The Winds of War is Herman Wouk's second book about World War II, the first being The Caine Mutiny (1951). Published in 1971, it was followed up seven years later by War and Remembrance. Originally conceived as one volume, Wouk decided to break it in two when he realized it took nearly 1000 pages just to get to the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1983, it became a hugely successful mini-series on the ABC television network.
The story revolves around a mixture of real and fictional characters, all connected in some way to the extended family of Victor "Pug" Henry, a middle-aged Naval Officer and confidant of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
The story begins six months before Germany's invasion of Poland, which launched the European portion of the war, and ends shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the United States and, by extension, the Henry family, enters the war as well.
Mixed into the text are "excerpts" from a book written by one of the book's fictional characters, German general Armin von Roon, written while he was in prison for war crimes. Coming across the German version, a retired Victor Henry "translates" the volume in 1965. The text provides the reader with a...