Antony Beevor's Stalingrad is a harrowing look at one of history's darkest moments.
In October 1942, a panzer officer wrote 'Stalingrad is no longer a town... Animals flee this hell; the hardest stones cannot bear it for long; only men endure'.
The battle for Stalingrad became the focus of Hitler and Stalin's determination to win the gruesome, vicious war on the eastern front. The citizens of Stalingrad endured unimaginable hardship; the battle, with fierce hand-to-hand fighting in each room of each building, was brutally destructive to both armies. But the eventual victory of the Red Army, and the failure of Hitler's Operation Barbarossa, was the first defeat of Hitler's territorial ambitions in Europe, and the start of his decline.
An extraordinary story of tactical genius, civilian bravery, obsession, carnage and the nature of war itself, Stalingrad will act as a testament to the vital role of the soviet war effort.
'A superb re-telling. Beevor combines a soldier's understanding of war's realities with the narrative techniques of a novelist . . . This is a book that lets the reader look into the face of battle' Orlando Figes, Sunday Telegraph
'A brilliantly researched tour de force of military history' Sarah Bradford, The Times
Antony Beevor is the renowned author of Stalingrad, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature, and Berlin, which received the first Longman-History Today Trustees' Award. His books have sold nearly four million copies.
This gripping account of Germany's notorious campaign combines sophisticated use of previously published firsthand accounts in German and Russian along with newly available Soviet archival sources and caches of letters from the front. For Beevor (Paris After the Liberation, 1944-1949), the 1942 German offensive was a gamble that reflected Hitler's growing ascendancy over his military subordinates. The wide-open mobile operations that took the 6th Army into Stalingrad were nevertheless so successful that Soviet authorities insisted they could be explained only by treason. (Over 13,000 Soviet soldiers were formally executed during the battle for Stalingrad alone.) Combat in Stalingrad, however, deprived the Germans of their principal force multipliers of initiative and flexibility. The close-gripped fighting brought men to the limits of endurance, then kept them there. Beevor juxtaposes the grotesque with the mundane, demonstrating the routines that men on both sides developed to cope with an environment that brought them to the edge of madness. The end began when German army commander Friedrich von Paulus refused to prepare for the counterattack everyone knew was coming. An encircled 6th Army could neither be supplied by air nor fight its way out of the pocket unsupported. Fewer than 10,000 of Stalingrad's survivors ever saw Germany again. For the Soviet Union, the victory became a symbol not of a government, but of a people. The men and women who died in the city's rubble could have had worse epitaphs than this sympathetic treatment.
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This the account of imperialism's armies leading by Mr Hitler, attacking, and trying to destroy a new world system, called SOCIALISM.
A brutal, inhuman tale of fascism and what it can do to humanity, throughout.
A great book, well written with fantastic detail. I couldn't put it down.
So sad to think off all that waste of life.....hats of to the red army any other country would of surrendered way before! Fair play to the Russians!