IT WAS 72 years ago this month that what was to become the deadliest conflict in human history began.
For Britain the Second World War started on September 3, 1939, two days after Hitler’s Nazi Germany invaded Poland.
Between then and its end in 1945 it cost the lives of nearly 60 million people.
Of course, it changed the world and the war’s ramifications continue to this day, particularly in the shaping of Europe.
Now The News is helping you put those devastating years into context with a 24-part encyclopaedia which tracks the entire conflict.
You can start your collection of World War II next Saturday with the first volume – The War Begins – which is free with The News.
This book starts by tracking Hitler’s rise to power from First World War corporal to chancellor after which he established a centralised dictatorship.
It looks at how Britain prepared itself for war, the Munich crisis and the pact between Hitler and Stalin which was supposed to leave the way clear for German domination in western Europe.
The book also recalls the events in the late 1930s which led to the invasion of Poland.
There are also sections on prime minister Neville Chamberlain’s attempts to appease Hitler in 1938 which led to him invading Sudetenland, a border area of Czechoslovakia that contained a large minority of Germans. Volume by volume over the next six months the series builds to tell the story of the war in detailed and authoritative text and pictures.
It looks at the conflict from all angles, including stirring and moving accounts from those who took part.
Every Tuesday, beginning on October 4 and for the following 22 weeks, you will be able to buy at participating retailers and offices of The News, a new volume of World War II for only £2.99 when you present the voucher cut from the paper.
Other books in this exclusive collection include The Road to Dunkirk, The Blitz, D-Day, The Home Fronts, From Arnhem to The Rhine, The Holocaust and the Surrender of Japan.
So make sure you visit your newsagent next Saturday to buy your copy of The News and get your free copy of World War II: The War Begins.
If you don’t receive your copy, ask shop staff for help. Direct delivery customers will receive the book with their paper.