The path from Moscow to Stalingrad was littered with successes and losses for both the Red Army and the Wehrmacht, with tensions remaining high and culminating in one of the harshest battles of the Second World War. Part of the Casemate Illustrated series, this volume outlines how it was that, less than a year after their defeat at Moscow, the German army had found a way to make the Soviet troops waver in their defence, with their persistence eventually leading to the Battle of Stalingrad. The successful expulsion of the German troops from Moscow in the winter of 1941 came at a cost for the Red Army. Weaknesses in the Soviet camp inspired the Wehrmacht, under Adolf Hitler¿s close supervision, to make preparations for offensives along the Eastern Front to push the Russians further and further back into their territory. With a complex set of new tactics and the crucial aid of the Luftwaffe, the German army began to formulate a deadly two-pronged attack on Stalingrad to reduce the city to rubble. Initially only on the periphery of operations, bit by bit German ambitions focused on Stalingrad. In the lead up to this, Timoshenko¿s failed attack on Kharkov followed by the Battle of Sebastopol in June 1942 prompted Operation Blue, the German campaign to advance east on their prized objective. This volume includes numerous photographs of the ships, planes, tanks, trucks, and weaponry used by both sides in battle, alongside detailed maps and text outlining the constantly changing strategies of the armies as events unfolded.
The world's first women combat pilots were members of the Soviet Army Air Force, flying fighters and bomber aircraft opposite the Luftwaffe. Thirty women flyers received Hero of the Soviet Union awards, one of that nation's highest honors. During three visits to Moscow during and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Anne Noggle interviewed more than seventy of these veteran pilots. Freed by glasnost to speak openly of their experiences, they told of flying flimsy aircraft and watching many of their friends -- as well as foes -- fall to earth in flames. But equally courageous were the women's efforts to show the Red Army that they were adequate to the great role they sought. The women had to grapple with deep distrust from male pilots and officers, against whom they eventually prevailed. War, Stalin-era politics, and human emotion mix in these gripping, first-person accounts.