- Paperback: 992 pages
- Publisher: Pan (19 Aug. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0330511718
- ISBN-13: 978-0330511711
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 4.2 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 590,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A History of the Second World War Paperback – 19 Aug 2011
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"The best book of its kind.[It is] a crisp professional critique of the strategic concepts and tactical methods of all the contending forces. Liddell Hart writes with no national bias, and is as critical of British -- and Allied -- performance as of the enemy's".-- The New Yorker
About the Author
Sir Basil Liddell Hart was a military strategist and writer of great acclaim, and one of the world's outstanding teacher-historians. Born in Paris in 1895, he was educated at Cambridge before serving on the Western Front with the Yorkshire Light Infantry after which he was military correspondent of the Daily Telegraph and The Times. He evolved several military tactical developments including the Battle Drill system and was an early advocate of airpower and armoured forces. He lectured on strategy and tactics at staff colleges in numerous countries. His many books include biographies of several great commanders, and The Other Side of the Hill - his interview with World War II's highest-ranking German generals. His two great studies of World War I and World War II were published in 1930 and 1970 respectively, the latter in the year of his death. He was knighted in 1966.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
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On April 1, 1939, the world's Press carried the news that Mr Neville Chamberlain's Cabinet, reversing its policy of appeasement and detachment, had pledged Britain to defend Poland against any threat from Germany, with the aim of ensuring peace in Europe. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Top Customer Reviews
Now on to the good points (and there are many). The book is about as thoroughly researched as it is possible to be. Liddell Hart interviewed many of the participants himself which is something that you don't find in many history books. His understanding of tactics and strategy is exceptional and rarely implausible. The writing style is competent, direct, and to the point. He has barely an unnecessary word in the entire book.
Now for more bad points. The book is ENTIRELY a Military History. Any politics or personalities are mentioned in passing if at all. The few interpretations of his that I strongly disagreed with were in his interpretation of politics. He views it from very much a military point of view as a battle to win as much power and security as possible. Any other factors such as principles or popular opinion are ignored or ridiculed.Read more ›
The answer is very emphatically yes, but a distinction must be made. This book took me two months to read, taking into account its length (700 pages) this was not especially poor for a general history reader. But I believe the reason behind the prolongued read is precisely because it is not an account for general readership but for the reader of military history. It is, in short, a military and strategist's view of the Second World War. An important categorization that I hope informs potential buyers.
This does not mean however that its worth is negated for the general reader. Liddell Hart's history is as thorough and epic in scale as the war itself An experienced military strategist who bore witness to its prosecution, he held unique and valuable insight. Of particular value is the inclusion of German accounts of the war from interrogations and interviews made by Liddell Hart himself.
Great eruditeness is also shown in describing the varying campaigns, invasions, battlefields, and military plans from all sides. The sheer detail he offers is immense and because of this nothing is gleaned over, which I felt was of considerable use in gathering a full account of the actual fighting. In addition, something of the art, if not essentially chaotic nature of the war and indeed warfare as a whole is infused into the reader's mind.Read more ›
I think this is one of the greatest books on the subject. Well written, it gives you the all picture of the second world war. Everybody keen on this matter should buy one.
And, from a man who never exceeded the rank of captain, there is obvious personal bitterness in the remark: 'Hitler well understood the effect of promotion in seducing men's judgement and producing compliance. Professional ambition rarely resists that form of temptation.' The prophet is never accepted in his own country...
The style is a bit odd, with lots of outlines and recapitulations; though it's a long book, arguably all you really need to read is the ten-page epilogue. The rest just sets out the same ideas at greater length. In many cases these are the fairly obvious ones encountered in many books about the war: Allied material superiority; Hitler's disastrous insistence on standing fast no matter what; the counter-productive demand for unconditional surrender.
Not quite the dazzling insights I was hoping for, then; but a good strategic overview, especially if you have not already read extensively about the conflict.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's probably a super book BUT I actually received a different one, where Liddell Hart was simply some kind of Series Editor, and 90% of the material was authored by other people. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mike Flowerday
A remarkable job of an ingenious historian in a relatively short space...
Absolute must for any ne interesting in the event of WWII
Preliminary Note: This is a serious and honest review. So, if you are one of those individuals who do not acknowledge the Holocaust, please don't bother and stop reading here. Read morePublished 21 months ago by marginal
This is Captain Liddel Harts opus. It is written from a Britsh point of view so doesn't cover the war in the Pacific in great detail. Read morePublished on 20 Feb. 2011 by Adrian
This book was very comprehensive and very detailed. I learned a great deal about the campaigns of the second world war and I would urge any student of the conflict to read it too.Published on 9 Sept. 2010 by Reader