"An extraordinary tale... Overy's engrossing book provides extensive details of teh slaughter, brutality, bitterness and destruction on the massive front from the White Sea to the flank of Asia."--Chicago Tribune
The Russian war effort to defeat invading Axis powers, an effort that assembled the largest military force in recorded history and that cost the lives of more than 25 million Soviet soldiers and civilians, was the decisive factor for securing an Allied victory. Now with access to the wealth of film archives and interview material from Russia used to produce the ten-hour television documentary Russia's War, Richard Overy tackles the many persuasive questions surrounding this conflict. Was Stalin a military genius? Was the defense of Mother Russia a product of something greater than numbers of tanks and planes--of something deep within the Russian soul?
* With exclusive article by Richard Overy *
Beginning with the story of early man, and culminating in the rise of global terrorism and environmental issues, the text is a breathtaking and unrivalled narrative which includes voyages of discovery, revolutions and wars, dynasties and empires.
Richard Overy, with a team of historians, presents a factual chronological narrative as well as his own opinion-led piece in an extended article ‘The State of the World’ in which he gives his views on the primary factors which shape the world we live in.
With fully-up-to-date content including material on Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism and the environment, as well as the latest research into prehistory, this is the most complete and readable record of our world yet.
From cavemen to the Cold War, from Alexander the Great to global warming, from warfare through the ages to the great voyages of exploration, The Times History of the World is the book that has all the answers, the detail and the authoritative text in one breathtaking single historical source.
Technology shapes the nature of all wars, and the Second World War hinged on a most unpredictable weapon: the bomb. Day and night, Britain and the United States unleashed massive fleets of bombers to kill and terrorize occupied Europe, destroying its cities. The grisly consequences call into question how “moral” a war the Allies fought.
The Bombers and the Bombed radically overhauls our understanding of World War II. It pairs the story of the civilian front line in the Allied air war alongside the political context that shaped their strategic bombing campaigns, examining the responses to bombing and being bombed with renewed clarity.
The first book to examine seriously not only the well-known attacks on Dresden and Hamburg but also the significance of the firebombing on other fronts, including Italy, where the crisis was far more severe than anything experienced in Germany, this is Richard Overy’s finest work yet. It is a rich reminder of the terrible military, technological, and ethical issues that relentlessly drove all the war’s participants into an abyss.
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.
By the end of World War I, Britain had become a laboratory for modernity. Intellectuals, politicians, scientists, and artists?among them Arnold Toynbee, Aldous Huxley, and H. G. Wells?sought a vision for a rapidly changing world. Coloring their innovative ideas and concepts, from eugenics to Freud?s unconscious, was a creeping fear that the West was staring down the end of civilization.
In their home country of Britain, many of these fears were unfounded. The country had not suffered from economic collapse, occupation, civil war, or any of the ideological conflicts of inter-war Europe. Nevertheless, the modern era?s promise of progress was overshadowed by a looming sense of decay and death that would deeply influence creative production and public argument between the wars.
In The Twilight Years, award-winning historian Richard Overy examines the paradox of this period and argues that the coming of World War II was almost welcomed by Britain?s leading thinkers, who saw it as an extraordinary test for the survival of civilization? and a way of resolving their contradictory fears and hopes about the future.
A brilliantly concise narrative of the days leading to the outbreak of history's greatest conflagration, 1939 takes readers hour by hour through the nail-biting decisions that determined the fate of millions. Richard Overy, a leading historian of the period, masterfully recreates the jockeying for advantage that set Europe's greatest powers on a collision course. Would Stalin join Hitler in a bid to divide Poland and flout the West? Would Britain and France succeed in forcing Germany to reason? And how far would a defiant Poland push its claim to exist? In the summer of 1939, the course of events was anything but assured, as this exceptionally absorbing book drives home.
Richard Overy charts the rise and fall of Nazi power in a compelling narrative of the period, amplified by extensive quotations from documents, letters, diaries and oral testimony, and accompanied by many original and striking images of the era. There are also fact boxes which explore many of the important aspects of the Third Reich in greater detail. Authoritative, informative and sumptuously illustrated, written by a scholar steeped in knowledge of the period, The Third Reich brings the bloody realities of war, conquest and genocide vividly to life. It is an ideal book for anyone fascinated by the stormy history of the twentieth century, World War II and the age of dictators.
The object of this book is to introduce readers to a whole range of military history which has all the drama, dangers, horrors and excitement that we associate with Stalingrad or the Somme. Battles are acute moments of history whenever and wherever they have been fought. Through them we can understand how warfare and world history have evolved.
Choosing just one hundred battles from recorded human history is a challenge. Not just because it is necessary to cover almost 6,000 years of history, but because men have fought each other almost continuously for millennia. Anyone who knows anything about the history of war may be disappointed at what has had to be left out. However, each of the 100 memorable battles described shows both how the nature of armed combat has changed over human history, and also how, despite changes in technology, organisation or ideas, many things have remained the same.
It is an old adage that you can win a battle but lose a war. The battles featured here almost always resulted in victory for one side or another, but the victor did not necessarily win the war. Some battles are decisive in that broader historical sense, others are not. The further back in time, the more likely it is that an enemy could be finished off in one blow. The wars of the modern age, between major states, have involved repeated battles until one side was battered into submission. Some of the great generals of the recent past – Napoleon, Robert E Lee, Erich von Manstein – have been on the losing side but are remembered nonetheless for their generalship.
Some on the winning side have all but disappeared from the history books or from public memory. Equally, in many battles, the issue is not victory or defeat, but what the battle can tell us about the history of warfare itself. New weapons, new tactics, new ways of organising armed forces can have a sudden impact on the outcome of a battle. But so too can leadership, or the effects of a clever deception, or raw courage. That is why the book has been divided up into clear themes which apply equally to the battles of the ancient world as they do to the battles of today.
As Professor Richard Overy laments: “Battle is not a game to plug into a computer but a piece of living history, messy, bloody and real. That, at least, has not changed in 6,000 years.”