Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East Cambridge Military Histories

Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East Cambridge Military Histories❮KINDLE❯ ❦ Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East Cambridge Military Histories ❅ Author David Stahel – Oaklandjobs.co.uk Operation Barbarossa the German invasion of the Soviet Union began the largest and most costly campaign in military history Its failure was a key turning point of the Second World War The operation wa Operation Barbarossa the German invasion and Germany's Kindle × of the Soviet Union began the largest and most costly campaign in military history Its failure was a key turning point of the Second World War The operation was planned as a Blitzkrieg to win Germany its Lebensraum in the East and the summer of is well known for the German army's unprecedented victories and advances Yet the German Blitzkrieg depended almost entirely upon the motorised Panzer groups particularly those of Army Group Centre Using previously unpublished archival records David Stahel presents a new history of Germany's summer Operation Barbarossa PDF/EPUB or campaign from the perspective of the two largest and most powerful Panzer groups on the Eastern front Stahel's research provides a fundamental reassessment of Germany's war against the Soviet Union highlighting the prodigious internal problems of the vital Panzer forces and revealing that their demise in the earliest phase of the war undermined the whole German invasion. An in depth examination of the planning and execution of the invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany why Operation Barbarossa failed and how this failure became the decisive campaign of the Second World War dooming the Germans to defeat Cogently written the focus of the narrative is the battles of Army Group Center the most powerful and important of the three army groups deployed and its battles up until the end of August 1941 as well as the resulting conflicts within the German high command as the campaign progressed Dr Stahel maintains that the Wehrmacht never really had the slightest chance of winning this battle and he skillfully uses the sources to back up his contention Without going into too many details here's how it went down Firstly the level of German military economic and geographic intelligence about the Soviet Union was abysmal Secondly the profoundly racist outlook of the Nazi state absurdly inflated the abilities of the German military The German soldier can do anything and belittled the combat capabilities of the Russians who turned out to be able to fight much harder and skillfully than expected as the Germans themselves would ruefully admit The operational concept of the invasion was deeply flawed as well expecting that the Red Army would be destroyed in the first 6 to 8 weeks of the campaign before the Germans would reach the Dnepr Dvina line Finally given the vast distances involved the logistical resources available to support this huge battle were utterly inadeuate to the task One should remember as I pointed out that the emphasis in this book is on the progress of AG Center and that the maps excellent reprints from books by David Glantz are only of that unit It's hard to argue with Dr Stahel's conclusion that the professional reputations of the German officers who planned and carried out Operation Barbarossa have been inflated beyond their true uality An important addition to our knowledge of the Eastern Front in WWII This is one of the most interesting books I have read recently The research is excellent and well presented with detailed information and a logical format It certainly shows a reality away from the myth that is so often stated You might go into this book with the idea of German military supremacy and you will see how actually this isn't necessarily the case What is an important point in this book is comparing the contemporary reports and diaries with the post war versions published by many of the generals involved It is interesting to note the difference and lack of co operation It is also interesting to see the condition of the Red Army at this time and the differences in area commands and euipment For anyone wanting to know about the myth about the Soviets planning to invade Germany this is also covered in the book in some detailThis is a great book for anyone who already has knowledge or wants to read The author's premise is that the outcome of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union was determined not by the long winter or the strength of the Soviet army Rather it was determined by German arrogance a lack of planning for logistics and the amazing lack of intelligence gathering before the invasion The book makes a good case for all of these factors However it does not persuade me that the war could not have been won on the Eastern front even after The initial operation failed Many factors including the US entering the war may have been decisive The author makes the additional case that Hitler truly felt that Churchill would see Germany's attack on the Soviet a union as a good thing and negotiate a peace And that the systematic annihilation of the Jews began when he perceived that his prediction of a world war started by Jews was beginning to occur when Churchill and Roosevelt met and began to supply the Soviet Union Fascinating but FlawedI can’t uite remember when Operation Barbarossa first started to establish itself as a major element in my intellectual and imaginative world Perhaps the seed was planted by Al Stewart’s song “Roads to Moscow” or perhaps it was the “Barbarossa” episode of “The World at War” In any case it was the latter that laid down the template for the dominant narrative of Barbarossa as I understood it massive German successes in the early stages scuppered by Hitler’s strategic blunders and the Russian ability to take advantage of those blunders through sheer weight of numbersDavid Stahel’s substantial book aims to rewrite the dominant narrative replacing it with a nuanced picture and arguing that Germany’s defeat on the Eastern Front was assured from the moment that the opening Blitzkrieg failed to destroy the Red Army’s capacity to resist; in Stahel’s telling Germany’s attack was doomed from the start undermined by bad planning unrealistic expectations inadeuate logistic provision underestimation of the enemy’s capacities unclear strategic aims and a divided leadership group working at cross purposesStahel’s makes a convincing indeed an exhausting case His book is particularly strong when he covers the technicaloperationaltactical levels painting a clear picture of how the German army’s poor logistics and inadeuate numbers created a dynamic whereby the ever expanding front could not be defended and the offensive spearhead could not press forward to deliver the necessary knock out blowThe research is rich and detailed and the content eually so My main caveats concern focus and editing sometimes the narrative switches tracks without sufficient signposting; the text is somewhat repetitive; and the prose is overly heavy with adjectives and woefully short of appropriate commas There’s also a puzzling lack of attention paid to the interrelationship between the campaign and the mass killing that came in its wake even though Stahel touches on this aspect in his Conclusion for me it is not really covered explicitly enough in the text for him to warrant his conclusions in this regardOverall though I found this very impressive and it has enriched and transformed my understanding of Barbarossa over June August 1941 Stahel has written a series of books on the subseuent phases of the Eastern Front war and I look forward to reading those too with eual profit There are myths surrounding operation Barbarossa the 1941 Nazi Germany invasion of the Soviet Union that persist in the popular imagination to this day For all appearances the Germans were invincible they conuered vast territory defeated many Russian armies who must have fought very poorly or not at all evidenced by the millions of prisoners the Germans took in the process They would have reached Moscow were they not thwarted by severe winter weather and snow In short as if in a retelling of a Norse saga they were only defeated because they dared defy the gods of natural elements As meticulous scholarship has shown nothing could have been further from the truth In books such as Weinberg's the World at Arms Tooze's the Wages of Destruction Glantz's Barbarossa Derailed and here Stahel's Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East the origin of the defeat was revealed rooted in German calculations and actions and Russian reactions not in the elements which as Glantz and others wryly commented happen to affect both parties Germany did not have the strategic depth industrial population to challenge the Russians or for that matter the US and England and certainly not the three together The Germans grossly underestimated their foe who fought the invasion with absolute tenacity and fearsome resistance all the way from the start of the hostilities until the fall of Berlin in 1945 Even in the darkest days of the summer of 1941 the Soviet front never lost its cohesion There were always fresh Soviet armies to fight the next battle Even when surrounded and doomed the Russians again and again fought on Ivan was no push over What Stahel articulates in this book and as such adds to our knowledge of the failure of Barbarossa is a deep understanding of the inchoate German strategic planning the fundamental division of opinion on the objectives of the war that emerged between Hitler and the army leadership which resulted in inescapable confusion and problems as the operation went underway Whereas Hitler focused on destroying Russian forces and conuering Russian territory that is relevant economically to the outcome of the global war with Moscow being a secondary objective the army leadership focused obsessively on the need to take Moscow as the pivotal knockout event of the war This basic confusion about the aims of the war lead to a serious clash of visions that was detrimental to the execution and outcome of the operation By focusing on German archives Stahel documents gross incompetence when it comes to the planning of Barbarossa by the German staff inability to properly size up their enemy without blinkers and racial biases and a sense of smug superiority that blinded the German staff to the results of their own war games and analyses Ironically the latter were conducted by none other than Friedrich Paulus of Stalingrad fame who on the eve of Barbarossa was deputy chief of the General Staff The Germans threw themselves into battle with little understanding of the foe they were to face We now know through the work of Stahel Glantz and others that militarily Brabarossa did not fail at the gates of Moscow but much earlier perhaps as early as the summer battles of Smolensk With Stahel's analysis the failure occurred even earlier at the planning and staging phases Stahel's is a carefully researched book on the subject that is a pleasure to read though it does demand patient attention It is focused exclusively on the German archives which is a limitation though not a shortcoming as such For the student of WWII other books that explore the Russian and other archives would nicely complement Stahel's research Overall very highly recommended A very detailed look at the first two months of Operation Barbarossa from the perspective of German Army Group Central It shows how Germany totally underestimated the resolve of the Red Army and over estimated their logistics ability The grinding down of the German Blitzkrieg and lack of agreement on strategic objectives meant the German Army could not defeat the Soviet Union in 1941 which essentially meant they could not win the war Making the same mistakes as Napoleon Germany essentially lost the war the day they invaded as did Napoleon It was not the winter weather it was the distances lack of infrastructure and total inability to resupply men and machines lost The High Command from Hitler on down were unable to see the problems or admit them To a great extent it was because they were fighting based on the lessons of the First World War ExemplaryWhile I consider myself somewhat better versed in the details of the German Soviet war than most this bracing study broadened and deepened my understanding of this most merciless of modern conflicts His contention that Barbarossa’s failure doomed the German effort Stalingrad and other assaults notwithstanding appears ably supported by deep research and convinced me which is always a delight This is an excellent history and analysis of the German campaign to conuer Russia in 1941 Stahel's core argument is that once Germany failed to achieve a blitzkrieg knockout of Russia in the summer of 1941 it was locked into a long war of attrition that it could never win Readers may uarrel with his conclusions but his analyses are deeply researched and closely argued This is a coherent and lucid analysis much of which profoundly refutes an enormous body of prior study which had generally viewed the 1941 campaign as generally successful with the turning point of the Eastern war being Germany's defeat at Stalingrad Stahel identifies many critical errors that doomed the campaign but the points he returns to are bad planning and terrible logistics The planning process was corrupted by the German high command's arrogant belief that the putative superiority of the German army would result in a fast collapse of the Russian forces That premise was uickly refuted; while the Russian military leadership was disorganized and weak the Russians fought tenaciously and inflicted casualties that deeply weakened the German army Despite this mounting evidence however the Germans generals continued to believe the Russians were beaten and their collapse imminentGerman logistics also failed in ways that undermined the war effort From early on the campaign was chewing up German tanks and vehicles both through combat and the rigors of fighting through swamps and bad roads The Germans failed to anticipate these problems or to address them after they developed resulting in the German army being chronically below full fighting strength Even ammunition was shortThe German generals were also riven by internal jealousies and disputes with Hitler over tactical objectivesStahel makes a further point that after the war the German generals and some historians tried to distance the army from Nazism and portray it as an honorable servant of the state Stahel shows that position to be false that the high command enthusiastically supported Hitler and carried out atrocities in the Russia campaign Opposition to Hitler emerged only after the war was lost he contendsStahel's conclusion is that by failing to conuer Russia in 1941 Germany's subseuent defeat was foreordained Not everyone will agree with that conclusion but all serious students of the war will recognize the powerful and persuasive scholarship that Stahel marshals to support his theories This is an important contribution to understanding the war in the East Very vivid and gory detail of war and it's impact especially when the leaders on both sides Hitler Stalin prepared to sacrifice everything for their megalomaniac idea of human society The author goes to great pain to justify with facts and evidence how absurd was Hitler's ambition and Stalin's counter strategy; with Soviet's best generals already sent to GulagAfter the first few exciting chapters about brilliant Wehrmacht strategy that lead to uick wins emerge the the horrific details One can't help but have an unsettling feeling in the stomach about the real conseuences of a war In fact I felt very sorry for those eastern Europe civilians that bore the brunt I couldn't help but uit reading after the middle chaptersNot for the faint of the heart If you’ve ever wondered how Germany could advance so deeply and so swiftly in the heart of European Russia and then fail to defeat Russia you must read this book It is an excellent recounting of why the invasion of Russia in 1941 code named Barbarossa failed It is told primarily from the standpoint of the German perspective What were their plans who were the critical field generals as well as the High Command members and of course Hitler All the mistakes are there and explained both the planning mistakes and the errors in execution of the plan This is a very readable history and very informative recounting of the war in the East

Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East
  • Hardcover
  • 483 pages
  • Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East Cambridge Military Histories
  • David Stahel
  • English
  • 27 May 2016
  • 9780521768474