Customer Reviews


8 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Agreed - A Very Good 'Ostfront' Book !
I totally agree with the first reviewer. There are now many superb books available about the Eastern Front but this is the clearest, most 'readable' single-volume history I've yet read. The author makes no bones about it - this is not a work of original research (he has not burrowed in dusty archives nor interviewed veterans). But he has read widely in the most recent...
Published on 20 Nov 2011 by Martin Bull

versus
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much analysis-too little narrative
All very deliberate but consequently distant.
I would imagine the freezing landers might have gotten some
Sleep had they been reading this over elaborated treatise.
Needed to follow the action more closely and refrain from inserting
ten pages of randomly interspersed dissection of motives at each
campaign milestone. Dull.
Published 11 months ago by B. C. Robertson


Most Helpful First | Newest First

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Agreed - A Very Good 'Ostfront' Book !, 20 Nov 2011
By 
Martin Bull - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East (Hardcover)
I totally agree with the first reviewer. There are now many superb books available about the Eastern Front but this is the clearest, most 'readable' single-volume history I've yet read. The author makes no bones about it - this is not a work of original research (he has not burrowed in dusty archives nor interviewed veterans). But he has read widely in the most recent books and has skilfully woven this reading into 'Ostkrieg' (he starts the book with a useful overview of the historiography of the subject). Several Eastern Front books I've read have been something of a chore to wade through (I'm no academic so this is more a reflection on me than the books). But this one I've read with real pleasure. Professor Fritz successfully combines the 'political' and 'military' aspects of this terrible struggle and does not forget the experience of the footsoldier (as one would expect from the author of 'Frontsoldaten' ). His explanation of logistical problems - often almost overlooked in previous histories - is also noteworthy, as are the full source notes and comprehensive bibliography. It's not perfect : maps and photos are not the best (but can be easily located in other publications) and the focus is on the German experience. Even so, the sheer lucidity of this account and the fact that it has vastly increased my understanding of the Eastern Front makes it a 'five star' book for me ; one to read and re-read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Overview from the German Perspective, 17 Nov 2011
By 
Dave History Student - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East (Hardcover)
This single volume summary is a synthesis that has been meticulously crafted using the best scholarship from a huge array of top authors to present Hitler, his Germany, his invasion and attempted extermination of Russia.
The reasons for Hitler's action are wide spread and include restoring German prestige after the defeat of WWI, gaining breathing room for the German people, confiscation of Soviet natural resources, the defeat of Communism and its threat to Europe and the forcing of Churchill to sue for peace. As the subtitle indicates Hitler's overall extermination program and Nazi ideology is also covered. You will also receive a competent summary of the operations of the war from Barbarossa to Berlin which will include accurate analysis and conclusions. You'll read about Hitler's paranoia and obsession to keep gained ground regardless of the cost and his constant meddling with his generals that would create a huge rift in the Wehrmacht. Besides the operational aspects of the war, the national strategic, industrial, economic weaknesses are also explained. The author is concise and you will receive a good all around fundamental look at the war from the German perspective, not to mention a lot of information to digest. The sixteen page Conclusion admirally sums up the book, tying everything together.
To gain more than what this well constructed synthesis has to offer, it would take you a large investment in time and money reading the many books by Glantz, Erickson, Bellamy, I Kershaw, R Kershaw, Evans, Tooze, Nash, Werth, Zetterling etc. If you did want to pursue your studies further, Mr Fritz also presents a 53 page Bibliography that is worth its weight in gold that could lead you to German, English and American treasures. The equally large Notes Section will help greatly if you need clarification on certain points.

The photo gallery is also good and clearly shows the human suffering and wanton destruction of the war. Some of the photos can be seen in other books.
There are only seven large area B&W maps that show German axes of attacks in a general way but are absent of other tactical details like deployments and boundary lines. While pretty good, I was still disappointed with them, wanting more. The maps in Bellamy's "Absolute War" are preferable. The small Appendix presents a good array of statistics of casualties and production figures.

If you're looking for a one volume summary of the military and political aspects of the war from the German perspective, this should be given strong consideration. Its highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, 30 Dec 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East (Hardcover)
I'm not going to repeat what has been said in the previous reviews, except to thank the reviewers for pointing me in the direction of this magnificent tome.

It struck me that that this book was the first I had read to make a linkage between the Eastern Front and the D-Day landings.

It has always struck me that books on D-Day - and the subsequent campaign in France - never, ever, refer to the great What If?

What If the bulk of Hitler's armies had not been tied down on the Eastern Front?

And what was the impact of D-Day on the Eastern Front?

The author shows in detail the impact of Operation Bagration on the success of the D-Day landings, and to my - limited - knowledge, he is the first to do so.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb study of World War Two's decisive front, 21 Sep 2012
By 
William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East (Hardcover)
This is a splendid study of the Second World War's crucial eastern front, where the Red Army inflicted 78.5 per cent of German military deaths.

Hitler threatened on 30 January 1939, "if the international finance Jewry within Europe and abroad should succeed once more in plunging the peoples into a world war, then the consequence will not be the Bolshevization of the world and a victory of Jewry, but on the contrary, the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe." Hitler projected onto the Jews his own exterminationist intent.

On 9 September 1939, Hitler's Chief of Staff General Franz Halder said "it was the intention of the Fuhrer and Goering to destroy and exterminate the Polish people."

On 30 March 1941, Hitler told two hundred Wehrmacht officers of the coming attack on the Soviet Union, "This is a war of extermination." His Generalplan Ost would have killed 30 million people through seizing Soviet food production.

The head of the Wehrmacht, Field Marshal Keitel, signed the final version of the infamous `Commissar Order' on 6 June 1941, "In the struggle against Bolshevism, we cannot count on the enemy acting according to the principles of humanity or international law. In particular the political commissars at all levels, as the real leaders of resistance, can be expected to treat prisoners of war in a hate-filled, cruel, and inhuman manner." Having attributed to the enemy the very treatment the Germans themselves planned to inflict, the directive went on: The troops must be made aware: 1. In this struggle to show consideration and apply principles of international law to these elements is wrong. ....2. Political commissars are the originators of barbaric, Asiatic methods of fighting. Thus, they have to be dealt with immediately and ... with the utmost severity. As a matter of principle, therefore, they will be shot at once."

Fritz sums up that Barbarossa "was not only the most massive military campaign in history, but it also unleashed an unprecedented campaign of genocidal violence, of which the Holocaust remains the best-known example."

In October 1941, Hitler said, "It's good when the horror precedes us that we are exterminating Jewry." He also said, "We are getting rid of the destructive Jews entirely." And "When we exterminate this plague, then we perform a deed for humanity ..." In January 1942, he said, "I see only one thing: total extermination. ... Why should I look at a Jew any differently from a Russian prisoner?"

Fritz observes, "in 1942 the Soviet Union alone, even without the contributions of Great Britain and the United States, would once again outproduce the Reich in virtually every weapons category. In the key areas of small arms and artillery, the advantage was three to one, while, in tanks, it was a staggering four to one, accentuated by the higher quality of the Soviet T-34."

Fritz often praises Stalin's role. He notes that Stalin's iron will saved the Soviet Union from collapse in the autumn of 1941, and points out, "Stalin, too, feared that his namesake city might fall at any time but in his usual fashion averted a nascent crisis by quick and firm action."

Fritz notes, "As far back as the autumn of 1943, Hitler had planned to stabilize the eastern front in order to transfer troops west to defeat the Allied invasion of France. ...The Soviets, however, had refused to cooperate and play their assigned role. Instead of sitting passively through the winter, the Red Army had launched a series of continuous offensives that had drained German resources and brought the Ostheer to the breaking point."

He points out, "The blow to Army Group Center, however, had been as spectacular as it had been swift. In a bit more than two months, it had lost almost 400,000 men killed, wounded and missing, making Operation Bagration a far worse disaster for the Wehrmacht than the comparable one at Stalingrad or even that of Verdun in the previous war." Of the Vistula-Oder offensive of January 1945, Fritz writes, "in three weeks, the Red Army had won perhaps its most spectacular victory of the war."

Nazi Germany fought a war of choice, the USSR a war of necessity, which determined its strategy and tactics, which largely explains its huge losses.

Fritz sums up, "Hitler also grossly underestimated the political and economic strength and resilience of the Stalinist system as well as the resources that would be necessary to win in the Soviet Union."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Was Hitler crazy?, 28 Dec 2011
By 
Jill Meyer (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East (Hardcover)
Take a look sometime at a map of Europe from the French coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Ural Mountains in the east. Find Germany; it's about 1/3rd the way across the map, beginning at the Atlantic. In Spring of 1940, Adolf Hitler put an end to the "Phoney War" and swept his troops west from Germany, going through Belgium in the north and the Ardennes in the center, to invade and defeat the French army. The British evacuated at Dunkirk and Hitler owned Europe from France to Poland. His ally Italy controlled much of southern Europe.

But this was not all Hitler wanted. He was really aiming to invade the Soviet Union - with whom he had had an non-agression pact since August, 1939 - to provide Germany with "lebensraum" or "living space"; land and good land to provide for the ethnic Germans who would move into this area. He would get rid of the Jews and Slavs currently living in Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and the other areas he coveted, like the Crimea and Rumania for their oil. Hitler had long talked about "lebensraum"; much of his government policy since he took over in 1933 was aimed at gaining the fertile land to the east. He also talked about the elimination of the European Jews and planned to make Europe "Juden-frei".

But to meet his aims, Hitler had to invade the Soviet Union. This is where the map of Europe comes in handy. The reader can plainly see the vast distances the German army had to travel to reach Moscow or Leningrad in the center and the north and the Crimea in the south. Not only were the distances vast, several natural impediments like the Pripet Marshes stood in the way of the German troops. As did, of course, the weather. Hellish winters, and incredibly muddy Springs and Autumns made summer the only real time the German advances could succeed. So, in June of 1941, Hitler and his generals and their armies set off on an invasion of the Soviet Union. They were a modern army with the vestiges of old fighting forces; along with the tanks and air planes, they had a lot of horse-driven carts. And as the war continued, the German supply-chain was stretched to the limit and beyond. Millions of lives were lost on both sides as the drive for "lebensraum" continued.

For four years - 1941 to 1945 - the "Eastern Front" as it was known in Germany extended into the Soviet Union and then, as the tides of war changed, returned to Berlin with the Soviet troops taking the German invasion back into Germany and the final defeat of Germany and Nazism.

British author and historian Stephen Fritz has written a compulsively-readable book which covers the "Ostkreig" or "Eastern War". Fritz covers all aspects of the the war in the East. He writes about the war against the Soviet Union and the war against the Jews. He discusses the policies - both official and unofficial - of "lebensraum" and how the idea propelled the Germans into a war they could not win. Their gamble to invade the East failed, but the see-saw of German and Soviet troop and materiel strengths kept the war going past the initial invasion in 1941. Fritz's reporting seems impeccable and he provides footnotes for those who want to know more. He also includes a number of good maps of the "Ostkreig" in the front of the book for the reader to refer to. His is a well-written book of the Eastern War with causes and effects drawn out for the reader.

"Ostkreig" is one of the best WW2 books I've read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and unlikely to be beaten., 19 Jun 2013
By 
Bobby Smith (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East (Hardcover)
This is the best single volume account of the Ost front that I have read. The way the author describes vast tank battles and strategy are top notch, as you really feel like you are there with him on a tank riding around the battlefields. For me the book was best when it covered the 'missing' year of the Ost front - August 1943 (after Kursk) - June 1944 (before Bagration), as this year is rarely touched upon in such detail in other accounts of the war. Not ever did I feel like the author was lecturing me on the subject, his prose being both illuminating and educational. Lastly, I am pleased to note that an American historian has acknowledged the war in the west was a relative sideshow, with the real outcome of the war decided in the east.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Provides a different view on WW2., 21 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East (Hardcover)
Provides some more detail from a different angle of Germany than most books on World War two. Makes you see the bigger picture. My only complaint is how the author almost paints Hitler in a positive light at times. Gives him a bit too much credit that I think is due to the author looking at Hitlers decisions with the benefit of hindsight. Still a great book to further your understanding of the German point of view during World War 2.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much analysis-too little narrative, 26 Oct 2013
By 
B. C. Robertson "bryanr" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
All very deliberate but consequently distant.
I would imagine the freezing landers might have gotten some
Sleep had they been reading this over elaborated treatise.
Needed to follow the action more closely and refrain from inserting
ten pages of randomly interspersed dissection of motives at each
campaign milestone. Dull.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East
Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East by Stephen G. Fritz (Hardcover - 27 Aug 2011)
£30.90
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews