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World War II For Dummies

Keith D. Dickson

ISBN: 978-1-118-06956-1 April 2011 436 Pages


World War II was the most destructive event of the twentieth century. It was total war covering the entire globe, and the nations that fought it employed every available resource, harnessing both technology and people to one purpose. If you look at the world today, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a country that was not affected by this war.

If you want to find out more about this war, without being overwhelmed, World War II for Dummies can help. Whether you’re looking for a way to enhance your appreciation of the events that took place or just want to refresh your memory without digging through countless volumes of World War II history, this book is right for you.

Accurate and easily accessible World War II for Dummies will help you explore a war that defined and shaped the world we live in today. You’ll discover all the players—individuals as well as nations—who participated in the war and the politics that drove them. Battle by battle, you’ll find out how the Axis powers initially took control of the war and how the Allies fought back to win the day. World War II for Dummies also covers:

  • The origins and causes of World War II
  • The rise of Hitler and the Third Reich
  • How the war was handled at home
  • Germany’s invasion of Poland, France, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and Luxembourg
  • Great Britain’s refusal to surrender after forty-two days of German aerial bombardment
  • The United States entrance into the war after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor
  • The Allied invasion of Normandy (D-Day)
  • Germany’s last ditch effort to stop the Allies at the Battle of the Bulge
  • The use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
World War II for Dummies is packed with fascinating anecdotes, interesting sidebars, and top ten lists, that clue you in on many of the issues of this war. This friendly reference gives you the scoop on everything from Pearl Harbor and the Holocaust to D-Day, Midway, and more.

Introduction: The Most Destructive War 1

Part 1 Origins and Causes of War, 1919-1939 9

Chapter 1 World War II: Why It Matters and What You Need to Know 11

Chapter 2 The Great War and the Uneasy Peace: How World War II Happened 21

Chapter 3: Hoping for Peace: The Rise of the Dictators, 1933-1939 49

Part II: Starting the War: The Axis Invades and Conquers, 1939-1942 65

Chapter 4: Invading Eastern Europe: Hitler’s Power Grows, 1939 67

Chapter 5: Blitzkrieg in Europe: World War II Begins, 1939-1941 77

Chapter 6: The Ultimate Battle: Hitler versus Stalin 107

Chapter 7: America on the Sidelines: 1933-1941 119

Chapter 8: Collision in Asia: Japan and America, 1937-1941 129

Part III: Behind Enemy Lines: Nations at War 147

Chapter 9: Maintaining Resources: The Axis 149

Chapter 10: Working Together: The Allies 159

Chapter 11: The War against the Jews 169

Part IV: Planning and Launching the Allied Counterattack, 1942-1943 179

Chapter 12: The Politics of Compromise, 1942 181

Chapter 13: Taking North Africa, Sicily, and the Boot 189

Chapter 14: Germany a Three-Time Loser: In Russia, At Home, and in the Atlantic 207

Chapter 15: Guadalcanal, New Guinea, and Midway: Japan’s Three Strikes 227

Chapter 16: Planning for the Rest of the War, 1943 247

Part V: The Long Haul, 1944 253

Chapter 17: The Italian Campaign and Soviet Victories in the East 255

Chapter 18: Liberating Europe: From Normandy to Paris, and Beyond 265

Chapter 19: Japan Begins to Crack 287

Part VI: Starting Over: The War’s Aftereffects, 1945 311

Chapter 20: Ending the War (Almost): The Final Offensive 313

Chapter 21: The Japanese Defeat 339

Chapter 22: The Uneasy Peace 363

Part VII: The Parts of Tens 369

Chapter 23: Ten Formidable Military Leaders of World War II 371

Chapter 24: Ten Weapons That Made a Difference 377

Chapter 25: Ten “What Ifs” of World War II 383

Index 389

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