The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943
The Battle of Stalingrad was not only the psychological turning point of World War II: it also changed the face of modern warfare. From Antony Beevor, the internationally bestselling author of D-Day and The Battle of Arnhem.
In August 1942, Hitler's huge Sixth Army reached the city that bore Stalin's name. In the five-month siege that followed, the Russians fought to hold Stalingrad at any cost; then, in an astonishing reversal, encircled and trapped their Nazi enemy. This battle for the ruins of a city cost more than a million lives. Stalingrad conveys the experience of soldiers on both sides, fighting in inhuman conditions, and of civilians trapped on an urban battlefield. Antony Beevor has itnerviewed survivors and discovered completely new material in a wide range of German and Soviet archives, including prisoner interrogations and reports of desertions and executions. As a story of cruelty, courage, and human suffering, Stalingrad is unprecedented and unforgettable.
Historians and reviewers worldwide have hailed Antony Beevor's magisterial Stalingrad as the definitive account of World War II's most harrowing battle.
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.
Excellent book... however, about the iBooks edition
I love me my Mac and I have loooong been an Apple-only customer... however, the pictures from the book in this iBooks edition, as with other iBooks editions of historical books with pictures, looks like they we're photocopied on an old library photocopier in 1987 and then photographed and scanned and pasted into the book... Utterly ridiculous for a cutting edge technology company trying to provide an electronic edition to replace the physical book... for those of you old enough to remember 'mimeographed' copies from grade school, that's exactly what these looked like: mimeographed copies of pictures...
Very poor rendition into Ebook
My on-star rating applies to the quality of the conversion of the text into an Ebook. It appears that a temp worker simply scanned the pages into PDF format (or something like that), and as a result, very few footnotes make it into the text, and none link to the end notes. Also, apostrophes and em dashes are consistently omitted or erroneously reproduced. There are many other such errors throughout. The publisher, Penguin, should be ashamed. The overall effect of the utter lack of attention to detail in converting this book to an Ebook is one of distraction: I kept asking myself as I read this, what kinds of errors am I not able to notice, and is this book, in its printed form, as loose and error-filled as the Ebook version? I strongly advise against buying this in Ebook version if you care at all about reading the book the way I presume the author intended it to be read.
Great book, amazing detail that made me understand the true horrors of what happened at Stalingrad and its importance to the outcome of the second world war.