Suggested Reading



On this page you will find some of the various books that relate to Expansion World War II. I've commented on some of the books, but don't see me as a reviewer. Make up your own mind and start reading. I guarantee you: it will enhance the way you play the game(s), as well as give you more knowledge about and insight into World War II.

Adelman & Gibson, Contemporary Soviet Military Affairs:The Legacy of World War II

Cyril E. Black, The Transformation of Russian Society: Aspects of Social Change Since 1861

Tom Buchanan, Britain and the Spanish Civil War

How British politics and the British public reacted towards the Spanish Civil War.

Alan Bullock, Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives

Excellent book if you want to know more about the lives of Hitler and Stalin, who, according to Bullock, were very much alike. Although I disagree with that statement, I agree with Bullock's thesis that communism and nazism use the same methods. Bullock's Hitler: A Study in Tyranny gives the reader more consistent information about Hitler's life.

Peter Calvocoressi, Guy Wint, and John Pritchard, Total War: The Causes and Courses of the Second World War

I've read the second edition of this great book. The death of Wint and the knowledge of his successor (Pritchard) probably explains why there is so much information about the war in Asia and the Pacific. Therefore, although this is a book with a general overview of World War II, I can recommend it to anyone who wishes to know more about Japan and China during their long conflict.

Robert Francis Campbell, The History of Basic Metals: Price Control in World War II

An interesting overview of the price control mechanisms of basic metals in the United States during World War II. Gives us more information about which sort of price controls existed, how the US government coped with the rapidly increasing demand for basic metals.

H. van Capelle, De Nazi-economie;economie en buitenlandse handel in nationaal-socialistisch Duitsland

Excellent book about the state of the economy and foreign trade in Nazi-Germany. Shows the extent of nazi controlled economic measures.

Ian Colvin, The Chamberlain Cabinet

Gives a very interesting view on the workings within the Chamberlain Cabinet en of the person of PM Chamberlain.

J. Costello & T. Hughes, The battle of the Atlantic

Chris Crawford, The Art of Computer Game Design

A very readable booklet about computer game design, which shows Crawford's focus on interactivity as the keyword in computer games. Although written in the early days of computer game design (1982), it is still very useful because there is hardly any recommendation in the book that is dependent on the state of computer technology. The sad conclusion I draw, after reading the book, is that today's games emphasize technology instead of game play, and that with all the graphics and sounds cover up what is usually a poor thought over product. Except for marketing.

Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War

Churchill's memoirs are a bit too much to read in one time, but are worthwile because they give insight into the wonderful world of high diplomacy, micro- and macromanagement, domestic politics and military affairs. These are narrated by someone who not only was one of the major players in World War II, but who also had a clear understanding of the processes and had much historic knowledge. It also makes clear which errors Churchill himself made.

Martin van Creveld, On Future War

Just like Von Clausewitz wrote his 'On War', so did Martin van Creveld wrote his 'On Future War'. He believes that wars will eventually become a form of urban guerilla and that the national state as we know it in the West today, will eventually disappear because of this.

Martin van Creveld, Supplying War

This book by Van Creveld 'supplies' the reader with a wealth of data about logistics and supplies during wartime. He shows that Napoleon solved his problem of supply quite simply by foraging. And this created problems in areas where population density was low, such as in Russia. Creveld also shows the many logistical problems the Allied and German armies were facing in World War II. In his book, a trend shows that armies increasingly need more fuel and ammunition when they modernize. This puts additional strains on logistics.

Roy Douglas, The Advent of War 1939-40

Explains the British point of view about the road towards the Second World War. Interesting because of the facts presented about the British Cabinet.

James F. Dunnigan, The Wargames Handbook

A must-read for anyone wishing to design wargames.

Trevor N. Dupuy, Numbers, Predictions, and War: Using History to Evaluate Combat Factors and Predict the Outcome of Battles

This is an excellent piece of work in which Colonel Dupuy describes how the Historical Evaluation and Research Organization (HERO) has developed a model that is able to predict the outcome of battles. Empirical data from the Italian Campaign during the Second World War formed the basis of the model. Later battles from other theatres during WWII, and other wars (ranging from the Napoleonic Wars to Yom Kippur) were added to the database, eventually providing a consistent model to predict the outcome of battles during any period of history. Needless to say, this study has provided many ideas for the ExpWW2 combat model.

E.L. Hasluck, Foreign Affairs 1919-1937

Gives a good description on how the world looked like in 1937, through the eyes of a British author.

R.V. Jones,Most Secret War

Jones worked for British intelligence during the war and devised a new kind of warfare against Germany. He also advised Churchill. In this book he reveals some of the secret weapons Britain employed and ways to deal with novel enemy weapons, such as the V-1 and V-2.

Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the great powers: economic change and military conflict from 1500 to 2000

This book is easy to read and postulates an interesting theory. Kennedy believes that a great military power needs to divert so much of her economic resources into military resources that eventually former minor powers will be able to overtake the great power economically. He projects therefore that the United States will one day also be overtaken by other powers.

Knorr, Klaus, The War Potential of Nations

The title of this book grabbed my attention immediately. It's an attempt to define and calculate war potential. It also provided some data about various economic factors that influence war potential. Knorr explains war potential more from these economic factors than from (short term) military might. Later, Paul Kennedy also made this connection in his The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.

Knorr, Klaus, Power of Nations

Power of Nations is the presentation of Knorr's theories on power and influence and the relationship to economic factors. It is clear in this book that Knorr holds the view that (economic) interdependence is a major factor in explaining power relations between nations.

W. Laqueur, Europe since Hitler

Ian O. Lesser,Resources and Strategy

Somewhat useful for providing more insight how nations and generals adapted strategy (or not) when faced with resource problems.

Machiavelli, Niccòlo, The Prince

Machiavelli. Yes, the infamous Machiavelli. Probably trying to get a job with one of the DeMedici rulers in Florence in the 16th century, he wrote this short book. In it, he advises princes (monarchs, absolute rulers) how to remain in power, how to react to certain international situations, etcetera. It all revolves around virtù and fortuna (wisdom and tough luck if you like). One of Machiavelli's examples: if a city is located next to a river, there is a chance (fortuna) that it will flood once in a while. This is not to say that it will happen, but why take any risk. A wise ruler will not place his trust in 'lady' fortuna, but will instead use his wisdom (virtù) and build a dam. I've loved reading this book: it's straight-forward, simple to read and oh so true, just like Machiavelli's Discourses.

Machiavelli, Niccòlo, The Discources

The 'other' Machiavelli. According to me, this is the real Machiavelli, the man who does not love dictatorships, but instead believes strongly in democracy (what he calls a republic). His argument: dictators (princes) can do many great things, but one stupid descendant can ruin everything, while democracies advance only slowly, but they will always advance. I've loved reading this book: it's straight-forward, simple to read and oh so true.

Arthur Marwick, War and Social Change in the Twentieth Century:A comparative study of Britain, France, Germany, Russia and the United States

S.L. Mayerr, The Russian War Machine

Arnold D. McNair, The Law of Treaties: British Practice and Opinions

Gives some clues as to how British diplomacy looked at treaties in the late 1930s.

Overy, R.J., Russia's War

This book deals with the Second World War as viewed from the Soviet Union. Thanks to much of the opening of the Soviet archives it paints a clear picture of the horrible war on the Eastern Front. As usual with Richard Overy, it's a well written book.

Overy, R.J., War and Economy in the Third Reich

This is an interesting book for two reasons. First, it gives a lot of information about the state of the German economy from 1933-1945. Secondly, it deals with the question of whether Germany was either preparing for short wars (blitzkrieg) or whether she was preparing for a long war of attrition. Contrary to common opinion, Richard Overy answers that Germany was in fact preparing her economy for a long war.

Overy, R.J., Why the Allies Won the War

This is a must-have for anyone interesting in why World War II went the way it went. Those who love what-if questions will also love this book. Overy first establishes with his question of why the allies won the war, that the Allies did not have to win the war. Meaning that there might have been an Axis victory, if the Allies had failed. An hypothesis such as this is precisely what I'll hope to put to the test with Expansion:World War II. Was it possible for the Allies to have lost the war? Or was it inevitable?

T. Ropp, War in the modern world

B.A. Sijes, De Arbeidsinzet: de gedwongen arbeid van Nederlanders in Duitsland, 1940-1945

Dutch book about the German policy of forced labor during the war. Gives a clear picture of the vast extent of this policy by the nazi Sauckel. Also shows some data on the subject.

Sun-Tzu, The Art of Warfare, Translation in English by Roger T. Ames (1993), New York: Ballantine Books

According to many, this is a true classic. It's certainly old: Sun-Tzu (Master Sun) wrote about warfare 2,500 years ago, which is two milennia before Machiavelli did. The principles of war and strategy, the so-called axioms of war, are outlined in this ancient work. The introduction by Ames is lengthy and thorough and a must for Sun fans. However, it seems I'm not among these fans. I'm simply not the kind of person who is thrilled by Master Sun. Believe me, I've tried to read it, but the poetic style and the constant repeating of the same ideas in different words simply do not appeal to me. Perhaps I should have read Sun-Tzu before I read Von Clausewitz.

Frank G. Weber, The Evasive Neutral: Germany, Britain and the Quest for a Turkish Alliance in the Second World War

Weber gives an excellent account of the attempts of both the Allies and Britain to form a Turkish Alliance. The interesting theme of the book is that the Turks managed to get what they want from both sides without committing themselves to anything. Weber concludes, however, that Turkey showed its discontent with the benefits of her strategy during the Second World War, by invading Cyprus twenty years later.
This book clearly shows the conflicting goals of the Germans, the Italians, the Soviets, and the British in trying to appease or oppose Turkey. It also shows the inherint animosity between Turkey and her Arab neighbours

Russell F. Weigley, The American Way of War

Chester Wilmot, The struggle for Europe

Robert J. Young, France and the Origins of the Second World War

Excellent for learning more about the political processes that played a role in France before World War II.

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