This four volume series looks at the Battle of Smolensk, a two month long struggle that included the German conquest of Smolensk and three major Soviet counterattacks. Glantz makes the case that this battle disrupted the German plans for Barbarossa, proving that the Red Army wouldn't collapse as expected, and also helped shape the German plans for September and their focus on the northern and southern flanks of the battlefield.
Of the four volumes in this series, this will be the one with the narrowest appeal. The first two volumes contain the narrative account of the fighting and Glantz's discussion of events, and an impressive amount of documents, and as a result will have the widest appeal. The fourth volume is made up of colour maps to illustrate the action. This third volume provides the full text of the main documents used by Glantz, organised largely to match the chapters in the first two volumes, while the first two volumes contain page references back to these documents.
The book contains a wide range of documents, including daily combat reports, orders of battle and combat orders, ranging from documents produced by the High Command down to divisional level, although the majority are from Front or Army level. As the title suggests, the vast bulk of these documents come from the Soviet side, but there are also Hitler's Fuhrer Orders, which provide part of the German view.
This book won't be of much interest to the general reader, but it will be of great value to the serious student of the fighting of the Eastern Front, providing an excellent selection of Soviet documents that illustrate both the course of events and the nature of Soviet command and control in 1941.
A - The Composition, Dispositions, Command Cadre and Armored Strength of Mechanized Corps Supporting the Western Front in July 1941
B - The Western Front's Lepel' Counterstroke, 6-9 July 1941
C - Army Group Center's Advance on Smolensk and the Timoshenko 'Counteroffensive', 10-15 July 1941
D - The Composition and Command Cadre of the Front of Reserve Armies, 14 July 1941
E - The Composition and Command Cadre of the Front of the Mozhaisk Defense Line, 18 July 1941
F - Army Group Center's Encirclement Battle at Smolensk, 16-23 July 1941
G - The First Soviet Counteroffensive, 23-31 July 1941
H - The Struggle for the Smolensk Pocket, 23-31 July 1941
I - The Northern Flank: Nevel' and Velikie Luki, 16-31 July 1941
J - The Southern Flank, the Fall of Mogilev and the problem of 21st Army (Guderian's Advance to the Sozh River), 16-31 July 1941
K - Armeegruppe Guderian's Destruction of Group Kachalov, 31 July-6 August 1941
L - The Reduction of the Smolensk Pocket, 1-6 August 1941
M - The Stavka Regroups its forces, 30 July-11 August 1941
N - Armeegruppe Guderian's and Second Army's Southward March and the Fall of Gomel', 8-21 August 1941
- The Second Soviet Counteroffensive: The Western Front's Dukhovshchina Offensive, 6-24 August 1941
P - The Second Soviet Counteroffensive: The Reserve Front's El'nia Offensive, 8-24 August 1941
Q - The Northern Flank: Group Stumme's Advance to Velikie Luki and Toropets, 21-28 August 1941
R - The Northern Flank: Group Stumme's Advance to Zapadnaia Dvina, 29 August-9 September
S - The Third Soviet Counteroffensive: The Western Front's Dukhovshchina Offensive, 25 August-10 September 1941
T - The Third Soviet Counteroffensive: The Reserve Front's El'nia Offensive, 30 August-10 September 1941
U - (Part 1) Armeegruppe Guderian's Jockeying for Position along the Desna River, 22-25 August 1941
U - (Part 2) Armeegruppe Guderian's Advance across the Desna River, 25-28 August 1941
U - (Part 3) The Third Soviet Counteroffensive: The Briank Front's Roslavl'-Novozybkov Offensive, 29 August-14 September 1941
V - The Roslavl'-Novozybkov Offensive, 29 August-14 September 1941
W - Excerpts from the Southwestern Front's Daily Operation Directives and Summaries about 40th Army's Positions and Situation, 28 August-10 September 1941 (not in the narrative)
Author: David M. Glantz