Author: Sean Longden
Publisher: Constable & Robinson
Spartacus Website: Dunkirk
The true story of the 41,000 British soldiers who were left behind after the evacuation of Dunkirk, May 1940. At 2am on the morning of the 3rd of June 1940, General Harold Alexander searched along the quayside, holding onto his megaphone and called “Is anyone there? Is anyone there?” before turning his boat back towards England. Tradition tells us that the dramatic events of the evacuation of Dunkirk, in which 300,000 BEF servicemen escaped the Nazis, was a victory gained from the jaws of defeat. For the first time, rather than telling the tale of the 300,000 who escaped, Sean Longden reveals the story of the 40,000 men sacrificed in the rearguard battles.
Title: Sealing Their Fate
Author: David Downing
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Spartacus Website: Pearl Harbor
It took the Japanese fleet twenty-two days to sail from Japan to Pearl Harbor, the same twenty-two days that witnessed the German assault on Moscow and the Crusader battles in North Africa. The Germans failed to knock the Soviets out; the Japanese succeeded in bringing the Americans in. These twenty-two days sealed their mutual fate. With each chapter structured around one of the twenty-two days leading up to Pearl Harbor, Sealing Their Fate narrates the battles, the preparations for battle, the diplomatic manoeuvres and the intelligence wars. The story shifts from snowbound Russian villages to the stormy northern Pacific, from the North African desert to Europe's warring capitals, and from Tokyo to Washington. The book features a host of ordinary soldiers, sailors and airmen, and those political and military figures who played a key role in the war. Taking the momentum of the Japanese fleet, Sealing Their Fate works as an exciting countdown. Other countdowns - the gradual halting of the German advance in Russia, the erosion of Rommel's resources in North Africa, the institutionalization of the Holocaust - is worked into this basic structure.As Winston Churchill memorably remarked 'Hitler's fate was sealed. Mussolini's fate was sealed. As for the Japanese, they would be ground to powder. All the rest was merely the proper application of overwhelming force.'
Title: Tears in the Darkness
Author: Michael Norman and Elizabeth Norman
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Spartacus Website: Japan and the Second World War
For the first four months of 1942, U.S., Filipino, and Japanese soldiers fought what was America's first major land battle of World War II, the battle for the tiny Philippine peninsula of Bataan. It ended with the surrender of 76,000 Filipinos and Americans, the single largest defeat in American military history. The defeat, though, was only the beginning, as Michael and Elizabeth M. Norman make dramatically clear in this powerfully original book. From then until the Japanese surrendered in August 1945, the prisoners of war suffered an ordeal of unparalleled cruelty and savagery: forty-one months of captivity, starvation rations, dehydration, hard labor, deadly disease, and torture - far from the machinations of General Douglas MacArthur. The Normans bring to the story remarkable feats of reportage and literary empathy. Their protagonist, Ben Steele, is a figure out of Hemingway: a young cowboy turned sketch artist from Montana who joined the army to see the world. Juxtaposed against Steele's story and the sobering tale of the Death March and its aftermath is the story of a number of Japanese soldiers. The result is an altogether new and original World War II book: it exposes the myths of military heroism as shallow and inadequate; it makes clear, with great literary and human power, that war causes suffering for people on all sides.
Author: Alexander Bielakowski
Spartacus Website: Second World War
Although African Americans had to strive against prejudice for every chance to show what they could achieve, in fact the wartime US Army conceded opportunities for leadership unparalleled in American civil society at that date and tens of thousands of African Americans contributed to the war effort. Fully illustrated with poignant photographs and especially commissioned artwork, this book will depict the variety of key roles that African Americans played from fighter pilots to tank crews to grunts on the ground in every combat theatre from Europe to the Pacific. "Elite 158 African American Troops in World War II" is a concise history of the service records and combat experience of the African American troops who rose above discrimination to fight for the Allied cause and paved the way for integrated armed forces.