A History of the Second World War in 100 Maps
The unprecedented scale of the Second World War, fought over a diverse range of landscapes and in all climates, created daunting problems for military mapmakers. Meanwhile, both Allied and Axis leaders were putting pressure on them for adequate propaganda, keen to use cartography as a means of demonstrating territorial gains, successful defences, and future conquests. In this fascinating and stylishly designed book, leading military and cartographic historian Jeremy Black selects 100 of the most significant and revealing maps of the war.
A History of the Second World War in 100 Maps, Jeremy Black, British Library Publishing, £35 (hbk), ISBN 978-0712353137.
The Second World War through soldiers’ eyes: British army life, 1939-1945
The British army of 1939 was a poorly funded force of just 865,000 recruits, but by D-Day five years later it was a well-equipped, disciplined war machine of over three million men and women posted across the globe. Through a series of thematically based chapters – on recruitment, life overseas, demobilisation, and many other subjects – James Goulty explores their experiences.
The Second World War through soldiers’ eyes: British army life, 1939-1945, James GoultyPen & Sword Military, £14.99 (pbk), ISBN: 978-1526781710.
Jet Man: the making and breaking of Frank Whittle, the genius behind the jet revolution
Daring RAF pilot and mathematician Frank Whittle’s revolutionary blueprint for a jet-powered aircraft came too late to help Britain’s war effort against Hitler (it was rejected by the Air Ministry, much to his frustration), but by the 1950s it was well on its way to transforming the world of air travel. Duncan Campbell-Smith tells the complete story of Whittle’s fascinating life and achievements.
Jet Man: the making and breaking of Frank Whittle, the genius behind the jet revolution, Duncan Campbell-Smith, Head of Zeus, hbk (£30), ISBN: 978-1788544696.
Blood and Iron: the rise and fall of the German Empire, 1817-1918
The German Empire was both forged and destroyed by conflict. United into one country under the skilful and ruthless leadership of Otto von Bismarck following the Franco-Prussian War, it survived for fifty years before being shattered by another immense clash of armies. In her debut book, Katja Hoyer charts the regime’s tumultuous history.
Blood and Iron: the rise and fall of the German Empire, 1817-1918, Katja Hoyer, The History Press, £14.99 (hbk), ISBN: 978-0750996228.
Pershing’s Lieutenants: American military leadership in World War I
From its entry into the First World War, the size of the US regular army swelled from just 128,000 troops to almost four million, with slightly more than half of these in Europe under the command of General John J Pershing. In this book, nineteen historians look at the upcoming figures who worked for and with him, including George Marshall, George Patton, Douglas McArthur, and Harry Truman.
Pershing’s Lieutenants: American military leadership in World War I, David T Ząbecki and Douglas V Mastriano (eds), Osprey, £25 (hbk), ISBN: 978-1472838636.
China 1949: year of revolution
The year 1949 saw the brutal rise of Mao Zedong. Swept to power by his communist armies, the revolution sent once-powerful leaders into exile and provoked foreign leaders to gasp in horror. In this new history, author and journalist Graham Hutchings provides a compelling account of the experiences and consequences for both the leaders and the people of China in a year that changed world history.
China 1949: year of revolution, Graham Hutchings, Bloomsbury, £25 (hbk), ISBN: 978-0755607334.