This new work has more than 1,700 alphabetically arranged entries. More than 160 scholars contributed to the volume, most from universities in Britain. Entries range from 50 words to almost 30 pages on major countries. Almost every aspect of the war is covered, including its effect on civilians. Children discuss the war's impact on children in many nations. Lengthy essays cover Women at War and Religion. The many biographical entries include both political and military persons. By far the most exhaustive essays are reserved for countries, all of which have standard subsections such as "Domestic Life, Economy, and War Effort" and "Government." The entry for the U.S. includes 27 pages of text and eight statistical tables. Briefer entries treat countries that were neutral during the war, for example, Sweden and Turkey.
In addition to statistics within entries, there are special tables accompanying articles. Unfortunately there is no index or table of contents for these tables. Cross-references within entries are noted by asterisks; there are limited see also references at the ends of articles. Like other Oxford companions, there is no index.
More than 100 line-drawn maps provide battle information as well as sites of death and concentration camps and the Manhattan Project. A separate section of color maps shows territorial changes between 1939 and 1945, the British and French empires, and other themes. A chronology begins in 1931 with Japanese troops occupying Manchuria and lists events under five geographic regions to the formal surrender of the Japanese on September 2, 1945. A list of place-name changes shows current and wartime names (e.g., Gdansk and Danzig).
Other titles give more detailed coverage of specific aspects of this period in history, for example, The D-Day Encyclopedia [RBB Ja 1 94] and the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust [RBB Mr 1 90]. But The Oxford Companion to World War II is an excellent overview for public and academic libraries that need to supplement other works in their reference collections. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.