Stalin’s Folly: The Tragic First Ten Days of WWII on the by Constantine Pleshakov

By Constantine Pleshakov

On June 22, 1941, radios all around the Soviet Union crackled with the statement that the rustic have been attacked via Nazi Germany. however the voice at the airwaves used to be no longer the general one among Joseph Stalin; it was once the voice of his deputy, Molotov. Paralyzed via Hitler's unforeseen flow, Stalin disappeared thoroughly from public view for the an important ten days of battle at the japanese entrance. during this taut, hour-by-hour account, Constantine Pleshakov attracts on a wealth of knowledge from newly opened files to explain the advanced explanations of the Soviet leader's response, revealing the scary despot's unrealized army stratagems in addition to his own vulnerabilities, whereas additionally delivering a brand new and deeper realizing of Russian history.

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By Constantine Pleshakov

On June 22, 1941, radios all around the Soviet Union crackled with the statement that the rustic have been attacked via Nazi Germany. however the voice at the airwaves used to be no longer the general one among Joseph Stalin; it was once the voice of his deputy, Molotov. Paralyzed via Hitler's unforeseen flow, Stalin disappeared thoroughly from public view for the an important ten days of battle at the japanese entrance. during this taut, hour-by-hour account, Constantine Pleshakov attracts on a wealth of knowledge from newly opened files to explain the advanced explanations of the Soviet leader's response, revealing the scary despot's unrealized army stratagems in addition to his own vulnerabilities, whereas additionally delivering a brand new and deeper realizing of Russian history.

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Extra resources for Stalin’s Folly: The Tragic First Ten Days of WWII on the Eastern Front

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The order came without warning. The generals were important, and so was their mission in Moscow — they were attending an annual conference — yet nobody was sure whether the “heir of Lenin,” the “genius of all times and peoples,” Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin, would deign to see them. Regardless of the awe the leader inspired in their hearts, the generals knew that he must have been alarmed by what was happening in the west of the country. The strongest army in the world, Hitler’s Wehrmacht, rustled and coiled along the border like a gigantic serpent, and it was hard to believe that its intentions were peaceful.

20 | S TA L I N ’ S F O L LY At the other end of the continent, the Red Army grabbed Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia and tore away chunks of Poland, Finland, and Romania. In both the west and the east, killings were performed speedily and expertly: troops swept through the ancient cities, blind to decorum, and the punitive squads followed immediately to scavenge, to cleanse, to kill. ” The proud and elaborate European order, which had taken centuries to create, was smashed in less than a year, because the two armies acted in accord.

A few times he was accused of having been friendly with WAR GAME | 35 enemies of the people, and he survived, as he himself believed, by sheer miracle. Yet the Great Purge created critical vacancies, and he acquired his first important command — of the Third Cavalry Corps — after the arrest of a friend. Amid the continuing carnage, he soon won another enviable job, as deputy commander of the Western Military District, but it made him nervous — the post was too conspicuous, and he had every reason to suspect that he would suffer the same fate as his predecessors.

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