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See below for a selection of the latest books from Second World War category. Presented with a red border are the Second World War books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Second World War books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
Published to highlight the 80th anniversary of Georg Elser's attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler this book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the anti-Nazi resistance. Little is known today of the extent and intensity of the anti-Nazi activity that occurred inside Hitler's Germany. Even less is known about those whose courage and conviction drove them to risk-and lose-everything to bring the Third Reich to an end. Presented within the broader context of German history and contemporary world events, this comprehensive study relies on extensive historiography by noted scholars to produce a well-balanced, timely narrative of the German resistance to one of history's most violent regimes. Traitors or Patriots? tells a story of incredible courage and conviction that transcends time and place-a story for our own time and for all time.
In late November 1941, two college football teams - Willamette University and San Jose State - set sail for Honolulu for a series of games with the University of Hawaii. Instead of a festive few weeks of football and fun, the players found themselves caught up in the first days of the United States' war with Japan. For two weeks after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, the young men were recruited to dig and man trenches, string barbed wire, guard hotels, and join patrols as martial law took hold in Honolulu. They arrived home on Christmas Day after a dangerous journey back across the Pacific. Almost all of the players would go on to fight in the war. This is a different kind of war story, blending battle and gridiron - along with a strong dose of human interest, of college-aged young men unexpectedly caught up in the world war. This is a story of war and football, of Pearl Harbor and the first moments of the U.S. in World War II. It is a story of the very first days of World War II as experienced by a group of young men who witnessed it firsthand - and would soon be fighting it (indeed, who were already fighting it). This is a story of heroism, courage, self-sacrifice, and duty in the maelstrom of war.
In the summer of 1942, the Germans launched Case Blue, a strategic offensive into the Caucasus, a region rich in oil, birthplace of Stalin, and gateway to Iran and the Middle East, where the Germans could obtain more oil, cut off a vital corridor for Lend-Lease supplies to the Soviets, threaten the British Empire, and even perhaps link up with the Japanese (then advancing in Burma toward India). It was a pivotal moment of World War II, which history remembers primarily for the titanic clash at Stalingrad during the fall and early winter of 1942-43, but less well understood is the series of summer operations that led to and shaped that turning-point battle. In Prelude to Stalingrad, Igor Sdvizhkov reconstructs the fighting in the northern sector of the Case Blue offensive, near the city of Voronezh. Using German documents as well as previously classified Soviet sources, Sdvizhkov zooms in on the nine days of see-saw fighting-involving tens of thousands of men and hundreds of tanks and guns on both sides-that threatened to derail the German offensive north of Stalingrad. In response to the withdrawals and mass surrenders on the Eastern Front during the war's early months a year before, Stalin ordered that no ground be given up, that his armies fight instead of pulling back, ensuring that the fighting would be brutal. Ultimately unsuccessful in denying the Germans a bridgehead on the Don River, the Red Army inflicted heavy losses, eroding the Wehrmacht's fighting power before it even reached Stalingrad.
The first book to explore in detail the wrecks of these two vessels from Force Z which in December 1941 was sent to defend Singapore. It grippingly narrates the lead up to the siege of Singapore and the battle far out at sea in which Force Z was decimated in the Royal Navy's greatest loss in a single engagement. The force was attacked by 85 Japanese torpedo bombers, with huge loss of life. It was the first time a modern battleship had been sunk by air power and the loss of Prince of Wales is seen as marking the end of the era of the battleship. The wrecks are explored in detail with illustrations of them on the seabed and underwater photographs.
Anthony Barne started his diary in August 1939 as a young, recently-married captain in the Royal Dragoons stationed in Palestine. He wrote an entry for every day of the war, often with great difficulty, sometimes when dog-tired or under fire, and sometimes when things looked black and desperate, but more often in sunshine and optimism, surrounded by good fellows who kept one cheerful and helped one through the sad and difficult times'. His diary ends in July 1945, by which time he was commanding officer of the 4th Hussars, having recently visited Downing Street for lunch alone with the Churchills. The diaries have an enormous scope covering time in Palestine and Egypt before he joins the Eighth Army, describing the retreat back to El Alamein, the battle and its aftermath. He ends the campaign commanding his regiment. He often graphically details the physical realities of war: the appalling conditions in the desert, the bombardments of the regiment from the air, the deaths and serious injuries of fellow soldiers. In 1943, he flies down to Rhodesia to see his wife and infant son before returning to Cairo to join Churchill's regiment, the 4th Hussars. Arriving in Italy in 1944, he recounts the campaign as the Allies push north. The tone of the diaries varies wildly: often witty, sometimes outrageous but also poignant and philosophical. The voice and attitudes are entertainingly dated, but are delivered with warmth, a charming turn of phrase and a keen eye for the absurd.
What makes a good missionary makes a good American spy, or so thought Office of Special Services (OSS) founder Wild Bill Donovan when he recruited religious activists into the first ranks of American espionage. Called upon to serve Uncle Sam, Donovan's recruits saw the war as a means of expanding their godly mission, believing an American victory would guarantee the safety of their fellow missionaries and their coreligionists abroad. Drawing on never-before-seen archival materials, acclaimed historian Matthew Sutton shows how religious activists proved to be true believers in Franklin Roosevelt's crusade for global freedom of religion. Sutton focuses on William Eddy, a warrior for Protestantism who was fluent in Arabic; Stewart Herman, a young Lutheran minister rounded up by the Nazis while pastoring in Berlin; Stephen B. L. Penrose, Jr., who left his directorship over missionary schools in the Middle East to join the military rank and file; and John Birch, a fundamentalist missionary in China. Donovan chose these men because they already had the requisite skills for good intelligence analysis, espionage, and covert operations, skills that allowed them to seamlessly blend into different environments. Working for eternal rewards rather than temporal spoils, they proved willing to sacrifice and even to die for their country during the conflict, becoming some of the United States' most loyal secret soldiers. Acutely aware of how their actions conflicted with their spiritual calling, these spies nevertheless ran covert operations in the centers of global religious power, including Mecca, the Vatican, and Palestine. In the end, they played an outsized role in leading the US to victory in WWII: Eddy laid the groundwork for the Allied invasion of North Africa, while Birch led guerilla attacks against the Japanese and, eventually, Chinese Communists. After the war, some of them -- those who survived -- helped launch the Central Intelligence Agency, so that their nation, and American Christianity, could maintain a strong presence throughout the rest of the world. Surprising and absorbing at every turn, Double Crossedis an untold story of World War II spycraft and a profound account of the compromises and doubts that war forces on those who wage it.
Based on documents from the Russian archives, this comprehensive study charts the tumultuous wartime relationship between Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. It highlights the secret correspondence between the two leaders, records their meetings and conversations in Moscow and at the Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam summits, and discloses the confidential communications of Stalin and his diplomats. Churchill and Stalin has been compiled and edited by three leading Russian and British historians of the Second World War. Their narrative brings together military and political history, documentary analysis and biography in an illuminating way. It reveals how Stalin and Churchill clashed and collaborated in order to achieve victory, and it demonstrates the deep personal relationship between these two great personalities as well as their profound political differences. Even when the Grand Alliance collapsed after the war, they retained their respect and affection for each other. Other important wartime personalities also feature in the documents -President Roosevelt, the British and Soviet foreign ministers, Anthony Eden and Vyacheslav Molotov, Ivan Maisky, the Soviet ambassador in London and Averell Harriman, the American ambassador in Moscow. This fascinating documentary record is linked by a detailed narrative and commentary on the Stalin-Churchill relationship in the context of Anglo-Soviet relations during the war and the politics of the Grand Alliance. A landmark book - it will appeal to all those interested in Churchill and Stalin and in the politics and diplomacy of the Second World War.
Martin Bowman presents us here with an unparalleled account of events as they unfolded in the skies above Holland during Operation Market-Garden' in September 1944. Market-Garden' was a heroic failure conducted at great cost; combined losses - both airborne and ground forces - in killed, wounded and missing amounted to more than 17,000. Market', the airborne part of the operation, spanned ten Allied lifts in a calamitous nine days of operations, often in foul weather. Over the course of Operation Market', 4,050 aircraft saw employment; most of them towed the 1,205 Hamilcar and Horsa gliders and were confronted by an unknown number of Luftwaffe aircraft. Stories of individual heroism punctuate this narrative, such as that of David Lord, a RAF Dakota pilot who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. Tales such as these humanise a period of wartime history that is often reduced to mere facts. There is no doubting the gallant and valorous contribution of the airmen of Arnhem - the RAF Dakota, Stirling, Halifax, Albemarle, Horsa, Hamilcar and Glider Pilot Regiment crews together with those of the USAAF C-47 Troop Carrier Groups of the IX US Troop Carrier Command, the Waco and Horsa gliders, and the B-24 Liberator re-supply crews. All of their incredible, illuminating and often understated accounts of extraordinary courage, camaraderie, shared terror and encounters with the enemy offer a more personalised view of Market' and are complemented by the author's background information that give an overall picture of each air operation.
The support provided by the Allied air armies to the preparations for the invasion of France and the Normandy campaign is overshadowed by the dramatic and protracted fighting on the ground. Yet the air campaign played a key role in blinding and isolating German forces in northern France in the months preceding the D-Day landings. These Allied air forces then supported the Allied armies as they pushed inland, most notably by hampering the march of Hitler's panzer divisions and controversially bombing the ancient Norman cities of Caen and Rouen. Anthony Tucker-Jones's photographic history is a vivid introduction to this enormous Allied air offensive and illustrates the many famous types of aircraft employed by the RAF, USAAF and Luftwaffe. Shots of the Allied bombers - Halifax, Lancaster, Fortress, Liberator, Havoc and Marauder - and the fighters and fighter-bombers - Lightning, Thunderbolt, Mustang, Spitfire and Typhoon - dominate the selection. Shots of the German warplanes are rarer because the Luftwaffe was overwhelmed by Allied air superiority. These images of the air war over northern France bring home in a graphic way the nature and conditions of combat flying over seventy years ago, and they emphasize the contribution of air power to the campaign.
On 18 December 1935 when the first flight of the Douglas DC-3 took place, few could have imagined that it would become one of the world's most celebrated aircraft of all time, not just as a commercial airliner but also as the C-47 military transport. When production ceased in the summer of 1945, a total of 10,926 had been built. This wonderfully versatile aircraft played a significant part in airborne operations around the world; but perhaps its most notable employment occurred during the June 1944 Normandy campaign. This important episode within the wider history of D-Day' is enlivened here in classic fashion by Martin Bowman, in a narrative that features both extensive historical notes as well as deeply personal accounts of endurance and individual gallantry. This amplified account of events as they unfolded in the skies above France on D-Day (5/6 and 6/7 June, 1944) reveals the invaluable contribution these workhorses of World War II made to the overall success in Normandy. It follows the author's comprehensive five part work published by Pen & Sword (Air War D-Day) that included a multitude of personal military accounts from both Allied and German personnel who took part in Operation Overlord' and the Normandy campaign.
A G.I. In the Ardennes focuses on the human experience during wartime. What was life like for a regular American soldier who gave his life to combat fascism? By immersing himself in historical documents, hundreds of letters and several interviews from that period of time, Denis Hambucken managed to accurately reconstruct the daily life of an American soldier in impressive detail. The author takes a closer look at the weapons, equipment and personal belongings of the soldiers who fought at the Western front, while sharing numerous personal anecdotes and moving stories.