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on 29 September 2015
Great panoramic view of the WWII which I always missed.
Must read.
Very well written.
The only missing things are (1) good maps (2) good numbers, but I still give it five stars overall.
By 'good numbers' I mean 'big numbers', e.g. how many Germans were in the Eastern Front in 1942, how many were in France, etc.
Apart from this the book is great.
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on 29 October 2014
As a child I lived in the UK throughout the war and had little appreciation of what was going on elsewhere in the world. The anniversaries of the D-Day Invasion and the start of the First WW prompted to read Antony Beevor's accounts of D-Day and the Second WW. I can record that I thoroughly enjoyed reading both books cover to cover, such is the author's style of prose.
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on 17 November 2016
The author has done a brilliant job covering such a worldwide conflict .a mixture of the inevitable statistics and covering as much as is possible I learnt a great deal from this book surprised that perhaps monty wasn't as portrayed in general the cruelty of armed forces personnel towards women __mass rape and prisoners,_ mass murder highly recommended read
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on 4 July 2016
Another masterpiece from Anthony Beevor. So much information packed into so many pages, and the interweaving of historical facts with personal stories makes for compelling reading. Although the war in the Pacific is well covered, you can tell that his true passion is the war in Europe and particularly the eastern front.
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on 17 January 2017
Impressive, unbiased summary of The Second World War, clearly written, with excellent tactical maps to increase understanding of specific operations from all countries involved, will be looking to Mr Beevor again to get some more in depth information with regards to famous conflicts during this time
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on 13 September 2012
WWII and its impact on our lives and current events which still shape our futures can never be covered enough. I've read Max Hastings, Winston Churchill and many others who have uncovered and narrated the reasons for and sequence of World War II.

The scope of the task is immense and this book, beautifully written with the reader's capacity to absorb all the information in mind, is a magnificent opus concentrating more on the Eastern Front and the politics, logistics and decision making which affected the outcome of the war.

Some reviewers criticise it for omitting material which is dear to their hearts. To encompass all the networks and strands which resulted in this catastrophe is beyond the bounds of any writer unless they were writing a 50 volume work on the subject.

This one is detailed and for me gives me an insight into a major aspect of the war which was largely responsible for over extending the German War Machine and bringing the the war to an end.

Highly recommended reading.
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on 2 September 2015
,last pages when it got the appeared to have been rushed and I think he should have looked at the war crimes and the court cases. That said this book is a brilliant book if anyone wants to know about the war,be it for study or just as a interest.
David Hand.
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on 22 June 2016
Without a doubt, the best single volume history of WW2 that exists. Immaculate detail of the important figures, and a genuine all-encompassing take. I have been an avid reader of WW2 books for ages now, yet still learned so much from this one volume.
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on 9 August 2014
This is a major work which details this war and opens very important angles to study it, especially about China and the Pacific war.
To my knowledge this is the most thorough study ever done.
Anthony Beevor is a major historian.
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on 13 July 2012
I like Beevor as an author of military history - I enjoyed his books about Stalingrad and Berlin - they were very informative and based on good research. They brought forward some unknown facts, which are valuable contributions to the historical debate.

Taking on the entire subject of the 2nd World War is a massive undertaking for any historian. I am dissapointed with Beevor's approach to this topic as he seems to use the story to belittle the British contribution in every respect - he constantly criticises Churchill, Montgomery and other British generals. All the way through his book he focuses on failures in military planning, strategy and tactics. Can he not understand that failures were made on all sides - may be he can focus more on where strategic planning and tactics worked - there is always a tradeoff with the other side - that is the nature of war.

I would much have preferred to read a book saying what were the strategic and tactical successes, rather than reading a book that emphasises the failures.

Just my opinion

Jonty Harper
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