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Kiev 1941

Hitler's Battle for Supremacy in the East
Narrated by: Matthew Waterson
Length: 14 hrs and 1 min
Categories: History, Military
5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Summary

In just four weeks in the summer of 1941 the German Wehrmacht wrought unprecedented destruction on four Soviet armies, conquering central Ukraine and killing or capturing three quarters of a million men. This was the Battle of Kiev - one of the largest and most decisive battles of World War II and, for Hitler and Stalin, a battle of crucial importance. For the first time, David Stahel charts the battle's dramatic course and aftermath, uncovering the irreplaceable losses suffered by Germany's "panzer groups" despite their battlefield gains, and the implications of these losses for the German war effort. He illuminates the inner workings of the German army, as well as the experiences of ordinary soldiers, showing that with the Russian winter looming and Soviet resistance still unbroken, victory came at huge cost and confirmed the turning point in Germany's war in the East.

©2012 David Stahel (P)2019 Tantor

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    4 out of 5 stars

Overly Germany-pessimistic but really good

Biased towards German hopelessness, for example when first allocating a considerable portion of the book to explaining why and how 1941's Barbarossa constituted the only hope of the Wehrmacht of dealing a decisive blow to the Red Army (due to among many other things the unsustainability of the truck situation and therefore German mobility) the author then continues to criticize the generals for giving it their all. The inconsistency of this narrative leads me to guess that anti-German bias is present in the author's work. Otherwise really detailed and great in its presentation of the battle. Also, the way Guderian is portrayed as unprofessional and rude while this is completely absent in the work of many others, only reinforces my doubts about the complete impartiality of the author. top notch book despite these shortcomings.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 28-05-19

The book you must read on Hitler's War with Russia

I have studied the war on Russia by Hitler for almost 50 years. what more could there be that I could discover? that's what I thought when I bought this book. I thought it would be a good solid refreshment of what I already knew. What is discovered was how little I knew about Hitler's war against Russia. I had my own Mantra as to what happened and how it happened. what I discovered was the pitiful historical records that my studies rested upon. this book is a must read. it will show you once and for all that Hitler's defeat did not happen in the second or third year of his war with Russia but on the contrary Germany began losing in 1941. read it and be refreshed!

8 people found this helpful

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  • William R. Todd-Mancillas (Name includes hyphen and camptalized M)
  • 22-03-19

Excellent Explanation of Kiev Battle.

Narration: Clear

Content: A valuable addition to the Russian-German front. Imparts a fresh, detailed appreciation for how important this battle was to Russia's ultimate victory, although it was a tactical victory for the Germans.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-04-19

Good recap

I loved the other side view which is showing the problems with Nazi strategy in USSR. What am I missing is more talk about Soviet blunders to put them in the context with the German mistakes

1 person found this helpful

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  • MWAnderson
  • 13-12-19

Not a detailed account of Kiev 1941

Only about 20% of the book has anything to do with Kiev directly and it was very disappointing in this regard, giving only high level picture of armies retreating but very little of the interaction of forces. Part of this could be the fault of whoever wrote the title (perhaps not the author) as a kind of false advertising.

A little bit could be considered worthwhile to understand the situation at Kiev, but not to this extent. I stopped listening after about 80% of it once it shifted to Leningrad.

Overall the narrative is a mess. It jumps all around the Eastern Front of 1941. It seems mostly to be an operational level or higher examination, but then the author cites individual soldiers and low level leaders’ first hand impressions attempting to use them to prove his macro level point. This is not a convincing way to argue. A narrow anecdote is not reflective of anything beyond a small local level. You can’t extrapolate that into an Army Group level experience.

The author seems to be Sovietophile as he paints a picture of 1941 Barbarossa that is at odds with every other account I have read (but offers scant support). Things like; the Soviet people being highly patriotic and eager to fight, Russian generals showing great skill, German Generals as buffoons, and so forth. But the funny thing is he then presents evidence throughout the narrative that contradicts his points. Such as the need to form NKVD blocking detachments.

If you read only this account, you would likely assume that 1941 was a stalemate of forces with the USSR acquitting itself quite well. When in reality it was almost completely one-sided with at minimum a 10 to 1 casualty ratio and the loss of ~1,000 kilometers of land from the border. While Barbarossa didn’t capture Moscow or come to the quick conclusion that the Germans sought, to say that it was a failure is misleading. You can hardly call the Soviet performance in 1941 a victory.

There is some good information presented, but with so much revisionist opinion thrown in I’m not sure what to believe and what to dismiss. On describing the taking of Kiev it fails to live up to its title. I might see if there is another title to cover this topic.

Voice performance is good overall, but strangely he pronounces words differently at times. In particular there is a section where he pronounces Guderian two distinctly different ways multiple times which is really annoying. But this section soon passed.

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  • Rodney
  • 09-03-19

Very dull

I love WW2 books, and history books in general - but this one is a ZZZZzzzzz'er. It's just dull. There's no story, this is not a narrative history, it's just here's what people said happened and here's what happened according to the Soviets. There's no flow to the book and it reads like a history book you'd have read in high school - which is an insult in case you don't know. The information seems fine, but having read so many WW2 books there really isn't anything new here, and it doesn't really cover the event the from the beginning to the end, the way I figured it would.

I love WW2 and have literally read hundreds of WW2 books - this one is just dull. Maybe if I knew nothing about the subject it might be a bit better, but again it's not a narrative history and it doesn't try to tell a story, it's just information. It's not by any means the worst thing I've heard and seems accurate, I just wish the author was a dramatically better story teller.

Narration was fine - it's just a straight professional reading, no voice acting or anything - not that any would be appropriate or called for here.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Alek
  • 11-02-19

Exhaustive analysis

Book reaches wide, covering events before and after the battle. Nothing major to hold against it, other than the fact that it may have repeated some points a few times too many. I applaud the author for delving deep into decidedly unglamorous realm of logistical framework of the conflict. The light it sheds upon shockingly ramshackle state of logistics and frontline transportation assets is perhaps the biggest contribution of the book to the study of the War in the East (or, Great Patriotic War, if you prefer).

Solid academic study, that does not seem to fall into the trap of leaning heavily into merely trusting accounts of either adversary. Clearheaded, thorough work. Not a light reading, obviously.

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  • Gunnerman423
  • 02-02-19

Best book ever on the Battle!

I hope David can get his other two books out on audio!!!
Very good narration and pronunciations of German and Russian. Awesome!