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In June 1941, German forces swept across Soviet territory in an offensive that finally brought them within twenty-five miles of Moscow. But in August 1942, the overconfident Hitler chose the wrong target, Stalin's namesake city on the Volga. The battle of Stalingrad is extraordinary in every way: the triumphant invader fought to a standstill; then the Soviet trap sprung, surrounding their attackers; and the terrible siege, with Germans starving and freezing, forced to fight on by a disbelieving Hitler.The story has never been told as Antony Beevor tells it here. He writes of the great Manichaean clash between Stalin and Hitler, and the strategic brilliance and fatal flaws of their generals. Stalingrad is first and foremost the story of the man on the ground, a soldier's-eye view of fighting house-to-house on an urban battlefield, with helpless civilians caught in the crossfire. Beevor has gained access to Russian reports on desertions and executions that have never been seen by Western scholars, German transcripts of prisoner interrogations, and private letters and diaries. These help re-create the compelling human drama of the most terrible battle in modern warfare.