Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad

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Enemy at the gates : the battle for Stalingrad
Subject Battle of Stalingrad during World War II
Genre history
Pages xvii, 457 pages
ISBN 0141390174
OCLC 613817

Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad is a book written by William Craig and published in 1973 by Reader's Digest Press and in 1974 by Penguin Publishing. It details the Battle of Stalingrad, fought by opposing Soviet and Axis forces during the Second World War. The book begins with the German advance across southern Russia in 1942 and culminates with the surrender and imprisonment of the Axis forces several months later, in 1943. A sub-plot of the book has since been turned into a major motion picture, Enemy at the Gates (2001), starring Jude Law.


Enemy at the Gates was one of the few widely-available accounts in English of the battles between German and Soviet forces in the Second World War. Craig focuses on the defenders; during the first half of the book his attention is mainly on the Soviets, although after their success in Operation Uranus he shifts to the fate of the encircled German forces.

The book begins with the outbreak of the German Operation Blue and the desperate retreat of Red Army forces across the steppes towards Stalingrad. Craig emphasizes the breakdown of command and control among the Soviets in this second summer of war, and the optimism of the Nazi forces pursuing them.