Start your review of Armageddon in Stalingrad: September - November Write a review Feb 23, Jeffrey Owens rated it it was amazing Military historical researching and writing of the highest degree of awesomeness! I have previously read David Glantzs general history of the Eastern Front of World War II, When Titans Clashed, which although very good, has now been absolutely dwarfed by this monumental book that one historian has already stated: is not likely to be surpassed. David Glantz spent twenty years in the U. Army as a historian specializing in Soviet history and tactics, and since his retirement has become by far the Military historical researching and writing of the highest degree of awesomeness! Army as a historian specializing in Soviet history and tactics, and since his retirement has become by far the most accomplished military historical writer on the Eastern Front of World War II ever. After the fall of the Soviet Union, a multitude of documents in the Soviet archives, never before available to historians have been released, and Glantz, fluent in Russian, has spent many years pouring through the archives, and has written book after book, each with cutting edge, never before written about details.

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While the first volume in their trilogy described battles that took the German army to the gates of Stalingrad, this next one focuses on the inferno of combat that decimated the city itself. Previous accounts of the battle are far less accurate, having relied on Soviet military memoirs plagued by error and cloaked in secrecy.

They allow the authors to reconstruct the fighting hour by hour, street by street, and even building by building and reveal how Soviet defenders established killing zones throughout the city and repeatedly ambushed German spearheads. The authors set these accounts of action within the contexts of decisions made by Hitler and Stalin, their high commands, and generals on the ground and of the larger war on the Eastern Front. They show the Germans weaker than has been supposed, losing what had become a war of attrition that forced them to employ fewer and greener troops to make up for earlier losses and to conduct war on an ever-lengthening logistics line.

Customer Book Reviews An exquisitely detailed and surprisingly readable history. By Littletazz on Dec 12, A note on the availability of the book. I pre-ordered my copy about four months ago. I expect those of you who have ordered this book recently will have to wait for a considerable length of time to get it as I expect it to be extremely popular.

I suggest pre-ordering vol. Glantz now mentions troupe movements and actions down to the company level. He also includes short vignettes on the major players on both the German and Soviet sides as they enter the picture. As a reader of military history since I was 14 years old, and I am now 61 years old and have read at least two dozen books on Stalingrad alone I know how mind numbing it can be to read page after page enumerating troop movements and orders of battle.

This is to some extent unavoidable for reasons of completeness and scholarly vigour, IMO. As was the case in vol. There is, IMO, a place for both types of books. Be that as it may, the way Glantz goes about describing the large troop movement and actions has a clarity about it that I have found uncommon in other books of this type and scope.

For example, the extremely important actions around Orlovka, a suburb north of Stalingrad which had a major impact on the future course of the assault proper on the city, is extremely complex and both sides shuffled dozens of companies, battalions, brigades, and divisions and battle groups in and out of this area as the battle progressed; yet Glantz comes very close to making these extremely complex activities easy to understand and follow.

The maps. I consider it absolutely essential that a book which describes movements of military units have good maps. IMO, Glantz does not disappoint. Some of the maps are originals: reproductions of German and Russian situation maps. Some of them seem to have been constructed by the author. Some are more helpful than others. Some of the maps are extremely detailed with elevation markings and type so small that a magnifying glass is needed to read the place names.

My perspective on maps in military history come from years of reading books on entire campaigns such as the Italian campaign which did not have a map in the whole book.

Absolutely horrible. From my perspective, the maps included in this book although not perfect are by far the best, the most numerous, and the most complete selection of maps I have ever seen in a military history book of this complexity. Situational maps are not easy to read, especially when they include temporal phase lines of an action. It becomes messy reading a map with temporal phase lines for actions that last for a week.

These maps go a long way in clarifying such extended actions. I am not a big fan of pictures in military history books, however, in the case of this book I am impressed. There are a lot of them. Most or many are astonishing aerial shots of the city of great clarity which show in exceptional detail the layout of the city, and IMO, more importantly, the topography of the countryside through which the Germans had to attack and with which the Russians had to defend.

Absolutely superb. Other pictures are of the major players of both sides, and of course there are the pictures of the devastation of the city proper and also of soldiers engaging in battle. The information included in this book is exceptionally detailed and I emphasize exceptionally. This book is pages long not including notes to the text which are over pages long with fairly small print although not too small to be easily read and extensively documented. Being published in , Glantz had all the benefits of recently opened archives in Russia.

Because of this Glantz is often able to disabuse us of accepted accounts of the battle that have become established over time. For example, it has been generally accepted that the German army had a rather easy time of it in their approach to the city, and an overwhelming superiority of material and men.

Glantz quickly disabuses us of this notion and documents the relative strengths of the contending sides in detail. In particular, Glantz documents the tremendous problems the German staff had in shuffling around units to the north and south flanks, particularly the north flank to fend off repeated persistent and extremely desperate Russian attacks orchestrated mainly by Zukov.

Additionally, early Russian accounts of the battle were influenced by political considerations, which lead to over inflation of German strength and loses. Russian historians faced a choice of either complying with the political prejudices or not having their histories published. Now, Russian historians can come forth with confidence that they can present information that is accurate without the fear of retaliation.

Glantz includes a "Conclusions" section at the end of each of the ten chapters to give a general overall assessment of the action in that chapter.

This is helpful as the "forest is lost in the trees" to some extents because of the tremendous amount of information included in each chapter. Even so, it is rather difficult to gain the broad strokes of the battle as it progresses. Because of this I would suggest that the reader keep notes in the margins of this book as a help in keeping the actions organized temporally and with regards to the significances of actions to others.

For example, although most all the actions initiated by Zukov on the extended northern flank of the German army were tactical failures, they did partially relieve the pressure on Stalingrad, according to Glantz.

Also, IMO, it would aid the reader to have read or to read a book that is less detailed in content, less ambitious so to speak, and more oriented to presenting a more general explanation of the tactical and strategic elements of the battle of Stalingrad. I also suggest that to fully understand what is presented in this grand work, the reader may need to re-read this book several times and do some note taking.

Finally, I must say I highly recommend this book to a serious student of the battle of Stalingrad, but certainly not to the casual reader.

Pre-order vol. Most importantly, this work provides a level of detail not available heretofore in books on Stalingrad from the Soviet side. Please read the excellent review by Mr.

Schranck for a summary of the contents, and I will confine my remarks to areas I felt were most important to supplement his review. For example in covering the actions for control of the Barrikady Factory, the two Soviet sketches confused the issue as I could not reconcile them with the other maps and photographs of the factory. By the way, the inclusion of aerial photographs of the factory helped immensely.

This work also includes operations elsewhere on the Eastern Front, associated or not with the Stalingrad battle, evidently for completeness during the two and one-half months covered. Frankly, I felt Chapter 8 which covered those other actions could have been left out of this work with no loss to the main theme. I skipped the chapter in my initial read, then came back later to see if it contained anything I needed to know when analyzing Stalingrad.

In addition, there is nothing about the development of Uranus during the months covered which would have been required if the work was to be truly chronological during this time on the Eastern Front. No doubt that will be covered in the third volume of the trilogy. In all of these works it must be emphasized that the authors look at the battles primarily from the Soviet side using archival material only recently released or opened for access.

As such, these volumes all break new ground, 67 years after the events took place, and are important to historians or specialists interested in World War II. The German side has been covered fairly comprehensively in other books, but the authors weave it into the narrative to explain the battle in its entirety. Even concerning the German side, Chapter 10, Conclusions, offers a somewhat new perspective on the battle.

In the event, this defense of Stalingrad cost the Soviets over 1. But Stalingrad forced the Germans to abandon their war of maneuver and into urban small unit actions that ground them up.

Although the Germans made extensive use of specialists and combat engineers, the maintenance by the Soviets of close combat on a daily basis sapped German strength and morale to the point where Sixth Army could not make the decisive push to win the battle. Time and again German units would achieve their objectives, but with only a handful of men remaining, they could not hold their gains or consolidate their positions. The authors tell this story extremely well. All quantitative measures would lead the historian to say that the Germans were winning the battle handily, but the actuality was that the Germans could not afford the losses and absorption of their military strength.

Even without Uranus, Stalingrad would have been eventually a defeat for the Germans. From this one wonders what would have happened if the Germans had broken into Leningrad or Moscow and faced equally determined resistance. Probably the same result. The Wehrmacht simply could not afford to be forced off its game war by maneuver and into a battle of attrition.

The book is pages long with pages of notes. The specialist reader can also skip the first chapter of 25 pages which quickly sets the scene for this volume by reviewing previous actions and plans. For most readers, however, this chapter is essential to understanding the background to put this work into context.

I recommend this book most highly and without reservations. It is a bargain at twice the price. List is also covered as 17th and the 1st Pz Armies drive south into the Caucasus. The book ends in the first few days of September. This new volume will take you through November 18th, the day before Operation Uranus launches. Mr Glantz provides detailed daily coverage on a unprecedented level of the battle. To make it easier for the reader to follow the extensive action, Mr Glantz has broken the book into chapters by geographic sections and from within each of these sections he delivers a daily chronicle of the events.

Also, periodically combat status tables are provided to show the present physical condition of the divisions of both sides. In addition to the status tables, the authors show specific deployment positions of the combat units at specified intervals over the course of battle.

This is amazing information for interested parties; you can follow the flow of battle, the movements of units, the physical conditions of the divisions much easier. There are also reinforcement tables showing when Chuikov received new forces crossing the Volga as well as Germans moving into the city. In addition to the battle coverage, brief career profiles of many unit commanders is provided, giving the reader an added insight into the overall battle.

In addition to the battle action, intelligence gathering is also discussed. Hitler was always a hard sell but if Gehlen had been more forceful, more convincing with Hitler, Paulus could have made some deployment changes, been more prepared for a counter-attack.

This volume contains the bulk of the German offensive inside of the city with excellent coverage of the fight for the factory section in the northern part of the city where the fighting was most brutal, where staying alive was the hardest. The assault of the three main factories and their worker villages take up five chapters and more than half of the book. The southern half of the city and the prominent ridge called Manaev Kurgan also receives good attention.


Armageddon in Stalingrad: September - November 1942






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