The Second World War on the Eastern Front: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Second World War on the Eastern Front

1st Edition

By Lee Baker


180 pages

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Russia's engagement with Germany on the Eastern Front during World War II was ferocious, unprecedented and bloody, costing millions of civilian and military lives. In this challenging new book, Lee Baker distinguishes myth from reality and deflates the idea that this war, while gargantuan in scale, was in essence a war like any other.

Table of Contents



List of Maps

List of Plates


Who’s Who



Part One: Analysis

1. Introduction

2. The Background

a. The Origins of the War on the Eastern Front

b. Planning ‘Operation Barbarossa’

c. Soviet Preparations for War

3. 22 June 1941: The Invasion

a. The Border Battles

b. The Battle for Leningrad

b. The Battle for Kiev

c. The First Major German Defeat: Rostov

d. Mass Murder in the USSR

d. The Battle for Moscow

4. The War turns against the Germans, 1942-43

a. ‘Operation Blue’

b. The Battle for Stalingrad

c. German Efforts to Halt the Red Army

d. The Partisans

d. Operation Citadel

5. The Soviet Union on the Offensive

a. Battles for the Ukraine

b. Relief of Leningrad

c. ‘Operation Bagration’

d. The Destruction of Army Groups North and South

d. The Battle for Berlin

6. Assessment

Part Two: Documents

1. Nazi-Soviet Pact, 23 August 1939

2. Hitler Letter to Mussolini, 21 June 1941

3. Directive for ‘Operation Barbarossa’

4. Directive for Special Areas during ‘Barbarossa,’ 13 March 1941

5. Decree for the Conduct of Courts-Martial in the East, 13 May, 1941

6. ‘Commissar Decree,’ 6 June, 1941

7. Stalin’s Speech on 3 July, 1941

8. Decree on Treatment of Civilians, 23 July, 1941

9. Halder’s Diary, 3 July 1941

10. Halder’s Diary, 11 August 1941

11. Field Marshal Walter von Reichenau’s order, 10 October, 1941

12. Hitler comments on motorization, 29 October, 1941

13. Order for German forces to go on the defensive, 8 December 1941

14. Hitler comments on the winter, 12 and 17 January, 1942

15. Order for ‘Operation Blue,’ 5 April 1942

16. Soviet order concerning discipline in the Red Army, 28 July, 1942

17. A German Witness to a mass shooting, 5-6 October, 1942

18. A German soldier describes the retreat in the Ukraine, summer 1943

19. ‘Fortified Areas’ Order, 8 March 1944

20. A Soviet soldier on combat during ‘Operation Bagration, 29 June, 1944

21. A German Soldier on the Eastern Front, 14 January, 1945.

22. Decree for the destruction of German industry, 30 March 1945

23. Hitler’s Last Proclamation to the Eastern Front, 15 April 1945

Guide to Further Reading



About the Author

Dr. Lee Baker is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Cincinnati.

About the Series

Seminar Studies

Each book in the Seminar Studies series provides a concise and reliable introduction to a wide range of complex historical events and debates, covering topics in British, European, US and world history from the early modern period to the present day. Written by acknowledged experts and including supporting material such as extracts from historical documents, chronologies, glossaries, guides to key figures and further reading suggestions, Seminar Studies titles are essential reading for students of history.

Almost half a century after its launch, the series continues to introduce students to the problems involved in explaining the past, giving them the opportunity to grapple with historical documents and encouraging them to reach their own conclusions. To submit proposals for new books in the Seminar Studies series, please contact the series editors:

Clive.Emsley: clive.emsley @

Gordon Martel: Gordon.Martel @

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Eastern
HISTORY / Europe / Russia & the Former Soviet Union