The Casemate Illustrated series provide an in-depth visual look at both Allied and German forces illustrated with photographs and colour profiles of tanks, aircraft and other vehicles, each volume provides a wealth of visual detail. With profiles of key personnel, a timeline, and explanatory text boxes, the concise text gives a clear overview of events and highlights the most important information on any given topic.
Bagration was the code word that the Soviet Army gave for their summer offensive in 1944. This massive offensive led to the destruction of the German Army Group Center and was the greatest military defeat ever experienced by the German Army during World War Two. This book provides an absorbing insight into the German defeat and the Russian offensive using a wide variety of rare and previously unpublished photographs. With detailed captions and text together with 20 artist profiles and maps, the book shows the compelling story of how German Army Group Center tried to counter the overwhelming might of the Soviet Army as it poured thousands of men, weapons and armor across the German lines, smashing its way through.
What ensued was a swift and bloody battle of attrition as the German Army tried to contain the might of its unstoppable enemy. In the days and weeks that followed German units fought and gradually retreated under the constant hammer blows of Russian ground and aerial bombardments, and endless armored and infantry attacks. Many German units fighting to the grim death were duty-bound not to withdraw, and what followed was a disaster of a colossal magnitude. As the Soviet might punched a massive hole in the German lines it sent huge shock waves through Army Group Center forcing them to retreat or face total annihilation.
However, the Russian offensive was so quick that many of the German units with their precious panzer and infantry divisions quickly became encircled and destroyed – its remnants retreating west in order to save itself. By the end of the battle this cataclysm was bigger than that experienced at Stalingrad. It saw the German Army being pushed out of Russia towards Poland with the loss of over 300,000 men and most of its weaponry lost.
The story of the destruction of Army Group Center during the summer of 1944 has been completely overshadowed by the D-Day campaign in Normandy three weeks earlier. Yet, the battle in which the German forces endured on the Eastern Front that fateful summer was more catastrophic than that experienced by the Allies on the Western Front, but little is known of the operation. This book reveals the lesser-known battle in the East and shows how the German forces fought and lost against overwhelming odds.