Soviet Blitzkrieg: The Battle for White Russia, 1944

Soviet Blitzkrieg: The Battle for White Russia, 1944

Soviet Blitzkrieg: The Battle for White Russia, 1944

Soviet Blitzkrieg: The Battle for White Russia, 1944

Synopsis

Walter Dunn reports-for the first time in English-the details of a battle on the Eastern Front that was perhaps the largest of all time & certainly one the most significant of World War II.

Excerpt

This presentation of a factual account of the Battle for White Russia in July 1944 places the battle in historical perspective. I have made a determined effort to compare quantitative data from numerous sources and to present rational interpretations of events.

Compressing a description of World War II's greatest battle, fought by 2 million Russians and nearly 800,000 Germans, into a few hundred pages without losing the feeling of the engagement was quite a task. My approach was to separate the operation into six drives. Because of the unfamiliarity of most readers with the place names, the rivers, and the military units involved, I reduced the references to obscure towns and rivers and concentrated on the major objectives of the six spearheads. Relating the drives to objectives in six cohesive chapters gives the reader an opportunity to become familiar with the units and towns in each of the areas and to follow the action as a continuous narrative.

The disadvantage of this type of organization is that on occasion action in one area spills over into an adjoining sector and some repetition and duplication result. However, this is a small price to pay, considering the alternative of reviewing an entire operation on a day-by-day basis. Dividing the action into separate drives allows the reader to appreciate the amazing performance of the Soviet armored columns as they plunged forward in true blitzkrieg fashion, bypassing German resistance, cutting roads and rail lines, and effectively isolating the German units and leaving retreat as the units' only option.

Occurring simultaneously with the dogged advance of the British and U. S. forces in Normandy, prior to the breakout in early July, the Soviet gains in the first two weeks of the operation received scant mention in Western newspapers. After the U. S. forces' break-

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