THE WORLD WAR TWO GROUP discussion

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ARCHIVED THREADS > need recommendations about Operation Barbarossa

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi guys,
Can any of you guys here recommend a good and/or comprehensive book on Operation Barbarossa, preferably one that cover the campaign until the battle of Stalingrad?
Thanks in advance :)


message 2: by 'Aussie Rick', Moderator (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) | 18209 comments Hi there, I can recommend a few older books that I read some years ago:
Paul Carell's "Hitler's War on Russia"
John Erickson's "The Road to Stalingrad" - mainly from the Soviet point-of-view.
Robert Kershaw's "War Without Garlands - Operation Barbarossa 1941/42"

I will try and dig a few more up from my library, I hope this helps.


message 3: by Steve (last edited Jun 14, 2009 01:16AM) (new)

Steve | 3 comments I can second the Paul Carrell book (which for me was titled Hitler Moves East). But I read it back when I was in high school (and I'm 52 now). Still, I've read tons of battle books, and as I recall Carrell was one of the most exciting war historians I've ever read (I also liked his book on the Africa campaign). How professional historians view him, or where scholoarship is now (especially with whatever the Russians have now made available), I couldn't guess.


message 4: by 'Aussie Rick', Moderator (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) | 18209 comments Another book that specifically covers your subject matter is "Operation Barbarossa: Strategy & Tactics on the Eastern Front, 1941" by Bryan Fugate, first published in 1984.


message 5: by Nick (new)

Nick | 92 comments weighing in very late. be advised that "Paul Carrell", real name Paul Karl Schmidt, was a member of the SS and was the chief press spokesman for Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. As such, his writing is suspect.

He is of the "Gallant herrenvolk overwhelmed by the Slavic horde" school of journalism. This can be overlooked because he did, in fact, write very well. Unfortunately, if you buy into his thesis, you'll come away with an erroneous picture of the war.

He also suffers from the fact that, when he was writing, much of the information from the Soviet side had not yet been declassified. Not his fault, of course.

Erickson's works (Road to Stalingrad, Road to Berlin) are good but dated.

If you are looking for a balanced account of the Eastern Front. you can't do much better than works by David Glantz. He has access to much of the Soviet military archives and has written on a number of topics. You get a much more balanced (and accurate, in my opinion) picture of the conflict.

I would stick to his general works before tackling those on the campaigns. Glantz occasionally has episodes where his writing becomes positively narcoleptic and that, along with the occasionaly inadequacy of the accompanying maps, makes for some tough going.

But if you stick to the overviews, you'll learn a lot more than from a hack like Carell.


message 6: by 'Aussie Rick', Moderator (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) | 18209 comments Another decent book is Robert Kershaw's "War Without Garlands: Operation Barbarossa 1941-42", ISBN 0-7110-2734-X.


message 7: by Zachary (new)

Zachary I'd also recommend Ivan's War Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939 - 1945, which is a new book about the war on the Eastern Front. It covers the whole of the front, and Barbarossa gets decent though short coverage. The book is original and important in the way that it applies memory studies and debunks certain Soviet myths about the war. Its likely the best new book on the war that I've seen emerge in some time. Truly original, honest, and it provides the best reading of the sources I've seen yet. Thanks.


message 8: by Kelly (new)

Kelly | 1 comments Look over the titles by David Glantz. He is the current "top" writer on Eastern Front and his histories/campaign analysis use relatively unfiltered Soviet Army material instead of the the German-biased or Communist filtered sources most previous writers had to rely on.

Basically, if you are not reading Glantz, you are behind the times.

Carrell/Schmidt stuff is an exciting read, but is not very good history.


message 9: by 'Aussie Rick', Moderator (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) | 18209 comments I totally agree with you about Glantz, his book on Kursk was excellent and I am looking forward to all the books in his Stalingrad trilogy however I have not read his book "Before Stalingrad: Barbarossa, Hitler's Invasion of Russia 1941". I don't think it is in print but should be available second-hand.


message 10: by Mansoor (new)

Mansoor Azam (azam69) | 42 comments three books i recall.

FM von Manstein's lost victories
Guderians Panzer Battles
Hitler's war on russia by Paul Caurell

because the above mentioned generals were directly involved in the operations, guderian till the battle of Moscow. and Manstein as a corp commander in army group north then as army comander of 11 army in crimea and then it was his forces which launched the last effort to recue troops at stalingrad. they really come handy when u want to understand wat was happening..


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