This is the first study of the aims that motivated the major powers -- the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, Germany and Japan -- to fight in the Second World War. The book shows, in a way that has not previously been attempted, how some war aims were constants that were unlikely to be abandoned except as a result of total defeat while others arose and sometimes declined as a result of the fortunes of war. Fresh light is shed on the wartime transition of the United States and the Soviet Union to superpower status, while the author shows that consistency is most evident in Great Britain, content with the international prewar status quo, and Nazi Germany, intent from the first on destroying it and replacing it with a new order in which all liberal and civilised values would be annihilated. Based largely on published sources, including published documentary material, the aim is to ensure accessibility for a range of readers. The level at which it is pitched, the synthesis of a broad range of material, its breadth of coverage and the comparative element will make this an ideal text for students studying the Second World War.
Victor Rothwell is Reader in History at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of several books including The Origins of the Second World War (2001), Britain and the Cold War, 1941-47 (1982) and British War Aims and Peace Diplomacy, 1914-18 (1971).
Maps; German war aims map; American war aims map; Soviet war aims map; Japanese war aims map; 1. War aims in modern history; 2. Germany and Italy; 3. Britain and France; 4. The United States; 5. The Soviet Union; 6. Japan and the Grand Allies in East Asia; 7. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.