This book contains information on almost every area of the War, from its origins to its ends. This is definitely the most definitive single volume book I have read and well worth the price. It contains superb images, text, diagrams and specs on many vehicles, weapons, location and even people.
This is in no way a complete book, but then again no book could possibly hope to cover the vast topics of the war in a single volume, it would take dozens of books if not more to go into every detail. What this book does provide is the backbone of the war, providing key information without going into excessive detail.
The book itself is a large hardback book presented in a way that would allow even children to follow it as it is not page after page of text but more like an encyclopaedia with beautiful colour images on every page to accompany the topic.
In short this book is extremely good, coming very close to the utterly bar-raising standards of previous works in the 'definitive visual guide' series.
This book gives a very good overview of all major activity in the various theaters of war throught the entire confilct. The text is accompanied by a variety of images which bring the conflict to life in the rich and enticing way that DK seem to find so easy. There are plenty of maps too, which are incredibly helpful in visualising the battles and campaigns, though the annotations are a little disorganised and can be annoyingly hard to follow. The book's greatest strength is its balanced perspective. All theaters and nations are given close to equal coverage which makes for a pleasingly broad overall scope. The inspired inclusion of first hand accounts ensures that the narrative frequently touches base with real experiences.
On the downside, I read this book from cover to cover but found that it became a little dry in places. It leaps to an entirely new subject with every page turn which gives everything a rather rushed pace. Furthermore, one occasionaly feels that some events are not given sufficient coverage such as the Russian assaults on the Eastern front in 1944. This book is therefore not the gripping page turner that other, more specific war narratives are such as the magnificent 'Stalingrad' by Anthony Beevor. However, it is probably designed to be used as more of a reference book and given the immense amount of material sandwiched between the covers it's remarkable just how much detail there is. So if you are looking for a flowing narrative detailing every part of World War two then you may be better off looking elsewhere. If on the other hand you're after an outstanding reference book to dip in and out of then this is about as good as it gets. The current Imperial War Museum series; 'The second world war experience' may well rival it but this is far better value for money. A thoroughly worthy addition to anyone's book collection.
This is a big subject and this book should be regarded as a good overview as it is far from being definitive. Good facts in brief form and useful profiles of the various leaders/tyrants and key commanders. A competent compilation of facts and images that will hopefully encourage the casual reader to dig a bit deeper.
World War II: The Definitive Visual Guide - Richard Holmes
It is years since I have opened a history textbook. Flashes of daunting "European History" lessons, chalk boards and overhead projectors come to mind. I wish I was given this book back then because it is astounding. Simply put, nearly every aspect of World War II has been noted with incredible facts, along with compelling photographs. Holmes' book shows that "history repeating itself" can be a positive thing, if highlighted in this magnificent way 5/5.
Review from Sorted Magazine available from WHS, Sainsburys and app.
Bought this to give as a Xmas present. Glad I did. It might be unfair to call it a coffee-table book but it looks really good, is excellently designed with lots of eye-catching pictures and interesting graphics, and has clearly written text. One to dip into over and over again. Highly recommended.
Firstly I need to point out I've only recently received the book so have read just 30 pages of around 350 in total, but I just had to give a review at this early stage as this book is truly exquisite.
I've always been fascinated by WWII with it's countless different aspects, in particular Hitler and how he came to be this infamous character that was obviously evil but also extremely charismatic. The first book I bought on this subject was the 'For Dummies' one which in itself was very informative and well written but, at least for me, lacked the real punch of the big colour photographs and diagrams of this book that really bring the text to life.
Another thing that I didn't expect was the sheer quality of the book itself, solid hardback with a glossy cover coupled with the large size give it a really professional look and optimises room for content.
Finally I feel the need to respond to some negative claims about this book not being the truly 'definitive guide', well if those people care to look at the front cover it's there in print and clear for all to see - 'The Definitive VISUAL Guide'
But to sum up, if you have any interest in this subject and are deciding which book to go for out of the countless numbers, this it IT.
There are many books on this subject but in this one you will come across a lot of data presented from different angles. Perhaps this is not 'definitive' but it is a useful source of information. It is a valuable work.
I really like this book after quickly browsing through it, but feel that they've perhaps skimped on some things to make the book as thin-ish as it is. I doubt very much that this is a 'definitive'/'complete guide'. Anyway, the contents are as follows ...
It's a really nice book, great layout, nice mix of pictures and text. Almost magazine like in reading style, but by no means a trivial account. Only wish I'd had this book when studying the subject at A Level...anyhow, a couple of decades later, it's a great read. Highly recommend, and great value.
Wow..what do I say...Im speechless and dont know what to say because its that damn good information. The approach was really good and timeline historical fact about the war has expresses in a magical way....woow.Like it.