A fully illustrated account of the Soviet offensive in the Baltics and the desperate German attempts to hold back the Red Army.
This is a compelling account of the German defense of the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Against overwhelming Soviet forces the book shows how the German Army Group North was driven across the Baltics from Leningrad and fought a number isolated battles including the defense of Narva, Memel and the Kurland pocket.
The book outlines in dramatic detail how Hitler forbade his troops to withdraw, ordering them to follow his Halt Order Decree and fight to the death. However, exhausted and demoralized by continuous Soviet assaults, Army Group North became cut-off and isolated, fighting fanatically to hold the capital cities of Tallin, Vilnius and Riga. What followed were German forces fighting to the death in the last few small pockets of land surrounding three ports: Libau in Kurland, Pillau in East Prussia and Danzig at the mouth of the River Vistula. In the Kurland, German divisions became surrounded and fought a vicious defense until May 1945.
Drawing on a host of rare and unpublished photographs accompanied by in-depth captions and text, the book provides an absorbing read of the Red Army’s conquering of the Baltics.
Table of Contents
1. Prelude to destruction
2. Defensive positions
3. Defending the frontiers of Estonia & Lithuania 2 February–13 July 1944 – Narva Front, Crushing of Vilnius
4. Battle of Attrition – 21 July 1944–January 1945 – Withdrawal, Tallinn Offensive, Riga Offensive, Retreat to Kurland
5. Fortress Kurland
6. Baltic Exodus