Soldiers to the Last Day

The Rhineland-Westphalian 6th Infantry Division, 1935-1945

Denis Havel

Drawn primarily from German sources, especially the rare divisional and regimental histories and personal accounts and letters of its soldiers, Soldiers to the Last Day: the Rhineland- Westphalian 6th Infantry Division presents the German view of WWII from inside divisional headquarters down to the individual Landser.
Date Published :
February 2020
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
44 black and white
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781557440
Pages : 288
Dimensions : 9.21 X 6.14 inches
Stock Status : Out of stock


Soldiers to the Last Day: Rhineland- Westphalian 6th Infantry Division, 1935-1945 recounts the history of the German 6th Infantry Division from its formation in 1935 to its destruction at Babruysk in July 1944; then its resurrection and continued fighting until the end of the war. Among the first divisions established by the Wehrmacht, the 6th Infantry Division had one of the longest and bloodiest records of continuous combat of any division—Allied or Axis. Engaging in combat within weeks of the outbreak of WWII, the division fought to the last hour of the war. Based primarily on German sources, in particular the rare divisional and regimental histories and war diaries, and on personal accounts and letters of its soldiers, Soldiers to the Last Day presents the German view of the war from inside divisional headquarters and down to the individual Landser as the division marches across France in 1940, advances to the Volga during Operation Barbarossa, fights the brutal battles of Rzhev, Kursk, Babruysk; and makes last desperate attempts to defend the homeland in 1945. It is a tale of courage, determination, suffering, and in the end—betrayal.

About The Author

Denis Havel graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a degree in psychology and has taught at both the high school and college level. An independent historian, Havel has studied German history, language and literature, and the Prussian-German military. He is currently active in German-American organizations, notably the Germania Männerchor, that preserve German language and traditions.


Acknowledgments; Author’s Note; Introduction; 1 From the Ashes; 2 Mobilization and War: First Blood; 3 “Kameraden Wir Marschieren im Westen”; 4 Barbarossa I: Into the Unknown; 5 Barbarossa II: The Volga and Beyond; 6 A Winter in Hell; 7 The First Winter Battle of Rzhev; 8 The Summer Battle of Rzhev; 9 “Wir Halten Rshew!” The Second Winter Battle of Rzhev; 10 Operation Büffel; 11 Operation Freischütz; 12 Zitadelle; 13 The Year of Retreat; 14 Death of a Division; 15 Resurrection and the Warka; 16 Silesian Requiem; Epilogue; Endnotes; Appendix I: Men of the Division; Appendix II: Das Ritterkreuz; Appendix III: Das Birkenkreuz; Bibliography.

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