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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and unique digest of the initial urban fighting in the city (13th September - 13th October 1942), 27 Aug 2013
* It should be noted that this book covers a period of one month of the Battle of Stalingrad, between 13th September and 13th October 1942, where the fighting was mainly in the southern part of the city, rather than in the factory districts. Later fighting will presumably be covered in later volumes.

Anton Joly's Stalingrad Battle Atlas is a quite unique publication on the battle of Stalingrad. The name does sum it up, the book is not a long chronicling of the battle like Antony Bevor's book, and neither is it an analysis of the evolving urban tactics that the armies employed. Instead the book seeks to provide an overview of the fighting, day by day, and place it into the context of the battle. It does so very effectively.

Joly draws on many reports, maps, and sketch maps from almost every unit involved in the operations that his book covers, allowing him to present a series of maps that chart the battle and place the units involved. It effectively visualises the parts of the city that saw active fighting and allows very good visualisation of how the fighting progressed. The book covers a one-month period that saw intense fighting, and it ends at a reasonable place, when both armies paused to re-organise themselves and plan their next moves. I will be very interested to see the subsequent volumes that cover later periods of battle.

This book should not be taken as a history of the battle that stands up well on its own, simply because it covers one period of the battle. It is, however, an invaluable companion to other histories of the battle, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the battle for Stalingrad, as it is very effective indeed in what it sets out to do. In some other books chronicling the battle, actions come across as somewhat disjointed - where is the Central Station; how far is it to Station No.2? Where is the Central Landing Stage and how did the 13th Guards Rifles get from there to Mamayev Kurgan and where do the stations or the Grain Elevator fit in? Where is the Red October factory in all this - and this book very effectively allows you to better understand what is going on.

It does have issues - the maps could do with being considerably crisper, since they look rather like small maps that have been digitally made bigger, which makes them somewhat blurry. It is all still readable, but could very much do with being made to a higher resolution. Many pages have photographs from the battle, but lack captions. While most are linked with the previous situation map, they could give a lot more with even simple captions, such as 'soviet soldiers assault a block near 9th January Square' or 'an aerial veiw of the city from above Mamayev Kurgan'.

Nevertheless, I have found the book to be excellent, a companion to the battle like no other. In a way it is surprising that a book like this has only recently been published. I would strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to look at the battle in a little more depth, or indeed to anyone studying the battle for pleasure or for their studies. I sincerely hope Mr Joly is able to publish further volumes to cover later fighting, particularly in the factory districts and beyond.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not yet read but please see below, 10 Mar 2014
This review is from: Stalingrad Battle Atlas: volume I (Paperback)
I've been awaiting something along these lines for some time now. I don't have the time nor knowledge to draw up my own draft. Please allow me to explain. What I've been compelled to do in the past is to photo copy all or most of a books maps that may or may not be suitable as well as make up some makeshift map symbols. These I then position on a map so I can visualise the oft arising multi complex movement of army groups and their sub components of divisions and so on. It is a laborious but necessary task. Failing that I lose track of who is who and the writers efforts go to waste. With this publication that will pretty much eliminate such time consuming lengths from myself. I only wish that the whole battle, or at least it's preliminary stages could have been covered. Hence 4 stars. In that way we could have an even distribution in coverage of the battle in perhaps 3 books. As I said I've yet to read this so can only assume that the details covered require a book this size even for just one month. Bottom line is that it make reading Bevor/ gantz (especially Ganz) much more of a relevant and enjoyable read.
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Stalingrad Battle Atlas: volume I
Stalingrad Battle Atlas: volume I by Anton Joly (Paperback - 12 Nov 2013)
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