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Barbarossa Derailed: Pt. 1: The German Advance, the Encirclement Battle, and the First and Second Soviet Counteroffensives, 10 July-24 August 1941

Barbarossa Derailed: Pt. 1: The German Advance, the Encirclement Battle, and the First and Second Soviet Counteroffensives, 10 July-24 August 1941

Hardback

By (author) David M. Glantz

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  • Publisher: Helion & Company
  • Format: Hardback | 642 pages
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 239mm x 61mm | 1,315g
  • Publication date: 30 December 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Solihull
  • ISBN 10: 1906033722
  • ISBN 13: 9781906033729
  • Illustrations note: c 40 b/w photos, 107 maps
  • Sales rank: 144,673

Product description

At dawn on 10 July 1941, massed tanks and motorized infantry of German Army Group Center's Second and Third Panzer Groups crossed the Dnepr and Western Dvina Rivers, beginning what Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer of Germany's Third Reich, and most German officers and soldiers believed would be a triumphal march on Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union. Less than three weeks before, on 22 June Hitler had unleashed his Wehrmacht's massive invasion of the Soviet Union code-named Operation Barbarossa, which sought to defeat the Soviet Union's Red Army, conquer the country, and unseat its Communist ruler, Josef Stalin. Between 22 June and 10 July, the Wehrmacht advanced up to 500 kilometers into Soviet territory, killed or captured up to one million Red Army soldiers, and reached the western banks of the Western Dvina and Dnepr Rivers, by doing so satisfying the premier assumption of Plan Barbarossa that the Third Reich would emerge victorious if it could defeat and destroy the bulk of the Red Army before it withdrew to safely behind those two rivers. With the Red Army now shattered, Hitler and most Germans expected total victory in a matter of weeks. The ensuing battles in the Smolensk region frustrated German hopes for quick victory. Once across the Dvina and Dnepr Rivers, a surprised Wehrmacht encountered five fresh Soviet armies. Despite destroying two of these armies outright, severely damaging two others, and encircling the remnants of three of these armies in the Smolensk region, quick victory eluded the Germans. Instead, Soviet forces encircled in Mogilev and Smolensk stubbornly refused to surrender, and while they fought on, during July, August, and into early September, first five and then a total of seven newly-mobilized Soviet armies struck back viciously at the advancing Germans, conducting multiple counterattacks and counterstrokes, capped by two major counteroffensives that sapped German strength and will. Despite immense losses in men and materiel, these desperate Soviet actions derailed Operation Barbarossa. Smarting from countless wounds inflicted on his vaunted Wehrmacht, even before the fighting ended in the Smolensk region, Hitler postponed his march on Moscow and instead turned his forces southward to engage 'softer targets' in the Kiev region. The 'derailment' of the Wehrmacht at Smolensk ultimately became the crucial turning point in Operation Barbarossa. This study exploits a wealth of Soviet and German archival materials, including the combat orders and operational of the German OKW, OKH, army groups, and armies and of the Soviet Stavka, General Staff, Western Direction Command, Western and Central Front's, and their subordinate armies, to present a detailed mosaic and definitive account of what took place, why, and how during the prolonged and complex battles in the Smolensk region from 11 July through early September 1941. Its structure is designed specifically to appeal to both general readers and specialists, by including a detailed chronological narrative of the course of operations, accompanied by an extensive collection of specific orders and reports translated verbatim from German and Russian, which were prepared and issued by German and Soviet headquarters and forces that planned and conducted the operations. Finally, the study includes and extensive collection of archival or archival based maps detailing every stage of the battle.

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Author information

A graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College, Defense Language Institute, Institute for Russian and Eastern European Studies, and US Army War College, before retiring from the U.S. Army in December 1993, Colonel David M. Glantz served for over 30 years in various field artillery, intelligence, teaching, and research assignments in Europe and Vietnam, taught at the United States Military Academy, the Combat Studies Institute, and Army War College, founded and directed the U.S. Army's Foreign (Soviet) Military Studies Office, and established and currently edits The Journal of Slavic Military Studies. A member of the Russian Federation's Academy of Natural Sciences, he has written or co-authored more than 60 books and self-published studies and atlases, as well as hundreds of articles on Soviet military strategy, intelligence, and deception and the history of the Red (Soviet) Army, Soviet (Russian) military history, and World War II. In recognition of his work, he has received numerous awards including the Society of Military History's prestigious Samuel Eliot Morrison Prize for his contributions to the study of military history.