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xv Acknowledgments The authors owe a special debt to the historians who struggled for decades to unearth the truths of the German-Soviet conflict, among them a host of Russian military historians who have had to contend not just with the usual difficulties of historical research but also with stifling and rigid constraints, first those of ideology under the Soviet Union and then those of virulent nationalism under the Russian Federation. This work and others like it are testaments to their doggedness and skill, seeking the truth despite formidable obstacles. Among Western military historians, early scholars such as Malcolm MacIntosh and John Erickson marked the way for others to follow. Their contributions have stood the test of time. Earl F. Ziemke, Albert Seaton, and others who have worked primarily with German archival materials also demand recognition, as do numerous German and Soviet veterans who wrote memoirs about a war against a shadowy enemy. The first edition of this book was an effort to capture the Soviet version of the war and provide it in a brief format for the Western public. Since then, however, increased access to both German and Soviet archives has spawned an entirely new generation of historians, both in the West and in the former Soviet Union. This current edition is therefore an attempt to summarize this new historiography, to provide a more balanced explanation for the war’s outcome while retaining the original orientation toward Soviet sources. Indeed , by addressing some of the faulty explanations for German failure, this account more clearly demonstrates the reasons for and magnitude of Soviet success. Above all, the authors acknowledge the millions of Soviet, German, and other soldiers who fought, suffered, and died in this titanic and brutal struggle . Their sacrifice demands that this story be retold and restudied with each generation. Finally, heartfelt thanks go to the able editors of the University Press of Kansas and to Mary Ann Glantz, who were instrumental in shaping the first edition into a usable form. Likewise, Darin Grauberger and George F. McCleary, Jr. prepared superb maps for the first edition. For the revised edition , our mutual friend and colleague Christopher Gabel reviewed the entire manuscript; others, including Jacob Kipp, John Kuehn, Dennis Giangreco, and Bruce Menning, greatly improved the final product by their review of various portions of the draft. Map 1. Theater of Operations ...


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