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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is meant for the serious reader
Frankly, Rolf Hinze's books on the Eastern Front are all very technical but thorough and if you are not equipped with a good understanding of the conflict between the Nazi Germany and the Soviet state in the Eastern Front, you would have great trouble reading Hinze's books as they are all equipped with tons of maps from the German perspective and this one is no different...
Published on 6 July 2011 by S. K. Ming

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Operational Coverage of the Soviet's Vistula Offensive of 1944
Having already read "East Front Drama 1944", the presumption of a challenging read for this newer book was expected and I wasn't disappointed. Of all the tactical writers I read, people like Glantz, Nash, Carafano, Reardon, Carell and others, Mr Hinze is the most difficult and least satisfying. The author includes in this volume, which is neither an overview nor...
Published on 1 Jun. 2011 by Dave History Student


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Operational Coverage of the Soviet's Vistula Offensive of 1944, 1 Jun. 2011
This review is from: To The Bitter End: The Final Battles of Army Groups North Ukraine, A, Centre, Eastern Front 1944-45 (Paperback)
Having already read "East Front Drama 1944", the presumption of a challenging read for this newer book was expected and I wasn't disappointed. Of all the tactical writers I read, people like Glantz, Nash, Carafano, Reardon, Carell and others, Mr Hinze is the most difficult and least satisfying. The author includes in this volume, which is neither an overview nor comprehensive study but somewhere in the middle, background information, tactical, strategic and analytical coverage. Three of the types are good but the tactical coverage is fragmentary and is terribly disappointing for a reader who is concerned with piecing together all the military events of the war.

Generally speaking, the book covers the Vistula River Offensive that starts in late 1944 and works its way to the end of the war. The Soviets which had a commanding advantage in men, tanks, guns, equipment swept through Poland and Slovakia to reach Germany by April 1945. Coverage includes the Soviet advance through the Beskides, Carpathian Ranges, Solvakia especially the important Silesian industrial district and all of Poland. The fall of Berlin is not included. This book starts where "East Front Drama 1944" ends.

If you have just a casual interest in this campaign then my next comments will probably not be an issue but if your tactical concerns are high then parts of this book will be disappointing. First off, the number of tactical engagements covered is far from complete; the author provides only a sampling in each combat sector. To make it more disappointing, the examples that are given are fragmentary. Dates of the event are missing in more than half of the cases, the descriptions of the battlefields are brief as well as the locations of these battles. The author will say: "In the 17th Army area, the Soviets penetrated the front line and drove 6 km to the rear..." I would like to know which dates, cities were involved or hills and rivers; which Soviet units were involved and many other things of interest. The troop designations for the Axis side is usually given at division or Corps but sometimes only Army level but on the Soviet side the number of times unit designations are given and at the Army level only could be counted on both hands. Some of the German commanders are presented but you'll have to look elsewhere to find out who commanded the Soviet divisions.
Hitler, Guderian and the OKH is mention somewhat but not a great deal. The author discusses Hitler's unrealistic ways and how it effected the German forces on the line. Guderian tries to enlighten his boss on how to prosecute the war in the east but fails to be convincing.
While the tactical coverage is disappointing, the other aspects of the book are better. The author provides strategic insight and analysis as well as background information that is helpful and raises this volume to acceptable levels.

There are 30 maps heavily populated with cities, rivers, other landmarks. The maps will usually have German Corps or Division designations but the Soviet dispositions are not always given and only arrows are shown to depict the Soviet advance. With the generic descriptions of the tactical battles in the narrative, these maps, even with their shortcomings will help you greatly in following the action. There are also pictures which are good and add to the value of the book. There is also a Bibliography and assorted Orders of Battle that reflects the campaign progression. There are no Notes.

There is only one other book I know of that covers this campaign and that's Duffy's "Red Storm on the Reich". Hinze covers some things that Duffy misses but there were times Duffy's book was able to clarify events that weren't clear in Hinze's book. I'd like to suggest that if you have a real interest in this campaign that you read both books to get a more complete picture. The two complement each other nicely. Even with rating this book three stars, I'm still glad to have it in my collection for it adds to my knowledge base of an underrated campaign of the war.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Complicated, 17 Dec. 2010
This review is from: To The Bitter End: The Final Battles of Army Groups North Ukraine, A, Centre, Eastern Front 1944-45 (Paperback)
For those interested in the Eastern Front in WWII this book will no doubt be of interest as it does throw light on an area which has seen little attention due to a lack of authors. This book is detailed - perhaps too detailed - and suffers from having been translated from German. the frequent use of unit names is hard to follow and the maps are quite poor - one cannot follow the text with the maps. That said the clear differences between the Eastern and Western Fronts are apparent and also the suite of illogical decisions with seeminlgy a lot of units spending half their time on trains being moved around!

The author makes frequent reference to the bombing campaign and in particular Dresden, of which he is highly critical. He does not though make any mention of Auschwitz or other camps which were in the operational area being detailed - thus one can consider the comments very selective.

This is a hard book to read and only really for those with a deep interest in the topic.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is meant for the serious reader, 6 July 2011
By 
S. K. Ming (Beijing, China) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: To The Bitter End: The Final Battles of Army Groups North Ukraine, A, Centre, Eastern Front 1944-45 (Paperback)
Frankly, Rolf Hinze's books on the Eastern Front are all very technical but thorough and if you are not equipped with a good understanding of the conflict between the Nazi Germany and the Soviet state in the Eastern Front, you would have great trouble reading Hinze's books as they are all equipped with tons of maps from the German perspective and this one is no different. 'Until the Bitter End' is not funny and not a fiction we could enjoy as it would be all about the under-supplied and under- equipped and daily decimated Wehrmacht as well as the Waffen SS's sacrifice so as to delay the arrival of the Soviet Guards Corps and other soldiers to arrive in the German mother land, which would definitely be a horrifying end that every German soldier does not want to see and happen but hopelessly unavoidable.There is always a price to pay when a conflict is to end finally. I would give Hinze for this book four stars.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, 17 Oct. 2012
By 
David I. Walker (Galashiels) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: To The Bitter End: The Final Battles of Army Groups North Ukraine, A, Centre, Eastern Front 1944-45 (Paperback)
This is a very well told story on a grand scale , and all the battle-actions are well selected and varied
I found the book to be both instructive and thought provoking
This is probably the best book on the subject that I've come across, putting these actions into perspective
and I recommend you also buy THE KORSUN POCKET by Niklas Zetterling & Anders Frankson,with another great purchase
being OSTFRONT 1944 by Alex Buchner .
five Star read
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book for the serious student, 28 Jan. 2011
This review is from: To The Bitter End: The Final Battles of Army Groups North Ukraine, A, Centre, Eastern Front 1944-45 (Paperback)
A book for the serious student of this period of WWII on the Eastern Front - in my view it's a little too detailed for the general reader. And although there are lots of good maps it's sometimes difficult to follow the action. But a good well researched account.
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