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German Army vs. Soviet Partisans
German Tactical Position Defense
Eastern Front Divisional Defenses
139 pages; 11 chapters
German Tactical Position Defense is an e-book that
describes the World War II German Army’s approach to
long-term position defense. When units of a reinforced
division and smaller units were forced to hold one sector of the
front for a prolonged period, they employed trench works,
bunkers, barbed wire and other obstacles in a deep defensive
zone. German Tactical Position Defense was undertaken
for a variety of reasons as explained in this e-book. The idea
was to hold out for a proscribed time, in a fortified position,
and then conduct a withdrawal, in many cases.
“For three days the enemy had attacked along the roads without success. Naturally, the division was prepared for similar
action on the fifth day. However, the enemy surprised us, and attacked part of the forest positions. Using large numbers
of infantry, he broke through the position and surged into the rear area, while at the same time keeping the previous
points of attack under artillery fire. After this break-through, we fought the enemy in the forest as well as in open terrain.
The commitment of all available reserves and the displacement of the artillery, which fired partly point-blank, enabled us
to restore the situation by evening, though a salient remained in our lines at the point of penetration. We would have
been able to master the critical situation much faster had we had a tank battalion at our disposal. Because of the wooded
terrain, the enemy did not use any tanks. After this fifth day of fighting, withdrawal of the division to the next intermediate
position was indicated.”
Excerpt from German Tactical Position Defense
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The methods of carrying out such operations, under strong enemy pressure, were carefully worked out but remained
a frequently hair-raising adventure that was replete with stress. The e-book German Tactical Position Defense
describes how German generals conceived of position defense and their methods of preparation and execution.
German Tactical Position Defense provides an interesting and detailed description in the varieties of position
defense and retrograde warfare.