my understanding is that it was Antony Beevor who set off the mini-Stalingrad phase a few years back--one that has generated more than a few good works including Beevor's editing of Soviet journalist Vasily Grossman's notes, as well as the claimed "Enemy at the Gates." in fact, I think the publishing situation got so muddled that there were two modern books out at the same time (or was it two movies?) about the alleged sniper duel at Stalingrad, which in any case was a major historical event of its own (the turning point of the Eastern Front, and more largely, WW2). our lives were all forever altered by the titantic clash between the two superpowers of the time, 3rd Reich Germany and the Soviet Union, and Winston Churchill presented a sword himself to the Stalingrad population. Soviet-British relations were never so high again.
Beevor's reputation has been sealed--and its quite commendable that he is not resting on his laurels or wealth and instead has churned out this global history of WW2. we learn details about the Sino-Japanese front, which I barely knew existed after American high school. "oh yeah, those Chinese held down a million Japanese soldiers, but after all, they contributed little to the actual outcome of the war"<-- the standard belief. Beevor's revelations here probably won't excite the same passion that his open discussion of the Soviet rapes of German women did in his other "every military history buff has read," but it seems he retains the capacity to engage and to detect the precise global resonance. of course more simply, he's just a skilled writer.