• Deathride

  • Hitler vs. Stalin: The Eastern Front, 1941-1945
  • By: John Mosier
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 07-09-10
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.8 (25 ratings)

Summary

John Mosier presents a revisionist retelling of the war on the Eastern Front. Although the Eastern Front was the biggest and most important theater in World War II, it is not well known in the United States, as no American troops participated in the fighting. Yet historians agree that this is where the decisive battles of the war were fought.
The conventional wisdom about the Eastern Front is that Hitler was mad to think he could defeat the USSR, because of its vast size and population, and that the Battle of Stalingrad marked the turning point of the war. Neither statement is accurate, says Mosier; Hitler came very close to winning outright.
Mosier's history of the Eastern Front will generate considerable controversy, both because of his unconventional arguments and because he criticizes historians who have accepted Soviet facts and interpretations. Mosier argues that Soviet accounts are utterly untrustworthy and that accounts relying on them are fantasies. Deathride argues that the war in the East was Hitler's to lose, that Stalin was in grave jeopardy from the outset of the war, and that it was the Allied victories in North Africa and consequent threat to Italy that forced Hitler to change his plans and saved Stalin from near-certain defeat. Stalin's only real triumph was in creating a legend of victory.
©2010 John Mosier (P)2010 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Roger on 22-01-12

Interesting

Very interesting and though-provoking. I bought the hardback copy after listening to this audiobook just so I could refer to it occasionally and look at his sources.
After reading books by former GRU spy and Spetsnaz man Victor Suvorov, then this, it puts a new perspective on the war.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Border Collie on 15-12-16

A new take on Eastern Front in WW2

The theme of this book is that Stalin was able to re-write WW2 because he was the victor, and because statistics from the Soviets were unchallenged.
The book argues that lots of what we know about the Eastern Front is false. The Author explains why that might be and supports the counter view with compelling statistics however a couple of details were annoyingly wrong: Model did not die on the Eastern Front, it was on the West, and Spandau jail is in Berlin, so it was not the jail where Hess spent WW2.
Understandably those mistakes made me question the authors other assertions.
My thoughts while listening to this is that any one of the revisionist points, such as the new way of looking at the battle of Kursk, could be an excellent book by itself.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By neilium on 24-04-13

The tone grows wearisome after a few chapters

Any additional comments?

Any book on the subject of the Eastern Front of WWII is welcome. It's a part of WWII that for my generation (graduated college during the Cold War) was mostly ignored in history class. Yet it was the largest and deadliest theater of the war. However, Mosier's tone and pet phrases such as "You would think...but you'd be wrong", "Contrary to conventional wisdom..." gets more and more grating with each chapter.

Despite his insistence that he is speaking the truth against the official accepted history, much of his view of the Eastern Front is not unique or shocking. His scrutiny of evidence from the belligerents is biased to support his thesis (that the Germans were much closer to victory in the East, and that it was the Allied offensive in the West that compelled Germany to retreat in the East to better defend the West). Official Soviet numbers (from casualties to weapons production et al) are laboriously explained away as propaganda, but rarely is the same level of examination given to Nazi numbers. In fact, to support his contrarian view that German troops were not demoralized during their retreat Mosier refers to photos of happy German soldiers from that period. He insists without proof that they were candid and not staged, and somehow a handful of photos is a clear indicator of overall sangfroid up and down the German lines as they marched backwards through Poland.

Overall, I can't recommend this book. However, I will give Mosier credit for his insights at the end of Deathride. No single book could sum up what a tragedy the War was for the people of Eastern Europe, but Mosier's overview of the staggering human costs can be felt as it is read. His summary of the post-war consequences of Stalin is apt and thoughtful, too. The Soviet Union never recovered from the incalculable death and damage or the War, and Stalin's incompetence and ruinous policies that beat the Nazis led to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jari on 18-12-11

Outcome of the war was evident before it began?

I have always been fascinated about history and particularly events of the eastern front during the WW2. For or a person such as myself, who has already read dozens of books covering the subject you seldom come across something that has completely new information or points of views.

This book challenges some of the prevailing theories and takes the listener to whole other level in understanding the events in the eastern front. The theory that the outcome of the war was evident years before the war even began was really insightful. I'm not convinced that everything was correctly displayed or that the conclusions are 100% accurate but I liked the fresh perspective anyway. Mosier is correct when he states that history is written by the winners so in general we know only what we are supposed to know.

As long as listener remembers to be careful and objective as to what can be considered "truth beyond reasonable doubt" and what are the writers conclusion and theories this book can be considered well worth listening. It had fresh perspectives, bold conclusions and the reader managed the job well.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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