cover image Red Storm on the Reich: The Soviet March on Germany, 1945

Red Storm on the Reich: The Soviet March on Germany, 1945

Christopher Duffy. Atheneum Books, $27.5 (403pp) ISBN 978-0-689-12092-3

Duffy, a senior lecturer in military history at the British Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, reminds us that the war against Hitler was essentially won on the Eastern front. In this solidly researched study he describes the Soviet assault on Germany from January to April 1945, tracing events from the start of the Vistula offensive up to but not including the capture of Berlin (``on which very many works have already been written''). It is the story of two massive Red Army groups under marshals I. V. Konev and G. K. Zhukov, their drive across western Poland into Germany, and the futile defensive measures of the German forces. Given the overwhelming superiority of troops and tanks, the Soviet advance was well-nigh inexorable, as Duffy shows, with Zhukov and Konev pausing only to deal with cut-off German strongpoints. The author has interesting things to say in regard to the savagery of the Russian troops once they crossed into the German homeland. Recommended for serious students of modern military strategy, the book presents a comprehensive picture of the epic-scale warfare on the Eastern front in 1945. (Aug.)