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Crucible of Hell


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About the Author

Saul David is a historian, broadcaster and the author of several critically acclaimed works of fiction and non-fiction. His history books have been shortlisted for the Westminster Medal for Military Literature and variously named a Waterstones Military History Book of the Year and an Amazon History Book of the Year. He is Professor of Military History at the University of Buckingham.


An History Book of the Month

A The Times Best Book for Summer 2020

A Telegraph Best Book for Summer 2020

'Excellent. Saul David's gripping narrative is admirably clear' Antony Beevor

'Gripping, even gruesome, yet deeply moving, Crucible of Hell sweeps us masterfully from a coral charnel house in the Pacific to the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima.' David Reynolds

'The best book I've read on the Battle of Okinawa. Finally a military historian has written a book which gives humanity to the Japanese, without taking anything away from what the Americans endured and achieved on that island ... David fits perfectly into the fine tradition of war books by Max Hastings and Antony Beevor. It's war at its most beautiful and most horrible' Gerard deGroot

'A superb soldier's-eye history of Okinawa, the Second World War's ghastliest battle ... David cleverly weaves in the story of [Truman's decision to use the atomic bomb] with an account of the fighting on the island ... The meticulousness of his research really starts to display itself ... A highly readable and informative book that often reads like a screenplay, but depicts suffering that was all too real ... Saul David ... is peerless now among our military historians'
Daily Telegraph

'David restores a human dimension to this battle - both sides are brave, stoic, frightened, barbaric and occasionally cowardly. This is narrative history at its most visceral as battles unfold almost in real time ... A gripping reconstruction of the action.' Times

'Graphic and compelling ... Written with style and verve ... David brings the ghastly mayhem of war to life in a vivid way.' Literary Review

'Superbly researched, well-written ... Reminds us that the defining characteristic of war is the mass destruction of individuals, both physically and psychologically'

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