The Oxford Companion to The Second World War

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9780192141682: The Oxford Companion to The Second World War

Here, more than 140 distinguished and internationally renowned contributors have written over 1,750 entries covering the very wide-ranging topics that make up the single subject of World War II. Entries include surveys of major countries: France, Germany, Australia, India, the US, Japan; campaigns: East Africa campaign, Burma campaign, Normandy campaign, Fezzan campaigns, Western desert campaigns; battles; military operations; types of warfare such as electronic, chemical, economic, and signals intelligence; wartime leaders like Stalin, Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, Mussolini, Hirohito; politics and strategy; design, development and use of machines and weapons; organisations associated with the war such as the Arab League and the Hitler Youth; and places made famous in the war, like Dachau, Bletchley Park, and Nagasaki.

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Review:

The definitive single-volume reference work for students of World War II, I. C. B. Dear's 1,400-page compendium provides a wealth of detail on matters that standard histories often gloss over or pass over altogether. For example, Dear covers the Night and Fog Decree, which called for the execution of any civilians committing crimes against German forces in occupied territories, as well as the Battle of the Courland Peninsula, in which Red Army soldiers overwhelmed the last German forces in the Baltic and seized Latvia and Lithuania for the Soviet Union. This is a fine book to browse through while watching Bataan or The Longest Day, or to have on hand to provide background material for other World War II-related reading.

About the Author:


n former regular officer in the Royal Marines, Ian Dear has written a number of books on maritime and military subjects, the latest being a history of Ten Commando, 1942-1945 (1987). He is also the editor of Oxford English: A Guide to the Language (1986) and the A-Z of Sailing Terms (1987). Michael Foot is an historian and former wartime intelligence officer. He was Professor of Modern History at the University of Manchester (1967-73), and editor of the first four volumes of the Gladstone Diaries. His other works include SOE in France, Resistance, and Holland at War against Hitler.

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