Jonathan Fennell captures for the first time the true wartime experience of the ordinary soldiers from across the empire who made up the British and Commonwealth armies. He analyses why the great battles were won and lost and how the men that fought went on to change the world.
The People's War lifts the Stalinist veil of secrecy to probe an almost untold side of World War II: the experiences of the Soviet people themselves. Going beyond dry and faceless military accounts of the eastern front of the "Great Patriotic War" and the Soviet state's one-dimensional "heroic People," this volume explores how ordinary citizens responded to the war, Stalinist leadership, and Nazi invasion. Drawing on a wealth of archival and recently published material, contributors detail the calculated destruction of a Jewish town by the Germans and present a chilling picture of life in occupied Minsk. They look at the cultural developments of the war as well as the wartime experience of intellectuals, for whom the period was a time of relative freedom. They discuss women's myriad roles in combat and other spheres of activity. They also reassess the behavior and morale of ordinary Red Army troops and offer new conclusions about early crushing defeats at the hands of the Germans--defeats that were officially explained as cowardice on the part of high officers. A frank investigation of civilian life behind the front lines, The People's War provides a detailed, balanced picture of the Stalinist USSR by describing not only the command structure and repressive power of the state but also how people reacted to them, cooperated with or opposed them, and adapted or ignored central policy in their own ways. By putting the Soviet people back in their war, this volume helps restore the range and complexity of human experience to one of history's most savage periods.
This collection includes the major writings of General Giap, who, on the evidence of his record as well as his theoretical work, has long been recognized as one of the military geniuses of modern times. The book includes writings from the 1940s to the end of the 1960s.
During the Second World War the British army absorbed approximately three million new recruits, the majority of whom were conscripts. Drawn from all occupational groups and social classes, the military authorities were confronted with the task of molding these civilians in uniform into an effective fighting force. This book analyzes the impact of this process of integration on the army as a social institution. Exploring such aspects of the army’s social organization as other rank selection, officer selection, officer promotion, officer-man relations, the soldier’s working life, army welfare, and army education, it assesses the ways in which the army changed in relation to its new intake, what the extent of any change that took place actually was, and how different the army of 1945 was to that of 1939.
British Literature of the Blitz interrogates the patriotic, utopian ideal of the People's War by analyzing conflicted representations of class and gender in literature and film. Its subtitle – Fighting the People's War – describes how British citizens both united to fight Nazi Germany and questioned the nationalist ideology binding them together.
Which People's War? examines how national belonging, or British national identity, was envisaged in the public culture of the World War II home front. Using materials from newspapers, magazines, films, novels, diaries, letters, and all sorts of public documents, it explores such questions as: who was included as 'British' and what did it mean to be British? How did the British describe themselves as a singular people, and what were the consequences of those depictions? It also examines the several meanings of citizenship elaborated in various discussions concerning the British nation at war. This investigation of the powerful constructions of national identity and understandings of citizenship circulating in Britain during the Second World War exposes their multiple and contradictory consequences at the time. It reveals the fragility of any singular conception of 'Britishness' even during a war that involved the total mobilization of the country's citizenry and cost 400,000 British civilian lives.
Some 75 million people were killed during the Second World War; millions more were displaced in Europe, Africa, and Asia. The war resulted in the creation of new states, the acceleration of imperial decline, and a shift in the distribution of global power. Despite its unprecedented impact, a comprehensive account of the complex international experiences of this war remains elusive. The Peoples’ War? offers fresh approaches to the challenge of writing a new history of the Second World War. Exploring aspects of the war that have been marginalized in military and political studies, the volume foregrounds less familiar narratives, subjects, and places. Chapters recover the wartime experiences of individuals – including women, children, members of minority ethnic groups, and colonial subjects – whose stories do not fit easily into conventional national war narratives. The contributors show how terms used to delineate the conflict such as home front and battle front, occupier and occupied, captor and prisoner, and friend and foe became increasingly blurred as the war wore on. Above all, the volume encourages reflection on whether this conflict really was a “Peoples’ War.” Challenging the homogenizing narratives of the war as a nationally unifying experience, The Peoples’ War? seeks to enrich our understanding of the Second World War as a global event.
First published in 1969. The 'consequences' in this book refer to Peking's policy on people's war and to US counter-measures; and the effect of these in South East Asia. The author argues that, on the whole, China under Communism was a better place for the majority of people than it was under the Kuomintang. Contents include: Revolution and Intervention in South East Asia, Communist Revolts: 1948; Sino-Soviet Dispute; US reaction: the Vietnam Commitment; China: Conditions for Success; The Struggle for Vietnam; August Insurrection; China in Maphilindo; Lessons from Malaya and the Philippines; Peace and the Tet Offensive