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"Why Germany Nearly Won: A New History of the Second World War in Europe" is now available for purchase in the United Kingdom. 

You may order the book through Amazon UK, Casemate, Foyles, and Waterstones.

U-Boats in the Black Sea

on Tue, 02/14/2017 - 00:30

Last week I examined the U-boat war in the Arctic. This week I'd like to turn your attention roughly 2,000 miles to the south. There in the Black Sea, the Soviet Navy faced off against the Axis powers in a poorly understood war that nevertheless featured: amphibious landings, to big-gun fire support for ground forces, convoys, sea-control, sea-denial, anti-ship, ASW, mine, and submarine warfare.

In this article we shall look at the battle beneath the waves. More specifically, how the Germans employed U-boats in the Black Sea, and to what extent those U-boats proved effective - or not.

U-Boats in the Arctic: An Expensive German Mistake

on Thu, 02/09/2017 - 20:40

The Nazi war against the Soviet Union defined the Second World War's outcome. Had the Germans focused single-mindedly on fighting that war (following their unprovoked June 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union code-named Operation Barbarossa) the world may look very different today. Thankfully, they did not. In fact, during the war's critical years of 1941-1942 the Mediterranean theater would prove to be the biggest drain on the German war effort. Nonetheless, and somewhat paradoxically, another problematic distraction would prove to be the naval battles in the frigid Arctic Ocean.

During the

Stalin's Favorite Volume 2

I previously reviewed and endorsed Volume One of Igor Nebolsin's two-volume set entitled Stalin's Favorite. Here, I shall examine what Volume Two has to offer (subtitled "From Lublin to Berlin, July 1944-May 1945). Like Volume One, Volume Two offers Second World War armored enthusiasts a treasure trove of information about one of the Red Army's top combat armies and the mechanics of tank warfare in general.

Continuining where he left off Nebolsin takes the combat history of the 2nd Guards Tank Army (hereinafter referred to in this review as the 2nd GTA) into the war's final year (and well

Stalingrad: Why the Factory District Assault Failed

on Thu, 12/15/2016 - 21:04

By September 26, 1942 the German Sixth Army had taken the bulk of Stalingrad's southern and central sectors. Though the 62nd Army stood nearly as strong on September 26th in terms of personnel as it had two weeks prior it's tank strength had dropped considerably from where it had once been. For instance, the primary armored reinforcements sent into the city consisted of light tanks that failed to replace the much more valuable T-34 medium tanks and KV-series heavy tanks lost in the September fighting. In short, the 62nd Army was in trouble.

However, Paulus was not able to build on the

Stalingrad: The German Sixth Army Shifts It's Focus to the Factory District

on Tue, 12/13/2016 - 20:45

The Battle for the City of Stalingrad ranged across three large geographical areas divided into southern and central sectors as well as the Factory District in the north. By September 26, 1942 the German Sixth Army largely controlled the city's southern and central sectors following a brutal block by block fight that had lasted the entire month.

In southern Stalingrad the remnants from the Soviet 62nd Army's defenses (three rifle divisions, three rifle brigades, one tank brigade, and one rifle regiment - hardly equalling a fraction of their former size) had been pressed into a small strip of

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