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Hitler's Defeat on the Eastern Front (Paperback)

Military Photographic Books WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Berlin 1945 WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Russia & the Eastern Front WWII > Photographic Books

By Ian Baxter
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War
Pages: 160
Illustrations: 250
ISBN: 9781844159772
Published: 16th July 2009
Last Released: 16th August 2023



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Drawing on rare and previously unpublished photographs accompanied by in-depth captions, the book provides an absorbing analysis of this traumatic period of the Second World War. It reveals in detail how the battle of Kursk was the beginning of the end and how this massive operation led to the Red Army recapturing huge areas of the Soviet Union and bleeding white the German armies it struck. Despite the adverse situation in which both the German Army and its Waffen-SS counterparts were placed, soldiers continued to fight to the bitter end and attempted to build new defence-lines. But as the Red Army launched its long awaited summer offensive on June 1944, German forces were forced to withdraw under the constant hammer blows of ground and aerial bombardments. Those German forces that survived the artillery barrages, the onslaught of the tank armadas, and mass infantry assaults, streamed back from the battlefield and fought vicious battles through the Baltic States, Byelorussia, and built up new defence along the Vistula in Poland. As the final months of the War were played out on the Eastern Front, the Army and Waffen-SS, with diminishing resources, withdrew across a devastated Reich and fought out their last battle with party militia forces around a devastated Berlin.

The author has done an outstanding piece of research by collating these images and this alone must have taken him an exceptionally long time. Overall, the book is a welcomed addition and highly recommended. I doubt if you will be able to find any collection of similar imagery which would attain such a high standard as this work.

Dr Stuart C Blank

As featured on Argunners


Interesting and varied visual documentation.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

This book graphically shows the exhaustion and resignation of the soldiers who realized that they were fighting on past defeat in the most pointless form of combat – Highly Recommended

Read the full review here


Highly recommended

See the full review here

Arrse, July 2019

Another addition to the Images of War series, this one looking at the last 2 years or so of the war on the Eastern Front. It splits is across 5 chapters, starting with the Battle of 'Kursk', when both sides suffered large casualties and vehicle losses. The AFV losses for the Russians could be replaced, but it wasn't the same for the German military. The next stage is put under the heading of the 'Fighting Withdrawal' before moving on to 'Winter Warfare', then 'Bagration & Aftermath' and 'The Last Battles'. Each chapter has a section of text which give the wider picture along with key details, while each is also well illustrated with photos which help tell the story. The photos show plenty of the troops involved, the faces of people sometimes tired and other times still able to smile despite the problems they faced. There are also plenty which illustrate the equipment they used, vehicles, artillery and plenty of mortars and machine guns. The book is then rounded off with more useful information in 4 appendices - Waffen-SS Weapons & Equipment: Infantry Division 1944: Combat Uniforms of the Waffen-SS 1943-45: and finally Combat Uniforms of the Wehrmacht 1943-45.
Plenty of original photos to see, just a few which have been seen before. One or two captions which mis-identify some vehicles and equipment, and while that doesn't take away from the interest in the pictures themselves, it does leave you with a challenge to check your skills at equipment identification. Over all another good addition to the series, which remains ever popular.

Robin Buckland, Military Model Scene

Interesting and useful for reference.

A Question Of Scale, Seb Palmer

Despite covering a theme that has seen written millions of books and thousands of photo books, I am sure that this book, written and edited by the excellent Ian Baxter, presents unpublished photos of absolute interest for any enthusiast of World War II and German armed forces.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

About Ian Baxter

Ian Baxter is a much-published author and photographic collector whose books draw an increasing following. Among his many previous titles in the Images of War Series are Hitler’s Boy Soldiers, Nazi Concentration Camp Commandants, The Ghettos of Nazi Occupied Poland, German Army on the Eastern Front – The Advance, German Army on the Eastern Front – The Retreat, The Crushing of Army Group (North) and the SS Waffen Division series including SS Leibstandarte Division, SS Totenkopf Division At War, Waffen SS of the Baltic States, Waffen SS at Arnhem and Waffen SS in the Ardennes. He lives near Chelmsford, Essex.

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