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Summary

Stalingrad, November 1942. Lieutenant Breuer dreams of returning home for Christmas. But he and his fellow German soldiers will spend winter in a frozen hell - as snow, ice and relentless Soviet assaults reduce the once mighty Sixth Army to a diseased and starving rabble. Breakout at Stalingrad is a stark and terrifying portrait of the horrors of war and a profoundly humane depiction of comradeship in adversity. 

The book itself has an extraordinary story behind it. Its author fought at Stalingrad and was imprisoned by the Soviets. In captivity, he wrote a novel based on his experiences, which the Soviets confiscated before releasing him. Gerlach resorted to hypnosis to remember his narrative, and in 1957 it was published as The Forsaken Army. Fifty-five years later Carsten Gansel, an academic, came across the original manuscript of Gerlach's novel in a Moscow archive. 

This first translation into English of Breakout at Stalingrad includes the story of Gansel's sensational discovery. 

©2019 Heinrich Gerlach (P)2019 Head of Zeus

Critic reviews

"One of the greatest novels of the Second World War." (The Times

"Gerlach's truly magnificent novel...is a devastating account of the appalling privations suffered by the German army, left to their fate by the foundering, over-stretched Fatherland. A masterpiece." (Mail on Sunday

"A remarkable find." (Antony Beevor) 

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Awful Production

Translated and read in a stilted early 1960's public school argot. Simply awful. I can't imagine why Audible placed this product in their library other than royalties and fees were avoided.

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Not good and not bad

The book is advertised as 24 hours long which I thought was very long anyway but the story ends after 19 hours and then there are 5 hours of appendices (or so I believe as I gave up after about 30 minutes At first I found the narrator a bit annoying but not too long into the book I warmed to him The story itself I found quite rambling and I had to keep rewinding as I lost the thread quite often but overall it was an ok listen

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Totally gripping from start to finish

A very good narrator for this gripping book. Historically fascinating, depressing and funny. It didn't seem as long as over 24 hours, which shows what a good listen it was.

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  • JuneG
  • 01-08-19

Cringworthy translation

My problem with this book comes from the overwhelmingly english tone and verbiage that this German book has been translated into. Friends become chaps, men become blokes, stolen is knicked, trash is rubbish and so on. The way all the characters are portrayed is so distracting as to make it seem that the British invaded Stalingrad. This is not to say that the narrator did a poor job. He is high quality in both his voice and pronunciation. The end of the book may be the most interesting as it spends several hours discussing the research involved in writing this book.

2 people found this helpful