32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War (Hardcover)
Trying to write a history of WWII in one volume is a difficult trick to pull off, and it depends largely on how much knowledge you have on the subject on whether you think this book is succesful. What we have here is a series of loosely linked essays covering different aspects of the conflict. Some work, some don't, Andrew Roberts sems to be at his weakest when dealing with aspects of the air war. I had already tripped over a gradient error at Monte Cassino before being presented with the misrepresentation of the Avro Manchester as a four engined bomber (it only had two). By the time I got to the page that had two conflicting casualty totals for V2s in the UK I felt that I was less reading it than marking it. Sloppily written, probably to meet some publishers deadline, we should expect more from frontline historians like Andrew Roberts.
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Initial post: 30 Dec 2009 21:58:31 GMT
May I thank "eversfs" for this review. The Daily Telegraph spoke highly of the book and I put it on my reading list. However I, too, get very irritated when the textrual inaccuracies obscure the reading pleasure (see my review of The Berlin Airlift by Bob Clarke [I am Ivan]). I will spend my money elsewhere...
Posted on 18 Feb 2010 18:16:36 GMT
His account of the famous "greatest tank battle in history" at Prokorovka - 11 July 1943 - is also erroneous.
Although published later than Richard J Evans' "The Third Reich at War", it is Evans who recounts that Stalin had to be placated for the fact that the first line of Soviet tanks fell into one of their own anti-tank ditches, and - with Krushchev's agreement - Stalin was fed the myth of the great tank battle to protect Rotmistrov from a court-martial. (p488ff - hardback edition).
The real tank losses are discussed by Mark Healy - "Zitadelle" (p.345ff - hardback edition) - where it's stated that originally many Soviet tank losses were listed as German losses, whereas " ... upwards of 600 (Soviet) machines (were) written off ... by the day's end ..."
I felt Operation Bagration was not given its due weight, though this is common among Western authors who naturally give priority to D-Day and its aftermath. For example, Bagration gets a mere paragraph in Max Hastings' 'Armagedon' (page 7-8 - hardback edition).
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