Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 precipitated a massive clash of arms that gave rise to destruction and suffering on an unprecedented scale. The outcome of this ruthless struggle on the Eastern Front was decisive for the course of the war in Europe. Yet the campaigns fought there still receive less attention than those fought by the Western Allies, and are less well understood. That is why this new survey of the Soviet Union during the Second World War, edited by David R. Stone, is so timely and significant. He has brought together a distinguished group of experts who give a penetrating reassessment of the Soviet war effort and economy. They offer a telling insight into the way in which enormous obstacles were overcome - and sacrifices were made - in order to achieve an overwhelming victory that changed the shape of Europe. Their wide-ranging analysis seeks to dispel myths and misperceptions that have distorted our understanding of the performance of the Red Army and the Soviet people.