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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth

 
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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 1:28:32 PM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marquo

This thread is hysterical; I would relish the opportunity to have multiple beers with you all around a table. Hell, I would buy a an entrance fee.

Marquo



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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 1:33:34 PM   
Marquo


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Attachment (1)

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 2:58:05 PM   
elmo3

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

Heh, rumors of Glantz' death have been greatly exaggerated, Mr. Beevor....



Yeah the guy can't even get that simple fact right yet he is used to show how Glantz' Eastern Front research is faulty. Not to mention he does not know how to pronounce Uranus.


I think this whole thread is really a diversion. The main attack on Glantz will come later from another direction. Or maybe this thread is really the main attack that just failed miserably. If so then future apologists will write about how it was really a misunderstanding and it was only meant to divert our attention from the main operation. Time will tell...

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 3:14:08 PM   
Seminole


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quote:

Heh, rumors of Glantz' death have been greatly exaggerated, Mr. Beevor....


Well, he did come to bury Glantz, not to praise him...

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 4:10:25 PM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: elmo3

I think this whole thread is really a diversion. The main attack on Glantz will come later from another direction. Or maybe this thread is really the main attack that just failed miserably. If so then future apologists will write about how it was really a misunderstanding and it was only meant to divert our attention from the main operation. Time will tell...


Brilliant! Just brilliant!

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 4:15:20 PM   
turtlefang

 

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All -

I apologize to Michael T for way I respond to his the email. I should not have turn it into a personal insult. And I also apologize to the rest of the forum as personal attacks don't have a place here. All I can plead is a long day at work, a couple of Scotchs, and the fact that I like to play one upmanship more that I should. That is not an excuse, the email, regardless, should not have been written in the way it was.

I will make it a point not to do that in the future.

My first email, quoting Michael T, was not intended as a shot at him, but to raise the point that anyone using Glanzt as to make the point that Soviets are superior tacticians or strategies shouldn't be using Glanzt. His POV just doesn't support that position.

I much prefer the discussion - and disagree - to be around the history and welcome any disagreement or difference of opinion with people citing various sources to back their opinion.

As a note, I read Glanzt - and virtually every other WWII author of note - on the Eastern front in English and many in other languages. I have for a more years that I like to admit, studied some of the original source material myself. So I do express my opinions in these areas and feel I know this area fairly well.

IMO, Glanzt is one of the best Eastern Front historians of this generation. His discoveries - based on original research in the Soviet Archives rivals Samuel Morrison's work on the US Navy. But Glanzt has never held up the original work from the Soviets as the be all and end all - its a piece of the puzzle to be used with other historical archives and documents. And his ability to combine both the Soviet and German sources on the East Front remains unequaled at this time.

And he sometimes draws conclusions that can't always be supported by the data and represent his theories. And his writing isn't that great. You have to work at getting through most of his works.

Beevor's not in his class - but to give Beevor credit, he did raise the issue of Russian treatment of German civilians during WW2 in a way it had not been openly discussed before or researched. And that did start a line of research regarding Russian war crime violations that had been "forgotten" (as well as eventually spilling over to US/Canadian/British war crimes).

Using multiple sources is always a good idea. But ignoring Glanzt is foolish - he is one of the primary sources in the West at this time. And until someone else steps up and does catch's up and then digs deeper, he is the current leader in the field.

Regarding MARS

As far as German spy operations during MARs, here's the story:

On November 8, Hitler received a report from R. Gelen, the head of the Russian Department of the Intelligence Service (the founder of West Germany's counterespionage agency in the future). There the Rzhev Salient was reported to have been chosen by Soviet SCCR as the main aim of a new offensive, according to intelligence reports. According to the documents of OKW that was the very wary document. Later Gelen claimed that he had especially focused attention on the Rzhev Salient. He had reasons for doing this. As a matter of fact on Nov. 04, Abwehr got a message about the preparing of a Soviet offensive in Rzhev sector. It claimed the offensive was to start on Nov. 15.

This information had to be so valuable as it had been received from agent "Maks" working as a communication officer in the Soviet General Staff. Later "Maks" was awarded an Iron Cross with Swords. Gelen noted that information of this agent was always exact and extremely valuable. It was really the truth, as all the information for him had been prepared directly in the Soviet General Staff and been approved by one of its leaders - S. Shtemenko. In reality "Maks" was an NKVD agent "Geine" - lieutenant Alexey Demyanov.

One of the leaders of the Soviet Intelligent Service - P. Sudoplatov in his book "Spetsoperatsii. Lubyanka i Kreml, 1930 - 1950" (translation: "Special Operations. Lubyanka and Kremlin, 1930s - 1950s") was writing: "...Zhukov, who had been kept unaware of this operation, dearly-paid for it. In the Rzhev offensive thousands of our soldiers were killed. In his memoirs he was writing that the result of this operation had been unacceptable. But he never knew that Germans had been warned about this offensive and that's why they concentrated such force there...".

This is the story regarding the spy. However, there is no listing of "Maks" ever receiving the Iron Cross. And I haven't been able to find the Nov 8 briefing document for Hitler - even though all the other Nov 8 daily briefing documents are on file for review. Doesn't mean it didn't happen, but there should be a record of the Iron Cross awarded - and there's not. In any case, this story remains "unproven" - at least to me, until some documentation is presented. Gelen never mentions it in any of stuff (and Lord knows, he willing to take credit for finding a tank in a haystack much less an offensive that was defeated); no briefing document, and no listing of Maks or his name on Iron Cross winners. Seems thin without some documentation.


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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 5:53:13 PM   
Schmart

 

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Michael T,

For those of us without current access to Beevor's book, perhaps you could elaborate a bit as to how and why you feel that Glantz was wrong about Uranus/Mars, or at least explain to us what it is that Beevor details. You have received some seemingly well-reasoned arguments, however these arguments have so far gone unanswered...

< Message edited by Schmart -- 7/31/2012 5:58:51 PM >

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 5:57:55 PM   
Schmart

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T
Glantz, by basing his conclusions on mostly Soviet records, must by definition, result in his work having a Soviet bias. Simply because he does not hold other national records with the same weight.


Would that then mean that most works written based moreso on German records are German biased? Since before the opening of the Soviet archives most works on the eastern front were based on German records, would that say something about their bias, judgement, and accuracy? Are there any works/authors who use a better balance of multiple archive sources?

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 6:02:14 PM   
Aurelian

 

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Well, using a passage in Beevor's book to claim that all of Glantz's work is wrong, the very same book that states that sailors of the USS Oklahoma were trapped *underneath* the ship......

All those books that cover the attempted rescue of those trapped *in* the capsized ship got it wrong?


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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 6:03:56 PM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Schmart


quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T
Glantz, by basing his conclusions on mostly Soviet records, must by definition, result in his work having a Soviet bias. Simply because he does not hold other national records with the same weight.


Would that then mean that most works written based moreso on German records are German biased? Since before the opening of the Soviet archives most works on the eastern front were based on German records, would that say something about their bias, judgement, and accuracy? Are there any works/authors who use a better balance of multiple archive sources?



Yes it would. And throw in how many of them came out during the Cold War...

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 6:17:04 PM   
lycortas

 

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Probably the most important thing to remember about the Soviet archives is that getting access in the post-Soviet era is not a balm for all of our east front historical woes.

Stalin was unique in history, he had no loyalty to anyone.
Stalin made sure that both during the Civil War and during the second world war he looked great. After he died Zhukov tried resurrecting his own reputation through creative rewrites of Soviet history. Much of his rewrites were attacks on Stalin.

Then Khrushchev got in the game and he was no fan of Zhukov's. Khrushchev rewrote much of Istoriya and SUPPOSEDLY purged a great deal from the state archives.

After Khrushchev's death more changes were made.

How much Glantz gained from access is debatable; i suspect most low level unit documents were of use. But stuff about Stalin screwing things up (or not screwing things up) are really hard to tell if they are accurate.

One of my favorites is the downfall of Timoshenko; did he screw up at Kharkov or did Stalin? Most sources say Stalin did but those sources were heavily influenced by Khrushchev and Zhukov, what were their relationships with Timoshenko?

I just picked up Glantz for the first time.. i would never say he is pro Soviet, he actually shows me info about Army Group North that Seaton never did making the Germans look a bit better. But i am stunned by all of the mistakes in Glantz or terrible editing.

Michael

And Flavious, law, really? I am so dissapointed in you. I have my masters in Linguistics Archaeology and Astrophysics.

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 6:22:13 PM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: turtlefang

As far as German spy operations during MARs, here's the story:

On November 8, Hitler received a report from R. Gelen, the head of the Russian Department of the Intelligence Service (the founder of West Germany's counterespionage agency in the future). There the Rzhev Salient was reported to have been chosen by Soviet SCCR as the main aim of a new offensive... snip


Great post Turtlefang! Interesting, but I share your scepticism. Like all spy stories and alleged intelligence coups, it is hard to determine what is true and not. People seem to like all kinds of conspiracies, especially involving intelligence, so a lot of unsubstantiated stories are going around. Also, sometimes the story might originally be intended to hide the existence of another more sensitive intelligence source.

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 6:32:33 PM   
Flaviusx


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Oh I quit practicing a while ago.



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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 9:11:07 PM   
turtlefang

 

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Tarhunnas -

Thanks for the comment. While I am very skeptical, I still won't completely discount it. The Soviets scored some incredible spy victories over the Germans in the war (Lucy being one of the most famous), and there is creditable evidence that they continued to have some (or at least one), high level spy in the German inner circle right up to the end of the war. I could see this story as a cover for something not true, a cover for an existing spy ring, and even true with a different twist. I, and it's my opinion, just have a hard time believing that even Stalin would throw away that many troops and material on a "diversion" when NO ONE at the time knew Saturn would work or that it would work as well as it did.

Lycortas -

Glanzt is a great researcher, a poor writer and needs truly professional help in editing and no one knows why he doesn't get it. Although I suspect he just doesn't consider it important - his lecture notes are simply terrible, I've picked up a few over the years and they look like an 8th grader could do them.

Unfortunately, Erickson - who was as good a researcher as Glanzt just didn't have the access to the same material. And he was a much better writer.

As far as what's in the achieves and what's been destroyed, your right, we will never know. The USSR used disinformation and revisionist history to support internal and external politics. And it was perfectly alright to change history or destroy it to make someone look better - or worse.

Zhukov and Timoshenko were rivals, BTW, and Zhukov the junior at the time. Stalin, from what we can tell, was never a fan of Timoshenko - he wan't one of Stalin's cavalry boys from the revolution so the relationship wasn't "strong" (although being one of the cavalry boys wasn't a guarantee of anything over the long term with Stalin). We don't have enough information on Kharkov although I suspect Timoshenko screwed up. Stalin proved remarkably tolerate of losing when he interfered as long as the general fought and didn't retreat or give up too soon. He was much less tolerant if the general went against his advice and lost. Or just lost. Just to be clear, this is speculation on my part. And I think a lot of the "blame Stalin" came out of the Cold War.

Khrushchev, on the other hand, was really a rather minor party official in the Great War. He had history rewritten to enhance his role but he didn't really have a big role or influence in WW2 - and no where near as much as was assumed by the West based on Russian sources and where he ended up (on top). It was a case of the "Big Lie".

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 9:44:23 PM   
Flaviusx


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The official Soviet line at the time on Kharkov was that it was Bagramyan's fault, then Chief of Staff for Timoshenko. He was in the doghouse for a while after that, but clawed his way to the top in due course, taking over the 11. Guards Army and eventually 1. Baltic Front. Went on to become a MSU.

Timoshenko for his part was eased into obscurity.

Glantz started off self publishing, bear in mind, and picked up a lot of bad habits from that. He also I think cares more about quantity than quality, his output is impressive as hell. But one does miss the polish of Erickson who would spend years getting a book just right and had very exacting standards in contrast to Glantz who just pushes stuff out the door at a relentless pace.

Erickson was a formal academic with extremely rigorous standards, and Glantz really isn't, he pulled himself up by his own bootstraps and more or less occupied a scholarly space by default. Nobody is even contesting it.

If Erickson were still alive, we'd get some healthy competition between the two. They are strong in different ways.



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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 10:01:02 PM   
Aurelian

 

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I think Glantz should team up with House, or someone like him, more often.

I've read Erickson's "The Road to..." more than once. But have yet to finish Glantz's "Colossus Reborn" or even "To the Gates of Stalingrad."

Can't argue with it. Glantz could use some polish. But I suspect he has a different audience in mind.

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 7/31/2012 10:38:53 PM   
Michael T


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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAeqVGP-GPM

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 8/1/2012 2:02:19 AM   
lycortas

 

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Turtlefang,

Fangs, um, thanks for the info about Timoshenko. I think you could not be to talented and survive Stalin. Frunze was almost undoubtedly killed off in surgery and then Tukachevsky was purged for Un-communist behavior and taking bribes from capitalists... i have always felt that Timoshenko's reputation was more than his talent. He was a very minor officer in the Civil War.

I might disagree about Khrushchev though; he was the third highest ranked commissar in Russia in '41 and by the end of the war he was the senior commissar. He was hardly unimportant.

thanks,
Mike

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 8/1/2012 2:13:48 AM   
NavalNewZ


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Well done. I was worried that this was going down *that road* like a thread I saw on boardgamegeek that descended into 15 pages revolving around an individual who was defending his definition of 'irony, because his original point was long forgotten. I'm impressed at those who have managed to turn this around, and even made it interesting. Thank you.

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 8/1/2012 2:16:33 AM   
hfarrish


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It actually would be interesting to know the level of post-grad education on this forum...I suspect it would actually be very, very high. Law, Fordham U., 2006 myself...

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 8/1/2012 1:31:33 PM   
Marquo


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Medicine, Universite de Liege, 1980...

Marquo

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 8/1/2012 2:15:17 PM   
elmo3

 

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School of Hard Knocks

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 8/1/2012 2:40:42 PM   
parusski


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76mm said:
quote:

This thread has gotten truly surreal, arguing about who is right and wrong without even knowing what issue is being discussed.


Well sir you are wrong and I am right. Disprove me.

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 8/1/2012 7:35:26 PM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: elmo3

School of Hard Knocks


That is one tough school. And it's a lifetime long.

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 8/5/2012 2:55:55 AM   
Zebedee


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quote:

ORIGINAL: el hefe

The Germans have always relied on quick victories in order to win their wars with quick overwhelming knock out blows to prevent long and drawn out campaigns. They had to be quick to respond to threats from multiple directions. This strategic thinking formed the basis of their military culture for hundreds of years. The German military culture focused on operational and small unit tactics and superior leadership to deal with these neighborly threats. Because of this focus, it almost completely neglected logistics and strategic intelligence and any strategic warfare capability. Once the knockout blow against the Soviet Union passed, Germany didn't have a chance for a total victory in my opinion with few options and capability to wage a strategic war. The Soviets had enough manpower, material, and space to survive the initial assaults. Then, it learned to fight back.

Trey



Frieser in Blitzkrieg Legend present an interestingly nuanced view of this. Worth reading if you've not yet. Argument basically is that lessons were learned from WW1 but promptly set aside by many after 1940. Would also say that logistics weren't neglected (cf complaints about Rommel from General Staff, logistics for Barbarossa performing as required for the initial planning) but strained beyond all reasonable limits by 'victory fever'. Just a by-the-by.

Harrison's work on the Soviet economy is of interest. By all historical standards, the SU should have collapsed. Why it didn't is an interesting discussion.

Anyways, I came into this thread expecting some factually based debunking of Glantz as a historian. I must confess to not being surprised that the thread failed to deliver. There are errors in Glantz' work. But it's utterly assinine to point to a disagreement with Beevor over intent for Mars and make dubious claims on the back of that. I do however enjoy Michael T's threads on how to better game the mechanics of WitE. Those at least are very enlightening and give me pointers on what to avoid when finding someone to play against :)

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 8/5/2012 8:10:47 PM   
LiquidSky


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One good thing about this, is it prompted me to go out and buy a couple books. I picked up Antony Beevor's Stalingrad, and Glantz's Clash of Titans.

First thing I notice is that Beevor seems to write at about a high school level of history. (Or history for the masses). Glantz is more a graduate level reference book. With greater detail, I suppose, comes a greater chance of error.

And I notice that Beevor uses these books in his bibliography:

Glantz, David, Soviet Military Deception in the Second World War, London, 1989 ———, The Role of Intelligence in Soviet Military Strategy in World War II, Novato, Calif., 1990 Glantz, David, and House, J. M., When Titans Clashed, Kansas City, 1996

So it seems Beevor at least appreciates Glantz's work.

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 8/5/2012 9:11:28 PM   
hfarrish


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Beevor is a good writer, which translates well into general histories. Glantz is a horrible writer that doesn't but does have good research. Best advice I've ever had was to read the Glantz books edited by J. House...makes a huge difference.

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 8/5/2012 9:32:50 PM   
gids

 

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One good thing about this, is it prompted me to go out and buy a couple books. I picked up Antony Beevor's Stalingrad, and Glantz's Clash of Titans.

First thing I notice is that Beevor seems to write at about a high school level of history. (Or history for the masses). Glantz is more a graduate level reference book. With greater detail, I suppose, comes a greater chance of error.

And I notice that Beevor uses these books in his bibliography:

Glantz, David, Soviet Military Deception in the Second World War, London, 1989 ———, The Role of Intelligence in Soviet Military Strategy in World War II, Novato, Calif., 1990 Glantz, David, and House, J. M., When Titans Clashed, Kansas City, 1996

So it seems Beevor at least appreciates Glantz's work.





Very nice :)

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RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 8/5/2012 10:07:50 PM   
Apollo11


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Hi all,

quote:

ORIGINAL: gids

One good thing about this, is it prompted me to go out and buy a couple books. I picked up Antony Beevor's Stalingrad, and Glantz's Clash of Titans.

First thing I notice is that Beevor seems to write at about a high school level of history. (Or history for the masses). Glantz is more a graduate level reference book. With greater detail, I suppose, comes a greater chance of error.

And I notice that Beevor uses these books in his bibliography:

Glantz, David, Soviet Military Deception in the Second World War, London, 1989 ———, The Role of Intelligence in Soviet Military Strategy in World War II, Novato, Calif., 1990 Glantz, David, and House, J. M., When Titans Clashed, Kansas City, 1996

So it seems Beevor at least appreciates Glantz's work.





Very nice :)



About 10+ years ao I got:

When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler (Modern War Studies) by David M. Glantz

and to accompany it

Russo German War, 1941-45 by Albert Seaton


Leo "Apollo11"

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Post #: 119
RE: Debunking the Glantz myth - 8/6/2012 1:18:44 PM   
Marquo


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Beevor's goal is not to produce pedantic historical references detailing the impact of every bullet fired, rather to give the reader a feel for the human context of events; and in this regard he is very good. I use Glantz to when designing scenarios for various games. Erickson seems to fall in between and I like him best.

Marquo

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