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on 8 July 2003
This acclaimed book explains in an insightful and thorough way all of the German strategic decisions for the whole Stalingrad campaign, which went from June 1942 to March 1943. Serious scholars of Stalingrad MUST have Hayward's masterpice, which has the best analysis of German eastern strategy for 1942/43 ever written. Air-power enthusiasts will be thrilled to read how crucial it was to the Germans' successes in 1942 but saddened to read that the Luftwaffe, under Goering's mad direction, ignored the local air general's advice and promised, but failed, to keep 6th Army alive. GREAT book!
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on 19 January 1999
An exellent study of the German Airforce from the fall of Sevastopol in the Crimea to its failure at Stalingrad. Very well written, with a clear analysis of the events. Well worth the money and it belongs in every major collection on World War II's Eastern Front.
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on 21 June 2003
This is the only Stalingrad book I recommend without any qualifying "but"s. It is based almost exclusively on unpublished German military archival sources, which are translated perfectly, it is stunningly original in its approach and focus, and it is written in an engaging way for such a thick and detailed book.
Who knew before this book the scale and nature of the Luftwaffe's contribution to German eastern front victories during 1942 and the first half of 1943? NO-ONE!
Kharkov, Kerch, Sevastopol, the Don bend, Stalingrad, the airlift, the battles for the Kuban, Manstein's 1943 counteroffensive: all these battles were decisively shaped by the Luftwaffe and not merely as army-support. In many of these battles, Hayward teaches us for the first time, the army served as airforce support!!!!
This story is gripping and dramatic, but also analytical and very, very accurate.
Outstanding and essential. If you can only afford one Stalingrad book this month, make it this one.
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on 20 April 2004
You'll have to search hard to find any book that better interweaves a rollicking good narrative with top-notch scholarly analysis of tactics, operational art and strategy. Added to that are good clear maps, a helpful glossary, thorough source and footnote details and a full index. This book initially upset a lot of buffs by slaying several sacred cows, yet Hayward's interpretations have not only survived, but they have been widely accepted by scholars and Stalingrad enthusiasts alike. This has indeed, as another reviewer noted, become a necessary "standard work" on Stalingrad.
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on 11 June 2003
This is the most excellent book on the Battle we all think we know about. But this book shows how little we know. It has great research in Germany's Militaerarchiv in Freiburg and in captured war documents in American national and militar archives. Many, maybe most, of these documents have never been used by historians before. So the information from them and the author's conclusions are revelations. This book explains Stalingrad strategies, in the air and on the ground, better than any other book, and is the very first to explain the Luftwaffe's centrel role in German victories and defeats during 1942 and early 1943. Every Stalingrad reader will enjoy.
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on 10 September 2003
Best book written on air power over Russia during the nightmare-ish war in the east. Eastern front readers will love this. Stalingrad specialists will love this. Luftwaffe readers will love this. The author's research is based on rare German sources from archives and he adds to this sources from American and British archives. His Russian sources aren't as strong, but then this IS a book on the German air effort. Wonderful stuff. Do buy it.
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on 27 August 1998
This book is damned good! I was impressed by the fact that not only has the author meticulously researched his subject and treated every source (many of them used for the first time)in a scholarly fashion, but has also managed to place major historical events in a human context which the reader will relive with almost frightening clarity. For anyone interested in German campaign history this book is compulsory reading !!
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on 10 January 1999
The reviews of this book are uniformly good. The one interesting thing which the other reviewers have not alluded to is an examination of the importance of oil in the German and Soviet war effort and an analysis of the reason why Hitler struck off towards the oil fields in at Baku.
The discussion of this subject made it possible to understand the dynamics of the tactics and one can now realise how close the Germans came to victory even though their forces were much weaker than in the previous summer.
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on 18 May 2003
I am very surprised that one reviewer on this page called the book "unreadable". I have read my copy twice and often pull it down when I need to check things about Stalingrad.
It is one of the best books on a single campaign that I have ever read.
The research is meticulous and thorough and the analysis is judicious and thoughtful and reliable. The writing is also of the highest quality.
I learned more about the entire Eastern Front campaigns from this book than from all the army-focused books I had previously read. Indeed, the author does for air operations what John Erickson does for army operations.
This book may disappoint the one other reviewer, who wanted to read about fighter duels, etc, but for the many of us who want to UNDERSTAND Stalingrad, this book is essential.
I would give it six stars if Amazon had such an option. It doesn't, so the five-star maximum must suffice.
This book will become a classic!
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on 26 June 2003
So this book focuses more on air-power than in any other books on the battles of the eastern front. That's very good, because the Luftwaffe contributed decisively to every army operation. Even Stalingrad, both when things were going good and then when things went bad, was a Luftwaffe affair to a far greater degree than most people think. This is the only book to cover such things, and it does so with fantastic thoroughness, based on rare and often never-used-before German documents. It has also got great maps, excellent photos (many published for the first time in this book) and is finely written.
This is widely hailed as the definitive book on the Stalingrad airlift. This is an appropriate view. Nowhere else will you find such a detailed and revealing study of history's largest and doomed effort to keep an army supplied by aircraft. This is, for ordinary Germans, a sad story, and Hayward tells it in a gripping way. But this was the turning point of the war, as the author gladly points out, and the beginning of the end for the cursed Nazis.
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