This innovative new study analyzes the origins of the First and Second World Wars in one single volume by drawing on a wide range of material, including original sources. In concise, readable chapters, the author surveys the key issues surrounding the causes of both wars, offers an original and critical survey of the conflict of opinion among historians and provides a lively selection of primary documents on major issues. The result is a unique perspective on the origins of the two most devastating military conflicts in world history.
PMH Bell's famous book is a comprehensive study of the period and debates surrounding the European origins of the Second World War. He approaches the subject from three different angles: describing the various explanations that have been offered for the war and the historiographical debates that have arisen from them, analysing the ideological, economic and strategic forces at work in Europe during the 1930s, and tracing the course of events from peace in 1932, via the initial outbreak of hostilities in 1939, through to the climactic German attack on the Soviet Union in 1941 which marked the descent into general conflict. Written in a lucid, accessible style, this is an indispensable guide to the complex origins of the Second World War.
James Joll's study is not simply another narrative, retracing the powder trail that was finally ignited at Sarajevo. It is an ambitious and wide-ranging analysis of the historical forces at work in the Europe of 1914, and the very different ways in which historians have subsequently attempted to understand them. The importance of the theme, the breadth and sympathy of James Joll's scholarship, and the clarity of his exposition, have all contributed to the spectacular success of the book since its first appearance in 1984. Revised by Gordon Martel, this new 3rd edition accommodates recent research and an expanded further reading section.
Exploring the reasons why the Second World War broke out in September 1939 and why a European conflict developed into a war that spanned the globe, The Origins of the Second World War argues that this was not just ‘Hitler’s War’ but one that had its roots and origins in the decline of the old empires of Britain and France and the rise of ambitious new powers in Germany, Italy and Japan who wanted large empires of their own. This fourth edition has been revised throughout, covering the origins of the war from its background in the First World War to its expansion to embrace the Soviet Union, Japan and the United States by the end of 1941. Creating a comprehensive and analytical narrative while remaining a succinct overview of the subject, this book takes a thematic approach to the complex range of events that culminated in global warfare, discussing factors such as economic rivalry, rearmament and domestic politics and emphasising that any explanation of the outbreak of hostilities must be global in scope. Containing updated references and primary source documents alongside a glossary, a chronology of key events and a Who’s Who of important figures, this book is an invaluable introduction for any student of this fascinating period.
Hidden History uniquely exposes those responsible for the First World War. It reveals how accounts of the war’s origins have been deliberately falsified to conceal the guilt of the secret cabal of very rich and powerful men in London responsible for the most heinous crime perpetrated on humanity. For ten years, they plotted the destruction of Germany as the first stage of their plan to take control of the world. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was no chance happening. It lit a fuse that had been carefully set through a chain of command stretching from Sarajevo through Belgrade and St Petersburg to that cabal in London. Our understanding of these events has been firmly trapped in a web of falsehood and duplicity carefully constructed by the victors at Versailles in 1919 and maintained by compliant historians ever since. The official version is fatally flawed, warped by the volume of evidence they destroyed or concealed from public view. Hidden History poses a tantalising challenge. The authors ask only that you examine the evidence they lay before you . . .
Hailed on publication as a thought-provoking, authoritative analysis of the true beginnings of the Second World War, this revised edition of The Road to War is essential reading for anyone interested in this momentous period of history. Taking each major nation in turn, the book tells the story of their road to war; recapturing the concerns, anxieties and prejudices of the statesmen of the thirties.
When A.J.P. Taylor's The Origins of the Second World War appeared in 1961 it made a profound impact. The book became a classic and a central point of reference in all discussion on the Second World War. The second edition of this distinguished collection, written by leading experts in the field, is designed to bring the state of the argument up to date. The issues discussed include: * the legacy of the Treaty of Versailles * Hitlers foreign policy * Appeasement * AJP Taylor and the Russians * the treatment of the crises leading up to war including the Anschluss, Danzig, Abysinnian crises and the Spanish Civil War. This second edition will ensure that The Origins of the Second World War will remain a high priority student and scholarly reading lists.
In a major reinterpretation, Sean McMeekin rejects the standard notion of the war’s beginning as either a Germano-Austrian pre-emptive strike or a miscalculation. The key to the outbreak of violence, he argues, lies in St. Petersburg. Russian statesmen unleashed the war through policy decisions based on imperial ambitions in the Near East.
The Origins of British Deception in the Second World War
Author: Whitney Bendeck
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
June 1940. The Italians declared war on the British. Completely unprepared for war, the British had only 35,000 troops to defend Egypt. Opposing them, the Italian army in Libya numbered at least 215,000; in East Africa, the Italians could muster another 200,000 men against a meager 19,000 British and commonwealth troops positioned in the Sudan and East Africa. Out-numbered and unlikely to receive sizable reinforcements of men or desperately needed supplies, it is surprising that the British survived. But they did. How? They got creative. Under the leadership of General Archibald P. Wavell, the commander-in-chief of the Middle East, the British set out to greatly exaggerate the size of their forces, supply levels, and state of battle readiness. When their deceitful charades proved successful, Wavell turned trickery into a profession and created an entirely new agency dedicated to carrying out deception. “A” Force: The Origins of British Military Deception during the Second World War looks at how and why the British first employed deception in WWII. More specifically, it traces the development of the "A" Force organization - the first British organization to practice both tactical and strategic deception in the field. Formed in Cairo in 1941, "A" Force was headed by an unconventional colonel named Dudley Wrangel Clarke. Because there was no precedent for Clarke's "A" Force, it truly functioned on a trial-and-error basis. The learning curve was steep, but Clarke was up for the challenge. By the Battle of El Alamein, British deception had reach maturity. Moreover, it was there that the deceptionists established the deception blueprint later used by the London planners used to plan and execute Operation Bodyguard, the campaign to conceal Allied intentions regarding the well-known D-day landing at Normandy. In contrast to earlier deception histories that have tended to focus on Britain’s later deception coups (Bodyguard), thus giving the impression that London masterminded Britain’s deception efforts, this work clearly shows that British deception was forged much earlier in the deserts of Africa under the leadership of Dudley Clarke, not London. Moreover, it was born not out of opportunity, but out of sheer desperation. A” Force explores an area of deception history that has often been neglected. While older studies and documentaries focused on the D-day deception campaign and Britain’s infamous double-agents, this work explores the origins of Britain’s deception activities to reveal how the British became such masterful deceivers.
A definitive account of World War II by America's preeminent military historian World War II was the most lethal conflict in human history. Never before had a war been fought on so many diverse landscapes and in so many different ways, from rocket attacks in London to jungle fighting in Burma to armor strikes in Libya. The Second World Wars examines how combat unfolded in the air, at sea, and on land to show how distinct conflicts among disparate combatants coalesced into one interconnected global war. An authoritative new history of astonishing breadth, The Second World Wars offers a stunning reinterpretation of history's deadliest conflict.
"The Origins of the First World War deals with the policies and the issues that brought Europe to war in 1914. The position of each of the great powers within the international framework is concisely explained. The problems confronting them are also carefully analysed, as is the influence of political and economic structures on the decision-making process. Professor Martel shows how and why the confrontational alliance system came into being and considers the impact upon it of the series of crises that brought the major powers close to conflict in the opening years of the twentieth century. He outlines the terms and obligations that these alliances entailed and discusses the extent to which they were responsible for the outbreak of war. First published in 1987, The Origins of the First World War has proved itself an invaluable aid to students. For this Second Edition Gordon Martel has completely rewritten his original text in the light of recent scholarship. He has also updated the bibliography and added a number of useful reference tools which will help readers to grasp the details more easily. Thus, the main text is now supplemented not simply by a chronology of the principal events, but also by a biographical guide to the personalities mentioned in the book, a glossary of terms, and five maps."--Page 4 of cover.
The seminal event of the 20th century, the origins of the First World War have always been difficult to establish and have aroused deep controversy. Annika Mombauer tracks the impassioned debates as they developed at critical points through the twentieth century. The book focuses on the controversy itself, rather than the specific events leading up to the war. Emotive and emotional from the very beginning of the conflict, the debate and the passions aroused in response to such issues as the ‘war-guilt paragraph’ of the treaty of Versailles, are set in the context of the times in which they were proposed. Similarly, the argument has been fuelled by concerns over the sacrifices that were made and the casualities that were suffered. Were they really justified?
Using the most up-to-date scholarship and research, and writing with clarity and compassion, Beevor assembles the whole picture of the Second World War in a gripping narrative that extends from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific, from the snowbound steppe to the North African Desert, to the Burmese jungle, SS Einsatzgruppen in the borderlands, Gulag prisoners drafted into punishment battalions, and to the unspeakable cruelties of the Sino-Japanese War.
Andrew Roberts's acclaimed new history has been hailed as the finest single-volume account of this epic conflict. From the western front to North Africa, from the Baltic to the Far East, he tells the story of the war—the grand strategy and the individual experience, the brutality and the heroism—as never before. Meticulously researched and masterfully written, The Storm of War illuminates the war's principal actors, revealing how their decisions shaped the course of the conflict. Along the way, Roberts presents tales of the many lesser-known individuals whose experiences form a panoply of the courage and self-sacrifice, as well as the depravity and cruelty, of the Second World War.
Many major world events have occurred since the last key anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War, and these events have had a dramatic impact on the international stage: 9/11, the Iraq War, climate change and the world economic crisis. This is an opportune moment to bring together a group of major international experts who will offer a series of new interpretations of the key aspects of the origins of the Second World War. Each chapter is based on original archival research and written by scholars who are all leading experts in their fields. This is a truly international collection of articles, with wide breadth and scope, which includes contributions from historians, and also political scientists, gender theorists, and international relations experts. This is an important contribution to scholarly debate on one of the most important events of the 20th century and a subject of major interest to the general reader, historians, students and researchers, policy makers and conflict prevention experts.
“A stunning achievement of research and storytelling” that weaves together all the major frontsof the Great War (Publishers Weekly). It was to be the war to end all wars, and it began at 11:15 on the morning of June 28, 1914, in an outpost of the Austro-Hungarian Empire called Sarajevo. It would end officially almost five years later. Unofficially, it has never ended: the horrors we live with today were born in the First World War. The Great War left millions of civilians and soldiers maimed or dead. It also left behind new technologies of death: tanks, planes, and submarines; reliable rapid-fire machine guns and field artillery; poison gas and chemical warfare. It introduced U-boat packs and strategic bombing, unrestricted war on civilians and mistreatment of prisoners. Most of all, the war changed our world. In its wake, empires toppled, monarchies fell, whole populations lost their national identities as political systems and geographic boundaries were realigned. Instabilities were institutionalized, enmities enshrined. And the social order shifted seismically. Manners, mores, codes of behavior; literature and the arts; education and class distinctions-all underwent a vast sea change. And in all these ways, the twentieth century can be said to have been born on the morning of June 28, 1914. “One of the first books that anyone should read in beginning to try to understand this war and this century.” —The New York Times Book Review
On the morning of June 28, 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie Chotek, arrived at Sarajevo railway station, Europe was at peace. Thirty-seven days later, it was at war. The conflict that resulted would kill more than fifteen million people, destroy three empires, and permanently alter world history. The Sleepwalkers reveals in gripping detail how the crisis leading to World War I unfolded. Drawing on fresh sources, it traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute, action-packed narrative that cuts among the key decision centers in Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Paris, London, and Belgrade. Distinguished historian Christopher Clark examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914 and details the mutual misunderstandings and unintended signals that drove the crisis forward in a few short weeks. How did the Balkans—a peripheral region far from Europe's centers of power and wealth—come to be the center of a drama of such magnitude? How had European nations organized themselves into opposing alliances, and how did these nations manage to carry out foreign policy as a result? Clark reveals a Europe racked by chronic problems—a fractured world of instability and militancy that was, fatefully, saddled with a conspicuously ineffectual set of political leaders. These rulers, who prided themselves on their modernity and rationalism, stumbled through crisis after crisis and finally convinced themselves that war was the only answer. Meticulously researched and masterfully written, The Sleepwalkers is a magisterial account of one of the most compelling dramas of modern times.