This is a 2012 Naval Institute Press book that analyzes the role played by the Combined Chiefs of Staff during World War II. It’s a good source of information, although I was a bit annoyed with the way the author periodically broke the fourth wall to discuss the writing of the book. Yes, I get it – it’s a book you wrote. I’ll call you (in the notes) if I need any help, thanks.
But the topic is a good and underserved one, since the Chiefs’ role in the war bears more attention that it has gotten. The book covers the individual members of the two staffs, and well as their staff, all of which played an enormous role in the successful partnership between the British and American war machines during the conflict.
There were even some stories I had never seen before, including the American chiefs’ ham-handed party-crashing of the Azores bases that the British chiefs had painstakingly negotiated with neutral Portugal. Or the back and forth neutral missions by the Swedish liner Gripsholm (shown in her wartime livery below – with the exception that the 5’ tall letters DIPLOMAT have been painted over) which ferried exchanged prisoners and Red Cross supplies so often that the U.S. deliberately delayed releasing stories of Japanese mistreatment of U.S. prisoners so that it could continue sending supplies to American POWs.
The book is broken into chapters by topic, which makes it a little hard to follow what is happening during the war chronologically, and some of the opinions (Admiral King’s strategic genius) are a bit under supported, but it is still a useful addition to the bookshelf for untangling how exactly a particular dispute was handled if it involved a Chief.