Recommend a good book on the Eastern Front

I’m looking for a good book that covers the Eastern Front in WWII.

Ideally, the book:

  1. Covers the entire Soviet-German conflict, '41 to '45, rather than a single campaign (i.e., something that does not focus just on the siege of Leningrad, the battle for Stalingrad, Kursk, etc.)
  2. Covers the campaign in some operational detail, rather than just a strategic/grand strategic overview
  3. Is not just a personal memoir of an indivudual combatant, or a unit history (although if you know of something really exceptional, then by all means recommend it)
  4. Has some color or flavor, not dry as dust; an enjoyable read

Does such a creature exist? Or am I asking too much?


I just read a good one - Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War by Chris Bellamy.

Fulfilling categories 2, 3, and 4 are two books by Antony Beevor (Stalingrad and Berlin: the downfall 1945). Both well-written and engrossing novels about, well, their respective titles. However, in both Beevor does well to not just tell the story but to cast it in comparison to the entire Eastern front.

For example, in Stalingrad, not only is the siege recounted, the reader is first given am ample prelude as to why and how Nazi Germany invaded their Soviet allies and the events (military, political, economic) which led up to the siege. Likewise, in Berlin Beevor provides a thorough description of the military situation which ultimately culminated in the fateful siege of Berlin.

While neither of these books are probably exactly what you are looking for, they are both excellent reads and recommended for anybody interested in the topic(s).

Dan Carlin recently did an excellent 4-part series on the Eastern Front on his podcast, “Hardcore History.” The series itself is well worth your time if you’re not already well-versed on the subject, and maybe even if you are.

More to your question, though: Carlin always lists his bibliography in the show notes. I imagine there’s a good chance you’d find something like what you’re looking for if you browsed through them and checked them out on Amazon.

Show notes are here; the Eastern front series was Ghosts of the Ostfront, and should be the four entries immediately below the most recent.

Thank you all for taking the time to make these great suggestions!

I will be checking into them!