Being there . . . for the war on the Eastern Front which cannot be completely understood, let
alone described, unless there is a full, or even partial, recognition of the immensely important
fighting role of Army Group North. Of course, every serious World War II bibliophile knows that
when Hitler unleashed his 3,350 Panzers, 600,000 vehicles, and 3 million men against the Soviet
Union via “Operation Barbarossa” on the night of June 19/20, 1941, the “world held its breath”.
The Russian commanders, including Joe Stalin, despite innumerable hints, signs, and warnings,
were caught by surprise, totally unprepared. The largest blitzkrieg Hitler’s OKW,
Oberkommando der Wehmacht, the German armed forces high command, could muster was
divided into three groups, Army Group South, led by Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt;
Army Group Center, commanded by Field Marshal Fedor von Bock; and Army Group North
directed by Field Marshal Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb. All three were highly trained, highly
respected German offices who even Hitler bowed before. Rundstedt’s tank armies rumbled
through southwest Poland, central Ukraine, on their way to the wheat and oil fields before and
south of the Caucasus Mountains; Bock’s Army Group Center was assigned to take Moscow,
and as rapidly as possible; and Leeb’s North boys were to grab northern Poland, Lithuania,
Latvia, Estonia, and above all Leningrad. The Allies, primarily Churchill and Roosevelt, watched
in horror, Roosevelt with fingers crossed, Churchill, defiant, resolute, calm with always out.
Then, Hitler blunders began to surface, i.e., halting his march on Moscow early due to winter
conditions; rushing his overextended southern armies over the Caucasus to hurriedly get to the
Middle East, especially Iran; and believing the Leningraders were no more than rustic folks,
base and knave, at best, pockets of tillers of the soil and small-time proprietors. Sure. The
Fuhrer was always right!
WITH “ARMY GROUP NORTH – – The Wehrmacht in Russia, 1941 – 1945”, SCHIFFER OFFERS THE
PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR ENTHUSIASTS OF WORLD WAR II – EITHER TO INTRODUCE ONE
OF THE THREE GREATEST WAR TRILOGIES EVER ASSEMBLED, OR TO ROUND OUT THE
RECIPIENTS ALREDY SHELVED THE FIRST TWO VOLUMES, “ARMY GROUP CENTER” AND “ARMY
GROUP SOUTH”. ALL THREE BOOKS ARE THE CLOSEST THE EARNEST READER OR CASUAL BUFF
WILL GET TO THE FIERCE, SAVAGE, UNBEARABLY INTENSE AND BITTER FIGHTING THAT ALMOST
BROKE THROUGH, WINNING HITLER THE WORLD (that is, if his scientists could achieve atomic
bombs fast enough). KUDOS, UNDERAPPRECIATED SCHIFFER PUBLISHERS FOR ALL YOU
PROVIDE US READERS . . .
Reviewed and Highly Recommended by Don DeNevi
“ARMY GROUP NORTH – – The Wehrmacht in Russia, 1941 – 1945”, by Werner Haupt. Schiffer
Military History, Atglen, Pa; originally published in 1997, recently republished, 401 pages,
hardcover, 6 ½” x 9 ¼”,b/w photos, maps, $39.99. Visit, www.schifferbooks.com; or, Email:
For the serious reader, the military history of the Second World War cannot be completely
described because of the lack of essential German documents. One cannot assume to find
publications in a Reich archives, as one may when concerned with World War I. Therefore, the
written German combat history is confined to battle descriptions, memoirs, and troop histories.
After long years of studying sources and literature, author Werner Haupt now presents the
military history of one of the largest theaters of was the world has yet known. It must be
established from the beginning that his great work has no political or ideological interpretation,
since it is based only on the military facts from both of the combating powers. The completion
of the history of this amazing achievement is the result of the author’s utilization of all available
German and Russian literature, as well as those combat diaries and documents of the
committed troop units that are available in German archives. In addition, Werner was assisted
in cleaning up several questions by the advice of former members of the army group,
commanders to drivers.
Readers should appreciate Haupt served in the German Army as a soldier and officer in the
northern sector of the Eastern Front. Most of us readers appreciate him for his other two
Group Histories, and his wonderfully crafted and narrated “Assault on Moscow – – 1941”. All
Werner’s books will make a recipient happy!