Academic journal article Military Review

The Gates of Stalingrad: Soviet-German Combat Operations, April-August 1942, the Stalingrad Trilogy

Academic journal article Military Review

The Gates of Stalingrad: Soviet-German Combat Operations, April-August 1942, the Stalingrad Trilogy

Article excerpt

THE GATES OF STALINGRAD: Soviet-German Combat Operations, April-August 1942, The Stalingrad Trilogy, David M. Glantz and Jonathan M. House, University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, 2009, 655 pages, $34.95.

The Gates of Stalingrad is for connoisseurs of operations on the Eastern Front during World War II. David M. Glantz and Jonathan M. House's level of detail from Red Army general staff journals, the Peoples Commissariat of Internal Affairs, German Sixth Army, and the Russian 62d Army official records is phenomenal.

After the setbacks in the winter of 1941, the Wehrmacht was on the march again, this time deep into southern Russia to capture the Caucasus oilfields and the Volga River. Hitler hoped this would mean that Russia would begin to experience fuel shortages and large-scale economic disruption and hasten the collapse of Russian military operations.

The Gates of Stalingrad addresses these points, but also delves into the details of the brutal fighting the Wehrmacht endured to push to the outskirts of Stalingrad. Stalin had ordered (under penalty of death) that all Soviet units would stand and fight--no more retreats. This order resulted in a tenacious and fanatical defense.

As Army Group B (Sixth Army) advanced into the great bend (land between the Don and Volga rivers) from mid-July to the end of August, it destroyed some 13 Russian armies. As astonishing as this is, the Russians were still able to dredge up fresh divisions and corps to attrit the Sixth Army. …

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