The Historical Atlas of World War II

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9780805039290: The Historical Atlas of World War II

The Second World War was the largest event in human history. During its course an estimated fifty million people perished, and even today the scale of the mobilization it generated--involving human, financial, and industrial resources--is almost unimaginable. Millions across the globe fled war zones to be replaced by soldiers of all creeds and backgrounds.

The recent opening of archives in Washington, London, and Moscow has thrown new light on certain events of the war--revealing, for example, just how close the Allies came to defeat in 1942 when the Axis armies were in ascendancy everywhere. Equally amazing was the growth of economic activity. The U.S. economy alone grew by 50 percent in five years, producing millions of weapons: an aircraft carrier every two weeks, a tank every forty minutes, a rifle every twenty-four seconds.

Between September 1939 and September 1945 the world changed completely and forever. The technological revolution, which effected the progression from 200 mph aircraft used to defend Warsaw to the nuclear bomber sent to obliterate Hiroshima, was matched by the political unheaval. Ancient empires collapsed and were replaced by superpowers that would dominate the world for more than forty years. The legacy of the Second World is still with us today.

The Historical Atlas of World War II chronicles both the major and minor campaigns of the war in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific. It also provides the political, economic, and social background needed for a full understanding of the war. Consisting of more than one hundred specially commissioned full-color maps providing even greater detail, more than one hundred captioned color and black-and-white photographs, and an authoritative text by two leading military historians, this atlas is destined to become the definitive historical reference of the twentieth century's most tumultuous event.

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About the Author:

John Pimlott is Senior Lecturer in the Department of War Studies at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, England. He is the author of many works on the Second World War and coauthor of Strategy and Tactics of War.

Alan Bullock served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford between 1969 and 1973 and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1967. He is the author of Hitler: A Study in Tyranny and Hitler and Stalin.

From Booklist:

This work, a companion to Holt's earlier Historical Atlas of World War I [ RBB Ap 15 95], is arranged in the same useful way--a page of text for each full-page map. The outline of the book is chronological, from the 1919 peace settlement to the military events of the period from 1939 to the Japanese surrender in 1945.

The bulk of the book consists of about 90 incidents or localities, with a page of text for each and a multicolored map delineating troop movements or other operations. Examples of such incidents are "Guadalcanal" ; "Sicily, July^-August 1943" ; and "Bombing of Germany, August^-May_ 1945." All areas of the world where there was military action are covered.

The text is succinct and well written, and the British authors appear to have gone to some lengths to report exactly what took place, regardless of what nation was chiefly responsible. The French contribution, however, is somewhat curtailed. Even the name of the First French Army general, Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, is not given in the text and is therefore not in the index, though it appears on the maps. And that army's bloody losses in the Colmar Pocket are likewise dismissed with "Devers' (American) troops cleared the Germans from the Colmar Pocket." The index lists all Allied units mentioned in the text, and all personal names; place-names are in a separate index. A brief bibliography concludes the work.

With its excellent maps, which show terrain elevations, rivers and streams, and other natural features, as well as troop movements with multicolored arrows and lines, this work is recommended for the atlas collection of any library with patrons interested in the war. The Pacific War Atlas [RBB N&V S 1 95] provides more detailed coverage of that theater of the war.

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