Sites23 January 2015

Military History Now

Launched in 2012, MHN has now published more than 400 thought-provoking articles from respected writers on all aspects of military history, with a wealth of fascinating insights into World War II, including a contribution from German War Machine (The Deadly 88 — Was the German Flak 18/37 the best gun of World War II?/14 December 2014).

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I Was There12 January 2015

Rudi Frühbeisser, 16 December 1944

In this account, Pfc Rudi Frühbeisser, 9th Infantry, 3rd Fallschirmjäger Division, describes the confused night fighting that followed the capture of Lanzerath on the opening day of the Battle of the Bulge. His unit had been pinned down for more than eight hours by a single platoon from the US 394th Infantry and now found themselves facing a well-prepared second line of defense.

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Wehrmacht In Action12 January 2015

January 1942 - The Wehrmacht’s Finest Hour


The winter of 1941-42 in Russia was bitterly cold (temperatures reached a record low of -42 centigrade late in December), and the German Army was poorly equipped to operate in the freezing temperatures in which it found itself. At basic operational levels, from the grease and fuel needed to keep tanks running to the provision of adequate winter clothing for infantrymen (there were 228,000 casualties from frostbite alone during winter 1941-42), the Wehrmacht encountered grave problems. The failure of Operation Typhoon to take Moscow in November and early December was followed by the Red Army offensive that began in the morning of 5 December 1941. Within 10 days, the German Fourth Army in front of Moscow had been driven back 300km, and there was a real possibility that the entire German position facing Moscow would collapse. Next, the Red Army launched a concerted series of offensives all along the Eastern Front early in January 1942 - from Leningrad down to Rostov on Don - catching many German formations unawares. Then, too, this was a period when Hitler’s exasperation at the failure to to obey his order to stand fast made him sack generals willy nilly - C-in-C von Brauchitsch was sacked on 17 December, while 35 corps and divisional commanders were dismissed from December to March, adding further confusion.

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