The second year of the Second World War on the Eastern Front was dominated by Stalingrad, the protracted battle for the city on the Volga, and this is the major episode in this volume of Nik Cornish's four-volume photographic history of the conflict. Stalingrad was a turning point in the war, the moment when the Red Army seized the initiative and threw back the German invaders. But the struggle at Stalingrad was far from the only focus of the fighting during 1942 and 1943. German forces conquered the Crimea, besieged Leningrad and advanced deep into the Caucasus. The Red Army took the offensive, t only at Stalingrad but at Rzhev, Kharkov and Kursk. So this phase of the war between Germany and the Soviet Union saw dramatic changes of fortune, offensives and counter-offensives on a massive scale, and these events are also illustrated in these rare photographs. These vivid images show the front-line fighting, the troops and the conditions on both sides, but they also document the consequences of war for the civilians under German occupation and the devastation of the Russian towns and cities.
Nik Cornish is a former head teacher whose passionate interest in the world wars on the Eastern Front and in Russia's military history in particular has led to a series of important books on the subject including Images of Kursk, Stalingrad: Victory on the Volga, Berlin: Victory in Europe, Partisan Warfare on the Eastern Front 1941-1944, The Russian Revolution: World War to Civil War 1917-1921 and Hitler versus Stalin: The Eastern Front 1941-1942 - Barbarossa to Moscow.