Book picks similar to
Dunkirk 1940: Operation Dynamo by Howard Gerrard
Strange Victory: Hitler's Conquest of France
Ernest R. May - 2000
Why did Hitler turn against France in the Spring of 1940 and not before? And why were his poor judgement and inadequate intelligence about the Allies nonetheless correct? Why didn't France take the offensive earlier, when it might have led to victory? What explains France's failure to detect and respond to Germany's attack plan?Skillfully weaving together decisions of the high commands with the confused responses from exhausted and ill-informed, or ill-advised, officers in the field, the distinguished diplomatic historian Ernest R. May offers many new insights into the tragic paradoxes of the battle for France.
Guderian: Panzer General
Kenneth John Macksey - 1975
Kenneth Macksey reveals Guderian as a brilliant rebel in search of ideals, and a general whose personality, genius, and achievements transcended those of Rommel. As well as throwing light on the crucial campaigns in Poland, France, and Russia, this biography illuminates the fatal struggles within the German hierarchy, and examines why Guderian was so admired by some and so denigrated by others.
We March Against England: Operation Sea Lion, 1940-41
Robert Forczyk - 2016
Following the destruction of the RAF fighter forces, the sweeping of the channel of mines, and the wearing down of the Royal Naval defenders, two German army groups were set to storm the beaches of southern England. Despite near-constant British fears from August to October, the invasion never took place after first being postponed to spring 1941, before finally being abandoned entirely.Robert Forcyzk, author of Where the Iron Crosses Grow, looks beyond the traditional British account of Operation Sea lion, complete with plucky Home Guards and courageous Spitfire pilots, at the real scale of German ambition, plans and capabilities. He examines, in depth, how Operation Sea Lion fitted in with German air-sea actions around the British Isles as he shows exactly what stopped Hitler from invading Britain.
The Blitzkrieg Myth: How Hitler and the Allies Misread the Strategic Realities of World War II
John Mosier - 2003
In the inter war years, a new myth appeared -- that the new technology of the airplane and the tank would result in rapid and massive breakthroughs on the battlefield, with the enemy being destroyed in weeks.John Mosier shows how Hitler, Rommel, von Manstein, Montgomery, and Patton were all equally seduced by the breakthrough myth, or blitzkrieg, as the decisive way to victory. He shows how the Polish campaign in the autumn of 1939 and the fall of France in the spring of 1940 were not blitzkrieg victories. He also reinterprets Rommel's North African campaigns, D day, the Normandy campaign, and Hitler's last desperate breakthrough effort to Antwerp in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944, among others. All these actions saw the clash of breakthrough theories with the realities of conventional military tactics. The Blitzkrieg Myth is a compelling and original rethinking of the strategy and tactics of World War II by the author of the highly praised The Myth of the Great War.
The Blitzkrieg Legend: The 1940 Campaign in the West
Karl-Heinz Frieser - 1996
The account, written by the German historian Karl-Heinz Frieser and edited by American historian John T. Greenwood, provides the definitive explanation for Germany's startling success and the equally surprising military collapse of France and Britain on the European continent in 1940. In a little over a month, Germany defeated the Allies in battle, a task that had not been achieved in four years of brutal fighting during World War I.First published in 1995 as the official German history of the 1940 campaign, this book goes beyond standard explanations to show that the German victory was not inevitable and that French defeat was not preordained. Contrary to most accounts of the campaign, Frieser's illustrates that the military systems of both Germany and France were solid and that their campaign plans were sound. The key to victory or defeat, Frieser argues, was the execution of operational plans--both preplanned and ad hoc--amid the eternal Clausewitzian combat factors of friction and the fog of war. He shows why, on the eve of the campaign, the British and French leaders had good cause to be confident and why many German generals were understandably concerned that disaster was looming for them.This study explodes many of the myths concerning German blitzkrieg warfare and the planning for the 1940 campaign. Frieser's groundbreaking interpretation of the topic has been the subject of discussion since the German edition first appeared. This English translation is published in cooperation with the Association of the United States Army.
Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942
Robert M. Citino - 2007
In this major reevaluation of that crucial year, Robert Citino shows that the German army's emerging woes were rooted as much in its addiction to the war of movement-attempts to smash the enemy in short and lively campaigns-as they were in Hitler's deeply flawed management of the war. From the overwhelming operational victories at Kerch and Kharkov in May to the catastrophic defeats at El Alamein and Stalingrad, Death of the Wehrmacht offers an eye-opening new view of that decisive year. Building upon his widely respected critique in The German Way of War, Citino shows how the campaigns of 1942 fit within the centuries-old patterns of Prussian/German warmaking and ultimately doomed Hitler's expansionist ambitions. He examines every major campaign and battle in the Russian and North African theaters throughout the year to assess how a military geared to quick and decisive victories coped when the tide turned against it. Citino also reconstructs the German generals' view of the war and illuminates the multiple contingencies that might have produced more favorable results. In addition, he cites the fatal extreme aggressiveness of German commanders like Erwin Rommel and assesses how the German system of command and its commitment to the independence of subordinate commanders suffered under the thumb of Hitler and chief of staff General Franz Halder. More than the turning point of a war, 1942 marked the death of a very old and traditional pattern of warmaking, with the classic German way of war unable to meet the challenges of the twentieth century. Blending masterly research with a gripping narrative, Citino's remarkable work provides a fresh and revealing look at how one of history's most powerful armies began to founder in its quest for world domination.
Duel of Eagles: The Struggle for the Skies from the First World War to the Battle of Britain
Peter Townsend - 1969
Dogfights in the sky, ruthless political maneuvers, legendary heroes of the air like Richthofen (the "Red Baron") and Douglas Bader, this book combines all of these colorful, dramatic, and evocative accounts of the furious air conflicts that saved Britain from German invasion.
Endgame, 1945: The Missing Final Chapter of World War II
David A.T. Stafford - 2007
While the war may have seemed all but over by Hitler's final birthday (April 20), Stafford's chronicle of the three months that followed tells a different, and much richer, story. ENDGAME 1945 highlights the gripping personal stories of nine men and women, ranging from soldiers to POWs to war correspondents, who witnessed firsthand the Allied struggle to finish the terrible game at last. Through their ground-level movements, Stafford traces the elaborate web of events that led to the war's real resolution: the deaths of Hitler and Mussolini, the liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau, and the Allies' race with the Red Army to establish a victors' foothold in Europe, to name a few. From Hitler's April decision never to surrender to the start of the Potsdam Conference, Stafford brings an unprecedented focus to the war's "final chapter." Narrative history at its most compelling, ENDGAME 1945 is the riveting story of three turbulent months that truly shaped the modern world.
Target Tirpitz: X-Craft, Agents and Dambusters - The Epic Quest to Destroy Hitler's Mightiest Warship
Patrick Bishop - 2012
To Churchill, she was ‘the Beast’, a menace to Britain’s supply lines and a threat to the convoys sustaining Stalin’s armies. Tirpitz was said to be unsinkable, impregnable –no other target attracted so much attention.In total 36 major Allied operations were launched against her, including desperately risky missions by human torpedoes and midget submarines and near-suicidal bombing raids. Yet Tirpitz stayed afloat. It was not until November 1944 that she was finally destroyed by RAF Lancaster Bombers flown by 617 Squadron – the Dambusters – in a gruelling mission that tested the very limits of human endurance.The man who led the raid – Willie Tait – was one of the most remarkable figures of the war, flying missions almost continuously right from the start. Until now his deeds have been virtually unknown. With exclusive co-operation from Tait’s family, Patrick Bishop reveals the extraordinary achievement of a man who shunned the spotlight but whose name will be renowned for generations to come.
It Never Snows in September: The German View of Market-Garden and the Battle of Arnhem, September 1944
Robert Kershaw - 1990
Based on extensive research and containing new material it uniquely chronicles that struggle through the eyes of the German soldier and analyses the reasons for the eventual outcome.
Retreat from Moscow: A New History of Germany's Winter Campaign, 1941-1942
David Stahel - 2019
In Retreat from Moscow, a bold, gripping account of one of the seminal moments of World War II, David Stahel argues that instead it was its first strategic success in the East. The Soviet counteroffensive was in fact a Pyrrhic victory. Despite being pushed back from Moscow, the Wehrmacht lost far fewer men, frustrated its enemy's strategy, and emerged in the spring unbroken and poised to recapture the initiative.Hitler's strategic plan called for holding important Russian industrial cities, and the German army succeeded. The Soviets as of January 1942 aimed for nothing less than the destruction of Army Group Center, yet not a single German unit was ever destroyed. Lacking the professionalism, training, and experience of the Wehrmacht, the Red Army's offensive attempting to break German lines in countless head-on assaults led to far more tactical defeats than victories.Using accounts from journals, memoirs, and wartime correspondence, Stahel takes us directly into the Wolf's Lair to reveal a German command at war with itself as generals on the ground fought to maintain order and save their troops in the face of Hitler's capricious, increasingly irrational directives. Excerpts from soldiers' diaries and letters home paint a rich portrait of life and death on the front, where the men of the Ostheer battled frostbite nearly as deadly as Soviet artillery. With this latest installment of his pathbreaking series on the Eastern Front, David Stahel completes a military history of the highest order
Pursuit The Chase and Sinking of the Bismarck
Ludovic Kennedy - 1974
First published in 1974, this work remains in the forefront of the many books, movies, and television programs about the epic World War II drama played out in the stormy Atlantic. It is a thrilling firsthand account of the hunting down and sinking of the battleship 'Bismarck', pride of the German Fleet, told by a member of the Royal Navy's destroyer force who participated in the pursuit. The author's own experiences add fire and immediacy to the account that has come to be considered a classic by critic and general reader alike. The world's largest warship when she first sailed into the Atlantic in May 1941, the 'Bismarck' was a serious threat to Britain's survival and her sinking of the beloved battle cruiser 'HMS Hood' with nearly fifteen hundred aboard sent shock waves throughout Britain. Determined to track her down, the Royal Navy engaged in pursuit, finding the mammoth warship just hours from her safe harbor. The chess-like plotting, the horror and heroism on both sides, the final apocalyptic action have never been portrayed more vividly and objectively - and never with the benefit of such detailed documentation from both British and German sources. A measure of the book's epic qualities is that knowledge of the outcome in no way lessens the tension. When she was sunk just days after her own victorious action with the 'Hood<', the 'Bismarck' took more than two thousand German sailors to the bottom of the ocean and with them the dreams of the German naval high command. For sheer suspense, this book can hardly be equalled. For carefully researched history, it is an admirable example of fine writing. Ludovic Kennedy's introduction to this new edition places the event in perspective for today's audiences.
Sand & Steel: The D-Day Invasions and the Liberation of France
Peter Caddick-Adams - 2019
Sand and Steel reveals precisely what lay in wait for the Allies. But the heart of the book is Caddick-Adams' narratives of the five beaches where the terrible drama played out--Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword, and the attempt by American, British, and Canadian soldiers to gain a foothold in Europe.The Allied invasion of Europe involved mind-boggling logistics, including orchestrating the largest flotilla of ships ever assembled. Its strategic and psychological demands stretched the Allies to their limits, testing the strengths of the bonds of Anglo-American leadership. Drawing on first-hand battlefield research, personal testimony and interviews, and a commanding grasp of all the archives and literature, Caddick-Adams's gripping book, published on the 75th anniversary of the events, does Operations Overlord and Neptune full justice.
Zero Night: The Untold Story of World War Two's Greatest Escape: The Untold Story of World War Two's Greatest Escape
Mark Felton - 2014
Months of meticulous planning and secret training hung in the balance during three minutes of mayhem as the officers boldly stormed the huge double fences at Oflag Prison. Employing wooden ladders and bridges previously disguised as bookshelves, the highly coordinated effort succeeded and set 36 men free into the German countryside. Later known as the 'Warburg Wire Job', fellow prisoner and fighter ace Douglas Bader once described the attempt as 'the most brilliant escape conception of this war'.The first author to tackle this remarkable story in detail, historian Mark Felton brilliantly evokes the suspense of the escape and the adventures of those escapees who managed to elude the Germans, as well as the courage of the civilians who risked their lives to help them in enemy territory. Fantastically intimate and told with a novelist's eye for drama and detail, this rip-roaring adventure is all the more thrilling because it really happened.