The Last 100 Days

Published: 2021-10-08 18:30:10
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The Last 100 Days, portrays the final occurrences of World War II in Europe in a way no high school textbook has ever been able to do. Unfortunately, there have been those whom I have encountered that have reduced The Last 100 Days to having the same dulling effects as one. However, upon reading it, my own opinions and conclusions were made. These will be covered more deeply upon first describing the author and then summarizing what I thought to be the major happenings of the book. Firstly, John Toland’s book seems to be a pure representation of fact based on diligent research.
The personal opinions of the author are not present while reading the book, leaving it completely objective. This shows how Toland’s purpose is to inform and educate, rather than to indoctrinate. He presents both sides while passing no judgment on either, even while describing malicious acts such as the Red Army’s mistreatment of the fleeing civilians or the evidently foolish mistakes made by Hitler and his officers. The Last 100 Days is a narrative, and that’s all. John Toland puts forth an honorable work demonstrating qualities scarcely seen today in other works, the media, and even within our own government.
Based on my reading of The Last 100 Days, John Toland would seem to be a truthful, while still purposeful, author. John Toland also does not fail in keeping the progression of the story interesting. With his research, he delves into how the opposing sides, factions, and individual characters feel. This keeps things captivating while simultaneously reporting the statistics and occurrences of the war. Toland demonstrates his writing ability, leaving the impression of a talented historic author. Moving on, the major happenings of The Last 100 Days shall now be covered.
The story first opens with a description of the state of Allied POW’s at Sagan, most likely to show the severe conditions at this of World War II. There seems to still be a small chances for Germany, but it is faced with the pressing forces coming from the surrounding Allies, especially the Russians. The Russians unnecessarily demonstrated ruthlessness and even at times cruelty during their advancement including the execution of unarmed and injured German POW’s at Wugarten. This showed how even the seemingly “good guys” can be malicious during times of war.
In the midst of this terror among many others, Germany’s eventual defeat becomes evident and several Allied countries meet at Yalta. At this meeting, the objectives include creating cooperation for a lasting peace and break down any walls preventing this. Britain and American threats continue to become larger as the prominent efforts made by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill help Allied forces cross the Rhine. Losing ground, Hitler launches a failed last offensive at the Battle of the Bulge, and continues to fall with the Russians taking Vienna, Lepzig being taken, and other losses.
American president Franklin Delano Roosevelt passes away towards the final days the war in Europe, and is replaced by Harry Truman. Hitler begins to mentally collapse, and makes poor decisions for Germany. The commanders of Hitler’s army start to disobey Hitler’s orders as they realize the error of his decisions. Hitler realizes his inevitable defeat and humiliation and commits suicide prior to the Russians taking Berlin, Germany’s capital. What’s left of Hitler’s command surrendered and the Allies claimed victory on May 7, 1945.
After reading about the final days the war in Europe from a different perspective, I’m left to decide what it meant to me. Many things I had no idea about came to the surface for me, so it was most definitely learning experience. The Last 100 Days helped to me to see things that happened in the war in a different way. It wasn’t the usual great men of valor triumphing over the evil Germans. That was probably my most favorite part of the book. I think that Toland did a nice job of bringing unknown facts and perspectives to light. In conclusion, reading The Last 100 Days was a stimulating and enlightening experience.

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