On September 8, 1941, 11 weeks after Hitler's brutal surprise attack on the Soviet Union, Leningrad was surrounded. The German siege was not lifted for two and a half years, by which time some three quarters of a million Leningraders had died of starvation. Stripping away decades of Soviet propaganda, and drawing on newly available diaries and government records, Anna Reid chronicles the Nazis' deliberate decision to starve Leningrad into surrender, the incompetence and cruelty of the Soviet war leadership, the horrors experienced by soldiers on the front lines, and, above all, the ordeal of life in the blockaded city.
Leningrad tackles a raft of unanswered questions: Was the size of the death toll as much the fault of Stalin as of Hitler? Why didn't the Germans capture the city? Why didn't it collapse into anarchy? What decided who lived and who died? Impressive in its originality and literary style, Leningrad gives voice to the dead and throws new light on one of the twentieth century's greatest calamities.
©2011 Anna Reid (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Business Physicist and Astronomer
I am convinced from reading several history books about Russia lately that without the Soviet Union, Hitler may have been more successful. He would not have won, but had Hitler maintained the alliance rather than violate it, the world would be a different place today.
The siege of Leningrad was a horribly grim piece of history. The Soviet Union gave the city virtually no support. The city was on its own. Food ran out. Hundreds of thousands died. No wonder the Russian people are so tough. They had nearly a century of oppressive rule after their centuries of oppressive rule. They beat Napoleon and Hitler but not their own leaders and system.
The book is a little choppy to follow. But, unlike the Rape of Nanking, it is not so grossly graphic that you cannot bear to listen to it.
I highly recommend this book. Well done on all fronts.
The eye-witness accounts.
The whole idea. Not much is known about the siege in the West.
The Battle between Darkness and Light.
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