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  • Retribution

  • The Soviet Reconquest of Central Ukraine, 1943-44
  • By: Prit Buttar
  • Narrated by: Matthew Waterson
  • Length: 17 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From critically acclaimed Eastern Front expert Prit Buttar comes this detailed and engrossing account of the war on the Eastern Front as the German forces were driven back following the Battle of Kursk.

Making use of the extensive memoirs of German and Russian soldiers to bring their story to life, the narrative follows on from On A Knife's Edge, which described the encirclement and destruction of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad and the offensives and counter-offensives that followed throughout the winter of 1942-43. 

Beginning towards the end of the Battle of Kursk, Retribution explores the massive Soviet offensive that followed the end of Operation Zitadelle, which saw depleted and desperate German troops forced out of Western Ukraine. In this title, Buttar describes in detail the little-known series of near-constant battles that saw a weakened German army confronted by a tactically sophisticated force of over six million Soviet troops. As a result, the Wehrmacht was driven back to the Dnepr and German forces remaining in the Kuban Peninsula south of Rostov were forced back into the Crimea, a retreat which would become one of many in the months that followed.

©2019 Prit Buttar (P)2019 Tantor

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Profile Image for Rodney W. Schmisseur
  • Rodney W. Schmisseur
  • 21-12-2019

Solid, substantial military storytelling

Buttar picks up from “On a Knife’s Edge”, sidestepping the bloodletting at Kursk to detail the Soviet operations the first cleared and then breached the Dnepr with the recapture of Kiev and the drive to Zhitomir that closed 1943.

He weaves a robust storyline, well-mixed with German and Soviet voices from above and below, painting a gripping panorama of the sweeping blows, the desperate counter-thrusts, and the continuous bloodshed and attrition that marked the Soviet Summer/Fall offensives in 1943. The strategic initiative now is firmly in Soviet hands and the desperation of the German defense is vividly told.

One is left appreciating the courage and suffering on both sides by the common soldier, with battle after battle, largely without rest/refit and the vicious attrition that this constant warfare inflicted on the men of both sides. “When is my turn coming?” must have been a constant unavoidable thought in the soldiers minds, as the battles ground on through the fall and early winter, and comrades around you inevitably fell day after day after day.

This portion of the campaign has often been overlooked, and Buttar’s manuscript fills in many long-needed details. As an audiobook it is satisfying with some supplemental maps to provide an overview (see Wikipedia at a minimum) and the narrator does a good job with the Soviet and German references.

I have greatly appreciated Buttar’s now/substantial previous works, and Retribution adds another valuable work into the literature. I am looking forward to his next work!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Spivey
  • 30-12-2019

Quality content but hard to follow

The reader was good. I found myself often confused as to which combatant army was being referred to.

Nearly all units of distance were provided in miles and (kilometers), rather then simply picking a single unit. This made for slightly disruptive sentence listening.

There is a solid recapitulation in the final chapter, however, throughout the book the content is repeated unnecessarily.

I learned a lot and am glad to have listened to this book that the author obviously put a great deal of effort into researching.

4 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Brennan Michaelis
  • Brennan Michaelis
  • 20-05-2020

The best

I cant say enough good thing about all of Prit Buttar! He brings the Eastern Front to the vivid forefront in Both the 1st and Second World Wars.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Bradley Behrhorst
  • Bradley Behrhorst
  • 12-08-2020

Excellent tactical military book

This book has excellent tactical military history. It goes in to detail how the red army pushed back the nazis. It talks about the brutal fighting and the sheer magnitude of the combatants. It spends most of the time (if not all) talking about the different tactics used by the armys from army group north, central and south. If you want a social history this isn’t for you but if you want detail by detail of the fighting by the various army groups on both sides this is for you.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Decimus
  • Decimus
  • 27-01-2021

Give us more

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I certainly highly recommend it to anyone else who likes to listen to world war II or even maybe world war 1 content and this book is probably my favorite.
The only one possible limitation of the book and the way it's written is the it's how easily one can get lost in the details and forget about just not be able to follow the happenings the events the names and everything is just a little I think perhaps if it was an actual book then perhaps I might have found it a little easier to follow. But since it's not and it's an audiobook I hope they add more features that will make it a little easier to follow.
otherwise I think it was a fantastic book and I hope he author writes more like this especially covering the earlier battles like 1941 1942 and 1940 or even 1939 with the Polish invasion so it's an easy five star

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for A. M.
  • A. M.
  • 26-05-2021

Order of battle on steroids

I was lost in the fog of war. Without a map, there was no way to follow along. And with a map, there was no way I truly have known anyway. I often found myself wondering, "Who is attacking whom for what and where again?" My mind glazed over like a slick tire in mud. But I persevered as did the Russians. I do now have a keen respect for Gen Manstein, though. Thank goodness his arms were tied by Hitler.

No doubt that Mr. Buttar knows this aspect of the war better than anyone, at least in terms of the battles. His other book, "Between Giants" (war in the Baltics) was revealing for other reasons aside from the order of battle narrative.

If you're looking for a macro view of the conflict then this is it. If you want an experiential read then move on. Books like Blood Red Snow, Panzer Ace, Panzer Commander, or the classic The Forgotten Soldier would be much more enthralling.



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Profile Image for William R. Todd-Mancillas (Name includes hyphen and camptalized M)
  • William R. Todd-Mancillas (Name includes hyphen and camptalized M)
  • 01-04-2021

TAKING BACK UKRAINE FROM THE GERMANS

Narration varies not at all in rhythm and inflection; therefore, rather monotonous and soporific.

Content is a detailed informative, tedious account of the Russian struggle to take back from the Germans the territories they conquered during the first year of WW2.. Ukraine was a vital resource for both the Russians and Germans, fighting was horrific, and victory hard won. This is a meticulous recounting of that struggle.

The historical backdrop to this conflict is quite interesting.

This audio recommended only for those able to tolerate hours of monotone narration and who have a keen interest in a detailed description of Russian-German fighting during 1942-943.

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Profile Image for Samuel Smith
  • Samuel Smith
  • 18-12-2020

best of the books post kursk

Prit Buttar master of history in Prussia and Ukraine battle scape. Generals, machines, and tacticians

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Profile Image for paul hadfeild
  • paul hadfeild
  • 08-09-2020

Enjoyed it but needs better descriptions .

What i mean is not being used to Russian or German names there are often times when it would have been useful to say "german commander or Russian general " before the name of the person being talked about . I often didn't know what side was betting talked about for a few sentences till some other refrence to home or equipment was mentioned .Other than that it's nice to here about this less mentioned part of the war with acurate Russian representation instead of all the old German s were so great stuff .

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Mr. Anthony Carney
  • Mr. Anthony Carney
  • 18-04-2021

Repetitive clches

This text needs an editor. It also needs an underpinning of material facts that would substitute for cliche.

1 person found this helpful

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