Information

Review: Volume 24 - Second World War


The Second World War was a defining experience in British history. It shaped us, made us what we are, and we are still fascinated by it. And one of the most extraordinary aspects of this unique war was the effect it had on crime - and this is the focus of M.J. Trow's compelling survey. He does not write solely about servicemen who committed crime - although there were many of them - and he does not celebrate heroes. On the contrary, his account highlights the unheroic, the weak and the corrupt. And it draws attention to something perhaps uniquely British - the will of the people to cope, be it housewives with rationing, the police with the black market or magistrates all too aware that 'careless talk costs lives'. The war may have been Britain's finest hour, but during it there were many dark moments which M.J. Trow explores in his intriguing study.

Except for the strength of the U-boat fleet at the height of the Battle of the Atlantic, the German Navy, or Kriegsmarine, was never a match for the Royal Navy, even though the latter was overstretched and fighting in the Atlantic, Pacific, the Mediterranean and the Arctic. It was not meant to be that way. Hitler and his naval staff had a vision for a large and well-balanced fleet, including aircraft carriers. PLAN Z was the name given for the massive fleet that Germany intended to build, However the Plan relied on the outbreak of the war not occurring at least until 1942. This book examines the way in which such a fleet could have influenced the major battles between the Royal Navy and the Germans. Plan Z starts by looking at Germany's history and ambitions as a maritime power. The relationships between the three armed forces and between them and the Fuhrer are also examined, along with the country's economic and industrial position.