Between Giants

The Battle for the Baltics in World War II

Between Giants cover


With the exception of Poland, no region or territory suffered more greatly during World War II than the Baltic States. Caught between the giants of the Soviet Union and the Third Reich, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia became pawns in the desperate battle for control of Eastern Europe throughout the course of World War II. This is a story of conquest and exploitation, of death and deportation and the fight for survival both by countries and individuals. The three states were repeatedly occupied -- by the Soviet Union in 1939, by Germany in 1941, and again by the Soviet Union in 1944-45. In each case, local government organizations and individuals were forced to choose between supporting the occupying forces or forming partisan units. Many would be caught up in the bitter fighting in the region and, in particular, in the huge battles for the Courland bridgehead during Operation Bagration when hundreds of thousands of soldiers would fight and die in the last year of the war. Over 300,000 Soviet troops would be lost during the repeated assaults on the 'Courland Cauldron' before 146,000 German and Latvia troops were finally forced to surrender. No mercy was shown and all Latvians, Lithuanians, and Estonians who fought for Germany were executed. By the end of the war, death and deportation had cost the Baltic States over 20 percent of their total population and the iron curtain would descend on the region for over four decades. Using numerous first-hand accounts and detailed archival research, Prit Buttar weaves a magisterial account of the bitter fighting on the Eastern Front and the three small states whose fates were determined by the fortunes and misfortunes of war.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
Author's Note
Dramatis Personae

Chapter 1: Molotov, Ribbentrop and the First Soviet Occupation
Chapter 2: Rosenberg, Generalplan Ost and Preparations for Barbarossa
Chapter 3: The Wehrmacht in Full Flood
Chapter 4: The Baltic Holocaust
Chapter 5: Reluctant Allies
Chapter 6: Narva, January to April 1944
Chapter 7: Breaking the Deadlock: Summer 1944
Chapter 8: From Doppelkopf to Cäsar
Chapter 9: The Isolation of Army Group North
Chapter 10: Courland, October to December 1944
Chapter 11: Endgame
Chapter 12: Aftermath

Appendix 1: Place Names
Appendix 2: Ranks
Appendix 3: Acronyms
Appendix 4: Foreign terms
Extract from Battleground Prussia

Product details

Published Mar 24 2015
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 416
ISBN 9781472807496
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 24 b/w; 2 col
Dimensions 9 x 6 inches
Series General Military
Short code GNM
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Prit Buttar

Prit Buttar studied medicine at Oxford and London…


Bloomsbury Collections

This book is available on Bloomsbury Collections where your library has access.


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