Author: Richard Holmes
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
Spartacus Website: Second World War
This work presents the definitive visual history of the people, politics and events of the epic conflict that shaped the modern world, World War II. From the build-up of hostility in the years leading up to the war, through to the reverberations still felt in the aftermath, this is a compelling, accessible and immediate history of World War II. Discover how deep-seated local fears and hatreds escalated into one vast global conflict that was fought out to the bitter end. Find out about key battles, political and economic forces, individual leaders and technological advances that influenced the course of the war. Cross-referencing appears throughout and timelines and global maps establish an overview of each year of the conflict. Packed with images, including rarely seen colour photographs and unforgettable first person accounts, "World War II" is a uniquely accessible account of history's most devastating conflict.
Title: Warsaw 1944
Author: Robert Forczyk
Spartacus Website: Warsaw Uprising
Defeated and occupied in 1939, Poland had suffered under the Nazi heel for nearly five years. Undaunted, however, the Poles formed an underground army, the Armia Krajowa (Home Army), and waited for a moment of German weakness. That moment seemed to have arrived in July 1944 as the Soviet armies began to advance into eastern Poland. The AK launched its revolt in Warsaw on 1 August 1944. Though its 5,000 fighters achieved some initial successes, the Germans were able to retain control over both the Vistula River bridges and the airbase, dooming the revolt to isolation and defeat. The SS was put in charge of suppressing the rebellion, beginning a wave of atrocities shocking even by Eastern Front standards.
Title: Last Stand at Le Paradis
Author: Richard Lane
Publisher: Pen & Sword
Spartacus Website: British Expeditionary Force
When the Germans launched their offensive on 10 May, the BEF advanced to the River Dyle in Belgium. Within days the Allied Armies had been forced onto the back foot by the speed and ferocity of the German breakthrough. The Norfolks withdrew to the River Escaut where the BEF was to make a stand. On 21 May, the Company Sergeant Major George Gristock courageously destroyed some German machine-gun posts and won a posthumous Victoria Cross. As the Allies withdrew towards the Channel, the Norfolks were ordered to defend a section of the Canal Line between Béthune and Le Cornet Malo. Already down to around half strength, the Norfolks held their sector from 24 to 27 May. By the time the order was issued for them to withdraw, it was too late, Battalion HQ at Duries Farm, Le Paradis was surrounded and they had no alternative but to surrender, although `C' Company held out until the following morning. After the surrender, ninety-nine men of the Battalion were marched to a paddock where they were machine-gunned in cold blood by their SS captors. Miraculously, two men survived and were instrumental in bringing the SS officer responsible, Fritz Knoechlien, to justice after the war. When the remnants of the battalion reassembled in England, its strength was just five officers and 134 other ranks. The remainder had either been killed or captured as POWs.