This is quite simply one of the best history books available dealing with this subject matter. In terms of the quality of the writing it simply stands head and shoulders above the rest. I often find that books of this type can get bogged down in excessive detail particularly when relating to the movement of armies across Europe. Hastings' writing style ensures that this is a book for anyone: it is well written, nicely balanced and full of interest. It is perfectly interspersed with anecdotes from servicemen of the period, allowing the reader to understand the reality of the conflict. The other agreeable aspect of this book is that the author is not afraid to give his own thoughtful and reasoned opinions - setting it aside from many other books on the Second World War that seek to relate just facts, without meaningful interpretation.