City on Fire
So much has been written about the Battle of Stalingrad – the Soviet victory that turned the tide of the Second World War – that we should know everything about it. But the history of the war, and the battle, is evolving and is being written anew, and Alexey Isaev’s engrossing account is a striking example of this fresh approach.
By bringing together previously unpublished Russian archive material – strategic directives and orders, after-action reports and official records of all kinds – with the vivid recollections of soldiers who were there, in the front lines, he reconstructs what happened in extraordinary detail. The evidence leads him to question common assumptions about the conduct of the battle – about the use of tanks and mechanized forces, for instance, and the combat capability, and tenacity, of the defeated and surrounded German Sixth Army in the last weeks before it surrendered.
His gripping narrative carries the reader through the course of the entire battle from the first small-scale encounters on the approaches to Stalingrad in July 1942, through the intense continuous fighting through the city, to the encirclement, the beating back of the relieving force and the capitulation of the Sixth Army in February 1943.
Alexey Isaev’s latest book is an important contribution to the literature on this decisive battle. It offers a thought-provoking revised view of events for readers who are already familiar with the story, and it is a fascinating introduction for those who are coming to it for the first time.
This work does appear to an impartial and authoritative account - undistorted by sentiment, conjecture or revisionism. Isaev’s careful analysis of war diaries, memoirs and diaries reveal a more nuanced story than the one you will find in the current English language historiography and, in the opinion of this reviewer, it’s a much more interesting one.Phil Curme
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This is another great title from pen and Sword and is written like you were in the middle of stalingrad as war raged arou d you.... The author makes such vivid work of the battle that you can almost feel the pain of the city as it is torn apart.Amazon Customer, Richard Domoney-Saunders
I have a few books on the subject but this one will stay in my mind for years to come.
It is a beautiful but sad work of writing and I can't recommend it enough to anyone with an I terest in ww2.
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Featured ON THE BOOK SHELF with Neil SmithWargames Illustrated, November 2019
This book is a detailed and exacting account of the battles for Stalingrad from the Russian perspective. The many colour maps are just what is needed to properly explain such a short range battle with little manoeuvre; the best maps detail the city blocks and to understand the later stages of Stalingrad that is essential. Eventually the sheer number of Regiments/Divisions/Armies that the Soviets throw into the maul become lost, as indeed most were. The maps are amongst the best I have seen in any book on the subject. A good read but one that needs time and concentration to fully absorb the mass of detail, but well worth it.Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide