Perpetuating a couple of hoary old myths

All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939–1945

by Max Hastings

HarperCollins, $32.99 pb, 768 pp, 9780007431205

Robin Prior

Robin Prior

Robin Prior was born in rural South Australia. He studied at the University of Adelaide, completing a doctorate in 1979. He was an ARC


It is a brave undertaking to write a single-volume history of World War II. As Max Hastings notes, we already have many good books in this category: Weinberg, A World At Arms: A Global History of World War II (1994); Calvocoressi, Wint, and Pritchard, Total War: The Causes and Courses of the Second World War (1989); Millett and Murray, A War To Be Won: Fighting the Second World War (2000); and Hastings might have mentioned Parker’s Struggle For Survival: The History of the Second World War (1989) and Ellis’s Brute Force: Allied Strategy and Tactics in the Second World War (1990). He was too late to notice Andrew Roberts’s latest contribution.

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Published in February 2012 no. 338