Author(s): Constantine Pleshakov
Hitler came very close to winning the Second World War in June 1941. Despite obvious preparations, his invasion of Russia caught the Red Army by surprise and almost destroyed it in the first ten days. The catastrophe has often been laid at Stalin's door but the true story is only emerging now as secret Russian archives are opened at last. Since 1991 a wealth of hitherto secret Soviet material has become available: cables from Russian spies, Politburo documents, diaries of Stalin's generals and secret police - but they are all in Russian and have not been translated.
Russian historian and novelist Constantine Pleshakov reveals what really happened in the critical first ten days of the greatest land campaign in history; how Stalin massacred his own officers to stay in power; when he planned to attack Germany; and who stepped in when he panicked and fled the Kremlin. From the torture chambers of Stalin's secret police to the inside story of the critical politburo decisions, and the key events at the frontline, this is a major new contribution to the history of the Second World War.
Vivid narrative by a Russian novelist and historian Weaves between frontline battle scenes to the heart of the Kremlin and Stalin's tyranny Reveals Stalin's plan to invade Germany and his attempt to make peace with Hitler a week after the invasion 'Pleshakov's fine and detailed study of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June, 1941. Much of the intriguing personal detail is new to non-Russian readers: and he has also broken new ground in claiming that Stalin himself was playing to betray the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact' John Lloyd, Glasgow Herald 'Constantine Pleshakov takes us through this mesmerising period with a compelling narrative which covers in fascinating detail the first days of the great land campaign' Scottish Legion News
Constantine Pleshakov grew up in Russia during the 1960s, acutely conscious of how the war had affected both the people and landscape. Now an internationally acclaimed historian, he emigrated to the USA in 1998.