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500 Days: The War in Eastern Europe, 1944-1945 Paperback – January 30, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born in 1964 and raised in Rhode Island, Sean M. McAteer is a 1986 graduate of the University of Miami, where he began work on his Eastern Front history. Sean went on to Suffolk University Law School in Boston and has been a Rhode Island attorney since 1989. Sean is married to surgeon Dr. Allison L. McAteer and they have three children, Mary, Keith, and Brendan. Sean continues to practice law out of his own offices in Providence, Rhode Island. Besides his family, military history and the Red Sox have remained Sean's overriding passions.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Red Lead Press (January 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434961591
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434961594
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,653,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By T. Kunikov VINE VOICE on July 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As described, this book covers the last year and a half, give or take, of the war on the Eastern Front. It is true that this period of activities is greatly lacking literary coverage when compared to the battles throughout 1941, the Moscow Counter-Offensive, the battle for Stalingrad, 1942, and Kursk, summer of 1943. I can only commend the author for trying to put together a text that deals with 1944 and 1945, and more so, from both sides. But in the end, too many Cold War myths are propagated and the narrative, in general, is lacking. Perhaps a step in the right direction for those new to the topic and who have an interest in some of the details that the author highlights, but the reader would do well to remember that this is a dated analysis with dated commentary. While the author would probably like to think of himself as an 'objective historian,' in this case that is certainly not true.

This is not an academic work and thus the bibliography and the endnotes are not up to academic standards. This then greatly takes away from trying to figure out where certain information is coming from. Aside from this, much of the information offered does not even come with endnotes. For example, the small section on Slavic and Germanic history is interesting, but contains no endnotes. The sources themselves are lacking. There is a large dearth of materials, from both English and Russian sources, that have been released in the past two decades and rely on formerly closed Soviet archival data (the battle of Berlin, for instance, has been documented in great detail by Alexei Isaev in his "Berlin 45-go"). Many, at times too many, sources are from the cold war era and are outdated today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dave Schranck on January 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
Mr McAteer, a lawyer by trade, is a fellow enthusiast who has invested many hours of his free time in studying the many aspects of the war. You can tell he has read extensively by the amount of information accumulated and presented in this book. This estimate is further confirmed by reading his expansive Bibliography. I've also enjoyed reading "Absolute War" and the recent "Ostkrieg" and as a comparison Mr McAteer has packed more info into his book than the other two authors have for the corresponding time period. In addition to the historical facts, the author adds creditable analysis and opinion to the narrative. Much of this commentary is welcomed but a tiny amount of this personal commentary can be debated.

The book begins as the clock rolls over into the new year, 1944, with a description of the military and political circumstances of the battlefield as well as on the home fronts. This introduction is deliberate and gives the reader a good background as to how the war had been prosecuted to reach the current results and conditions of both sides. By now the Soviets had turned the war and were pushing the Germans out of Russia and into eastern Europe. The Soviet Ukraine campaign to cross the Dnepr River, entrap Manstein at Korsun and then push into Romania begins the battle events. The author then works his way north along the front to Leningrad. Once in eastern Europe, the author does a good job of covering not only the military aspects but also the political and diplomatic nuances as well. As the new year evolves Romania, Poland, Carpathian Mts , the Baltics and especially Hungary are discussed. Yugoslavia, Greece and Slovakia are also mentioned but to a lesser degree. I would have liked a little more material on Prussia and the battle for Berlin but it was adequate.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peters J. Vecrumba on February 11, 2012
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A meticulous work regarding a period of WWII which was lost in propaganda and closed behind the Iron Curtain during the Soviet era.

Complaints (elsewhere, here) that Russian scholarship are not adequately represented are somewhat valid; however, Soviet accounts indicate, for example, that the Courland Pocket was bypassed and German/Latvian attempts to break out hemmed in, with low casualties. Meanwhile, Latvian, German, and western accounts indicate multiple major Soviet offensives as Stalin threw in division upon division to be slaughtered as the Red Army attempted--in vain--to occupy the last bit of Eastern Europe not under their control and to stamp out the Latvians' bid to reclaim their territory in a replay of history following WWI and the declaration of Latvian independence. Only with Germany's surrender did the Soviets gain (re-)occupational control (the Baltics having been occupied by the Soviet Union for a full year prior to Hitler's invasion of the USSR).
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By William E. Ogara on September 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Americans tend to see the war in Europe from the perspective that it was won by Americans in France after D-Day. The truth is that the Russians bore the brunt of the fighting and fought and won battles on a much larger scale in Eastern Europe. This is the story of those battles that crushed the German army in 1944-45. This is not a dry study - well researched and written. An enjoyable read that moves along well.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Helga Fiedler-Boehme on December 17, 2012
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Many times I looked back to the impressum for the name of the translator. The sentence structure is so awkward - the author trips himself up in the grammar. It is in places so obscure that it is hard to believe that it has been created by a native English speaker - let alone a scholar. In the end I settled into reading it as something akin to a high-schol essay be a mediocre student.
This might be regarded as a quirky, but relatively unimportant feature - were it not for further serious short-comings.

NO MAPS: The book starts with the detailing the geographic course of the Eastern front - all 3000 miles of it. Not even a schematic map. None.

NO LISTS: The book names - in narrative style - all military units of both sides (pages of text). The narrative describes the structure of command of all personell involved. Thousands of words! It is humanly impossible to form a concept of the hierarchy of command and of the relative size of all units without a flow-chart and list.

NO INDEX: Impossible for a book of this nature!

TYPOS GALLORE: It seems to have been impossible for the author to find a proof-reader. It is inexcusable to misspell the name of the Commander of Berlin, to get the names of German military units wrong.) German names are misspelt with such frequency that it casts serious doubt on the veracity of the text al a whole. There are grotesk inconsistencies in the notation and translation of units.

The book runs to 466 pages. At page 87 I reached the above conclusion.
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