The End of the Gallop

Author: Alexei Isaev
Publisher: Helion
ISBN: 9781911512974
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Based heavily on inaccessible Soviet records, this book presents a lively account of a pivotal battle on the Eastern Front, heavily illustrated with rare photographs. In the history of war there are not that many battles that changed one side's strategy over a considerable period of time, becoming not only a material, but also a psychological factor in decision making. A classic example of this is the Battle of Smolensk in 1941, which forced the German leadership to change their strategy for 'Barbarossa' and to deploy their troops towards the northern, and eastern flanks of the Soviet-German front. We can however find another example on the other side of the front line: this was the battle in the area around Kharkov in the winter of 1943, which had even more of an impact. Following the simultaneous defeat of several of the shock troops on the two fronts and the loss of a large tract of territory the vector of Soviet strategy changed. A passive expectation of the enemy's actions replaced the attacking momentum that was traditional for Soviet command. To begin with there were objective prerequisites: Red Army units were exhausted and had incurred heavy losses in the German counterattacks during February-March. By May 1943 however, when the troops had recuperated and reserves had been drawn up, the psychological factor continued to play a role. Recalling their bitter experience during the winter battles outside Kharkov the Supreme Soviet Command decided not to go on the offensive, but await the start of German offensive operations. Up until the very last day before the start of Operation 'Citadel' the Commander of the Voronezh front N.F. Vatutin was pleading, he demanded that precious summer days not be spent waiting for the enemy to attack but for the Red Army to take up the offensive themselves. All these proposals distracted supreme command, as they remembered Vatutin's failures outside Kharkov a few months previously. From a military historian's point of view the battles outside Kharkov between February-March 1943 were dramatic maneuvering battles and the success of both sides hung in the balance on a daily basis. Operations such as these are always much more interesting than the tedious, meat grinding positioning for a 'house in the forest', that is abundant in the histories of both world wars. Maneuvering, the deployment of corps and divisions around an area to attack an enemy where they are most vulnerable, played a much more important role than the arithmetic of the numbers of tanks and guns. The steady equalization of both Soviet and German sides added spice to this menu of a classic maneuvering battle. During the course of the battle for Kharkov Soviet forces encountered a new, powerful enemy in the shape of the Panzer divisions of the SS. These were elite mechanized formations equipped with the latest technology, which were soon to become leading participants in decisive battles in the East and the West in the second half of the war.

Last Victory in Russia

Author: George M. Nipe
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
ISBN: 9780764311864
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This book is the first detailed and comprehensive account of the Kharkov counteroffensive, the operations of the SS divisions and the supporting actions of Armeeabteilung Fretter-Pico and 1. Panzerarmee, and is supported by over 210 photographs and maps. By the end of January of 1943, Hitler's armies had been dealt a series of defeats by the Russians, beginning with the disaster at Stalingrad. Successive Soviet offensives had destroyed the German 6. Armee and annihilated the armies of Germany's Axis allies, Italy, Rumania and Hungary. Germany teetered on the brink of defeat in World War II because the Soviet advance threatened to drive to the Dnepr River and encircle the remaining Germans armies in southern Russia. Stalin and the Russian high command believed that the war could be won with just one more great effort. Accordingly, they planned and launched two offensives, designated Operations "Star" and "Gallop". The focal points of the two offensives included the recapture of Kharkov, the industrial heart of the Ukraine and the destruction of Armeeabteilung Hollidt, 4. Panzerarmee and 2. Armee. Feldmarschall Erich von Manstein entered the picture in late 1942 when he was appointed commander of Heeresgruppe Don. Beginning in February he engineered a remarkable operation that changed the course of the war in Russia. Manstein's counteroffensive destroyed or severely damaged four Russian armies and regained much of the territory lost in January. The troops that played the most important role in the offensive were three divisions of the Waffen-SS. "Leibstandarte", "Das Reich" and "Totenkopf" were combined for the first time into a corps, which was commanded by SS-Obergruppenführer Paul Hausser, the senior commander of the Waffen-SS. "Leibstandarte" and "Das Reich" participated in the defence of Kharkov, along with the elite Army division "Grossdeutschland" supported by three weak infantry divisions. This handful of divisions was attacked by four Soviet armies, but under command of Armeeabteilung Lanz, was able to hold the city for two weeks. On 14 February, 1943 the SS-Panzerkorps and the rest of Armeeabteilung Lanz withdrew from Kharkov under disputed circumstances that involved Hausser and his violation of a direct order from Hitler. Almost exactly a month later, the Germans had recaptured Kharkov and destroyed or crippled the four Soviet armies that had driven them out of the city in February. The divisions that played the key role in Manstein's counteroffensive were the three divisions of the Waffen-SS. While "Leibstandarte" defended the supply base of the SS-Panzerkorps from the entire Soviet 3rd Tank Army, "Das Reich" and "Totenkopf" conducted a complex series of operations that began with a 100 kilometre thrust to the south which saved the Dnepr bridges, thus securing supply lines for the armies of Heeresgruppe Don/Süd. Subsequent operations by the SS divisions drove the Russians away from the rail net south of Kharkov and wrested Kharkov from the Russians once again. During the recapture of the city, there was controversy regarding Hausser's command decisions. Hausser has been accused of disregarding his instructions from superior officers and throwing his divisions into costly combat in the city for reasons of personal and SS prestige, in order to regain Hitler's favour. This study has found that the records of the SS-Panzerkorps and 4. Panzerarmee provide a different explanation for Hausser's actions.

The Great Crusade

Author: H. P. Willmott
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
ISBN: 159797191X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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An updated edition of the classic survey of World War II's military history

Why Germany Nearly Won A New History of the Second World War in Europe

Author: Steven D Mercatante
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0313395926
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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• Detailed maps show the position and movement of opposing forces during the key battles discussed in the book • More than 30 charts, figures, and appendices, including detailed orders of battle, economic figures, and equipment comparisons

Joint Operational Warfare

Author: Milan N. Vego
Publisher: Government Printing Office
ISBN: 9781884733628
Format: PDF, Docs
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Smallholder farmers and pastoralists fulfil an invaluable yet undervalued role in conserving biodiversity. They act as guardians of locally adapted livestock breeds that can make use of even marginal environments under tough climatic conditions and therefore are a crucial resource for food security. But in addition, by sustaining animals on natural vegetation and as part of local ecosystems, these communities also make a significant contribution to the conservation of wild biodiversity and of cultural landscapes. This publication provides a glimpse into the often intricate knowledge systems that pastoralists and smallholder farmers have developed for the management of their breeds in specific production systems and it also describes the multitude of threats and challenges these often marginalized communities have to cope with.

Manstein

Author: Mungo Melvin
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 0297858440
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The first proper biography of Germany's most controversial military hero. The story of the military genius Field Marshal Erich von Manstein chronicles the misguided generation of German generals in the Second World War who claimed they fought for Germany, not for Hitler and National Socialism. The polished, urbane von Manstein was no uncouth Nazi. He persuaded the British writer Liddell Hart to assist in organising his defence during his war crimes trial at Hamburg in 1949. Sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment, he was released after three and then advised the West German government in raising its new army in the 1950s. Manstein was the mastermind who created the plan for the 1940 blitzkrieg that overran France in just six weeks. He played a key role in the invasion of Russia and conquered the Crimea, but failed to rescue the doomed Sixth Army at Stalingrad, his most controversial campaign. Three months after the inevitable failure there, he inflicted a massive defeat on the Red Army at Kharkov in a brilliantly designed counter-attack: a battle that has been studied in military academies ever since. Major-General Mungo Melvin speaks good German and knows Germany well. He has been assisted by the Manstein family, has delved deeply into the military archives and studied many of Manstein's battlefields close at hand. His book is much more than a biography of an extraordinary soldier: it describes the dilemmas encountered on operations and highlights the enduring tensions between senior military commanders and their political leaders in the prosecution of strategy. In Germany today, Manstein has become a symbol of the moral corruption of the Wehrmacht, whose commanders' actions enabled Hitler to prosecute a devastating war of conquest and perpetrate the Holocaust. This book reveals the true story of Hitler and his greatest general.

Kursk 1943

Author: Roman Töppel
Publisher: Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh
ISBN: 3657000038
Format: PDF, Docs
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Die Panzerschlacht bei Kursk im Sommer 1943 war eine der größten Schlachten der Kriegsgeschichte, an der etwa drei Millionen Soldaten mit mehr als 10.000 Panzern und Selbstfahrlafetten sowie 8.000 Flugzeugen teilnahmen. Obwohl Kursk bis heute als eine der Entscheidungsschlachten des Zweiten Weltkriegs gilt und schon zahlreiche Bücher darüber geschrieben wurden, gibt es über zentrale Entscheidungen im Vorfeld der Schlacht und über die Kämpfe im Sommer 1943 erstaunlich viele falsche Informationen und Legenden. Roman Töppel beschreibt in seiner Studie vor allem Entwicklungen und Begebenheiten der Kursker Schlacht, die bislang kaum bekannt sind oder denen nur wenig Beachtung geschenkt wurde. Er präsentiert dem Leser neue, zum Teil überraschende Forschungsergebnisse und setzt damit der noch heute anhaltenden Legendenbildung um diese Schlacht gründlich recherchierte Fakten entgegen.