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Why The Allies Won

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Home » Books » History » Military History » World War II

Why The Allies Won

By Richard Overy

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Format: Paperback, 512 pages
Other Information: 16pp b/w plates
Published In: United Kingdom, 07 September 2006
As Richard Overy makes clear, the Allied victory in 1945 - though comprehensive - was far from inevitable. By 1942 almost the entire resources of continental Europe were in German hands and Japan had wiped out the western colonial presence in Asia. Democracy appeared to have had its day. very provides a re-interpretation of the war through an account of the decisive military campaigns that created the astonishing revival in Allied fortunes. He also explores the deeper factors that determined success and failure- industrial strength, fighting ability, the skills of leaders and the moral contrasts between the two sides. oday the modern world is once more in the throes of painful transformation. It is essential to establish why and how the last great war was won. Richard Overy casts a brilliant light on the most important turning-point of the modern age.

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'Outstanding... Overy has written a masterpiece of analytical history, posing and answering one of the great questions of the century' - Niall Ferguson, Sunday Times

About the Author

Richard Overy is Professor in History at the University of Exeter. Formerly Professor of Modern History at King's College, London, his books include William Morris, Viscount Nuffield The Air War, 1939-1945 Dictators, The Dictators- Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, The Nazi Economic Recovery, 1932-1938, Goering- The Iron Man All Our Working Lives (with Peter Pagnamenta), The Origins Of The Second World War, The Road To War (with Andrew Wheatcroft), War And Economy In The Third Reich, The Inter-War Crisis, 1919-1939, Russia's War- A History of the Soviet Effort- 1941-1945, and The Battle- Summer 1940


As an acclaimed scholar and professor of modern history, Overy (The Road to War, LJ 5/1/90) has crafted an expansive and skillful analysis of the complex reasons for the Allied victory over the Axis powers in 1945. His book debunks the exaggerated and too-simple reason for Allied victory‘that material strength alone merely overwhelmed the enemy. Using clear narrative and sound reasoning, Overy explores the impact of four significant areas of combat as well as the less publicized but equally important noncombat contributions and mistakes of each warring nation. As Overy asserts, "There was nothing preordained about Allied success," and his analysis starkly reveals the narrow line between victory and defeat for both sides. An excellent book for students, scholars, and history buffs.‘Col. William D. Bushnell, USMC (ret.), Brunswick, Me.

"A compelling analysis... skilful and chilling" -- Ross Davies Economist "A much needed book... He deserves the attention of a wide audience" -- Donald Cameron Independent "Richard Overy is writing at the height of his powers... The result is often startling, never less than fascinating" -- Adam Sisman Observer "A thought provoking reappraisal of the war - deeply researched, complex and yet beautifully lucid" -- Correlli Barnett Times Literary Supplement

In The Road to War (1990), Overy plumbed the origins of WWII. Here, he examines the reasons for the war's outcome, challenging two pieces of conventional wisdom: that the Axis overextended itself by taking on the U.S., Britain and the Soviet Union, and that the Allied victory was due to material strength only. Instead, Overy contends that the Allies' triumph depended on the exponential improvement of an initially inferior military capacity, as well as on moral fiber. The Allies, he argues convincingly, turned economic potential into fighting power, exploiting modernity by integrating technology and logistics into a comprehensive war effort that was sustained by moral force. Combining telling detail and wide scope, the author shows that, ultimately, the governments and peoples of the Allied Grand Coalition triumphed because they acted on the understanding that WWII was a life-and-death struggle for fundamental values. Photos; maps. History Book Club main selection; BOMC selection. (Apr.)

EAN: 9781845950651
ISBN: 1845950658
Publisher: Pimlico
Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 3.2 centimetres (0.29 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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1 review(s)
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Wendy on
In its new edition, Overy continues his comprehensive overview of why the allies won the second word war. The book is set out in a logical sequence providing the reader with first an introduction of his overall argument. The following the chapters cover those reasons stated including decisive battles such as the Atlantic and Stalingrad. The second half of the book covers areas such as economics and morale which are intangibles but still contributed to allied victory. This is an easy read for anyone interested in the final moments of World War two.

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