Synopses & Reviews
A brilliantly researched and realized history, an essential addition to the literature of World War II.
The 1941 Battle of Moscow unquestionably one of the most decisive battles of the Second World War marked the first strategic defeat of the German armed forces in their seemingly unstoppable march across Europe. The Soviets lost many more people in that one battle than the British and Americans lost in the whole of the war. Now, with authority and narrative power, Rodric Braithwaite tells the story in large part through the individual experiences of ordinary Russian men and women.
Setting his narrative firmly against the background of Moscow and its people, Braithwaite begins in early 1941, when the Soviet Union was still untouched by the war raging to the west. We see how despite abundant secret intelligence the breaching of the border by the Wehrmacht in June took the country by surprise, and how, when the Germans pushed to Moscow in November, the Red Army and the capital's inhabitants undertook to defend their city. Finally, in the winter of 19411942, they turned the Germans back on the very outskirts.
Braithwaite's dramatic, richly illustrated narrative of the military action offers telling portraits of Stalin and his generals. By interweaving the personal remembrances of soldiers, politicians, writers, artists, workers, and schoolchildren, he gives us an unprecedented understanding of how the war affected the daily life of Moscow, and of the extraordinary bravery, endurance, and sacrifice both voluntary and involuntary that was required of its citizens.
"A wide-ranging and excellent account...Braithwaite never shirks the terrible truths." Antony Beevor, Sunday Times (U.K.)
"One of the most overlooked moments in history...the strength of Moscow 1941 lies in its eye for detail, the snapshot of everyday life that set the scene." The Observer (U.K.)
"In his riveting book, Rodric Braithwaite brilliantly captures a pivotal year not only for Russia but also for the world....With style and intelligence, Braithwaite has delivered an eye-opening exploration of their sacrifice. We owe him and the Russians our thanks." Miami Herald
"A vivid picture....As military epics go, Hitler's lightning assault on Moscow in June 1941 and the desperate but successful defense of the Russian capital that winter can hardly be matched. It has an able chronicler in Sir Rodric Braithwaite." The Economist
"Moscow 1941 is an outstanding book. It is extremely readable and incorporates much new material into its account of how the Second World War was experienced in Moscow while shedding light on the war in the Soviet Union as a whole." Catherine Andreyev of Oxford University, The Times Higher Education Supplement
A narrative history of the Battle of Moscow looks at the experiences of ordinary Russian men and women during the decisive 1941 campaign, interweaving the personal reminiscences of soldiers, politicians, artists, workers, writers, and schoolchildren with portraits of Stalin and his generals to reveal the impact of the war on the daily life of the city's inhabitants. 35,000 first printing.
Braithwaite's dramatic, richly illustrated narrative of the 1941 Battle of Moscow offers telling portraits of Stalin and his generals, giving an unprecedented account of how the war affected the daily life of Moscow.
About the Author
Rodric Braithwaite is also the author of Across the Moscow River: The World Turned Upside Down. He was British ambassador to Moscow from 1988 to 1992 and now lives in London.