WW2: A Layman’s Guide – Chapter Preview

 In books, WW2

I must say I am very happy that I have finally finished the first draft of WW2: A Layman’s Guide, it has been a tough, tough project to finish. The Second World War as a subject is so vast, so involved and so complex that the whole project threatened to spiral right out of control and become a 100,000 word epic – exactly the kind of thing I didn’t want it to be and the polar opposite to what the whole ethos of the ‘Layman’s Guide’ series is meant to be about.

Currently the first draft sits at about 70,000 words – which is a couple of hundred pages in paperback format. I am now going through my pre-edit routine. I haven’t looked at the manuscript for a week, I find that giving myself a break means that when I do come back to it I tend to notice more of the opportunities to improve the flow of the writing and I tend to spot more mistakes.

After I have given it the once over it will then go off to my editor for a thorough going over – that will take a couple of weeks, maybe more, but I hope to have the book available for order around Easter time. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you a sneaky preview of the list of chapters. I am sharing this for two reasons; firstly I hope it gives you a good idea as to what is included and whets your appetite for the book launch, but secondly It is my chance to ask you if you think I have missed anything out or have too much content in there –  I would love to hear your opinion.

Below is the chapter listing, there is no doubt it is a long list but each chapter is only a couple of pages long and they have been written in a way that (I hope) makes them easy to read. It is my hope that the Layman’s Guide are more like a friendly chat over a cup of tea rather than a dull, heavy historical text…


  • Hype and Hyperinflation: Germany 1919-1939
  • Blitzkrieg.  Poland, September 1939
  • Scandinavia Surrenders
  • Case Yellow: Invasion of the low countries
  • We shall never surrender! Dunkirk
  • Avenging Versailles: The Fall of France
  • Pots, pans and invasion plans
  • The Battle for Britain
  • The Blitz
  • Barbaric Barbarrosa
  • Moscow 1941: Zhukov hits back
  • The Balkans
  • Operazione E: The Italians in Africa
  • Japan: Banzai Blitzkrieg
  • The Nanking Massacre
  • America: The great arsenal of democracy
  • Climb Mount Niitaka: Pearl Harbour
  • Dancing with the Devil: Wannsee
  • Kings of Asia: Japan rampant
  • U-boats: The Battle of the Atlantic
  • Turning points in the Pacific: Coral Sea and Midway
  • Sun, sand and semi automatics: North Africa 1942
  • The end of the beginning: El Alamein
  • A taste of things to come: Operation Torch
  • Not one step back: Stalingrad
  • Disaster at Dieppe
  • Guadalcanal
  • Cologne and Frankfurt have some more! The Allied air offensive
  • TankTastic Kursk
  • Tunisia, Sicily and the emergence of the second front
  • Italy:  Armistice and invasion
  • Anzio and Cassino
  • Operation Longcloth: The Chindits in Burma
  • Operation Chastise: The Dambusters
  • Bleeding to death in the east: Winter 1943
  • Wolkenkuckucksheim: The Atlantic Wall
  • Le Resistance
  • 6th June 1944: D-Day
  • Bocage: Breakout from Normandy
  • Blitzkrieg, Red Army style: Operation Bagration
  • Coûte que coûte: Valkyrie
  • The Champagne Campaign: Operation Dragoon and the Liberation of France
  • 90 percent successful: Arnhem
  • Vergeltungswaffe: Flying bombs
  • MacArthur returns: Triumph in the Philippines
  • The Battle of the Bulge
  • A farce in the east: Russia advances (again)
  • Hell on earth: Iwo Jima
  • Operation Iceberg: Okinawa
  • From the Westwall to the Elbe
  • Holocaust: Liberating of the camps
  • Berlin 1945
  • Suicides and Surrender: Victory in Europe
  • The Destruction of Japan
  • Aftermath


Looking at this chapter list, it is no wonder it took me so long to write!!!


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