Second World War

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Second World War

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Jul 27, 2012, 11:11am

I’m sure someone has already asked some guidance on this subject, but I just joined this group and I would love some help on choosing a one volume book History of the WWII.
Which one to choose? Martin Gilbert? John Keegan? Max Hastings All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939-1945 or Antony Beevor recent book The Second World War?

Jul 27, 2012, 11:16am

You could try Liddell Hart's History of the Second World War. Older but a good start.

Jul 27, 2012, 12:45pm

A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II, if I had to go with a single volume.

Jul 27, 2012, 2:20pm

Based on an interview I saw on C-Span I would go with Antony Beevor recent book The Second World War.

Jul 27, 2012, 2:29pm

I've read a few of Beevor's books and they're very good (although so far I've resisted his last one). But my main recommendation for the wide sweep would be the Max Hastings one All Hell Let Loose. It does describe several aspects of the war that I hadn't really taken in before - the naval war in the Far East and the campaigns in SE Asia. Beevor very good on more restricted areas such as Stalingrad and D-Day.

Jul 27, 2012, 3:58pm

#2 and #3
Two more books to look upon. Thanks

#4 and #5
Lamson I was really inclined on Beevor’s recent book on the subject, however some reviewers share the some opinion of PossMan. I have still to consider other titles.
I could always read more than one approach :)

Editado: Jul 27, 2012, 7:40pm

I'd go with A World at Arms, otherwise I'd go with Beevor or Hastings; Beevor takes the Eastern Front seriously whereas Hastings has written intelligently about naval and air warfare. Keegan is probably not what he used to be and Liddell Hart is obsolete, particularly in regards to intelligence matters. Whatever choice you make avoid a book that doesn't incorporate ULTRA and other cryptographic operations into the story.

Jul 27, 2012, 8:24pm

Concur RE Keegan & Liddell Hart, time moves on as does historical research.

Editado: Jul 27, 2012, 9:14pm

If you can get a copy, have a look at John Keegan's The Battle for History which discusses a wide range of books of the Second World War. From that, you can choose what interests you most. It's a very slim volume.

Jul 27, 2012, 9:28pm

> 7 & 8

It's been quite some time since I took a look at Liddell Hart, but I agree that his book is obsolete in a variety of ways. Besides being written prior to the Ultra revelations, I recall a couple of other problems. First, his coverage of events is uneven. He devotes several chapters--maybe as many as 7 or 8, as I recall--to the Desert War, while treating other, more significant campaigns in much less detail. Second, his coverage of the German side of the war is skewed, I believe, by his extensive postwar interviews with surviving German generals--the basis for the book The German Generals Talk. My memory is that Liddell Hart seemed to have absorbed the often self-serving views of generals like Manstein, who had an interest in polishing their own reputations and in blaming Hitler for bad decision-making on the German side.

Jul 30, 2012, 2:17am

10:There was quite a mutual admiration society between the German generals and Liddell Hart. Agreed it's not even one of his best works he was much sharper in the 1930s.

Jul 30, 2012, 11:36am

Thank you all for sharing your precious opinions about this subject.

Keegan and Liddell Hart are not being considered, whereas Beevor, Hastings and Weinberg are potentials choices. Maybe I’ll go for more than one…

Jul 30, 2012, 5:50pm

Just to round out the list: H.P. Willmott - The Great Crusade - WW2 with due weight to the eastern front; or Martin Gilbert - Second World War - WW2 as an interminable catalogue of tragedy and suffering.

Dez 10, 2014, 8:06am

Jan 23, 2015, 3:43pm

This may be of interest to some. A trove of newly discovered never developed rolls of film from a WWII vet.!rescuedwwii/c1d05

Jan 14, 2016, 8:19am

The recently published Black Earth does an astonishingly good job of dipping into Mein Kampf and explaining Adolf Hitler's convictions and how they played out in his campaigns throughout Europe.