Engineers of Victory

  • by Paul Kennedy
  • Narrated by Stephen Hoye
  • 16 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

New York Times Bestseller
Paul Kennedy, award-winning author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers and one of today’s most renowned historians, now provides a new and unique look at how World War II was won.
Engineers of Victory is a fascinating nuts-and-bolts account of the strategic factors that led to Allied victory. Kennedy reveals how the leaders’ grand strategy was carried out by the ordinary soldiers, scientists, engineers, and businessmen responsible for realizing their commanders’ visions of success.
In January 1943, FDR and Churchill convened in Casablanca and established the Allied objectives for the war: To defeat the Nazi blitzkrieg; to control the Atlantic sea lanes and the air over western and central Europe; to take the fight to the European mainland; and to end Japan’s imperialism. Astonishingly, a little over a year later, these ambitious goals had nearly all been accomplished. With riveting, tactical detail, Engineers of Victory reveals how.
Kennedy takes readers behind the scenes, unveiling exactly how thousands of individual Allied planes and fighting ships were choreographed to collectively pull off the invasion of Normandy, and illuminating how crew chiefs perfected the high-flying and inaccessible B-29 Super fortress that would drop the atomic bombs on Japan.
The story of World War II is often told as a grand narrative, as if it were fought by supermen or decided by fate. Here Kennedy uncovers the real heroes of the war, highlighting for the first time the creative strategies, tactics, and organizational decisions that made the lofty Allied objectives into a successful reality. In an even more significant way, Engineers of Victory has another claim to our attention, for it restores “the middle level of war” to its rightful place in history.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Misleading title

This book is not bad, really, but the content is so disappointing relative to what the title promises. I thought we might get some great detailed examples of the engineering challenges of WWII. Instead, we got a general overview of WWII with a glancing, superficial focus on broad engineering issues. The detail is so lacking in this book. Detail in the personalities of engineering is shockingly lacking. Basically for any engineering personality we get a name, a three-sentence biography, a one-paragraph summary of what the person did, and then we go back to the general history of WWII. I'm seriously thinking of returning this book for credit. If the book was advertised as being a general history of WWII with a soft emphasis on engineering, I could almost recommend this book. But as it is, I can't recommend it.
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- Thomas

A Better Way of Getting Things Done

I am surprised at some of the reviews of this book. The definition of engineering can be "a calculated manipulation or direction" To me, the title does not suggest anything but what the author accomplishes in this book: a description and analysis of the major issues the allies had to overcome to achieve victory. It is not, as one reviewer mentioned, just another rehash of WW II.

I find that most wars and their component battles have been overly described (though I would except Rick Atkinson's from this). I can't even count the number of books describing the Battle of the Bulge and the Bastogne segment of it. I found this text to be a refreshing alternative to the typical descriptions. I suppose that you could just read it as another WW II book, but his description and analysis of the primary problems that the Allies had to find solutions to departs from the typical formula. As he says, the Germans didn't fail to try hard enough to win, but the Allies simply found "a better way of getting things done."

I also find that his frank and honest assessment of the uninspired, sometimes downright backward, thinking of the British and Americans almost brought about failure rather than victory.

I think that this book is an excellent read, and something different for anyone interested in the history of World War II.
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- Mortimer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-13-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios