Tuesday, August 04, 2009

WWII from a different angle

In a review of Andrew Roberts new book (not yet out), The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War, there seemed to be a couple of interesting things that might make it worth reading another WWII book. From The Economist.
Even war buffs may be surprised to learn that the supposedly supine Vichy regime in France executed German spies, or that more Frenchmen fought on the Axis side than with the Allies. A nutty British official in charge of Malta put Sabbath observance ahead of unloading ships, at terrible cost. Another nearly lost the vital battle for Kohima, the gateway to India, because he wanted to keep to peacetime rules restricting the use of barbed wire. Orde Wingate, the hero of the Chindits’ campaign in Burma, was an ardent nudist who never bathed. (He scrubbed himself with a stiff brush, instead.)
I knew the French thing ... and the Brit stuff isn't a shocker, but it is a way to make history a bit more interesting.

Here is one thing that should get E40's balls in an uproar,
He does not believe, for example, that the Soviet army’s inaction during the Warsaw uprising in 1944 was a cynical attempt to let the Nazis deal with the anticommunist Polish resistance: the real reason was that the Red Army’s lines of communication had been overstretched by its rapid advance westward.

Bad job by his publisher, Harper-Collins. They have people out there writing reviews, but no way to pre-order on Amazon.

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