Though there are numerous books about the naval history of the Second World War, very few of them attempt to cover the span of...

Though there are numerous books about the naval history of the Second World War, very few of them attempt to cover the span of the conflict within the confines of a single volume. Craig Symonds undertakes this challenge in his book World War II at Sea: A Global History (Oxford University Press, 2018), which provides him with a perspective that produces a new understanding into how the conflict was waged. Symonds demonstrates that the naval campaigns were pivotal in determining the winners of the war, given the vast mobilization of resources undertaken by many of the combatants. For the Germans, disrupting this was key, and the fall of France dramatically changed the balance of the naval war in Europe. Yet the British and the Americans were hard pressed to focus on the German threat to British trade once Japan attacked their Asian colonies in an effort to expand their own empire. The result was a juggling act, as the western Allies were forced to constantly readjust finite naval resources to wage two maritime struggles on opposite ends of the Earth.

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