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World War II: The Autobiography: 200 First-Hand Accounts from WWII

Jon E. Lewis

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Brief Histories, Prose: non-fiction, British & Irish history, Second World War

The history of WWII from September 1939 to VJ day through the personal accounts of soldiers, speeches, diaries and official records. The War as told by those who were there.

A remarkable series of over 200 eye-witness accounts taken from diaries, letters, speeches, interviews and memoirs of those who were there: pilots, sailors, generals, infantrymen, war correspondents and leaders.

These include Spitfire pilot Richard Hillary's account of bailing out of his plane in the Battle of Britain; a German sailor's view of HMS Royal Oak being torpedoed at Scapa Flow; insights into Rommel's ailing health from a lieutenant in the Afrika Korps; famous war correspondent Ernie Pyle's account of GI meals during Operation Torch; Anne Frank's recollection of the rounding up of Jews in Amsterdam; the last letters home from anonymous German soldiers in Stalingrad; the view from a Japanese cockpit over Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941; a German officer's memories of the airborne assault on Crete in May 1941; the firestorm following the bombing of Dresden in July 1943 in the words of a German woman; a lieutenant in the 1st Airborne Divsion's eyewitness account of the fighting in Arnhem; Martha Gellhorn on the aftermath of the Battle of the Bulge; a British tank officer crossing the German border on 28 February 1945; on the Kokoda Trail in New Guinea; an Allied intelligence officer being executed by the Japanese; the tunnels of Iwo Jima; and a kamikaze pilot's final letter.

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