World War II : won by American planes and ships, or by the poor bloody Russian infantry?

Article English OPEN
Harrison, Mark (2016)

This short paper reviews a new book about World War II. In most such books, what is new is not usually important, and what is important is not new. This one is an exception. How the War Was Won: Air-Sea Power and Allied Victory in World War II, by Phillips Payson O'Brien, sets out a new perspective on the war. An established view is that World War II was decided on the Eastern front, where multi-million armies struggled for supremacy on land and millions died. According to O’Brien, this neglects the fact that the preponderance of the Allied productive effort was devoted to building ships and planes for an air-sea battle that was fought to a limited extent in the East and with much higher intensity across the Western and Pacific theatres. The Allies’ air-sea power framed the outcomes of the great land campaigns by preventing Germany and Japan from fully realizing their economic potentials for war. Finding much to be said for this reinterpretation, I reconsider the true significance of the Eastern front.\ud \ud
  • References (6)

    Barber, John, and Mark Harrison. 1991. The Soviet Home Front, 1941-5: a Social and Economic History of the USSR in World War II. London: Longman.

    Clausewitz, Carl von. 1832/1966. On War. Edited by Anatol Rapoport. London: Pelican Books.

    Harrison, Mark. 1996. Accounting for War: Soviet Production, Employment, and the Defence Burden, 1940-1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Harrison, Mark. 2005. “The USSR and Total War: Why Didn't the Soviet Economy Collapse in 1942?” In A World at Total War: Global Conflict and the Politics of Destruction, 1939-1945, pp. 137-156. Edited by Roger Chickering, Stig Förster, and Bernd Greiner. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Krivosheev, G. F., V. M. Andronikov, P. D. Burikov, V. V. Gurkin, A. I. Kruglov, E. I. Rodionov, and M. V. Filimoshin. 1993. Grif sekretnosti sniat: Poteri Vooruzhennykh Sil SSSR v voinakh, boevykh deistviiakh i voennykh konfliktov: Statisticheskoe issledovanie. Moscow: Voenizdat.

    O'Brien, Phillips Payson. 2015. How the War Was Won: Air-Sea Power and

  • Metrics
    views in OpenAIRE
    views in local repository
    downloads in local repository

    The information is available from the following content providers:

    From Number Of Views Number Of Downloads
    Warwick Research Archives Portal Repository - IRUS-UK 0 10
Share - Bookmark