There have been many individual accounts of particular moments in the vicious war between the Nazi regime and the Soviet behemoth, but none which sets out to tell the full and dreadful story of that absolute war: absolute because both sides aimed to 'exterminate the opponent, to destroy his political existence' and total because it was fought by all elements of society, not simply the armed forces, but civilians - men, women, children - too. Chris Bellamy, Professor of Military Science at Cranfield University, is one of the world's leading experts on this subject and has been working on this book for almost a decade. It benefits from his remarkable insight into strategic issues as well as exhaustive research in hitherto unopened Russian archives. It is the definitive study of what the Soviets called - and what their fifteen successor states still call - the Great Patriotic War.
Christopher Bellamy has been Professor of Military Science and Doctrine and Director of the Security Studies Institute, Cranfield University since 1997. Until then he was Defence Correspondent of the Independent, reporting from Saudi Arabia and Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War, from south-east Turkey and northern Iraq during the Kurdish refugee crisis, from Bosnia many times between 1992 and 1997 and from Chechnya in January 1995. He was shortlisted for foreign reporter of the year in the 1996 British Press Awards. He was Associate Editor of, and a principal contributor to, the Oxford Companion to Military History and is a regular press and broadcast commentator on modern security and strategy issues.