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European Home Fronts 1939 - 1945

European Home Fronts 1939 - 1945

Earl R. Beck

ISBN: 978-0-882-95906-1

Jan 1993, Wiley-Blackwell

176 pages

Select type: Paperback

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In a book arranged in chapters which deal separately with the Home Fronts of each country, Beck is able to provide a comprehensive picture of the effects of the world's only 'total war' upon the civilians who often faced bewilderment, fear, death, and destruction all around them. Beck considers the effects of bombing and sometimes actual fighting in the streets and towns in which people lived, and the policies of individual governments that attempted to encourage and retain support for the war effort in varying ways.

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Foreword vii

Introduction xi

1. Great Britain: The Islands Fortress 1

The Appeasement Era 1

Churchill Becomes Britain’s War Leader 6

The Battle of Britain 9

Other British Cities Attacked 12

The First American Moves Toward Alliance 13

The Days of Austerity 14

American Troops in Britain 17

Preparations for the Invasion of the Continent 19

2. The Soviet Union 23

Rapidity of German Conquests 26

Stalin’s “Patriotic War” 28

The Years of Defeat: 1941-1942 29

The Role of Allied Aid 34

Fall 1942: The Tide Begins to Turn 35

3. France: Under The German Heel 40

Political and Economic Chaos 41

Military Incompetence and Disastrous Defeat 43

The Nature of the Vichy Regime 47

The German Occupation 49

Hostages and Forced Labor 51

The Great Misery of Paris 53

The Resistance 54

De Gaulle’s Move to Leadership 57

The Reminder of France Occupied 59

The Fighting French 60

4. The Axis Powers: Germany and Italy 65

German Military Spirit 65

Did the German Public Want War? 67

Problems with the Churches 69

The Invasion of Russia 70

Domestic Shortages 73

Bad News from the Battle Fronts 74

Firestorms in Hamburg 75

The Final Solution 77

Horrors of the Last Days 78

The Italians at War 79

Declining Popular Support for Mussolini 81

Military Blunders and Defeats 82

The Fall of Mussolini 84

The Neo-Fascist Regime 86

The Allied Campaign in Italy 88

5. Poland and the Holocaust 93

The Destruction of Poland 94

Governments in Exile 97

The Final Solution in Poland 99

The Warsaw Uprising 102

6. Other Home Fronts 105

Presumed Aryan States: The Low Countries and Scandinavia 105

The Fate of Czechoslovakia 116

Fire in the Balkans 122

Postscript 133

Bibliographical Essay 137

Index 151