Stahel completed an honours degree at Monash University and Boston College. He has an MA in War Studies from King's College London and a PhD in 2007 from the Humboldt University of Berlin. He joined the University of New South Wales Canberra in 2012.
- Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East (Cambridge, 2009).
- Kiev 1941. Hitler's Battle for Supremacy in the East (Cambridge, 2012).
- Operation Typhoon. Hitler's March on Moscow (Cambridge, 2013).
- 'Radicalizing Warfare: The German Command and the Failure of Operation Barbarossa' in Alex J. Kay, Jeff Rutherford and David Stahel (eds.), Nazi Policy on the Eastern Front, 1941: Total War, Genocide, and Radicalization (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2012), pp. 19-44.