The scope and scale of Operation Barbarossa—the German invasion of the Soviet Union—make it one of the pivotal events of the Second World War. Yet our understanding of both the military campaign as well as the “war of annihilation” conducted throughout the occupied territories depends overwhelmingly on “top-down” studies. The three million German soldiers who crossed the Soviet border and experienced this war are seldom the focus and are often entirely ignored. Who were these men and how did they see these events? Luther and Stahel, two of the leading experts on Operation Barbarossa, have reconstructed the 1941 campaign entirely through the letters (as well as a few diaries) of more than 200 German soldiers across all areas of the Eastern Front. It is an original perspective on the campaign, one of constant combat, desperate fear, bitter loss, and endless exertions. One learns the importance of comradeship and military training, but also reads the frightening racial and ideological justifications for the war and its violence, which at times lead to unrelenting cruelty and even mass murder. Soldiers of Barbarossa is a unique and sobering account of 1941, which includes hundreds of endnotes by Luther and Stahel providing critical context, corrections, and commentary.