A first-rate work by a British expert on Soviet military affairs. Erickson investigates the nature of command decisions, the character of economic. The first of two volumes in John Erickson’s monumental history of the Soviet- German war. Results 1 – 30 of The Road To Stalingrad by John Erickson and a great selection of related books, art and collectibles available now at

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The Road to Stalingrad: Stalin’s War with Germany – John Erickson – Google Books

In fascinating detail, The Road to Stalingrad takes us from the inept command structures and strategic delusions of the pre-invasion Soviet Union through Russia’s humiliation as her armies fell back on all fronts, until the tide turned at last in Stalingrad. The assessment of the generals and political leaders, as well as of the wranglings within both the Stlingrad and Axis commands, is completely unsparing.

The climactic battle, so vividly described here, leaves the Red Army stalingfad for the long fight towards Berlin. This is not to be missed by any military buff or student of World War II.

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The Road to Stalingrad: Stalin`s War with Germany by John Erickson

Showing of 13 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Stalingrsd. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Though somewhat dated now, in comparison to material written after the end of the Cold War, John Erickson’s work remains one of the more comprehensive accounts of the Eastern Front, especially from the Soviet point of view. The book has some issues since it was forced to rely on Soviet “historical” accounts, joh, while they cover erickwon basics, were always written with a political end in mind to wit, that the Soviet Union never made any major errors, since, by it’s very nature, the Soviet Union was perfect.

The skewed nature of many of the sources both German — the Germans tended to cover their mistakes by blaming everything on Hitler — and Soviet forced Erickson to make some judgement calls that turned out to not be correct, but overall his account is fairly well balanced.

The biggest complaint I have about this book and it’s companion volume The Road to Berlin is that you really need a map in front of you as you read the material, and Erickson provides few maps, and most of those are pretty rudimentary. I strongly recommend you have a copy of the West Point Atlas or some similarly detailed set of maps available as you read this book, otherwise it’s all to stalimgrad to become bewildered and lost amid the multitudionous Soviet place names.


If you are looking for a general overview or even a general military history of the Great Patriotic War, this is erickwon for you. Erickson was writing for military professionals who are intimately familiar with the political and military course of the War in the East and who sought a then-groundbreaking synthesis of Soviet military records that Erickson gained access to in the 70s.

This means that the level of writing is both dry and technical. General Oublensky transfers several regiments to support General Borisov’s front reserve formation. General Dimitriov decides to order an elevated eric,son level for tp area anti-air defense despite Stalin’s directives to avoid provocation. General Bulgarov requests new models of paper clips to support bulkier document files in Third Shock Army’s records center.

Most readers who do syalingrad themselves do this for a living will not find this edifying. Even battles are described in mostly arid bland institutional language that could well have been used to describe how one branch of a cosmetics company sold more shampoo than a competitor did. Erickson is clear and complete, but offers little insight and less elegance.

Erickson also does not bother with biographies ericksoj background. If you don’t know Zhukov’s and Stalin’s earlier lives or careers, you will not find them here. You also will not find virtually any maps.

You will need a separate atlas, online research, or a photographic memory to figure out where the various actions described are occurring. Vol II has a few ugly poorly done maps, Vol I none at all. Finally, Erickson has more or less adopted the institutional perspective of the archives he used and the view of his Soviet military hosts. Everything that went wrong with the Soviet Army was Stalin’s fault, not the fault of the political or economic system underpinning that Army.

Basically Khrushchev’s view circathis perspective has seen more than a little criticism in recent decades. Erickson was the first English language historian to be granted significant access to the Soviet military archives. Erickson quite rightly presents in his unglamorous tedious way an important contrary theory; mainly that the Soviet Army won by tactical and strategic excellence, by superior resource management, and by the competence and experience of its generals.

This is undoubtedly closer to the truth than the defensive self-justifications for failure presented by German generals in their memoirs after the war that was the initial source of the Western view of the conflict. Truth is ultimately vital, and Erickson’s efforts, flawed as they were, did more to reveal and propagate this significant historical truth than any works on the subject before or since.

By way of comparison, as we can all agree the Model T was a brilliant historical paradigm changer, few of us would want to drive around in one today. The research presented by Erickson has been assimilated, amplified, and synthesized with other sources by a more modern generation of historians.

These successors are also generally more readable, provide better background material, and even have lots of maps. Those wishing a general history of the conflict can look to Overy’s “Russia’s War”. A superlative military history of the conflict can be found in Glantz’s “When Titans Clashed”. And further access to the newest generation of Soviet records can be found in “Absolute War” by Chris Bellamy.


All of these, especially Glantz, are both better written and offer a full synthesis of Erickson’s material in less mind-numbing picayune detail.

All ericksln them provide better background and biographical salingrad on key figures in the war. They all have better maps. And finally, they all focus on other more modern sources from German ericjson SSR sources above and beyond the archives used by Erickson. They are all considerably briefer as well – Overy and Glantz clock in at less than pages, and Bellamy is at about pages.

Who need to read Erickson? Graduate students writing theses on related subjects, officers in training seeking in-depth analysis of staff and command systems in the Eastern theater, completists, insomniacs Most other readers can bypass these weighty tomes and read the other surveys mentioned above. That option will take less time, will give a more complete “horizontal” picture of the conflict, and will have a lesser chance of boring you to sleep than these historically significant though clunky shelf holders.


John Erickson’s “The Road to Stalingrad” is a meticulously written, detail rich work of military history. This dense volume illuminates the tragedies and triumphs of Stalin’s war machine from the outbreak of Barbarossa on June 22, until the victory of the Red Army at Stalingrad in early This is not a volume for the casual reader wishing to learn more about the Soviet experience in World War Two, but it and its sister volume proved essential when writing my Master’s Thesis on the Nazi and Soviet command structures during the war.

If you want a deep analysis of Stalin and his commanders at war, then check out this and the second volume, Erickson’s “The Road to Berlin. Bought this as a gift for the man who has everything war-related. He didn’t have this, and found it to be a great read, with a lot of material he had not known before.

Great buy for the war history buff! One person found this helpful. This is the companion work to the Road to Berlin by the same author. As you might expect this is not an easy read but is worth the effort required.

Too often military history doesn’t reveal enough Too often military history doesn’t reveal enough of the “inner game” which in this case is fascinating Erickson being such a prominent, knowledgeable military historian can. Erickson is the autheor behind the Military Channel documentaries of the same name “road to berlin” he passed away recently.

I sent it back because it was not what I ordered. I am afraid to order another one because I don’t want to get another paper back book when I really want a hardcover book. I will think about ordering another one but right now I don’t know you will have to try and convince me other wise.

The Road to Stalingrad: Stalin`s War with Germany

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