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The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War
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The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  2,363 Ratings  ·  198 Reviews
"Roberts'spopulist approach makes for a rollicking good read and never comes at theexpense of accuracy. His mastery of the huge variety of subjects is trulyimpressive and his ability to marshal these subjects into a single compellingnarrative stunning." —The Daily Telegraph

Hailedby The Economist as “Britain’s finest military historian” forbestsellers such as Masters and Co
ebook, 800 pages
Published May 17th 2011 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2009)
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Bob I've read dozens of WWII books and enjoyed Storm of War, but I would not recommend to anyone starting to read about the war. In fact, it may be the…moreI've read dozens of WWII books and enjoyed Storm of War, but I would not recommend to anyone starting to read about the war. In fact, it may be the last book I read on the subject. I recommend Churchill's history of the war to start. (less)
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Jun 03, 2010 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first one-volume history of World War II that I’d really place in a category of reevaluation by an author who views the war from a comfortable distance in time, but then I’m not expert, not even, really, an amateur aficionado even though I’ve read a lot about the war, including biographies of the personalities and memoirs by the participants.

Roberts’ thesis is that the Allies did not so much win the war as Hitler lost it, in large part by making independent judgments based on intuiti
Sean O'Hara
Someday, someone will write a great one volume history of the Second World War. But it won't be Andrew Roberts.

The book is all right when it comes to the European/African theaters, though Roberts does indulge in Anglo-American triumphalism. But when he turns to the Pacific, the triumphalism turns to Eurocentricism and piss-poor research. Although his narrative of the European conflict begins before the war with the Anschluss, dismemberment of Czechoslovakia and "Peace for our time," he begins hi
Aug 06, 2011 Ilya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-ii
I want to read Winston Churchill's six-volume history of World War II, and before doing that, decided to go through a modern British one-volume popular book on the subject. This is a rather conventional history book; the author is a British patriot who berates Eire for being neutral in the war, since had Hitler won, he would have trampled this neutrality. It makes gross mistakes having to do with the Soviet Union. A million and a half former Soviet POWs were sent to the Gulag or labor battalions ...more
Armin Hennig
Deutsches Original unten

Probably the moust superfluous newer representation, so much I have longed for the end of the second world war in no other Book in this topic. But even a such book has its good sides, you learn to better appreciate the classics.
The biggest shock is to while the bias of a recent historian, who justifies the almost unnecessary battle of El Alamein by the imminent landing of the Americans in Morocco, with Britains need to do something for their own self-consciousness, before
Gerald Churchill
Jan 24, 2013 Gerald Churchill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What "The Storm of War" does, it does fairly well. The book covers the war, at least the European part of it, comprehensively, although too breezily in places. It points out that while all of the members of the Grand Alliance made valuable contributions, the Soviet Union did the bulk of the fighting and the dying. Andrew Roberts points out that the Axis powers did or failed to do certain things that might have prolonged the war or even created a different outcome. He lays to rest certain myths, ...more
Greg Pettit
Sep 18, 2011 Greg Pettit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly well-researched and brisk history of the battles of World War II that illustrates how personalities impacted the outcome as much as planning.

The author argues that World War II was one of the first wars waged for political reasons, rather than military ones, and that this was ultimately what caused the Germans to lose. The book itself covers all the campaigns from beginning to end and offers a staggering amount of detailed figures of the troops and arms involved.

The strategies of t
Jun 16, 2012 Jeff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
For a single volume history of WWII, I really didn't think it was very well done or contained new information. It focuses nearly exclusively on the European conflict and doesn't deal much at all with the causes of the war. I much prefer A Short History of World War II by James L. Stokesbury when it comes to single volume histories of WWII. Stokesbury spends much more time discussing the causes of the war, which is more interesting to me, as well as at least trying to cover some of the subtopics ...more
Tariq Mahmood
Aug 23, 2016 Tariq Mahmood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, europe
The numbers and scale of the Second World War is truly great, which completely justified the huge interest it still creates. Although the author manages to talk about many wars on the Asian front, but his focus is really on the Western front. He leaves many questions unclear.
Why did the Japanese enter the war? What were their reasons as they clearly could not attack mainland USA so what were they hoping to achieve?
Would communism have prevailed in China if Chiang Kai Shek was given equal billing
Mary Ronan Drew
Nov 27, 2011 Mary Ronan Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every year there are another dozen books about World War II, with maybe one or two worth reading. The Storm of War is a new history, as the subtitle points out, and with large numbers of government records, oral histories, and private papers being released all the time a "new" history can bring a good deal of evidence to back up a new interpretation. Andrew Roberts' book does just that.

Another thing his book does is to put the emphasis on the eastern front that it deserves. I tend to read about
Mar 23, 2011 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roberts has produced a powerful piece of military history writing. Taking on a one-volume history of WWII, on of the most studied and written-about periods in the history of the 20th century was no small or easy task.

Robert's book, "The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War" is a retrospective work that considers and takes into account what happened between 1939 in Europe and 1941 in the Pacific and the end of the war in both theaters of operation in 1945. The retrospective approa
Aug 28, 2012 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the book isn't an entirely comprehensive telling of World War II, it manages to serve as an excellent crash course in World War II history.

Presenting the conflict in an almost narrative fashion, the book uses first hand accounts and somewhat prosaic terms to present the war in a way that makes Allied country heroic, especially the British Commonwealth countries like Canada and New Zealand. The Axis soldiers are generally presented as noble as well, although their leaders are thoroughly bas
Holly Cline
I won this book through First Reads about 2 months ago and steadily kept up with reading it even though that meant juggling multiple books at once. Not something I like to do.

Since I'm American, these are the things I was made aware of in public school regarding WWII: Pearl Harbor, D Day, Hitler is bad, Auschwitz, Anne Frank & A Bomb. I had never taken the time or effort to learn more about the war in my free time but am generally a fan of reading history books in order to learn. By nature o
Lance Kinzer
Apr 16, 2015 Lance Kinzer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a perfectly fine one volume treatment of WW II and I have no problem recommending it. That said, it suffered from several weaknesses. While each paragraph reads just fine, there was often a strange lack of flow between paragraphs that was distracting and occasionally confusing. It's treatment of the war in the Pacific was little better than cursory, and seemed to lack the original research found in it's consideration of the European theater. It also failed to deliver on its promise with ...more
Aug 21, 2011 Marks54 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a fairly comprehensive (610 pages) history of World War II trying to make some new interpretations and make use of some more recent archival materials. It is a quick read and engaging, even if you already have read a lot about WWII.

What I liked the most about this book was that the author takes a clear perspective - namely that Germany (Hitler) largely lost the war because of several egregious errors (invading USSR, declaring war on the US, etc.) and this had these mistakes been avo
Feb 08, 2013 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon-vine
It’s clear from this book that Andrew Roberts is a fan of recycling, as this book is little more than a rehashing of the war as covered by others. Contrary to the subtitle, there is little that is “new” here; instead the reader gets a fairly standard interpretation of the war that is largely dependent on the work of others. Worse, his account concentrates heavily on the ground war involving Germany; the war against Japan in Asia is covered in only three of the book’s eighteen chapters, while the ...more
Oct 12, 2015 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These stories. Born in '52, the war over just 7 yrs. The immense scale is astounding. Thousands die in a day. People lived through this, yet there are times I can barely get out of bed. Humans are predators. If there isn't enough trouble in the world they'll go and make some.

This book is full of battles, events, thought processes that I had never read of. Once again behind the scene revelations. The central thesis being that Hitler lost the war because of egregious errors. The Allies democratic
Feb 10, 2014 Frank rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-2
Enjoyed and agreed with the views and conclusions of Andrew Roberts. However, this being a shorter volume covering the war, much was omitted from the actions that occurred.
For in depth study one must dive into specialized volumes of which there are hundreds.
David Willem
Jul 06, 2014 David Willem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is superb. You know those surveys that find that only three out of ten UK school children know who Churchill was? Well, to be honest, now I have read this brilliant, single-volume history, I realise how little I actually knew about the Second World War, and that what I did know comes from the likes of 'Dad's Army'. These were my sources: build up to war (Liza Minnelli in 'Cabaret'); Dunkirk ('Atonement', starring that bloke from Shameless); Battle of Britain (mainly beer ads); Battle of Atl ...more
Jun 20, 2014 Yemoss rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A highly insightful and thoroughly researched analysis of WWII from the Agitator's perspective: Nazi Germany, provided by the acclaimed military historian Andrew Roberts. His multi-faceted approach delves into areas political, social, economic, tactical and diplomatic, as experienced by leaders, civilians, soldiers; everyone in the chain of command. He considers all theaters of the war: by air, land, sea, communication and espionage, noting successes and failures among both Axis and Allied. He e ...more
Feb 06, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cameron McElwee
Fairly interesting, and written well enough to have kept my attention during the more statistic based parts, but generally speaking is a largely inconsistent book.
The chapters on The Battle of the Atlantic, the Combined Bomber Offensive and the Holocaust were wonderfully written, and interesting to boot. Unfortunately, this doesn't ring true for multiple other chapters in the book, specifically the chapter on the battles of Midway and Imphal/Kohima, The Sicilian/Italian offensives, and the mer
Oct 24, 2012 Larry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Several outstanding one-volume histories of World War II appeared within the last year or two ("Inferno" by Max Hastings, Anthony Beevor's history, and this one). This book is the best of the three at providing a context for understanding the horrific nature of the war. The writing is excellent, and the analysis is unmatched.
May 23, 2012 happy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good overall history, but not a whole lot of new information. For US readers a really good overview of the India/Burma theater. I also thinks he glosses over the Pacific Operations a little.
Zachary Shrier
Sep 09, 2011 Zachary Shrier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly compelling single-volume history of WW2. Incorporates newly declassified information - especially about the eastern front. Highest possible recommendation.
Mark Taylor
Jun 26, 2016 Mark Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Andrew Roberts’ 2011 book The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War is a superb and fascinating look at the deadliest conflict in human history. I previously read Roberts’ excellent 2014 biography of Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon: A Life, which I reviewed here. Roberts has a knack for choosing the telling historical detail that gets his point across in an entertaining way, and although he writes about very broad subjects, he never gets bogged down in historical minutiae.

I read The S
Kyle Geissler
May 30, 2016 Kyle Geissler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot about this war, but was interested in hear this "new" telling of the story. We hear so much about the western front, but the more dramatic story is on the eastern front. It's hard to get your head around the number of people who died. The main thesis of the book is that Hitler's ideological commitment to Nazism was his own undoing. Generally, it's a demonstration of the importance of vetting ideas. Hitler was rarely challenged when making military decisions, which proved costly l ...more
Mar 04, 2015 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is not bad. I have a few problems with it.

A book of this size covering the Second World War is going to leave things out. The author gives short shrift to the Pacific theatre. There's no mention of the Indian Ocean raid which drove the Royal Navy out of the Pacific and large parts of the Indian Ocean.

Speaking of the Pacific theatre, the author claims that the fast fall of Japan after the fall of Germany is proof of the correctness of the Allies' Germany First policy. I disagree. I thin
A most excellent and very lengthy overview of the many different fronts of WWII. Areas that I found I was not as aware of included the Russian front (battles against Moscow and Stalingrad) as well as the battles in Burma. For 6 German soldiers killed in actual battle, 4 of them died fighting the Russians.

I was amazed yet again at the sheer scope of WWII. I did not realize the lack of coordination between the Axis powers. If they had indeed worked together, the outcome might have been very very
Jul 08, 2015 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Andrew Roberts adds yet another volume to the expansive list of World War II books - the causes, the battles, the leaders and key military figures - which begs the obvious question, "Do we really need another one?". Having read more than my fair share of books on this topic - and having just finished reading The Storm of War - my answer is yes - this book is for both the World War II novice and expert alike.

This is labeled a "new" history and there are a few new tidbits chronicled here. For inst
Apr 21, 2015 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Hitler’s Abilities and Beliefs lead to the Start of WWII, but also Accelerated its Completion

The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War, by Roberts, Andrew is an excellent book.

Andrew’s theme, that Hitler’s ideology and lack of ability to military strategic thinking resulted in the start of WWII and ultimately the demise Germany, is loosely threaded through most of this book. At the same time, the theme does not get in the way of giving the reader an excellent view of the full arc o
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Dr Andrew Roberts, who was born in 1963, took a first class honours degree in Modern History at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, from where he is an honorary senior scholar and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). He has written or edited twelve books, and appears regularly on radio and television around the world. Based in New York, he is an accomplished public speaker, and is represented by Har ...more
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“It was on 7 March 1936 that Hitler comprehensivelyviolated the Versailles Treaty by sending troops intothe industrial region of the Rhineland, which under Article 180 had been specifically designated ademilitarized zone. Had the German Army beenopposed by the French and British forces stationednear by, it had orders to retire back to base and sucha reverse would almost certainly have cost Hitler thechancellorship. Yet the Western powers, riven withguilt about having imposed what was described as a‘Carthaginian peace’ on Germany in 1919, allowedthe Germans to enter the Rhineland unopposed. ‘After all,’ said the influential Liberal politician andnewspaper director the Marquis of Lothian, who hadbeen Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in RamsayMacDonald’s National Government, ‘they are onlygoing into their own back garden.’ When Hitler assured the Western powers in March 1936 thatGermany wished only for peace, Arthur Greenwood,the deputy leader of the Labour Party, told the Houseof Commons: ‘Herr Hitler has made a statement…holding out the olive branch… which ought to be takenat face value… It is idle to say that those statementsare insincere.’ That August Germany adopted compulsory two-year military service” 3 likes
“On 20 November, front-line troops got 500 grams of bread per day, factory workers received 250, and everyone else 125 (that is, two slices). ‘Twigs were collected and stewed,’ records an historian of the siege. ‘Peat shavings, cottonseed cake, bonemeal was pressed into use. Pine sawdust was processed and added to the bread. Mouldy grain was dredged from sunken barges and scraped out of the holds of ships. Soon Leningrad bread was containing 10% cottonseed cake that had been processed to remove poisons. Household pets, shoe leather, fir bark and insects were consumed, as was wallpaper paste which was reputed to be made with potato flour. Guinea pigs, white mice and rabbits were saved from vivisection in the city’s laboratories for a more immediately practical fate. ‘Today it is so simple to die,’ wrote one resident, Yelena Skryabina, in her diary. ‘You just begin to lose interest, then you lie on your bed and you never get up again. Yet some people were willing to go to any lengths in order to survive: 226 people were arrested for cannibalism during the siege. ‘Human meat is being sold in the markets,’ concluded one secret NKVD report, ‘while in the cemeteries bodies pile up like carcasses, without coffins.” 1 likes
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