I think 'awesome' is generally overused in modern (mainly American) parlance. Still, the research into this new military history of the Partisans by Gaj Trifkovic is genuinely awesome. 'A sea of blood' comes from a Tito speech in 1962 and aptly describes a complex conflict that took over one million lives. It is complex because while it was primarily a war of liberation, it was also an ideological, civil and even religious war. The author has drawn on the surprisingly detailed Partisan paper trail and German, UK, Russian, and US archives. Many books have been written on this conflict, but the military history has been neglected until now.
Most histories of the Partisans focus on the Axis 'Seven Offensives'. Important though they were, this approach obscures the complexity of the conflict. As one Partisan leader put it, 'If the Germans had seven offensives, we had two thousand and seven'. This book covers the full scope of the conflict, including an analysis of the organisation and doctrine of the Partisans and their opponents.