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Guderian 1941 (Hardback)

The Barbarossa Campaign

Military > Tanks WWII

By David R Higgins
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 280
ISBN: 9781526762122
Published: 20th October 2023

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During the first few weeks of Operation Barbarossa, Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Heinz Guderian's Second Panzer Group played a leading role, cutting through the defences on the border, then taking part in the massive encirclement battles near Minsk, Smolensk, and Kiev. The extraordinary speed of the advance reflects the experience of the Wehrmacht as a whole during the first phase of the war on the Eastern Front. That is why David Higgins’s graphic narrative, which describes how Guderian’s forces achieved enormous success before they were forced to halt, is such compelling reading. It is a fascinating story, vividly told.

Drawing on a wide range of official German and Soviet records, he reconstructs the entire course of Second Panzer Group's advance, covering each stage in unprecedented detail. His narrative offers a German perspective and an inside view of what the opposing commanders knew during each operation and shows how important logistics became as the German supply lines stretched deep into the Soviet Union. It also explains how Soviet resistance and reinforcements, declining strength and the onset of the Russian winter combined to bring Guderian to a stop at Tula where he was relieved of his command.

The high hopes with which the German army had launched the campaign were dashed only a few months later before Moscow. This in-depth study the of operations of Second Panzer Group gives the reader a telling insight into what went wrong.

“Informatively enhanced for the readers benefit with the inclusion of a descriptive Preface, Maps, an Appendix…twenty-six pages of Notes, a four page Bibliography, a section of B/W historical photos, and an eight page Index…”

Read the full review here.

Midwest Book Review

“…you'll get a good dose of day-to-day German movements down to battalion and regiment level from this town or city to that town or city.”

Read the full review here.

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

If you are interested in a readable account of the German side Group Centre’s advance this is worth considering.

Read the Full Review Here

Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A fascinating book for the war historian that fills the gaps in the simplistic reasons for the German defeat in the East.

NetGalley, Sandra Miller

The firsthand account of the action makes this a compelling read. An enjoyable book.

NetGalley, Ron Baumer

A focus specifically on the Barbarossa campaign. Guderian is a general that wrote a lot after the war to save face and rebuild his reputation, so it's good to see a book examine events such as these before he could write them down in his own words.

NetGalley, Spencer Wright

About David R Higgins

David R. Higgins is a military historian specializing in armoured warfare and the Eastern Front during Second World War. In addition to his many articles in military magazines, he has written several books including Panzer II vs 7TP: Poland 1939 and The Roer River Battles, and has appeared on television's Greatest Tank Battles. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

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