Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943 by Antony Beevor Narrated by George Guidall
Publisher: Penguin Audio; Abridged edition (October 1, 1998) | ISBN: 0140869379 | Language: English | Audio CD in MP3 | 359 mb

Hitler made two fundamental and crippling mistakes throughout the Second World War: The very first was his whimsical belief that the United Kingdom would eventually turn out to be his ally, which delayed his choice to launch a main invasion of Britain, whose army was unprepared for the force of blitzkrieg warfare. The second was the ill-conceived Operation Barbarossaan invasion of Russia that was supposed to take the German army to the gates of Moscow. Antony Beevor’s thoughtfully researched compendium recalls this epic struggle for Stalingrad. No, least of all of the Germans, could foretell the deep well of Soviet resolve that would turn out to be the foundation of the Red Army; Russia, the Germans believed, would fall as swiftly as France and Poland. The ill-prepared Nazi forces had been trapped in a bloody war of attrition against the Russian behemoth, which held them in the pit of Stalingrad for nearly two years. Beevor points out that the Russians had been by no means ready for the war either, making their stand even far more remarkable; Soviet intelligence spent as much time spying on its own forcesin fear of desertion, treachery, and incompetenceas they did on the Nazis. Due attention is also given to the points of view of the soldiers and generals of both forces, from the sickening battles to life in the gulags.

Lots of believe Stalingrad to be the turning point of the war. The Nazi war machine proved to be fallible as it spread itself too thin for a trigger that was born far more from arrogance than practicality. The Germans never recovered, and its weakened defenses had been no match for the Allied invasion of 1944. We know small of what took place in Stalingrad or its overall significance, leading Beevor to humbly admit that “[t]he Battle of Stalingrad remains such an ideologically charged and symbolically essential subject that the last word won’t be heard for lots of years.” This is true. But this gripping account really should turn out to be the standard work against which all other men and women really should measure themselves. Jeremy Storey This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
This gripping account of Germany’s notorious campaign combines sophisticated use of previously published firsthand accounts in German and Russian along with newly accessible Soviet archival sources and caches of letters from the front. For Beevor (Paris After the Liberation, 1944-1949), the 1942 German offensive was a gamble that reflected Hitler’s growing ascendancy over his military subordinates. The wide-open mobile operations that took the 6th Army into Stalingrad had been nevertheless so profitable that Soviet authorities insisted they might be explained only by treason. (Over 13,000 Soviet soldiers had been formally executed throughout the battle for Stalingrad alone.) Combat in Stalingrad, on the other hand, deprived the Germans of their principal force multipliers of initiative and flexibility. The close-gripped fighting brought men to the limits of endurance, then kept them there. Beevor juxtaposes the grotesque with the mundane, demonstrating the routines that men on both sides developed to cope with an environment that brought them to the edge of madness. The end began when German army commander Friedrich von Paulus refused to prepare for the counterattack everyone knew was coming. An encircled 6th Army could neither be supplied by air nor fight its way out of the pocket unsupported. Fewer than 10,000 of Stalingrad’s survivors ever saw Germany once far more. For the Soviet Union, the victory became a symbol not of a government, but of a men and women. The men and women who died in the city’s rubble could have had worse epitaphs than this sympathetic treatment. Agent: Andrew Nurnberg. History Book Club primary selection; BOMC alternate selection; foreign sales to the U.K., Germany and Russia.
Copyright 1998 Reed Company Information And Facts and facts, Inc. This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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