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Summary

The thrilling history of the turning point of the Second World War, when Hitler's armies were halted on the Eastern Front.

At the moment of crisis in 1941 on the Eastern Front, with the forces of Hitler massing on the outskirts of Moscow, the miraculous occurred: Moscow was saved. Yet this turning point was followed by a long retreat in which Russian forces, inspired by old beliefs in the sacred motherland, pushed back German forces steeled by the vision of the ubermensch, the iron-willed fighter. Many of Russia's 27 million military and civilian deaths occurred in this desperate struggle. 

In The Retreat, Michael Jones, acclaimed author of Leningrad, draws upon a mass of new eyewitness testimony from both sides of the conflict to tell, with matchless vividness and comprehensiveness, of the crucial turning point of the Second World War - the moment when the armies of Hitler could go no further - and of the titanic and cruel struggle of two mighty empires.

©2009 Michael Jones (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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Interesting anecdotes

A series of interesting anecdotes collected from various primary sources. Lacking in narrative direction and tension. Seemed very short as well. Not on a par with something like Anthony Beevor's Stalingrad. An easy listen but did not really come away greatly enlightened.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for William R. Todd-Mancillas (Name includes hyphen and camptalized M)
  • William R. Todd-Mancillas (Name includes hyphen and camptalized M)
  • 12-08-18

how common soldiers experienced the Eastern Front

Grim, necessary exposition. Not all Germans approved of the brutality, and many Russians lamented the enduring dehumanizing effects of this particularly brutal conflict.

Narration a bit boring in that there is too little variation in rhythm and cadence.

3 people found this helpful

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  • A. Thomas
  • 30-08-21

Good but didn't like narrator

I thought the content was great but I did not care for the narrator at all.

I suppose it would've been fine if I had listened in a quiet room on a pair of headphones, but I almost always listen in my car, sometimes with the windows down a bit.

And his style of speaking, with many times lowering his volume during the last part of the sentence or trailing off in volume, made it very hard to hear everything.

Just turning up the volume would've made it too loud because he can speak loudly at the start of sentences.

Maybe some people don't notice this or don't care, but I really found it annoying.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-06-21

Look longer

a well done production. The story would be a little bit better if it had more perspective. It has no mention of the impact of the battle for Moscow on Torch. Nor of Torch on the Battle of Moscow.
It provides only the briefest mention of the Winter War. It has a minimalistic look at Soviet Industrial production.
And it does not even Mention the connection between Moscow, Stalingrad and Leningrad.