Death on the Don - The Destruction of Germany's Allies on the Eastern Front 1941-44
Nazi Germany’s assault on the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, Operation Barbarossa, was the largest invasion in history. Almost 3.5 million men smashed into Stalin’s Red Army, reaching the gates of Leningrad, Moscow and Sevastopol. But not all of this vast army was German; indeed, by the summer of 1942, over 500,000 were Romanians, Italians, Hungarians, Slovaks and Croatians – Hitler’s Axis allies. As part of the German offensive that year, more than four allied armies advanced to the Don only to be utterly annihilated in the Red Army’s Saturn and Uranus winter offensives. Hundreds of thousands were killed, wounded or captured, and the German Sixth Army was left surrounded and dying in the rubble of Stalingrad. Poorly equipped, often badly led and totally unprepared for the war, they were asked to fight. Drawing on first-hand accounts from veterans and civilians, as well as previously unpublished source material, Death on the Don tells the story of one of the greatest military disasters of the Second World War.