The War in the West A New History

Author: James Holland
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780552169202
Release Date: 2016-05-19
Genre: World War, 1939-1945

Are you ready for the truth about World War Two? The Second World War is the most cataclysmic and violent sequence of events in recent times. But for the past seven decades, our understanding of it has relied upon conventional wisdom, propaganda and an interpretation skewed by the information available. James Holland has spent over twelve years conducting new research, interviewing survivors, visiting battlefields and archives that have never before been so accessible and challenging too-long-held assumptions about the war that shaped our world. In Germany Ascendant, the first part of this ground-breaking new history, James Holland introduces the war, beginning with the lead-up to its outbreak in 1939 and taking us up to mid-1941 as the Nazis prepared to unleash Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia. To tell the real story, he weaves together the experiences of dozens of individuals, from civilians and soldiers, to sailors, pilots, leading military strategists, industrialists and heads of state, and uncovers the strategy, tactics and events that informed not only the military aspects of the war but also the economic, political, and social aspects too. The War in the West is a truly monumental history of the war on land, in the air, and at sea. In it, James Holland has created a captivating and epic narrative which redefines and enhances our understanding of one of the most significant conflicts in history.

The War in the West A New History

Author: James Holland
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781448167029
Release Date: 2015-09-10
Genre: History

Are you ready for the truth about World War Two? The Second World War is the most cataclysmic and violent sequence of events in recent times. But for the past seven decades, our understanding of it has relied upon conventional wisdom, propaganda and an interpretation skewed by the information available. James Holland has spent over twelve years conducting new research, interviewing survivors, visiting battlefields and archives that have never before been so accessible and challenging too-long-held assumptions about the war that shaped our world. In Germany Ascendant, the first part of this ground-breaking new history, James Holland introduces the war, beginning with the lead-up to its outbreak in 1939 and taking us up to mid-1941 as the Nazis prepared to unleash Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia. To tell the real story, he weaves together the experiences of dozens of individuals, from civilians and soldiers, to sailors, pilots, leading military strategists, industrialists and heads of state, and uncovers the strategy, tactics and events that informed not only the military aspects of the war but also the economic, political, and social aspects too. The War in the West is a truly monumental history of the war on land, in the air, and at sea. In it, James Holland has created a captivating and epic narrative which redefines and enhances our understanding of one of the most significant conflicts in history.

The War in the West A New History

Author: James Holland
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781448167036
Release Date: 2017-05-04
Genre: History

'Ranks as a towering work of historical research and writing' – Nigel Jones, BBC History Magazine In the second volume of his acclaimed new history of the Second World War, James Holland examines the momentous turning points of 1941–1943: Hitler’s invasion of Russia; America’s entry into the conflict; the devastating Thousand Bomber Raids over Germany; the long struggle in the deserts of North Africa; and the defeat of the U-boats in the crucial Battle of the Atlantic. As in his first volume, Germany Ascendant, he interweaves his account of the well-known events of the period with the personal stories of individuals caught up in them - on all sides. Through interviews, letters, diaries and reports, he allows us to see the war not just from the perspective of politicians, military commanders and strategists, but also through the eyes of civilians bombed out of their homes, resistance members stranded in the frozen Norwegian winter, sailors risking their lives in the Atlantic convoys, German aces striving for supremacy in the air, and ordinary soldiers battling for survival in the scorching sands of Libya. He also looks behind the scenes at the all-important ‘machinery’ of war: the manufacturing, farming and vital supply lines that underpinned the entire conflict and ultimately determined its course. From the battle fronts on land, sea and air, to the streets, fields and factories of Britain, America and Germany, he paints a dramatic and compelling portrait of these pivotal years when the tide began to turn. Combining his own research with only recently accessible archive material, Holland looks afresh at this cataclysmic conflict, reassessing long-held views and challenging conventional assumptions. The result is ground-breaking history that redefines the war in the West and makes us think again about the events that shaped our modern world.

The Allies Strike Back 1941 1943

Author: James Holland
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
ISBN: 9780802190147
Release Date: 2017-10-03
Genre: History

By June 1941, Germany’s war machine looked to be unstoppable. The Nazi blitzkrieg had taken Poland, France, and Holland with shocking speed. The Luftwaffe had bombed London, while German U-boats wrought havoc on Allied shipping on the Atlantic. And yet, as James Holland shows at the start of The Allies Strike Back, 1941-1943—the second volume in his magisterial narrative of World War II in the West—cracks were already appearing in Germany’s apparent invincibility. Shortages of food and materiel were becoming critical. And, having failed to defeat Britain, Adolf Hitler fatefully pivoted east to invade the Soviet Union—territory he felt compelled to conquer for Germany’s protection—and on June 22, 1941 precipitated the largest clash of arms the world had ever seen. Built for speed and quick conquest, German forces by that fall were bogged down in a horrible war of attrition that blunted the Nazi momentum. The Allies Strike Back offers fascinating new perspective on the critical middle years in World War II’s western theatre, as the advantage between Axis and Allied forces swung back and forth on the Atlantic and eastern front, and in north Africa and Europe. Acclaimed historian James Holland has spent years conducting original research and interviews, mining newly available archives, visiting battlefields and uncovering letters and diaries previously unread. Acknowledging that strategy and tactics have been the focus of previous histories, he gives equal space to the logistics and supply of men and materiel without which no war can be fought. Allied and Axis leaders criss-cross Holland’s narrative, but he also memorably introduces readers to heretofore unknown participants: Sgt. Ralph Schaps, who experienced the Louisiana Maneuvers that propelled him into Europe; Colonel Hermann Balck, in command of a German panzer regiment in Africa; U-boat captain Teddy Suhren, operating against Allied shipping in the Atlantic; Billy Drake, squadron commander in Britain’s Desert Air Force that helped turn the tide in North Africa; and many others. Following the acclaimed first volume of his trilogy, The Rise of Germany, and offering frank assessments of successes and failures on both sides, James Holland has crafted a masterful and gripping narrative of the events that ultimately determined the outcome of World War II.

Italy s Sorrow

Author: James Holland
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1429945435
Release Date: 2008-04-01
Genre: History

During the Second World War, the campaign in Italy was the most destructive fought in Europe - a long, bitter and highly attritional conflict that raged up the country's mountainous leg. For frontline troops, casualty rates at Cassino and along the notorious Gothic Line were as high as they had been on the Western Front in the First World War. There were further similarities too: blasted landscapes, rain and mud, and months on end with the front line barely moving. And while the Allies and Germans were fighting it out through the mountains, the Italians were engaging in bitter battles too. Partisans were carrying out a crippling resistance campaign against the German troops but also battling the Fascists forces as well in what soon became a bloody civil war. Around them, innocent civilians tried to live through the carnage, terror and anarchy, while in the wake of the Allied advance, horrific numbers of impoverished and starving people were left to pick their way through the ruins of their homes and country. In the German-occupied north, there were more than 700 civilian massacres by German and Fascist troops in retaliation for Partisan activities, while in the south, many found themselves forced into making terrible and heart-rending decisions in order to survive. Although known as a land of beauty and for the richness of its culture, Italy's suffering in 1944-1945 is now largely forgotten. Italy's Sorrow by James Holland is the first account of the conflict there to tell the story from all sides and to include the experiences of soldiers and civilians alike. Offering extensive original research, it weaves together the drama and tragedy of that terrible year, including new perspectives and material on some of the most debated episodes to have emerged from World War II.

The War in the West A New History

Author: James Holland
Publisher: Bantam Press
ISBN: 0593071670
Release Date: 2017-05-04
Genre:

In the second volume of his acclaimed new history of the Second World War, James Holland examines the momentous turning points of 1941-1943: Hitler's invasion of Russia; America's entry into the conflict; the devastating Thousand Bomber Raids over Germany; the long struggle in the deserts of North Africa; and the defeat of the U-boats in the crucial Battle of the Atlantic. As in his first volume, Germany Ascendant, he interweaves his account of the well-known events of the period with the personal stories of individuals caught up in them - on all sides. Through interviews, letters, diaries and reports, he allows us to see the war not just from the perspective of politicians, military commanders and strategists, but also through the eyes of civilians bombed out of their homes, resistance members stranded in the frozen Norwegian winter, sailors risking their lives in the Atlantic convoys, German aces striving for supremacy in the air, and ordinary soldiers battling for survival in the scorching sands of Libya. He also looks behind the scenes at the all-important 'machinery' of war: the manufacturing, farming and vital supply lines that underpinned the entire conflict and ultimately determined its course. From the battle fronts on land, sea and air, to the streets, fields and factories of Britain, America and Germany, he paints a dramatic and compelling portrait of these pivotal years when the tide began to turn. Combining his own research with only recently accessible archive material, Holland looks afresh at this cataclysmic conflict, reassessing long-held views and challenging conventional assumptions. The result is ground-breaking history that redefines the war in the West and makes us think again about the events that shaped our modern world.

Big Week

Author: James Holland
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
ISBN: 9780802146311
Release Date: 2018-11-06
Genre: History

During the third week of February 1944, the combined Allied air forces based in Britain and Italy launched their first round-the-clock bomber offensive against Germany. Their goal: to smash the main factories and production centers of the Luftwaffe while also drawing German planes into an aerial battle of attrition to neutralize the Luftwaffe as a fighting force prior to the cross-channel invasion, planned for a few months later. Officially called Operation ARGUMENT, this aerial offensive quickly became known as “Big Week,” and it was one of the turning-point engagements of World War II. In Big Week, acclaimed World War II historian James Holland chronicles the massive air battle through the experiences of those who lived and died during it. Prior to Big Week, the air forces on both sides were in crisis. Allied raids into Germany were being decimated, but German resources—fuel and pilots—were strained to the breaking point. Ultimately new Allied aircraft—especially the American long-range P-51 Mustang—and superior tactics won out during Big Week. Through interviews, oral histories, diaries, and official records, Holland follows the fortunes of pilots, crew, and civilians on both sides, taking readers from command headquarters to fighter cockpits to anti-aircraft positions and civilian chaos on the ground, vividly recreating the campaign as it was conceived and unfolded. In the end, the six days of intense air battles largely cleared the skies of enemy aircraft when the invasion took place on June 6, 1944—D-Day. Big Week is both an original contribution to WWII literature and a brilliant piece of narrative history, recapturing a largely forgotten campaign that was one of the most critically important periods of the entire war.

Burma 44

Author: James Holland
Publisher: Corgi
ISBN: 0552172030
Release Date: 2017-01-03
Genre:

'A thrilling blow-by-blow account' The Times In February 1944, a rag-tag collection of clerks, drivers, doctors, muleteers, and other base troops, stiffened by a few dogged Yorkshiremen and a handful of tank crews managed to hold out against some of the finest infantry in the Japanese Army, and then defeat them in what was one of the most astonishing battles of the Second World War. What became know as The Defence of the Admin Box, fought amongst the paddy fields and jungle of Northern Arakan over a fifteen-day period, turned the battle for Burma. Not only was it the first decisive victory for British troops against the Japanese, more significantly, it demonstrated how the Japanese could be defeated. The lessons learned in this tiny and otherwise insignificant corner of the Far East, set up the campaign in Burma that would follow, as General Slim's Fourteenth Army finally turned defeat into victory. Burma '44 is a tale of incredible drama. As gripping as the story of Rorke's drift, as momentous as the battle for the Ardennes, the Admin Box was a triumph of human grit and heroism and remains one of the most significant yet undervalued conflicts of World War Two.

The Battle of the Atlantic

Author: Jonathan Dimbleby
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190495855
Release Date: 2016-03-01
Genre: World War, 1939-1945

"First published in Great Britain in 2015 by Viking."--Title page verso.

Red Storm on the Reich

Author: Christopher Duffy
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781136360336
Release Date: 2014-06-03
Genre: History

The Eastern Front witnessed the critical battles between the German and Russian armies which won and lost the Second World War. In Red Storm on the Reich, Christopher Duffy uncovers a military campaign of unprecedented scale and ferocity during which thirty million lives were lost - a deadly harvest in which the slaughter and suffering of German civilians reached unfathomable dimensions. By quoting extensively from the memoirs of Soviet and German commanders and the diaries of infantrymen, Red Storm on the Reich brings to life not only the Russian military assault on the lands of Germany, but also the human drama behind what can only be called epic seiges of the fortress cities of Danzig, Kolberg and Breslau. Christopher Duffy's gripping narrative of this unexplored offensive and the psyches behind it makes for essential reading for all those interested in the Second World War and European history.

The Rise of Germany 1939 1941

Author: James Holland
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 9780802190901
Release Date: 2015-10-14
Genre: History

The Second World War is one of the most significant conflicts in history, but for seven decades our understanding of the war has remained mostly fixed, framed by the accounts of participants and an early generation of historians. James Holland, one of the leading young historians of World War II, has spent over a decade conducting new research, interviewing survivors, and exploring archives that have never before been so accessible to unearth forgotten memoirs, letters, and official records. In The Rise of Germany, Holland draws on this research to reconsider the strategy, tactics, and economic, political, and social aspects of the war. The Rise of Germany is a masterful book that redefines our understanding of the opening years of World War II. Beginning with the lead-up to the outbreak of war in 1939 and ending in the middle of 1941 on the eve of Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of Russia, The Rise of Germany is a landmark history of the war on land, in the air, and at sea.

Forgotten Ally

Author: Rana Mitter
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 9780547840567
Release Date: 2013-09-10
Genre: History

A history of the Chinese experience in WWII, named a Book of the Year by both the Economist and the Financial Times: “Superb” (The New York Times Book Review). In 1937, two years before Hitler invaded Poland, Chinese troops clashed with Japanese occupiers in the first battle of World War II. Joining with the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain, China became the fourth great ally in a devastating struggle for its very survival. In this book, prize-winning historian Rana Mitter unfurls China’s drama of invasion, resistance, slaughter, and political intrigue as never before. Based on groundbreaking research, this gripping narrative focuses on a handful of unforgettable characters, including Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong, and Chiang’s American chief of staff, “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell—and also recounts the sacrifice and resilience of everyday Chinese people through the horrors of bombings, famines, and the infamous Rape of Nanking. More than any other twentieth-century event, World War II was crucial in shaping China’s worldview, making Forgotten Ally both a definitive work of history and an indispensable guide to today’s China and its relationship with the West.

The Battle of Britain

Author: James Holland
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781429919418
Release Date: 2011-03-15
Genre: History

A groundbreaking new account of the Battle of Britain from acclaimed historian James Holland The Battle of Britain paints a stirring picture of an extraordinary summer when the fate of the world hung by a thread. Historian James Holland has now written the definitive account of those months based on extensive new research from around the world including thousands of new interviews with people on both sides of the battle. If Britain's defenses collapsed, Hitler would have dominated all of Europe. With France facing defeat and British forces pressed back to the Channel, there were few who believed Britain could survive; but, thanks to a sophisticated defensive system and the combined efforts of the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy and the defiance of a new Prime Minister, Britain refused to give in. From clashes between coastal convoys and Schnellboote in the Channel to astonishing last stands in Flanders, slaughter by U-boats in an icy Atlantic and dramatic aerial battles over England, The Battle of Britain tells this epic World War II story in a fresh and compelling voice.

The War of the World

Author: Niall Ferguson
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780141901688
Release Date: 2012-10-25
Genre: History

The world at the beginning of the 20th century seemed for most of its inhabitants stable and relatively benign. Globalizing, booming economies married to technological breakthroughs seemed to promise a better world for most people. Instead, the 20th century proved to be overwhelmingly the most violent, frightening and brutalized in history with fanatical, often genocidal warfare engulfing most societies between the outbreak of the First World War and the end of the Cold War. What went wrong? How did we do this to ourselves? The War of the World comes up with compelling, fascinating answers. It is Niall Ferguson’s masterpiece.

Blitzkrieg

Author: Lloyd Clark
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 9780802190345
Release Date: 2016-09-06
Genre: History

A “masterly account” of the juggernaut offensive that conquered France—but also marked the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany in World War II (Kirkus Reviews). In the spring of 1940, the German forces launched an attack on France that combined superb intelligence, cutting edge strategy, and new technology—the blitzkrieg, or “lightning war.” In just six weeks, it would achieve what their fathers had failed to do in all four years of the First World War. It was a stunning victory. But here, leading British military historian and academic Lloyd Clark argues that much of our understanding of this victory is based on myth. Far from being a foregone conclusion, Hitler’s plan could easily have failed had the Allies been even slightly less inept or the Germans less fortunate. The Germans recognized that success depended not only on surprise, but also avoiding a protracted struggle for which they were not prepared—making defeat a very real possibility. Their surprise victory proved the apex of their achievement; far from being undefeatable, Clark argues, the Battle of France revealed Germany and its armed forces to be highly vulnerable. And Hitler dismissed this fact as he planned his next move—and greatest blunder: the invasion of the Soviet Union. In this eye-opening reassessment, complete with maps and illustrations, Clark “presents a well-balanced narrative that highlights the knife-edge victory of the German forces” and reveals how very close the Nazi war machine came to catastrophe in the early days of World War II (New York Journal of Books).