Artem Drabkin, Alexei Isaev, Christopher Summerville, Barbarossa trough Soviet Eyes, The First Twenty-Four Hours, Pen and Sword, 2012.
22 June 1941 changed the direction of the Second World War. It also changed the direction of human history. Unleashing a massive, three-pronged assault into Soviet territory, the German army unwittingly created its own nemesis, forging the modern Russian state in the process. Thus, for most Russians, 22 June 1941 was a critical point in their nation's history. After the first day of ‘Barbarossa’ nothing would be the same again – for anyone. Now, for the first time in English, Russians speak of their experiences on that fatal Sunday. Apparently caught off guard by Hitler’s initiative, the Soviets struggled to make sense of a disaster that had seemingly struck from nowhere. Here are generals scrambling to mobilise ill-prepared divisions, pilots defying orders not to grapple with the mighty Luftwaffe, bewildered soldiers showing individual acts of blind courage, and civilians dumbstruck by air raid sirens and radio broadcasts telling of German treachery.
Georges Nipe, Decisions in the Ukraine. German Panzer Operations on the Eastern Front, Summer 1943, Stackpole Books, 2012 (Reédition d'un ouvrage paru en 1996)
Stephen Barrat, Zhitomir-Berdichev. German Operations West of Kiev, 24 December 1943-31 January 1944, Helion and Company, 2012.
On 24 December 1943, the Red Army launched the first of a series of winter offensives against the German Army Group South under von Manstein, the overall object of which was to liberate western Ukraine from occupation. This first offensive was undertaken by forces of the 1st Ukrainian Front under General Vatutin, and struck the German 4.Panzerarmee commanded by General der Panzertruppen Raus. It is known to Soviet historians as the Zhitomir-Berdichev operation. In the space of three weeks, Vatutin's troops achieved a spectacular level of success, advancing over 100 kilometres on a wide front and pushing back the 4.Panzerarmee on every sector. They liberated Zhitomir and Berdichev as well as a number of other towns in the region, and by the middle of January, the 1st Ukrainian Front had achieved almost all of its initial objectives. By this time though, von Manstein had brought in the headquarters of the 1.Panzerarmee to help coordinate the defense, and the Germans began to stabilize their shattered front line with a series of counterattacks aimed at the over-extended position of many of the forward Soviet units. These counterattacks, conducted over the following three weeks, succeeded in creating a series of loosely-held pockets, inflicting considerable losses in men and material of the Red Army, and eventually restoring some form of cohesive defensive position. Nevertheless, the limited success von Manstein had achieved was only temporary. The combination of Russian assault and German counterattack had created the preconditions for the next two Soviet winter offensives; the Korsun'-Shevchenkovskii operation and the Rovno-Lutsk operation. For the first time, here is a detailed and well-researched history of the important but neglected operation that was to be the beginning of the liberation of western Ukraine. Based on the unpublished records of the German 1st and 4th Panzer Armies, and supplemented by comprehensive mapping and order of battle data, this book provides an authoritative, detailed, day-by-day account of German operations as they developed in response to the Soviet offensive. It also gives a vivid insight into the planning and decision-making of the German Army field commands in conducting not only a mobile defense, but also a series of counterattacks which, in the final analysis, could do little more than provide a temporary respite in the face of the growing strength and skill of the Red Army. This history is being published in two separate volumes, which together will cover operations that took place between 24 December 1943 and 31 January 1944. This first volume describes events until 9 January 1944, during which period the German forces were pushed back forcibly under the weight of the Soviet offensive, and includes 140 detailed daily situation maps in color to allow the reader to follow operations as they developed day by day. The maps are presented in a separately bound map book to aid the reader's use of the study. The second volume will cover the period from 10 to 31 January 1944 and will describe the series of counterattacks undertaken by the Germans as they tried desperately to stabilize a situation that had already slipped beyond their control. Together this two volume set comprises a ground-breaking survey which, in the breadth of its scope and the depth of its detail, is likely to set a new standard for future studies of operational combat on the Eastern Front.
Roger Markwick, Euridice Charon Cardona, Soviet Women on the Frontline in the Second World War, Palgrave McMillan, 2012.
One million women served in the Red Army on the Eastern Front in the Second World War, resisting the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union; genocidal, misogynist, warfare of unprecedented ferocity. Another 28,000 women fought with the partisans. Mass participation by women in warfare on such a scale is historically unique. This book explains why and how Soviet women came to fight en masse in Stalin's 'Great Patriotic War' of 1941-45. Drawing on a vast array of original archival, memoir, and published sources, it captures the confronting, everyday experiences voiced by Soviet women – aviators, anti-aircraft gunners, nurses, snipers and partisans – fighting, living and dying on the anti-fascist frontline. In doing so, it examines the aftermath of women's mass military participation and what it says about the place of women in Stalin's Soviet Union.
ROGER MARKWICK Associate Professor of Modern European History, the University of Newcastle, Australia. His Rewriting History in Soviet Russia: The Politics of Revisionist Historiography in the Soviet Union, 1956-1974 won the Alexander Nove Prize in Russian, Soviet, and Post-Soviet Studies for 2001. His latest research is on Soviet women on the home front during the Second World War.
EURIDICE CHARON CARDONA Senior Research Associate in the School of Humanities and Social Science, the University of Newcastle, Australia. She has a particular research interest in Soviet medicine and nursing during the Second World War. She holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Newcastle, Australia (2008), and an MA in history from the University of Tashkent, Uzbekistan.