"Anger at the (prison camp) conditions led to (German) prisoners scraping handfuls of lice off their own bodies and throwing them at their (Soviet) guards. Such protests provoked summary execution."
Many believe Stalingrad to be the turning point of the war. The Nazi war machine proved to be fallible as it spread itself too thin for a cause that was born more from arrogance than practicality. The Germans never recovered, and its weakened defenses were no match for the Allied invasion of 1944. We know little of what took place in Stalingrad or its overall significance, leading Beevor to humbly admit that "[t]he Battle of Stalingrad remains such an ideologically charged and symbolically important subject that the last word will not be heard for many years." This is true. But this gripping account should become the standard work against which all others should measure themselves.
Saturday, 21 June 1941, produced a perfect summer’s morning. Many Berliners took the train out to Potsdam to spend the day in the park of Sans Souci. Others went swimming from the beaches on the Wannsee or the Nikolassee....In the Soviet Embassy...an urgent signal from Moscow demanded "an important clarification" of the huge military preparations along the frontiers from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
British historian Antony Beevor begins his narrative quietly, steadily, uneasily. Moving briskly between rapidly intensifying German and Russian scenes, Beevor provides some of the historical context for the events leading toward the terrible battle of Stalingrad.