What do you look for in book? Do you read for entertainment, information, reference, or inspiration? All are involved in this book. Osprey brings us book 167 in the Campaign series, titled “Moscow 1941, Hitler’s first defeat.” You’ll find all of that in this book, it’s written well with a wealth of data; it has comprehensive information on the operation. There are inspirational photos and some artwork to boot.
What’s it about
When most people talk about German offensive operations on the Eastern front you hear about Operation Barbarrosa. Many times you hear about specific battles, Kursk or Stalengrad. Operation Typhoon does not jump to the front of peoples memories, Moscow and the Eastern Front do jump to mind. From the onset Osprey has a winner by title. They grabbed my attention with the title and kept it till I was done.
Robert Forczyk authors an easy to read and easy to understand outline of the entire German offensive that was supposed to take Moscow and crush Russia. This book is segmented very well, breaking down the overall operation into logical sections. The book starts with some background information leading up to the offensive. It then outlines the events in chronological fashion from September all the way through December 1941.
What I enjoyed the most about this book was the integration of style, format, and information. The writing style was almost novel like. It was easy to read and it captured your attention and made you want to see what happened next. The format of the book allowed for easy ‘stopping points’. The segments were long enough to provide good solid information and short enough to give you a chance to feel like you can quickly reach a goal or milestone. It didn’t make you feel guilty about putting it down. The triple threat is the inclusion of maps and graphics. Maps and battle diagrams are placed throughout the book to help you piece together the events as you read them unfold.
As mentioned, this book is full of great information such as the fuel capacity and need of different units. This ties in directly with the success or failure of the operation. If the front line units didn’t have fuel they would be delayed. Resupply was a huge factor and is explained very well.
The weather is described throughout the operation and the notion that it was “The” determining factor is debunked. A solid historical perspective is presented as to why the Germans failed to capture Moscow.
Detailed information about troop strength, position, and equipment is provided. This adds to the interest from a reading standpoint and enhances the value of the book as a reference manual.
This book followed me around; it captured my interest and made want to carry it with me. I read this book while wearing a number of different ‘hats’. I wore the ‘hat’ of a history fan, a diorama builder, a researcher, and casual reader. This book meets the needs of all. As mentioned it was easy to read, comprehensive, full of details, great maps, great photos, and art work. The only imbalance I found with the book was the painted art work. There were three two page spreads. Each depicted a different battle. To me they seemed almost like after thoughts, put in to meet a page count quota. Don’t misunderstand, they are expertly painted and nicely done. They felt out of balance, there were only three and they left me wanting more or none. Everything else about the book is bursting at the seams and then there are only three paintings.
I completely enjoyed this book and look forward to using it over and over for information and inspiration.
I need to thank Osprey for sending this book for a review.
Osprey Publishing has a wide array of books dealing with all types of subjects. This review targets their Campaign Series book “Moscow 1941, Hitler’s first defeat.” It’s a captivating recount of the Typhoon campaign.
About Scott Lodder (slodder) FROM: NORTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES
I modeled when I was a teenager. College, family and work stopped me for a while. Then I picked it back up after about 12 years off. My main focus is dioramas. I like the complete artistic method of story telling. Dioramas involve so many aspects of modeling and I enjoy getting involved in the ...