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Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943 Paperback – May 1, 1999
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Many believe Stalingrad to be the turning point of the war. The Nazi war machine proved to be fallible as it spread itself too thin for a cause that was born more from arrogance than practicality. The Germans never recovered, and its weakened defenses were no match for the Allied invasion of 1944. We know little of what took place in Stalingrad or its overall significance, leading Beevor to humbly admit that "[t]he Battle of Stalingrad remains such an ideologically charged and symbolically important subject that the last word will not be heard for many years." This is true. But this gripping account should become the standard work against which all others should measure themselves. --Jeremy Storey --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Beevor has used all three and produced a work that is the least academic but arguably most exciting of all. He has also used Manfred Kehrig's "Stalingrad: Analyse und Dokumentation einer Schlacht"which is not available in English --- sadly.
Beevor also uses the latest research on the Soviets, including the books by David Glantz. He paid researchers to translate unpublished Soviet documents, which also enrich his text.
The book is clearly an excellent overview of the efforts put into winning at Stalingrad by both sides. As scholars have noted in learned articles, Beevor ignores airpower and only deals sketchily with strategy, but his narrative of the human experience of warfare is more than compensatory.
"Battleground" for the way in which it flowed. Buy it,I guarantee you won't regret it.
STALINGRAD begins, as it must, on June 21, 1941 with the launching of Operation Barbarossa, Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union by three Army Groups - North, Center and South. Beevor first summarizes from a wide perspective Army Group Center's attack on, and repulse from, Moscow, and Army Group South's surge towards the Volga River and the Caucasus Mountains. Then, the focus is narrowed onto the Sixth Army's and Fourth Panzer Army's drive to Stalingrad and the Volga in the summer of `42. The last three-quarters of the volume then limits itself to the Stalingrad siege, the Soviet counterattack on, and encirclement of, the Sixth and Fourth Panzer armies, their subsequent subjugation, and, finally, the fate of the 91,000 Germans taken prisoner. The main characters of the drama are all brought onto the stage: Hitler, Paulus, Schmidt, von Richthofen, Stalin, Zhukov, Yeremenko, Chuikov, and Rokossovsky.
This is a very reader-friendly account for the simple reason that the author supplies enough information, including maps, to keep the narrative moving along without getting bogged down in the minutiae of minor troop movements and a superabundance of unit designations. He's also included (in the paperback edition) two adequate sections of photographs - always a much appreciated touch. The volume met, if not exceeded, my expectations, and I learned a lot.Read more ›
One of the strengths of Beevor's work is his view of the Russian side of the struggle. This is attained through access to now available Soviet archives. It is also attained through the greater willingness of Russian veterans to speak of their experiences without the distorting rhetoric often associated with The Great Patriotic War. The candid discussion of desertion and outright collaboration on the part of some Russian soldiers forms one of the most interesting aspects of this book. Likewise, the fate of approximately 85,000 German soldiers who entered Soviet captivity never to return is treated with even greater detail than that revealed by Craig. Again, I suspect that Beevor enjoyed access to records-- and candor-- that Craig and earlier writers did not.
While I do not completely agree with all of Beevor's conclusions, he makes a convincing case for the primary responsibility of Paulus for the destruction of the Sixth Army through failure to maintain an uncommitted panzer reserve in the late fall of 1942. This failure on the part of a commander is too often ignored in works which blame the destruction of the Sixth Army on Hitler's "stand fast" order and von Manstein's failure to send a "breakout" order.
Students of the campaign should add this volume to their library.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
More than any other single event, the battle for Stalingrad marked a turning point in World War II from which the Germans never recovered. Read morePublished 9 days ago by exurbanite
Having just finished Andrew Roberts' "Napoleon", reading Stalingrad produced a sense of deja vu. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Sewickley Ronpa
So far its good. Only 50% done. Check back with me next week.Published 20 days ago by Gerald Wesbecker
An excellent account of the bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. Being an American, we learn so little in school about the WW2 Eastern Front. Read morePublished 1 month ago by BJT
Antony Beevor is one of the best new historians of World War II and its era, and his book on Stalingrad is a fascinating account of this critical moment in World War II and world... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kiwiwriter
quite simply epic in its scale of research. some unique/touching/mystifying insights into the human psyche - how could this happen in the 20th century?!? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Pete
How anyone could rate this book as less than 5 stars is beyond me. I've read at least 100+ books about WWII and this is at the very top. Read morePublished 3 months ago by doctordave77