World War 2 Books

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World War 2 is often called Britain's finest moment. As such a pivotal moment in our history, there's a number of fascinating books exploring the stories behind the key battles and decisions. Dive into those stories with our range of World War 2 Books.

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The captivating true story of one boy's flight across Europe to escape the Nazis. In early 1940 Chaim Herszman was locked in to the Lódz Ghetto in Poland. Hungry, fearless and determined, he goes on scavenging missions outside the wire limits, until he is forced to kill a Nazi guard. That moment changes the course of his life, and sets him on an unbelievable adventure across enemy lines. Chaim shelters with a German family in the Rhineland, falls in love in occupied France, is captured on a mountain pass in Spain, gets interrogated as a potential Nazi spy in Britain, and eventually fights for everything he believes in as part of the British Army. Escape from the Ghetto is about a normal boy who faced extermination by the Nazis in the ghetto or a Nazi deathcamp, and the extraordinary life he led in avoiding that fate. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781529381573 • Author: John Carr • Publisher: Hodder Studio • Format: Hardback • Pages: 336 • Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 3.4 cm

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A powerful and intensely moving true-life account from two sisters who were among the very few children to survive Auschwitz. On 28 March 1944, Italian sisters Tati and Andra were roused from their sleep and taken to Auschwitz, to the infamous Kinder Block presided over by Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death. By the time Auschwitz was liberated, 230,000 children had been murdered, and the sisters were among only 70 child survivors. Throughout their ordeal in the camp and the liberation of Auschwitz, their long journey from Poland to Czechoslovakia and finally to Lingfield House in Britain, they hung on to their promise to their mother to 'always remember your name'. They never forgot they were Tati and Andra Bucci, and it was this connection to their heritage that brought them miraculously back to their parents, years later and many countries away. Always Remember Your Name is an unforgettable story of the power of sisterhood, and of how a mother's love triumphed over impossible odds. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781786581211 • Author: Andra & Tatiana Bucci • Publisher: Manilla Press • Format: Hardback • Pages: 192 • Dimensions: 22.2 x 14.4 x 2.2 cm

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The Nazis spared their lives because they were twins. In the summer of 1944, Eva Mozes Kor and her family arrived at Auschwitz. Within thirty minutes, they were separated. Her parents and two older sisters were taken to the gas chambers, while Eva and her twin, Miriam, were herded into the care of the man who became known as the Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele. They were 10 years old. While twins at Auschwitz were granted the 'privileges' of keeping their own clothes and hair, they were also subjected to Mengele's sadistic medical experiments and were forced to fight daily for their own survival. In a narrative told simply, with emotion and astonishing restraint, The Twins of Auschwitz shares the inspirational story of a child's endurance and survival in the face of truly extraordinary evil. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781913183578 • Author: Eva Mozes Kor, Lisa Rojany Buccieri • Publisher: Monoray • Format: Paperback • Pages: 240 • Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.6 x 2 cm

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I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart. In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale - a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer - it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too. So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz. Product Information:• ISBN: 9781785763649• Author: Heather Morris• Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre• Format: Paperback• Pages: 275• Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 2.5cm

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It took a certain type of courage to serve in a tank in the Second World War. Encased in steel, surrounded by highly explosive shells, a big and slow-moving target, every crew member was utterly vulnerable to enemy attack from all sides. The Sherwood Rangers were one of the great tank regiments. They had learned their trade the hard way, in the burning deserts of North Africa. From D-Day onwards, they were in the thick of the action til the war's end. They and their Sherman tanks covered thousands of miles and endured some of the fiercest fighting in Western Europe. Their engagements stretch from the Normandy beaches to the bridges at Eindhoven. They were the first British unit into Germany, grinding across the Siegfried Line and on into the Nazi heartland. Through compelling eye-witness testimony and James Holland's expert analysis, Brothers In Arms brings to vivid life the final bloody scramble across Europe and gives the most powerful account to date of what it was really like to fight in the dying days of World War Two. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781787633940 • Author: James Holland • Publisher: Bantam Press • Format: Hardback • Pages: 592 • Dimensions: 24 x 16.2 x 4 cm

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D-Day and the Battle for France. Renowned World War Two historian James Holland presents an entirely new perspective on one of the most important moments in recent history, unflinchingly examining the brutality and violence that characterised the campaign, and totally recalibrating our understanding of this momentous event. D-Day and the 76 days of bitter fighting in Normandy that followed have come to be seen as a defining episode in the Second World War. Its story has been endlessly retold, and yet it remains a narrative burdened by both myth and assumed knowledge. In this reexamined history, James Holland challenges what we think we know. Drawing on unseen archives and testimonies from around the world, introducing a cast of eye-witnesses from foot soldiers to bomber crews, sailors, civilians and resistance fighters. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780552176118 • Author: James Holland • Publisher: Corgi • Format: Paperback • Pages: 864 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 3.8 cm

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Among millions of Holocaust victims sent to Auschwitz II-Birkenau in 1944, Priska, Rachel, and Anka each passed through its infamous gates with a secret. Strangers to each other, they were newly pregnant, and facing an uncertain fate without their husbands. Alone, scared, and with so many loved ones already lost to the Nazis, these young women were privately determined to hold on to all they had left: their lives, and those of their unborn babies. Born Survivors follows the mothers' incredible journey - first to Auschwitz, where they each came under the murderous scrutiny of Dr. Josef Mengele; then to a German slave labour camp where, half-starved and almost worked to death, they struggled to conceal their condition; and finally, as the Allies closed in, their hellish 17-day train journey with thousands of other prisoners to the Mauthausen death camp in Austria. United by their remarkable experiences of survival against all odds, they now consider each other "siblings of the heart." In Born Survivors, Wendy Holden brings all three stories together for the first time to mark their seventieth birthdays and the seventieth anniversary of the ending of the war. A heart-stopping account of how three mothers and their newborns fought to survive the Holocaust, Born Survivors is also a life-affirming celebration of our capacity to care and to love amid inconceivable cruelty. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780751557411 • Author: Wendy Holden • Publisher: Sphere • Format: Paperback • Pages: 400 • Dimensions: 20.2 x 15.9 x 2.7 cm

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Richard Freiherr von Rosen was a highly decorated Wehrmacht soldier and outstanding panzer commander. His memoirs are richly illustrated with contemporary photographs, including key confrontations of World War II. After serving as a gunlayer on a Pz.Mk.III during Barbarossa, he led a Company of Tigers at Kursk. Later he led a company of King Tiger panzers at Normandy and in late 1944 commanded a battle group (12 King Tigers and a flak Company) against the Russians in Hungary in the rank of junior, later senior lieutenant (from November 1944, his final rank.) ? Only 489 of these King Tiger tanks were ever built. They were the most powerful heavy tanks to see service, and only one kind of shell could penetrate their armor at a reasonable distance. Product Information:• ISBN: 9781784382667• Author: Richard Freiherr Von Rosen• Publisher: Greenhill Books• Format: Hardback• Pages: 390• Dimensions: 24 x 16.5 x 3cm

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Soldiers is a very personal gathering of sparkling, gripping tales by many writers, about men and women who have borne arms. The nearly 350 stories illustrate what it is like to fight in wars, to live and die as a warrior, from Greek and Roman times through to recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here you will meet Jewish heroes of the Bible, Rome’s captain of the gate, Queen Boudicca, Joan of Arc, Cromwell, Wellington, Napoleon’s marshals and the modern SAS. There are tales of great writers who served in uniform including Cobbett and Tolstoy, Edward Gibbon and Siegfried Sassoon, Marcel Proust and Evelyn Waugh, George Orwell and George MacDonald Fraser. Here are also stories of the female ‘abosi’ fighters of Dahomey and heroic ambulance drivers of World War I, together with the new-age women soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a book to inspire in turn fascination, excitement, horror, amazement, occasionally laughter. Max Hastings mingles respect for the courage of those who fight with compassion for those who become their victims, above all civilians, and especially in the twenty-first century, which some are already calling ‘the Post-Heroic Age’. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780008454227 • Author: Max Hastings • Publisher: William Collins • Format: Hardback • Pages: 496 • Dimensions: 24 x 15.9 x 3.8 cm

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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 . . . 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. Of the 7,377 Lancasters built during the conflict, more than half were lost to enemy action or training accidents. 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. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781471180491 • Author: John Nichol • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK • Format: Paperback • Pages: 464 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 2.85 cm

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This is the gripping story of the Battle of Britain; of some of the most fateful weeks in history. Drawing on eyewitness accounts from both the RAF and the Luftwaffe, this is a compelling story of history in the making through an intensely fought battle, taking the reader into the heart of the action as told by those who fought and experienced it. The book not only captures the often savage reality of the air battles over the Channel and southern England, but it also traces the true course of the Battle of Britain as it unfolded between August 6th and September 15th, 1940 as the German and British Commanders made their fateful decisions, and Spitfires and Messerschmitts whirled and fought in the skies. It was in these six weeks that the fate of the war, and Britain, were to be decided. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781800325890 • Author: Richard Collier • Publisher: Canelo History • Format: Paperback • Pages: 400 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.2cm

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Spring 1941 – the Third Reich triumphant!  Having taken over Germany in 1933, Hitler launched a series of lightning campaigns across Europe that crushed Poland, Denmark, Norway, France, the Low Countries and then the Balkans. Only Great Britain had withstood the Nazis, but even it was battered and bruised and close to defeat.  Then, on 22 June 1941 – in the most momentous decision of the war – the Nazi dictator turned East and flung his victorious armies into the vastness of the Soviet Union. Having signed a Non-Aggression Pact with Hitler back in 1939, Stalin was taken completely by surprise by the German attack.  Hitler’s Wehrmacht – buoyed by years of untrammelled success and led by some of the greatest commanders Nazi Germany had to offer – crashed across the border and sent the Red Army reeling.  The German plan was simple and its scale staggering; over three million men, armed with over three thousand panzers, the same number of aircraft, more than seven thousand guns and carried by over six hundred thousand vehicles and even more horses, would be joined by over half a million soldiers from allied countries, and together they would destroy the largest army in the world while advancing a thousand miles to the very borders of Asiatic Russia.  There they would halt and what remained of the Soviet Union and the communist faith that spawned it would wither and die. In the newly conquered lebensraum, Hitler and the Nazis would then commence the biggest mass human extermination programme in history.  Barbarossa was huge, but it was fought by men; and on the German side in particular, it would be fought by junior officers and simple soldiers as the Wehrmacht tried to win the war once and for all. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781398107229 • Author: Jonathan Trigg • Publisher: Amberley Publishing • Format: Hardback • Pages: 320 • Dimensions: 23.39 x 15.6 x 2.79 cm

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1941. The Battle of the Atlantic is a disaster. Thousands of supply ships carrying vital food and fuel from North America to Britain are being torpedoed by German U-boats. Britain is only weeks away from starvation and crushing defeat. In the first week of 1942 a group of unlikely heroes - a retired naval captain and a clutch of brilliant young women - gather to form a secret strategy unit.  The Western Approaches Tactical Unit spends days and nights designing and playing war games in an effort to crack the U-boat tactics. As the U-boat wolfpacks continue to prey upon the supply ships, it is race against time to save Britain. With novelistic flair, investigative journalist Simon Parkin shines a light on this riveting true story of war at sea. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781529353211 • Author: Simon Parkin • Publisher: Sceptre • Format: Paperback • Pages: 320 • Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.8 cm

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The liberation of Paris was a momentous point in twentieth-century history, yet it is now largely forgotten outside France. Eleven Days in August is a pulsating hour-by-hour reconstruction of these tumultuous events that shaped the final phase of the war and the future of France. It tells of how, in eleven dramatic days, people lived, fought and died in the most beautiful city in the world. Based largely on unpublished archive material, including secret conversations, coded messages, diaries and eyewitness accounts, Eleven Days in August shows how these August days were experienced in very different ways by ordinary Parisians, Resistance fighters, rank-and-file German soldiers and more. One of the most iconic moments in the history of the twentieth century had come to a close, and the face of Paris would never be the same again. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781471186196 • Author: Matthew Cobb • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK • Format: Paperback • Pages: 544 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 3.35 cm

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In September, 1944, the SS march into a remote Italian castle, arrest a mother and seize her two sons, aged just two and three. If Hitler has his way she will never see them again.  For Fey Pirzio-Biroli is the daughter of Ulrich von Hassell, executed days before after the failed assassination of the Fuhre. Mercilessly cast into the Nazi death machine, Fey must cling to the hope that one day she will escape and rescue her lost children . . . An extraordinary story of resistance at the heart of the Second World War, Fey's War is an illuminating and devastating true account of great personal sacrifice, of loss and, above all, of defiance. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780241989449 • Author: Catherine Bailey • Publisher: Penguin • Format: Paperback • Pages: 480 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.9 cm

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Everyone is familiar with the story of D-Day and the triumphal liberation of France by the Allies: a barbaric enemy was defeated by Allied ingenuity, courage and overwhelming military force, helped by dreadful German command errors and the terrible state of Wehrmacht forces in the West – but is this all true? The Wehrmacht was hugely experienced, equipped with some of the best weaponry of the war and was holding its own in Italy and Russia at the time. Berlin knew the invasion was coming and had had years to prepare for it. So how did the Germans view the impending invasion and campaign, did they feel ready, what forces did they have and could they have done better? Written from the ‘other side’ and told through the words of the veterans, this book is a revelation. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781398103238 • Author: Jonathan Trigg • Publisher: Amberly Publishing • Format: Paperback • Pages: 320 • Dimensions: 19.69 x 12.7 x 2.29 cm

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Codenamed Operation HUSKY, the Allied assault on Sicily on 10 July 1943 remains the largest amphibious invasion ever mounted in world history, landing more men in a single day than at any other time. The subsequent thirty-eight-day Battle for Sicily was one of the most dramatic of the entire Second World War, involving daring raids by special forces, deals with the Mafia, attacks across mosquito-infested plains and perilous assaults up almost sheer faces of rock and scree. It was a brutal campaign - signalling the beginning of the end of the War in the West. From here on, Italy ceased to participate in the war, the noose began to close around the neck of Nazi Germany, and the coalition between the United States and Britain came of age. Based on his own battlefield studies in Sicily and on much new research over the past thirty years, James Holland's SICILY '43 offers a vital new perspective on a major turning point in World War II. It is a timely, powerful and dramatic account by a master military historian and will fill a major gap in the narrative history of the Second World War. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781787632936 • Author: James Holland • Publisher: Bantam Press • Format: Hardback • Pages: 640 • Dimensions: 24.3 x 16.1 x 4 cm

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From planning an assassination attempt on Hitler in Switzerland, to spying on the Japanese in Manchuria, to preventing nuclear war (or so she believed) by stealing the science of atomic weaponry from Britain to give to Moscow, Ursula Kuczynski Burton conducted some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the twentieth century. Born to a German Jewish family, as Ursula grew, so did the Nazis' power. A fanatical opponent of the fascism that ravaged her homeland, she was drawn to communism as a young woman, motivated by the promise of a fair and peaceful society. She eventually became a spymaster, saboteur, bomb-maker and secret agent. In Agent Sonya, Britain's most acclaimed historian vividly reveals the fascinating tale of a life that would change the course of history. Classic Ben Macintyre - a gripping ride, based on meticulous research, that reads like a novel - this is the greatest spy story never told.  Product Information: • ISBN: 9780241986950 • Author: Ben MacIntyre • Publisher: Penguin • Format: Paperback • Pages: 400 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.5cm

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