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December 1941 : twelve days that began a world war / Evan Mawdsley.

By: Mawdsley, Evan, 1945-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New Haven, Conn. ; London : Yale University Press, 2012Description: ix, 347 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780300187878 (pbk.); 0300187874 (pbk.).Subject(s): World War, 1939-1945 | World War, 1939-1945 -- United StatesDDC classification: 940.53 Summary: Early December 1941, argues this book, saw a sequence of events that proved to be the turning point in World War II & a defining moment in the course of the century: the entry of Japan into the conflict, the end of US isolationism, the first great Red Army counterattack & the secret unleashing of the Holocaust.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

In far-flung locations around the globe, an unparalleled sequence of international events took place between December 1 and December 12, 1941. In this riveting book, historian Evan Mawdsley explores how the story unfolded. He demonstrates how these dramatic events marked a turning point not only in the course of World War II but also in the direction of the entire century.

On Monday, December 1, 1941, the Japanese government made its final decision to attack Britain and America. In the following days, the Red Army launched a counterthrust in Moscow while the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and invaded Malaya. By December 12, Hitler had declared war on the United States, the collapse of British forces in Malaya had begun, and Hitler had secretly laid out his policy of genocide. Churchill was leaving London to meet Roosevelt as Anthony Eden arrived in Russia to discuss the postwar world with Stalin. Combined, these occurrences brought about a "new war," as Churchill put it, with Japan and America deeply involved and Russia resurgent. This book, a truly international history, examines the momentous happenings of December 1941 from a variety of perspectives. It shows that their significance is clearly understood only when they are viewed together.

Originally published: 2011.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Early December 1941, argues this book, saw a sequence of events that proved to be the turning point in World War II & a defining moment in the course of the century: the entry of Japan into the conflict, the end of US isolationism, the first great Red Army counterattack & the secret unleashing of the Holocaust.


Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • List of Illustrations and Maps (p. vi)
  • List of Terms and Abbreviations (p. viii)
  • Introduction (p. 1)
  • 1 1 December. Japan, Germany and the Coming World War (p. 6)
  • 2 1 December. The Fight to the Death in Russia (p. 25)
  • 3 1 December. London, Libya and the Dangers of the Far East (p. 48)
  • 4 1 December. Washington, magic and the Japanese Peril (p. 64)
  • 5 2 December. Two Doomed Battleships in Singapore (p. 80)
  • 6 3 December. The Presidents Secret Promise (p. 92)
  • 7 4 December. Hitler and Japan's War of Conquest (p. 102)
  • 8 5 December. The Lull Before Two Storms (p. 121)
  • 9 6 December. General Zhukov Throws in his Armies (p. 131)
  • 10 7 December. Date of Infamy: Japan's Undeclared Wars in Malaya and Hawaii (p. 152)
  • 11 8 December. The Beginning of the End of the British Empire (p. 189)
  • 12 9 December. FDR Begins the American Century (p. 215)
  • 13 10 December. Force 'Z' and the Malayan Tragedy (p. 227)
  • 14 11 December. Hider's War on America (p. 242)
  • 15 12 December. World War and the Destruction of the Jews (p. 257)
  • 16 Aftermath. The New War and a New World (p. 266)
  • List of Participants (p. 288)
  • Notes (p. 291)
  • Select Bibliography (p. 327)
  • Index (p. 337)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

After his broad perspective in World War II: A New History, Mawdsley (honorary fellow, Univ. of Glasgow) focuses on the events that merged separate European and Asian wars into the world's largest war, a decisive turning point in history and one involving complex interconnections. Mawdsley emphasizes that the events cannot be considered in isolation. The British pushed back Rommel in North Africa; the Germans were pushed back from Moscow, keeping the USSR, needed by the Allies, in the war. Japan's titular attack on Pearl Harbor increased American involvement on the world stage and a new view of its global mission. An unexpected outcome of America entering the war was that the Nazis now felt free to go forward with their primary goal of exterminating the Jews. Verdict This is traditional history, looking at the story at the highest levels, from extensive primary resources. It's an accessible account that scholars as well as military history buffs will enjoy as we note Pearl Harbor's 70th anniversary. General readers may also like Stanley Weintraub' s Pearl Harbor Christmas: A World at War, December 1941, which covers the broad strategy discussions between Churchill and FDR at the time.-Daniel K. Blewett, Coll. of DuPage Lib., Glen Ellyn, IL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Book Review

World War II: A New History, 2009, etc.) embarks on the action from the first day and never lets up in this crisp, chronological study--from the Japanese Imperial Conference's ratification of war on Dec. 1 against the United States, Britain and the Netherlands, setting in motion the Southern Operation invasion, to Germany's declaration of war on the U.S. on the 11th. In between, Hitler's lightning thrust into the Soviet Union was now mired in mud and the approaching winter. In Libya, the British under General Ritchie were driving General Rommel and his Italian allies back from securing the supply port at Tobruk. Yet the essential crisis at this moment was gathering steam in Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands, with the launch of the Japanese invasion convoy on Dec. 4, which struck Malaya and southern Thailand, Singapore, Pearl Harbor, Wake, Guam, the Philippines and Hong Kong. Mawdsley has an excellent grip on the behind-the-scenes political and diplomatic scurrying among London, Washington, Berlin and Tokyo, much of it desperate and, to readers in hindsight, smugly blinkered, as Japan's hostile intentions were not hidden and the Allies had broken the Japanese encryption in 1940. Crucial code warnings received by U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Harold Stark were not delivered to the Pacific commanders in time. Pearl Harbor brought America into the war, bolstering Britain and turning the tide. Hitler announced in a Dec. 12 speech his resolve to "clear the table" of the Jews; a week later he had taken direct command of the German Army. A rigorous, sharp survey of this decisive moment in the war.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.