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The Storm of War

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  2,599 Ratings  ·  208 Reviews
The Second World War lasted for 2,174 days, cost $1.5 trillion, and claimed the lives of more than 50 million people. What were the factors that affected the war's outcome? Why did the Axis lose? And could they, with a different strategy, have won? Andrew Roberts's acclaimed new history has been hailed as the finest single-volume account of this epic conflict. From the wes ...more
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Published October 1st 2011 by Tantor Audio Pa (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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Susan
May 09, 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
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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
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Ilya
Aug 03, 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
Gerald Churchill
Dec 07, 2012 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
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
...more
Greg Pettit
Aug 25, 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
...more
Jeff
Oct 24, 2011 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
Michael Flanagan
Jun 05, 2010 Michael Flanagan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww-2
This book is the best single volume on the history of World War II that I have read to date. The amount of details and information Andrew Roberts cram into this book is amazing.

As well as what you would expect in such a book, the author's analysis of key battles an characters are masterful, as well as a few new pieces of information recently de-classified This is definitely one author who know his stuff. As
a self confessed World War II buff I found this book an enthralling and educational read
...more
Alan
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
...more
Bettie☯
Feb 05, 2014 Bettie☯ marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Description: From "Britain's finest military historian" (The Economist) comes a magisterial new history of World War II and the flawed axis strategy that led to their defeat.

The Second World War lasted for 2,174 days, cost $1.5 trillion, and claimed the lives of more than 50 million people. What were the factors that affected the war's outcome? Why did the Axis lose? And could they, with a different strategy, have won? Andrew Roberts's acclaimed new history has been hailed as the finest single-v
...more
Mary Ronan Drew
Jun 26, 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
...more
Marks54
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
...more
Tariq Mahmood
May 19, 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
...more
Lance Kinzer
Oct 23, 2013 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
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
...more
Nick
Aug 27, 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
...more
Mark
Nov 29, 2011 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
John
Aug 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
...more
Larry
Jun 14, 2011 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.
Frank
Jan 29, 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.
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.
happy
May 14, 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.
Mark Taylor
May 21, 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
...more
Tudor Ciocarlie
May 13, 2017 Tudor Ciocarlie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
A superb history of WWII (although a little Eurocentric, but I don't mind that) narrated by the great Christian Rodska, who also did the memoirs of Churchill. But it was so hard to by this audiobook. Audible said "We're sorry. Due to publishing rights restrictions, we are not authorized to sell this item in the country where you live." After a long search a found a store where, using a fake US address, I could buy it. There are still so many absurd things in the young ebooks and audiobooks marke ...more
Eric
May 15, 2017 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Rounding this up to four stars since I think it covers ground worth reading about. It is LONG, though. My biggest issue is I lost steam partway through and feel like I haven't retained a lot from it overall. There's a lot of "then did on " that you'll lose your grasp on. But I think it's really good to hear about how the main players were, who was involved, etc.
Urey Patrick
You would think by now that it would not be possible to write a history of World War II and offer anything new, interesting or relevant… but you would be wrong! Roberts has accomplished exactly that, but with one very large and important caveat. This book would more properly be titled a History of the British, Russian and German War – and within that field of inquiry, it is superb! Roberts brings in a lot of previously unrevealed documentation, diaries, recorded conversations and similar new, re ...more
Melinda
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
...more
Donald
Mar 01, 2017 Donald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant and deeply thought provoking insight into the insanity of those 5 long years. There are many passages where I was simply stopped in my figurative tracks, so struck was I by the cogent untraditional and shockingly groundbreaking analysis of familiar episodes and their significance. Beautifully written, exquisitely paced.
Joe
Nov 21, 2013 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
...more
Adam Maisel
Jun 10, 2012 Adam Maisel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Second World War is a seemingly vast and endless subject (at least considering the number of books written on the subject). Writing a single volume that adequately covers one of human history's greatest tragedies seems a difficult if not impossible undertaking. Andrew Roberts has proved that he is certainly up to the task.

"Storm of War" is a well written survey of World War II. Mr. Roberts excels at shining the spotlight on aspects of the conflict that do not normally get attention such as t
...more
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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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