Constantin Pleshakov, "Stalin's Folly - The Tragic First Ten Days of WWII on the Eastern Front"
Houghton Mifflin Company | 2005 | ISBN 0618367012 | 320 pgs. | PDF | 290MB
On June 22, 1941, Hitler launched a massive three-pronged attack on the Soviet Union, and in days his troops were within reach of Moscow. The attack was stunning, but Stalin’s response was even more astonishing. During the invasion, the mighty Soviet military stood in place while its soldiers were slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands. Drawing on a wealth of newly available documents, from classified Politburo papers and diaries of key generals to diplomatic cables and secret police memos, the Russian historian Constantine Pleshakov paints a startling portrait of Stalin, one of history’s most feared despots, as a vulnerable and paralyzed leader. Refusing to believe that the Germans would strike first, despite repeated warnings, he continued to supply them with war materials in the days before the attack, then tied his generals’ hands in the crucial first hours of the invasion. For more than a week, while Hitler rolled over Soviet territory, Stalin cowered in his dacha, leaving the country rudderless and — as Pleshakov reveals here — nearly losing power. The Red Army’s effort to regain the territory lost in those first ten days cost more than 10 million Soviet lives. Stalin’s Folly is a dramatic hour-by-hour account that sheds light on an enigmatic and ruthless figure while providing a new and far deeper understanding of Russian history.