Resensie: Deel 20 - Tweede Wêreldoorlog

Resensie: Deel 20 - Tweede Wêreldoorlog


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Uit die antwoord van Brittanje op Michael Moore, bring die kreef se formidabele redakteur, Robin Ramsay, die moord op JFK, geheime optrede, destabilisering, strategiese teorie, ekonomie, politiek, parapolitiek, Colin Wallace, Fred Holroyd, fluitjieblasers, Nieu-Seeland, Australië, kernkrag wapens, Blair, Brown, spioenasie, MI5, MI6, CIA, 9/11, samesweringsteorieë en die opkoms van New Labour.

Die program van die Independent Sector Treatment Center is aan die parlement en die publiek voorgehou as 'n manier om die NHS te help om die wagtye vir elektiewe behandelings soos heup- en knievervangings en katarakverwyderings te verminder. In werklikheid is dit 'n manier om private ondernemings toegang te gee tot die NHS -begroting vir sekondêre kliniese sorg. Hierdie boek vertel die verhaal, eers soos die regering dit voorgehou het, toe die House of Commons Health Select Committee dit probeer beoordeel het, en uiteindelik soos dit werklik is - 'n brughoof vir die private sektor om die NHS -dienste en personeel geleidelik oor te neem -groeiende skaal.

Dit wys hoe die werklike doelwitte van die program verberg is en hoe inligting gereeld daaroor gemasseer of weerhou word. Oor die hele land sluit NHS-trusts dienste, aangesien die inkomste van pasiënte op voordelige terme na winsgewende aanbieders oorgedra word. Die doel is om NHS -trusts te laat meeding in 'n nuwe gesondheidsorgmark. Die effek is om die versnippering van die NHS in 'n reeks ongelyke eenhede te versnel waarin winsgewendheid voorrang geniet bo pasiëntbehoeftes.

Hoe kan ons openbare dienste van hoë gehalte, soos gesondheidsorg en onderwys, verseker? Regerings bestee groot hoeveelhede openbare geld aan openbare dienste soos gesondheid, opvoeding en maatskaplike sorg, en tog is die dienste wat eintlik gelewer word, dikwels van lae gehalte, ondoeltreffend uitgevoer, reageer nie op hul gebruikers nie en is hulle nie regverdig nie. In hierdie boek voer Julian Le Grand aan dat die beste oplossing is om gebruikers 'n keuse te bied en om mededinging tussen verskaffers aan te moedig. Le Grand het pas 'n tydperk voltooi as beleidsadviseur wat op die hoogste vlakke in die Britse regering werk, en hieruit het hy bewyse gekry om sy vroeëre teoretiese werk te ondersteun en het hy die politieke realiteit beleef om die openbare beleidsteorie in die praktyk te bring. maniere om openbare dienste te lewer: vertroue; teikens en prestasiebestuur; 'stem'; en, keuse en kompetisie. Hy voer aan dat, hoewel dit alles hul meriete het, in die meeste situasies die beleid wat afhanklik is van 'n groter keuse en mededinging tussen verskaffers, die meeste potensiaal het om hoë kwaliteit, doeltreffende, responsiewe en billike dienste te lewer. Maar dit is belangrik dat die relevante beleide op die regte manier ontwerp is, en hierdie boek gee 'n gedetailleerde bespreking van die belangrikste kenmerke wat hierdie beleide in die konteks van gesondheidsorg en onderwys moet hê. Dit word afgesluit met 'n bespreking van die politiek van keuse.


20 beste boeke van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog (resensie van 2021)

Die Eerste Wêreldoorlog bly een van die belangrikste gebeurtenisse in die wêreldgeskiedenis. Of u nuuskierig is om meer te wete te kom oor die oorlog waarin die familielid gestry het, of u wil net meer leer oor die geslagte wat voor gekom het, die Eerste Wêreldoorlog kan 'n fassinerende en donker onderwerp wees. Tienduisende miljoene mense in Europa het verlore geraak in die veld wat 'n geveg gedurende hierdie tyd begin het. Die bestudering van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog kan ons help om te voorkom dat ons hierdie foute uit die verlede herhaal en seker maak dat ons die bewyse van die tyd wat tot die oorlog gelei het, kan bestudeer om dieselfde toestande te voorkom.

Wat is die beste boeke van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog om te lees?

Daar is 'n groot aantal boeke beskikbaar oor die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. Hier is 'n paar van die beste boeke wat tans oor die Eerste Wêreldoorlog beskikbaar is.


The Forgotten 500 vertel 'n verhaal van een van die mees heroïese reddingsmissies wat tydens hierdie groot oorlog plaasgevind het. Een van die min reddingsmissies wat dikwels uit geskiedenisboeke en films weggelaat word. Dit is 'n verhaal van opoffering, van hoop en van wonderlike mans.

Toe honderde mans uit die lug geskiet is, was hulle oor Joego -Slawië, 'n land wat deur die Duitsers beset is. Die stadsmense het hul eie lewens in gevaar gestel om die mans weg te steek en hulle skuiling en kos te gee totdat hulle kon ontsnap. Vragvliegtuie het hul voorrade laat val, maar wonderbaarlik is hulle nie neergeskiet nie. Vliegtuigmanne het 'n volledige lugstrook gebou sonder voorraad, terwyl die Duitsers dit nie laat uitvind het nie. Hierdie verhaal is jare lank ingedeel nadat dit gebeur het, maar nou word die verhaal vertel van heldhaftige manne wat 'n wonderlike ontsnapping gemaak het.

  • Skrywers: Gregory A. Freeman (skrywer)
  • Uitgewer: Dutton Caliber herdrukuitgawe (2 September 2008)
  • Bladsye: 336 bladsye

2. As jy oorleef: Van Normandië tot die Slag van die Bulge tot die einde van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, 'n Amerikaanse beampte wat 'n ware verhaal is

If You Survive vertel die verhaal van die een Amerikaanse offisier terwyl hy tydens die groot oorlog sy lewe in die een stryd na die ander waag. Hy begin die verhaal deur te vertel hoe hy by die universiteit ingeskryf het, en dink dat hy outomaties verwerp sou word omdat hy 'n bril dra. Toe is hy in elk geval opgestel. Hy is beveel om 'n IK -toets af te lê en was vyf maande in Georgië gestasioneer.

Daarna vertel sy verhaal van sy ervaring in die veld, waar hy meegedeel is dat hy moontlik 'n promosie sou hê as hy 'n enkele dag sou kon oorleef. Hierdie soldaat was een van die enigste mans wat uit sy groep oorleef het en bly 'n nasionale oorlogsheld. Leer wat hy gesien het, dinge wat hy gedoen het en hoe hy dit lewendig kon regkry.

  • Skrywers: George Wilson (skrywer)
  • Uitgewer: Ballantine Books heruitgawe -uitgawe (12 Mei 1987)
  • Bladsye: 288 bladsye

Resensie: Deel 20 - Tweede Wêreldoorlog - Geskiedenis

Bedrieglik dun, R. J. Overy's Die oorsprong van die Tweede Wêreld Oorlog bevat baie materiaal op sy 145 bladsye. Overy se doel met die skryf van hierdie boek is om die idee dat die Tweede Wêreldoorlog 'Hitler's War' was, uit te daag en eerder die aandag te vestig op die groter politieke en ekonomiese faktore wat die res van die wêreld ewe betrokke gemaak het. Baie van die verduidelikings in vandag se handboeke en klaskamers trek te veel voordeel uit agterna. Overy betwis spesifiek die argument dat Europese demokrasieë Hitler op morele gronde uitgedaag het nadat hy agtergekom het dat sy aptyt vir uitbreiding onversadigbaar was, of dat Chamberlain en sy kabinet swak politici was, wat deur Hitler in München geklop is en vasbeslote was om dit in Pole te vergoed. Die Tweede Wêreldoorlog was, net soos die eerste, die gevolg van 'outydse politiek van magsbalans'. (2)

Franse en Britse onvermoë om hul oorheersing voor 1914 te hervat, het wêreldwye ekonomiese en politieke vakuums veroorsaak wat Duitsland, Italië en Japan graag wou vul. Die opkomende fascistiese lande, wat Britse en Franse voorbeelde navolg, het gesoek na ryke om hul rykdom en invloed uit te brei. Aanvanklik het Brittanje en Frankryk toegestem omdat Axis -uitbreiding nie hul invloedsfere direk beïnvloed het nie en geïgnoreer kon word, terwyl hulle terselfdertyd tuis orde en ekonomiese belange in die buiteland handhaaf. Boonop het Brittanje en Frankryk gehoop dat die tyd wat gekoop is met versoening aan herbewaping bestee kan word as 'n afskrikmiddel vir verdere uitbreiding. Uiteindelik het die Britte oorlog gevoer oor Pole omdat die verlies van 'n ander land aan Duitse eise dui op die agteruitgang van die Britse en Franse gesag op die vasteland.

Na 1940 was dit duidelik dat Brittanje en Frankryk nie die vermoë gehad het om Duitsland te onderhou en te onderhou nie status quoDit lei dus tot die afhanklikheid van Brittanje van die Verenigde State. Die ontwikkelinge in Europa het Italië en Japan aangemoedig om hul eie ryke na te streef, wat gelei het tot die aanval op Pearl Harbor en Amerika se volle betrokkenheid by die oorlog. Toe die oorlog geëindig het, het die Geallieerdes die magsbalans suksesvol herstel, maar die Verenigde State en die Sowjetunie het aan die hoof van die tafel gesit in plaas van Brittanje en Frankryk.

Nadat hy voorheen nouer (en veel langer) studies oor die Tweede Wêreldoorlog geskryf het, moet Overy erkenning kry vir die feit dat hy soveel gebiede in so min bladsye kan beslaan. Sy kortheid is egter nie sonder nadele nie. In die besonder laat Overy se fokus op ryke en ekonomieë min ruimte vir sosiale faktore en veral vir Duitse antisemitisme. In sy inleiding erken hy dat sommige interpretasies van Hitler se oorlog die belangrikheid van Nazi -rassisme beklemtoon, maar Overy bevestig of daag nie hierdie perspektiewe uit nie. Hitler se vasstelling op Lebensraum in Oos-Europa en die volle impak van die Nazi-Sowjet-verdrag kan nie ten volle verstaan ​​word sonder om die rol van die Nazi-rassebeleid te noem nie. Overy bespreek wel die impak van sosiale druk op Engeland en die Verenigde State, maar hy moes dit ook gedoen het in sy bespreking van ander lande.

Die boek is goed gestruktureer en bevat 'n gedetailleerde inhoudsopgawe, indeks, verskeie kaarte en 'n gids vir die belangrikste figure in die teks. Overy se ongewone metode om bronne aan te haal (getalle tussen hakies in die teks verwys na genommerde bibliografiese inskrywings) kan lesers verwar wat reg in die boek spring en dan wonder wat "[84]" beteken. Verwysings na dokumente, versamel in 'n bylaag, is duideliker. Sommige direkte aanhalings word nie aangehaal nie, en alhoewel hierdie baie aanhalings nie noodsaaklik is vir die argument nie, is dit frustrerend dat dit nie behoorlik gedokumenteer is nie.

Gegewe die hoeveelheid detail en die vlak van vertroudheid met die moderne Europese geskiedenis wat nodig is om die argumente van Overy te verstaan, Die oorsprong van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog is ideaal vir kollege- en nagraadse seminare in die boonste afdeling, sowel as vir die voorbereiding van instrukteurs. Regdeur die boek stel Overy baie vrae wat klasdebat of idees vir senior proefskrifte kan veroorsaak. Die bibliografie bevat meer as 180 verwysings na primêre en sekondêre bronne, wat studente 'n uitstekende bron bied om met hul navorsing te begin. Die meeste van die sekondêre bronne is in Engels, hoewel 'n paar in Frans of Duits is. Sommige van die belangrikste primêre dokumente (of ten minste uittreksels) word in 'n aparte afdeling van die boek ingesluit, en instrukteurs sal dit nuttig vind om kleiner vraestelle of aanbiedings toe te ken.

Die Tweede Wêreldoorlog word te dikwels in 'n vakuum geleer as 'n gebeurtenis wat 'n groot impak op die toekoms gehad het, maar waarvan die bande met die verlede weinig meer is as dun drade wat na die Groot Oorlog skakel. Alhoewel min van Overy se gevolgtrekkings werklik nuut is, daag sy vermoë om die oorlog in sy wêreldwye ekonomiese en politieke konteks te plaas, uit wat in die meeste voorgraadse klaskamers geleer word.


'The Storm of War ' deur Andrew Roberts: Beste geskiedenis van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog

Met sy nuwe boek oor die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het die Britse historikus Andrew Roberts nie net die beste geskiedenis van die konflik geskryf nie, maar ook sy plek as een van ons topgeskiedskrywers ingeneem, sê Michael Korda.

Michael Korda

Die katedraal van Coventry het in puin gelê ná 'n Duitse lugaanval op 14 November 1940. (AP Foto)

Dit is eienaardig dat die twee bekendste Britse historici in die Verenigde State Andrew Roberts en Niall Ferguson is, wat elkeen eintlik 'n ander skool van ernstige historiese skryfkuns verteenwoordig, en wat blykbaar albei vir hulself gewen het. sonder 'n voorneme 'n besondere reputasie aan die Amerikaanse regterkant. Ferguson is die meer 'moderne' van die twee, 'n formidabele samesteller van feite en statistieke, wat geneig is om in die getalle die verduideliking te soek vir wat gebeur het, en om sosiopolitieke tendense en ekonomie te beklemtoon eerder as interessante 'menslike' verhale. Hierdie soort 'feitgedrewe' geskiedenis is gelykstaande aan die kursus in die Amerikaanse akademiese wêreld, waarna dit aan die einde van die 19de eeu uit Duitsland migreer, hoewel Ferguson 'n baie lewendiger skrywer is as die meeste akademiese historici in hierdie land, sowel as byna onrusbarend vrugbaar.

Roberts, aan die ander kant, wat net so 'n biograaf is as 'n historikus, is baie meer geïnteresseerd in die skryf van 'n samehangende en lewendige verhaal, in ooreenstemming met die meer saggeaarde, outydse tradisie om oor die geskiedenis oor groot manne te skryf en dramatiese oomblikke. Hy het 'n sekere liefde vir effens reaksionêre figure, of, soos ons dit in Brittanje sou stel, Tory -ikone. Sy biografie oor die markies van Salisbury, Salisbury: Victoriaanse Titan, is 'n meesterstuk oor een van die grootste en mees bekwame Tory -politieke figure van die Victoriaanse era, en Die Heilige Jakkals, sy ewe meesterlike biografie van Lord Halifax, ondersoek die raaiselagtige mens, wie se lang loopbaan in staatsdiens skielik sonder seremonie in die skadu gedruk is deur sy mededinger Winston Churchill se oornag as Brittanje se oorlogsleier.

Alhoewel Roberts se simpatie duidelik is met gevestigde Tory-figure-Salisbury, Halifax, Wellington-is hy geensins 'n 'reaksionêre' historikus nie, maar ondanks die bewerings van die teendeel volg hy eenvoudig die outydse Britse tradisie van 'groot man' geskiedenis, van geskiedenis vertel as 'n veredelende verhaal, en van geskiedenis wat deur briewe, dagboeke, dokumente en persoonlikhede vertel word, eerder as deur statistieke of sosio -ekonomiese tendense. Roberts is 'n elitis eerder as 'n reaksionêr. Hy kyk nie neer op goeie skinderpraatjies nie, en eintlik syne Vooraanstaande Churchillians (wat ek gepubliseer het) is 'n model van geestige en insiggewende skryfwerk oor sommige van die relatief klein figure rondom Churchill, wat uiteindelik meer in staat is om Churchill meer te werp as 'n groot deel van die langer biografieë van die groot man self. Dit is nie om Roberts te vergelyk met, byvoorbeeld, Saint-Simon nie, maar eerder om hom te prys vir sy ongeëwenaarde vermoë om selfs die biografie van iemand van wie jy aanvanklik nie as fassinerend beskou nie, soos Halifax, tot 'n nadenke te lok en tot nadenke te bring deeglik leesbare boek. 'N Mens stem dalk nie altyd saam met Roberts nie, maar 'n mens slaan nooit 'n paar bladsye oor om daarmee voort te gaan nie - hy skryf met grasie, elegansie en absolute gesag, en laat die mense oor wie hy skryf baie interessanter en simpatieker lyk as ooit tevore vermoed dat hulle dit kan wees, geen klein talent op sigself nie.

Ek sou gesê het dat dit nie gedoen kon word nie, om die hele Tweede Wêreldoorlog in 600 bladsye te doen en dit reg te kry, in elk geval nie sonder om groot stukke weg te laat nie, maar Roberts het dit reggekry en dit uitstekend gedoen .

Aangesien twee van sy vroeë en belangrikste boeke oor syfers handel oor die feit dat baie min mense in Amerika die geringste nuuskierigheid het, het dit Roberts langer geneem as wat hy 'n reputasie moes kry. Die aantal Amerikaners wat oor Halifax of Salisbury wil lees, is ongeveer gelyk aan die aantal mense in die Verenigde Koninkryk wat 'n lang biografie van George C. Marshall of Woodrow Wilson kan lees, jammer, want dit het die erkenning vertraag hierdie kant van die Atlantiese Oseaan van hoe 'n goeie skrywer hy is, en wat 'n plesier om te lees. Dit verklaar miskien Roberts se versigtige, maar vasberade benadering tot onderwerpe van 'n meer algemene en meer transatlantiese belang.

Alhoewel sy twee groot biografieë lang en ernstige boeke is, verander Roberts hom geleidelik in 'n historikus op 'n breër, wyer, meer 'gewilde' en ambisieuse skaal. Hy het 'n wonderlike boek oor Napoleon en Wellington geskryf, 'n stap terug in die tyd, maar natuurlik 'n voorbereiding vir 'n loopbaan wat meer gerig is op militêre geskiedenis as die Victoriaanse of post-Edwardiaanse Britse politiek. Sy boek oor Hitler en Churchill was 'n groot, volskaalse vooruitgang om hom as 'n militêre historikus te posisioneer, en na 'n ambisieuse pouse om te skryf 'N Geskiedenis van die Engelssprekende mense sedert 1900, het hy sterk voortgegaan om die hoogte in te gryp met meesters en bevelvoerders, 'n uitstekende boek oor die kombinasie van politieke en militêre leierskap wat die geallieerde magte in 1945 tot oorwinning gebring het en gedemonstreer het dat demokrasieë beter geskik is om te veg en 'n oorlog te wen as 'n diktatuur, hoe vreesaanjaend ook al.

Nou werk Roberts in amper dieselfde tempo as Niall Ferguson, 'n stewige en baie leesbare geskiedenis van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, en skryf dit duidelik, 'n gawe van volgehoue ​​storievertelling wat nie die erns en gesag wat dit bring, verminder nie oor die onderwerp, en veral 'n regverdigheid wat skaars is onder historici van die oorlog. Oor die algemeen kan die geskiedenis van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog in die Engelse taal skerp verdeel word in dié wat deur Amerikaners geskryf is, wat die Britse rol in die oorlog minder maak, en dié wat deur Britse historici geskryf is, wat die rol van die Amerikaners (en ook gee minder ruimte en aandag aan die Stille Oseaan -teater as die Europese teater). Roberts het daarin geslaag om 'n boek te skryf wat beide streef en daarin slaag om min of meer gelyke tyd aan beide te gee, en ook daarin slaag om genoeg te bevat oor gebeure in China en die oorlog aan die Oosfront om die leser 'n gebalanseerde en opwindend geskrewe boek te gee rekenskap van die hele oorlog. Dit is 'n net so globale beskouing van die groot gebeurtenis as wat 'n mens kan dink, en almal wat nog nie van 1945 tot vandag in die een of ander vorm oor die oorlog gelees het nie (soos die meeste ouer mense het) Die Storm van Oorlog 'n opvallend goeie poging om die hele saak op net meer as 600 baie vermaaklike bladsye te plaas, insluitend 'n kort, maar interessante en goed gemotiveerde gevolgtrekking wat toon dat die persoon wat die meeste verantwoordelik was vir die verlies van die oorlog in Duitsland, die man was wat dit begin het, Hitler self, wie se foute , dwalings, oordrewe selfvertroue en regeringstelsel het Duitsland (en sy bondgenote) gedoem ondanks die uitnemendheid van die Duitse weermag en die vindingrykheid van tegnokrate soos Albert Speer.

As u nie so baie weet van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog as wat u dink nie, of as u 'n goeie, duidelike beeld wil hê van hoe en waarom dit plaasgevind het, of as u net deur die bos wil sny van multivolume -geskiedenis, biografieë, memoires, dagboeke en briewe en kry die hele verhaal in een boek, dit is dit. Roberts se hoofstuk oor die Holocaust is byvoorbeeld briljant en aangrypend; hy laat niks weg nie, maar hy kry dit alles in 30 bladsye: 'n wonderwerk.

My hoed is vir hom af. Ek sou gesê het dat dit nie gedoen kon word nie, om die hele Tweede Wêreldoorlog in 600 bladsye te doen en dit reg te kry, in elk geval nie sonder om groot stukke weg te laat nie, maar Roberts het dit reggekry en dit uitstekend gedoen . Hy is selfs eerlik teenoor Ike en Monty (gewoonlik 'n seker teken of die skrywer Amerikaans of Brits is), en gee die leser bondig 'n goeie begrip van die Duitse en Japannese bevelvoerders en strategie, sowel as 'n beskrywing van gebeure word dikwels kortgeknip, soos die Birma -veldtog of die belangrikheid van die Slag om Midway. Kan 'n mens nikpik? Ja, en sekerlik baie, maar hy het 'n standaard gestel vir bondige geskiedenis in een volume van die oorlog wat moeilik sal wees om te verslaan. Sy geleerdheid is uitstekend, en die 'verpakking' van die boek, met baie goeie illustrasies en ruim eersteklas kaarte, maak dit 'n plesier om te lees, in teenstelling met die taak wat hierdie soort dinge so gereeld is.

Boonop het Roberts daarin geslaag om met vreeslike en verdraagsame simpatie oor verskriklike gebeure te skryf. Daar is niks "reaksionêr" aan hierdie boek nie-dit is die verhaal van 'n noodsaaklike oorlog wat teen 'n ondenkbare prys gevoer is, waarin die skurke van die begin af duidelik herkenbaar was, 'n geskiedenis wat in die volste en mees outydse sin is van die woord "demokraties".

Ons is nou 66 jaar weg van die einde van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, en daarom in dieselfde verhouding as wat mense in die Verenigde State in die burgeroorlog in 1921 was, kan 'n mens sê, vir 'n goeie weergawe van wat gebeur het die meeste mense 'n wonderlike gebeurtenis van die verlede. Die aantal mense wat dit onthou of ervaar het, neem daagliks af, kan 'n mens sê, vir 'n boek soos hierdie wat dit objektief saamvat met vaste geleerdheid, 'n gevoel van ingeperkte ordentlikheid, 'n seldsame gebrek aan nasionale vooroordeel en 'n vasberadenheid om kry alles in die regte volgorde sodat dit vir die leser sin maak. Roberts het nie net 'n goeie boek geskryf nie, maar ook 'n waardevolle diens gelewer, en ek hoop dat dit deur soveel mense en in soveel tale as moontlik gelees kan word, hetsy in druk of op 'n Kindle of sy ekwivalente. Die ergste misdaad van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog sou wees om daarvan te vergeet, of om te ignoreer wat aangaan en waarom, of om die verkeerde idees en folklore te bewaar wat deur die populêre kultuur in mense se siening daarvan ingesluip het (films, fiksie, televisie) of deur nasionale vooroordeel. Die idee dat iemand as 't ware in die rondte objektief kon benader en die hele verhaal kon vertel, is ongelooflik, en gee 'n mens vir 'n verandering 'n hoopvolle gevoel oor die skryf van die geskiedenis.

New York Times se topverkoper -skrywer Michael Korda se boeke sluit Ike, Horse People, Country Matters, Ulysses S. Grant en Charmed Lives in.


Tweede Wêreldoorlog Boekresensie: Winston Churchill

Churchill se eerste liefde, Pamela Plowden (later Lady Lytton), het eenkeer oor hom gesê: "Die eerste keer dat jy Winston ontmoet, sien jy al sy foute en die res van jou lewe spandeer jy om sy deugde te ontdek." Maar in Christopher Catherwood's Winston Churchill, baie min van sy deugde is bewys.

Catherwood open sy boek deur te beweer dat dit ''n onbeskaamde postrevisionistiese boek' is wat 'vir die eerste keer' in balans is tussen Churchill en waar hy verkeerd was. Dat Churchill 'n gebrekkige genie was, is egter in tientalle, indien nie honderde boeke, goed gevestig. Die historikus David Reynolds het onlangs onthul In bevel van die geskiedenis hoe Churchill sy memoires van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog met ses volumes gemanipuleer het om sy eie weergawe van die gebeure te weerspieël, wat nie altyd die waarheid was nie. Ander, soos Robert Rhodes James in Churchill: 'n Studie in mislukking, 1900-1939, het sy genie en sy gebreke eerlik en akkuraat uitgebeeld. Maar Catherwood hoort nie in hul liga nie: die gebreke in sy boek is minder van Churchill as syne.

Catherwood se sentrale bewering is dat die foute van Churchill die Geallieerdes duur en onbewustelik die probleme van die naoorlogse wêreld verewig het. Hy wys op Churchill se obsessie met die stryd teen die Duitsers in die Middellandse See as 'n belemmering vir generaal George C. Marshall se doel om die kruis-kanaal-inval in Frankryk in 1943 uit te voer-en voeg by dat die vertraging van die inval tot 1944 die Russe in staat stel om verder weswaarts te beweeg en maak die ystergordyn. Opvallend verwaarloos, om net een voorbeeld te neem, is die feit dat verdere operasies in die Middellandse See en die vertraging van Normandië ook Roosevelt se seën inhou.

Catherwood se argumente dat Operation Overlord in 1943 moes uitgevoer is, is nie nuut nie en is deeglik gediskrediteer. Tog hou hierdie aansprake aan (en nie net in hierdie boek nie), alhoewel dit so wenslik as moontlik was, was dit nooit haalbaar nie. Gevegsbevelvoerders soos luitenant-generaal James M. Gavin, wat daar was, het dit gedoen en het die T-hemp om dit te bewys, met goeie rede om sulke idees. Overlord vereis 'n enorme en volhoubare logistieke opbou in Groot -Brittanje - byna onmoontlik in 1943, gegewe die Slag van die Atlantiese Oseaan. 'N Invasie van 1943 sou onvoldoende landingsvaartuie gehad het, 'n gebrek aan lug superioriteit gehad het en onervare Britse en Amerikaanse troepe teen die Wehrmacht gestamp het.

Maar wat die meeste kommer oor boeke soos hierdie is, is hul ahistoriese benadering. Hulle pontifiseer en voer onwaarskynlike, onbewese argumente uit die gemak van historiese nabetragting tot moeilike besluite wat tydens die oorlog geneem is sonder die voordeel van 'n heldersiendheid wat niemand, nie eens Churchill en Roosevelt, kon gehad het nie. Alhoewel dit ongetwyfeld waar is dat sommige van Churchill se besluite uit die oorlog meer belemmer het as wat dit gehelp het, lyk die skrywer onbewus van 'n ander onvermydelike feit: sonder Churchill het Brittanje min hoop op oorlewing gehad.

Oorspronklik gepubliseer in die Julie 2009 -uitgawe van Tweede Wereldoorlog. Klik hier om in te teken.


Die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, deur Anthony Beevor

Antony Beevor het baie gedoen om die geskiedenis gewild te maak. Nadat hy 'n sleutelrol gespeel het om sowel die publiek as die uitgewers te oortuig dat die onderwerp sexy kan wees, was hy aan die voorpunt van die geskiedenis se gewilde oplewing die afgelope jare.

Nou, na 'n opeenvolging van baie suksesvolle boeke oor aspekte van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, is sy nuwe boek 'n enkele oorkoepelende bundel oor die hele konflik, van die Slag van die Atlantiese Oseaan tot Pearl Harbor, van die eerste skermutselings by Khalkhin Gol tot die grimmige ontknoping. van Nagasaki.

Die resultaat is 'n aantreklike, maar nogal skrikwekkende deurstop van 'n boek. Maar gelukkig vlieg die 800-bladsye met 'n aansienlike spoed verby, terwyl Beevor sy taak opwarm, veral sterk in die groot strategie en die ervaring van gewone soldate. Die verhaal vlag nooit en die magdom stukke van hierdie ingewikkelde kaleidoskoop word met voorbeeldige vaardighede saamgevoeg.

Daar is baie onvergeetlike oomblikke. Beevor open met die verstommende verhaal van 'n jong Koreaanse soldaat wat deur die Amerikaners in Normandië gevange geneem is, wat deur die Japanners gesleep is voordat hy deur Sowjet -hande gegaan het en in Hitler se Wehrmacht. Dit is 'n voorbeeld wat een van Beevor se leidmotiewe kenmerk: die totale gebrek aan beheer wat diegene wat deur oorlog geraak is - soldate en burgerlikes - oor hul lewens gehad het.

Deurentyd spaar hy die leser min in sy vreesaanjaende weergawes van die mens se onmenslikheid teenoor sy medemens, terwyl hy ons tegelykertyd ophef met verhale oor stoïsisme of individuele heldedade. Daar is 'n paar opvallende onthullings-nie in die minste dat 60 persent van die Japannese militêre sterftes deur siektes en honger veroorsaak is nie, en dat 'n georganiseerde beleid van kannibalisme van PoW's en inheemse bevolkings in die stryd met laasgenoemde uitgevoer is. Die verhaal was so grusaam dat dit doelbewus uitgesluit is van die oorlogsmisdade wat in 1945 gevolg het.

Beevor is goed om die Stille Oseaan -teater die nodige gewig te gee, maar hy skram verstandig weg van 'n valse 'holistiese' benadering, en verkies om die Stille Oseaan en Europese teaters as byna heeltemal aparte entiteite te behandel. Hy is inderdaad geneig om modieuse nuwighede of groot herinterpretasies van die konflik te vermy, maar bied eerder 'n lewendige, boeiende en onbeskaamde verhaal oor die uitgebreide, komplekse, globale verhaal van die oorlog.

Dit is 'n wonderlike boek, geleerd, met 'n bewonderenswaardige helderheid van denke en uitdrukking. Vir 'n opsomming van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog - wie het wat gedoen vir wie, wanneer en waarom - hoef die algemene leser nie verder te soek nie.

Gegewe sulke lof, is dit miskien bedroef om kritiek te lewer. Tog is dit moeilik om aan die indruk te ontkom dat Beevor, by die aanpak van so 'n groot onderwerp, te veel moes opoffer van die aspek wat sy stilistiese handelsmerk geword het: die sprekende anekdote, die aangrypende eenkant, die verhelderende vignet. Die gevolg is dat die boek - met al sy uitnemendheid - blykbaar 'n bietjie van die pizzazz van sy vroeëre aanbiedinge ontbreek.

Beevor's Tweede wereld oorlog bereik beslis 'n wye en waarderende gehoor - en dit is welverdiend. Maar dit is die sterre standaarde wat Beevor die afgelope dekade vir homself gestel het, dat 'n mens bang is dat daar 'n paar van sy mees toegewyde lesers is wat dalk 'n bietjie teleurgesteld is.

Roger Moorhouse se Berlin at War: Life and Death in Hitler's Capital word uitgegee deur Vintage (£ 9,99)


Understanding Western Society: A History, Volume Two

Understanding Western Society, Tweede uitgawe, bevat 'n kort, vraestelvertelling wat studente die ondersoek-gebaseerde metodes wat deur historici gebruik word, modelleer en studente help om te verstaan ​​wat werklik belangrik is om te weet oor die Westerse beskawing. Die tweede uitgawe stel LaunchPad bekend.

Understanding Western Society, Tweede uitgawe, bevat 'n kort, vraestelvertelling wat studente die ondersoek-gebaseerde metodes wat deur historici gebruik word, modelleer en studente help om te verstaan ​​wat werklik belangrik is om te weet oor die Westerse beskawing. Die tweede uitgawe stel LaunchPad bekend, 'n koppelvlak wat sorgvuldig saamgestelde nuwe inhoud, opdragte en assesserings kombineer met 'n interaktiewe e-boek. Met LaunchPad het studente die opsie om die boek in druk of aanlyn te lees, en u het die tegnologie om die voorbereiding van die klas maklik te maak. LaunchPad bevat al die primêre bronne van Sources of Western Society, sowel as LearningCurve, 'n outomaties gegradeerde aanpasbare leermiddel wat studente graag gebruik om hul begrip van die teks te versterk en instrukteurs hou daarvan om studente voor te berei vir die klas. LaunchPad het ook 'n magdom aktiwiteite en assesserings wat studente help om vordering te maak in die rigting van leeruitkomste: kaart- en visuele aktiwiteite, outomatiese vasvrae, geleide leesoefeninge en noukeurig ontwikkelde aanlyn dokumentprojekte. LaunchPad is maklik om te gebruik en kan en kan geïntegreer word met die kursusbestuurstelsel van u skool, wat u die gereedskap bied vir verbeterde onderrig en leer.

Bespaar geld met ons los bladsye met drie gate.

Lees en bestudeer old-school met ons gebonde tekste.

'N Westerse beskawingsteks wat ontwerp is om te verstaan

Understanding Western Society, Tweede uitgawe, bevat 'n kort, vraestelvertelling wat studente die ondersoek-gebaseerde metodes wat deur historici gebruik word, modelleer en studente help om te verstaan ​​wat werklik belangrik is om te weet oor die Westerse beskawing. Die tweede uitgawe stel LaunchPad bekend, 'n koppelvlak wat noukeurig saamgestelde nuwe inhoud, opdragte en assesserings kombineer met 'n interaktiewe e-boek. Met LaunchPad het studente die opsie om die boek in druk of aanlyn te lees, en u het die tegnologie om die voorbereiding van die klas maklik te maak. LaunchPad bevat al die primêre bronne uit Sources of Western Society, sowel as LearningCurve, 'n outomaties gegradeerde aanpasbare leermiddel wat studente graag gebruik om hul begrip van die teks te versterk en instrukteurs hou daarvan om studente voor te berei vir die klas. LaunchPad het ook 'n magdom aktiwiteite en assesserings wat studente help om vordering te maak in die rigting van leeruitkomste: kaart- en visuele aktiwiteite, outomatiese vasvrae, geleide leesoefeninge en noukeurig ontwikkelde aanlyn dokumentprojekte. LaunchPad is maklik om te gebruik en kan en kan geïntegreer word met die kursusbestuurstelsel van u skool, wat u die gereedskap bied vir verbeterde onderrig en leer.

Hoofstukwye pedagogiese hulpmiddels dryf studente tot belangrike ontwikkelings. Opskrifte in hoofstukke, wat as vrae gestel word, toon aan hoe historici die verlede benader. Vrae vir vinnige hersiening aan die einde van elke afdeling is aanlyn beantwoord in LaunchPad.

Innoverende hoofstukresensies in vier stappe help studente om historiese vaardighede op te bou terwyl hulle sleutelinhoud behou. In stap een oefen studente hoofstukinhoud aanlyn in met LearningCurve, 'n outomaties gegradeerde aanpasbare leermiddel. In stap twee identifiseer hulle die hoofterme van die hoofstuk en verduidelik hulle die betekenis daarvan. In stap drie werk hulle daaraan om die verband tussen die belangrikste idees van die hoofstuk te verstaan. Laastens, in stap vier, beantwoord studente analitiese, sintetiese vrae en voltooi hulle 'n aktiewe voordragoefening. Die hoofstukstudiegids kan aanlyn voltooi word met behulp van LaunchPad.

Toewysbare en assesseerbare kaart- en visuele aktiwiteite help studente met geografiese kennis en visuele geletterdheid. Hierdie aktiwiteite vra studente om die kaart of beeld te ontleed en dan verbindings te maak met die narratiewe inhoud. Die beste van alles is dat studente se werk aan hierdie aktiwiteite op een gerieflike plek dopgehou en beoordeel kan word wanneer dit in LaunchPad toegeken word.

LearningCurve verseker dat studente voorbereid na die klas kom. Is u moeg daarvoor dat u studente nie die handboek lees nie? Wil u weet wat hulle gelees het en hoeveel hulle verstaan ​​het — VOORDAT hulle by die klas kom? Ken LearningCurve toe, die aanpasbare leerhulpmiddel wat vir u opnamehandboek in LaunchPad geskep is, en die stelselanalise wys hoe u studente met die leeswerk vaar, sodat u u klas kan aanpas soos nodig. Each chapter-based LearningCurve activity gives students multiple chances to understand key concepts, return to the narrative textbook if they need to reread, and answer questions correctly. Over 90% of students report satisfaction with LearningCurve's fun and accessible game-like interface. LearningCurve appeals to students so that they engage with the textbook, and it helps you to know what they know before class begins.

New assignable online document projects allow students to put interpretation into practice in LaunchPad . Each project prompts students to explore a key question through analysis of multiple sources. Chapter 14, for example, asks students to analyze documents on the complexities of race, identity, and slavery in the early modern era to shed light on the conditions that made possible the story of painter Juan de Pareja, a freed slave of mixed ancestry. Auto-graded multiple-choice questions based on the documents help students analyze the sources.

The most current scholarship shows students the dynamic and ongoing work of history. Drawing on their own research and that of numerous experts, renowned scholars and veteran teachers Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, Clare Haru Crowston, and Joe Perry have incorporated the best and latest scholarship throughout. Wholly revised ancient chapters, from the earliest societies to the Roman Empire, reflect the very latest perspectives in the field.

A range of options offers convenience and value. In addition to the standard bound textbook, this edition is also available in convenient, discount-priced loose-leaf and PDF formats and in an interactive e-book format in the text’s dedicated version of LaunchPad, with all accompanying study resources fully integrated. LaunchPad is a complete course’s worth of material in a course space that makes everything assignable and assessable—and all for free when packaged with the textbook.

"This text really addresses important issues in an accessible and wide-ranging way. Students enjoy it and will read it."

—Carol Levin, University of Nebraska

"Perhaps the most comprehensive, most accessible, and most readable Western civilization textbook that I have encountered."

—James H. Adams, Pennsylvania State University-Abington

"Finally there is a textbook that presents a much fuller scope of the picture of Western civ."

—James Lenaghan, The Ohio State University

"Fine text, outstanding value."

—Peter G. Klem, Great Basin College

"The engaging, solid, and well-written narrative is very accessible for students and will promote their interest in the material."

—Rosemary Thurston, New Jersey City University

Gemeenskapsresensies

Single-volume chronologies of WW2 seem to be all the rage of late, and this book must compete with such works as Max Hastings&apos "Inferno" and Gerhard Weinberg&aposs "World at Arms." Unlike the two mentioned, which take a particular unique vertical slice, Beevor just tries to tell a decade-long story about two theaters of war, and do it competently. In that he succeeds, for the most part.

While the writing is not the breathtaking sort often reached for by the likes of Weinberg, it is readable and enjoy Single-volume chronologies of WW2 seem to be all the rage of late, and this book must compete with such works as Max Hastings' "Inferno" and Gerhard Weinberg's "World at Arms." Unlike the two mentioned, which take a particular unique vertical slice, Beevor just tries to tell a decade-long story about two theaters of war, and do it competently. In that he succeeds, for the most part.

While the writing is not the breathtaking sort often reached for by the likes of Weinberg, it is readable and enjoyable for the most part. Like Thomas Ricks' new book, "The Generals," Beevor's history sets out to skewer many sacred cows. Some, like Bernard Montgomery, Mark Clark, and Douglas MacArthur, are easy targets, excoriated by everyone. But Beevor provides some deserving critiques of Eisenhower and Bradley, as well. And he holds Churchill's feet to the fire as well, giving the British prime minister his due where necessary, but denouncing Churchill not only for his outdated empire philosophy and his Africa-and-Italy-First plan for waging war, but also for silly plans to challenge the Soviets, such as Operation Unthinkable. And yes, FDR is placed under the microscope as well.

In short, Beevor's book is useful for its competent analysis of WW2, and for treating the war in a manner akin to "Game of Thrones." Yes, the Axis powers were terrible monsters that needed to be defeated. But no one on the Allied side was worthy of unabashed heroic praise, and Beevor avoids that. There are few heroes here. . meer

Hard to give this anything other than 5 stars. Being an absolute novice on the subject, I found this book fascinating, horrifying, edifying, and generally mind-blowing. For anyone worried it will be too dry, it is roughly 25% politics and military strategy, and 75% excerpts from countless first-hand accounts by soldiers, civilians, leaders, and poets. Byvoorbeeld:

"I saw a woman who&aposs dress and hair had just caught fire, she was trying to run from the inferno but the tarmac had melted and her fee Hard to give this anything other than 5 stars. Being an absolute novice on the subject, I found this book fascinating, horrifying, edifying, and generally mind-blowing. For anyone worried it will be too dry, it is roughly 25% politics and military strategy, and 75% excerpts from countless first-hand accounts by soldiers, civilians, leaders, and poets. Byvoorbeeld:

"I saw a woman who's dress and hair had just caught fire, she was trying to run from the inferno but the tarmac had melted and her feet were glued to the road." - From the diary of a german soldier describing the firebombing of Hamburg

I'm not sure I've ever read anything quite so shocking. . meer

"This was the murder of everyday traditions that grandfathers passed to their grandchildren, this was the murder of memories, of a mournful song, folk poetry, of life, happy and bitter, this was the destruction of hearths and cemeteries, this was the death of a nation which had been living side by side with Ukrainians over hundreds of years."

- Vasily Grossman on the Holocaust in the Ukraine

Warning: This review contains facts of the Second World War that some readers may find disturbing. Reader d "This was the murder of everyday traditions that grandfathers passed to their grandchildren, this was the murder of memories, of a mournful song, folk poetry, of life, happy and bitter, this was the destruction of hearths and cemeteries, this was the death of a nation which had been living side by side with Ukrainians over hundreds of years."

- Vasily Grossman on the Holocaust in the Ukraine

Warning: This review contains facts of the Second World War that some readers may find disturbing. Reader discretion is advised.

This review is dedicated to all members of the Allied forces who served in the Second World War.

The Second World War is the most destructive and deadliest conflict in all of human history, killing between 70-85 million people, or approximately 3% of the 1940 world population. Historians generally agree the conflict started on September 1st, 1939, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland, though some historians argue the war really started back in 1937 with the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War, a conflict mainly between Japan and China that ended up killing between 15 and 22 million people. This conflict is also covered in the book, which I liked because I didn't know anything about it beforehand.

In Die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, Antony Beevor brilliantly combines the endless amount of facts one needs to convey to educate a reader on a topic as vast as the largest conflict in world history with firsthand accounts, diary entries, and even discussions and phone calls involving world leaders like Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, and Hitler.

In a world where every movie and video game produced seems to only feature the contributions of the United States to the war, I thought Beevor did a superb job highlighting the unsung but immense contributions of countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. He also did a fabulous job of highlighting the heroic contributions of women throughout the war. People seem to think women only helped on the home front and as nurses and etc. Not true. There were female fighter pilots, female snipers, female anti-aircraft gun crews, and at Stalingrad, one of the most brutal battles in world history:

The bravest of the brave in Stalingrad were the young women medical orderlies, who constantly went out under heavy fire to retrieve the wounded and drag them back. Sometimes they returned fire at the Germans. Stretchers were out of the question, so the orderly either wriggled herself under the wounded soldier and crawled with him on her back, or else she dragged him on a groundsheet or cape.

Another thing I loved about the book is that, between all the different firsthand accounts, diary entries, discussions, and phone calls, the reader gets a very "behind-the-scenes" feel of the war. Beevor also tells you things like what the environment smelled like, looked like, and sounded like for the men and women who were really there, and this puts you into the battle in a way I've never read in a historical account before.

The author is also not afraid to pull any punches he tells things like they really were. He isn't afraid to tell you that someone generally admired like President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was charming on the surface but "cold" and "manipulative" in private. Or that General MacArthur was "an egomaniac obsessed with his own inflated legend." This blunt honesty provides greater insight into some of the events of the war and the decisions made by these men.

I also loved what I call the "war stories" told in this book some of them are truly incredible. A journalist coming upon Leo Tolstoy's estate to find his granddaughter evacuating it to escape the incoming Nazis, the heroic story of JFK and his fast torpedo boat PT-109 in the Pacific campaign, Japanese soldiers charging Soviet tanks with samurai swords. the list goes on. There are tons of them, and they're amazing. They're worth the price of the book just in themselves.

If I could offer one criticism of the book it was that the sheer amount of facts became daunting at times. Some reviews I've read of this book say it mostly contains firsthand accounts, but that's simply not true. I'd say at best this book was 60% facts and 40% firsthand accounts. Though the facts are told in a very readable way that I didn't find boring and that flowed almost like a narrative, it's still a lot of information to take in. I wish there had been more firsthand accounts to supplement all the facts. Particularly, I found the section on the North African campaign somewhat lacking in firsthand accounts it was presented mostly as facts.

I want to take a few minutes now to talk about the parts of the book that are difficult to read.

The Second World War officially ended on September 2nd, 1945 with the surrender of the Empire of Japan to Allied Forces, but is this really when the war ended? For tens, maybe hundreds of millions of people across the globe, the effects lasted for years and even generations afterward. Among countless shockwaves caused by the war, the repatriation of millions of prisoners of war, refugees, and concentration camp survivors and the recoveries of the economies of nations broken by the conflict stand out. But most dramatic of all are the effects on the Jewish people. The effects of the Holocaust.

In 1939, the Jewish population in Europe stood at 9.5 million. By 1945, the population was down to 3.8 million. The Jewish population in Europe has not recovered to this day, and in fact it continues to shrink, recorded at only 1.4 million in 2010, 65 years after the Second World War ended. The suffering of the Jewish people is highlighted starkly in Die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, but this material is not for the faint of heart. I was reduced nearly to tears, and at times had to stop reading because I felt physically ill.

Some of it is just so hard to believe. It's unthinkable that human society could be reduced to such evil. The "sardine method" employed by the Nazis, where they dug trenches, laid a row of Jews facedown in the trench, shot them, and then brought in the next row of Jews and told them to lie facedown on top of the bodies, repeated as many times as they could to fill the holes, I found particularly disturbing. I doubt that such accounts will ever leave me.

One thing that became apparent to me as I read this book is that the Second World War was more horrific than any of us were taught in school. I knew a bit about the Holocaust, but I didn't know cannibalism was rampant throughout the war. Starved prisoners in the concentration camps were reduced to it. As were dehumanized Soviet prisoners during Operation Barbarossa on the Eastern front. As were Japanese troops in the Pacific campaign:

Japanese officers and soldiers resorted to cannibalism and not just of enemy corpses. Human flesh was regarded as a necessary food source, and 'hunting parties' went forth to obtain it. In New Guinea they killed, butchered and ate local people and slave labourers, as well as a number of Australian and American prisoners of war.

The atrocities of this war are the things nightmares are made of: the systematic Nazi program to exterminate the Jews, the mass rape of women and young girls by Soviet armies, Japanese piling their own rotting dead to use as sandbags in the Pacific campaign, German soldiers stealing winter clothing and the last food of Soviet civilians, leaving them to starve and freeze to death, Japanese using live Chinese soldiers for bayonet practice during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the firebombing of German cities that melted civilians where they stood. but perhaps most shocking of all, the Danzig Anatomical Medical Institute in Poland, where corpses from the Stutthof concentration camp were used in experiments by the Nazis to try to turn them into leather and soap.

In the end, war is hell. Antony Beevor doesn't sugarcoat it for you, and I won't sugarcoat this book either. This is a difficult book to read, and there isn't a lot of hope or joy to be found in these pages. That being said, I have never read a more powerful book in my life. Through his masterful command, omniscient presentation, and flawless writing, Antony Beevor has done a tremendous service to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, as well as the fallen soldiers and veterans of the greatest conflict in human history, by leaving behind a masterpiece for the ages that tells us all a story we must never, ever forget.

I will open by writing that I know very little about the Second World War. Well, I KNEW very little about the Second World War. After reading this book I now know a lot more. I&aposm not sure I&aposm happier for the knowing.

I did not sit down and read this book through in one sitting. To be honest I&aposve had it for several months and I read it chapter by chapter in between all of the other books I have read this summer. It was too much war for me to take all at once. That does not mean that it was a bad I will open by writing that I know very little about the Second World War. Well, I KNEW very little about the Second World War. After reading this book I now know a lot more. I'm not sure I'm happier for the knowing.

I did not sit down and read this book through in one sitting. To be honest I've had it for several months and I read it chapter by chapter in between all of the other books I have read this summer. It was too much war for me to take all at once. That does not mean that it was a bad book - not at all! In fact it read beautifully. I just could not take all of that war all at once. I had to pace myself. So pace myself I did and I am a bit later with this review than I promised and I do apologize for that. But this is the first time I've really gotten into the nitty-gritty of WWII and well, it was a lot.

The book discusses all of the battles on all of the fronts of the war. That is a LOT of battles. Mr. Beevor goes into detail about commanders, equipment and all that goes into what makes war and battles happen. I was woefully ignorant as to the Pacific end of WWII and now have a better idea of what the Japan/China side of the war was about.

The one thing that bothered me immensely though, was Mr. Beevor's treatment and descriptions of Hitler. He seemed to be treating him as a puppet rather than as the leader of the Reich. He never has Hitler fully taking charge of, or giving him responsibility for the Holocaust and to write a book about this war and to take Hitler off the hook for that horror is just egregious. I don't understand.

I can't begin to write as to whether this is a definitive work on WWII as I have minimal knowledge of the facts as I stated earlier. I can state that it was easy to read, albeit a bit slow at times. I liked that I was able to learn so much as I was reading the book chapter by chapter as to increase my knowledge of this pivotal time in modern history. . meer

Every nation experienced and remembers the war in different ways. For the British, French and Poles, it began with the Nazi attack on Poland in September 1939. For Russians, notwithstanding their assaults on Poland, Finland and the Baltic States, the real war started in June 1941 with the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. For Americans, it began with the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. For Japan, however, Pearl Harbor was the continuation of an expansionist military adventure th Every nation experienced and remembers the war in different ways. For the British, French and Poles, it began with the Nazi attack on Poland in September 1939. For Russians, notwithstanding their assaults on Poland, Finland and the Baltic States, the real war started in June 1941 with the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. For Americans, it began with the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. For Japan, however, Pearl Harbor was the continuation of an expansionist military adventure that started with the invasion of Chinese Manchuria in 1931. A general history of the war needs to embrace this variety of experience and capture the interplay between the momentous events unfolding on different continents and the high seas.

Antony Beevor effectively meets this challenge. A former British army officer and author of admired works on Stalingrad and the Allied invasion of Normandy, Beevor is gifted writer who knows how to keep a good story rolling. "No other period in history offers so rich a source for the study of dilemmas, individual and mass tragedy, the corruption of power politics, ideological hypocrisy, the egomania of commanders, betrayal, perversity, self-sacrifice, unbelievable sadism and unpredictable compassion," he observes.

The brutality and courage of individual soldiers and civilians emerge in Beevor's powerful accounts of battles such as Kursk, Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima.

Mankind has never known a war as devastating in its violence and profound in its moral implications as the second world war. . meer

Lys van illustrasies
List of Maps

(The full and extremely extensive notes and bibliography for this book are available in the hardback edition and also on the author&aposs website at: www.antonybeevor.com. The sources have been omitted from the paperback to make it a more manageable and readable size.) Lys van illustrasies
List of Maps

(The full and extremely extensive notes and bibliography for this book are available in the hardback edition and also on the author's website at: www.antonybeevor.com. The sources have been omitted from the paperback to make it a more manageable and readable size.) . meer

In the acknowledgements to his latest history, The Second World War, Antony Beevor says that he wrote this comprehensive tome on one of the biggest events in human history because he wanted to fill in the gaps to his own knowledge of the topic. But, he says, “above all it is an attempt to understand how the whole complex jigsaw fits together, with the direct and indirect effects of actions and decisions taking place in very different theatres of war.” In this, Beevor succeeds where no other hist In the acknowledgements to his latest history, The Second World War, Antony Beevor says that he wrote this comprehensive tome on one of the biggest events in human history because he wanted to fill in the gaps to his own knowledge of the topic. But, he says, “above all it is an attempt to understand how the whole complex jigsaw fits together, with the direct and indirect effects of actions and decisions taking place in very different theatres of war.” In this, Beevor succeeds where no other historian I have read has. Weighing in at 833 pages (with notes), Beevor deftly describes and analyzes the political and military strategic events, people, and decisions that started, fought, and ended World War II. Potentially more importantly, he debunks one myth after another surrounding this war.

Geographically and politically, the European and Pacific Theaters were fairly cordoned off from each other, outside of the involvement of the United States and the British, but not entirely. Beevor pulls the thread to examine how the Soviet victory at Khalkhin Gol in eastern Mongolia in the summer of 1939 ensured that the Soviets stayed out of the eastern war (Beevor is not, of course, the only historian to make this important point) and how that affected both theaters. As he pulls the thread further, the interactions of east and west, Axis and Allies, become more acute. Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan have almost no strategic interaction (there are a handful of exceptions), but their actions on three or four fronts each create a strategic graph theory problem of biblical proportions for the Allies. As a big-picture example, the United States did not just face a Pacific versus Europe resource competition. The United States faced resource competition between Stillwell’s command supporting the Chinese Nationalists, MacArthur’s forces, Halsey’s forces, the preparation for an invasion of western France, operations in North Africa and then Italy, strategic bombing campaigns on both sides, and Lend-Lease to many a slew of locations. To compound this, American leaders needed to maintain support for the war at home and keep the Alliance together while trying to shape the post-war world through a political minefield of communists, socialists, fascists, colonialists, revolutionaries, and democratists. All while trying to actually win the war. If you consider the number of facets and decisions required in this complex world, multiply these considerations by the same problems with which all of the other Allies (and enemies) were forced to contend. The result is an exponentially large equation to determine the outcomes of a world in flux moving at the speed of a tank. Beevor is at his best in this work when he examines these interdependencies of these fronts, the Allies’ force structure to address them, and the inter- and intra-national political considerations. For students of strategy, this alone makes The Second World War worth reading.

Beevor is equally as good at myth-busting the saintliness of the war’s heroes, the competence of its tragic warriors, and the general sense that it was, in fact, a “good war.” Almost none of the major players of the war get a pass (more on an exception below). Montgomery was “egotistic, ambitious and ruthless, possessing a boundless self-confidence which occasionally bordered on the fatuous.” MacArthur receives even harsher treatment that includes accusations of gross corruption. Roosevelt, Churchill, Eisenhower, Patton, Brooke, Bradley, Stalin, Zhukov, Clark, Stillwell, Halsey, et al, are all described by their weaknesses and mistakes as much as they are by their strengths and failures. The sheer volume of egomania among these great captains significantly exceeded their capabilities, as Beevor explicitly demonstrates. That is not to suggest that these were not extraordinary men in extraordinary times - on the contrary. But none of these men were as idyllically competent as many histories would have us believe. The Axis powers are given the same treatment, if not more with rightful criticism focused on their general inhumanity. As a young Armor officer undergoing basic maneuver traing, a number of German officers were still considered gods of mechanized warfare: Rommel, Peiper, Guderian, von Rundstedt, etc. Further analysis, as done in this book, shows that these men were not nearly as good as I was taught. And those that were actually tactically or operationally superior, such as Peiper, were so ruthless with their own men and civilians that their tactics should hardly be extolled, never mind exemplified, by modern Western armies. It is well past time to end this infatuation with German maneuver exceptionalism as it never really existed. (As an aside, my experience has been that those who believe in this exceptionalism also believe, incorrectly in my opinion, in Israeli maneuver exceptionalism. The sooner we end these fantasies, the better for the education of the coming generations of maneuver leaders.)

Before I return to the myth-busting of the “good war” trope, I would be remiss if did not discuss this book’s shortcomings, of which I found two. Anyone who has read extensively on World War II, a population I consider myself a part of despite my just now revisiting the topic after many years, has a pet rock about this war: some issue or topic, preferably obscure and contrarian, which is used by its holder to judge all writing and analysis of World War II. I have one of these and his name was Major General Philippe Leclerc who commanded the French 2d Armored Division. Although Leclerc was a competent and brave commander, he had absolutely no regard for the Allied chain of command or unity of effort. He had a reputation for ignoring his orders and doing whatever he pleased for the glory of France and/or himself. There was an obscure incident that occurred in August 1944 towards the very end of Operation OVERLORD during the attempt to trap hundreds of thousands of Germans in the Falaise Pocket. The battle to close the gap and encircle the German forces inside the pocket was hard fought and in the end a victory for the Allies. But at least one Panzer corps (and most likely more) escaped. There were three reasons: Montgomery’s inability to drive his forces south fast or hard enough, Bradley’s indecision, and Leclerc disobeying orders. The really long-story-short is that Leclerc was so excited to end the battle so that he could turn south and spearhead the liberation of Paris that he exceeded his divisional boundary in the Foret d’Ecouves. This caused a massive traffic jam with the U.S. 5th Armored Division and provided the German Army defenders time and space to establish a defensive line that allowed more German forces to escape encirclement (see page 416 at this link). I find Leclerc’s actions unconscionable. In a book that aims to break down the many cults of personality surrounding the key characters of this conflict, Beevor misses this opportunity and gives Leclerc a pass. I will grant the author some forgiveness in that if he picked on the foibles of every division commander in the war (even if this particular one was a prominent player) then this book would expand to be many volumes. But this is my pet rock and I am miffed that Leclerc’s egomania likely led to the deaths of many soldiers and Beevor did not take a written hammer to him for it.

Some readers will complain that the Pacific Theater receives short shrift in this book. Many of the battles are not detailed, but that is true of most battles in both theaters. This book was not intended to be a comprehensive analysis of the fighting, but rather of the strategic decisions and actions that comprised the whole of the war. Tactics are rarely discussed anywhere unless they are needed for the larger analysis, such as in Stalingrad where the type of fighting played a role in the Red Army’s ferocity in the outbreak that in turn had a number of strategic implications through the end of the war. So yes, Midway gets all of two pages, but that is all that particular battle warrants when not examining the tactical situation of the battle that was irrelevant to strategy in the Pacific. Rest assured that the major strategic concerns of the Pacific are addressed in detail as well as relevant tactical analysis.

No, the second major issue with this book, besides some redundancies, is sloppiness in editing. There are too many sentences that do not make sense because of various errors. Thankfully the errors do not create ambiguity and thus confusion, but they are irritating and interrupt the flow of the book. They also increase in number near the end. It is a rather large book so some errors are expected, but the publisher would do well to give it another scrub before a second printing. Related to this is the index, which is a mess. For example, there you will find in order: Cholitz, Chungking, Chou, Ciano. There is the obvious problem that Chou should precede Chungking, but more importantly is that “Churchill” is not to be found between “Chungking” and “Ciano”. Winston Churchill is not in the index. That is a major mistake if I have ever seen one.

These problems are overwhelmed by this book’s positive contribution to the study of World War II and military history and strategy in general. Beevor attacks the “good war” campaign and stops it dead in its tracks. The incomprehensible costs of this war should cause anyone about to describe it as “good” to pause. Indeed, fascist and imperialist aggressors and mass murderers were defeated and there is no denying that was a good thing. However, the Western Allies were hardly angels themselves if potentially lesser devils. Atrocities on the ground in the Pacific and western European fronts are detailed and are comparatively benign. But the strategic bombing campaign conducted against civilians on both sides of the war with no tangible military objectives should be viewed through a realist lens. If the Allies had lost the war, its leaders would have been tried for war crimes. And these crimes pale in comparison not only with Nazi and Japanese atrocities, but also with Soviet atrocities and later Chinese crimes. Beevor is also quite harsh on the Western leaders for acquiescing to Stalin on Eastern Europe, saying that they sold out half of Europe to save the other half. He is not wrong in this. It is important to note that Beevor does not suggest that World War II was an unjust war, he in fact says that is (from the Allied perspective, naturally), but rather that we should remove our rosy glasses on the West’s activities during the war and understand analysis of the war and its events for what they are and why “good” is not a descriptor of this war. He describes the war as “so rich a source for the study of dilemmas, individual and mass tragedy, the corruption of power politics, ideological hypocrisy, the egomania of commanders, betrayal, perversity, self-sacrifice, unbelievable sadism and unpredictable compassion.” Indeed this is true. Beevor’s account of it sets a high bar of scholarship and unprejudiced perspective for such study.


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