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Barbarossa: The First Seven Days: Nazi Germany's 1941 Invasion of the Soviet Union [Hardcover]

Will Fowler
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Casemate Publishers and Book Distributors; 1st Edition edition (Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932033238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932033236
  • Product Dimensions: 28.8 x 22.2 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,004,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

On 22 June 1941 The Germans launched their long-expected invasion of the Soviet Union. Codenamed ""Operation Barbarossa," after the famous 12th century crusading emperor, what followed was perhaps the greatest clash of arms the world has ever witnessed. With the aid of specially commissioned maps, Barbarossa: The First 7 Days describes the dramatic history of the first week of the invasion of the Soviet Union. The book begins with an extensive overview of the Wehrmacht`s success up until 1941, followed by chapters outlining the German High Command`s plan of attack and the defensive dispositions of the Soviet forces. The author goes on to describe the opening bombardment, followed by detailed accounts of the three Army Groups` fortunes in the first week of the campaign.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 6 July 2014
A good stock book although a bit mixed up considering it's meant to focus on the first seven days.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-rounded Introduction to Operation Barbarossa 8 Jun 2007
By Mr. Truthteller - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a very good basic introduction to Operation Barbarossa and the war on the Eastern Front.

The author primarily provides a balanced approach to the subject matter, although at times it seems too much detail is placed on the defensive actions of the Soviets in comparison to the strategies and tactics of the advancing Germans.

The book is mainly a pictorial history but one that is very well done. The pictures are closely matched to the text so that they enhance rather than interrupt the story being told. The pictures themselves are very well reproduced and at least two dozen of them are in color. There are also many well-drawn maps and these are in color as well. In addition, the book has a number of excellently drawn full-color illustrations of soldiers, tanks, and planes relating to both sides. Interesting quotations from participants in the battles are also liberally sprinkled throughout the text. Finally, the book includes numerous fascinating sidebars on people, vehicles, and weapons. (I learned more about the German BMW R-75 motorcycle with sidecar in this book than I did in an entire book on World War II motorcycles!)

Many misstatements are made, such as the wrong number of German horses killed at one stage of the invasion, an incorrect displacement of a German Army Group at another stage, an indefensible comment that the Soviets treated German prisoners of war fairly, and the repeated assertion that none of the Germans had proper winter clothing for the first winter of this war, when in fact some, albeit not many, divisions, such as mountain troops, were properly outfitted for winter warfare. Also, the author's reliance on "Other Men's Graves," a book most historians regard as pulp fiction, is disappointing.

Nonetheless, although not a perfect book, I believe it is still deserving of at least a 4-star rating in that the writing, editing, and attention to detail easily surpasses most other books of this type.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A quick overview of the opening months of the Russo-German War 14 Nov 2008
By Dave Schranck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For me this book was a big disappointment. With a title "Barbarossa The First Seven Days", one would expect the author to specialize on the opening events of the war. The fact is that less than half the book covers this period. When you consider that there are photos on almost every page, there isn't much space left for text. The book starts with the rise of Hitler and how he lifted the country from the depths of WWI. The Nazi influence is also mentioned. There is equal space for Stalin and the Soviet Union in the 1930s. German activity in North Africa and the Balkans are also mentioned. This part takes a quarter of the book. The last chapter in the book, 18 pages, covers Operation Typhoon and the assault on Moscow. Between these two sections you have 72 pages of coverage of AGN, AGC, and AGS engagements. The coverage of the first week of the war is casual and for anybody looking for details will not find many in this book. Events like preparations for crossing the Bug River, the actual crossing of the river, the fall of Brest-Litovsk, the fall of Minsk, the liquidation of the Minsk-Bialystok pockets are glossed over with a few words or a paragraph where chapters could be used. The acts of sabotage, the tank battle near Dubysa that shocked the Germans, the battles of Daugavpils, Lemburg and others are also barely mentioned.

It seems to me, the author didn't try very hard to write a good book relating to the opening of the war and used "filler" to meet the page requirements of the publisher. The only reason the book is rated 3 stars is for the photos. There are many good photos, many in color, that I haven't seen before. There are 15 maps but they're ordinary and don't add much to the book. There are many sidebars with interesting info like Ultra decoding, Lend-Lease KV-1 tanks, Nebelwerfer, Stavka and many key people.
There is also an Appendix that includes an Order of Battle plus a Bibliography and Index.

If you're looking for a general overview of the opening months of the war and are looking for great photos then consider this book but look to Carell, Erickson, Werth, Seaton, Fugate or Glantz for the details.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great imagery with text. 24 Oct 2006
By Reuben Gathright - Published on Amazon.com
The text can be a little "dry" at times as the author shifts focus from the Germans and Soviets quickly. However, the author does a good job of describing the entire battle field situation during the first seven days. The book has so much detail, it would be tough to fully comprehend in your first reading.

The highlight of this book is the prewar and combat photos that give the reader some view into how these battles were fought. The captions and text surrounding the photos gave me the impression the book was actually written with a focus on these photos. Generous detail is given to how both sides used each other's equipment.

A beginner should definitely read this book before tackling some of the better books on the eastern front. You will understand the terrain and how this affected the larger tank battles to come. After this book pick up: Tigers In The Mud, Panzer Aces and Panzer Aces II all published by Stackpole!

NOTE: I am reviewing the edition published in 2006 by Barnes & Noble. The book appears to be 192 pages.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice photo history of the initial invasion of the USSR 1 Sep 2006
By Kevin M Quigg - Published on Amazon.com
At a little under 200 pages, this is a nice photo history of the initial invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany. There have been several good books lately on this subject. Fowler's book is a nice companion book, in that the photos lead a lot to the telling of the invasion. In the book, we learn that the Soviets did put up quite a resistance, but were overwhelmed by superior leadership and German technology. This led to a lot of deaths by the Germans. All three fronts were described, with a focus on the Army Group Center.

This is a nice interesting read about the invasion. Obviously, it is not the authoritative book some readers desire, but it gives a summary history of this historic battle. The pictures are great.
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meticulous, thorough, and simply amazing 15 May 2004
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Maps and a wealth of black-and-white and color photographs extensively intersperse Will Fowler's Barbarossa: The First 7 Days, a coffee-table book describing Nazi Germany's 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union. The straightforward text informatively narrates the bloody battles in exhaustive detail. Barbarossa: The First 7 Days is a meticulous, thorough, and simply amazing scrutiny of the first week of what became an horrific and hideous battle front of no quarter given or accepted. Barbarossa: The First 7 Days is a clearly appropriate and highly recommended contribution to personal, academic, and community library World War II history collections and reading lists.
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