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Russia's War
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on 2 December 2017
A well written detailed account of the war and the politics.
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VINE VOICEon 11 May 2010
A very interesting and easy to read one volume account of the Soviet Union's fightback against the Nazi invasion of '41. This is the first book by historian Richard Overy I've read and I will be on the lookout for more as his style is clear, consise, well researched and he does not take sides or give too many personal opinions as good historians should not - but far too many do!
Mr Overy gives some good insights into Stalin and along the way punctures many myths that have grown up around Stalin and his attitude to, and leadership of the Red Army forces. His relationship with his top Generals is examined, Stalin unlike Hitler did let his Generals get on with it for most of the war which is probably what saved us all from having to speak German today. The author also gives the best explanation I've read yet of why Russian Soldiers and Civilians suffered the 26 million plus casaulties but in a matter of fact way without taking sides or preaching. Yes, Stalin's terror did exist, it is examined in a rational rather than emotional manner. Was the average Russian fighting for Uncle Joe and the CPSU, no probably not, although a good few were. Was he fighting for the motherland and revenge for what the Nazi's had done to it - yes, many were
A first class account of a terrible, terrible conflict. Five star reading.
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on 24 October 2011
Just finished this very enjoyable and awe-inspiring book. Richard Overy says on the back cover notes that eastern Europe between 1939 and 1945 must have been one of the worst places/times to be in history: it's hard to disagree after reading this concise account. The book ranges across the battlefronts, the Russian home front, the experiences of the top generals, the 'frontoviks' in the field, the NKVD, the camps and the various nationalities and national minorities caught up in the maelstrom, but throughout focuses on Stalin as a central figure. You should be aware that there is much on Stalin and the Soviet Union in the inter-war years and in the years after the war (probably around 70 pages) and though it's all relevant, well written and highly interesting it does cut down the content relating to the war on the Eastern Front as it happened. A super book on a topic we should all be aware of. Thank you very much Richard Overy.
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on 12 June 2012
I had started to read this book, borrowed from a friend, in Hardback and was immediately interested in the context, style and detail incorporated by the author. When I purchased this book in paperback I was surprised in the difference in type setting and found it harder to concentrate on the detail and material content of the book. For someone who is interested in this type of historical research I would have liked a better summary of the content because the only reason I had bought it was to continue what I had started when I had shared a friend's book.The summary given by Amazon would not have sold me the book. It did not grab me with a taste of some of the breathaking facts the book contained. The attempted extermination of the Jews by the Nazis is within the knowledge of most people yet the decimation of the Russian and satelite peoples since the Russian revolution and at the hands of Stalin, the enormity of which is almost beyond comprehension, is also not withion the knowledge of many. It is this omision of that impact from the summary that does not sell the book as well as it could.
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on 27 March 2013
I found this book to be highly informative and a thoroughly engaging read that I didn't want to put down. It's an excellent overview with a fair amount of detail though volumes would be needed to go into the major aspects of the war such as Stalin's regime, the social impact of the war and the tyranny of facism on the occupied peoples, Kursk, et. It does a superb job of covering the major and important aspects of the war and doing so in a well written, accessible yet not simplistic way.
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on 6 November 2012
This book will change your understanding of the Second World War. A scholarly but readable account from the Russian point of view. Richard Overy really delivers thought provoking information, and weeks after reading it I am still dazzled by his account of the scope and scale of the Red Army logistics, and of the organisation of industrial resources.
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on 11 May 2013
This is not a heavyweight academic book. It gives a great overview of Russia's conflict in WW2 without getting bogged down in too much detail. It is therefore a great starting point for those who don't know much of what took place on the Eastern Front. It has certainly added to my overall knowledge of the European element of the war.
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on 16 January 2016
Probably one of the best books to read as a starting point on the Eastern front, Overy is able to dilute down a lot of complex debates and adequately explains the strategic and tactical complexities. Well recommended as a whist-stop guide to the Eastern Front before you move onto weightier tomes by authors such as Glantz.

I can say that as a third year university student I've used this for every one of my essays on the subject and its always been a extremely useful starting point.
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on 17 May 2016
I would recommend the book for its early pre-war chapters where it gives some interesting insights as too what soviet thinking may have been. I was disappointed in the chapters on the war years though, they read too much like the soviet archives would and similarly omitted things the same archives would want to underplay. There was a general lack of scepticism regarding soviet statistics/records which given the general record of falsification around for instance production figures seems naive.
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VINE VOICEon 14 August 2015
As always with Richard Overy this is very well written and very well researched. It's an excellent account of WW2 from the Russian perspective and a clear recommendation.
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