The Soviet Union's struggle with Nazi Germany played the decisive part in the Allied defeat of Hitler. Gigantic, prolonged, and bloody land battles, running continuously from 1941 to 1945, contrasted with the fighting on other fronts. The Russians largely fought on their own, with an independent strategy, and at a cost much higher than that borne by the other combatants. As for the Germans, Hitler and his high command conceived and carried out the Russian campaign as a singular 'war of annihilation'. Benefiting from a post-Communist, post-Cold War perspective, Evan Mawdsley takes full advantage of the wealth of new studies and source materials to produce a narrative that is both penetrating and wide-ranging, providing a clear overview of a vast conflict. This is a gripping account of one of the most devastating episodes of European history.