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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adamantly Disagree with Previous Two Reviews
I have read about the battle of Stalingrad since a kid in elementary school (in the U.S. since from the late 1960's) and the common theme up until the fall of the Soviet Union was that the Soviets eventually adopted a strategy of falling back so as to suck the Nazis into a devastating counterattack. The DVD points out this was not the case based on new material since the...
Published 6 months ago by Pericles

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deadliest Battle - Strange Premise
I mostly enjoyed this review of World War II's Battle of Stalingrad, with one major exception: The premise behind the episode is that 'new evidence' has emerged that shows Josef Stalin was not the military genius everyone previously believed, that he did not orchestrate the victory at Stalingrad. And to that I thought..."Huh? Who ever thought that, outside of perhaps...
Published 19 months ago by J. S. Kaminski


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deadliest Battle - Strange Premise, January 19, 2013
By 
J. S. Kaminski "j_s_k" (Aberdeen, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Secrets of the Dead: Deadliest Battle (DVD)
I mostly enjoyed this review of World War II's Battle of Stalingrad, with one major exception: The premise behind the episode is that 'new evidence' has emerged that shows Josef Stalin was not the military genius everyone previously believed, that he did not orchestrate the victory at Stalingrad. And to that I thought..."Huh? Who ever thought that, outside of perhaps some former Soviets and/or Russians?"

It has long been known that Stalin's purge of many military officers and his own bungling interference led to numerous disastrous defeats in the early years of the war. The Soviets lost literally millions of soldiers during Germany's push deep into the USSR in 1941 and 1942. Yes, the Germans eventually lost at Stalingrad, and yes, it can be argued that loss turned the tide of the war, but in any/all of the reading I've done on World War II, I've never encountered the opinion that Stalin was a military genius who was the brains behind this victory. Rather, the Germans lost for a number of reasons: impossibly long supply lines, being ill-equipped for winter, a massive open front to defend, Hitler's interference resulting in mechanized units being diverted from Stalingrad, just to name a few.

Three stars. The program does a good job setting the scene for the battle and taking the viewer through the preludes that led to the Germans' historic defeat, but the "Stalin as genius" premise is strangely off the mark.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adamantly Disagree with Previous Two Reviews, February 4, 2014
By 
Pericles (Granada Hills, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Secrets of the Dead: Deadliest Battle (DVD)
I have read about the battle of Stalingrad since a kid in elementary school (in the U.S. since from the late 1960's) and the common theme up until the fall of the Soviet Union was that the Soviets eventually adopted a strategy of falling back so as to suck the Nazis into a devastating counterattack. The DVD points out this was not the case based on new material since the fall of the USSR.
At the time Hitler launched the attack on the USSR in 1941 , most of the world's WWII generals thought the Soviets would last no more than six weeks. Stalin, with the Hitler-Stalin Pact, sought to buy time in 1939 (as this DVD points out), but the Nazi's quick dispatch of Britain and France on the continent (that was a surprise to the allies) caught the non-axis world off guard. So Stalin also knew he was going to give ground to the initial Nazi attack, especially if one was launched before 1943, as it was in June 1941. However, by 1942 Stalin had issued his "no step back" order. The DVD does not point out that Stalin ignored the initial reports of Nazi troops massing all along the frontier, since he foolishly thought those reports were a misinformation plot hatched by Churchill and other western "allies" to get him to fight Nazi Germany before he felt he was ready, thus diverting the Nazi's from their attack on Britain and toward Moscow instead. Of course Hitler always planned to attack the Soviet Union and he turned on the Soviet Union after Britain's valiant performance in thwarting the Nazi Luftwaffe's air campaign.
There is new material that was released after the Soviet collapse in 1990 (and later in 2000) that is still being reviewed by historians, as this DVD points out. This material does reveal that Stalin, rather than adopting a drawing in strategy (as was a common belief among western historians, at the least), did the opposite in 1942 (his famous order 227, as covered by the DVD), with his blocking battalions (designed to shoot retreating soldiers, killing thousands of their own troops and transferring over one hundred thousand troops to penal battalions), so as to enforce Stalin's mantra of not retreating an inch no matter what (incidentally Hitler had the same stupid idea).
The DVD points out this was a battle between two megalomaniac dictators who demanded complete success and retreat was not an option (that is why Hitler elevated Von Paulus to Field Marshall since no Field Marshall had ever surrendered, again, as pointed out by the DVD).
The Nazi's were the victims (thankfully) of their own success (long supply lines, not prepared for a long campaign and thus not having enough winter clothing, etc.) rather than any design by Stalin. Stalin benefitted from U.S. material support, the movement of Soviet industry east of the Urals, Soviet engineering (especially in producing new advanced tanks and planes), and the fact that the Japanese were tied down with America, thus allowing fresh Soviet troops from the East, and in camouflage winter clothing, to be moved west to counterattack the Nazi advance into Stalingrad. Hitler's weakening of his 6th army troops heading towards Stalingrad (initially sending panzer support south toward the Caucasus' oil fields) also helped to ensure a Soviet victory, as again pointed out by the DVD.
This DVD is very informative and interesting to watch and is a welcome addition to the plethora of information concerning this pivotal battle of World War II that many historians agree marked the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing "NEW", October 14, 2013
By 
MF (NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Secrets of the Dead: Deadliest Battle (DVD)
Watched the whole thing hoping to learn something new. NEVER HAPPENED!I don't know where this so-called "new information" came from, because non of it was new to me, or any Stalingrad Vet I've spoken to.Both my grandfathers, who fought there, (and my great-uncles who served there as snipers, company commanders, regular army, communication corps, etc,) told me, back when I was a kid, about the mass retreat and NKVD oper-units. Just because the so-called Western Scholars didn't research deep enough to know, doesn't mean it was a secret. As such, the whole premise of this program, that is of having new data, is negated.Footage used is common war-time footage. Nothing special there either. 2 stars is about all I can give this one.For a real GREAT WWII documentary, watch Battlefield, also shown on PBS.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 12, 2014
This review is from: Secrets of the Dead: Deadliest Battle (DVD)
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Secrets of the Dead: Deadliest Battle
Secrets of the Dead: Deadliest Battle by Richard Bond (DVD - 2010)
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