Jeremy Black

Aug 18, 2021

Strategy and the Second World War

How the War Was Won, and Lost

Robinson 2021

A concise, accessible account of strategy and the Second World War, Strategy and the Second World War: How the War Was Won, and Lost (Robinson, 2021), by renowned Historian Jeremy Black offers up a new look at this somewhat tired subject. In 1941, the Second World War became global, when Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union; Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor; and Germany declared war on the United States. In this timely book, which fills a real gap, Black engages with the strategic issues of the time - as they developed chronologically, and interacted - and relates these to subsequent debates about the choices made, revealing their continued political resonances. Beginning with Appeasement and the Soviet-German pact as key strategic means, Black examines the consequences of the fall of France for the strategies of all the powers. He shows how Allied strategy-making was more effective at the Anglo-American level than with the Soviet Union, not only for ideological and political reasons, but also because the Americans and British had a better grasp of the global dimension. He explores how German and Japanese strategies evolved as the war went badly for the Axis powers, and discusses the extent to which seeking to mold the post-war world informed Allied strategic choices from 1943 onwards, and the role these played in post-war politics, notably in the Cold War. Strategy was a crucial tool not only for conducting the war; it remains the key to understanding it today. In short, Strategy and the Second World War is both educational and enjoyable look at this always interesting topic. A book for both the academic and the lay educated public.

Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written for Chatham House’s International Affairs, the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History and the University of Rouen's online periodical Cercles.

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Charles Coutinho

Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written for Chatham House’s International Affairs, the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History and the University of Rouen's online periodical Cercles.

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