64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stalingrad: A comprehensive and harrowing account
Stalingrad is a superb book. Before reading it I had no knowledge of the eastern front, but Antony Beevor's account has compelled me to find out more. The book not only provides a full account of the battle, but an overview of Operation Barbarossa and the strategy in southern Russia. The books main triumph lies in its ability to relate the story from both the German and...
Published on 13 Jan 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing material he has been able to draw on
Rigorous, in depth account. Amazing material he has been able to draw on. Not quite sure how well he integrates the first hand accounts into the wider narrative. Sometimes feels a bit cut and paste. But that is always a difficulty with this kind of history.
Published 7 days ago by Jim Jim Josiah
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent,
stalingrad is one of the best books ive read.its fantastically written and researched and it really does take you to the battle.
this is THE book to read if you have an interest in war.its a master piece of human tribulation.he takes history to the next level.loved every page of it.I also recommend Berlin.
Beevor really has taken this heart rending tragedy and turned it into a masterpiece. top marks.
5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a book that transcends its genre.,
By A Customer
I have read this book three times now, and keep getting more and more from it -the sign of greatness.It has a novel's ability to explore human folly and hubris. It has the scale of great events that have so recently shaped our world and it has a drama that is relentless.
Above all things it has the ability to give you a taste of the desperation - firstly on the Soviet side and then, relentlessly as the scales tilted, on the German side as the dream of a defeated Russia became an anvil against which the Wehrmacht was broken.
11 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much sympathy for the moral cretins of the Wehrmacht,
By A Customer
A superb work of military history (but did someone not say that military history is to History as military cooking is to haute cuisine?)H
The book deals in exhaustive (and occasionally exhausting) detail with the hideous conditions under which the soldiers of both sides had to fight and the stupidity and inhumanity of the high command on both sides. However, it remains to a great extent a work of merely military history, with a perhaps necessary equivocation concerning the moral questions involved in the conflict.
Although Mr Beevor does not at all ignore the heinous crimes carried out by the Germans and their allies on the citizens of the Soviet Union, I think his readers might have a fuller picture of the Germans' "war of extermination" if they read Omer Bartov's "Hitler's Army" or "Eastern Front 1941-45", Christopher Browning's "Ordinary Men", Michael Burleigh's "Ethics and Extermination" or (with care) Daniel Goldhagen's "Hitler's Willing Executioners". Having read these books myself, my sympathy with the German Landser is virtually non-existant. The sufferings of the Germans were self-inflicted and well deserved, and although I can understand Mr Beevor's sympathies for the "ordinary soldier" on both sides, the Germans deserved none after the crimes they commited against humanity. To paraphrase Peter Gay, a German Jewish victim of the Nazis in the 30's, "may their bones rot on the Russian steppe".
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stalingrad by Anthony Beevor,
This item was requested by my son for Christmas so has not yet been appreciated. I can say no more.
12 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but I think flawed,
If you don't know what happened at Stalingrad or why it mattered, read this book. If you want to know what to think and feel about it, I'd be more careful. My sympathies, of course, are with the Soviets. Beevor's don't seem to be. He writes about the privations suffered by the Russian soldiers and civilians, though not it seems to me in the same detail as he writes about the sufferings of the German prisoners of war after the defeat. He does write about Nazi atrocities (though more about Soviet ones), but the main thing that concerns him about Hitler is his meddling with the strategic decisions of his army commanders. German Communists working for the Soviets are always 'tame' - whereas the Hiwis (Russians who worked or even fought for the Nazis) are treated with sympathy throughout. There's little suggestion that any Russians might actually have been Communists, even though he does acknowledge that the re-appearance of shoulder pads and then gold braid on officers' uniforms did provoke a strong reaction from Red Army soliders.
4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible quality,
It may seem strange but I dipped into someone else's copy and then had to get it for myself to read the whole book.
Anthony Beevor has produced what I'd regard as one of the most accessible history books on a single theme that I've ever read. I thought it was remarkable and surpassed Simon Schama's History of Britain books in style and the sublime way it which it drew the reader in.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A history of the brutality of war,
Antony Beevor's exposition of the battle for Stalingrad reads very much like the broad sweep of a novel. This battle once and for all puts paid to the lie Dulce et Decorum est,which Wilfred Owen and his fellow poets tried to expound to an ignorant public earlier in the century. Beevor's work explains what happens when two totally autocratic societies based upon differing principles meet, and how their is next to no shred of humanity on either side in the treatment of the enemy. There is some horific and moving imagery in the work, particularly in how the children of Stalingrad had to survive. And it is a macabre fact that the battle became a study in the processes of starvation, as the German Sixth Army was slowly strangled.
18 of 55 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars one-sided and apologetic,
I am quite perplexed at the universal praise lavished on this book. Sure, Beevor coveys the 'horrors of war' and is capable of good reportage (though I expect many social and political historians will be turned off with the over-use of military jargon). However, what really infuriates and outrages is Beevor's barely-stifled 'exhilaration' at the Nazi advance into Soviet Russia. His narrative of Operation Barbarossa is frankly obscene, omitting altogether its core rationale - a barbarous racial war against 'the inferior Slavs' and the Jews, a war which the 'heroic' Wehrmacht were entirely complicit.
This omission might be excused precisely because Beevor is a military fetishist rather than a well-rounded historian. Yet, this qualification is too generous to him. His anti-communism means his sympathies are with the Germans throughout. Where individual Soviet soldiers are dealt with sympathetically this is undermined by his leaden and one-dimensional portrayal of the Russian soldier as 'victim' of a system which forced him to fight. Beevor just cannot conceive that Russian soldiers might have been motivated by more noble aspirations - the will to defeat the evils of fascism; a love for one's homeland; and even a misplaced but heartfelt commitment to defending the communist ideal.
For a more honest and accurate account of the Nazi war in the East I would recommend Richard Overy and Christopher Browning over this over-rated apologia.
8 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Outdated by Hayward Joel's "Stopped at S",
Good intent by Beevor to make a description of the Battle but lacks the Maps , the Crimea campaign, The Sebastopol destruction and the role of the Luftwaffe.
Joel Hayward "Stopped at Stalingrad" is the NEW source and Wonderful.As we say in Venezuela: "When there are new Saints the old does not even make miracles"... Read Hayward and Kershaw and your picture is complete.
0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Factual / Historical,
Factual / Historical
Ordered as a Christmas gift.
Arrived in good time.
Not in excellent order. Book was slightly damaged on corner.
I did not have enough time to return it and get a replacement.
The recipient was offered the option of returning it but chose not to.
Not top marks because of damage to spine on corner.
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Stalingrad by Antony Beevor