World War Two: 1941 and the Man of Steel

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Rating: 8.4/10 (25 votes cast)
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Marking the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, historian Professor David Reynolds re-assesses Stalin’s role in the life and death struggle between Germany and Russia in World War Two, which, he argues, was ultimately more critical for British survival than ‘Our Finest Hour’ in the Battle of Britain itself.

The name Stalin means ‘man of steel’, but Reynolds’s penetrating new account reveals how the reality of Stalin’s war in 1941 did not live up to that name. Travelling to Russian battlefield locations, he charts how Russia was almost annihilated within a few months as Stalin lurched from crisis to crisis, coming close to a nervous breakdown.

Reynolds shows how Stalin learnt to compromise in order to win, listening to his generals and downplaying communist ideology to appeal instead to the Russian people’s nationalist fighting spirit. He also squares up to the terrible moral dilemma at the heart of World War Two. Using original telegrams and official documents, he looks afresh at Winston Churchill’s controversial visit to Moscow in 1942 and re-examines how Britain and America were drawn into alliance with Stalin, a dictator almost as murderous as the Nazi enemy.

World War Two: 1941 and the Man of Steel, 8.4 out of 10 based on 25 ratings

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  • Bobswede1

    Another English bias viewpoint on Russia. They should take a look of their own mass murdering history against India, 30 million died in 4 years!

    • Scorp

      I don’t see how that remark turns Stalin into something else then a mass murderer.
      The only good thing he ever did is force his soldiers to fight or die from the NKVD in face of the advancing German troops.  But then if he hadn’t purged the Soviet army of the best generals before the war, he might not have had to issue that order at all.

  • remembereringgiap

    i am very tired of these english fools wandering through this & that landscape exposing their absolute ignorance & pretentious sense of themselves.  i would counsel this little twi to read the magisterial works of the scholar erickson or the more recent work by bellamy  but this reynolds is a caricature of a caricature

    • Anonymous

      Hahahaha the communist doth protest too much, methinks.

      So I suppose you would claim that Stalin wasn’t responsible for any unnecessary deaths of his own countrymen, also? If he was, how many million do you concede?

    • Anonymous

      Hahahaha the communist doth protest too much, methinks.

      So I suppose you would claim that Stalin wasn’t responsible for any unnecessary deaths of his own countrymen, also? If he was, how many million do you concede?

    • Oaf Hater

      Get a grip.

      Granted it’s not a thorough analysis, but how could it be for the length and breadth of the subject matter.

  • remembereringgiap

    i am very tired of these english fools wandering through this & that landscape exposing their absolute ignorance & pretentious sense of themselves.  i would counsel this little twi to read the magisterial works of the scholar erickson or the more recent work by bellamy  but this reynolds is a caricature of a caricature

  • Anonymous

    I am starting to wonder where all the leads for these documentaries come from…anyone heard of TDF?

    Try and locate them independently, then we wont be forced to abandon this site in favour of the site that always posts them first – since they are all the same.

  • Anonymous

    I am starting to wonder where all the leads for these documentaries come from…anyone heard of TDF?

    Try and locate them independently, then we wont be forced to abandon this site in favour of the site that always posts them first – since they are all the same.

  • Jake

    “Almost” as murderous? Stalin killed more people than the Nazis did.

  • Jake

    “Almost” as murderous? Stalin killed more people than the Nazis did.

    • Spencer52

      Bullshit

    • fuckgreece

       yes yes you fucking sheep Stalin killed 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000 people!

  • Mikenelsonmikenelson

    Well done.   I learned something.

  • fuckgreece

    The world is a fucking hilarious and pathetic place. So Stalin sacrificed over 3,000,000 russian lives who defeated the Germans and freed the Eurofags and now the Eurocunts together with the new faggot generation of the Russians throw away Stalin and their fathers and forefathers who gave their life to fight the Germans and free their children. WTF? fucking disgrace. 

  • Nicholas Long

    I saw this documentary a few weeks ago on bbc iplayer. I thought it had some interesting insights for a documentary designed for the general public and felt the presenter was actually quite entertaining. I recommended it to my father, a history teacher, but before he had time to watch it the bbc took it down. So I searched around and found this site and this video and, knowing nothing about the site other than its promising sounding name thought ‘this place sounds great’. However after scrolling down the page to the comments section and seeing the shocking, offensive vitriolic being banded about I am quite simply appalled. There is no excuse whatsoever for such language in regards to the discussion of history; so for god’s sake get a hold of yourselves.

  • jon

    fuckgreece, stalin sacrificed more then 20 million and he helped start the war himself, idiot!

  • BUG

    the winners write history. and rewrite it again and again. Such easy it is to talk against dead.