Blood on the Shores Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jan 1995
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Mass Market Paperback
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Top customer reviews
This book is very hard to get hold of in the UK, but thanks to amazon market place and sellers in the US (where it is clearly more readily available) I managed and for cheap!!
To the book, Viktor Leonov is a remarkable man, capable of unknown feats of daring which David Stirling and his companions would equally have been impressed by.
Transferring into and eventually leading a 'naval scouts detachment' in the Soviet Navy during WW2, Leonov engages in combat in what after the jungle must be one of the most brutal environments to fight and survive in, the Arctic circle, that is in addition to two highly rated and environmentally expert German Arctic warfare divisions based in Norway and the peninsular trying to kill you at every moment!!
Expected to carry out unrelenting missions of overwhelming odds against them, Leonov and his fellow scouts had to quickly adapt and become the most finely tuned human beings, able to survive untold levels of hardship and combat stress, the likes of which were unknown to many servicemen from any side in the war.
The battle of Cape Krestovviy is dedicated an entire chapter by Lt Leonov for good reason, it was a remarkable operation that must be read by any military history buff.
I also particularly like how James Gebhart included in the appendices Germans military reports that were circulated that clearly documented the scouts actions (what better way to learn of your success than by the enemy's admission?).
All in all a great read about a subject that is still obscure to many western historians, mainly due to the lack of literature available in english. I am eternally grateful to the author and editor for allowing me to learn about an equally important struggle faced by the Russian allies in WW2 and the tremendous characters they had too in order to achieve these feats of daring.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In this book Leonov comes across as very humble, despite him earning Hero of the Soviet Union twice, he spends at lot of time on his comrades. There are lot of names to memorize and sadly a lot of them don't live to see the end of the war I guess that's why Leonov brings them up. While reading there are a lot of citations explaining various events and Soviet military culture, so I kept switching back and forth between the text I was reading and the notes in the back of the book. Not only are the exploits of this Russian unit quite heroic but apparently they are also true. Though Leonov does point out some inaccuracies as well as the author who explains better in the notes. One being how Leonov and a couple other scouts captured over 3,000 Japanese soldiers. While it may not have been quite as dramatic as the legend the fact that Viktor and his comrades secured the surrender of thousands of Japanese soldiers is still pretty astonishing.
The icing on the cake though were the appendices and notes which provide more depth and information into the Soviet naval scouts. Overall its a good book and I can recommend it to anyone who as interest in the subject matter. Its not really for light reading though as there are maps, names, unit numbers and a lot of other bits of information that while a military historian may enjoy the general reader may be somewhat overwhelmed. Its kind of a shame, the appendices and notes point out that there is definitely a lot of information on these units out there but no one has really bothered to bring it to light.
As a history buff, this book is a must finish/must read.
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