John Mosier presents a revisionist retelling of the war on the Eastern Front. Although the Eastern Front was the biggest and most important theater in World War II, it is not well known in the United States, as no American troops participated in the fighting. Yet historians agree that this is where the decisive battles of the war were fought. The conventional wisdom about the Eastern Front is that Hitler was mad to think he could defeat the USSR because of its vast size and population, and that the Battle of Stalingrad marked the turning point of the war. Neither statement is accurate, says Mosier; Hitler came very close to winning outright.
Mosier's history of the Eastern Front will generate considerable controversy both because of his unconventional arguments and because he criticizes historians who have accepted Soviet facts and interpretations. Mosier argues that Soviet accounts are utterly untrustworthy and that accounts relying on them are fantasies. Deathride argues that the war in the East was Hitler's to lose, that Stalin was in grave jeopardy from the outset of the war, and that it was the Allied victories in North Africa and consequent threat to Italy that forced Hitler to change his plans and saved Stalin from near-certain defeat. Stalin's only real triumph was in creating a legend of victory.
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"The book's title comes from a single use that referred to the fate of the German army after the battle of Moscow at the end of 1941. Stalin's well-known habit of shooting anyone who contradicted him or reported deficiencies in the Soviet military erased most accurate information from that time. Hitler's treatment of any inconvenient truths or criticisms found slightly less tolerance. Narrator Michael Prichard's skill at Russian and German names makes his reading sound effortless. He never flubs or drops a word, maintaining a pace that keeps the ideas moving smoothly. The majority of the narrative revolves around places and troop movements, putting listeners at a major disadvantage when trying to put the geography and endless parade of names in perspective. J.A.H. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine"
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