Sunday, July 3, 2011

What I'm Reading

I may have mentioned this before but I can't go to sleep if I don't read something before turning out the light.  Right now my current book is Stalingrad:  the Fateful Siege 1942-1943.

A story of two military forces, the ideologies behind both of which I completely disagree with (my, that is bad grammar, but I'm too lazy to edit right now).

Evidently the climate in that part of Russia is particularly harsh in the wintertime.  Add to that the problems of the Nazi German forces being spread very thinly over an enormously long Eastern Front (so thin that in some places they were 'drafting' overrun civilians instead of treating them as POWs); also the distances in Russia are simply LONG and Stalingrad is a very far distance from Moscow, communications were not as instant as we have today, and there you have the recipe for a long, drawn-out tragedy.

Stalingrad held, but just barely, and at what a price!  Party commissars attempted to micromanage every part of the battles without understand anything of basic military battle strategy.  Hitler and his top advisers refused to acknowledge the truth of the fact that their forces were extremely ill-prepared for the conditions they encountered both while advancing the Front towards the city, and the determination of both the civilian residents of Stalingrad and the Soviet forces tasked with defending it.

War is a nasty, horrible, tragic business.

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