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Victory at Stalingrad: The Battle That Changed History

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This is vintage history at its best. The author provides fascinating insights into the epic Battle of Stalingrad including a skilful examination of the profound consequences of its outcome.'
–Albert Axell

'Roberts makes excellent sense of events on the battlefield, but his book is more than just a good story. It also places the battle definitively in the historical and political context of World War II and Stalin's dictatorship.'
–Mark Harrison

'fresh, lucid and highly readable ... combines compelling narrative with powerful analysis.'
Edward Acton

'Geoffrey Roberts has written a brilliant introductory survey of the battle of Stalingrad.'
–Dennis Ogden

Publishers Weekly
Soviet expert Roberts (The Unholy Alliance) depicts Hitler's mammoth effort to bring the Russians to their knees and Stalin's struggle to defeat the German troops at any cost in this intelligent introduction to the epic Battle of Stalingrad (1942-3). Interweaving excerpts from the work of contemporary scholars with his own brisk and clear, if not necessarily elegant, narrative, Roberts's historiography enumerates the offensives and counter-offensives, supply chains, military pronouncements and strategies in the siege of the Volga River city that became such a brutal war of attrition. The volume's format bears some similarity to that of a textbook's, with its glossary of terms, biographical notes and guide to further reading. Readers seeking original research and a gripping narrative might want to stick with the Antony Beevor's bestselling 1998 volume on the subject-or for a broader view, Alexander Worth's 1964 Russia at War, as Roberts himself recommends-but those who want a relatively quick and detailed account of this decisive battle will find most of their questions answered here. Also, two concluding sections-covering "the battle that changed history" and "the battle that history changed"-provide an excellent summary of the battle's aftermath both in WWII and in historical memory. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780582771857
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/30/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Geoffrey Roberts is a Soviet and World War Two specialist, and has written both general and specific histories of Russia.

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Table of Contents

A chronology of the Battle of Stalingrad 1942-3
1. Introduction: battle of the century
2. War of annihilation: the German campaign in Russia, 1941-2
3. Hitler's quest for oil: the road to Stalingrad, April-August 1942
4. State of siege: Stalingrad, September-October 1942
5. Red gods of war: soviet victories, German defeats, November 1942-February 1943
6. Aftermath: revenge and retribution on the road to Berlin, 1943-5
7. The Stalingrad story: the battle that history changed, 1945-2000
8. Conclusion: the battle that changed history?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2003

    Fine study of crucial victory

    Roberts aims to provide an overview of the battle of Stalingrad and its historical significance, and also to summarise, synthesise and criticise the vast literature on Stalingrad. To a remarkable extent he succeeds, although his review section is all too brief, a mere twenty pages. As he notes, Alexander Werth¿s superb Russia at war is still the unsurpassed account of the battle. Stalingrad was indeed the turning point of the entire war: as the American historian Stephen Ambrose wrote, ¿The Russians, alone, stemmed the Nazi tide, then began to roll it back.¿ The strategic initiative passed from Hitler to the Soviet Union. The battle ended the string of Allied defeats, and opened the way for all our subsequent victories. As Roberts writes, ¿No battle changed history more than Stalingrad.¿ He also shows how Stalingrad resulted from the Soviet Union¿s economic, political and moral superiority - ¿the successful mobilisation and deployment of Soviet material superiority - that was a matter of effective politics and economics.¿ Soviet forces inflicted more than 90% of the Nazis¿ losses, 600 divisions, ten million casualties. President Roosevelt said, ¿the Russian armies are killing more Axis personnel and destroying more Axis material than all the other twenty-five United Nations put together.¿ The Soviet Union assisted the D-Day landings by stepping up its attacks in Eastern Europe, stopping Hitler from reinforcing Normandy. As the BBC said, ¿But for the Russians, D-Day would have been impossible.¿ Even after D-Day, Soviet forces were still fighting twice as many German soldiers on the Eastern front as the British and US forces were fighting on the Western front. Without Stalin, the Bolshevik Party and the Red Army, Hitler would have won the war, Britain would be enslaved, and we would be living, if at all, in concentration camps. We must never forget the huge debt that we all owe to the Soviet Union.

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