5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great title on a forgotten epic seige,
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This review is from: Demyansk 1942-43 (Campaign) (Paperback)
After 40 years of studying World War Two just what do I really know? As far as the Eastern Front goes `not a lot' is the answer. In my defence I feel that I'm far from alone here. Much of what we understand about the Eastern Front comes from official Soviet histories published after the war or from captured German records. They say the victors write the history and the Soviet Union had a definite narrative it wanted to tell which meant those bits of the Great Patriotic War which didn't fit the picture were conveniently lost in the state archives. It was only with the fall the Soviet Union in 1991 that these records have become open to researchers and the vast missing bits of biggest war of all time can be bought into the light.
So I confess that when I first saw Demyansk 1941-42 on Amazon's preview section I had to look it up. In fact I had read about it briefly in John Erickson's `The Road to Stalingrad' but it didn't register at the time. That lack of familiarity certainly helped as this easily the best Osprey Campaign book I've had the pleasure to read in many years. Whilst Tobruk and Kohima are familiar enough to British readers, the siege of the Kholm pocket probably even more epic given the period of the encirclement and the scale of the casualties. This deserves to be so much better known.
Resent Campaign titles have been let down by some of the full page colour plates, either iffy artwork or dull subjects. No fear of that here with three excellent bits of original artwork by Peter Dennis doing what they should do i.e. showing some actual fighting which photographs don't capture. If I have one tiny criticism it is the maps which are not easy to follow, especially the 3D ones which are `whited out' to represent snow and ice but just end up looking blank.
Anyone interested in the Eastern Front should buy this book. The author, Dr Forczyk, is clearly on a mission with Osprey to cover more of these unknown but epic battles and if they are anywhere near as good as this title then we are in for a treat over the next few years. Buy this now.