About the Book :
In June 1944, a young soldier surrendered to American paratroopers in the Allied invasion of Normandy. At first his cators thought that he was Japanese, but he was in fact Korean. His name was Kyougjong Yandg. In 1938, at the age of eighteen, Yang had been forcibly conscipted by the Japanese into their Kwantung Army in Manchuria. A year later, he was captured by the Red Army after the Battle of Khalkin gol and sent to a labour camp. The Soviet military authorities, at a moment of crisis in 1942, drafted him along with thousands of other prisoners into their forces. Then, early in 1943 he was taken prisoner at the Battle of Karkov in Ukraine by the German army. In 1944, now in German uniform, he was sent to France to serve with an Ostbataillon supposedly boosting the strength of the Atalantic Wall at the base of the Cotentin Peninsula inland from Utah Beach. After time in a prison camp in Britain, he went to the United States where he said nothing of his past. He settled there and finally died in Illinois in 1992. In a war which killed over sixty million people and had stretched around the globe, this reluctant veteran of these Japanese, Soviet and German armies, had been comparatively fortunate. Yet Yang remains perhaps the most striking illustration of the helpness of most ordinary mortals in the face of what appeared to be overwhelming historical forces. This was a war that would change the world, for ever. The Second World War began in August 1939 on the edge of Manchuria and ended there exactly six years later with the Soviet invasion of northern China. The war in Europe appeared completely divorced from the war in the Pacific and China, and yet events on opposite sides of the world had profound effects. Using the most up-to-date scholarship and research, and writing with clarity and compassion, Beevor assembles the whole picture in a gripping narrative that extends from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific, from the snowbound steppe to the North African Desert, to the Burmese jungle, SS Einsatzgruppen in the borderlands, Gulag prisoners drafted into punishment battalions, and to the unspeakable cruelties of the Sino-Japanese War. Moral choice forms the basis of all human drama, and no other period in history has presented greater dilemmas both for leaders and ordinary people, nor offered such examples of individual and mass tragedy, the corruption of power politics, ideological hypocrisy, the egomania of commanders, betrayal, perversity, self-sacrifice, unbelievable sadism and unpredictable kindness. Although filling the broadest canvas on a heroic scale, Beevor's The Second World War never loses sight of the fate of the ordinary soldiers and civilians whose lives were crushed by the titanic forces unleashed in this, the most terrible war in history.
|Title:||The Second World War||Publisher:||Orion|
|No. of Pages:||880|
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