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Stalin's Favorite Volume 2

I previously reviewed and endorsed Volume One of Igor Nebolsin's two-volume set entitled Stalin's Favorite. Here, I shall examine what Volume Two has to offer (subtitled "From Lublin to Berlin, July 1944-May 1945). Like Volume One, Volume Two offers Second World War armored enthusiasts a treasure trove of information about one of the Red Army's top combat armies and the mechanics of tank warfare in general.

Continuining where he left off Nebolsin takes the combat history of the 2nd Guards Tank Army (hereinafter referred to in this review as the 2nd GTA) into the war's final year (and well

The Rzhev Slaughterhouse

The Battle of Rzhev was a fifteen-month campaign that took place during World War II. During these battles the Red Army sought to not only evict German forces from a central position not far outside of Moscow, but also eliminate the bulk of Army Group Center. These battles formed a campaign so colossal that in a number of metrics outdid the fighting at Stalingrad. However, there is much controversy surrounding the Rzhev battles.

As such, Svetlana Gerasimova's The Rzhev Slaughterhouse seeks to "lay out the history of combat operations in 1942 and early 1943 on the central - the Moscow - axis

Stalin's Favorite

Igor Nebolsin's Stalin's Favorite offers Second World War armored enthusiasts a treasure trove of information about one of the Red Army's top combat armies. One would be hard pressed to find an English language translation of a Soviet army's combat history, and in doing so here the team of Nebolsin and Britton have performed an invaluable service.

As the mouthful of a sub-title indicates this is the first of a two part look at the 2nd Guards Tank Army (hereinafter referred to in this review as the 2nd GTA). This volume covers events from the 2nd GTA's formation late in 1942 up to June of

Marshal K.K. Rokossovsky

Dr. Boris Sokolov's Marshal K.K. Rokossovsky offers a unique look at not only the life of one of the Red Army's top Second World War era senior officers, but also interesting insight into a Red Army at war. Detailed English language treatments of the Red Army's personnel are rare. For this reason alone this book is an important one for any student of the Second World War. And minus a few oversights the author does a credible job of providing a detailed study of Marshal Rokossovsky.

Sokolov's work is organized into fourteen informative, albeit at times lengthy, chapters beginning with

Zhitomir-Berdichev

Stephen Barratt's two-volume set Zhitomir-Berdichev (sold separately) should go down as the definitive look from the German side of the hill at the critically important combat operations on Army Group South's left flank during the lead up to the far more famous Battle of the Korsun Pocket.

Take Budapest

Piggybacking upon my recent review of Tomb of the Panzerwaffe is another well done work covering the tank heavy battles in Hungary that occurred in the final year of the Second World War. In this case Kamen Nevenkin’s Take Budapest ably documents the first Soviet drive on Budapest during the fall of 1944, and in that process provides a firm foundation for those interested in this particular aspect of the Second World War.

The first four of the book’s eleven chapters detail the political, economic, and strategic underpinnings of the Hungarian campaign.

Waffen-SS Armour In Normandy

Norbert Szamveber’s Waffen-SS Armour in Normandy covers the combat history of the SS-Panzer Regiment 12 and SS-Panzerjager Abteilung 12 during the Second World War’s Battle for Normandy France; which lasted from June 6 to just about the end of August 1944.  These two units served as the armored core of the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend; a unit noted for both is ferocious fighting skill and at times criminal disregard for the laws of war. 

Waffen-SS Armour in Normandy is organized around its primary goal of providing readers with access to open source publication of the original unit

Tomb of the Panzerwaffe

Aleksei Isaev and Maksim Kolomiet’s Tomb of the Panzerwaffe delivers an engaging operational history of the significant battles that took place near Hungary’s Lake Balaton from January to early March of 1945. In addition it also provides readers with several points of value not normally found in Second World War Eastern Front operational histories.  For these reasons as well as those that follow I believe even well informed readers will enjoy this fast moving but information packed book.

Tomb of the Panzerwaffe is divided into two parts.

The Taste of War

When it comes to the Second World War I have read countless books, prowled through any number of libraries and archives, and spent more time with my nose in primary sources or journal articles than I probably care to remember. Accordingly, to read Lizzie Collingham's book The Taste of War and have more than one eye-opening experience of revelation and wonder is quite a remarkable experience. But that is exactly what The Taste of War has done in terms of providing even the well-read with not just one or two; but any number of truly unique and revelatory insights on one of the most

Kiev 1941

Reviewed by Steven D. Mercatante*

David Stahel's Kiev 1941 follows his 2009 work Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East as the second book in a trilogy ostensibly taking a fresh look at the 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union. Had Stahel conducted a comprehensive analysis of the military operations near Kiev during the summer of 1941 this reviewer would have much to recommend. Regrettably however Stahel's Kiev 1941, much as its predecessor, all too often rehashes stale Cold War era ideas deterministically advancing the theory that the German invasion was doomed if for no

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