Item description for WARSAW 2: THE BATTLE FOR PRAGA: July - September 1944 (Operations: East Front 1944) (v. 2) by Norbert Bacyk & Tim Dinan...
It is a common misunderstanding that the Red Army, on Stalin's order, halted outside Warsaw in August 1944 to let the German troops suppress the Polish uprising in the capital. Joseph Stalin of course didn't want to let a pro-British Polish government get a foothold in Warsaw.The fact is that on the last day of July (the night before the start of the uprising) the Red Army was on its way into Praga (the east part of Warsaw on the east bank of Vistula) when the German troops mounted a violent counter attack. This started the bitter fight that came to be called "The Battle for Praga" and was to continue until the end of September when the Red Army finally conquered Praga. By then it was too late for the Polish resistance inside the city. The fighting was among the toughest and most brutal on the Eastern Front during the war. Never before has this battle been described in the Swedish language and very seldom has it been mentioned in English literature. Furthermore we have managed to include unique pictures; photos that are vary rare and original colour illustrations by our internationally acknowledged illustrators; Maarten Swarts, Samuel Sward and Oliver Missing. REVIEWS "...a wonderful collection of images and a fascinating account of one of the most important but least known campaigns in World War II. Military Modelcraft International, 07/2009
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Studio: Leandoer and Eckholm
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 7.75" Height: 10" Weight: 2.1 lbs.
Publisher Leandoer and Ekholm
ISBN 9197589543 ISBN13 9789197589543
Reviews - What do customers think about WARSAW 2: THE BATTLE FOR PRAGA: July - September 1944 (Operations: East Front 1944) (v. 2)?
Good tactical coverage of the first phase to capture Warsaw May 29, 2010
The rating of this book is less than five stars but clearly more than four stars so I rounded up. The battle coverage which will last from July to October involve the 1st Belorussian Front under the field commander Rokossovsky in clearing the ground between the Bug River and the Wisla River and capturing the important suburb of Praga on the eastern bank of the Wisla River. This is all in preparation for the encirclement and siege of Warsaw which Hitler has ordered his 9th Army to hold at all cost. The introduction and background information briefly describes the successes the Russians had in Operation Bagration which saw the Russian Fronts quickly move to the Polish border. It quickly describes the shattered 3rd PzA and 4th Army in that Operation while the 9th and 2nd Armies barely escaped destruction as well. The 2nd Army escaped relatively unscathed and would defend the northern approaches to Warsaw while 9th Army had responsibility for the Warsaw sector.
The action in this book starts at the Bug River with Brest being attacked early in the campaign. Much action would occur along the Bug River as well as the Brest-Deblin front. Siedlce and Minsk Mazowieckia also saw much action. It was also important for the Russians to establish bridgeheads over the Narew and Wisla Rivers and coverage will be provided here as the Russian move in on the capital from the north, south and east. There is also superficial coverage of the Warsaw Uprising and Stalin's deliberate slowdown until the Poles were vanquished inside the capital. Overall the tactical coverage was good but I would have liked to have seen further embellishment of the battles for Brest and Siedlce. In addition to the interesting but perhaps dry narrative for some, there was a series of six excellent colored maps, that included the key towns, rivers, troop dispositions and the general progress of the Russian forces moving toward Warsaw. These maps are clearly adequate for the reader to follow the action but I would've liked to have seen additional small scaled maps of the individual assaults and captures of Brest, Siedlce and the outskirts as well as inside Praga. The maps were at the back of the book but it would have been more convenient for the reader to see the corresponding map alongside the narrative. The author clearly shows that at this stage of the war, the Germans were clearly fighting a determined but losing battle against the far superior Russian forces. Its also shown that it was Model's competent leadership that slowed the Russian advance. The tank battle for Praga shows the outnumbered panzers destroying more Russian tanks than losing but couldn't hold back the flood of Russian forces.
There is one other suggestion that would have improved this book and that would have been the inclusion of a Chronology. The campaign lasted from July to October and there were numerous cities, divisions and dates cited and it would have been easier for the reader to study a chronology of key events in summary form before reading the story. In addition to the maps there is an extensive and useful Appendix. In it, a detailed Order of Battle for the 1st BRF and the German 9th Army which also had the 4th SS PzC attached, is provided. Additionally there are 25 pages of photos and profiles of German and Russian tanks and fighting vehicles. To bolster this visual presentation, the author also provides 59 pages of detailed illustrations of more tanks and equipment. The combined two sections was quite helpful. A glossary, a Rank listing and Bibliography complete the book.
There is also 174 great photos. Some are two pages wide and a couple are grainy but still viewable. There are a few portraits but most of the photos are of tanks, equipment and battle scenes. Despite not having first hand experiences, the overall package is quite good and for anybody interested in the early phase of the capture of the important capital of Warsaw or just like reading tactical coverage this book is ideal and is highly recommended.
Little Known battle dooms Warsaw Uprising Sep 30, 2009
Here is an interesting book from Swedish publisher Leandoer & Ekholm, who are new on the English language book market with their latest offering on the fierce tank battles outside Warsaw during July - September 1944.
It has always been the perception in the West that Stalin halted his forces outside the Polish capital of Warsaw, so that the Germans would be able to crush the heroic uprising of the Polish citizens of this city. Stalin did not want the Pro British Polish Government to gain control of the city but it was also the Germans who conducted a fierce counterattack against the Russians in the eastern Districts of the city on the River Vistula, at Praga, which resulted in one of the most bitterly contested battles of the war.
The main German defence forces were the crack units of the IV SS Panzer Corps namely the 5th SS Panzer divsion Wiking, and the 3rd SS Panzer divison Totenkopf which were the backbone to the defence. Another elite unit namely the Herman Goring Panzer divison which was transfered in from Italy, and assisted by various army units, the German counterattacks at a great cost in casualties ,eventually caused the Russian 1st Belorussian front to grind to a halt, but too late to really assist the Poles.
The book although 272 pages long, covers the battle in the first 159 pages, (with lots of photos in there as well)the rest is taken up with thumbnail sketches of the types of AFV involved in the battle from both sides. It also has a nice map section in colour but grouped at the back of the book so you have to keep flicking back and forth. The last 50 pages or so are a nice colour section of armour and vehicle profiles of the various tanks, assault guns and trucks etc that took part in the battle and show the camouflage paterns which is a nice touch.
However one of the books biggest assets are the large amount of photos taken during the action which are excellent, some being full page showing both a Russian and German perspective. Some of the photos are a little grainy and hard to see but by and large the selection was good.
The book is easy to follow, maybe a little too brief, and there are very few personal accounts of the battle.The book reads like a text book but is still very interesting.
This is one of the few books in detail that cover this battle and I look forward to their next offering on the fighting in Warsaw.