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Battleground Prussia: The Assault on Germany's Eastern Front 1944-45 (General Military) Hardcover – 10 Sep 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey; First Edition edition (10 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849081905
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849081900
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.8 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 209,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A powerful pick... It comes packed with action shots and photos, first-hand accounts from soldiers on both sides - most of which have never appeared in English - and follows the months between the arrival of the Red Army in Germany to the collapse of Hitler's regime. No military collection strong in World War II should be without this specific, in-depth analysis - The Midwest Book Review (December 2010)

...[a] marvelously written and illustrated new work with excellent maps on a series of battles too long overlooked ... deserves to be read by any true devotee of World War II --Military Advisor (Winter 2010/2011)

About the Author

Prit Buttar studied medicine at Oxford and London before joining the Royal Army as a doctor. After leaving the army, he has worked as a GP, first near Bristol and now in Abingdon. He is extensively involved in medical politics, both at local and national level, and serves on the GPs' Committee of the British Medical Association. He appears from time to time on local and national TV and radio, speaking on a variety of medical issues. He contributes regularly to the medical press. He has written a novel, but this is his first work of military history. The author lives in Oxford, UK.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Sep 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For any who find the final period of the war fascinating, this is the book for you. Chock full of stories from soldiers, civilians and navy men - from both sides - Battleground Prussia shows how the Germans put up stubborn resistance against the Soviets as they crept onto German soil. Although the first 150 pages are a bit slow, as if the author was getting used to writing his first book, which it is, the last 300 pages more than make up for it, as the reader marvels at the achievements of the Kriegsmarine, during the evacuations from Memel, Hela and Windau. In short this is a worthy book, as it documents a period not normally covered in more general histories of the war. The film Joy Division [DVD] [2006] also covers the German flight from the east, and may prove an interesting companion to this book for the historically aware.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mr. L. Mackinlay on 20 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book as I have been trying for years to find a good history covering the battles around East Prussia towards the end of the war. I was not disappointed by this book! The author has put in a lot of groundwork to detail the movements of divisions, corps and armies at this time (I suspect this may not have been too easy given the chaos that reigned over that period). The excellent use of first hand stories interspersed with the more technical side of battles made this book very difficult to put down. This, for me, is the strength of this book..the ability to bring the human stories behind battles into the narrative. The human stories quite rightly include the fate of civilians caught up in this disaster.

The book is very well organised (again, no mean feat given the amount that was going on at any one time) and I did not feel lost as I was led through the events and the stories of specific individuals caught up in it all. I only have a few moans, but these should not take away from buying this book. The maps could have been better, as, at times, I could not find where some places were that were mentioned in the text..I did not need more battle lines (these would have been very fluid anyway) but better maps would have helped in places. The other one was the end where the fate of some of the individuals mentioned in the text was maybe not always followed through in as much detail as I would have liked. Finally, whilst some Russian personal stories were included, I would have liked more, to better balance the whole history (however, this is a common 'failing' amongst books covering this time and may be more down to finding it hard to find good sources). As I say, these are minor moans!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Captain Tommy on 14 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
Having read nearly every book on the 'Ostfront' Prit's book stands head and shoulders above the rest. Meticulously researched and peppered with first hand accounts, not only is this a fascinating and addictive narrative but an oustanding reference source.

It captures and explains the complex array of social, political, military and geographical factors that contributed to the unique ferocity of the East Prussian 'battle space' from late 1944 to 1945.

Be warned, some sections of the book are harrowing and quite distressing. Perhaps its due to the authors medical background but Prit Buttar's work is novel in that it is one of the few books about the Eastern Front that truly captures and conveys the unimaginable suffering and privation of the East Prussian civilian population.

With the scarcity of English language books on Rokossovky's 2nd Belorussian front's East Prussia campaign, its great to see an author pick up the reigns and describe what happened in great detail from both the Soviet and German perspectives.

My only criticism is the campaign mapping is both scarce and rather poorly done. Otherwise spot on!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Cameron Aitken on 3 Mar 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a good book from a new author; Prit Buttar, a former army surgeon, he explores the details of the German collapse along the Baltic coast in the last 4 months of the War. Largely unknowen to readers in Britain these battles involved fighting on a massive scale; the German casualties were probably greater than those sustained by the British and Commonwealth forces in the whole of the War; include a sea evacuation much larger than Dunkirk and you begin to understand the immensity of the battle.

Prit Buttar has approached his subject well; taking researched military details and combining them with the testimonials of eye witness accounts he wealds together a coherent record of the fighting and tells a story at the same time.

Interesting anecdotes crop up like Montgomery's insistance that the weapons of captured Germans be stacked close by in case he needed to mobilize the POW's against the Red Army; also Montgomery's concession to the surrendering German generals to continue to allow the ongoing naval evacuation from the East.

I particularly enjoyed the final chapter in which he describes the fate of all the main characters in his book.

My only criticism is that the book becomes a little disloged and longwinded in places ; this is because of the need to fit eye witness accounts into the larger military picture.

In many ways the stile resembles Christopher Duffy; and in this respect I look forwards to his next book.
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