• Hitler's Great Gamble

  • A New Look at German Strategy, Operation Barbarossa, and the Axis Defeat in World War II
  • By: James Ellman
  • Narrated by: David de Vries
  • Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $17.49

Buy for $17.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

On June 22, 1941, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa, one of the turning points of World War II. Within six months, the invasion bogged down on the outskirts of Moscow, and the Eastern Front proved to be the decisive theater in the defeat of the Third Reich. Ever since, most historians have agreed that this was Hitler's gravest mistake. In Hitler's Great Gamble, James Ellman argues that while Barbarossa was a gamble and perverted by genocidal Nazi ideology, it was not doomed from the start. Rather it represented Hitler's best chance to achieve his war aims for Germany, which were remarkably similar to those of the kaiser's government in 1914. Other options, such as an invasion of England or an offensive to seize the oil fields of the Middle East, were considered and discarded as unlikely to lead to Axis victory.

In Ellman's recounting, Barbarossa did not fail because of flaws in the Axis invasion strategy, the size of the USSR, or the brutal cold of the Russian winter. Instead, German defeat was due to errors of Nazi diplomacy. Hitler chose not to coordinate his plans with his most militarily powerful allies, Finland and Japan, and ensure the seizure of the ports of Murmansk and Vladivostok. Had he done so, Germany might well have succeeded in defeating the Soviet Union and, perhaps, winning World War II.

©2019 James Ellman (P)2020 Tantor

More from the same

What listeners say about Hitler's Great Gamble

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good solid speculation well documented

A WWII Biggs “good read.” Well to recommend to historians and alt-historians. Worth the price.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Full of good information and a pretty well established thesis

I don’t agree with the other reviewer. This book is trending right along the line of Enduring the Whirlwind. Enduring focused half a chapter on why invading Russia when it happened was a pretty decent play and why Germany felt it pretty much had to else compromise their position. Half a chapter is not much but that books aim is to update our thinking on the causes of the 3rd Reichs defeat on the ground in the East. This reasoning is sound and this book and Enduring provide support for this. This books focus is also a bit wider in view. Enduring focused on replacements and losses on the eastern front, this book is much larger in scope but also focused in on the Eastern front. They both buck the trend. There isn’t much in between heavy academic works about the war, ones that actually stand to change our perceptions of what happened and why, and popular tales such as memoirs which CAN perpetuate falsehood (some purposeful like German staff studies post war, or innocently by a front line soldier 40 years post war). This book tries to bridge this gap some by offering the casual reader some information that is controversial, as it goes against what people have been told all their lives about WW2, and making it a little more accessible. I found this work to be pretty well supported. The reasoning for attacking Soviet Russia is now really being fleshed out and appears true. They did negotiate with Russia but the Caucuses were needed by Germany and they couldn’t go without them. Thus, they had to invade Russia to support their Eastern allies. The parts that are less well fleshed out are when he begins talking about Japan. I found it all very interesting. Logical as well. It will be interesting to see if more evidence can be found on those interactions to help this narrative of events become more mainstream. It’s a good book. If you love reading or listening to history, this book is different and interestingness I think you will enjoy it. If you like it, check out Enduring the Whirlwind, that book along with David Glantz’s books are reshaping the narrative of the Eastern front.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Just don’t suffer the stupidity

I think someone played a bit too much Axis & Allies as a kid then as an adult decide to use the game play as his has operating theory to write a book. I actually hope the author goal was a simple money grab on ww2 book popularity and not his actual-beliefs because it would make me fear for the future of scholarly thought.