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Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front 1941-1942: Schwerpunkt Hardcover – 28 Feb 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (28 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781590087
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781590089
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 16.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Robert Forczyk is a leading expert on the history of armored warfare, and he has made a particular study of the Second World War on the Eastern Front. His many books include Georgy Zhukov, Demyansk 1942-43, Red Christmas: The Tatsinskaya Airfield Raid 1942, Rescuing Mussolini: Gran Sasso 1943, Sevastopol 1942: Von Manstein's Triumph, Leningrad 1941-44, Model, Erich Von Manstein and Panther Vs T-34: Ukraine 1943.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Mr Forczyk, a popular historian and author as well as tank specialist, has written another fine book on the Russo-German war that has armor as its main theme. As the author explains this book is not a comprehensive battle chronicle but a select look at key armor engagements that will show why the Germans had an advantage at the opening of the war but by the end of 1942 had lost their advantage through heavy attrition, poor grand strategy, slow tank development and inadequate industrial capacity among other considerations. It will also be shown that while the Soviets made mistakes and had problems, they also had certain basic advantages that would turn their disastrous unprepared beginning into a long term opportunity to turn the tables on their enemy and to eventually achieve final victory.

The two chapter introduction is important and the foundation for the rest of the book. It briefly describes the interwar history, battle strategy and tank doctrine of the two dictators and their armed services and while the author touches on command level aspects, the author is never far away from tank characteristics or ground level armor tactics. He is as comfortable discussing Hitler's misguided view that the Soviet Union could be defeated in six weeks or Stalin's Five Year Plans and attempting to divert conflict with Hitler until 1942 or 43 as he is in explaining why Germany made a mistake in not building a high torque diesel engine for their Tiger, Elephant and Panther heavy tanks or comparing Blitzkrieg with Stalin's Deep Battle strategy. The German advantage of having radios and better optics in their tanks during this period is discussed as well and many other features of the leading tanks of the war - Pz IV, Tiger, Panther, T-34 .
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By BAM on 7 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i loved this...its easy to read, and offers new insight into the eastern front in 1941- end 42. The book looks at the conflict from the point of view of the tanks used by both sides. This is an important perspective, for tanks were in a predominant position in 41-2 that they lost in 43-5. The hordes of Russian infantry couldnt stop the german tank concentrations ('schwerpunkts') in 41-2, and
the german infantry's weapons (except the few '88's) & their tanks couldn't stop the T34 & KV tanks until early 42. So tanks were the deciding factors in 41-2 battles, not the amount of infantry. Forczyk analyses tank production, doctrines, tactics and the battles in a chronological progression from June 41 to Dec 42. He does it in a very readable, engaging, flowing narrative.

Many other excellent recent studies have revised our understanding of the conflict, with Glantz et al opening the russian archives and destroying many nazi inspired myths; "the russians used mass over tactics", "the germans were defeated by the weather" etc. What a lot of these new studies concentrate on are the remarkable regenerative powers of the russian army, that despite losing most of its western armies in the 1st 5months, managed to increase from approx 2.5million men to 6m by december. It is even said that the germans had lost the war by july 41, because of general slowness & their personel losses around Smolensk. But just looking at the infantry numbers misses the huge importance of the tanks. Forczyk shows how crucially important they were. He shows how the massive numbers of russian infantry were not "guaranteed" victory after July 41, how in fact they had to keep struggling, losing, reforming, until over a year later (end 42) when they finally learnt how to stop a full bloodied german panzer schwerpunkt.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bor on 9 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've just finished reading this title. I took it along on a short trip abroad, and it has kept me well entertained. The book describes the early phase of war on the eastern front, but with the focus full on armoured warfare. As such it misses the pure infantry actions, and isn't a complete history of the war in the east. But it doesn't claim to be, so that's allright. It adds something as well though, and that's more detail on the armoured combats during the first year and a half. I noticed this because the author continually gives numbers of tanks involved in armour battles, and specifies them by type. In every order of battle that's mentioned this is repeated, as it is when losses are mentioned. So we're not talking rough numbers, but quite specific numbers of specific types, and on both sides! In the appendices there is a table with tanks available to both sides in 1941 and one for 1942, and there are production tables for both sides for both years as well (listing production per month in each). I think this is a nice level of detail not easily found elsewhere.
The action reads nicely, as the story has a steady pace to it. I found the author did his best to explain the intentions of both sides before each action. He also evaluated the results in a comprehensibe manner, placing them in context, making me understand what the bigger picture was and how these results should be regarded. Inbetween descriptions of battles and campaigns the author isn't afraid to give his opinion of the main protagonists, and I really like it that he sometimes goes against common opinions. I noticed he's no fan of Zhukovs and really likes Vasilevsky. Also he heavily critises Paulus and is praising Model.
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