This new book from the author of Through the Maelstrom: A Red Army Soldier's War on the Eastern Front reveals a bitter truth about that war, which has thrown neo-Stalinists in Russia today into a fury. A frontline veteran who survived the most savage and continuous fighting of the Second World War refutes one of the primary Soviet myths: that it was Stalin's "brilliant strategic mind" and his "invaluable contributions" that brought about the eventual victory. Partially relying on his own frontline experience in fighting from Rzhev 1942 to Königsburg 1945, the author argues that the Red Army emerged victorious from the war in spite of the Kremlin tyrant, who never spared his soldiers' lives and who recognized only one strategy: to break the Wehrmacht's resistance by overloading it with the corpses of Red Army soldiers. He maintains that it was the people who won the war, but Stalin stole the mantle of victory and donned it himself after the war. Gorbachevsky goes on to argue that the Soviet regime and recent official Russian estimates deliberately understated the staggering true cost of that victory, and reveals the scandalous official mistreatment of returning prisoners-of-war, neglect of war invalids and disregard of the millions of soldiers' remains lying in shallow, unmarked, often fraternal graves and the millions more still listed as "missing-in-action" - all of which show the Stalinist system's disdain for human life.
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