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Table of Contents

  • Maps vii
  • Abbreviations and Foreign Terms xv
  • Preface xix
  • 1. Dilemma 1
  • 2. Decision 31
  • 3. Onslaught 77
  • 4. Whirlwind 135
  • 5. Reckoning 199
  • 6. All or Nothing 241
  • 7. Total War 303
  • 8. Scorched Earth 359
  • 9. Disintegration 405
  • 10. Death Throes 439
  • Conclusion 473
  • Acknowledgments 489
  • Appendix: Supplementary Data 491
  • Notes 499
  • Bibliography 555
  • Index 609
  • Photographs follow page 234

About the Author

Stephen G. Fritz, professor of history at East Tennessee State University, USA, is the author of Frontsoldaten: The German Soldier in World War II and Endkampf: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Death of the Third Reich.


Stephen Fritz has made a major statement. There are many books dealing with military operations in the East and many others that highlight the atrocities, the murders, and the Holocaust. Not until now has a single volume attempted to incorporate both, seeking the nexus between military operations and mass murder. The result is as complete a history of the GermanSoviet war as one could desire, and it is an achievement that is likely to be unequaled for some time to come." Robert M. Citino, - author of Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942

"Fritz has written a topflight strategic/operational level analysis of the RussoGerman War. His text is solid and impeccably supported." - Dennis Showalter, author of Hitler's Panzers: The Lightning Attacks that Revolutionized Warfare

"Of all the hundreds of books on the Russian campaign, Mr. Fritz's is the first I have seen that demonstrates the nexus between mass murder and military operations." - Washington Times

"Stephen Fritz brought to his sources his considerable analytical skills and clarity of expression. The product is a very readable consideration of the European war's most important front, and one that expresses a new understanding of its causes and effects." - New York Journal of Books

"Fritz seeks to synthesize and build upon earlier scholarship while exclusively focusing on the struggle as seen from Berlin.... Ostkrieg will be a significant addition to any academic library." - Choice

"It is truly a magnificent work of military history integrating ideological, economic, political, and military dimensions of this theater of war." - Waterline

"Perfect for instructors and students." - Teaching History

"An ambitious and impressive synthesis of two vast and often mutually exclusive fields of scholarship: the historiography of the Holocaust and that of the war on the Eastern Front.... [it] should serve as the starting point for all historians and students of World War II interested in the relationship of war and genocide." - Journal of Military History

"We are given a superb vantage point from which to view how the Nazi regime's obsessions trapped Germany into ultimately fatal dilemmas." - Historian

"We now have a comprehensive, clearly written and affordable study incorporating recent research on the Eastern Front." - European History Quartterly

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