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Kiev 1941: Hitler's Battle for Supremacy in the East

de David Stahel

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852245,999 (4.33)5
"In just four weeks in the summer of 1941 the German Wehrmacht wrought unprecedented destruction on four Soviet armies, conquering central Ukraine and killing or capturing three quarters of a million men. This was the Battle of Kiev - one of the largest and most decisive battles of World War II and, for Hitler and Stalin, a battle of crucial importance. For the first time, David Stahel charts the battle's dramatic course and aftermath, uncovering the irreplaceable losses suffered by Germany's 'panzer groups' despite their battlefield gains, and the implications of these losses for the German war effort. He illuminates the inner workings of the German army as well as the experiences of ordinary soldiers, showing that with the Russian winter looming and Soviet resistance still unbroken, victory came at huge cost and confirmed the turning point in Germany's war in the East"--… (mais)
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In his book on Operation Barbarossa Stahel made the blunt argument that Germany had essentially lost the war within two months of invading the Soviet Union, on the grounds that barring a blitzkrieg-style victory there was little or no chance for Germany to overcome the weight of resources that would be directed against them. The response was, essentially, what about the great encirclement battle of Kiev? Stahel examines that argument in this book and convincingly makes the point that his overarching thesis is still intact. Yes Hitler, with the help of desperate delusions on Stalin's part, gained a battlefield success but it was arguably something of a consolation prize bought at a very high price; which is also what the German military leadership believed. Never mind that their preferred early move on Moscow was not an option due the slow-motion collapse of the German military machine. At the end Stahel can only muse about what a lethal combination was represented by the interaction of the German military's cult of the offensive with the Nazi racial mythology. ( )
  Shrike58 | Mar 8, 2017 |
A superb book of military history, with more detail about the day-by-day movements of army units than all but the most diligent reader will need, but an entirely convincing overall message: Hitler's war in the east was lost by the end of August 1941, and the rest was just a long-drawn-out, incredibly destructive demonstration of that fact, with the Soviet advantage in manpower and resupply grinding down the German war machine. Useful maps, plenty of references, highly recommended. ( )
  languagehat | Oct 5, 2016 |
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"In just four weeks in the summer of 1941 the German Wehrmacht wrought unprecedented destruction on four Soviet armies, conquering central Ukraine and killing or capturing three quarters of a million men. This was the Battle of Kiev - one of the largest and most decisive battles of World War II and, for Hitler and Stalin, a battle of crucial importance. For the first time, David Stahel charts the battle's dramatic course and aftermath, uncovering the irreplaceable losses suffered by Germany's 'panzer groups' despite their battlefield gains, and the implications of these losses for the German war effort. He illuminates the inner workings of the German army as well as the experiences of ordinary soldiers, showing that with the Russian winter looming and Soviet resistance still unbroken, victory came at huge cost and confirmed the turning point in Germany's war in the East"--

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