The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War

Andrew Roberts. Harper, $29.99 (768p) ISBN 978-0-06-122859-9
This is history as it should be written. Award-winning historian Roberts, a master storyteller, combines a comprehensive command of sources, a sophisticated analytical dimension, and fingertip balance between great events and their personal dimensions. At the center of this "world-historical global cataclysm" was Adolf Hitler. Roberts presents the war as defined by Hitler's mistakes: "so heinous that he should have committed suicide out of sheer embarrassment...." Roberts (Masters and Commanders) says Hitler started the war before Germany was ready. He waged it with resources too limited for his grandiose objectives. He administered it through policies that made the Reich an enduring stench in the nostrils. Japan's war in the Pacific was no less ugly. Yet defeating the Axis required the strengths of three great powers. Roberts describes an Allied strategy shaped by the necessity of developing armed forces to match their foes. Britain kept the field in the war's darkest days. The U.S.S.R. drowned the Reich in "oceans of blood." America provided machines, money, and manpower—over 16 million in uniform. These synergized efforts were sufficient—barely sufficient, says Roberts. At every turn contingencies shaped outcomes that might have been very different absent the skill, will, and desperation demonstrated by the Grand Coalition. 4 pages of b&w photos; maps. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/21/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
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Paperback - 792 pages - 978-0-14-102928-3
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