Stalingrad

  • by Antony Beevor
  • Narrated by George Guidall
  • 6 hrs and 0 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In August 1942, an overconfident Adolf Hitler would attempt to invade 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. Now Antony Beevor tells the story as it has never been told before, recounting the strategic brilliance and fatal flaws of the notorious generals, while telling the incredible tale from a soldier's-eye view. The author incorporates Russian reports on desertions and executions that have never been seen by Western scholars, German transcripts of prisoner interrogations, and private letters and diaries to re-create the human drama of the most terrible battle in modern warfare.

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What the Critics Say

"A gripping account of the horrific battle that culminated in the collapse of Adolf Hitler's blitzkrieg offensive in Russia, and ultimately ordained German defeat in WWII." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A wonderfully readable work of history." (The Wall Street Journal)
"What a pleasure it is to welcome a real book by a writer who truly understands the drama and tragedy of great operations. It is certainly the best narrative of the battle yet to appear and is not likely to be surpassed in our time." (John Keegan)
"Antony Beevor has produced the first history of Stalingrad which gives us the Soviet viewpoint. It is a compelling and extraordinary story, richly detailed, and engrossingly written." (Richard Overy, author of Why the Allies Won)
"Cool and heartrending, balanced and detailed: the best war history to appear for many years." (Robert Conquest, author of Stalin)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wouldn't have minded unabridged version

The story of the war between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union on the Ostfront is itself so incredible and full of extremes of human experience on a scale that most modern people can't comprehend, that even a dry historic account will still hit you in the gut. Beevor's writing certainly is a bit dry (as is the audiobook narration), but he conveys the triumphant hubris of the the German war machine as it grinds through an ill-prepared Soviet Army hampered by its own paranoid leader, the desperate fight-to-the-death brutality of the siege of Stalingrad, the last Russian stronghold before the Volga, the monstrosity of two totalitarian states willing to sacrifice millions of their own citizens to their authority, and finally, the collapse of the German army before a population that it could kill vast numbers of, but not defeat.

Beevor is sympathetic enough to soldiers on both sides, and besides the requisite facts and figures, there are plenty of episodes of heroism from individual Russians and Germans, as well as bad decisions and senseless waste of life. All in all, it was a tragic but page-turning reminder to me of just how little we Americans really know about war and the price that's paid for "uncompromising" leaders.

So far.

There are probably more detailed and/or engagingly written accounts of World War Two's Eastern Front, but this book contains a perfectly readable history for anyone looking for a place to start. (PS. If you're still hungry for a fantastic, listenable account of the Ostfront, look up Dan Carlin's "Hardcore History" podcast.)
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- Ryan

Abridged.

After reading the complete version I thought this might be worth a listen but it leaves way to much pertinent information to the way side. However the paper version is excellent.
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- stephen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-16-1999
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio