This is a truly astounding book, packed with searing hitherto-unpublished testimony about what it was like to endure, and ultimately defeat, the most formidable invasion in the history of Mankind. The sheer endurance of the Russian people between 1941 and 1945 will leave readers utterly staggered. It is a debt that we in the West should do more to acknowledge.
A masterful narrative, deeply enriched by extraordinary research and a profound analysis of the soul of Russia.
Barbarossa reads wonderfully well
This compact and well-written account clearly demonstrates the close links between the military events at the front, the suffering of the civilian population and the genocide of the Jews.
His subject is dramatic, of course, but nonetheless his writing is vivid, personal and adds to the impact of the narrative.
This is an admirable book. How can anyone write an all-encompassing narrative of these times in a mere 305-pages? Binns has managed to do it beautifully, capturing the story, the rationale for the response by the Soviet people in general to mobilise willingly against the invader, whatever their view of their own dictator and his murderous cronies, and the sheer military, industrial and human enormity of the subject. That he's also done so through the lens of a wide range of voices of those who experienced the war adds to the scale of his achievement.
Barbarossa contains an even wide fund of harrowing testimonies, drawn from diaries and letters in Russian archives, and sources such as Svetlana Alexievich's superlative oral history The Unwomanly Face of War. We are always the richer for hearing ordinary voices at war, reclaiming the human from the military, the barbaric, the statistics.
There is very little that happened in Operation Barbarossa that does not still have an effect on our lives today. . . A sobering but vital read
This compact and well-written account clearly demonstrates the close links between the military events at the front, the suffering of the civilian population and the genocide of the Jews. This is important because accessible English-language books on the war in the East, written in an engaging style and directed to a wider public, still rarely point out these crucial connections