World War II Today tries to paint a picture of the experience of war, taking one day at a time. John Ellis took a different route when he wrote One Day in a Very Long War – his portrait of the war is the situation on every front in one particular day – 25th October 1944. This is one way to comprehend how this was truly a World War. Its a fascinating read and one I recommend.
In a new and exciting approach to history, John Ellis presents a brilliant overview of a truly global battle, focusing on a single day in the fifth year of the Second World War, when the Allied war machine was in top gear but the outcome was far from certain.
He describes a world-wide conflict from the viewpoint of those who took part on all fronts in both Allied and Axis forces – field marshal or private; president, prime minister, prisoner-of-war or munitions worker – just as they saw it on 25th October 1944, without foresight, only with clouded and partial hindsight.
Among the set-piece actions of the day are the titanic naval battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines, Hilter planning an Ardennes offensive which is to lead to the Battle of the Bulge, the eruption of the Red Army into Eastern Europe, a frustated wolf-pack in the Atlantic, the saturation bombing of Essen and Hamburg, V2 rocket attacks on London and high secret Manhattan Project.
The war in the rear, where civilian families find themselves in the battle zone, infantry replacements anxiously await their first taste of battle whilst the Communist guerrillas thrive in the Balkans and in China.