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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most effective and interesting campaign
Though having read and enjoyed David Glantz's "Kharkov 1942", I was still anxious to read this book. From my perspective, David Glantz's book was too biased toward the Soviet side and thought Mr Forczyk would have a more balanced approach and he did.
The presentation was typical Osprey Campaign format that begins with prehistory which included the Kiev encirclement,...
Published 16 months ago by Dave History Student

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating Kindle version
Maps maps maps. Just three things the Kindle does badly. Coincidentally also what books like these rely on. And full page colour plates, landscape. So when you turn the Kindle the picture turns too. Argh. Never again Kindle.
Published 14 days ago by Takoul


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most effective and interesting campaign, 25 April 2013
By 
Dave History Student - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Kharkov, 1942: The Wehrmacht Strikes Back (Campaign) (Paperback)
Though having read and enjoyed David Glantz's "Kharkov 1942", I was still anxious to read this book. From my perspective, David Glantz's book was too biased toward the Soviet side and thought Mr Forczyk would have a more balanced approach and he did.
The presentation was typical Osprey Campaign format that begins with prehistory which included the Kiev encirclement, the failed attempt at taking Moscow and the original capture of Kharkov in Oct 1941 by AOK 6 as well as the first attempt by the Soviets to recapture the important industrial and rail town. Its clearly shown how the battle lines were drawn for the upcoming clash between these two giants in May 1942. The remaining four chapters that precede the Campaign are equally effective and consume up through page 33. These chapters that include a Chronology, Opposing Commanders, Opposing Forces and Opposing Plans are not only good in describing their primary venue but the author also adds additional background information that will enlighten the reader when the battle campaign begins. There is much that is going on operationally and politically before and during the battle as well as having many divisions to cover and covering it as well as it is in this sub 100 page overview, is a good indication of the author's interest in the campaign and his ability to research it and cover all the broad strokes of it.
By the time the campaign starts the reader will have a good understanding of who the key commanders were, the forces under their command and the objectives of what each side was trying to accomplish. Its shown that at this point in time, the Germans still had the advantage in overall battlefield command, the Soviets were still ramping up their war industries and were short on tanks, artillery etc. Its also shown that Stalin was still ignoring Zhukov's advice and prosecuting the war to his aggressive and imprudent ways that had cost the Red Army so heavily in 1941. Its also shown Red Army tactics to be less than ideal and when it was clearly shown the German counter-offensive was gaining momentum Stalin refused to react, maintaining his offensive against pleas from Timoshenko and Zhukov. The weaknesses of General Paulus, a newly appointed field commander of 6th Army, appear in this campaign as he hesitates in the first week and will show up again as 6th Army tries to take Stalingrad later in the year.

One of the reasons I like this campaign is that in considering the whole Front Line between Lenningrad and the Crimea both dictators chose the Kharkov sector to initiate a summer offensive and within a week of each other. The difficult fighting and ironic results will have major short term impact on both sides. The Germans once again show superior tactics on the ground and in the air that will shatter the Soviet line and morale.
The Soviets began their offensive first and made initial gains and were in the process of encircling Kharkov with their northern and southern Fronts. If the German Army had not fortified this sector in preparation for their offensive, there would have been a good chance Kharkov would have fallen to the Soviets with a real threat of greater penetration to the west and a hole that the Germans would have had to close, probably at the expense of running Operation Blue if the war was to continue. The dangers to Paulus' 6th Army in defending the Kharkov sector while he waits for Kleist to attack from the south and more are carefully covered in the campaign.

While unable to have a map for everyday of the month+ long campaign which could ideally show the initial Soviet success and then the determined counter offensive by the Germans that will reacquire lost ground and then step by step close and eliminate a huge pocket like in the mold of 1941, there are nine carefully selected detailed, color maps that still adds to the overall value and understanding of the campaign. I usually don't list maps but these maps support the narrative quite well and are noted below:

Barvenkovo salient carved out by the Red Army - first months of 1942 and shows the starting positions of Kharkov 1942 (2-D)
Soviet offensive begins along Kharkov axis on May 11th (2-D)
Soviet attack expands in the north, May 12th (3-D)
Northern sector fighting between Belgorod and Kharkov, May 13-20 (2-D)
Attack of the Soviet 6th Army and Group Bobkin - south of Kharkov (2-D)
German defense of Krasnograd, south of Kharkov, May 14-19 (3-D)
Kleist's attack in the southern sector, May 17-22 (2-D)
Destruction of the Barvenkovo Pocket (south of Kharkov) by the Germans, May 24-28 (3-D)
Fighting in June from Belgorod to Izyum, east of Kharkov (2-D)

In "Aftermath", the author totals the casualties of both sides with the Soviets losing many times the losses of the Germans to the extent that when Operation Blue begins in late June, the Southwestern Front is unable to stop the German advance toward the Volga.
The book also includes a Chronology, an Order of Battle for both sides, a dynamite gallery of photos, three action scenes, a Bibliography of primary and secondary sources and an Index. If this book stirs you to greater study then the small list of secondary choices will be helpful.

Mr Forczyk has done a very nice job in presenting the important features of this Campaign that shows the poor decisions and the tremendous losses the Soviets suffered while giving the appearance the Germans had regained the initiative from their losses at Moscow but will actually lead the Germans to the disaster at Stalingrad by the end of the year. Along with the quality maps, colorful illustrations and many good photos makes this an easy recommendation to all enthusiasts of pre Stalingrad history.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second Kharkov, 30 Jun 2013
By 
Dr. John Aupers (Saddleworth, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kharkov, 1942: The Wehrmacht Strikes Back (Campaign) (Paperback)
A useful compact outline of the battle with clear maps.
Good value for money.
Helpful as preparatory reading for David Glantz's Kharkov 1942
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3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating Kindle version, 13 Aug 2014
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Maps maps maps. Just three things the Kindle does badly. Coincidentally also what books like these rely on. And full page colour plates, landscape. So when you turn the Kindle the picture turns too. Argh. Never again Kindle.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comment on Kharkov 1942, 14 May 2013
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This review is from: Kharkov, 1942: The Wehrmacht Strikes Back (Campaign) (Paperback)
Very inormative, good photographs and illustrations and bird eye view maps. A must for any person interested in the conflict that took place in Eastern Europe.
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Kharkov, 1942: The Wehrmacht Strikes Back (Campaign)
Kharkov, 1942: The Wehrmacht Strikes Back (Campaign) by Robert Forczyk (Paperback - 8 April 2013)
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