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Barbarossa: The Russian-German Conflict 1941-45
Barbarossa The Russian-German Conflict 1941-45 Author:Alan Clark "When Barbarossa begins, the whole world will hold its breath," said Adolf Hitler in 1941. And at dawn on June 22nd he launched his blitzkrieg against the Soviet Union. This was a day which changed history. In agonizing suspense, the world watched while two giants, the Wehrmacht and the Red Army, clashed in what became the greatest continuous la... more »nd battle history has ever known.
This book presents the whole campaign on the Eastern Front, the reasons behind it, and the results. Alan Clark has studied the Soviet Official Histories and the memoirs of the German commanders involved, but his own considered judgment plays over them like a brilliant searchlight. This is no re-hash of documents but vivid, living history.
Within a week Hitler's tanks had advanced three hundred miles. But victory eluded them; the snows came, and the ice-wind--so cold that it froze solid the breechhlock of a rifle. For four desperate years the Germans and Russians were locked in a merciless struggle.
It was here, the author contends, in these tremendous battles, that the outcome of the second world war was really decided. Yet certain questions remain. Why did the German Army, the most formidable in the world, find its plans miscarry? How did the Russians, after losing two million men in six months, recover?
Alan Clark has divided his narrative into four parts, to correspond with the major crises of the campaign. He shows the Generals at the conference table, the ordinary soldier in the field. The sweep of the canvas is vast. Over all looms the figure of Hitler; was he really a maniac? Or a brilliant intuitive strategist let down by his commanders?
As they impinge upon the main theme many other subjects are dealt with in fascinating detail. Among them: the extraordinary role played by the Russian cavalry (the horses could withstand temperatures 30 degrees below freezing); the superiority of the Russian spy system; Stalin's strange magnetism on his armies. In short, Barbarossa is war waged at heights and depths on a scale hitherto unknown.« less