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Brand: Peter Doyle

World War II In Numbers

by Peter Doyle

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World War II In Numbers: An Infographic Guide to World War II

World War Two was the most terrible war that Europe, and indeed the world, had ever seen. Discover the truth behind the propaganda with this brilliantly informative, infographic guide to the real statistics behind WWII. How many soldiers went to war? How many came home? How many civilians were made homeless? How many bombs were dropped, and where did they land? With over 25 nations fighting the second world war on four different continents the numbers were staggering.

Covering a huge amount of content World War II in Numbers brings these staggering statics to life with easily digestible graphics depicting the conflict, casualties, weaponry, cost and technology, clearly illustrating the war's impact on individuals, whole countries, and the global social and economic effects that would last long into peacetime.

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Even after seventy years the Second World War continues to fascinate. Dozens of books on all aspects of the War are published every year, but few as fascinating as this book. The concept is simple, to present aspects of the War in nearly 300 statistical tables and graphs with short accompanying essays. And the book does so very well. It is beautifully designed in a faux period style. There are statistics devoted to all aspects of the War from the losses at Dunkirk to the numbers of V1 flying bombs shot down. Some of the most interesting graphs challenge perceived conceptions, such as the one showing that the British turned out many more aircraft than did the Germans, or the proportion of Allied and Axis forces at various key battles. Inevitably the inclusion of some charts is bizarre - at least to this reviewer. The table showing Wehrmacht prisoners still in Russian hands as late as 1956 is thought provoking but is it really a key statistic. I would have liked to have more about the Home Fronts, such as a chart contrasting civilian rations in Britain, Germany and elsewhere. Some of the graphs don't work. I spent many minutes trying to understand the graph showing the Japanese advance in Malaya in December 1941 and January 1942. And others need checking. Were half of all SOE missions sent to Belgium? This doesn't look right to me, although I could be wrong. And did 1.5m Indian civilians die during the War or did 1.5m Indian service personnel loose their lives? There are two charts with different data on them. The most serious criticism is that there is no citations or credits, although there is a short reading list. We don't know where the author got his data (or how the reader can find out more). I would have definitely expected this in a book with which The National Archives is associated. Even so this book deserves to do well and I look forward to a similar volume for the First World War. Simon Fowler Friends of The National Archives. Friends of The National Archives