From 1937 to 1945 the world witnessed a succession of savage military strategies and actions on land, in the seas, and in the skies that resulted in the slaughter of more than 50 million people. Incorporating the most recent scholarship on the military history of the Second World War, this study offers a chronological and geographical examination of the most destructive event in recorded human history. Annihilation argues that World War II evolved into a war of annihilation-a total war-that engulfed militants and civilians alike. The book challenges the "good war" thesis by showing that the "strategy of annihilation" was employed by all sides in the conflict. Moving from the onset of hostilities to the final days of battle, the narrative provides a global perspective that links all theaters of the war. Ideal for undergraduate courses on World War II, this uniquely organized text is the first to allow instructors to assign chapters according to time periods or by region.