Using secret documents and eyewitness testimony, much of which contradicts the sanitized version of events presented by Soviet and even Western writers, Nagorski tells the full story of this epic battle for the first time. Far less known than the battle for Stalingrad , which involved about half the number of troops, the battle for Moscow was the biggest in history. 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.
Hitler was so overconfident – even though his generals warned him – that the German army went into battle in the Russian fall well armed but with no winter clothes. Stalin was so in denial that the majority of Russian soldiers had no weapons. As German troops approached Moscow, half of the city's population fled, while others looted stores, staged strikes and attacked those who were escaping. In the end, the German drive fell short, but Stalin's regime was so embarrassed by how close they came, by the mistakes the Soviet dictator had made that allowed them to do so, and by the behavior of many of its own citizens, that the battle -- which lasted almost seven months -- was given short shrift in their history books.
But Nagorski has given us, in sometimes harrowing detail, an account of the bloody, narrow victory that marked the beginning of the end for Hitler's war machine. He also takes the reader behind the scenes of the early negotiations between Hitler and Stalin, and of those later on between Roosevelt, Churchill, and a very wily Stalin.This highly readable, intellectually stimulating – and at the same time very moving – record of the fearful experiences of nations and individuals stands out as one of our time's finest war books. Not only the mass dying, but also the profound self-deceits of Hitler, of Stalin – and of high-level Westerners – are brought together in this large-scale horror epic
. – Robert Conquest, author of The Great TerrorAndrew 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 The New York Times
and author of Fragile Glory: A Portrait of France and the FrenchWritten 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 Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower
Award-winning journalist Andrew Nagorski
is a senior editor at Newsweek International. Previously the Newsweek bureau chief in Hong Kong, Moscow, Rome, Bonn, Warsaw and Berlin, he is the author of several books and has written for many publications. For more information on the author, upcoming book signings, and reviews, please check www.andrewnagorski.comPURCHASE