Confronting Case Blue

Briansk Front's Attempt To Derail The German Drive To The Caucasus, July 1942

Igor' Sdvizhkov

Date Published :
May 2017
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Contributor(s) :
Stuart Britton
Illustration :
8pp color maps, 9 b/w photos
No associated books available.


The author, Igor’ Sdvizhkov, takes a close look at the attempt by the Briansk Front’s Operational Group Chibisov to collapse the northern shoulder of the German drive to the Caucasus - north-west of Voronezh - in July 1942. Using both previously classified Soviet documents and German documents, Sdvizhkov focuses in particular on General A.I. Liziukov’s role in the counteroffensive as commander of the 2nd Tank Corps after his 5th Tank Army was disbanded following failed counterattacks in early July. The Soviet attacks led to nine days of heavy see-saw fighting involving tens of thousands of men and hundreds of tanks and guns on both sides, and threatened to isolate the German forces holding Voronezh. Sdvizhkov also describes the German reaction to the initial penetration made by Operational Group Chibisov’s offensive: a counterattack primarily with the forces of the 9th Panzer Division, which at the time of the new Soviet offensive, was in a reserve position - serving as a fire brigade. The German riposte blunted the Soviet attacks and encircled elements of Operational Group Chibisov, and ultimately stabilized the tottering German front north-west of Voronezh for the time being. General Liziukov would go missing during the 2nd Tank Corps’ attack, and the author discusses why the Briansk Front and Operational Group Chibisov Command initially made little or no effort to find the General, Stalin’s suspicions surrounding General Liziukov’s disappearance and the results of the official wartime investigation of the matter. Sdvizhkov also addresses the numerous controversies that later ensued due to erroneous and/or misleading recollections, as well as the total inability to locate General Liziukov or his remains. Carefully examining the available evidence, Sdvizhkov offers a cogent and persuasive explanation of what happened.

About The Author

Igor’ Sdvizhkov was born in Lipetsk on 15 March 1964. He graduated from the Department of History of the Lipetsk Pedagogical Institute and subsequently taught both History and English at school level and at the institute. In his research work, Sdvizhkov focuses on the history of the combat operations of the summer of 1942 on the Briansk and Voronezh Fronts - using archival materials from the Russian Defense Ministry’s Central Archive, the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute of Russian History and the US National Archives. To date, he has published articles in the Russian-language Voenno-istoricheskii arkhiv [Military-historical archive] and three books, including the present one.

Stuart Britton is a freelance translator who resides in Cedar Rapids, IA. He is responsible for a growing number of translated Russian military memoirs, battle histories and operational studies, which saw an explosion in Russia with the opening of secret military archives and the emergence of new Russian scholars who take a more objective look at the events and historical figures. Two works that received prizes or prominent acclaim were Valeriy Zamulin’s Demolishing a Myth: The Tank Battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk 1943 and Lev Lopukhovsky’s The Viaz’ma Catastrophe, 1941: The Red Army’s Disastrous Stand Against Operation Typhoon. Notable recent translations include Valeriy Zamulin’s The Battle of Kursk: Controversial and Neglected Aspects and Igor Sdvizhkov’s Confronting Case Blue:Briansk Front’s Attempt to Derail the German Drive to the Caucasus, July 1942. Future translated publications include Nikolai Ovcharenko’s analysis of the defense, occupation and liberation of Odessa, 1941-1944, and Zamulin’s detailed study of 7th Guards Army’s role and performance in the Battle of Kursk against Army Detachment Kempf.


“An extraordinary work of seminal historical scholarship, "Confronting Case Blue: Briansk Front's Attempt To Derail The German Drive To The Caucasus, July 1942" should be considered as a core and impressively informative addition to the growing library of World War II military studies… Highly recommended for both academics and military history buffs, "Confronting Case Blue" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library World War II Military History collections in general, and World War II European Theatre supplemental studies reading lists in particular.”

- Midwest Book Review, October 2017

“Helion’s publishing quality is excellent and the translation by Britton of top quality. The writing style of the Russian historians is quite different from Western authors but does not detract from the content. An interesting book worth the time.”

- War History Online

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