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Top Ten Winners for 2001

   In this sixth year of the Top Ten awards, visitors to Stone & Stone's Second World War Books website have over the last two months nominated and voted for almost two hundred of the best nonfiction WWII-related titles published in 2001, and in so doing set a new record for the greatest number of votes cast during our Top Ten voting.
   As usual, some broad patterns emerged. Books about the German armed forces in general, about the Russian Front, and about the SS in particular proved, as always, to be popular with readers and voters. As in past years, books on airpower garnered a great many votes. Books on submarines seemed to be at an ebb again this year after several years of prominence. Likewise, books about the Pacific war—and not that many were published in 2001—did not generate a great deal of interest or votes.
   More specifically, it's interesting to note that volume two of Black Cross, Red Star finished in the top ten this year after volume one did the same last year. Likewise, OUP's massive translation of volume six of Germany and the Second World War became the second of that series to finish in the money. Colonel David Glantz, after placing two books in the Top Ten in 1998 and two again in 1999, returned to his winning form this year. Overall, in 2001 most of the winning books moved into the lead early in the voting, leaving the rest of the pack jousting for the last few slots in the top ten. Quite a few titles remained within striking range until the very end, and three in particular fell just short of the mark: Westermann's Flak: German Anti-Aircraft Defenses, 1914-1945, Bernage's The Panzers and the Battle of Normandy, and Jarymowycz's Tank Tactics: From Normandy to Lorraine. Plenty of others weren't far behind. Overall, it was a well-conducted campaign with many worthy contenders.
   Balloting was halted at the stroke of the New Year (California time) and tabulation of votes is now complete. Here are the Top Ten Books of 2001 as selected by visitors to these webpages, in alphabetical order by author:

Bergstrom, Christer and Andrey Mikhailov. Black Cross, Red Star: Air War over the Eastern Front, volume 2. Pacifica, CA: Pacifica Military History.

Boog, Horst et al. Germany and the Second World War, volume 6: The Global War. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Glantz, David. Barbarossa: Hitler's Invasion of Russian, 1941. Stroud, England: Tempus.

Guderian, Heinz Gunther. From Normandy to the Ruhr: With the 116th Panzer Division in World War II. Bedford, PA: Aberjona Press.

Le Tissier, Tony. With our Backs to Berlin. Stroud, England: Sutton Publishing, Ltd.

Lewis, Adrian R. Omaha Beach: A Flawed Victory. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.

Probert, Henry. Bomber Harris: His Life and Times. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. (Greenhill Books in the UK)

Rolf, David. The Bloody Road to Tunis. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. (Greenhill Books in the UK)

Rush, Robert Sterling. Hell in Huertgen Forest. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.

Tieke, Wilhelm. Tragedy of the Faithful: A History of III SS-Panzerkorps. Winnipeg: J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing.

   Our warm congratulations and thanks go out to the authors, editors, publishers, and booksellers who brought us these Top Ten titles of 2001, as well as all the other great new books that arrived last year to enrich and enliven the body of Second World War literature.
   Thanks also to all the visitors to Stone & Stone's Second World War Books website who helped select these winners and made 2001 such a great year for us.
   Now let's start searching for the best new books of 2002!

Previous winners

   Top Ten Books of 1996
   Top Ten Books of 1997
   Top Ten Books of 1998
   Top Ten Books of 1999
   Top Ten Books of 2000



A note on methodology

   This was the sixth year of our Top Ten and the fifth year with our online "voting machine." As anyone who has been on the Net for any length of time knows, this kind of Web-based voting can be subject to the worst kind of electronic ballot-stuffing spam, so we took great pains to write "Jimmy Carter" algorithms for the voting machine program to ensure a clean election. Because the last four years proved that such measures were necessary, we expanded and refined the system again this year.
   Although it might not have been immediately evident, in addition to counting votes, the voting machine was also carefully monitoring the election. Visitors could vote as often as they wanted, but no more than ten total votes per visitor were actually tallied; excess votes from a visitor were quietly ignored. The system was able to detect and disallow many kinds of fraudulent voting patterns automatically; meanwhile, everything else was forwarded to the "voting commission" for review, and if necessary, manual adjustment.
   Unfortunately, these precautions proved necessary again this year. It's always amazing to see how many people seem determined to unfairly influence the outcome of the voting for their own purposes, but we're equally determined not to permit that kind of abuse to ruin the fun for everyone else. Sooner or later, perhaps, these single-minded scam artists will realize their abusive tactics simply don't pay off. Despite the unsavory efforts of a few thoughtless folks, all the ballot-stuffing spam votes were disallowed and we're confident we conducted a certifiably clean, fair election.

Reviewed 1 January 2002
Copyright © 2002 by Bill Stone
May not be reproduced in any form without written permission of Stone & Stone



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