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Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943
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Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  13,187 ratings  ·  451 reviews
This gripping history is the definitive account of the battle that shifted the tide of World War II, conveying the experience of soldiers on both sides as they fought in inhuman conditions, and of civilians trapped on an urban battlefield.
ebook, 560 pages
Published May 1st 1999 by Penguin Books (first published 1998)
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sckenda
Mar 05, 2014 sckenda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Interested in the Eastern Front of WWII
The Battle of Stalingrad was the most catastrophic defeat in the history of Germany and reversed the Second World War. Hitler and Stalin fought a psychological duel by proxy at Stalin City on the banks of the Volga River. Human beings were of little consequence to either in this story of folly, pitilessness, and tragedy: Stalingrad became a City of the Dead, "which smelled of blood, smoke, and the stench of wounds."

The Russians paid any price for victory and coerced courage by executing 13,500
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notgettingenough
So, I'm watching a movie in German about the siege of Stalingrad last night while I'm knitting and my first thought was 'but I won't have a clue what is going on' and my second is 'fair enough....why should I have an unfair advantage over the poor fuckers who were there in the thick of it.' Just because I'm watching the movie, it shouldn't give me an edge.

Afterwards, explaining this to my mother, she asked, so did you get it? And I'm like 'nope, but neither did they.' Bunches of people being con
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Jim
This is a painful book to read, as it shows the horror of the war on both sides. The half-year battle for the streets of Stalingrad was an unremitting horror, with not only two armies, but thousands of civilians jammed into a city that was being bombed into rubble while everyone was starving or dying of thirst. (Apparently this book demonstrated the dangers of trying to substitute snow for water.)

Just when the battle for the streets of Stalingrad appeared to be turning into a stalemate, with Ge
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Matt
"You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia' - but only slightly less well-known is this: 'Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line'"!
-- Wallace Shawn as Vizzini in The Princess Bride

Never get involved in a land war in Asia. Or the European portion of Russia.

That's good advice.

For whatever reason, though, the lure of Russia - its vast steppes, its vast resources, its vast and bloody history - has
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Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
It was called as the Great War. It was great in all aspects of war, including in its stupidity. You know how it started. A minor potentate was assassinated and with this single death nations found reason enough to stage an orgy of bloodbaths across Europe which resulted to the death of millions, most of them young men in the prime of their lives. The manner this war was conducted even looked more foolish: the soldiers dug trenches, built fortifications and set up machine gun nests. They rain bom ...more
Sarah
This book was more from the 6th Army/German perspective, which wasn’t what I was expecting. But seeing as my background on this event comes more from the Russian perspective, so it was an interesting read. This book covers a lot of ground, starting with Operation Barbarossa (well, really even a little bit before that) and follows through some prison camps that extended into the 1950s! There is a part in this book that describes a German officer who gets flown out of the 6th Army encirclement (la ...more
John
Jun 26, 2008 John rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in war
This book is an astounding piece of work. Beevor does not have the moral resonance of a Martin Gilbert or the sparkling language of a Dan Van Der Vat, but in his own stolid way he tells a damn good story. Painstakingly researched and grippingly told, the book begins with Operation Barbarossa, Hitler's ill-conceived and treacherous plan to invade the Soviet Union. As we all know, this attempt foundered after the Soviet counter-attacks around Stalingrad in the Northern winter of 1942-43. Beevor at ...more
'Aussie Rick'



This is an excellent account of the battle of Stalingrad, I'd place it next to 'Enemy at the Gates'. The author gives you an overview of the military situation on the Eastern Front prior to the German Offensive towards Stalingrad on the Volga. The author tells the story of this terrible battle through the accounts of those soldiers who endured this inferno and survived as well as using letters and diaries of those who didn't! This is a story of the fighting, not of the strategy and tactics behin
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AC
I opted for an abridged version on audible, listened to at 2x speed while walking the dog --. A heavier focus on military history than I normally read, but a good enough overview in preparation for reading Vasily Grossman. Not, however, a really superb book, in my view -- though the editing/abridgment may have had something to do with that.
Dr.
The best book outlining a single battle that I have ever come across, ever. Beevor is a part of a new generation of WW2 historians who is rapidly and earnestly breaking down the western view of the war for the sake of something more objective. Read it and it will haunt you. Be careful, seriously impactful gave me fucking nightmares, not shitting you. Few authors have ever been able to put forth the true horrors of war in a way that really hit home and even begin to hint at the unspeakable things ...more
Amit
Indeed a great work by a great historian. There is no negative about his work. An essential read for all world war lovers.

Stalingrad was a game changer of world war 2. During the complete course of war, change in mood, thoughts, impressions of Germans, Romanians and Soviets is easily depicted. It is easy to trace that conflict of ego, was the main reason for mass killing of mankind and animals.

Conflicts of regional political ideologies was another big reason for it. Leaders of each region had r
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Lee
Call me odd, but I've never been particularly fond of Hitler or Stalin. Controversial as that opinion may be, it was only reinforced by Antony Beevor's Stalingrad.

The Battle of Stalingrad was both one of the bloodiest in world history and — which says something about WWII — the second bloodiest conflict of the second World War. (The first was, predictably, the siege of Leningrad.) Quite what would have happened if the Soviet and German generals had been in charge of their respective armies is un
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Robin Webster
The ending of siege of Stalingrad was seen by many historians as the defining moment of the Second World War. It cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of both German and Russian soldiers, as well as countless numbers of civilians. It is said that during the reconstruction of Stalingrad they were digging up bodies for decades afterwards.Tens of thousands died needlessly due to the interference of both Stalin and Hitler who on countless occasions overrode their Generals and insisted upon attacks ...more
Mike
My first Beevor, it was outstanding. I will be coming back for more. Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942-1943 gets 5 Stars for the epic battle history presented here. What Beevor conveys better than others is the sheer brutality of the eastern front and the Stalingrad battle. While millions die, Beevor brings the tragedy down to the individual level. Atrocity is matched by atrocity until you mourn the death of each side while seeing each side having justification. The Nazis started it but the So ...more
Roger
Stalingrad was the battle that turned the tide in the struggle against the German forces in WWII. This battle cost over 1 million lives with both sides refusing to lose. The fierce fight over a ruined city is fully explored along with the in human conditions both sides struggled with. The cost to the civilian population was staggering and this was a true battle of total war. Both sides showed little mercy to their own soldiers with executions and inhuman cruelity to prisoners. The egos of Stalin ...more
Liam
I've always been fascinated with modern history, especially World War II - it was my favourite subject and topic back in school. I would stay up late into the night reading up on various things from history (probably instead of doing my actual history homework) that interested me - I seem to remember spending a weekend doing nothing but reading about the Unification of Germany.

It's been a few years since I finished Year 12, and upon starting Stalingrad I was struck by how much I had missed readi
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Thomas Strömquist
The horrors of war exposed. I actually read the whole thing wide-eyed I believe. Beevor gets entangled in details from time to time, but it doesn't matter, he presents the material head-on, the only way to actually do it. It's not an enjoyable book, but quite essential.
Annie M
Dec 17, 2007 Annie M rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: non academics
Shelves: war-politics
One thing I do know, and that is this is a very good read. I'm not a history buff, I don't study it, and I'm not a bloke (if that makes sense). What I do like are good human stories and there's plenty here. A very accessible, well written book.
Tamsin Barlow
If I were British I would say, "Bloody hell." Reading this book was like standing in front of a firehose of misery. For the true aficionado of war strategies and troop deployments you get more than your fill, nevertheless the book works because it never lets you lose sight of the human tragedy. Yes there's a lot of talk about military strategy and the chain of decisions that led to the Kessel - Stalingrad was a battle that set in motion a chain of events that eventually sealed the fate of post-w ...more
Todd
One of the best non-fiction books i have ever read. In regards to the authors authority and complex research i feel this book is pretty accurate in explaining the intense turning point of world war 2.

Viewed from both German and Russian perspectives with many references and historical letters to lend to the mood, Beevor pretty much covers it all.
From the invasion and mobilization of the German army, through the winters and back out to the surrounding of the Sixth army at the end of the siege, it
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Robert Kiehn
Great book, at a little over 431 pages, about the Historic battle between Germany's Wehrmacht Army and Panzer Divisions and the Russian Red Army (and NKVD)when Hitler decided to turn his back on his ally Stalin and invade the Motherland (Russia) from the Fatherland (Germany).

The book is a great read, very interesting and details the Battle of Stalingrad in great detail
and often in human terms with stories from both sides of battle, survival, letters to and from home, conditions during the war f
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Speedy
Con estos relatos pormenorizados uno se da cuenta de la increible estupidez de los altos mandos que provocan daños inimaginables para los soldados en el frente de batalla. Nadie se salva, desde los ineptos comandantes rusos hasta los rastreros alemanes; unos paranoicos por causa de Stalin o derechamente incompetentes, otros acobardados o hipnotizados por Hitler, rehusándose a ver lo evidente.

Las pequeñas historias de heroísmo e incluso de humanidad contrastan con el desprecio total a la vida, l
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Rob Cheney
A wonderful account of a monumental struggle of epic proportions. Should be read in conjunction with Martin Sixsmith's "Russia A 1000-Year Chronicle of the Wild East" to attempt to grasp the historical origins of the Russian people's capacity to accept loss and suffering. The callous and casually cruel behavior (an almost inhuman disregard of human life and suffering) by both Hitler and Stalin comes shining through.

Small individual anecdotes and personal moments are interspersed with the huge pa
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Joe
This is probably the definitive account of the Battle for Stalingrad. The account covers the start of Operation Barbarossa. The campaign lasting almost two years that lead the 6th Army to the town of Stalingrad. It weaves several threads together. The sycophants in German high command, the reckless gambling of Hitler. The rampant paranoia of Stalin and the Stavka. As well as the tenuous German front from the Don to the Volga. The 6th army in Stalingrad and its commander General Paulus.

The 6th a
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Andrew Donnellan
Sep 16, 2013 Andrew Donnellan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with an interest in World War II
Antony Beevor's Stalingrad presents a vivid picture of the battle which epitomised so much of the horror of the Second World War. Beevor's aim of providing a comprehensive traditional narrative of the Battle of Stalingrad is certainly ambitious, given the incredible scale of the conflict. "A purely military study of such a titanic struggle," he argues, "fails to convey its reality on the ground, rather as Hitler's maps isolated him in a fantasy-world, far from the suffering of his soldiers." (p. ...more
Philip
This is an exhaustive and impeccably researched narrative about the battle for Stalingrad in 1942-43 between the Nazi and the Soviet armies. This battle was one of the most famous of World War II because it resulted in the circling of the Nazi 6th Army by the Soviets, and the subsequent surrender of the 6th Army. It marked a major turning point in World War II, with the stopping of Hitler's armies on the Soviet front, and the beginning of their long retreat.

Military buffs will enjoy this book. H
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Gary
I cannot comment on the historical accuracy of this book (e.g., whether it presents a conventional or more radical interpretation of particular events), nor can I compare it with other books on the siege of Stalingrad.
That aside, I can recommend this book to anyone seeking a well-written view of what has to be one of the biggest military losses in contemporary history. Aside from descriptions of troop movements, officers' meetings, close-range combat, and all the other things you might except fr
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Anne
This book is an excellent introduction to the military history of the Eastern Front during World War II for the average reader like myself, who might be well acquainted with the general history of World War II but is nevertheless unable to distinguish between, say, a brigade and a battalion. (Beevor provides definitions of all the important military formations in his introductory pages.)

Beevor's book is also, I would argue, a truly gripping and exciting account of the Battle of Stalingrad, an a
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Andy Bryant
Bloody hell. This is a gruelling, but ultimately very rewarding book. Of all the battles that made up world War 2, Stalingrad is the one I've always found fascinating. I was aware of its place in history as the turning point in the War, and understood bits if the story (mainly from Yesterday channel and Enemy at the Gates!), but I had no idea just what an epic human tragedy it really was.

I've never really been interested in military strategy, so I tended to glaze over a fair bit when Beevor desc
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Matt
This is not an easy book, or topic to write about in glowing terms. This is an excellent book that gives the reader a keen sense of the madness, horror, desperation, and futility that was the WWII eastern front around Stalingrad.

I am not a war junkie, I don't tend to read "survey" books, and when I read about war, I prefer the human stories that illustrate the idiocy of war. This book is very much about the people and personalities that fought. It is also about the tactics and the politics surro
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Good historical evidence, and then interesting. 7 40 Sep 29, 2014 08:18AM  
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Antony James Beevor is a British historian, educated at Winchester College and Sandhurst. He studied under the famous historian of World War II, John Keegan. Beevor is a former officer with the 11th Hussars who served in England and Germany for 5 years before resigning his commission. He has published several popular histories on the Second World War and 20th century in general.

More about Antony Beevor...
The Fall of Berlin 1945 D-Day: The Battle for Normandy The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 The Second World War Crete: The Battle And The Resistance

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