Sunday, July 15, 2007

Five best books: major decisions of World War II

Ian Kershaw, author of a two-volume biography of Adolf Hitler as well as Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940-1941, selected a five best "books about major decisions of World War II" list for Opinion Journal.

One title on the list:

The Road to Stalingrad by John Erickson (Harper & Row, 1975).

The first volume of John Erickson's two-volume "Stalin's War With Germany" examines one of the most extraordinary stories of World War II: how the Soviet Union was able to survive the German onslaught in the summer and autumn of 1941 and begin to turn the tables. Erickson's narrative, drawing upon a profound knowledge of Russian military sources, provides rich insight into the planning and actions of Stalin and the Soviet military leadership in autumn 1941, culminating in the devastating counter-offensive of the Red Army that began on Dec. 5. Erickson's analysis shows in vivid detail how this first major setback for the Wehrmacht, whose troops had reached the outskirts of Moscow, came about. It was a turning point in the war. With the American entry into the European conflict, just after Pearl Harbor, the road to Germany's eventual defeat started to open up.

Read about the title on the list that was written by a man who actually made many of the crucial decisions in the Second World War.

--Marshal Zeringue