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The Crushing of Army Group North 1944 - 1945 (Paperback)

Images of War Series

Military WWII > Photographic Books

By Ian Baxter
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War
Pages: 151
Illustrations: 300
ISBN: 9781473862555
Published: 16th January 2017



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The Crushing of Army Group North 1944-45 on the Eastern Front tells the story in words and images of the last bitter months fought on Russian soil and the battle of the Baltic States that ensued. Drawing on rare and unpublished photos it reveals in detail how remnants of Army Group North were driven back to the borders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In the battles that followed, the retreating German Panzer and infantry divisions were encircled and annihilated. With the remnants were pushed back into East Prussia, and then fought to the death in the last few small pockets of land surrounding three ports of Libau in Kurland, Pillau in East Prussia and Danzig at the mouth of the River Vistula. It was here that the final battle of Army Group North would take place after Hitler ordered his troops to `stand and fight` and wage an unprecedented battle of attrition.

Ian Baxter’s book tells the story of Heeresgruppe Nord not only in words, but also in pictures. The pictures are extraordinary beautiful and clearly show what the circumstances were. It is therefore mainly a picture book, so don’t expect too much in-depth information in writing. Baxter pictures a global overview and that is sufficient to inform the reader. It is a shame, however, that the book doesn’t contain any maps. Some geographical information about the different locations would have been nice. But in the end, this book is yet again a successful contribution by Baxter.

Read the complete review here.


I thoroughly enjoyed this text by Ian Baxter with its base material and photos of the Northern Russian Front. There is a great deal within the book’s scope to get excited about as either a student of the Eastern front or a general Second World War History. Comprising some 151 pages there are some brilliant aspects of the German’s Armies campaign within and the ultimate Soviet breakout from Leningrad and follow up operations in Estonia and Latvia. The photo essay is very wide and covers some areas which make it highly valuable for the historical scale modeling enthusiasts, while also providing some good to outstanding detail for the historian of the period as well.

Richard Wade, Military Historian

A part of the "Images at War" series describing the fighting which took place around the Baltic States in the final months of the war; an encounter which, even by the standards of the Russian front was savagely fought, and culminated in the destruction of Germany's Army Group North. Each chapter provides a concise summary of events followed by a plethora of large, carefully selected and rare photographs from the German perspective, each accompanied by detailed notes. These span a considerable variety of subjects, showing a number of different unit types, including SS and Estonian volunteers, equipped with a very broad range of infantry weapons, armoured vehicles and artillery pieces, but it also devotes a few pages to much less emphasised aspects such as mine laying. The photographs give a sense of the varied conditions which the troops encountered; from a dry summer to an arctic winter, and the inevitable muddy thaw which followed, turning roads to swamps. The book closes with an Order of Battle of Army Group North as it evolved throughout the campaign.

Pegasus Archive, Mark Hickman

In summary this book will be enjoyed by those who would like to develop a better understanding of the equipment used by the Wehrmacht in the final year of the war or indeed have an interest in contemporary photographs from the northern Ostfront theatre of operations. For those readers who want a full narrative of the German retreat from the Volkhov to the Vistula including the frontier battles in East Prussia then it may need to be supplemented by a more complete account of the campaign.

Read the full review here.

The Western Front Association, Phil Curme & Walking the Battlefields

As I conclude this particular book review, I must say that I greatly welcomed the addition of an appendix that showed all the names of the divisions that took part in major offensive and defensive operations by Army Group North...

Everything was commendable about this book as it brought back Army Group North into life.

Kunwon Saw, Freelance

With many photos giving some excellent coverage of the soldiers themselves, and their personal equipment, figure modellers will enjoy the detail to be found while I also thought that the visible signs of defeat, of giving up hope, was absent from many of the faces of the German troops, even in these closing stages of the war.

Read the full review here.

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

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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