By Max Hastings
In September 1944, the Allies believed that Hitler’s military was once overwhelmed and anticipated the bloodshed to finish by means of Christmas. but a chain of blunders and setbacks, together with the conflict of the Bulge, vastly altered this timetable and resulted in 8 extra months of brutal combating. With Armageddon, the eminent army historian Max Hastings offers us memorable bills of the good battles and captures their human impression on infantrymen and civilians. He tells the tale of either the jap and Western Fronts, elevating provocative questions and supplying vibrant pix of the nice leaders. This rousing and revelatory chronicle brings to existence the the most important ultimate months of the 20th century’s maximum international clash.
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Extra info for Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945
One got the impression that the Belgians felt they had done their bit by eating their way through the war,” said Captain Lord Carrington of the Guards Armoured Division, one of many Allied soldiers astonished by the plenty he found in Belgium, after years of privation at home in Britain. S. First Army approached the frontiers of Germany. S. Third Army reached the upper Moselle. Huge expanses of territory lay undefended by the Nazis. A few feeble divisions, supported by mere companies of tanks against the Anglo-American armoured legions, manned the enemy’s line.
He exclaimed. “The two biggest moments of my life were taking the oath to Hitler’s bodyguard in 1934, and Nuremberg in 1936. You have seen the films—the searchlights, the crowds, the Führer? I was there! ” Another proud veteran of Hitler’s Leibstandarte inquired whether I might be interested in helping him to write his memoirs. The vast majority of men and women who witness great events recall these solely in terms of personal experience. I met a German woman whose anger about the occupation of her house by GIs, the casual theft of cherished possessions, remained as great in 2002 as it had been in 1945.
THE SOVIET UNION Supreme Commander-in-Chief: Marshal Joseph Stalin Each Soviet “front”—the equivalent of a Western Allied army group—comprised anything from three to ten armies of 100,000 men, up to a million men in all. The “fronts” in 1944–45 are listed here in north–south descending geographical order, from the Baltic to Yugoslavia: Leningrad Front: Marshal Leonid Govorov 3rd Baltic Front: Colonel-General Ivan Maslennikov (terminated October 1944) 2nd Baltic Front: General Andrei Eremenko then Govorov from February 1945 1st Baltic Front: Marshal I.
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