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Book Review: Deathride

In Deathride, John Mosier casts a critical eye at the historical narrative of the Eastern Front in WW2. He challenges the narrative that the Russians stopped the Germans cold at Stalingrad and then moved from triumph to triumph as they drove them back. Instead, he paints a grimmer picture as the Russian army is bleed nearly white by the Germans tenacious fighting. He uses the casualty records show the Germans repeatedly crushed Soviet armies. I do agree with his conclusion that the Western Allies offensives in the Mediterranean, Italy and eventually France were a primary factor that allowed the Soviets to remain on the offensive despite their staggering losses.

Deathride: Hitler vs. Stalin - The Eastern Front, 1941-1945 by [Mosier, John]

One of the book's major conclusions was that the famous battle of Stalingrad was not a crippling German defeat. He also argues that the battle of Kursk a year later almost resulted in a critical German victory.

Most controversially he argues that the war in the East destroyed not just the Reich but the Soviet Union. He shows in detail how World War 2 dealt crippling blows to both the Soviet population and its industrial base. These conclusions will give many a student of World War 2 pause. However, regardless of one's own conclusions, Deathride is an excellent synthesis of the Eastern Front of World War 2.


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