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With Hitler's invasion of Russia on Sunday 22 June 1941, the Eastern Front opened in World War II and politicians and generals around the world predicted the swift destruction of the Soviet armies. Nazi Germany threw men and equipment against Russia in unprecedented numbers: a total of five million men took part in the Blitz attack along the entire Russian frontier. Using interviews and primary evidence collected in Russia, Albert Axell tells the story of the Eastern Front as it unfolded, interweaving his accounts of the ordinary and extraordinary men and women soldiers of Russia with the progress of the war itself. The volume is both a history and a tale of courage and endurance; unbelievable heroism combined with an implacable refusal to admit defeat - whatever the odds.