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'Ostkrieg' by Stephen G. Fritz ( recommended ! )

Discussion in 'ETO, MTO and the Eastern Front' started by Martin Bull, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    At last - at last - a superbly clear one-volume history of the Eastern Front ! :)

    'Ostkrieg - Hitler's War Of Extermination In The East' by Stephen G Fritz ( University of Press Of Kentucky, September 2011 ).

    I ordered this unreviewed, purely on the basis of my liking for the authors' previous book 'Frontsoldaten'. Professor Fritz is quite upfront in his introduction : this is no work of original research, with no new archival 'finds' or interviews with participants. As with Frontsoldaten, he has read deeply and widely on his subject and intends this book as a synthesis and analysis of the most recent books and research on the subject.

    I won't go on forever - I love this book ! There have been single-volume histories before and I have most of them ( Seaton, Werth, Mawdsley etc) and I have a lot of the multi-volume ones ( Erickson, Carell (!), Glantz, etc ). But I always seem to get 'bogged down' in too much detail and often don't finish the books (OK,OK - bear with me......I didn't go to University and I enjoy a 'good read' :eek: ). Ostkrieg is a (VERY ) Good Read. I've actually approached the end of it with dismay rather than relief. IMPO Fritz maintains the narrative superbly, making sense of a complex subject and mving skilfully between high strategy, the intertwining of the 'military' and 'political' nature of the War, and the experiences of those at the sharp end. He also very neatly maintains the context of the Eastern Front within the wider war.

    All in all, a very enjoyable history lesson written in plain English. It's not exagerrating too much to say that I almost learned something on every page. Criticisms ? It's written very much from the German point-of-view, and Tunisia isn't in Europe. And the maps are not up to the narrative.

    But other than that, I recommend this book highly. The bibliography is also excellent as a guide to further reading.

    Oh - and I went back to Amazon to leave a review and found five or six other 4-5 star reviews had appeared while I was reading it : so it's not just me ! ;)
     
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Sounds Good!, thanks
     
  3. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

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    yes thanks Martin, put it in as a purchase order at my local library..
     
  4. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Now that it's had time to 'sink in', I'm very happy to recommend this book. It has succeeded in giving me a much clearer, broad understanding of the Eastern Front, and now I feel more confident about plunging in to my other books by Glantz, Ziemke etc.

    IMPO Fritz' book deserves to reach a wider public, but full marks to the University Press of Kentucky for making this book available.
     
  5. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    One last gush......something which Ostkrieg devotes considerable discussion to are the almost incredible challenges posed to the German Forces by logistics. I know it sounds a boring subject, but other books I've read seem to overlook the topic almost completely. Whereas I tend to sit there thinking : -

    'How the heck did they manage to transport all that stuff over such enormous distances....?'
    :confused:

    This book gives valuable perspectives about logistics and....manages not to make it boring !:cool:
     

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