World War II: A Compact History

Written by R. Ernest Dupuy
Category: · History

Colonel Dupuy writes of the cataclysmic events of World War II from a dual vantage point: that of a professional soldier who had actively engaged in the fighting and of a skilled historian who has searched out the facts behind the events of this vast and complex war.

The author has accepted and met an exceptional challenge in compressing the wide-ranging action of World War II into a compact narrative that sweeps around the world – from England under the Blitz to General Joseph Stilwell’s 400-mile trek through Burma, from Stalingrad to Guadalcanal and the war in the Pacific – placing the war in a single focus while retaining the individual drama of important actions.

At the same time, Colonel Dupuy has brought to light a number of new and surprising facts. He provides the most detailed discussion to date of Operation Bodyguard, the plan designed to delude the Germans about the Allied invasion of the Continent. He shows, too, how the Battle of the Bulge caused near panic in the United States because a veil of secrecy drawn about the press had frightened Americans into thinking the Germans had turned the tide against the Allies.

Here, too, are new facts about the politics of the war: why an American corps commander was cheated of credit for forcing the first German field surrender in Europe, how Churchill and Truman allowed Stalin to decide when the Italian and German surrenders would be revealed. There is also a fascinating account of the little known or appreciated campaign in southern France, in which General Lucian Truscott in a daring maneuver advanced his troops 175 miles in fourteen days and demolished a German army.

Colonel R. Ernest Dupuy, U.S. Army (Ret.), is the author of The Compact History of the Revolutionary War and The Compact History of the United States Army, as well as the General Editor of The Military History of the United States Series.

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