Retreat from Moscow: A New History of Germany’s Winter Campaign, 1941–1942

David Stahel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $35 (560p) ISBN 978-0-374-24952-6
Military scholar Stahel (The Battle for Moscow) draws on German military records, diaries, letters, and memoirs to recreate the Battle of Moscow in this vivid revisionist history. Describing the Soviet counteroffensive that forced Germany to retreat in January 1942 as a “Pyrrhic victory,” Stahel contends that the Germans were able to thwart the Red Army’s strategic goals and better prepare for spring and summer fighting. He combines a soldier’s-eye view of the campaign with analysis of high-level strategic planning, and reveals the tensions and contradictions between the German Army’s philosophy of empowering subordinates to take initiative and the Nazi Party’s ideology of obedience. Stahel credits German field marshal Günther von Kluge with preserving the Army Group Center despite Hitler’s amateurish interference in military planning, and takes Soviet commanders to task for overextending their forces and losing six times as many soldiers as the Germans. Stahel wrangles a staggering amount of primary source material into a cohesive narrative and writes clearly and efficiently. The depth of analysis and sheer volume of information may be overwhelming for generalists, but readers with a deep interest in the subject matter will deem this an invaluable resource. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 11/25/2019
Release date: 11/19/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-4526-4586-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-4344-1
Paperback - 576 pages - 978-1-250-75816-3
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