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Front-Line Stalingrad (Paperback)

WWII Stalingrad

By Victor Nekrasov
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781848847712
Published: 25th April 2012

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Victor Nekrasov’s masterpiece Front-Line Stalingrad is one of the classic novels to come out of the pitiless fighting on the Eastern Front in the Second World War. His gripping narrative is set against the background of the grim struggle of the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany – among the battered, exhausted, outnumbered Red Army soldiers desperately defending Stalingrad.

Nekrasov himself experienced the front-line fighting – he served as a sapper in the trenches and dugouts of the ruined city. He drew on his personal recollections in this graphic but sombrely realistic account. His writing shows the heroism, comradeship and humour of the Red Army soldiers, but also the violence and anger of men whose nerves are frayed to breaking point.

His extraordinary novel, long out print, is reissued to mark the seventieth anniversary of the decisive Second World War battle.

Front-Line Stalingrad is a work of fiction by a veteran who commanded an engineer battalion during this most epic of battles, and continued to serve in the Red Army until he was wounded in Poland, in early 1944. It follows events from the retreat to the Volga in 1942, and the bitter fighting which took place from building to building in the shattered ruins of Stalingrad. Although its characters are an invention, they have been heavily coloured by Nekrasov's personal experience, and show the mindset of the typical Red Army soldier as this savage, attritional struggle progressed. The result is a highly realistic and gritty account which is remarkably devoid of the slightly false-feeling patriotic triumphalism which generally pervades such novels. The book was critically acclaimed on its release in 1946 and is now a recognised classic of the period, which is an extraordinary achievement for a man who had no previous experience of writing.

Pegasus Archive, Mark Hickman

About Victor Nekrasov

Victor Nekrasov was a leading Russian novelist, journalist, editor and dissident. His acclaimed novel Front-Line Stalingrad is based on his experiences as a Red Army sapper in the besieged city. When the novel was first published in Russian in 1946 it was awarded the Stalin prize for literature, but Nekrasov later protested against Stalinism, was expelled from the Communist Party and had his Soviet citizenship revoked. He died in Paris in 1987.

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