World War II books recommends?

(7 Posts)
42notTrendy Sun 04-May-14 19:30:09

I have scant knowledge of WW II and with the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, plus the 100th anniversary of the armistice this year, I'd like to improve my knowledge.
Can anyone recommended some books that give an overview of WW II? As a history graduate (pre-1602!!) I'd like to read books that have different opinions /perspectives. I'd rather start with something that covers 1939-1945, and dip into more detailed books once I know the bigger picture.
Thanks.

EasterSundaySimmons Mon 05-May-14 08:44:37

There are lots of factual books with timelines, but you can get a feel and understanding of what people's lives were like at the time with this book

www.amazon.co.uk/We-Are-At-War-Extraordinary/dp/0091903874

42notTrendy Mon 05-May-14 18:10:59

Thank you. That looks like an interesting place to begin.

Nightwriter Wed 07-May-14 12:25:34

I have two recommendations for you.

Robert Kershaw's Never Surrender Lost voices of a generation at war. This not only has an overview but also provides lots of eye witness accounts. More information on his website www.robertjkershaw.com/never_surrender_bg.html

At 600 pages Richard Holmes The World at War is more of a tome and is based entirely on interviews.

thegambler Thu 29-May-14 23:55:51

Norman Davies's "Europe at war 1939-45: No simple victory"

Far more than a chronology, it explores the politics, the sociology and the history of the war (Europe only mind, no pacific conflict really entered in to), painting a picture of how it was really a culmination of European power struggles that had been on going since WWI and really started in the Spanish civil war (of which Antont Beevor writes a very good history).

For European history in genearl I really like Davies, I constantly dip into his "The Isles" and "Europe".

LoopyLa Fri 06-Jun-14 08:33:46

Thanks for this OP, I was about to start this exact thread!

PepeLePew Fri 06-Jun-14 20:42:37

Norman Stone's Short History of WW2.

It is indeed short and to the point but a really concise yet comprehensive overview of the causes and trajectory of the war. It won't take long to read but would give you a great starting point for some of the longer books mentioned here.

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