The German Army on the Eastern Front: An Inner View of the Ostheer's Experiences of War

The German Army on the Eastern Front: An Inner View of the Ostheer's Experiences of War

by Jeff Rutherford Rutherford, Adrian Wettstein


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Histories of the German army on the Eastern Front generally focus on battlefield exploits on the war as it was fought in the front line. They tend to neglect other aspects of the army's experience, particularly its participation in the racial war demanded by the leadership of the Reich. This ground-breaking book aims to correct this incomplete, often misleading picture. Using a selection of revealing extracts from a wide range of wartime documents, it looks at the totality of the Wehrmachts war in the East.
The documents have previously been unpublished or have never been translated into English, and they offer a fascinating inside view of the army's actions and attitudes. Combat is covered, and complicity in Hitler's war of annihilation against the Soviet Union. There are sections on the conduct of the war in the rear areas logistics, medical, judicial and the army's tactics, motivation and leadership. The entire text is informed by the latest research into the reality of the conflict as it was perceived and understood by those who took part.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473861749
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 05/30/2018
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Jeff Rutherford is Associate Professor of History at Wheeling Jesuit University, West Virginia. In addition to publishing many articles on the German army and the war on the Eastern Front, he is co-editor, with Alex J. Kay and David Stahel, of Nazi Policy on the Eastern Front, 1941: Total War, Genocide and Radicalization and the author of Combat and Genocide on the Eastern Front: The German Infantrys War, 1941-1944.

Adrian Wettstein is Senior Academic Adviser at the Military Academy at ETH Zurich (MILAK). He has published a number of articles on the German army in the Second World War, focusing in particular on urban warfare, and he has also written on the French military mind before the First World War. He is the author of Die Wehrmacht im Stadtkampf 1939-1942.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Chapter 1 Combat on the Eastern Front 1

Chapter 2 Command and Leadership in the Ostheer 32

Chapter 3 The German Army in the East as a Fighting Machine: Tactics, Weapons and Organization 60

Chapter 4 Supplying the German Eastern Army 87

Chapter 5 The Occupied Rear: Pacification, Exploitation and Mobilization 118

Chapter 6 Sustaining the German Army in the East - Replacements and Training 148

Chapter 7 The German Army's Understanding of the War in the East: Ideology and Motivations 169

Conclusion 200

Appendix A Glossary 203

Appendix B Organization of a German Infantry Division Staff 204

Appendix C Table of units and their size 206

Appendix D Table of ranks 207

Notes 209

Index 224

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