Generally ignored by prosperity, certainly considered secondary to Stalingrad when remembering the German clashes with Russia during Operation Barbarossa, in his introduction Nagorski calls the battle for Moscowarguably the most important battle of WWII and inarguably the largest battle between two armies of all time7 million fought, up to 2.5 killed or injured.Certainly the incredible cost of human life that resulted from one madman s attempt to conquer a continent and another sociopath s Generally ignored by prosperity, certainly considered secondary to Stalingrad when remembering the German clashes with Russia during Operation Barbarossa, in his introduction Nagorski calls the battle for Moscowarguably the most important battle of WWII and inarguably the largest battle between two armies of all time7 million fought, up to 2.5 killed or injured.Certainly the incredible cost of human life that resulted from one madman s attempt to conquer a continent and another sociopath s attempt to prevent it are near impossible to comprehend But the sheer folly and utter disregard for human life displayed by those leaders is just as difficult to understand It happened though, and Nagorski makes it plain that the incredible carnage was wholly due to thehuge miscalculations and unremitting ruthlessnessof Hitler and Stalin Stalin s major mistakes were, firstly, complete unpreparedness for the Nazi invasion in June 1941, which Nagorski finds all the sources he can to suggest a genuine belief that Hitler would not attack him due to their pact or at least not this early despite his constant reference to Russia as merely Lebensraum, and the highly visible movement of German troops to the border Secondly he lists the typically paranoid purge of the Red Army just before war, where 44K officers were shot or sent to Siberia, leaving them without experienced leadership Yep, they really did that kind of thing in Russia back then.Hitler s mistakes were in launching Operation Barbarossa in the first place before the war in the West was won, which left his army fighting on two fronts at the same time Then, having made that initial strategic error, he delayed its start until June instead of May as originally planned so that, like Napoleon before him, his troops were caught up in the inhospitable Russian winter before they had a chance to take Moscow.Maybe the battle for Moscow has never resonated as much as the one in Stalingrad precisely because it was for Moscow, not in Moscow The Nazis came to within about twenty miles of the capitol, but there was never a pitched battle inside the city Because of that and due to the many reasons why Red Army soldiers were subsequently reluctant to talk about their experiences, Nagorski leaves a lot of gaps with regards the actual fighting Instead he provides fleeting images of mass graves, fields covered in combinations of bodies, snow and rivers of blood, horrendous truths about the tactics used by both leaders on their own troops, such as the NKGB managedblocking units , which stood behind the Red Army shooting deserters, and the hardships suffered by The German rank and file left to freeze in the tundra by a delusional Fuhrer without adequate footwear or winter coats In want of an actual battle then, Nagorski concentrates on proving his point that Hitler and Stalin between them blundered their way into disaster Hitler paid the ultimate cost, whilst Stalin so nearly did In a pivotal section of the book, he throws light upon the events of October 16th 1941, a day of chaos in Moscow where there was no visible leadership and amidst a mass exodus the remaining Moscovites looted and plundered the city, decrying the regime I am not disagreeing with the author s hypothesis which lays the blame at two of history s biggest monsters, and he has written a fluid, informative book to back it up, despite the limited source material due to Soviet censorship On a side note, I read this at the same time as a book about the Battle of New York, just one hundred and fifty years before, where the protagonists were positively gentlemanly in comparison The history of the Soviet Union contains great mysteries as many events that did not fall into their desired view was erased as thoroughly as possible by any means necessary An incredible story of the struggles throughout the Eastern Front this book was fascinating, thrilling, informative and engaging I love to learn new things concerning World War II and I did learn much while reading this book.Much can be learned from this and I would recommend it to anyone interested in History. Putin and his KGB cronies are trying to replicate the Soviet Empire through military action taken against weak neighbors while describing USSRs 1989 collapse as a great moral tragedy This marvelous book sheds light on what another Russian tyrant did in 1941 to save his skin throw any and all conscripted soldiers at the invaders Stalin lost 1.7 MILLION men in this one battle but Moscow was saved so that he could continue to be reponsible for the deaths of 25 MILLION of his Soviet countrymen.Th Putin and his KGB cronies are trying to replicate the Soviet Empire through military action taken against weak neighbors while describing USSRs 1989 collapse as a great moral tragedy This marvelous book sheds light on what another Russian tyrant did in 1941 to save his skin throw any and all conscripted soldiers at the invaders Stalin lost 1.7 MILLION men in this one battle but Moscow was saved so that he could continue to be reponsible for the deaths of 25 MILLION of his Soviet countrymen.This book is masterful in its retelling of the conditions in the Soviet Union under the Ribbentrop Molotov Pact between Hitler and Stalin The great Stalinist purges of the late 1930s decimated the officer class of the Soviet military, and the Pact gave old Joe time to build it back up, it was that weak military that raped Poland in 1940 It is ironic that after Barbarossa s sweep through Western Russia that bagged 2,000 aircraft, captured two million soldiers and their war materiel, and set up the delayed move on Moscow, the conscripts fed to Wehrmacht cannon were unarmed unless equipped with captured POLISH rifles If you know very little about World War II, then this book would be a nice introduction to a crucial battle on the most important front But if you know the outlines of the conflict and the battle, then I do not recommend the book There are some nice interviews with survivors, and a chapter on a one day panic in Moscow of which I had not heard, but otherwise, this was very familiar ground And it does only a passable job of analyzing why the Germans failed to take Moscow. The battle for Moscow was the biggest battle of World War II the biggest battle of all time And yet it is far less known than Stalingrad, which involved about half the number of troops From the time Hitler launched his assault on Moscow on September to April seven million troops were engaged in this titanic struggle The combined losses of both sides those killed, taken prisoner or severely wounded weremillion, of which nearlymillion were on the Soviet side But the Soviet capital narrowly survived, and for the first time the German Blitzkrieg ended in failure This shattered Hitler s dream of a swift victory over the Soviet Union and radically changed the course of the warThe full story of this epic battle has never been told because it undermines the sanitized Soviet accounts of the war, which portray Stalin as a military genius and his people as heroically united against the German invader Stalin s blunders, incompetence and brutality made it possible for German troops to approach the outskirts of Moscow This triggered panic in the city with looting, strikes and outbreaks of previously unimaginable violence About half the city s population fled But Hitler s blunders would soon loom even larger sending his troops to attack the Soviet Union without winter uniforms, insisting on an immediate German reign of terror and refusing to heed his generals pleas that he allow them to attack Moscow as quickly as possible In the end, Hitler s mistakes trumped Stalin s mistakesDrawing on recently declassified documents from Soviet archives, including files of the dreaded NKVD on accounts of survivors and of children of top Soviet military and government officials and on reports of Western diplomats and correspondents, The Greatest Battle finally illuminates the full story of a clash between two systems based on sheer terror and relentless slaughterEven as Moscow s fate hung in the balance, the United States and Britain were discovering how wily a partner Stalin would turn out to be in the fight against Hitler and how eager he was to push his demands for a postwar empire in Eastern Europe In addition to chronicling the bloodshed, Andrew Nagorski takes the reader behind the scenes of the early negotiations between Hitler and Stalin, and then between Stalin, Roosevelt and ChurchillThis is a remarkable addition to the history of World War II Completely biased and from what I could suffer through factually incorrect Stalin s essay, or Marxism and the National Question was written in 1913 not 1901 as Nagorski claims It was also Stalin s second wife Nadezhda Alliluyeva who melted his heart of stone not his first Kato Svanidze If you re going to write biased hogwash get your facts right. An excellent book on the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the author does a very interesting job in telling the story, sometimes he diverts into human interest stories such as the removal of Lenin s body but it is always interesting and compelling, I ve read dozens of WW2 books but this was still a fresh enough read, would definitely recommend. Solid, but a bit rambling and anecdotal Nagorski continuously compares shortcomings of Hitler and Stalin their refusal to listen to their generals, or listen to anything they didn t want to hear their callous indifference to how many of their own troops were lost to achieve their ends their unrealistic and capricious plans and goals These frequent comparisons sidetracked the book at times but were, thankfully, fairly interesting Written in two directions, as it were, Nagorski draws from Solid, but a bit rambling and anecdotal Nagorski continuously compares shortcomings of Hitler and Stalin their refusal to listen to their generals, or listen to anything they didn t want to hear their callous indifference to how many of their own troops were lost to achieve their ends their unrealistic and capricious plans and goals These frequent comparisons sidetracked the book at times but were, thankfully, fairly interesting Written in two directions, as it were, Nagorski draws from a wealth of material and interviews to portray people at the very top Hitler, Stalin, Zhukov, Guderian, etc as well as from the common ranks and the civilian population Again, this was usually quite interesting but at times I felt he got a little carried away with someone s personal story or war recollections, which made the book lose momentum But the major problem for me in listening to this book was that I had difficulty keeping track of what, exactly, was going on in terms of the battle s timing, location, and strategy I readily concede that this may primarily be a problem with listening rather than reading the book Some maps and the ability to flip back a few pages would no doubt have helped Still, it seemed to me that the book was less about the battle than its two major figures of the subtitle, Hitler and Stalin It also seemed that claiming the battle was the greatest was not that productive, a bit of marketing overreach Great, undoubtedly THE Greatest No one can really say, so why say it A Very enjoyable book, and an important one I have to say this one is very let down by its cover, which is poorly art directed Looks like a pot boiler is actually a real strong work of history Nagorski sets out to tell the story of the Battle of Moscow, even the whole first year of the Russian Front Blitzkrieg, not so much via the tactical or strategic story, although those are here, but rather through the human costs of the campaign, and the political machinations, both insie and outside Ru A Very enjoyable book, and an important one I have to say this one is very let down by its cover, which is poorly art directed Looks like a pot boiler is actually a real strong work of history Nagorski sets out to tell the story of the Battle of Moscow, even the whole first year of the Russian Front Blitzkrieg, not so much via the tactical or strategic story, although those are here, but rather through the human costs of the campaign, and the political machinations, both insie and outside Russia It s really the tale of how the Russian overcame Hitler, the Heer, a new style of warfare, the weather, their own incompetence, and the Massive figure of Stalin to eventual triumph Most fascinating for the Western reader may be the efforts seen in the book by the Western Allies to assist exploit their new Russian co belligerent Nagorski follows the various ambassadors and other legates in the rush to help a new ally In all, many interesting characters emerge to make the story ring true This is book with many mature themes, but is written in a way that will work for junior readers Gamers Modellers Military enthusiasts will find this informative, but not required reading A good book for those who seldom read about conflict Despite of being a very interesting chapter of WWII, the author s partiality against the Soviet Union can be considered pure anti communist propaganda I wasn t expecting a so Stalin centric report, which propagates common misconceptions about the Soviet regime.Don t get me wrong, I m not defending Stalin or the URSS But the author insists to perpetuate an idea of generalized terror whereupon the soviet people would be afraid of their leaders on a daily basis Besides, it insists to argue f Despite of being a very interesting chapter of WWII, the author s partiality against the Soviet Union can be considered pure anti communist propaganda I wasn t expecting a so Stalin centric report, which propagates common misconceptions about the Soviet regime.Don t get me wrong, I m not defending Stalin or the URSS But the author insists to perpetuate an idea of generalized terror whereupon the soviet people would be afraid of their leaders on a daily basis Besides, it insists to argue from exceptions as if they were rules The regime was highly supported by the people, which does not determines whether it was good but does not sets up a totalitarian regime as the Nazi s.I d recommend the research of professor Robert W Thurston