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Kiev 1941: Hitler's Battle for Supremacy in the East Hardcover – January 9, 2012
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Evan Mawdsley, author of Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War
"David Stahel's new book on the Battle of Kiev is a brilliant contribution to our knowledge of the German-Soviet war. Ranging widely over strategic debates within the high command, operational and tactical details of the fighting, the logistical situation behind the front, and industrial production at home, this is an essential book for any student of World War II. A major addition to the literature from a master scholar."
Robert M. Citino, author of Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942
"A fitting follow-on to Stahel's previous books, Kiev 1941 is a fresh, accurate, and authoritative volume. A thoroughly enjoyable read, it injects a healthy dose of realism into the history of this dramatic battle. Dismantling myths left and right, the book sets right one of the most significant stages of Operation Barbarossa."
David Glantz, author of Barbarossa Derailed: The Battle for Smolensk, 10 July-10 September 1941
"Building on his work in Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East, in Kiev 1941 David Stahel further highlights how German operational successes were no compensation for strategic miscalculation. [He] uses a rich mix of German archival and other sources to provide a comprehensive analysis of the battle from a German perspective - a valuable contribution to the literature."
Alexander Hill, author of The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, 1941-1945: A Documentary Reader
"Relying mainly on German sources, [Stahel] brings new evidence to bear on the conflict with the official war diaries of German divisions, as well as making good use of published editions of the private field-post letters and diaries of German soldiers of all ranks ... overall [he] conveys extremely complex military action with exemplary clarity."
Richard J. Evans The New Republic
"Most original ... a thoughtful and thought-provoking text."
Richard Overy, Literary Review
"[Stahel's] incisive survey cuts through much of the postwar myth making [and] shows mastery of the German sources ... Issues of logistics and command are leavened by valuable insights into the strategic miscalculations of Hitler and his high command and vivid use of veteran testimony."
Michael Jones, BBC History Magazine
"A dark story - two evil nations tearing each other's guts out - but, in Stahel's hands, a powerful and a necessary one as well. A highly recommended account."
Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly
"Like his previous book, Kiev 1941 is a magnificent work of historical revision, a first-rate example of how military history ought to be written."
The Weekly Standard
"... [a] seminal work ..."
Robert M. Citino, The Russian Review
"... [Stahel] makes extensive use of the diaries and letters of German soldiers as well as works by and about German generals and political figures like Hitler and Goebbels - there are about a hundred pages of endnotes and bibliography. Excellent maps and tables clarify the complex military operations ... in this most detailed English-language treatment of the Battle of Kiev, David Stahel furnishes ample evidence that, despite its Ukrainian victories in late September 1941, Germany remained ill prepared to defeat the USSR."
Walter G. Moss, Michigan War Studies Review
"Stahel provides vivid depictions of the Ostheer's growing 'demodernization' ... and convincingly shows that the victory in Ukraine was a result both of Hitler's insistence on turning his forces southwards and away from Moscow, and of Stalin's determination to hold on to Kiev despite the clear indications of a looming catastrophe."
Omer Bartov, Times Literary Supplement
"[Stahel's] writing is a good example of impartiality ... the book brings back the memory of yet another 'forgotten battle' to English and American readers."
Oleksandr Zinchenko, New Eastern Europe
"Stahel has written a well-balanced, often provocative ... book, which sheds much new light on our knowledge of the fighting around the capital of the Ukraine."
Martijn Lak, The Journal of Slavic Military Studies
"David Stahel's two masterful books Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East and Kiev 1941: Hitler's Battle for Supremacy in the East are superbly researched and well written, and provide the reader with an excellent oversight of the German operational planning process, and of the German units involved in the initial stage of the German invasion of the USSR."
Leo J. Daugherty, III, The Journal of Slavic Military Studies
More About the Author
Dr. Stahel is a Lecturer in European history at the University of New South Wales in Canberra.
Top Customer Reviews
The book opens with an analysis of the strategic situation for both sides (including contributions by the western Allies) and examines the economic realities for the Germans. He then covers the internal discussions/struggles (both for the Soviets and Germans) that led to the Battle for Kiev. He then shifts into the fighting that occurred from late August until early October 1941. But Mr Stahel doesn't just cover the fighting around Kiev, he covers the fighting over the entire Russian Front (less the fighting in Finland), which is a good decision, as it shows how the Germans were having to frantically juggle their ever diminishing forces to try and accomplish their goals. It also shows that the Soviets were far from passive, and were trying to smash the Germans with significant counteroffensives in front of Smolensk and other places, and the need for troops to defeat these Soviet attacks further strained German resources and depleted their forces.
The author takes the fighting through the liquidation of the final pocket at Kiev and ends with the German forces poised, more or less, to begin Operation Typhoon.Read more ›
Like the author's first book, this book has as its predominate theme the command decisions of Hitler, Germany's industrial shortcomings that couldn't adequately supply the front lines, the confusion and discord that was engendered within the German command structure that had terrible consequences for the Germans. He will provide many more examples of the losses the Germans endured in fighting this "successful period" of the war against a relentless foe. If you still weren't convinced after reading "Barabarossa" of Germany's lack of ability to win the war then you should read "Kiev 1941"; there is much more to consider.
Drilling down some, the key points that were brought out in the first volume are reestablished here: The Russians, despite being unprepared and poorly led were able to slow the Blitzkrieg along the Dnepr. Though Hitler made the right choice is sending Guderian to Kiev, much of his overall strategy was haphazard and random. Also playing large is the cowboy tactics of Guderian who cared only for the victories of his 2nd PzG no matter the consequences to AGC.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I must admit, I was under the impression that the Battle for Kiev was another spectacular victory for Nazi Germany. Stahel'sPublished 3 months ago by michael flanary
This book was very enjoyable and enlightening about the decisions and personalities of the military leaderships, strategies, the logistics and battlefield conditions, as well as... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bruce Robinson
A very well thought through, researched and written book. Fair on both sides and largely objective.
Puts history into perspective
Very detailed account of this huge battle, lasting months; a battle far, far more important than most give it credit for. Read morePublished 6 months ago by James Hayward
Outstanding discussion of the German army attack toward Kiev in August of 1941. It discusses both the fighting and the strategic thinking at OKH and in Hitler's mind. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Bayard B.
Stahel's prior book, "Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East" set forth the argument that Barbarossa was doomed even before it even began. Read morePublished 7 months ago by George W Prescott
I enjoy reading WW II history especially on the Eastern Front. This book is excellent, well researched as it cuts through the gloss over of other tomes in describing at soldier's... Read morePublished 10 months ago by J. Brett
Kiev 1941 follows the same methodology as in the authors previous book "Barbarossa", and as such has the same weaknesses. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Bubalis