This work provides a comprehensive and balanced analysis of the Second World War in all its aspects – military, diplomatic, political, economic, social, and ecological. It explores the complex origins of the conflict in Europe and in the Far East as well as its lasting impact on the postwar world. It pays special attention to the fighting in Russia and China. It also examines the ideological struggle at the heart of this war between autarkic fascism and militarism on one side and liberal, democratic capitalism on the other.
The author recounts the ideas and actions of political leaders and generals as well as the experiences of soldiers, sailors, POWs, defense plant workers, sex slaves, and other ordinary people caught up in the horror of war. He examines World War II as a total war that required the total mobilization of societies and economies to achieve battlefield success. The reader is also introduced to debates among historians concerning key aspects of the war including appeasement, the fall of France, and the impact of strategic bombing, the Holocaust, the role of Emperor Hirohito and more. Each chapter includes a number of thought provoking questions to enhance the reader’s understanding and stimulate discussion.
Teddy Uldricks, PhD, has taught college-level courses on the Second World War for over forty years. He is an Emeritus Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Asheville. Dr. Uldricks now teaches a variety of courses on World War II at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has written extensively on Russia and the origins of the Second World War, including an earlier book, Diplomacy and Ideology: The Origins of Soviet Foreign Relations. He is widely regarded as a leading authority on Soviet foreign affairs in the interwar years. His current research project focuses on the appeasement of aggressors in the 1930s as a global phenomenon.
Acronyms, Titles, and Terms
PART I: THE ORIGINS OF WAR
1 From War to Peace
2 The Origins of War in Asia
3 Hitler’s Drive to War
PART II: THE AXIS ONSLAUGHT
4 Nazi Conquest: Opening Rounds
5 Nazi Conquest: The Fall of France and the Battle of Britain
6 Mediterranean War
8 From the China Incident to the Pacific War
PART III: WAR BEHIND THE LINES
9 Home Fronts: Axis
10 Home Fronts: Allies
11 Life in Occupied Europe
12 Ethnic Cleansing and the Holocaust
13 Occupation/Collaboration/Resistance: Asia
PART IV: THE ALLIED VICTORY
14 The Eastern Front: A Shifting Balance
15 The Eastern Front: Red Army Triumphant
16 The Western Allies Strike
17 Western Allies Assault Fortress Europe
18 The China, Burma, India Theater
19 The Allies Strike Back in the Pacific
20 Defeating Japan
PART V: A WORLD MADE BY WAR
21 The Postwar World
About the Author
"This is an excellent work: thorough, balanced, swathed in short- and long-term perspective, carefully balanced explanations, and easy to read. The general reader and students will have a masterpiece in hand.”
Ted Uldricks has succeeded in writing an excellent general history of the Second World War covering all theatres of operation. It is an account of foresight and blindness, tragedy and triumph, cravenness and courage. The book will make an excellent text for an undergraduate course on the Second World War, bound to hold the attention of students and to keep them reading.