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The Wehrmacht Retreats: Fighting a Lost War 1943 by Robert M. Citino, ISBN-13: 978-0700618262



  • Format: PDF
  • Publisher: ‎ University Press of Kansas; First edition (March 1, 2012)
  • English
  • 440 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎ 0700618260
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0700618262

Throughout 1943, the German army, heirs to a military tradition that demanded and perfected relentless offensive operations, succumbed to the realities of its own overreach and the demands of twentieth-century industrialized warfare. In his new study, prizewinning author Robert Citino chronicles this weakening Wehrmacht, now fighting desperately on the defensive but still remarkably dangerous and lethal.

Drawing on his impeccable command of German-language sources, Citino offers fresh, vivid, and detailed treatments of key campaigns during this fateful year: the Allied landings in North Africa, General von Manstein’s great counterstroke in front of Kharkov, the German attack at Kasserine Pass, the titanic engagement of tanks and men at Kursk, the Soviet counteroffensives at Orel and Belgorod, and the Allied landings in Sicily and Italy. Through these events, he reveals how a military establishment historically configured for violent aggression reacted when the tables were turned; how German commanders viewed their newest enemy, the U.S. Army, after brutal fighting against the British and Soviets; and why, despite their superiority in materiel and manpower, the Allies were unable to turn 1943 into a much more decisive year.


“Like all of Citino’s work, this book brims with perceptive insights and clever observations.”–German Studies Review

“A fine book, well written and relevant to professional military officers and academics alike. Furthermore, it is good history. Citino demonstrates the power of objective analysis to illuminate present challenges through a rigorous study of the past. . . . Even those who consider themselves well read on the topic will find new and interesting nuggets and will have their preconceived notions challenged. Perhaps the greatest merit of this book is the idea that ‘ways of war’ have a shelf-life.”–Army History

“Skilfully performs the dual act of combining impeccable research with a cracking good read. Indeed far from the Wehrmacht’s lost war being the harbinger of a dry history, Citino’s study brings out the great importance of this period by highlighting the drama within the German command as well as the grueling events at the front. . . . In all aspects of his discussion of 1943 Citino’s trademark mastery of the vast literature is evident. . . . Like his many past works, The Wehrmacht Retreats deserves to be widely read.”–War in History

“Essential reading for anyone interested in the military campaigns of the war. . . . Whether the reader is a serious military historian, a serving soldier, or the casual military history buff, the prose is perfect. Added benefits are excellent photos and maps. . . . Citino’s contribution stands as the definitive operational analysis of the Wehrmacht in 1943.”–Army

“Like all of Citino’s work, this book is fairly brimming with perceptive insights and shrewd observations. . . . The writing is always lively and a good read. The Wehrmacht Retreats is a must for both the serious scholar to even the most casual student of World War II.”–New York Military Affairs Symposium

“This splendidly detailed operational history recasts

1943 as a year of stalemates, and examines how the Wehrmacht managed savage defensive moves despite hemorrhaging in an unwinnable two-front war.”–World War II Magazine

“An expert on the ‘German way of war,’ Citino cites the German military tradition of emphasizing the offensive over defense as being a prime reason for the sapping of the Wehrmacht’s power in the pivotal year 1943. This is a well-written and very readable work that will interest those looking for more depth in their understanding of the military history of World War II. Recommended for readers with knowledge of World War II or an interest in military history.”–Library Journal

“An outstanding book. Citino’s impeccably researched and superbly written study challenges standard notions and forces readers to think and reflect.”–Stephen G. Fritz, author of Frontsoldaten: The German Soldier in World War II

“Citino has something interesting and original to say about every campaign. . . . A major contribution of great value for specialists but also highly attractive to the general reader.”–Evan Mawdsley, author of World War II: A New History and Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War, 1941-1945

“An excellent sequel to Citino’s Death of the Wehrmacht. Together, they provide an essential and compelling reassessment of Hitler’s fighting machine in World War II.”–David M. Glantz, author of The Stalingrad Trilogy

About the Author

Robert M. Citino is professor of history at the University of North Texas and author of eight books, including Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942; The German Way of War: From the Thirty Years’ War to the Third Reich; Quest for Decisive Victory: From Stalemate to Blitzkrieg in Europe, 1899–1940; and Blitzkrieg to Desert Storm: The Evolution of Operational Warfare, which won both the Society for Military History’s Distinguished Book Award and the American Historical Association’s Paul Birdsall Prize.


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