Nine months after the beginning of the Second World War, German dominance over much of Europe seemed assured. Hitler not only stood on the pinacle of his popularity in Germany but more than ever his ideological fixations and political calculations determined German war policy. This volume, thefourth in the acclaimed Germany and the Second World War series, examines the thinking behind the decision to go to war with the Soviet Union which was to prove the undoing of the German war effort. The authors examine in revealing detail the military and political policies behind the attack on theSoviet Union and the tsrategic conduct of the war. They explore not only the command principles and practices, but also the expenditure and attrition of the forces, and show that by the nd of 1941 it was clear that it was in the eastern theatre that the Second World War would be decided and the mapof Europe redrawn. This is the fourth in the magisterial ten-volume Germany and the Second World War. The six volumes so far published in German take the story to 1943, and have achieved international acclaim as a major contribution to historical study. Under the auspices of the Militargeschichtlichtes Forschungsamt[Research Institute for Military History], a team of renowned historians has combined a full synthesis of existing material with the latest research to produce what will be the definitive history of the Second World War from the German point of view. The comprehensive analysis, based on detailedscholarly research, is underpinned by a full apparatus of maps, diagrams, and tables. Intensively researched and documented, Germany and the Second World War is an undertaking of unparalleled scope and authority. It will prove indispensable to all historians of the twentieth century.