Category Archives: Books

Hitler Versus Stalin: The Eastern Front 1941 – 1942: Barbarossa to Moscow

by Nik Cornish

The third volume in Nik Cornish’s photographic history of the Second World War on the Eastern Front records in vivid visual detail the sequence of Red Army offensives that pushed the Wehrmacht back across Russia after the failure of the Operation Citadel, the German attack at Kursk. Previously unpublished images show the epic scale of the build-up to the Kursk battle and the enormous cost in terms of lives and material of the battle itself. They also show that the military initiative was now firmly in Soviet hands, for the balance of power on the Eastern Front had shifted and the Germans were on the defensive and in retreat.

Subsequent chapters chronicle the hard-fought and bloody German withdrawal across western Russia and the Ukraine, recording the Red Army’s liberation of occupied Soviet territory. Not only do the photographs track the sequence of events on the ground, they also show the equipment and the weapons used by both sides, the living conditions experienced by the troops and the devastation the war left in its wake.

Atlas of the Eastern Front: 1941-45

by Robert Kirchubel

The Eastern Front of World War II was a nightmarish episode of human history, on a scale the like of which the world had never seen, and most likely never will see again. This expansive collection of maps offers a visual guide to the theater that decided the fate of the war, spanning the thousands of miles from Berlin to the outskirts of Moscow, Stalingrad, East Prussia and all the way back. The accuracy and detail of the military cartography found in this volume illuminates the enormity of the campaign, revealing the staggering dimensions of distance covered and human losses suffered by both sides.

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.