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Operation Barbarossa: Nazi Germany's War in the East, 1941-1945 [Hardcover]

Christian Hartmann
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
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Book Description

25 July 2013
The war between Nazi Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union that raged between 1941 and 1945 was the ultimate confrontation between the two great totalitarian ideologies of the twentieth century. Unprecedented in the scale of the destruction that it wrought and the deep historical scars that it left behind, it was a gargantuan conflict in every sense of the term: in the vast territories over which it ranged, its intensity and duration, the huge numbers of people involved - and last but by no means least, the millions of victims that it claimed.

The invasion of the Soviet Union was the conflict that Hitler had always ultimately planned for: a pitiless war of conquest and destruction in which the Fuehrer dreamed of creating his 'Thousand Year Reich', destroying his ideological opponents, and enslaving or 'eliminating' whole peoples in the process. It was right from the start a struggle for survival, conducted with great bitterness and savagery by opponents who knew that defeat meant the destruction of everything they stood for.

The outcome of this bitter struggle was quite as momentous as the struggle which had preceded it. By 1945 a huge swathe of Europe between Berlin and Moscow had been reduced to a devastated wasteland in which whole societies had been erased from the face of the earth. Over 26 million Soviets and between four and five million Germans lay dead. The victory of the Red Army transformed the Soviet Union into one of the world's two superpowers. It also saw the complete destruction of Hitler's megalomaniac vision for the East, the division of the German Reich, and the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe for a generation.

In Operation Barbarossa, German military historian Christian Hartmann draws upon the latest research, enriched by a wealth of eye-witness testimony from both the Soviet and the German sides, to paint a masterly overview of these momentous four years and their human consequences - one that is both gripping and at times deeply moving.

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Operation Barbarossa: Nazi Germany's War in the East, 1941-1945 + Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East (Cambridge Military Histories)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (25 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199660786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199660780
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 503,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"a superbly written survey of a seminal conflict" -- Booklist

About the Author

Christian Hartmann works as a historian at the Institute for Contemporary History, Munich, and is Senior Lecturer at the Staff College of the German Armed Forces in Hamburg. A board member of the German Committee for the History of the Second World War, he is also a historical adviser to the History Channel in Germany. He has published widely on the history of Germany in the Second World War, including a biography of General Halder, head of the Wehrmacht General Staff in the opening years of the war, and is the editor of four volumes in the German Documents on Foreign Policy series.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different perspective 5 Nov 2013
By Graeme Stewart VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Much of what has been written about the war on the eastern front has come from an allied perspective, so this, from an admittedly modern, German perspective is "refreshing", if that is the appropriate term. The book itself is deceptively small and slim, but the information packed in belies its size. An excellent read, and an excellent reference for those with an interest in this conflict.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read but redundant 10 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a decent, very readable book. Having said that, it also reads like someone's history class homework. The use of headings and sub-headings even reminds me of a ten or so page high school homework assignment I once did on WW1. The biggest difference of course being that this is 166 pages and is well written and researched (and about WW2 before anyone nit-picks). The research appears to be from published sources instead of any new on the ground interviews or archive digging.

The main problem for me is that I've read a bigger, better, superior book on the subject. I would one hundred percent recommend Hitler's Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe by Mark Mazower over this book. If you've already read Hitler's Empire, or are going to read it now on my recommendation, then you can just skip this book. It doesn't add anything of note that isn't covered in that masterpiece.

This is a decent book. It's just eclipsed absolutely by a previous book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The war reads a little chilly here. 6 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover
Operation Barbarossa has many strengths to offer over its 200 plus pages. However, for the many strengths it does have there are a few weaknesses as well. After reading this book I was quite pleased with the historical data presented, it is thorough and well laid out. I also enjoyed the writing as it was easy to read and at times felt a little bit like a novel. However, the book lacks a proper linear presentation. In most stories, whether fiction or nonfiction, there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. Here in Operation Barbarossa the beginning is backed up by facts that happened years later, and events that happened near the end are mixed with events that happen in the middle. For me, I read the book with some difficulty because events were laid out as if the author needed to prove the validity of events by other events that happened later on. This telling takes away from enjoyment of learning what happened as it happened, and made the book more of an argument for the author's purpose for writing it.

Over all the book is a good historical retelling, but in the end I didn't experience the war, but rather was educated about it. Perhaps I would have rather been talked to rather than talked at.

*I received this book in ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Sebastian Palmer TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If it was the unbending 'iron will' of Hitler that cost Germany the war, and that chiefly in the ever-worsening disaster zone of the Russian theatre, then, despite the almost unimaginable cataclysms suffered by Russia and her peoples - some of which continued to be inflicted by Russia upon herself (in the form of Stalin: there's no black and white contrast here, by any means, Hartmann describing both Nazi atrocities and 'the other side of the coin: Soviet war crimes') - it was the concomitant loosening, albeit not that great a relaxing, of Russian doctrine that helped the latter triumph. And of course the extreme terrain, weather, and seemingly inexhaustible - and profligately expended - human and material resources.

Hartmann's succinct account of this gargantuan conflict, surprisingly wide in its scope for such a small book, covers all of this, and much more. But it does suffer an unavoidable lack of detail that any text of this size (166pp) simply can't avoid, and in addressing the wider roots, politics, and consequences, Hartmann also sacrifices space that the military buff might like to have seen expended on more campaign and combat detail. Personally I don't mind this at all, as I'm planning to get more of the military detail side of things from Alan Clarke's Barbarossa (which I started reading just before I got this).

Hartmann alternates quick studies of the broad political picture, taking each side in turn, with brief accounts of the fighting itself. The small number of black and white pictures are well chosen, and the info-saturated maps are better than average.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By ROROBLU'S MUM TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a post-graduate student who studied Russian history for most of his undergraduate degree, I was immediately drawn to this book, as it focused on three of my favourites sections/parts of history: the Second World War, and the Nazi and Soviet regimes from 1941 to 1945, as well as the fact that it was quite short.

The text as a whole is a useful introduction to a quite complex and detailed topic - it considers the years building up to Barbarossa (the political aspects as well as the military aspects) and is quite interesting in its contrasting of Nazi/Stalinist ideology, policy and strategy. The war itself is the main focus of the book, and goes into a decent amount of detail regarding the actual Nazi invasion, as well as the Soviet fight-back. Rather neatly, the book also covers the state of Soviet society and Soviet land immediately prior to the invasion - something that is often overlooked by some historians.

Whilst I do not think it is possible to truly cover this topic in 166 pages, the author has provided us with a good source of information, which would be a useful tool for students to refer to for a good, reliable source of subject knowledge. Whether or not it adds anything in terms of theory is another matter.

The author himself works as a 'historian at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, and is Senior Lecturer at the Staff College of the German Armed Forces in Hamburg. A board member of the German Committee for the History of the Second World War, he is also a historical adviser to the History Channel in Germany.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Cannot rate it really, it was a birthday gift, but my husbands son...
As stated, we cannot review it, never having read the book. Hopefully, we will have a review in the future.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. Ruth Naile
4.0 out of 5 stars The real Cold War
This is an interesting history of the Nazis campaign in the East between 1941 and 1945. The author is a well respected and popular modern German historian, which gives the history... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Horror in the East
This is an effective and powerful little book that captures the essence of the defining clash of totalitarianisms that wrought such havoc in the core of the 20th century. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Withnail67
4.0 out of 5 stars Slim but rich
History, they say, is written by the victors. And so it has proved - at least in my occasional foray into the realms of history books. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Simon Tavener
5.0 out of 5 stars concise patriotic war
well, to be honest its another book about the war on teh eastern front. However its a small one, but only in size. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. Pj Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Left me wanting more..........
My first impression when I first saw this book was not very positive - it is not very big - 166 pages of text plus another 20 or so of notes, further reading and indexes. Read more
Published 6 months ago by redbigbill
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Since Alan Clark's Barbarossa: The Russian German Conflict: The Russian German Conflict, 1941-45 (CASSELL MILITARY PAPERBACKS) was first published in 1965 there has been a plethora... Read more
Published 6 months ago by P. Haydon
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