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Battleground Prussia: The Assault on Germany's Eastern Front 1944-45 [Format Kindle]

Prit Buttar
3.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"A powerful pick... It comes packed with action shots and photos, first-hand accounts from soldiers on both sides - most of which have never appeared in English - and follows the months between the arrival of the Red Army in Germany to the collapse of Hitler's regime. No military collection strong in World War II should be without this specific, in-depth analysis." - The Midwest Book Review (December 2010)

"...[a] marvelously written and illustrated new work with excellent maps on a series of battles too long overlooked ... deserves to be read by any true devotee of World War II." -Military Advisor (Winter 2010/2011)

Présentation de l'éditeur

In September 1944 the Soviet Army poured into German territory, flooding the martial heartland of the Reich, Prussia. Hopelessly outnumbered by the human wave of the Red Army, the Wehrmacht fought on with determination, but was gradually beaten back. This book describes the great battles that marked the Soviet conquest of Prussia, from Memel to Königsberg, the Heiligenbeil Pocket to Danzig. Using accounts never before published in English, Prit Buttar looks at the campaign both from a command level, and from the perspective of normal soldiers on the front line.

Prit Buttar's second book, Between Giants: The Battle for The Baltics in World War II, is available from May 20th.

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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Un bon livre sur un sujet peu traité 3 mai 2011
Par lgmf
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Prusse orientale et occidentale, Lituanie, Königsberg, Dantzig, de la mi 44 à la fin de la guerre, du point de vue allemand principalement.
Texte agréable, beaucoup de témoignages, notamment de civils, des précisions historiques intéressantes sur les unités et les lieux, un peu moins bien sur le technique (erreurs de type de chars, d'armement).
Vaut le coût, car informations difficiles à trouver ailleurs sur cette zone d'opérations.
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 Intéressant 22 mai 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Une zone souvent oubliée de la seconde guerre mondiale que ce livre vient rappeler. Avec beaucoup de témoignages intéressants. Le livre manque malheureusement un peu de vision d'ensemble et se perd parfois dans des détails difficiles à suivre vu le manque de lisibilité des cartes sur Kindle...
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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  73 commentaires
87 internautes sur 89 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Covers a somewhat neglected portion of the Eastern Front 16 novembre 2010
Par WryGuy2 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
"Battleground Prussia: The Assault on Germany's Eastern Front 1944-45" by Dr. Prit Buttar, is an impressive work dealing with the German defense of East and West Prussia from late 1944 until the war's end. The first few chapters set the stage, describing the political situation in Prussia, the impacts of the earlier part of the war on the area, and introduces several major characters, such as Erich Koch, the Gauleiter of East Prussia from 1928 until 1945, who had a tremendous impact (mostly bad) on the fighting. The remainder of the book discusses, in detail, the various Soviet offensives and desperate German attempts to hold the Soviets back as long as possible, as well as covering the German civilians attempts to flee and the horrible revenge extracted by the Soviets on those portions of the German population that fell into their hands.

In the course of the narrative, Dr. Buttar points out the many mistakes and criminal neglect by the German party officials and the German High Command, such as not allowing civilians to evacuate until it was literally too late, not evacuating the Courland Pocket to provide much needed reserves to the German front, transferring divisions around the various fronts so that they were in transit instead of being where they were needed, and forcing the German forces to defend so-called fortresses to the death rather than retreat in time and in good order. While, as the author points out, the Germans probably wouldn't been able to stop the Soviet offensive even if they had made more sensible decisions, they could have greatly increased the cost in blood to the Soviets.

The book is very evenhanded in its evaluation of the two sides, but most of the anecdotes and details are from the German side. I personally don't have any problems with that, especially as the author takes great pains to as fair as possible ... even when describing the atrocities that occurred, he puts them into their historical context and doesn't paint the entire Soviet army with a black brush. I just mention it as part of this review.

What I really like about this book is that it provides a lot of detail to a portion of the war that has not been well covered, in my opinion. In most books, this Eastern Front campaign is only briefly covered as a short bridge between Operation Bagration and the fall of Berlin, even though it included some of the most ferocious combat of the entire war. I consider myself an amateur historian and own well over 400 books on World War II, with an emphasis on the Eastern Front, and this book contains a lot of new information to me and fills in some of the gaps in my knowledge of the war in this theater.

I do have two nits to pick though. First, while there are around a dozen or so maps, there really needs to be a lot more. Dr. Buttar provides tremendous written detail on the fighting, attacks, and counterstrokes of the campaign, but more maps accompanying his fine prose would have added greatly to my understanding. Second, I would have liked to have seen more information on the units themselves ... an order of battle perhaps, the manpower strengths of the units, the losses they took, and so on. I realize that reliable records were increasingly hard to come by at this point of the war, particularly from the German side, but some summaries during the battle would have helped put more of a face on the losses suffered by both sides. Overall, though, I did not find these nits to be fatal flaws in the book, just things I wish the author had done differently.

Overall, I give this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to history buffs with an interest in World War II, and in the Eastern Front.
72 internautes sur 73 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great book but I have a problem with the editor 2 juin 2012
Par sully - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
There are many well written reviews here about this book and I agree with the mostly positive views expressed. As these reviews say, this is a fantastic study of an overlooked aspect of the Eastern Front. This book shows the horrors of war for soldiers and civilians which are are beyond comprehension.

My problem with the book has been expressed by others and that is the lack of good maps. I do not understand how editors of military history can allow books to be published which describe movements of units and do not provide adequate maps. I cannot believe that the editor of this book even reads military history. This an issue for me and for any editors out there who read this review, I have some points to make:

1. You have a town or city which plays an important part in a battle, you get it on a map. You have a military unit in the narration, you get it on a map.
2. Locate maps in the book close to the same point in the narration of the battle
3. Put lots of details in the maps including geographic points which are part of a battle. Us military historians like detailed maps. We are map fanatics! You are not wasting ink.
4. Show the movements of units expressed in the battle narrations in a detailed manner. Lots of arrows! We like arrows.
5. Always have a map of the big picture. This book needed a map of Eastern Europe as well as the map of East Prussia. Why you may ask? Even though military history readers probably know the information, we like to see the big picture too.
6. Finally, think about who is reading this book. It is not Oprah Book Club. Put in the maps! We like maps, we look at them. They are not wasted pages. Give us maps!!!

If any of you know a military history book editor, send this review to him or her.

86 internautes sur 91 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Highly Researched, A Terrific Read 25 septembre 2010
Par Dave Schranck - Publié sur Amazon.com
The author has written an eminently satisfying read, blending good tactical battle coverage, commentary and appraisal of that coverage, many anecdotal experiences of soldiers trying to stay alive and civilians trying to escape the ravages of battle as well as background history on the country, people, towns and ships. There is also some coverage of the assault on Pomerania between the Oder and Vistula Rivers but the main focus is on East Prussia.

Before the battle coverage begins, the first two chapters present background history that help support the reader's understanding of the coming battle. In the first chapter, a brief history of East Prussia is given reflecting its military past as well as its relationships with Poland and Russia. There has been some turbulent times between these neighbors. Chapter two discusses Germany's war doctrine, having the Panzer Blitzkrieg at its center. The strengths and weaknesses as well as the organization of the Panzer Arm is discussed. The author makes special mention of the German economy being unable to fulfill all the needs of this doctrine. Too few quality panzers and transport vehicles drastically limited the German potential.
A very brief synopsis of the early war that includes the Grand Alliance and culminating with Operation Bagration is also included in this chapter. Other background info is presented throughout the book.

Battle coverage begins in late 1944 with Bagramian's drive toward Memel on the coast, attempting to isolate and destroy AGN. The Baltic Front did separate AGN from AGC but was unable to destroy AGN. You will also read about the massacre at Nemmersdorf and Cherniakhovsky's 3rd Baltic Front's first attempt to enter Prussia which ended in little progress.
The main battle doesn't begin until January when Cherniakhovsky tries again to enter East Prussia and head for Konigsberg. This time he'll have help from Rokossovky's 2nd BRF heading toward Elbing, not far from Danzig. At this same time Konev breaks out of the Sandomierz bridgehead with his powerful 1st UF, adding further weight to the Soviet offensive. The Germans put up a desperate struggle, inflicting heavy casualties but it will be futile against the superior Soviet forces. Tactical coverage is provided down to the division level on the German side while on the Soviet side its either Army level or division level. This book is German driven but the Soviet side is still represented but to a lesser degree. This may be a stumbling block for some but it can easily be seen that the author has devoted a lot of time to this book and is not heavy handed for the German side and still worthy of a high rating.

This comprehensive battle coverage will describe the important sieges of the fortress cities that Hitler demands to be held to the last man like Konigsberg, Elbing, Danzig, Gotenhafen, Heilgenbeil, Lotzen, Kolberg, Konitz, Bromberg, Fischhausen, Samland, Pillau and Peyse plus a dozen smaller sites like Tilsit, Rozan, Serock, Thorn. In addition to the battles, the author provide brief profiles on Reinhardt, Hossbach, Lasch, Koch, Muller, Nerhing, Himmler and others. Its also shown how Hitler's erratic orders cost lives and when Reinhardt, von Saucken disobeyed them were dismissed. To add further interest and energize the narrative, hundreds of personal experiences are presented. This anecdotal coverage clearly shows the brutal struggle the soldiers were in, confirming this was indeed a war of annihilation. Civilians trying to escape the reprisal of the Russian soldier is also clearly shown.
In addition to the land war, the importance of controlling the Baltic Sea is presented. It was the life line of the isolated Germans in Prussia and in the Baltic countries and the Russians would try to close that avenue. The sinkings of Wilhelm Gustloff, the Steuben and Goya among dozens of other vessels costing thousands of lives is discussed. Quite a bit of time is spent on the evacuations that took place right up to the end of the war.
The closing chapter discusses the last few weeks of war as well as post war politics including the Potsdam conference, the forced relocation of Germans living outside of Germany back to Germany. The beginnings of the Cold War is lightly touched. A few key personalities, like General Rokossovsky and Admiral Donitz are also mentioned post war.

There were 14 black and white maps of the different engagements which were helpful but I could envision having a few more maps. A small gallery of interesting photos is included. There is also a decent Notes section and Bibliography (English and German books) and Index but no Appendix with an Order of Battle or Tables of Statistics but there are some statistics running throughout the book. The author frequently discusses panzer divisions and the contribution they make in stopping the Red Army. Working panzers and new panzers added to the Front keep the reader up to current battle levels.

From my perspective, this book was most engaging and informative, covering an important battle sector near the end of the war that's not that well covered in the English world. It's a "must have" book that not only provides the "dry" battle facts but also the important personal aspects that brings the book to life. If you're a WWII fan, this should seriously be considered on your buy list. Its highly recommended.
46 internautes sur 51 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Review 30 novembre 2010
Par Stephen Campbell - Publié sur Amazon.com
I bought this book at B&N a couple of weeks ago on a whim influenced by the index. With books like this I find the index is invaluable and a good one will influence my purchase tremendously. This book has a four star index.

Books written in English about the Army Group North area of operations for this time period are rare. This, I believe, is because no American, or UK troops were involved in campaigns here. This was basically a Soviet v. German slugfest. The quality and detail of the information presented is outstanding. It is clearly written, and for a book like this, unlike others I have read, is not slanted towards a specific side. By this I mean that while written primarily about the Wehrmacht the author has no political agenda.

I had no problems with this book. It is a five star book. If you are interested in the Wehrmacht units involved in this area you would have a difficult time finding a better resource. If anything the amount of data the author presents is a bit overwhelming. I do not consider that a drawback. If anything it is another reason to buy the book.
29 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A Study in Doom 10 juillet 2011
Par Michael P. McHugh - Publié sur Amazon.com
A German philosopher once concluded that "God is dead." Deepen your appreciation of this observation by reading Prit Buttar's Battleground Prussia. This book documents the end of World War II in the region known for centuries as Prussia. The story represents some of the darkest pages in one of the blackest chapters of human history. If you are prone to deep depression, I recommend seriously that you do not read this book.

To illustrate the godlessness of this place in history consider what is one of the happiest tales in Battleground: After days of searching, an amputee soldier is thrilled to pull a package addressed for him out of the rubble of a bombed out school turned makeshift prosthetics factory. To further illustrate the unpleasant nature of this tale, consider that "unspeakable" is one of the more common concepts expressed across the author's excellent collection of firsthand accounts. In this book you will read things you wish you hadn't, and you will know that words like `unspeakable" spared you many horrors.

This particular World War II story is distinguished in wartime ugliness partly because of the fate of the civilian population caught up in some of the most violent fighting of the war. But it was also increasingly understood at the time that total and extended debasement lay in store for any surviving Germans after the passing fronts scorched them over. This understanding fed a massive and unspeakably desperate refugee disaster initially in arctic conditions.

This book really has no "good guys." The Baltic Sea evacuation flotilla deserves honorable mention and countless German adults today should be mindful of total and anonymous sacrifices made to buy their parents and grandparents time to get out alive. Because the book's focus is on the general hopelessness of the German plight, it is easier to empathize with them. But Buttar is persistent in reminding his readers that what the Red Army did to Germany, the Wehrmacht did in Russia.

This book surprised me in showing me how the German army with its sputtering logistics, dwindling manpower, and maniacal senior leadership could still locally impose its will on the well-resourced Soviets for short periods of time. This reinforces the notion that the Red Army has been overestimated in terms of almost everything but its size. Buttar documents the German logistical weaknesses well with astonishing examples of powerful panzers lost more commonly to fuel shortages than to enemy fire. I was also surprised that German military accounts note the presence of American equipment in the Red Army more than I expected since it has become fashionable to downplay that American material support.

Unfortunately, this book pains its readers with its lack of maps. The author's tendency to describe Soviet activity in terms of a numbered unit and a named commander moving from one town toward another makes the book less interesting and even harder to follow especially in the middle chapters. Certain Soviet units seem significantly more important in the fighting than others, yet they remain little more than a flag, a number, and vector. This combination of weaknesses almost convinced me to put the book down. The last several chapters are among the best in the book.

If there is value in recounting this painful story, largely unknown in the West, it may be this lesson: Suppress your country's inner monster. But more importantly, make certain you can defend against the external monsters. Prit Buttar's Battleground may not convince you that "God is dead." But this book documents conclusively that sometimes God is very hard to find, and that Prussia most assuredly has been murdered.
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