During the desperate defence of Moscow in 1941/2, a father and daughter fight for the Red Army: he as a general, she as a sniper.
The Whole Rotten Edifice, a work of historical fiction, takes place on the Russian Front during WWII. The title comes from words attributed to Adolf Hitler during the run up to Operation Barbarossa: “We have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten edifice will come crashing down.”
There are two narrative threads, one from the viewpoint of the young sniper, the second from her father’s, who is a Red Army General, defending the frontier at the time of the invasion. After Moscow escapes from imminent disaster, both become involved in a series of battles to the west of the city. The famous Russian victories at Stalingrad, Kursk and Leningrad have overshadowed the actions around Rzhev and Vyazma. The forces deployed and losses incurred by the Red Army were greater than at Stalingrad, but they have been all but erased from history by subsequent accounts, because the offensives failed.