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Eastern Front Battlefields
“This mission was to be accomplished by two German divisions and Romanian units to a total strength of one and
a half regiments. These were all the forces available along a front extending over 80 miles as the crow flies. At first,
the Russian troops facing these forces amounted to approximately three and a half divisions, which were also
deployed for defense. Ordinarily, much stronger forces would have been needed for such a wide sector; for the time
being, however, no Russian offensive was anticipated along this front. Moreover, the terrain favored the defender.
Thus, from the point of view of German Army Group South and Eighth Army, the strategic significance of the
Carpathian front was twofold: It saved forces for the main defensive effort in Bessarabia, where the next major
Russian offensive was expected, and it contained enemy forces.
The alignment of the positions destined to serve the defense of the passes was relatively easy to determine because
most of the Carpathian passes are situated in very dominant positions. Fortifications erected during World War I
were discovered along the passes three miles northeast of Iacobeni, twelve miles southeast of Vatra Dornei (on the
road to Brosteni), and in the intermediate mountains. These were integrated into the course of the main line of
resistance and incorporated into the construction program.
Openings for outflanking the positions were eliminated wherever possible. This problem deserved special
attention in the area around Borca and Brosteni, where the extremely important communication road in the Bistrita
Valley was exposed to being cut off by an enemy thrust from Stulpicani via Ostra and the mountains. Another danger
area was east of Vatra Dornei, where a surprise thrust from the east might eliminate this crucial communications
junction. Finally, the area around Izvorul and north of Rasca was particularly vulnerable to premature enemy thrusts
toward the Pojorata-Seletin-Straja road or in direction of Carlibaba toward the Borsa-Iacobeni highway. Subsequent
combat actions during the retreat corroborated this estimate.”
This book was written by a German general and described how the German Army
coped with the various types of terrain encountered in Russia on the Eastern Front.
The Eastern Front’s many obstacles included: river lines, woods, swamps, steppes,
and subalpine terrain. Although the book includes many interesting comments about
Russian terrain, it is laced with complaints about Adolph Hitler. Adolph Hitler is
blamed for every mistake that the German generals made. Many soldiers of the
German Army died because of the mistakes made by German generals on the
Eastern Front. Adolph Hitler was not able to micro-manage the German Army,
like the modern US government does. In fact, Adolph Hitler left the leadership of the
German Army, in most cases, to the brutal mercies of sometimes incompetent
German generals. That is why Eastern Front Battlefields contains editorial
Terrain Factors in the Russian Campaign
110 pages; 7 chapters
Excerpt from Eastern Front Battlefields
|other books about German Army
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