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James Sidney Lucas' War on the Eastern Front

Despite some flaws in interpretation, it provides a useful enough introduction to the fighting that went on in this crucial theater of the Second World War.

But is it a true view? Since Lucas fought for the British in Tunisia, and not for the Germans, or the Russians, on the Eastern front, the obvious answer is "No." Since he is forced to rely on observations of the foot soldiers and the little guys, then, at best we are getting second-hand impressions. Even worse, we are getting "edited second hand impressions."

It becomes obvious from the first few chapters that Lucas has some agendas. It is hard not to. Lucas, for instance, glosses over the background of the conflict, ignoring the facts that Stalin, based on his belief of strength, took more of Eastern Europe than had been agreed to.

Likewise, the blitzkrieg victories in the Balkans in the Spring of 1941 alarmed Stalin and led him to adopt a softer line. This was too late, for Hitler, long suspicious of the Soviets, had already made up his mind to launch a preventive war against the USSR, before Stalin posed a greater threat to Western Europe. These facts could have been presented in a more astute presentation. In fact, however, Stalin is given short shrift in the book with singular references on pages 3, 35, 45, 47, 57, 58, 181, 185, 189, 191 and 194. Altogether, there are about 300 words devoted to Stalin, who was, of course, a major player.

Lucas likes to find people to quote who cite the high standard of training as the key to German success. In terms of military hardware, much German equipment was run of the mill and there were relatively few Panzer and mechanized divisions in the Wehrmacht, although a large part of this book is devoted to the armament. It is apparent that the people who are quoted by Lucas ignored other realities, such as the necessity for spreading German forces across the Mediterranean, the Battle of the Atlantic, and occupation du...

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James Sidney Lucas' War on the Eastern Front. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:35, September 20, 2017, from
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