No German Army Group suffered more in the last months of the war than did Army Group Center. Beset from the southeast, east and north by Russians, and from the west by George Patton’s Third Army, their military situation was hopeless.

But the hapless soldier stuck in the front lines had more to worry about than enemy bombs and bullets, they had a commander who thought the mass-killing of his own men was how to lead men in battle. Make standing to fight against the enemy less lethal than retreating, that was Field Marshal Schorner’s philosophy, and he wasn’t picky about whether the soldier in question was really guilty or not. Setting the example was what mattered.