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Demyansk 1942–1943

Demyansk 1942–1943 Book Review

By Rachel E. Veres

Date of Review August 2012 Title Demyansk 1942–1943
Author Robert Forczyk Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2012 ISBN 9781849085526
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $21.95


Demyansk 1942 - 1943 chronicles one of the longest encirclement battles along the Eastern Front following Germany's "Operation Barbarossa" in early WWII. 

Author Robert Forczyk highlights opposing commanders' decisions and logistical miscalculations during the Soviet winter counteroffensive from January 1942 to February 1943.  Forczyk divides the "Demyansk campaign" (encirclement of German troops by the Red Army) chapter into key phases, illustrating critical judgment errors and successes on each side.

Despite suffering initial losses after Germany launched "Operation Barbarossa", the Red Army regrouped and surrounded the II Armeekorps (AK) within the "Demyansk Pocket".  Though outnumbering the German soldiers 4:1, Germany attained an overall defensive victory.

Blending artwork with rare German and Soviet photographs, illustrator Peter Dennis places the reader squarely in the bloody battles.  Campaign maps help the reader envision operations as they unfolded.

Unfortunately, the author assumes the reader understands German.  Forczyk does provide English meanings; however, those are few.  A glossary would alleviate confusion for the uninitiated.

Recommended reading with the three-volume Osprey Operation Barbarossa books (Campaigns 129, 148, and 186).

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!