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Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943 Paperback – May 10 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (May 10 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140284583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140284584
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 13.8 x 2.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By physics student on Nov. 28 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would like to say that I like this book, but I can't. It is difficult to figure out what is going on. Beevor proves that the Germans were beastly, and the Russians
were ruthless (the Eastern Front has been described as a competition between Hitler
and Stalin to see who could kill the most Russians, with Stalin winning easily); but the overall movement does not emerge. It is better to read von Manstein's Lost Battles for the large movements, and von Manstein was a far better writer than Beevor.

However, what I find inexcusable about this book, which appeared in 2007, is that its
discussions of the thinking and doings of the Soviet High Command are little better
than informed speculation. And yet we have Simon Sebag Montefiore's amazing "The Court of the Red Czar", which appeared in 2004.
Montefiore, working on interviews with survivors, children of the leaders etc., and archival information, tells us exactly what Stalin, Molotov, Zhukov, etc. said, and did, day by day and minute by minute, and a dramatic and savage account it is, too,
as when Stalin upbraids Zhukov for misplacing an army or two, and Zhukov runs out
of the room crying, followed by Molotov to console him - the hardest of the hard men,
nearly broken by the Nazi onslaught.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Sanderson on Dec 2 2012
Format: Paperback
Antony Beevor's "Stalingrad" isn't something that's going to captivate the man or woman already well-educated on the Stalingrad campaign. If you're already familiar with the movements and actions of Paulus's 6th Army in and around the Don, or if you're already well versed with Operation Uranus and its causes and results, feel free to skip this book and move on to something a little more in depth. However, if you're new to the subject matter --- perhaps just a general reader -- than I can't recommend "Stalingrad" enough.

The Battle of Stalingrad was a drawn out, bloody, and savage affair. Even if you're just have a casual interest in WWII history, you likely already know this to one degree or another. Beevor's greatest accomplishment in "Stalingrad" is to really make you understand just how dastardly the fight really was. From the Soviet women that manned the AV batteries on the outskirts of the city, to the stacks of bodies piled on high during the winter of '42 and '43 after the encirclement of 6th Army, Beevor doesn't let up in letting the reader just how catastrophic and deadly this battle on the Eastern Front really was.

All this concern with the horror of the fight, however, does come at an expense. Detail in Beevor's "Stalingrad" is rather lacking when it comes to military maneuver and the mindset and planning of the various HQs, particularly the Russian. Of course, the casual reader may feel overloaded and rather bored if Beevor had dropped dozens of divisional and corps numbers into the narrative, and it may well have ended up weakening the overall narrative, which is the horror of the Battle of Stalingrad itself.

If you have an interest in WWII, in particular the Eastern Front, and you don't have a more in-depth knowledge of the subject matter, you can't do better than be Antony Beevor's "Stalingrad". I highly recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
the adage "more is less" pretty much summarizes my opinion of "stalingrad". it is intelligent, well written and hugely well-researched, all of which are good things. at the same time, it is exhausting (as well as exhaustive) and contains more names than "war and peace." personally, i think mr beevor would have benefitted from a good editor, one whose credo is "less is more." reading "stalingrad" is like watching a blow-by-blow (and i mean blow-by-blow) account of a 15 round boxing match. i chose the book because i wanted a layman's account of the battle of stalingrad; what i got was everything-one-ever-wanted-to-know about the battle of stalingrad, and more..

in short, if "stalingrad" were half the length, i would have enjoyed it twice as much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy on July 6 2004
Format: Paperback
What remains in my mind are the incidental points: German soldiers drowning in latrines, too weak from dysentary to rescue themselves or be rescued by starving comrades. Russians incinerated as they try to flee across the Volga. Mass cruelty mixed with a German clergyman painting a "Fortress Madonna" on the only available paper, the back of a military map. Soviet propagandists blaring "death tango" music across the front. The Russian truce seekers meeting with Germans after Christmas. Those on both sides who desert. Soviet POWs worked to death as human oxen. German letters home from the "kessel." Hitler's gambling with half a million lives and Goebbels' media manipulation. Stalin's NKVD and Hitler's Feldgendarmerie both shooting those terrified to fight. Everywhere, mud, ice, blood.
These poignant and infuriating vignettes rise above the sheer mass of often primary-source material trawled by Beevor. Too often, this army formation goes here and this general goes there, especially in the middle of the narrative, and this weakens the "human" touch which I favor, although to be fair other readers may relish these strategic accounts. I certainly needed the maps to follow the action.
When I was a child, a "Reader's Digest" condensation described Stalingraders eating library paste and boiling leather goods to survive. Surprisingly, the civilian plight gains very little attention; the focus here mixes wide-scale accounts of troop movements with accounts drawn from letters and documents.
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