The Star World War II 1939-1945
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The Star. World War II ****** Struik, South Africa, 1989. Hardcover. Book and DJ Condition: Good 240pp.Early on the morning of September 1, 1939. German panzer columns smashed across the Polish frontier, plunging the world into a war that was to last six cataclysmic years, to devastate whole countries and to cost millions of lives. The principal actors in this prolonged and terrible drama were the great powers of the day - Britain, the United States and Russia on the one hand; Germany, Italy and Japan on the other. But smaller nations, the Union of South Africa among them, played significant and honourable roles. South African forces helped conquer Mussolini's East African empire, fought Rommel in the desert, gained renown at Sidi Rezegh, suffered reversal at Tobruk, shared the laurels at Alamein, went on to slog their way up the rugged spine of Italy in probably the most thankless campaign of all and, at the end, stood tall among the victors. The Star World War II is the month-by- month story of the 1939-45 global conflict and of South Africa's part in it, told largely through the newspaper reports that appeared during those momentous years. Here are the battles, the defeats, the stunning triumphs, the movements of great armies and the individual acts of heroism, described as they happened, often by eye-witnesses. The reports impart a sense of immediacy to the story, powerfully evoking the mood of the times. Other notable features include: .Over 20 superb photographic essays, each of which focuses on a specific element of the saga. .Some 40 000 words of text, written in an informal though informative style to provide the essential narrative thread. .A series of 'Daily Round' panels filled with a miscellany of incidental, often trivial, but always fascinating newspaper snippets that touch on subjects ranging from the fashions of the era through home interests and sport to stage and screen. .An illustrated and detailed Calendar for each year of the war. An Appendix listing the South African military units that were involved in the various campaigns, and an Index of names, places and events. This volume, published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of war, will appeal not only to South Africans who remember those turbulent years, but also to the student of military history and, indeed, to anyone with an interest in what is undoubtedly the most dramatic, and crucial, segment of the world's recent past.
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