The author approaches this titanic struggle from the question of why Hitler ever thought it was great idea. The research has been thorough and the author answers his question with compelling argument – Most Highly Recommended.
NAME: Slaughter on the Eastern Front, Hitler and Stalin's War 1941-1945 FILE: R2524 AUTHOR: Anthony Tucker-Jones PUBLISHER: The History Press BINDING: hard back PAGES: 319 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: World War II, WWII, World War 2, Second World War, Great Patriotic War, Eastern Front, Barbarossa, Germany, Soviet Union
IMAGE: B2524.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/lhcbume LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The author approaches this titanic struggle from the question of why Hitler ever thought it was great idea. The research has been thorough and the author answers his question with compelling argument – Most Highly Recommended. There will be many conflicting views about the German decision to invade the Soviet Union and about the why that Hitler conducted the war. This new book may sway some opinion but, for many, views are entrenched, even if based on flimsy evidence. The whole answer to the basic question about Hitler's reasons for invading are complex. Having failed to win air superiority over Britain, the Germans were unable to mount an invasion. That left Hitler in command across Western Europe, after stunning victories, with nowhere much to go. He and his senior commanders convinced themselves that Britain might be undefeated, but was effectively neutralized, unable to counter attack across the Channel. The Soviet Union presented a potential threat to Nazi Germany as an opposing ideology and as a powerful military threat. Numerically, all the odds were on the Soviet side, but the Germans did understand the damage done to the military by Stalin's purges and were also aware of the current obsolescence of much of the Soviet weapons. That provided reason to believe that a lightning war could defeat the Soviets ahead of the winter, while Britain was still too weak to pose a direct European threat. It could justify a belief that, in its weakened state, Britain was therefore not an active front, leaving the Germans free to open an Eastern Front without it becoming a two front war. Some have advanced this as a reasonable justification for the invasion of Russia. The logic was that any delay could see Britain become a very active front again, whilst the Soviets rebuilt their military and received new and more potent weapons. If that situation arrived, Germany was doomed. Invasion in 1941 could therefore be considered as a last chance of total victory, and probably of avoiding disastrous defeat. We know now that the Germans were able to make very rapid advances into Russia, sweeping all opposition aside and destroying most of the Soviet Air Forces on the ground. Initially it looked like a re-run of the triumphs on the Western Front in 1940. We also now know how poor the German intelligence was and this led to a serious situation when the winter arrived. The Germans were simply not prepared to fight in the conditions, but the Russians were familiar with their winter and prepared for it. Hitler had also completely failed to allow for the vast spaces of the Soviet Union and his total lack of heavy bombers to reach the new factories being established behind the Urals. Once the Soviets moved onto the offensive, Hitler's amateur generalship prevented German armies from responding by falling back and attempting to draw Russian Armies into encirclement. Of course this benefits from hindsight and the Soviet and German perceptions were different at the time in many areas. The same case can be made against the Japanese decision to expand their established war on China. In their case, they depended heavily on destroying the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour and then rapidly advancing through Indo-China. Both the Germans and the Japanese convinced themselves that the enemy was weak militarily and as a society. This allowed them to believe that they could act quickly and decisively, perhaps force a truce, before then staging a further war. In Hitler's case, there was a further encouragement in that, in 1941, he believed he was the perfect general and was invincible. Further more, most of his senior officers shared his belief in invincibility. The opening stages of war on the Eastern Front did nothing to contradict this view. The author has assembled his proofs and presented them clearly. There is good supporting illustration in the form of photographs and maps. The case is argued compellingly. From there it is down to each reader to decide how far the case has been made. It is a great read that rewards the reader.