The First Day on the Eastern Front
Germany Invades the Soviet Union, June 22, 1941
Craig W. H. Luther
Stackpole Books, Guilford, Connecticut, 2019, 504 pages
Book Review published on: September 11, 2020
Craig Luther presents to the reader a well-organized and comprehensive history of the events leading up to and the first twenty-one hours of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, in The First Day on the Eastern Front: Germany Invades the Soviet Union, June 22, 1941. That date, 22 June 1941, marks the beginning of history’s most horrific and bloody periods of warfare. A time that is still fresh in the memory of both today’s Germany and Russia. Seventy-nine years have not erased the memories of the events that started on this day or the millions of German and Russian soldiers and civilians killed, wounded, and maimed during this conflict. Expertly organized, this book covers the events leading up to the German invasion and the actions that occurred during the first twenty-one hours of the invasion.
The organization of the book is first class and allows for easy reading and understanding of what the millions of soldiers, Russian and German, experienced on the ground and in the air in Western Russia. Once you have finished the book, the reader will have a greater and clearer appreciation of what individual soldiers and units up to army group/front level did or failed to do in a whirlwind of chaos and destruction.
For the military reader or historian, The First Day on the Eastern Front is a necessary and relevant historical source to begin the process of understanding the scope, scale, chaos, violence, and destructive nature of modern industrial-age warfare during large-scale combat. The First Day on the Eastern Front is a worthwhile addition to any person’s military collection as a reference for this serious subject.
Book Review written by: Lt. Col. Jeffrey L. LaFace, U.S. Army, Retired, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas