A War to be Won: Fighting the Second World War
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

A War to be Won: Fighting the Second World War

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  252 ratings  ·  30 reviews
In the course of the twentieth century, no war looms as profoundly transformative or as destructive as World War II. Its global scope and human toll reveal the true face of modern, industrialized warfare.

Now, for the first time, we have a comprehensive, single-volume account of how and why this global conflict evolved as it did. 'A War to be Won' is a unique and powerful...more
Paperback, 656 pages
Published November 22nd 2001 by Belknap Press (first published November 30th 1990)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Guns of August by Barbara W. TuchmanBattle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPhersonThe Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. ShirerWe Were Soldiers Once... and Young by Harold G. MooreGhost Soldiers by Hampton Sides
Ike Skelton's Military History reading list
50th out of 132 books — 56 voters
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankThe Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. ShirerBand of Brothers by Stephen E. AmbroseThe Longest Day by Cornelius RyanEscape From Davao by John D. Lukacs
World War Two Non Fiction
148th out of 239 books — 179 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 505)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Feb 20, 2014 Replicant33 rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone interested in WWII
Recommended to Replicant33 by: Professors (first read) and peers (this time)
Another re-read; I read this some time ago and have learned a lot about WWII since then (I completed my PhD program in the interim...). I think the book reads even better now than when I was less informed about the war. It presents a concise but clear and engaging narrative with a great deal of analysis interwoven throughout. Much of that analysis counters commonly held myths (some of which I did not know to be myths until fairly recently) - this probably explains why the second time through is...more
I had to read this book so fast for a class on World War 2 at American Military University that I don't feel as though I got the most out of it without the time to really contemplate things. That being said it is a great book, one of the better researched and comprehensive books on any war that I have ever read. This book is beyond worthy of admiration as far as great works of history go.

Murray manages to remain as neutral and unbiased as just about anyone that I have ever seen. The book is pack...more
the main issue of the book is that the axis want to take over the world. the protagoests are the allies and the antitagonists are the axis. the book was about when the nazi ans japanis army want to take over the world and the allies didnt want them to. The amercans joined the war when the japanies attacked pearl harbor. The nazis stopped fighting in the war when the russian army made it to the reach and hitler killed himself. and when the japanis stopped therefor ending the war was when the amer...more
A great overview of the Second World War, covering all the major theaters of the conflict, and from all sides. The people of all countries involved suffered, some more than others, and it is brought out in this book. Other reviews on this title mentioned that it was a required reading on some college history courses, and I can see why, it was in depth as an overall history. I do take exception with the author's view on a couple entries concerning General Heinz Guderian and Hitler's view towards...more
This was an exceptional one volume history of World War II. Mr. Murray does an good job in making the complex seem simple through his contextual analysis of strategic and operational decisions and events, and how these events impacted and related to other events in the war. When called for, Mr. Murray even goes down to the tactical level to illustrate examples. He effectively uses force, time, and space to illustrate the challenges faced by both the Axis and the Allies in prosecuting their strat...more
David Gray
This was what I expected from Murray and Millet. Every aspect of World War II was covered in great detail. I don't recommend this as a leisure read. I have had theses authors' other works assigned during courses of study and enjoyed their writing. I do have one issue with this book that makes it a 4 and not a 5 star review. The authors took liberties of opinion in a couple portions without proving the statement. for example, when introducing General George C. Marshall the authors write how Marsh...more
Mark Singer
Dec 28, 2011 Mark Singer rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone interested in World War II
Recommended to Mark by: Required reading for a college course
Shelves: world-war-ii, history
I have read several one volume histories of of World War II A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II, New Edition The Penguin History of the Second World War and would recommend this as a shorter but just as informative alternative. This was required reading for a course on World War II at Temple University in the Fall of 2011.
-El Eje escribió una partitura y los Aliados acabaron interpretando la obra, al menos la mayoría de sus movimientos-.

Género. Historia.

Lo que nos cuenta. Monografía sobre la Segunda Guerra Mundial desde una perspectiva eminentemente militar, en el sentido más amplio de la palabra.

¿Quiere saber más del libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

This book pulls together the big picture of World War II. I read it because I wanted to understand my father, who was a fighter pilot during the war. He died at 51 in a car wreck, long before those who fought in WWII began talking about their experiences. This helped me understand his war, one little part of the whole. It is a resource I will use as I write his life story.
Jim Graham
Excellent! Willing to call a spade a spade: to say what went well and what did not, which leaders were ineffective, why the Allies won - and especially the contributions of the Soviets. And they have no doubt that the Germans and Japanese were war criminals. As someone who was a schoolboy during WW2, this helped me move beyond the public relations stuff.
A thorough history of the military dimensions of the Second World War. I occasionally have views which stray from his, as I hold Hart's history in somewhat higher esteem. The author's let a thinly veiled American bias come through on a number of occasions. Nonetheless, this is a solid military history.
Chris Johnson
One the most comprehensive reads of World War II that I have ever read. It was hard to get through at times but it covers all facets of the war. Highly informational but lower on the read for fun scale. 3 stars for the informational content and the research done on the book by Murray.
Sean Chick
The language is direct and I dug the conclusions the authors made because they go against most other histories of the war. Where this book stumbles a bit is in examining the Eastern Front and the early Pacific War and because they make some factual errors and the writing slacks off.
This book gives a very good general overview of military operations and battles in WWII. This book is a perfect compliment to Weinberg's A World at Arms, which covers everything about WWII (politics, economics, home-front, etc) but the battles.
Loved it!! For the WW2 junkie this is absolutely a must for your bookshelf. Murray and Millett provide great information and viewpoints about the war, both the strategic and operational levels, and other contributing factors.
This book is primarily a history of World War II military operations, including aerial & naval aspects. The authors treat all the major geographical areas of the conflict, most valuably the eastern European front.
Very detailed overview of the fighting in World War II, though not on par with Gerhard Weinberg's A World at Arms. Nevertheless, I am sure this is a book that I will return to numerous times in my research.
Peter Sprunger
An excellent single volume review of WWII. While it reads as a list of facts and described every aspect of the war in detail the prose of Murray and Millet make rather easy and entertaining to read.
Matt Danner
Read this for operational and tactical level detail on both the European and Pacific theaters. The book doesn't give much strategic context. Not an easy or fun read, but fairly thorough.
Great play by play account of WWII in a chronological order. Highly recommend as a first book to read on WWII. More about war operations than political intrigues.
Wayne Larson

Amazingly thorough. One of the best histories of WWII I've ever read. The focus of the narrative was on the operational history of the war.
Hannah Givens
Too technical for me to really follow, but the author hating on Bradley and sucking up to Patton was pretty entertaining.
Jared B.
A complete history for non-historians. Not too scholarly for the average reader. Just enough detail and story ro entertain.
Just started. So far so good. The first chapter provides a good foundation for the start of World War 2.
Tim Anderson
So I read all the parts for the Pacific War. The book was good. It was a good overview of WWII.
Fantastic for a one volume, not too overwhelming history of the fighting of WWII.
Paints the broad strokes of World War II, although it lacks specificity.
Aaron Kleinheksel
Terrific 1 volume treatment of WW2 - and I've read alot of WW2 books.
Chris Hood
best WWII book out there, plus he was my professor
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 17 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
  • Eagle Against the Sun: The American War With Japan
  • Why the Allies Won
  • When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler
  • Decision in Normandy
  • One Square Mile of Hell: The Battle for Tarawa
  • Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris; June 6 - Aug. 5, 1944
  • Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany
  • Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age
  • Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle
  • The American Way of War: A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy
  • Hitler's U-Boat War: The Hunters, 1939-1942
  • A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge
  • Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45
  • Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
  • Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton
  • To Lose a Battle: France 1940
  • China Marine: An Infantryman's Life after World War II
Military Innovation in the Interwar Period The Making of Strategy: Rulers, States, and War The Iraq War: A Military History The Past as Prologue: The Importance of History to the Military Profession Military Adaptation in War: With Fear of Change

Share This Book