cover image Deathride: Hitler vs. Stalin - The Eastern Front, 1941-1945

Deathride: Hitler vs. Stalin - The Eastern Front, 1941-1945

John Mosier, Simon & Schuster, $30.00 (480p) ISBN 9781416573487

In this exhaustive study of the eastern front of World War II, Mosier (Cross of Iron) strongly challenges traditional arguments, asserting that “the evidence suggests not only that Hitler came much closer to an outright victory than is often supposed, but that much of what we think is true about this conflict is, if not completely false, very nearly so.” While he agrees with many that the enduring legacy of Hitler and Stalin is the memory of “mountains of corpses” the two leaders left behind, Mosier asserts not only that the Soviet Empire lacked the inexhaustible manpower often attributed to it, but that they were seriously hampered by their own policies, leading to infamous issues of infrastructure (tank factories that turned out tanks but no spare parts, for instance). Mosier returns often to Soviet statistics cited since the war, determining each time that the figures “have very little credibility, are in fact simply another instance of how Stalin created facts to substantiate the pseudo-reality of his state.” With 85 pages of sources and endnotes, Mosier’s tome will satisfy seriously curious readers in search of a new trail to follow. (June)