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Fifty years after the end of World War II Clive Ponting provides a major reassessment of the most destructive conflict in human history - one in which 85 million people died.

Armageddon avoids conventional chronological accounts in order to concentrate on the deeper forces shaping the origins, course and outcome of the war across the globe. It analyses how and why the war spread from being a limited European conflict to the only global war, why countries were dragged into the fighting and how only a small number of neutral states escaped. It compares the two alliances, how they mobilized their resources and their strategies for victory. It avoids a detailed description of how commanders maneuvered on the battlefield and concentrates instead on the impact the war had on individual soldiers, sailors and airmen. Equally important is the fate of hundreds of millions of civilians. How did they survive occupation and what did resistance, collaboration and liberation really involve, and what happened at the end of the war?

Armageddon has a truly global sweep, combined with an eye for detail, and provides fascinating comparisons from a multi-faceted war. It contains new facts, asks provocative questions and challenges many of the common assumptions about the war. It is a compelling new inquiry.

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