The gripping history of the ferocious turning point of World War Two, when Hitler’s armies were halted on the Eastern Front
At the moment of crisis in late 1941 on the Eastern Front, with the forces of Hitler massing on the outskirts of Moscow, the miraculous occurred: Moscow was saved. Yet this feat of endurance was a prelude to a long and arduous retreat in which Soviet troops, inspired by deep beliefs in the sacred Motherland, pushed back German forces steeled by the vision of the Ubermensch—the iron-willed fighter. Supported by tanks and ski battalions, Soviet troops engaged in this desperate struggle in the harshest Russian weather.
Michael Jones draws upon a wealth of new eyewitness testimonies from both sides of the conflict to vividly chronicle this pivotal chapter in the Second World War as he takes us from the German invasion of the Soviet Union on the morning of June 22 through the counteroffensive that carried into the spring of 1942. From the German soldier finding his comrades frozen into blocks of ice to the Russian lieutenant crying with rage at the senseless destruction of his unit, the author shows us the faces of war when the Wehrmacht was repelled and the titanic and cruel struggle of two world powers forged the fate of Europe.
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“Jones deserves full credit for the remarkable personal testimonies he has amassed.”
—The Sunday Times (UK)
“A mass of first-person material that has been cleverly assembled to paint a striking picture.”
—BBC History Magazine
“A gripping account of the opening stages of Hitler’s war of extermination against the Russians. . . . Jones tells the story of the struggle with verve and scholarship.”
—Andrew Roberts, author of Masters and Commanders
“A vivid, illuminating account.”
—World War II magazine (on Stalingrad)
“A tribute to the resilience of the human spirit.”
—Herald (UK) (on Leningrad)
MICHAEL JONES is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a member of the British Commission for Military History, and has taught at the University of South West England, Glasgow University, and Winchester College. The author of Stalingrad: How the Red Army Survived the German Onslaught and Leningrad: State of Siege, Jones has conducted battlefield tours of the Eastern Front for several years.