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Old November 20th, 2012, 01:15 AM   #1
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All Hell Let Loose, The Storm of War and The Second World War


Hey everyone
Christmas is coming up soon, and I'm preparing my wish lists. I'm thinking of putting a general history of WW2 on there, and the three that seem to come up most often are The Storm of War by Andrew Roberts, All Hell Let Loose by Max Hastings and The Second World War by Antony Beevor. Has anyone read these, and if so, can you recommend them?
I'm not too interested in The Storm of War - I read a bit of Roberts' History of the English Speaking Peoples and thought (coming from the perspective of an Australian) that it was propagandist nonsense. I'd like a book that has a wide overview of all events of WW2 and all theatres. I'm not too interested in military nitty gritty. I'm more interested in the broader reasons of why things happened, but I also like the details about what things were like on the ground.
If anyone can help out with some recommendations (maybe even some WW2 books not listed here) I'd appreciate it greatly.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 03:00 AM   #2

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All Hell Let Loose is excellent. It is basically a general overview told from the perspectives of the observers rather than strictly a military or political overview. Very interesting.

I am waiting for the paperback The Second World War so can't comment on that one.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 02:38 PM   #3

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All Hell Let Loose (which is far cooler than the American title, Inferno) is very good as far as providing an overall narrative, but it doesn't go very deep into anything. Also, it's lots of what happened to people and not much on military tactics.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 12:37 PM   #4
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The Storm of War is actually very good and so was Masters and Commanders (about Churchill, FDR, Alanbrooke and Marshall). I would urge you to give them a try. I was incredibly disappointed with his History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900 and thought it was very chauvinistic in places and had next to no value as a work of history. The other two books (cited above) are very well-done. In Masters and Commanders he uses many different diaries to explore what really went on
at meetings of the chiefs of staff, and The Storm of War really gives a wonderful overview of the war and talks about many of its greatest controversies and gives a good sense of the military picture of things without overwhelming the reader with details. I eagerly await Roberts's
forthcoming biography of Napoleon.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 03:06 PM   #5

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The Second World War is brilliant, if you like Beevor's other stuff, then this book is pretty good.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 09:07 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I picked up Beevor's book at the library but am yet to start it, and am going to buy All Hell Let Loose at some point in the near future.
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