The Soviet Army – Books – Barbarossa by Alan Clark

Title:Barbarossa : The Russian-German Conflict, 1941 – 1945
Author:Alan Clark
Publication Date:June 1985
Number of pages:522
Publisher:William Morrow and Co.

Review by Anthony Winning: notes this book as “the best book on [the Eastern Front]”, and I’d have to agree. Mr Clark does not attempt to cover all the battles or moves in detail, but aims to give a thorough picture of critical and important events. Hence the emphasis of this book rests on Moscow, Stalingrad, the Battle of Kursk and Oder as well as shifting focus to Berlin as the war draws to a close. But Alan Clark does not focus on purely the military realm, he also gives a throrough and compelling analysis of the politics and personalities of the Reich.

He argues that what often counted as much as weapons, men and equipment was the dynamics of the top echelons of the Reich Government, which forms a fascinating tale as top personalities in the Reich seek to expand their sphere of influence and control. He also asserts that the Allied intervention in the war was not a decisive factor, that it merely effected the duration of the war and not the outcome. Most interesting to note is his argument against that of the German military command claiming that Hitler’s “intervetion and meddling” in their plans cost them the war. He argues that Hitler’s military instinct in many cases was better than his top officers.

A very readable book, I recommened it.