Introduction: Roger Hertog, Chairman Emeritus, Manhattan Institute
Why did the Axis lose the Second World War? Andrew Roberts’s previous book Masters and Commanders studied the creation of Allied grand strategy; the central theme of The Storm of War is how Axis strategy evolved. Examining the Second World War on every front, Roberts asks whether, with a different decision-making process and a different strategy, the Axis might even have won. Were those German generals who blamed everything on Hitler after the war correct, or were they merely scapegoating their former Führer once they could criticize him with impunity? In researching this vivid history, Roberts has walked many of the key battlefield and wartime sites of Russia, France, Italy, Germany, and the Far East. The book also employs a number of important yet hitherto unpublished documents, such as the letter from Hitler’s director of military operations explaining what the Führer was hoping for when he gave the order to halt the Panzers outside Dunkirk. The war lasted for 2,174 days, cost $1.5 trillion, and claimed the lives of over 50 million people. Why did it take the course that it did? The Storm of War gives a succinct but dramatic account of the struggle that engulfed the world between 1939 and 1945 and, at last, a convincing answer to that question. The Storm of War received the British Army Military Book of the Year Award 2010.