So here we are in part two, in which you may detect a Stalingrad theme.
Yes, I know, there was fighting on the Eastern Front other than Kursk and Stalingrad, but much of what gets published in English is focused on one of those two events, directly or indirectly. Hopefully, I can get my German and/or Russian to a point where that is no longer an impediment. So, without further ado, here’s the list:
- Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front, 1941-1942: Schwerpunkt by Robert Forczyk – This is another of the “it’s a $1.99 on Kindle” books that has made it onto the reading list (it still is $1.99 as of this writing). Forczyk is one of the more prolific current writers of popular Eastern Front histories and I know he’s skeptical of the Stahel/Glantz position that the Germans had lost their opportunity to win by September 1941. I find that argument to be pretty persuasive so I’m interested to see how he addresses it.
- Stopped at Stalingrad: The Luftwaffe and Hitler’s Defeat in the East, 1942-1943 by Joel S. A. Hayward – The author approaches the German 1942 Summer offensive through the lens of Luftwaffe operations and their impact on the ground fighting. I am far more interested in the synergistic impact of air-ground operations than I am in airplane rivet counting or the exploits of aces, so this is exactly the kind of thing I’d like to see published more often.
- A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army, 1941-1945 by Vasily Grossman – The author was a special correspondent for the Red Army newspaper and so ended up everywhere there was important fighting in a Flashman/Winds of War kind of way. Anthony Beevor has taken his raw notebooks and fashioned them into a narrative which promises to provide an unflinching ground level view of the fighting.
- Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad by William Craig – This is another of the standard Eastern Front books from my high school days, which I haven’t read in years. I’ll be interested to see how well it stands the test of time.
- To the Gates of Stalingrad: Soviet-German Combat Operations, April-August 1942 by David Glantz and Jonathan M. House
- Armageddon in Stalingrad: September-November 1942 by David Glantz and Jonathan M. House
- Endgame at Stalingrad: Book One: November 1942 by David Glantz and Jonathan M. House
- Endgame at Stalingrad: Book Two: December 1942-February 1943 by David Glantz and Jonathan M. House – This is a four volume study of the 1942 campaign from its beginnings at Kharkov to its end at the collapse of the Stalingrad kessel. Destined to become the standard work on the campaign, but possessing all of the strengths and weaknesses that Glantz is known for (i.e. great research but not the most accessible writing).
- Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943 by Anthony Beevor – This the standard one volume popular history of the battle, which I haven’t read in a decade.
- Red Road From Stalingrad: Recollections of a Soviet Infantryman by Mansur Abdulin – This is yet another cheap Kindle book that has made it to the list. I’m trying to mix in more common soldier memoirs into my operational heavy reading diet and this well regarded memoir fits the bill.
- Croatian Legion: The 369th (Croatian) Infantry Regiment on the Eastern Front, 1941-1943 by Amir Obhodas and Jason Mark – This is a unit history of regiment of Croatian volunteers in the German 100th Jager Division, following the unit from its formation through fighting for the Red October factory in Stalingrad and its ultimate surrender to Soviet forces in early February 1943.
- Death of the Leaping Horseman: The 24th Panzer Division in Stalingrad by Jason Mark – This is a specialized unit history covering the day by day operations of 24th Panzer at Stalingrad. It’s also the first book from Leaping Horseman Books and Jason Mark, now reprinted by Stackpole Books.
- Into Oblivion Kharkov to Stalingrad: The Story of Pionier Batallion 305 by Jason Mark – This is a unit history at battalion level covering less than a year in combat, so the level of detail is quite high. Normally you only see non-commonwealth unit histories at Division level or above (other than the damn Tiger battalions!), so this is a nice surprise!
- Survivors of Stalingrad: Eyewitness Accounts from the 6th Army, 1942-43 by Reinhold Busch – This is a collection of first hand accounts from both those Germans who were wounded and evacuated from Stalingrad as well as those that survived Soviet captivity. The $1.99 Kindle bait strikes again, as I’m not sure I would have picked this up otherwise.
- Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully – My friend Bill Pilon raves about this one as revisionist history of the best kind, so it’s definitely on the list for this year!
So that’s my planned 25 for the year, but there are several others that may get subbed in based on mood or whim:
- Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front by Gunter Korschorrek – A well regarded German memoir which sucked me in for $0.99!
- The Korsun Pocket: The Encirclement and Breakout of a German Army in the East, 1944 by Niklas Zetterling – A recent and readable account of the fight for the Korsun Pocket, which I’d like to compare to the account in Stalin’s Favorite.
- Hell’s Gate: The Battle of the Cherkassky Pocket, January-February 1944 by Douglas Nash – This is the best and most in depth account in English of the Korsun Pocket fighting.
- Where the Iron Crosses Grow: The Crimea 1941-1944 by Robert Forczyk – Osprey has gotten into the business of publishing popular military history and this is one of the one recent entries. Yes, the allusion to Cross of Iron helped hook me, along with the $1.99 Kindle price!
- The German Northern Theater of Operations, 1940-1945 by Earl Ziemke – One of the series of DA PAMs done on World War 2 in the 1950’s and early 1960s, this one covers the fighting in Norway and northern Finland. While it’s based almost completely on German records, this is one of the few English language references on some of these operations.
- How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle by Gideon Rose – The author is the editor of Foreign Affairs and focuses on the last century of world conflict. I’ve been meaning to get to this one, as it remains relevant given the current Neo-Conservative strain running through our politics.
Rat 6 – Out!