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Operation Barbarossa: Hitler's Invasion of Russia 1941 [Paperback]

David M Glantz
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 May 2011

On 22 June 1941 Hitler unleashed his forces on the Soviet Union. Spearheaded by four powerful Panzer groups and protected by an impenetrable curtain of air support, the seemingly invincible Wehrmacht advanced from the Soviet Union’s western borders to the immediate outskirts of Leningrad, Moscow and Rostov in the shockingly brief period of less than six months. The sudden, deep, relentless German advance virtually destroyed the entire peacetime Red Army and captured almost 40 percent of European Russia before expiring inexplicably at the gates of Moscow and Leningrad. An invasion designed to achieve victory in three to six weeks failed and, four years later, resulted in unprecedented and total German defeat.

David Glantz challenges the time-honoured explanation that poor weather, bad terrain and Hitler’s faulty strategic judgement produced German defeat, and reveals how the Red Army thwarted the German Army’s dramatic and apparently inexorable invasion before it achieved its ambitious goals.

DAVID M. GLANTZ is the world’s leading expert on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. He has written many acclaimed works on the Red Army, Kursk and Barbarossa. He was historical advisor with Professor Ian Kershaw for BBC TV’s War of the Century. He lives in Pennsylvania, USA.


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Operation Barbarossa: Hitler's Invasion of Russia 1941 + When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler (Modern War Studies) + Kharkov 1942: Anatomy of a Military Disaster Through Soviet Eyes
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (1 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752460706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752460703
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 12.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 269,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

David M Glantz is the world's leading expert on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. He has written many acclaimed works on the Red Army, Kursk and Barbarossa. He was historical advisor with Professor Ian Kershaw for BBC TV's War of the Century. He served in Vietnam with the US Army and holds degrees from Virginia Military Institute and University of North Carolina. He has served as Chief of Research for the US Combat Studies Institute. He is Editor of the Journal of Slavic Military Studies.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By Dave History Student TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is a good but select overview of Operation Barbarossa. While there is one chapter of the German drive toward Leningrad and another chapter on its drive toward Rostov in the south, the major emphasis covers the advance of AGC toward Moscow as well as the Soviet counter-attack that repulses the Germans from entering the capital in December 1941. It also emphasizes Guderian's 2nd PzG's march south in September to assist Rundstedt's AGS in closing the Kiev pocket. Some of the battles of AGC include the capture of Minsk, Smolensk, Kiev pocket, Vyazma, Bryansk, Orel, Mozhaisk, Kaluga, Kalinin and the attempt on Moscow. It also shows that with so much armor with AGC, the flanks had a difficult time taking Leningrad and Rostov.

The objective of the author is more than describing the introductory status and conditions of the two sides and the military highlights of the Operation; the strategic significance of the book is to show the Germans were able to advance and destroy Soviet armies at first but by December 41 when it reached the Leningrad, Moscow, Rostov line, it had reached its zenith, had exhausted itself and didn't have enough men and panzers to finish off the Soviets. By the time it reached Moscow their own large casualties and the extended line prevented the capture of Moscow and through implication that the Germans actually lost their chance to defeat the Soviet Army. An important element within this overview was the author's coverage of the controversy within the German ranks of rather it should go straight on to Moscow from Smolensk or delay AGC's advance and have Guderian divert to Kiev to relieve flank pressure before moving on the capital.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Academic but interesting 21 Jan 2014
By Ian2312
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is more in the vein of an academic review so if you are looking for something that desribes the 'action' in detail then this is not the book for you.

There is obviously a large amount of detailed research behind the finished version and it is interesting to understand the approach that both sides took to the conflict.

Overall an interesting and informative read
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars master scholar at work 20 Nov 2011
By Dsf
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wow! This is a must have for any student of the Soviet-German War, or indeed for anyone who wishes to know why the German invasion of Russia in 1941 ultimately failed.

The work is encyclopaedic, contains detailed narratives of the main military operations, appreciations of the situation at different times and places, and exhaustive notes.

Of especial interest is the light that Dr Glantz sheds on the use of the cavalry formations of the Red Army: I should like to know more about the odyssey behind German lines of the 1st Guards Cavalry Corps.

The judicious summary explains exactly what caused the Wehrmacht to stall its offensive drive outside Moscow, and how and why the Red Army regained the initiative.

Why only 4 stars? I should have liked more information on the experience of 'ordinary' soldiers, especially those of the Red Army. This is very much a top-down account, and the focus is on grand strategy and higher formation tactics.

Even so a stunning work.
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