This collaborative venture by historians from 20 different countries addresses every aspect of the world wars. Above all, were they really two separate conflicts or should not the whole period be recognised as one "Great War" that was not resolved until the extinction of German military ambition in 1945? Frontline combat is compared and contrasted, from the Somme to Stalingrad, aerial warfare from "Bloody April" to the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot". Naval campaigns, jungle and desert warfare and amphibious operations are examined as well as the success or failure of national strategies. One common strand is the contrast between the excellence of German battlefield tactics and the questionable strategy pursued by both the Kaiser's senior commanders and the Nazi high command.
Away from the battlefields, 'The Great War 1914 - 45' also investigates different civilian experience of war, grand strategy, economic policy, and the "barbarization of warfare" that so marred the first half of the 20th century.