'Battlefields of the Second World War' is what every Richard Holmes fan has been waiting for. In this fascinating and brilliantly articulated study of the Second World War, he clarifies the complexities of four of its campaigns: El Alamein, Monte Cassino, Operation Market Garden (of which Arnhem formed a crucial part)and the RAF's bomber offensive against Germany. The book originates in his firm conviction that the sacrifices made by British service personnel are not properly understood. It uses eye-witness accounts to illuminate the horror, confusion and sheer enormity of war, and puts this in the context of the conflict's broader strategy. 'The name Richard Holmes is to military history what Made in Britain once was to maufactured goods. There is no shoddiness in materials or labour; reliability is the hallmark, not flashiness, John Bull the proud emblem'. 'The Times'
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(198mm x 126mm x 19mm)
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Published to accompany a BBC television series, Richard Holme's new book manages to avoid the usual compromises and weaknesses of such works. Rather than acting as an afterthought to the documentary, Battlefields of the Second World War stands in its own right, humane in tone, rigorously researched and well written. The only criticism one might level is that only four battles are covered, although it's worth pointing out that the battles are set within a wider campaign context. Thus, Alamein becomes the culmination of the desert war in North Africa, Monte Cassino includes the Italian Campaign, Arnhem considers the fighting in Northwest Europe and airborne operations in general, while the last 'battle' comprises the massive bomber offensive against Germany. Readers familiar with Holme's previous books will not be disappointed: he examines the wider strategic aspects of the battle and the drama's and dilemmas of high command, while providing detailed information and insightful comment from those caught up in the thick of the fighting. Review by ADRIAN GILBERT Editor's note: Adrian Gilbert is the author of Imperial War Museum Book of the Desert War. (Kirkus UK)
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