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Publisher's Summary

The Second World War lasted for 2,174 days, cost $1.5 trillion, and claimed the lives of more than 50 million people. What were the factors that affected the war's outcome? Why did the Axis lose? And could they, with a different strategy, have won?
Andrew Roberts' 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 cruelty and the heroism - as never before.
In researching this magnificently vivid history, Roberts walked many of the key battlefields and wartimes sites in Russia, France, Italy, Germany, and the Far East, and drew on a number of never-before-published documents, such as a letter from Hitler's director of military operations explaining the reasoning behind the Fuhrer's order to halt the Panzers outside Dunkirk - a delay that enabled British forces to evacuate. Roberts illuminates the principal actors on both sides and analyzes how they reached critical decisions. He also presents the tales of many little-known individuals whose experiences form a panoply of the extraordinary courage and self-sacrifice, as well as the terrible depravity and cruelty, of the Second World War.
Meticulously researched and masterfully written, The Storm of War gives a dramatic account of this momentous event and shows in remarkable detail why the war took the course it did.
©2011 Andrew Roberts (P)2011 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mike From Mesa on 10-24-11

A very interesting book with some shortcomings.

I have been reading about the Second World War for the last 50 years and so did not expect to find anything really new in this book. I bought it thinking that it would be good to have a single volume that covered both the European and Pacific theaters and with the thought that there might be something new and interesting in it. What I found was a book that was very interesting; not so much because of new material, but rather because the book centers on the "whys" of what happened and contained a great deal of "back story" about the time that is missing in other books (examples - the actions in North Africa before the German troops were deployed there, the importance of the spy operations on both sides, the actions in generally neglected threaters of the war such as Burma, the fact that the Germans had broken the British Naval codes and so on) as well as a good overview of the major actions of the war. Add to that the excellent narration by Christian Rodska, including his ability to make his voice sound exactly like many of the political figures of the time, and this is a hard book to top if you want something on World War 2.

There are some inaccuracies -

(a) a rise of 500 feet over a length of 1000 feet does NOT make a 45 degree hill. A simple check of the trig tables shows this to be about 27 degrees,

(b) a quote from Churchill (to his war cabinet) wrongly attributed to Hitler,

(c) a statement, with no supporting evidence, that Churchill invented the story of Lord Halifax almost being offered the premiership. This flies in the face of every other book about the period and thus requires some supporting evidence,

(d) aside from the Philippine Islands, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, very little detail about the Pacific war (with nothing about MacArthur's island hopping campaign). I assume this is because MacArthur's troops were mainly American.

as well as some other issues.

But, aside from these minor issues, this book is very interesting, contains a great deal of information about the war in North Africa, the Soviet Union and Western Europe as well as an interesting section on what could have happened if the German Generals had control over the war in the Soviet Union and Europe. I recommend it to anyone interested in a single volume overview of the Second World War.

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42 of 42 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Papa.Jack on 09-02-11

Storm und Drang

I read a lot of WWII books and didn't think this would be anything special but I was pleasantly surprised. New facts I'd never heard, new twists on old facts. Yes, it's an overview history so it hits it's highlights lightly but it is a really good overview. If you want a one volume history of WWII this is as good as it gets. Narrator did a first rate job too.

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20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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