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A War to be Won
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In the course of the 20th century, no war looms as profoundly transformative or as destructive as World War II. Its global scope and human toil reveal the true face of modern, industrialised warfare. Now, for the first time, we have a comprehensive, single-volume account of how and why this global conflict evolved as it did. This book is a history of the Second World War that tells the full story of battle on land, on sea, and in the air. The authors analyse the operations and tactics that defined the conduct of the war in both the European and Pacific theatres. Moving between the war room and the battlefield, we see how strategies were crafted and revised, and how the multitudes of combat troops struggled to discharge their orders. The authors present incisive portraits of the military leaders, on both sibs of the struggle, demonstrating the ambiguities they faced, the opportunities they took, and those they missed. Throughout, we see the relationship between the actual operations of the war and their political and moral implications. This book is the result of decades of research by two of America's premier military historians. It avoids a celebratory view of the war but preserves a profound respect for the problems the allies faced and overcame as well as a realistic assessment of the axis accomplishments and failures. This history of World War II - from the Sino-Japanese War in 1937 to the surrender of Japan in 1945, should be of interest to students, scholars, and general readers alike.
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Scholarship and insight place this book in the front rank of military history written in the 20th century's final decade. The authorsDMurray is senior fellow at Washington's Institute for Defense Analyses and Millett is a chaired professor of military history at Ohio StateDmake no secret of their convictions on personal, institutional and operational issues, but are nevertheless remarkably successful at avoiding the armchair debunking that mars so many histories of the period. Backed by meticulous operational analysis, Murray and Millett compellingly view the war as a death grapple between civilization (however imperfect) and genocidal, racist imperialism. Both sides absorbed unprecedented levels of punishment and still functioned effectively, yet the authors show that the Allies mobilized resources to an extraordinary degree and developed unprecedented levels of cooperation against Germany and Japan, with U.S. armed forces in particular demonstrating high learning curves. After recovering from Stalin's purges, by 1943 the Red Army was successfully combining numbers and technology to take full advantage of every opportunity offered by a declining Wehrmacht. On the other side of the front, instead of making the hard choices required by Germany's limited resources, Hitler and his military leaders attempted everything simultaneously. They increasingly substituted ideology for men and equipment. Japan, too, fought a vitalist war, with will power unsuccessfully substituting for both fire power and rational calculation. The result, Murray and Millett brilliantly show, was to exclude negotiation and persuasion, leaving victory in battle the only choice in modern history's only total war. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"[A War To Be Won is] comprehensive and highly readable... Williamson Murray and Allan Millett focus on operations but range far and wide into politics, strategy, military doctrines (why armies fight the way they do), weapons, science and tactics, from the bumbling politics of the 1930s to the Cold War... This is edgy, though expert, history." - Robert Killebrew, Washington Post; "[Murray and Millett] zero in on the troops who did the fighting and the commanders who led - and sometimes misled - them... The writing is brisk and lively, the revelations sometimes startling, and the selection of photographs generous and revealing. This is as masterly and readable a one-volume history of the Second World War as anyone is likely to write." - Herbert Kupferberg, Parade Magazine "This is an outstanding history of the war." - Times Literary Supplement

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