Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County

ISBN/UPC 9781504064569
Formats eBook
  • History
  • Military
  • Nonfiction
Publication Year: June 30, 2020


W. Chales de Beaulieu

Availability: In stock

Translated into English for the first time: A personal account of Operation Barbarossa by the Panzer Group 4 chief of general staff. When Operation Barbarossa launched, Army Group North was tasked with the operational objective of Leningrad. But between them and the city lay eight hundred kilometers of Baltic states, eighteen to twenty infantry divisions, two cavalry divisions, and eight or nine mechanized Red Army brigades. To succeed, it was apparent they would have to race through to the western Dvina and establish a bridgehead before the Russians exploited this natural feature to organize a defensive front. Panzer Group 4, which included LVI Panzer Corps and XLI Panzer Corps, was to lead the way. By the end of the first day, the group had pushed seventy kilometers into enemy territory. Red counterattacks on their unprotected flanks slowed them down, resulting in the tank battle of Raseiniai, but the group managed to capture Dünaburg on the Western Dvina on June 26, with a bridgehead established shortly thereafter. The group then pushed northeast through Latvia to the Stalin Line. In mid-July, General Erich Hoepner was preparing to push the last one hundred kilometers to Leningrad. But Wilhelm von Leeb, commander of the army group, had other plans for the group and the advance did not continue for several more weeks. In Leningrad—first published in German in 1961 and now translated into English for the first time—W. Chales de Beaulieu, Panzer Group 4 chief of staff, offers a detailed account of the group's advance, as well as an assessment of the fighting, an examination of the limitations imposed on Army Group North and their effects on the operation, and the lessons to be learned from their experiences in the Baltic States, concluding with a discussion of whether Leningrad could ever have been taken in the first place.