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Barbarossa Derailed: The Battle for Smolensk 10 July-10 September 1941: Vol 2: The German Advance on the Flanks and the Third Soviet Counteroffensive, 25 August-10 September 1941, David M. Glantz

Barbarossa Derailed: The Battle for Smolensk 10 July-10 September 1941: Vol 2: The German Advance on the Flanks and the Third Soviet Counteroffensive, 25 August-10 September 1941, David M. Glantz



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Barbarossa Derailed: The Battle for Smolensk 10 July-10 September 1941: Vol 2: The German Advance on the Flanks and the Third Soviet Counteroffensive, 25 August-10 September 1941, David M. Glantz

Barbarossa Derailed: The Battle for Smolensk 10 July-10 September 1941: Vol 2: The German Advance on the Flanks and the Third Soviet Counteroffensive, 25 August-10 September 1941, David M. Glantz

This is part two of a massive four-volume study of the fighting around Smolensk during Operation Barbarossa, a series of battles that are often overlooked, coming just before the disastrous Soviet defeat around Kiev and the failed German assault on Moscow. Glantz argues that these battles actually had a major impact on the course of the entire campaign, demonstrating to the Germans that the Red Army wouldn't collapse as easily as expected, doing significant damage to Army Group Centre, and helping to convince the Germans to attack Kiev and Leningrad instead of Moscow.

Volume one covered the German capture of Smolensk and the first two Soviet counterattacks, taking the story up to mid-late August. This second volume looks at the massive Soviet counterattack of late August and early September, which involved three Fronts. All three attacks failed at great cost, although the Germans also suffered significant casualties in the fighting. Worse for the Soviets, the attacks failed to divert German attention away from Kiev, and as the Smolensk counterattacks began to fade away the massive encirclement of Soviet forces at Kiev was beginning.

Glantz had produced a very detailed examination of the fighting, backed up all the time by extensive extracts from German and Soviet orders, status reports, recorded conversations and other documents, along with a huge number maps. As a result the text isn't terribly readable (although the author provides summaries after most documents, so it is possible to skim over the sources and focus on these summaries), but this approach means that Glantz is able to support his argument with very convincing evidence.

Most of the Soviet documents are the daily working reports of the various Fronts and Armies, and look to be fairly accurate. On occasion they reflect a misreading of the situation, but there are far too many reports of Soviet failures, setbacks and stalled advances for them to have been whitewashed. Estimates of German casualties tend to be too high, but you'll find that in many sources from all sides. This battle took place on a massive scale, and as a result Glantz rarely goes below divisional level, with most of the Soviet material based on the Army level or above.

As well as helping to prove Glantz's case, this level of documentary support also gives us some insights into the problems facing the Red Army in 1941. The Soviet approach here reminds me of the disastrous French doctrine of the 'Methodical Battle', which helped cause the defeat of 1940. Every day the various Soviet Army commands issued detailed orders to their divisions, which were almost always overtaken by events. These plans were also disrupted by interference from the levels above (Front, stavka and Stalin).

This book is aimed at the serious student of the fighting on the Eastern Front. For those readers it will be a very valuable work, and Glantz makes a very convince case for his argument that the fighting around Smolensk was crucial to the outcome of Operation Barbarossa.

Chapters
1 - Introduction
2 - The Northern Flank: Group Stumme's Advance to Toropets, 22-28 August 1941
3 - German Strategic Planning and Jockeying for Position along the Desna River, 22-24 August 1941
4 - Second Panzer Group's Advance across the Desna River, The Stavka's Offensive Plan, and Group Stumme's Advance to Andreapol' and Zapadnaia Dvina, 25 August-9 September 1941
5 - The Third Soviet Counteroffensive: The Western Front's Dukhovshchina Offensive, Preliminaries and the First Stage, 25-31 August 1941
6 - The Third Soviet Counteroffensive: The Western Front's Dukhovshchina Offensive, The Second Stage, 1-10 September 1941
7 - The Third Soviet Counteroffensive: The Reserve Front's El'nia Offensive, 30 August-10 September 1941
8 - The Third Soviet Counteroffensive: The Briansk Front's Roslavl'-Novozybkov Offensive: the First Stage, 29 August-1 September 1941
9 - The Third Soviet Counteroffensive: The Briansk Front's Roslavl'-Novozybkov Offensive: the Second Stage, 2-14 September 1941
10 - Conculsions

Author: David M. Glantz
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 656
Publisher: Helion
Year: 2012



Barbarossa Derailed. Volume 1: The German Advance, the Encirclement Battle, and the First and Second Soviet Counteroffensives, 10 July - 24 August 1941

This book covers 2 months of heavy fighting around (using term "around" loosely) Smolensk during summer of 1941. Having said that I think a warning is in place. This is very detailed book, even by Glantz&aposs standards. You can trace movement of units almost down to regiment/brigade levels almost hourly.

This book is built around one idea, that is that fighting around Smolensk was far more crucial for outcome of Barbarossa that previously credited. Glantz argues that by the time Germans reached the This book covers 2 months of heavy fighting around (using term "around" loosely) Smolensk during summer of 1941. Having said that I think a warning is in place. This is very detailed book, even by Glantz's standards. You can trace movement of units almost down to regiment/brigade levels almost hourly.

This book is built around one idea, that is that fighting around Smolensk was far more crucial for outcome of Barbarossa that previously credited. Glantz argues that by the time Germans reached the area fast (armored, mechanised and motorised) forces outpaced foot infantry forces. This in turn prevented Germans from effectively encircling Soviets as they simply lacked infantry to do it properly.

Rather than Smolensk being a mere bump in the road Glantz argues that this was in fact crucial point in Barbarossa. The heavy fighting in the region convinced Hitler (and some generals) that direct drive on Moscow with intent to win the war that way was not feasible. This in turn of course set stage for (in)famous turn south, Kiev encirclement and debate that rages to this day whether that was right decission.

Battle for Smolensk could easily be described as battle of misinterpretations. On one side Germans kept telling themselves that Red Army is on the verge of collapse and that one more massive encirclement is all it will take to push them over. This of course set them for repeated shocks when Soviets kept producing and fielding army after army out of, what looked like, thin air and throwing them in German path. On the other side Soviet high command convinced itself that Germans, Army Group Centre in this case, was so overextended one big offensive will collpse them. Both sides were partially right, Red Army of august 1941 was not the Red Army of June 1941. With million+ casualties it couldn't be and Germans were able to inflict painful defeat after painful defeat on them. And while Germans were overextended and their logistics were strained they were nowhere near breaking point and local success was just that, local.

What this book also shows is that Red army was slowly "getting it". List of commanders around Smolensk includes several names that would later win fame and recognition leading their Fronts to victory while smashing German armies and eventually assaulting Berlin.
Overall, this is not an easy read. It relies heavily on documents while detailed nature of the study requires attntive reading. But if you are interested in this episode it's unlikely you'll find anything better. . more

Good book overall on the first battle of Smolensk, but a bit of a slog. Glantz reports Soviet official reports before and after each day. These got to be quite tedious after awhile. I loved the last chapter on Conclusions as it&aposs called. Very good.

Philip Kuhn Good book overall on the first battle of Smolensk, but a bit of a slog. Glantz reports Soviet official reports before and after each day. These got to be quite tedious after awhile. I loved the last chapter on Conclusions as it's called. Very good.

Detailed Account of a Critical Battle

In summary accounts of World War II, the Battle of Smolensk is often barely mentioned, lightly passed over as one of many crushing defeats the Soviets suffered before finally rallying for the last-ditch defense of Moscow. Glantz brings an in-depth, detailed, heavily documented, and highly revealing account, that compels a much more nuanced view of the Eastern Front during this critical period. Only six weeks after Germany invaded the USSR, the Soviets showed Detailed Account of a Critical Battle

In summary accounts of World War II, the Battle of Smolensk is often barely mentioned, lightly passed over as one of many crushing defeats the Soviets suffered before finally rallying for the last-ditch defense of Moscow. Glantz brings an in-depth, detailed, heavily documented, and highly revealing account, that compels a much more nuanced view of the Eastern Front during this critical period. Only six weeks after Germany invaded the USSR, the Soviets showed plenty of fight, seemed to be able to replace formations as fast as the Germans destroyed them, while the Wehrmacht was running low on gas, ammo, tanks, and, most important, men. Glantz makes excellent use of material from Soviet and German archives, including maps, though this results in a command - level view of the fighting. But his account is a critical resource for understanding how the campaign unfolded. . more


Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

" . A necessary and valuable addition to the English-language literature on the Great Patriotic War. It includes a wealth of documents never before available in English, and it substantially revises earlier accounts of the Battle of Smolensk."-- "Journal of Military History"

". mountains of information hitherto unavailable in any English publication. As usual, Glantz has performed a remarkable feat, almost single-handedly expanding and refining the way informed readers view the Russian Front. The study of all those campaigns would be immeasurably diminished without the invaluable catalog of works he's written, and this volume represents another important addition to that growing library."Highly recommended, and thank you, Col. Glantz, for continuing to successfully conduct the "virtual sieges" required to produce these kinds of tomes.-- "Stone & Stone Second World War Books"

"Barbarossa Derailed is a meticulously researched and cogently structured study of the Red Army in the battle of Smolensk. there can be no question Glantz is n the road to another towering achievement in the history of the German-Soviet war. I await volume two with eager anticipation."-- "Global War Studies"

"Both author and publisher are to be congratulated for producing such a detailed and comprehensive study of what could turn out to be one of the seminal battles of the Soviet-German War. Given the amount of Russian material in this volume and, presumably, in the volumes still be published, taking all four volumes collectively, this will hopefully mean a more objective and factually accurate description of the roles of both major combatants in th early opening phase of the war on the Eastern Front and may well cause others to re-examine the Battle and assess its overall importance to the eventual victory of the USSR."--Dr Steven J Main, DefAc UK "British Army Review"

"Those interested in wargaming the campaign will rejoice in the unprecedented level of detail. For anyone who wants to study this battle, this book is highly recommended."-- "The Miniatures Page"

"With Barbarossa Derailed, Glantz has provided the specialist on the Soviet-German War with an excellent study of this early conflict that served as an incubator for Soviet victory."-- "Canadian Slavonic Papers"

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

David M. Glantz is an American military historian and the editor of The Journal of Slavic Military Studies. Glantz holds degrees in history from the Virginia Military Institute and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Defense Language Institute, Institute for Russian and Eastern European Studies, and U.S. Army War College.

He began his military career in 1963 as a field artillery officer from 1965 to 1969 and served in various assignments in the United States and Vietnam during the Vietnam War with the II Field Force Fire Support Coordination Element (FSCE) at the Plantation in Long Binh.

After teaching history at the United States Military Academy from 1969 through 1973, he completed the army's Soviet foreign area specialist program and became chief of Estimates in US Army Europe's Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence. Upon his return to the United States in 1979, he became chief of research at the Army's newly formed Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and then Director of Soviet Army Operations at the Center for Land Warfare, U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

While at the College, Col. Glantz was instrumental in conducting the annual Art of War symposia which produced the best analysis of the conduct of operations on the Eastern Front during the Second World War in English to date. The symposia included attendance of several former German participants in the operations and resulted in publication of the seminal transcripts of proceedings.

Returning to Fort Leavenworth in 1986, he helped found and later directed the U.S. Army's Soviet (later Foreign) Military Studies Office (FMSO), where he remained until his retirement in 1993 with the rank of Colonel. In 1993 he established The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, a scholarly journal for which he still serves as chief editor, that covers military affairs in the states of Central and Eastern Europe as well as the former Soviet Union.

In recognition of his work, he has received several awards, including the Society of Military History's prestigious Samuel Eliot Morrison Prize for his contributions to the study of military history. Glantz is regarded by many as one of the best western military historians of the Soviet role in World War II. He lives with his wife Mary Ann Glantz in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.


Barbarossa Derailed: The Battle for Smolensk 10 July-10 September 1941: Vol 2: The German Advance on the Flanks and the Third Soviet Counteroffensive, 25 August-10 September 1941, David M. Glantz - History

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At dawn on 10 July 1941, massed tanks and motorized infantry of German Army Group Center's Second and Third Panzer Groups crossed the Dnepr and Western Dvina Rivers, beginning what Adolf Hitler, the F?hrer of Germany's Third Reich, and most German officers and soldiers believed would be a triumphal march on Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union. Less than three weeks before, on 22 June Hitler had unleashed his Wehrmacht's [Armed Forces] massive invasion of the Soviet Union code-named Operation Barbarossa, which sought to defeat the Soviet Union's Red Army, conquer the country, and unseat its Communist ruler, Josef Stalin. Between 22 June and 10 July, the Wehrmacht advanced up to 500 kilometers into Soviet territory, killed or captured up to one million Red Army soldiers, and reached the western banks of the Western Dvina and Dnepr Rivers, by doing so satisfying the premier assumption of Plan Barbarossa that the Third Reich would emerge victorious if it could defeat and destroy the bulk of the Red Army before it withdrew to safely behind those two rivers. With the Red Army now shattered, Hitler and most Germans expected total victory in a matter of weeks.

The ensuing battles in the Smolensk region frustrated German hopes for quick victory. Once across the Dvina and Dnepr Rivers, a surprised Wehrmacht encountered five fresh Soviet armies. Despite destroying two of these armies outright, severely damaging two others, and encircling the remnants of three of these armies in the Smolensk region, quick victory eluded the Germans. Instead, Soviet forces encircled in Mogilev and Smolensk stubbornly refused to surrender, and while they fought on, during July, August, and into early September, first five and then a total of seven newly-mobilized Soviet armies struck back viciously at the advancing Germans, conducting multiple counterattacks and counterstrokes, capped by two major counteroffensives that sapped German strength and will. Despite immense losses in men and materiel, these desperate Soviet actions derailed Operation Barbarossa. Smarting from countless wounds inflicted on his vaunted Wehrmacht, even before the fighting ended in the Smolensk region, Hitler postponed his march on Moscow and instead turned his forces southward to engage "softer targets" in the Kiev region. The 'derailment" of the Wehrmacht at Smolensk ultimately became the crucial turning point in Operation Barbarossa.

This groundbreaking new study, now significantly expanded, exploits a wealth of Soviet and German archival materials, including the combat orders and operational of the German OKW, OKH, army groups, and armies and of the Soviet Stavka, the Red Army General Staff, the Western Main Direction Command, the Western, Central, Reserve, and Briansk Fronts, and their subordinate armies to present a detailed mosaic and definitive account of what took place, why, and how during the prolonged and complex battles in the Smolensk region from 10 July through 10 September 1941. The structure of the study is designed specifically to appeal to both general readers and specialists by a detailed two-volume chronological narrative of the course of operations, accompanied by a third volume, and perhaps a fourth, containing archival maps and an extensive collection of specific orders and reports translated verbatim from Russian. The maps, archival and archival-based, detail every stage of the battle.

Within the context of Guderian's southward march toward the Kiev region, volume 2 in this series describes in unprecedented detail the Red Army's attempts to thwart German offensive plans by defeating Army Group Center in the Smolensk region with a general counteroffensive by three Red Army fronts. This volume restores to the pages of history two major military operations which, for political and military reasons, Soviet historians concealed from view, largely because both offensives failed. This volume includes: The Northern Flank: Group Stumme's (Third Panzer Group) Advance to Velikie Luki, Toropets, and Zapadnaia Dvina, 22 August-9 September 1941 German Strategic Planning, the Tilt toward Kiev, and Second Panzer Group's Advance Across the Desna River, 22-28 August 1941 The Third Soviet Counteroffensive, including the Western Front's Dukhovshchina Offensive, 26 August-6 September1941, the Reserve Front's El'nia Offensive, 30 August-10 September 1941, and the Briansk Front's Roslavl'-Novozybkov Offensive, 29 August-14 September 1941.

Based on the analysis of the vast mass of documentary materials exploited by this study, David Glantz presents a number of important new findings, notably: Soviet resistance to Army Group Center's advance into the Smolensk region was far stronger and more active than the Germans anticipated and historians have previously described The military strategy Stalin, the Stavka, and Western Main Direction Command pursued was far more sophisticated than previously believed Stalin, the Stavka, and Timoshenko's Western Main Direction Command employed a strategy of attrition designed to weaken advancing German forces This attrition strategy inflicted far greater damage on Army Group Center than previously thought and, ultimately, contributed significantly to the Western and Kalinin Fronts' victories over Army Group Center in December 1941.

Quite simply, this series breaks new ground in World War II Eastern Front and Soviet military studies.


Barbarossa Derailed The Battle for Smolensk 10 July-10 September 1941 Volume 2

(See description of Volume 1 for background information) This groundbreaking new study, now significantly expanded, exploits a wealth of Soviet and German archival materials, including the combat orders and operational of the German OKW, OKH, army groups, and armies and of the Soviet Stavka, the Red Army General Staff, the Western Main Direction Command, the Western, Central, Reserve, and Briansk Fronts, and their subordinate armies to present a detailed mosaic and definitive account of what took place, why, and how during the prolonged and complex battles in the Smolensk region from 10 July through 10 September 1941. The structure of the study is designed specifically to appeal to both general readers and specialists by a detailed two-volume chronological narrative of the course of operations, accompanied by a third volume, and perhaps a fourth, containing archival maps and an extensive collection of specific orders and reports translated verbatim from Russian. The maps, archival and archival-based, detail every stage of the battle. Within the context of Guderian's southward march toward the Kiev region, volume 2 in this series describes in unprecedented detail the Red Army's attempts to thwart German offensive plans by defeating Army Group Center in the Smolensk region with a general counteroffensive by three Red Army fronts. This volume restores to the pages of history two major military operations which, for political and military reasons, Soviet historians concealed from view, largely because both offensives failed. This volume includes: The Northern Flank: Group Stumme's (Third Panzer Group) Advance to Velikie Luki, Toropets, and Zapadnaia Dvina, 22 August-9 September 1941 German Strategic Planning, the Tilt toward Kiev, and Second Panzer Group's Advance Across the Desna River, 22-28 August 1941 The Third Soviet Counteroffensive, including the Western Front's Dukhovshchina Offensive, 26 August-6 September1941, the Reserve Front's El'nia Offensive, 30 August-10 September 1941, and the Briansk Front's Roslavl'-Novozybkov Offensive, 29 August-14 September 1941. Based on the analysis of the vast mass of documentary materials exploited by this study, David Glantz presents a number of important new findings, notably: Soviet resistance to Army Group Center's advance into the Smolensk region was far stronger and more active than the Germans anticipated and historians have previously described The military strategy Stalin, the Stavka, and Western Main Direction Command pursued was far more sophisticated than previously believed Stalin, the Stavka, and Timoshenko's Western Main Direction Command employed a strategy of attrition designed to weaken advancing German forces This attrition strategy inflicted far greater damage on Army Group Center than previously thought and, ultimately, contributed significantly to the Western and Kalinin Fronts' victories over Army Group Center in December 1941. Quite simply, this series breaks new ground in World War II Eastern Front and Soviet military studies.

"This is operational history at its best, meticulously researched and presented for the reader to analyse." Warfare Magazine

". its conclusion will have a profound impact on future books written about the Eastern Front in World War II." J.W. Thacker, Dept of History, Western Kentucky University in the Bowling Green Daily News

". such a thorough and scrupulous account of these battles is long overdue. By closely examining these early battles, the author shows how the weakened Soviet military leadership studied their early mistakes, regained their balance, and struck back with deadly fury. Though the Soviet nightmare was to last for another four long years, the painful lessons learned on the battlefields in and around Smolensk during the summer of 1941 were the key to the ultimate Soviet victory." The Russian Review

&ldquo &hellip A necessary and valuable addition to the English-language literature on the Great Patriotic War. It includes a wealth of documents never before available in English, and it substantially revises earlier accounts of the Battle of Smolensk.&rdquo Journal of Military History


Contents

29 August Edit

On 28 August, the 2nd Panzer Group continued to advance southward, crossing the Desna River near Novgorod-Seversky and Korop by the end of the day. The Stavka ordered the Bryansk Front and Southwestern Front Air Forces to concentrate their aircraft on blocking the group's advance, but the aviation failed to halt the German troops. By the end of 29 August, XXIV Motorized Corps' 10th Motorized Division's lead Kampfgruppe had advanced 20 kilometers to the south, reaching positions to the north of the Seym River, 20 kilometers north of Bakhmach, and engaging elements of the 40th Army's 293rd Rifle Division in the Korop area and the 21st Army's 67th Rifle Corps along the Seym. At the same time, the 3rd Panzer Division reached Glukhov's western approaches, 50 kilometers southeast of the Desna at Novgorod-Seversky, where it ran into 40th Army's main body, including the 10th Tank Division and the 5th Antitank Brigade. [3]

Behind the 10th Motorized and 3rd Panzer, the 4th Panzer Division of the XXIV Corps and the 17th Panzer and 29th Motorized Division of XXXXVII Motorized Corps were echeloned to the rear at Novgorod-Seversky and west of Trubchevsk. The 4th Panzer was fighting 13th Army's 52nd Cavalry Division in the Novgorod-Seversky area and the army's main forces west of Trubchevsk. Farther to the rear, the 18th Panzer Division of the XXXXVII Corps was quickly moving southward from Roslavl while mopping up stragglers from the 13th Army in 2nd Panzer Group's rear west of the Desna. [3]

To the west of the 2nd Panzer Group, infantry divisions of Maximilian von Weichs's 2nd Army pushed the remnants of Vasily Kuznetsov's 21st Army and the old 3rd Army towards Chernigov, while eliminating the 21st Army remnants surrounded in a large salient pocket northeast of Chernigov and north of the Desna. The 21st Army and old 3rd Army were part of the Bryansk Front. [4]

XXIV Motorized Corps, commanded by Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg, had a daily operational strength of roughly 320 tanks (including 128 Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks, with the rest being Panzer I, Panzer II, and command tanks) which was well below half of its strength at the beginning of Operation Barbarossa. [5] Kuzma Podlas' 40th Army, which became part of the Southwestern Front on 26 August, was responsible for defending the front's right flank and maintaining contact with the Bryansk Front on its right. It included the 135th Rifle Division, the 293rd Rifle Division, 10th Tank Division, 2nd Airborne Corps, and the 5th Anti-Tank Brigade. [6]


Barbarossa Derailed. Volume 1: The German Advance, The Encirclement Battle, and the First and Second Soviet Counteroffensives, 10 July - 24 August 1941

Glantz, David M.

Published by Helion & Company 2010-11-01, 2010

Used - Hardcover
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BARBAROSSA DERAILED THE BATTLE FOR SMOLENSK 10 JULY - SEPTEMBER 1941 VOLUME 2: THE GERMAN ADVANCE ON THE FLANKS AND THE THIRD SOVIET COUNTEROFFENSIVE 25 AUGUST - 10 SEPTEMBER 1941

by David Glantz, 456 pages, 40 b/w photos, 50 maps

At dawn on 10 July 1941, massed tanks and motorized infantry of German Army Group Center's Second and Third Panzer Groups crossed the Dnepr and Western Dvina Rivers, beginning what Adolf Hitler, the Führer of Germany's Third Reich, and most German officers and soldiers believed would be a triumphal march on Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union. Less than three weeks before, on 22 June Hitler had unleashed his Wehrmacht's [Armed Forces] massive invasion of the Soviet Union code-named Operation Barbarossa, which sought to defeat the Soviet Union's Red Army, conquer the country, and unseat its Communist ruler, Josef Stalin. Between 22 June and 10 July, the Wehrmacht advanced up to 500 kilometers into Soviet territory, killed or captured up to one million Red Army soldiers, and reached the western banks of the Western Dvina and Dnepr Rivers, by doing so satisfying the premier assumption of Plan Barbarossa that the Third Reich would emerge victorious if it could defeat and destroy the bulk of the Red Army before it withdrew to safely behind those two rivers. With the Red Army now shattered, Hitler and most Germans expected total victory in a matter of weeks.

The ensuing battles in the Smolensk region frustrated German hopes for quick victory. Once across the Dvina and Dnepr Rivers, a surprised Wehrmacht encountered five fresh Soviet armies. Despite destroying two of these armies outright, severely damaging two others, and encircling the remnants of three of these armies in the Smolensk region, quick victory eluded the Germans. Instead, Soviet forces encircled in Mogilev and Smolensk stubbornly refused to surrender, and while they fought on, during July, August, and into early September, first five and then a total of seven newly-mobilized Soviet armies struck back viciously at the advancing Germans, conducting multiple counterattacks and counterstrokes, capped by two major counteroffensives that sapped German strength and will. Despite immense losses in men and materiel, these desperate Soviet actions derailed Operation Barbarossa. Smarting from countless wounds inflicted on his vaunted Wehrmacht, even before the fighting ended in the Smolensk region, Hitler postponed his march on Moscow and instead turned his forces southward to engage "softer targets" in the Kiev region. The 'derailment" of the Wehrmacht at Smolensk ultimately became the crucial turning point in Operation Barbarossa.

This groundbreaking new study, now significantly expanded, exploits a wealth of Soviet and German archival materials, including the combat orders and operational of the German OKW, OKH, army groups, and armies and of the Soviet Stavka, the Red Army General Staff, the Western Main Direction Command, the Western, Central, Reserve, and Briansk Fronts, and their subordinate armies to present a detailed mosaic and definitive account of what took place, why, and how during the prolonged and complex battles in the Smolensk region from 10 July through 10 September 1941. The structure of the study is designed specifically to appeal to both general readers and specialists by a detailed two-volume chronological narrative of the course of operations, accompanied by a third volume, and perhaps a fourth, containing archival maps and an extensive collection of specific orders and reports translated verbatim from Russian. The maps, archival and archival-based, detail every stage of the battle.

Within the context of Guderian's southward march toward the Kiev region, volume 2 in this series describes in unprecedented detail the Red Army's attempts to thwart German offensive plans by defeating Army Group Center in the Smolensk region with a general counteroffensive by three Red Army fronts. This volume restores to the pages of history two major military operations which, for political and military reasons, Soviet historians concealed from view, largely because both offensives failed. This volume includes: The Northern Flank: Group Stumme's (Third Panzer Group) Advance to Velikie Luki, Toropets, and Zapadnaia Dvina, 22 August-9 September 1941 German Strategic Planning, the Tilt toward Kiev, and Second Panzer Group's Advance Across the Desna River, 22-28 August 1941 The Third Soviet Counteroffensive, including the Western Front's Dukhovshchina Offensive, 26 August-6 September1941, the Reserve Front's El'nia Offensive, 30 August-10 September 1941, and the Briansk Front's Roslavl'-Novozybkov Offensive, 29 August-14 September 1941.

Based on the analysis of the vast mass of documentary materials exploited by this study, David Glantz presents a number of important new findings, notably: Soviet resistance to Army Group Center's advance into the Smolensk region was far stronger and more active than the Germans anticipated and historians have previously described The military strategy Stalin, the Stavka, and Western Main Direction Command pursued was far more sophisticated than previously believed Stalin, the Stavka, and Timoshenko's Western Main Direction Command employed a strategy of attrition designed to weaken advancing German forces This attrition strategy inflicted far greater damage on Army Group Center than previously thought and, ultimately, contributed significantly to the Western and Kalinin Fronts' victories over Army Group Center in December 1941.


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