One of the most ingenious accounts of a military campaign every written. A more formidable historian than this reviewer will have to punch holes in it, though given the procession of nail-sharp details, the almost day-by-day chronicle simmering with narrative expanse, dramatic snapshots of the participants, and an undertow of assured scholarship. It seems unlikely any objections will be forthcoming. The subject is the ill-fated German invasion of Russia, described in these pages recently in Alan Clark's Barbarossa (p. 1127). Comparisons are invidious but in this case de rigueur. The Clark work is a bit weightier in overall probings, in for instance the glimpses of backstage political perversity; more serious too, or as one is tempted to say, stuffier. However, for sheer readability it's a dead duck up against the Germany Paul Carell presents, spankingly well translated by Ewald Osers. Replete with a 5 page bibliography, an 11 page index, color photos, maps, acknowledgements to ""documents, essays, war diaries, accounts of experiences, memoirs, and publications by both sides,"" much of which has never before been available- the works! The author takes some pains to salvage the Panzer Corps reputation, Hitler's tactical nonsense being held responsible for the '42 fiasco: the bypassing of the capital in favor of the Caucasian oil lands, with the resultant Stalingrad debacle. Each maneuver is strikingly delineated, contrasting both fronts and the novelistic/cinematic devices-dialogue, switchbacks, close-ups of civilians, eye-witness interjections, jumpshots, high and low life incidents- all work astonishingly well. A strong success.