The SS-Division Wiking in the Caucasus 1942-1943 (Green Series)
The SS-Division Wiking in the Caucasus 1942-1943
by Massimiliano Afiero (Author)
Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: MMPBooks; 1st edition (April 3, 2017)
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.
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.
Many thanks to MMP Publishing for this review copy.