Motivation: Improve German. Reading about war, especially in German puts me in a combative state of mind that I find to be quite useful in today’s world. Understand strategy. Understand Russia and Germany better. Other than that: I thoroughly enjoy it.

Information: Tons of it… You get a very detailed description of how Hitler kept blundering on the strategic and tactical level. The Soviets, Americans and Brits messed up a lot too, but in the end they could being overwhelming force to bear on Germany. A better Germany commander could have made the situation for the allies far more difficult. An excellent strategist could still have fought the allies to a stalemate.

Enjoyment: I had a blast reading this and managed to finish it quickly even though it has 468 pages. It was the second time I read it, but the first time I read it in German. Reading it in German made for a riveting reading experience. Even though the events described are sad beyond belief there were lots of scenes that seemed to come straight out of a hilarious comey series. Like when the Germans randomly dial Berlin phone numbers to see if any Russians pick up the phone. That way they could keep track of the evolving front line…

Lessons: Great leadership at the top is absolutely crucial in war. The Russians haven’t changed much since 1945, except that they have become even prouder and even more stupid. Even back in 1945 they threw away the fruits of their hard-won victories through sheer nonchalance. Like they tried to ship German industrial machinery to the Soviet-Union, but they were so lazy about it lots of it rusted and wasted away. The book is packed with lessons actually. Most people will bow to any authority. For example: Plenty of Germans cut out the swastikas from the Nazi flags to immediately reuse them as red commie flags. All of a sudden everyone claimed to have been anti-Nazi all along. Hard to respect that can’t of attitude. People’

Should you read it? If you want to understand today’s world and humanity better then by all means yes.