Regular price: $38.49
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $38.49
Norman Davies previously wrote a textbook in use in entry level university courses about the history of Europe. His persistent theme is that western European history is overemphasized and eastern European history is ignored.
In this book, the scope of the war is presented from the view of the real participants. Davies takes apart the notion that the Germans and Russians were the major participants and chronicles the war from the standpoint of Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic countries which were the battleground for most of the war. These countries were either brutalized by Stalin before the war or invaded by the Soviet Union in 1939 after the pact between Hitler and Stalin. The losses of these countries are put in a context of losses of other participants. The Soviet style of fighting is described where the KGB formed blocking battalions which shot anyone who retreated, regardless if the soldier was wounded or out of ammunition. After WWII, any repatriated Soviet POW was imprisoned in the Gulag. Stalin fought civil wars during WWII and the aftermath of these wars is now being played out in places like Chechnya.
Davies does not ignore other theatres of operation or other participants in the war. He assess the fighting ability of the various countries, for instance showing that Britain had an awesome navy but a deficient army.
The book is topical, eg, Davies uses headings like armaments, civilians, aftermath, collaborators, etc.
This is the best book I read in 2007. Do yourself a favor and read this book. It will change the way you view WWII.
28 of 28 people found this review helpful
Comprehensive coverage of WW2 in Europe. In addition to the standard fare, the author does a nice job comparing and contrasting the Soviet and Nazi repression and atrocities. He also discusses many interesting side issues..from wartime poetry to the experience of Poles who made it from the Gulags to India and then service with the British.
I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful