Braithwaite writes the history of one city in the context of the Nazi onslaught of Russia. With a little background information to set the context, Braithwaite juggles both the "big picture" issues (battles, troop movements, machinations of the leaders, etc) with the personal issues of a variety of Russian citizens (from labourer, army grunt, and beyond) through extensive use of diaries, letters, etc. Together it's a masterful well documented, and well told story of what would be the beginning of the end of the Wehrmacht. As supplemental reading, I'd recommend Anthony Beevor's Stalingrad (for a contrast of a city that didn't dodge the full fury of the Nazi war machine; Michael K. Jones The Retreat: Hitler's First Defeat (also told with lots of memoirs, diaries, letters, etc), and Berlin at War by Roger Moorhouse.
Phil (Staff) (Queen's Square Library)