World War II: A Short History by Norman Stone

There have been hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of pages written about World War II. Every aspect of it has been studied - everything from the types of weapons to the battles to the major personalities to the common soldier or sailor. However, it is a unique person who can describe all of this in a short history.

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Pearl Harbor Christmas: A World at War by Stanley Weintraub

Weintraub intricately weaves the avalanche of devastating news of Allied setbacks throughout the world, especially in Asia due to Japanese attacks, with the actions of Roosevelt and Churchill. They not only shared intimate moments in attending Christmas services and eating Christmas dinner together, but also in conducting official business, including one that led to the declaration initiating the United Nations.

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Last Man Standing: The 1st Marine Regiment on Peleliu by Dick Camp

When World War II enthusiasts hear the word Peleliu, they think of the pointless battle in the Pacific that was a meat grinder for the 1st Marine Division.  Dick Camp details the battle for Peleliu from the perspective of the 1st Division’s 1st Marine Regiment – the Marines known as “The Old Breed” – in Last Man Standing: The 1st Marine Regiment on Peleliu, September 15-21, 1944. Here is a description of the book from the publisher (Zenith Press): One of the...

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Inferno: The Epic Life and Death Struggle of the USS Franklin in World War II by Joseph A. Springer

I have been on a World War II history kick lately.  This kick continues with my most recent read – Joseph A. Springer’s Inferno: The Epic Life and Death Struggle of the USS Franklin in World War II.  It is an oral history that follows the USS Franklin(a fleet aircraft carrier) from the laying of its keel in Newport News, Virginia to its battles during World War II. I normally do not like oral histories because many times they are choppy – the first-hand accounts are not...

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Omar Bradley: General at War by Jim DeFelice

Many people in their late thirties or older know of Omar Bradley from Karl Malden’s portrayal of him in the movie Patton.  He was portrayed as a bland, risk-averse character who was overshadowed by the flamboyant Patton (played by George C. Scott).  Jim DeFelice tries to dispel this image of Bradley in Omar Bradley: General at War. DeFelice discusses Bradley’s rise in rank before World War II.  Although never serving in combat, he gained valuable leadership experience in various...

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