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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April, 1943: a sardine fisherman spots the corpse of a British soldier floating in the sea off the coast of Spain and sets off a train of events that would change the course of the Second World War. Operation Mincemeat was the most successful wartime deception ever attempted, and the strangest. It hoodwinked the Nazi espionage chiefs, sent German troops hurtling in the wrong direction, and saved thousands of lives by deploying a secret agent who was different, in one crucial respect, from any spy before or since: he was dead. His mission: to convince the Germans that instead of attacking Sicily, the Allied armies planned to invade Greece. This is the true story of the most extraordinary deception ever planned by Churchill's spies: an outrageous lie that travelled from a Whitehall basement all the way to Hitler's desk. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781526653550 • Author: Ben Macintyre • Publisher: Bloomsburg Publishing • Format: Paperback • Pages: 432 • Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 0.3cm

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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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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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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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One December night in 1942, a Nazi parachutist landed in a Cambridgeshire field. His mission: to sabotage the British war effort. His name was Eddie Chapman, but he would shortly become MI5's Agent Zigzag. Dashing and suave, courageous and unpredictable, Chapman was by turns a traitor, a hero, a villain and a man of conscience. But, as his spymasters and many lovers often wondered, who was the real Eddie Chapman? Ben Macintyre weaves together diaries, letters, photographs, memories and top-secret MI5 files to create an exhilarating account of Britain's most sensational double agent. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781408885406 • Author: Ben Macintyre • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks • Format: Paperback • Pages: 400 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.1 x 2.6 cm

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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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In SAS Great Escapes, bestselling author Damien Lewis tells the story of seven of the most dramatic and daring escapes executed during WWII by what is arguably the world's most famous military fighting force - the SAS. With each story comes a nail-biting, rollercoaster ride – join individual escapees and experience events through their own words, taken from contemporaneous diaries, mission reports, debriefings and letters - recapturing the most terrifying and exhilarating moments of their lives. These tales of almost unbelievable derring-do reveal the most desperate of times, when men were cornered by the enemy and were forced to fight their way out of certain death or capture. Around every corner, upon every decision and every movement lurked the possibility of discovery. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781787475304 • Author: Damien Lewis • Publisher: Quercus • Format: Paperback • Pages: 352 • Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.6 x 2.6cm

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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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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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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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The end of beginning... An epic conflict North Africa was a turning point for the British in the Second World War: a harsh landscape of sand and enemy tanks, but ultimately a place of victory, that Churchill famously called 'the end of the beginning.' When General Montgomery became commander of the Allied Eighth Army in 1942, he found the troops dispirited after a series of defeats by his nemesis, General Rommel. However, under Monty's inspired leadership the army turned their fortunes around, going on to win seven battles and driving the enemy out of North Africa. However, little credit has been attributed to the Eighth Army for its victories, and even the legendary Battle of El Alamein has been consistently underrated. This highly informed and gripping account brings to light how the troops, and their leaders, won these decisive battles, and helped to win the war. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781800329430 • Author: Adrian Stewart • Publisher: Canelo • Format: Paperback • Pages: 368 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.9 cm

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Unstoppable and deadly, this is the gripping story of some of the most feared soldiers in the war The daring, courage and skill of the highly-trained men who spearheaded German assaults in the blitzkrieg of 1940, dropping from the air to seize and overwhelm key invasion points, showed to an alarmed world that a new dimension had been added to the science of warfare. Bestselling military historian James Lucas has researched deeply in Allied and German archives and interviewed many of the leading members of the Fallschirmjaegar who survived the war. This is an unmissable and dramatic account of the Second World War's most frightening elite, perfect for readers of James Holland and Max Hastings. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781800329850 • Author: James Lucas • Publisher: Canelo • Format: Paperback • Pages: 336 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2 cm

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The prison break from Stalag Luft III in eastern Germany was the largest of its kind in World War II. It shows the variety and depth of the men sent into harms way during World War II, something emphasised by the population of Stalag Luft III. Most of the Allied POWs were flyers, with all the technical, tactical and planning skills that profession requires. Such men are independent thinkers, craving open air and wide-open spaces, which meant than an obsession with escape was almost inevitable'- John D Gresham Between dusk and dawn on the night of March 24th-25th 1944, a small army of Allied soldiers crawled through tunnels in Germany in a covert operation the likes of which the Third Reich had never seen before. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781784384388 • Author: Jonathan F. Vance • Publisher: Greenhill Books • Format: Paperback • Pages: 368 • Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 3cm

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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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It took a certain type of courage to serve in a tank in World War Two. 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. Living - and dying - in a tank was a brutal way to fight a war. The Sherwood Rangers were one of the great tank regiments. They had learned their trade on the battlefields of El Alamein and Alam el Halfa. By the time they landed on Gold Beach on D-Day, they were toughened by experience and ready for combat. From that moment on, the Sherwood Rangers and their Sherman tanks covered thousands of miles and endured some of the fiercest fighting in Western Europe. The first British unit to cross into Germany, their engagements stretch from the Normandy beaches, to the bridges at Eindhoven, and the grinding crossing of the Siegfried Line and on into the Nazi heartland. Through compelling eye-witness testimony and James Holland's expert analysis of the war in the West, Brothers In Arms 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: 9780552177917 • Author: James Holland • Publisher: Penguin • Format: Paperback • Pages: 400 • Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.9 x 3.5 cm

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The thrilling story of how nine young women, captured by the Nazis for being part of the Resistance, launched a breathtakingly bold escape and found their way home. As the Second World War raged across Europe, and the Nazi regime tightened its reign of horror and oppression, nine women, some still in their teens, joined the French and Dutch Resistance. Caught out in heroic acts against the brutal occupiers, they were each tortured and sent east into Greater Germany to a concentration camp, where they formed a powerful friendship. In 1945, as the war turned against Hitler, they were forced on a Death March, facing starvation and almost certain death. Determined to survive, they made a bid for freedom, and so began one of the most breathtaking tales of escape and resilience of the Second World War. The author is the great-niece of one of the nine, and she interweaves their gripping flight across war-torn Europe with her own detective work, uncovering the heart-stopping escape and survival of these heroes who fought fearlessly against Nazi Germany and lived to tell the tale. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781838772079 • Author: Gwen Strauss • Publisher: Manilla Press • Format: Hardback • Pages: 336 • Dimensions: 24 x 16.2 x 3.2 cm

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