From Defeat to Victory

The Eastern Front, Summer 1944
Decisive and Indecisive Military Operations, Volume 2

Charles J. Dick

Stone & Stone Editor’s Choice

By the summer of 1944, the war in Europe had reached a critical point. Both the western Allies and the Soviets possessed the initiative and forces capable of mounting strategic offensives against the German enemy. Writing a study of operations on first the Western then the Eastern Front, respected military analyst C. J. Dick provides a uniquely informative comparison of the different war-fighting doctrines brought to bear by the Allies and the Red Army in contemporaneous campaigns. His book offers rare insights into the strengths and weaknesses of generalship on both fronts.

“These two volumes are of great importance in the understanding of military concepts. They need to be not only read but also studied in detail.

—Journal of Military History

“Essential reading for any serious student of warfare and particularly anyone wishing to understand the Operational Level of War.

—British Army Review
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In volume 2, From Defeat to Victory, Dick turns to the Eastern Front, where battle lines stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea—nearly 1,500 miles to the Allies’ 600—and the Soviet armies and engagements dwarfed in scale those in the West. More importantly, they reflected a war-fighting philosophy significantly different than the Allies’, which in turn produced different military operations. The Soviets were masters of deception-and-surprise, a concept called maskirovka that was an essential part of every military operation. The Soviets were committed to highly mobile and high-tempo offensives. They massed troops in heavy concentrations to achieve a breakthrough that would quickly set conditions for decisive operational maneuvers; they were relentless in their will to destroy the enemy’s forces and, unlike their counterparts in the West, were willing to contend with an enormous amount of casualties. Dick’s analysis shows us how the Red Army, largely free of the political problems that constrained the Allies, was able to develop more radical operational ideas and implement them with a daring and ruthlessness impossible for the armies of democratic states.

From Defeat to Victory also offers a critical lesson in the enduring importance of finding, inculcating, and implementing operational and tactical doctrine that fits the conditions of contemporary war, as well as in the technology, politics, and psychology of the times.

About the Author

C. J. Dick served in the British Army. After, he worked as a senior lecturer at the Soviet Studies Research Centre, which he directed from 1989–2004. From 2005–2006, he was a senior fellow at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom.

Additional Titles in the Modern War Studies Series