In the summer of 1942, the Wehrmacht invaded the Caucasus in order to overrun critical oil production facilities at Maikop, Grozny and Baku. However, the Red Army stopped the Germans short of their objectives and then launched a devastating winter counteroffensive that encircled them at Stalingrad. Consequently, Hitler grudgingly ordered an evacuation from the Caucasus, but ordered 17. Armee to fortify the Kuban bridgehead and hold it at all costs in order to leave open the possibility of future offensives. On the other side, the Soviet Stavka ordered the North Caucasus Front and the Black Sea Fleet to eliminate the Kuban bridgehead as soon as possible. The stage was set for a contest between an immovable object and an unstoppable force. With the help of stunning specially commissioned artwork, this book tells the enthralling story of the impressive but strategically foolish German stand at Kuban, which tied down seven Soviet armies in a sideshow battle of attrition, which the Soviets dubbed 'the Kuban meat grinder.'
Winner: Paul Birdsall Prize Winner: Society for Military History book Award When Germany launched its blitzkrieg invasion of France in 1940, it forever changed the way the world waged war. Although the Wehrmacht ultimately succumbed to superior Allied firepower in a two-front war, its stunning operational achievement left a lasting impression on military commanders throughout the world, even if their own operations were rarely executed as effectively. Robert Citino analyzes military campaigns from the second half of the twentieth century to further demonstrate the difficulty of achieving decisive results at the operational level. Offering detailed operational analyses of actual campaigns, Citino describes how UN forces in Korea enjoyed technological and air superiority but found the enemy unbeatable; provides analyses of Israeli operational victories in successive wars until the Arab states finally grasped the realities of operational-level warfare in 1973; and tells how the Vietnam debacle continued to shape U.S. doctrine in surprising ways. Looking beyond major-power conflicts, he also reveals the lessons of India's blitzkrieg-like drive into Pakistan in 1971 and of the senseless bloodletting of the Iran-Iraq War. Citino especially considers the evolution of U.S. doctrine and assesses the success of Desert Storm in dismantling an entrenched defending force with virtually no friendly casualties. He also provides one of the first scholarly analyses of Operation Iraqi Freedom, showing that its plan was curiously divorced from the realities of military history, grounded instead on nebulous theories about expected enemy behavior. Throughout Citino points to the importance of mobility--especially mobilized armor--in modern operational warfare and assesses the respective roles of firepower, training, doctrine, and command and control mechanisms. Brimming with new insights, Citino's study shows why technical superiority is no guarantee of victory and why a thorough grounding in the history of past campaigns is essential to anyone who wishes to understand modern warfare. Blitzkrieg to Desert Storm provides that grounding as it addresses the future of operational-level warfare in the post-9/11 era.
"A philosophical and spiritual defense of the premodern world, of the tragic view, of physical courage, and of masculinity and self-sacrifice in an age when those ancient virtues are too often caricatured and dismissed." —Victor Davis Hanson Award-winning author Michael Walsh celebrates the masculine attributes of heroism that forged American civilization and Western culture by exploring historical battles in which soldiers chose death over dishonor in Last Stands: Why Men Fight When All Is Lost. In our contemporary era, men are increasingly denied their heritage as warriors. A survival instinct that’s part of the human condition, the drive to wage war is natural. Without war, the United States would not exist. The technology that has eased manual labor, extended lifespans, and become an integral part of our lives and culture has often evolved from wartime scientific advancements. War is necessary to defend the social and political principles that define the virtues and freedoms of America and other Western nations. We should not be ashamed of the heroes who sacrificed their lives to build a better world. We should be honoring them. The son of a Korean War veteran of the Inchon landing and the battle of the Chosin Reservoir with the U.S. Marine Corps, Michael Walsh knows all about heroism, valor, and the call of duty that requires men to fight for something greater than themselves to protect their families, fellow countrymen, and most of all their fellow soldiers. In Last Stands, Walsh reveals the causes and outcomes of more than a dozen battles in which a small fighting force refused to surrender to a far larger force, often dying to the last man. From the Spartans’ defiance at Thermopylae and Roland’s epic defense of Charlemagne’s rear guard at Ronceveaux Pass, through Santa Anna’s siege of the Alamo defended by Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie to the skirmish at Little Big Horn between Crazy Horse’s Sioux nation and George Armstrong Custer’s Seventh Calvary, to the Soviets’ titanic struggle against the German Wehrmacht at Stalingrad, and more, Walsh reminds us all of the debt we owe to heroes willing to risk their lives against overwhelming odds—and how these sacrifices and battles are not only a part of military history but our common civilizational heritage.
The Second Volume of a new chronicle of the Third Reich under Hitler's hand, ending with his death and Germany's disastrous defeat. In The Hitler Years: Disaster 1940-1945, Frank McDonough completes his brilliant two-volume history of Germany under Hitler’s Third Reich. At the beginning of 1940, Germany was at the pinnacle of its power. By May 1945, Hitler was dead and Germany had suffered a disastrous defeat. Hitler had failed to achieve his aim of making Germany a super power and had left her people to cope with the endless shame of the Holocaust. Despite Hitler's grand ambitions and the successful early stages of the Third Reich's advances into Europe, Frank McDonough convincingly argues that Germany was only ever a middle-ranking power and never truly stood a chance against the combined forces of the Allies. In this second volume of The Hitler Years, Professor Frank McDonough charts the dramatic change of fortune for the Third Reich and Germany's ultimate defeat.
This book is ideal for any introductory American history instructor who wants to make the subject more appealing. It's designed to supplement a main text, and focuses on "personalized history" presented through engaging biographies of famous and less-well-known figures from the colonial period to 1877. Historical patterns and trends appear as they are seen through individual lives, and the selection of the profiled individuals reflects a cultural awareness and a multicultural perspective.
To see the foreword, the introduction, a generous selection of sample pages, and more, visit the website The Wehrmacht website. In this unique volume, expert Tim Ripley introduces the reader to the world of the German army, covering in detail concepts such as mobile defense and the formidable Blitzkrieg, and explains why the Wehrmacht was able to fight so long, with such fearsome effectiveness. Also includes 180 color and black and white maps and illustrations.
“Compellingly chronicles one of the least studied great episodes of World War II with power and authority…A riveting read” (Donald L. Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Masters of the Air) about World War II’s largest airborne operation—one that dropped 17,000 Allied paratroopers deep into the heart of Nazi Germany. On the morning of March 24, 1945, more than two thousand Allied aircraft droned through a cloudless sky toward Germany. Escorted by swarms of darting fighters, the armada of transport planes carried 17,000 troops to be dropped, via parachute and glider, on the far banks of the Rhine River. Four hours later, after what was the war’s largest airdrop, all major objectives had been seized. The invasion smashed Germany’s last line of defense and gutted Hitler’s war machine; the war in Europe ended less than two months later. Four Hours of Fury follows the 17th Airborne Division as they prepare for Operation Varsity, a campaign that would rival Normandy in scale and become one of the most successful and important of the war. Even as the Third Reich began to implode, it was vital for Allied troops to have direct access into Germany to guarantee victory—the 17th Airborne secured that bridgehead over the River Rhine. And yet their story has until now been relegated to history’s footnotes. In this viscerally exciting account, paratrooper-turned-historian James Fenelon “details every aspect of the American 17th Airborne Division’s role in Operation Varsity...inspired” (The Wall Street Journal). Reminiscent of A Bridge Too Far and Masters of the Air, Four Hours of Fury does for the 17th Airborne what Band of Brothers did for the 101st. It is a captivating, action-packed tale of heroism and triumph spotlighting one of World War II’s most under-chronicled and dangerous operations.
Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History is a brief but comprehensive survey of the Third Reich based on current research findings that provides a balanced approach to the study of Hitler’s role in the history of the Third Reich. The book considers the economic, social, and political forces that made possible the rise and development of Nazism; the institutional, cultural, and social life of the Third Reich; World War II; and the Holocaust. World War II and the Holocaust are presented as logical outcomes of the ideology of Hitler and the Nazi movement. This new edition contains more information on the Kaiserreich (Imperial Germany), as well as Nazi complicity in the Reichstag Fire and increased discussion of consent and dissent during the Nazi attempt to create the ideal Volksgemeinschaft (people’s community). It takes a greater focus on the experiences of ordinary bystanders, perpetrators, and victims throughout the text, includes more discussion of race and space, and the final chapter has been completely revised. Fully updated, the book ensures that students gain a complete and thorough picture of the period and issues. Supported by maps, images, and thoroughly updated bibliographies that offer further reading suggestions for students to take their study further, the book offers the perfect overview of Hitler and the Third Reich.
A deft, lively, and highly readable history of the demise of the German way of war. As the allies found an antidote to the shock and awe approach of the Wehrmacht, the once mighty German army underwent an epic fall from remarkable operational victories to crushing operational defeats, forced to take on a defensive stance in a war it could never win.