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Operation Typhoon: Hitler's March on Moscow, October 1941 Hardcover – 14 Feb 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 429 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (14 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1107035120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1107035126
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 335,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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'With a firm grasp of strategic, operational, economic, and logistical factors, Stahel has again laid bare German weaknesses and shattered the myth of the all-powerful Wehrmacht. The best sort of revisionism, Operation Typhoon dissects the material factors leading to ultimate German failure before Moscow, all the while integrating the personal aspect of the battle through deft use of the diaries and letters of German soldiers. An impressive achievement.' Stephen G. Fritz, author of Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East

'David Stahel has written a detailed, carefully documented, and engaging analysis of the last great German offensive of 1941. All the elements of the German defeat are here, from macroeconomics, ideology, and criminality to logistics, intelligence, tactics, and weapons design. This is a fine complement to Stahel's works on Barbarossa and Kiev.' Geoffrey P. Megargee, author of War of Annihilation: Combat and Genocide on the Eastern Front, 1941

'Stahel's third book on Germany's 1941 Russian campaign demonstrates that focus on the operational level led to ignoring strategic considerations. Emphasis on force of will encouraged overlooking material problems. Defeat in front of Moscow was a consequence not of Hitler's interference, not even of Soviet resistance, but of the vaunted German army's internal weaknesses.' Dennis Showalter, author of Hitler's Panzers: The Lightning Attacks that Revolutionized Warfare

'David Stahel's new book on Operation Typhoon is his best yet. Wedding detailed archival research, an intimate knowledge of the secondary sources, and a gripping narrative, Stahel has set a new standard for scholarship on the Eastern Front. No student of the massive conflict between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union should be without this book. A major addition to the literature.' Robert M. Citino, author of Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942

'An in-depth new account.' Military History Magazine

'[David Stahel] combines strategic and economic context, statistics, operational analysis, and tactical-level accounts from individual soldiers in constructing a layered but highly readable narrative. It is a remarkable feat.' World War II

'Great detail … Stahel succeeds in provoking some interesting new perspectives and ideas.' Daniel Pilfold, The Second World War Military Operations Research Group

'Stahel, as he has done with his previous two books, has fundamentally and correctly reinterpreted the latter stages of the Barbarossa campaign. It is a must read for general and military historians.' David Glantz, Journal of Military History

'… a treasure trove of information regarding the late fall battles between the Germans and Soviets in 1941.' Adam Koeth, Armchair General

'Stahel incorporates in quantity the voices of German soldiers and outside observers.' Evan Mawdsley, War in History

Book Description

Operation Typhoon was launched by Hitler in October 1941 to capture Moscow and knock the Soviet Union out of the war. Traditionally viewed as a victory, this groundbreaking new account of the offensive reveals that despite success on the battlefield the wider German war effort was already doomed to failure.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dave History Student on 17 April 2013
Format: Hardcover
The author extends his strategic coverage of his two previous books by covering Operation Typhoon with the same logic, flair and extensive research of those books.
To my surprise this book covers only the fighting and command decisions of October which primarily included the pocket battles of Vyazma and Bryansk while the next book will be devoted to the final advance on Moscow, ending on December 5th.(I'm hoping Mr Stahel will then write about the German defense of Zhukov's counter offensive.)

As a prelude to the main story, a recap of Operation Barbarossa and Guderian's run to Kiev is presented to bring the reader up to speed. A brief historical military summary of Germany going back to the 12th century is also given that includes the influence of Clausewitz Theory has on German commanders. Napoleon's attempts to conquer Russian also plays heavy on Hitler and other key officers. As usual the German perspective concerning operational, strategic and political aspects drive the narrative.

Also as usual, the author has performed a tremendous amount of research for he covers Operation Typhoon on a daily basis and include many battle facts on individual corps and divisions along with their respective commanders as they struggle to close and eliminate the pockets at Vyazma and Bryansk. In addition to showing the fanatical resistance the Soviets put up in trying to escape their doom, Mr Stahel also clearly shows how disgruntled German commanders, a delusional OKH that wouldn't see the fighting for what it was, rainy weather, muddy roads, terrible logistics and lack of fuel would bring the German Army to an abrupt halt by the end of October.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Jackson on 8 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent read that brings the operation alive. It has a good balance between keeping to the facts without getting bogged down. A really informative book and well worth the value
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. H. Maginniss on 7 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Operation TYPHOON is a most absorbing book for those interested in operations on the Eastern Front during 1941. The material is presented in a clear, coherent, fluid and structured manner which makes exceptionally engaging reading. David Stahel writes the overview from the German perspective in the manner that David Glantz offers for the detail from the Soviet one. For the military analyst, David Stahel focuses upon the Operational Level of War but his integration of the experiences of soldiers and officers at different levels of command give this study personal substance, although by the style of its content, the script enables David Stahel to avoid the bloody horror of combat, in a manner similar to the British Official Histories.

David Stahel has told a complex story magnificently, lucidly placing logistics and logisticians at the centre of the war. His work reinforces the role of logistics in modern warfare, exposes the vital interfaces between operational staff and logisticians, highlights the importance of the potentially catastrophic frictions in the supply chain, the criticality of excellent logistic planning, the significance of careful resource management and the fundamental constraints that logistics can impose upon the Warrior. In addition, he has brought to life some of the key German commanders and their supporting Movers & Shakers. This book deserves to be widely read by the military community and is very highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter Birchwood on 24 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is an interesting account of Operation Typhoon but it is limited in two ways; it only covers the first part of the campaign (during October 1941) and it provides little explanation of the operation from the Soviet perspective. However with its 15 monochrome maps it does provide a comprehensive overview of the offensive from the German viewpoint. This book has a theme, hammered home relentlessly, that the operation was doomed to failure from the off because of Army Group Centre's chronic supply problems. Yet what is lacking from Stahel is a balanced account of the overall situation in October. Even an under-equipped and poorly supplied army can prevail if its opponent is in an even worse situation. The German problems with fuel, ammunition, spares and transport, problems that Stahel does much to quantify, were real enough, but the Soviets' difficulties in these and other areas, difficulties that enabled the Germans to achieve their spectacular initial successes, are hardly mentioned. Furthermore, writing with the benefit of hindsight that was unavailable to the German generals of October 1941, Stahel's criticisms of their ambitions and decisions are, at times, unreasonably condescending. They did not know that the rains would come so soon, they did not know what reserves the Red Army would have at hand through November and beyond, nor that the coming winter would be one of the coldest on record. Hitler's decision on a military confrontation with Russia in 1941 (a decision that provoked little dissent from his generals) was never less than a huge gamble. It was a gamble based on ideological hatred, perceived geopolitical necessity, faulty military and political assumptions, and a gross underestimation of the potential military/industrial capacity of an aggrieved Soviet Union. Yet, having decided to go for broke, how the Germans got beyond the Dnepr, let alone to the gates of Moscow, seems to beyond Stahel's comprehension.
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