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Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943 de…
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Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943 (original: 1998; edição: 1999)

de Antony Beevor (Autor)

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3,509522,680 (4.2)76
In June 1941, German forces swept across Soviet territory in an offensive that finally brought them within twenty-five miles of Moscow. But in August 1942, the overconfident Hitler chose the wrong target, Stalin?s namesake city on the Volga. The battle of Stalingrad is extraordinary in every way: the triumphant invader fought to a standstill; then the Soviet trap sprung, surrounding their attackers; and the terrible siege, with Germans starving and freezing, forced to fight on by a disbelieving Hitler.The story has never been told as Antony Beevor tells it here. He writes of the great Manichaean clash between Stalin and Hitler, and the strategic brilliance and fatal flaws of their generals. Stalingrad is first and foremost the story of the man on the ground, a soldier?s-eye view of fighting house-to-house on an urban battlefield, with helpless civilians caught in the crossfire. Beevor has gained access to Russian reports on desertions and executions that have never been seen by Western scholars, German transcripts of prisoner interrogations, and private letters and diaries. These help re-create the compelling human drama of the most terrible battle in modern warfare.… (mais)
Membro:RobinTG
Título:Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943
Autores:Antony Beevor (Autor)
Informação:Penguin Books (1999), Edition: 1st, 493 pages
Coleções:War, Sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Stalingrad de Antony Beevor (1998)

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La sera del 23 agosto 1942 la Sedicesima divisione corazzata tedesca si assestava sulle rive del Volga, a breve distanza dalla città di Stalingrado. Era l’avanguardia della “grande armata” che poco più di un anno prima Hitler aveva lanciato a sorpresa contro l’Unione Sovietica “per schiacciare il comunismo slavo”. L’Armata Rossa pareva in rotta. Gli uomini della Wehrmacht non potevano sapere che la città assediata sarebbe diventata un baluardo insuperabile, una trappola per le ambizioni del Reich e la tomba di decine di migliaia di suoi soldati. Antony Beevor rievoca quella che è stata una delle più spietate battaglie della storia del Novecento con il rigore dello storico, attingendo a fonti sovietiche finora inaccessibili e facendo ampio uso delle testimonianze di combattenti di entrambi i fronti.Un libro di storia viva, che ha saputo restituire il senso dello scontro fra Hitler e Stalin e raccontare gli orrori, le sofferenze, il coraggio dei soldati e della popolazione civile.
  BiblioLorenzoLodi | Apr 1, 2021 |
Call me odd, but I've never been particularly fond of Hitler or Stalin. Controversial as that opinion may be, it was only reinforced by Antony Beevor's Stalingrad.

The Battle of Stalingrad was both one of the bloodiest in world history and — which says something about WWII — the second bloodiest conflict of the second World War. (The first was, predictably, the siege of Leningrad.) Quite what would have happened if the Soviet and German generals had been in charge of their respective armies is unclear, but I suspect the death toll would have been somewhat less than its ultimate figure of over a million. But the generals were not in charge. Hitler had been so successful at weeding out any independence in his military leaders that they were afraid to do anything without his say-so. Stalin, meanwhile, saw conspiracies everywhere and in every suggestion by his generals. This is neatly highlighted early on in Stalingrad when the German advance on Moscow is being discussed. A Soviet reconnaissance pilot spotted a twelve mile convoy of Panzers heading towards the capital and radioed it in. Unwilling to believe this, Stalin ordered a second pilot to be sent out. The second pilot corroborated the first pilot's report. Still unwilling to accept this, a third pilot was sent out. When the third pilot again reported the huge incoming convoy, Stalin's reaction was to demand the pilot's commander be arrested for panic-mongering.

The two dictators would presumably have loved Command and Conquer. Both seem to have sat in their armchairs before a neat map showing where all their units were. Aha! they said, if we move these divisions here and those corps there then we'll surround the enemy and be victorious! A general with experience might have pointed out that moving several thousand men and several hundred tanks from point A to point B involved more in real life than pushing a counter across a map, in reality there were minor inconveniences like food, fuel, equipment, and the issue that real soldiers need time and energy to traverse the land. But any general unwise enough to actually make a suggestion contrary to either of the leader's commands tended to be ignored at best, arrested at worst.

Whoever “won” at Stalingrad (and like the War itself, it's not clear that the victors came out of the battle in much better shape than the defeated), it was always going to be in spite of the commander-in-chief, not thanks to them. In the event, Stalin's desperation to not retreat beyond the Volga river along with his desire to save the city named after him seem to have injected some sense into him, and he became somewhat more willing to listen to his military advisers as the battle went on. Hitler had no such epiphany and the fate of the Sixth Army was sealed.

Antony Beevor has done a good job in explaining the immediate history leading up to the battle, although his discussion of the aftermath is almost entirely about the fate of the prisoners of war, with few specifics given about the importance of the battle in the context of the War.

The brunt of the work is about the battle itself. Beevor has trawled all the available sources and it does show, although the reluctance of the Russian government to release a lot of their files is somewhat limiting, as is the unavoidable problem of people altering their stories after the event to cover up perceived atrocities. The battle was huge and it was complex. But as Tolstoy says in War and Peace, a battle is determined by the actions of countless individual soldiers not the actions of one great general. Beevor seems to agree with this philosophy so a lot of the battle is described in little vignettes: snippets from letters sent home, brief eye witness reports, a datum here and there from the mass of available (and contradictory) statistics. The end result can feel a bit like a whole bunch of snippets glued together, which can be somewhat jarring when we again zoom out to the overall structure of the battle. This larger scale picture is oftentimes confusing, albeit this is hardly unavoidable. Beevor often describes the movements individual divisions, corps, et al. and refers to them by name, which can lead to sentences like “The 43rd Infantry Division then moved to outflank the 273rd Rifle Division, but was forced to retreat after bombardment by the 627th Artillery battalion.” Military buffs who can remember all the individual parts of the Sixth and Red Army would no doubt happily see all this in their mind's eye. For my part I had to keep reading until either a Panzer division was mentioned, allowing me to figure out which side were the Germans and then track back, or wait for a blatantly German or Russian name to be mentioned, or as a last resort find one of the mentioned divisions in the Appendix, which lists all the involved groups. Short of prefacing every Division's name with either “the German” or “the Soviet”, which would be pretty grating pretty quickly, I don't suppose this is really a solvable problem.

Antony Beevor does a good job at humanising a struggle in which so many inhuman events occurred. The Battle of Stalingrad is perhaps too complex and now too distant to ever be fully understood, but at least now I understand a little better the battle that changed the War. ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
Call me odd, but I've never been particularly fond of Hitler or Stalin. Controversial as that opinion may be, it was only reinforced by Antony Beevor's Stalingrad.

The Battle of Stalingrad was both one of the bloodiest in world history and — which says something about WWII — the second bloodiest conflict of the second World War. (The first was, predictably, the siege of Leningrad.) Quite what would have happened if the Soviet and German generals had been in charge of their respective armies is unclear, but I suspect the death toll would have been somewhat less than its ultimate figure of over a million. But the generals were not in charge. Hitler had been so successful at weeding out any independence in his military leaders that they were afraid to do anything without his say-so. Stalin, meanwhile, saw conspiracies everywhere and in every suggestion by his generals. This is neatly highlighted early on in Stalingrad when the German advance on Moscow is being discussed. A Soviet reconnaissance pilot spotted a twelve mile convoy of Panzers heading towards the capital and radioed it in. Unwilling to believe this, Stalin ordered a second pilot to be sent out. The second pilot corroborated the first pilot's report. Still unwilling to accept this, a third pilot was sent out. When the third pilot again reported the huge incoming convoy, Stalin's reaction was to demand the pilot's commander be arrested for panic-mongering.

The two dictators would presumably have loved Command and Conquer. Both seem to have sat in their armchairs before a neat map showing where all their units were. Aha! they said, if we move these divisions here and those corps there then we'll surround the enemy and be victorious! A general with experience might have pointed out that moving several thousand men and several hundred tanks from point A to point B involved more in real life than pushing a counter across a map, in reality there were minor inconveniences like food, fuel, equipment, and the issue that real soldiers need time and energy to traverse the land. But any general unwise enough to actually make a suggestion contrary to either of the leader's commands tended to be ignored at best, arrested at worst.

Whoever “won” at Stalingrad (and like the War itself, it's not clear that the victors came out of the battle in much better shape than the defeated), it was always going to be in spite of the commander-in-chief, not thanks to them. In the event, Stalin's desperation to not retreat beyond the Volga river along with his desire to save the city named after him seem to have injected some sense into him, and he became somewhat more willing to listen to his military advisers as the battle went on. Hitler had no such epiphany and the fate of the Sixth Army was sealed.

Antony Beevor has done a good job in explaining the immediate history leading up to the battle, although his discussion of the aftermath is almost entirely about the fate of the prisoners of war, with few specifics given about the importance of the battle in the context of the War.

The brunt of the work is about the battle itself. Beevor has trawled all the available sources and it does show, although the reluctance of the Russian government to release a lot of their files is somewhat limiting, as is the unavoidable problem of people altering their stories after the event to cover up perceived atrocities. The battle was huge and it was complex. But as Tolstoy says in War and Peace, a battle is determined by the actions of countless individual soldiers not the actions of one great general. Beevor seems to agree with this philosophy so a lot of the battle is described in little vignettes: snippets from letters sent home, brief eye witness reports, a datum here and there from the mass of available (and contradictory) statistics. The end result can feel a bit like a whole bunch of snippets glued together, which can be somewhat jarring when we again zoom out to the overall structure of the battle. This larger scale picture is oftentimes confusing, albeit this is hardly unavoidable. Beevor often describes the movements individual divisions, corps, et al. and refers to them by name, which can lead to sentences like “The 43rd Infantry Division then moved to outflank the 273rd Rifle Division, but was forced to retreat after bombardment by the 627th Artillery battalion.” Military buffs who can remember all the individual parts of the Sixth and Red Army would no doubt happily see all this in their mind's eye. For my part I had to keep reading until either a Panzer division was mentioned, allowing me to figure out which side were the Germans and then track back, or wait for a blatantly German or Russian name to be mentioned, or as a last resort find one of the mentioned divisions in the Appendix, which lists all the involved groups. Short of prefacing every Division's name with either “the German” or “the Soviet”, which would be pretty grating pretty quickly, I don't suppose this is really a solvable problem.

Antony Beevor does a good job at humanising a struggle in which so many inhuman events occurred. The Battle of Stalingrad is perhaps too complex and now too distant to ever be fully understood, but at least now I understand a little better the battle that changed the War. ( )
  leezeebee | Jul 6, 2020 |
So, I'm watching a movie in German about the siege of Stalingrad last night while I'm knitting and my first thought was 'but I won't have a clue what is going on' and my second is 'fair enough....why should I have an unfair advantage over the poor fuckers who were there in the thick of it.' Just because I'm watching the movie, it shouldn't give me an edge.

Afterwards, explaining this to my mother, she asked, so did you get it? And I'm like 'nope, but neither did they.' Bunches of people being confused in the snow and doing horrible things to each other.

This I greatly regret: I have a friend, Josek, who was in that siege as one of many idealistic Polish volunteers who made the incredible trip there, survived despite getting TB, and was given a loaf of bread to set him on his way back to Poland - if you ask me it's more than a one loaf walk, but anyway. His story is as amazing as you'd expect and a few years ago I decided to start interviewing him properly in order to tell it. And then, in that way life is fucking unfair to people who deserve better he fell over and died.

Josek was tiny, so small and frail that a strong breeze was his natural enemy. He died falling over on a trip to the bathroom - that doesn't surprise me - but to have survived some of the worst of all the history of the world first and then die that way is ridiculous. Still. He would have shrugged, if he could. He would have said that's life.
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Though the Second World War was decided in battles waged over several years and in multiple regions, the most important front of the war was the one in eastern Europe. There the German war machine which had conquered so much of Europe with seemingly little effort was ground down in an extended clash against the Soviet Union. Millions of soldiers — not just Germans and Russians, but Hungarians, Romanians, Bulgarians, Croats, Italians, and others — fought and died on an unprecedented scale, with the slaughter ending only with the final defeat of the Nazi regime in the ruins of Berlin.

While numerous battles defined the course of events, the decisive clash on the Eastern Front came in the autumn of 1942 in the city of Stalingrad. There the German Sixth Army fought a grinding campaign to conquer the industrial center, only to be encircled by a surprise Soviet counter-offensive in November. Debilitated by the twin forces of battle and winter, tens of thousands of troops surrendered in February 1943, inflicting the greatest defeat yet suffered by the Third Reich. One of the strengths of Antony Beevor's history of the battle is in its detailing of the experiences of the men who fought and died on both sides. Drawing upon letters, diaries, and other records, he describes the nearly unimaginable conditions they faced during their long months of struggle against each other. To this he adds a perceptive explanation of both the events leading up to the battle and how is was that the sides sustained such a debilitating effort, both on the national and personal level.

By clearly detailing its events and recounting the lives of the soldiers who fought in it, Beevor has written an excellent history of the battle that is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand it. And yet the book falls short in one important respect. For while Beevor conveys well the human side of the conflict, it doesn't quite capture its truly epic nature. Scale is missing, as the war-defining nature of the event lost amid the stories of the men and the details of the campaign. While the effort to do so would result in a very different book, perhaps only then might it be possible to fully appreciate the importance of the titanic struggle waged there, both for the people involved and for the broader war itself. ( )
  MacDad | Mar 27, 2020 |
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Stalingrad's heart-piercing tragedy needed a chronicler with acute insight into human nature as well as the forces of history. Antony Beevor is that historia.
adicionado por bgibbard | editarPhiladelphia Inquirer
 
Vividly told … a wonderfully readable work of history.
adicionado por bgibbard | editarThe Wall Street Journal
 
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In June 1941, German forces swept across Soviet territory in an offensive that finally brought them within twenty-five miles of Moscow. But in August 1942, the overconfident Hitler chose the wrong target, Stalin?s namesake city on the Volga. The battle of Stalingrad is extraordinary in every way: the triumphant invader fought to a standstill; then the Soviet trap sprung, surrounding their attackers; and the terrible siege, with Germans starving and freezing, forced to fight on by a disbelieving Hitler.The story has never been told as Antony Beevor tells it here. He writes of the great Manichaean clash between Stalin and Hitler, and the strategic brilliance and fatal flaws of their generals. Stalingrad is first and foremost the story of the man on the ground, a soldier?s-eye view of fighting house-to-house on an urban battlefield, with helpless civilians caught in the crossfire. Beevor has gained access to Russian reports on desertions and executions that have never been seen by Western scholars, German transcripts of prisoner interrogations, and private letters and diaries. These help re-create the compelling human drama of the most terrible battle in modern warfare.

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