The International Campaign for Real History



David Irving's famous D-day history:

The War Between the Generals

Inside the Allied High Command

is now available as a Free Download

The download file of the original 1981 edition is a fully-illustrated compressed PDF file (3.6MB) | You can now download also the 2010 edition as a pdf file (4.7 MB).

Get Acrobat ReaderInstructions: download the book (a compressed file), expand it and read or print it with Acrobat Reader -- get it from the same menu



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David Irving recalls something of the history of this book:


IT IS over thirty years since I completed The War Between the Generals. I wrote it for Tom Congdon's new publishing house Congdon & Lattes. He had offices near the top of the Empire State building.

Congdon had previously edited the book "Jaws" for a writer called Peter Benchley who had never written a book in his life; immediately after that he had edited my Rommel biography and then Göring after that. He became a good friend -- his wife Connie was MUCH more difficult, a real southern belle, and very full of her ancestry -- but he has now long retired to Nantucket and I lost sight of him.

I wrote The War Between the Generals in the middle of a divorce battle, 1979/80. It became very ugly, between the two sides' lawyers, though not between us; and Tom found himself in the thick of it when he came to stay with us in London. One day a High Court judge ordered him -- my editor! -- out of my home! He was baffled, and so was I. I transferred at once with him to New York City for two months to finish the book to deadline.

I had been retyping the manuscript in London on a Xerox 850 word processor, a real cutting-edge machine that cost £15,000 cash up front in 1980 ("buy now, because in December the price is changing": it did, it came down five thousand). Tom found an identical machine in Wall Street for me to work on, but it was available only at nights. I took the subway or cab back to his apartment at 5 or 6 each morning.

I remember driving past the Dakota Building on Central Park one morning and seeing cameras, television lights, and reporters clustered around the entrance: John Lennon had just been shot.

I had brought over the Xerox discs to New York and reworked them night after night. We trimmed them down for print, and when the job was finished I returned to the U.K. Tom worked on thereafter from the paper print-out, while I retained the Xerox floppy discs.

My book was one of their first, and was make or break for them -- and it broke them: The New York Times's Hungarian-born reviewer John Lukacs stabbed the book in the back in the March 8, 1981 Book Review, a few days before publication date. (Years later I discovered that Lukacs had a bone to pick with me over his own earlier failed attempts to find a publisher for his planned Hitler biography).

The same morning that the NYT featured his scathing review, the nationwide NBC TV programme "Today" pulled the interview which they had pre-recorded between Ted Koppel and myself about the book -- took it off their broadcast schedule. It took six months for the newspaper to print a response from me in which I shot down all the lies that Lukacs had written.

The book was published in Britain (Allen Lane/The Penguin Press), Germany (Albrecht Knaus/Bertelsmann), Italy (Arnoldo Mondadori Editore), Japan (Hayakawa) and many other countries.

Three years ago, searching for some of the Göring files that I needed for the High Court Lipstadt Trial hearing, I send the ancient, dust-covered discs (8-inch monsters, holding 150 pages each) to a specialist London firm, to convert them to modern floppies. It took the firm three years, until April 2000, and cost me a thousand pounds.

The files proved me right in most of the allegations made by Prof. Richard Evans ("The Skunk") in the Lipstadt case, but that is another story (we were not allowed to introduce this new evidence in the appeal). Among the wreckage that the firm retrieved from the Xerox discs were the old 1980 files of The War Between the Generals -- what might be called the original "author's cut".

Thanks to the efforts of Linda Nelson in Chicago, this Internet version has been revised back to approximate the text as published by Tom Congdon. His editing was always superb.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

CongdonThomas Congdon (left, in 1979) and Connie left New York City in 1994 to live in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Recently (2000) he wrote two or three chatty human interest pieces for Forbes magazine. In one, of Nov. 2000, he describes seeing several Christmas pantomimes in England. He has also written several "vignettes" for a small Nantucket website. He died in 2008.






Jacket text (the "blurb")


I feel sorry for the man.
He had it within his grasp
to be one of the legendary heroes of his nation.
I fear he has hurt himself badly
-- Eisenhower on Montgomery


My dear Ike... I fear you have lost
many friends in England.
Yrs. ever, Monty
-- Montgomery to Eisenhower


HERE is one of the great untold stories of our time -- that of the little band of military chiefs entrusted with a historic task: invading and liberating Nazi-occupied Europe. They were allies, but often they were antagonists, scrapping among themselves for power and prestige. They were supposed to be fighting the Germans, but some of their fiercest battles were fought against each other.

At the centre was the Supreme Commander himself, Dwight D. Eisenhower -- sincere, indecisive, desperate to hold the Alliance together. Against him was Field-Marshal Montgomery, who strove ceaselessly to gain authority. Manoeuvring between them were the others -- the outrageous Patton, the dogged Bradley, the bomber commanders like Spaatz, Vandenberg, 'Butcher' Harris, and Leigh-Mallory.

After the war, there was a cover-up. Not until David Irving began his research did the full truth emerge. Among his discoveries was the wickedly candid diary of the obscure general who was Eisenhower's 'eyes and ears'. Through this and other private accounts we see the war as the generals really lived it -- squabbling over preferences and perks, taking their mistresses with them on to the battlefield. In this regard, there are revelations about General Patton that will surely amaze.

There are other surprises -- de Gaulle's use of torture upon his fellow Frenchmen and a possible attempt by the Allies to kill him. We see a high-ranking American general selling off army carbines to a London gunsmith. We get glimpses into the rivalry between Mamie Eisenhower and Kay Summersby, the general's glamorous chauffeuse.

This book, then, is a social history of command. It shows how the ambitions and personalities of the men at the top affect the course of a war and the lives of the ordinary mortals in the field.

David Irving has been called 'one of Britain's foremost historians' by The Times. He is the author of The Trail of the Fox, The Destruction of Dresden, and other works of contemporary history.



What the Papers said --

David Irving has no rival in turning up fresh material about this or that aspect of the second world war. Professor A.J.P. Taylor, The Observer

The scene in which Brig. Gen. Norman „Dutch" Cota . . . strode about Omaha Beach under murderous fire to rally his troops, protect the wounded, and save the beachhead, is such an extraordinary tale, and told so effectively, that it left this reader clutching the book with excitement. -- Bradley F. Smith, Washington Post

He has a nose for a scoop and he tracks down and unearths hitherto closed manuscripts and documents. -- Martin Walker, The Guardian.


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