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Marching from Defeat: Surviving the Collapse of the German Army in the Soviet Union, 1944
By Claus Neuber

Hardcover: 272 pages
Published: May 13, 2020

A Review by Brian Williams

Marching from Defeat: Surviving the Collapse of the German Army in the Soviet Union, 1944 is a personal narrative by Claus Neuber who was an artillery lieutenant in the 18th Panzergrenadier Division of the German Fourth Army of Army Group Center on the Eastern Front. He was involved with Operation Bagration which was the major Soviet offensive that effectively destroyed Army Group Center and forced the German forces to retreat all the way to Poland. During this destruction, Neuber fled on his own and often with others towards the German lines that were in mass retreat. During his evading, he was captured by the Soviets and soon escaped and continued his journey towards the ever-retreating German front lines. He eventually made it back to the front lines due his unending determination.

Claus Neuber's personal narrative is one of the most incredible stories of determination and survival that I've read in many years. His writings and daily journal is incredibly detailed and descriptive. The immense chaos and sheer terror of having the entire front collapse around you and not knowing exactly what the situation is, is completely conveyed in his recount of the events. He takes his journey back to the front lines without any communication and has to make life-saving decisions based on anecdotal information that he picks up on his travels. Unbenownst to him, the front lines retreated much further west than he could've ever comprehended. But yet he kept going and persisted.

This is a book that everyone who is interested in the Eastern Front should own. It is incredibly detailed and gives an amazing perspective into the collapse of Army Group Center and the mass retreat that followed. His recounting of the Russian countryside and his encounters with the villagers and dodging of partisans is amazing. It is a book that shouldn't be missed.

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© 2023 Brian Williams

Published online: 05/27/2020.

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