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Although it was published anonymously we do know the name of the woman who wrote it now.

She was called Marta Hillers and she was an extremely intelligent journalist who had travelled quite a lot before the war and was certainly not a Nazi. She was extremely open-minded and it was her enquiring mind and observation which really showed the reality of the Soviet attack on Berlin in April through to the beginning of May.

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There is the whole question of the mass rapes by the Red Army. This is a very controversial subject, as I know only too well. Her account is so patently well observed of what was going on. There is no self-pity, even though she herself was raped on numerous occasions. Through her you see the reality of life and war for civilians in those sorts of circumstances. There is this need of unity, particularly among the women, in order to survive.

They manage to surmount their appalling experiences by being able to talk to each other. And one saw a fascinating but dismaying gender divide in that particular way. In many ways it was the women who were morally far stronger than the men.

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All About History - Book of Greatest Battles 7th Edition, Free PDF Magazine Download

She describes how the role of the women is to support all these fragile men and basically massage their egos because otherwise they will go to pieces. Click to read more about A Woman in Berlin. This book is about not just World War II but it is also about the Stalinist repression of the areas known as the borderlands, which Snyder has termed the bloodlands. Snyder is looking at the deliberate mass murder of civilians in a particular zone of Europe between about , at the start of the second Ukraine famine, and The zone is the territory that lies between central Poland and, roughly, the Russian border, covering eastern Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic republics.

It is a remarkable work, not just of scholarship and research but, above all, of a fresh angle on the way that the inter-reaction between Nazism and Stalinism actually caused such appalling levels of hatred and murder in this particular area. For example, the great famine in the Ukraine in the early s was blamed on the Jews by the communists. They created rumours to indicate that it was the Jews who had been responsible for the famine when it had been the communist authorities themselves.

And this fuelled a sort of latent anti-Semitism within the Ukraine. So, of course, when the Germans arrived, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, who actually served the Germans both as volunteers in the army but also as concentration camp guards, gave the extra impetus to the terrible massacres that took place.

One of the themes of the book is the power of propaganda which was used throughout World War II. Yes, and even from before. I think that Goebbels was a diabolical genius. He saw that hatred was not enough and you had to combine hatred with fear if you were going to get the maximum killing potential out of your followers. Snyder, in this extraordinary book, shows how some 14 million people were killed in this particular region, which basically runs from Eastern Germany all the way though to Eastern Belarus and the Ukraine as well as the Baltic States, Poland and Hungary into the Balkans.

These were the areas where most of the Jews lived who had suffered in the Holocaust but also where the Nazis positioned their extermination camps. The borderlands were the most blood-soaked regions of World War II. Click to read more about Bloodlands. What particular aspects of the war does your book, The Second World War , focus on?


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In a way the book has not a very admirable genesis. I became more and more conscious that I had concentrated on certain areas of World War II and I always felt a bit of a fraud being billed as the great expert because I knew perfectly well that there were certain areas of which I knew nothing! And I also realised how important it was to bring the whole thing together.


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This was a battle between the Soviets and Japan and it was one of the most influential battles in the whole of World War II. You have all of these knock-on effects between the Pacific War and the European War and that was what prompted me to write the book. Five Books aims to keep its book recommendations and interviews up to date. If you are the interviewee and would like to update your choice of books or even just what you say about them please email us at editor fivebooks.

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And sometimes, it really is a fine line. Even he made mistakes. At the Battle of Zama around BC, he suffered a humiliating and decisive defeat. He had planned to scatter his Roman opponents by terrifying them with elephants. The result? Hannibal lost the battle and the war.

Image: Anthony Majanlahti. Marketing lesson : Never assume. You need to form opinions by testing. Use analytics tools to map out your play-by-play. The Persians had invaded Greece and were well equipped in terms of cavalry and weapons. In contrast, the Greeks just had swords and javelins and had to fight on foot.

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It looked like it would be a one-sided battle, with the Greeks on the losing side. So how did they win? They evened the odds by waiting till the Persian cavalry was away to do battle. The result was panic, confusion, slaughter and the eventual end of the Persian invasion. Marketing lesson : Even if you are smaller than your competitor, by optimizing the tools you have and competing when you have an advantage, can lead to success. The Battle of Marathon is also famous for giving its name to an Olympic event.

Writers, while not disavowing the sentiment, might suggest otherwise. Wars, battles and struggles have provided novelists with a cavalcade of inspiration for grand works. Some focus on the fighting and the treacherous conditions experienced by the soldiers; others examine how wars change people and society. The skirmish is caught on camera, ensuring that Billy and his buddies become overnight heroes in America.

Can Bravo Company live up to their star billing when they embark on a tour back home? It was made into a film by Ang Lee, which flopped mainly due to its experimental fps framerate rather than its faithful adaptation of the source material.

The 30 greatest war novels of all time

War and Peace is inarguably one of the greatest books of all time — it also happens to be about war, conflict and its impact upon all involved. The definitive anti-war book.

Top 10 Battles Won in Odd Ways and Against All Odds

Written by a veteran of the First World War, it recounts in horrific and spellbinding detail the real life experience of war. Jacques Austerlitz is a successful architect in the Sixties who managed to flee Czechoslovakia before the outbreak of war in As Austerlitz attempts to come to terms with the fate of his parents, the book deals in themes of loss, memory and hope. Emotions that war deals explicitly in. Again, Heller writes from a unique vantage point — he flew 60 missions during This results in a comical tour-de-force that upon publication in was quickly embraced by the burgeoning counterculture.