In the spirit of Martin Middlebrook’s classic First Day on the Somme, Craig Luther narrates the events of June 22, 1941, a day when German military might was at its peak and seemed as though it would easily conquer the Soviet Union, a day the common soldiers would remember for its tension and the frogs bellowing in the Polish marshlands. It was a day when the German blitzkrieg decimated Soviet command and control within hours and seemed like nothing would stop it from taking Moscow. Luther narrates June 22—one of the pivotal days of World War II—from high command down to the tanks and soldiers at the sharp end, covering strategy as well as tactics and the vivid personal stories of the men who crossed the border into the Soviet Union that fateful day, which is the Eastern Front in microcosm, representing the years of industrial-scale warfare that followed and the unremitting hostility of Germans and Soviets. In his endorsement of the book Victor Davis Hanson writes: “Craig Luther’s [new book] continues his invaluable explorations of he disastrous German invasion of the Soviet Union, by focusing on the first day of Operation Barbarossa . . . A rich scholarly resource that historians of the Eastern Front will find invaluable.”
The book will be released by Stackpole Books on 1 November 2018.
This book examines in unprecedented detail the advance of Germany’s Army Group Center through central Russia, toward Moscow, in the summer of 1941, followed by brief accounts of the Battle of Moscow and subsequent winter battles into early 1942. Based on hundreds of veterans accounts, archival documents, and exhaustive study of the pertinent primary and secondary literature, the book offers new insights into Operation Barbarossa, Adolf Hitler s attack on Soviet Russia in June 1941. While the book meticulously explores the experiences of the German soldier in Russia, in the cauldron battles along the Minsk-Smolensk-Moscow axis, it places their experiences squarely within the strategic and operational context of the Barbarossa campaign. Controversial subjects, such as the culpability of the German eastern armies in war crimes against the Russian people, are also examined in detail. This book is the most detailed account to date of virtually all aspects of the German soldiers experiences in Russia in 1941. Writes eastern front historian David Stahel in his review of the book: “The combination of ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’ approaches makes Luther’s work a landmark study of Operation Barbarossa.” (War in History)
Based on great reviews, we recommend this book. You can find the book at these places for sale:
by Nik Cornish
The third volume in Nik Cornish’s photographic history of the Second World War on the Eastern Front records in vivid visual detail the sequence of Red Army offensives that pushed the Wehrmacht back across Russia after the failure of the Operation Citadel, the German attack at Kursk. Previously unpublished images show the epic scale of the build-up to the Kursk battle and the enormous cost in terms of lives and material of the battle itself. They also show that the military initiative was now firmly in Soviet hands, for the balance of power on the Eastern Front had shifted and the Germans were on the defensive and in retreat.
Subsequent chapters chronicle the hard-fought and bloody German withdrawal across western Russia and the Ukraine, recording the Red Army’s liberation of occupied Soviet territory. Not only do the photographs track the sequence of events on the ground, they also show the equipment and the weapons used by both sides, the living conditions experienced by the troops and the devastation the war left in its wake.
by Robert Kirchubel
The Eastern Front of World War II was a nightmarish episode of human history, on a scale the like of which the world had never seen, and most likely never will see again. This expansive collection of maps offers a visual guide to the theater that decided the fate of the war, spanning the thousands of miles from Berlin to the outskirts of Moscow, Stalingrad, East Prussia and all the way back. The accuracy and detail of the military cartography found in this volume illuminates the enormity of the campaign, revealing the staggering dimensions of distance covered and human losses suffered by both sides.
by Nicholas Stargardt
As early as 1941, Allied victory in World War II seemed all but assured. How and why, then, did the Germans prolong the barbaric conflict for three and a half more years?
In The German War, acclaimed historian Nicholas Stargardt draws on an extraordinary range of primary source materials—personal diaries, court records, and military correspondence—to answer this question. He offers an unprecedented portrait of wartime Germany, bringing the hopes and expectations of the German people—from infantrymen and tank commanders on the Eastern front to civilians on the home front—to vivid life. While most historians identify the German defeat at Stalingrad as the moment when the average German citizen turned against the war effort, Stargardt demonstrates that the Wehrmacht in fact retained the staunch support of the patriotic German populace until the bitter end.
Astonishing in its breadth and humanity, The German War is a groundbreaking new interpretation of what drove the Germans to fight—and keep fighting—for a lost cause.
by Klaus Willmann
Anton Staller was a U-boat lookout, rising no higher than Leading Seaman and his account of the war from the lower ranks is unique. He served on the Type IXc/40 boat, U-188 under Kapitänleutnant Lüdden on three patrols witnessing the stark reality of convoy warfare from his lookout position on the conning tower of his submarine. His U-boat sank the British destroyer HMS Beverley and eight merchant ships exceeding 100,000 gross tons but the submarine also spent many hours submerged under depth-charge attacks.
More so than many of his contemporaries, Staller was prepared to reveal his thoughts and feelings of his experiences of the war at sea, and of his time on the conning tower, at the hydrophons, and cleaning weapons as a messboy.
His journal demonstrates how political thinking rarely entered the minds of the
U-boat men, even though many of them, such as Lüdden, did not choose to serve in submarines. Staller was not a Nazi and came from a Socialist Party background, yet he never questioned the cause he was fighting for. To Staller it was simply ‘Us or Them to the death’.
by Trevor Salisbury
A Nazi propaganda book found in the ruins of a bomb-damaged German home in 1945 and recovered as a souvenir by a British soldier. It forms the basis for this photographic account of Hitlers’ early days as he gains acceptance and eventually took over the hearts and minds of the German people.