All Hell Let Loose
Author: Max Hastings
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
The Second World War was an experience like no other, and the many men and women who lived through it struggled to find the words to describe what they faced. In this definitive, single-volume history of a war that continues to fascinate and horrify us in equal measure, Max Hastings brings together the many realities that emerged from this period, touching on almost every country in the world. With its battlefields dispersed across the globe, the vastness of the Second World War was unparalleled. This was a time when nearly everything which civilized people took for granted in peace time was invalidated or destroyed. Between 1939 and 1945, 27,000 people died, on average, every single day. In this seminal book, Hastings stresses that it is impossible to compare the suffering of people during WWII - it would have seemed monstrous to a British soldier facing a mortar barrage, with his comrades dying around him, to be told that Russian casualties were many times greater. However, there were some aspects of wartime experience that were virtually universal: fear and grief; the conscription of young men and women for new lives remote from their choice, and mass migration. ALL HELL LET LOOSE charts these experiences, along with the numerous battles on land, at sea and in the air, all over the world, that form the greatest event in human history. Using a huge range of sources, including new material from Russia, Italy and Poland, ALL HELL LET LOOSE is not only a magnificent and movingly written book; it is arguably one of the most important books on the Second World War ever published.
Author: Max Hastings
From one of our finest military historians, a monumental work that shows us at once the truly global reach of World War II and its deeply personal consequences. World War II involved tens of millions of soldiers and cost sixty million lives—an average of twenty-seven thousand a day. For thirty-five years, Max Hastings has researched and written about different aspects of the war. Now, for the first time, he gives us a magnificent, single-volume history of the entire war. Through his strikingly detailed stories of everyday people—of soldiers, sailors and airmen; British housewives and Indian peasants; SS killers and the citizens of Leningrad, some of whom resorted to cannibalism during the two-year siege; Japanese suicide pilots and American carrier crews—Hastings provides a singularly intimate portrait of the world at war. He simultaneously traces the major developments—Hitler’s refusal to retreat from the Soviet Union until it was too late; Stalin’s ruthlessness in using his greater population to wear down the German army; Churchill’s leadership in the dark days of 1940 and 1941; Roosevelt’s steady hand before and after the United States entered the war—and puts them in real human context. Hastings also illuminates some of the darker and less explored regions under the war’s penumbra, including the conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland, during which the Finns fiercely and surprisingly resisted Stalin’s invading Red Army; and the Bengal famine in 1943 and 1944, when at least one million people died in what turned out to be, in Nehru’s words, “the final epitaph of British rule” in India. Remarkably informed and wide-ranging, Inferno is both elegantly written and cogently argued. Above all, it is a new and essential understanding of one of the greatest and bloodiest events of the twentieth century. From the Hardcover edition.
The Secret War
Author: Max Hastings
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From one of the foremost historians of the period and the acclaimed author of Inferno and Catastrophe: 1914, The Secret War is a sweeping examination of one of the most important yet underexplored aspects of World War II—intelligence—showing how espionage successes and failures by the United States, Britain, Russia, Germany, and Japan influenced the course of the war and its final outcome. Spies, codes, and guerrillas played unprecedentedly critical roles in the Second World War, exploited by every nation in the struggle to gain secret knowledge of its foes, and to sow havoc behind the fronts. In The Secret War, Max Hastings presents a worldwide cast of characters and some extraordinary sagas of intelligence and resistance, to create a new perspective on the greatest conflict in history
Author: Max Hastings
Publisher: Neri Pozza Editore
«La battaglia per la Germania, cominciata come il più imponente fatto d’armi del XX secolo, si concluse nella più grande tragedia umana del Novecento». Come gli studiosi di storia militare sanno, nei mesi che vanno dal 6 giugno 1944 – la data dello sbarco in Normandia – ai primi giorni del maggio 1945 si racchiude la più grande catastrofe della guerra moderna. La lunga marcia dell’esercito alleato per la conquista di Berlino, viziata da gravi incomprensioni ed errori tattici, si scontra, infatti, con un nemico tedesco ancora pienamente in forze e intenzionato a dare battaglia fino al sacrificio dell’ultimo uomo. Un apocalittico scontro finale che, dopo aver esaminato gli archivi di quattro paesi e intervistato centinaia di testimoni diretti degli avvenimenti, Max Hastings ha il merito di ricostruire con un coinvolgente e originale taglio narrativo. A partire dalle battaglie più note, come l’offensiva delle Ardenne o i combattimenti nella foresta di Hürtgen, fino al dettaglio degli episodi meno conosciuti – uno su tutti, la devastante invasione dell’Armata Rossa in Prussia orientale, nella quale morirono oltre un milione di persone –, Hastings segue le manovre di avvicinamento degli eserciti sui due fronti, restituendo abilmente le dinamiche tra soldati, ufficiali e capi insieme con le storie dei singoli. Quanto influì la rivalità tra Montgomery e Patton nella disastrosa Operazione Market Garden ad Arnhem o quella tra Žukov e Konev nell’assedio di Berlino? Quanto la sfiducia, le invidie e gli interessi politici contrastanti tra gli stati alleati allontanarono la fine delle ostilità, moltiplicando il numero dei caduti? Grande racconto storico, che riesce a tenere insieme le dinamiche militari e i drammi della popolazione civile, come l’Hongerwinter, la terribile carestia in Olanda del 1944-45 causata dall’occupazione tedesca, Armageddon è un’opera monumentale, indispensabile per comprendere l’evento in assoluto più importante e cruento del Novecento. «Un libro che tutti dovrebbero leggere». New York Times Book Review «Un’opera magistrale... unisce storie individuali, avvincenti ricostruzioni di battaglie e spietate critiche del comportamento di leader militari e politici». Washington Post Book World «Ogni leader che si accinga a una qualche operazione militare dovrebbe leggere questo libro e meditare a fondo». Wall Street Journal
Author: Max Hastings
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
On June 6, 1944, the American and British armies staged the greatest amphibious landing history to being Operation Overlord, the battle for the liberation of Europe. Despite the Allies' absolute command of sea and air and vast firepower, it took ten weeks of fierce fighting for them to overpower the tenacious, superbly skilled German army. Now, forty years later, British war correspondent and military historian Max Hastings has drawn on many interviews and newly available documents to construct a dense, dramatic portrait of the Normady invasion that overturns the traditional legends.
Author: William Manchester
Publisher: Little, Brown
The nightmares began for William Manchester 23 years after WW II. In his dreams he lived with the recurring image of a battle-weary youth (himself), "angrily demanding to know what had happened to the three decades since he had laid down his arms." To find out, Manchester visited those places in the Pacific where as a young Marine he fought the Japanese, and in this book examines his experiences in the line with his fellow soldiers (his "brothers"). He gives us an honest and unabashedly emotional account of his part in the war in the Pacific. "The most moving memoir of combat on WW II that I have ever read. A testimony to the fortitude of man...a gripping, haunting, book." --William L. Shirer
Author: Max Hastings
By the summer of 1944 it was clear that Japan's defeat was inevitable, but how the drive to victory would be achieved remained unclear. The ensuing drama—that ended in Japan's utter devastation—was acted out across the vast theater of Asia in massive clashes between army, air, and naval forces. In recounting these extraordinary events, Max Hastings draws incisive portraits of MacArthur, Mao, Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, and other key figures of the war in the East. But he is equally adept in his portrayals of the ordinary soldiers and sailors caught in the bloodiest of campaigns. With its piercing and convincing analysis, Retribution is a brilliant telling of an epic conflict from a master military historian at the height of his powers. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Keith Lowe
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
The Second World War might have officially ended in May 1945, but in reality it rumbled on for another ten years... The end of the Second World War in Europe is one of the twentieth century's most iconic moments. It is fondly remembered as a time when cheering crowds filled the streets, danced, drank and made love until the small hours. These images of victory and celebration are so strong in our minds that the period of anarchy and civil war that followed has been forgotten. Across Europe, landscapes had been ravaged, entire cities razed and more than thirty million people had been killed in the war. The institutions that we now take for granted - such as the police, the media, transport, local and national government - were either entirely absent or hopelessly compromised. Crime rates were soaring, economies collapsing, and the European population was hovering on the brink of starvation. In Savage Continent, Keith Lowe describes a continent still racked by violence, where large sections of the population had yet to accept that the war was over. Individuals, communities and sometimes whole nations sought vengeance for the wrongs that had been done to them during the war. Germans and collaborators everywhere were rounded up, tormented and summarily executed. Concentration camps were reopened and filled with new victims who were tortured and starved. Violent anti-Semitism was reborn, sparking murders and new pogroms across Europe. Massacres were an integral part of the chaos and in some places – particularly Greece, Yugoslavia and Poland, as well as parts of Italy and France – they led to brutal civil wars. In some of the greatest acts of ethnic cleansing the world has ever seen, tens of millions were expelled from their ancestral homelands, often with the implicit blessing of the Allied authorities. Savage Continent is the story of post WWII Europe, in all its ugly detail, from the end of the war right up until the establishment of an uneasy stability across Europe towards the end of the 1940s. Based principally on primary sources from a dozen countries, Savage Continent is a frightening and thrilling chronicle of a world gone mad, the standard history of post WWII Europe for years to come.
Author: Max Hastings
A sweeping history of the final eight months of World War II on the European front draws on interviews with survivors and the archives of the major combatants to raise provocative questions about the pact between the Allies and the Soviet Union, the role of strategic bombing, the combat abilities of soldiers on all sides of the conflict, and the roles of such leaders as Eisenhower, Roosevelt, Churchill, Montgomery, and others. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.
The Second World War
Author: Antony Beevor
Publisher: Back Bay Books
A masterful and comprehensive chronicle of World War II, by internationally bestselling historian Antony Beevor. Over the past two decades, Antony Beevor has established himself as one of the world's premier historians of WWII. His multi-award winning books have included Stalingrad and The Fall of Berlin 1945. Now, in his newest and most ambitious book, he turns his focus to one of the bloodiest and most tragic events of the twentieth century, the Second World War. In this searing narrative that takes us from Hitler's invasion of Poland on September 1st, 1939 to V-J day on August 14th, 1945 and the war's aftermath, Beevor describes the conflict and its global reach--one that included every major power. The result is a dramatic and breathtaking single-volume history that provides a remarkably intimate account of the war that, more than any other, still commands attention and an audience. Thrillingly written and brilliantly researched, Beevor's grand and provocative account is destined to become the definitive work on this complex, tragic, and endlessly fascinating period in world history, and confirms once more that he is a military historian of the first rank.
A World at Arms
Author: Gerhard L. Weinberg
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Widely hailed as a masterpiece, this is the first history of World War II to provide a truly global account of the war that encompassed six continents. Starting with the changes that restructured Europe and her colonies following the First World War, Gerhard Weinberg sheds new light on every aspect of World War II. Actions of the Axis, the Allies, and the Neutrals are covered in every theater of the war. More importantly, the global nature of the war is examined, with new insights into how events in one corner of the world helped affect events in other distant parts. In a new edition, with a new preface, A World at Arms remains a classic of global history.
Armies of Empire
Author: Allan Converse
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Armies of Empire uniquely reflects upon the experience of two divisions from different armies facing similar challenges in the Second World War. The 9th Australian Division and the British 50th (Northumbrian) Division both saw long service and suffered heavy casualties, and both encountered morale, discipline and battlefield effectiveness problems. In this illuminating, comparative study of Australian and British divisions at war, Allan Converse draws extensively on primary sources as well as recent scholarship on morale and combat efficiency. His fresh approach questions the popular mythology surrounding the Australian Digger and the British Tommy, and shows how it was a combination of leadership, loyalty and tactics, rather than intrinsic national qualities, which resulted in victory for Churchill's armies.
To Hell and Back
Author: Ian Kershaw
"Chilling... To Hell and Back should be required reading in every chancellery, every editorial cockpit and every place where peevish Euroskeptics do their thinking…. Kershaw documents each and every ‘ism’ of his analysis with extraordinary detail and passionate humanism."—The New York Times Book Review The Penguin History of Europe series reaches the twentieth century with acclaimed scholar Ian Kershaw’s long-anticipated analysis of the pivotal years of World War I and World War II. The European catastrophe, the long continuous period from 1914 to 1949, was unprecedented in human history—an extraordinarily dramatic, often traumatic, and endlessly fascinating period of upheaval and transformation. This new volume in the Penguin History of Europe series offers comprehensive coverage of this tumultuous era. Beginning with the outbreak of World War I through the rise of Hitler and the aftermath of the Second World War, award-winning British historian Ian Kershaw combines his characteristic original scholarship and gripping prose as he profiles the key decision makers and the violent shocks of war as they affected the entire European continent and radically altered the course of European history. Kershaw identifies four major causes for this catastrophe: an explosion of ethnic-racist nationalism, bitter and irreconcilable demands for territorial revisionism, acute class conflict given concrete focus through the Bolshevik Revolution, and a protracted crisis of capitalism. Incisive, brilliantly written, and filled with penetrating insights, To Hell and Back offers an indispensable study of a period in European history whose effects are still being felt today. From the Hardcover edition.
World War II was the most devastating event in human history. The Historical Atlas of World War II presents the conflict through deeply-researched text and detailed maps that, taken together, add up to a unique and original appraisal of this global war. The Historical Atlas of World War II encompasses every theater of warâ??Europe, the Pacific, the Far East, North Africa, the Eastern Frontâ??with maps that show how battles took shape, played out, and were won or lost. The book also contains many fascinating informational graphics, depicting the plans for the D-Day invasion, the standard layout of an R.A.F. fighter base during the Battle of Britain and the blast zone of the atomic bomb that fell on Nagasaki. There are also detailed drawings of the aircraft and warships that were the main weapons of war. The Historicla Atlas of World war II is so much more than a book of maps. It is a visually led history of the central event of the twentieth century, a fluid picture of the tides of war that flowed back and forth across the globe for six long and arduous years.
First published in 1970, the year after his death, Liddell Hart's History of the Second World War is a highly acclaimed account by one of the greatest military writers of the twentieth century. Providing searing insights and drawing on an unparalleled knowledge of tactics and strategy, it is the culmination of a lifetime's analysis and study. Condensing six bloody years into one volume, Liddell Hart examines the moral and strategic choices made by those in power and the way these decisions affected ordinary soldiers on the ground. With meticulous attention to detail and epic scope, his work is a true classic and indispensable for those seeking to understand this most devastating of conflicts.