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  Stalingrad New Perspectives on an Epic Battle  Volume 2 The City of Death by Christer Bergström  This volume has to fill a big pair of sho...

Stalingrad New Perspectives on an Epic Battle: Volume 2 The City of Death by Christer Bergström Stalingrad New Perspectives on an Epic Battle: Volume 2 The City of Death by Christer Bergström

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Christer Bergström

 Stalingrad New Perspectives on an Epic Battle

 Volume 2 The City of Death


Christer Bergström

 This volume has to fill a big pair of shoes to follow the publishing of volume one. The first book was one of the best military history books I have ever read, and I have read tons of them. 

 These are the chapters etc. that are in the book:

Part One: Street Fighting
Chapter One - Onto the Volga
Chapter Two - The Legendary Strongpoints
Chapter Three - Paulus's Fatal Mistake
Chapter Four - The City of Death
Chapter Five - The Battle for Red October

Part Two: The Turning Point
Charter Six - The Trap is Set
Chapter Seven - Success and Failure
Chapter Eight - The Stab-in-the-Back Myth

Part Three: Diary of a Dying Army
1: December 1942
2: January February 1943

Part Four: The Battle in Reality and in History Writing

Appendix One - Axis Order of Battle at Stalingrad on September 12,1942
Appendix Two - Soviet Order of Battle at Stalingrad on September 12,1942
Appendix Three - Axis Order of Battle Stalingrad Don Area December 1, 1942
Appendix Four - The Soviet Terma of Surrender, Presented to 6. Armee on January 8, 1943
Appendix Five - Film Clips From the Battle of Stalingrad

There are also various Glossaries and a good number of well-done maps.

 So, this volume will take us from the hell of the street fighting in Stalingrad to the point where the Germans had managed to almost conquer the entire city. Then the story continues to the Soviet encirclement of 6. Armee and its final death throes. 

 This is what Vaktel Books has to say about the book:

330 pages hardcover. Format 6″ x 9″
Illustrated with many previously unseen photos
Large and clear maps
QR codes with relevant film clips

The realistic air bridge – and why it failed.
How could the Russians persevere?
General Paulus’s greatest mistake.
What happened to the civilians in Stalingrad?
The myths about ”Pavlov’s house” and the Mamayev Kurgan hill.
The German plan to evacuate Stalingrad – and how it failed.
A critical analysis of writing history about Stalingrad.

 This is an excerpt from the book:

"In a way, the Battle of Stalingrad was decided on September 12, 1942. That day, General Friedrich Paulus, the commander of German 6. Armee in Stalingrad, met Hitler at his Eastern Headquarters in Vinnitsa, and presented a plan in two stages, aimed at solving all problems in the Stalingrad area: First, the city of Stalingrad had to be
taken, in order to prevent the Soviets from bringing more troops across the Volga to strike a blow at the German flank. After this had been completed, all forces of 6. Armee and 4. Panzerarmee could be released for aims which truly would be decisive if realized: The former was to surround and annihilate the Stalingrad Front north
of the city and wipe out the dangerous Soviet bridgeheads in the northern part of the Don Bend at Serafimovich and Kletskaya; the latter was to carry out an operation called “Herbstlaub” (Autumn Leaf), intended to capture the Soviet positions south of Stalingrad at Beketovka and Krasnoarmeysk. If all of this was to be achieved, it was assumed that the Germans could occupy winter positions in relative calm."

 This volume does not have to look on its older sibling with envy. The second volume is just as well written and full of new information as the first. The writer moves effortlessly from the larger picture to the intimate recollections of the poor civilians who were caught up in the hellish maelstrom. 

 The author believes that Paulus had committed a 'fatal mistake' in the battle during the last days of September 1942. This is from the book:

"Paulus had indeed committed a grave mistake. Had the Germans continued to attack the northern industrial area instead of shifting their attention towards the Orlovka Salient, one might assume that the by then remaining Soviet forces would not have been able to withstand the pressure, and the Germans could have captured the whole area. The significance of this simply cannot be underestimated, since it would probably have caused the entire Soviet defense in Stalingrad to crumble, after which the LI Armeekorps could have been in an offensive to push the ne Don Front northward. This in turn could have avoided the whole Stalingrad catastrophe for the Germans." 

 These books are also on the cutting edge of technology. You have the ability to download materials and to actually watch videos of the actual events with the embedded scan codes and links.

 Thank you, Vaktel Books and Lombardy Studios, for letting me review this excellent book.

Author: Christer Bergström

Publisher Vaktel Books

North American Distributor: Lombardy Studios

Lombardy Studios is doing a new Kickstarter for 'Aerocatures':

As an FYI Lombardy Studios is working on releasing the wargame 'Streets of Stalingrad Death of a City' You can find more information here:

  Black Cross Red Star Air War Over the Eastern Front Volume I Operation Barbarossa by Christer Bergström Please see the link below for my r...

Black Cross Red Star Air War Over the Eastern Front: Volume I Operation Barbarossa by Christer Bergström Black Cross Red Star  Air War Over the Eastern Front: Volume I Operation Barbarossa by Christer Bergström

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Christer Bergström

 Black Cross Red Star

Air War Over the Eastern Front

Volume I Operation Barbarossa


Christer Bergström

Please see the link below for my review of Stalingrad: New Perspectives on an Epic Battle Volume I

 Mr. Bergström has started a new company called Vaktel Books. This company will be publishing new books from him and updated versions of some of his classic books. Lombardy Studios is the distributor for these books in North America. Black Cross Red Star is definitely in the classic category when it comes to books about warfare on the Eastern Front in World War II. This edition is listed as both updated and expanded. So, you can imagine my glee when I was able to get this book into my hot little hands. It seems the first time the book was printed was in 1999. The passing of twenty-two years is more than enough to uncover more information about the campaign.

 This is a blurb about the book from Lombardy Studios:

"The original first volume in the Black Cross * Red Star series began in 1999 and quickly sold out. The new 2021 BC*RS volume one has been updated and expanded – it has more than double the word count and 300+ photos, many from the personal albums of veteran pilots. It is similar in format to Stalingrad with links to film clips of the air war on the Eastern Front plus 6 downloadable maps and a huge downloadable index listing aviation units, pilots and other key personalities. BONUS: 15 color aircraft profiles! (See the Kickstarter banner above for two of these profiles.)"

 Here are some color prints from the series:

The above is a Lend-Lease P-40 (from another volume), and the plane below is a BF-109 F-4


Yermolayev Yer-2

 This is a link to a large excerpt from the book:

 These two volumes shown above are already here in the U.S and are available for purchase. There is a Kickstarter campaign for the other books in this series, plus other books. The Kickstarter is only to measure how many of these fine books to import. The cost of international shipping has skyrocketed, as you know, so this is just so Lombardy Studios does not end up with a warehouse full of books.

 Okay, so now onto the book itself. If you already own the first publication, good for you. If you do not have it already, what are you waiting for? I can see that owners of the previous printing might be a little hesitant. So, let us look at the differences:

 The book is now over 380 pages! (It has more than double the word count)

 It comes with 300+ black and white pictures, some of these from the pilots' own collections.

 There are fifteen color aircraft profiles.

 It comes with fourteen QR code videos.

 The downloads that you can receive with the book are absolutely enormous in quantity. 

Stuka Divebombers

Werner Mölders on the left

 As for the book itself, it has long been considered the bible as far as the air war during Operation Barbarossa. The book is large, almost like a coffee table book, and has 384 pages. Most of the pages have a photograph on them. The photographs are all in black and white. There are numerous maps to follow the actual campaign. The book follows Operation Barbarossa from June 22, 1941 until right before the Soviet counterattack before Moscow on December 6, 1941. 

 The author shows us how and why the Germans had almost total air superiority throughout the first few months. He also shows us how quickly the Soviet air service (VVS) was able to bounce back and become a problem to the Germans in the latter months of 1941. 

 There are a total of nine appendices. Some of these are:

Luftwaffe Aircraft Combat Losses on the Eastern front June 22 - December 31, 1941

Luftwaffe Order of Battle, June 21, 1941

VVS Order of Battle, June 21, 1941

The Structure of the Soviet Air Forces in June 1941

The Highest Military Awards (for both countries)

Shturmoviks - These were a large reason for the Soviets' eventual victory

Soviet Airmen

 I mentioned earlier that if you do not already have the original printing of the book, this is an excellent time to add this much needed history to your library. There are also more than enough reasons to buy this new edition. 

 Hitler was correct; the world did hold its breath when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. He was also completely wrong about the rotten structure collapsing. The Germans found out once more how resilient the Russian Army could be on the defensive.  With surgical precision, the Luftwaffe de-taloned the Russian eagles. The Soviet Air Force was caught just as asleep as its Army. Even Göring doubted the claims that his Luftwaffe destroyed 2,000 Soviet airplanes on the first days of the campaign. The author shows us that in actuality new information shows it was around 3,000 planes that were destroyed on June 22nd and 23rd. The losses in airframes and pilots were staggering. 

 The book is separated into Parts I - VII and then into chapters. These are some of the chapters of the book:

The Machines

The Men and the Methods

The Greatest of all Air Battles

Stopped at Kiev

The Blitzkrieg is halted

Under the Polar Sun

In the Crimean Skies

Operation "Typhoon": The Most Decisive German Victory

Shturmoviks in Defense of Moscow

 To sum it up, the book is both beautifully produced and full of as much information and history that you can handle (and probably then some). Thank you, Lombardy Studios for allowing me to review it. I cannot wait for the further volumes. If you owe yourself a present or for any reason whatsoever, click on the links below and pick it up. You will not be sorry.

 Below are all the links that you need.

Lombardy Studios:

This is the link straight to the Kickstarter for Black Cross Red Star:

The Kickstarter for Mr. Lombardy's new wargame: Streets of Stalingrad, reborn or Streets of Stalingrad IV:

This is my review of 'Stalingrad: New Perspectives on an Epic Battle:



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

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

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: