The Second World War A Short History

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2002-03-21
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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From the rise of the Nazi party, through the bombing of Pearl Harbor, to the ultimate defeat of the Axis nations and the first chills of the Cold War, The Second World War: A Short History offers a completely comprehensive overview of the Second World War in one readable, compact volume. Alastair Parker deftly explores the causes of the war and why it lasted so long, how it was won and lost, and its consequences for humanity. The author traces the key events in both the European and Far Eastern theaters, outlining the strategies of the participants and the strengths and weaknesses of their fighting forces. Parker conveys a vivid picture of the features that distinguished the Second World War from any war that preceded it, including mobile warfare, widespread forced migration, the Holocaust, and strategic and nuclear bombing. Unlike many other histories of the war, this short history places the British and European involvement squarely in an international perspective, never shying away from raising difficult and fundamental questions about this monumental conflict. The Second World War presents an unprecedented short history, offering a sweeping survey of events that omits none of the drama that filled the years between 1939 and 1945. With intriguing photographs and a number of helpful maps, it is a fascinating and objective look at the central struggle of our times.

Author Biography

R. A. C. Parker is a Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford.

Table of Contents

List of plates
List of maps
Hitler, Germany, and the origins of the European war
German conquest of Poland, Norway, the Low Countries, and France
Britain alone
Operation Barbarossa: the German attack on the Soviet Union
The United States enters the war: the origins of the Japanese attack
Japanese victories and disappointments: December 1941 to August 1942
The end of German expansion: the Atlantic, North Africa, and Russia 1942-1943
Anglo-American strategies for victory
Economies at war
Strategic bombing
Driving back the Germans: North Africa, Italy, and Russia
D-Day and victory in Europe
The defeat of Japan and the atom bomb
From war to peace: Anglo-American relations
From alliance to Cold War: the Soviet Union and the West
The impact of war: the murder of the European Jews
The impact of war: casualties, crisis, and change
Note on quotations 305(1)
Book list 306(9)
Index 315

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