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.
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.
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.
By November, 1942, the empire of Adolf Hitler had reached its zenith. It stretched from North Africa to the Arctic, from the English Channel to Stalingrad deep inside the Russian interior. The German Army seemed invincible, but then in a matter of only five days, from 19th to 23rd November, 1942, the seemingly impossible happened. During a massive Russian counter-offensive involving over a million men, 1,560 tanks, 16,261 field-guns and mortars and 1,327 aircraft, not only were two Rumanian armies wiped off the Axis order of battle, but more decisively the "crack" German 6th Army, under the command of General Friedrich Paulus, was encircled at Stalingrad. Despite being cut off from the ramainder of the Eastern Front in a huge cauldron (Der Kessel), the 269,000 troops of the 6th army continued to resist against impossible odds for 72 blood-soaked days. Devoid of adequate winter clothing, enduring temperatures of minus 35 degrees centigrade on a bare, blizzard-swept steppe, with nothing to eat but scraps of bread and watery soup, the doomed army suffered an infinity of agonies including frostbite, dysentery and typhus. While they slowly froze and starved to death they were constantly pounded by Russian artillery and bomber sorties. When the 6th Army finally surrendered on 2nd February, 1943, only 91,000 of the original force remained alive to be herded into Siberian prison camps. Surrendering to the Russians, however, proved to be only an alternative way of dying, for only 5,000 survived the captivity to see Germany again. The author has drawn on German and Russian sources to write this commemoration of the battle which broke the back of the Germany Army and turned the tide of the war in the Allies' favour. This book aims to give a balanced account of Stalingrad from both the German and the Russian perspectives.
“This important work . . . synthesizes the evolution of warfare from 1775 to the present.” —Military Review A thorough revision of a highly successful text, the second edition of this classic work provides a comprehensive picture of the evolution of modern warfare. Addington discusses developments in strategies and tactics, logistics and weaponry, and provides detailed discussions of important battles and campaigns. His book is an excellent introduction for both students and the general reader. “There is nothing else in print that tells so much so concisely about how war has been conducted since the days of General George Washington.” —Russell F. Weigley, author of The American Way of War “A superior synthesis. Well written, nicely organized, remarkably comprehensive, and laced with facts.” —Military Affairs
From Iraq to Bosnia to North Korea, the first question in American foreign policy debates is increasingly: Can air power alone do the job? Robert A. Pape provides a systematic answer. Analyzing the results of over thirty air campaigns, including a detailed reconstruction of the Gulf War, he argues that the key to success is attacking the enemy's military strategy, not its economy, people, or leaders. Coercive air power can succeed, but not as cheaply as air enthusiasts would like to believe. Pape examines the air raids on Germany, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq as well as those of Israel versus Egypt, providing details of bombing and governmental decision making. His detailed narratives of the strategic effectiveness of bombing range from the classical cases of World War II to an extraordinary reconstruction of airpower use in the Gulf War, based on recently declassified documents. In the first major book since the Vietnam War on the theory and practice of airpower and its political effects, Robert A. Pape helps policy makers judge the purpose of various air strategies, and helps general readers understand the policy debates.