Richard Overy, Russia’s War: A History of the Soviet War Effort, 1941-1945
Geoffrey Roberts, Victory at Stalingrad: The Battle that Changed History
Catherine Merridale, Ivan’s War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945
LIVE CHAT #1: Monday, February 21, noon (CST)
HOW WAR CAME
Russia’s War, pages xi-98
Victory at Stalingrad, pages ix-26
Ivan’s War, pages 1-115
1. Why would Stalin sign the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact in 1939?
2. What was the condition of the Soviet Union and its military forces on the eve of the German invasion?
3. What accounts for the tremendous casualties and losses suffered by the Red Army and the Soviet people in the first months of the war?
LIVE CHAT #2: Monday, March 28, noon (CST)
THE ROAD TO STALINGRAD
Russia’s War, pages 99-189
Victory at Stalingrad, pages 26-136
Ivan’s War, pages 116-225
1. How was the Soviet Union able to recover from its terrible early losses to defeat Nazi Germany in the Battles of Moscow and Stalingrad?
2. Why did the Soviet people fight for a regime that had imposed such hardships on them in the decade before the war?
3. Evaluate this statement: “The Battle of Stalingrad was a close call. It could have turned out very differently. It is a classic case-study of the role of chance, circumstances and, above all, personality in the making of history.”
LIVE CHAT #3 Monday, April 25, noon (CST)
VICTORY AND THE ORIGINS OF THE COLD WAR
Russia’s War, pages 190-330
Victory at Stalingrad, pages 139-194
Ivan’s War, pages 187-395
1. Could the Soviet Union have won the war on the Eastern Front without Stalin and his brutal methods?
2. Were the Soviet people able to endure hardships during the war that the American people would have been unable to endure?
3. Was the Cold War avoidable?