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经济学人:二战代价几何(1)

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Books and Arts;Book review;The second world war;

文艺;书评;第二次世界大战;
Counting the cost;
二战代价几何?
Two British historians analyse the 20th century’s worst conflict.
看两位英国历史学家如何剖析20世纪最严重的军事冲突。
All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939-1945. By Max Hastings.
《人间地狱:1939-1945,战争中的世界》 作者:马克斯·哈斯丁.
The Second World War. By Antony Beevor.
《第二次世界大战》作者:安东尼·比弗。

History is full of wars that were bloodier than the second world war. As a proportion of the population, more people were killed during the An Lushan rebellion in eighth-century China, for example, or by the Thirty Years War in 17th-century central Europe. But the sheer magnitude of the human tragedy of the second world war puts it in a class of its own, and its relative closeness to the present day makes claims on the collective memory that more remote horrors cannot.

纵观人类历史,比第二次世界大战更血腥的战争比比皆是。例如,8世纪中国的安禄山叛乱或17世纪中欧的三十年战争死亡人数占总人口的比例就比二战大。然而,第二次世界大战造成的巨大人间惨剧本身让其他战争根本不能与之相提并论。而且,二战发生的年代相对较近,它给人类留下的集体记忆之深,是那些年代久远的恐怖战争无可比拟的。

The statistics of the war are almost mind-numbing. Estimates differ, but up to 70m people died as a direct consequence of the fighting between 1939 and 1945, about two-thirds of them non-combatants, making it in absolute terms the deadliest conflict ever. Nearly one in ten Germans died and 30% of their army. About 15m Chinese perished and 27m Soviets. Squeezed between two totalitarian neighbours, Poland lost 16% of its population, about half of them Jews who were part of Hitler’s final solution. On average, nearly 30,000 people were being killed every day.

有关二战的统计数据几乎让人麻木。各方估计的死亡人数有出入,但在1939-1945年的这场战争中,直接死亡人数高达七千万,其中三分之二是非战斗死亡,这使二战成为人类历史上绝对死亡人数最多的战争。二战时期,每十个德国人中就有一个死亡,德军死亡率达30%;约有一千五百万中国人和两千七百万俄国人丧命。夹在两个极权主义国家之间的波兰人口减少了16%,其中约一半是犹太人,那是希特勒的“最终方案”要解决的部分目标。当时,每天平均有将近三万人死于非命。

Partly because it is so hard to grasp what these numbers mean, recent historians have tended to concentrate on particular theatres or aspects of the war with an emphasis on trying to describe what it was like for the human beings caught up in it. Both Antony Beevor and Max Hastings are distinguished exemplars of this approach. Mr Hastings has written books on Britain’s strategic bombing campaign, the Allied invasion of Normandy and the battles for Germany and Japan in the closing stages of the war. With several books already under his belt, Mr Beevor became known in 1998 for his epic account of the siege of Stalingrad, and went on to produce accounts of D-Day and the fall of Berlin. Now both writers have tried something different: single-volume narrative histories of the entire war. In doing so, they are following in the footsteps of Andrew Roberts and Michael Burleigh, who made similar attempts in, respectively, 2009 and 2010.

在一定程度上,人们很难明白这些数字意味着什么,所以最近的历史学家往往特别关注二战的某些战区或层面,致力于将亲身经历二战的人眼中的二战呈现给读者。安东尼•比弗(Antony Beevor)和马克斯•哈斯丁(Max Hastings)都是这方面的典范。马克斯•哈斯丁已著有多本作品,内容涉及英国的战略轰炸、盟军的诺曼底联合登陆以及战争末期德日两国的战役。安东尼•比弗同样也写了几本书。1998年,他笔下的围攻斯大林格勒令人印象深刻,他也因此闻名于世,之后他又写了关于诺曼底登陆日及攻克柏林的书。现在两位作家尝试了不同的写作方式,即跟随安德卤•罗伯特(Andrew Roberts)和迈克•伯利(Michael Burleigh)的脚步:以单卷本的方式讲述整个二战史。这两位作家分别在2009年和2010年尝试用单卷本写二战史。

Mr Hastings got there before Mr Beevor. “All Hell Let Loose” was published seven months ago (it is now out in paperback) to justifiably rave reviews.

马克斯•哈斯丁的动作比安东尼•比弗快。七个月前,《人间地狱》一书出版(现在出了平装本),理所当然地引起了人们的热议。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
epic ['epik]

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n. 史诗,叙事诗 adj. 史诗的,叙事诗的,宏大的,

联想记忆
conflict ['kɔnflikt]

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n. 冲突,矛盾,斗争,战斗
vi. 冲突,争

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magnitude ['mægnitju:d]

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n. 大小,重要,光度,(地震)级数,(星星)等级

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invasion [in'veiʒən]

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n. 侵入,侵略

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strategic [strə'ti:dʒik]

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adj. 战略的,重要的,基本的

 
describe [dis'kraib]

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vt. 描述,画(尤指几何图形),说成

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rave [reiv]

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v. 极力赞扬,说胡话,咆哮 n. 喧闹的宴会,极力赞扬

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rebellion [ri'beljən]

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n. 谋反,叛乱,反抗

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justifiably ['dʒʌstifaiəbli]

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adv. 言之有理地,无可非议地

 
sheer [ʃiə]

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adj. 纯粹的,全然的,陡峭的
adv. 完

 


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