The Reckoning

The Defeat of Army Group South, 1944

The Reckoning cover

The Reckoning

The Defeat of Army Group South, 1944


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A detailed and engrossing account of the final year of fighting in Ukraine during World War II, making use of the extensive memoirs of German and Russian soldiers involved in the fighting, as well as partisans behind the German lines, to bring the story to life.

By the end of 1944 the Red Army was poised on the very frontiers of the Third Reich. How had the once unstoppable, mighty Wehrmacht faltered so disastrously? Certainly it had suffered defeats before, in particular the vast catastrophe of Stalingrad, but it was in 1944 that the war was ultimately lost. It was no longer a case of if but rather when the Red Army would be at the gates of Berlin.

Prit Buttar retraces the ebb and flow of the various battles and campaigns fought throughout the Ukraine and Romania in 1944. January and February saw Army Group South encircled in the Korsun Pocket. Although many of the encircled troops did escape, in part due to Soviet intelligence and command failures, the Red Army would endeavor to not make the same mistakes again. Indeed, in the coming months the Red Army would demonstrate an ability to learn and improve, reinventing itself as a war-winning machine, demonstrated clearly in its success in the Iasi-Kishinev operation.

The view of the Red Army as a huge, unskilled horde that rolled over everything in its path is just one myth that The Reckoning reassess. So too does it re-evaluate the apparent infallibility of German military commanders, the denial of any involvement in (or often even knowledge of) the heinous crimes committed in the occupied territories by German forces, and the ineffectiveness of Axis allies, such as the Romanians at Iasi, to withstand the Soviet forces. Like all myths, these contain many truths, but also a great many distortions, all of which are skillfully unpicked and analysed in this powerful retelling of 1944 on the Eastern Front.

Table of Contents

List of Maps
Dramatis Personae

1: The Protagonists
2: The Kirovograd Encirclement
3: Watutin and the Cherkassy-Korsun Encirclement
4: Another Stalingrad
5: Mud, Snow and Hill 239
6: Kamanets-Podolski: The Encirclement of First Panzer Army
7: Malinovsky's Offensive
8: The Wandering Pocket
9: The Crimean Peninsula
10: The End of the Leash
11: Preparing for Summer
12: The Lviv-Sandomierz Operation
13: The Disintegrating Axis
14: The Approaching Endgame

Product details

Published Oct 27 2020
Format Hardback
Edition 1st
Extent 496
ISBN 9781472837912
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 32pp plate section in b&w
Dimensions 234 x 153 mm
Series General Military
Short code GNM
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Prit Buttar

Prit Buttar studied medicine at Oxford and London…


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