The Eastern Front Day by Day, 1941-45: A Photographic Chronology

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Potomac Books, 2006 - History - 192 pages
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On June 22, 1941, preceded by a massive artillery and aerial bombardment along the entire 2,000-mile border, three million Axis troops and 3,330 tanks smashed into the Soviet Union. Adolf Hitler believed the campaign would be over in four months. Four years later, thirty-five million Soviets and five million Germans had been killed in a campaign that had ripped the heart out of the western USSR and Eastern Europe. It left the land gutted, the infrastructure destroyed, and millions of civilians homeless. The Eastern Front Day by Day, 1941–45 is a chronological approach to the fighting that decided the war’s outcome in Europe. It allows the reader to see at a glance key battles on land, at sea, and in the air, such as the great encirclement engagements of 1941—Minsk, Smolensk, and Kiev—the siege of Leningrad, Stalingrad, Kursk, and Operation Bagration. As well as describing the titanic battles, the book also includes sidebars on all the main commanders who led the German and Soviet armies on the Eastern Front, such as Guderian, Zhukov, von Manstein, Vatutin, Rokossovsky, Model, and von Rundstedt. In parallel to the military maneuvers in the war, the political events that occurred on both sides and influenced the war are included, for example, the activities of the SS and Einsatzgruppen murder squads. The Eastern Front Day by Day also covers the technology that had an impact on the conflict, such as the Ju-87 Stuka dive-bomber; the T-34, Tiger, and Panther tanks; and the “Stalin’s organ” rocket launcher. The major events of each month dominate the narrative, but lesser episodes are also included to present a comprehensive summary. These include anti-partisan activities behind German lines, the administration of conquered territories, and the propaganda war waged by both sides. It is a book that no student of the war on the Eastern Front can do without.

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About the author (2006)

Steve Crawford's books on military subjects include Tanks of World War II, Deadly Fighting Skills of the World, The SAS at Close Quarters, and Battleships and Carriers. He lives in London.

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