Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “History of the Second World War” as Want to Read:
History of the Second World War
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

History of the Second World War

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  471 ratings  ·  29 reviews
The critically-acclaimed classic history of the Second World War by one of the greatest military thinkers of his time.
First published in the year after his death in 1970, Liddell Hart's History of the Second World War is a classic military tome from one of the best military strategists of his generation. With his distinctive voice, he covers the most famous of all wars wit
972 pages
Published 2011 by Pan Macmillan (first published January 1st 1970)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about History of the Second World War, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about History of the Second World War

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,128)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
In 1969, Sir Captain B.H. Liddell Hart inked the finishing touches on this towering overview of World War II after working on it for 20 years, and thereafter, ironically, died immediately in the comfort of his own home. The book is a grand legacy of a lifetime of brilliant and innovative military thinking, and up to its time was probably the best and most authoritative general overview of the war yet written. Maybe it still is.

The copy I read had sat undisturbed in my parents' library for 40 yea
Good overview of WWII. Liddell Hart provides a broad coverage of the major campaigns with enough detail to entice the reader while providing the stratagems for the thinker. A classic author and strategists providing a classic work.
Jan 16, 2010 Anthony rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History buffs
I decided to read Liddell Hart’s History of the Second World War because I had seen it cited in many places as the definitive one-volume guide to a subject I have watched too many tv shows on but read few books about. (Surprisingly, it seems to be out of print, but I found several old hardcovers [not the one pictured here:] at the Strand.) I would recommend it to anyone interested in a one-volume history or the war, with the caveats below—most of which will probably not trouble the English speak ...more
Oct 20, 2012 Saurabh rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in history nd warfare
a classic depiction of the modern war.2
learned a lot of hitlers tactics nd his mistakes which backfired
came to know dat WW-2 was not jus about hitler nd germany it was more about bravity of allied forces nd especially russia nd britain
A new general who jumped on watchlist is rommel will read more about him...
exact stats on number of aircraft used etc nd manpower used is more enthrilling especially in battle of britain.pearl harbour nd battle of statlingrad
History of the Second World War.

This book is great. I liked this book so much. It interested me so much I just couldn’t stop reading it. Even through this book was over 700 pages I still read it over 600 in 3 days. That is how much I liked this book. It was a part of history that no one who was in it or was alive during that era that is still alive now will forget. The war cost the lives of 48 million people. The Nazi’s or Germans killed 6 million Jews, and 5 Million other people who Hitler did
Dec 16, 2007 Espen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone intererested in history and warfare
Shelves: history
One of my enduring frustrations with books about WWII is poor mapping and relatively little focus on operational strategy. One reason for this, I have now found, is that Liddell Hart wrote the definitive book on the war in 1971, and every book since then either will have to concentrate on more details (such as Anthony Beevor's books on Berlin and Stalingrad) or take a more "themed" approach (such as John Keegan's WWII).

The book is cold-blooded and argumentative - with a focus on maneuver (nicely
Kenneth Burr
Reading this book in conjuction with the world at war. was very interesting as they were written in different generations. So they have different points view. One is written in hindsight the other as a more contempory account. very interesting.
The major events and battles were covered and analyzed from different point of view. The military strategy or lack of it was pointed sometimes in very enjoyable way even for one, who is not military historian.
Recommended for: people who are interested in learning about the second world war and already have basic knowledge of the war

Not recommended for: school projects (too much detail!)
David Warwick
An excellent military history of the war.

The book is focused on strategic military decision making, and takes a academic balanced approach that gives rounded insights that do often come across in general WWII histories.

Focuses a little too much on British campaigns, and a little less detailed on other areas (such as Russia or the Pacific).

There are also little bits where you feel the author is a touch vain in the certainty of his thoughts and he likes to highlight his involvement at the highest
The one account of the greatest war you cannot miss.

With the most researched, balanced and real perspective on the events of the war.
Nice one-book overview of the WWII history for newbie military history enthusiast.
Very good general history of WWII, written by the man who was one of the key thinkers in formulating the kind of battle strategies in the 20s and 30s which would be so instrumental in inspiring the idea of the Blitzkrieg later. It was first published shortly after Liddell Hart's death in 1970, so there has since been a lot of new research in the field; however, his summations of the kind of strategies used are unlikely to ever be surpassed.
Josh Hamacher
A high-level strategic overview of World War 2 by B. H. Liddell Hart. Probably the best one-volume look at that war that I've ever read.
Wonderfully done - as far as I can tell it is an accurate depiction of the War. I've read many dozens of books on this subject and rate this one near the top. If you are a fan of Admiral Samuel Elliot Morrison (Naval historian) and his works then you will be happy the similarity in styles here.
Erik Graff
Jun 02, 2013 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WWII fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
Although author Hart is (deservedly) opinionated, this is an authoritative history of the second world war and the first such broadly sketched history I'd ever read, everything else having been restricted either to a theatre or a particular campaign.
carl  theaker

I got & read this book when it first came out. It was much anticipated as
Hart was quite the respected historian. Obviously 713 pages isn't really
that much for all of WW2, so it's a high level perspective and a good
basis for knowledge.

Armin Hennig
Vier Sterne als Klassikerbonus. Die Analysen sind besser als beim mit drei Sternen bedachten Andrews, der in Sachen Darstellungen einzelner Schlachten klar von der Gnade der späten Geburt profitiert.
Really interesting from a strategic perspective, but the author seemed to think a little too highly of himself. If he had fought the war, it all would have gone differently...
Shyam Sundar
Apr 22, 2013 Shyam Sundar rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History buffs
Extremely good book on the military history of World War II. Lots of minute strategic, operational and tactical details on the various invasions, plans and counter-attacks.
Best general history of the second world war that I've read, written by the man who came up with many of the revolutionary tactics and strategies that defined that conflict.
There has been a proliferation of single volume histories of WWII in recent years, but this one still holds up very well.
Nice one volume history, although it tilts to the British too much. Excellent for his views on armored warfare.
James Violand
Jun 30, 2014 James Violand rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history students
Shelves: own
A purely objective report on the battles and politics behind the strategies of the war. Excellent work.
Stephen Gordons
I know of no other history of the Second World War which I would place greater weight upon.
Great read and well written. Goes in great depth, a read that might take some time.
Part 2 of one of the best short strategic histories of WW2
Great writing makes this a wonderful read of history.
Adam Pitrocha
Best book about 2nd World War
Emmett Merwin
Emmett Merwin marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 37 38 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II
  • Panzer Battles: A Study of the Employment of Armor in the Second World War
  • Decision in Normandy
  • The Battle of Kursk
  • To Lose a Battle: France 1940
  • Blood, Tears and Folly: An Objective Look at World War II
  • The Hinge of Fate (The Second World War, #4)
  • Panzer Leader
  • Lost Victories: The War Memoirs of Hilter's Most Brilliant General
  • Tigers In The Mud: The Combat Career of German Panzer Commander Otto Carius
  • Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and the Partnership that Drove the Allied Conquest i n Europe
  • Partners in Command: George Marshall & Dwight Eisenhower in War & Peace
  • The Origins of the Second World War
  • Company Commander: The Classic Infantry Memoir of World War II
  • Defeat Into Victory: Battling Japan in Burma and India, 1942-1945
  • Hitler Moves East 1941-1943
  • The Second World War
  • The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France in 1870-1871
Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart usually known before his knighthood as Captain B. H. Liddell Hart was an English soldier, military historian and leading inter-war theorist.
More about B.H. Liddell Hart...
Strategy Scipio Africanus The German Generals Talk Lawrence of Arabia Sherman: Soldier, Realist, American

Share This Book