Engineers of Victory The Problem Solvers Who Turned the Tide in the Second World War

ISBN-10: 0812979397
ISBN-13: 9780812979398
Edition: N/A
Authors: Paul Kennedy
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Description: NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Paul Kennedy, award-winning author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers and one of today's most renowned historians, now provides a new and unique look at how World War II was won. Engineers of Victory is a fascinating  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.00
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/10/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 480
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.078
Language: English

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Paul Kennedy, award-winning author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers and one of today's most renowned historians, now provides a new and unique look at how World War II was won. Engineers of Victory is a fascinating nuts-and-bolts account of the strategic factors that led to Allied victory. Kennedy reveals how the leaders' grand strategy was carried out by the ordinary soldiers, scientists, engineers, and businessmen responsible for realizing their commanders' visions of success. In January 1943, FDR and Churchill convened in Casablanca and established the Allied objectives for the war: to defeat the Nazi blitzkrieg; to control the Atlantic sea lanes and the air over western and central Europe; to take the fight to the European mainl∧ and to end Japan's imperialism. Astonishingly, a little over a year later, these ambitious goals had nearly all been accomplished. With riveting, tactical detail, Engineers of Victory reveals how. Kennedy recounts the inside stories of the invention of the cavity magnetron, a miniature radar "as small as a soup plate," and the Hedgehog, a multi-headed grenade launcher that allowed the Allies to overcome the threat to their convoys crossing the Atlantic; the critical decision by engineers to install a super-charged Rolls-Royce engine in the P-51 Mustang, creating a fighter plane more powerful than the Luftwaffe's; and the innovative use of pontoon bridges (made from rafts strung together) to help Russian troops cross rivers and elude the Nazi blitzkrieg. He takes readers behind the scenes, unveiling exactly how thousands of individual Allied planes and fighting ships were choreographed to collectively pull off the invasion of Normandy, and illuminating how crew chiefs perfected the high-flying and inaccessible B-29 Superfortress that would drop the atomic bombs on Japan. The story of World War II is often told as a grand narrative, as if it were fought by supermen or decided by fate. Here Kennedy uncovers the real heroes of the war, highlighting for the first time the creative strategies, tactics, and organizational decisions that made the lofty Allied objectives into a successful reality. In an even more significant way, Engineers of Victory has another claim to our attention, for it restores "the middle level of war" to its rightful place in history. Praise for Engineers of Victory " Engineers of Victory achieves the difficult task of being a consistently original book about one of the most relentlessly examined episodes in human history. . . . Like an engineer who pries open a pocket watch to reveal its inner mechanics, Kennedy tells how little-known men and woman at lower levels helped win the war. . . . An important contribution to our understanding of World War II."-Michael Beschloss, The New York Times Book Review "In this valuable addition to the very long shelf of recent books about World War II, Kennedy looks at the 18 months before the D-Day invasion in June 1944. . . . As he walks the reader through the critical breakthroughs required to achieve such daunting tasks as attacking an enemy shore thousands of miles from home, Kennedy colorfully and convincingly illustrates the ingenuity and persistence of a few men who made all the difference."- The Washington Post "Histories of World War II tend to concentrate on the leaders and generals at the top who make the big strategic decisions and on the lowly grunts at the bottom. . . . [ Engineers of Victory ] seeks to fill this gap in the historiography of World War II and does so triumphantly. . . . This book is a fine tribute."- The Wall Street Journal

Born at the very end of World War II in Northeast England, Paul Kennedy was the first in his family to go to a university college. After receiving his Ph.D. in philosophy at Oxford University, Kennedy came to the United States to work in Washington in the National Archives. A J. Richardson Professor of History at Yale University since 1983, Kennedy is also the author of numerous important books. The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers has enjoyed wide acclaim and great success as a best-seller, and Preparing for the Twenty-First Century covers the themes of lectures that Kennedy took part in at Yale University since the mid-1980s. Kennedy's teaching and research are influenced by his knowledge of global trends. Recognizing Kennedy's activity in community service and his wisdom and expertise, the Secretary General of the United Nations invited him to co-direct a working group on the future of the United Nations for the 50th anniversary of the UN General Assembly.

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