Books - Eastern Front

 

6th SS Mountain Division Nord at War 1941-1945 by Ian Baxter

Pegasus Archive review: The 6th SS Mountain Division Nord were the only unit of the Waffen SS to fight inside the Arctic Circle, and so much of this book concerns their activities in Finland where they encountered a very different type of war to that experienced on the rest of the Eastern Front. The book contains a broad array of excellent and atmospheric photographs, particularly the large number of those which chronicle their activities during the winter months, where they are seen patrolling those vast swathes of wilderness which were inaccessible to trains and motor transport, and so relied heavily on ski troops with horse-drawn sledges. As with all books in the Images of War series, the large photographs and detailed captions span a diverse range of subjects, clearly showing uniforms and equipment as well as the organisation of defensive positions, including the use of igloos to protect the troops from the elements. Before closing with an order of battle and notes on winter uniforms, the final pages deal with the transfer of the Division to Germany and its part in the failed Nordwind offensive of January 1945, and then the final months of the war which led to its destruction. Price £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/6th-SS-Mountain-Division-Nord-at-War-19411945-Paperback/p/15623

 

The Battle of Kursk 1943 by Hans Seidler

Pegasus Archive review: A part of the "Images of War" series. Hans Seidler draws on rare and previously unpublished photographs to describe, from the German perspective, the course of this most decisive of battles. The photographs, with their descriptive notes, illustrate the wide range of equipment used and the scale and ferocity of an offensive from which the German war machine never recovered. Price £11.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Battle-of-Kursk-1943/p/3163/

 

Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front by Günter K Koschorrek

Pegasus Archive review: Based on the diary which Günter Koschorrek illegally kept throughout the war, this is a superb memoir of a typical German infantryman on the Russian Front. The writing at first exudes innocence and optimism when he arrives as a reinforcement in Stalingrad, but grim reality rapidly descends, particularly after the Russian offensive which encircled the city, when Koschorrek's unit narrowly escaped and became embroiled in the desperate defence of the River Don. Here he gives a vivid sense of the sheer horror and hopelessness which ensues when infantry, devoid of cover and heavy weapons, are overrun by tanks. Following the rapid, demoralising retreat from the Caucasus, Koschorrek describes the innumerable futile defensive actions which took place throughout the summer of 1944. It is clear from his descriptions of the various characters around him that the rate of attrition was utterly horrendous, so much so that this once inexperienced and youthful soldier becomes regarded as one of the last remaining old hands. Told without any trace of enmity or political ideology, this is simply a soldiers' story, of a man who does his duty and fights for the lives of his comrades. Price £13.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Blood-Red-Snow-Paperback/p/2946

 

The Crushing of Army Group North 1944-1945 on the Eastern Front by Ian Baxter

Pegasus Archive review: A part of the "Images at War" series describing the fighting which took place around the Baltic States in the final months of the war; an encounter which, even by the standards of the Russian front was savagely fought, and culminated in the destruction of Germany's Army Group North. Each chapter provides a concise summary of events followed by a plethora of large, carefully selected and rare photographs from the German perspective, each accompanied by detailed notes. These span a considerable variety of subjects, showing a number of different unit types, including SS and Estonian volunteers, equipped with a very broad range of infantry weapons, armoured vehicles and artillery pieces, but it also devotes a few pages to much less emphasised aspects such as mine laying. The photographs give a sense of the varied conditions which the troops encountered; from a dry summer to an arctic winter, and the inevitable muddy thaw which followed, turning roads to swamps. The book closes with an Order of Battle of Army Group North as it evolved throughout the campaign. Price £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/The-Crushing-of-Army-Group-North-1944-1945-Paperback/p/12688

 

Death on the Don: The Destruction of Germany's Allies on the Eastern Front 1941-1944 by Jonathan Trigg

Pegasus Archive review: A superb account of the grim fate which befell Germany's allies on the Eastern Front, above all Romania, Hungary and Italy. Meticulously researched, Death on the Don reveals the state of these armies which, despite a respectable strength on paper, were badly led, poorly equipped and quite unprepared for a modern war of heavy weaponry and rapid movement. It examines the paths which led to their involvement in Operation Barbarossa; Hitler's immense attack on Russia in 1941, and follows their actions during the first year before describing their part in the advance on Stalingrad in 1942. Whilst the destruction of the German Sixth Army there has been well documented, little attention has been paid to these foreign armies which were relied upon to hold the increasingly fragile flanks. Although some formations had proved themselves capable of spirited action, they remained utterly deficient in the tanks, artillery and anti-tank guns which were capable of standing up to the new Russian army which was thrown against them in November 1942. In horrendous winter conditions, Germany's allies quickly disintegrated beneath the onslaught and suffered such severe losses in men and equipment that they never recovered. An impressive addition to an overlooked chapter of the Second World War. Price £20.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/index.php/death-on-the-don.html

 

Front-Line Stalingrad by Victor Nekrasov

Pegasus Archive review: Front-Line Stalingrad is a work of fiction by a veteran who commanded an engineer battalion during this most epic of battles, and continued to serve in the Red Army until he was wounded in Poland, in early 1944. It follows events from the retreat to the Volga in 1942, and the bitter fighting which took place from building to building in the shattered ruins of Stalingrad. Although its characters are an invention, they have been heavily coloured by Nekrasov's personal experience, and show the mindset of the typical Red Army soldier as this savage, attritional struggle progressed. The result is a highly realistic and gritty account which is remarkably devoid of the slightly false-feeling patriotic triumphalism which generally pervades such novels. The book was critically acclaimed on its release in 1946 and is now a recognised classic of the period, which is an extraordinary achievement for a man who had no previous experience of writing. Price £12.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Front-Line-Stalingrad-Paperback/p/3434

 

German Army on the Eastern Front - The Advance by Ian Baxter

Pegasus Archive review: A very impressive collection of photographs following the German Army from the invasion of Russia in 1941, through to the advance on Stalingrad, the chaotic retreat which followed and the recovery of Spring 1943. Each of these phases are covered in individual chapters, introduced with a concise account of the state of the German Army at the time and the chief events as they unfolded. The photographs are accompanied by detailed notes which explain the scene, and they have been particularly carefully selected to cover an extremely diverse range of units and subjects, with a wide variety of uniforms and equipment, supplied or improvised, on display. These include river crossings, ski troops, mountain troops, pack animals, tanks, artillery, anti-tank guns, motorcyclists, mortar and machine gun teams. In contrast to propaganda images of the era which try to make light of obviously difficult situations, these feel much more real, and the numerous photographs taken during the winter months look thoroughly grim. Price: £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/German-Army-on-the-Eastern-Front-The-Advance-Paperback/p/10124

 

German Army on the Eastern Front - The Retreat by Ian Baxter

Pegasus Archive review: Beginning with the German defeat at Kursk in 1943, this photographic study goes on to describe the subsequent winter fighting and the catastrophic defeats of 1944, culminating in their collapse during the final year. Yet despite the increasingly hopeless situation, the photographs also reveal the relentless dedication and fighting spirit of the ordinary German soldier. The infantry and artillery receive the most attention, although some armour is present, including images of captured Russian tanks put into the service of the Wehrmacht. As with all books in the "Images of War" series, the superb photographs have been carefully selected to depict a wide range of situations, terrain, weather conditions, uniforms and equipment, and come with detailed captions. Included amongst these are images of observation posts, mortar teams, improvised river crossings, the construction of defensive positions with forced labour, and the impact of the scorched earth policy. Price: £12.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/German-Army-on-the-Eastern-Front-The-Retreat-1943-1945-Paperback/p/11650

 

Hitler Versus Stalin: The Eastern Front 1941-1942 by Nik Cornish

Pegasus Archive review: A wonderful photographic history of the first year of the Russian campaign, following the initially triumphant German advance through Ukraine and into the outskirts of Leningrad and Moscow. It is a challenge to condense this immense subject into a book of 128 pages, but in the tradition of the "Images of War" series, each photograph has been carefully selected to provide a snapshot of the unfolding campaign and illustrate, with the assistance of detailed captions, a very broad range of subjects and equipment. Included amongst these are the appalling human cost, with prisoners of war of both sides being marched towards a very uncertain future, and the plight of civilians overtaken by the advance. The book naturally closes with a series of images which capture the chaos of Germany's retreat from Moscow in dreadful winter conditions, but it also includes a chapter which looks as the lesser known contribution of the Western Allies, of aircraft and particularly tanks and other armoured vehicles supplied by the British and Americans to keep the Red Army fighting. Price £11.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Hitler-versus-Stalin-The-Eastern-Front-1941-1942-Paperback/p/11845

 

Hitler Versus Stalin: The Eastern Front 1943-1944 by Nik Cornish

Pegasus Archive review: The third installment in this photographic series about the war on the Eastern Front focuses on the summer of 1943 and the critical year which followed, when the tide turned irrevocably against Hitler. It is divided into nine chapters which cover the various phases of the German defeat at the epic battle of Kursk, the advance from Leningrad in the North, and the devastating Soviet offensive in 1944 which culminated in the eviction of Axis forces from the USSR. As expected from the "Images of War" series, this story is told with a concise narrative and a carefully selected array of quality photographs, each with detailed captions, illustrating a very broad range of equipment, uniforms and situations. These include civilian labour, partisan groups, evidence of the German scorched earth policy, defensive works, winter camouflage, and naturally, as they constituted the primary weapon on this front, a considerable number of armoured vehicles of all types. Price £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Hitler-versus-Stalin-The-Eastern-Front-1943-1944-Paperback/p/12908 

 

Hitler's Arctic War by Chris Mann and Christer Jörgensen

Pegasus Archive review: The Scandinavian theatre of WW2 is often overlooked as a peripheral area of limited significance, yet this book demonstrates its strategic importance and the considerable resources which both sides were obliged to commit there, despite the extraordinary challenges of moving and supplying armies in horrendous weather across utterly remote, inaccessible terrain. Much of it concerns the remarkable efforts of the Finns, in resisting the Russian invasion of 1939, then later fighting alongside their German Allies to destabilise Stalin's northern flank, and their ultimately successful struggle to preserve their independence in the face of inevitable defeat. The book also describes the invasion of Norway in 1940, and Hitler's obsession with this country which, despite desperate need elsewhere, remained garrisoned by an extremely large force until the end of the War. A large chapter is devoted to the British Arctic Convoys, which ran a perilous gauntlet of bombers, u-boats and battleships, to bring desperately needed supplies to Russia. Each of these are enormous subjects in their own right and so this book can only be seen as an overview, yet it is lavishly furnished with photographs, and the concise narrative provides a gripping introduction to this very different war. Price £12.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Hitlers-Arctic-War-Paperback/p/12449

 

Hitler's Final Fortress - Breslau 1945 by Richard Hargreaves

In January 1945, the Red Army unleashed its long-awaited thrust into Germany with terrible fury. One by one the provinces and great cities of the German East were captured by the Soviet troops. Breslau, capital of Silesia, a city of 600,000 people, stood firm and was declared a fortress by Hitler. A bitter struggle raged as the Red Army encircled Breslau, then tried to pummel it into submission while the city’s Nazi leadership used brutal methods to keep the scratch German troops fighting and maintain order. Aided by supplies flown in nightly and building improvised weapons from torpedoes mounted on trolleys to an armoured train, the men of Fortress Breslau held out against superior Soviet forces for four months. The price was fearful. By the time Breslau surrendered on May 6, 1945, four days after Berlin had fallen, the city was a wasteland and 25,000 soldiers and civilians had died. Savage retribution was visited on the survivors by the Russian conquerors. What was left of the city was pillaged, its women raped and every German inhabitant driven out of the city which became Wroclaw in post-war Soviet-occupied Poland. Hitler's Final Fortress is the first full length account of the notorious siege of Breslau in English, is based on painstaking research of official documents, newspapers, letters, diaries and personal testimonies. Price £20.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Hitlers-Final-Fortress-Breslau-1945/p/3286/

 

Lake Ilmen 1942 by Oscar Gonzalez and Pablo Sagarra

Pegasus Archive review: In early 1942, with the Wehrmacht struggling in the dreadful Russian winter conditions for which it was completely unprepared, the Red Army launched an offensive to relieve Moscow. Amongst the many desperate battles fought, this book focuses on a relatively small but important action near the communications hub of Staraya Russa where the beleaguered 290th Division were struggling to hold their ground. The 150-strong Ski Company of the Spanish Blue Division was ordered to relieve them, and in crossing the frozen Lake Ilmen were exposed to utterly horrendous Arctic conditions with temperatures reaching -50°C; the majority fell out with frostbite, but a few got through and fought courageously before the handful of survivors were forced to withdraw. Focusing in particular on individual stories, this is a beautifully presented book, brimming with photographs, maps and memorabilia, and is a fine tribute to this epic endeavour which, though famous in Spain, is barely noted elsewhere and has been lost amongst the wider story of the Russian front. Price: £20.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Lake-Ilmen-1942-Hardback/p/15937

 

Mortar Gunner on the Eastern Front: Volume I by Dr Hans Heinz Rehfeldt

Pegasus Archive review: Hans Rehfeldt was 18 when he was despatched to Russia in October 1941 with the Grossdeustschland Division, and this is the first of two books which recount his experiences from the not often told perspective of a mortar team, and is based entirely on the diary which he illegally kept throughout the war. It begins with his optimistic departure for the front, but he soon became embroiled in the chaotic retreat from Moscow and, having suffered terribly in horrendous winter conditions, was one of only a small handful from his regiment to emerge unscathed and fit for service. During the following year, the rebuilt Division participated in the advance to the River Don, defended Kharkov after the defeat at Stalingrad, and the book closes with their part in the Battle of Kursk and the subsequent Russian offensive in the summer of 1943. Accompanied by Rehfeldt's large collection of personal photographs and sketched maps, this is a superbly told and detailed account, and in view of the actions in which he was involved, it is nothing short of a miracle that both Rehfeldt and his diary survived to tell it. Price: £20.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Mortar-Gunner-on-the-Eastern-Front-Hardback/p/16201

 

Mortar Gunner on the Eastern Front: Volume II by Dr Hans Heinz Rehfeldt

Pegasus Archive review: The second part of Hans Rehfeldt's magnificent diary of the war in Russia with the elite Grossdeutschland Division, as told from the rare perspective of a mortar team. It begins in the aftermath of the defeat at Kursk and follows the innumerable hard fought actions in which the Division was involved as it steadily retreated out of Russia, through Romania and Hungary before concluding the war in Lithuania and Germany. It is remarkable that both Rehfeldt and his illegally kept diary emerged intact, though not unscathed as he was wounded during the final stages, but managed to avoid Soviet captivity to surrender to the Americans. It is a superb narrative which provides an enormous wealth of detail about the life of a typical front line soldier, and as with the first volume it contains many photographs from Rehfeldt's personal collection, as well as maps, newspaper clippings, and numerous examples of propaganda leaflets deposited on both sides of the line. Price: £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/

 

The Nazis' Winter Warfare on the Eastern Front 1941-1945 by Ian Baxter

Pegasus Archive: Germany's struggle against the horrendous winter weather on the Eastern Front proved to be as challenging and costly as its battles with the Red Army. It of course lost the fight with the latter, but from unpromising beginnings when the Wehrmacht discovered that it was wholly unprepared and ill-equipped for the winter of 1941, it improvised, learned to cope with, and ultimately mastered the conditions. This entry in the "Images of War" series shows the chaos of that first winter, with the heavy rains turning dirt roads to impassable quagmires, followed by the arctic conditions which brought the advance to a halt as men and equipment froze. Later photographs show the many types of shelters they learned to construct, and these are featured alongside illustrations from the Winter Buch of 1942, which instructed the troops how to build a variety of shelters out of and beneath the snow, from those which could be hastily improvised to cover a single man, to igloos and much larger and complex ones which incorporated fires and chimneys, and could protect a tank. The large photographs cover a broad range of subjects, and many different infantry units, roles, artillery and vehicles are included. Price: £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/

 

Notes of a Russian Sniper by Vassili Zaitsev

Pegasus Archive: Vassili Zaitsev is best known to a western audience as the hero of the Jude Law film, "Enemy at the Gates", but a quick glance at this memoir will show that the real man was quite different. Far from being the illiterate peasant who became a pawn in a propaganda war, Zaitsev was an educated, intelligent, dedicated member of the Communist Party, who had joined the Navy before the War and volunteered to serve in Stalingrad. This epic battle is the central subject of the book, and, as an ordinary infantryman, he gives a vivid account of the savage, close-quarters fighting which took place amongst the shattered ruins. When his ability as a marksman was recognised, Zaitsev was given command of a sniper group, and while the famous duel with Major Konings is described, this is only a minor part of his story. What he provides is a fantastically detailed description of the snipers' art, particularly the hunt for enemy snipers, demonstrating how they discovered their likely location by interviewing wounded survivors, and how his team would then observe, establish decoy positions and employ all manner of tricks to tempt the enemy into revealing his position. Zaitsev was one of the most prolific snipers that there have ever been, so there are none better to describe this highly intricate game of cat and mouse, where the slightest moment of carelessness can be fatal. Price: £19.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Notes-of-a-Russian-Sniper-Hardback/p/2505

 

Operation Barbarossa: Hitler's Invasion of Russia by Hans Seidler

Pegasus Archive review: A photographic history of Germany's epic invasion of Russia from June to December 1941, separated into four chapters covering the initial attack, the advance into Russia, the Moscow offensive, and the first months of winter. These chapters are preceded by a brief summary of events, followed by a broad and diverse range of large and rarely seen photographs accompanied by detailed captions, each carefully selected to highlight different uniforms, vehicles, weaponry and situations. At 175 pages, this is one of the larger books in the "Images of War" series, and the early chapters demonstrate the seemingly unstoppable advance with troops and convoys often on the move with large numbers of Russian prisoners of war being taken. The later pages reveal the desperate struggle against the climate, first with the autumn rains which reduced the track roads to swamps through which vehicles had to be manhandled, and then the bleak onset of winter for which the German Army was completely unprepared. Price £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Operation-Barbarossa-Paperback/p/2826

 

Panzer Killers: Anti-Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front by Artem Drabkin

Pegasus Archive review: Each chapter of this splendid book records the first hand experiences of Russian anti-tank gunners, from the time of their joining the Army to the end of the war, covering many of the major engagements on the way; from the defence of Moscow in 1941 and the siege of Leningrad, to the advance into Germany and the capture of Berlin in 1945. It is strange that a war which came to be dominated by the tank should have forgotten the vital contribution made by their unglamorous nemesis. This book helps to fill the considerable void and reveals the importance of their role in numerous defensive actions, as well as the considerable dangers faced by the closely-knit gun teams who, unlike their opponents, possessed little in the way of protection or freedom of manoeuvre, but simply had to stand their ground and face down an increasingly fearsome array of panzers. Price £15.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/panzer-killers/p/3850/

 

Panzers on the Vistula by Hans Schäufler

Pegasus Archive review: Hans Schäufler was a second lieutenant in the 4th Panzer Division, and in early 1945 commanded a Jagdpanther tank destroyer before becoming an infantryman in the defence of Danzig. As a rare witness to the complete collapse of the Wehrmacht in East Prussia, his is an important story, and shows how the German soldier struggled on against an enemy whose superiority in men and equipment was by now so large that it could not be stopped. He is quite clear that no one had even the remotest illusion that a victory was still feasible, instead their purpose was to delay the Russians so that as many civilians as possible could be evacuated across the Baltic to the comparative safety of the west. The book closes with the stories of others who were taken prisoner by the Russians or were interned in Sweden, but Schäufler himself had a remarkable escape; having continued to resist until a few hours before the ceasefire came into effect, he and a few others boarded a small motor boat and, after a perilous journey, successfully reached the British sector. Price £19.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Panzers-on-the-Vistula-Hardback/p/15494

 

Red Army Tank Commander: At War in a T-34 on the Eastern Front by Vasiliy Bryukhov

Pegasus Archive review: Vasiliy Bryukhov joined the Red Army in 1941, but did not see active service until 1943 when he commanded a T-34 during the Battle of Kursk; the largest tank battle in history. He then participated in the advance through Ukraine and Romania, and took part in a series of bitterly fought actions in Hungary, before celebrating the end of the war in Austria. By this time, aged 21, he had become the youngest battalion commander in his Corps, and was nominated for and belatedly awarded the coveted title of Hero of the Soviet Union. During several severe engagements his unit repeatedly suffered casualties to the point of extinction, his own tank was knocked-out many times and there were a number of occasions where he was the only survivor to emerge from the burning wreckage. It is a wonder that he survived, and we must be thankful that he did because here is a rich account of life at all levels within a typical Red Army tank brigade, revealing how they operated in conjunction with supporting infantry and artillery, and the tactics which they frequently used to considerable effect. Price £15.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/red-army-tank-commander/p/3805/

 

Red Partisan by Nikolai Obryn'ba

Pegasus Archive review: Nikolai Obryn'ba was a raw recruit to the Red Army when he was captured during the first calamitous months of war in 1941. The first chapters of this memoir describe all the horrors of life as a starving, neglected and diseased Russian prisoner, yet his story becomes more different than most when his considerable talents as an artist were noticed and led to him being in constant demand for painting the portraits of German officers. Half of the book is devoted to his frankly unusual experience as a prisoner of war, with the remainder focusing on his escape to a partisan group. Here too, his artistic flair was exploited, but more towards creating maps and propaganda posters which were distributed throughout the enemy-held localities. But he was first and foremost a soldier who participated in numerous patrols and raids, and it is clear from his descriptions of these that they were not mere bandits who had fled to the woods, but a motivated, daring, well-organised and ruthlessly disciplined fighting force; one of a great many which operated deep behind the front line and inflicted considerable damage on the long and perilous German supply lines. Price £19.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Red-Partisan-Hardback/p/1252

 

Red Sniper on the Eastern Front by Joseph Pilyushin

Pegasus Archive review: Joseph Pilyushin was a prolific Russian sniper who was credited with 136 kills during the Siege of Leningrad. His memoir vividly documents this truly epic encounter, which resulted in a combined 3.5 million casualties, from its encirclement in 1941 to its relief three years later. Initially serving as an ordinary infantryman, he was badly wounded during the first months and lost his dominant eye, yet remarkably he quickly taught himself to shoot left-handed and went on to become a leading sniper. Amongst the unending routine of holding the line, raiding and sniping, Pilyushin takes time to describe the many personalities he encountered, in which we see the humour, determination and comradeship of the Red Army soldier, yet the toll on human life is quite evident as few of these make it to the end. He also dwells on the desperate plight of the starving civilian population, and he was not immune to this tale of human suffering as his wife and two sons lived in the city and were killed in bombing raids. The story culminates in the end of the siege and the attacks to drive the Germans back, during which he was again badly wounded and ultimately discharged from the army. Price £19.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Red-Sniper-on-the-Eastern-Front-Hardback/p/2308

 

Sniper Ace by Bruno Sutkus

Pegasus Archive review: Bruno Sutkus joined the Wehrmacht in 1943, and, despite his young years became one of the most prolific snipers of the war, claiming 209 kills in just six months on the Eastern Front. There are a number of equally superb memoirs which explore this deadly art, the methods they employed, and their insight into what makes a successful sniper; Sutkus does all of this, but what sets his account apart is the extremely rare inclusion of notes from his log, recording the date, place and brief circumstances of every kill. This alone would make it one of the most valuable narratives on the subject, but the second half of the book is just as compelling, telling the story of his extraordinary and harrowing struggle for survival in the post-war Soviet Union. Forced to join the Red Army, he immediately deserted and attempted to join the Lithuanian Resistance, but eventually fell into the hands of the NKVD, who tortured him before banishing him to a Siberian Gulag. He was released after 12 years hard labour, but it was not until 1997 that his struggle finally came to an end when he was at last allowed to leave Russia and return home. Price: £12.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Sniper-Ace-Paperback/p/15340

 

Warsaw 1944: An Insurgent's Journal of the Uprising by Zbigniew Czajkowski

Pegasus Archive review: This book chronicles the experiences of a Polish resistance fighter from July to October 1944, covering in vivid detail what was one of the most infamous episodes of the Second World War. Encouraged by the prospect of Soviet support, the Polish Underground began to take control of Warsaw on the 1st August 1944, only for Stalin to halt his armies on the outskirts and so, throughout the next two months, allow the Germans to systematically destroy both the resistance and the city, and with it the political and military leadership which would pose a threat to the regime which Russia planned to impose upon Poland. First hand accounts of the Uprising are rare as many of the participants were killed, and so we are most fortunate to have one passed down to us which gives a very lucid and personal day by day account of this most tragic of episodes. Price: £19.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Warsaw-1944/p/3636/