- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (1 Sept. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1845133595
- ISBN-13: 978-1845133597
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,119,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Greatest Battle: The Battle for Moscow, 1941-2 Paperback – 1 Sep 2008
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'A new and beautifully researched account of what had been a poorly understood part of the war' New York Review of Books
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. He lives in New York.
Top Customer Reviews
The author notices something which occurred to me on my first visit to Moscow in 1993: there is a monument shaped a bit like a multiple St. Andrew's Cross, which marks the furthest point of advance of the German forces, though in fact I believe an advance scout unit actually got withing sighht of the golden cupolas of the Kremlin churches. Even so, that monument was only a 15 minute ride to Red Square (Nagorski says 30 minutes, but he had not the (?) advantage of being driven by my reckless young driver, Pasha...). That is how near it was and yet how far, as the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS were driven back with huge suffering and lloss of life. The author gives the figures as far as they are known: about 7 million troops etc altogether; German losses (killed, captured --most of whom lasted not very long-- and badly wounded) of 615,000; Soviet losses of perhaps 2 millions.
I liked the way in which the author brought to life the panic in Moscow itself as the Wehrmacht advanced towards the capital: swastikas painted by anti-Soviet Russians on fences and buildings; some tables and samovars brought outside dachas and apartment buildings with the idea of welcoming the conquerors/liberators from sovietism. Also, looting and NKVD activity on a large scale.
I also saw a few facts, like the later career of Khokhlov, which I found interesting. The author is wrong when he says that Soviet soldiers were often unnamed when killed due to lack of dog tags.Read more ›
Publicity for this book makes much of the previously-closed sources Nagorski has used. In fact, when it comes to the great events of the battle, he is drawing almost entirely on published sources. The Russians he intwerviewed were young at the time, even children, and even the NKVD documents he accessed give a very down-in-the-weeds view of the battle.
Nagorski does not seem to have much idea of what belongs in a history of a battle and what does not. Eden's viwsit to Moscow at the height of the battle had no impact on the fighting, and British-Russian discussions on Poland are not relevant to the battle (nor to much else, for that matter, since what decided Poland's fate was that it always was going to be 'liberated' by the Soviets).
Nagorski obviously has a lot of empathy fot the Russians and is at his best telling stories of how they survived, and even won the war -- stories like the evacuation of Lenin's body from Moscow, andhow it was preserved in exile. This does not add up to a history of 'the greatest battle in history', but perhaps Nagorski has a better book in him, 'A people's history of Russia at war'.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good story, well told, well researched. You can also get the audio tie-in with your Kindle book, so that's a bonus too.Published 19 months ago by Niccolo65
this book gives some view of the fight for moscow it comes across as a massive grinding campaign showing the awakening of russian forces hindered by stalin lack of military... Read morePublished on 21 Nov. 2012 by m. dosa
I bought this book to read about the Moscow battle, and instead found the author only intrested in telling the reader how dreadful life in the Soviet Union under Stalin was. Read morePublished on 21 Feb. 2010 by Stormbringer
The Greatest Battle by Andrew Nagorski is a disappointment as a book. As an example of interesting, fast-paced, well-written prose it is very good but it suffers from one major and... Read morePublished on 5 Jan. 2010 by HBH
First thing that should serve as a warning thathis book is not what it promses to be is its small size. Read morePublished on 2 Jan. 2010 by Luka Novak
I purchased THE GREATEST BATTLE because of a general interest in World War II and particularly its turning points. Read morePublished on 22 Jun. 2008 by Mr. Joe
The Eastern Front in World War II is known for many things: the heroic stand of the Soviet troops at Stalingrad, the massive tank battle at Kursk, the 3-year siege of Leningrad... Read morePublished on 4 Feb. 2008 by David Roy