The Change in the European Balance of Power, 1938-39: The Path to Ruin

In This Review

The Change in the European Balance of Power, 1938-39: The Path to Ruin

By Williamson Murray
Princeton University Press, 1984
494 pp. $50.00
Purchase

A thoroughly documented study of the years of Hitler's triumph-which the author sees as anything but inevitable. He emphasizes Germany's economic difficulties-lack of raw materials and foreign exchange-and sees an objectively weak but strong-willed Germany challenge a strong but weak-willed West, with the British always relying on a worst case analysis of their military strength and a best case analysis of Hitler's intentions. An important study that in many ways returns to an earlier view that the West would have been in a better position to fight a war in 1938 than in 1939, that appeasement promoted what its proponents most feared: German aggression leading to protracted war. The author bolsters a familiar thesis with new evidence and great zeal.