Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945

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Inferno: The World at War, [Max Hastings] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Winner of the Pritzker Prize for Military History A. Editorial Reviews. Review. “A new, original, necessary history, in many ways the crowning of a Inferno: The World at War, by [Hastings, Max].

He did not recognise a strategic opportunity to wage a major campaign against British Atlantic commerce until the fall of France in June ; U-boat construction was prioritised only in , when allied naval strength was growing fast and the tide of the war had already turned. The Japanese laid bare their limitations, especially a shortage of competent commanders.

When defending a position, their ethic of absolute conformity to orders had its uses; but in attack, commanders often acted unimaginatively. Man for man, the Japanese soldier was more aggressive and conditioned to hardship than his allied counterpart: British Gen.

The Nazis were always determined to exploit the licence granted to a government waging total war to fulfil objectives that otherwise posed difficulties even for a totalitarian regime. Less than a thousand retributive executions took place. Many convicted mass killers served jail sentences of only a few years, or even escaped by paying a fine of fifty almost worthless Reich marks. Some British and Americans, and many Russians, were guilty of offences under international law, the killing of prisoners notable among them, yet very few faced even courts martial. To have been on the winning side sufficed to secure amnesty; few allied war crimes were even acknowledged.

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Now, for the first time, he gives us a magnificent, single-volume history of the entire conflict. There are sections on the war at sea, the war in the air, the Holocaust, and a blisteringly good chapter that covers what it meant to live with the war, for soldiers at the front, and civilians on the home front. The incredible victories achieved by the Nazi armies and then the impact of General Winter as the armies fight in front of Moscow. There is no grace and pity in the world! Overlaid upon this tapestry is an analysis of how the war brought out the best and the worst in people, how it could be won only through the use of astonishing brutality and how it changed society forever. How would one adequately treat the lead up to this conflict? In covering the war in Asia and Africa, Hastings does not shy away from recounting the racism of the British and Japanese military.

American, Canadian and British troops who routinely shot snipers and Waffen SS prisoners on the battlefield, usually in supposed retaliation for similar enemy actions, went unindicted. My story emphasises bottom-up views and experiences, the voices of little people rather than big ones; I have written extensively elsewhere about the warlords of Among citizens of modern democracies to whom serious hardship and collective peril are unknown, the tribulations which hundreds of millions endured between and are almost beyond comprehension.

Almost all those who participated, nations and individuals alike, made moral compromises. It is impossible to dignify the struggle as an unalloyed contest between good and evil, nor rationally to celebrate an experience, and even an outcome, which imposed such misery upon so many. Allied victory did not bring universal peace, prosperity, justice or freedom; it brought merely a portion of those things to some fraction of those who had taken part.

Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945

All that seems certain is that allied victory saved the world from a much worse fate that would have followed the triumph of Germany and Japan. See All Customer Reviews.

The Second World War

Shop Books. Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. About the Author Max Hastings is the author of more than twenty books. Show More. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches.

12. "INFERNO: The World at War, 1939-1945," by Max Hastings

A deeply engaging new history of how European settlements in the post-Colombian Americas shaped the A deeply engaging new history of how European settlements in the post-Colombian Americas shaped the world, from the bestselling author of Mind you, the feelings it restores are really, really painful ones. You witness disastrous scenes that most histories gloss over because they happened in the margins of the overall conflict.

But they were anything but marginal for the people who experienced them. In Inferno these episodes open up and reveal themselves to be horrific little worlds in and of themselves. What you realize first is that the descent of the world into war in seemed no less surreal to those caught up in it than it does to us now. Though many U.

Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945

The book takes a close look at the German struggle to seize Stalingrad. Hitler's effort, which finally failed, left pain and starvation in its wake. It makes the skin crawl to read accounts of people eating zoo animals, the pet population and even humans.

Some readers may bristle when reading that England bore more of the brunt of war than did the U. That is true as far as it goes. But aid from this country — with fighting and with weapons — kept England from falling under Hitler's heel.