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The Siege of Kustrin 1945: Gateway to Berlin, Tony le Tissier

The Siege of Kustrin 1945: Gateway to Berlin, Tony le Tissier


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The Siege of Kustrin 1945: Gateway to Berlin, Tony le Tissier

The Siege of Kustrin 1945: Gateway to Berlin, Tony le Tissier

Kustrin was a German garrison town on the Oder (now in modern Poland) that underwent a two-month long Soviet search early in 1945. This detailed account of the siege begins with a brief history of the town before moving on to the surprise arrival of the first Soviet troops in January 1945, when the local military commanders believed that the Russians were still some way to the east.

The eyewitness accounts of the fighting all come from the German side, as are all of the detailed descriptions of the fighting. The Soviet point of view is only really represented by the actions of the high command, and by brief accounts of upcoming attacks. First hand accounts by Red Army soldiers are increasingly available (if not yet common), but were perhaps less so when le Tissier was doing his research. One also suspects that the siege of Kustrin would have been more memorable for the men inside the town than for the Soviet troops on the other side of the front line, for whom it was only part of a larger campaign, with Berlin as the main focus.

One result of this focus on German sources is that we get a clearer impression of what life was like within a besieged town than we might have done if the Soviet side was more visible. We only see events from the point of view of the side that had the least control over those events, and so Soviet attacks come out of the blue and Soviet intentions (in any detail) are largely hidden.

Two post-battle reports from German leaders are included, and reflect the rather deluded attitude of much of the German leadership at this late period of the war, talking about lessons for the future conduct of the war while the Allies were already advancing across Germany from east and west and Berlin was about to come under direct attack.

Chapters
1 - The Development of a Fortress
2 - The Vistula-Oder Operation
3 - Defence Preparations
4 - The Russians Are Here!
5 - The Siege Begins
6 - The Russians Close In
7 - Evacuation
8 - Assault on the Neustadt
9 - Assault on the Altstadt
10 - Breakout
11 - Consequences
Annex A: Kustrin Garrison Units, as at 22 February 1945
Annex B: Reinefarth's Report on the Fall of Kustrin Fortress and the Breakout of the Surviving Garrison
Annex C: Kreisleiter Korner's Report

Author: Tony le Tissier
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 312
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2009 hardcover, 2011 paperback



The acclaimed WWII historian and author of Race to the Reichstag vividly chronicles the preliminary battle that opened the Red Army’s path to Berlin.

In January of 1945, the arrival of Soviet troops at the garrison town of Küstrin came as a tremendous shock to the German High Command. The Soviets were now only fifty miles from Berlin itself. Before they could advance on the capital, the Red Army needed the vital road and rail bridges passing through Küstrin. A combination of flooding and strategic blunders resulted in a sixty-day siege by two Soviet armies which totally destroyed the town.

The delay in the Soviet advance gave the Germans time to consolidate the defenses shielding Berlin. Despite Hitler's orders to fight to the last bullet, the Küstrin garrison commander and a thousand defenders managed a dramatic break-out to the German lines. The protracted siege had an appalling human cost, with thousands of lives lost on both sides and many more wounded. With painstaking research and eyewitness testimony, Tony Le Tissier bring the story of the siege to life.


Tony Le Tissier's books?

Post by Forward00 » 12 Oct 2018, 18:19

What books of his are worth buying? I'm thinking of buying some of them but cannot decide what to purchase!

Slaughter at Halbe: The Destruction of Hitler's 9th Army - April 1945
Zhukov at the Oder: The Decisive Battle for Berlin (Smhs) (Stackpole Military History)
The Siege of Kustrin 1945: Gateway to Berlin
With Our Backs to Berlin

Re: Tony Le Tissier's books?

Post by Sheldrake » 12 Oct 2018, 22:44

What books of his are worth buying? I'm thinking of buying some of them but cannot decide what to purchase!

Slaughter at Halbe: The Destruction of Hitler's 9th Army - April 1945
Zhukov at the Oder: The Decisive Battle for Berlin (Smhs) (Stackpole Military History)
The Siege of Kustrin 1945: Gateway to Berlin
With Our Backs to Berlin

I enjoyed "With our Backs to Berlin" and found his his "Battlefield Guide to Berlin" very useful.

The Kindle edition of Slaughter at Halbe: The Destruction of Hitler's 9th Army - April 1945 costs £3.79 so that is a no brainer.

Zhukov at the Oder: The Decisive Battle for Berlin
The Siege of Kustrin 1945: Gateway to Berlin
@ C. £15 each are a bit pricey to buy on spec or without a commercial reason to read them .


Zhukov at the Oder : The Decisive Battle for Berlin

In his new book, Tony Le Tissier provides the first detailed account of the Soviet-German conflict east of Berlin, culminating in 1945 with the last major land battle in Europe that proved decisive for the fate of Berlin. When the first Red Army soldier reached the Oder on the 31st of January, everyone at the Soviet Headquarters expected Marshall Zhukov's troops to bring a quick end to the war. However, despite desperate fighting by both sides, a stalemate persisted for two months, at the end of which the Soviet bridgeheads north and south of Kustrin were united and the fortress finally fell. By drawing not only on official sources, but also on the accounts of individuals involved, Le Tissier meticulously reconstructs the difficult breakthrough achieved on the Oder: the establishment of bridgeheads, the battle for the fortress of Kustrin, the bloody fight for Seelow Heights. Numerous maps and step by step illustrations show the operations of both contestants in detail and reveal a most interesting episode in the history of the Second World War in Europe.

In his new book, Tony Le Tissier provides the first detailed account of the Soviet-German conflict east of Berlin, culminating in 1945 with the last major land battle in Europe that proved decisive for the fate of Berlin. When the first Red Army soldier reached the Oder on the 31st of January, everyone at the Soviet Headquarters expected Marshall Zhukov's troops to bring a quick end to the war. However, despite desperate fighting by both sides, a stalemate persisted for two months, at the end of which the Soviet bridgeheads north and south of Kustrin were united, and the fortress finally fell.

By drawing not only on official sources, but also on the accounts of individuals involved, Le Tissier meticulously reconstructs the difficult breakthrough achieved on the Oder: the establishment of bridgeheads, the battle for the fortress of Kustrin, and the bloody fight for Seelow Heights. Numerous maps and step by step illustrations show the operations of both contestants in detail and reveal a most interesting episode in the history of the Second World War in Europe.


Battle of Berlin 1945

Le Tissier, Tony

Published by History Press Limited, The (2008)

From: Better World Books Ltd (Dunfermline, United Kingdom)

About this Item: Condition: Good. Ships from the UK. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP89271551


Chapter One

Küstrin began as a lucrative customs post at the junction of the Warthe and Oder rivers, which remained important communications routes until the Oder became part of the revised east German boundary at the conclusion of the Second World War in 1945 and all river traffic came to a standstill.

The town was originally known as Cüstrin and was first mentioned in official records in 1232 when it was entrusted until 1262 to the Knights Templar, who reinforced the existing castle there and established a market. In 1397 the town was pawned to the Knights of St John and was then sold in 1402 to the German Order of Knights, who constructed the first bridge across the Oder there, built a castle to protect it and occupied the castle with a garrison of armed knights. In 1455 the German Order sold the town to the Markgraf Albrecht von Hohenzollern, in whose family’s hands the town was to remain until the abdication of the Kaiser in 1918.

Markgraf Hans von Hohenzollern built the new Schloss (fortified palace) between 1535 and 1537, and then had the fortress that is still recognisable today constructed by the engineer Giromella, with its four corner bastions (König, Königin, Kronprinzessin and Philipp) and the central northern bastion (Kronprinz, or Hohen Kavalier).

When King Gustav Adolf of Sweden conquered the Mark Brandenburg in 1631, he also acquired Küstrin. The Swedes reinforced the fortress and added the Albrecht and August Wilhelm ravelins, as well as two lunettes to the Oder bridgehead. (The remains of the upriver lunette were still visible on 1945 aerial photographs.) The Swedish king was killed at the battle of Lützen in 1632 and three years later the Mark Brandenburg was back in Prussian hands.

On 5 September 1730 Crown Prince Friedrich (later King Frederick the Great) was brought to the fortress under guard with his companion Second-Lieutenant von Katte, having been caught while trying to desert from his father’s army. He was incarcerated in the Schloss, from where he was later obliged to watch the beheading of von Katte, and remained imprisoned there until 26 February 1732.

The Russian siege of August 1758

The siege lasted from 14 to22 August 1758, when Frederick the Great attacked the Russian army from the rear and defeated it at the battle of Kutzdorf. The planis taken from the volume Neues Kriegstheater oder Sammlung der merkwürdigsten Begebenheiten des gegenwärtigen Krieges in Deutschland (Leipzig, 1758).

A. The town and fortress of Küstrin

B. Russian artillery and mortar batteries that set fire to the town on 22 August 1758

C. Advanced Russian corps besieging the town

D. The camp of the imperial Russian troops under Field Marshal Graf von Fermor

Küstrin was first besieged by the Russians in 1758 during the Seven Years’ War, as a result of which the town was burnt to the ground. Frederick ordered the immediate reconstruction of the town and within ten days of the fire defeated the Russians at the battle of Zorndorf nearby. That same year work was begun on the Friedrich-Wilhelm Canal when it was finished in 1787 it provided a new outlet for the Warthe into the Oder north of the town.

In 1806 the Prussian army was defeated by Napoleon at the battles of Jena and Auerstädt. The fortress at Küstrin was subsequently surrendered to the French, who proceeded to reinforce the defences. The fortress was besieged again by the Russians from March to July 1813, and then by the Prussian Landwehr, to whom the French garrison capitulated in March the following year. The Schloss then became a barracks.

In 1817 the course of the Warthe where it joined the Oder southeast of the fortress was blocked, and work was begun on the Sonnenburger Chaussee six years later. The Oder-Vorflut Canal was constructed in 1832 to take the strain off the town’s bridges during the annual floods, being designed with a dam across it so that the water could only flow across it once it reached a certain level, while ensuring the busy navigation of the Oder throughout the summer. In the 1850s the resulting ‘Island’ was provided with Lunettes A and B to cover the upstream Oder approaches, and Lunettes C and D to guard the road bridge across the canal from the west bank of these, only Lunettes B and D still survived in 1945. Only the moat of Lunette A remained and C had been completely removed and filled in. However, the military remained conscious of the importance of the annual flooding of the Warthebruch in particular as a defensive measure.

The first railways arrived with the construction of the Küstrin–Landsberg–Kreuz line in 1856–7, after which the town soon became an important railway junction, but the connection to Berlin was not effected until 1867, when the Oder bridgehead fortifications were removed to make way for the Altstadt station. The two-level Neustadt station was built in 1874–6, when new lines linked Küstrin with Stettin on the Baltic and Breslau in Upper Silesia. In 1885 the Küstrin–Stargard railway line was opened, and in 1896 the Küstrin–Sonnenburg line, the same year that the line to Berlin was doubled. A further connection was made in 1884 with a line to Neudamm. Küstrin now formed the nodal point for two important express train lines running east to west and north to south, as well as being the start point for the other lines. The town had four railway stations: the main station in the Neustadt, Küstrin-Altstadt on the Island, Küstrin-Kietz and Kietzerbusch, which was little more than a halt.

This was also a time of military expansion. The Neues Werke fort was built adjacent to the Neustadt railway station in 1863–72, and the Hohen Kavalier was adapted to take heavy guns. Following the Franco-German War of 1870–1, an attempt was made to preserve the 300-year-old fortifications at the mouth of the Warthe, despite the introduction of longer-ranged guns using Alfred Nobel’s far more powerful explosives than hitherto, and outer forts were constructed at a distance of 5 to 10 kilometres east of the Oder at Zorndorf, Tschernow and Säpzig, and to the west at Gorgast. However, presumably as a security measure, none of these external works was shown on the official maps of this area.

Then in 1902–3 the new Artillery Barracks were built on the Island opposite the Altstadt railway station, and in 1913 barracks for an engineer battalion were constructed on Warnicker Strasse. The dwindling defensive value of the medieval citadel could only have been welcome to the citizens, hemmed in as they were by the walls and ditches. After years of negotiation the town managed to obtain a considerable amount of the fortress property from the state in order to be able to lower the walls and fill in the ditches. The First World War delayed this process but, none the less, most of the works fell into civilian use, with a casemate becoming the town museum, one lunette a home to a canoe club and another a youth hostel. Eventually, in 1930, part of the Hohen Kavalier was demolished together with the northern ramparts, allowing the improvement of the stretch of main road (Reichsstrasse 1) running through the Altstadt between the Oder and Warthe bridges.¹

Another wave of military construction began under the Nazi government with the provision of a large supply depot and bakery. New barracks, later named ‘von Stülpnagel’, were built to accommodate an infantry regiment on Landsberger Strasse, the engineer barracks were extended, and a garrison hospital was constructed on Warnicker Strasse nearby.

From the invasion of Poland in August 1939 onwards the town became an important transit centre for the war in the east, but was spared immediate involvement in the war until January 1945. Only twice were bombs dropped here during the night raids on Berlin, landing on the outskirts without causing any noticeable damage. Right at the beginning of the air war an apparently inadequately blacked-out farmhouse off the Sonnenburger Chaussee had attracted attention and next day the curious could see deep craters scattered over the fields nearby. Then in 1941 raiders spotted the chimneys of the Cellulose Factory sticking up above the fog bank, but only the factory toilets and washrooms were hit.

The apparent lack of interest shown by the staffs of the Anglo-American air forces in the vulnerable communications nodal point of Küstrin–five large and three smaller railway and road bridges spanning the Oder, Warthe and Vorflut Canal in a so-called multi-level railway station, a rare design enabling the important west–east (Berlin–Königsberg/East Prussia) line to cross over the north–south (Stettin–Breslau) line–simplified the requirement for effective antiaircraft defence.

For a while during the opening stages of the war heavy flak batteries were deployed in the open fields near Manschnow on the road to Seelow as part of the Berlin defences. Later the flak defences were reduced to the garrison’s machine-gun troops, who were stationed at night at various points near the bridges. Luckily for the place and its inhabitants, the effectiveness of these old, water-cooled weapons was never put to the test, but the pointless firing of reconditioned tracer bullets into the night sky occurred whenever the sound of an aircraft engine could be heard, however far off.

There was also a Home-Flak battery manned by schoolboys and elderly men. Its 20mm cannon were stationed at the river crossing points, mainly on hastily assembled metal scaffolding towers, but also on wooden platforms on school and factory roofs near the Oder bridges. There were also some small searchlights. In daytime the gun crews either went to work or to school, taking it in turns to assemble in the evenings at the provisional accommodation at these positions. The same applied to the whole troop whenever there was an air raid alert. However, their weapons never fired a live round in anger. Two or three times they fired at a target pulled by a single-engined Ju W 34 at a reasonable height with practice ammunition. The gun crews’ duty time was mainly taken up with theoretical instruction, preparatory exercises and even with drill conducted by a small group of regular Luftwaffe personnel. These guns were unable to reach the Anglo-American bomber fleets that attacked Berlin from 1944 onwards, using the eastward-running railway as a guide to the Oder before turning north for the Baltic, and eventually they were dismantled at the beginning of 1945.²

The Nazi influence on the town could be seen in the renaming of streets after Nazi heroes. Brückenstrasse and that part of Zorndorfer Strasse between the Stern and the Warthe river was renamed Adolf-Hitler-Strasse, Drewitzer Oberweg in the Neustadt became Schlageterstrasse, while the section of Reichsstrasse 1 running through Kietz became Horst-Wessel-Strasse. The town mayor, Hermann Körner, also doubled as Kreisleiter or District Party Leader, his immediate superior being the Gauleiter of Brandenburg, Emil Stürtz, whose offices were in Berlin, although Berlin itself had its own Gauleiter, Josef Goebbels. Next in the Party chain of command was Reichsleiter Martin Bormann, Hitler’s head of chancellery, to whom Körner would duly report.

Refugees began arriving in the town by train on 20 January. The first ones arrived on scheduled trains and mainly with a destination in mind. Some were evacuees from Berlin, fleeing from the devastating air raids there, and hoping for emergency accommodation with someone they knew. Then there were the families of civil servants and lower ranking Nazi officials from the Warthegau (the senior ones returned by motorcar). Then there were those who had not waited for orders to evacuate or to join the Volkssturm. These people were tired and irritable from constantly delayed journeys in cold and overfilled trains, but in this they did not differ much from other railway passengers in Germany in those days. Their preparations for the journey had clearly not been made in haste, for they wore suitable clothing and the belongings they brought with them were manageable and solidly packed, ready for frequent alighting from the trains. The assistance they needed from the improvised services at the railway stations, apart from the free distribution of refreshments for the journey, was very little. Those who had not managed to get aboard a passing train nearly always stayed in the station waiting rooms. The danger of missing the next connection to the west was far less there than in the emergency accommodation provided outside the station.

But this picture soon changed. At first there were a few individuals, then small family groups, then the numbers began to grow until the carriages arrived filled to the last inch. Now they were having to sacrifice some of their luggage in the fight to obtain a place on a train. Adherence to train schedules was no longer the norm. Fast and express trains were being slowed down throughout the whole country, and passenger trains could only be used without special permits for journeys of up to 75 kilometres. Shuttle services arrived irregularly, having been hurriedly assembled somewhere. Almost all the trains finished their journeys at Küstrin and were emptied there, a fact which was accepted without protest by the exhausted travellers. There were stories of deeply snowed-under roads with wearying waits at train stops on branch lines and, often enough, of having to walk on to the next big station. At Küstrin, there was at least the chance of spending a night in a heated room, resting on bundles of straw for a few hours. The classrooms to which they were taken could not be illuminated as there was no blackout, but bread and coffee were handed out in the corridors. Those who had lost family members could have the names noted down to be called out at the other locations offering shelter.

As late as Sunday, 28 January 1945 it seemed that life in the town was going on as normal. The local children were enjoying themselves with toboggans and skates, paying little attention to their parents’ warnings to remain within call. No one could say whether the factories and businesses would reopen after the weekend break. But then the first treks began arriving in the town, having left distant villages several days ago. The people and their animals were exhausted. The horses were tended to in the streets wherever shelter from the wind could be found, and the refugees asked at the houses for warm drinks for their children. The columns then moved on. Others wanted to stay at least one night under a proper roof. Some had given up completely, their horses having been overwhelmed by the snowdrifts during the last stage often their wagons could only move on when everyone got off, removing the heaviest loads until the wheels could get a firm grip on the ground. After three or four such incidents, boxes and baskets were often left behind, for it was not worth saving them if one was going on by train.

Until this point individual cases had been distinguishable in the great passing stream, and some compassion had been shown according to the degree of need, but now all those arriving in open railway wagons were in the same lowest state of misery. It took a long time for the trains to be loaded, but things calmed down a little when the trains moved off with shapelessly bundled figures huddled together, packed on the bare floors of the wagons. Here and there a piece of sailcloth or even a carpet provided some basic shelter from the cutting cold. The overcoats of those who had found places inside protected them from the shower of sparks coming from the engine.

Two wagons in which typhus had broken out were detached and medical orderlies carried off a corpse on a stretcher. Several women and children were admitted to hospital with frostbite. The others remained incapable of doing anything, sitting on the platform until they were led away, several forgetting their baggage.

All the accommodation near the station was filled to capacity and more. Even the seats in the cinemas had been removed to provide space. Two schools in the Altstadt had also been made available, but that involved a 1.5 kilometre walk as there was no transport available. No one had thought of providing an adequate aid service or making proper arrangements when this evacuation began. Because of the propaganda put out by the government, the lower level civil servants were unaware of the extent of the approaching avalanche. Consequently only the relatively limited resources deployed for the reception of the evacuee trains from Berlin in the late summer of 1943, providing a brief stop for refreshments, had been implemented. Now considerable improvisation, mainly using helpful members of such organisations as the German Red Cross, the Frauenschaft (Mothers’ Union) and Jungvolk (junior branch of the Hitler Youth), had become necessary for the preparation of sandwiches and hot drinks, laying down straw in classrooms for overnight accommodation and providing medical care for the worst cases.

The boys served as guides to the emergency accommodation scattered all over the town, carrying baggage on their toboggans, while the girls assisted with handing out food and looking after the youngest refugees. After the numbing stress of the journey, aggravated by the sudden cold, exhaustion and other ailments, many refugees had fallen ill but there was now a shortage of simple medicaments for the unskilled helpers in the mass accommodation to hand out. Adolescents were determining requirements on their own initiative, obtaining them from an understanding chemist, who gave them a wide selection of medical items free of charge. Such good will, sympathy and ingenuity lessened the distress of the refugees and made survival possible.³

Werner Melzheimer wrote about this period:

1945 began in Küstrin with crackling cold and worrying events. The first refugee transports arrived in the town, showing the state of collapse of the German eastern front. The first groups came by train in about the middle of January. But no one could believe that the east front had completely collapsed. But when the transports continued and the refugees started arriving in open goods wagons in temperatures of minus 15 Celsius and more, it became obvious that catastrophe was impending.

The care of the refugees required the commitment of all available resources. Almost without exception, the Küstrin women volunteered to help. They stood on the railway platforms and in the goods station handing out food prepared in the Reichsbahn kitchens. The four big steam cauldrons heated nourishing soup in regular sequence, while the Küstrin women prepared sausage sandwiches for the refugees at long tables. The number of arrivals streaming in increased. At first they came by railway, but then the streets of the town became filled with vehicles of all kinds. They were blocked with the horses and carts of refugee treks arriving packed with the freezing refugees and their bare necessities. All halls and schools were filled. New kitchens had to be set up, such as in the old gun club and the Lyceum. The bakeries were no longer able to cope and the garrison bakery had to assist.

Ever more threatening was the news brought by the people fleeing from the east, from East Prussia, West Prussia, then from Schneidemühl and finally Landsberg on the Warthe, all flowing through the town. Then on the 31st January it suddenly stopped.

The Küstrin battalion of the Volkssturm was mobilised on 24 January under Commander Hinz, head of the Küstrin Technical School. Volkssturm weapons were supposed to come from Party resources, but none could be found, so the battalion was sent off unarmed by rail to Trebisch, north-west of Schwerin on the Warthe. Their allotted positions were already occupied and Hinz, unable to obtain further instructions, decided of his own accord to bring his battalion back to Küstrin. Meanwhile the men’s wives had been pestering the local authorities for news and eventually a vehicle was sent to find them. Some 35 kilometres beyond Sonnenburg the car was stopped by sentries, who warned the men in it not to go any further, as the Russians were thought to be in the next village. On the way back, about 20 kilometres from Landsberg, they took a break in a village pub that was full of soldiers drinking while Hitler’s speech on the anniversary of the Nazi assumption of power in 1933 went unheeded on the radio.

At this time there was a group of about forty German officers imprisoned in the Schloss, mainly members of families believed to have been involved in the attempt against Hitler’s life on 20 July 1944. They included Generals Hans Speidel (Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s former chief of staff), Ferdinand Schaal, Hans-Karl Freiherr von Esebeck, Groppe, Adolf Sinzinger, Leopold Rieger, and von Hollwede, as well as the former commander in chief of the Royal Netherlands Army, Lieutenant-General Jonkher van Roëll. The prison commandant was Major Fritz Leussing, an unusually tolerant character for such a role, who allowed his prisoners to listen to foreign broadcasts behind closed doors. An inspection by an SS general at the beginning of the year had found the commandant’s Party credentials wanting and the general had departed leaving the fate of both the commandant and his charges in doubt. General Speidel then persuaded Major Leussing to prepare a travel order for them all that was deliberately smudged. Speidel then signed it as ‘Chief of the General Staff’ and they set off on 30 January for Württemburg, where Jonathan Schmid, the former head of the civilian administrative staff at military headquarters in Paris, was now regional Minister of the Interior. A Waffen-SS unit then moved into the Schloss.

Stalag IIIc, the big prisoner-of-war camp on the outskirts of Drewitz, had already been emptied, the prisoners being driven off to the west towing their possessions on home-made toboggans. Some of them had passed through Küstrin, but the majority had crossed straight over the frozen Oder. Many of the village inhabitants followed them, but an equal number remained behind while the village Nazi Party chief awaited instructions.


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Amazon describes this book as follows: "Tony Le Tissier, in this graphic and painstakingly researched account, has recorded events in extraordinary detail, using the vivid eyewitness testimony of survivors to bring the story of the siege to life."

The book, in fact, essentially quotes verbatim the words of two or three witnesses and fills in with a little extra high level information here and there, like describing a road from A to B. To my mind this does not match the words of Amazon which suggest many witness statements and there is little sign of "research", which suggests to me that there would be increased accuracy of reporting and/or new revelations. But nothing!

It is also an extremely one sides book that looks at the battle from the German perspective only. There is NOTHING of the Soviet perspective. NOTHING. SERO. Surely one would expect a balanced view from a "graphic and painstakingly researched account" - no? After all, what is the point of describing a battle from only one point of view? A battle is, by definition, the interaction of at least two forces. So, where is the Soviet perspective?

The maps are also unimpressive, do not include all the place names mentioned in the text (which irritates the hell out of me) and are extremely badly printed. They are a joke. I constantly had to resort to Google Map and all WW2 on the internet - not helpful when reading in bed.

The book is, however, well structured, the detail is interesting and the text reads well . but this is not the book Amazon told me I would be getting. Amazon lied to me and, since they quote from the publisher without checking, the publisher lied to me. Thank you Mr Amazon for nothing.


The Siege of Kustrin 1945: Gateway to Berlin, Tony le Tissier - History

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The unexpected arrival of Soviet troops at the end of January 1945 at the ancient fortress and garrison town of Küstrin came as a tremendous shock to the German High Command - the Soviets were now only 50 miles from Berlin itself. The Red Army needed the vital road and rail bridges passing through Küstrin for their forthcoming assault on the capital, but flooding and their own high command's strategic blunders resulted in a sixty-day siege by two Soviet armies which totally destroyed the town. The delay in the Soviet advance also gave the Germans time to consolidate the defences shielding Berlin west of the Oder River. Despite Hitler's orders to fight on to the last bullet, the Küstrin garrison commander and 1,000 of the defenders managed a dramatic break-out to the German lines. The protracted siege had an appalling human cost &ndash about 5,000 Germans were killed, 9,000 wounded and 6,000 captured, and the Russians lost 5,000 killed and 15,000 wounded. Tony Le Tissier, in this graphic and painstakingly researched account, has recorded events in extraordinary detail, using the vivid eyewitness testimony of survivors to bring the story of the siege to life.

The Siege of Küstrin is filled with narratives of the soldiers who fought during the battle. The fall of Küstrin allowed the Soviets to bring up captured German siege artillery from the Crimea and fire half-ton shells from the marshalling yards of Schlesischer Station into the heart of Berlin. Küstrin’s stubborn defense disrupted Zhukov’s schedule for the capture of Germany’s capital.

THOMAS ZACHARIS

  • Editore &rlm : &lrm Pen & Sword (16 luglio 2009)
  • Lingua &rlm : &lrm Inglese
  • Copertina rigida &rlm : &lrm 312 pagine
  • ISBN-10 &rlm : &lrm 1848840225
  • ISBN-13 &rlm : &lrm 978-1848840225
  • Peso articolo &rlm : &lrm 658 g
  • Dimensioni &rlm : &lrm 16.51 x 3.18 x 26.04 cm

Recensioni migliori da Italia

Le recensioni migliori da altri paesi

Amazon describes this book as follows: "Tony Le Tissier, in this graphic and painstakingly researched account, has recorded events in extraordinary detail, using the vivid eyewitness testimony of survivors to bring the story of the siege to life."

The book, in fact, essentially quotes verbatim the words of two or three witnesses and fills in with a little extra high level information here and there, like describing a road from A to B. To my mind this does not match the words of Amazon which suggest many witness statements and there is little sign of "research", which suggests to me that there would be increased accuracy of reporting and/or new revelations. But nothing!

It is also an extremely one sides book that looks at the battle from the German perspective only. There is NOTHING of the Soviet perspective. NOTHING. SERO. Surely one would expect a balanced view from a "graphic and painstakingly researched account" - no? After all, what is the point of describing a battle from only one point of view? A battle is, by definition, the interaction of at least two forces. So, where is the Soviet perspective?

The maps are also unimpressive, do not include all the place names mentioned in the text (which irritates the hell out of me) and are extremely badly printed. They are a joke. I constantly had to resort to Google Map and all WW2 on the internet - not helpful when reading in bed.

The book is, however, well structured, the detail is interesting and the text reads well . but this is not the book Amazon told me I would be getting. Amazon lied to me and, since they quote from the publisher without checking, the publisher lied to me. Thank you Mr Amazon for nothing.


Watch the video: Soviet May 1st Parade, Red Square 1980 (May 2022).