The Retreat

The Retreat Book Cover The Retreat
Michael Jones
Military History
John Murray

This is an excellent book for what it is, which is a collection of German-centric anecdotes from fall 41-spring 42 regarding the fighting around Moscow. The author includes numerous memorable accounts about the fighting during this period, as well the the suffering endured by both armies and civilians. Importantly, he doesn't seem to have a ideological agenda, and includes many interesting accounts regardless of whether it makes the Germans or Soviet side look good or bad, competent or incompetent.

The only slight flaws in this book are:
1) while the author includes a limited number of accounts from the Sov side, the vast majority are from the German side. The quality of the German accounts generally makes up for this, but it would have made an excellent book even better to have used more Sov sources.

2) The author doesn't include quite enough about the "big picture." While the author gives a general description of what was going on with the overall front, I think he could have done a bit better at tying the individual accounts into the overall action.

That said, these "criticisms" are really quibbles--if you are interested in East Front action, you'll almost certainly greatly enjoy this book.

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