The Full Choice Magazine Review
Choice Magazine (a publication of the Association for College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association) in its August 2012 issue published it's review of Why Germany Nearly Won: A New History of the Second World War in Europe. More than 25,000 academic librarians, faculty, and key decision makers rely on the reviews in Choice magazine and Choice Reviews Online for collection development and scholarly research. Choice reaches almost every undergraduate college and university library in the United States. The review provided below is in full, and as published:
49-7119, D757, 2011-43277 CIP Mercatante, Steven D. Why Germany nearly won: a new history of the Second World War in Europe. Praeger, 2012. 408p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780313395932 e-book, contact publisher for price. Reviewed in 2012 aug CHOICE.
Mercatante (independent scholar) challenges conventional wisdom about Allied success in Europe through an impressive operational overview of Operation Barbarossa and various battles on the Eastern Front, D-Day, and the final drive into Germany. The synthesis of the secondary sources that emerges focuses on the qualitative advantages in German operational doctrine of maneuver warfare and in training, technology, and logistics, rather than the Allies' overwhelming quantitative advantage in men and material. Rather than viewing Hitler's invasion of Russia as his biggest blunder, Mercatante sees Operation Barbarossa as a turning point, nearly leading to Hitler's hegemony in Europe. Germany 's failure to secure economic resources by the end of 1942 in southern Ukraine and the Caucasus stemmed from Hitler's inability to fully exploit the Wehrmacht's qualitative advantages. By the end of 1943, the Allies embarked on serious qualitative reforms that eventually eroded German advantages. As Mercatante argues, if sheer numbers explain Allied success, why did Germany, which fought outnumbered during the entire war in Europe, achieve such success on the battlefield from 1939 until 1942? This is a point well taken and Mercatante drives it home forcefully; however, he does so at the risk of replacing one monocausal explanation for another. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. -- M. A. Mengerink, Lamar University