The Fire and the Darkness

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The Fire and the Darkness

The Fire and the Darkness

  • Author : Sinclair McKay
  • ISBN :
  • Category : History
  • Publisher : St. Martin\'s Press
  • Pages : 368
  • Release Date : 2020-02-04

A gripping work of narrative nonfiction recounting the history of the Dresden Bombing, one of the most devastating attacks of World War II. On February 13th, 1945 at 10:03 PM, British bombers began one of the most devastating attacks of WWII: the bombing of Dresden. The first contingent killed people and destroyed buildings, roads, and other structures. The second rained down fire, turning the streets into a blast furnace, the shelters into ovens, and whipping up a molten hurricane in which the citizens of Dresden were burned, baked, or suffocated to death. Early the next day, American bombers finished off what was left. Sinclair McKay’s The Fire and the Darkness is a pulse-pounding work of history that looks at the life of the city in the days before the attack, tracks each moment of the bombing, and considers the long period of reconstruction and recovery. The Fire and the Darkness is powered by McKay’s reconstruction of this unthinkable terror from the points of view of the ordinary civilians: Margot Hille, an apprentice brewery worker; Gisela Reichelt, a ten-year-old schoolgirl; boys conscripted into the Hitler Youth; choristers of the Kreuzkirche choir; artists, shop assistants, and classical musicians, as well as the Nazi officials stationed there. What happened that night in Dresden was calculated annihilation in a war that was almost over. Sinclair McKay’s brilliant work takes a complex, human, view of this terrible night and its aftermath in a gripping book that will be remembered long after the last page is turned.

Every day for nine months from September 1944 to the end of the war, young British, Commonwealth and Norwegian airmen flew from Banff aerodrome in northern Scotland in their Mosquitoes and Beaufighters to target the German U-Boats, merchantmen and freighters plying along the coast and in the fjords and leads of southwest Norway, encountering the Luftwaffe and flakships every step of the way. This Scottish strike wing fought in some of the bitterest and bloodiest attacks of the war, all at very low level and at close quarters. Their contribution to winning the war was crucial and while the cost in precious lives and equipment was in the same proportion as Bomber Command, they inflicted far greater damage to the enemy in relation to their losses. With Group Captain The Hon. Max Aitken, DSO DFC as station commander, Banff was eventually to become the base for a total of six Mosquito squadrons (including 235, 248 and 143), together with B Flight of the elite 333 Norwegian Squadron, and would team up on missions with the nearby Dallachy Beaufighter strike wing (404 RCAF, 455 RAAF, 489 RNZAF and 144 Squadrons). A Separate Little War, then, is a well researched and detailed history of a microcosm of Coastal Command. Supported by many photographs, maps and charts, the vast majority never published before, the author has drawn on the personal accounts of, amongst others, British and Norwegian pilots, ground crew and civilians which augment the official sources, to give a compelling, accurate and fascinating depiction of an aerodrome at war. It is a subject which will be of great interest and value to the general reader and to those students of the Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, RAF and former Commonwealth Air Forces, the Polish Air Force and of maritime air operations during World War Two.

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An exploration of how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice In The Bomber Mafia, Malcolm Gladwell weaves together the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history. Most military thinkers in the years leading up to World War II saw the airplane as an afterthought. But a small band of idealistic strategists, the “Bomber Mafia,” asked: What if precision bombing could cripple the enemy and make war far less lethal? In contrast, the bombing of Tokyo on the deadliest night of the war was the brainchild of General Curtis LeMay, whose brutal pragmatism and scorched-earth tactics in Japan cost thousands of civilian lives, but may have spared even more by averting a planned US invasion. In The Bomber Mafia, Gladwell asks, “Was it worth it?” Things might have gone differently had LeMay’s predecessor, General Haywood Hansell, remained in charge. Hansell believed in precision bombing, but when he and Curtis LeMay squared off for a leadership handover in the jungles of Guam, LeMay emerged victorious, leading to the darkest night of World War II. The Bomber Mafia is a riveting tale of persistence, innovation, and the incalculable wages of war.

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How does the Taliban wage war? How has its war changed over time? Firstly, the movement's extraordinary military operation relies on financial backing. This volume analyses such funding. The Taliban's external sources of support include foreign governments and non-state groups, both of which have affected the Taliban's military campaigns and internal politics. Secondly, this is the first full-length study of the Taliban to acknowledge and discuss in detail the movement's polycentric character. Here not only the Quetta Shura, but also the Haqqani Network and the Taliban's other centers of power, are afforded the attention they deserve. The Taliban at War is based on extensive field research, including hundreds of interviews with Taliban members at all levels of the organization, community elders in Taliban-controlled areas, and other sources. It covers the Taliban insurgency from its first manifestations in 2002 up to the end of 2015. The five-month Battle of Kunduz epitomized the ongoing transition of the Taliban from an insurgent group to a more conventional military force, intent on fighting a protracted civil war. In this latest book, renowned Afghanistan expert Antonio Giustozzi rounds off his twenty years of studying the Taliban with an authoritative study detailing the evolution of its formidable military machine.

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This book describes one twenty-four-hour period in the Allied Strategic Bomber Offensive in the greatest possible detail. The author sets the scene by outlining the course of the bombing war from 1939 to the night of the Nuremberg raid, the characters and aims of the British bombing leaders and the composition of the opposing Bomber Command and German night fighter forces.The aim of the Nuremberg raid was not unlike many hundreds of other RAF missions but, due to the difficulties and dangers of the enemy defenses and weather plus bad luck, it went horribly wrong. The result was so notorious that it became a turning point in the campaign. The target, the symbolic Nazi rally city of Nuremberg, was only lightly damaged and 96 out of 779 bombers went missing.Middlebrook recreates the events of the fateful night in astonishing detail. The result is a meticulous dramatic and often controversial account. It is also a moving tribute to the bravery of the RAF bomber crews and their adversaries. As reviewed in the Wall Street Journal: Using firsthand accounts, Mr. Middlebrook follows the planning, preparation and execution of the operation in meticulous detail, but he does more than that: Employing hundreds of eyewitness accounts, he shows the raid from the point of view of the German defenses and the civilians on the ground. Factual and analytical, this is a portrait of mechanized warfare at the level of personal experience. Wall Street Journal, March 2016

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Behind the celebrated code-breaking at Bletchley Park lies another secret… The men and women of the ‘Y’ (for Wireless’) Service were sent out across the world to run listening stations from Gibraltar to Cairo, intercepting the German military’s encrypted messages for decoding back at the now-famous Bletchley Park mansion. Such wartime postings were life-changing adventures – travel out by flying boat or Indian railways, snakes in filing cabinets and heat so intense the perspiration ran into your shoes - but many of the secret listeners found lifelong romance in their far-flung corner of the world. Now, drawing on dozens of interviews with surviving veterans, Sinclair McKay tells their remarkable story at last.

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Austerlitz, Wagram, Borodino, Trafalgar, Leipzig, Waterloo: these are the places most closely associated with the era of the Napoleonic Wars. But how did this period of nearly continuous conflict affect the world beyond Europe? The immensity of the fighting waged by France against England, Prussia, Austria, and Russia, and the immediate consequences of the tremors that spread throughout the world. In this ambitious and far-ranging work, Alexander Mikaberidze argues that the Napoleonic Wars can only be fully understood in an international perspective. France struggled for dominance not only on the plains of Europe but also in the Americas, West and South Africa, Ottoman Empire, Iran, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Taking specific regions in turn, Mikaberidze discusses major political-military events around the world and situates geopolitical decision-making within its long- and short-term contexts. From the British expeditions to Argentina and South Africa to the Franco-Russian maneuvering in the Ottoman Empire, the effects of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars would shape international affairs well into the next century. In Egypt, the wars led to the rise of Mehmed Ali and the emergence of a powerful state; in North America, the period transformed and enlarged the newly established United States; and in South America, the Spanish colonial empire witnessed the start of national-liberation movements that ultimately ended imperial control. Skillfully narrated and deeply researched, here at last is the global history of the period, one that expands our view of the Napoleonic Wars and their role in laying the foundations of the modern world.

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All Hell Breaking Loose is an eye-opening examination of climate change from the perspective of the U.S. military. The Pentagon, unsentimental and politically conservative, might not seem likely to be worried about climate change—still linked, for many people, with polar bears and coral reefs. Yet of all the major institutions in American society, none take climate change as seriously as the U.S. military. Both as participants in climate-triggered conflicts abroad, and as first responders to hurricanes and other disasters on American soil, the armed services are already confronting the impacts of global warming. The military now regards climate change as one of the top threats to American national security—and is busy developing strategies to cope with it. Drawing on previously obscure reports and government documents, renowned security expert Michael Klare shows that the U.S. military sees the climate threat as imperiling the country on several fronts at once. Droughts and food shortages are stoking conflicts in ethnically divided nations, with “climate refugees” producing worldwide havoc. Pandemics and other humanitarian disasters will increasingly require extensive military involvement. The melting Arctic is creating new seaways to defend. And rising seas threaten American cities and military bases themselves. While others still debate the causes of global warming, the Pentagon is intensely focused on its effects. Its response makes it clear that where it counts, the immense impact of climate change is not in doubt.

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'Victor Gregg is the most remarkable spokesman for the war generation' Dan Snow In Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut fictionalised his time as a prisoner of war in Dresden in 1945. Vonnegut was imprisoned in a cellar while the firestorm raged through the city, wiping out generations of innocent lives. Victor Gregg remained above ground throughout the firebombing. This is his true eyewitness account of that week in February 1945. Already a seasoned soldier with the Rifle Brigade, Gregg joined the 10th Parachute Regiment in 1944. He was captured at Arnhem where he volunteered to be sent to a work camp rather than become another faceless number in the huge POW camps. With two failed escape attempts under his belt, Gregg was eventually caught sabotaging a factory and sent to Dresden for execution. Before Gregg could be executed, the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on Dresden in four air raids over two days in February 1945. The resulting firestorm destroyed six square miles of the city centre. 25,000 people, mostly civilians, were estimated to have been killed. Post-war discussion of whether or not the attacks were justified has led to the bombing becoming one of the moral questions of the Second World War. In Gregg's first-hand narrative, personal and punchy, he describes the trauma and carnage of the Dresden bombing. After the raid, he spent five days helping to recover a city of innocent civilians, thousands of whom had died in the fire storm, trapped underground in human ovens. As order was restored, his life was once more in danger and he escaped to the east, spending the last weeks of the war with the Russians.

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'The epic story of an iconic aircraft and the breathtaking courage of those who flew her' Andy McNab, bestselling author of Bravo Two Zero 'Compelling, thrilling and rooted in quite extraordinary human drama' James Holland, author of Normandy 44 From John Nichol, the Sunday Times bestselling author of Spitfire, comes a passionate and profoundly moving tribute to the Lancaster bomber, its heroic crews and the men and women who kept her airborne during the country's greatest hour of need. 'The Avro Lancaster is an aviation icon; revered, romanticised, loved. Without her, and the bravery of those who flew her, the freedom we enjoy today would not exist.' Sir Arthur Harris, the controversial chief of Royal Air Force Bomber Command, described the Lancaster as his 'shining sword' and the 'greatest single factor in winning the war'. RAF bomber squadrons carried out offensive operations from the first day of the Second World War until the very last, more than five and a half years later. They flew nearly 300,000 sorties and dropped around a million tons of explosives, as well as life-saving supplies. Over 10,000 of their aircraft never returned. Of the 7,377 Lancasters built during the conflict, more than half were lost to enemy action or training accidents. The human cost was staggering. Of the 125,000 men who served in Bomber Command, over 55,000 were killed and another 8,400 were wounded. Some 10,000 survived being shot down, only to become prisoners of war. In simple, brutal terms, Harris's aircrew had only a 40 per cent chance of surviving the war unscathed. Former RAF Tornado Navigator, Gulf War veteran and bestselling author John Nichol now tells the inspiring and moving story of this legendary aircraft that took the fight deep into the heart of Nazi Germany.

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Worlds collide in this true story of weather control in the Cold War era and the making of Kurt Vonnegut In the mid-1950s, Kurt Vonnegut takes a job in the PR department at General Electric in Schenectady, where his older brother, Bernard, is a leading scientist in its research lab--or "House of Magic." Kurt has ambitions as a novelist, and Bernard is working on a series of cutting-edge weather-control experiments meant to make deserts bloom and farmers flourish. While Kurt writes zippy press releases, Bernard builds silver-iodide generators and attacks clouds with dry ice. His experiments attract the attention of the government; weather proved a decisive factor in World War II, and if the military can control the clouds, fog, and snow, they can fly more bombing missions. Maybe weather will even be the "New Super Weapon." But when the army takes charge of his cloud-seeding project (dubbed Project Cirrus), Bernard begins to have misgivings about the harmful uses of his inventions, not to mention the evidence that they are causing alarming changes in the atmosphere. In a fascinating cultural history, Ginger Strand chronicles the intersection of these brothers' lives at a time when the possibilities of science seemed infinite. As the Cold War looms, Bernard's struggle for integrity plays out in Kurt's evolving writing style. The Brothers Vonnegut reveals how science's ability to influence the natural world also influenced one of our most inventive novelists.

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For Spanos, this was never a "war story." It was the singular, irreducible, unnameable, dreadful experience of war. In the face of the American myth of the greatest generation, this renowned literary scholar looks back at that time and crafts a dissident, dissonant remembrance of the "just war." Retrieving the singularity of the experience of war from the grip of official American cultural memory, Spanos recaptures something of the boy's life that he lost. His book is an attempt to rescue some semblance of his awakened being-and that of the multitude of young men who fought-from the oblivion to which they have been relegated under the banalizing memorialization of the "sacrifices of our greatest generation."

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The Second World War might have officially ended in May 1945, but in reality it rumbled on for another ten years... The end of the Second World War in Europe is one of the twentieth century's most iconic moments. It is fondly remembered as a time when cheering crowds filled the streets, danced, drank and made love until the small hours. These images of victory and celebration are so strong in our minds that the period of anarchy and civil war that followed has been forgotten. Across Europe, landscapes had been ravaged, entire cities razed and more than thirty million people had been killed in the war. The institutions that we now take for granted - such as the police, the media, transport, local and national government - were either entirely absent or hopelessly compromised. Crime rates were soaring, economies collapsing, and the European population was hovering on the brink of starvation. In Savage Continent, Keith Lowe describes a continent still racked by violence, where large sections of the population had yet to accept that the war was over. Individuals, communities and sometimes whole nations sought vengeance for the wrongs that had been done to them during the war. Germans and collaborators everywhere were rounded up, tormented and summarily executed. Concentration camps were reopened and filled with new victims who were tortured and starved. Violent anti-Semitism was reborn, sparking murders and new pogroms across Europe. Massacres were an integral part of the chaos and in some places – particularly Greece, Yugoslavia and Poland, as well as parts of Italy and France – they led to brutal civil wars. In some of the greatest acts of ethnic cleansing the world has ever seen, tens of millions were expelled from their ancestral homelands, often with the implicit blessing of the Allied authorities. Savage Continent is the story of post WWII Europe, in all its ugly detail, from the end of the war right up until the establishment of an uneasy stability across Europe towards the end of the 1940s. Based principally on primary sources from a dozen countries, Savage Continent is a frightening and thrilling chronicle of a world gone mad, the standard history of post WWII Europe for years to come.

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How does a nation recover from fascism and turn toward a free society once more? This internationally acclaimed revelatory history—"filled with first-person accounts from articles and diaries" (The New York Times)—of the transformational decade that followed World War II illustrates how Germany raised itself out of the ashes of defeat and reckoned with the corruption of its soul and the horrors of the Holocaust. Featuring over 40 eye-opening black-and-white photographs and posters from the period. The years 1945 to 1955 were a raw, wild decade that found many Germans politically, economically, and morally bankrupt. Victorious Allied forces occupied the four zones that make up present-day Germany. More than half the population was displaced; 10 million newly released forced laborers and several million prisoners of war returned to an uncertain existence. Cities lay in ruins—no mail, no trains, no traffic—with bodies yet to be found beneath the towering rubble. Aftermath received wide acclaim and spent forty-eight weeks on the best-seller list in Germany when it was published there in 2019. It is the first history of Germany's national mentality in the immediate postwar years. Using major global political developments as a backdrop, Harald Jähner weaves a series of life stories into a nuanced panorama of a nation undergoing monumental change. Poised between two eras, this decade is portrayed by Jähner as a period that proved decisive for Germany's future—and one starkly different from how most of us imagine it today.

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Night after night, they swallowed their fears and flew long distances through packs of enemy fighters to drop the bombs that could destroy Hitler and bring about the end of the war. Tens of thousands of young men never came back, blown up or bailing out from burning aircraft to drop helplessley into enemy hands. Yet history has condemned their brave and valiant actions, denouncing them for the destruction of German cities and civilians, rather than acknowledging them for the heroes that they are. For the first time John Nichol and Tony Rennell tell the story of the controversial last battles of Bomber Command through the eyes of the heroic men who fought them.

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Bletchley Park was where one of the war’s most famous – and crucial – achievements was made: the cracking of Germany’s “Enigma” code in which its most important military communications were couched. This country house in the Buckinghamshire countryside was home to Britain’s most brilliant mathematical brains, like Alan Turing, and the scene of immense advances in technology – indeed, the birth of modern computing. The military codes deciphered there were instrumental in turning both the Battle of the Atlantic and the war in North Africa. But, though plenty has been written about the boffins, and the codebreaking, fictional and non-fiction – from Robert Harris and Ian McEwan to Andrew Hodges’ biography of Turing – what of the thousands of men and women who lived and worked there during the war? What was life like for them – an odd, secret territory between the civilian and the military? Sinclair McKay’s book is the first history for the general reader of life at Bletchley Park, and an amazing compendium of memories from people now in their eighties – of skating on the frozen lake in the grounds (a depressed Angus Wilson, the novelist, once threw himself in) – of a youthful Roy Jenkins, useless at codebreaking, of the high jinks at nearby accommodation hostels – and of the implacable secrecy that meant girlfriend and boyfriend working in adjacent huts knew nothing about each other’s work.

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In July of 1943, British and American bombers launched an attack on the German city of Hamburg that was unlike anything the world had ever seen. For ten days they drenched the city with over 9,000 tons of bombs, with the intention of erasing it entirely from the map. The fires they created were so huge they burned for a month, and were visible for 200 miles. As those who survived emerged from their ruined cellars and air-raid shelters they were confronted with a unique vision of hell: a sea of flame that stretched to the horizon, the burnt-out husks of fire engines that had tried to rescue them, charcoaled corpses and roads that had become flaming rivers of melted tarmac. Using many new first-hand accounts and other material, Keith Lowe gives the human side of an inhuman story, and the result is an epic story of devastation and survival, and a much-needed reminder of the human face of war.

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The Blitz Companion offers a unique overview of a century of aerial warfare, its impact on cities and the people who lived in them. It tells the story of aerial warfare from the earliest bombing raids and in World War 1 through to the London Blitz and Allied bombings of Europe and Japan. These are compared with more recent American air campaigns over Cambodia and Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, the NATO bombings during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, and subsequent bombings in the aftermath of 9/11. Beginning with the premonitions and predictions of air warfare and its terrible consequences, the book focuses on air raids precautions, evacuation and preparations for total war, and resilience, both of citizens and of cities. The legacies of air raids, from reconstruction to commemoration, are also discussed. While a key theme of the book is the futility of many air campaigns, care is taken to situate them in their historical context. The Blitz Companion also includes a guide to documentary and visual resources for students and general readers. Uniquely accessible, comparative and broad in scope this book draws key conclusions about civilian experience in the twentieth century and what these might mean for military engagement and civil reconstruction processes once conflicts have been resolved.

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W. G. Sebald completed this extraordinary, important and controversial book before his untimely death in December 2001. It is a harrowing study of the devastation of German cities by Allied bombardment in World War II, and an examination of the silence in German literature and culture about this unprecedented trauma. On the Natural History of Destruction is an essential and deeply relevant study of war and society, suffering and amnesia. Like Sebald’s novels, it is studded with meticulous observation, moments of black humour, and throughout, the author’s unmatched intelligence and humanity.

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*Winner of the Pulitzer Prize* A New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book* A National Book Award Finalist* From Anthony Doerr, the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning author of Cloud Cuckoo Land, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. *Soon to be a Netflix limited series from the producers of Stranger Things* Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

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Bestselling historian Keith Lowe's The Fear and the Freedom looks at the astonishing innovations that sprang from WWII and how they changed the world. The Fear and the Freedom is Keith Lowe’s follow-up to Savage Continent. While that book painted a picture of Europe in all its horror as WWII was ending, The Fear and the Freedom looks at all that has happened since, focusing on the changes that were brought about because of WWII—simultaneously one of the most catastrophic and most innovative events in history. It killed millions and eradicated empires, creating the idea of human rights, and giving birth to the UN. It was because of the war that penicillin was first mass-produced, computers were developed, and rockets first sent to the edge of space. The war created new philosophies, new ways of living, new architecture: this was the era of Le Corbusier, Simone de Beauvoir and Chairman Mao. But amidst the waves of revolution and idealism there were also fears of globalization, a dread of the atom bomb, and an unexpressed longing for a past forever gone. All of these things and more came about as direct consequences of the war and continue to affect the world that we live in today. The Fear and the Freedom is the first book to look at all of the changes brought about because of WWII. Based on research from five continents, Keith Lowe’s The Fear and the Freedom tells the very human story of how the war not only transformed our world but also changed the very way we think about ourselves.

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"A tale drenched in drama and blood, heroism and cowardice, loyalty and betrayal."—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post The Red Army had much to avenge when it finally reached the frontiers of the Third Reich in January 1945. Frenzied by their terrible experiences with Wehrmacht and SS brutality, they wreaked havoc—tanks crushing refugee columns, mass rape, pillage, and unimaginable destruction. Hundreds of thousands of women and children froze to death or were massacred; more than seven million fled westward from the fury of the Red Army. It was the most terrifying example of fire and sword ever known. Antony Beevor, renowned author of D-Day and The Battle of Arnhem, has reconstructed the experiences of those millions caught up in the nightmare of the Third Reich's final collapse. The Fall of Berlin is a terrible story of pride, stupidity, fanaticism, revenge, and savagery, yet it is also one of astonishing endurance, self-sacrifice, and survival against all odds.

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The Second World War is omnipresent in contemporary memory debates. As the war fades from living memory, this study is the first to systematically analyze how Second World War museums allow prototypical visitors to comprehend and experience the past. It analyzes twelve permanent exhibitions in Europe and North America – including the Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Dresden, the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, the House of European History in Brussels, the Imperial War Museums in London and Manchester, and the National WWII Museum in New Orleans – in order to show how museums reflect and shape cultural memory, as well as their cognitive, ethical, emotional, and aesthetic potential and effects. This includes a discussion of representations of events such as the Holocaust and air warfare. In relation to narrative, memory, and experience, the study develops the concept of experientiality (on a sliding scale between mimetic and structural forms), which provides a new textual-spatial method for reading exhibitions and understanding the experiences of historical individuals and collectives. It is supplemented by concepts like transnational memory, empathy, and encouraging critical thinking through difficult knowledge.

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Published to coincide with the bombing, this dramatic and controversial account completely re-examines the Allied attack on Dresden For decades it has been assumed that the Allied bombing of Dresden was militarily unjustifiable, an act of rage and retribution for Germany’s ceaseless bombing of London and other parts of England. Now, Frederick Taylor’s groundbreaking research offers a completely new examination of the facts, and reveals that Dresden was a highly-militarized city actively involved in the production of military armaments and communications concealed beneath the cultural elegance for which the city was famous. Incorporating first-hand accounts, contemporaneous press material and memoirs, and never-before-seen government records, Taylor documents unequivocally the very real military threat Dresden posed, and thus altering forever our view of that attack.

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'Masterful research, impeccable detail, with a beautifully flowing narrative of which Churchill himself would have been proud.' - Professor Peter Caddick-Adams From his earliest days Winston Churchill was an extreme risk taker and he carried this into adulthood. Today he is widely hailed as Britain's greatest wartime leader and politician. Deep down though, he was foremost a warlord. Just like his ally Stalin, and his arch enemies Hitler and Mussolini, Churchill could not help himself and insisted on personally directing the strategic conduct of World War II. For better or worse he insisted on being political master and military commander. Again like his wartime contemporaries, he had a habit of not heeding the advice of his generals. The results of this were disasters in Norway, North Africa, Greece and Crete during 1940–41. His fruitless Dodecanese campaign in 1943 also ended in defeat. Churchill's pig-headedness over supporting the Italian campaign in defiance of the Riviera landings culminated in him threatening to resign and bring down the British Government. Yet on occasions he got it just right, his refusal to surrender in 1940, the British miracle at Dunkirk and victory in the Battle of Britain, showed that he was a much-needed decisive leader. Nor did he shy away from difficult decisions, such as the destruction of the French Fleet to prevent it falling into German hands and his subsequent war against Vichy France. In this fascinating new book, acclaimed historian Anthony Tucker-Jones explores the record of Winston Churchill as a military commander, assessing how the military experiences of his formative years shaped him for the difficult military decisions he took in office. This book assesses his choices in the some of the most controversial and high-profile campaigns of World War II, and how in high office his decision making was both right and wrong.

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An award-winning historian plumbs the depths of Hitler and Stalin's vicious regimes, and shows the extent to which they brutalized the world around them. Two 20th century tyrants stand apart from all the rest in terms of their ruthlessness and the degree to which they changed the world around them. Briefly allies during World War II, Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin then tried to exterminate each other in sweeping campaigns unlike anything the modern world had ever seen, affecting soldiers and civilians alike. Millions of miles of Eastern Europe were ruined in their fight to the death, millions of lives sacrificed. Laurence Rees has met more people who had direct experience of working for Hitler and Stalin than any other historian. Using their evidence he has pieced together a compelling comparative portrait of evil, in which idealism is polluted by bloody pragmatism, and human suffering is used casually as a political tool. It's a jaw-dropping description of two regimes stripped of moral anchors and doomed to destroy each other, and those caught up in the vicious magnetism of their leadership.

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This book provides a detailed guide to the ethical considerations involved when making decisions in surgery. Chapters feature a uniform format, which feature a case that represents a real-life problem, discussion of the medical indications of that issue, the latest available medical solutions, and related ethical considerations. In some cases, more in-depth debate is provided on why a particular decision should or should not be made based-upon ethical principles. Information boxes containing key statements and relevant data in clear easy-to-digest tables facilitates the reader in being able to assimilate the most important points covered in each chapter. Difficult Decisions in Surgical Ethics: An Evidence-Based Approach is a thorough review of ethical considerations in a range of surgical scenarios encompassing both adult and pediatric topics, training surgical residents, ethical care during a pandemic, critical care, palliative care, sensitivity to religious and ethnic mores, clinical research, and innovation. It is intended to be a vital resource for practicing and trainee surgeons seeking a comprehensive up-to-date resource on ethical topics in surgical practice. The work is part of the Difficult Decisions in Surgery series covering a range of surgical specialties.

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The obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 brought the world to a stand still. This unimaginable shock confirmed to the world that the race to develop a working atomic weapon during World War II had been won by the American-led international effort. Horrific and controversial even today, these first uses of the atomic bomb had intense ramifications not only on the continued development of the bomb, but also on politics and popular culture. As well as the technological development, historian James Delgado also examines how the US Army Air Force had to develop the capacity to deliver the weapons, and examines the sites where development and testing took place, in order to give a comprehensive history of the dawning of the nuclear age.

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Controversy still rages about the Allied decision to bomb the beautiful and historic city of Dresden on February 13th 1945. By then the war was virtually won and Dresden was peopled mainly by civilians and refugees, most of them women and children. The firestorm created by the bombing of the city killed over 35,000 people. The Devil's Tinderbox is the only one to present the personal descriptions of eye-witnesses, not only the survivors in the city but the air-crews, both British and American, who flew on the bombing mission and observed the appalling impact of their attacks. Alexander McKee carefully assesses the political and military decisions that led to the raids, drawn from official sources and archive material. Including contemporary photographs that bear witness to the devastating effect of an attack that reduced Dresden to rubble. Meticulously researched and skilfully told, The Devil's Tinderbox is gripping, shocking and deeply moving.

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How free is the Northern Irish writer to produce even a short poem when every word will be scrutinised for its political subtext? Is the visual artist compelled to react to the latest atrocity? Must the creative artist be aware of his or her own inculcated prejudices and political affiliations, and must these be revealed overtly in the artwork? Because of these and other related questions, the recent work by Northern Irish writers and visual artists has been characterised by an inward-looking self-consciousness. It is an art that relays its personal responses in guarded, often coded ways. Characterised by obliquity and self-reflexivity, the art does not simply re-present events and the artist’s emotive response towards them; rather, it calls attention to the manner of its presentation. It is an art about art, and its role and place in society. Governing the Tongue examines how the creation of art in a time of violence brings about an anxiety in the Northern Irish artist regarding his or her artistic role, and how it calls into question the ability to represent events. The series of essays is inter-disciplinary in its approach, exploring the place of art – its role and location – in the work of key Northern Irish writers (Ciaran Carson, Seamus Deane, Brian Friel, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Medbh McGuckian, Eoin McNamee, Glenn Patterson) and visual artists (Willie Doherty, Rita Donagh, Paul Seawright, Victor Sloan).

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Autobiography -- World War II Why did the German people tolerate the Nazi madness? Maria Ritter's life is haunted by the ever-painful, never-answerable German Question. Who knew? What was known? Confronting the profound silence in which most postwar Germans buried pain and shame, she attempts in this memoir to give an answer for herself and for her generation. Sixty years after the defeat of Nazi Germany, she reflects on the nation's oppressive burden and the persecution of the contemporary consciousness. 'We received what we deserved, ' my grandfather said after the war, and I believed him. His stare out the window spoke of bitterness and solemn resignation in the face of God's punishment and pity for us all. In probing the dark shadows of wartime, she reconstructs the voice of her childhood. With a determined search for remnants of her past during a visit to her homeland, Ritter retrieves memories and emotions from places, personal stories, and letters. As she interweaves them with events in her family's struggle to survive the war and its aftermath, she creates a tragic tapestry. She recalls the weary odyssey from Poland to Leipzig with refugees in 1943 and remembers being sheltered there beside her grandfather. She returns to Dresden to rekindle memories of the firebombing in 1945. She revisits the remote Saxony countryside where she and her mother crossed the border from East to West Germany in flight from the Communists in 1949. She relives the pain of learning that her father will never return from the war. On a Memorial Day many years later, Ritter's longstanding, unresolved grief overflows as she writes a posthumous letter to him. She suffers in the heartbreaking memory of her valiant mother, who overcame loss and grief along the road to freedom and a new home. Ritter's memoir sweeps through German history of the 1930s and '40s as she meditates on how she and her people figure in the tragic story of defeat and debacle. In her recollections, in listening to the voices of her kin, and in speaking out about the past, she finds the humane way to healing and reconciliation. Maria Ritter is a clinical psychologist in San Diego, California.

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Battle: A History of Combat and Culture spans the globe and the centuries to explore the way ideas shape the conduct of warfare. Drawing its examples from Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, and America, John A. Lynn challenges the belief that technology has been the dominant influence on combat from ancient times to the present day. In battle, ideas can be more far more important than bullets or bombs. Clausewitz proclaimed that war is politics, but even more basically, war is culture. The hard reality of armed conflict is formed by -- and, in turn, forms -- a culture's values, assumptions, and expectations about fighting. The author examines the relationship between the real and the ideal, arguing that feedback between the two follows certain discernable paths. Battle rejects the currently fashionable notion of a "Western way of warfare" and replaces it with more nuanced concepts of varied and evolving cultural patterns of combat. After considering history, Lynn finally asks how the knowledge gained might illuminate our understanding of the war on terrorism.

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Jointly published by Plunkett Lake Press and Indiana University Press This study of the American-led campaign in Europe in World War II analyzes command decisions at both the strategic and tactical levels. All the complex ingredients of armies at war — the burdens of history, the impact of technology, the roles of personalities, the confusions of the battlefield — are presented based on extensive scholarship. Field Marshal Montgomery and Ike's lieutenants, Generals Omar N. Bradley, Jacob L. Devers, Courtney H. Hodges, George S. Patton, Jr., Alexander M. Patch, William H. Simpson, Leonard T. Gerow, J. Lawton Collins, and Matthew B. Ridgway, and others appear in the book. All major strategic and tactical decisions in the battles of the American offensive against Nazi Germany are covered, with descriptions of key terrain features and many personal insights drawn from various diaries. The book provides an assessment of the leadership and fighting capabilities of the Allied forces in the key European battles of World War II. “The publication of Eisenhower’s Lieutenants is an event of significance in American military writing... admirable... clearly the product of exhaustive, painstaking research.” — Drew Middleton, The New York Times “Eisenhower’s Lieutenants is an outstanding and highly recommended work. It offers the wealth of information, superb research and presentation, comprehensive treatment, and challenging reinterpretation one has come to expect from Weigley. It also points out once again that his reputation as one of our outstanding military historians is well deserved.” — Mark A. Stoler, Journal of American History “... outstanding book... highly professional study of command and operations in northwest Europe, 1944-45... the best account we have of the World War II campaigns from Normandy to the Elbe.” — Forrest C. Pogue, American Historical Review “The fullest account yet of the climactic campaign in northwestern Europe, from the planning of D-Day through the German surrender, with an interesting focus on the personalities involved in shaping the Allied forces, plans, and operations... precisely informative and broadly rewarding.” — Kirkus Reviews “... an excellent book.” — Calvin B. Peters, Journal of Political and Military Sociology “... by the dean of American military historians...” — Washington Post “I had thought I knew everything about World War II that I would ever want to know. I was wrong. Reading Eisenhower’s Lieutenants was a wonderfully enriching experience. I learned more than I ever would have thought possible. This will unquestionably become one of the great classics of American military history.” —Stephen E. Ambrose

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A story of survival, hunger and reflection from a teenaged prisoner of war inside Germany near the end of WWII. From capture at the Battle of The Bulge to the final escape from his German guards, the author allows us a glimpse into the despair and agony of being a prisoner in a foreign land.

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Unless you know the history, you cannot see the future. In late 1950, the US-led invasion of North Korea failed and for the next three years the United States bombed the North’s cities, towns and villages relentlessly. Pyongyang has been determined to develop a credible nuclear deterrent ever since. The Korean War was the first of America’s unsuccessful military interventions post-World War II and its first modern conflict with China. It established the pattern for the next sixty years and marked the true beginning of the American century. With compassion for the people of the North and South, and understanding for the soldiers caught between the bitter winter and an implacable enemy, Michael Pembroke tells the absorbing story of Korea. It is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand why the Korean peninsula has become the nuclear flashpoint it is today.

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What does it mean when people use the word 'Hell' to convey the horror of an actual, personal or historical experience? Now available in paperback, this book explores the idea that modern, Western secular cultures have retained a belief in the concept of Hell as an event or experience of endless or unjust suffering. In the contemporary period, the descent to Hell has come to represent the means of recovering - or discovering - selfhood. In exploring these ideas, this book discusses descent journeys in Holocaust testimony and fiction, memoirs of mental illness, and feminist, postmodern and postcolonial narratives written after 1945. A wide range of texts are discussed, including writing by Primo Levi, W.G. Sebald, Anne Michaels, Alasdair Gray, and Salman Rushdie, and films such as Coppola's Apocalypse Now and the Matrix trilogy. Drawing on theoretical writing by Bakhtin, Levinas, Derrida, Judith Butler, David Harvey and Paul Ricoeur, the book addresses such broader theoretical issues as: narration and identity; the ethics of the subject; trauma and memory; descent as sexual or political dissent; the interrelation of realism and fantasy; and Occidentalism and Orientalism.Key Features*Defines and discusses what constitutes Hell in contemporary secular Western cultures*Relates ideas from psychoanalysis to literary traditions ranging from Virgil and Dante to the present*Explores the concept of Hell in relation to crises in Western thought and identity. e.g. distortions of global capitalism, mental illness, war trauma and incarceration*Explains the significance of this narrative tradition of a 'descent to hell' in the immediate political context of 9/11 and its aftermath

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Spanning fifty years, Before the Fall-Out tells the full story of how an exhilarating quest to unravel the secrets of the material world produced the knowledge of how to destroy it.And of how a scientific adventure shared openly between nuclear physicists from many different nations transmuted into a secretive wartime race for the ultimate weapon of mass destruction - the atom bomb. As much as on the science, Before the Fall-Out focuses on the 'human chain reaction' - the intertwined lives of the many scientists of many nations whose compulsive curiosity led, however unwittingly, ultimately to Hiroshima. In her page-turning account Diana Preston reveals how individuals responded to events - from Allied scientists debating the morality of deploying the bomb, to Japanese civilians who became its first victims, and to a German chemist working on the Nazi bomb project while concealing a Jewish pianist in his Berlin apartment. Diana Preston draws on fresh material including interviews with the last living scientist to have worked with Marie Curie, the only senior scientist to have walked out on the Manhattan Project on moral grounds, and the German scientist who accompanied Werner Heisenberg on his controversial wartime visit to Niels Bohr in Copenhagen. A Manhattan Project scientist said that the only secret of the bomb was that it could be made: once this was known, any nation could replicate it. Before the Fall-Out helps us make better sense of our own, dangerous world and of the threats and moral dilemmas that face our society today.

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This is the fifth release in a series that provides a comprehensive insight into all aspects of RAF Bomber Command in World War Two. It begins in late September 1944 when the Allied Bomber Offensive was at its height, and takes us through to the end of the conflict. The crews' personal narrative puts you at the centre of each intense, isolated and harrowing episode of aerial combat as the pilots of Bomber Command attempted to stave off fears of tragic injury and death from fighters, flak and incessant operational pressure during raids on German cities, waterways, ports and oil installations. This continued until the Luftwaffe and the Nachtjagd effectively ceased to exist, their fuel supplies exhausted, their losses in airmen reaching an unsustainable level, and their aircraft and airfields decimated as a result of 24-hour Allied bombing.Often, it was the most exciting feats of bravery, determination and daring that were marked by the most catastrophic losses. Approximately 62 per cent of the 125,000 men who served as aircrew in Bomber Command during the war became casualties. Of these, 52 per cent were sustained while flying operations and a further ten per cent while on non-operational flights in Britain. It should never be forgotten that RAF Bomber Command played a hugely significant role in securing victory for the Allies, carrying out mass raids by day and night that eventually culminated in them 'beating the life out of Germany'. Yet its crews were denied the campaign medal that they so richly deserved, until very recently. Here, Martin Bowman attempts to provide an adequate tribute to the men of Bomber Command, using first-hand accounts to capture an authentic commentary of the times at hand in a release that is sure to capture the imaginations of all aviation enthusiasts.

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Seventy-nine heavy bombers failed to return from the catastrophic raid on the industrial city of Leipzig on the night of 19/20 February 1944. Some 420 aircrew were killed and a further 131 became prisoners of war. It was at that time by far the RAFs most costly raid of World War II. The town was attacked in an attempt to destroy the Messerschmitt factory which was building the famous and deadly Bf 109 fighter. The bomber stream flew into what appeared to be a trap. It seemed that the Luftwaffe and anti-aircraft guns were aware of the intended target and waiting to pounce as soon as the bombers crossed the coast. They were subjected to constant attack by night fighters and intense flak until those aircraft that remained clawed their way home and secured relative safety over the North Sea.This book analyses what went wrong. Espionage played a part, two bombers collided shortly after take off, as did others as they wove their way through enemy searchlights and maneuvered violently to escape Luftwaffe night fighters. At the outset poor navigational and meteorological briefings had hindered the bombers attempts to locate the target and confusion reigned. The author explains the concept of this third raid on Leipzig and describes the two previous ones in October and December 1943, both of which had been deemed successes. He looks at the third raid from every angle, including the defending forces and describes the daylight raid that followed on the 20th by the USAAF. The book includes appendices listing all RAF aircraft and crew on the raid, route maps and includes many photographs.

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