• Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East

  • By: David Stahel
  • Narrated by: Stewart Crank
  • Length: 17 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (165 ratings)

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Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East  By  cover art

Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East

By: David Stahel
Narrated by: Stewart Crank
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Publisher's Summary

Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, began the largest and most costly campaign in military history. Its failure was a key turning point of the Second World War. The operation was planned as a Blitzkrieg to win Germany its Lebensraum in the east, and the summer of 1941 is well-known for the German army's unprecedented victories and advances. Yet the German Blitzkrieg depended almost entirely upon the motorised Panzer groups, particularly those of Army Group Centre. 

Using archival records, in this book, David Stahel presents a history of Germany's summer campaign from the perspective of the two largest and most powerful Panzer groups on the Eastern front. Stahel's research provides a fundamental reassessment of Germany's war against the Soviet Union, highlighting the prodigious internal problems of the vital Panzer forces and revealing that their demise in the earliest phase of the war undermined the whole German invasion.

©2009 David Stahel (P)2021 Upfront Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East

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Best book on Operation Barbarossa so far

I have read a number of books on the Eastern Front during World War Two. It was without a doubt much more brutal than the Western Front. This is the first book I have read that provides details on the planning and preparation for Operation Barbarossa. It is quite obvious that Hitler and the German High Command thought too much of themselves and little of the Soviets and knew too little of the conditions where the operation would take place.
Too many books gloss over the planning and preparation phase. A lesson we all should remember is too many efforts fail from a lack of proper planning or no planning at all. Operation Barbarossa was domed to fail from the beginning.

10 people found this helpful

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This Is the Best Book on Barbarossa I’ve Ever Read

I’ve read well over one hundred books on WWII starting in sixth grade. My father was in Patton’s 3rd Army so I felt it was a subject I should understand. I didn’t read a book concentrating on the Eastern Front until 2006. Once I did it fascinated me. I’ve read probably ten books on Barbarossa and another twenty books on the ‘Eastern Front..’ The first time I heard that phrase was from ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ around 1966. One question I’ve had is when did some of the German generals start sensing that the war was heading for disaster. I felt the earliest time was in 1942. But this author feels it was August 1941 and lays out a strong case for that time period. Some of the books I’ve read on just Barbarossa glossed over the first few months of the battles of Summer, 1941. This author’s book is just on that time period, into the month of August. While the feeling of impending doom was certainly not homogenous across all the German military, I feel that some generals did see future failure as early as August 1941, especially now that I have read this book. Highly recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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Strenth. Strenth strenth

A comprehensive, detailed study of a major battle with some interesting new findings. I stuck with it to the end, even though he pronounces strength as strenth about 1000 times, it actually interrupted my ability to follow his narrative. I guess if you’re British, this will be much more tolerable.

3 people found this helpful

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Critical analysis of Germany's 1941 campaign

Stahel demonstrates the devastating effects of primitive infrastructure, inadequate logistics, and flawed assumptions of Soviet strength on Germany's June 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union. Makes a very good case both for the operation's failure within two month's of its commencement for also for it as a root cause of Germany's eventual defeat in WWII. Stahel draws in significant part from the diaries of the commanding generals of the Northern, Center, and Southern fronts, and shows how Hitler's strategic vision drove the army's tactical plans into a muddled and often contradictory battle plan on the Eastern Front in 1941. Provocative conclusions about the Wehrmacht's complicity in those decisions as well as in Hitler's goal of eradicating the Soviet, and especially the Soviet Jewish, population. Recommended.

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Incredibly informative- fantastic narration

I've read many books about the Russian-German war, but the amount of new information in this book was remarkable. Perfectly structured and the narration was the best I have ever heard on Audible.

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Original research leads to deeper insights

There is a lot of nuance in how to interpret the early battles on the Eastern Front. The author presents a clear picture as to why Barbarossa failed by August 41.

This is an analysis of German high command. Private soldier battle stories are limited and used only as evidence to support larger points . A decent knowledge of the Eastern Front is probably needed to understand the author’s deep dive analysis .

The author brought insights I felt were fascinating and fresh . Explaining how the Wehrmacht was actually screwed even though they had seemingly achieved enormous victories was framed and argued perfectly . Definitely recommend to fellow WWII nerds .

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Great narrator but…

The narration was great but the production was a bit choppy. Too many edits of one statement after the next. Despite that the book was still a great read

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A brilliant book for study of military operations

A excellent book to understand the way of thinking in all spheres of World War

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Very data rich proposes Germans lost Barbarossa early during the few months after the invasion. Great book.

Lots of detail other books do not discuss. Lots of support for his thesis. Difficult to argue against- his thesis is well supported

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Great book

Good book. Is definitely for people into military history. It does a good job of erasing the good general narrative

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  • Mr. A. P. Bisson
  • 08-24-21

Great book

This book provides a great breakdown of the eastern campaign of World War Two and particularly excels in breaking down the logistical situation and political issues within the Wehrmacht. I’ve got the hard copy and the audible version. Great to have as a well researched source. Highly recommended. Looking forward to the release of the other books in his series.

3 people found this helpful

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  • rarely review
  • 05-07-22

performance good, author and book bad

doesn't speak German or Russian but within a moments of introduction, (with an air of parenthesis) disparages historians that do; historians that would fold him like a spoon in any debate.
very low.
the main thesis is obvious and you needn't listen past the introduction.

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  • michael logan
  • 01-11-22

Absolute Garbage

Listened to about 10 mins and had to stop. The worst account of Operation Barbarossa I've ever encountered.

1 person found this helpful

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  • mcfontaine
  • 10-26-21

Brilliant

I’d heard for years how good and how detailed this study was. It doesn’t disappoint at all. For anyone who thinks they now the history of the largest offensive in history, this will re-write it.

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  • Mr. Alan R. Jenkins
  • 09-27-21

Barbarossa Defined

Excellent listening of the Barbarossa Campaign. Not specific to individual battles or personal accounts, this book deals with the planning, execution, difficulties and eventual defeat of German forces in the Eastern Front of 1941-43. If you are unfamiliar with the Barbarossa campaign and wish to learn about the background of the planning to execution this is for you, as it will also go as far as to explain the reasons why the German forces failed in its objectives and thus utter defeat in 1945.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sam Purchase
  • 04-07-22

Book fantastic, narrator okay but could use a pronunciation check

Great book, a really fresh take on a subject where a lot of assumptions and received wisdom have taken over.

The narrator’s German pronunciation a little dodgy in parts but no worse than average for this genre. Quite easy to listen to nonetheless.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-05-22

very good

fascinating study on barbarossa.
research is extensive, and well presented.
authors conclusion is convincing.
highly recommend

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  • Martin Jais
  • 03-13-22

Problem with narration

Nice narration, marred by the narrators inability to come even close to an acceptable pronunciation of german names.
The book is fantastic.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-08-21

Doomed from the start.

David Stahel convincingly argues that, far from the myths about defeat by the weather, Operation Barbarossa was doomed to failure. In fact, Germany’s fate in World War 2 was sealed the moment the tanks rolled over the Soviet border. For me, the big revelation was that it would have made made no difference if Hitler had listened to his generals’ alternative plans during the operation. Even had their ideas prevailed, the logistics, lack of resources and unexpectedly effective Soviet opposition meant they would have made little difference to the outcome of the war.

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  • JFT
  • 08-20-21

Great updated version of Barbarossa

Well detailed rendition that does not disappoint on any level
Narrator excellent,concise and keeps your interest

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-29-21

Perfect for the detail oriented

Loved the deep dive into an easily misunderstood period of the war and came away with lots of new details I had never previously known. Excellent narration.

1 person found this helpful

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  • S A Ryan
  • 03-07-22

David's Book is a Must

If you want the real stuff , this is it..
The Nitty Gritty of why things went wrong.. not always the case with popular history, as we are told..
Stalin & Hitler bith had a hand in the calamitous Eastern Front.. The Greedy Generals wanted Fame.. & the Russian Landb itself played its part... its a Long haul... well worth the trip