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No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945by Norman Davies
Synopses & Reviews
The ultimate history of the Allied bombing campaigns in World War II
Technology shapes the nature of all wars, and the Second World War hinged on a most unpredictable weapon: the bomb. Night after night, Britain and the United States unleashed massive fleets of bombers to kill and terrorize occupied Europe, destroying its cities. The grisly consequences call into question how and#147;moraland#8221; a war the Allies fought.
The Bombers and the Bombed radically overhauls our understanding of World War II. It pairs the story of the civilian front line in the Allied air war alongside the political context that shaped their strategic bombing campaigns, examining the responses to bombing and being bombed with renewed clarity.
The first book to examine seriously not only the well-known attacks on Dresden and Hamburg but also the significance of the firebombing on other fronts, including Italy, where the crisis was far more severe than anything experienced in Germany, this is Richard Overyand#8217;s finest work yet. It is a rich reminder of the terrible military, technological, and ethical issues that relentlessly drove all the warand#8217;s participants into an abyss.
"'The typical Western view of WWII's European Theater — as a struggle between freedom and fascism that climaxed with the Normandy landings — is harshly critiqued in this scathing reappraisal. Historian Davies (Rising '44: The Battle of Warsaw) argues that British and American campaigns were a 'sideshow' to the titanic conflict between the Wehr-macht and the Red Army on the Eastern Front, where most of the fighting and decisive battles occurred. The war was therefore not a 'simple victory' of good over evil, he contends, but the defeat of one totalitarian state, Nazi Germany, by another, the Soviet Union, whose crimes were just as vast, if less diabolical. Davies's topical approach judiciously surveys the military, economic and political aspects of the war, often from an Eastern European perspective. He observes, for example, that the region that suffered the most civilian deaths was Ukraine, and that the Soviet Union was initially as much an aggressor — against Poland, Finland and the Baltic states — as Germany. (Poland's travails, Davies's professional specialty, are somewhat overemphasized.) Davies cuts against the grain of popular war histories like Stephen Ambrose's accounts of D-Day and the Bulge, but his interpretations rest on solid scholarly work. Photos. (Sept. 10)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
If history really belongs to the victor, what happens when more than one side declares victory? Thats the conundrum Davies unravels in this absorbing, clear-eyed reappraisal of World War II that offers new insight into a debate that continues to this day. Four 8-page b&w photo inserts. 35,000 prin.
One of the world?s leading historians re- examines World War II and its outcome
A clear-eyed reappraisal of World War II that offers new insight by reevaluating well-established facts and pointing out lesser-known ones, No Simple Victory asks readers to reconsider what they know about the war, and how that knowledge might be biased or incorrect. Norman Davies poses simple questions that have unexpected answers: Can you name the five biggest battles of the war? What were the main political ideologies that were contending for supremacy? The answers to these questions will surprise even those who feel that they are experts on the subject.
Davies has established himself as a preeminent scholar of World War II . No Simple Victory is an invaluable contribution to twentieth-century history and an illuminating portrait of a conflict that continues to provoke debate.
About the Author
Norman Davies is the bestselling author of Europe: A History, The Isles: A History, and Rising‛44. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and professor emeritus at London University.
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