Stalin, Hitler, and the Desperate Struggle for Moscow That Changed the Course of World War II
Author: Andrew Nagorski
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The battle for Moscow was the biggest battle of World War II -- the biggest battle of all time. And yet it is far less known than Stalingrad, which involved about half the number of troops. From the time Hitler launched his assault on Moscow on September 30, 1941, to April 20, 1942, seven million troops were engaged in this titanic struggle. The combined losses of both sides -- those killed, taken prisoner or severely wounded -- were 2.5 million, of which nearly 2 million were on the Soviet side. But the Soviet capital narrowly survived, and for the first time the German Blitzkrieg ended in failure. This shattered Hitler's dream of a swift victory over the Soviet Union and radically changed the course of the war. The full story of this epic battle has never been told because it undermines the sanitized Soviet accounts of the war, which portray Stalin as a military genius and his people as heroically united against the German invader. Stalin's blunders, incompetence and brutality made it possible for German troops to approach the outskirts of Moscow. This triggered panic in the city -- with looting, strikes and outbreaks of previously unimaginable violence. About half the city's population fled. But Hitler's blunders would soon loom even larger: sending his troops to attack the Soviet Union without winter uniforms, insisting on an immediate German reign of terror and refusing to heed his generals' pleas that he allow them to attack Moscow as quickly as possible. In the end, Hitler's mistakes trumped Stalin's mistakes. Drawing on recently declassified documents from Soviet archives, including files of the dreaded NKVD; on accounts of survivors and of children of top Soviet military and government officials; and on reports of Western diplomats and correspondents, The Greatest Battle finally illuminates the full story of a clash between two systems based on sheer terror and relentless slaughter. Even as Moscow's fate hung in the balance, the United States and Britain were discovering how wily a partner Stalin would turn out to be in the fight against Hitler -- and how eager he was to push his demands for a postwar empire in Eastern Europe. In addition to chronicling the bloodshed, Andrew Nagorski takes the reader behind the scenes of the early negotiations between Hitler and Stalin, and then between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill. This is a remarkable addition to the history of World War II.
Zhukov was the dominant figure in the Red Army during World War II even though his actual job title varied from day to day. Serving as a senior General Staff representative from the Stavka, Zhukov moved from one critical sector to the next, serving as advisor, coordinator and de facto front commander as required. There is no doubt that Zhukov played a critical role in salvaging the critical situation in the autumn of 1941 and leading the Red Army to an amazing reversal of fortunes in 1942–43 and eventual victory in 1944–45. However, Zhukov's methods were brutal and contributed to massive Soviet casualties, while he continued to keep his hand in political affairs as well. As the most recognized Soviet soldier of World War II, Zhukov's post-war fall from grace was precipitous and it was not until the fall of the Soviet Union that his reputation was restored. This book presents a analysis of Zhukov's military career, highlighting the strategies and tactics that made him such as successful military leader.
5th July 1943: the greatest land battle of all time began around the town of Kursk in Russia. This epic confrontation between German and Soviet forces was one of the most important military engagements in history and epitomised 'total war'.It was also one of the most bloody, characterised by hideous excess and outrageous atrocities. The battle concluded with Germany having incurred nearly three million dead and the Soviet Union a staggering ten million. It was a monumental and decisive encounter of breathtaking intensity which became a turning point, not only on the Eastern Front, but in the Second World War as a whole. Using the very latest available archival material including the testimonies of veterans and providing strategic perspective alongside personal stories of front line fighting, Lloyd Clark has written a lucid, enthralling and heart-stopping account of this incredible battle.
In the dying months of the Second World War on 31 January 1945, the first Red Army troops reached the River Oder, barely forty miles from Berlin. Everyone at Soviet Headquarters expected Marshal Zhukov's troops quickly to bring the war to an end. But despite bitter fighting by both sides, a bloody stalemate persisted for two months. At the end of this time the Soviet bridgeheads north and south of Kustrin were eventually united, and the Nazi fortress finally fell. Tony Le Tissier has written an impressively detailed account of the Nazi-Soviet battles in the Oderbruch and for the Seelow Heights, east of Berlin. They culminated in 1945 with the last major land battle in Europe that proved decisive for the fate of Berlin - and the Third Reich. Drawing on official sources and the personal accounts of soldiers from both sides who were involved, Le Tissier has meticulously reconstructed the Soviets' difficult breakthrough on the Oder: the establishment of bridgeheads, the battle for the fortress of Kustrin, and the bloody fight for the Seelow Heights. Numerous maps help the reader follow the ebb and flow of battle, and a selection of archive photographs paint a sobering picture of the final death throes of Hitler's Thousand-Year Reich.
Victory at Stalingrad tells the gripping strategic and military story of that battle. The hard-won Soviet victory prevented Hitler from waging the Second World War for another ten years and set the Germans on the road to defeat. The Soviet victory also prevented the Nazis from completing the Final Solution, the wholesale destruction of European Jewry, which began with Hitler’s "War of Annihilation" against the Soviets on the Eastern Front. Geoffrey Roberts places the conflict in the context of the clash between two mighty powers:their world views and their leaders. He presents a great human drama, highlighting the contribution made by political and military leaders on both sides. He shows that the real story of the battle was the Soviets’ failure to achieve their greatest ambition: to deliver an immediate, war-winning knockout blow to the Germans. This provocative reassessment presents new evidence and challenges the myths and legends that surround both the battle and the key personalities who led and planned it.
Georgi Zhukov was a great general in the most devastating war in history. General Eisenhower said the world owed a greater debt to Zhukov than to any other military figure for the victory over Nazi Germany. A jealous Stalin viewed him differently. Despite all Zhukov's war-time achievements and decorations, on his return from the Eastern front he was declared a non-person, and sent on futile appointments far away from Moscow. Russia's greatest modern hero was neglected by the media, his huge role in the victory over Hitler's Germany was slighted by official histories and his memoirs were censored. Zhukov's leadership on the field was shown in such epic battles as Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Kursk and Berlin. Marshal Zhukov: The Man Who Beat Hitler goes beyond the battlefield to tell the remarkable story of one of the most important and influential - yet often forgotten - figures of the Second World War.
Marshal Georgi Konstantinovich Zhukov, hero of Leningrad, defender of Moscow and Stalingrad, commander of the victorious Red Army at Berlin, was the most decorated soldier in Soviet history. Yet for many years Zhukov was relegated to the status of "unperson" in his homeland. Now, following glasnost and the fall of the Soviet Union, Zhukov is being restored to his rightful place in history. In this completely updated version of his classic 1971 biography of Zhukov, Otto Preston Chaney provides the definitive account of the man and his achievements. Zhukov’s career spanned most of the Soviet period, reflecting the turmoil of the civil war, the hardships endured by the Russian people in World War II, the brief postwar optimism evidenced by the friendship between Zhukov and Eisenhower, repression in Poland and Hungary, and the rise and fall of such political figures as Stalin, Beria, and Krushchev. The story of Russia’s greatest soldier thus offers many insights into the history of the Soviet Union itself.