Choose a day. Just one. John Ellis chose October 25th, 1944 for this lightning-quick world tour – knocking Jules Verne into a hat by a country mile – and to give us an overview of the second world war in progress. Historians often write their accounts as a series of different operations that were only loosely connected, but Ellis shows us that the conflict was truly international. The Allies had built up the momentum needed to have the end in sight, but the outcome was still far from certain. From field marshal to private and prime minister to prisoner-of-war, Ellis describes the conflict from many different viewpoints, which is what makes this book so insightful. He covers the titanic naval battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines, Hitler’s plans for an offensive in the Ardennes, just before the Battle of the Bulge, the eruption of the Red Army into Eastern Europe, the saturation bombing of Essen and Hamburg, the top-secret Manhattan Project and more. He also looks at the home front, where civilians find themselves in the battle zone – it’s a slice of life, delivered in a compelling style.