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STALINGRAD THE DEATH OF THE GERMAN SIXTH Hardcover – 28 May 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Unknown (28 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764343432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764343438
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 6.6 x 27 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,144,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave History Student on 3 Oct 2013
I just recently completed rereading David Glantz's "Armageddon in Stalingrad" in preparation for this new two volume set by Colonel MacLean. The Stalingrad battle is so complex, I thought it would help in following this new book. The two books have different formats: Glantz's is more thematic while MacLean's is strictly chronological. I like chronologies but if they''re not your favorite format, you should be deliberate before buying this set. Considering the corresponding timeframes the former has over twice the pages as the latter.
Col MacLean has gathered the daily battle logs of the key divisions making up 6th Army including the attached units, stringing them together to make an overall presentation of the campaign that shows the rise and then decline and then the collapse of one of Germany's premier armies. Coverage begins on 8/15/1942 when Paulus was at the Don bridgehead and ends on 2/2/1943 when the Germans finally surrender. There is also a small closing chapter on POWs. The introduction covers the basics of 6th Army and the city of Stalingrad. The introductory presentation of 6th Army was quite novel as the author discusses 6th Army as human: being alive as if the individual divisions with their specialty units are organs of the body that are susceptible to injury and death and if enough divisions die, the whole body will die. This introduction clearly shows the interest Mr MacLean has for this battle. Knowing how important this campaign was and the effort and time the author invested plus the interest level I have in Stalingrad, it displeases me that five stars couldn't be given for it doesn't reach the level of effectiveness as David Glantz's book.

The chronology consumes 637 pages and covers a 171 day period for a daily average coverage of nearly four pages.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
An interesting concept study 5 Nov 2013
By F. Carol Sabin - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This study is a completely new approach to the Battle of Stalingrad with an interesting concept and perspective. It is probably one of the first, if not the first one, to show and explain the destruction of an army in a rather “scientific” manner, described by the author as “a living organism”. That's quite an accomplishment.

The book is not very informative and not enjoyable to study for some audiences; there is no context of the operations, the narrative, explanations or analyses are present only in the introduction part, which is short (10 pages), but hits the high points.
Books’ content clearly shows an operational-level study, but some tactical units are also mentioned. The author outlined that he has no desire to compete with tactical-level books that described this battle. It is certainly important to mention this since it is not the main focus of the books.
The death of Sixth Army is analyzed in the introductuction part from three points of view: physical, cybernetic and morale.

The first volume starts on 15 august 1942 (when Sixth army reached Don River N Kalach) and ends on 31 October 1942, while the second one covers the remaining period.
After introduction, the main text offers a strictly chronological format, a day-by-day presentation, what the units of the Sixth Army were doing (disposition, casualties, neighbors etc) from 15 august 1942 to the final surrender on 2 February 1943.
Each day starts with light and weather data and ends with sources of the information.

The study is well-crafted and edited in a two-volume set inserted in a black handy binder.
I was very impressed by the numerous remembrance/death cards or letters home from the German soldiers, obviously included to present a human-interest side.
A short chapter deals with casualties sustained by Sixth Army and their allies, with a focus on POWs fate and number, followed by an epilogue. There are many color maps and photos of Stalingrad area and 4 appendices.
I see appendix 4 (“Sixth army report of autopsy”) as a short and interesting conclusion of this study.

My final comments refer to some aspects of the book.
On pages 6 and 360 it was stated that Sixth Army died on February 2, 1943 at Stalingrad. To some extent it is true, but later on this army was reestablished, only to die for the second time during Soviet Iasi-Kisinev offensive in 1944.
Also, the Case Blue was not directed against Stalingrad (as in Fuhrer’s Directive 41), but to seize the Caucasus oilfields. Later, Directive 45 made Stalingrad an objective for AG B.

Eventually, on page 22 the explanation for a nice map said “The Don was a formidable barrier but Soviet units slowly established bridgeheads south of the river against Romanian and weaker German units …”
Well, the Serafimovich bridgehead was established during a daring and RAPID Soviet offensive (20-28 August 1942) against Italians! This attack (and subsequent offensives after Uranus) also showed that Don was NOT a really impassable antitank obstacle.

In conclusion, by exploiting a wide range of sources, archival documents, unpublished manuscripts and private papers, Mr. MacLean’s new study offer a new perspective on Battle of Stalingrad by using an interesting concept idea.
19 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Pretty Useless 14 Oct 2013
By M. Pitcavage - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This lengthy book is attractively produced and I suspect many East Front buffs will rush to buy it. However, they may be disappointed. This book is not a history of Stalingrad nor of the encirclement and destruction of the 6th Army.

The *only* thing this book does is to go day by day, then division by division and produce short paragraph-sized vague summaries of what that division ostensibly did on that day.

In other words, there is no narrative, no analysis, no context. It is essentially unreadable as a history and it is not clear how it can be used. Historians will have a hard time figuring out a way to use it, especially as it is not footnoted, so it is not clear where any of the information comes from, nor how reliable it might or might not be. The casual reader will get nothing from it, as there is no narrative or context and it is not going to be exactly enlightening to discover that on January 3 infantry division x repelled a minor Soviet attack on its lines, especially when the reader will not be able to understand through this work whether or not it was part of a larger attack, why anything occurred, or what the significance was.

I can really only think of one practical use for this book. Board wargamers, computer wargamers and miniatures wargamers might possibly be able to use some of this information as order of battle information for constructing scenarios for Stalingrad-related games or systems. That's one heck of a niche audience.

So, the bottom line is that this is an attractive book. If you just want to have an attractive WW2 book on your shelves to impress people, then this is for you. If you are a Stalingrad fanatic who has to have everything on Stalingrad no matter its usefulness or quality, then this is for you. If you are a wargame designer, then maybe this is for you.

Everybody else: this is likely to be a waste of your money. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but don't make the mistake that I did.

To illustrate my point, here are some sample entries, taken at random.

305th Infantry Division. The division in sector in the area of the Barrikady Gun Factory in northern Stalingrad. The division repulsed an attack by the 138th Rifle Division aimed at seizing the "Kommisar House" in the lower workers' settlement. To the north was the 389th Infantry Division; to the south was the 79th Infantry Division. The division lost nine NCOs/enlisted killed in action, 35 NCos/enlisted were wounded in action.

14th Panzer Division. Elements of the division thickened the defensive sector of the 44th Infantry Division. The remainder of the division occupied an assembly area, attempting to rest and reorganize.

113th Infantry Division. The division attempted to withdraw into Stalingrad to avoid destruction; to the northeast was the 60th Infantry Division (Motorized); to the south and west were open flanks.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
For the Stalingrad reader who has (and wants) everything. 11 Nov 2013
By The Recruit - Published on Amazon.com
This set of books has it all, excellent information, outstanding maps and excellent photos. I love reading about World War II, especially the Russian Front. For me, the way the author presented German and Austrian memorial cards, showing a photo of a soldier that was killed that day in Stalingrad brought home the point that this battle was a tragedy for everyone in those two countries.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Yeast Didn't Rise on This One 27 April 2014
By DrBig - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
These are pretty books. And pretty useless. If you are a Stalingrad novice, I guess it would make an interesting first foray into the battle, but if you are experienced in study, my suggestion is to avoid it.

The Books have four major components as I see it:

A) The most obvious are the maps, which you will see every few pages. These are poorly reproduced copies of the German situation maps you can obtain for free, from [...], in better quality. I'd suggest you get the maps there and make a donation to the website. The author took the maps from there (which he admits in the credits) and charges you money for inferior copies. If Col. MacLean should venture on a second edition of this book, I would suggest doing some of the grunt work himself...go to the archive himself or hire a photographer to take the photos of the maps. And go to Freiburg. You'll be surprised at what you find there.

B) The Day by Day : Most of the book is fluff. For example, if the map has the 389 Division at Village X, our author for that day will write "The 389 Infanterie Division was stationed at Village X on this day." Yes, I'm not kidding. Colonel, you do not need to write what is obvious minutia on a map. In the words of General Bradley to General Patton: "I can read a map." That nonsense just needs to go if it is visible from a map

C) The Data : Occasionally you will see some data sprinkled in, which are mere slivers compared to what is available. This of course makes the study vastly incomplete, and it's usage as any sort of reference work dangerous at best. When reading it, I get the sense that the author either wanted to skate on this area or simple collapsed under the weight of the undertaking.

D) Photos: In what is designed and aimed as a data book, there are annoying photos in place of what should be tables of data. Extremely distracting and unnecessary.

E) in the Dedication section, special recognition is given to Glantz/House, J.D. Mark, & Kehrig. I find if offensive on there behalf that there work would even be mentioned in these books. Were talking World Series to Little League here.

As a test, I went to the November 19, 1942 page to see how the author handled the northern breakthrough. To me this is a most interesting topic because the primary German formation in this area, the 22 Panzer Division received all the blame for not halting the Russian offensive against the Rumanians and causing the catastrophe. I would think that this is very relevant to include, as the southern breakthrough was included, yet the author (as do most other lesser history books) chose to ignore it completely.

I would hope that the author eventually does a second edition & knocks it out of the park. I would gladly pay hundreds for the real deal. This work as is, constitutes a cute little pair of books that might get some novices interested in the battle. This really belongs on the bargain book shelf at your local brick and mortar

UPDATE: Looking at the 100K topo map M-38-113 on page 18, something struck me as odd. I knew I had seen this before...it is the 1980's edition. It's really best to use wartime maps for Russia because of the extreme modification to the postwar terrain. Also, in this day and age, how can anybody still not know the correct location of the Nail Factory if one is truly a student of Stalingrad? See page 17.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great detail, great maps, great photographs 10 Nov 2013
By The Group Captain - Published on Amazon.com
Fabulous, detailed summary of every day the German Sixth Army fought in Stalingrad. This is a two volume set and includes daily maps, casualty figures, and what each corps and division were doing. I am going to keep this set on my desk whenever I read another book on the battle so I can refer to this book for additional details that even include weather and road conditions. The greater your interest in Stalingrad the more you will love this book. What Dave Glantz does for the Russians in this battle, MacLean does for the Germans. If you have never read a book on Stalingrad, do not start with this set, but if you love the battle like many do, your book collection is not complete until you have these two books.
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