Did the arms race of the 1930s cause the Second World War?
In Cry Havoc, historian Joseph Maiolo shows, in rich and fascinating detail, how the deadly game of the arms race was played out in the decade prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. In this exhaustively researched account, he explores how nations reacted to the moves of their rivals, revealing the thinking of those making the key decisions—Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain, Stalin, Roosevelt—and the dilemmas of democratic leaders who seemed to be faced with a choice between defending their nations and preserving their democratic way of life.
An unparalleled account of an era of extreme political tension, Cry Havoc shows how the interwar arms race shaped the outcome of World War II before the shooting even began.
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Joseph Maiolo is senior lecturer in international history in the department of war studies, King's College London. He is the author of The Royal Navy and Nazi Germany, 1933–1939. He has won several awards, including the Julian Corbett Award in Modern Naval History. He lives in London.Review:
Richard Overy, author of Why the Allies Won
“The issues surrounding the rearmament of the major powers before World War II are immensely complex, bound up not only with the conventional problems of international security but with domestic politics and the rapid and often unpredictable pattern of technical change. Joe Maiolo has succeeded in juggling all these many balls in the air to produce a master synthesis of one of the major forces driving the world once again to total war. This is a book of great learning and intelligence.”
Odd Arne Westad, Professor of International History, London School of Economics, and author of The Global Cold War
“By placing arms races in central positions on the road to war, Maiolo has helped develop our understanding both of the international history of the 1930s and the cataclysm that followed. This is a hugely impressive book, full of material that will enlighten general readers and that historians will make use of for a generation to come.”
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