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The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War Paperback – May 29, 2012
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History To Repeat & Some To Not
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“Elegantly balances fact, thought and fresh, clear prose. . . . Roberts has set a high bar for future historians of mankind’s greatest bloodbath; Roberts splendidly weaves a human tragedy into a story of war’s remorseless statistics.” (The Wall Street Journal)
“With his new book on the Second World War, British historian Andrew Roberts has not only written the single best history of that conflict but has also claimed his place as one of our top historians.” (Michael Korda, The Daily Beast)
“A magnificent book;It manages to be distinctive but not eccentric, comprehensive in scope but not cramped by detail, giving due weight both to the extraordinary personalities and to the blind economic and physical forces involved.” (The Economist)
“Roberts’s narrative gifts are such that it is almost impossible to read his retelling of these nightmares without some feeling of encountering the new. No history book can ever truly be definitive, but this comes close. Roberts never loses sight of the human side of this epic.” (National Review)
“Roberts is a great historian because of a rare triune mastery: of the movement of history, in both its broad sweep and particular revelatory detail; a felicitous prose style and gift for narrative; and a commanding moral vision.” (Roger Kimball, The Daily)
“Andrew Roberts achieves a marvel of concision in producing a splendidly written, comprehensive new history of the greatest conflict in history, The Storm of Warparticularly good in its insights into Axis strategy.” (Sir Ian Kershaw, The Guardian, Books of the Year)
“In what might be his best book yet, Roberts gives us the war as seen from the other side of the hill. He has the knack of making complex military operations comprehensible and salting the grand strategic sweep with vignettes of how it felt to be a soldier.” (Nigel Jones, The Sunday Telegraph)
“Roberts is a first-rate historian. He has a sharp eye for a good subject and a knack of getting to its heart. The second world war, which cost more than 50 million lives, has a perennial fascination that Roberts conveys through an admirably lucid narrative.” (Piers Brendon, The Sunday Times)
“In one irresistibly readable book, Roberts has done what I thought was impossible--given us the whole bloody second world war from the brass buttons of the generals down to the mud-filled trenches and stretching across the globe.” (Tina Brown, Newsweek)
“The best full history of World War II yet written.” (Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Wall Street Journal)
From the Back Cover
Andrew Roberts's acclaimed new history has been hailed as the finest single-volume account of this epic conflict. From the western front to North Africa, from the Baltic to the Far East, he tells the story of the war—the grand strategy and the individual experience, the brutality and the heroism—as never before.
Meticulously researched and masterfully written, The Storm of War illuminates the war's principal actors, revealing how their decisions shaped the course of the conflict. Along the way, Roberts presents tales of the many lesser-known individuals whose experiences form a panoply of the courage and self-sacrifice, as well as the depravity and cruelty, of the Second World War.
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Top Customer Reviews
Roberts' thesis is that the Allies did not so much win the war as Hitler lost it, in large part by making independent judgments based on intuition and ideology. He was not a military strategist and didn't trust anyone who was. The smarter his generals, the more likely he was to fire them, as he did von Rundstedt and Guderian more than once, or ignore them when he didn't like their advice as he often did von Manstein who was maybe his best strategist.
According to Roberts, Hitler's biggest misjudgment was invading Russia in June of 1941 thereby forcing Germany to fight thereafter on two fronts. He had already made a major error in not pursuing the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) who made the historic evacuation from Dunkirk--which the German army could had prevented had Hitler not called them off. He had not invaded England, having lost the air war of 1940 (The Battle of Britain). He had not beefed up his Navy--especially the submarines which tied up Atlantic shipping until 1943 but thereafter hadn't the wherewith all (submarines mainly) to continue--or his Air Force whose fighter planes were clearly inferior to Britain's. (He didn't halt airplane design or manufacturing but did force a new fighter to be made into a bomber which left him vulnerable in Russia.) He left all that hanging and went after the USSR, seeking "lebensraum" for the German people and success where Napoleon had failed.Read more ›
I found myself doing the same thing I do with a good novel, "Just one more chapter and THEN I'll go to bed..." It was well-written, engaging, hard-hitting and even had some humorous moments, such as little known quotes from General Patton.
You will read about the politics, the strategies, the disasters and the in-fighting. And you will read the stark statistics and the individual stories of human kindness and courage and endurance amidst the horrors of unbelievable cruelty.
This is not a comfortable read. It is not for those with weak stomachs or those who refuse to believe that evil exists in this world. Highly recommended. Suitable for mature teens and up.
This book is a Euro-centric history of the war by design and I notice that many of the other reviewers overlooked that point. However, while "The Storm of War" is a good and interesting read it is quite marginal on its major promise: to analyze the decision points and alternate courses of the war (p.11). On this goal the relevant sections run the gamut from mostly casual to almost superficial. I will elaborate my point by describing a few of the more tendentious passages in the book, how Mr. Roberts dealt with them, and how he might have made them better.
"If, on coming to power in 1933, Hitler had developed long-range heavy bombers, built more fighters than he did and trained the Wehrmacht for amphibious operations; if he had not dissipated his naval forces by invading Norway; and if had attacked much earlier to give himself months of better weather in the Channel, then the always risky Sealion would have stood far greater chance of success. If he had landed large numbers of well-supplied paratroopers on the major British airfields of southern England during the opening stages of the battle of Britain, though such an operation would undoubtedly have been risky, it might have paid off.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First of all there is a tremendous amount of material to process here, but the further you go through the book the more you realize how it only really touches on the many events. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Steven
Out of hundreds of military historians, Andrew Roberts is the most insightful and clearest I have ever read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Biblioholic
Yes , Hitler could have won the war , but he was to stupid. Miss guided premise.Published 2 months ago by RJT
Only complaint is it was too short! A very engaging, insightful and informative book. I enjoyed every page. Read morePublished 2 months ago by S. Chase
It's an exhaustive, well-researched, thoughtful history of nearly everything important about World War II. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bill Loguidice
As someone with only a general understanding of WWII (I've only recently started reading history on this topic), I found this to be a generally great one-volume history of WWII. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Cara
This may be the best WWII history I have ever read, & I have read a lot of them in the last 55 years.Published 4 months ago by James A. Wilson
Although I was a bit too young to fight in WWII I know enough of history to have the opinion that it is very accurate. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jim Svoboda