Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall, is the first of Spike Milligan's seven memoirs that recount his recollections of life in the army during World War 2. I read this book as a teenager in the mid-1970s (or, put another way, a very long time ago) and I loved it and have always meant to read it again. It was even better than I had remembered.
For all the privations of army life, it is clear that Spike had a lot of fun during this period, and the humour that was to make his name with the Goons and beyond is here in abundance. That said, Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall ends just as Spike's regiment arrives in Algiers for its first taste of action and, whilst there is some tragedy in this memoir, things will inevitably get more serious from here on in.
Spike's silliness is infectious and the book contains a winning combination of word play, self deprecating humour and social history. And, a very credible evocation, of the life of a conscript at the start of the war right down to the smelliness of the army uniforms and how nobody got the correct size. The book contains plenty of surprising and frequently outrageous, anecdotes many of which are loud out loud funny.
The entire series is...
Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall (1971)
"Rommel?" "Gunner Who?" (1974)
Monty: His Part in My Victory (1976)
Mussolini: His Part in My Downfall (1978)
Where Have All the Bullets Gone? (1985)
Goodbye Soldier (1986)
Peace Work (1992)