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The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War - Andrew Roberts

The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War

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Andrew Roberts

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Pages: 808 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 0713999705

Pub: Allen Lane

Pub date: 2009-08-06 Sales Rank: 24859

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Reader Reviews:

2/5 stars

Big dissapointment - repeating the old myths (0/0 people found this helpful)

Looking at those reviews I thought there couldnt be much risk, but I was wrong. I very much enjoy reading anything about WW2 especially when it concerns the eastern front, but this book is more of "novel" rather then a good piece of research and it uses old and already proven false data. Quite quickly I turned to pages where the eastern front was described and immediatly found stupid errors that were rewritten from other less careful authors... example

battle of prohorovka (kursk)[in my opinion one of the most common mistakes and therefore a good check point for any east front book]:
- acoording to author 900 german tanks fought 900 russian tanks on a small terrain (tanks raming each other etc). Result was 300 german tanks destroyed and 400 russian tanks destroyed. According to Zetterling and Nipe which have actually done research on this it wasnt a big tank battle as the russian propaganda says, comparing it to those medieval cavalry clashes, but rather a series of attacks by russians on different frontlines - separate and smaller battles. In total it might be that around 300-500 german tanks (depending on what sectors you choose) and 600 - 800 rusian tanks were involved in a series of "local battles". The actual result was 60 german tanks destroyed and more than 300 russian.
- according to the author lufwaffe supporting zitadelle lost a lot of planes. Of course no mention of the fact that the russian airforce lost so many airplanes in the first days of the battle that they needed a few days to recuperate and the germans were free to roam the skies.
- mention of german attrocities but no mention of soviet attrocities... seems kind of out of proportion since the soviets had at least as many on their account.

I know that these might seem like smaller details to some, but it actually tells me wether the author went through some hard work to get the facts right or just rewrote others in nicer words - after all it should describe history (do other sections also have such "gaps"?).

It seems like a good read for a general discussion 1 star + nice style 1 star.

5/5 stars

A storm reviewed (0/0 people found this helpful)

A very readable and fascinating overall account of the Second World War. I believe that anyone who reads this book, irrespective of their previous knowledge of the subject will learn something new. The book is written on the basis of "Why did Germany loose the war?" and the reasons are clearly stated throughout the narrative. The overall message is equally clear: if Germany and the Axis powers had not made various serious errors of judgement, the result of the war might well have been very different. Equally frightening is the tally of material and human carnage after each area of conflict. Many aspects of the contents of this book will remain in a reader's mind long after the last page is read.

4/5 stars

An excellent take on the war, from both sides (0/0 people found this helpful)

Bought for me as a birthday present, Andrew Roberts has produced a fine book which although it goes over plenty of existing material, it provides an excellent history from a German perspective as well as the Allied side. Having previously read and enjoyed 'Masters and Commanders' by the same author, I was hoping for plenty of detail and this was duly delivered.

The book rebalances the discussion to include more on the German High Command & Hitler from a miliary perspective as well as discussin how the Eastern Front was the major factor in the war.

A good overview

4/5 stars

Good single volume history of WW2 (0/0 people found this helpful)

As a keen reader of military history this book was bought as a present and it is the first single volume history of the Second World War that I have read since I was a teenager. Its structure reminded me of the excellent World at War series but "updated" to reflect Ultra and less Anglo-centric to emphasise the significance of the Eastern Front to the eventual outcome of Germany's defeat. Many of the books Andrew Roberts quotes from tended to be the better books relating to individual campaigns I have read such as Alan Clark's Barbarossa, Anthony Beevor's Stalingrad, Cornelius Barnett's Desert Generals and Louis Allen's Burma etc. I liked the disclosures regarding how much Hitler's Generals knew and coordinated the atrocities that are often blamed on Hitler alone in their self-justifying autobiographies. Despite being English, Andrew Robert does not overplay Britain's and the Empire's importance - Germany's military effectives "The statistics are unequivocal; up until end of 1944, on a man-for-man basis, the Germans inflicted between 20 and 50 per cent higher casualties on the British and Americans than they suffered, and far higher than that on the Russians, under almost all military conditions" "...out of every five Germans killed in combat - that is, on the battlefield rather than aerial bombing or through other means - four died on the Eastern Front" It is difficult to award a five to a book when it is the only type i.e. one volume WW2 history, that you have read. It could be the best for all I know but I would recommend anyone with limited background in this area who wants a good, easy to read overview.

3/5 stars

Excellent work, but necessary? (0/0 people found this helpful)

`Stunning', `Spellbinding', `Compelling' are the overheated comments pulled out on the front of `Storm of War', possibly leading me to believe that either this is a landmark insight into the conflict, or the author has a lot of chums in the national media.
The main thrust justifying this latest one volume look at WWII seems to be a focus on how Hitler's strategic and tactical misjudgements led to Germany losing the war.
Of course, this is nothing really new, as immediately after the war German generals were queuing up to put the blame on the leader mocked by Churchill as `Corporal Hitler'.
That said, it's a very well written account and the author makes some good arguments about how the Germans could have vanquished the British in North Africa quickly by deploying a fraction of the units on the Russian invasion, so securing vital oil reserves together with effectively knocking the UK out of the war.
An excellent history of the war - but in a very crowded field and only really worth reading if you're relatively new to this period of history.

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