The Great Crusade: A New Complete History of the Second World War, Revised Edition

Overview

“The best balanced one-volume history of the Second World War in its coverage of all the major themes and all the fronts. Willmott’s fresh insights into the war on the Eastern Front are an outstanding feature.” —Russell F. Weigley, author of Eisenhower’s Lieutenants: The Campaign of France and Germany, 1944–45

The Great Crusade is a single-volume tour de force combining narrative, interpretation, and insight. Willmott has written both an outstanding operational history and a ...

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The Great Crusade: A New Complete History of the Second World War, Revised Edition

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Overview

“The best balanced one-volume history of the Second World War in its coverage of all the major themes and all the fronts. Willmott’s fresh insights into the war on the Eastern Front are an outstanding feature.” —Russell F. Weigley, author of Eisenhower’s Lieutenants: The Campaign of France and Germany, 1944–45

The Great Crusade is a single-volume tour de force combining narrative, interpretation, and insight. Willmott has written both an outstanding operational history and a perceptive analysis of systems and societies in mortal conflict.” —Dennis E. Showalter, author of Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century

“One of the best one-volume histories of World War II. . . . Thorough in its coverage, entertaining in its treatment, and perceptive in its analyses. . . . Exceptionally readable.” —Sea Power

Originally published in 1989 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the war’s outbreak in Europe, the highly acclaimed The Great Crusade: A New Complete History of the Second World War, Revised Edition, provides a balanced account of both theaters of conflict in World War II and asserts that modern war is waged between systems and societies rather than among individuals. In this new revised edition, author H. P. Willmott provides a general overview of military events and relates them to political and economic factors, establishing a balance among the warring nations in terms of the conflict’s causes and its course of victory and defeat. The Great Crusade includes detailed analyses of the Soviet side of the conflict and offers comparisons between the American Civil War and the Pacific theater to explain Japan’s defeat. Willmott debunks the myth of German military proficiency, asserting that the German military was better at winning individual battles than waging war, thus resulting in its defeat.

With its clear discussion of events, controversial interpretive frameworks, and new introduction, The Great Crusade is a well-written and engaging narrative history that will appeal to military buffs and scholars alike.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Highly readable, well documented, and provides an excellent springboard for discussion.”

"The second edition of a work first published in 1989, this book displays all of ned Willmott's skill, notably his erudition, range, and capacity for new insights. . . . A first-rate book."

“A basic ‘foundation pick’ for any college-level or military library serious about World War II history.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597971911
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/30/2008
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 520
  • Sales rank: 1,406,992
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

H. P. Willmott is a former professor at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He has written extensively on modern naval and military history and is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Battle of Leyte Gulf: The Last Fleet Action, which won the 2006 Distinguished Book Award from the Society for Military History. He is retired and lives in Surrey, England.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
Preface and Acknowledgments
1: A New World and a New War

Versailles Settlement
Locarno
Japanese Imperialism
Civil war in China
Manchurian Campaign
Rise of Hitler
Abyssinian Crisis
Occupation of the Rhineland
Spanish Civil War
Campaign in China
Anschluss
Munich Crisis
British guarantee to Poland
Nazi-Soviet Pact
Anglo-Polish Alliance
Outbreak of War

2: Conquest by Installments
Hitler’s leadership
Polish campaign
War at sea
Scandinavia
The Winter War
Norwegian campaign
Campaign in Western Europe
Fall of France
Balkans diplomacy
East Africa
Battle of Britain
Italy and the invasion of Greece
North Africa
Campaigns in Yugoslavia and Greece
Battle for Crete
Battle of the Atlantic
Operation Barbarossa
Soviet moves and counter-attacks
Start of the Pacific War

3: Global Conflict
Aspects of the Pacific War
Pearl Harbor
Siam and Malaya
Invasion of the Philippines
Hong Kong, Borneo, campaign in the Indies
Fall of Singapore
Burma
Coral Sea
Midway
Germany declares war on the United States
Battle of the Atlantic
North Africa and El Alamein
New Guinea
Guadalcanal
German position, mid-1942
Defeats in the Crimea, Kharkov
Advances towards Stalingrad and the Caucasus
Soviet counter-attack
Torch landings
Axis retreat from Egypt and Libya
Operations: Uranus, Little Saturn, Gallop, Star
Kharkov

4: 1943 and the Eleventh Principle of War
Review of 1943
Casablanca conference
Allied conferences
U.S. policy in the Pacific, China, Burma
Battle of the Atlantic
Convoy losses
Impact of Allied sea power
Strategic air offensive
Area bombing policy
Pointblank directive
War economies
Eastern Front
Kursk
Wavering of Germany’s allies

5: Time, Space and Doctrine
Problems of Germany and Japan compared
The Pacific, 1943
Campaigns in the Solomons, eastern New Guinea, the Gilberts
Burma: Arakan and Chindit operations
China
Truk
Clearing of the Marshalls
Hollandia operation
U.S. landings in western New Guinea
Saipan
Battle of the Philippine Sea
Mediterranean policy
Landings in Sicily
Italian campaign
Operation Overlord
Operation Market Garden
Eastern Front
Soviet 1944 operations
Defection of Germany’s allies
Retreat from Greece and southern Yugoslavia
Defense of Hungary

6: Kalo’smi
Situation in China
Ichi-Go offensive
Imphal and Kohima
Japanese defeats in the Pacific
Battle of Leyte Gulf
Campaign on Luzon
Strategic bombing campaigns against Germany and Japan
German recovery, late 1944
Allied operations in France and the Low Countries
Ardennes campaign
Eastern Front
Vistula-Oder offensive
Liberation of the death camps
Clearing the west bank of the Rhine
Yalta conference
Soviet drive on Berlin
Suicide of Hitler
German surrender
Liberation of Prague
Last months of Japanese war
Manhattan project
Potsdam declaration
Iwo Jima
Okinawa campaign
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Manchurian campaign
Japanese surrender

7: The Accounting

Appendixes and Postscript

Bibliography

Campaign index

General index

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Overview of World War II

    As with any one volume book assigned the task of summarizing a world war, not every area of the war will be covered. It does do a good job of trying to explain how the war was carried out by the main participants. As with this type of book it would be helpful to have a set of maps you can reference when places are referred to in the book. This book has the usual few maps throughout the book but, as usual also, they usually do not have the towns on them that are referred to in the narration of the story. There was one very good map however that showed a series of Russian offensives.
    The author's accounting of America's relations with China was very interesting to me. I felt I was reading what I would like to have written if I was to write this book. It was spooky how his thoughts aligned with mine on this subject.
    As with any book I did not totally agree with all of the author's conclusions but, I found the book a very worthwhile read. I learned stuff and that is what reading is all about.

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