Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War

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In Absolute War, acclaimed historian and journalist Chris Bellamy crafts the first full account since the fall of the Soviet Union of World War II's battle on the Eastern Front, one of the deadliest conflicts in history.

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.

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About the author

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.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
Nov 26, 2008
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Pages
880
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ISBN
9780307481139
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Germany
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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Eligible for Family Library

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Occupation and Insurgency details German policies towards civilians and captured military forces in the Soviet Union from 1941-1945 and examines them in the context of the laws of war. The results of these policies illustrate how an occupying force can establish a sense of legitimacy or spur a stronger resistance among the local citizens. While focused upon World War II, the book is very relevant to today's war on terror and the handling of current counterinsurgency scenarios. Evaluating certain actions by the Germans in the USSR from the standpoint of The Geneva and The Hague Conventions, the book also studies many actions that, while morally egregious, did not qualify as war crimes under the law. Some of the events analyzed prompted the 1949 revision of The Geneva Convention. The German actions, as well as the Soviet responses, lend themselves to discussion as related to international law and military actions. There is no other book that uses chronicled events to address both the international legal conventions and analyzes these events in both a legal and historical paradigm. The book is closely documented, including 20 photographs and numerous interview segments with SS officers, resistance fighters, and other primary persons involved in the war, and it provides as well the perspectives of other historians regarding the critical issues discussed. Occupation and Insurgency is a book that will appeal to all levels of academia, as well as the general public with regard to general history, World War II, and legal studies. It complements and goes beyond works such as Christopher Browning's Ordinary Men, Omer Bartov's Hitler's Army: Soldiers, Nazis and War in the Third Reich, Arad, Kurowski and Spector (eds), The Einsatzgruppen Reports, and Richard Rhodes' Masters of Death.
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