History's greatest military operation and the commanders who nearly led it to success . . .This book not only tells the story of Operation Barbarossa but describes the expertise, skills, and decision-making powers of the men who directed it. The result is an illuminating look at the personalities behind the carnage, as summer triumph turned to winter crisis, including new insights into the invasion's many tactical successes, as well as its ultimate failure. This objective is massive in scope, because Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, was massive in scale, arguably the largest military operation of all time. The campaign also changed the world forever. Before Barbarossa, Hitler's Wehrmacht seemed invincible, like an unstoppable force of nature. No one, it seemed, could check the FAhrer's ambitions, much less defeat him. Barbarossa changed all of that. Pitting Germany in total war against the Soviet Union on a 1,000-mile front, Operation Barbarossa was truly staggering in its magnitude. Wars, however, are not fought by numbers, they are fought by men. Very often, writers stereotype German officers into two categories: Prussian gentlemen or Nazi monsters. There were, of course, both-but there were also varying shades of gray. In this book we learn of the famous commanders and undersung leaders, about those who were willing to stand up to the FAhrer and those who subordinated themselves to his will. The result casts a fresh perspective on one of history's most crucial campaigns.About the AuthorSamuel W. Mitcham Jr., is an internationally recognized authority on Nazi Germany and the Second World War and is the author of over thirty books on the subject, including The Desert Fox in Normandy (Praeger, 1997).

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