The German Invasion of Soviet Russia
By Robert Kirchubel
Osprey Publishing (www.ospreypublishing.com)
RRP GBP £30.00
Millions of German soldiers poured into Soviet Russia when Operation Barbarossa commenced on the 22nd June 1941. Many would never return home from this cauldron of human life and equipment. They fought gallantly – not only did they have to fight the enemy but also the terrain and the bitterly cold winters.
This book recounts how their rapid motorised blitzkrieg tactics would win them an early and quick victory. They had had quick successful campaigns against Poland and France and their philosophy had remained the same. The massive human resources of the USSR and the significant distances involved (especially on the Russian steppes) overstretched the German’s supply lines. The seemingly invincible German forces had now met their match and the armoured spearheads started to slow.
After coming in sight of Moscow the German forces ground to a halt. Any notion of a quick victory was over and the war became a matter of attrition. This is expertly narrated in the outstanding text of this book and it examines the “character” of this campaign from a number of different angles.
At the front of the book there is a chronology of events and all the significant dates are mentioned. These cover the pre-invasion planning initiatives to the dates of the main battles. Then there are pages devoted to the various plans for Barbarossa and commentaries on the constitution of the opposing armies and their commanders. There are many excellent comments on the battles of the campaign and there is a balanced view of the results of the invasion. There is a useful Appendix listing the main battles and a Glossary of terms.
If you are going to study Barbarossa or the overall history of the Eastern Front then this book is ideal for your needs. The author has produced an exceptional book and he deserves recognition for his efforts. This is the book to have on Barbarossa and it will become a standard reference text in the future.