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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