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Battleground Prussia: The Assault on Germany's Eastern Front 1944-45…

by Prit Buttar

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1122189,283 (3.62)3
In September 1944 the Soviet Army poured into German territory, flooding the martial heartland of the Reich, Prussia. Hopelessly outnumbered by the human wave of the Red Army, the Wehrmacht fought on with determination, but was gradually beaten back. This book describes the great battles that marked the Soviet conquest of Prussia, from Memel to K.nigsberg, the Heiligenbeil Pocket to Danzig. Using accounts never before published in English, Prit Buttar looks at the campaign both from a command level, and from the perspective of normal soldiers on the front line.… (more)
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There's a reason Hollywood and television has portrayed the Eastern Front as a sinister punishment for German soldiers who are not successful enough combating the Allies in the west. With the desperation caused by lack of manpower, lack of equipment, lack of ammunition, lack of fuel, lack of food...well, you get the idea. War is hell and the Ostfront was the 9th level. No quarter was given, this phase of the war was fight or die. The created ample opportunity for heroic effort; something one can appreciate if he can separate the typical Wehrmacht soldier or officer from the Nazi degenerates who committed countless atrocities.

The Germans kept very good records of troop movements and engagements, especially on the Eastern Front as there was no worse place for a dissatisfied Fuhrer to banish architects of failed operations. This is not the first book of its ilk that I've read...if you're fans of games such as Squad Leader or Combat Mission, you'll read about the human element behind some of the small-scale actions replicated in those games. The German record is largely considered to be far more accurate than Soviet accounts of the same action -- Soviet leaders were forever multiplying reports of casualties caused and even reported engagements created whole cloth from the imagination of the staff officers in an effort to appease Stalin and his staff at STAVKA;

If you're particularly researching battles of this period, this book is an excellent resource. Without that purpose, however, the book is a lot of "the 2nd company of the newly formed 51st Volksgrenadier regiment was deployed to a town nobody has ever heard of and asked to hold it against 4 Soviet exploiting tank armies with nothing more than a half dozen panzerfausts and an armored Radio Flyer wagon." Well, not so silly, but after a few hundred pages of similar accounts of troop deployments, one's mind does tend to embellish. ( )
1 vote JeffV | Apr 13, 2014 |
I would like to rate this book somewhat higher than I do, in as much as the author does a rather good job of telling the intertwined narrative of the last stand of the German military in East Prussia, the demise of German society in that land and the final failures of the Nazi regime.

What holds me back is that the sources seem a little shallow, the editing seems a little "off" and I do wonder a bit about any agendas Buttar might have had besides expressing sympathy over the demise of a lost world; I will look at his next work though. ( )
  Shrike58 | Mar 10, 2014 |
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In September 1944 the Soviet Army poured into German territory, flooding the martial heartland of the Reich, Prussia. Hopelessly outnumbered by the human wave of the Red Army, the Wehrmacht fought on with determination, but was gradually beaten back. This book describes the great battles that marked the Soviet conquest of Prussia, from Memel to K.nigsberg, the Heiligenbeil Pocket to Danzig. Using accounts never before published in English, Prit Buttar looks at the campaign both from a command level, and from the perspective of normal soldiers on the front line.

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