A fully illustrated account of the Soviet offensive in the Baltics and the desperate German attempts to hold back the Red Army.
This is a compelling account of the German defense of the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Against overwhelming Soviet forces the book shows how the German Army Group North was driven across the Baltics from Leningrad and fought a number isolated battles including the defense of Narva, Memel and the Kurland pocket.
The book outlines in dramatic detail how Hitler forbade his troops to withdraw, ordering them to follow his Halt Order Decree and fight to the death. However, exhausted and demoralized by continuous Soviet assaults, Army Group North became cut-off and isolated, fighting fanatically to hold the capital cities of Tallin, Vilnius and Riga. What followed were German forces fighting to the death in the last few small pockets of land surrounding three ports: Libau in Kurland, Pillau in East Prussia and Danzig at the mouth of the River Vistula. In the Kurland, German divisions became surrounded and fought a vicious defense until May 1945.
Drawing on a host of rare and unpublished photographs accompanied by in-depth captions and text, the book provides an absorbing read of the Red Army’s conquering of the Baltics.
1. Prelude to destruction 2. Defensive positions 3. Defending the frontiers of Estonia & Lithuania 2 February–13 July 1944 – Narva Front, Crushing of Vilnius 4. Battle of Attrition – 21 July 1944–January 1945 – Withdrawal, Tallinn Offensive, Riga Offensive, Retreat to Kurland 5. Fortress Kurland 6. Baltic Exodus
Ian Baxter is a military historian who specialises in German twentieth-century military history. He has written more than fifty books. He has also reviewed numerous military studies for publication, supplied thousands of photographs and important documents to various publishers and film production companies worldwide, and lectures to various schools, colleges and universities throughout the United Kingdom and Southern Ireland.
"...the publisher's ability to create compact yet detailed and well-illustrated volumes is shown in this latest edition covering the Baltic fighting. The photographs are excellent, as are the maps and artwork. There is also extensive information on unit organization and leadership. The work gives the reader a complete look at one of the lesser understood campaigns of the Eastern Front."
~WWII History Magazine
"...a great quick look at this bitterly fought series of battles."
"...it is the photographs that are really what makes this book special."
"Ian’s narrative skill is brilliant, his meticulous research is extraordinary, and cogency beyond reproach."
"...another impressive title in the Casemate Illustrated series, and a useful book for modelers interested in the Axis and Soviet forces engaged in that epic struggle. The text is clear and informative, and the visual galleries alone are worth acquiring the book."
"Modelers of World War II Eastern Front will have a plethora of images to gain inspiration. The photographs show the desperation, strain of war, environmental conditions, and brutality of war."
“I found this an interesting read, as in my view, we are often distracted by the events of Bagration, which smashed into Army Group Centre. The text plus the photos and their captions, the artwork profiles and plenty of maps all fit nicely together to explain the story of the events in the Baltic States in the closing stages of WW2.”
~Military Model Scene
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