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By Nicolas Bernard

22 juin 1941. Violant le pacte de non-agression conclu le 23 août 1939, l’Allemagne nazie envahit l’URSS. S’ouvre alors une guerre aussi colossale qu’inexpiable, qui fauchera plus de trente thousands de personnes, soit l. a. moitié des pertes causées par los angeles Deuxième Guerre mondiale.

S’appuyant sur une abundant documentation russe, allemande, anglo-saxonne, et s’affranchissant de plusieurs idées reçues, cette vaste fresque nous entraîne de « Barbarossa » à Moscou, de Stalingrad à Koursk, de l. a. reconquête soviétique à los angeles chute de Budapest et de Berlin, nous plongeant au cœur des opérations et des doctrines militaires dont elles procèdent.
L’auteur déchiffre les calculs de Hitler et de Staline, mais fait aussi une huge half aux péripéties diplomatiques, à l. a. measurement économique de l’affrontement, au déchaînement de violence qu’il génère, notamment l. a. « Shoah par balles » qui se traduira par l’assassinat de plus d’un million trois cent mille juifs soviétiques par les nazis. Sans oublier le vécu des obscurs et des sans-grades, « matériel humain » d’une guerre totale et absolue.

« Ce que le lecteur retiendra, c’est los angeles remarquable objectivité avec laquelle Nicolas Bernard traite les questions les plus délicates posées par cet affrontement titanesque entre deux tyrans, deux idéologies mortifères et deux peuples engagés malgré eux dans une guerre d’extermination. Même si certaines files restent fermées à l. a. recherche, il faudra sans doute bien des années avant qu’une œuvre aussi magistrale puisse être considérée comme dépassée. »

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The Czech State projected into Reichs territory, making Germany's princi pal cities in the east likely targets for aggressive Czech air action. To counter this possibility, Kesselring had airfields constructed close to the frontier, from where German fighters would be able to intercept raiding aircraft coming from either France or Czechoslovakia. Acting upon Hitler's instruction, Goering changed the operational orders under which the Air Fleet was to operate. Now it was to not to act defensively but aggressively, and Kesselring was to plan operations against targets inside Czech territory.

The greater number of that mass of Soviet infantrymen died in the fire of those machine-guns, and the survivors fled back across the Neva. Their retreat meant that one enemy bridgehead had been wiped out, and Hey dte's battalion was marched north-eastwards to take out a second Russian perimeter which had been created. That bridgehead was too strong to be driven in and destroyed, but German attacks to contain it and to prevent it being enlarged led to more bitter close-combat fighting. When that died away, a period of relative quiet set in along the battalion sector.

Despite that prohibition the Generalfeldmarschall knew that his most importanttask was to hold a linealongthe Algerian-Tunisian frontier. He empha sised the importance of holding that perimeterwhen General Nehring reported to him in Frascati on 13 November. During that conference Nehringwas told that he had been appointed to command XC Corps, but Kesselring pointed out that the formation existed only in name. The Corps had neither troops nor a Staff structure, and it would have to work by rule of thumb for the foreseeable future.

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