War of the Rats
War of the Rats, written by David L. Robbins, and the movie Stalingrad, directed by Joseph Vilsmaier, are two excellent sources to be used in furthering one’s understanding of the second world war and specifically the battle of Stalingrad. Both of these sources cover generally the same material. They both are dramas about the battle of Stalingrad, yet each has their own unique perspective upon the war. These two sources can be used together to increase one’s knowledge on the subject at hand.
War of the Rats, a book that has been recently published is basically a war inside of a war. It focuses more on a personal battle of two men then it does on the battle of Stalingrad on a whole. The book has four main characters and is mostly based on these people. Robbins seems more content on telling his drama he is revealing to the reader then giving actual historical accounts on the battle of Stalingrad. Robbins story starts out about the Russians skilled assassin, Army Chief Master Sergeant Visily Zaitsev. Zaitsev is a famed sniper, known for killing the opposing Germans with ease. The Germans realize how dangerous of a weapon Zaitsev is, and counter with their own master sniper, S.S. Colonel Heinz Throvald.
Throvald is sent with one mission; kill Zaitsev. Also included in the plot of Robbins’ book are Tania Chernova, Zaitsev’s assistant, and Corporal Nikki Mood, a composite German soldier. Tanis Chernova and Vasily Zaitsev eventually fall in love. The novel eventually ends with the two master snipers, Throvald and Zaitsev, crossing each other’s paths. In somewhat of a cliffhanger, the book finishes off with both Throvald and Zaitsev putting crosshairs on each other’s head. Although it is very entertaining, this is not the book to read to rely on for historical significance. Despite this, this is still a very useful piece of writing for anyone with very little knowledge about the battle of Stalingrad. It provides the reader a background on this crucial war.
The movie Stalingrad, made in 1993, is a very entertaining and educational movie. Told by the point of view of German soldiers, it gives the viewer a vision of the hard times that many soldiers of the battle of Stalingrad had to live through. The director,...