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The Greatest Battle: The Battle for Moscow, 1941-2 [Hardcover]

Andrew Nagorski
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2007
The battle for Moscow, which took place from September 1941 to April 1942, was the biggest battle of World War II - indeed, the biggest battle of all time. Seven million troops were involved. The combined losses of both sides amounted to 2.5 million men - 2 million on the Russian side. Even Stalingrad, immortalised in Antony Beevor's classic work, involved half as many troops and less than half as many losses. But most of all, this battle turned the course of the whole war. Hitler had declared war on the Soviet Union, and hoped for a swift victory. Had Moscow fallen, Hitler might have won the war - but in the bitter winter the Soviet army held the Germans back. But Stalin committed huge strategic blunders - initially refusing to arm his troops after Hitler sent his troops east without winter clothing - and his reign of terror caused mass looting in Moscow and the flight of half its citizens. As a result the Soviets suppressed the full story of the battle, and only now have the secret archives been declassified for Andrew Nagorski to tell the full story. Anyone gripped and astounded by Stalingrad will find this an amazing account of privation and attrition on an unimaginable scale. This title draws on previously secret Russian documents - suppressed by Stalin - and eyewitness testimony. It is written by an award-winning "Newsweek" foreign correspondent. It continues Aurum's distinguished military history record after "The Most Dangerous Enemy" and "The Winter War". This is the story of the biggest battle of all time - involving 7 million troops. Even Stalingrad involved half the number of troops and less than half the number of losses. This is the battle that marked Hitler's first reverse and the turning point of WW2.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (1 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845132912
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845132910
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 623,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Andrew Nagorski has written a gripping story of a strangely underappreciated event that profoundly shaped our world. Nagorski's morally acute, forceful, grimly enlightening account, enriched by interviews with surviving participants, is an urgent reminder of the totalitarian nightmare from which we in the blessed West only narrowly escaped."-- Richard Bernstein, former Berlin bureau chief of "The New York Times" and author of "Fragile Glory: A Portrait of France and the French"

About the Author

Andrew Nagorski is a senor editor at Newsweek International. He served two tours as Moscow bureau chief. And won awards for his foreign reporting. His last book was the novel Last Stop Vienna about the reign of Hitler.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By Leonard Fleisig TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Anton Chekhov was certainly prophetic when he wrote that line, perhaps no more so than in connection with the titanic clash between the USSR's Red Army and Germany's Wehrmacht in the opening months of the war on the east front in 1941/1942. Andrew Nagorski's "The Greatest Battle: Stalin, Hitler, and the Desperate Struggle for Moscow that Changed the Course of World War II" is a compelling, well-written examination of an epic and bloody battle for survival.

Winston Churchill once wrote that "history is written by the victors". Nagorski takes the view here that sometimes history also is not written by the victors when that history doesn't serve the victor's purposes. At the outset of the "Greatest Battle" Nagorski points out that while much has been written of the battles of Leningrad, Stalingrad, and Kursk for example the battle that ended on the outskirts of Moscow has been subjected to far less scrutiny by historians. Nagorski suggests that a primary reason why Moscow has received less historical scrutiny is the fact that the victor, in this case Stalin's USSR, had little to gain by promoting a battle that would cast Stalin in a less favorable light than Stalingrad or Kursk. Documents locked in NKVD/KGB archives stayed locked well past Stalin's regime. However, since the fall of the USSR a great amount of previously uncovered records has led both Russian and western historians to take a new look at the battle for Moscow.

Nagorski has done an excellent job here in amassing a tremendous amount of research material and presenting it in a way that can be appreciated by readers with either a general or specific interest in the subject matter. One of the great strengths of the book is Nagorski's wide-ranging approach to the battle.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The decisive battle of WWII 27 Mar 2013
Andrew Nagorski has been able , with this book, to achieve a very difficult result to combine the military history, with the contribution of the spies and with the life of the normal people at Moscow during the war.
The author dedicates a chapter to the price of terror, but which terror? During the war, in Russia there have been two terrors, the German terror that, in a fool way, destroyed the Russians' hopes to be freed from Stalin and his regime and the Russian terror that was shooting to the Russian soldiers that were fleeing from the battlefields and that was sending to the gulags the families of the surrendered Russian soldiers.
If you are interested just to the military history, this is not the right book for you, but, if you are interested in a wider range of stories about the battle of Moscow , this a very interesting book with a lot of discoveries for you.
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