Osprey's The Second World War




Osprey Publishing


$35.00 MSRP


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 368 pages 8 x 10 inches, hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-4728-3393-8

From time to time, Osprey will make a compilation of several of their earlier titles into one large, hardbound book. It is a great way to combine like information, especially if the previous books are out of print or difficult to obtain. This one combines nine from their Essential History titles into one book, all of these titles concentrating on the Second World War.

The book starts with an introduction into the war and has a brief look at the various theaters of operation. This is not a word for word copy of the previous books, but those are where the information in this one originate.

The various sections of the book cover six main areas. First is Northwest Europe from 1939-1943. This is followed by the War at Sea, The Mediterranean, and the Pacific War. For those who are, for a better word 'Ameri-centered', it is somewhat disappointing that there is not more on the Pacific. Next up is the Eastern Front followed by Northwest Europe 1944-45. The book closes with a look at the aftermath of the war and how it changed the geo-political spectrum.

I mentioned how it would have been nice to have more on the Pacific, but then it would have been nice to have more on the Eastern Front as well. One has to realize that in compilations like this, only the highlights can really be covered. The idea of this book is to provide an overview of the entire conflict, and provide a basis for the reader to key in on areas of interest and look to other, more complete sources for additional information.

The book is full of great period photos and maps. It is well compiled and flows well when one reads it. It performs its intended task well and while one may well look at this title as more of an introduction into the subject, it does well and is a book that would be a great gift for those who want to know more about the conflict, but don't have a decent reference. Well worth picking up.

November 2018

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