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Enemy at The Gates-The Battle for Stalingrad Hardcover – 1973


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 457 pages
  • Publisher: Book Club Associates of London; 1st Edition edition (1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0883490005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0883490006
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,632,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. J. Millington on 5 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent read for anyone interested in the war at ground level. It is basically a collection of stories and personal accounts from both sides and it is fascinating to read the views of German and Russian soldiers as well as civilians. The Russian contribution to the war has, I feel, been somewhat overlooked. In Britain we tend to say we won the war and give the USA credit too, but The USSR played a vital, if not the decisive role in WW2. You must read this book. Also the film Enemy At The Gates with Jude Law is based on one of the personal acocunts in this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By MR J D C SLADE on 5 Sept. 2004
Format: Paperback
I very much enjoy examinations of military history, and did find this book to convey much of the detail (including the horror) of the battle for Stalingrad. However, I think that the book did not really display a true historians perspective of the time, and instead read more like a novel than an historical review of information. I also felt that there was insufficient information on the wider implications of the failure of the Germans to capture Stalingrad, and little about the overall impact the battle had on the outcome of the war. Compared to something written by, say, Martin Middlebrook, I thought this was lacking. Overall, recommended, but approach with caution.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
Stories are always powerful, and personal stories even more so. This book tells the story of the battle of Stalingrad through the voices of those who took part.
Seen through the eyes of both Germans and Russians, it takes us from Hitler and Stalin in their capitals, to field marshals and their aides, through to officers and soldiers and civilians. We move from individual sniper duels and house-to-house fighting to tank armies manoeuvering accross the Russian Steppe, from grand strategy to basic survival in the hunger and cold.
Anthony Beevor's "Stalingrad" was a bestseller in 1999: This book compares favourably as an account of the battle and its strategy. And unlike some military histories, this is not a dry narrative, in the style "and then the General sent in the 13th Division on the right flank".
Instead, the story comes from the participants and their memories, carefully arranged and in chronological order. Like Mark Baker's "'Nam", it is based on interviews with hundreds of survivors. But Craig balances the many vivid incidents with the bigger picture.
We are reminded of the sheer scale of this battle, with its cost of some 2 million lives and involvement of millions more, and of its importance as a turning point in World War II.
We are also shown, at the individual level, something of the struggle and suffering, the heroism and horror.
"Enemy at the Gates" is now a paperback at a paperback price, labelled as "Classic Military History". "Classic Military History" is right.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By skywakr360@aol.com on 13 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book about the often forgotten conflict between Germany and The Soviet Union during World War Two. The duel between the two snipers is only a section of this book. For a book which is primarily about German snipers, read "Grandfather's Tale: the Tale of a German Sniper."
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By mokba@hotmail.com on 3 April 2001
Format: Paperback
An outstanding insight into the terrible bloodbath that was Stalingrad. Throughout this book we see the war through the eyes of Field marshals, Generals, right down to the humble infantryman who suffered unspeakable horrors in this war of the despots. One of the many reasons why i like this book is that it gives a pretty unbiased account of the war. The soviets are not portrayed as the good guys, far from it as the book draws to a close we see that the red army were guilty of many crimes against humanity as well. Read this book! And avoid that awful movie of the same name, it has virtually nothing to do with this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven Wood on 4 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a sweeping book of the history of the battle - written from both a historical and very personal perspective.
Some very grim and shocking details, but also includes incredible heroism.
Recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 May 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is excellent, and covers the German invasion of Russia and the Russian counter attack in the Second World War . The book reads more like a story than a true account. Some of the atrocities committed by both sides are horrific. The siege of Stalingrad highlights the stubbornness and folly of Hitler and Stalin to sacrifice countless thousands of men. Read it now.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was first published in 1973 and was one of the first histories of the Battle of Stalingrad to draw on sources from both sides, thus providing an overall appraisal of the conflict. Previous accounts gave personal experiences by individual combatants or presented the perspective from either Axis or Russian standpoints.

There have been many other & probably more detailed accounts since this was published, but `Enemy at the Gates' made an important contribution to the process of explaining what went on. It appears to me to be an excellent history book, but more than that, it is certainly an absorbing piece of very well written literature.

William Craig presents the history of the battle in strategic & tactical terms describing the key decisions by the major players and their consequences. That is, from Hitler & Stalin down to the generals: including of course von Paulus, Schmidt & Field Marshal von Manstein on the German side and Marshal Zhukov, Yeremenco, Chuikov, Rokossovsky and Political Commissar Khrushchev on the Russian.

However, the story is far more personal & evocative than that because the experiences of much lesser players are described in chronological and sometimes gruesome details; lieutenants and sergeants fighting in the rubble, civilians hanged shot or burnt, lucky casualties flown to safety and finally the long march of prisoners to icy captivity and cannibalism. Some German and Italian prisoners were not set free until 1955. Their homecomings are described with warmth.

There are also the gems which formed the plot of the film; the role of super sniper Vassili Zaitsev, his duel with German sniper Konings, his lover Tania Chernova and the little double agent Sacha Fillipov who was hung to death. All these individual stories make for a thoroughly absorbing read. This book is magnificent as a history and as a thrilling & sobering story: five stars without question!
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