The Korsun Pocket
The Encirclement and Breakout of a German Army in the East, 1944
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Korsun Pocket by Niklas Zetterling
Book DescriptionDuring the second half of 1943, after the failure at Kursk, Germany s Army Group South fell back from Russia under repeated hammer blows from the Red Army. Under Erich von Manstein, however, the Germans were able to avoid serious defeats, while at the same time fending off Hitler s insane orders to hold on to useless territory.Then, in January 1944, a disaster happened. Six divisions of Army Group South became surrounded after sudden attacks by the 1st and 2nd Ukrainian Fronts under command of generals Nikolai Vatutin and Ivan Konev around the village of Korsun (near the larger town of Cherkassy on the Dnieper). The Germans greatest fear was the prospect of another Stalingrad, the catastrophe that had occurred precisely one year before.This time, though, Manstein was in control from the start, and he immediately rearranged his Army Group to rescue his trapped divisions. A major panzer drive got underway, led by General der Panzertruppen Hans Hube, a survivor from Stalingrad pocket, which promptly ran up against several soviet tank armies. Leading the break-in was Franz Baeke with his Tiger and Panther-tanks. Due to both weather and ferocious resistance, the German drive stalled. Ju-52s still flew into Korsun s airfield, delivering supplies and taking out wounded, but it soon became apparent that only one option remained for the beleaguered defenders: breakout.Without consulting Hitler, on the night of February 16 Manstein ordered the breakout to begin. Led by the strongest formation within the pocket, SS Wiking, the trapped forces surged out and soon rejoined the surrounding panzer divisions who had been fully engaged in weakening the ring.When dawn broke, the Soviets realized their prey was escaping. Although the Germans within the pocket lost nearly all of their heavy weapons and left many wounded behind, their escape was effected. Stalin, having anticipated another Stalingrad, was left with little but an empty bag, as Army Group South this time had pulled off a rescue. In The Korsun Pocket, Niklas Zetterling, a researcher at the Swedish Defense College since 1995 and Anders Frankson, have provided a highly detailed and often breathtaking account of one of the most dramatic battles of World War II. From grand strategy to soldiers voices on the ground, including expert statistical analysis, the action, and the stakes, of the battle at Korsun are made vividly clear."
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781932033885
(234mm x 156mm x 33mm)
Imprint: Casemate Books
Publisher: Casemate Books
Publish Date: 15-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Niklas Zetterling
Drive on Moscow, 1941, Paperback (December 2016)
At the end of September 1941, more than a million German soldiers lined up along the frontline just 180 miles west of Moscow. They were well trained, confident, and had good reasons to hope that the war in the East would be over with one last offensive.
Tirpitz, Paperback (November 2013)
After the Royal Navy's bloody high seas campaign to kill the mighty Bismarck, the Allies were left with an uncomfortable truth-the German behemoth had a twin sister. Slightly larger than her sibling, the Tirpitz was equally capable of destroying any other battleship afloat, as well as wreak havoc on Allied troop and supply convoys.
Bismarck, Paperback (December 2011)
"...essential background and new historical insights make otherwise inexplicable elements of the Bismarck story much clearer, without diminishing the drama of the epic sea chase and its vivid, human details.
'Bismarck', Hardback (June 2009)» View all books by Niklas Zetterling
The sinking of the German battleship Bismarck-a masterpiece of engineering, well-armored with a main artillery of eight 15-inch guns-was one of the most dramatic events of World War II.
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