The Lighthouse of Stalingrad: The Hidden Truth at the Heart of the Greatest Battle of World War II

Scribner. Nov. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9781982163587. $30. MILITARY HISTORY
At incredible cost of life, the Soviet Union halted Nazi Germany’s advancing armies at the Battle of Stalingrad (1942–43). It was a major turning point in World War II. By analyzing eyewitness testimony found from archives in Germany and Russia, MacGregor (Checkpoint Charlie) provides a detailed look at the harrowing urban warfare that took place there. This work not only tells the sweeping story of the buildup to and conduct of this battle, but also the story of Pavlov’s House, a building in Stalingrad secured by a Soviet “storm unit” led by Sergeant Yakov Pavlov. The building’s location made it strategically important, and the story of its capture was useful for Soviet propaganda. The author strives to identify what actually happened at that house beneath the layers of propaganda that came in the following weeks, months, and years. Readers will appreciate the chronology, cast of characters, and maps throughout.
VERDICT This riveting read is essential for anyone interested in World War II or the history of the Soviet Union.
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