The Voice of War: The Second World War Told By Those Who Fought It
James Owen & Guy Walters

This is an interesting and well balanced collection of voices by men and women who in different ways experienced or were affected by the Second World War. The range of stories scopes the entire war in timeframe as well as in geographical range. We get to follow persons from the outbreak of war with the German invasion of Poland 1939 to the post-war trials in Nürnberg 1946 and the homecoming of soldiers having fought a long way from home.

The authors have made an effort of gathering stories from many nationalities and theatres. Statesmen such as Winston Churchill, generals such as Douglas MacArthur, “spectacular” persons like Otto Skorzeny and Günther Prien mix their stories with regular soldiers, workers and civilians. Heroic stories are mixed with the suffering and hardship of war, and sometimes rare topics such as allied soldiers shooting German POWs are included. Sources include many forms of documentation; memoirs, diaries, after-action reports as well as verbal statements documented in various timeframe after the end of the war. Each story is presented with a small introduction with person and context.

All in all, the authors have succeeded in gathering and presenting a very comprehensive collection of war testimonies and experiences. The only negative is that the sources are not introduced along with the text – you don’t know if the text is a written memoir or merely word from mouth when you start to read it. The book also lacks a person register where the sources can be explored in detail. Aside from that, the book is interesting reading and can be recommended.

(Reviewed by Mathias Forsberg)
Thanks to the author for the review copy.

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