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The Wehrmacht Retreats: Fighting a Lost War, 1943 (Modern War Studies) Hardcover – March 1, 2012

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The Wehrmacht Retreats: Fighting a Lost War, 1943 (Modern War Studies) + Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942 (Modern War Studies) + The German Way of War: From the Thirty Years' War to the Third Reich (Modern War Studies)
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern War Studies
  • Hardcover: 440 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas; First Edition edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700618260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700618262
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


An outstanding book. Citino’s impeccably researched and superbly written study challenges standard notions and forces readers to think and reflect. --Stephen G. Fritz, author of Frontsoldaten: The German Soldier in World War II

Citino has something interesting and original to say about every campaign. . . . A major contribution of great value for specialists but also highly attractive to the general reader. --Evan Mawdsley, author of World War II: A New History and Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War, 1941–1945

An excellent sequel to Citino’s Death of the Wehrmacht. Together, they provide an essential and compelling reassessment of Hitler’s fighting machine in World War II. --David M. Glantz, author of The Stalingrad Trilogy

About the Author

Robert M. Citino is professor of history at the University of North Texas and author of eight books, including Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942; The German Way of War: From the Thirty Years’ War to the Third Reich; Quest for Decisive Victory: From Stalemate to Blitzkrieg in Europe, 1899–1940; and Blitzkrieg to Desert Storm: The Evolution of Operational Warfare, which won both the Society for Military History’s Distinguished Book Award and the American Historical Association’s Paul Birdsall Prize.

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Customer Reviews

Some hits, but mostly a missed opportunity.
Although the narrative flows as well as any work of fiction a reader could find, another great strength of this book is the aforementioned analysis.
S. Heminger
Prussian/German battle history has predominately evolved around short maneuverable wars dating back to Frederick the Great.
Dave Schranck

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Dave Schranck on January 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Mr Citino has written an interesting and informative sequel to his "Death of the Wehrmacht". In the earlier book the author describes the early German victories of 1942 before describing the setbacks that occurred at Stalingrad and North Africa in the last half of the year. In his latest book, the saga of German deterioration continues with the coverage of key campaigns showing that after Germany's lost of momentum in 1942 their continued errors in strategic planning coupled with the inability to keep pace with mobilization and industrial output of the Russians would lead to further deterioration and loss of territory to the point that it became obvious by the end of 1943 Germany had little chance of winning the war. It will also be shown that while Germany was fighting a lost cause it would take the Allies with all its resources a long time to break German determination The campaigns discussed include the retreat of Manstein from the Don River to the Donets after the loss at Stalingrad, the lost of Kharkov, the battle for Kasserine Pass and the American contribution in North Africa, the Kursk offensive, the Russian counteroffensive at Orel, Belgorod and on the Mius River, the loss of Sicily and the invasion of Italy by the western Allies. Much is also said about Hitler's fanatical temperament and erratic leadership as well as the conflict with his generals, especially Manstein.

The concise discussion of the above sectors is very good and helpful. Background info of the battle zone, the circumstances that influenced both sides and the key people that have impact are presented allowing the reader to gain a good overall understanding of the situation.
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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful By S. Heminger on January 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Choosing to read analysis of military history can be a difficult decision to say the least. This choice can be even more difficult in the genre of WWII history. There is no end to the offerings currently available or about to become so. Traditional divisions in the historiography amongst aviation, ground, and naval can be further subdivided by campaigns, weapons design, unit histories, individual offensives in some instances, and even synthesis of the political and racial goals of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. What has come to the fore, then, is typically the decision of the reader to choose either analysis of the quantitative advantages (weapons production and economic issues for example) of a particular army at a particular moment or that army's qualitative advantages (leadership and planning vs that of an opponent). The result has been primarily, books that either read more like a straight chronological narrative geared towards the WWII history enthusiast or scholarly works meant for specialists and perhaps history graduate students. Col David Glantz massive works on the Eastern front certainly fit this mold and although certainly great additions to the existing literature, they can be ponderous, to say the least, for the layperson to wade through. On the other hand, Robert Citino has specialized in the former type of historical analysis. Although he does not shy away from delving into weapon's development he has for the most part focused his analysis of Nazi Germany's war effort on the style, planning and leadership of that country and its opponents.Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Christian Potholm on July 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Robert M. Citino, The Wermacht Retreats: Fighting a Lost War in 1943 (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2012).

This is an engaging look at how the Germans, with a long history of accenting Bewegungkrieg ("War of Movement"), of which Blitzkrieg was just the latest incarnation, and trying to avoid Stellungkrieg ("Static War of Position"), ended up fighting so well and for so long while on the defensive in World War II. The work looks extensively at operations in North Africa, Italy and the Eastern Front. In the process, the author is intrigued, but hard pressed, to explain how in their Operation Axis in 1943 after the Government of Italy surrendered to the Allies, the Germans were somehow able to kill 7-12,000 Italians soldiers and intern 600,000 others while 1 1/2 million Italian soldiers simply melted away. At the time, the Germans had approximately 600,000 troops in Italy and the Greek Islands, while the Italians had almost 3.5 million men under arms.
I also found of particular note the author's efforts to put the Battle of Kursk in a more balanced perspective, but I wish he had dealt more fully with the question of the actual size of the battle since it is often claimed as the largest tank battle in history. He is skeptical but doesn't give any examples of significant larger ones. By contrast, Valeriy Zamulin, in his Demolishing the Myth; The Tank Battle at Prokhokovka Kursk, July 1943: An Operational Narrative, makes a convincing case that Kursk was not, giving instead considerable documentation for what he believes was truly the largest tank battle in history: the July 1941 clash between the Soviet Southwestern Front and the 1st Panzer army and elements of the Sixth Army in the Brody-Berestechko-Dubno theatre.
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