How to Lose WWII: Bad Mistakes of the Good War

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Overview

An engrossing and fact-filled collection of the great screwups of the Great War

Never had there been a war on the scale of World War II—a global conflict so widespread and involving so many different military organizations from such a diverse pool of combatant countries that the consequences of every decision, both the brilliant and the bad, were multiplied one hundredfold. Bill Fawcett, popular chronicler of monumental military mistakes and truly boneheaded battlefield ...

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How to Lose WWII: Bad Mistakes of the Good War

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Overview

An engrossing and fact-filled collection of the great screwups of the Great War

Never had there been a war on the scale of World War II—a global conflict so widespread and involving so many different military organizations from such a diverse pool of combatant countries that the consequences of every decision, both the brilliant and the bad, were multiplied one hundredfold. Bill Fawcett, popular chronicler of monumental military mistakes and truly boneheaded battlefield blunders now looks closely at the historic errors that ultimately determined the course of post-WWII history.

A cornucopia of catastrophic missteps, including:

  • An unprepared Poland is caught napping as the Nazis storm in virtually unopposed
  • Germany misses a golden opportunity to take Britain out of the war at Dunkirk
  • Russia plays Goliath to Finland's David
  • Four valuable months are wasted as Allied forces sit trapped on the beaches of Anzio
  • Germany squanders its costly development of jet power
  • The secret 1942 battle Marshal Zhukov lost, along with half a million soldiers
  • Battles lost that should have been won, including Moscow, Stalingrad, and D-Day
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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“Informative and enjoyable...This book will appeal to both general readers and amateur military historians.”
Esprit de Corp
“I recommend it to the armchair strategist and indeed to any student of military history over the ages.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061807312
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/10/2010
  • Pages: 286
  • Sales rank: 705,663
  • Product dimensions: 8.26 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Fawcett is the author and editor of more than a dozen books, including You Did What?, It Seemed Like a Good Idea . . . , How to Lose a Battle, and You Said What? He lives in Illinois.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xiii

How the Western Powers Paved Hitler's Road to War: Europe, 1936-1939 1

Between a Hard Place and Another Even Harder Place: Poland, September 1939 8

The Silent Catastrophe of the Sitzkrieg: October 1939-April 1940 14

Blitzkrieg in the North: Scandinavia, April-June 1940 23

Invading Norway: April 1940 34

The Blitzkrieg Comes of Age: France, May-June 1940 42

One That Got Away: Dunkirk, May-June 1940 52

Sure, Have the Uncommitted Run German Military Intelligence: Germany, 1935-1945 58

We've Almost Won, So Let's Change the Plan!: The Battle of Britain, August-September 1940 65

Sacrificing Africa and Greece: September 1940-April 1941 73

Good Ideas Turn into Dead Ends: April 1941-December 1944 80

The Battle of Crete: Eastern Mediterranean, May 1941 86

Germany Won't Attack Us!: Mascow, Summer 1941 92

Battle of Moscow: September 1941-January 1942 100

The Not-So-Master Race Declares War: Berlin, December 1941 107

Battle of Stalingrad: Russia, August 1942-February 1943 115

Marshal Georgi Zhukov Loses a Battle and the Soviets Cover It Up: Russia, the Rzhev Salient, November-December 1942 122

Battle of Kasserine Pass: Tunisia, February 1943 129

The Battle of Kursk: Russia, July 1943 136

Raids on Ploesti and Schweinfurt: August 1943 and October 1943 143

Battle of Ortona: Italy, December 1943 150

Nothing Goes Right in Italy: September 1943 and June 1944 156

Crossing the Rapido River: Italy, January 1944 161

Operations at Anzio: January-May 1944 167

The Bomber Will Screw Up... Most of the Time: February 1944 and July 1944 174

The Battle of the D-day Beaches: Normandy, France, June 1944 181

Battle of Normandy: France, June-July 1944 187

The Gap at Falaise: France, August 1944 193

The Battle of Arnhem: Netherlands, September 1944 199

Battle of Huertgen Forest: September-November 1944 206

Caught Napping, or Hitler's Greatest Gamble: Allied and Axis Intelligence Failures at the Battle of the Bulge, 1944 213

The Wehrmacht's Last Gasp: Belgium, December 1944-January 1945 219

The Hand of God Protects the Führer: Germany, 1933-1945 226

Who Is Waiting in the FBI Headquarters' Lobby?: Washington, D.C., December 1941 234

Aryan Competition Breeds Nazi Contempt: Germany, 1939-1945 243

United States Intelligence Failures: Europe, 1941-1944 255

Luftwaffe Pilot Training: Germany, 1939-1945 263

Tanks for the Memories: World War II's Best and Worst Tanks 272

The Story of the Messerschmitt 262: Germany, 1944-1945 281

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    Very funny cover

    Good book

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