Soldiers to the Last Day: Rhineland- Westphalian 6th Infantry Division, 1935-1945 recounts the history of the German 6th Infantry Division from its formation in 1935 to its destruction at Babruysk in July 1944; then its resurrection and continued fighting until the end of the war. Among the first divisions established by the Wehrmacht, the 6th Infantry Division had one of the longest and bloodiest records of continuous combat of any division-Allied or Axis. Engaging in combat within weeks of the outbreak of WWII, the division fought to the last hour of the war. Based primarily on German sources, in particular the rare divisional and regimental histories and war diaries, and on personal accounts and letters of its soldiers, Soldiers to the Last Day presents the German view of the war from inside divisional headquarters and down to the individual Landser as the division marches across France in 1940, advances to the Volga during Operation Barbarossa, fights the brutal battles of Rzhev, Kursk, Babruysk; and makes last desperate attempts to defend the homeland in 1945. It is a tale of courage, determination, suffering, and in the end-betrayal.
Country of Publication:
03 April 2020
Acknowledgments; Author's Note; Introduction; 1 From the Ashes; 2 Mobilization and War: First Blood; 3 Kameraden Wir Marschieren im Westen ; 4 Barbarossa I: Into the Unknown; 5 Barbarossa II: The Volga and Beyond; 6 A Winter in Hell; 7 The First Winter Battle of Rzhev; 8 The Summer Battle of Rzhev; 9 Wir Halten Rshew! The Second Winter Battle of Rzhev; 10 Operation Buffel; 11 Operation Freischutz; 12 Zitadelle; 13 The Year of Retreat; 14 Death of a Division; 15 Resurrection and the Warka; 16 Silesian Requiem; Epilogue; Endnotes; Appendix I: Men of the Division; Appendix II: Das Ritterkreuz; Appendix III: Das Birkenkreuz; Bibliography.
Author of Feldpost: the War Letters of Friedrich Reiner Niemann, Denis Havel graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a degree in Psychology. He has worked in a wide range of occupations, from gravedigger to teacher to Wall Street investor. An authority of Prussian-German military, his other fields of study include early Germanic languages, literature, and culture. He is active in various German-American organizations that preserve the German language, culture, and traditions.