Stalingrad, Iron and Fire

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
337 Pages
Reviewed on 02/08/2023
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Stalingrad, Iron and Fire is a work of fiction in the historical fiction and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is best suited to the mature adult reading audience owing to graphic violence and sexual scenes and was penned by Richard J Reese. The plot follows two central figures, one from Germany and one from Russia, as they grow up in a world where they are expected to fight for their countries. Bavarian soldier Johann-Egon Koppenhausen finds himself pitted against NKGB agent Kirill Antonovich Novikov as the world falls apart around them. Whilst Hitler and Stalin battle on the higher plane for dominance, the tale at ground level is one of hardship, love, loss, and personal pain.

Richard J Reese has crafted a fantastic war story that works in perfect harmony on its two main levels. On the macro scale, it tells of the devastation and destruction of the Second World War and the relentless bloodshed caused by men of power. On the micro-scale, it relates to the hyper-realistic and emotional struggle of ordinary men trying to operate and survive in this hellish world. I was especially interested in the story from Novikov’s perspective and the Russian viewpoint in general, which was delivered with much interesting factual detail but presented via engaging dialogue and scene work that kept the pace and action going throughout. The descriptions of the battles and the interpersonal scenes were cinematically atmospheric and so well arranged that it felt like a film playing out in my head. I highly recommend Stalingrad, Iron and Fire to fans of WW2 fiction and intense dramas with realistic emotional and social narratives.

Essien Asian

From humble beginnings, Johann-Egon Koppenhausen's rise in the upper ranks of the Wehrmacht has been steady but eventful. His exploits in the Great War did not save his beloved nation from defeat but as Germany rebuilt, hope sprang afresh in the form of a brash young politician by the name of Adolf Hitler. Kirill Antonovich Novikov's loyalty to his country's government was never in doubt despite the questionable acts that people whispered about. He was prepared to die for his country if need be. As the Nazis approach Moscow, destroying all in their path, Stalin chooses a location to make a final stand. These two men, spurred on by ambitious leaders, are among the thousands that will decide the fate of the world as the battle for Stalingrad approaches in Richard J. Reese's Stalingrad, Iron, and Fire.

In Stalingrad, Iron and Fire Richard J. Reese retells the story of one of the greatest battles ever fought. He approaches this account from the personal viewpoints of two individuals on opposing sides. His characters are well thought out, complete with the emotional depth that I would expect from a multifaceted story such as this one. The attention to detail is near perfect as the finer points that decided the outcome of that famous battle are brought to life vividly. Credit must go to the author for his impressive storytelling ability as he was able to weave the many threads of war into a story that puts a human face on one of the bloodiest battles in history. There have been several fictional tales based upon what happened in Stalingrad between 1942 and 1943, but I daresay this work would hold its own among its peers admirably.

Grant Leishman

Stalingrad, Iron and Fire by Richard J Reese is an explosive and powerfully emotive treatise of the turbulent years that marked the first half of the twentieth century, narrated from two widely varied perspectives - those of a German and a Soviet soldier. Johann-Egon Koppenhausen, from rural Bavarian roots, returned from the First World War intact in body but changed forever in mind and spirit. One of the earliest adherents to Adolf Hitler’s fanatical and nationalistic rhetoric, he became an avid Nazi and rapidly rose through the ranks of the Waffen-SS, gaining both respect and power amongst the hierarchy of the Nazi apparatus, even including Hitler himself amongst his colleagues. Kirill Antonovich Novikov was an early member of the Soviets NKGB primarily involved in the Soviet forced collectivism of farming in the 1930s. Following the outbreak of the Second World War and the invasion of Poland by both Germany and the Soviet Union, these two loyal and committed soldiers were destined to meet for the first time on the banks of the Bug River. It would be much later, during the bloody and horrific battle for Stalingrad, that they were destined to meet again during Hitler’s ill-fated invasion of the Soviet Union.

I am particularly fond of historical novels that weave a wonderful story in amongst the facts and personalities of momentous historical events and Stalingrad, Iron and Fire is exactly such a novel. Richard J Reese has produced an account of humanity, strategy, war, and fanaticism that is impossible to put down. The language is tough, uncompromising, and exceedingly brutal, as befits the horrific experiences the characters would undergo in the hell that is battle and more specifically the utter desolation and misery that was the siege of Stalingrad. The author’s incredible ability, through words alone, to convey the sheer desolation to readers was as good as anything I’ve read in this particular genre. The character of Manfred Oettinger was written to portray the barbarism and utter lack of humanity that possessed some Nazi soldiers of the time and the author beautifully crafted this evil character to the extent that chills ran down my spine while reading the passages describing his depravity. I particularly appreciated the structure of the book, which begins with Johann-Egon’s journey to Stalingrad, then halfway through the narrative picks up Kirill Antonovich’s life and love, before bringing both characters together to experience the harsh winter and bloody brutality of Stalingrad in August 1942 to February 1943. The author has researched and understands the period and I cannot speak highly enough of its readability and satisfaction. This is a fantastic story of a terrible time in human history and I can highly recommend this book.