Casemate- The Soviet Destruction of Army Group South: Ukraine and Southern Poland 1943-45
Author: Ian Baxter
7 x 10" Paperback, 128 pages with over 150 color and black and white photographs, maps, and profiles.
The Casemate Illustrated books are increasingly becoming some of my favorite current series, highlighting key events in WWII history. This book provides a detailed account of the Soviet offensive against Army Group South, involving nearly four million troops stretched across a 900-mile front. Coverage includes battles along the Dneiper, as well as in the Crimea and Odessa. The book is jammed full of rare and previously unpublished images as well as excellent maps and twenty color profiles of armor, vehicles, and artillery. The content starts as usual with a Timeline of Events...
There is then a brief Introduction followed by sections on Soviet and German forces. These sections include profiles of the commanders from both sides...
From there, we get to the meat of the book- breakdowns of specific battles from this offensive. The sections are as follows:
- Battle of the Dneiper, August- December 1943
- Dneiper-Carpathian Offensive, January- May 1944
- Battle of the Crimea, April-May 1944
- Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive, July-August 1944
- Vistula-Oder Offensive, January-February 1945
- Defeat, February-March 1945
Each of these sections include excellent detailed maps, black and white photographs of combat and downtime activities, orders of battle, and the aforementioned color profiles. These photos are typically one or two to a page, and the color profiles and maps are full page. I find the maps to be excellent resources not just to help envision the battle strategies described in the text, but are also a great source of maps for your dioramas once scanned and then reduced to scale size. The book concludes with a one page Epilogue and two pages of sources of Further Reading.
I am always finding inspiration after reading through these books. I have been in a bit of a slump as of late, but as always- reading through the book has me looking at my stash of Soviet WWII tanks with interest again. I have posted a few of the images that stood out to me- like the soldier eating his rations near his T-34 and this last one of the colonel posing with a boy tanker. There are many other great inspirational images to glean ideas from-- and I always look forward to more of these Illustrated series from Casemate.
Highly Recommended for anyone interested in these late-war Eastern Front offensives.
Thanks goes out to Casemate Publishing for this review sample.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
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