This is an updated edition of the first truly concise introduction to the history of World War II in the West. The author, S. P. MacKenzie traces the major events on both fighting front and home front, explaining what happened and, just as importantly, why the balance of fortunes swung first towards the Axis and then towards the Allies. Along with overviews of the origins and consequences of the conflict, the book: Provides a narrative account of the course of events on land throughout the war Contains sections specifically devoted to societies and economies; resistance movements and collaboration; technology and intelligence; alliances and strategy; the war in the air and at sea Assesses the impact of the war and introduces the key historiographical debates surrounding it Far from being a blow-by-blow account, the book shows how the Second World War can only be understood by taking all the contributing factors - military, economic and social among others - into account. In addition to the existing wealth of useful supplementary material, this edition has been updated to include a colour illustration section and, for readers interested in learning more, a detailed narrative guide to published historical literature. Admirably succinct yet academically rich, this is the essential introduction to the Second World War in the West.