The First Day on the Eastern Front. Germany Invades the Soviet Union, June 22, 1941

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.”

You can purchase this book at Amazon on the link below:


Barbarossa Unleashed. The German Blitzkrieg through Central Russia to the Gates of Moscow, June-December 1941

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: 


Update 12-14-2018 : New Pictures Added to the Website

New Pictures have been added to the Website:

• Historical Society of German Military History Collection of Memorabilia – Historical Items
• Eastern Front
• Italian Front
• Other World War 2 Battles/ Major Events – Allied Operations
• Destroyed or Left Over Vehicles & Equipment from War
• Destruction of Germany During and After the War
• Orders of Battle – Panzer Divisions
• Panther
• Panzer IV
• Sd.Kfz. 251 – Sonderkraftfahrzeug 251
• Specialized Vehicles
• Messerschmitt Bf 110
• Luftwaffe Varied Plane Types
• V-2 Rocket
• Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt
• World War 2 Generals – F thru H
• Luftwaffe Pilots & Airmen – N thru S
• Kriegsmarine Officers – U-Boat Commanders
• Other Museums, Artifacts, and Vehicles A thru L
• Nuremberg Trials
• Führer Adolf Hitler
• Fuhrer’s Headquarters & Other Official Sites
• People in Major to Minor Roles Close to Adolf Hitler
• Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring
• Leading Figures of Nazi Germany – G thru L
• 12. SS-Panzerdivision Hitlerjugend
• SS-Generals – A thru L
• SS Generals – M thru Z
• SS Officers, NCOs, and Men – A thru G
• SS Officers, NCOs, and Men – L thru T
• Nazi German Information

New Pages have been added to the Website:

• Reichswehr
• Planned, Cancelled, & Failed Assassination Attempts on Adolf Hitler



1 January 1944 – Hope and dread for the New Year in Berlin

Berliners now knew that the air defences could not prevent the widespread destruction of their city.

Many people were hoping that 1944 would bring a better year. For many, it did not seem an unrealistic prospect that the war would be over by the end of the year. An Allied victory now seemed inevitable, although there was much uncertainty as to how that would come about.

Ursula von Kardorff was a young journalist working in Berlin. She had already lost one of her two brothers on the frontline. Berlin itself was increasingly looking like a battlefield itself as more and more building were destroyed by the bombing. She moved in circles where many young officers were anti-Nazi, although she knew very well how careful they had to be in expressing such sentiments. Her diary, if ever discovered by the authorities, would have seen her sent to a concentration camp at the very least:

Berlin, 1 January 1944

1943. The worst year of my life. Jurgen’s death, the raids, people rendered homeless by bombing, so that the Germans now wander around as homeless as the Jews, loaded down with the same kinds of sacks and bundles. At least it relieves one of some of one’s guilt, and that is a comfort.

‘This must be a better year.’ I write that down again in my diary as a motto. If only the war could end this year and we could be freed from that monster Hitler I should never ask for another thing for the rest of my life.

Last night I saw Barchen home at two in the morning because she was too frightened to be alone in the subway which leads from the Savignyplatz station, where a man was shot dead before her very eyes a few days ago.

We said goodbye by the light of our torches and I was walking home alone when suddenly a ruined house collapsed, just behind me, with a terrifying crash. My hat was blown off, and if it had happened a second earlier I should have been buried. All the same, I was not at all frightened, I don’t know why.

I imagine that the climax of the war will be reached in the spring and that if we, here in Germany, do not do something soon to change the situation radically we shall be finished by the autumn. By then the Russians will be here.

II. Weltkrieg 1939-1945
Schwere Flak in Feurebereitschaft auf dem Flakturm des Berliner Zoo-Bunkers, eine der wenigen großen Schutzanlagen aus Eisenbeton.
Aufnahme: Pilz April 1942.

1 January in German History


The Holy Roman Emperor, Heinrich IV, persuades 26 bishops to refuse obedience to the Pope.


German Customs Union comes into force.


Founding of the Reichsbank and the Mark becomes the German currency.


Birth of Wilhelm Canaris (1887-1945) in Aplerbeck, Germany. Canaris was appointed to head the Abwehr (military intelligence) in 1935. He oversaw German military aid to Spain’s General Franco during the Spanish Civil War. By 1944, he was opposed to Hitler and participated in the attempted assassination of Hitler. He was arrested, sent to the Flossenburg concentration camp and executed there.


The British and American occupation zones in Germany are combined into one occupation area.


Saarland becomes a German state.






The Euro begins to be introduced as the common currency of Belgium, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Holland, Austria, Portugal, Spain, and Finland.


The Euro is distributed to the population at large and becomes the official European currency. Until this time it had existed as book money rather than physical currency. National currencies will become invalid by the end of February 2002.