World Battlefronts: Catastrophe

Across the damp, dark face of southern Russia, a vast and portentous victory took shape. At a mile an hour, the front rolled towards the Black Sea. Fifty German divisions were in retreat. Hushed, frightened Bucharest babbled of peace.

Along the 500-mile-long front, from the Dnieper's mouth to the Carpathians, four Red Armies hacked their way forward. Their prime objective: the web of railroads over which the enemy could be reinforced—or retreat. This week, all but one inferior escape line into Rumania had been cut. Birds of ill omen hovered over the fringes...

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