Engineers of Victory

Author: Paul Kennedy
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 158836898X
Format: PDF, ePub
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Paul Kennedy, award-winning author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers and one of today’s most renowned historians, now provides a new and unique look at how World War II was won. Engineers of Victory is a fascinating nuts-and-bolts account of the strategic factors that led to Allied victory. Kennedy reveals how the leaders’ grand strategy was carried out by the ordinary soldiers, scientists, engineers, and businessmen responsible for realizing their commanders’ visions of success. In January 1943, FDR and Churchill convened in Casablanca and established the Allied objectives for the war: to defeat the Nazi blitzkrieg; to control the Atlantic sea lanes and the air over western and central Europe; to take the fight to the European mainland; and to end Japan’s imperialism. Astonishingly, a little over a year later, these ambitious goals had nearly all been accomplished. With riveting, tactical detail, Engineers of Victory reveals how. Kennedy recounts the inside stories of the invention of the cavity magnetron, a miniature radar “as small as a soup plate,” and the Hedgehog, a multi-headed grenade launcher that allowed the Allies to overcome the threat to their convoys crossing the Atlantic; the critical decision by engineers to install a super-charged Rolls-Royce engine in the P-51 Mustang, creating a fighter plane more powerful than the Luftwaffe’s; and the innovative use of pontoon bridges (made from rafts strung together) to help Russian troops cross rivers and elude the Nazi blitzkrieg. He takes readers behind the scenes, unveiling exactly how thousands of individual Allied planes and fighting ships were choreographed to collectively pull off the invasion of Normandy, and illuminating how crew chiefs perfected the high-flying and inaccessible B-29 Superfortress that would drop the atomic bombs on Japan. The story of World War II is often told as a grand narrative, as if it were fought by supermen or decided by fate. Here Kennedy uncovers the real heroes of the war, highlighting for the first time the creative strategies, tactics, and organizational decisions that made the lofty Allied objectives into a successful reality. In an even more significant way, Engineers of Victory has another claim to our attention, for it restores “the middle level of war” to its rightful place in history. Praise for Engineers of Victory “Superbly written and carefully documented . . . indispensable reading for anyone who seeks to understand how and why the Allies won.”—The Christian Science Monitor “An important contribution to our understanding of World War II . . . Like an engineer who pries open a pocket watch to reveal its inner mechanics, [Paul] Kennedy tells how little-known men and women at lower levels helped win the war.”—Michael Beschloss, The New York Times Book Review “Histories of World War II tend to concentrate on the leaders and generals at the top who make the big strategic decisions and on the lowly grunts at the bottom. . . . [Engineers of Victory] seeks to fill this gap in the historiography of World War II and does so triumphantly. . . . This book is a fine tribute.”—The Wall Street Journal “[Kennedy] colorfully and convincingly illustrates the ingenuity and persistence of a few men who made all the difference.”—The Washington Post “This superb book is Kennedy’s best.”—Foreign Affairs From the Hardcover edition.

Unternehmen Overlord

Author: Peter Lieb
Publisher: C.H.Beck
ISBN: 340666072X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Mit der alliierten Invasion begann die Befreiung Westeuropas von deutscher Besatzung. Gemeinsam mit der fast zeitgleich stattfindenden Operation „Bagration“, der entscheidenden Offensive der Roten Armee im Osten, besiegelte sie das Schicksal des Dritten Reiches. Am Abend des „D-Day“ hatten die amerikanischen, kanadischen und britischen Truppen einen ersten Brückenkopf im besetzten Frankreich gesichert. Mitte September standen alliierte Soldaten an der Reichsgrenze. Peter Lieb blendet in die deutschen Widerstandsnester an den Stränden der Normandie ebenso wie in die alliierten Landungsboote, schildert die mühsamen Materialschlachten der ersten Wochen sowie den rasanten Vormarsch nach dem Zusammenbruch des deutschen Widerstands und fragt nach den Reaktionen der französischen Bevölkerung. Dabei verbindet er den „Feldherrenblick“ von oben mit den Kampferfahrungen der einzelnen Soldaten und bettet das Geschehen in die strategischen Rahmenbedingungen des Zweiten Weltkriegs sowie die deutsche Besatzungspolitik in Frankreich ein.

Anatomy of Victory

Author: John D. Caldwell
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 153811478X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This groundbreaking book provides the first systematic comparison of America’s modern wars and why they were won or lost. John D. Caldwell uses the World War II victory as the historical benchmark for evaluating the success and failure of later conflicts. Unlike WWII, the Korean, Vietnam, and Iraqi Wars were limited, but they required enormous national commitments, produced no lasting victories, and generated bitter political controversies. Caldwell comprehensively examines these four wars through the lens of a strategic architecture to explain how and why their outcomes were so dramatically different. He defines a strategic architecture as an interlinked set of continually evolving policies, strategies, and operations by which combatant states work toward a desired end. Policy defines the high-level goals a nation seeks to achieve once it initiates a conflict or finds itself drawn into one. Policy makers direct a broad course of action and strive to control the initiative. When they make decisions, they have to respond to unforeseen conditions to guide and determine future decisions. Effective leaders are skilled at organizing constituencies they need to succeed and communicating to them convincingly. Strategy means employing whatever resources are available to achieve policy goals in situations that are dynamic as conflicts change quickly over time. Operations are the actions that occur when politicians, soldiers, and diplomats execute plans. A strategic architecture, Caldwell argues, is thus not a static blueprint but a dynamic vision of how a state can succeed or fail in a conflict.

Pacific Onslaught

Author: Paul Kennedy
Publisher: RosettaBooks
ISBN: 0795335725
Format: PDF, Docs
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Japan had mighty ambitions—to control the Western Pacific. The attack on Pearl Harbor devastated the American Pacific fleet, their primary obstacle, and they swept across the region. What ensued was a bitter struggle in which many thousands of soldiers lost their lives on both sides. This is the first book in Paul Kennedy’s chronicle of the Pacific conflict in World War II, concluded in Pacific Victory. Featuring a new introduction by the author, this book provides a close, step-by-step narrative of the Japanese expansion into the Western Pacific during some of the most brutal years of World War II. Offering contemporary analysis of war strategy, it includes a riveting look at Japan’s tightening grip on Hong Kong, New Guinea, the Philippines, and other key strategic locations—and the Allies’ inexorable struggle against it. These works on the War in the Pacific are as gripping today as when they were first published.

The United States in World War II

Author: Mark Stoler
Publisher: Hackett Publishing
ISBN: 162466749X
Format: PDF, Docs
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"Outstanding . . . the best short history I have read of America’s role in World War II. Stoler and Michelmore draw on a judicious selection of historical documents to provide a concise, readable history. The historiography of the war is well covered and explained. It is no small task to delineate the many, sometimes, heated debates over the conduct of the war, and in this volume the many sides of the historical debate are fairly and evenly treated. For a single-volume study, the book is remarkably comprehensive. It addresses major events and decisions; yet it also covers the political and policy-driven, strategic and operational, and social and cultural aspects of the War. The development of key technologies (such as the atomic bomb) and intelligence capabilities are explained. Finally, this book also covers topics that are often neglected in histories of the War, including racism in America, the American response to the Holocaust, and the evolving role of women in the workforce." —Adrian Lewis, The University of Kansas, author of The American Culture of War: The History of U.S. Military Forces from World War II to Operation Enduring Freedom (Routledge, 2nd ed. 2012)

How the War Was Won

Author: Phillips Payson O'Brien
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 131623973X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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World War II is usually seen as a titanic land battle, decided by mass armies, most importantly those on the Eastern Front. Phillips Payson O'Brien shows us the war in a completely different light. In this compelling new history of the Allied path to victory, he argues that in terms of production, technology and economic power, the war was far more a contest of air and sea than land supremacy. He shows how the Allies developed a predominance of air and sea power which put unbearable pressure on Germany and Japan's entire war-fighting machine from Europe and the Mediterranean to the Pacific. Air and sea power dramatically expanded the area of battle and allowed the Allies to destroy over half the Axis' equipment before it had even reached the traditional 'battlefield'. Battles such as El Alamein, Stalingrad and Kursk did not win World War II; air and sea power did.