With its battlefields dispersed across the globe, the vastness of the Second World War was unparalleled. This was a time when nearly everything which civilised people took for granted in peace time was destroyed. Between 1939 and 1945, around 27,000 people died, every single day -- most of them on the Eastern Front.. Many men and women who lived through this catastrophe struggled to find the words to describe what they witnessed daily. Many turned to a phrase, which although a cliche, summed things up: "All Hell's Let Loose!"
In this definitive, single-volume history of a war that continues to fascinate and horrify us in equal measure, Max Hastings brings together many different human stories, and touches on almost every country in the world. Hastings stresses that it is impossible to compare the suffering of people during WWII -- it would have seemed monstrous to a British soldier facing a mortar barrage, with his comrades dying around him, to be told that Russian casualties were many thousand times greater. However, there were some aspects of wartime experience that were universal: fear and grief; the conscription of young men and women sent to new lives remote from their choice, genocide and mass migration. ALL HELL LET LOOSE charts these experiences, along with the numerous battles on land, at sea and in the air, all over the world, that formed the greatest conflict in human history.
Using a huge range of sources, including new material from Russia, Italy and Poland, ALL HELL LET LOOSE is not only a magnificent and movingly written book; it is arguably one of the most important books on the Second World War ever published.