THE ODER FRONT 1945: Volume 1 - Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici, Heeresgruppe Weichsel and Germany's Final Defense in the East, 20 March-4 May 1945
Oversized at 8.75 x 12 inches with 100 b/w photos and documents, 21 b/w maps, and 64 pages of color maps (maps are scanned WWII originals).
Germany's final battle began when Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici took command of Heeresgruppe Weichsel (Army Group Vistula) on 20 March 1945, just before the massive Soviet offensive intended to capture Berlin was launched on 16 April. Heinrici, not Hitler, decided that there was only one strategic course left for Germany -- hold the Soviets back along the Oder Front long enough to entice the Western Allies across the Elbe River.
Heinrici knew two things: the war was lost and what remained of Germany was destined for postwar Soviet occupation. His intent was that a protracted defense along the Oder Front would force General Eisenhower to order the Western Allies into the postwar Soviet Zone of Occupation outlined in the Top Secret Allied Plan known as 'Eclipse', thereby sparing millions of Germans in the east the dismal fate of Soviet vengeance everyone knew was at hand.
Berlin, Heinrici ordered, would not be defended. The capital of Germany would not become another 'Stalingrad' as Heinrici told his subordinates. A decision by OKW on 23 April to defend Berlin in a final decisive battle forced Heinrici into direct conflict with his superiors over the conduct of operations along the Oder Front -- a conflict that undermined his capability to defend against the Soviets and ultimately cost Heinrici his command.
Describes the planning and execution of the defense of the Oder Front, reconstructing it day-by-day using previously unpublished personal diaries, postwar interviews, Heeresgruppe Weichsel's war diary, and daily command phone logs. Operations of the 3.Panzer Armee, 9.Armee, 12.Armee, and 21.Armee are covered in detail, with their unit movements depicted on over 60 wartime operational maps. The narrative is supported by an extensive selection of appendices, including translations of postwar narratives relating to Heeresgruppe Weichsel penned by senior German officers, biographical notes on notable officers of the Heeresgruppe, and highly detailed orders of battles.
Add to Cart
Updated as of 9/28/2023ABBREVIATIONS: dj-dust jacket, biblio-bibliography, b/w-black and white, illust-illustrations, b/c-book club addition.
rct - recent arrival or pending publication, spc - OMM Special Price