This is an updated edition of the first truly concise introduction to the history of World War II in the West. The author, S. P. MacKenzie traces the major events on both fighting front and home front, explaining what happened and, just as importantly, why the balance of fortunes swung first towards the Axis and then towards the Allies. Along with overviews of the origins and consequences of the conflict, the book:
Provides a narrative account of the course of events on land throughout the war
Contains sections specifically devoted to societies and economies; resistance movements and collaboration; technology and intelligence; alliances and strategy; the war in the air and at sea
Assesses the impact of the war and introduces the key historiographical debates surrounding it
Far from being a blow-by-blow account, the book shows how the Second World War can only be understood by taking all the contributing factors - military, economic and social among others - into account. In addition to the existing wealth of useful supplementary material, this edition has been updated to include a colour illustration section and, for readers interested in learning more, a detailed narrative guide to published historical literature. Admirably succinct yet academically rich, this is the essential introduction to the Second World War in the West.
S.P. Mackenzie is Professor of History at the University of South Carolina. He teaches military history and modern European history, with special emphasis on the linkages between war and society. Professor MacKenzie teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses on the evolution of warfare as well as Britain and Continental Europe in the modern period. His publications include: The Colditz Myth: British and Commonwealth Prisoners of War in Nazi Germany; British War Films, 1939-1945: The Cinema and the Services; Revolutionary Armies in the Modern Era: A Revisionist Approach; The Home Guard: A Military and Political History; Politics and Military Morale: Current-Affairs and Citizenship Education in the British Army, 1914-1950 .
List of maps Note on referencing system Preface Acknowledgements Chronology Who's Who Glossary PART ONE: BACKGROUND 1. THE ROAD TO WAR The Origins of the Second World War Preparing for War PART TWO: THE SECOND WORLD WAR 2. THE FLOW OF BLITZKRIEG, 1939-42 Campaigns East and West, 1939-40 Strategies for Survival and Expansion, 1940-41 The Limits of Blitzkrieg, 1941-42 3. PEOPLES AT WAR Economies and Societies at War Barbarism and the Holocaust Collaboration and Resistance 4. CONDUCTING WAR Technology and Intelligence Alliances and Strategy Strategic Bombing and the U-Boat War 5. THE EBB OF BLITZKRIEG, 1942-45 The Changing Balance of Fortune, 1942-43 Success and Failure South and East, 1943-44 Closing the Ring, 1944-45 PART THREE: ASSESSMENT 6. THE END OF THE WAR AND AFTER Costs and the Division of Europe Historical Debates Winning and Losing PART FOUR: DOCUMENTS Guide to Further Reading References Index