Hailed as the most compelling biography of the German dictator yet written, Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the heart of its subject's immense darkness. From his illegitimate birth in a small Austrian village to his fiery death in a bunker under the Reich chancellery in Berlin, Adolf Hitler left a murky trail, strewn with contradictory tales and overgrown with self-created myths. One truth prevails: the sheer scale of the evils that he unleashed on the world has made him a demonic figure without equal in the 20th century.
"A licked Hitler"
The famous D-Day landings of 6 June, 1944, marked the beginning of Operation Overlord, the battle for the liberation of Europe. Republished as part of the Pan Military Classics series, Max Hastings' acclaimed account overturns many traditional legends in this memorable study. Drawing together the eyewitness accounts of survivors from both sides, plus a wealth of previously untapped sources and documents, Overlord provides a brilliant, controversial perspective on the devastating battle.
"SEVENTY YEARS ON WE CAN SEE MORE CLEARLY"
Ian Kershaw's Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940-41 offers a penetrating insight into a series of momentous political decisions that shaped the course of the Second World War. The hurricane of events that marked the opening of the Second World War meant that anything could happen. For the aggressors there was no limit to their ambitions; for their victims a new Dark Age beckoned. Over the next few months their fates would be determined.
"Fantastic Narrator, Barnaby Edwards"
The extraordinary and compelling story of the 6th of June, 1944, Operation Overlord and the Battle for Normandy is told here through first-hand testimonies from civilians and soldiers on both sides. It features classic accounts by soldiers such as Rommel and Bradley, together with frontline reports by some of the world's finest authors and war correspondents, including Ernest Hemingway and Alan Melville.
One of the best selling History titles of 2009. Examining the Second World War on every front, Andrew Roberts asks whether, with a different decision-making process and a different strategy, Hitler's Axis might even have won. Were those German generals who blamed everything on Hitler after the war correct, or were they merely scapegoating their former Führer once he was safely beyond defending himself?
"An Outstanding Piece of Work"
On 16 July 1940, Hitler issued Directive No. 16, setting in motion Operation Sea Lion: his plan to invade England. The success of Operation Sea Lion hinged entirely on the destruction of the RAF and the Royal Navy, but even as Hitler's plans swung into action and England, barely recovered from Dunkirk, rallied her defences, the Battle of Britain began and in just a few months Germany had lost all hope of dominating England's skies and with it, the key to the invasion. On 17 September, 1940, Hitler postponed Operation Sea Lion indefinitely and the entire episode faded from memory.
"A superb look at what was and what might have been"
This is Michael Krupa's story of how in 1939 he escaped the German invasion of Poland only to be captured by the Red Army, accused of espionage and interrogated in the notorious Lubianka prison. He was then sent to the infamous Pechora Gulag, where most inmates died of overwork and starvation within a year. Amazingly, Kupra then escaped and made the gruelling journey from Siberia to Afghanistan. This is a remarkable true story of survival and also gives a chilling insight into the brutality of Stalinist Russia.
"Astounding true story - pity about the narration"
The story of the love affair between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII, and his abdication in order to marry the divorcée, has provoked fascination and discussion for decades. However, the full story of the couple's links with the German aristocracy and Hitler has until now remained untold. Meticulously researched, 17 Carnations chronicles this entanglement, starting with Hitler's early attempts to matchmake between Edward and a German noblewoman.
"History narrated at its most professional."
In this audiobook, Helen Forrester continues the moving story of her early life with an account of the war years in blitz-torn Liverpool, and the happiness which she so nearly captured, but which was to elude her twice.
Churchill's Legacy describes how Churchill wielded his influence in postwar politics to enable the restoration of Europe through two key speeches in 1946. Having first helped bring victory to the Allies in 1945, Churchill went on to preserve the freedom of the world by gaining the support of the United States in the restoration of Europe. In Fulton, Missouri, Churchill alerted America to the reality of 'Uncle Joe' - a tyrant determined to dominate Europe at any cost.
Beginning in the broken aftermath of the First World War and the Treaty of Versailles, which made German recovery almost impossible, Whittock tells not just the account of the men who rose to the fore in the dangerous days of the Weimar republic, circling around the cult of personality generated by Adolf Hitler, but also a convincing and personality-driven overview of how ordinary Germans became seduced by the dreams of a new world order, the Third Reich.
In Exorcising Hitler, Frederick Taylor tells the story of Germany's year zero and what came after. Despite almost total destruction, a combination of conservatism, enterprise and pragmatism in relation to former Nazis enabled the economic miracle of the 1950s. And we see how it was only when the '60s generation (the children of the Nazi era) began to question their parents with increasing violence that Germany began to awake from its sleep cure.
"A forgotten period"
Before Bletchley Park could break the German war machine's code, its daily military communications had to be monitored and recording by "the Listening Service" - the wartime department whose bases moved with every theatre of war: Cairo, Malta, Gibraltar, Iraq, Cyprus, as well as having listening stations along the eastern coast of Britain to intercept radio traffic in the European theatre. This is the story of the - usually very young - men and women sent out to far-flung outposts to listen in for Bletchley Park, an oral history of exotic locations and ordinary lives turned upside down by a sudden remote posting.
"The Wartime "Listeners" for the Codebreakers"
With the end of the Second World War, a new world was born. The peace agreements that brought the conflict to an end implemented decisions that not only shaped the second half of the twentieth century but continue to affect our world today and impact its future. In 1946 the Cold War began, the state of Israel was conceived, the independence of India was all but confirmed, and Chinese Communists gained a decisive upper hand in their fight for power.
In March 1944, 76 Allied officers tunnelled out of Stalag Luft III. Of the 73 captured, 50 were shot by direct order of Hitler. This is the story of how a British Bobby from Blackpool, Frank McKenna, was sent to post-war Germany on the express orders from Churchill to bring the Gestapo murderers to justice. In a quest that ranges from the devastated, bombed out cities of Europe to the horrors of the concentrations camps, McKenna is relentless in his pursuit.
"Probably Better in Book Format"
In May 1943, a young, pregnant Frenchwoman called Lucie Aubrac engineered the escape of her husband Raymond from the clutches of Klaus Barbie, the feared Gestapo chief. She later ambushed the prison vans in which members of the Resistance were being driven to an almost certain death. Spirited out of France by the RAF at the end of 1943, nine months pregnant, she arrived in London a heroine. In 1983, when both Aubracs had retired, Klaus Barbie was put on trial in France.
At 9.51pm on Tuesday, 13 February 1945, Dresden's air-raid sirens sounded as they had done many times in the previous five years - until then most always a false alarm. No searchlights probed the skies above the unprotected target city; the guns had mostly been moved East to counter the Russian advance. By the next morning, 796 RAF Lancasters and 311 USAAF Flying Fortresses had dropped more than 4,500 tons of high explosives and incendiary devices.
The Dodger is the long-awaited story of Johnny Dodge, a wartime hero, the American-born cousin of Winston Churchill and a pivotal figure in the escapade immortalised in the legendary Hollywood film The Great Escape. Of all the Allied prisoners who broke out of Hermann Göring's 'escape proof' camp in the famous episode of March 1944, Johnny Dodge was the most intriguing. When the Second World War broke out, he volunteered for the Army but was quickly captured after the debacle of Dunkirk.
In June 1940 the armies of France, Great Britain, and Belgium succumbed to the onslaught of the German armies in less than six weeks. How this could have come about has hardly been illuminated by the accusations and counter-accusations of prominent French politicians and senior officers. The crossfire of charges is as blinding as a hailstorm. This book is a bold attempt to clarify responsibilities and to answer the question of how an army - not greatly inferior to the enemy's and only 10 years before believed to be the strongest in Europe - met such an ignominious defeat.
"Painful to listen to"
In 1942 the young soldier Arthur Dodd was taken prisoner by the German Army and transported to Oswiecim in Polish Upper Silesia. The Germans gave it another name, now synonymous with mankind's darkest hours. They called it Auschwitz. Forced to do hard labour, starved and savagely beaten, Arthur thought his life would end in Auschwitz. Determined to go down fighting, he sabotaged Nazi industrial work, risked his life to alleviate the suffering of the Jewish prisoners, and aided a partisan group planning a mass breakout.
"A great read"
A magisterial, single volume history of the greatest conflict the world has ever known, by our foremost military historian. The Second World War began in August 1939 on the edge of Manchuria and ended there exactly six years later with the Soviet invasion of northern China. The war in Europe appeared completely divorced from the war in the Pacific and China, and yet events on opposite sides of the world had profound effects.
"Concise, Interesting and Entertaining"
Shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War, a country house called The Firs in Buckinghamshire was requisitioned by the War Office. Sentries were posted at the entrance gates, and barbed wire was strung around the perimeter fence. To local villagers it looked like a prison camp. But the truth was far more sinister. This rambling Edwardian mansion had become home to an eccentric band of scientists, inventors and bluestockings. Their task was to build devastating new weaponry that could be used against the Nazis.
"A truly incredible story."
The point of The Churchill Factor is that one man can make all the difference. On the eve of the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill's death, Boris Johnson explores what makes up the 'Churchill Factor' - the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the 20th century.
"Blood, toil, tears and sweat..."
In Amsterdam, in the summer of 1942, the Nazis forced teenager Anne Frank and her family into hiding. For over two years, they, another family and a German dentist lived in a 'secret annexe', fearing discovery. All that time, Anne kept a diary.An intimate record of tension and struggle, adolescence and confinement, anger and heartbreak, Anne Frank's diary is one of those unique documents, famed throughout the world.It portrays innocence and humanity, suffering and survival in the starkest and most moving terms.
"Tissues at the ready..."
Laurence Rees, in his magnum opus, combines largely unpublished testimony with the latest academic research to create the first accessible and authoritative account of the Holocaust in over three decades. Rees argues that whilst hatred of the Jews was always at the epicentre of Nazi thinking - and the Holocaust was the most appalling crime in history - what happened cannot be fully understood without considering the murder of the Jews alongside other Nazi plans to kill millions of non-Jews as well.
In the Spring of 1940, as Britain reeled from defeats on all fronts and America seemed frozen in isolation, one fear united the British and American leaders like no other: the Nazis had stolen a march on the Allies towards building the atomic bomb. So began the hunt for Hitler's nuclear weapons - nothing else came close in terms of priorities. It was to be the most secret war of those wars fought amongst the shadows. The highest stakes. The greatest odds.
The Nazi Hunters is the incredible, hitherto untold story of the most secret chapter in the SAS' history. Officially, the world's most elite special forces unit was dissolved at the end of the Second World War and not reactivated until the 1950s. Among their last actions was a disastrous commando raid into occupied France in 1944, which ended in the capture, torture and execution of 31 soldiers.
The Nazis presented themselves as warriors against moral degeneracy. Yet, as Norman Ohler's gripping best seller reveals, the entire Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines, or crystal meth, used by everyone from factory workers to housewives, and crucial to troops; resilience - even partly explaining German victory in 1940.
The complete magisterial history of the greatest and most terrible event in history, from one of the finest historians of the Second World War. This shows the impact of war upon hundreds of millions of people around the world - soldiers, sailors and airmen; housewives, farm workers and children. Reflecting Max Hastings' 35 years of research on World War II, All Hell Let Loose describes the course of events but focuses chiefly upon human experience.
"A superb history of the second world war"
In the bleak moments after defeat on mainland Europe in winter 1939, Winston Churchill knew that Britain had to strike back hard. So Britain's wartime leader called for the lightning development of a completely new kind of warfare, recruiting a band of eccentric free-thinking warriors to become the first 'deniable' secret operatives to strike behind enemy lines, offering these volunteers nothing but the potential for glory and all-but-certain death.
"SAS, SBS forefathers in the early days. Amazing..."
Among millions of Holocaust victims sent to Auschwitz II-Birkenau in 1944, Priska, Rachel and Anka each passed through its infamous gates with a secret. Strangers to each other, they were newly pregnant and facing an uncertain fate without their husbands. Alone, scared and with so many loved ones already lost to the Nazis, these young women were privately determined to hold on to all they had left: their lives and those of their unborn babies.
"A truly incredible story"
Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Ardennes 1944 by Antony Beever, read by Sean Barrett. On 16 December 1944, Hitler launched his last gamble in the snow-covered forests and gorges of the Ardennes on the Belgian/German border. Although Hitler's generals were doubtful of success, younger officers and NCOs were desperate to believe that their homes and families could be saved from the vengeful Red Army approaching from the east.
"Very good indeed."
In If This Is a Man Primo Levi describes his deportation to Poland and his 20 months in Auschwitz. In The Truce he describes his long journey to Italy at the end of the war through Russia and Central Europe. 'What has survived in Levi's writing isn't just his memory of the unbearable, but also... his delight in what made the world exquisite to him. He was himself a magically endearing man, the most delicately forceful enchanter I've ever known.' (Philip Roth)
"A compelling narration"
The incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, now a major motion picture directed by Angelina Jolie. Motion Picture Artwork © Universal Studios 2014. All Rights Reserved. In 1943 a bomber crashes into the Pacific Ocean. Against all odds, one young lieutenant survives. Louis Zamperini had already transformed himself from child delinquent to prodigious athlete, running in the Berlin Olympics. Now he must embark on one of the Second World War's most extraordinary odysseys.
"Best real life story I have read."
Keggie Carew grew up in the gravitational field of an unorthodox father who lived on his wits and dazzling charm. As his memory begins to fail, she embarks on a quest to unravel his story and soon finds herself in a far more consuming place than she had bargained for. Tom Carew was a maverick, a left-handed stutterer, a law unto himself. As a member of an elite SOE unit, he was parachuted behind enemy lines to raise guerrilla resistance in France, then Burma, in the Second World War.
Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of The Battle of the Atlantic, written and read by Jonathan Dimbleby. The Battle of the Atlantic was - though often overlooked - crucial to victory in the Second World War. If the German U-boats had prevailed, the maritime artery across the Atlantic would have been severed. Mass hunger would have consumed Britain, and the Allied armies would have been prevented from joining in the invasion of Europe.
"Brilliant but faulty editing"
Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Monty: His Part in My Victory, written and read by Spike Milligan. 'It's all over. Von Arnheim has surrendered, and he's very angry.' 'This could mean war....' The third volume of Spike Milligan's laugh-a-line account of life as a gunner in World War Two resumes on the eve of victory in North Africa.