Customer Reviews for

Ivan's War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2006

    Ivan's War- A review

    This is not the usual military history reference or textbook. This is a very well written book on the soldiers of the Red Army, how they lived and unfortunately how they suffered and died en masse.Now that the archives in Russia are open for study, this author delved into the lives, such as they were, of the simple trooper and the junior grade officers of the Red Army. The book can not help but show the brutal, inhuman killer regime headed by Stalin. This figure does not come through as a pathological killer obsessed by racial fantasies like Hitler. Stalin comes through as eminently sane dictator who uses mass killing simply as a tool, somewhat like a carpenter uses the hammer and with about as much emotion. Whether the Politruks eliminate the dissenters and deserters or whether the Stavka orders headlong suicidal charges into German machine guns and artillery barrages we can see how the Soviet government holds life cheap. Eight million military deaths most of them preventable by good leadership and training would be unthinkable in any society except Soviet Communism.This book provides those insights and it presents the thoughtful reader with but one question: What took this system so long to fall? I gave it four stars instead of five simply because there were minor factual errors and omissions.For example one of the most admired men in the defense of Stalingrad was General Rodimstev whose name is immortalized in the ruins of the tractor factory where the men about to die scratched the words 'Rodimstev's Guardsmen fought and died here for their motherland (rodina)'.He gets virtually no mention. Also the planning for the Stalingrad encirclement was done by Zhukov and Vassilevsky assisted by the best brain in the Stavka-General Antonov. Again no mention made. Rokossovsky is deservedly mentioned, but Romanenko and Chistyakov, the actual leaders of the pincers, are not. Minor ommissions but I knocked off a star, since this book competes with such five star masterpieces as Tuchmans 'Proud Tower' and Massie's 'Castles of Steel'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2013

    The Morgue

    *he plunges a sword into one of the dozen Trolls, the armored creature screeching and falling limp. Several other Trolls cautiously approach. He sheathes his sword on his back, raising his hands. Black lightning flow forth, four of the eleven Trolls spasming then going limp. Two get an idea to charge, and he effortlessly dodges them, stabbing his dagger into the back of the second. Pulling a half-inch disc from his pocket, he tses it up in the air. It unfolds into a black shuriken in midair, nd he catches it, immediatly sending it into a crack between armor plates on the back of the first. He uses Mindride on another prowling Troll, using it to attack another. The attacked Troll dies, confused. The Ridden Troll then leaps off a stone bridge, falling thousands of feet into the mist. The last three charge the stranger, and he pulls a two-foot staff from his pack. Blades extend from the end, and he jumps in the middle, spinning and killing two. Utilizing telekinesis, he slams the beast against a tree, impaling it on a broken branch.*

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    Very Good

    Well written with new historical information, not many first hand accounts but, a good read none the less ......RjP

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2008

    A reviewer

    Ivan's War digs deep into the personal accounts of the eastern front during WWII. Merridale highlights many of the facts she discovered once the Russian archives were opened during the 1990s. A must read for any history buff interested in WWII or the USSR

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    Posted March 3, 2011

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