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Myths and Legends of the Eastern Front (Hardback)

Reassessing the Great Patriotic War

WWII Russia & the Eastern Front Stalingrad Military

By Boris Sokolov, Translated by Richard W Harrison
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 400
Illustrations: 20
ISBN: 9781526742261
Published: 7th October 2019


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The memory of the Second World War on the Eastern Front – still referred to in modern Russia as the Great Patriotic War – is an essential element of Russian identity and history, as alive today as it was in Stalin’s time. It is represented as a defining episode, a positive historical myth that sustains the Russian national idea and unites the majority of Russian citizens.

As a result, as Boris Sokolov shows in this powerful and thought-provoking study, the heroic and tragic side of the war is highlighted while the dark side – the incompetent, negligent and even criminal way the war was run – is overlooked. Although almost eighty years have passed since the defeat of Nazi Germany, he demonstrates that many of the fabrications put forward during the war and immediately afterwards persist into the present day.

In a sequence of incisive chapters he uncovers the truth about famous wartime episodes that have been consistently misrepresented. His bold reinterpretation should go some way towards dispelling the enduring myths about the Great Patriotic War. It is necessary reading for anyone who is keen to understand how it continues to be misrepresented in Russia today.

Featured 'ON THE BOOK SHELF' by Neil Smith

Wargames Illustrated, October 2019

About Boris Sokolov

Boris Sokolov is a military historian, geographer and anthropologist and an expert in Russian literature. He has written studies of Gogol, Sergei Yesenin and Mikhail Bulgakov. For the last twenty years he has concentrated on Soviet twentieth-century history, writing about Lavrentiy Beria, Joseph Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov and Leonid Brezhnev. He has also played a leading role in the struggle to reveal the reality behind the myths about the Soviet Union in the Second World War.

About Richard W Harrison

Richard Harrison is a writer, editor and translator specializing in Russian military history. He has also taught Russian history and military history at the college and university level. Among his publications are several translations of the studies compiled by the Soviet Army General Staff on Red Army operations during the Second World War.

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