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The Bloody Triangle: The Defeat of Soviet Armor in the Ukraine, June 1941

by Victor Kamenir

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472430,778 (3.8)4
It was a tank battle exceeded in size and significance only by the famous defeat of Germany's Panzer force near Kursk in 1943. And yet, little is known about this weeklong clash of more than two thousand Soviet and German tanks in a stretch of northwestern Ukraine that came to be known as the "bloody triangle." This book offers the first in-depth account of this critical battle, which began on 24 June 1941, just two days into Operation Barbarossa, Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union. Author Victor Kamenir describes the forces arrayed against each other across that eighteen-hundred-square-mile-triangle in northwestern Ukraine. Providing detailed orders of battle for both Wehrmacht and Red Army Forces and contrasting the strengths and weaknesses of the Soviet and German tanks, he shows how the Germans slowly and decisively overwhelmed the Russians, apparently opening the way to Moscow and the ultimate defeat of the Soviet Union. And yet, as Kamenir's account makes clear, even at this early stage of the Russo-German war the Soviets were able to slow down and even halt the Nazi juggernaut. Finally, the handful of days gained by the Red Army did prove to have been decisive when the Wehrmacht attack stalled at the gates of Moscow in the dead of winter, foreshadowing the end for the Germans.… (more)
  1. 00
    Dubno 1941: The Greatest Tank Battle of the Second World War by Alekseń≠ Isaev (Shrike58)
    Shrike58: To a certain degree it appears that Isaev is making something of a rebuttal to Kamenir and if one has the opportunity one should read both monographs.
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A very good read about a little known topic that is flawed by really poor editing. Although I have to say that the rough Russian into English thing actually somehow adds to the flavor. ( )
  SPQR2755 | Aug 16, 2014 |
The virtue of this book is that it takes one beyond cryptic little symbols and gives you a sense of what was happening at the level of the corps and the division in the Soviet Red Army in the opening weeks of the German invasion. Kamenir gives particular emphasis to the rather ramshackle state of the Soviet units, the impact of the purges on the Soviet military leadership, and how the failure to mobilize in a timely fashion hamstrung both the Soviet command-and-control capability and the mobility of the artillery and logistical units; in the last case much was expected of civilian assets destined for use in wartime.

One also gets the flavor of Soviet generalship, particularly that of Mikhail Kirponos, commander of the so-called Kiev Special Military District; and the flavor is not sweet. Kirponos owed his rapid promotion to the bloody season of the Great Purge and he appears to have been inept as a military technician and lacking the guile to either deal with his commissar or with high-powered military delegations from Moscow. This is as compared to the soon-to-be-famous Konstantin Rokossovskiy, who handled his ill-prepared mechanized corps about as well as could be expected, while at the same time keeping intrusive political officers at arms-length.

Another plus is that there are an adequate number of maps and the order of battle data is rather good.

The downside of this book is that the author has been let down by dodgy editing in terms of too many instances of poor spelling having been allowed to pass uncorrected and the insufficient use of appropriate articles of speech; it's as though war had been declared on the words "the" and "an." There's also the small matter that I have no sense of author's reputation for veracity, though on the basis of this book I would certainly read another of his works. ( )
3 vote Shrike58 | Aug 1, 2012 |
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It was a tank battle exceeded in size and significance only by the famous defeat of Germany's Panzer force near Kursk in 1943. And yet, little is known about this weeklong clash of more than two thousand Soviet and German tanks in a stretch of northwestern Ukraine that came to be known as the "bloody triangle." This book offers the first in-depth account of this critical battle, which began on 24 June 1941, just two days into Operation Barbarossa, Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union. Author Victor Kamenir describes the forces arrayed against each other across that eighteen-hundred-square-mile-triangle in northwestern Ukraine. Providing detailed orders of battle for both Wehrmacht and Red Army Forces and contrasting the strengths and weaknesses of the Soviet and German tanks, he shows how the Germans slowly and decisively overwhelmed the Russians, apparently opening the way to Moscow and the ultimate defeat of the Soviet Union. And yet, as Kamenir's account makes clear, even at this early stage of the Russo-German war the Soviets were able to slow down and even halt the Nazi juggernaut. Finally, the handful of days gained by the Red Army did prove to have been decisive when the Wehrmacht attack stalled at the gates of Moscow in the dead of winter, foreshadowing the end for the Germans.

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