Engineers of Victory: The Making of the War Machine That Defeated the Nazis

Engineers of Victory The Making of the War Machine That Defeated the Nazis Paul Kennedy award winning author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers and one of today s most renowned historians now provides a new and unique look at how World War II was won The Turn of the

  • Title: Engineers of Victory: The Making of the War Machine That Defeated the Nazis
  • Author: Paul Kennedy
  • ISBN: 9781400067619
  • Page: 233
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Paul Kennedy, award winning author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers and one of today s most renowned historians, now provides a new and unique look at how World War II was won The Turn of the Tide is a fascinating nuts and bolts account of the strategic factors that led to Allied victory Kennedy reveals how the leaders grand strategy was carried out by the ordinPaul Kennedy, award winning author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers and one of today s most renowned historians, now provides a new and unique look at how World War II was won The Turn of the Tide is a fascinating nuts and bolts account of the strategic factors that led to Allied victory Kennedy reveals how the leaders grand strategy was carried out by the ordinary soldiers, scientists, engineers, and businessmen responsible for realizing their commanders visions of success.In January 1943, FDR and Churchill convened in Casablanca and established the Allied objectives for the war to defeat the Nazi blitzkrieg to control the Atlantic sea lanes and the air over western and central Europe to take the fight to the European mainland and to end Japan s imperialism Astonishingly, a little over a year later, these ambitious goals had nearly all been accomplished With riveting, tactical detail, The Turn of the Tide reveals how.Kennedy recounts the inside stories of the invention of the cavity magnetron, a miniature radar as small as a soup plate, and the Hedgehog, a multi headed grenade launcher that allowed the Allies to overcome the threat to their convoys crossing the Atlantic the critical decision by engineers to install a super charged Rolls Royce engine in the P 51 Mustang, creating a fighter plane powerful than the Luftwaffe s and the innovative use of pontoon bridges made from rafts strung together to help Russian troops cross rivers and elude the Nazi blitzkrieg He takes readers behind the scenes, unveiling exactly how thousands of individual Allied planes and fighting ships were choreographed to collectively pull off the invasion of Normandy, and illuminating how crew chiefs perfected the high flying and inaccessible B 29 Superfortress that would drop the atomic bombs on Japan.The story of World War II is often told as a grand narrative, as if it were fought by supermen or decided by fate Here Kennedy uncovers the real heroes of the war, highlighting for the first time the creative strategies, tactics, and organizational decisions that made the lofty Allied objectives into a successful reality In an even significant way, The Turn of the Tide has another claim to our attention, for it restores the middle level of war to its rightful place in history.From the Hardcover edition.

    One thought on “Engineers of Victory: The Making of the War Machine That Defeated the Nazis”

    1. One of the more mis-titled books in recent memory and one of the more disappointing. The writer indicates that the engineering feats cannot be vioewed in a vaccuum and that some background is needed. Fair enough. Unfortunately, what you get for the rest of the book is almost entirely background and not particularly good background, either. Most of his sources are over a decade old an he ends up spouting conventional wisdom, regardless of whether it has much foundation or not. And the amount of d [...]

    2. What use is history?This question has been kicked around for centuries, but I’m not certain that those who venture opinions about it have bothered to ask a follow-up question: What do you mean by history?Most of what we’re force-fed in school — even, all too often, in university courses — consists primarily of a recitation of “facts” (dates, names, events, trends). To make matters worse, those facts typically revolve around the reigns of kings and the battles they fought. That sort o [...]

    3. ENGINEERS OF VICTORY. (2013). Paul Kennedy. ****. This is a must-read book for all WW II history buffs. The approach in this book, however, is different than that one normally encounters. Here, the needs of the fighting forces were identified beforehand by top rulers, Churchill and Roosevelt, at a conference held in Casablanca in January of 1943. The specific needs identified – and used as chapter headings in this book, were:1. How to get convoys safely acrossw the Atlantic: The answers to th [...]

    4. An analysis of the problems that the Allies faced in the defeat of the Axis powers, how these problems were solved by small groups of individuals and institutions, both civilian and military, succeeded in enabling their political masters to achieve victory in the critical middle years of the Second World War.At the Casablanca Conference of January 1943, the Allies created a blueprint for the defeat of the Axis powers and defined five military-operational problems that needed to be solved in orde [...]

    5. I'm sorry to give this book two stars, since it is both amiable and revolves around questions that are interesting to me, but it consists of paragraph after paragraph of broad statements with an unfortunate lack of content.Here, I'll grab a random paragraph:"Nonetheless, the warding off of a submarine attack and the destruction of the attackers had to be done through technology, that is, by defensive and offensive weapons platforms. It was true, obviously, in all theaters of war and at all times [...]

    6. This book was a disappointment to me. I was looking for a book that would delve into topics like the use of operations research, the strategic bombing campaign survey, and the USAAF team in the Pacific that would result in the Whiz Kids of the 60's. Kennedy groups a series of Allied innovations around a group of challenges, such as winning the war in the Atlantic, storming an enemy held shore, and solving the challenge of distance in the Pacific. I think it's an interesting way to look at the wa [...]

    7. Painstakingly argued, authoritative, original, and engrossing, this is the sort of book that I could read again soon and still profit from. (Which means, of course, that I couldn't digest everything on the first reading -- but that's my failing, not the author's.) As many others have commented, the focus here is less on engineers than on how Allied and Axis strategies changed (or didn't) in response to problems and failures. The five central problems Kennedy examines are interlocking pieces of a [...]

    8. Kenny posits that there were five key tactics to the Allied victory in World War II. 1. How to Get Convoys Safely Across the Atlantic2. How to Win Command of the Air3. How to Stop a Blitzkrieg4. How to Seize an Enemy Shore5. How to Defeat the “Tyranny of Distance.”Kennedy discusses, at great length, the singular elements in each item: intelligence, technology, tactical and long-term strategies, planning, and the civilian and military scientist and engineers who fashioned new weapons to count [...]

    9. For us armchair generals/historians who have become used to reading books where great generals and/or their ground-pounding foot soldiers are glorified, this book's overall theme may come as a shock to us: the victories of the generals and soldiers wouldn't have been possible without the "problem-solvers" and the technologies and tactics they developed to overcome the great battlefield problems of World War II. Mr. Kennedy tackles these problems and their solutions in a balanced, holistic (that [...]

    10. I'm a big fan of Paul Kennedy. I have read and enjoyed his previous works on power politics, diplomacy and strategy, including his highly praised "The Rise And Fall Of The Great Powers." So, when I saw that he had decided to focus his formidable talents to the Second World War and using an unconventional approach, I was thrilled. Nonetheless, upon finishing this work, I have to say that I found it disappointing. While Professor Kennedy certainly seems to have taken the time to master all of the [...]

    11. Engineers of Victory is an immensely frustrating book. Brilliantly conceived and written by an author who is obviously a talent, it nonetheless fails to address to its thesis or contribute to scholarship.Kennedy's thesis is that WW2 was won in those critical months between the Casablanca Conference in January 1943 and early 1944. More specifically, it was won by "Organizers", men at the middle levels of the military, government, and vital industries who invented new weapons systems, sent them in [...]

    12. Gosh, I toyed with the idea of giving my first five star review to this, so completely satisfied with it was I. But then I started to think about the list of books that would be on my five-star list, and didn't want to dilute them with a moment of hysteria.But I'll give it an unabashed four stars largely because, as I said, it so thoroughly met my expectations. With "Engineers" in the title, I expected to read something that discussed these wartime innovations from an engineering perspective, fe [...]

    13. Paul Kennedy explores two fundamental military relationships in this book. That of organisation, doctrine and materiel plus the ageless military principle of the coordinated application of forces. He does that with the well-travelled and explored background of the Second World War and claims to focus on the less well known individuals and organisations that provided either materiel like the P-51 fighter, the B-29 bomber, the T-34 tank, organizations such as the US Seabees and the Allied U-boat d [...]

    14. Kennedy focuses on 1943-44, as planners identified interlocking military problems with possible technological solutions--control of the air, convoy protection, stopping German army advances, and tied to find solutions. The key here is the how things played out, since a good idea means nothing without the economic and resource means to produce it, the logistical ability to get it into use, commanders willing to employ it and trained people who can do so, and Kennedy highlights the near failures o [...]

    15. Miss-titled, and Kennedy doesn't know submarines (which hinders his first 75 pages), but after that, decent work. Kennedy not a 5 star writer. See Blackets's War for a similar work.

    16. Badly researched history.I must admit, I started with a bias predisposed to like this book. Yet I was profoundly disappointed - in some chapters the author simply failed do sufficient research, in others he simply got the facts wrongs (other reviews have pointed out that no, the Seabees didn't build the Mulberry Harbors.)One of the main arguments of the book is that in five crucial areas (convoys, command of the air, Blitzkreieg, etc.) it wasn't just one event or one technology that solved the p [...]

    17. A very dense, advanced book requiring a strong background in WWII military events. It is always amazing to realize how bad the situation was for the Allies in 1942, and yet how relatively simple technological advances (combined to a great deal of smart decisions, of course) could have immediate impacts and turn the tide of the war in such a drastic way. That ''culture of encouragement'' introduced near the end of the book is a powerful concept showing how engineering and scientific research in g [...]

    18. The book reads kind of like a selective history of world war 2. The author attempts to develop a unique perspective that follows the middle layer of problem solvers and engineers that turned world war 2 to the Allies favor. It's definitely a fairly unique way of looking at history, though I expected and wanted even more nitty gritty details - much of it was still a high level look at battles and campaigns.

    19. Don't be misled by the Jacket/Sleeve!Its the History 101 of "How the Allies Won". For some it might get mundane as the author gives dates, figures and names of some facets. This is a must read for any WWII history buffs.

    20. Great read! A unique approach to focusing on the operational leaders that executed WWII strategy. Great lessons for battle staff.

    21. Engineers of Victory: The Problem Solvers Who Turned the Tide in the Second World War is a very interesting read. Unlike many histories of World War II, it isn't a combat history, nor is it a chronological history. Author Paul Kennedy doesn't focus on the who, what, when and where as much as the WHY and HOW. To me, this is the most interesting kind of history. You need to know the who, what, when and where of course, but you really don't learn anything from history unless you explore why things [...]

    22. A fascinating topic and unique insight into the major challenges facing the Allied forces during WWII were overcome. However, the writing is very much an extended university thesis in format and style and therefore very dry, academic and hard-going at times. As such, the epic achievements and the people responsible for them don't come alive off the page.

    23. This book is not about the engineers and organizers who solved the problems presented by the war and turned the tide. He describes the great flow of armies and battles in terms of the small improvements and inventions by these unheralded people that lead to victory.Kennedy describes 5 problems the Allies had to overcome: 1. How to get convoys across the Atlantic, 2. How to win command of the air, 3. How to stop a Blitzkrieg, 4. How to seize an enemy shore, and 5. How to fight a distant war. Exam [...]

    24. If you are looking for a nice, short introduction into WWII, this might be the right book. It's only 370 pages and it covers all of the major theaters. Plus, there is a heavy focus on the development of weapons that won the war, along with the sometimes serendipitous ways that they were developed, so it appeals to the little boy in some of us. For instance, Kennedy credits the development of the P-51 as the reason why the strategic bombing campaign became effective because the Mustang allowed th [...]

    25. This is not a history book, but a management book using the middle part of the Second World War as its material. At the Casablanca Conference in January 1943, the leaders of the Western Allies agreed on the next steps in their strategy, which ended in the invasion of France in June 1944 and a capture of the Mariana Islands, which served as an airbase for bombing Japan, in the summer of 1944. Kennedy identifies five problems that the Allies needed to solve in order to do that; each required both [...]

    26. Wonderfully written and entertaining, Engineers of Victory by Paul Kennedy describes how Allied managers met the primary challenges necessary for prevailing in the largest conflict in human history. In January 1943, Roosevelt and Churchill met in Casablanca and defined five objectives for the war: 1. Defeat the Nazi blitzkrieg 2. Control the Atlantic sea lanes 3. Control the air over Europe 4. Take the fight to the European mainland 5. End Japanese imperialism All these objectives were met, and [...]

    27. This book makes the case for the essential role of engineers and middle managers who developed the instruments and techniques of war. Like Caesar's cook they were as essential to victory as the generals and the front-line troops. The strategic problems:1. How to get convoys safely across the Atlantic In 1942 German U-boats were sinking ships faster than they could be built, threatening to starve the British isles Air cover closed the air support gap, carrier based planes, B-24 Liberators, Catali [...]

    28. I am going to start this (4 star) review with a rant. I am getting increasingly tired of -history books in particular- books being given utterly the wrong title. Surely one can claim false advertisement? This book is called: Engineers of Victory. With a title like that you expect it to be about Barnes Wallis and his Bouncing Bomb. Hobart and his Funnies. etc etc. However what we have here is a book with 5 chapters, each around 75 pages long about various campaigns in the Second World War. There [...]

    29. Although sub-titled "The Problem Solvers Who Turned the Tide in the Second World War", the book is more about tactics and strategy than the people. However, technology was very important during the war and is a key focus in the book. Kennedy examines five strategic issues by describing the situation prior to the war, and then the developments during the war that changed the strengths of the combatants. How to Get Convoys Safely Across the Atlantic While German U-boats destroyed great numbers of [...]

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