WORLD War II was won in the air and on the sea and not by decisive battles such as El Alamein, Stalingrad and the Normandy landings, a Scottish Academic has said.

Dr Phillips O Brien at the University of Glasgow believes that the crucial factor in the allies' victory was their ability to destroy the ability of Germany, Japan and Italy to wage war by sinking their ships and bombing factories.

He has made the claims in a new book, 'How the War was Won - Air-Sea Power and Allied Victory in World War II', which represents a major rethinking about how the conflict was decided.

After researching thousands of pages of original documents, he concluded that while the great battles had played a part, the majority of the Axis countries weapons and munitions were destroyed through the use of air and sea power.

Dr O'Brien, Reader in History at the University of Glasgow, said: "There were no decisive battles in World War II. When we look at the figures, what we see is that the daily attritional loss of equipment was far more damaging to the German army than any great battle."

His fellow author Williamson Murray, author of 'A War to Be Won, Fighting the Second World War', backed the views set out in Dr O'Brien's book, saying: "It has become the conventional wisdom that the Soviet Union won the Second World War with only minor contributions from the United States and Great Britain.

"Phillips O'Brien has written a superb rejoinder to such nonsense in a work that represents a major contribution to our understanding of that terrible conflict. It needs to be read by anyone interested in World War II."