The War in the West - A New History

Germany Ascendant, 1939-1941

Author: James Holland

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 055216920X

Category: World War, 1939-1945

Page: 864

View: 2968

Are you ready for the truth about World War Two? The Second World War is the most cataclysmic and violent sequence of events in recent times. But for the past seven decades, our understanding of it has relied upon conventional wisdom, propaganda and an interpretation skewed by the information available. James Holland has spent over twelve years conducting new research, interviewing survivors, visiting battlefields and archives that have never before been so accessible and challenging too-long-held assumptions about the war that shaped our world. In Germany Ascendant, the first part of this ground-breaking new history, James Holland introduces the war, beginning with the lead-up to its outbreak in 1939 and taking us up to mid-1941 as the Nazis prepared to unleash Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia. To tell the real story, he weaves together the experiences of dozens of individuals, from civilians and soldiers, to sailors, pilots, leading military strategists, industrialists and heads of state, and uncovers the strategy, tactics and events that informed not only the military aspects of the war but also the economic, political, and social aspects too. The War in the West is a truly monumental history of the war on land, in the air, and at sea. In it, James Holland has created a captivating and epic narrative which redefines and enhances our understanding of one of the most significant conflicts in history.
Posted in World War, 1939-1945

The War in the West - A New History

The Fall of Germany 1941-43

Author: James Holland

Publisher: Bantam Press

ISBN: 9780593071670

Category:

Page: 752

View: 2928

In the second volume of his acclaimed new history of the Second World War, James Holland examines the momentous turning points of 1941-1943: Hitler's invasion of Russia; America's entry into the conflict; the devastating Thousand Bomber Raids over Germany; the long struggle in the deserts of North Africa; and the defeat of the U-boats in the crucial Battle of the Atlantic. As in his first volume, Germany Ascendant, he interweaves his account of the well-known events of the period with the personal stories of individuals caught up in them - on all sides. Through interviews, letters, diaries and reports, he allows us to see the war not just from the perspective of politicians, military commanders and strategists, but also through the eyes of civilians bombed out of their homes, resistance members stranded in the frozen Norwegian winter, sailors risking their lives in the Atlantic convoys, German aces striving for supremacy in the air, and ordinary soldiers battling for survival in the scorching sands of Libya. He also looks behind the scenes at the all-important 'machinery' of war: the manufacturing, farming and vital supply lines that underpinned the entire conflict and ultimately determined its course. From the battle fronts on land, sea and air, to the streets, fields and factories of Britain, America and Germany, he paints a dramatic and compelling portrait of these pivotal years when the tide began to turn. Combining his own research with only recently accessible archive material, Holland looks afresh at this cataclysmic conflict, reassessing long-held views and challenging conventional assumptions. The result is ground-breaking history that redefines the war in the West and makes us think again about the events that shaped our modern world.
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The War in the West: A New History

Volume 2: The Allies Fight Back 1941-43

Author: James Holland

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1448167035

Category: History

Page: 880

View: 9193

'Ranks as a towering work of historical research and writing' – Nigel Jones, BBC History Magazine In the second volume of his acclaimed new history of the Second World War, James Holland examines the momentous turning points of 1941–1943: Hitler’s invasion of Russia; America’s entry into the conflict; the devastating Thousand Bomber Raids over Germany; the long struggle in the deserts of North Africa; and the defeat of the U-boats in the crucial Battle of the Atlantic. As in his first volume, Germany Ascendant, he interweaves his account of the well-known events of the period with the personal stories of individuals caught up in them - on all sides. Through interviews, letters, diaries and reports, he allows us to see the war not just from the perspective of politicians, military commanders and strategists, but also through the eyes of civilians bombed out of their homes, resistance members stranded in the frozen Norwegian winter, sailors risking their lives in the Atlantic convoys, German aces striving for supremacy in the air, and ordinary soldiers battling for survival in the scorching sands of Libya. He also looks behind the scenes at the all-important ‘machinery’ of war: the manufacturing, farming and vital supply lines that underpinned the entire conflict and ultimately determined its course. From the battle fronts on land, sea and air, to the streets, fields and factories of Britain, America and Germany, he paints a dramatic and compelling portrait of these pivotal years when the tide began to turn. Combining his own research with only recently accessible archive material, Holland looks afresh at this cataclysmic conflict, reassessing long-held views and challenging conventional assumptions. The result is ground-breaking history that redefines the war in the West and makes us think again about the events that shaped our modern world.
Posted in History

The Allies Strike Back, 1941-1943

Author: James Holland

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

ISBN: 0802190146

Category: History

Page: 720

View: 8991

By June 1941, Germany’s war machine looked to be unstoppable. The Nazi blitzkrieg had taken Poland, France, and Holland with shocking speed. The Luftwaffe had bombed London, while German U-boats wrought havoc on Allied shipping on the Atlantic. And yet, as James Holland shows at the start of The Allies Strike Back, 1941-1943—the second volume in his magisterial narrative of World War II in the West—cracks were already appearing in Germany’s apparent invincibility. Shortages of food and materiel were becoming critical. And, having failed to defeat Britain, Adolf Hitler fatefully pivoted east to invade the Soviet Union—territory he felt compelled to conquer for Germany’s protection—and on June 22, 1941 precipitated the largest clash of arms the world had ever seen. Built for speed and quick conquest, German forces by that fall were bogged down in a horrible war of attrition that blunted the Nazi momentum. The Allies Strike Back offers fascinating new perspective on the critical middle years in World War II’s western theatre, as the advantage between Axis and Allied forces swung back and forth on the Atlantic and eastern front, and in north Africa and Europe. Acclaimed historian James Holland has spent years conducting original research and interviews, mining newly available archives, visiting battlefields and uncovering letters and diaries previously unread. Acknowledging that strategy and tactics have been the focus of previous histories, he gives equal space to the logistics and supply of men and materiel without which no war can be fought. Allied and Axis leaders criss-cross Holland’s narrative, but he also memorably introduces readers to heretofore unknown participants: Sgt. Ralph Schaps, who experienced the Louisiana Maneuvers that propelled him into Europe; Colonel Hermann Balck, in command of a German panzer regiment in Africa; U-boat captain Teddy Suhren, operating against Allied shipping in the Atlantic; Billy Drake, squadron commander in Britain’s Desert Air Force that helped turn the tide in North Africa; and many others. Following the acclaimed first volume of his trilogy, The Rise of Germany, and offering frank assessments of successes and failures on both sides, James Holland has crafted a masterful and gripping narrative of the events that ultimately determined the outcome of World War II.
Posted in History

Fortress Malta

An Island Under Siege 1940-1943

Author: James Holland

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

ISBN: 1780225970

Category: History

Page: 464

View: 5675

The extraordinary drama of Malta's WWII victory against impossible odds told through the eyes of the people who were there. In March and April 1942, more explosives were dropped on the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta - smaller than the Isle of Wight - than on the whole of Britain during the first year of the Blitz. Malta had become one of the most strategically important places in the world. From there, the Allies could attack Axis supply lines to North Africa; without it, Rommel would be able to march unchecked into Egypt, Suez and the Middle East. For the Allies this would have been catastrophic. As Churchill said, Malta had to be held 'at all costs'. FORTRESS MALTA follows the story through the eyes of those who were there: young men such as twenty-year-old fighter pilot Raoul Daddo-Langlois, anti-aircraft gunner Ken Griffiths, American Art Roscoe and submariner Tubby Crawford - who served on the most successful Allied submarine of the Second World War; cabaret dancer-turned RAF plotter Christina Ratcliffe, and her lover, the brilliant and irrepressible reconnaissance pilot, Adrian Warburton. Their stories and others provide extraordinary first-hand accounts of heroism, resilience, love, and loss, highlighting one of the most remarkable stories of World War II.
Posted in History

Burma '44

The Battle That Turned the War in the Far East

Author: James Holland

Publisher: Corgi

ISBN: 9780552172035

Category:

Page: 448

View: 4834

'A thrilling blow-by-blow account' The Times In February 1944, a rag-tag collection of clerks, drivers, doctors, muleteers, and other base troops, stiffened by a few dogged Yorkshiremen and a handful of tank crews managed to hold out against some of the finest infantry in the Japanese Army, and then defeat them in what was one of the most astonishing battles of the Second World War. What became know as The Defence of the Admin Box, fought amongst the paddy fields and jungle of Northern Arakan over a fifteen-day period, turned the battle for Burma. Not only was it the first decisive victory for British troops against the Japanese, more significantly, it demonstrated how the Japanese could be defeated. The lessons learned in this tiny and otherwise insignificant corner of the Far East, set up the campaign in Burma that would follow, as General Slim's Fourteenth Army finally turned defeat into victory. Burma '44 is a tale of incredible drama. As gripping as the story of Rorke's drift, as momentous as the battle for the Ardennes, the Admin Box was a triumph of human grit and heroism and remains one of the most significant yet undervalued conflicts of World War Two.
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Big Week

The Biggest Air Battle of World War II

Author: James Holland

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

ISBN: 0802146317

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 5832

During the third week of February 1944, the combined Allied air forces based in Britain and Italy launched their first round-the-clock bomber offensive against Germany. Their goal: to smash the main factories and production centers of the Luftwaffe while also drawing German planes into an aerial battle of attrition to neutralize the Luftwaffe as a fighting force prior to the cross-channel invasion, planned for a few months later. Officially called Operation ARGUMENT, this aerial offensive quickly became known as “Big Week,” and it was one of the turning-point engagements of World War II. In Big Week, acclaimed World War II historian James Holland chronicles the massive air battle through the experiences of those who lived and died during it. Prior to Big Week, the air forces on both sides were in crisis. Allied raids into Germany were being decimated, but German resources—fuel and pilots—were strained to the breaking point. Ultimately new Allied aircraft—especially the American long-range P-51 Mustang—and superior tactics won out during Big Week. Through interviews, oral histories, diaries, and official records, Holland follows the fortunes of pilots, crew, and civilians on both sides, taking readers from command headquarters to fighter cockpits to anti-aircraft positions and civilian chaos on the ground, vividly recreating the campaign as it was conceived and unfolded. In the end, the six days of intense air battles largely cleared the skies of enemy aircraft when the invasion took place on June 6, 1944—D-Day. Big Week is both an original contribution to WWII literature and a brilliant piece of narrative history, recapturing a largely forgotten campaign that was one of the most critically important periods of the entire war.
Posted in History

Dam Busters

The True Story of the Inventors and Airmen Who Led the Devastating Raid to Smash the German Dams in 1943

Author: James Holland

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

ISBN: 0802193064

Category: History

Page: 464

View: 4871

The story of the British-made bombs, Upkeep and Highball, successfully dropped on Nazi dams “has never been told in such depth before” (Daily Mail, UK). The night of May 16, 1943: Nineteen specially adapted Lancaster bombers take off from an RAF airfield in Lincolnshire, England, each with a huge nine-thousand-pound cylindrical bomb strapped underneath it. Their mission: to destroy three hydroelectric dams that power the Third Reich’s war machine. It was a suicide mission from the outset. First the men had to fly extremely low, at night, and in tight formation over miles of enemy-occupied territory. Then they had to drop with pinpoint precision a complicated spinning cylindrical bomb that had never before been used operationally. More than that, the entire operation had to be put together in less than ten weeks in order to hit the dams when water levels were still high enough for the bombs to be effective. The visionary aviation engineer Barnes Wallis hadn’t even drawn up plans for his concept when the bouncing bomb was green-lighted. What followed was an incredible race against time that, despite numerous setbacks, became one of the most successful and significant bombing raids of all time. “Holland has delved into the new trove” of declassified documents “to shed light on this weapons program, the politics of its development and the eventual mission” (The Wall Street Journal). “An impeccably researched work in the style of a fast-paced techno-thriller.” —Publishers Weekly “Extremely detailed but never dull . . . Holland offers a definitive, nuts-and-bolts history.” —Kirkus Reviews “A well-written study of engineering and invention operating under great pressure. . . . For all World War II history buffs.” —Library Journal, starred review
Posted in History

Britain's War: Into Battle, 1937-1941

Author: Daniel Todman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019062180X

Category:

Page: 848

View: 6032

On June 18th, 1940, invoking their "finest hour," Winston Churchill galvanized his countrymen. Poland and France had fallen. Britain was next. Churchill knew, as now did millions of his countrymen, that their island nation alone faced Nazi Germany, and that soon it would be at the center of the greatest struggle of modern times - a struggle whose outcome was by no means predetermined. Historian Daniel Todman undertakes perhaps the greatest saga of the 20th Century, often told in parts but never as completely as here. A modest-looking box of war medals kept in a desk opens to reveal the full history of Great Britain in the Second World War. Britain's War: Into Battle, 1937-1941 is the first of two volumes in which Todman offers a brilliantly fresh retelling of the Greatest Generation's narrative. Beginning in the pre-war years, when shadows across the Channel were deepening but most of Britain hoped to avoid a second continental cataclysm, it spans the dawning realization of what lay ahead and the massive and profound changes required to get a country at peace onto a war footing. It then covers the failure of appeasement, the invasion of Poland, the "phony war," the fall of France, the miracle of Dunkirk and the pivotal Battle of Britain, the Blitz, and ends with America's entrance into the struggle. The stories of rapid industrialization, social disruption, food rationing, Westminster politics, class snobbery, and the mobilization of a global empire are woven together with the major opening battles to show just how desperately high the stakes of the war were. Todman's epic project does what no other has done, linking economic, strategic, social, cultural, and military history in one compelling narrative. Here, also, are key individuals - the politicians, industrialists, pub owners, housewives, the pilots of the RAF, and the sailors at Dunkirk - caught in the maelstrom that threatened to engulf not just the "scepter'd isle" but the world itself. Colossal in scale and engrossing in detail, Todman's project brings to vivid life the many dramatic and unexpected disruptions that changed the course of the war in ways none at the time could foresee. Britain's War: Into Battle, 1937-1941 offers readers a full account of the entire conflict as it was experienced by all the people of Britain and its Empire.
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An Army at Dawn

The War in North Africa, 1942-1943, Volume One of the Liberation Trilogy

Author: Rick Atkinson

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 9781429967631

Category: History

Page: 704

View: 8640

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In the first volume of his monumental trilogy about the liberation of Europe in WW II, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson tells the riveting story of the war in North Africa The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of courage and enduring triumph, of calamity and miscalculation. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern reader can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers without a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 and 1943. That first year of the Allied war was a pivotal point in American history, the moment when the United States began to act like a great power. Beginning with the daring amphibious invasion in November 1942, An Army at Dawn follows the American and British armies as they fight the French in Morocco and Algeria, and then take on the Germans and Italians in Tunisia. Battle by battle, an inexperienced and sometimes poorly led army gradually becomes a superb fighting force. Central to the tale are the extraordinary but fallible commanders who come to dominate the battlefield: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Montgomery, and Rommel. Brilliantly researched, rich with new material and vivid insights, Atkinson's narrative provides the definitive history of the war in North Africa.
Posted in History

The Second World War

Author: Antony Beevor

Publisher: Back Bay Books

ISBN: 0316084077

Category: History

Page: 880

View: 1367

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.
Posted in History

The Bloody Road to Tunis

Destruction of the Axis Forces in North Africa, November 1942-May 1943

Author: David Rolf

Publisher: Frontline Books

ISBN: 147389705X

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 3275

As the Afrika Korps withdrew after a bruising defeat at El Alamein, it became apparent that Axis forces would not be able to maintain their hold over Libya. Rommel pulled his troops back to Tunisia, digging in along the Mareth Line, and turned westwards t
Posted in History

The Battle of Britain

Five Months That Changed History; May-October 1940

Author: James Holland

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1429919418

Category: History

Page: 736

View: 1230

A groundbreaking new account of the Battle of Britain from acclaimed historian James Holland The Battle of Britain paints a stirring picture of an extraordinary summer when the fate of the world hung by a thread. Historian James Holland has now written the definitive account of those months based on extensive new research from around the world including thousands of new interviews with people on both sides of the battle. If Britain's defenses collapsed, Hitler would have dominated all of Europe. With France facing defeat and British forces pressed back to the Channel, there were few who believed Britain could survive; but, thanks to a sophisticated defensive system and the combined efforts of the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy and the defiance of a new Prime Minister, Britain refused to give in. From clashes between coastal convoys and Schnellboote in the Channel to astonishing last stands in Flanders, slaughter by U-boats in an icy Atlantic and dramatic aerial battles over England, The Battle of Britain tells this epic World War II story in a fresh and compelling voice.
Posted in History

The Battlecruiser HMS HOOD

An Illustrated Biography 1916-1941

Author: Bruce Taylor

Publisher: Seaforth Publishing

ISBN: 1848320000

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 3689

The battlecruiser HMS Hood is one of the great warships of history. Unmatched for beauty, unequalled for size, for twenty years the Hood was the glory ship of the Royal Navy, flying the flag across the world in the twilight years of the British Empire. Here, in words, photos and colour illustrations, is the story of her life, her work and her people from keel-laying on the Clyde in 1916 to destruction at the hands of the Bismarck in 1941. Among the eyecatching strengths of the book is a unique gallery of photos, including stills from a recently discovered piece of colour footage of the ship, plus a spectacular set of computer-generated images of both the exterior and interior by the world's leading exponent of the art - a man who worked with the film director James Cameron (of Titanic fame). A wealth of new information on Hood's structure and operation make it essential reading for the enthusiast, modeller and historian alike. Hugely successful from its first publication, this is the third printing of the ultimate book on the ultimate ship of the pre-war era.
Posted in History

Italy's Sorrow

A Year of War, 1944--1945

Author: James Holland

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 9781429945431

Category: History

Page: 656

View: 6423

During the Second World War, the campaign in Italy was the most destructive fought in Europe - a long, bitter and highly attritional conflict that raged up the country's mountainous leg. For frontline troops, casualty rates at Cassino and along the notorious Gothic Line were as high as they had been on the Western Front in the First World War. There were further similarities too: blasted landscapes, rain and mud, and months on end with the front line barely moving. And while the Allies and Germans were fighting it out through the mountains, the Italians were engaging in bitter battles too. Partisans were carrying out a crippling resistance campaign against the German troops but also battling the Fascists forces as well in what soon became a bloody civil war. Around them, innocent civilians tried to live through the carnage, terror and anarchy, while in the wake of the Allied advance, horrific numbers of impoverished and starving people were left to pick their way through the ruins of their homes and country. In the German-occupied north, there were more than 700 civilian massacres by German and Fascist troops in retaliation for Partisan activities, while in the south, many found themselves forced into making terrible and heart-rending decisions in order to survive. Although known as a land of beauty and for the richness of its culture, Italy's suffering in 1944-1945 is now largely forgotten. Italy's Sorrow by James Holland is the first account of the conflict there to tell the story from all sides and to include the experiences of soldiers and civilians alike. Offering extensive original research, it weaves together the drama and tragedy of that terrible year, including new perspectives and material on some of the most debated episodes to have emerged from World War II.
Posted in History

Italian Medium Tanks

1939–45

Author: Filippo Cappellano,Pier Paolo Battistelli

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1780961235

Category: History

Page: 48

View: 6181

Several factors delayed and greatly hampered the development of an Italian medium tank during World War II. The first was the strategic stance of the country, focussed on a war against neighbouring countries such as France and Yugoslavia, and ill-prepared for a war in the Western Desert. Since these European countries bordered with Italy in mountainous areas, light tanks were preferred as these were deemed much more suitable for the narrow roads and bridges of the Alps. Furthermore, development was hampered by the limited number of Italian industries, whose production was also heavily fragmented. All these factors delayed the development of the first prototype of an Italian medium tank – the M 11 – which would only appear in 1937 and did not enter production until 1939. Although technically inferior to their German and Allied counterparts in 1941–43, the Italian M tanks proved to be quite effective when used by experienced crews with adequate combat tactics. In fact, their major shortcoming actually proved to be their limited production figures. While production was limited, innovation was not and, between 1941 and 1943, several experiments were carried out on the Italian tanks that produced interesting prototypes such as the anti-aircraft semovente.
Posted in History

West Point History of World War II

Author: The United States Military Academy

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476782776

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 4022

Reader's Digest Endowed Book Fund.
Posted in History

Hitler's Soldiers

The German Army in the Third Reich

Author: Ben H. Shepherd

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300219520

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 3859

For decades after 1945, it was generally believed that the German army, professional and morally decent, had largely stood apart from the SS, Gestapo, and other corps of the Nazi machine. Ben Shepherd draws on a wealth of primary sources and recent scholarship to convey a much darker, more complex picture. For the first time, the German army is examined throughout the Second World War, across all combat theaters and occupied regions, and from multiple perspectives: its battle performance, social composition, relationship with the Nazi state, and involvement in war crimes and military occupation. This was a true people’s army, drawn from across German society and reflecting that society as it existed under the Nazis. Without the army and its conquests abroad, Shepherd explains, the Nazi regime could not have perpetrated its crimes against Jews, prisoners of war, and civilians in occupied countries. The author examines how the army was complicit in these crimes and why some soldiers, units, and higher commands were more complicit than others. Shepherd also reveals the reasons for the army’s early battlefield successes and its mounting defeats up to 1945, the latter due not only to Allied superiority and Hitler’s mismanagement as commander-in-chief, but also to the failings—moral, political, economic, strategic, and operational—of the army’s own leadership.
Posted in History

Heroes: The Greatest Generation and the Second World War

Author: James Holland

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

ISBN: 0007369484

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 2301

‘Heroes’ is the story of an extraordinary generation of young men, mostly British, who came of age in the Second World War. These young men – and women – found themselves facing life-threatening danger and the kind of responsibility few would be prepared to shoulder today.
Posted in History