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A Global Military History of World War II

Thomas Zeiler

Publication Date - March 2010

ISBN: 9780199734733

496 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $99.99

Uses the "war of annihilation" concept to give students a modern framework for studying the Second World War


From 1937 to 1945 the world witnessed a succession of savage military strategies and actions on land, in the seas, and in the skies that resulted in the slaughter of more than 50 million people. Incorporating the most recent scholarship on the military history of the Second World War, this study offers a chronological and geographical examination of the most destructive event in recorded human history.

Annihilation argues that World War II evolved into a war of annihilation--a total war--that engulfed militants and civilians alike. The book challenges the "good war" thesis by showing that the "strategy of annihilation" was employed by all sides in the conflict. Moving from the onset of hostilities to the final days of battle, the narrative provides a global perspective that links all theaters of the war. Ideal for undergraduate courses on World War II, this uniquely organized text is the first to allow instructors to assign chapters according to time periods or by region.

About the Author(s)

Tom Zeiler is a Professor of History and International Affairs, and former chair, at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he also directs the Global Studies Residential Academic Program. He serves as the executive editor of Diplomatic History and as the editor-in-chief of American Foreign Relations Since 1600: A Guide to the Literature, as well as on SHAFR's Teaching Committee and governing Council. A member of the State Department Historical Advisory Committee, Tom has lived in Buenos Aires and Tokyo as a Senior Fulbright Scholar. He is the author of six books, including one on the last half of the Pacific War, and several articles.


"Zeiler successfully strikes a balance between the details of specific battles and campaigns and the larger picture. He also avoids the clichés that tend to appear in the military histories of World War II. . . . Zeiler has written an impressive synthesis that does an excellent job of bringing together the complex elements of the war."--Phillip Payne, St. Bonaventure University

"Annihilation does a great job of providing a readable, coherent, and accessible narrative. . . . It also presents forceful arguments and theses throughout-and whether you agree with them or not, they provide plenty of food for thought. I like the 'you were there' feel of this book."--Hugh Dubruelle, Saint Anselm College

Table of Contents



    Chapter 1: Europe Unsettled
    Chapter 2: Democracies in Crisis
    Chapter 3: Militarism in Asia
    Chapter 4: Phony and European War

    PART II: AXIS ADVANCE, 1939-1942

    Chapter 5: German Expansion, North and West
    Chapter 6: Blitzkrieg and Blitz
    Chapter 7: America and the Atlantic
    Chapter 8: Battle for the Mediterranean
    Chapter 9: Attack on the Soviet Union
    Chapter 10: Expansion of Imperial Japan


    Chapter 11: Japan in Triumph and Stalemate
    Chapter 12: Cataclysm on the Eastern Front
    Chapter 13: Shifting Fortunes in the Mediterranean
    Chapter 14: War of Words, the Sea, and the Air
    Chapter 15: Allied Offensives in Asia and the Pacific


    Chapter 16: Penetrating Japan's Defenses
    Chapter 17: Costly Italy
    Chapter 18: Soviet Rout
    Chapter 19: Western European Front
    Chapter 20: Island-Hopping in the Pacific

    PART V: ANNIHILATION, 1944-1945

    Chapter 21: German Resistance in the West
    Chapter 22: Red Army Sweep
    Chapter 23: Shrinking the Japanese Empire
    Chapter 24: Fall of the Third Reich
    Chapter 25: The Inner Ring