The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, 1941-45
A Documentary Reader
Routledge – 2009 – 356 pages
Series: Soviet (Russian) Study of War
This book consists of extracts from key documents, along with commentary and further reading, on the ‘Great Patriotic War’ of the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany, 1941-45.
Despite the historical significance of the war, few Soviet documents have been published in English. This work provides translations of a range of extracts from Soviet documents relating to the titanic struggle on the Eastern Front during World War II, with commentary. This is the only single-volume work in English to use documentary evidence to look at the Soviet war effort from military, political, economic and diplomatic perspectives. The book should not only facilitate a deeper study of the Soviet war effort, but also allow more balanced study of what is widely known in the West as the ‘Eastern Front’.
This book will be of much interest to students and scholars of military history, Soviet history, and World War II history.
'The Great Patriotic War and the Soviet Union contains a very considerable amount of commentary on the texts which the author has collected, and this weaves the documents together into coherent chapters that have a clear narrative trajectory—including a very interesting assessment of the validity of Victor Suvorov’s “Icebreaker thesis.” This is highly desirable, as the commentary both provides context for the documents and makes the work far more interesting than would a simple collection of Soviet military order.
Hill notes in his introduction that he intended this work chiefly with student use in mind, particularly if paired with When Titans Clashed, by David Glantz and Jonathan House, and/or Evan Mawdlsey’s Thunder in the East.6 Both of these are excellent texts and indeed Hill’s work would nicely complement them in a course reading list. However, Hill’s work also stands very well on its own, and it would have a deserving place in the library of anyone with a personal or professional interest in the Russo-Soviet War.'
C. Dale Walton, University of Reading, UK
'This work helps to fill a gap in the literature by making Soviet wartime documents available to a wide audience in English translation…Recommended.'
A. Drobnicki, York College, CUNY, USA
"Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above." -- CHOICE, August 2009 Vol. 46 No. 11
Acknowledgements Glossary Introduction 1 Lenin, Stalin and the West 1917-1939 2 The Icebreaker controversy and Soviet Intentions in 1941 3 Barbarossa 4 The Battle of Moscow 5 The Tide Turns – The Battle for Stalingrad 6 The Battle of Kursk and the Race for the Dnepr 7 The Siege of Leningrad 8 Lend-Lease Aid, the Soviet Economy and the Soviet Union at War 9 The Soviet Partisan Movement 10 The "Ten ‘Stalinist’ Crushing Blows" of 1944 11 From the Vistula to Berlin – the end of the Reich 12 The Soviet Invasion of Manchuria Conclusion Chronology of Key Events
Alexander Hill is an Associate Professor in Military History at the University of Calgary, Canada.