This book is Part One of Three Parts that collectively tell the story of thirty-four days in late 1941 which saw armies of Adolf Hitler defeated for the first time, at Rostov in the North Caucasus.Its characters—with the obvious exceptions of Stalin, Hitler, Timoshenko, von Kleist, and others equally well known to fame—are fictional. But its historical matters, military movements, communiqués, and the like, are authentic.Originally published in 1943 as a nearly 600-page war novel by Random House, it was dedicated by Paul Hughes “in worshipful humility, to the Russian people, who, without drama and without complaint, are shedding their blood so copiously in defense of their land.”Within one week the advance printing of 15,000 books was sold out, and Random House immediately ordered the next printing. Critics hailed it as one of the best war stories to be written while World War II raged. Three generations later this amazing treasure trove of memorable characters drawn from the fertile mind of Paul Hughes continues to fascinate those who read it.It is an amazing array of multi-faceted word pictures of male and female characters that the reader will not soon forget. It was soap opera on a grand scale before soaps took over day-time television.