Edited By James S. Corum, Olaf Mertelsmann and Kaarel Piirimäe
The Baltic Region in the Soviet–German War, 1941–1945
David M. Glantz
Because of its key strategic location along the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, the most important water artery in northern Europe, the Baltic region (specifically, the territory of the three Baltic states) figured prominently in the strategies that Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union formulated to conduct the Soviet–German War,1941–1945. As the war progressed, the region proved an important seat of war as the German Wehrmacht and Soviet Red Army planned and conducted military operations to realize their strategic ends.
Although often eclipsed by massive military operations along the vital western and southwestern strategic axes, operations in the Baltic region and along its associated northwestern axis played an important strategic role in the course and outcome of the war as a whole. This brief survey catalogues those military operations that took place in the Baltic region, assesses their impact, and identifies the most important questions about combat operations in the region that will need answers in the future
The Baltic region, encompassing the historic lands of the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian peoples and the modern Baltic states, has long been a cockpit of war and a pathway for armies marching to and fro between eastern, central, and northern Europe. As early as the 13th and 14th centuries, the Teutonic Knights and the associated Hanseatic League waged war with the emerging Polish and Lithuanian States. In the 15th and 16th centuries Poland, Sweden,...
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