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Five Days that Shocked the World: Eyewitness Accounts from Europe at the end of World War II

In the five momentous days from April 28 to May 2, 1945, the world witnessed the death of two Fascist dictators and the fall of Berlin. The execution of Benito Mussolini, the suicide of Adolf Hitler, and the fall of the German capital signaled the end of the four-year war in the European Theater. In Five Days That Shocked the World, Nicholas Best thrills readers with the first-person accounts of those who lived through this dramatic time.

In this valuable work of history, the author's special achievement is to weave together the reports of famous and soon-to-be-famous individuals who experienced the war up close. We follow a young Walter Cronkite as he parachutes into Holland with a Canadian troop; photographer Lee Miller capturing the evidence of Nazi atrocities; the future Pope Benedict returning home and hoping not to be caught and shot after deserting his unit; Audrey Hepburn no longer having to fear conscription into a Wehrmacht brothel; and even an SS doctor's descriptions of a decadent sex orgy in Hitler's bunker.

In skillfully synthesizing these personal narratives, Best creates a compelling chronicle of the five earth-shaking days when Fascism lost it death grip on Europe. With this vivid and fast-paced narrative, the author reaffirms his reputation as an expert on the final days of great wars.



Daily Mail


The Times

"Accenting personal experiences of the famous-to-be, Best draws the audience interested in WWII’s apocalyptic climax."



Midwest Book Review

"Utterly absorbing."


“This is a deftly written, immensely entertaining account of the last five days of WWII. The personal narratives are what makes this book amazing, and interesting to any fan of first account tellings of major events.”

Janet’s Book Corner

“A fascinating read.”

Emily Sheppard (Reviewer)

“Good historical writing is always entertaining, no matter how old the story.  Such is the case with Five Days That Shocked the World.  British author Nicholas Best has woven first hand accounts of the deaths of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and German leader Adolf Hitler and the related events of April 28 to May 2, 1945 into a fast moving, easy reading retelling of the end of World War II.”


“More than a chronological sequence of events, this book reads like a series of snapshots, as vivid and captivating and as the events and people they describe.”

Mari’s Book Reviews

“It is this eye-witness viewpoint that gives this book its immense readability, and interest. These are the hidden stories of every war – we can taste the fear and adrenalin coursing through their veins. The writing is excellent, fast-paced, and doesn’t omit grisly detail. I think it’s a superb supplement to students of history, and for politicians, lest we forget the human cost of war, and how actions taken and decisions made can come home to roost.”


“Nicholas Best is a great storyteller. This is full of fascinating snapshots from 1945.”

Terri Wangard (Reviewer)

“Longtime history and travel author, Nicholas Best, sheds new light on momentous events at the end of WWII through the lens of eye witness accounts. More than a chronological sequence of events, this book reads like a series of snapshots, as vivid and captivating and as the events and people they describe.”

Mari’s Book Reviews

“Nicholas Best's writing is exceptional.”

Reading Corner

“A fantastic read, perfect for history buffs.”

Susan Amiri (Reviewer)

“Best writes in an informal and easy-to-read style. The pages flew by and I found myself reading the book in just a few sittings.”

Andy Ladick (Reviewer)

“An interesting account of the war's last days and aftermath.”

Janette Forman (Educator)

“This book left me speechless.”

Holly Senecal (Reviewer)

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