The savage partisan war on the Eastern Front during World War II saw a wide variety of forces deployed by both sides. On the Soviet side, civilian partisans fought alongside and in co-operation with Red Army troops and Red Army and NKVD 'special forces'. On the German side, German Army security divisions, with indigenous components including cavalry, fought alongside SS police and Waffen-SS units and other front-line troops employed for short periods in the anti-partisan role.
In addition to providing the background history of the forces of both sides, this study focuses upon three examples of German anti-partisan operations that show varied success in dealing with the Soviet partisan threat. Notably, it covers a major operation in north-west Russia during the spring of 1943 – Operation Spring Clean – that saw Wehrmacht security forces including local components fighting alongside troops under the SS umbrella against a number of Soviet partisan brigades. During the fighting, German forces even employed captured French tanks from earlier in the war against the partisans.
Featuring specially commissioned artwork and drawing upon an array of sources, this is an absorbing account of the brutal fighting between German security forces and their Soviet partisan opponents during the long struggle for victory on World War II's Eastern Front.