Stalingrad: The City that Defeated the Third Reich

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Jochen Hellbeck
PublicAffairs, Apr 28, 2015 - History - 512 pages
The turning point of World War II came at Stalingrad. Hitler’s soldiers stormed the city in September 1942 in a bid to complete the conquest of Europe. Yet Stalingrad never fell. After months of bitter fighting, 100,000 surviving Germans, huddled in the ruined city, surrendered to Soviet troops.

During the battle and shortly after its conclusion, scores of Red Army commanders and soldiers, party officials and workers spoke with a team of historians who visited from Moscow to record their conversations. The tapestry of their voices provides groundbreaking insights into the thoughts and feelings of Soviet citizens during wartime.

Legendary sniper Vasily Zaytsev recounted the horrors he witnessed at Stalingrad: “You see young girls, children hanging from trees in the park.[...] That has a tremendous impact.” Nurse Vera Gurova attended hundreds of wounded soldiers in a makeshift hospital every day, but she couldn’t forget one young amputee who begged her to avenge his suffering. “Every soldier and officer in Stalingrad was itching to kill as many Germans as possible,” said Major Nikolai Aksyonov.

These testimonials were so harrowing and candid that the Kremlin forbade their publication, and they were forgotten by modern history—until now. Revealed here in English for the first time, they humanize the Soviet defenders and allow Jochen Hellbeck, in Stalingrad, to present a definitive new portrait of the most fateful battle of World War II.
 

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User Review  - knightlight777 - LibraryThing

This book is primarily a compilation of interviews taken from the participants in this epic battle that turned the face of WWII on the eastern front. I was actually looking for more of a historical ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Kunikov - LibraryThing

Jochen Hellbeck's "Stalingrad" is a testament to how much we still don't know about the Eastern Front over 70 years after the war has ended. Within the Soviet Union a historical commission was created ... Read full review

Contents

the fateful battle
1
Revolutionary Army
23
Commanders and Commissars
38
Forms of Combat
59
The Commission in Stalingrad
77
Agrafena Pozdnyakova
132
Vasily Grossmans In the Line of the Main Drive
192
The Capture of Field Marshal Paulus
222
Guards Division General Alexander Rodimtsev
291
Nurse Vera Gurova
311
Regimental Commander Alexander Gerasimov
324
Sniper Vasily Zaytsev
356
Alexander Parkhomenko
374
The Germans Speak
399
A German Diary from the Kessel
422
Copyright

Nine Accounts of the War
263

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About the author (2015)

Jochen Hellbeck is a professor of history at Rutgers University and a specialist in twentieth-century Russia. His previous book, Revolution on My Mind, explored personal diaries written in the Soviet Union under Stalin. The German edition of Stalingrad won a DAMALS prize for best historical study of the year. Hellbeck runs a website, facingstalingrad.com, that features portraits and interviews taken with German and Russian veterans of the battle of Stalingrad. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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