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Germany’s winter campaign of 1941–1942 is commonly seen as the Wehrmacht’s first defeat. In Retreat from Moscow: A New History of Germany’s Winter Campaign,...

Germany’s winter campaign of 1941–1942 is commonly seen as the Wehrmacht’s first defeat. In Retreat from Moscow: A New History of Germany’s Winter Campaign, 1941-1942 (FSG, 2019), David Stahel argues that it was in fact their first strategic success in the east. The mismanaged Soviet Counteroffensive became a phyrric victory as both sides struggled with strategic leadership and supply. German generals, caught between Stalin’s hammer and Hitler’s anvil, found loopholes in increasingly irrational orders to hold at all costs. Drawing on official war diaries, journals, memoirs, and correspondence, Stahel’s latest installment in his reevaluation of the eastern front delivers a vivid account that challenges what you thought you knew about the war in the Soviet Union.

David Stahel is the author of five previous books on Nazi Germany’s war against the Soviet Union. He completed an MA in war studies at King’s College London in 2000 and a PhD at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in 2009. His research primarily concentrates on the German military in World War II. Dr. Stahel is a senior lecturer in European history at the University of New South Wales, and he teaches at the Australian Defence Force Academy.


Ryan Stackhouse is a historian of Europe specializing in modern Germany and political policing under dictatorship. His forthcoming book Enemies of the People: Hitler’s Critics and the Gestapo explores enforcement practices toward different social groups under Nazism. He also cohosts the Third Reich History Podcast and can be reached at john.ryan.stackhouse@gmail.com or @Staxomatix.