Barbarossa by Alan Clark


On June 22, 1941, before dawn, German tanks and guns began firing across the Russian border. It was the beginning of Hitler's Operation Barbarossa, one of the most brutal campaigns in the history of warfare. Four years later, the victorious Red Army has suffered a loss of seven million lives. Alan Clark's incisive analysis succeeds in explaining how a fighting force that in one two-month period lost two million men was nevertheless able to rally ...

Details Barbarossa

Release DateJun 25th, 1985
PublisherWilliam Morrow Paperbacks
GenreHistory, War, World War II, Nonfiction, Military, Military History, Military Fiction

Reviews Barbarossa

  • Ray
    The Eastern Front WAS WW2 in Europe, the other theatres of operation were mere sideshows.This book relates the gargantuan struggle on the Ostfront. It was utterly brutal, with little regard for civilians or the rules of war. The hitherto invincible German army up against the huge expanse and resources of Russia.The initial assault in June 41 destroyed the Russian defences and promised an easy victory as German tanks ripped through the borderlands...
  • carl theaker
    This book was first published in 1965. I read it in 1968 and we teenage, burgeoning WWII fans liked it. There were few books available at the time that covered something outside the USA battles. This on the Russian front really got us interested.
  • Evan
    HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!Humans, it seems, have been far more successful at creating Hell on Earth than Heaven. Those few who have or do attain it do so at the cost of perpetuating an ongoing hellish struggle for the vast majority of humanity.This would seem to be a jumping off point for an essay on the dismal state of things, which I could easily do, but won't.Mass delusion, in any case, has never gone away, as we can well ascertain -- those of us...
  • Nick
    Barbarossa by Alan Clark was published over half a century ago and is still a classic of the Nazi / Soviet military struggle on the Eastern Front. Don't let the title fool you. This account is much more than just the initial invasion of Russia by the Wehrmacht. It recounts the entire war in Eastern Europe. This masterpiece focuses on the major strategic aspects of the fighting primarily from the German perspective - from the initial German invasi...
  • John Avanzato
    This is not a novel. Barbarossa is an intense, graphic history of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. It was first published in 1965 and as far as I know is still the standard for this particular period. The savagery and cruelty of the war on the Russian front is brought to the reader in crisp, unadulterated prose that leaves you breathless and horrified at the extent of the barbarism which took place. Any one interested in military hi...
  • Reamonnt
    I was blown away by this classic book on WW2,its truly fantastic and really opened my eyes to the war really being a war between Nazis and Soviets. I think its a must read. As another reviewer has said Hitler comes across as been let down by squabbling factions within high command.
  • Monthly Book Group
    The book has three dimensions, all excellent. There is firstly the military history itself; secondly the background history to the conflict such as the analysis of the psychology of Hitler and his Generals; and thirdly the work of an artist: the narrative, drama, suspense, tragedy and epic of the story. On the last dimension it is interesting that Clark in his introduction refers to the books’ heroes belonging to the classical tradition rather ...
  • Patrick
    It was a war of attrition like no other, between two absolute dictators like no others.From the unlikely non-agression pact that paved the way for the start of World War II, Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin were jockeying for the optimum position leading up to June 22, 1941, the start of Operation 'Barbarossa'...the Nazi German invasion of the Soviet Union.This book takes the helm from the opening salvo to the final shells blasting around the Berlin...
  • Rattyso
    As a casual reader, I found this book tough-going but ultimately rewarding. Most of what I'd learnt at school about WW2 concerned the western front, so most of the battles described in detail in Barbarossa necessitated lengthy pauses while I scoured google maps to get a more accurate sense of location. However, to judge this book as a purely factual history 'textbook' on the eastern conflict would be egregiously missing the point. What makes Barb...
  • W.P. Armstrong
    Though some have called it “dated,” I find this book to be timeless in its highly detailed presentation of the catastrophic invasion of the Soviet Union by the Wehrmacht in 1941. This book breathes life into a subject that was briefly covered in some of my school classrooms years ago. To read about the sub-zero temperatures and their effects on soldiers and their gear will make any reader more appreciative of the comfortable life they now enj...
  • Kevin Hermosillo
    This was a very detailed account of German-Russian battles during WWII culminating in the fall of Germany. Alan Clark does a great job in organizing the material and providing insight into the motivations of each side. For those who were taught that the Germans were beaten by the winter and the Russians burning all the towns before the Germans could resupply, this book will take you deeper into what really happened.
  • Jim DeFelice
    I read this book in grade school, which caused a minor scandal with the librarian, who told me I was too young to read it. Of course, I read the whole thing. Alan Clark's first English-language account of the Russian-German conflict of WWII is so vivid and gripping, it stays in my mind after all these years. A classic.
  • Lewis M
    The first of many volumes that I have read on the German invasion of Russia. For a single volume it presented a thorough view of the start of the campaign. Subsequent books by authors like Glantz and Erickson have had greater access to soviet sources, but this book is still on my shelves and has been re-read from time to time.
  • Richard
    Excellent study of German command problems and conflicts. How keeping his followers at odds with each other cost Hitler in the long run. Clark has a more favorable evaluation of Hitler as commander than many other writers.
  • Melanie
    Painful. That so many were sacrificed for so little and so few ......
  • Hatuxka
    Poorly sourced, pre-access to anything Soviet.
  • Geoff
    Got this book on loan from my brother in law. Excellent and thorough descriptions and analysis of the entire eastern front of the war including historical factors, diplomatic efforts and of course the military campaigns. At its best analyzing not only the details and strategies of the generals, but also the behind the scenes machinations of the "Diodachi" (those high level nazis who were constantly maneuvering for power - Goebbels, Bormann, Himml...
  • Andrew Lord
    Great read on the decisive Eastern Front, utilizing several main examples/events that acted as turning points one way or the other. I particularly liked that the author also included oft-harrowing examples of the barbarism exhibited by both sides. Why? Because THAT is what made the whole eastern conflict virtually incomprehensible to all Western countries (US definitely included). Countries that glorify their involvement in battles that required ...
  • Christopher
    Good run down on the Russo-German front in WWII. Written in 1964, Clark lacks both declassified Allied documents and anything from the Russians. Nevertheless, he illustrates the strategic and operational moves in the east. While focused on the German perspective due to the availability of source material, he is even handed. The idea that most shocked me was the notion that the Germans generals would have succeeded if they executed Hitler's plan v...
  • Gary G
    'Barbarossa' is very well researched and written, and although over 50 years old seems to have aged well over time. The narrative includes descriptions of the Third Reich's dysfunctional political structure, its personalities, and key rivalries in addition to the Eastern Front's campaigns and battles from the initial invasion on June 22nd, 1941 to the end of the war in the streets of Berlin. I enjoyed this book very much.
  • Christian J
    Extremely detailed account of this landmark event, but perhaps a sprinkling of personal accounts may have energized it!
  • David P
    A very readable account of this often overlooked aspect of WW2.
  • Drpsychorat
    A good overview of the major battles of the campaign and its political implications.
  • Andrew
    Masterful yet approachable. I wish I could give it 6 stars.
  • Maksym Chornyi
    The first edition of the Alan Crark’s academic study came out in 1965 and was an attempt to appraise way more than just the initial German plan to invade USSR, known as “Barbarossa”. The book makes it a point to evaluate all the main aspects and issues of the military conflict between Nazi Germany and its associates on the one hand and the USSR and the Allies on the other. The basic chronology of the study focuses on the period of 1941-1945...
  • Christopher Telcontar
    Published in 1965, thus predating the revelation of the Ultra secret, this summation of the Russian Front is nevertheless still valuable and enduring. The writing is delightfully clear and decisive, freed from today's historian's overwrought obligation to make the reader understand the Nazis were bad. We get it; we wouldn't be reading such material otherwise. Alan Clark was writing at a time when that didn't need to be said, and his assessments o...
  • Aragornluke
    A high level view of the Russo - German war. At best when describing the build up, strategy and execution of battle by the armies involved in the summer of 1941. Clark did not investigate some myths, lots of engagments are sketched and we get little individual experience. This being Clark, his personality intrudes into objectivity and their is a certain amount of caricature (mainly of Germans). However the scope is wide and this history serves as...
  • John
    Extremely well-written and thoroughly researched book. At times, the attention to detail could be a little ponderous, but this is a definite must-read for anyone who wants to understand the interaction between personalities, technology, and "boots on mud" in the eastern campaign during World War 2.