Drawing on rare and previously unpublished photographs accompanied by in-depth captions, the book provides an absorbing analysis of this traumatic period of the Second World War. It reveals in detail how the battle of Kursk was the beginning of the end and how this massive operation led to the Red Army recapturing huge areas of the Soviet Union and bleeding white the German armies it struck. Despite the adverse situation in which both the German Army and its Waffen-SS counterparts were placed, soldiers continued to fight to the bitter end and attempted to build new defense-lines. But as the Red Army launched its long awaited summer offensive on June 1944, German forces were forced to withdraw under the constant hammer blows of ground and aerial bombardments. Those German forces that survived the artillery barrages, the onslaught of the tank armadas, and mass infantry assaults, streamed back from the battlefield and fought vicious battles through the Baltic States, Byelorussia, and built up new defense along the Vistula in Poland. As the final months of the War were played out on the Eastern Front, the Army and Waffen-SS, with diminishing resources, withdrew across a devastated Reich and fought out their last battle with party militia forces around a devastated Berlin.
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