In recent weeks I have been providing my readers a modest tutorial on the operational art, with an eye toward determining what makes an effective operational level military leader. Let's finish with a final look at those factors that go into determining what makes a particular commander a good one. My hope is that this discussion will further enable the casual military history enthusiast to feel more confident in evaluating for themselves which of their favorite commanders really stack up against the competition.
Though there are many great qualities that are essential in terms of being a
The Battle for the City of Stalingrad ranged across three large geographical areas divided into southern and central sectors as well as the Factory District in the north. By September 26, 1942 the German Sixth Army largely controlled the city's southern and central sectors following a brutal block by block fight that had lasted the entire month.
In southern Stalingrad the remnants from the Soviet 62nd Army's defenses (three rifle divisions, three rifle brigades, one tank brigade, and one rifle regiment - hardly equalling a fraction of their former size) had been pressed into a small strip of
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 62nd Army (commanded by Lieutenant General Anton Ivanovich Lopatin until relieved in mid-September by Lieutenant General Vasilii Ivanovich Chuikov) back into Stalingrad and to toward the Volga River. The initial German plan for taking Stalingrad had been for the XIV Panzer Corps to penetrate south along the Volga from where it had reached Stalingrad's northern suburbs late in the day on August 23rd.
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.
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 XIV Panzer Corps exploded from its bridgehead over the Don River.
The Michigan War Studies Review (MiWSR) has just published my latest book review. It is of David Stahel's The Battle for Moscow, and unfortunately it is a work that I cannot recommend. This is only the second time I have had to publish a negative review with the MiWSR. Readers will quickly see why.
It is patently obvious that Stahel's latest work is more interested in pushing an agenda. It does not measure up to the findings of countless other military historians in regards to why Germany failed to take Moscow late in 1941.
Good news, I finally convinced my publisher to lower the price of my book for my readers! It's now on sale for $14.97 (plus S&H) which is 50% off the original softcover price of $29.95. This is a special offer for visitors to Globe at War and twitter followers only!
Why Germany Nearly Won has sold well in its various editions - doubtlessly thanks to the many positive reader reviews, professional reviews, and endorsements it has garnered. For that I am grateful. However, one very important group of buyers have been left out in the cold - average WWII fans.
Just added four new pictures to our WWII gallery. These are of the Second World War era USN Great Lakes Training Carriers USS Sable (pictured) and USS Wolverine plus some shots of aircraft operating off their flight decks.
You can go to the gallery using the links at the top of the page or here. Enjoy, and don't forget to click on the pictures you are interested in to read the accompanying descriptions.
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.
Of all the U.S. Army units to serve in Czechoslovakia during 1945, none was as combat experienced as the 1st Infantry Division. From the assault landing at Oran, Algeria on 8 November 1942 to V-E Day in north-west Czechoslovakia on 8 May 1945, the “Big Red One” spent an astonishing 443 days in combat across two continents.