June - the start of the Barbarossa campaign - the attack on Russia.
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This was a shock for the people of Germany, as the war propaganda had said that they were winning. Every aspect of Germany's economy and society was contributing to the war campaign. As a result, there were no:. Exchange centres were opened and more women were working in the factories. Working hours increased. The aim of the Allies' intensive bombing programme in May was to kill people's spirits and force the war to end. It reveals the horrors they experienced - the Holocaust, genocide and the mass murder of Soviet POWs - and shows the Red Army, brutalized by war, taking its terrible revenge on the German civilian population.
Total War From Stalingrad to Berlin
For the first time Russian veterans are candid about the terrible atrocities their own army committed. But they also describe their struggle to raise themselves from the abyss of hatred. Their war against the Nazis - which in large part brought the Second World War in Europe to an end - is a tarnished but deeply moving story of sacrifice and redemption. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages.
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Sort order. Jan 07, A. Sowards rated it really liked it Shelves: historys , history-wwii , group-reads-wwii , , nonfiction. This book did a good job portraying the human side to the Red Army.
Prelude to the Battle of Stalingrad
This book used diaries, letters, and interviews to show what individual soldiers w This book did a good job portraying the human side to the Red Army. The war was massive. Take the number of men involved, casualties sustained, and weapons used in the West, and tack on a few zeros to the end—that will get you in the right ballpark for the Eastern front.
The inhabitants were rounded up, locked in buildings, then shot or burned. In this book, I read about a few horrible things that I though had only happened in Nanking. Nope, they happened in Belorussia too. This book also showed some interesting glimpses of women in the military. Not all of their comrades were happy to have them, but about a fourth of the female soldiers were decorated for their service. The few unlucky enough to be captured by the Germans received extra-cruel treatment.
Jones also shows some of the soldiers who refused to become like their enemy—those who treated German civilians with courtesy and even compassion—despite having seen their villages destroyed by the Nazi army. The writing and research are excellent. On some level, I think every adult needs to read a book or watch a movie that forces them to see how evil war is, to realized how real the holocaust was. Overall, this book gave me a better understanding of the Eastern Front. But it did help me see more clearly the common humanity we all share—the love between parent and child, the horror when we see others suffering.
As with any sizable group of people, there were criminals in the Red Army.
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But there were also heroes. A lot of them. View all 11 comments. Jan 18, Mike rated it it was amazing Shelves: history , military , non-fiction , ww2. Jones gives you a small sample of a vast repository of tragic stories from the eastern front in Total War: From Stalingrad to Berlin. I think it is fair to say, until recently, the western view of the eastern front probably considers the 2 theatres of war to be roughly equal in ferocity.
I remember being skeptical about the claims of the "Great Patriotic War" sacrifices because the Soviets always lied or exaggerated.
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But now I am coming to appreciate how large a sacrifice they made. Without taking anything away from the western allies sacrifices, reading about the massive combat in the east gives a new appreciation for their soldiers' achievement on the eastern front. They were subjected to the most horrifying brutality and not hard to see why they visited the same back on the Germans. This scene was so moving as the father sends his son off to war. It makes the connection -- these people are no different from us.
Vladimir will soon die in his first battle. This vignette does so much to bring the tragedy of 2. Jones has two major themes in the book. The first is to highlight the individuals within the huge death tolls: By early Russia was winning the war against Nazi Germany. Under the stress of intensive campaigning, and influenced by an ideology that emphasized the collective good above the welfare of the individual, it is clear that the Soviet Union needlessly threw away the lives of many of its soldiers.
This week in history: Goebbels gives his infamous 'Total War' speech in Berlin - Deseret News
These men and women were not fighting as part of a robotic mass, however. Jones will follow a number of individuals throughout the war. He will bring stories you have heard about and many that will be new. She had been awarded the Order of the Red Star for the defense of Stalingrad, where she had been badly wounded, and she had always been treated with courtesy by her fellow soldiers.
One lieutenant declared that in the army every girl becomes a whore. You can imagine how hurtful it is to hear such things! No one in our own unit had ever made such comments. I loathe these men — and the five days we spent in their company seemed like five years of penal servitude. He fights in many battles. The Lt seems to have a tough time on his birthday: view spoiler [ On the eastern bank of the River Oder, newly promoted Soviet lieutenant Mikhail Borisov was approaching his twenty-first birthday with some trepidation. On 22 March and on the same date the following year the young artillery officer had been wounded in combat.
Festivities were interrupted by a German bombing raid. The shock waves knocked Borisov to the floor, leaving him concussed and buried in debris. On 22 March Borisov wondered whether he should ignore his birthday completely.
But congratulations came in from nearby units, one artillery battery offering to put his position under friendly fire to keep up the tradition. So a modest table was laid and drinks put out. Suddenly a car drew up. It was the regimental commander, Colonel Shapovalov. The Soviet Sixty-second Army was pushed back into Stalingrad proper, where, under the command of Gen. Vasily I. Chuikov , it made a determined stand. By mid-September the Germans had pushed the Soviet forces in Stalingrad back until the latter occupied only a 9-mile- km- long strip of the city along the Volga, and that strip was only 2 or 3 miles 3 to 5 km wide.
The Soviets had to supply their troops by barge and boat across the Volga from the other bank.
Total War: From Stalingrad to Berlin by Michael Jones (Paperback, 2012)
At that point Stalingrad became the scene of some of the fiercest and most-concentrated fighting of the war; streets, blocks, and individual buildings were fought over by many small units of troops and often changed hands again and again. The most-critical moment came when on October 14 the Soviet defenders had their backs so close to the Volga that the few remaining supply crossings of the river came under German machine-gun fire.
The Germans, however, were growing dispirited by heavy losses, fatigue, and the approach of winter. The turning point of the battle came with a huge Soviet counteroffensive, code-named Operation Uranus November 19—23 , which had been planned by Generals Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov , Aleksandr Mikhailovich Vasilevsky , and Nikolay Nikolayevich Voronov. It was launched in two spearheads, some 50 miles 80 km north and south of the German salient whose tip was at Stalingrad.