Hitler versus Stalin: The Eastern Front 1943 - 1944 (Paperback)
Kursk to Bagration
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The third volume in Nik Cornishs 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 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 Previously unpublished images show the epic scale of the build-up to the Kursk battle and the enormous cost in terms of lives and material of the battle itself.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 Armys liberation of occupied Soviet territory, the recovery of key cities like Orel, Kharkov and Kiev, the raising of the siege of Leningrad and the advance to the borders of the Baltic states. Not only do the photographs track the sequence of events on the ground, they also show the equipment and weapons used by both sides, the living conditions experienced by the troops, the actions of the Soviet partisans, the fight against the Finns in the north, the massive logistical organization behind the front lines, and the devastation the war left in its wake.
The world was not prepared for the massive onslaught launched by Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 – the scale of the invasion, the speed of the German advance, the hundreds of thousands of Red Army soldiers taken prisoner, the chaotic, headlong retreat of Stalin’s forces eastwards, towards Leningrad and Moscow. But equally it was not prepared for the Soviet fight back. For, despite all the predictions, the Red Army stemmed the Wehrmacht’s advance, held the lines before Leningrad and Moscow, and mounted a counter-offensive that changed the course of the campaign and the outcome…By Nik Cornish
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