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Barbarossa: The Russian German Conflict: The Russian-German Conflict, 1941-45 Hardcover – 23 Mar 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; New edition edition (23 Mar. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 029781429X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297814290
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 981,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

The classic account of the war on the Eastern Front between the Russians and the Germans - the greatest clash of arms the world has ever seen - written by the eminent military historian, diarist and politician Alan Clark.

About the Author

Alan Clark, MP for Plymouth between 1974 and 1992 and Kensington and Chelsea between 1997 and 1999, was Minister of Trade and Minister of State. He was married with two sons and lived at Saltwood Castle, Kent. He died in 1999.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first read this splendid one-volume history of the Russo-German conflict of WW2 more than thirty years ago and its immediacy, masterful simplification of complex campaigns and operations, colourful evocations of heroism and cowardice and outright pathos have never left me. This is not a detailed history and the concentration is on a few major, but decisive, campaigns but these are covered with such verve that the reader is quite likely to be fascinated by the subject for the rest of their lives, and to seek out ever more thereafter. Though meticulous in his descriptions and evaluations, Clark is never a neutral observer - and this is probably what makes the book so totally unforgettable even down to individual episodes. His judgements on men can be devastating - his summary of the clownish ineptitude and outdated heroics of Budenny is as succinct and merciless as anything in Gibbon - and his accounts of epic-scale actions never fail to reflect the human cost. The image of hundreds of thousands of Russian prisoners trudging towards starvation, slave labour and medical experiments after the great 1941encirclement battles in the Ukraine, and of isolated pockets fighting to the last man, as loudspeakers relayed the exhortations of Stalin, will stay with the reader forever. Clark's account of Stalingrad was powerful enough to send my wife and myself to the city itself within months of reading the book - a powerful and unforgettable experience. Clark did not just give us the feel the nightmare of street fighting across entire square miles of blazing ruins and factories, but he helped us visualise the abject misery of the Sixth Army's entombed survivors as, in the unlikely surroundings of a rebuilt department store's basement, we found the spot where von Paulus surrendered.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This book made me see the Russo-German campaign in a new light. Previously-held beliefs that the Russians were somewhat fortunate to survive the might of the Nazi war machine in the early stages were swept away by Alan Clark's account of the unpreparedness of the Wehrmacht for the campaign in the first place, the arrogance and ineptitude of the German high command and the stubbornness and bravery of the ordinary Russian soldier. He goes into great detail about the movement of armies and who did what and where, interspersed with personal accounts from people who actually did the fighting. He also makes reference from time to time of the constant in-fighting between the German generals, vying for personal power bases and favours from Hitler, all to the detriment of the German war effort. Alan Clark traces the campaign from beginning to end, from the early years of German successes to their disatrous failures at Leningrad, Stalingrad and Kursk, and finally to the Russians at the gates of the Fuhrerbunker in Berlin. If you like strategy, then this is for you.
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Format: Paperback
While not containing the small personal details of Beevor's Stalingrad and Berlin, this book is nonetheless a fascinating read, and will make you eager to learn more, which is no bad thing. Clark's grasp of politics is clear from his descriptions of the machinations of the German high command and in the final months the mistrust between the allied leaders as they approached Berlin. An excellent grounding in the subject, almost worth buying for the verbatim texts of many of Hitler's conferences alone, which clearly chart his mental disintegration towards the end. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Originally written in 1965, author (and Tory politician) Allan Clark decided to stand by his original text for the 1995 reprint of Barbarossa. Having just finished reading it, I can see why. It's excellent.

Now, about 50 years after it was first written, one might pick apart certain aspects - he seems to buy into Heinz 'Achtung Panzer' Guderian's personal renderings of events rather uncritically, for example - but in broad terms Clark's account seems to have withstood the test of time admirably.

At around 460 pages this is, by contemporary standards, a slightly old-fashioned in-depth treatment of, primarily, the military side of this mammoth campaign. Having recently read a more wide-ranging but very succinct account by German historian Christian Hartman, Clark's lengthier and more detailed old-school rendering was the perfect way to really get deeper into this gargantuan subject (at least on the military history side).

Whilst Clark does address the conflict from both sides, he definitely leans the weight of his coverage more to the German perspective. My title quote captures the mixture of awed excitement mingled with horror that both author and readers may feel when these two profligately cruel ideological empires clashed. For the German's, after the initial euphoria of 'kick-off', it's somewhat surprising how soon the rot set in, in terms of things starting to go wrong for the Axis forces. As many have remarked, the Germans may have read accounts of Napoleon in Russia, but they appear to have failed to learn from them.

For the vast bulk of this moderately large book Clark remains fixed on the military side of things.
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