I was astounded that Beevor began this with a couple of chapters of turgid imprecations against the nasty Nazis. Do we really have to hear that these days, in a contemporary history of WW2? Were they still sounding off about the infidelities of Bonaparte in the 1880s? I mean, come on. Drop the wartime propaganda, Tony, it isn't your thing. Pretend you're Duff Cooper. Loose Lips May Sink Ships.
Once we get into the war we are on solid ground and the story moves smoothly. I really appreciated the attention paid to Yugoslavia, Greece, Crete, and the other sideshows that usually get neglected. Beevor is fair but not lenient on Churchill's ditherings in the last two years of the war.
I have some age related eye issues and this book is over 800 pages long so listening is much easier than reading. I listened to much of it on a 7 day cruise as I walked 45 miles on the deck.
The retreat of the Germans from the Red Army
This is not a book for the weak of heart. Many graphic details of the horror of the war and the effect on the citizens and soldiers that were involved.
Yes. Learned a great deal.
Would have preferred more attention to broad issues and concepts and less detailed focus on battles
Behind the scenes discussion and critique of military leaders
Minute details of each battle
Buy maps of the war
Beevor is a military historian. However, not all readers are as fascinated with the detail he goes into. Would have preferred greater focus on political history.
I would recommend this to the general reader who is interested in military history. I especially like that the author devotes significant time and effort into campaigning in and around Mainland China.This is a relatively conventional treatment of the war, but the author does do a fair job of avoiding judgement of the actions of the protagonists through the lens of our early 21st century social and moral views.The author does seem fascinated with visions of tanks crushing with their threads people, vehicles, ordnance, supplies...and anything else that might be lying about. He returns to that meme again and again, like a dog to his vomit. He never specifically claims any instance of a tank smashing to jelly puppy dogs or a bag of adorable kittens, but I am sure he wanted to do so.
Gallagher the madcap hippy comic enlists in the panzer arm and takes his new 34 ton sledge-o-matic out for a drive
Gallagher's Panzers East
WWII historian that can't listen to enough WWII history.
Maybe, but probably not for a while. It is 39+ hrs long, so I had enough in-depth coverage of WWII for a little while (even though I'm a WWII buff!). I love Beevor's writing (notably Berlin and Stalingrad), but listening to this book, I noticed that Beevor focuses far too much on the French (even after they were defeated and contributed practically nothing to the rest of the War on either side) and to the imperialistic British. I was offended that Beevor only gave one or two sentences about *some horribly dreadful march from Bataan*, yet spent pages, if not chapters, talking about the boring and irrelevant British interest in maintaining their crumbling empire in the far east, and the squabbling and ineptitude of the British command there. I don't care about what the British commander looked like and when he took his tea when, at the same time, thousands were dying on the Bataan Death March. Really, I think Beevor bit off more than he could chew with this. He does have interesting side stories that I haven't ever heard anywhere else, but they tend to drag the storytelling down in some places talking about some ultimately insignificant event, and then speeds through other important events without hardly event getting into detail about them. Beevor, in his own words, in an Anglophile and has a slight Anti-American tone, and continually downplays America's significant contributions to the War. I got the impression that whenever Beevor talks about the Allies, Britain is portrayed as the most important, followed by France, followed by Russia, followed by America, which is way out of line in my opinion. When he talks about the German-Russian battles, the coverage is more balanced and fair. I was sad that I read/listened to this book - it tarnished my respect and admiration for Antony Beevor as an author. This book is okay for WWII history buffs, but I'd really recommend reading the much better and more fairly balanced Stalingrad or Berlin.
The interesting side stories that I hadn't heard anywhere else before. Also, this book covers far more of the Chinese-Japanese conflict than I have read in any other WWII history book.
Good accents and good tone. It was very easy to listen to.
Yes, but at 39 hours, that isn't possible.