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Blood, Tears and Folly: An Objective Look at World War II by Len Deighton

By Len Deighton

Drawing at the author's deep knowing of army lifestyles and the strengths and frailties of politicians and generals, this can be a myth-puncturing research of the appearance of the second one global War.

'Blood, Tears and Folly' deals a sweeping and compelling historic research of six theatres of conflict: the conflict of the Atlantic, Hitler's conquest of western Europe, the conflict within the Mediterranean, the conflict for the skies, Operation Barbarossa and the German attack on Russia, and the access of Japan right into a really international war.

This is the interval within which the Allied powers have been dropped at the very breaking point of defeat. Deighton bargains an unflinching account of the political machinations, the tactic and strategies, the guns and the boys on either side who created an international of terror and thousands of useless, of the Holocaust, and of nuclear devastation.

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Extra resources for Blood, Tears and Folly: An Objective Look at World War II

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Crossbows passed out of use late in the 12th century. The catapults used were Chinese-style traction trebuchets, and in fact the best account of their use, which dates horn 1468, describes them throwing soft-cased exploding bombs not against a yamashiro's castle walls but against the samurai defending the rudimentary palisades set up during the Onin War. Traction trebuchets appear in a clearly defensive role for a castle when the Mori family attacked Takiyama castle and were met by smooth river stones loosed from catapults.

The result was that the mighty fortresses we see today became the centre of a daimyo's territory in a more decisive and defined way than ever before. When wars ceased the castles also became the focus of the castle towns that had grown up beside them, and these in turn were to become the Japanese cities of today. Commerce flourished, particularly in Edo and Osaka, but tragedy struck many old castles in the mid-19th century. The influence of the shogun had long been declining in the face of western incursions, and there were moves afoot for the abolition of the Shogunate and the restoration of imperial power.

During the siege of Chokoji castle in 1570 a decisive moment was reached when the besiegers succeeded in cutting the aqueduct that supplied the garrison. All the defenders then had left were the meagre supplies stored in huge storage jars. This led to the celebrated incident when Shibata Katsuie smashed the jars and led his men out in a desperate assault that actually won the battle for them. The Zohyo Monogatari further notes that: During sieges on a yamashiro when there is no further water the throat becomes parched and death can result.

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