World War II sent the youth of the world across the globe in odd alliances against each other. Never before had a conflict been fought simultaneously in so many diverse landscapes on premises that often seemed unrelated. Never before had a conflict been fought in so many different ways – from rocket attacks on London to jungle fighting in Burma to armor strikes in Libya. It was only in time that these battles coalesced into one war.
In The Second World Wars, esteemed military historian Victor Davis Hanson examines how and why this happened, focusing in detail on how the war was fought in the air, at sea, and on land-and thus where, when, and why the Allies won. Throughout, Hanson also situates World War II squarely within the history of war in the West over the past 2,500 years. In profound ways, World War II was unique: the most lethal event in human history, with 50 million dead, the vast majority of them civilians. But, as Hanson demonstrates, the war’s origins were not entirely novel; it was reformulations of ancient ideas of racial and cultural superiority that fueled the global bloodbath.