Steve Coscia's Reviews > Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad

Enemy at the Gates by William Craig
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's review
Feb 18, 2012

really liked it
Read in February, 2012

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 many of the survivors.

History will forever debate whether Paulus should have broken out of the kessel in December 1942 in defiance of Hitler's orders. Both Manstein and Hoth admitted that Paulus was too subservant to Hitler and that Paulus should have broken out when he had the chance. Of course, both Manstein and Hoth speak with 20/20 hindsight. In Manstein's defense, he was a maverick and he did defy Hitler's orders more than once - and he was correct to do so.

I would have given this book 5 Stars if it had more maps detailing the various troop movements. I had to rely on other WWII maps to follow the geography.
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