The conflict on the Eastern Front, fought between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany between 1941 and 1945, was the greatest, most costly, and most brutal conflict on land in human history. It was arguably the single most decisive factor of the war, and shaped the postwar world as we know it. In this magisterial work, Bellamy outlines the lead-up to the war, in which the fragile alliance between the two dictators was unceremoniously broken, and examines its far-reaching consequences, arguing that the cost of victory was ultimately too much for the Soviet Union to bear. With breadth of scope and a surfeit of new information, this is the definitive history of a conflict whose reverberations are still felt today.
Chris Bellamy is Professor of Military Science and Doctrine and Director of the Security Studies Institute at Cranfield University. Born in 1955, he was educated at the universities of Oxford, London, Westminster, and Edinburgh, where he earned his doctorate. In 1990 he was appointed Defense Correspondent of the Independent, and served in that capacity for more than seven years, reporting from Saudi Arabia and Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War; from Bosnia between 1992 and 1997; and from Chechnya in 1995.
Using an enormous range of primary sources - Soviet, German and Eastern European - John Erickson describes fighting and hardship on a scale almost unimaginable in the West. He provides a detailed narrative of all the battles on all the fronts, and also of the Soviet system of war which achieved, under maximum stress, near-impossible feats in the field and in the factories. The book also tells of the diplomatic moves and counter-moves, including the all-important conferences at Tehran and Yalta.
Comprehensive, compelling and immensely readable, it is an indispensable book for any student of the Second World War.