Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad

Open Road Media
41
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A New York Times bestseller that brings to life one of the bloodiest battles of World War II—and the beginning of the end of the Third Reich.

On August 5, 1942, giant pillars of dust rose over the Russian steppe, marking the advance of the 6th Army, an elite German combat unit dispatched by Hitler to capture the industrial city of Stalingrad and press on to the oil fields of Azerbaijan. The Germans were supremely confident; in three years, they had not suffered a single defeat.The Luftwaffe had already bombed the city into ruins. German soldiers hoped to complete their mission and be home in time for Christmas.
 
The siege of Stalingrad lasted five months, one week, and three days. Nearly two million men and women died, and the 6th Army was completely destroyed. Considered by many historians to be the turning point of World War II in Europe, the Soviet Army’s victory foreshadowed Hitler’s downfall and the rise of a communist superpower.

Bestselling author William Craig spent five years researching this epic clash of military titans, traveling to three continents in order to review documents and interview hundreds of survivors. Enemy at the Gates is the enthralling result: the definitive account of one of the most important battles in world history. It became a New York Times bestseller and was also the inspiration for the 2001 film of the same name, starring Joseph Fiennes and Jude Law.
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About the author

William Craig (1929–1997) was an American historian and novelist. Born and raised in Concord, Massachusetts, he interrupted his career as an advertising salesman to appear on the quiz show Tic-Tac-Dough in 1958. With his $42,000 in winnings—a record-breaking amount at the time—Craig enrolled at Columbia University and earned both an undergraduate and a master’s degree in history. He published his first book, The Fall of Japan, in 1967. A narrative history of the final weeks of World War II in the Pacific, it reached the top ten on the New York Times bestseller list and was deemed “virtually flawless” by the New York Times Book Review. In order to write Enemy at the Gates (1973), a documentary account of the Battle of Stalingrad, Craig travelled to three continents and interviewed hundreds of military and civilian survivors. A New York Times bestseller, the book inspired a film of the same name starring Jude Law and Joseph Fiennes. In addition to his histories of World War II, Craig wrote two acclaimed espionage thrillers: The Tashkent Crisis (1971) and The Strasbourg Legacy (1975).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Sep 29, 2015
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Pages
457
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ISBN
9781504021340
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Strategy
History / Military / World War II
History / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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A powerful, groundbreaking narrative of the ordinary Russian soldier's experience of the worst war in history, based on newly revealed sources

Of the thirty million who fought in the eastern front of World War II, eight million died, driven forward in suicidal charges, shattered by German shells and tanks. They were the men and women of the Red Army, a ragtag mass of soldiers who confronted Europe's most lethal fighting force and by 1945 had defeated it. Sixty years have passed since their epic triumph, but the heart and mind of Ivan -- as the ordinary Russian soldier was called -- remain a mystery. We know something about hoe the soldiers died, but nearly nothing about how they lived, how they saw the world, or why they fought.

Drawing on previously closed military and secret police archives, interviews with veterans, and private letters and diaries, Catherine Merridale presents the first comprehensive history of the Soviet Union Army rank and file. She follows the soldiers from the shock of the German invasion to their costly triumph in Stalingrad, where life expectancy was often a mere twenty-four hours. Through the soldiers' eyes, we witness their victorious arrival in Berlin, where their rage and suffering exact an awful toll, and accompany them as they return home full of hope, only to be denied the new life they had been fighting to secure.

A tour de force of original research and a gripping history, Ivan's War reveals the singular mixture of courage, patriotism, anger, and fear that made it possible for these underfed, badly led troops to defeat the Nazi army. In the process Merridale restores to history the invisible millions who sacrificed the most to win the war.

This book brings to light Russia's undeservedly-obscure military past, rectifying the tendency of American and Western military historians to neglect the Russian side of things. Russia, as both a Western and non-Western society, challenges our thinking about Western military superiority. Russia has always struggled with backwardness in comparison with more developed powers, at some times more successfully than others. The imperatives of survival in a competitive international environment have, moreover, produced in Russian society a high degree of militarization. While including operational and tactical detail that appeals to military history enthusiasts, this book simultaneously integrates military history into the broader themes of Russian history and draws comparisons to developments in Europe. The book also challenges old assumptions about the Russian military. Russian military history cannot be summed up simply in a single stock phrase, whether perennial incompetence or success only through stolid, stoic defense; it also shows numerous examples of striking offensive successes.

Stone traces Russia's fascinating military history, and its long struggle to master Western military technology without Western social and political institutions. It covers the military dimensions of the emergence of Muscovy, the disastrous reign of Ivan the Terrible, and the subsequent creation of the new Romanov dynasty. It deals with Russia's emergence as a great power under Peter the Great and culminating in the defeat of Napoleon. After that triumph, the book argues, Russia's social and economic stagnation undermined its enormous military power and brought catastrophic defeat in the Crimean War. The book then covers imperial Russia's long struggle to reform its military machine, with mixed results in the Russo-Japanese War and World War I. The Russian Revolution created a new Soviet Russia, but this book shows the continuity across that divide. The Soviet Union's interwar innovations and its harrowing experience in World War II owed much to imperial Russian precedents. A superpower after the war, the Soviet Union's military might was purchased at the expense of continuing economic backwardness. Paradoxically, the very militarization intended to provide security instead destroyed the Soviet Union, leaving a new Russia behind the West economically. Just as there was a great deal of continuity after 1917, this book demonstrates how the new Russian military has inherited many of its current problems from its Soviet predecessor. The price that Russia has paid for its continued existence as a great power, therefore, is the overwhelming militarization of its society and economy, a situation it continues to struggle with.

A “virtually faultless” account of the final weeks of World War II in the Pacific and the definitive history of the battle for Stalingrad together in one volume (The New York Times Book Review).

Author William Craig traveled to three different continents, reviewed thousands of documents, and interviewed hundreds of survivors to write these New York Times–bestselling histories, bringing the Eastern Front and the Pacific Theater of World War II to vivid life.
 
The Fall of Japan masterfully recounts the dramatic events that brought an end to the Pacific War and forced a once-mighty nation to surrender unconditionally. From the ferocious fighting on Okinawa to the all-but-impossible mission to drop the second atom bomb, and from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s White House to the Tokyo bunker where tearful Japanese leaders first told the emperor the war was lost, Craig draws on Japanese and American perspectives to capture the pivotal events of these climactic weeks with spellbinding authority.
 
Enemy at the Gates chronicles the bloodiest battle of the war and the beginning of the end for the Third Reich. On August 5, 1942, giant pillars of dust rose over the Russian steppe, marking the advance of Hitler’s 6th Army. The Germans were supremely confident; in three years, they had not suffered a single defeat. The siege of Stalingrad lasted five months, one week, and three days. Nearly two million men and women died, and the 6th Army was completely destroyed. The Soviet victory foreshadowed Nazi Germany’s downfall and the rise of a communist superpower. Heralded by Cornelius Ryan, author of The Longest Day, as “the best single work on the epic battle of Stalingrad,” Enemy at the Gates was the inspiration for the 2001 film of the same name, starring Joseph Fiennes and Jude Law.
 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Journalist Adam Higginbotham’s definitive, years-in-the-making account of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster—and a powerful investigation into how propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of one of the twentieth century’s greatest disasters.

Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history’s worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers its citizens and the entire world. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute.

Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful nonfiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth.

Midnight in Chernobyl is an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will—lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats, remain not just vital but necessary.
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