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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story but read carefully, 7 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Death on the Don: The Destruction of Germany's Allies on the Eastern Front 194144 (Hardcover)
There are very few books on the subject of the "other" axis forces on the Eastern Front during WWII. There are a lot on the two Finnish wars but for the rest of the axis forces you have to look for a very long time to find anything. Jonathan Trigg has written a book about the Romanian, Hungarian, Italian, Slovak and Croatian forces that participated in the struggle on the Eastern Front and by doing so he fills a gap that has been neglected for a long time.

He writes a good story with a clear and a well flowing text. It is written with the intent to set the record straight about what these forces did and how they did it. The Often written view that they were no good and that they collapsed under the Soviet onslaught is in his book shown to be far from correct. These forces did their best with what they had.

This part of the book is well worth reading and brings new information or a different view to the readers.

But, there is a structural problem with the book. There are no footnotes! There is almost no information on where all these facts came from and as a reader you might sometimes want to check his facts when they appears to be to strange. This would not have been a huge problem if everything in the book was correct but there are mistakes that makes you wonder.

A few examples. Mr Trigg writes about how the soldiers felt when Soviet T-34 tanks tried to crush them in their dugouts. They felt the smell of gasoline. How was that possible when the T-34 ran on diesel?

He tells us of close combat with T-34 were the defenders only chance of knocking them out was to force hand-grenades through the vision ports of the tank. The Problem is that it is impossible to get a hand-grenade through a vision port on a T-34. It is to narrow.

There are other things like the statement that in the spring of 1942 the Germans had only 160 operational tanks on the entire Eastern Front. Source? In 1942 the SSSR had 190 million inhabitants of whom 16 million were of military age? Really? Since the military age is between 18 and 55 where did this figure of 16 million come from?

The Problem with these facts is that when you read a number of very interesting combat memories that he has put into the book, you get a feeling that without any source presented, maybe it is not all correct?

There is a Bibliography at the end of the book but it is not very extensive and most of it is not about the forces he writes about but instead of the war on the Eastern Front in general.

But if you want to know more about the struggle the axis forces had on the Eastern Front this is a book to read. If you know your Eastern Front you also know how to interpret some of the text presented.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Destroys the myths of the Axis armies on the Don., 4 Mar 2014
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Bobby Smith (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death on the Don: The Destruction of Germany's Allies on the Eastern Front 194144 (Hardcover)
Prior to this book most people probably imagined that the German allies; Italy, Romania and Hungary, ran away at the sight of a T-34 tank, whilst the German Wehrmacht gritted its teeth and fought back against terrible odds. I am glad to report then that this book offers a slightly more balanced history of the countries and men who slipped into the war on the side of Germany. Given the paucity of their equipment, with the Panzer 38 hardly state of the art circa 1942, could Germany really expect her allies to offer more than blood and oil for the evil regime their misguided leaders had publicly backed? The author shows how many Italians and Romanians fought bravely to protect the German flanks whilst the battle of Stalingrad raged, and how they were simply swept away by the numerically superior Russians. Indeed, one can only imagine the bravery it took for simple peasant Romanians to resist the Russian onslaught, especially as they had the antiquated R-2 tank for their own armoured division. All in all, then, this is a good book that sets the record straight and shows that the German allies did as well as could reasonably be expected. The real reason for their disastrous showing was the German High Command and the stupid orders that ensured they died a cold death, either at the front on in prison camps during and after the war. A very good and worthwhile book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, 15 May 2014
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This review is from: Death on the Don: The Destruction of Germany's Allies on the Eastern Front 194144 (Hardcover)
A very good account of Germany's allies and how badly they were prepared for war. No wonder in Southern Russia after Stalingrad they were slaughtered.
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