By Richard Overy
A major historian re-creates the ultimate hours of peace in Europe.
On August 24, 1939, the area held its collective breath as Hitler and Stalin signed the now notorious nonaggression pact, signaling an impending invasion of Poland and bold Western Europe to respond.
during this dramatic account of the ultimate days earlier than the outbreak of global conflict II, award-winning historian Richard Overy vividly chronicles the unraveling of peace, hour by way of grim hour, as politicians and traditional electorate brace themselves for a warfare which could spell the tip of ecu civilization. not anything used to be totally predictable or inevitable. The West was hoping that Hitler might see experience in the event that they stood company. Hitler used to be confident the West might backpedal. Moments of uncertainty alternated with these of war of words; mystery intelligence used to be utilized by each side to help their hopes. the only consistent function used to be the decision of Poland, a rustic created merely in 1919, to guard its newfound independence opposed to a greatly stronger enemy. 1939 files a defining second within the violent historical past of the 20 th century.
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Additional info for 1939: Countdown to War
Monty indeed did display caution operationally during a series of ponderous pitched battles fought in and around Caen by Second Army. He did this in order to fulfil his new strategy, reflecting his fundamental concern with keeping 21st Army Group balanced with strong reserves and on a sound administrative basis. The mounting casualties suffered by Second Army, the natural defensibility of the bocage and the impressive strength of the German front-line defences prompted Montgomery to mount set-piece offensives in future.
While commanding a battalion on the Italian Front, Rommel distinguished himself during the battle of Caporetto (October-November 1917) by capturing the key position on Monte Mataiur, large numbers of prisoners and 81 guns, which turned the battle into a disaster for the Italians. Rommel was awarded the Pour le Merite - Imperial Germany's highest award for bravery - and for the rest of the war he served on the general staff. Rommel remained in the tiny Reichswehr Army following World War I as a regimental officer, instead of joining the general staff, and through sheer ability rose steadily through the ranks.
124 as an officer cadet. Following attendance at the Kriegsschule (a military academy) at Danzig he was commissioned as a Leutnant (first lieutenant) on 27 January 1912. As a young subaltern he served on the Western Front in 1914-15, where he established a reputation as a brave, daring, independent-minded and resourceful junior officer. Although badly wounded on three occasions, he survived to be awarded the Iron Cross, Second and then First Class for bravery in the field. In October 1915 Rommel transferred to the new elite 48 Wiirttembergisches Gebirgs-Bataillon, in which he served in France, Romania and finally Italy.
1939: Countdown to War by Richard Overy