“In Snow and Steel Joe Cowles and Dan Ross have done a commendable job in bringing to life this segment of history often minimized by the West. This titanic clash between the German and Soviet forces at Stalingrad in World War 11 cost millions of lives and nothing less than the future of the world hung on its outcome.
“This story, told through the eyes and lives of average people caught up in the maelstrom, could only have been written by an individual immersed in the culture and history of the region such as Joe Cowles. I think it is a “must read” for all military history aficionados as well as anyone who enjoys an action-packed and compelling story.”
— Dr. Keith A. Nelson, Author of Shadow Tracker
Specialist, UNITED STATES ARMY [RET]
“The living are dead and the dead are living, in the infernal logic of war. Joe and Dan have captured the realities of war on a personal level, through the experiences of characters who are well developed and real to the reader. Ivan fought this battle for the rest of his life, and the enemy tragically became -- the fact of his own life, the fact that he had survived. War as he experienced it, killed something inside him. Yet, the comrades he lost then, lived in his memory for the rest of his life. They were not dead to him, their sacrifice was alway present to him.
“I have read that it is not soldiers who hate the enemy the most, but the civilians. This book captures that subtlety. Despite anger, desire for revenge, and the duty to defeat the enemy at all costs, the protagonist at times feels compassion for the enemy soldier. He could have been a brother in arms -- was a brother in arms, merely on the other side . . . in fact, wasn't he more worthy of respect and regret, than the traitor subsequently discovered in Ivan's own ranks?
“The horrible waste of war is captured. The loss, not of casualties in raw numbers, but of people one comes to know.
“War has been, may again be, at times in history justified and necessary -- but should never be entered into lightly. The dead on both sides are real human beings. And the ones fortunate to live through the war itself, often have to suffer for it the rest of their lives."”
— M. C. BERWANGER, MAJOR, UNITED STATES ARMY [RET]
“The graphic detail of military operations on urban terrain [MOUT] is outstanding! It puts you there in the thick of the fight. ”
— J. Mann, CPT. US Army [RET]
“It grabs you right away and just doesn’t let go. Putting it down for little stuff like work was tough! ”
— T. Heimann, Pvt. USMC [RET]
“This account of WWII was outstanding — it was almost like being involved in the fighting! ”
— J. Balli, Airman US Navy [RET], Korean War Veteran
“I recently finished Snow and Steel, and I must say it turned into a real page turner. I was a bit taken back by the personal animosity of the soldiers at first, but then I realized for these men the war was personal, on a level that we never felt. For America, the war in Europe was about other peoples freedom, about saving someone else, about abstracts. For the Russians it was thier family, their home, and their country that they were fighting for. As you begin to realize just what the stakes where for the men on the ground, you start to get a wrapped up in the story and the men who were the story. Ivan's story was the story of the war. In the end, it isn't Generals and Kings, it's a man who's fighting for his family. ”
— W. Hayden, SGT. USMC [RET]
“The book was so close to the events that took place it was more like reading a soldier’s memoir than a fiction novel. ”
— R. Williams, Cpl USMC [RET]
“A great refresher course on the realities of war.
“ O Tiempol, O Morales. ”
— J. Hazlett, SFC US Army [RET]
“Extremely well written and easy to follow book about World War II from the point of view of a Russian soldier.
“I felt that I was looking through the eyes of Ivan as the events of his experience in the battle of Stalingrad unfold. Throughout the book are small details of the everyday life of a soldier that all soldiers of any generation can relate to.
“Once I stared the book, I couldn't put it down until I was done. I look forward to Joe and James' next book. ”
— R. Frye, Sgt. US Army [RET]
copyright © 2009 Joe Cowles. All rights reserved.