Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943

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Penguin, May 1, 1999 - History - 560 pages
2 Reviews
The Battle of Stalingrad was not only the psychological turning point of World War II: it also changed the face of modern warfare

Beevor's latest book Ardennes 1944: The Battle of the Bulge is now available from Viking Books 


Historians and reviewers worldwide have hailed Antony Beevor's magisterial Stalingrad as the definitive account of World War II's most harrowing battle.

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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

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I was never a fan of military history so didn't read Beevor's book until recently when I was planning a trip to Stalingrad. It is easily readable and helpful to understand the importance of some of the places I visited. As history it definitely falls into the popular category rather than the academic, and it's surprising to see that it has allegedly been hailed by serious historians (although the pages of reviews inside the covers - never a good sign - do not include anybody of real worth.) The documentation is good but the citation is poor, leaving the impression that Beevor might have made some of it up. This is supported by his inclusion of far too many asides or opinions/judgements masquerading as facts. By far the most annoying is his statement, in various guises, of the corny old refrain that the Germans could hardly expect mercy from the Russians since they had themselves shown no mercy in the early days of Operation Barbarossa. This book is a good read with some interesting anecdotal material - but that's what it is and it deserves its place amongst the popular history that is so much in demand today. Nothing more. 

Contents

Pauluss Final Assault
All For the Front
Part Four ZHUKOVS TRAP
Operation Uranus
Hitlers Obsession
The Fortress Without a Roof
Der Manstein Kommt
Christmas in the German Way

How Much Land Does a Man Need?
Not One Step Backwards
The Volga is Reached
Part Three THE FATEFUL CITY
The September Battles
Rattenkrieg
Traitors and Allies
Fortresses of Rubble and Iron
The AirBridge
Surrender Out of the Question
A German Field Marshal Does Not Commit Suicide with a Pair
Stop Dancing Stalingrad Has Fallen
The Sword of Stalingrad
Sixth Army Strength in the Kessel
Select Bibliography
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Antony Beevor is the author of a number of histories, including "The Spanish Civil War" and "Stalingrad," which has been published in twenty-three languages and was awarded the first Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the Wolfson History Prize, and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature.

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