The Soviet Army – Books – Stalingrad by Antony Beevor

Title:Stalingrad : The Fateful Siege, 1942-1943
Author:Antony Beevor
Publication Date:May 1999
Number of pages:493

Review by Anthony Winning:

A graphic and vivid account of the horrific battle of Stalingrad which is often noted as the turning point for the entire war. The German Wermacht, having conquered nearly the entirety of Europe pushed into Russia with Operation Barbarossa capturing three million prisoners in the first six weeks alone. With what seemed an inexorable German advance Stalin began the evacuation of Moscow. However the first time that a comprehensive defeat of the German Army occurred was in the city of Stalingrad. Blitzkrieg tactics that had conquered France proved useless as Germans had to battle the Russians for every room in every house and pay heavily in blood (over 3 million people lost their lives in this one city). Eventually Paulus’ 6th Army is surrounded ending in a Russian victory with over three hundred thousand prisoners.

The main brilliance of this book is that it is able to convey the horror and the scale of Stalingrad which is unparalleled in any Western experience. Stories about individual soldiers serve to illuminate graphically what was happening on a much wider scale. This gripping account should become the standard work against which all others should measure themselves. Quite brilliant.