» » Total War: From Stalingrad to Berlin

Download Total War: From Stalingrad to Berlin epub

by Michael Jones

In February 1943, German forces surrendered to the Red Army at Stalingrad and the tide of war turned. By May 1945 Soviet soldiers had stormed Berlin and brought down Hitler's regime.Total Warfollows the fortunes of these fighters as they liberated Russia and the Ukraine from the Nazi invader and fought their way into the heart of the Reich. It reveals the horrors they experienced - the Holocaust, genocide and the mass murder of Soviet POWs - and shows the Red Army, brutalized by war, taking its terrible revenge on the German civilian population. For the first time Russian veterans are candid about the terrible atrocities their own army committed. But they also describe their struggle to raise themselves from the abyss of hatred. Their war against the Nazis - which in large part brought the Second World War in Europe to an end - is a tarnished but deeply moving story of sacrifice and redemption.
Download Total War: From Stalingrad to Berlin epub
ISBN: 1848542305
ISBN13: 978-1848542303
Category: No category
Author: Michael Jones
Language: English
Publisher: John Murray Publishers (June 1, 2011)
ePUB size: 1488 kb
FB2 size: 1290 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 659
Other Formats: docx lrf azw lrf

My father was for four years in WWII, in North Africa, at Salerno, Anzio, and Winter line, and was shipped to the Pacific and Nagasaki after the Big Boy Bomb, a 20 year old billet Master Sargeant. No one had a name when I was a child for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but he had it and was defeated by it. He would only talk about it rarely, never in detail (how could he have described it to a child, except friends killed, starving peasants, wonton destruction, moral conflict as both sides killed surrendering soldiers either because they could not handle them or out of rage and revenge. He died in 1974, asking me to read about the Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War, "because the history you learned in high school is propaganda and why I could never have voted for Eisenhower. I am alive and you were possible because the Russian Army destroyed 3.5 million soldiers, thousands of tanks, and most of the Luftwaffe which would have been aiming at me.

I have read extensively about Barbarossa, Leningrad, Kiev, Moscow, and most extensively on Stalingrad and Kursk, but picked this up to get from Kursk to Berlin.

Jones does not go into much detail about battles, positioning, supplies and logistics. He goes deeply into what I already knew about the atrocities the Wehrmacht imposed on both Russian civilians and prisoners of war - scorched earth, slave labor, export and extermination of Jews, starvation, rape, and the treatment of Slavs as sub-humans.

More, and in the gut as well as in the mind, Jones quite emphatically supports my father's statement - the destruction of the Wehrmacht and the Panzer armies was over long before Rome fell and the landings at Normandy happened. The Russians were facing and destroying 173 German divisions on the Eastern Front, while the Anglo-Americans were facing 23 in Italy (essentially out of action) and 53 in France.

Moreover, he paints truths that were obscured or denied in the Cold War propaganda in which I was raised. The Russian Armies traveled 800 miles across European Russia and Ukraine finding bodies hanging, children shot, women gang raped, starving populations, bare skeletons in POW camps (3.5 million Russian captives were starved to death or died from exposure), prison camps were deliberately infected with typhoid in biological warfare.

Were there Russian atrocities, yes, but likely few more than those of the Western Allies. Field Marshals Zhukov, Chuikov, Rossokovsky imposed severe discipline where they could.

All of these books have informed me the more that there are no clean wars, no battle or campaign plans that do not go awry, no protection for innocent civilians who want nothing to do with politics.
In the West we simply ignore the heroism and the sacrifices of the Soviet Red Army because of politics and certain form of race hate. The Soviet Union lost far more people and part of its soul to the Nazi atrocities. This book tries to do some justice to the legacy of the Red Army. Good job.
Michel K. Jones is one of my favorite World War II authors. His writing is completely up-to-date, and his criticisms, when aired, are carefully worded and never mean-spirited. He displays his humanity throughout his writing by moving seamlessly from noting statistical information to well-chosen anecdotes that make those mass of numbers understandable. His admiration for courage and sacrifice are revealed on every page. His particular interest is what he calls the psychology of battle, which like John Keegan's famous The Face of Battle, explores war not in a dry way, but, instead, as primal struggles when the company, platoon, squad, or individual soldiers must choose to fight , without the certainty of victory, but with the knowledge that the outcome depends on them.
Jones is detailed and compassionate in his exploration of what happened to the participants of this monumental struggle. It's not only about generals and politicians; but the average Joe in the trenches and what he or she has to endure to attain victory or prevent defeat. Jones is one of the more personal historians around and he successfully manages to include and explain many of the more difficult subtleties and miseries of combat. Well done and three cheers for Jones!
Finally we have a book giving us the human details from Russian and well as German soldiers who were on the ground and fighting in the abyss that was known as the Eastern Front. Michael Jones not only gives us the grand strategies and tactics used by both these armies, he gives us the personal experiences from the diaries and interviews of the soldiers who played out this long and most cruel war which has never been seen before or since in those 1,418 days of misery which cost the lives of over 27 million people. The world cannot grasp or begin to understand the cruelty and suffering not only of the soldier participants but of the collateral damage done to the civilian population from Stalingrad to Berlin.
Mr. Jones shows us that both sides were cruel and unforgiving. Both sides contained criminal elements and this struggle certainly bears those facts out. The stories as related by the Russians show the horror of the actions of Operation Barbarossa and how the SS units and concentration camps were established in Hitler's grand plan of eliminating the Jews as well as the Slovak cultures. It was his action plan to eliminate these cultures completely from Europe as described in his book Mein Kampf.
Although Russia was among the Allied victors in WWII, in reality the victory quite honestly was never a reality. After 44 subsequent years of Communism and sacrificing much, they finally really did lose the war and down came the wall. The struggles of what the Russian soldiers had to endure defy most human comprehension. The stories contained herein this book will show what they had to endure. The author also goes into the minds and reactions of the Wehrmacht soldiers who also were in many cases criminal and in other cases very knowledgeable about the mistakes Hitler was making.
The mindset of the Soviet soldier after the effects of Operation Barbarossa was one of insult and injury. Families were destroyed and lives were permanently changed given the cruelties and crimes done by the Nazis. After Stalin finally recovered from the shock of the attack there was a resolution to expel the invader from the outskirts of Moscow. The Nazis strategic mistake of starting its campaign too late and not planning for a winter campaign becomes an oxymoron to German intellectual capabilities. I am firmly convinced that the German thoroughness and organization intellectual capabilities were still intact. What was missing is that the leader in the name of Adolph Hitler was not blessed with the inherit genes of a true German, truly quite the joke in retrospect! The biggest mistake of conducting warfare operations on the Eastern Front was the taking over as commander in chief of all German military operations by Adolph Hitler. Once he did this the war for all practical purposes was lost! He constantly demanded to fight the battles from fortresses in the steppe plains of Belorussia and forward. His divisions and armies constantly were enveloped and consequently destroyed by his fight to the last man mentality. The strategic mistake of fighting a two front war also made for the consequential defeat of the Third Reich.
Michael Jones also goes into much detail of the Russian Army avenging the actions of Nazism. He brings up the journalist of the Russian persuasion by the name of Ilya Ehrenburg who is in fact a Russian Jew. It is Ehrenburg who writes passionately that the Nazi's are evil and they need to be eliminated from the face of the earth. It is his writings which ultimately spur a minority of Russian soldiers to rape and pillage once they enter the gates of East Prussia. Jones shows both ends of the spectrum of these actions. There are the Russians who go wild and rape and pillage and there are other Russian soldiers who are aghast at these actions. Such is life and such is war as seen in the savage fighting of Prussia onto Berlin.
One quote that strikes me from Jones' book is that of Lt. General Vasily Chuikov of the Soviet Army when he said, "A real hero is one who can contain his wrath." In conclusion Mr. Jones has presented a work straight from the very soul of both the combatants' viewpoint. Michael Jones has written a classic work on the haunting story of the Eastern Front! Absolutely 5 Stars!!!!!!