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on: Nov 30 2016 - 8:42pm

During the summer of 1942 Hitler and OKH had split Germany's Army Group South in two. Army Group A represented the linchpin of the German strategic effort. Army Group A's objectives included the Maikop oil fields (captured during August, albeit after being thoroughly demolished), the Grozny oil refineries, and the Baku oil fields. Together, these oil fields and refineries constituted the overwhelming majority of the Soviet Union's sources of oil.

on: Nov 29 2016 - 12:43am

Late in August of 1942 the German Sixth Army bore down on Stalingrad. The German commander, General Freidrich Paulus, had much to contemplate regarding how he would approach the task of seizing the city that would become the bane of his existence and end his military career in catastrophic fashion. Stalingrad sprawled down the broad Volga River's western bank in a long (at over 25 miles) strip of land.

on: Nov 21 2016 - 5:40pm

In recent weeks I have been examining the Soviet offensives launched against the German Sixth Army's flanks as it pounded it's way into Stalingrad. However, there is one important point that needs to be stressed. The First Kotluban offensive of September 1942 was far from the first Soviet effort to throw back Sixth Army from Stalingrad. In fact, from the very first day that Sixth Army's spearheads reached the Volga River they were under near continuous attack.

On August 23, 1942 Sixth Army's

on: Nov 16 2016 - 7:26pm

Over the past month we have looked at four major Soviet offensives launched against the German Sixth Army's northern flank as it attempted to clear the Soviet 62nd Army from Stalingrad (pictured in the image to the right). In particular, the Red Army's First Kotluban offensive had an enormous impact on events inside the city. As bad as the Second through Fourth Kotluban offensive's went for the Soviet Don Front's army's they also would impact not only the fighting within Stalingrad, but the

on: Nov 15 2016 - 8:46pm

Last month I began an in-depth look at what was happening outside Stalingrad while what has become one of the most remembered battles of the Second World War was waged in the streets and ruins of the city.

on: Oct 6 2016 - 6:43pm

Seventy-four years ago one of the Second World War's most important battles raged in the Russian city of Stalingrad. That fighting still attracts the attention of history enthusiasts to this day, but what is often forgotten is that what was happening outside Stalingrad had an enormous impact on events inside the city.

General of Panzer Troops Friedrich Paulus's Sixth Army and Colonel General Hermann Hoth's Fourth Panzer Army spent September of 1942 battering the Soviet Southeastern Front's

on: Sep 14 2016 - 2:56pm

By Mandy Smithberger*

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is the most expensive procurement program in Pentagon history. It’s been plagued by schedule delays, gross cost overruns, and a slew of underwhelming performance reviews. Last month the Air Force declared its variant “ready for combat,” and most press reports lauded this as a signal that the program had turned a corner.

on: Feb 19 2016 - 4:04pm

I have previously written about the circumstances surrounding the Red Army's spring 1944 siege of Tarnapol, as well as a general overview of the siege. Here I would like to delve deeper into the composition of the beseiged garrison, and the German relief effort's operations - using Schwere Panzerjager-Abteilung 653's employment in the relief force to help explain why the Germans failed.

During the March-April 1944 offensive launched by Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov's 1st Ukrainian

on: Mar 27 2015 - 12:36pm

By Mandy Smithberger*

Inside-the-Beltway wisdom holds that the $1.4 trillion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program is too big to cancel and on the road to recovery. But the latest report from the Defense Department’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) provides a litany of reasons that conventional wisdom should be considered politically driven propaganda. The press has already reported flawed software that hinders the ability of the plane to employ weapons, communicate

on: Feb 27 2015 - 4:53pm

Last month I posted a short write-up on Auschwitz, which I visited in September of last year. In addition, at the website's World War II gallery I posted fourteen photo's I took at Auschwitz, and corresponding detailed descriptions amply illustrating these German initiated crimes against humanity. In addition, I have also published a detailed look at the former German concentration camp at Terezin in the Czech Republic (which I visited in 2013) and repeated articles, book reviews, and pictures

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