War Of The Rats

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9780553108170: War Of The Rats

Stalingrad, August 1942—the brutal siege of the city begins.

For six months, Stalingrad is the center of a titanic struggle between the Russian and German armies, the bloodiest campaign in mankind's long history of warfare. The outcome is pivotal. If Hitler's forces are not stopped, Russia will fall. And with it, the world.

With razor-sharp prose and brilliant historical accuracy, David L. Robbins brings the reader right into the thick of this monumental battle, in a novel so authentic, it could almost be true....

German soldiers call the battle Rattenkrieg, war of the rats. The combat is horrific, as victories are measured in meters and soldiers die in the smoking cellars and trenches of a ruined city. Through this twisted carnage stalk two men—one Russian, one German—each the top sniper in their respective armies. These two marksmen are equally matched in both skill and tenacity. And each has his own mission....

The young Russian sniper's credo of "one man, one bullet" has established his reputation as the Red army's top long-distance assassin. Nicknamed the Hare, he's been put in charge of an impromptu sniper school, training both men and women to kill with chilling precision.

To counter this threat, the Headmaster, leader of the Nazis' elite sniper school, is flown to Stalingrad. Each has been given similar orders—to find and kill his counterpart. And the extraordinary duel begins....

Complicating matters is an American woman, Tania Chernova, trapped in Russia at the start of the war, who has come to Stalingrad from the Russian resistance. Seeking vengeance against the German army, the defiant American joins the Hare's team of snipers, becoming one of his most talented assassins—and possibly his greatest weakness.

An electrifying novel based on a true story, this is the harrowing tale of two adversaries who will know each other intimately by the climax of their own private war; two soldiers whose story is the saga of Stalingrad itself and whose fortunes will help decide the fate of a world at war.

Fast-paced and explosive, War of the Rats is a stunning amalgam of deepest history and thrilling fiction.

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Review:

David L. Robbins grimly recounts the merciless determination of the German and Soviet combatants of the battle of Stalingrad in War of the Rats. Drawing from real events, Robbins tells the story of one of the battle's most pivotal contests: the famous sniper duel between Chief Master Sergeant Vasily Zaitsev and S.S. Colonel Heinz Thorvald. Zaitsev, a cunning Siberian hunter hardened by Stalingrad's butchery, has formed an impromptu sniper school in the midst of the battle, training his comrades to kill with implacable efficiency. The hundreds of bodies left in their wake prompt the Nazi leadership to send Thorvald, the cold-blooded master of the Wehrmacht's elite sniper academy, to assassinate the Soviet prodigy. Robbins's nerve-wracking prose depicts the two adversaries as they pursue their private war across a twisted hellscape of burning tanks and gutted factories. In the novel's most impressive section, Robbins leaps between the thoughts of Zaitsev and Thorvald as they struggle, in their final battle, to put the crosshairs on each other's head. A war novel that reveals the shrewd savagery in human nature, War of the Rats vividly reveals why the Germans referred to the fighting at Stalingrad as Der Rattenkrieg. --James Highfill

From the Back Cover:

For six months in 1942, Stalingrad is the center of a titanic struggle between the Russian and German armies -- the bloodiest campaign in mankind's long history of warfare. The outcome is pivotal. If Hitler's forces are not stopped, Russia will fall. And with it, the world....

German soldiers call the battle Rattenkrieg, war of the rats. The combat is horrific, as soldiers die in the smoking cellars and trenches of a ruined city. Through this twisted carnage stalk two men -- one Russian, one German -- each the top sniper in his respective army. These two marksmen are equally matched in both skill and tenacity. Each man has his own mission: to find his counterpart -- and kill him.

But an American woman trapped in Russia complicates this extraordinary duel. Joining the Russian sniper's cadre, she soon becomes one of his most talented assassins -- and perhaps his greatest weakness. Based on a true story, this is the harrowing tale of two adversaries enmeshed in their own private war -- and whose fortunes will help decide the fate of the world.

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