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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.

OP’s posts: |
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

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

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

OP’s posts: |
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

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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