RED STORM ON THE REICH by Christopher Duffy


The Soviet March on Germany, 1945
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 Standard military historical fare from Duffy (The Military Experience in the Age of Reason, 1988), who here details the final Soviet drive against the Nazis on the road from Poland to Berlin. With overwhelming superiority in armament and troop strength, the Soviet battle plan initially involved two coordinated assaults across the Vistula River in mid-January 1945. The assaults met with less resistance than anticipated--in fact, the German front collapsed, enabling the Soviet armies to begin a race to the Oder and German soil that made it seem as though the war would be quickly won. However, eventually bogged down by increasingly desperate fighting and the possibility of attack from the flanks and rear, Soviet operations turned to consolidating positions and eliminating pockets of resistance while maintaining steady progress westward. Duffy considers each siege and state of the assault separately, providing a full analysis of strategy and paying particular attention to the divisive role Nazi functionaries played in the Wehrmacht's efforts to fight back and regroup. Although battles are described with dramatic highlights, the march becomes fragmented into a series of isolated conflicts in which descriptions of maneuvers during the siege of Kînigsberg or Breslau, or on the Oder, often appear formulaic or repetitive. A lengthy appendix closely analyzes Soviet and German styles of warfare, with the former's mechanized ability and tactical advantage on the offensive proving decisive. Well researched and meticulously presented, but only occasionally engaging: a history of interest primarily to military specialists.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-689-12092-3
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1991