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Last Victory in Russia: The SS-Panzerkorps and Manstein's Kharkov Counteroffensive - February-March 1943 (Schiffer Military History Book) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 30. Oktober 2000

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 17 Rezensionen
30 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3rd battle of Kharkov 6. Juli 2005
Von Lukasz Przybylo - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I'm great fan of Nipe's book. His "Decision in the Ukraine" is another good read.

This is book for WWII buffs, casual reader do not have a chance to finish it ;-) But those interested in history of great struggle in the Donbas and around Kharkow in January-March 1943 won't be disappointed.

The main stress is laid on SS PanzerKorps and its achievements. Soviets and Wehrmacht have been devoted less space , thou it is still unbelivably detailed.

The main weakness of this book (apart from price) is lack of good maps. What we get is reproduction of original german maps. This is unfortunately not enough.

All in all very good book.
37 von 46 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A rebuttal to the Soviet apologists (Glanz et al.) 14. Januar 2010
Von Erich L. Swafford - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Look, the Wehrmacht did win a huge, improbable victory here. I'd suggest getting over it, folks. I also think it's laughable that people consider Soviet sources to be, in any way, reliable. The simple fact is that, division for division, the Wehrmacht was many times more effective than the Soviets ever were.

I consider Glantz to be a historical revisionist with an agenda to "correct" our lack of appreciation of Soviet military prowess. And yet, look at the facts.

1. The Soviets had exactly one enemy to defeat. The Germans: America, Britain, France, Russia. The Germans were fighting a sprawling global conflict and were being bombed day and night. No Lend-Lease. Hugely outnumbered and out-resourced.

2. It took the Soviets from Jan 43 to Mar 45 to accomplish what the Wehrmacht did in 4 months. It would have taken much longer but for the madman Hitler's interference in operational - even tactical - affairs.

3. No amount of propaganda can conceal the facts and figures of the conflict. The Take-Home: The Germans did a lot more with a lot less. Just because that doesn't comply with your version of political correctness ("fairness to the Soviets") doesn't mean I have to suspend my ability to analyze the situation.

4. While the SS officers fit the Nazi stereotype, the enlisted were usually deluded-but-enthusiastic foreign volunteers (since the Heer forbade the SS from recruiting within Germany itself).

5. The Waffen SS was skilled and valorous. Get over it. So was Shaka Zulu, and he was an insane murderer. You don't have to like something to respect it - and most importantly, learn from it.

6. BTW, this is a great book. :-)

Lastly, two quotes:

Fas est et ab hoste doceri (It is right to learn, even from the enemy). - Ovid

There are two differences between the IDF and the Wehrmacht: We will not persecute Jews, and we will not lose. - Ariel Sharon
28 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
What a wonderful publication! 28. Februar 2008
Von Philip - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Unlike 'a customer', I love this book. It gives the Waffen-SS due credit for their part, beginning at Kharkov, in preventing Stalin's armies from getting to the Atlantic coast in 1944 and therefore rendering any Western invasion pointless.

Any fool can blather about SS Totenkopf and the camps-not many point out that, without the efforts of the SS divisions in Russia from 1943 onwards, the Red Army and the NKVD that accompanied it would have been occupying Europe and would have been busy killing and 'Gulaging' most of Europe that didn't agree with them. Hitler killed 6 million and perhaps SS Totenkopf did play a part, but how many of the opposing NKVD troops participated in the 40 million killed by Stalin?

Leave the politics out and concentrate on enjoying some of the best Russian Front military history around from a German perspective-it is worth it, and George Nipe is a genius.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Stunning Reversal for Manstein and the Wehrmacht that sets the stage for Operation Citadel 6. Januar 2010
Von Dave Schranck - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This is the best operational book on Kharkov 1943 that I've found and though its not "perfect", I couldn't' give it less than 5 stars. After the losses at Stalingrad and after three months of AG Don, AG B, and AG A being pushed back from either the Don River or Volga River or from deep into the Caucasus and incurring heavy casualties, Manstein institutes a clever counterattack that practically destroys 3rd Guard Tank Army as well as the 40th, 69th, 6th Armies, retakes Kharkov, Belgorod and the surrounding sector.
Manstein's lead unit was the SS PzC which consisted of the Das Reich, LAH and Totenkopf Divisions but Grossdeutschland, the remnants of 2nd Army to the north,4th PzA, 1st PzA and Groups Lanz, Raus and Kempf assisted in a coordinated orchestration of deployments that was brilliant that ended the Soviet offensive.
The first half of the book covers the hard fought offensive of the 40th, 69th, 3rd Tank Army and the 6th Guard Cav Corps in clearing the Donets River line and capturing Belgorod and Kharkov. In the last half of the book Mr Nipe covers Manstein's impressive counter-attack that recaptures the river line and these important cities. Some of the passages are difficult to wade through with all the detail but with this detail it can be clearly seen how the Russians slowly but surely surrounded and then captured Kharkov and how it was lost again by the clever counter-attack.
Its really surprising that more books haven't been written on this critical sector and time; Mr Nipe has done a true service for the history community by writing this book.

In the first couple chapters, Mr Nipe sets the stage by discussing Operation Gallop which started in late January in the south and Operation Star which started in early February and was directed to the north in the Kharkov, Kursk, Orel area. These Soviet offensives, which followed Little Saturn, were successful, reaching the Donets River line and taking the ruined city of Kharkov that Stalin was obsessed to liberate but the warm glow of Soviet victory didn't last long for by mid March Manstein had retaken Kharkov, Belgorod and much of the Donets line.
The level of detail, which was on a daily basis, is very impressive and succintly presented and since the main theme of the book is the German counterattack, its written from a German perspective using mostly German primary sources. Some may disagree with this technique; it may be said that it will slant the story to the German side but the author didn't abuse the process. If after reading the account, you feel otherwise, reading David Glantz's fine book "From the Don to the Dnepr" will give you more of a Soviet bias and between the two books you should have a more balanced understanding of the planning, battle action and post action analysis.

Intermingled with the operational coverage, the author includes some experiences of indiviuals in the action on the ground, giving the book more appeal. Photos of many of the people discussed are included. Some of the people mentioned are in other books but it was the first time for me of seeing their portraits which was interesting. The whole narrative was very well done.
There are 12 full page maps to assist the story but I found them disappointing. The maps were authenic German war maps but were imprecise and not that helpful in following the narrative. For me, this was the only feature that would detract from a five star rating but not enough to give the book only 4 stars. The maps in "From the Don to the Dnepr" helped me follow the action in "Last Victory" and having the two books side by side made it easier to align the right map with the dialog throughout the book.
There were also many battlefield photos which were very good and will add to the reader's experience. An Order of Battle is included for the SS PzC and the book closes with an extensive Index.

The operational detail of battle and the coverage of the German commanders and soldiers was greatly appreciated but a casual reader may find it a little too heavy and the book is therefore recommended for serious students of the Eastern Front.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A 6-star book for an important battle 9. Januar 2012
Von F. Carol Sabin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
"Last victory in Russia" is a very comprehensive and amazing book about the winter 1943 Harkov counteroffensive (also known as 3rd Battle for Harkov).

The book starts with the actual front situation at the beginning of 1943 and the conditions which led to this operation. (Battle of Stalingrad, the destruction of the Hungarian and Italian armies) and continued with the chapter dedicated to the creation of the SS Panzerkorps.

The author made an extensive research and showed in full detail the skilful mobile operation orchestrated by Manstein which destroyed/crippled four soviet armies, regained much of the territory lost during previous months (including Harkov) and restored the front line almost as it was almost a year ago before operation Blau.

The book is from a clear German perspective and focuses mainly on 2nd SS Panzerkorps actions, which despite being newly created; having an HQ which lacked the experience to perform several operations; and had recently arrived on Eastern Front managed, in only three months, to stall the Russians. The operations of the adjacent units (GD mainly) are also presented, but less detailed.

Several German commanders' command decisions and orders were researched, discussed and presented with accuracy for the reader.

The book is heavily illustrated and I found almost 200 interesting photos with the main German commanders and equipment. One error: on pages 68 and 153 the same photo showed an SS officer with different names.

Even the SS operational maps are quite remarkable. The SS Divisional structure and commanders are presented in a comprehensive appendix.

One thing is debatable: Harkov was and it is a Ukrainian town. At that time the name of the country was USSR, not Russia (Ukraine and Russia were one of the 15 republics of the USSR), so the book should be named "Last victory on Eastern front/USSR/Soviet Union".

Definitely a very good study authored by an historian who knows how to write a book and who composed a book with a surgical precision and accuracy as Manstein's counteroffensive.
In spite of the price, it really deserved all the money.
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