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 Previously unpublished images show the epic scale of the build-up to the Kursk battle and the enormous cost in terms of lives and material of the battle itself.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.
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.