Stalingrad (book)

Author Antony Beevor
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Subject Military history
Publisher Viking Press, Penguin Books
Publication date
6 May 1999
Pages 494
ISBN 0-14-024985-0 (Paperback)
OCLC 40646157

Stalingrad is a narrative history written by Antony Beevor of the battle fought in and around the city of Stalingrad during World War II, as well as the events leading up to it. It was first published by Viking Press in 1998.

The book won the first Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson History Prize and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature in 1999.


The book starts with Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the USSR in June 1941, and the subsequent drive into the Soviet Union. Its main focus is the Battle of Stalingrad, in particular the period from the initial German attack to Operation Uranus and the Soviet victory. It details the subsequent battles and war crimes committed by both sides. The book ends with the defeat and surrender of the Germans in February 1943 and the beginning of the Soviet advance on Germany. Beevor returned to the subject with Berlin: The Downfall 1945.


Stalingrad was published in the Philippines under the title of Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege 1942-43, and has been translated into 18 languages. The English paperback version was published by Penguin Books in 1999.


Keith Lowe, writing in The Telegraph, notes that Stalingrad transformed both Beevor's reputation and that of military history, making it from something only for "retired colonels and armchair fantasists" into a "sleek, attention-grabbing subject" always on the bestseller lists.[1] Lowe argues that "What made [Stalingrad] so refreshing was the way that he combined academic rigour with a storyteller’s sensibility. While he always kept a grip on the view of the battle from above, his true skill was in describing the way it looked from below, from the point of view of the ordinary soldiers", with pacing and sense of character providing almost the readability of a novel.[1]

Richard Bernstein, in The New York Times, writes that "the colossal scale of Stalingrad, the megalomania, the utter absurdity, the sheer magnitude of the carnage in what many military historians see as the turning point in the war, are marvelously captured".[2] He concludes that Stalingrad is "a fantastic and sobering story, and it has been fully and authoritatively told in Mr. Beevor's book."[2]


Stalingrad won the first Samuel Johnson Prize,[3] the Wolfson History Prize[4] and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature in 1999.[5]


  1. 1 2 Lowe, Keith (25 July 2002). "In praise of Antony Beevor". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  2. 1 2 Bernstein, Richard (26 August 1998). "BOOKS OF THE TIMES; An Avalanche of Death That Redirected a War: Stalingrad". New York Times. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  3. "The Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction: Stalingrad (Penguin) By Antony Beevor". The Samuel Johnson Prize. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  4. "Previous winners (1999)". Wolfson Foundation. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  5. "Writer of the month: Stalingrad and Berlin – researching the reality of war". The National Archives. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
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