Barbarossa - Jonathan Dimbleby



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Barbarossa - how Hitler lost the war
Jonathan Dimbleby
UK Publication Date


'With his customary literary flair and capacity to master and mobilize very many and varied sources, Jonathan Dimbleby gives us the best single-volume account of the Barbarossa campaign to date'
Andrew Roberts, author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny

'Like a fast-moving juggernaut of horror, Dimbleby's Barbarossa is a page-turning descent into Hell and back. Part warning, part fable, but all too true, this fresh and compelling account of Hitler's failed invasion of the Soviet Union should be on everyone's reading list for 2021'
Dr Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire


Operation Barbarossa, Hitler's invasion of Russia in June 1941, aimed at nothing less than a war of extermination to annihilate Soviet communism, liquidate the Jews and create Lebensraum for the German master race. But it led to the destruction of the Third Reich, and was cataclysmic for Germany with millions of men killed, wounded or registered as missing in action. It was this colossal mistake -- rather than any action in Western Europe -- that lost Hitler the Second World War.

Drawing on hitherto unseen archival material, including previously untranslated Russian sources, Jonathan Dimbleby puts Barbarossa in its proper place in history for the first time. From its origins in the ashes of the First World War to its impact on post-war Europe, and covering the military, political and diplomatic story from all sides, he paints a full and vivid picture of this monumental campaign whose full nature and impact has remained unexplored.

At the heart of the narrative, written in Dimbleby's usual gripping style, are compelling descriptions of the leaders who made the crucial decisions, of the men and women who fought on the front lines, of the soldiers who committed heinous crimes on an unparalleled scale and of those who were killed when the Holocaust began. Hitler's fatal gamble had the most terrifying of consequences.

Written with authority and humanity, Barbarossa is a masterwork that transforms our understanding of the Second World War and of the twentieth century.


'Superb. . . stays with you long after you have finished' Henry Hemming, bestselling author of Our Man in New York

'A chilling account of war at its worst' Bear Grylls

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Jonathan Dimbleby is the author of the highly-acclaimed Second World War histories The Battle of the Atlantic and Destiny in the Desert: The Road to El Alamein, which was followed by his BBC 2 programme Churchill's Desert War. His other books include, Russia: A Journey to the Heart of a Land and Its People, Richard Dimbleby: A Biography, The Palestinians, The Prince of Wales: A Biography and The Last Governor. He was the chairman of BBC Radio 4's weekly Any Questions? programme and presented ITV's flagship weekly political programme, This Week, for over ten years.

The best single-volume account of the Barbarossa campaign to date
Andrew Roberts, author of 'Churchill: Walking with Destiny'

It's a vital story, one everyone should know, and Dimbleby tells it with verve and elan
Laurence Rees, author of 'Hitler and Stalin'

Should be on everyone's reading list for 2021
Dr Amanda Foreman, author of 'A World on Fire'

General Sir Mike Jackson

Vivid and engrossing
Brendan Simms, author of 'Hitler: Only The World Was Enough'

An impressive achievement . . . a fast-paced, gripping read
Julia Boyd, author of 'Travellers in the Third Reich'

A great read . . . he brings Barbarossa very vividly to life, as if you are there
Robert Kershaw, author of 'War Without Garlands: Operation Barbarossa 1941-1942' and 'Borodino Field 1812/1941'

Thought-provoking . . . a captivating eye-opener
Prof Dr Gerhard Hirschfeld, University of Stuttgart, former President of the International Committee for the Study of the Second World War

Superbly well-written . . . the most comprehensive study of Hitler's invasion of the USSR in years
Keith Lowe, author of 'Savage Continent'

Expertly narrated and written with piercing clarity
Frederick Taylor, author of '1939: A People's History'

A chilling account of war at its worst
Bear Grylls

Superb . . . stays with you long after you have finished
Henry Hemming, bestselling author of 'Our Man in New York'

Brilliant . . . a wonderful piece of history
Robert Fox

Epic . . . captures all of Barbarossa's drama and magnitude
Martin Sixsmith

Brings to life the sheer, staggering scale of these events... with great skill, care and attention to detail
Sunday Times

[An] encyclopedic new account... a vivid, meticulous tapestry, densely weaving the threads of German and Soviet military strategy, political calculation from Washington and London to Moscow, and war's pitiless human cost
The Telegraph

[Dimbleby] skilfully tracks the shifts and turns of the campaign, sparing no detail . . . a riveting account
Daily Mail, Book of the Week

Dimbleby tells the story of strategic miscalculation and (self-)deception on all sides, and then Hitler's 'war of extermination', magnificently
The Spectator

Keyword Index
World War, 1939-1945 - Campaigns - Eastern Front.|World War, 1939-1945 - Campaigns - Soviet Union.|Soviet Union - History - German occupation, 1941-1944.
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Number of Pages
xliii, 595 , 24 unnumbered of plates

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