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The Retreat: Hitler's First Defeat by…
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The Retreat: Hitler's First Defeat (2009)

by Michael Jones

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Decent retelling of the 1941-1942 Moscow Campaign from original sources. However its defects are several. It repeats over and over incidents designed to show the senseless brutality of both sides, especially the Nazis. The incidents blend together and extreme repetition adds little to the story. The book also desperately needs more maps. For those who are not seasoned students of the campaign having town names pop up serves to confuse, the more so as the author bounces back and forth between miles and kilometers. The book also needs a generalized overview for each chapter of the strategic situation and especially the logistical realities. So while this can be a good addition to an East Front library it should not be your first or even your second book on this campaign. ( )
  agingcow2345 | Jun 16, 2012 |
Another book on the Battle for Moscow in 1941 you cry? No, not just another book on Moscow. Some focus on the political background, some on the grand strategic picture. Jones takes you to where the battle was won and lost: at the front. Indeed, this is a book not about the city (as many accounts tend to be) but the fighting outside it.

Making use of letters, diaries and first-hand accounts of participants, plus numerous interviews with the dwindling band of veterans, the author paints a very vivid - at times gory - account of the German defeat in front of the Soviet capital, focusing on October 1941-spring 1942: the last spurt of the Wehrmacht's advance and the Russian counter-stroke. As well as some excellent material from soldiers, Jones also shows the effects of the fighting on the Russian civilian population whose towns and villages were fought over during the winter. He leaves the reader in no doubt about the scale of the German defeat before Moscow or about how horrific fighting in such climatic conditions were for both sides.

An excellent addition to the narrative history of WW2 and an excellent companion volume to Robert Kershaw's War Without Garlands. ( )
  Richard.Hargreaves | Nov 9, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312628196, Hardcover)

The gripping history of the ferocious turning point of World War Two, when Hitler’s armies were halted on the Eastern Front

At the moment of crisis in late 1941 on the Eastern Front, with the forces of Hitler massing on the outskirts of Moscow, the miraculous occurred: Moscow was saved. Yet this feat of endurance was a prelude to a long and arduous retreat in which Soviet troops, inspired by deep beliefs in the sacred Motherland, pushed back German forces steeled by the vision of the Ubermensch—the iron-willed fighter. Supported by tanks and ski battalions, Soviet troops engaged in this desperate struggle in the harshest Russian weather.

Michael Jones draws upon a wealth of new eyewitness testimonies from both sides of the conflict to vividly chronicle this pivotal chapter in the Second World War as he takes us from the German invasion of the Soviet Union on the morning of June 22 through the counteroffensive that carried into the spring of 1942. From the German soldier finding his comrades frozen into blocks of ice to the Russian lieutenant crying with rage at the senseless destruction of his unit, the author shows us the faces of war when the Wehrmacht was repelled and the titanic and cruel struggle of two world powers forged the fate of Europe. 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:00 -0400)

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The thrilling history of the turning point of the Second World War, when Hitler's armies were halted o the Eastern Front. A masterful history of the period, giving the human story as well as the overall picture.

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