The Second World War (Essential Histories Series): A World in Flames

The Second World War (Essential Histories Series): A World in Flames

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Overview

The period from 1939 to 1945 saw some of the most devastating events in living memory. Existing in the shadows of fear, sacrifice, deprivation and uncertainty, soldiers and civilians of all nationalities were driven to extremes of selfless loyalty, dogged determination or bitter cruelty by the demands of a world at war. Bringing the experience of war to life through a wealth of contemporary documentation, private writings and historical research, this book tells the stories of the men and women who lived and died during the Second World War. Also assessing the political, military and historical significance of the war this truly comprehensive volume covers every fighting front of this horrific war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781841768304
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 03/15/2004
Series: Essential Histories Series
Pages: 480
Product dimensions: 1.00(w) x 1.00(h) x 1.18(d)

About the Author

Foreword by Sir Max Hastings, text written by nine emminent historians: Paul Collier, Dr Alastair Finlan, Mark J Grove, Philip D Grove, Dr Russell A. Hart, Dr Stephen A. Hart, Dr Robin Havers, David Horner and Geoffrey Jukes.

Table of Contents

Foreword7
Introduction10
Chronology18
Part IEurope 1939-1943
Background to war--The gathering storm29
Warring sides--The road to war38
Outbreak--'I have determined on a solution by force'47
The fighting--Hitler strikes56
Portrait of a soldier--Donald Edgar87
Portrait of a civilian--Colin Perry92
How the period ended--The end of the beginning95
Part IIThe war at sea
Background to war--Naval power99
Warring sides--Reluctant adversaries102
Outbreak--Opening moves107
The fighting--Across the world's seas114
Portrait of a sailor--Peter Herbert Owen, Royal Navy midshipman151
Portrait of a civilian--John Delaney-Nash, merchant mariner158
How the period ended--The German fleet is scuttled161
Part IIIThe Mediterranean 1940-1945
Background to war--Italian imperialism164
Warring sides--Italian propaganda, German professionalism and Allied industrialization169
Outbreak--A parallel war176
The fighting--In all directions at once181
Portrait of a soldier--A modest hero213
Portrait of a civilian--A child in the siege of annihilation: Malta 1940-43219
How the period--Not necessarily in peace223
Part IVThe Pacific
Background to war--The expansion of Imperial Japan228
Warring sides--Powerful Japan faced certain defeat236
Outbreak--The slide toward inevitable war241
The fighting--The course of the Pacific War246
Portrait of a soldier--Thomas Currie Derrick, an Australian soldier282
Portrait of a civilian--Gwen Harold Terasaki, an American in Japan286
How the period ended--Not necessarily to Japan's advantage289
Part VThe Eastern Front 1941-1945
Background to war--A dictators' deal and a double-cross295
Warring sides--Germany gambles on a quick win301
Outbreak--Germany achieves surprise304
The fighting--Red Army battered but not beaten305
Portrait of a soldier--The German and the Russian view360
Portrait of a civilian--'We were as mobilised as the soldiers'364
How the period ended--Germany surrenders, Stalin joins the war on Japan366
Part VINorthwest Europe 1944-1945
Background to war--The road to D-Day369
Warring sides--A military audit373
Outbreak--The Allies invade France379
The fighting--From D-Day to victory385
Portrait of a soldier--Donald Burgett417
Portrait of a civilian--Brenda McBryde422
How the period ended--The road to VE Day425
The world around war429
Conclusion and consequences440
Further reading464
Index469

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