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Stalingrad: New Perspectives on an Epic Battle by Christer Bergström I will be reviewing the new expanded version of Black Cross Red Star ne...

Stalingrad: New Perspectives on an Epic Battle by Christer Bergström Stalingrad: New Perspectives on an Epic Battle by Christer Bergström

Stalingrad: New Perspectives on an Epic Battle by Christer Bergström

Stalingrad: New Perspectives on an Epic Battle by Christer Bergström

Stalingrad: New Perspectives on an Epic Battle


Christer Bergström

I will be reviewing the new expanded version of Black Cross Red Star next

 The author, Christer Bergstrom, really needs no introduction. He has written many volumes on World War II. His books, if they can be found now, cost a pretty penny, and are worth every cent. He now has started his own publishing company Vaktel Books. The idea is to print both new and reprints of the old. Do not be fooled, these reprints are new and very expanded editions compared to when they were published. The outlet for them in Canada and The U.S. is Lombardy Studios. This first volume is in stock in the U.S., along with the first volume of Black Cross Red Star. The next volumes will be done through Kickstarter. They are using a Kickstarter campaign simply to gauge the number of books to import. The costs of shipping have skyrocketed, as you can imagine. The link will be below.

 The book itself is over 300 pages long. It has many black and white photos throughout the book. Most of these have never been in print before. All of the maps are available online to download if you so choose. This is actually a multimedia book. I had to look that one up. It means that besides the maps, there are also links provided to videos about various parts of the book. In the back of the book there are QR codes for the videos etc. There is also no Index included with this book. However, there is an online one that you can access that is an absolute marvel. It will show you pretty much where anyone or anything is mentioned. Welcome to the 21st century. 

  Almost from the beginning of the book the author gives the reader verse and chapter of new/seldom seen information. This information will make you question much you have read and think you know about Operation Fall Blau. The author goes into how Hitler changed his policy about murdering all of the Soviet prisoners from the very beginning of 1942. He realized that workers were needed for German industry to support a long war. Long gone were any ideas of kicking in the front door and the Soviet Union would collapse. The reader is shown how oil became uppermost in both sides' minds. 

 One more interesting tidbit that the book offers is the Soviet view about the fall of Moscow. It seems many in the high command did not see its fall as the death knell that we have been taught it was, because the Soviets had done such a complete job of moving most of their factories out of German clutches. Their minds were focused on keeping the oil from the Caucasus flowing, much more than needing Moscow.

 The author then shows us a very interesting and significant intelligence coup on the Germans part. Operation Kremlin was done by the Germans to make the Soviets think that the next attack in the summer was going to be against Moscow and its environs, while we are used to reading about the Allied powers using fake information on the Axis. This is one that was very successful for the Germans. By using faked orders left on dead officers, (Calais invasion anyone) to radio chatter etc., the Germans made Stalin and Stavka completely miss the next German target. Most of the Soviet men and armaments were in the north to counter Operation Kremlin. 

 One of the appendices goes into the diary of Generaloberst Franz Halder. This diary is often seen as gospel as far as information from the German side during the early years of the Eastern Front. In 2020 Paul Frohlich published 'Der Generaloberst und die Historiker', an investigation into the diary. What he found and presented is that a lot of the diary had been reworked from 1945 - 1947. The diary, even as it is now, contradicts itself often on many key points. Frohlich's points are that Halder changed the diary to put as much blame on Hitler as possible and tried to clear the German High Command of any mistakes and war crimes. As mentioned, Halder's diary has been used verbatim for years in histories. Mr. Bergstrom has been able to separate the wheat from the chaff with this new information.

 These are some pictures and a map from the book:

 This will take you to an excerpt from the book:

  I have read untold books in my fifty-seven years of reading. Mr. Bergström's books have been some of the best I have ever read, as far as military history. This volume is no exception. He goes into details that few other authors give you. He is able to go from the highest information about the war to the ground level effortlessly. On page sixty he shows the comparison of Germany's and the Soviet Union's GDP for the years 1940 and 1942. In 1940, Germany's GDP was 387 billion, and the Soviet Union's was 417 billion. In 1942, Germany's GDP was 417 billion, and that of the Soviet Union was 274 billion. "In early 1942 Germany produced 80% more coal and 70% more steel than the USSR." The decrease in the Soviet population was just as drastic. According to the author, The Soviet Union's population went from 195 million in 1941 to 125 million in 1942. The largest decrease was because of the population that was still left in the conquered parts of the Soviet Union. 

 Thank you, Lombardy Studios for allowing me to review this absolutely needed and wonderful military history book. This first volume takes the reader from the end of Barbarossa to September 12, 1942. The author shows us that Operation Fall Blau was not the walkover that it is often painted to be. He also shows us that the German High Command was well aware of the danger that might be lurking in the Russian Steppes. However, they believed that only once Stalingrad was taken could they turn their attention to the gathering forces around them. 

 Below is the link to Lombardy Studios. Please take a look at what else they have to offer while you are there. As I mentioned, I am going to do a review of the expanded Black Cross Red Star. I will also be doing a review of their book 'Waterloo: Napoleon's Last Army' in the future. I just received this book today, and to steal a quote from the movie 2001: "My God it's full of stars". Yes, the book looks that good.


This is a link directly to the Kickstarter: