Marching from Defeat

Surviving the Collapse of the German Army in the Soviet Union, 1944

Claus Neuber

In June 1944, in Belarus on the Eastern Front, the Red Army launched Operation Bagration, the massive offensive that crushed Hitler's Army Group Centre. German soldiers who weren't encircled and captured had to fight their way back towards their own lines across hundreds of miles of enemy territory.
Date Published :
May 2020
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526704269
Pages : 272
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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$34.95
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Overview
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In June 1944, in Belarus on the Eastern Front, the Red Army launched Operation Bagration, the massive offensive that crushed Hitler’s Army Group Centre. German soldiers who weren’t encircled and captured had to fight their way back towards their own lines across hundreds of miles of enemy territory. This is the story of one of them, Claus Neuber, a young artillery officer who describes in graphic detail his experiences during that great retreat.

His gripping account carries the reader through the desperate defensive battles and rearguard actions fought to stem the relentless Soviet advance and to breakout from the cauldrons between Minsk and the Beresina river. After almost seventy days as a fugitive, living in the open, depending on the kindness of villagers, enduring extremes of cold, wet and hunger, and living each day with the ever-present threat of betrayal and imprisonment, he found his way back to the German lines.

This unforgettable personal narrative, translated for the first time from the original German, gives a dramatic insight into the impact of the Soviet offensive and the disintegration of an entire German army. It is also compelling reading because it records in day-to-day detail what such a bitter defeat was like and shows how individual soldiers somehow survived through their bravery, ingenuity and endurance – and the companionship of a few loyal comrades.

About The Author
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Author

Claus Neuber was a young artillery lieutenant in the 18th Panzergrenadier Division of the German Fourth Army in the Soviet Union in June 1944 when he was caught up in Operation Bagration, the large-scale Red Army offensive that destroyed Army Group Centre and pushed the Germans back hundreds of miles into eastern Poland. After almost seventy days on the run behind Soviet lines he rejoined the German army. He recorded his experiences in a report written soon afterwards, then expanded his account after the war, but it was not published in Germany till 2014.

Translator

During many years working in several senior official positions in Berlin – including spells as provost marshal and British governor of Spandau prison – Tony Le Tissier accumulated a vast knowledge of the Second World War on the Eastern Front. He has published a series of outstanding books on the subject including The Battle of Berlin 1945, Zhukov at the Oder, Race for the Reichstag, Berlin Battlefield Guide and The Siege of Küstrin 1945. He has also translated Prussian Apocalypse: The Fall of Danzig 1945, Soviet Conquest: Berlin 1945, With Paulus at Stalingrad and Panzers on the Vistula.

REVIEWS
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"Claus Neuber's personal narrative is one of the most incredible stories of determination and survival that I've read in many years... incredibly detailed and gives an amazing perspective into the collapse of Army Group Center and the mass retreat that followed."

- Military History Online

"The biggest value this volume has is showing what kind of obstacles stood in the way of those who tried to get back to their own frontlines in the wake of Operation Bagration, and how much help locals were able to offer random Wehrmacht soldiers...."

- WWII and other Book Reviews

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