We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
All Hell Let Loose Audiobook

All Hell Let Loose

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.
Regular Price:£29.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

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. There are vivid descriptions of the tragedies and triumphs of a host of ordinary people, in uniform and out of it, in an 'everyman's story'.

This is now the entire audiobook, not in two parts.

©2011 Max Hastings (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (243 )
5 star
 (148)
4 star
 (70)
3 star
 (22)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.5 (164 )
5 star
 (106)
4 star
 (41)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.5 (165 )
5 star
 (101)
4 star
 (49)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Dr Bath, United Kingdom 23/12/2012
    Dr Bath, United Kingdom 23/12/2012 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Gripping Fascinating, Illuminating"

    This has been in my library for some time but I have only just got around to listening to it - why I can't imagine!

    I was a child during the war and experienced some bombing, rationing and so on but it was all quite exciting and I had no idea how close we came to losing, how ill prepared and ill equipped we were or how much of the propaganda was far from accurate and designed, reasonably effectively as far as I can recall, to keep up our spirits.. The book is rich in quotations from indiviuals involved which bring home the sheer scale of the misery experienced by millions and from which I, secure in my Devon village for much of the time, was largely protected.I very strongly recommend this to anyone, who like me , lived through the war, but also for a younger generation who I find are woefully ignorant about it - why it occurred, how it progressed and , above all, how the outcome could have been very different had better decision been made, especially by Hitler. I shudder to think what our lives would be like today had he won. This excellent book makes it very clear that a German victory was a distinct possibility. With the aid of hindsight, and Max Hastings's insight, some of Hitler's decisions beggar belief - Thank God!

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. J. Fanning Sussex, UK 11/04/2012
    Mr. J. Fanning Sussex, UK 11/04/2012 Member Since 2011

    Jim F

    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Stunning audio"

    I also have the hardback version of this and initially hesitated buying the audio, but I am glad that I did. It is superbly read by Cameron Stewart. I have listened to each day as I walk to and from work. Loosing track of what you have listened to can be a problem with some of the larger history books, but not in this case. It is entirely memorable. The detail is superb and there is a wealth of little known detail through out. I am looking forward to listening to part 2.

    20 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wras 26/04/2016
    Wras 26/04/2016 Member Since 2012

    Kildonan by the sea

    HELPFUL VOTES
    979
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    264
    180
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    78
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "We can never forget, the price will be apocalyptic"


    The Second World War left no one clean, and exposed the worst of humanity for all to see; the industrial murder of millions, 60 million dead, the destruction of all we think is good in humanity, the devastating brutality we use to subjugate one another into all kinds of submission and enslavement.
    The racist ideal and ideas that europe held about its people and others in the world became exposed like flames to oxygen and nearly burnt all down. The racist ideas and ideals of the east and the genocide they produced in the name of superiority; proving once more that racism is not exclusively held by any one race but an illness we all negate too have, but is indulged by all humans as proof of their superiority.

    "Surveys found that most Americans continued to regard the Germans as fundamentally decent and peaceful folk, led astray by their leaders. In May 1945, when newsreels of the concentration camps had been shown around the world, 53.7 per cent of American respondents told pollsters they thought only a small part of the German people were ‘naturally cruel and brutal’."
    "So many prominent Nazis spoke openly about their intentions towards the Jews that it remains remarkable that the Allied national leaderships were reluctant to accept their words at face value. Informed citizens in both Britain and America drew appropriate conclusions about what was happening, reinforced by eyewitness testimony from eastern Europe. Mrs." (from "All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939-1945" by Max Hastings)

    I place this quotes here not because they are representative of the book but because they are representative of how we like to deny the evidence of crimes committed or what a group said, because we think it is crazy, an exaggeration or inconvenient. Some Ideologies scream their intentions but we choose to not listen at our own peril.

    I read this book with fascination and reluctance, the scale of the horror is devastating and drowns you with the sheer waste of humanity, the inconprihansable scale of brutality and crimes committed by all participants is brought to life with numbers like the 300,000 soviet soldiers killed by their own army, more soldiers than Britain lost in Europe, or a train full of cats sent to Leningrad to replace the ones eaten or that the same city lost more people than Britain and America together.

    No nation or form of government can claim to be without guilt, at the end of this story, all we can conclude is that some bathed with less delight in the blood and suffering of others.
    A fantastic work that will put more perspective in the Second World War and how it affected real people in all the theaters of the war, a staggering synopsys of hell as created by mankind. A warning of a future we never want to recreate, a reason to be extremely vigilant of the signs.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim London 25/01/2014
    Jim London 25/01/2014 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    225
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    82
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    18
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kaleidoscopic first person history"

    Hastings uses first person experiences to illustrate a consistently independent and thought provoking analysis of the war. I wasn't sure about this purchase because it seemed hard to believe that there was anything original or new to say but it's a pleasure to report that I grossly underestimated Hastings' ability to create something that's both gripping and touching. First hand accounts culled from combatants' letters home often conclude with a post-script that the letter was recovered from the writer's body shortly afterwards and over time we begin to get a sense of the human tragedy behind the casualty figures. The work required to produce such a clear account from such a large body of material must have been enormous and while I'd prefer to get both volumes for a single credit I didn't feel short-changed in terms of the duration of each volume or the quality of the writing.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R Wokingham, United Kingdom 07/01/2014
    R Wokingham, United Kingdom 07/01/2014 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Placing events in context"
    If you could sum up All Hell Let Loose, Volume 1 in three words, what would they be?

    Very well written


    What was one of the most memorable moments of All Hell Let Loose, Volume 1?

    The attitude of the English towards the locals in the far east.


    What does Cameron Stewart bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    A great story teller he puts you right into the book.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes it made me re-think those events at the start of the war which we held as true


    Any additional comments?

    Max Hastings has again provide a very thought provoking documentary piece by using the thought and recollections of people across the whole spectrum of society and from both sides.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    13/04/2013
    13/04/2013 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Amazing!"

    This work by Max Hastings is brilliant, covering every theatre of action, revealing new insights to the war, which makes it a fascinating read. Very thorough. A must read for anyone interested in the history of WWII.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Sixmilebridge, Ireland 13/04/2013
    James Sixmilebridge, Ireland 13/04/2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Brilliant work comes to life"

    Little can be added to the already glowing reviews of this outstanding book in terms of content. However the audio version brings to life in a striking and often poignant manner the emphasis on the individual human stories. If you think you have already read or heard it all this audio will change your mind and give a new perspective.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steiner Glasgow, United Kingdom 05/06/2012
    Steiner Glasgow, United Kingdom 05/06/2012 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Poor value"

    I have enjoyed this as it's entertaining and superbly narrated - but I have to say i'm disappointed at the pricing of this book in terms of needing two credits. Other quality WW2 history books have a similar listening time and remain at one credit. For example the fairly recent 'The Storm of War - Andrew Roberts' (a slightly better book in my opinion)

    My most recent purchase is 'The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich - W. Shirer' This runs to fifty seven hours of listening for one credit, compared to the fourteen hours for part one of this.

    Not great value when other comparable (and better) books are cheaper.

    15 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michel Swanley, United Kingdom 14/05/2012
    Michel Swanley, United Kingdom 14/05/2012 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "War is war: warts and all."

    This work is very well researched, narratively compelling and will drive a Tiger tank through any comfortable ideas that you have acquired from other tomes about World War II. If nothing else, it will raise one question: namely, how the hell did we manage to win the war? I feel confident that after listening to this Audible presentation, you will want to buy the book to have as a permanent basis to cross-reference all other works on this subject..

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    garry BELPER, United Kingdom 29/04/2012
    garry BELPER, United Kingdom 29/04/2012 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Thoroughly enjoyable"

    I am an avid fan of pretty much all military history and spend a lot of time listening to books in the car. I have found this to be very enjoyable, although thorough it moves at a good pace and does not get bogged down in too much unnecessary detail. The human stories that are heard throughout add to the historical big picture and keep the interest levels high. I would recomment this to anyone who wants to learn more about WW2.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Neuron
    Sweden
    11/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Standard world war 2 account plus personal corresp"

    There are many alternatives if you are looking for books about WW2. I recently read the not so creatively named "second world war" by Anthony Beevor, a thousand page book that gives the reader a comprehensive account of the entire war.

    All hell breaks loose is in many ways similar to Beevors book, however, it did not seem to put as much emphasis on covering all aspects of the war. Instead this book frequently quoted personal correspondence from people who were involved in the war. Indeed I think that this is the primary reason why someone should choose rather than some other book.
    You often read or hear about wars and the number of fatalities and how many starved etc etc, however, it is very hard to take the perspective of the individuals involved. The letters and diaries in this book takes you one step closer. Upon reading such material you can easily feel a bit ill (unless you are a complete psychopath), but at least for me the stronger feeling is one of gratitude that you have not been caught up in a war...

    Reviewing my notes on this book I realized that it also contained quite a bit of information that was new to me, things that I had not considered important before. For example, the author convincingly argues that had Germany not attacked England with their airforce, England would not have been able to maintain the moral of their army and the political climate would probably have swayed towards peace with Hitler.

    Another slightly comical story relates to Italy's inability to do, well, anything at all. As a part of a propaganda stunt meant to demonstrate the superiority of the Italians, a boxing fight was arranged between a famous boxer and an African man woo had never boxed before. Much to Mussolini dismay, the African man knocked the professional Italian boxer unconscious...

    All in all, this book is kind of average if you are looking to get an overview of the war, however if you want to understand better what it was like for the soldiers and civilians who were actually involved in the war, this book is a sound choice. It is not that optimistic to suggest that there will be no conflict as destructive as WW2 again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pawel
    Krakow, Poland
    17/01/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narration is amazing!"
    Any additional comments?

    The best narrator in the business. Sheer pleasure to listen, even if you are not interested in WWII. Cameron Stewart should cover all the books in the store, and earn tonnes of money for his narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.