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The War in the West: Volume 1

A New History: Germany Ascendant 1939-1941
Narrated by: Leighton Pugh
Series: The War in the West, Book 1
Length: 26 hrs and 42 mins
Categories: History, World
5 out of 5 stars (297 ratings)

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Summary

Are you ready for the truth about World War Two?

In the first of an extraordinary three-volume account of the war on land, in the air and at sea, James Holland not only reveals the truth behind the familiar legends of the Second World War but he also unveils those lesser known events which were to have the greatest significance.

The first book to consider the economic, political and social as well as the military aspects of World War Two, this is a unique retelling of a monumental event in all its terrible and majestic glory.

Holland has spent over 12 years unearthing new research, visiting archives, battlefields and the very people who fought and lived through the conflict. He has, in his own accessible and inimitable style, written an account to redefine our understanding of the war. It is unlike anything else on the subject.

©2015 James Holland (P)2015 Random House AudioBooks (UK)

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Refreshingly new view of World War 2.

Enjoyed this review of World War 2 which cast a new light on what appeared as established truths. The lack of military awareness by the leaders of the Third Reich seems astonishingly naive and disastrous to the German people. Looking forward to the next installment.

5 people found this helpful

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The first of a projected three-volume study

Is there anything new to say about WWII? Yes, there is.

Given the huge amount of books that have been written about the Second World War, it is difficult to imagine that there is anything new to say in the subject. Yet for some time now a growing critique of the long-received wisdom has emerged. This is one that brings a new understanding to the factors that shaped the conflict and its outcome. James Holland's latest opus, 1939 - 1941 The War in the West (The Rise of Germany), is the latest of a new generation of historians writing "revisionist" views of WWII. An established military historian, James Holland provides yet new insights into the circumstances leading to the outbreak of Second World War in Europe.

Holland argues that blitzkrieg as we know it is a myth and reveals that the picture looked much different in 1939: In advance of its Polish offensive, Germany was short on resources, tanks, and trained soldiers. Meanwhile, France had more men in uniform than Germany, and Britain had the best navy in the world. The invasions of Poland and France were incredible gambles, and Hitler’s initial successes would mask hard truths.

Holland pays careful attention to the operational level of the war often overlooked in previous histories, making The Rise of Germany more than just military history, but also social political, and economic history sure to generate significant scholarly debate and reader interest.

This is a well researched and superbly written account of the years 1939-41 skewers a number of myths about the early years of the Second World War. The next two volumes should be unmissable.

4 people found this helpful

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A new look on the war in the west

This book tells the story of the war in the west with a stronger emphasis on the business of war. How did the the different countries manage to produce and deploy the weapon, tanks, aircrafts etc needed to wage war. And how did this affect the fighting on ground, at sea and in the air. Plenty af close up combat stories and behind the seen rivalery too. Highly recomended. And the performance is at par with the story, the reader gets the forgin names etc right and has an inspiering drive to his voice.

2 people found this helpful

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At last a balanced perspective on Germany

A refreshing perspective on Nazi Germany’s perceived invincibility that still pervades much odd the historical work on the Second World War.
A fascinating story and great narration make this a must for anyone interested in this period of history.

1 person found this helpful

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History having an impact on the present

I am not a regular reader of this type of book, I have limited film type knowledge of WWII.
The book presented so many new captions of information for me that I found myself listening to the 'story' like a fictional book. I have gained a huge amount from reading this book and recommend to anyone who has an 'I would like to know a bit more' attitude to WWII.
One word of warning, if you are Italian (or possibly French) I suggest you leave this one off your reading list.

1 person found this helpful

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Awesome new history of a titanic struggle

Holland leaves no stone unturned in this comprehensive new history. Some fresh perspectives, especially on Britain's military performance, but occasionally a bit dry - could've done without the in-depth narrative, though worthy, of US industrial policy as America geared up to assist Britain in 1940-41. that said, a recommended and very interesting book. Excellent recording.

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great

well read and a few things I didn't know. great for students covering ww2. covers a lot of theatres as well and gives a good balanced view.

1 person found this helpful

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Pleasure to listen to

Not the most technical history book, but well written and engaging for those interested but not obsessed with the history of the war.

1 person found this helpful

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WWll - Factual Account

This book will not be for everyone, it dissects the facts and data and presents it in a clear manner. No embellishment. The human interest appears in the excellent narration style (complete with accents, l particularly like the Italian). I enjoyed listening to this audible book and await the second part with interest and anticipation.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent listen

James Holland really provides a unique perspective and I find his writing to be right up my alley. The narrator is one of the better ones too, I wish he'd used him for all his other works. This and volume 2 are both superb.

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  • R
  • 16-06-16

Excellent

A well written history and a very good narrator. I enjoyed this book very much.