Event—Adult Education

Clash of the Titans: Russo-German War 1941-1945


This class will focus on the interplay of political, leadership, and military factors that shaped the conflict between Germany and Russia in World War II.

The fire of anti-aircraft guns deployed in the neighborhood of St. Isaac's cathedral during the defense of Leningrad (now called St. Petersburg, its pre-Soviet name) in 1941. Source: Boris Kudoyarov, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Class Description

On June 22, 1941, during World War II, Adolf Hitler unleashed an army of 3 million for a blitzkrieg conquest of the Soviet Union. For the next 4 years, over 10 million German and Russian forces remained locked in combat over an unprecedented 1,500-mile front that stretched from the Arctic to the Caucuses. 

The siege of Leningrad and the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk are epic chapters in the history of warfare. This class will focus on the interplay of political, leadership, and military factors that shaped this conflict. The Russian Front was vital to Allied victory in World War, but it also led to the Soviet domination in Eastern Europe, which Russia is now seeking to reassert in Ukraine.

Edward E. Gordon lectures widely on many aspects of World War II. He received his PhD from Loyola University Chicago and taught in higher education for 20 years. He is the co-author of Divided on D-Day.

Materials List


  • Keith Cumins, Catyclysm. Casemate, 2019. ISBN: 161200752X


  • Paul Carell, Scorched Earth. Schiffer Military, 1997. ISBN: 0887405983

First Reading

  • Read Keith Cumins Cataclysm pages 1-86.

Cost and Registration

Four sessions, $226 ($203.50 for Newberry members, seniors, and students). Learn about becoming a member.

To register multiple people for this class, please go through the course calendar in Learning Stream, our registration platform. When you select the course and register, you’ll be prompted to add another registrant.


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