NEW BOOKS: Conflicts of the Twentieth Century. continued.

The Great Halifax Explosion by John Bacon. Morrow, 2017. In December 1917 the Mont-Blanc set sail from Brooklyn with 3,000 tons of explosives on board. It made its way carefully up the east coast, concerned about German U-Boats it would face in the Atlantic crossing to Britain. The ship made it to Halifax harbor but then exploded destroying 2.5 square miles of the city and killing 2000 people, wounding 9,000 more.

A Perfidious Distortion of History; The Versailles Peace Treaty and the Success of the Nazis by Jürgen Tampke. Scriber, 2017. The reparation payments under the Versailles Treaty were not all that crippling to the Weimar’s economy. And the hyper-inflation of the 1920s was in part a deliberate policy to minimize the real costs of those reparations.

Case Red; The Collapse of France by Robert Forrzyk. Osprey, 2017. The fall of France in the face of the German Blitzkrieg. The subsequent exploitation of French resources and the captured military equipment, fuel, and industrial production supported the Third Reich’s assault on the Russian homeland.

Islam and Nazi Germany’s War by David Motadel. Harvard University Press, 2017 paper. Nazi Germany saw the Islamic world as a potential ally with a comparable list of enemies, the British Empire, Soviet Russia, and European Jewry.

Never to Return by Randall Peffer & Robert Nersasian Lyons, Press, 2017 paper.  A Coast Guard destroyer escort sunk off Iceland during WWII. 171 Coast Guardsmen died. The authors remind us of the long sea battle that went on in the North Atlantic and is unsung casualties.

The London Cage; The Secret History of Britain’s World War II Interrogation Centre by Helen Fry. Yale University Press, 2017. London’s clandestine interrogation center was manned by the British Secret Service. Recalcitrant German POWs were subjected to “special intelligence treatment.”

Destination Casablanca; Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II by Meredith Hindlex. Public Affairs, 2017. With the French surrender in North Africa to the Germans, Casablanca became a center of intrigue. In November 1942 the city was taken by American forces and became the site of a major Allied conference.

A Bold and Dangerous Family; The Remarkable Story of an Italian Mother, Her Two Sons, and Their Fight Against Fascism by Caroline Moorehead. Harper, 2017. A family who stood up to Benito Mussolini. Her sons were arrested and eventually assassinated; Amelia fled to New York City in June 1940 and survived.

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