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The Eastern Front (Graphic Modern History: World War II (Crabtree))

Press: Crabtree Publishing Company (February 1, 2012)
Publication Date:2012-2
Author Name:Jeffrey, Gary


This exciting graphic novel recounts three historic land and air battles in Russia and Germany during World War II:


Children's Books,Comics & Graphic Novels,History,Education & Reference,History,Military & Wars

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  •     [Mom says: my 6th grader is reviewing these books.]Gary Jeffrey has written many graphic history books about World War II. I am trying to read them all. They are good at teaching because 1) they use color. 2) they all start with 4 pages of background about the war, so you understand the context. 3) they are divided into chapters, and each chapter tells the story of a battle from one person's perspective. It may be an ally or a civilian, or it may be an enemy, so the author gives you a good sense of what it is like to be in a war. 4) the book has 4 pages in the back explaining the battles. 5) glossary and index. The glossary explains words like: shrapnel, Stuka, platoon, mortar, juggernaut, etc.First battle: The Battle of Stalingrad, told by Gunter K. Koschorrek, a German machine gunner. The scary thing about this battle was a Russian tank firing into a German position with its main cannon. The cannon fire exploded over the troops, and the troops dove and opened fire with machine guns. Clever German enginners raised a pole with grenades up into the tank tracks, and Kaboom! This was a small moment of victory for the Germans, but they lost the battle.Second battle: The Wehrmacht retreat through Ukraine, told by Hans-Ulrich Rudel, a Stuka pilot. The planes in this chapter are well drawn. I didn't know that after the bombs were dropped, a computerized system in the Stuka pulled the planes up into a 6-G climb. The pilot, Rudel, was rescuing some rookies when his landing gear got stuck in the mud. He had to walk, and then encountered some Russians. They fired, he was wounded, and he had to make his way to the German border. It took a few days to get there. He was badly wounded and his feet were cut to ribbons. But he went right back to bombing tanks in his Stuka, wounds and all. That takes a lot of courage. (Fun fact: Rudel destroyed more than 2,000 targets, including 519 tanks. He survived the war.)Third battle: The Red Army advance to Romania, told by Evgeni Bessonov, a Russian tank commander. This chapter shows real tank action. A German unit of tanks had been deployed to delay the Soviets, waiting in ambush in a village. The Russians used mortars to battle the tanks, but they didn't disable the tanks or machine guns. Bessonov was ordered to advance on the tank positions, or else face executions. Those Russians were scary. As the Russians attacked, the Germans fled and left behind a fully fueled Panzer tank. The outcome: the Russians won.Who should read this book? Don't read it if blood makes you queasy. Grown ups and kids will like this book. It sort of teaches that war is awful, but also that battle can be glorious.


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