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Berlin Operation, 1945, tells the story of the Red Armys penultimate offensive operation in the war in Europe. Here the forces of three fronts (Second and First Belorussian and First Ukrainian) forced the Oder River and surrounded the defenders of the German capital, reduced the city and drove westward to link up with the Western allies in central Germany. This is another in a series of studies compiled by the Soviet Army General Staff, which during the postwar years set itself the task of gathering and generalizing the experience of the war for the purpose of training the armed forces higher staffs in the conduct of large-scale offensive operations. The study is divided into three parts. The first contains a brief strategic overview of the situation, as it existed by the spring of 1945, with special emphasis on German preparations to meet the inevitable Soviet attack. This section also includes an examination of the decisions by the Stavka of the Supreme High Command on the conduct of the operation. As usual, the fronts materiel-technical and other preparations for the offensive are covered in great detail. These include plans for artillery, artillery and engineer support, as well as the work of the rear services and political organs and the strengths, capabilities and tasks of the individual armies. Part two deals with the Red Armys breakthrough of the Germans Oder defensive position up to the encirclement of the Berlin garrison. This covers the First Belorussian Fronts difficulty in overcoming the defensive along the Seelow Heights along the direct path to Berlin, as well as the First Ukrainian Fronts easier passage over the Oder and its secondary attack along the Dresden axis. The Second Belorussian Fronts breakthrough and its sweep through the Baltic littoral is also covered. Part three covers the intense fighting to reduce the citys defenders from late April until the garrisons surrender on 2 May, as well as operations in the area up to the formal German capitulation. This section contains a number of detailed descriptions of urban fighting at the battalion and regimental level. It closes with conclusions about the role of the various combat arms in the operation.
"A tale drenched in drama and blood, heroism and cowardice, loyalty and betrayal."—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post The Red Army had much to avenge when it finally reached the frontiers of the Third Reich in January 1945. Frenzied by their terrible experiences with Wehrmacht and SS brutality, they wreaked havoc—tanks crushing refugee columns, mass rape, pillage, and unimaginable destruction. Hundreds of thousands of women and children froze to death or were massacred; more than seven million fled westward from the fury of the Red Army. It was the most terrifying example of fire and sword ever known. Antony Beevor, renowned author of D-Day and The Battle of Arnhem, has reconstructed the experiences of those millions caught up in the nightmare of the Third Reich's final collapse. The Fall of Berlin is a terrible story of pride, stupidity, fanaticism, revenge, and savagery, yet it is also one of astonishing endurance, self-sacrifice, and survival against all odds.
This is a document of immense historical significance. Published here with an introduction by Sebastian Cox, a German viewpoint from Horst Boog, and a formerly confidential air staff memorandum commenting on the Despatch, it constitutes one of the most important records relating to the Second World War. Was Harris a hero or a war criminal? Today, because of his role in overseeing the large-scale bombing of German civilian targets, Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris is one of the most controversial figures of the Second World War. This Despatch, his official report on his war operations, gives Harris's own point of view in more detail than any other document. For many years Harris's Despatch was classified. When it was declassified it remained unpublished and was, in practice, accessible only to a small number of people who were 'in the know'. Now, for the first time, it is available in a form which will allow the general public to form its own opinion. In this document matter of fact descriptions of the destruction of entire cities sit side-by-side with technical considerations of bombing technique, defensive tactics, and striking power. Harris's concise, carefully-argued report was accompanied by numerous detailed statistical tables and graphs and these are all reproduced here.
This book investigates the complexities of modern urban operations—a particularly difficult and costly method of fighting, and one that is on the rise. Contributors examine the lessons that emerge from a range of historical case studies, from nineteenth-century precedents to the Battle of Shanghai; Stalingrad, German town clearance, Mandalay, and Berlin during World War II; and from the Battle of Algiers to the Battle for Fallujah in 2004. Each case study illuminates the features that differentiate urban operations from fighting in open areas, and the factors that contribute to success and failure. The volume concludes with reflections on the key challenges of urban warfare in the twenty-first century and beyond.
Military Police units worked to keep the peace in Europe from the occupation after World War II to the end of the Cold War. This text examines the MPs, from the arrival of the U.S. Constabulary, which was the only law enforcement force on the continent. It provides unit histories, discusses the advancement of law and order programs, and covers the provision of nuclear weapons security, customs regulations and traffic enforcement. Robert L. Gunnarsson, Sr., served as an MP in the 1960s and later worked in law enforcement. He is a writer and researcher.
A dramatic account of a violent Eastern Front battle in the final months of World War II is based on personal recollections by military and civilian witnesses and offers insight into how German soldiers of all ages tenaciously defended the town. Reprint.
Chronicles U.S. military operations since World War II and includes coverage of the Berlin blockade, Korean War, Cuban missile crisis, Vietnam War, Middle East conflicts, Grenada intervention, and Lebanon crisis
As the final month of fighting in Europe in 1945 dawned the Allies embarked upon a series of mopping up operations, destroying the last centres of German resistance as the essentially defeated Wehrmacht fought on in increasingly desperate conditions, driven on by the explicit no surrender order issued by Hitler. Yet at the same time, the Allied alliance was already on shaky ground, as German resistance was crushed the Allies began to eye each other nervously across a battletorn Europe, with the politically driven military decisions to have a huge impact on the future of the continent. This book traces the final operations of the war, from the liberation of Denmark, the Allied drive towards the Baltic straits, incursions in Yugoslavia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and engagements in Eastern and Western Germany, whilst also analyzing how the Allied strategies in the final days of the war were a hint of the future difficulties that would drive the Cold War.
On 16 April 1945 the Soviet Army launched the fourth largest offensive of WWII with the goal to capture Berlin in five days. The Soviet assualt on Berlin initiated the largest urban combat operation in recorded human history, and provided a glimpse into the savage asymmetrical warfare faced in modern conflicts. The German defence of Seelow Heights and the bloody street fighting in Berlin proved more difficult than the Soviets ever imagined, Over the next seventeen days the Soviet Army suffered higher daily losses in men than at Stalingrad, and average daily losses in tanks and aircraft were higher than at Kursk. Zhukov's operational planning proved incomplete and rushed from the start. He was under extraordinary pressure from Stalin to capture Berlin before the Western Allies, and he also continued to worry about his rival - Koneiv - who was rapidly approaching from the south. Koneiv's independent operation to take Berlain arguably saved Zhukov's offensive, but also initiated fierce instances of fratricide between opposing Soviet Armies int he city's ruins. Bloody Streets covers in unprecedented detail the planning, execution and aftermath of the Soviet assault on Berlin. Using previoulsy unpublished eyewitness accounts and archive material, the book traces the urban fighting in Berlin street-by-street and day-by-day on over 60 period aerial images. In addition, the book is profusely illustrated with over 300 photographs, many never previoulsy published, as well as eight pages of colour illustrating camouflage and markings of the armoured vehicles invloved in the fighting.
Describes in detail Soviet-German activities on the Oder River barely 40 miles from Berlin from the end of January 1945 to the culmination of the four-day breakthrough battle that decided the fate of the German capital.
The Battle of Berlin was a conflict of unprecedented scale. The Soviets massed 1,600,000 troops for Operation Berlin, and but Marshal Zhukov’s his initial attack floundered and was so costly that he had to revise his plans for taking of the city when Stalin allowed his rival, Marshal Koniev, to intervene. The fight for Berlin thus became a contest for the prize of the Reichstag, fought in the sea of rubble left by Allied aerial bombardments, now reduced further by the mass of Soviet siege artillery. Meanwhile, Hitler and his courtiers sought to continue the struggle in the totally unrealistic atmosphere that prevailed in his bunker, while soldiers and civilians alike suffered and perished unheeded all around them.
For more than four decades Berlin and her wall was the symbol of the Cold War. Oliver Boyn shows where the spies, politicians, propagandists and protestors operated.
Marshal Georgy Zhukov is one of military history’s legendary names. He played a decisive role in the battles of Moscow, Stalingrad and Kursk that brought down the Nazi regime. He was the first of the Allied generals to enter Berlin and it was he who took the German surrender.He led the huge victory parade in Red Square, riding a white horse, and in doing so, dangerously provoking Stalin’s envy. His post-war career was equally eventful – Zhukov found himself sacked and banished twice, and wrongfully accused of disloyalty. However, he remains one of the most decorated officers in the history of both Russia and the Soviet Union. Since his death in 1974, Zhukov has increasingly been seen as the indispensable military leader of the Second World War, surpassing Eisenhower, Patton, Montgomery and MacArthur in his military brilliance and ferocity. Making use of hundreds of documents from Russian military archives, as well as unpublished versions of Zhukov’s memoirs, Geoffrey Roberts fashions a remarkably intimate portrait of a man whose personality was as fascinating as it was contradictory. Tough, decisive, strong-willed and brutal as a soldier, in his private life he was charming and gentle. Zhukov’s relations with Stalin’s other generals were often prickly and fraught with rivalry, but he was the only one among them to stand up to the Soviet dictator. Piercing the hyperbole of the Zhukov personality cult, Roberts debunks many of the myths that have sprung up around Zhukov’s life, to deliver fresh insights into the marshal’s relations with Stalin, Khrushchev and Eisenhower. A highly regarded historian of Soviet Russia, Roberts has fashioned the definitive biography of this seminal 20th-century figure.
How did top Red Army commanders see the assault on Berlin in 1945 _ what was their experience of the last, terrible battle of the Second World War in Europe? Personal accounts by the most famous generals involved _ Zhukov, Koniev and Chuikov _ have been published in English, but the recollections of their principal subordinates haven't been available in the west before, and it is their role in the final Soviet offensive that is the focus of Tony Le Tissier's fascinating book. These were the officers who were responsible for the execution of the Red Army's plan for the assault, in immediate touch with the troops on the front line of the advance. They saw most clearly where the operation succeeded and where it failed. Their recollections, publication of which was long banned in the Soviet Union, throw a new light on the course of battle and on the inner workings of the Red Army command in the final phase of the conflict.
Nazi Germany's fall is regularly depicted through the dual images of Adolf Hitler directing the final battle for Berlin from his claustrophobic Führerbunker, and the subsequent Soviet victory immortalized by the flying of the 'Hammer and Sickle' over the burnt-out Reichstag. This popular view, that Germany's last battle of World War II was a deliberate, yet fatalistic, defense of Berlin planned and conducted by Hitler, is largely a historically inaccurate depiction that fits a popularized characterization of the Third Reich's end. Germany's final battle began when Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici took command of Heeresgruppe Weichsel (Army Group Vistula) on 20 March 1945, not when the massive Soviet offensive intended to capture Berlin was launched on 16 April. Heinrici, not Hitler, decided that there was only one strategic course left for Germany-hold the Soviets back along the Oder Front long enough to entice the Western Allies across the Elbe River. Heinrici knew two things: the war was lost and what remained of Germany was destined for postwar Soviet occupation. His intent was that a protracted defense along the Oder Front would force General Eisenhower to order the Western Allies into the postwar Soviet Zone of Occupation outlined in the Top Secret Allied Plan known as 'Eclipse', thereby sparing millions of Germans in the east the dismal fate of Soviet vengeance everyone knew was at hand. Berlin, Heinrici ordered, would not be defended. The capital of Germany would not become another 'Stalingrad' as Heinrici told his subordinates. A decision by OKW on 23 April to defend Berlin in a final decisive battle forced Heinrici into direct conflict with his superiors over the conduct of operations along the Oder Front -a conflict that undermined his capability to defend against the Soviets and ultimately cost Heinrici his command. In a companion volume to his successful and highly-regarded study of the Soviet assault on the city of Berlin, Bloody Streets, author A. Stephan Hamilton describes the planning and execution of the defense of the Oder Front, reconstructing it day-by-day using previously unpublished personal diaries, postwar interviews, Heeresgruppe Weichsel's war diary and daily command phone logs. Operations of the 3.Panzer Armee, 9.Armee, 12.Armee, and 21.Armee are covered in detail, with their unit movements depicted on over 60 wartime operational maps. The narrative is supported by an extensive selection of appendices, including translations of postwar narratives relating to Heeresgruppe Weichsel penned by senior German officers, biographical notes on notable officers of the Heeresgruppe, and highly detailed orders of battles. In addition to a number of b/w photographs, this study features 64 pages of operational maps reproduced in full color.
Provides an evaluative survey of the literature on the most complex and perhaps most controversial campaign of World War II.
After World War II and before the Korean War, the fi rst battle of the Cold War was fought. Not with machine guns, fi eld artillery, and tanks, but astuteness, wit, courage, and dedication. Although the Berlin Airlift lasted just under a year and is over 60 years old, the fact is this monumental effort by the Americans, British, French, and West Berliners saved a city, West Germany and undoubtedly the rest of Europe from Communism. I trust these stories about their extraordinary accomplishment will entice us all to stop and realize the signifi cance of the Berlin Airlift. I pray this book gives them all the honor and glory they so richly deserve.

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