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Kiev 1941: Hitler's Battle for Supremacy in the East Hardcover – Jan 9 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 486 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (Jan. 9 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 110701459X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1107014596
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.7 x 22.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 898 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #302,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"David Stahel has written a remarkable book. Not only is it the fullest English-language account of the Battle of Kiev, based on an expert knowledge of the records of the German formations directly involved, but it is also a stimulating attempt to put what appeared to be Hitler's greatest victory into the context of his eventual defeat."
Evan Mawdsley, author of Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War

"David Stahel's new book on the Battle of Kiev is a brilliant contribution to our knowledge of the German-Soviet war. Ranging widely over strategic debates within the high command, operational and tactical details of the fighting, the logistical situation behind the front, and industrial production at home, this is an essential book for any student of World War II. A major addition to the literature from a master scholar."
Robert M. Citino, author of Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942

"A fitting follow-on to Stahel's previous books, Kiev 1941 is a fresh, accurate, and authoritative volume. A thoroughly enjoyable read, it injects a healthy dose of realism into the history of this dramatic battle. Dismantling myths left and right, the book sets right one of the most significant stages of Operation Barbarossa."
David Glantz, author of Barbarossa Derailed: The Battle for Smolensk, 10 July-10 September 1941

"Building on his work in Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East, in Kiev 1941 David Stahel further highlights how German operational successes were no compensation for strategic miscalculation. [He] uses a rich mix of German archival and other sources to provide a comprehensive analysis of the battle from a German perspective - a valuable contribution to the literature."
Alexander Hill, author of The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, 1941-1945: A Documentary Reader

"Relying mainly on German sources, [Stahel] brings new evidence to bear on the conflict with the official war diaries of German divisions, as well as making good use of published editions of the private field-post letters and diaries of German soldiers of all ranks ... overall [he] conveys extremely complex military action with exemplary clarity."
Richard J. Evans The New Republic

"Most original ... a thoughtful and thought-provoking text."
Richard Overy, Literary Review

"[Stahel's] incisive survey cuts through much of the postwar myth making [and] shows mastery of the German sources ... Issues of logistics and command are leavened by valuable insights into the strategic miscalculations of Hitler and his high command and vivid use of veteran testimony."
Michael Jones, BBC History Magazine

"A dark story - two evil nations tearing each other's guts out - but, in Stahel's hands, a powerful and a necessary one as well. A highly recommended account."
Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly

"Like his previous book, Kiev 1941 is a magnificent work of historical revision, a first-rate example of how military history ought to be written."
The Weekly Standard

"... [a] seminal work ..."
Robert M. Citino, The Russian Review

"... [Stahel] makes extensive use of the diaries and letters of German soldiers as well as works by and about German generals and political figures like Hitler and Goebbels - there are about a hundred pages of endnotes and bibliography. Excellent maps and tables clarify the complex military operations ... in this most detailed English-language treatment of the Battle of Kiev, David Stahel furnishes ample evidence that, despite its Ukrainian victories in late September 1941, Germany remained ill prepared to defeat the USSR."
Walter G. Moss, Michigan War Studies Review

"Stahel provides vivid depictions of the Ostheer's growing 'demodernization' ... and convincingly shows that the victory in Ukraine was a result both of Hitler's insistence on turning his forces southwards and away from Moscow, and of Stalin's determination to hold on to Kiev despite the clear indications of a looming catastrophe."
Omer Bartov, Times Literary Supplement

"[Stahel's] writing is a good example of impartiality ... the book brings back the memory of yet another 'forgotten battle' to English and American readers."
Oleksandr Zinchenko, New Eastern Europe

"Stahel has written a well-balanced, often provocative ... book, which sheds much new light on our knowledge of the fighting around the capital of the Ukraine."
Martijn Lak, The Journal of Slavic Military Studies

"David Stahel's two masterful books Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East and Kiev 1941: Hitler's Battle for Supremacy in the East are superbly researched and well written, and provide the reader with an excellent oversight of the German operational planning process, and of the German units involved in the initial stage of the German invasion of the USSR."
Leo J. Daugherty, III, The Journal of Slavic Military Studies

Book Description

In 1941 the Wehrmacht wrought unprecedented destruction on the Red Army during one of the largest battles of World War II, conquering central Ukraine and killing or capturing three quarters of a million men. This book is an account of the battle and the high price Germany paid for victory.

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By A. Volk #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on April 4 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is a growing movement amongst those who study the Eastern Front to recognize that not only was it by far the most important theater in WW2, but that it's outcome was largely determined in 1941. To many, this might come as a surprise, given the emphasis on D-Day and its role in defeating the Germans. But well before then, well before even famous Stalingrad or Kursk, the German Wehrmacht was in serious trouble. Stahel outlines in this excellent book that this was apparent even during what is perhaps the most successful battle in history- the Battle for Kiev. Hundreds of thousands of Soviets were killed or captured during this battle. It would be a defeat that few militaries could withstand, yet the Soviets not only withstood it, they were able to make it a Pyrrhic victory for the Germans.

The book largely focuses on the German side of the conflict. Perhaps understandably, as there isn't as much to say about the static defensive strategies of the Soviets other than Stalin was his own worst enemy. Time and again his generals pleaded to be allowed to save their troops by withdrawing from the obviously precarious situation. Even with the Germans moving at a relative snail's pace, Stalin's stubbornness was solid and he allowed multiple Soviet armies to be encircled and annihilated. There are additional Soviet perspectives offered to give an idea of what was happening on the tactical scale, largely relating to the brutality of the conflict and the casualties being inflicted on both sides.

Those casualties were crucial and cast a great shadow over Germany's chances in the East. The book discusses in some depth the conflict amongst the German generals and Hitler who fought each other and amongst themselves over the correct course of actions.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This report describes in somber and analytical language the difficulties associated with the operation in the south that led to the capture of Kiev in the autumn of 1941 by the German Ostheer. The author makes a strong point that the battle, although operationally very successful, was strategically not able to bring the conflict any closer to a successful termination. Anybody interested in a detailed and differentiated account of the event from varying perspectives will not be disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every book I have read of Stahels has been a pleasure. Well written with great maps supplied by Glantz.
Anything released by Cambridge University Press is of high quality. I understand its an arduous process to
get a work published by them. They have very high standards..

Well done Mr. Stahel.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A masterpiece. Stahel is amazing.
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It surprises me that historians cover very little of the battle of Kiev. It is, arguably, the German's greatest victory and deserves to be studied. Stahel's book is well-paced, interesting and balanced. Its been one-year since I read the book and is still in my mind today (which is actually why I'm writing a review about it).

The book should get its praises and deserves to be read.
Loved it and will be purchasing "Operation Typhoon" by the same author.

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