World War Two

World War Two


In ‘1941 & the Man of Steel’ and ‘1942 & Hitler’s Soft Underbelly’, Cambridge historian David Reynolds re-examines key turning points of the Second World War, challenging the familiar narrative of how the Allies fought and won the war.


World War 2 – 1941 and the Man of Steel
World War 2 – 1942 and Hitler’s Soft Underbelly


 The futility of the War in Italy
Professor David Reynolds argues that the bloody and protracted Allied attack on the German stronghold of Monte Cassino in the spring of 1944 brings into sharp focus the drawbacks of Churchill’s strategy of fighting the Germans in Italy. What he called the Soft Underbelly of Hitler’s Europe proved, in the world of one American general, to be a ‘tough old gut’.

Egypt on the brink in 1942
Professor David Reynolds tells the story of how Miles Lampson, British Ambassador to Egypt in 1942, used tanks to quell a nationalist rising against British rule. David Reynolds explains how the British Empire was under pressure not just from radical politicians like Stafford Cripps at home, but from nationalists abroad who were cheering on Britain’s enemy, Germany. This is the background to Rommel’s campaign in North Africa and ultimately the Battle of El Alamein.