This is a stunning visual history of the greatest conflict in world history. The Second World War is the largest event in the history of mankind: no populated continent was untouched by its operations and the political structure of the post-war world has been largely determined by its outcome. The global nature of the war, and the ambitions of the belligerents, meant that it was fought on a scale which, even today, confounds the imagination. It was a stimulus to unparralleled economic activity and provoked the most important clash of ideologies experienced by the world since the Crusades. The scale and scope of the war is presented here in graphic form. Maps form the basis for tracing not only the military campaigns, but also the social, economic, and political developments during the war. Examination of decisive battles, and military tactics, new weaponry, and key commanders adds a further depth of understanding of the war that forever changed our world.