From Moscow to Stalingrad: The Eastern Front, 1941-1942
Author: Yves Buffetaut
128 pages, with 150 illustrations including black and white photos, color profiles, maps
Paperback, 7x10 inches
Casemate Illustrated Series
Published July 6, 2018
According to information included with the book, Mr. Buffetaut is an internationally respected French military historian and editor of Histoire & Collections major magazine, Militaria. Listed on the back flyleaf are four other books in this series by Mr. Buffetaut: Operation Typhoon, Ardennes 1944, The 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich, and The Waffen-SS in Normandy. I would expect to see another one, dealing with the Battle of Stalingrad, in the future.
Table of Contents
Timeline of Events: Two page timeline starting June 1941 and ending in August 1942, with key events noted along with a brief explanation of the event's significance. Note in the following photos, the color-coded bar on the upper right hand side page with the Chapter name - nice touch!
The Russian Counteroffensive in the Southern Sector chapter is ten pages, to include photos, covering the German Front in December 1941, the Soviets Attack, the Front at Sevastopol. The author also discusses briefly the Black Sea fleet's efforts to defend Sevastopol, as well as paratrooper landings in the German's rear. Above, photo on left, German aircraft bomb an obsolete Soviet battleship, possibly from propaganda footage, and on the right, a Panzer III on the move.
The Wehrmacht Prepares chapter is 32 pages, some of which are two page color profiles of Allied Tanks in Soviet Service; German Aircraft; Soviet Trucks and Armored Vehicles; a full page map of the German and Soviet forces' disposition on the Bryansk, Southwestern, and Trans-Caucasian fronts; half-page photos of Romanian troops, who "do not exactly seem enthused about their situation", and a profile of Field Marshall Erich von Manstein. NOTE: As pointed out by eagle-eyed Danny Egan, Review Coordinator-in-chief, the picture of the Lee above is actually a Grant, which the Soviets did not receive. So, there may be other errors in the publication, possibly based on translation errors from French to English, or in this case, from German (Bundesarchiv) to French to English.
The German Plan chapter is 13 pages long and discusses the composition of German units attacking towards Voronezh, the Don River, and Stalingrad, and again has color profiles, several photos, and order of battle charts.
Case Blau chapter is 18 pages long, and again, has color profiles (in this case, a T-34 1941/1942, T-34 1941, and KV-1A, as well as photos of aircraft, motorcycles, artillery, tanks, assault guns, wheeled and half-tracked vehicles. There are two pages of four photos showing "the different phases of the reduction of a village ... by German infantry supported by an artillery piece ..." -- very nice sequence of photos with plenty of uniform and weapon details.
Towards the Caucasus chapter is 24 pages long, and has a full page map showing changes in force disposition from the previous map; three separate color profiles: German Light Panzers and Armored Vehicles, German and Romanian Messerschmitt 109s, and Panzer III H, J, and SdKfz 263; photos of Russian prisoners on the march, destroyed Stuarts and Valentines in Soviet service; SdKfz 250 and 251 camouflage examples, photos of German soldiers attacking, setting up machineguns, and resting.
The Advance on Stalingrad chapter is 20 pages long, and in addition to several black and white photos, has a full page color map of (very general) Army level locations along the Volga River and the German axes of attack towards Stalingrad as of 12 September 1942.
Afterword is a few paragraphs setting the stage for probably a follow-on volume covering the Battle of Stalingrad, along with a photo of German troops advancing into the outskirts of Stalingrad.
Further Reading lists ten books, one in German, dealing with different aspects of the time period and battles covered by this book.
Index is two pages listing aircraft, artillery, tanks, vehicles, locations, personalities, specific units, allied troops (Italian, Romanian, Hungarian, etc).
Pros: An excellent reference book for both the armchair general and the modeler. The photos are clear, focused, mostly full or half-page size, and have captions that provide pertinent information, such as a specific vehicle or weapon type, unit designation, and/or where the activity is taking place. Many of these photos cry out to be used as the basis for vignettes, dioramas, or even stand alone vehicles. There are examples of camouflage, markings, weathering, uniform details, and more!
Cons: I don't think the binding is going to last as I go back and forth in this excellent reference book! NOTE: There is at least one error in a caption identifying a drawing of a Grant (which the Soviets didn't use) as a Lee (which they did use). There may be other errors, possibly due to translation mistakes from Russian and German archives into French, and then into English.
Highly Recommended for those interested in the Eastern Front, specifically the Crimean and Trans-Caucasus areas.
Thanks goes out to Casemate Publishers for this review kit.
Reviewed by Joseph "Mac" McDaniel
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