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Lost Victories: The War Memoirs of Hitler's Most Brilliant General Paperback – August 22, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Zenith Press (August 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760320543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760320549
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

WWII History, December 2005
“Manstein’s Lost Victories is definitely one of the more interesting and informative German autobiographies to emerge from World War II. New publisher Zenith Press is to be commended for republishing it.”


Wall Street Journal, October 7, 2006
"Generals don't make the best memoirists, mainly because they embellish while writing for posterity; the higher the rank, the worse the tome. The exception is the breathtaking autobiography of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein, the brilliant author of many Germany victories against the Soviets in World War II. Dismissive of oft-cited ‘turning points,’ such as the German defeat at Stalingrad, von Manstein contends that the war was never winnable for Germany because of the leader prosecuting it. As for Hitler's once much-vaunted kinship with regular soldiers, he says the Fuehrer had ‘as little in common with the thoughts and emotions of soldiers as had his party with the Prussian virtues which it was so fond of invoking.’ Coming from Hitler's greatest general, it's a most effective filleting.”

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Customer Reviews

I had to underline many pages of this very juicy book.
Buenoslibros.es
Manstein was responsible for formulating most of the strategy that won Germany its great early victories using blitzkrieg tactics in Poland, France, and the Crimea.
George Coppedge
As one who reads historical well researched military text, books, biography, and memoirs I highly recommend this book.
bendeschaad

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 92 people found the following review helpful By George Coppedge on April 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
By the end of WWII, General von Manstein was widely recognized by most German soldiers as the Wehrmacht's most brilliant strategist, a man of honor, and easily the most obvious choice for the Wehrmacht's Commander-in-Chief. Manstein was responsible for formulating most of the strategy that won Germany its great early victories using blitzkrieg tactics in Poland, France, and the Crimea. From Fall 1942 - Spring 1944, Manstein's heroic efforts against hugely overwhelming odds consistently frustrated every attempt to cut off and destroy Germany's armies in the Ukraine. With tight battlefield coordination, he focused his armies' efforts on the decisive point in each desperate Russian Front battle and ALWAYS snatched a tantalizingly close victory away from huge encircling Russian army groups.

Manstein recalls the internal struggles within the Wehrmacht regarding strategy formulation, internal organization, and resource allocation. He was apparently one of the few German generals to seriously and openly challenge many of Hitler's decisions. His analysis of Hitler as a military leader is quite fascinating and unusually balanced. Manstein actually gives Hitler some credit in his strategic analysis. But, Manstein also rightfully and strongly critiques Hitler's disorganized, dictatorial leadership and his increasingly blind faith in the power of will versus massive, well-supplied Soviet armies. Time and time again, Hitler's interference in Manstein's army group operations left much of Manstein's forces perilously exposed to Soviet encirclement. By Spring 1944, Hitler tired of Manstein's repeated demands for a Wehrmacht C-in-C and feared his increasing personal prestige - forcing Manstein's resignation and retirement from the army.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By M. G Watson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 18, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is generally recognized that the greatest military mind produced by any nation during World War II belonged to Erich von Manstein. His qualifications for such a laurel are numerous, and include the detailed plan which lead to the conquest of France in six weeks in 1940, the conquest of the Crimea in 1942, and Germany's last major victory on the Eastern Front, the recapture of Kharkov in 1943. It is Manstein's record as a "defensive" general, called in to restore the collapsing southern wing of the Eastern Front after Stalingrad, however, which cemented his reputation. Any general can win brilliant victories with first-rate troops, air superiority and unlimited supplies, but it takes a very special type of brain to be able to repeatedly fight off a numerically superior enemy who enjoys all these advantages. As von Moltke the Elder once commented, when told by an admirer that he was destinted to go down as one of the greatest marshals in all history: "No, for I have never conducted a retreat." Manstein did, under the most difficult circumstances imaginable, and in doing so probably saved the whole southern wing of the German army in Russia from annihilation.

"Lost Victories" is Manstein's own testament of his involvement in the Second World War. He makes no attempt to discuss the events before the war or the after his own removal from command, and generally keeps his pen focused on his own personal experiences: his struggle to get the "Ardennes Plan" accepted by the High Command prior to the invasion of France; his own minor role in the invasion; his march on Leningrad in 1941; his conquest of the Crimea; his abortive attempt to relieve Stalingrad; the long, brutal defensive battles which followed.
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54 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Jerome P. Koch on May 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
Let me first say, that I am one of those who considers Field Marshal Erik von Manstein one of the best operational minds to have fought in the Second World War. His achievment in the post-Stalingrad months (Dec 1942- Feb 1943) will go down as a classic in mobile warefare. Enough has been written about his 1939 operational plan to invade France to fill a volume. In short, he was the consumate military professional.

Which is why it pains me to offer only a 3 rating to his memiors. Don't get me wrong. The memior reads very well; the translation is excellent, and the prose is easy. My main complaint lies with the memior's content. I first read Lost Victories twenty years ago and took most of what Manstein wrote as fact. However, as I read more and more about not only the Wehrmacht, Germany, and Hitler, I began to doubt the narrative that von Manstein and the Feld Herren as a whole have been put to paper. This memior is long on ommisions, and short on introspection. Like other senior officers, Manstein piles the blame on the most senior Wehrmacht leadership while conviently excusing himself. The sad fact remains that von Manstein rarely vocalized any complaints concerning the Nazis treatment of men like Fritsch or Bloomberg (his former superiors sacked by Hitler), the introduction of the swatiska on thier uniforms, the establishment of the Waffen SS, or the treatment of Polish civilians, Jew, or captured officers.
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