Vitebsk

Vitebsk: the Fight and Destruction of the Third Panzer Army by Otto Heidkamper

This describes operations around Vitebsk from May 1943 to June 1944. It shows the steady reduction of German capacity with a corresponding increase in that of the Russian forces. The Germans were able to stave off one problem after another until Bagration in late June 1944. At that time they were seriously degraded.

One question I have wondered is how much the German lack of success was due to interference from Hitler removing operational flexibility. Of course, it’s very convenient for members of the German armed forces to blame their defeats on someone else. Perhaps they really were doomed to defeat.

The title of chapter 1 “the combat situation of the Third Panzer Army in the summer of 1943” gave some humour.

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