War in the Wild East: The German Army and Soviet Partisans

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Harvard University Press, 30 черв. 2009 р. - 327 стор.

In Nazi eyes, the Soviet Union was the "wild east," a savage region ripe for exploitation, its subhuman inhabitants destined for extermination or helotry. An especially brutal dimension of the German army's eastern war was its anti-partisan campaign. This conflict brought death and destruction to thousands of Soviet civilians, and has been held as a prime example of ordinary German soldiers participating in the Nazi regime's annihilation policies.

Ben Shepherd enters the heated debate over the wartime behavior of the Wehrmacht in a detailed study of the motivation and conduct of its anti-partisan campaign in the Soviet Union. He investigates how anti-partisan warfare was conducted, not by the generals, but by the far more numerous, average Germans serving as officers in the field. What shaped their behavior was more complex than Nazi ideology alone. The influence of German society, as well as of party and army, together with officers' grueling yet diverse experience of their environment and enemy, made them perceive the anti-partisan war in varied ways. Reactions ranged from extreme brutality to relative restraint; some sought less to terrorize the native population than to try to win it over. The emerging picture does not dilute the suffering the Wehrmacht's eastern war inflicted. It shows, however, that properly judging ordinary Germans' role in that war is more complicated than is indicated by either wholesale condemnation or wholesale exoneration.

This valuable study offers a nuanced discussion of the diversity of behaviors within the German army, as well as providing a compelling exploration of the war and counterinsurgency operations on the eastern front.

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War in the wild East: the German Army and Soviet partisans

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Shepherd (modern history, Glasgow Caledonian Univ.) takes a rather narrowly focused but scattershot approach to describing the Wehrmacht's pacification of occupied Soviet territories in World War II ... Читати огляд повністю


Toward a War of Extermination
The German Experience of Antiguerrilla Warfare
The Opening Phase 1941
The Escalating Security Campaign 1941
Partisan Surge and German Response 1942
Maps and photographs follow page 128
The Battle for Popular Support 1942
The Dead Zones Campaign 1943
Reap as You Sow 1943 and 1944
Appendix A Larger Antipartisan Operations Carried Out by the 221st Security Division December 1942April 1943
Appendix B Atrocities Committed by the 221st Security Divisions Subordinate Units March 1942August 1943
Abbreviations and Translations
Bibliography of Primary Sources

The War at Close Quarters 1942and 1943

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