Synopses & Reviews
The battle for Moscow was the biggest battle of World War II -- the biggest battle of all time. And yet it is far less known than Stalingrad, which involved about half the number of troops. From the time Hitler launched his assault on Moscow on September 30, 1941, to April 20, 1942, seven million troops were engaged in this titanic struggle. The combined losses of both sides -- those killed, taken prisoner or severely wounded -- were 2.5 million, of which nearly 2 million were on the Soviet side. But the Soviet capital narrowly survived, and for the first time the German andlt;iandgt;Blitzkriegandlt;/iandgt; ended in failure. This shattered Hitler's dream of a swift victory over the Soviet Union and radically changed the course of the war. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; The full story of this epic battle has never been told because it undermines the sanitized Soviet accounts of the war, which portray Stalin as a military genius and his people as heroically united against the German invader. Stalin's blunders, incompetence and brutality made it possible for German troops to approach the outskirts of Moscow. This triggered panic in the city -- with looting, strikes and outbreaks of previously unimaginable violence. About half the city's population fled. But Hitler's blunders would soon loom even larger: sending his troops to attack the Soviet Union without winter uniforms, insisting on an immediate German reign of terror and refusing to heed his generals' pleas that he allow them to attack Moscow as quickly as possible. In the end, Hitler's mistakes trumped Stalin's mistakes. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Drawing on recently declassified documents from Soviet archives, including files of the dreaded NKVD; on accounts of survivors and of children of top Soviet military and government officials; and on reports of Western diplomats and correspondents, andlt;iandgt;The Greatest Battleandlt;/iandgt; finally illuminates the full story of a clash between two systems based on sheer terror and relentless slaughter. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Even as Moscow's fate hung in the balance, the United States and Britain were discovering how wily a partner Stalin would turn out to be in the fight against Hitler -- and how eager he was to push his demands for a postwar empire in Eastern Europe. In addition to chronicling the bloodshed, Andrew Nagorski takes the reader behind the scenes of the early negotiations between Hitler and Stalin, and then between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; This is a remarkable addition to the history of World War II.
"[A] remarkable account of the battle...Highly recommended." -- andlt;iandgt;WWII History Magazineandlt;/iandgt;
"A truly gripping account of arguably the most decisive and yet one of the least well known great European battles of World War II -- written with a genuine feel for the individual dimensions of warfare and compassion for the suffering of both the victors and the vanquished." -- Zbigniew Brzezinski, author of andlt;iandgt;Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower andlt;/iandgt;
"A landmark in studies of Russia....A fine diplomatic and military history, but its real triumph is in the voices Nagorski collected....Let's pause and listen, as voices -- not conquered territories -- are what matters most." --Constantine Pleshakov, andlt;iandgt;The Washington Post Book Worldandlt;/iandgt;
"With his dogged reporting, Nagorski has delivered a gripping account of warfare at its cruelest and rawest." -- Max Boot, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author ofandlt;iandgt; War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Todayandlt;/iandgt;
"...a new and beautifully researched account of what had been a poorly understood part of the war." -- Anne Applebaum, andlt;iandgt;The New York Review of Booksandlt;/iandgt;
"Enthralling history of the defense of the Soviet capital.... Nagorski shows [that] Moscow was a turning point: At long last the fearsome blitzkrieg had been forced to a standstill, shattering the myth of Nazi invincibility." -- Ned Crabb, andlt;iandgt;The Wall Street Journalandlt;/iandgt;
"Enthralling history of the defense of the Soviet capital." -- andlt;iandgt;The Wall Street Journalandlt;/iandgt;
"Andrew Nagorski has written a gripping story of a strangely underappreciated event that profoundly shaped our world. Nagorski's morally acute, forceful, grimly enlightening account, enriched by interviews with surviving participants, is an urgent reminder of the totalitarian nightmare from which we in the blessed West only narrowly escaped." -- Richard Bernstein, former Berlin bureau chief of andlt;iandgt;The New York Timesandlt;/iandgt; and author of andlt;iandgt;Fragile Glory: A Portrait of France and the Frenchandlt;/iandgt;
Based on previously secret documents and eyewitness testimony, this shocking account chronicles the most massive and deadliest battle of World War II that ended in Hitler's first defeat and changed the course of the war. b&w photographs.
About the Author
andlt;Bandgt;Andrew Nagorskiandlt;/Bandgt;, award-winning journalist, is vice president and director of public policy at the EastWest Institute, a New York-based international affairs think tank. During a long career at andlt;i andgt;Newsweekandlt;/iandgt;, he served as the magazineand#8217;s bureau chief in Hong Kong, Moscow, Rome, Bonn, Warsaw, and Berlin. He is the author of four previous books and has written for countless publications. He lives in Pelham Manor, New York.andlt;Bandgt; andlt;/Bandgt;
Table of Contents
A Note on Transliteration
"Hitler will not attack us in 1941"
"Look how smart we are now"
The Price of Terror
Hitler and His Generals
"Moscow is in danger"
"The brotherhood of man"
Panic in Moscow
Saboteurs, Jugglers, and Spies
"O Mein Gott! O Mein Gott!"
"Don't be sentimental"
"The worst of all worlds"
The Deadliest Victory