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Published to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (May 2020) and Victory in Japan Day (August 2020), this is an outstanding concise history of the Second World War written by one of Britain’s foremost historians.
The first of two volumes, World War II: The Essential History, Vol 1 (From the Munich Crisis to the Battle of Kursk 1938-43) begins by charting the period when the Axis powers reigned supreme. In little more than two years Germany, Italy and Japan had conquered much of mainland Europe, moved east into the Soviet Union and pushed the Allies out of the Far East and Pacific. It ends as the Allies finally began to stop the Axis advance in its tracks and win significant ground. From defeat on the beaches of Dunkirk and the jungles of the Philippines to victory in the North African desert, the snow-covered Soviet plains and the Pacific island of Guadalcanal.
The first volume ends just as the Allies start to turn the tide against the Third Reich, with the extraordinary dramas of the Battle of the Bulge, D-Day and the race to Berlin still to come.
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