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Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad
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Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  5,602 ratings  ·  121 reviews
Stalingrad, the bloodiest battle in the history of warfare, cost the lives of nearly two million men and women. It signaled the beginning of the end for the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler; it foretold the Russian juggernaut that would destroy Berlin and make the Soviet Union a superpower. As Winston Churchill characterized the result of the conflict at Stalingrad: " the hinge ...more
Hardcover, 457 pages
Published July 15th 2003 by Barnes & Noble Books (first published 1973)
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Community Reviews

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Veeral
One would not be entirely correct if one thinks that the movie Enemy At The Gates was based on this book, even though the movie posters claims it to be so. Somehow, it resembles more with the book War of the Rats by David L. Robbins, which is a fictionalized account of the duel between two sharpshooters in the warzone of Stalingrad. In my opinion, Stalingrad (1993) is a way better movie than the Hollywood one.

This book in fact covers the whole battle of Stalingrad from the German perspective.



Fo
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'Aussie Rick'
This title was the catalyst for my enduring fascination with books covering the fighting on the Eastern Front during World War Two. This is a great story of the fighting at Stalingrad endured by the German and Russian armies. Although not as deeply researched as Glantz’s titles this book offers an insight into the soldier’s war and does it brilliantly. This is still one of my top ten books ever which isn’t bad considering it was first published in the early 1970’s. Recommended for anyone who lov ...more
Evan
Don't even harbor the thought that the film version of "Enemy at the Gates" bears anything but cursory relation to this book. The movie was actually based on a fictionalized book called "War of the Rats." If you want to read one book about the Hell that was World War II, this is the one. This is a sweeping chronicle of the most heinous campaign in the history of human warfare - Stalingrad. William Craig's command of the material is complete; the realities of everyday life and death are essayed t ...more
A.L. Sowards
I knew the basics about Stalingrad before reading this book: that it was perhaps the most important battle of the war and a huge turning point, that it involved sniper battles, house-to-house fighting, huge casualties on both sides, and entire armies from Germany and Romania pretty much disappearing. This book gave me a more complete picture of the battle, its scope, and how it unfolded.

It wasn’t a happy read. The Soviets get pushed back almost all the way to the Volga and barely hang on. They s
...more
Steve Coscia
For WWII history buffs, this book is mandatory. The Russians had no idea that they had trapped so many Germans in Stalingrad during their November 1942 pincer movement. The bold Russian move along with diminishing supplies and brutal weather sealed the German's fate. This book details the day-by-day and hour-by-hour deterioration of German existence inside the Stalingrad pocket or "kessel" (Cauldron).

Descriptive personal testimony of trauma, starvation, frostbite and even post-war follow up on
...more
Richard
This book is an account of one of the most decisive battles of World War II. It marks the spot in history when the Russian Army stopped retreating from the relentless German invasion which was started in June 1941, and when the utter, catastrophic defeat of the Germans gave the Russians and their allies in the United States and Great Britain a huge morale boost. This was one of those turning points where the ultimate outcome of a great conflict could trace its origins.

The invasion of the Soviet
...more
Mike
Oct 17, 2012 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Mike by: aggie_mike2003@yahoo.com
One of the best battle accounts incorporating both sides while keeping a fair perspective. Fascinating and bloody, the battle was a key turning point to the war and this one should be read. *Oct 2012 Reread* This book remains a "must-read" on Stalingrad. It ranges from the grand strategy of Hitler's invasion of the USSR down to the grunts in the cellars and rubble of the city. Horror, cruelty and suffering yet flashes of humanity and charity in a titanic battle. Excellent reading even if it is a ...more
Mikey B.
An entirely sobering account of the epochal battle of Stalingrad. The ruthlessness and inhumanity of war is nakedly exposed. Corpses abound – towards the end rotting bodies are stacked up in makeshift German hospitals.

Stalingrad is what can happen to invaders. Although one feels sympathy for the Germans in reading their letters home to their wives and parents – there is no introspection in these letters of the reasons of why they were so far from their homeland. When one seeks to destroy a city
...more
Sarah
This isn’t the first book I’ve read about the Battle of Stalingrad and it won’t be the last. This wasn’t the best book about the Battle of Stalingrad, and it wasn’t the worst. I probably learned a few new things and some of the personal stories, while slightly choppy, did add a perspective. I still get lost with some of the more military terms (how big is a battalion?), this is a decent read for anyone interested in WWII, written by an American but not about any American theater of war.
Terry Parker
This is a book that stays with you, making you remember the brutality of war. Whether you were German, you were sorrily sacrificed, or Russian you were driven to be sacrificed. The body counts and politics play off each other to show how decisions made behind the lines affect the men and women at the front. And in Russia the front was everywhere. And the movie of the same name, while very focussed, intense and realistic, it does only have to do with a small portion of the book.
Kim
An outstanding history - thoroughly researched with first person accounts presented in the third person. Presented in anecdotal form which was utterly insightful. In this day of texting and electronic communications, watch for the author's observations about the teletype communications between Schmidt and Schultz, written over forty years ago. Very hard to put down. Balanced in its humanity.
Dave
Living in Ukraine has given me an interest to read more about the Eastern Europe history. I feel like I know almost every inch of Stalingrad (Volograd now). I can't believe the audacity of Hitler and how blindly people followed the little corporal. Stalin was not saint either. The book was about as realistic as I would care to read about the horrors of war.
Colin O'bryan
Enemy at the Gates is all about the battle of Stalingrad. This book shows the strategies of the Russians as well as the Germans. It would not be entirely correct to say that the movie was based off the book. Because the movie focused on the fighting and survival of a single soldier. In the book it shows the tools taken and the struggles that each side had to go through. Whether it is the Germans being unable to advance due to the Russians and their overwhelming fatigue, or the Russians lack of f ...more
Jarrod
This is a fantastic book and required reading for anyone interested in the Eastern Front of WWII. The defense and triumph of the Soviet Union at Stalingrad easily marks the turning point in the European Theater of WWII. The raw stories from the soldiers fighting the war here makes this book a standout amongst it's peers.
Leftbanker
This is yet another must-read for anyone interested in WWII history and a painstakingly researched work that sometimes goes a bit too far in its personal touches. I sort of get what he is trying to do but do we really need the names of so many people who played what could only be called minor roles in this epic battle? He tries to write this like someone who was actually a participant in the struggle but for me there were just too many details I thought to be insignificant. With that said this b ...more
Gstn Klcsr
La más devastadora batalla de la segunda guerra mundial, el punto de inflexión del avance de los "superhombres" Nazis, una verdadera carnicería. Un infierno congelado.
Steve
Great account on the battle of Stalingrad fought between the German Sixth Army and the Russian Army during World War II. the battle was fought in October 1942 and ended in February 1943 with the German Sixth Army surrendering. Stalingrad was one of the most brutal battle ever fought during World War II which resulted the lose of 750,000 Russians either killed, wounded, or missing in action and 400,000 Germans either killed, wounded, or missing in action. The Russian super sniper Vassili Zaitsev ...more
Michele
Feb 08, 2014 Michele rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves history.
Shelves: history
Very vivid and well written account of the most gruesome battle in history. I recommend it.
Jon Zug
What Steven Ambrose's book "D-Day" was to the Normandy Invasion, William Craig's "Enemy at the Gates" is to the Battle of Stalingrad. Weaving personal stories and vignettes into the historical facts of the fight for Stalin's city in 1942 makes this book a most engaging narrative of one of (if not THE) WWII's most important battles. There are more detailed analyses of this battle, but no other book paints the grand canvas of this struggle than does this one. It is particularly fascinating to note ...more
Mike
A remarkable book about (arguably) the most important battle of WW2
Vaibhav Anand
I picked up this book to augment my ever growing collection of World War books. The book carries the same cover as the movie by the same name starring Jude Law and Rachel Weisz- scenes from which have remained embedded in my head ever since I saw it. Remember the scene where Vasily Zaytsev, a shephard from the Urals, becomes Vasily Zaytsev, the super-sniper? Surrounded by the corpses of his comrades, he shoots dead seven or eight Nazis with a political officer beside him- a political officer who ...more
Remo

Stalingrado fue, junto a El Alamein, una de las batallas en las que se invirtió el rumbo de la II Guerra Mundial. En ella, los alemanes perdieron a varios de sus mejores ejércitos, además de la iniciativa, que tomaron los soviéticos al empezar a avanzar hacia Berlín.


Napoleón fracasó al invadir Rusia y Hitler cometió los mismos errores, y algunos más. Intentó hacer una campaña relámpago y cuando se quedó atascado se le echó el invierno encima. Después de eso, los rusos sólo tuvieron que contener

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Zack Baldwin
Enemy At The Gates is by William Craig. This book is mainly about the battle of stalingrad there are two main characters the two main snipers of each side of the brute force between Zaitsev and Konigs they were both the best ones of there elites sides. The intense moments of lief or death would keep you going crazy to read more. This story takes place during WWII When we were trying to take over stalingrad. I believe that the author (William Craig) wrote this book to inspire some of us to join t ...more
Malquiviades
This is an interesting book on the battle for Stalingrad. As many USA historians seems to do (like Stephen E. Ambrose), Craig digs on the experiences and memories of the soldiers and civilians who struggle there for survival. So it comes to the personal experiences of the people who were right there, through all the horror that was that German's fumble.

Then, it is a book more directed to the mass readers rather than to the interested on history. And this is clear since the beginning from the nov
...more
Judy
This is one book that will haunt me for a long time. It was published in 1973 after 4 years of research on the part of the author who also interviewed hundreds of survivors. In the prologue, the human losses are listed: Red Army, 750,000 dead, wounded or missing; Germans, about 400,000 men; Italians, 130,000 men; Hungarians, 120,000 men; Rumanians, about 200,000 men and unknown is the number of civilians from a population of half a million before the months of battle for Stalingrad (now known as ...more
Ryan Doherty
Personally I find micro history a much more fascinating methodological approach than macro history. Actually, it's a bit of both: I like to gain an overall appreciation of a period or topic first before examining it in detail and finding out what it was like for those who lived through it. But I find the second part the most interesting.

Enemy at The Gates is the most compelling, disturbing, and brilliantly written attempt to relate what being involved in brutal, relentless, close quarter combat
...more
Jane
This is a classic work on the Battle of Stalingrad--or maybe the *first* classic. Although forty years old, the book still has value. I could see how this battle was a major turning point in world history--the first time the Wehrmacht had been defeated--overwhelmingly and at such a human toll! Stalingrad took place in 1942-43, and D-Day was still over a year in the future.

The book lays out all the strategy, tactics, and brings the battle and its aftermath home to the general reader with passages
...more
John
I really never knew anything about the eastern front half of WWII so I decided to read this book which Kate found on her grandfather's shelf. The movie was about this one tiny little part; a sniper duel that took place during the months of battle. The book is about the battle as a whole, which took months and totally destroyed the entire German Sixth army of a quarter million men. Two interesting things about this book, one, it's the only thing I've ever read that actually manages to make you fe ...more
Jason
I knew I was going to like this chronicle of history's bloodiest battle the moment I picked it up and saw The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far author Cornelius Ryan's favorable review on the back cover. Let me start by saying that this is a mammoth undertaking, one that the author spent five years preparing for with hundreds of survivor interviews and countless hours of historical research before ever writing a paragraph. My biggest critique of this work is the same as my criticisms of the two w ...more
Lucas
The Jude Law movie from a few years ago is loosely based on about ten pages of this book (120 to 130 in my edition).

A lot of research and interviews were done for this book, and there are many interesting little anecdotes probably derived from those interviews. I'm reminded of the note at the beginning of 'A Bridge Too Far', which mentions the great deal of material that was very moving and interesting but could only be single-sourced and was therefore left out- I'm not sure the same high stand
...more
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WWII 1 5 Jul 11, 2014 01:15PM  
THE WORLD WAR TWO...: 2012 - October - "Enemy at the Gates" by William Craig 155 106 Dec 08, 2012 10:17AM  
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William Craig (1929–1997) was an American author and historian.
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