Ivan's War: The Red Army, 1939-45 by Catherine Merridale

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By Catherine Merridale

In keeping with documents of letters, diaries and police stories, 'Ivan's War' explores the human portion of Russia's conflict opposed to German invasion, and the psychology that enabled a badly fed and badly run strength to defeat an influence that might in a different way have enslaved all of Europe.

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This is certainly one of the reasons that Kesselring made frequent visits to local commands and units, since these were his main sources of information and enabled him to evaluate situations at first hand. This was one of Kesselring’s main limitations: his judgement was too often impaired by his optimism. However, this is balanced by the fact that Luftwaffe intelligence produced notoriously inflated figures about the destruction of enemy aircraft, which meant that judgements made by German air commanders were inaccurate during both the campaigns in Western Europe of May–June 1940 and the Battle of Britain.

3. Panzergrenadier-Division moves to the LXXVI Panzer Korps area, but then retraces its steps and is committed at Cassino on 20 January. 3. Elements of the Hermann Göring Division committed to Cassino on 18 January. 4. 29. Panzergrenadier-Division moves to Cassino on 19 January. 5. 90. Panzergrenadier-Division moves to Cassino on 21 January. 6. 5th Canadian Armoured committed to Sangro area in late January. 7. 4th Indian Division relieves the US 34th Division in early February. A. B. C. D. British X Corps attack on the Garigliano, 17 January.

Kesselring and his staff devised a plan to deal with this eventuality based on the redeployment of units within the Italian front and on using reinforcements from Germany and German-occupied territories (a total of four divisions, along with the equivalent of two more). The first plan confronted a major landing, on the Tyrrhenian coast (Marder 1) and one on the Adriatic coast (Marder 2). On 12 January 1944 1. On 11 and 12 November the Tunis and Bizerte bridgeheads are established under command of Oberst Harlinghausen (who formed a Kampfgruppe with three coys of a replacement battalion, detachments of Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 5, 14.

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