Reading List (Update): Strategy & Power

By | January 10, 2018

[January 10, 2018] A philosopher once said that “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” But there are many ways to express the analysis of any history and that is what our writer today has done. World War II, as can be seen in the multitude of writings, is a complex and vast area of study and thus when it is seen with a different lens, we should pay attention. Leaders are quick to find good books and analyses of those events in history that provide especially valuable lessons. WW2 is certainly one of them and thus today I present Victory Davis Hanson’s new book, The Second World Wars for your consideration.

The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, Victor Davis Hanson, 2017.

The history of World War II is not yet written in full and Victor Davis Hanson proves this a correct assertion. He examines the war from a fresh perspective by providing us with a provocative analysis that opens the eyes of students of that war. As our most renowned universities reject history and its accurate study as archaic, this book helps to set the record straight on how and why the Allies were able to defeat the Axis Powers. The book is not unduly long because Hanson assumes the reader is familiar with the basics of the war. He concentrates his analysis on the fundamentals of material production, logistics, as well as, time and distance. Unlike many popular books on the war, he skips the details of individual actions of soldiers on the battlefield.

Of the book’s central themes, the one that stands out is that Britain played the central role throughout the entire war from 1939 to 1945. Britain was the only superpower, while America and later Russia played – at least initially – junior roles in the conflict. Another theme is that the reason the Allies won was largely the result of Allied dominance on the seas and in the air. While the conflict was decided on the ground, it was the sea and air superiority that allowed it to happen and Britain was at the forefront of it. Britain also had global reach, something none of the other participants were able to duplicate. The bottom line is that it took three large nations six years to defeat the Axis, something any two of them could not have done alone.

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