Apr 17, 2011
by Scott J
Manstein's "Lost Victories" is a must read along with Guderian's "Panzer Leader" for those truly interested students of WWII. The reader is given a valuable insight of the German perspective of events and the frustrations of dealing with Hitler as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
While the numerous positives of "Lost Victories" place it on my must read list, the book did leave me with disappointments that I wish to mention. The largest "bump" in the flow of the book is Chapter 14, Operation Citadel. I had looked forward to Manstein's writing on Kursk however # 14 lacks the detail and insight of the others as the translator used material provided for the "Marine Corps Gazette" to shorten the US version. For me, this was most frustrating.
Manstein's details and openness appears to close as the war moves from the West to the East. I will provide three examples. Pg 225 mentions General Count Sponeck and his decision to withdraw to avoid encirclement yet Manstein fails to mention Sponeck's eventual execution as a result. Pg 470 speaks of "Scorched Earth" and that his Army Group and the German Army did not tolerate ?pillaging? to the extent of placing check-points to insure no misappropriated goods. The West campaign had many descriptions of a billet in fine castles yet there was no mention of his luxurious HQ train in the East that had belonged to the Queen of Yugoslavia (pg 273, Stalingrad by Anthony Beevor).