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Lost Victories

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4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  1,093 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Originally published in Germany in 1955, and in England and the United States in 1958, this classic memoir of WWII by a man who was an acknowledged military genius and probably Germany's top WWII general, is now made available again. Field Marshal Erich von Manstein described his book as a personal narrative of a soldier, discussing only those matters that had direct beari ...more
Hardcover, 576 pages
Published 1982 by Arms and Armour Press (first published 1955)
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Armin Hennig
59/100

Wenn es um Rhetorik aus der Liga der deutsche Soldat war tüchtig und tapfer, aber die oberste Führung war schlecht geht, verdient das Buch natürlich fünf Sterne. In der zweiten Hälfte kommt so etwa alle zehn Seiten eine Klage, dass Hitler die dringend erforderlichen und früh angeforderten Truppen erst viel zu spät und oft nur kleckerlesweise geliefert hätte. Auch die Unfähigkeit des GröFaz einmal erobertes Terrain fahren zu lassen, um nicht alles zu verlieren, wird im selben Rhythmus thema
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Steven
Mar 18, 2008 Steven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war-and-military
If Rommel was Germany's greatest fighting general from WWII, von Manstein was her greatest strategic general. A tremendous book, especially for its insights into dealing personally with Hitler (not easy!)
'Aussie Rick'
Having first read this book in 1988 I find that it is still one of the best military memoirs of WW2. It stands next to 'Panzer Leader' by Heinz Guderian, 'Neither Fear Nor Hope' by General F. Von Senger Und Etterlin and 'The Rommel Papers'. The book is very easy to read and is valuable to any one who wishes to understand 'the other side of the hill'. His accounts of the various actions he was involved in during the War are excellent and his views on Hitler and German strategy make this a great b ...more
Kris
May 03, 2012 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really great book and I can't believe I haven't read this up until now. I can tell anyone that is interested in this area of history that this is a must read for WW II Eastern front military history buffs. Unlike the last set of books I just read written by David Glantz this book is very approachable for the person who has an interest in this area of history and wants a taste of what it was like from the viewpoint of a German general. This would be like reading a biography of a Confed ...more
Olethros
Apr 23, 2014 Olethros rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-Fuente subjetiva pero fuente al fin y al cabo.-

Género. Historia.

Lo que nos cuenta. Trabajo que mezcla historia y autobiografía profesional del conocido, importante, destacado y laureado Mariscal de Campo, centrado en su intervención en el devenir militar de la Segunda Guerra Mundial y que nos llevará de Polonia a la URSS (la parte del león de esta obra) pasando por Francia, hasta el 3 de abril de 1944 en el que cede el mando de su Grupo de Ejércitos.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers
...more
Hadrian
Aug 03, 2010 Hadrian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant and incisive military memoir. I feel a degree sympathy for the man, to be so intelligent and capable yet so thwarted. Of course, in a battle between Nazis and Stalin's USSR, it would have to be the lesser of two evils.
John
Oct 10, 2016 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
v. Manstein's book is interesting on many levels. He provides strategic thinking on the course of the war and the options available to the Germans, insights into Hitler's management of the war, great tactical insight into the operations on his portion of the Eastern front. It is a bit repetitive and tedious as seemingly every deployment of his forces is described. It would have also been interesting to learn how he finished the war and his observations of the final year of the war after his remo ...more
Jay
Nov 20, 2016 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Field Marshal Erich von Manstein was probably the best operational commander the Germans produced during World War II, and possibly the best of any side; certainly he was up there with Slim, Patton, and Chuikov. This is his memoir, written in the 1950s. It is a purely military memoir, and very rarely goes into any personal or political topics.

The book begins with a very brief description of Manstein's service prior to the 1930s, having reached the rank of Captain by the end of World War I. He th
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Tom
Aug 15, 2007 Tom rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am about half way through this book. Manstein's book is too typical. German soldiers were brave, did their duty, didn't pillage, didn't torture, the Soviet's were brutal, and my favorite, were the victims of a totalitarian system!

This book doesn't provide any real insights, but I guess that is because what he said was published in 1958 and have been a part of the history books and debate since then.

I would read it in spite of all this, because even though he may say what is to be expected it
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Patrick Belair
This was one of the best war time memoirs that I've read. Manstein was a brillant commander. I wonder what his legacy would be if he could have spent all his efforts on his job instead of fighting for the resourses he needed to do his job from the narrow minded and weak superiors.The world is grateful that things played out the way they did. This book takes the reader from Poland to the offenses in the west to Barbarossa and the failed attempts to free Sixth Army and ultimatly there fate to the ...more
Steven Peterson
Nov 29, 2009 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Manstein's "Lost Victories" has value for the reader for at least two different reasons. One, it is a first hand history of events in World War II from a key German general's perspective. Two, it is an intriguing, unself-conscious reflection on good people carrying out their tasks for the worst possible causes (in this case, Adolf Hitler's horrific vision of a Third Reich).

As Martin Blumenson notes in his "Introduction" (pages 10-11): "The tragedy for all thoughtful, knowledgeable, and sensitiv
...more
Lei
Jul 23, 2014 Lei rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii

It is always a very rewarding experience for any history enthusiastic to get a glimpse at the event through first hand account. In this case, the memoir of V. Manstein gives a very interesting combination of first-hand appreciation of the developing event and front line experience (at least in the early years when he still commands a corps). In addition to the descriptions of the event with an emphasize that might be different from typical history book, the author also add in many insight and co
...more
Sicofonia
Feb 13, 2014 Sicofonia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lost Victories is the Erich von Manstein's recollection of the operations and events he took part during WW2.
It is not an autobiography strictly speaking, as there's very little said about his childhood or his military career during WWI. There's an appendix at the end of the book with a brief biography, but it is very scarce.
However, v. Manstein succeeds in giving the reader a clear and accurate insight of every grand operation he was involved in. In that sense, the book has an exception histori
...more
Colin Powell
Nov 17, 2013 Colin Powell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was engrossed by this book of Erich von Manstein. It gives a great insight to the German Tank units of WWII. I would say it is apologetic in some ways concerning the terrible things the regime of the Nazi nations did. It glides over these matters, but then we are listening to a soldier's account concerning military battles. Manstein was convicted of mistreating prisoners after WWII, but was not sentenced to death. That is the only reason I don't give five stars. Perhaps that is bias on my part ...more
Curt Lorde
This memoir and Panzer Battles are highly informative, well written and highly biased accounts of the grim Eastern Front campaigns. The author belonged to the Junker class of military families of Prussian or East German origin. Their aristocratic mindset and their hatred of the Weimar Republic and communism led them to forever blight their honor by serving one of the Greatest foul one of western civilization. The antisemitism permeating their class didn't help either. But as a military look at w ...more
Tin Wee
Jul 13, 2016 Tin Wee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Manstein provides his perspectives of the major wars in WWII, from the early German successes to their turning point in Russia. His frustration with Hitler is clear, and the book also details his disagreements with Hitler and the OKH abt the handling of the war. This ultimately led to his being relieved of command in the East. While some may argue that hindsight is always 20-20, Manstein provides his rationales for his proposals which are generally sound and probably would have changed the cours ...more
Olethros
Apr 23, 2014 Olethros rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-Fuente subjetiva pero fuente al fin y al cabo.-

Género. Historia.

Lo que nos cuenta. Trabajo que mezcla historia y autobiografía profesional del conocido, importante, destacado y laureado Mariscal de Campo, centrado en su intervención en el devenir militar de la Segunda Guerra Mundial y que nos llevará de Polonia a la URSS (la parte del león de esta obra) pasando por Francia, hasta el 3 de abril de 1944 en el que cede el mando de su Grupo de Ejércitos.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers
...more
Dean Marquis
Feb 12, 2014 Dean Marquis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this has been the finest ww2 history book I've read to date. The excellent part about it is the detail. Guderian called Manstien Germany's finest operational mind. I enjoyed many parts. The cut through the Ardennes in the 1940 which decided the fate of France was in doubt because of the opposition put up by some French Colonial Infantry.
Paulus lists of protien/carb/fat rations at stalingrad his statement that there biggest problem was that soldiers were freezing to death on perimeter.
manstien w
...more
Charlie
Feb 04, 2014 Charlie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written. However, it goes into a lot of detail on who, why, what and where on too many events. Great for those that like this sort of thing. Good for historians and students of WW11. I should say REALLY GOOD for the historians and students. I am not one of them.
The first part of the book deals with Poland and of course the start of WW11 as we know it. That part was very, very interesting. But I got bogged down on the rest of the book.
I'll give it a 4 because of ALL the info that probably
...more
Jeff Sedlak
I love German military history but Mannstein belabored his points and for the most part did nothing but beat points to death that the German military was brave and was made of great soldiers and that he knew what he had to do in order to win but was always shot down by his superiors and Hitler. What information he had outside of these points was interesting and intrigued me but it was few and far in between the pages.
Adventure
Sep 21, 2012 Adventure rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very detailed about troop movements and attack campaigns. Knowing that he was lying about a lot of this book makes it really interesting, since it was written before everybody knew he was evil. He sounds like a good guy just doing his job while reading this. Makes it all Hitler's fault... But lots of very good insight into the German soldier.
Amanda Goodman
Feb 15, 2011 Amanda Goodman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, which is surprising as I didn't expect to. With all of my heart, I did not want to like a man who was so closely connected with Hitler, but Mastein was so candid and humorous, that I couldn't help it. I learned a lot from this book, and it really broke the veneer of strength often found around Hitler.
John Grinstead
A tremendous personal account of Manstein's campaigns from Poland, through France, during the invasion of Russia and to the conquest of the Crimea. Significant for his account of his meetings and relationship with Hitler, who, despite Manstein's skill as a military commander, relieved him of his command in March 1944.
Graham
Must read for people interested in the Eastern Front and WWII: This is one of the most interesting books I have read about WWII. Obviously it is biased by the author but I found it extremely interesting. Von Manstein, besides being one of history's most brilliant generals sheds some light on dealing with Hitler as well
Richard
Jun 17, 2015 Richard rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Hard work! Long time it's taken me to read a book and I didn't finish it. Like Manstein I got bogged down at Stalingrad. Interesting facts and great to see from another perspective. More of a text book, unlike any other biographies/memoirs I have enjoyed.
Terence Hiscock
Nov 27, 2009 Terence Hiscock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mansteins war memoirs show what Germany could have done to win the war in 1939-45. Thank God that Hitler didn't go with his ideas? Sure thing!

Read this book if you are interested in World War 2 at all.
Phil Geusz
Nov 24, 2015 Phil Geusz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Von Manstein may or may not've been "Hitler's Most Brilliant General", but he could write better than most. Like most of the German military leadership he was an ugly, brutal man at heart, but this book is crucial to understanding the French and Russian campaigns regardless.
Rasmus Nord
Very interesting, but I do prefer the biography with the context it adds. It is telling that Mannstein reflects so little on the wider struggles and misery of the soldiers and civilians on both sides.
Tom
Aug 16, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Het militaire verhaal achter WO II. Strategie en tactiek. In combinatie met Wages of destruction echt een aanrader.
Vedran Vrhovac
Dec 04, 2013 Vedran Vrhovac rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Pomalo naporna knjiga. Zivcira me i von Mansteinov stav prema ratu, posebice kada hvali njemacke vojnike i domoljube koji brane Treci Reich u Istocnoj Ukrajini!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Panzer Leader
  • Panzer Battles: A Study of the Employment of Armor in the Second World War
  • Hitler Moves East 1941–1943
  • The Battle of Kursk
  • Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck
  • Soldat: Reflections of a German Soldier, 1936-1949 (Dell War)
  • The Rommel Papers
  • In Deadly Combat: A German Soldier's Memoir of the Eastern Front
  • Defeat Into Victory: Battling Japan in Burma and India, 1942-1945
  • To Lose a Battle: France 1940
  • Crusade in Europe
  • Black Edelweiss
  • It Never Snows in September: The German View of Market-Garden and the Battle of Arnhem, September 1944
  • Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa
  • A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge
  • A Soldier's Story
  • Iron Coffins: A Personal Account of the German U-boat Battles of World War II
  • Barbarossa
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Erich von Manstein served the German military as a lifelong professional soldier. He became one of the most prominent commanders of Germany's World War II armed forces (Wehrmacht). During World War II he attained the rank of Field Marshal (Generalfeldmarschall) and was held in high esteem by his fellow officers as one of the Wehrmacht's best military minds.

He was the initiator and one of the plann
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“No Senior military commander can for years on end expect his soldiers to lay down their lives for victory and then precipitate defeat by his own hand.” 1 likes
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