Tag Archives: stalin

Winning the Battle of Stalingrad with Biological Warfare

In his excellent Stalingrad book, Antony Beevor notes that the German army suffered an unusually high loss of manpower during the battle due to illnesses, with many soldiers incapacitated and cramming field hospitals for days on end. It makes sense … Continue reading

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A New Face in the Snakepit (15)

XV. Victory was an ambiguous concept, that Stalin always had trouble dealing with. He had been successful before: he had managed to escape deportation to Siberia for a second time, by becoming an informer and betraying his comrades; he had … Continue reading

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A New Face in the Snakepit (14)

XIV. Everything had worked as Stalin expected, but Stalin was surprised by the fierceness of the German attack: in a matter of weeks, the Soviet forward armies, caught in their offensive stance and unprepared for defense, were surrounded and destroyed … Continue reading

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A New Face in the Snakepit (13)

XIII. Trotsky’s grisly murder wasn’t the only commotion of the time for Communist fellow travelers. A few weeks before, the French had got what they had been expecting, and a lightning German offensive had tore through their much-hyped defenses, taking … Continue reading

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A New Face in the Snakepit (12)

XII. The Spanish Civil War had been a curious sideshow since 1936. That year, a large and unruly left coalition in the “anti-fascist” mold had managed to squeeze a small victory in the polls. Then, it had proceeded to announce … Continue reading

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A New Face in the Snakepit (9)

IX. Stalin took to spending long hours with the books in his Kremlin apartment and his dacha in Kuntsevo. Like many before him, he found that books tend to be better company than people; and his books were particularly good … Continue reading

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