This major work covers the whole six-year global conflagration that shattered and then re-shaped the world. From the German blitzkrieg against Poland in September 1939, to the surrender of Japan following the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki almost exactly six years later. After a seemingly endless run of Axis victories - the fall of France, the surrender of Singapore, and the Russian withdrawal to the outskirts of Moscow - this book shows how the Allies slowly turned the tide of war in their favor, winning a decisive victory over Rommel in north Africa and destroying the German 6th Army in Stalingrad. The pace then quickens as the long, hard struggle for victory reaches it dramatic climax with the D-Day landings and subsequent bitter campaign through western Europe to Germany, the Red Army's unstoppable march to Berlin, and the final brutal battles with the Japanese in the Far East. Each key event is presented precisely, spread by spread, with maps, photographs and documents, biographical features and timeline.
Richard Overy is a British historian who has written extensively on the history of World War II and the Third Reich. In 2007 as the Times editor of Complete History of the World, he chose the 50 key dates of world history. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the British Academy, and King's College. In 2001 he was awarded the Samuel Elliot Morison Prize of the Society for Military History for his contributions to the history of warfare. In 2004 he was appointed professor of history at the University of Exeter. He has written over 30 books on World War II, including Why the Allies Won and 1939: Countdown to War. His work on World War II has been praised as "highly effective (in) the ruthless dispelling of myths" (A.J.P. Taylor), "original and important" (New York Review of Books) and "at the cutting edge" (Times Literary Supplement.)