda, and more, at times even including unusual logistical considerations.  Rawson then he gives us a day-by-day summary – almost like minutes – of the meetings, including associated combined chiefs-of-staff conferences and supplementary working meetings of junior staff. 

The actual coverage varies depending upon the length of the summit and the complexity of the issues discussed; the Washington conference of June 19-25, 1942, merits only three pages, while the Potsdam summit of July 16-August 2, 1942, requires nearly 60.  The book does have some flaws, it would have been useful to have included the Roosevelt-Churchill meeting in August of 1941 at Argentia Bay, and it is badly in need of maps.  Nevertheless, this is the best overview of the summits and an excellent resource for anyone interested in the development of Allied strategy.


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

Buy it at



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close