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An outstanding history of the Second World War by one of our most distinguished historians.

In this comprehensive history, John Keegan explores both the technical and the human impact of the greatest war of all time. He focuses on five crucial battles and offers new insights into the distinctive methods and motivations of modern warfare. In knowledgable, perceptive analysis of the airborne battle of Crete, the carrier battle of Midway, the tank battle of Falaise, the city battle of Berlin, and the amphibious battle of Okinawa, Keegan illuminates the strategic dilemmas faced by the leaders and the consequences of their decisions on the fighting men and the course of the war as a whole.


As a military historian (John Keegan) has a remarkable capacity to appreciate both the political context of the war and its immediate meaning for those caught in the heat of battle. . . . The war is divided into three theatres - Western and Eastern Europe and the Pacific - up to 1943, and from 1943-1945. In each theatre and at each stage he opens with the strategic dilemma confronting one of the key actors and then takes a particular battle to illustrate the changing character of warfare. . . . lucid, informed and authoritative.

Sunday Times

In this magnificently illustrated volume, our most original military historian gives the whys and wherefores of war as well as the blood and guts.

Mail on Sunday

'John Keegan's history of World War II stands above the competition. '


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Formats & editions

  • EBook


    August 31, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    528 pages

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  • The Second World War
    John Keegan

    Trade Paperback


    January 30, 1998


    528 pages

    RRP $52.00

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