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The Oxford Companion to World War II

I. C. B. Dear (Editor), M. R. D. Foot (Editor)

48 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0198604467 / ISBN 13: 9780198604464
Published by Oxford University Press, USA, 2002
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Oxford Companion to World War II

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:New

About this title


'The Oxford Companion to the Second World War, by virtue of its scale, its range and its scholarship, is an outstanding guide, as sensible and cogent on the big questions as it is instructive and informed on the lesser ones.'

'indispensable...unlikely to be superseded this century'
JOHN KEEGAN, Daily Telegraph

'easy to use, solid of fact, perceptive and judicious'

'It will immediately take its place as the indispensable reference book for students of the second world war.'
GORDON LEE, The Economist

'a magnificent volume and an invaluable resource'
J. A. CRANG, The History Association

These are just a few of the review quotes generated by the Companion when it was published in hardback in 1995.

World War II was a war that affected the entire world and reached into every aspect of existence. It was a war which touched all nations, penetrated all aspects of people's lives, and which helped shape the world today. Over 140 distinguished and internationally renowned contributors have written over 1750 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, USA, Japan, including sections in each about domestic life, culture, economics, government, resistance, and defence

colonial possessions and less major players: British Central Africa, British Cameroons, Dutch East Indies, Latvia, Libya, Slovakia

campaigns: East Africa campaign, Burma campaign, Normandy campaign, Fezzan campaigns, Western desert campaigns

battles: battle of the River Plate, battle of East China Sea, battle of Kasserine Pass

military operations: FALL GELB, BARBAROSSA, OVERLORD

types of warfare: electronic, chemical, economic, signals intelligence

wartime leaders: Stalin, Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, Mussolini, Hirohito

politics and strategy: Grand Alliance, the Final Solution, the atomic bomb

design, development and use of machines and weapons: tanks, submarines, rockets, battleships, anti-tank weapons, human torpedoes, Baka bombs

organisations associated with the war: Arab League, Force K, Hitler Youth, Cossacks

places made famous in the war: Dachau, Bletchley Park, Nagasaki

slogans and phrases: wavy navy, Bevin Boys, Big Red One, jerry cans, Blackshirts


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.

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