Books: The Eastern Front

RUSSIA AT WAR: 1941-1945 by Alexander Werth. 1,100 pages. Dutton. $10.

Though it ended months before the Atomic Age began, the Russo-German portion of World War II was in almost every way a conflict on a thermonuclear scale. Upwards of 20 million Russian civilians and soldiers lost their lives. Over 3,000,000 German soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing. The U.S.S.R. lost over 60% of its coal production; total industrial output declined by one-half. Whole cities were heroes: the Battle of Stalingrad lasted seven months with as many as 40,000 people killed in one day,...