» » Red Storm on the Reich: The Soviet March on Germany, 1945
Red Storm on the Reich: The Soviet March on Germany, 1945 by Christopher Duffy
ISBN: 0785816240
ISBN13: 978-0785816249
Author: Christopher Duffy
Book title: Red Storm on the Reich: The Soviet March on Germany, 1945
Other Formats: lrf lit mbr lit
Pages: 403 pages
Publisher: Booksales; Revised edition (September 30, 2002)
Language: English
Size PDF version: 1389 kb
Size ePub version: 1866 kb
Size fb2 version: 1429 kb
Category: Europe

The Eastern Front witnessed the critical battles between the German and Russian armies which won and lost the Second World War. In Red Storm on the Reich, Christopher Duffy uncovers a military campaign of unprecedented scale and ferocity during which thirty million lives were lost - a deadly harvest in which the slaughter and suffering of German civilians reached unfathomable dimensions.By quoting extensively from the memoirs of Soviet and German commanders and the diaries of infantrymen, Red Storm on the Reich brings to life not only the Russian military assault on the lands of Germany, but also the human drama behind what can only be called epic seiges of the fortress cities of Danzig, Kolberg and Breslau.Christopher Duffy's gripping narrative of this unexplored offensive and the psyches behind it makes for essential reading for all those interested in the Second World War and European history.

Books reviews
The first 2/3 of this book is very good--a good description of the fighting in East Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia, etc. from January-May 1945. The text focuses on Zhukov's and Konev's fronts, but also addresses others, especially Rokossovky's. The text is well-written, accompanied by very good maps, and is full of interesting quotes and anecdotes, many of which I'd not seen before. Note that the book does not cover the actual taking of Berlin, but it does describe the fighting in various fortress cities, including Konigsburg, Danzig, Kustrin, Kolberg, Posen, and Breslau. This part of the book (up to p 269) I'd rate as five stars.

The remaining 115 pp in the book, however, are pretty weak, consisting of a 40 page summary and "aftermath" section and another 75 pages of appendices on topics such as "The Evolultion of Soviet Mechanised Warfare", "Notes on Some Key Weapons", and "German Forces under the Storm". Much of the information in these sections was not particularly interesting, and what was interesting would have been more so if it had been worked into the body of the book instead of tacked on as a separate appendix. I'd rate this part of the book as three stars.

So on average, I've given this book a four star rating. As of the time of writing this review, new hard copy versions of this book are selling for $5; especially for that price I would certainly recommend this book to anyone interested in the end of the war in Europe.
Highly informative study of the situation that existed late 1944 to 1945 and the events concerning the Russian Drive toward Berlin.
during WW 2. This under appreciated work of Christopher Duffy is perhaps the best source of understanding the Red Army s organization and Command at that stage of the War, with equal concise comparison to the German Army and Command.
Extensive excerpts from Russian and German Commanders Official Reports prepared during those days and firsthand accounts from both Russian and German Participants.
The Gripping detail ranges from tactical situations to Higher Strategy and the Decisions that directly and indirectly contributed the events on the field of Battle.
Astounding information on the amount of ammunition expended that remained insatiable until the end of the War, as even Trainloads of ammunition were rapidly exhausted.
Of particular interest is the German Russian Operations Chapters explaining the Strategy and Tactics that German and Red Army Commanders had to continually modify during the heavy fighting, that resulted in setbacks or the surprise of success.
This significant aspect demonstrates the snap decisions and the incredible stress and anxiety that weighed on each decision in every action during the helter skelter fighting.
The minutes of Hitlers War Briefings detail the obtuse events in the Bunker as Hitler demanded to know who authorized certain
actions that placed German Reserves in the wrong place, Hitler was then shown the order prepared in Hitlers own writing
that created the problem that resulted from His own orders. Hitler then refused from then on to allow any such evidence into the Briefings.
The Chapter on the Russian methods of breaking through German Fortified positions is explained not just mentioned, the tactical level of operation and organization is presented, this very interesting information is not found in any other study of noted authors such as John Ericksons prestigious books Vol I Vol II Stalins War With Germany.
The difficult fighting to clear the multitude of German Fortress or Festes such as Posen are mentioned in detached detail of
general description of enveloping Posen first from the South , and testing the German defenses using two Rifle Divisions to find if the Germans were in Posen in Force and determined to fight.
The significance of German Festes such as Posen, Kustrin, Konigsberg, occupied the main roads or arterys leading to Berlin and as long as these German Festes held out, the Russian Supply situation for their Tank Armies driving for Berlin that bypassed these Fortresses supply situation would be impacted resulting in an indeterminate delay in the final attack on Berlin.
Of these German Festes, Kustin , was only 38 miles from Berlin.
excellent study captures the imperceptible character of war, uncertainty of battle and trepidation over victory that plagued and weighed heavily on the mind.
The history of the fall of Berlin is often told and most grognard readers will know it well. But what happened at Breslau, or at Poznan, or at Kuestrin?
How did the Red Army manage to leap from outside Warsaw, on January 12 1945, to bridgeheads across the lower Oder and almost on the direct road from Warsaw to Berlin, before the end of January? Why didn't they just roll on in to Berlin then?

All this is not just told, but explained. The level of detail zooms in and out, as good explanations and storytelling require. On the one hand we have Fronts and Army Groups and tank armadas. On the other, a Polish girl walking into the HQ of a Russian force tasked with storming the fortress of Danzig (Gdansk, famous again in history because of Lech Walesa) carrying detailed plans of the German defenses, right down to the level of individual structures, together with a recommendation from the Polish resistance as to how best to master those defenses. [She was believed, her/their suggestions implemented, and they worked.]
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