A classic work of World War II history that brings to vivid, dramatic life one of the bloodiest battles ever fought - and the beginning of the end for the Third Reich.
On August 5, 1942, giant pillars of dust rose over the Russian steppe, marking the advance of the 6th Army, an elite German combat unit dispatched by Hitler to capture the industrial city of Stalingrad and press on to the oil fields of Azerbaijan. The Germans were supremely confident; in three years, they had not suffered a single defeat. The Luftwaffe had already bombed the city into ruins. German soldiers hoped to complete their mission and be home in time for Christmas.
The siege of Stalingrad lasted five months, one week, and three days. Nearly two million men and women died, and the 6th Army was completely destroyed. Considered by many historians to be the turning point of World War II in Europe, the Soviet Army's victory foreshadowed Hitler's downfall and the rise of a communist superpower.
Best-selling author William Craig spent five years researching this epic clash of military titans, traveling to three continents in order to review documents and interview hundreds of survivors. Enemy at the Gates is the enthralling result: the definitive account of one of the most important battles in world history. The book was the inspiration for the 2001 film of the same name, starring Joseph Fiennes and Jude Law.
©1973 William Craig; This edition published in 2015 by Open Road Integrated Media, Inc. (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
This story encapsulates the bloodbath that was Stalingrad very well. It was such a tragic event and a huge turning point that thousands of men paid for with their lives due to their leaders' incompetence.
Despite the fact that this book was written in the early '70s, since when many more sources of information have emerged, it nevertheless remains one of the classic works on Stalingrad.
Even though this book is of the 1970's, and recent explorations of the battle are more accurate because of the access into previously unavailable archives, the author tells a spellbinding story. You want to look away but you can't. A good introduction to the turning point of the war in the east. Well read and well written. To point out some inaccuracies would be churlish in the extreme and, I have no doubt only occur because of the state of most research at the time. For an American author it is a most even handed work.
"great, but difficult to follow"
this book is very detailed and well written.. The thing I struggled with was the dozens of characters. the book follows first-person accounts of dozens of people from different countries mainly Soviet Russia and Germany.. These are generals soldiers civilians... the narration tends to switch between these dozens of characters without warning which was difficult for me because I sometimes got lost.
"An Unforgettable and Haunting Read"
This book was first published in 1973 then was reissued in 2001, as a movie-tie book for the film of the same name. The book is considered one of the best written about the siege of Stalingrad. The battle for Stalingrad was waged from August 23, 1942 to February 2, 1943. The battle was critical to the fate of the Eastern Front.
General Frederick von Paulus’s German Sixth Army was fresh from crushing the Ukraine. In three years of warfare the Sixth Army was undefeated, having scored victories in Poland, France, Yugoslavia and now Russia. The Sixth Army was closing its pincers on two badly battered Soviet Armies near the western bank of the Don River. Stalingrad, formerly called Tsaritsyn (now called Volgograd) was now the focal point of the German Army.
Craig divided the book into two parts with part one detailing the German offensive and part two covering the Russian counteroffensive. This was a costly battle with a well equipped German Army against a poorly equipped and trained Russian Army. The Russians used Molotov cocktails again the German Tanks caught in the narrow streets of the City. The battle became famous for its sniper warfare. The German snipers with their scopes caused enormous loss for the Russians. Soviet women fought bravely in this battle. Tania Chebova a Russian sniper killed 80 Germans in three months.
The book was meticulously researched. Craig spent five years poring over documents on three continents. He interviewed hundreds of survivors of the battle. The book is well written and includes photographs. The Russians had the greatest loss of lives both military and civilians during World War II. I learned a lot and enjoy reading/listening to this book. David Baker does an excellent job narrating the book.
Despite recounting the entire battle chronologically it is difficult to follow because it attempts to follow too many people. I would have preferred it to focus on fewer people in greater detail, rather than mentioning so many people almost in passing. Unless you already know all about the battle, I would recommend keeping a battlefield map handy in order to understand the importance of locations/buildings mentioned throughout the book (I imagine the print edition includes such maps, so this comment is only for the audio version)
"one of the true classics"
This is a true historical artwork about the Russian front in World War II. Citing several specific players, incidents, and struggles of the men this book highlights the battle for Stalingrad in intimate detail. An absolute must-read for anyone who is studying the Battle of Stalingrad or the Russian front. I would suggest making it your first read if you're just delving in
A very in-depth look at the struggles that both the Germans and Russians had to endure during the battle of Stalingrad, highly recommend it for any history major.
The most engaging and gripping historical narrative that I have ever read. Simply in a class of its own.
"For WWII Buffs w/ desire to Understand Stalingrad"
Very good coverage of Strategic, Tactical, and Political situation surrounding the battle on both sides.
Also a great job of intermingling personal and intimate stories of some of the combatants through the entire months long battle.
"Excellent survey of a complex historical battle"
While the author's point of reference and overarching analysis of the battle is found in the German camp, the bias may be accepted when the conceptual timeframe of the book's writing and publication is considered. I enjoyed this book!
"Man's inhumanity toward man."
While hard to envision the many characters and scenes, I was still engrossed to the end.
The narrator wad flawless.
"Gripping account of Stalingrad"
This book provides an incredible insight into one of the most brutal engagements of the war. it does an incredible job looking at the encounter equally from both sides and delves into the psyche of all the people involved, from lowly landers and guardsmen to the officers and generals to Hitler and Stalin themselves. Must buy
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