Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions that Changed the World, 1940-1941

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Allen Lane, 2007 - Strategy - 623 pages
19 Reviews
The history of the Second World War, with its horrible twists and turns, is so well known that the major events and their outcomes have taken on a sort of inevitability. It has become, in effect, a tragedy with each leader and each country playing an assigned part. Ian Kershaw's extraordinarily thought-provoking and gripping new book, Fateful Choices, demolishes any such sense of inevitability. He examines closely eleven episodes at the heart of the War where there was an immense range of options open to planners and decision-makers. From declarations of war down to operational priorities, choices were made that could have resulted in an almost unrecognisably different conflict. Other viewpoints were passionately and articulately argued by powerful, ruthless advocates. In no case was the decision that prevailed to any degree foreordained. Kershaw, not least through his immense work on the career of Adolf Hitler, has spent many years thinking about the contingent nature of history. Fateful Choices dramatizes brilliantly and distressingly events that between them could have resulted in disaster or victory - either for the Allies or for the Axis.

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Review: Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940-1941

User Review  - Kjt - Goodreads

I rarely leave WWII history books unfinished but that was the case with Ian Kershaw's Fateful Choices. Somehow it just doesn't interest me to view the period that way. No doubt it's an important and well-researched work, but I didn't enjoy it. Read full review

Review: Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940-1941

User Review  - Steve Groves - Goodreads

Very insightful book. Whilst a military history book in the first instance it also offered some fascinating insights into how the various leaders made decisions and how the political landscape had to be taken into account. Some very detailed research to back up the authors position. Read full review


London Spring 1940
Berlin Summer and Autumn 1940

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About the author (2007)

Ian Kershaw is professor of modern history at the University of Sheffield.

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