Category Archives: Books

The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-1945

by Nicholas Stargardt

As early as 1941, Allied victory in World War II seemed all but assured. How and why, then, did the Germans prolong the barbaric conflict for three and a half more years?

In The German War, acclaimed historian Nicholas Stargardt draws on an extraordinary range of primary source materials—personal diaries, court records, and military correspondence—to answer this question. He offers an unprecedented portrait of wartime Germany, bringing the hopes and expectations of the German people—from infantrymen and tank commanders on the Eastern front to civilians on the home front—to vivid life. While most historians identify the German defeat at Stalingrad as the moment when the average German citizen turned against the war effort, Stargardt demonstrates that the Wehrmacht in fact retained the staunch support of the patriotic German populace until the bitter end.

Astonishing in its breadth and humanity, The German War is a groundbreaking new interpretation of what drove the Germans to fight—and keep fighting—for a lost cause.

U-188: A German Submariner’s Account of the War at Sea 1941-1945

by Klaus Willmann

Anton Staller was a U-boat lookout, rising no higher than Leading Seaman and his account of the war from the lower ranks is unique. He served on the Type IXc/40 boat, U-188 under Kapitänleutnant Lüdden on three patrols witnessing the stark reality of convoy warfare from his lookout position on the conning tower of his submarine. His U-boat sank the British destroyer HMS Beverley and eight merchant ships exceeding 100,000 gross tons but the submarine also spent many hours submerged under depth-charge attacks.

More so than many of his contemporaries, Staller was prepared to reveal his thoughts and feelings of his experiences of the war at sea, and of his time on the conning tower, at the hydrophons, and cleaning weapons as a messboy.

His journal demonstrates how political thinking rarely entered the minds of the
U-boat men, even though many of them, such as Lüdden, did not choose to serve in submarines. Staller was not a Nazi and came from a Socialist Party background, yet he never questioned the cause he was fighting for. To Staller it was simply ‘Us or Them to the death’.

After Hitler: The Last Ten Days of World War II in Europe

From the acclaimed author of The King’s Mother and Bosworth 1485—a fascinating look at ten days that changed the course of history…

On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in a bunker in Berlin. But victory over the Nazi regime was not celebrated in western Europe until May 8. Why did a peace agreement take so much time? How did this messy, complicated conflict coalesce into its unlikely endgame?

After Hitler shines a light on ten fascinating days after that infamous suicide that changed the course of the twentieth century. Combining exhaustive research with masterfully paced storytelling, Michael Jones recounts the Führer’s frantic last stand; the devious maneuverings of his handpicked successor, Karl Dönitz; the grudging respect Joseph Stalin had for Churchill and FDR, as well as his distrust of Harry Truman; the bold negotiating by General Dwight D. Eisenhower that hastened Germany’s surrender but drew the ire of the Kremlin; the journalist who almost scuttled the ceasefire; and the thousands of ordinary British, American and Russian soldiers caught in the swells of history, from the Red Army’s march on Berlin to the liberation of the Nazis’ remaining concentration camps. Through it all, Jones traces the shifting loyalties between East and West that sowed the seeds of the Cold War, and nearly unraveled the Grand Alliance.

In this gripping, eloquent, and even-handed narrative, the spring of 1945 comes alive—a fascinating time when nothing was certain, and every second mattered…

WWII Remembered: From Blitzkrieg Through to the Allied Victory

by Richard Overy

Written by leading World War II historian Richard Overy and vividly illustrated, this valuable reference captures this momentous period in history and delivers large amounts of information with maximum impact. The global flow of events from the German blitzkrieg against Poland in September 1939 to the atomic bombing of Japan in August 1945, and from the islands of the South Pacific to Norwegian fjords beyond the Arctic Circle, is illuminated by the author’s keen insights on weapons, strategy, and tactics. Thirty items of removable memorabilia range from official war documents, combat reports, and annotated speech notes to telegrams, letters, and diary extracts. In addition, an audio DVD includes 80 firsthand accounts of British and US veterans from the Sound Archives of the Imperial War Museums and other archives—among them, recordings of Eisenhower and Roosevelt.

Luftwaffe X-Planes: German Experimental and Prototype Planes of World War II

by Manfred Griehl

Renowned German aviation specialist Manfred Griehl has collected a unique and valuable selection of photographs of Luftwaffe projects that never made it into battle. They remained on the drawing board or at prototype stage because either they were deemed unsuitable or, as is the case with most of those in this selection, the developers simply ran out of time and the projects never went into production. This fascinating insight into the aviation science of the Third Reich includes rare photographs of Germany’s secret planes.

Armored Champion: The Top Tanks of World War II

 

 

 

 

 

by Steven J. Zaloga

Armor expert Zaloga enters the battle over the best tanks of World War II with this heavy-caliber blast of a book armed with more than forty years of research. Provocative but fact-based rankings of the tanks that fought the Second World War. Breaks the war into eight periods and declares Tanker’s Choice and Commander’s Choice for each. Champions include the German Panzer IV and Tiger, Soviet T-34, American Pershing, and a few surprises. Compares tanks’ firepower, armor protection, and mobility as well as dependability, affordability, tactics, training, and overall combat performance. Relies on extensive documentation from archives, government studies, and published sources–much of which has never been published in English before. Supported by dozens of charts and diagrams and hundreds of photos.