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The SS-Division Wiking in the Caucasus 1942-1943

Green • 2017
Autor(zy)Massimiliano Afiero
ISBN978-83-65281-37-1
Data wydania2017-02-20
SeriaGreen
Nr katalogowy4123
KategoriaAvailable KategoriaDostępne
FormatA4, 144 stron
Cena89.00 PLN Cena19.00 GBP

In the summer of 1942, German forces resumed their attack on the Eastern Front, this time concentrating exclusively on the southern sector, with the objective of conquering Stalingrad and the Caucasus. 

After having been engaged in the recapture of Rostov, the Wiking Division penetrated deeply into the Cuacasus, crossing many rivers that criss-crossed that area, facing thousands of ambushes and thousands of encounters against an enemy that was increasingly battle-tested, tough and impossible to pin down. Throughout this new campaign there lacked, in fact, the sweeping maneuvers of annihilation of the Soviet forces that had characterized the 1941 summer campaign. This time, the Soviet commands and soldiers learned to withdraw and regroup their forces in order to launch ferocious counterattacks, adding skill to their courage. Despite everything, the SS troops were able to reach the far-off Asiatic regions, threatening to reach the shores of the Caspian Sea. The terrain conditions, the strong enemy resistance, logistics problems and heavy losses slowed down the ambitions of the SS and of all of the German forces. With the deterioration of the situation on the Stalingrad front, the German forces in the Caucasus were forced to withdraw rapidly to avoid being trapped themselves and it was only due to the stoic stand made by Von Paulus’ German forces that enabled them to save themselves, given them time to pull back to the north and return to the positions they had occupied the previous year. The Wiking Division was involved in a terrible winter retreat, characterized by bitter fighting against the enemy and against glacial cold, suffering additional heavy losses, managing to pull the survivors of that terrible adventure across the Mius river. The chronology of events is told through direct testimony of the participants, period war reports and original documents, all accompanied as always by an exceptional host of images, maps and documents taken from military archives throughout the world and from highly respected private archives, all designed to make treatment of the subject more compelling.  

 

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  • Inscale.org • 2017-05-17

    The SS-Division Wiking in the Caucasus 1942-1943
    by Massimiliano Afiero (Author)

    Paperback: 120 pages
    Publisher: MMPBooks; 1st edition (April 3, 2017)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 8365281376
    ISBN-13: 978-8365281371

    In the summer of 1942, German forces resumed their attack on the Eastern Front, this time concentrating exclusively on the southern sector, with the objective of conquering Stalingrad and the Caucasus.

    After having been engaged in the recapture of Rostov, the Wiking Division penetrated deeply into the Cuacasus, crossing many rivers that criss-crossed that area, facing thousands of ambushes and thousands of encounters against an enemy that was increasingly battle-tested, tough and impossible to pin down. Throughout this new campaign there lacked, in fact, the sweeping maneuvers of annihilation of the Soviet forces that had characterized the 1941 summer campaign.
    This time, the Soviet commands and soldiers learned to withdraw and regroup their forces in order to launch ferocious counterattacks, adding skill to their courage. Despite everything, the SS troops were able to reach the far-off Asiatic regions, threatening to reach the shores of the Caspian Sea. The terrain conditions, the strong enemy resistance, logistics problems and heavy losses slowed down the ambitions of the SS and of all of the German forces.

    With the deterioration of the situation on the Stalingrad front, the German forces in the Caucasus were forced to withdraw rapidly to avoid being trapped themselves and it was only due to the stoic stand made by Von Paulus’ German forces that enabled them to save themselves, given them time to pull back to the north and return to the positions they had occupied the previous year.
    The Wiking Division was involved in a terrible winter retreat, characterised by bitter fighting against the enemy and against glacial cold, suffering additional heavy losses, managing to pull the survivors of that terrible adventure across the Mius river. The chronology of events is told through direct testimony of the participants, period war reports and original documents, all accompanied as always by an exceptional host of images, maps and documents taken from military archives throughout the world and from highly respected private archives, all designed to make treatment of the subject more compelling.

    Massimiliano Afiero is a historical researcher on the Axis forces of the Second World War, and for at least thirty years has contributed to numerous military history magazines, publishing hundreds of articles and about thirty books, with particular emphasis on Waffen-SS units.

     

    Contents:
    1. The SS Division Wiking in the Caucasus, 1942-1943

    2. The new offensive on the Eastern Front
        The Initiation of Fall Blau
    A New Armoured Battalion for the Wiking Division
    Orders for the Wiking

    3. The march towards Rostov
    Combat Engineers in Action
    Panzers on the Attack

    4. Towards the Caucasus
    On the March Towards Asia
    The Kuban Front
    The Battle for Kropotkin
    Continued Fighting at Grigoropolisskaya
    The March Resumes
    On Towards Maykop
    The Finns Arrive

    5. On the Terek front
    In the Kurp Valley
    The Attack of the Panzers
    The Attack of the Nordland

    6. The battle continues
    The Arrival of the Germania
    The Attack Against Malgobek
    The Inferno on Hill 701

    7. More new orders
    Reorganisation in the Field
    Withdrawal to the North
    The Battle at Zimovniki

    8. Rearguard actions

    9. On the Manych Front
    The Withdrawal to Rostov
    The Knight’s Cross for Max Schafer
    The Proletarskaya Bridgehead
    The Battle for Ekaterinovka

    10. The retreat continues
    The Station at Tselina
    Yegorlykskaya and Mechetinskaya
    A Race Against Time

    11. On the Rostov-on-Don bridgehead
    Return to the Mius

    Bibliography, Sources and Photographic References

    Mushroom Model Publications‘  provides a page by page preview at: http://mmpbooks.biz/ksiazki/347 .

    The author has used a great number of photos (many of soldiers in the fields and portraits of individuals), testimonies, maps and action reports and put it all together into an excellent volume of the battle the Caucasus. Many of the images contained in the book are action shot that may help the diorama builder with ideas and the rest is very useful for modellers.

    All in all another great read from the publishers at MMP Books.

    Recommended

    Many thanks to MMP Publishing for this review copy.

  • IPMSUSA.org • 2017-05-05

    The SS Division Wiking in the Caucasus 1942-1943

    Published: May 4th, 2017      
    Product Image
    Front cover
    Author: Massimiliano Afiero
    Reviewed by: 
    Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
    Company: Mushroom Model Publications
    ISBN #: 978-83-65281-37-1
    E-Book ISBN #: 8365281376
    Other Publication Information: Softbound, A4 [11.7” x 8.4”], 144 pages
    Price: $39.00
    Product / Stock #: New 4123

     

    Massimiliano Afiero was born in Afragola (Naples Province) in 1969. Massimiliano is a computer programmer and teacher, but has long been a serious historian of World War II. He has been extremely active in writing articles for many history magazines in his native Italian, Spanish, and English. You can also find him as an active participant in many military history websites. Massimiliano has personally interviewed many Waffen-SS veterans and has published their experiences in World War II. He published his first book, 'Hitler's Foreign Volunteers', in September 2001, and has now amassed 33 published books. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine SGM (Second World War), Ritterkreuz, The European Volunteer, Fronti Warning, and The Axis Forces. You can find his website at http://www.maxafiero.it/main.htm

    This tome was originally published in November 2015 by the Associazione culturale Ritterkreuz as "La SS-Division Wiking nel Caucaso 1942-1943 and has now been brought by MMP to us in the English language instead of the original Italian. This 'War Fronts' special original edition was 100 pages in length.

    Wiking Division was one of the 38 Waffen SS elite panzer divisions. Commanded by German officers, this volunteer division used recruits from Belgium, Denmark Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. Originally a motorized infantry division, their role changed to a Panzer division in January 1941. The Wiking Division was originally composed of three regiments: Germania composed primarily of Germans; Westland, composed of Flemish and Dutch volunteers; and Nordland, composed of Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes. After training, the division was sent into combat in June 1941 to participate in Operation Barbarossa. Later on a Finnish volunteer Battalion was formed from Finns that had served in Operation Barbarossa.

    After surviving Operation Barbarossa, the SS Division Wiking was sent to the Eastern Front's southern sector to capture the Caucasus' oil fields and Stalingrad. Massimiliano Afiero covers this second campaign from the summer of 1942 through February 1943. The SS Division Wiking pushed hard and deep into the Caucasus against a much stiffer Russian defense from the 1941 campaign. Then winter set in. The SS Division Wiking then became involved in protecting the winter retreat back to the original front. Massimiliano Afiero uses first-hand accounts that reveal the blunt reality that the SS Division Wiking faced.

    The Table of Contents includes the following sections:

    The SS Division Wiking in the Caucasus, 1942, 1943

    The New Offensive of the Eastern Front

    • The Initiation of Fall Blau
    • A New Armoured Battalion for the Wiking Division [Page 7]
    • Orders for the Wiking

    The March Towards Rostov

    • Combat Engineers in Action
    • Panzers on the Attack [Page 33]

    Towards the Caucasus

    • On the March Towards Asia
    • The Kuban Front
    • The Battle for Kropotkin
    • Continued Fighting at Grigoropolisskaya
    • The March Resumes
    • On Towards Maykop
    • The Finns Arrive [Page 53]

    On the Terek Front

    • In the Kurp Valley [Page 68]
    • The Attack of the Panzers
    • The Attack of the Nordland

    The Battle Continues

    • The Arrival of the Germania
    • The Attack Against Malgobek
    • The Inferno on Hill 701 [Page 86]

    More New Orders

    • Reorganization in the Field [Page 92]
    • Withdrawal to the North
    • The Battle at Zimovniki

    Rearguard Actions [Page 103]

    On the Manych Front

    • The Withdrawal to Rostov
    • The Knight's Cross for Max Schafer
    • The Proletarskaya Bridgehead
    • The Battle for Ekaterinovka [Page 115]

    The Retreat Continues

    • The Station at Tselina [Page 120]
    • Yegorlykskaya and Mechetinskaya
    • A Race Against Time

    On the Rostov-On-Don Bridgehead

    • Return to the Mius [Page 140]

    Bibliography, Sources, and Photographic References

    One section that caught my attention was "The Withdrawal to Rostov" recounting an action that led to the Knight's Cross being awarded to Max Schafer. Taking place in January 1943, the SS engineers found themselves consistently on the front lines under enemy fire. The Russians had managed to penetrate the German lines in the midst of a snowstorm when the blasts of gunfire were heard amongst the shouts of alarm. Facing ten to one odds, Max Schafer, had a big decision to make. Never shy about leading from the front, Max Schafer's question was if the Russian attack was being supported by Soviet T-34 tanks. His NCOs responded that they had not seen any to that point. Max Schafer's response was to immediately counter attack. The Russians were caught totally off-guard and paid a heavy price. Max Schafer's decision allowed the Germans to avoid being totally surrounded and enabled an orderly withdrawl.

    Massimiliano Afiero has delivered a great insight into the German's second campaign on the Eastern Front utilizing testimonies, action reports, maps, and of course photographs. The photographs, including many action shots, provide a good basis for the modeler for dioramas. I counted 339 black and white photographs along with 16 black and white maps. Mushroom Model Publications' has provided a page by page preview at: http://mmpbooks.biz/ksiazki/347 .

    My thanks to Mushroom Model Publications and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

    Highly recommended!

  • www.modellversium.de • 2017-03-03

    The SS-Division Wiking in the Caucasus 1942-43

    Green Series Nr. 23

     - The SS-Division Wiking in the Caucasus 1942-43

    Zusammenfassung:

    Autor: Massimiliano Alfieri
    Verlag: MMP Books
    ISBN: 978-83-65281-37-1
    Erscheinungsjahr: 2017
    Sprache: Englisch
    Inhalt:
    • 144 Seiten mit zahlreichen (fast 400!) Abbildungen in Schwarz-Weiß
    • Karten und Übersichten
    Preis: 24 Euro

    Besprechung:

    Im Sommer 1942 startete die Deutsche Wehrmacht eine finale Offensive an der Ostfront. Mit der als "Fall Blau" in die Geschichte eingegangenen Operation wollte Hitler das Blatt noch einmal wenden. Die Wehrmacht konzentrierte sch hierbei auf die Regionen um Stalingrad und dem Kaukasus. Die dort vorhandenen Ölfelder sollten die Versorgung der Truppe mit dem überlebenswichtigen Kraftstoff sicherstellen. Global betrachtet stand natürlich auch der Zusammenschluss mit den italienischen Kräften im Süden und den japanischen Truppen tief im Osten in Aussicht, was die Lage dramatisch verändert hätte. Die Operation sollte in mehreren Phasen ablaufen, zunächst war geplant die feindlichen Linien entlang des Flusses Don zu durchbrechen. Dann sollte das gesamte Becken um den Don eingenommen werden. Nach der Eroberung von Stalingrad sollten die deutschen Truppen weiter nach Osten vorrücken, um den gesamten Kaukasus einzunehmen, ein Gebiet vom Kaspischen Meer bis zum Schwarzen Meer, eingerahmt von den kaukasischen Bergen.

    Die SS-Division Wiking war von Anfang an Teil dieser Operationen. Zunächst wurde sie im Frühjahr 1942 neu organisiert, nachdem sie den Winter an der Mius ausgesessen hatten. Sie bekamen ein Batallion Freiwilliger aus Finnland unterstellt und ihr wurde eine gepanzerte Einheit zugeteilt, welche mit den Pz.Kpfw.II und III ausgerüstet war. Die der Heeresgruppe A unterstellte Division Wiking wurde damals vom SS-Gruppenführer Felix Steiner kommandiert. Am 16. Juli 1942 wurde die Wiking in Marsch gesetzt, zunächst in Richtung Taganrog, einer Hafenstadt am Asowischen Meer. Am 21. Juli begann der Angriff auf die bestens vorbereitete Stadt Rostow, die man 1941 aufgegeben hatte. Nach erbitterten Kämpfen fiel Rostow schließlich am 24. Juli und der Vormarsch nach Osten konnte fortgesetzt werden. Es folgte eine Reihe von Schlachten in der russischen Steppe am Fluss Kuban. Am 16. August stießen endlich auch die finnischen Truppen zu den Wikings. 

     - The SS-Division Wiking in the Caucasus 1942-43

    Mitte September 1942 verlegte die Wiking in Richtung Ost-Kaukasus an die Terek-Front. Dort wurden sie in langwierige Stellungskriege verwickelt, das immer schlechter werdende Wetter tat sein übriges, um den Vormarsch zu einem vorläufigen Ende zu bringen. Das Ziel der Einsätze war die Einnahme der Transportwege über die Russland vom Iran her kommend mit Nachschub durch die Alliierten versorgt wurde. Diese sogenannte Grusinische Heerstraße lag in der Region Grosny-Malgobek-Mozdok. Die Kämpfe dauerten bis über die Mitte des Oktobers hinaus. Der Widerstand der russischen Armee war immens, die Soldaten kämpften entschlossen um jeden Meter Boden. Als sich die Situation der deutschen Truppen an der Front in Stalingrad immer mehr verschlechterte, ordnete die Führung einen Rückzug der Wiking Division aus dem Terek Gebiet an, um in Richtung Stalingrad zu verlegen. Da man wegen der zunehmenden russischen Offensiven keine Möglichkeit sah nach Stalingrad durchzukommen, verlegte man stattdessen wieder zurück in Richtung Rostow am Don. Dabei kam es an Weihnachten 1942 bei Zimovniki zu starken Gefechten, bei denen es zahlreiche Verluste auf beiden Seiten zu verzeichnen gab, bei den Wiking insbesondere unter den finnischen Verbänden. Es folgten weitere Kämpfe entlang der Frontlinie am Fluss Manych. Anfang Februar erreichten sie schließlich ihr Ziel. Bald darauf erhielten die Wiking neue Befehle, sie sollten sich der 1. Panzerarmee anschließen für eine Gegenoffensive an der Mündung des Flusses Donets. 

     - The SS-Division Wiking in the Caucasus 1942-43

     

    Das Buch beschreibt auf seinen 144 Seiten zum Teil sehr detailliert die Geschehnisse rund um den Vormarsch der Wiking Division und ihrer Untereinheiten vom Asowischen Meer bzw. dem Schwarzen Meer in Richtung Kaspisches Meer. Die einzelnen Texte sind so aufgebaut, dass es zunächst einige allgemeine Informationen zur jeweiligen Lage gibt und sich dann Passagen, die aus Kriegstagebüchern stammen könnten, anschließen. Für manche Leser mag der Unterton hier stellenweise einen Tick zu heroisch klingen, ein deutscher Autor hätte das vermutlich etwas differenzierter beschrieben. Es gibt auch eine Reihe von Zitaten, die dann entsprechend kursiv gedruckt sind. Der Autor beschränkt sich wirklich nur auf die militärischen Aspekte und die Truppen, alles was "drumherum" geschieht - nennen wir es einmal so - bleibt außen vor.

    Die einzelnen der elf Kapitel des Buches umfassen ca. 15 Seiten, je zur Hälfte mit Text und Bildern. Das Bildmaterial ist in der Tat sehr umfangreich. Gezeigt werden vor allem Fotos aus dem "echten" Leben der Soldaten und den Kämpfen, also keine Propagandafotos. Die Bildqualität ist dadurch natürlich stellenweise nicht optimal, aber der historische Wert dafür umso höher. Man bekommt einen sehr guten visuellen Eindruck von dem, was zuvor im Text beschrieben wurde. Damit man nicht den geografischen Überblick verliert sind immer wieder einige Karten abgedruckt, auf denen man die Bewegungen der Wiking Division nachverfolgen kann.

    Was mir ein bisschen fehlt in dem Buch ist eine Order of Battle und eine Übersicht über die Zusammensetzung der Wiking-Division. Es ist zwar alles mehr oder weniger im Fließtext beschrieben, aber ein, zwei Seiten dazu wäre schon hilfreich gewesen. Das Buch an sich ist im üblichen Format, d.h. A4 mit Softcover Einband, durchgehend Schwarz-Weiß und auf seidenmattem Papier gedruckt.

     

    Fazit:

    Die vielen authentischen, weil realitätsnahen Bilder machen für mich den Reiz des Buches aus. Mit der leicht heroischen Darstellung der Wiking Division muss man sich abfinden, eine kritische Betrachtung findet im Buch nicht statt, in einer deutschen Publikation wäre das womöglich etwas anders dargestellt.

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