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Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942 (Modern War Studies) Hardcover – October 22, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Modern War Studies
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (October 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700615318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700615315
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #718,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A winner across the board by one of the masters of operational history. The capstone to a four-volume study on modern mobile warfare, it solidifies Citino's position among the very best scholars who have written on the 'German way of war.' In particular, his treatment of the 1942 Russian campaigns is fully level with the best of David Glantz's work from the Soviet perspective and restores both Stalingrad and El Alamein to their rightful status as major turning points in the war." Dennis Showalter, author of Patton and Rommel "There is no better examination of German operations during the crisis year of 1942." Geoffrey P. Megargee, author of Inside Hitler's High Command"

From the Back Cover

"A winner across the board by one of the masters of operational history. The capstone to a four-volume study on modern mobile warfare, it solidifies Citino's position among the very best scholars who have written on the 'German way of war.' In particular, his treatment of the 1942 Russian campaigns is fully level with the best of David Glantz's work from the Soviet perspective and restores both Stalingrad and El Alamein to their rightful status as major turning points in the war."--Dennis Showalter, author of Patton and Rommel

"There is no better examination of German operations during the crisis year of 1942."--Geoffrey P. Megargee, author of Inside Hitler's High Command


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Customer Reviews

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These were new rules, and the German field commanders were unable to adjust for the good of their commands and the conduct of the war.
David M. Dougherty
Professional military personnel, historians and those interested in military history, or just history will benefit from reading Mr. Citino's contribution.
Thomas J. Tucker
Also there is no key as to what the symbols stand for (yes their standardized) but not everyone knows a tank corp from a cavalry division.
Grey Wolffe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J. Tucker on October 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
To get the full benefit of this outstanding work, I recommend the reader first review the author's earlier work, The German Way of War. In that volume, he analyzes the Prussian/German emphasis in its military history, service schools, traditions, and practices of focus on operational skills. Considering its Geographic location, its military goal was to execute quick, decisive wars which implied aggressive attack.
While the book under review is an excellent stand alone product, I view it as a case study of the analysis the author promulgated in his previous study. He slices out the year 1942 to examine every major battle and campaign executed by the German army during that period. It concludes, of course, with the two defeats of Stalingrad and El Alamein. Because the campaign largely has been ignored thus far by historians, he includes the exhaustian of the army in the mountains of the Caucasus.
Finally, he examines the British and Russian approaches to World WarII combat. The industrial might coupled with large conscript armies (here the impact of America is considered)overwhelmed the German approach to war making it obsolete on the attack. The army remained deadly in defense, of course.
This author's pure writing skill makes the book a joy to read. His descriptions of the actual combat are easy to follow and provide good insight into the decisions made at that time with the information then available to the commanders. The maps are helpful and simple to comprehend. The footnotes are interesting and thoughtful. He's generous with remarks about other WWII historians. He's not fooled by the self-serving German General memoirs produced shortly after the conflict.
If the book is reprinted, and I hope the demand is there, it would be helpful to add an index of the map symbols.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Grey Wolffe VINE VOICE on May 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Citino has written a very readable book, but he has the habit of constantly restating his premise about why the Wehrmacht failed. How many times do you need to be reminded that the style of encirclement became outmoded once the Soviets decided to retreat instead of standing and fighting?

In truth three (3) things caused the failure of the Wehrmacht in Russia.
1) The lack of German sensitivity to the needs to create logistical systems when fighting a war hundreds of miles within another country. So many times during battles or ongoing operations, the Panzer armies had to stop because they ran out of fuel. A mobile army survives on movement, without fuel there is no movement and tanks become sitting ducks. Just as tanks need fuel, soldiers need supplies like food and water (especially in the dessert). Because there were limited road systems in most of the Eastern Ukraine, weather would reek havoc with the ability of the quartermaster corp to keep up with the Armies needs. In the end it caused the loss of the 6th Army at Stalingrad.
2) Replacements. By the middle of 1942 the Germans were busy with their final conscription of 18 and 19 year olds. They had now run out of men to fight, and had already lost a large proportion of the experienced men who had fought in 1940 and 1941. Having started Operation Barbarosa with over 1/2 million horses to move supplies and pull artillery, by '42 they had lost half of these and many were worn out and useless. They had also reached the point where they were losing more tanks and planes then they were able to replace. At the same time they were depending more and more on their Allies to take up bigger parts of the fighting. These Allies had even more problems with logistics and replacements then the German Army.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By T. Kunikov VINE VOICE on February 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book tackles what the Werhmacht went through in 1942, I can comment in detail in regards to the Eastern Front, but less so to the activities in the North African theater of operations. The book is an interesting read and I can honestly say one of the few 'military histories' that is actually enjoyable to read. If you're interested in the position of the Wehrmacht and its campaigns throughout 1942 you could definitely do worse than this book. It gives an operational play by play of the activities undertaken by the Wehrmacht from one offensive operation to the next, its context, its ultimate goal, etc.

I do have to admit that I very much appreciated the authors detail when it came to describing Rommel's campaign in Africa. For the longest time I've been distracted by the fact that this commander gets so much limelight for doing practically nothing at all in North Africa. Again and again he decides to run back and forth across the North African desert with a Corps sized force trying to make a nuisance of himself as the British repeatedly realize that he's a thorn in their side and send in reinforcements every time he decides to undertake another reckless advance without any regard for logistics or his orders which ultimately lead to him either retreating or eventually losing all his troops.

There are three things which made me give this book 4 stars: I didn't like that every now and then some 'what if' ideas would be thrown in. They aren't discussed in detail but they are there and in my opinion I'd rather find out what happened than what could have happened, especially since the author himself asserts that such ideas are a waste of time in the introduction. Secondly, the Soviet side is lacking, I would say heavily at times, in the representation it gets in this book.
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