Book Review for Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad by William Craig
By: Cole Haymond
William Craig has done a wonderful job with the complete overview of the Battle for Stalingrad. What is interesting about the book is the fact that it follows different people and it shows their progression as you go through the book. The book tells the stories of citizens fighting for their lives, Privates, Corporals, Sergeants on the front lines, to the Generals making the tactical decisions to Hitler and Stalin making the overall decision about the war. It was very interesting to see the different opinions about the battle and the change that they've endured from the beginning to the end of the battle. All of the feelings and emotions that were expressed by the main 55 people that were covered in this book were true to word. Not only has William Craig covered the life of the common soldier of the Russian and German sides, but also of the lives of the Rumanians and Italians who were included in the German attack on Russia.
Although there are many moving parts of the book where it tells the unlucky tales of soldiers killed in action, the most sickening parts have to be the treatment and daily life of Prisoners of War and the life inside the Kessel (Cauldron in German. It is also known as an encirclement. Germans were surrounded on all flanks and trapped after a Russian offensive that pushed them into that position.). Prisoners were forced to march for hours and hours without food or water. Many had resorted to cannibalism and by that time it had become the survival of the fittest. The groups would have dibs on certain parts of the body even before they had even died.