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Operation Barbarossa: The German Invasion of Soviet Russia (General Military) Hardcover – 20 Aug 2013

3.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (20 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782004084
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782004080
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 3.6 x 25.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 358,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

Kirchubel has done an excellent job of merging his previous three books to produce a detailed but readable account of Operation Barbarossa. The overall shape of the campaign remains clear, but the uneven progress of the German armies on the ground and the repeated Soviet counterattacks are not neglected, so the true complexity of this massive campaign is also very apparent. --Historyofwar.org

If you are going to study Barbarossa or the overall history of the Eastern Front then this book is ideal for your needs. The author has produced an exceptional book and he deserves recognition for his efforts. This is the book to have on Barbarossa and it will become a standard reference text in the future. --Dr Stuart C Blank

Book Description

A detailed and comprehensive examination of the Barbarossa campaign of June to December 1941.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
While the author enjoyed writing the Osprey Campaign trilogy some years ago, he always felt stymied by the page limitation and felt a better job could have been done without the restraints. This book is his vision of Barbarossa without the restraints.
In the Preface, Mr Kirchubel freely admits that 90% of the new book consists of the old trilogy and the new 10% consists of material involving political and ideological considerations as well as the latest in military information. The overall time horizon is the same, from June to December; coverage is from the initial invasion to the approaches of Leningrad, Moscow and Rostov by the respective Army Group. You also will have coverage of the fighting in Finland, the Arctic and the Crimea.

While much of the material in this book is "old", it is clear the author invested a lot of time on it for he gutted the old format and within limits started anew to reflect the inclusion of the three Army Groups in one volume and to avoid any weaknesses of the past. The introductions into each section are expanded and improved and the coverage is more thematic in nature than strictly chronological. You still have familiar chapter titles like Opposing Plans, Armies and Commanders providing the necessary background knowledge for when the campaign begins. The Campaign is sub-divided into five acts and consumes about 220 pages. Frontier battles and the fighting at Minsk, Smolensk, Kiev, Uman, Vyazma, Bryansk, the approach to Moscow are some of the highlighted areas. However, I still feel the late October, November timeframe is still light; the coverage of the fighting in the Kalinin sector and along the Mozhaisk Line could have been more fully developed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In my opinion the first reviewer is very fair. I do have the three softcover editions but somehow get the impression that this is not a 'potboiler' - I feel that author has been given an opportunity to revisit his work and has made a genuine improvement.As mentioned before, the newly-expanded bibliography is particularly useful.
The book is very nicely produced with excellent photographs, and gives a good, easy to understand account of this enormous Operation.
All in all - a very nice addition to any Eastern Front bookshelf.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Until publishers understand that they need to convert maps so they can be viewed at a high enough resolution to follow the action on a kindle , there is no point in providing eBook versions of their books. Campaign histories depend on the reader being able to follow the action on the maps and "3D" battle representations. The author describes the campaign in a lucid manner but he is let down by the maps. I was going to give 1 star but the price is good. Come on Osprey fix the kindle maps and I would purchase more of their products
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kirchubel provides a very detailed account of Barbarossa - the Nazi invasion of Russia. There are excellent maps in colour, and many revealing photographs. The level of detail is aimed at the military enthusiast rather than the general reader. However the language is clear and very readable.

Kirchubel explains: in the immediate post-war period it was mainly the Germans and Soviets wrote about the Eastern European theatre which received very little coverage in western literature. Books at the time usually portrayed the Red Army as an unskilled mass which managed to win only by its size, and the amateurish interference of Hitler. Later histories written after the Cold War had new access to former Soviet documents and began to correct the skewed impressions of the Nazi-Soviet War. Kirchubel warns that some histories of this period need to be viewed critically

Kirchubel covers many issues, and I give a just few examples:

The lack of a German High Command strategy. After the first month, surprisingly, it became a matter of what do we do next? Also, their previous blitzkrieg successes in France may have given OKH and OKW an over-optimistic view of what could be expected. They envisaged a series of short tactical battles - to destroy the Red Army - lasting perhaps 10 weeks, not a war of attrition which they could never win. When the Nazi-Soviet War transitioned from one of manoeuvre to one of attrition, victory moved decisively beyond Hitler's grasp.

There were unresolved conflicts in the German High Command. For example, for Hitler, taking Moscow was never a priority: for Hitler the destruction of the Red Army was the priority. However, generals Guderien and Halder had other priorities, Moscow amongst them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a splendid bargain as a Kindle book. Only £1 for what is essentially 3 osprey books in one. The downside is, of course, that the Kindle is a poor device for viewing the maps and colour illustrations of an Osprey book. This doesn't quite spoil things but drops it to four stars.

Still, an excellent read and a good overview of Barbarossa, showing the how the strategic vacuum at the heart of the Wehrmacht and the egotism of individuals put the final nails in the coffin of a poorly planned and logistically doomed invasion.
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