Little, Brown imprint Constable has acquired The Lighthouse of Stalingrad: The Epic Siege at the Heart of WWII’s Greatest Battle from Headline publishing director Iain MacGregor.
Andreas Campomar, publisher, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, including audio, from Mark Lucas at the Soho Agency. It will be published in autumn 2022.
The synopsis reads: "The battle for Stalingrad was the most decisive of the Second World War. With over two million combatants killed, wounded or captured, it was also the bloodiest in history. September 2022 will mark the 80th anniversary of this pivotal campaign where German and Soviet troops battled for control of the city in brutal house-to-house fighting. Within this deadly struggle Soviet war correspondents such as Vasily Grossman lauded the fight for a key strategic building situated right on the frontline codenamed: ‘The Lighthouse’. Standing a few hundred metres from the river Volga the legend grew of a small garrison of Russia guardsmen holding out against overwhelming odds right up until the battle had been won. Travelling to both German and Russian archives to unearth new testimonies from those who fought there, Iain MacGregor will shed new light on this iconic conflict (first made famous by Antony Beevor) that established Soviet supremacy and thus guaranteed Hitler’s defeat in the ruins of Berlin two years later."
Campomar said: "Iain has written a unique and fascinating narrative; one that lays to rest myths promulgated by Soviet propaganda and relates a heartbreaking post-war human story."
MacGregor has worked at Headline since February 2020 and previously worked as publishing director at S&S for five years. He is the author of To Hell on a Bike (Corgi) and Checkpoint Charlie, which was published by Constable in 2019.
He commented: "As a boy reading early history books, I was fascinated by this battle on the borders of Asia that decided the fate of Hitler’s Third Reich. It inspired me to study East European history as a degree, as well as travel to Russia in the early 1980s. I have been incredibly lucky during lockdown to be invited to research never-before-seen testimonies held in the military archives of the Volgograd museum. I have been contacted by many releatives of German veterans who fought there, too."
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