By Christopher Miskimon

After the destruction of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad in February 1943, the German Army Group South began a slow westward withdrawal, inexorably pressed by advancing Soviet forces of what would eventually be named the First through Fourth Ukrainian Fronts. The Germans attempted to hold at the Dnieper River, but Soviet forces battered their way across and even isolated German forces on the Crimean Peninsula, who had to be evacuated across the Black Sea to avoid capture and defeat. When Operation Bagration effectively destroyed Army Group Center in mid-1944, the pressure on Army Group South greatly increased as it was starved of reinforcements and targeted by more Soviet troops. Soon the Germans were forced back into Poland and Romania, fighting their last, futile campaigns in Eastern Europe against an increasingly skilled and capable foe. The final remnants of Army Group South surrendered in early May 1945. 

Full of photographs, color drawings and good maps, this new book explains the Soviet offensives against Nazi Germany’s southern arm with extensive visual detail. Many of the images are rare or previously unpublished. The text is well-written and provides good detail on the major actions and course of the various campaigns.

The Soviet Destruction of Army Group South: Ukraine and Southern Poland 1943-45 (Ian Baxter, Casemate Books, Havertown, PA, 2023, 128 pp., maps, photographs, bibliography, index, $28.95, softcover)