Claudia Baldoli and Andrew Knapp. Forgotten Blitzes: France and Italy under Allied Air Attack, 1940-1945. London and New York: Continuum, 2012. Ask and ye shall receive! This is a groundbreaking book, as far as the English language is concerned: I know of no other treatments of the bombing of either France or Italy at this length. Of course, it could be argued that there's only half a book on each here, but I suspect the comparative approach will be very fruitful. I'll probably be most interested in the chapter on preparing for bombing in the interwar period, but it all looks good. Incidentally, this is the latest output of the prolific Bombing, States and Peoples in Western Europe 1940-1945 project centred on the University of Exeter; only last month its members took up an an entire issue of Labour History Review; and I see that Richard Overy has a book coming out next year entitled The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945 -- so now I have something else to look forward to!
Lizzie Collingham. The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food. London: Penguin, 2012. An agrarian interpretation of the Second World War. This has received rave reviews from all over (including one from the aforementioned Richard Overy). I do wonder if the pudding has been over-egged as far as the blurb is concerned: I doubt that the claim that 'the necessity of feeding whole countries led to Germany's invasion of Russia' can be sustained, unless 'led to' is to be read as 'contributed to' rather than 'caused'. Still, looks very interesting.
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