Hans Schäufler fought as the commander of a Jagdpanther tank destroyer in rearguard actions against the Red Army in East Prussia in 1945. Then, as an infantryman, he took part in the doomed defense of Danzig and made a daring escape across the Baltic in a small boat. This is his story, and it is the story of tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians who were caught up in the chaos and tragedy of the German retreat. His eyewitness account is one of the most revealing records we have of the experience of the collapse of the Third Reich in the east. As well as giving a vivid insight into the German army's tactics as they fell back before the Soviet advance, he describes the appalling conditions and the fear and panic that gripped the city. Acute shortages of men, equipment, ammunition and fuel crippled the defense, but extraordinary resilience, heroism and ingenuity still motivated the soldiers who were fighting for a lost cause and facing certain defeat.
Broadly defined as the grey area between strategy and tactics, operational art spans the theory and practice of planning and conducting campaigns and major operations aimed at accomplishing strategic and operational objectives in a given theatre of operations. An intermediate link between strategy and tactics has always existed, but a distinct concept that encompasses a systematic and deliberate plan of campaign for major operations is a mere two hundred years old. Based on country specific case-studies, this book describes how the concepts that underpin operational art originated, how they received practical expression in various campaigns, and how they developed over time. The point of departure is the campaigns of 'the God of War', Napoleon Bonaparte. The book then proceeds with chapters on the evolution of operational art in Prussia / Germany, the Soviet Union / Russia, the United Kingdom, United States, Israel, and China. The final chapter deals with the future of operational art in irregular warfare. Theory is critical to refining and improving existing methods of applying operational warfare, and its importance cannot be overstated; however, to be useful, theory and its accompanying vocabulary must be combined with a proper examination of historical trends and practical experience. The present volume attempts to achieve that combination. This book is a project of the Oxford Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War.
"If the tanks succeed, then victory follows." General Heinz Guderian, 1937 After seeing the success of the British tanks in the First World War, the Germans decided that the future of warfare lay in the Panzerkampfwagen, the armoured fighting vehicle, later simply known as the Panzer. In time, the Panzer Corps would become the German army's ...
When Germany attacked Poland on September 1, 1939, nothing like it had ever been seen before. Heralded by the insidious whine of Stuka dive-bombers, seven divisions of Panzers rolled across the border supported by motorized infantry. While tanks were punching gaping holes through Polish lines and racing on at speed towards Warsaw, defenseless re...
On-the-ground account of the opening campaign of World War II Told from the perspective of the Germans who conquered Poland Based on letters, diaries, official documents, histories, and newspapers At dawn on September 1, 1939, the Germans launched their land, air, and sea assault on Poland, sparking the great conflagration of World War II and shocking the world with the speed and ferocity of their blitzkrieg. With thundering panzers and screaming dive-bombers, they crushed the vital port of Danzig into submission, drove the Polish Air Force from the skies, and took Warsaw amid great bloodshed. After six weeks of brave resistance, the Poles surrendered, no match for the Nazi war machine.
Proceedings Fo the Fourth Art of War Symposium, Garmisch, October, 1987
Author: David M. Glantz
Beginning with Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, this volume draws upon eye-witness German accounts supplemented with German archival and detailed Soviet materials. Formerly classified Soviet archival materials has been incorporated.
Rising '44 is a brilliant narrative account of one of the most dramatic episodes in 20th century history, drawing on Davies' unique understanding of the issues and characters involved. In August 1944 Warsaw offered the Wehrmacht the last line of defence against the Red Army's march from Moscow to Berlin. When the Red Army reached the river Vistula, the people of Warsaw believed that liberation had come. The Resistance took to the streets in celebration, but the Soviets remained where they were, allowing the Wehrmacht time to regroup and Hitler to order that the city of Warsaw be razed to the ground. For 63 days the Resistance fought on in the cellars and the sewers. Defenceless citizens were slaughtered in their tens of thousands. One by one the City's monuments were reduced to rubble, watched by Soviet troops on the other bank of the river. The Allies expressed regret but decided that there was nothing to be done, Poland would not be allowed to be governed by Poles. The sacrifice was in vain and the Soviet tanks rolled in to the flattened city. It is a hugely dramatic story, vividly and authoritatively told by one of our greatest historians.