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

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

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Andrew Roberts

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 768 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 36mm | 581g
  • Publication date: 1 April 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141029285
  • ISBN 13: 9780141029283
  • Illustrations note: 16
  • Sales rank: 24,591

Product description

From the author of "Masters and Commanders", Andrew Roberts' "The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War" has been hailed as the finest single-volume account of this epic conflict. The Second World War lasted for 2,174 days and claimed the lives of over 50 million people. Why did it take the course that it did? Why did the Axis lose? And could they, with a different strategy, have won? Ranging from the Western front to North Africa, from the Baltic to the Far East, he brings the story of the war - and those who fought it - into focus as never before. "One of the greatest historians of our time...His masterpiece". (Oliver Marre, "Observer"). "An undoubted triumph. This, simply, is the best one-volume history of the Second World War currently available". (Laurence Rees). "Magnificent...Stylish penmanship, gritty research and lucid reasoning, coupled with poignant and haunting detours into private lives ruined and shortened". ("Economist"). "Moving, thought-provoking, enlightening". (Roger Moorhouse, "Independent"). "An exceptional accomplishment...the definitive single-volume history of the war...Essential". (Peter Watts, "Time Out"). "In what might be his best book yet, Roberts gives us the war as seen from the other side of the hill - the German Reich". (Nigel Jones, "Sunday Telegraph"). Andrew Roberts' "Masters and Commanders" was one of the most acclaimed, bestselling history books of 2008. His previous books include "Salisbury: Victorian Titan" (1999), which won the Wolfson History Prize and the James Stern Silver Pen Award for Non-Fiction, "Hitler and Churchill: Secrets of Leadership" (2003), which coincided with four-part BBC2 history series.

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Author information

Andrew Roberts's Masters and Commanders was one of the most acclaimed, bestselling history books of 2008. His previous books include Salisbury: Victorian Titan (1999), which won the Wolfson History Prize and the James Stern Silver Pen Award for Non-Fiction, Hitler and Churchill: Secrets of Leadership (2003), which coincided with four-part BBC2 history series. He is one of Britain's most prominent journalists and broadcasters.

Customer reviews

By Michael Flanagan 21 Sep 2010 5

This book is the best single volume on the history of World War II that I have read to date. The amount of details and information Andrew Roberts cram into this book is amazing.

As well as what you would expect in such a book, the author's analysis of key battles an characters are masterful, as well as a few new pieces of information recently de-classified This is definitely one author who know his stuff. As
a self confessed World War II buff I found this book an enthralling and educational read

By John Middleton 03 Sep 2010 5

Storm of War is both an overview and an evaluation of WWII. It is a sequel-companion to Masters and Commanders, which focused on the strategic view of WWII taken by the high command of the western allies - Roosevelt, Marshall, Churchill and Brooke. Read together, those books explain a great deal about WWII, and by extension post-war Europe and the Cold War.

This time around there is more focus on the Eastern front - where the Germans lost the war, and Eastern Europe lost its sovereignty. The march of the Red Army is covered in detail, although it is pointed out that the effect of allied bombing on Germany had a number of contributing factors to this advace, in disrupting war productivity and causing AA guns (which could often double as anti-tank weapons) and the Luftwaffe to defend Germany rather than be brought to bear on the Eastern front.

The war in the Pacific is also covered, although anyone wishing to know more here should see Max Hastings Retribution/Nemesis.

As well as what happened, the why is also covered off - could Hitler and Japan have won? Only, says Roberts, by their not being who they were. Genocide and slaughter was integral to militaristic Nazism, and a direct cause of many of the mistakes Hitler made. As I read the book, a Germany without a Holocaust, and which acted a liberator from Bolshevism in Soviet Russia, might have been able to win, especially with the aid of a number of Jewish scientists who escaped to the West in the 1930's. But, says Roberts, this madness was part of who Hitler was, and his drive to power and war depended on mania. Without this, Hitler could have won WWII, but he would never have been able to start it. Being in the position to start it, he was always likely to lose, at least once the USA joined in the fight.

Without a US surrender after Pearl Harbour, Japan was always fated to lose, provided there was will to fight against them. This is a less controversial position - even one taken by Yamamoto in late 1941.
Storm of War is a superb big-picture history of the defining conflict of the 20th century. It is hugely readable, well written, and shows a strong understanding of how and why WWII was fought.

Review quote

Roberts's populist approach makes for a rollicking good read and never comes at the expense of accuracy. His mastery of the huge variety of subjects is truly impressive and his ability to marshal these subjects into a single compelling narrative stunning -- Keith Lowe Daily Telegraph