• Retreat from Moscow

  • A New History of Germany’s Winter Campaign, 1941-1942
  • By: David Stahel
  • Narrated by: Matthew Waterson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 29 mins
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (74 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Germany's winter campaign of 1941-1942 has commonly been seen as its "first defeat". In Retreat from Moscow, David Stahel argues that, in fact, it was its first strategic success in the east. Though the Red Army managed to push the Wehrmacht back from Moscow, the Germans lost far fewer men (one to six), frustrated their enemy's strategic plan, and emerged in the spring unbroken and poised to recapture the initiative.

Hitler's new strategic plan called for holding important Russian industrial cities, which the German army would do. And the Soviet plan as of January 1942 aimed for nothing less than the destruction of Army Group Centre, but in fact, not a single German army, corps, or division was ever successfully destroyed. Lacking the professionalism, training, and experience of the Wehrmacht, the Red Army mounted an offensive that attempted to break German lines in countless head-on assaults, which led to far more tactical defeats than victories.

Through journals, memoirs, and wartime correspondence, Stahel takes us into the Wolf's Lair and reveals a German command at war with itself. And through soldiers' diaries and letters home, he paints a rich portrait of life and death on the front, where the men of the Ostheer fight against frostbite as much as they do Soviet artillery.

©2019 David Stahel (P)2019 Tantor

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Nothing new on the Eastern front basically!

We are in the year 2020 and we are still getting this same old story from a western historian about WWII as it happened in the eastern front. And this almost 100% from German archives. Absolutely nothing new, but worst of all no documentation from the Soviet archives or Soviet military writers. We get the usual story told by the usual German generals, who as Stahel himself points out could “never” tell the truth about the front back home during the entire war, and later on, they were under pressure by the good old German guys “not to make Germany appear like a bunch of savages”. So if you are young and need some western history, then read the book, otherwise don’t bother! The interesting historical new accounting of this war should have been to clarify that the attack on the Soviet Union had been a failure after the first six months! The rest was a slow retreat so the nazi hierarchy at home could enjoy a few more years of “total power”. This book is the usual western propaganda showing how the communist model was totally worthless, which enlightens that these writers, historians and directors are a reflection the wild fear of communism which is part of the wealthy class which supports them indirectly. But this book was about WWII, not about politics as usual! I wished the book had tried to clarify the attack that had failed by December 41, and if there was there any chance to win at all for the nazis? Would the winning Soviets have strike a deal if the nazis had made any offer? But not once this subject is raised in this book of 2019!

6 people found this helpful

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Excellent Book

I really enjoyed this book. Most enjoyable to me where the accounts of everyday life for the German soldiers. The book really brings to life what must have been an absolutely terrible and terrifying existence. As with any military audiobook, i think having access to maps would have been helpful in understanding the military technicalities of this book. Maybe there is a way to access them, but i have not found it. Nonetheless, great book, highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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It's ok

It's an ok book, not really to informative and kind of dull. A few things that it states does coenside with obey his written by soldiers themselves which i like, but there's really no enthusiasm, just this happened then that happened, then that happened, it fails to bring you into the story.

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the struggle to survive

an excellent work. easy to follow. exhausted research. the author and editor should be proud.