Author(s): Prit Buttar
Late 1942 saw the strategic situation on the Eastern Front change completely. The encirclement of Paulus' Sixth Army in Stalingrad trapped a significant portion of the Wehrmacht's combat forces in the ruins of the devastated city, where they would ultimately die or be taken prisoner, and at the same time the entire German position was left in a catastrophic state.
The year's campaign had seen the Germans advance first east, but then increasingly to the south and southeast; the Soviet counteroffensive not only isolated Sixth Army; it also raised the possibility of the collapse of the entire front. The ultimate failure of the Red Army to achieve this is due in no small part to the efforts of one of the Wehrmacht's greatest commanders: Erich von Manstein, who rebuilt the German front line and fought a mobile campaign, in which all the strengths of the German forces, and all the weaknesses of their Soviet opponents, were revealed. Written by one of the world's leading experts on the Eastern Front, On a Knife's Edge, is a story of brilliant generalship, lost opportunities, and survival in the harshest theater of war.