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

About the Author

Michael Jones has a PhD in History from Bristol University. He subsequently taught at Bristol Polytechnic, Glasgow University and Winchester College. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and now works freelance as a writer, media historical consultant and presenter. He has written two books and for the last 5 years he has conducted Battlefield Tours of the Eastern Front.

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Jones's earlier Leningrad and Stalingrad established this British military historian's skill in conveying the human dimensions of the Russo-German War. His new narrative addresses the German sweep through Russia in the summer of 1941, its defeat at the gates of Moscow by a rejuvenated Red Army, and the massive Soviet counterattack that pushed the Wehrmacht to the edge of destruction. Jones makes a convincing case that the Fuehrer's "stand fast" order in December 1941 entailed unnecessary losses. Retreat, he argues, did not inevitably mean collapse. The point remains debatable. But there is no question of Jones's success presenting, in their own words, the growing conviction of the Germans doing the fighting that Barbarossa had been a compound mistake. "Does no one realize what it is like here?" asked one bewildered corps commander. Across the battle line, six months of atrocities demonstrated to the Russian people that whatever was wrong with the U.S.S.R., the Germans were not the solution. "I vowed to kill as many of them as possible," wrote one Soviet junior officer. His words are an epigram for an apocalyptic war, perceptively evoked here. 8 pages of b&w photos; 3 maps. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

A gripping account . . . told with verve and scholarship - Andrew RobertsPraise for STALINGRAD and LENINGRAD by Michael Jones - - :A milestone in the treatment of the battle ... highly effective and utterly captivating. Previous accounts have been unable to fully convey the desperate ferocity of the battle. Now we see it in all its horror - and better understand the courage of Stalingrad's defenders. This is the finest history of its type published to date - David GlanzWhere the book stands out is in the portrait of ordinary life in extraordinary circumstances ... Fluently written ... the uniquely terrible experience of suffering, especially of 1941-2, is effectively described - BBC HistoryA tribute to the resilience of the human spirit - HERALDA mass of first-person material that has been cleverly assembled to paint a striking picture - BBC History Magazine

In sight of Moscow, within a few miles of breaking the Soviet lines and dispersing the defenders, the Wehrmacht grounded to a halt in the autumn of 1941. From then until the spring of 1942 the German army made one long, desperate retreat, fighting the Red Army and the Russian winter in equal measure. Things didn't get better until General Walter Model took the reins in the East, and the Soviets ran out of steam. Fluently written with good sourcing, this book covers both sides of a vast conflict that dwarfed any other in Western Europe. This will add texture to collections on the German and Soviet armies of World War II. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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