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Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II 0th Edition

86 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1591148388
ISBN-10: 1591148383
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Editorial Reviews


"A provocative study…compelling...A highly controversial study, Suvorov's book is nevertheless well researched and warrants further examination into this critical period in the history of the war."

-- War in History --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

VIKTOR SUVOROV is the author of eighteen books that have been translated into more than twenty languages, including Inside the Aquarium: The Making of a Top Soviet Spy and Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War? A Soviet army officer who served in military intelligence, he defected in 1978 to the United Kingdom, where he worked as an intelligence analyst and lecturer. He lives in England.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (November 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591148383
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591148388
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,317,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

112 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Dr. W. Peters on November 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Viktor Suvorov in his book Ice Breaker and his new work The Chief Culprit gives the real history behind World War II in Europe. He moves the whole question beyond the wooden typical explanation of the Germano-Soviet conflict into a titanic conflict for the survival of Europe against massive odds.

Joseph Stalin brutalized the Russian people to produce the largest military machine the world has ever seen for one purpose - World Revolution. In the book Hitler's Stooge, Soviet figures are revealed that show Soviet Communists were responsible for the deaths of 132 million people of the Soviet Union from 1917-1989. This was the human cost of the Soviet build up.

The typical history is that Russia was backward, their equipment poor, and the army badly trained. Suvorov goes into excruciating detail about the high quality and astronomical quantity of Soviet weaponry. And, of course, of Stalin's long term plan to invade and conquer Europe in the summer of 1941 - so that Europeans could also enjoy the wonderful benefits of the Gulag.

The only problem with the book is that the print is quite small, and may be a problem for some people. It should have been a larger size for easier readability.

It is hoped that the success of this book will encourage the author to have his other works upon the subject translated into English to further flesh out the history and understanding of Stalin's plan.

This is history at its best. That the world dodged the bullet of World Revolution by less than 2 weeks in 1941 is a revelation deserving of our attention. This is a definite "must read" for everyone interested in the background of World War II, and of Stalin and his dream.
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83 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Karun Mukherji on January 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read Suvorov's books. But this one is exceptionally brilliant,for it contains some stunning facts and disclosures which kept me spellbound.

For me every para, every page ,every chapter of this book were a revelation. Military buffs you will never regret exploring it ; if not , you have missed something

Firstly,author impugns the established wisdom on World War II Soviet Union was an innocent victim of Nazi aggression. Suvorov argues Stalin hatched plans to invade Germany. Exploiting German preoccupation in the West ,he started massing troops along the border as a prelude to launching a war of liberation. Soviet dictator succeeded in entangling Nazi Germany in a war with Western democracies. Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact and carve-up of Poland was a step in this direction.

Stalin had aggressive intentions and Suvorov has adduced arguments buttressing this view. If Red Army planned a defensive war they should have entrenched behind a web of obstacles ,entanglements. This would have slowed an invading force giving sufficient room for a defending army to launch a counter-strike;for instance, Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943. Instead,author argues, Soviets did things to the contrary.Buffer space was demolished as a result nation came to share a common border with Nazi Germany.Bridges across rivers Bug,Vistula were kept intact.while Red Army erected supply dumps,ammunition depots,airbases closer to the border. What were they for? Sounds shocking.

Author dwells on the nature of Soviet troop deployment.Immense concentration of forces in narrow strips of land which wedged deep into enemy territory. For a nation planning a defensive war this tantamount to suicide. Of particular significance is massing of Soviet forces along the Lvov bulge.
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62 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Marcus Laver on December 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The core of Suvorov's argument is that there was a giant Communist conspiracy in Europe in the 1930s and early 40s to enable the Soviet Union to smash its way into the West and fulfil its objective of world revolution. This book goes much further than 'Icebreaker' to explain Stalin's behaviour towards Hitler in the period leading up to the start of the Russo-German war in June 1941. Stalin studied Nazi ideology and Hitler's book 'Mein Kampf' in considerable detail. He always knew Hitler would attack him, so he set out to prepare the Soviet Union for war - not just any war, but a total, global war. The only thing that Stalin was not expecting was a German attack in 1941; he believed Hitler would not attack while the UK was still in the war. But Stalin's foresight ensured that even after suffering huge defeats in the Western USSR, he could continue the war perfectly well, in the knowledge that most of the heavy production factories were well established in the Urals.

For Stalin, Germany was the gateway to the West. He needed to smash it in order to spread his ideology to Western Europe and beyond. After reading this book it becomes pretty clear that Hitler not only had no choice but to invade the USSR, but that his failure to defeat Britain in 1940 guaranteed his defeat.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By David M. Dougherty VINE VOICE on October 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The main theme of this work is that Stalin materially assisted Nazi Germany in its aggression so that the Soviet Union could intervene at the proper time and seize all of continental Europe for itself. Hopefully, Germany and the West would exhaust themselves fighting each other, and the West would fall easily. OK, the question is, does this thesis hold water? Is it supported by a substantial body of evidence? Is it true or confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt? The answers are Yes, Yes, and No -- more evidence is required to change the verdict of "plausible" to "confirmed."

The author has done us all a very great service by bringing this case to our attention. The comparison of Stalin and Hitler in the Preface is worth the price of the book by itself. Author Suvorov also builds a very good case on the strength of the Red Army for its use in conquering Western Europe, particularly with respect to armor which was clearly superior to anything in the West by 1940, in Germany or anywhere else. In fact, it took the US until 1945 to catch up to where the Soviets were in 1940. The widely disseminated verdict on Soviet tanks in 1941 as obsolete was simply untrue, and can be relegated to the dustbin of Soviet propaganda. The arguments concerning the air force are less convincing, and the impact of the purges in the late 1930s are subject to much controversy even before the publication of this book. The author also omits the artillery arm, which the Soviets demonstrated as clearly superior to the Germans beginning with the Battle of Kursk in 1943.

All this begs the question as to why the Red Army performed poorly in 1941. First and foremost was that the readiness of common soldiers to die for Communism and Stalin which was not greatly in evidence in the troops of 1941.
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