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RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 2:47:56 PM   
Zovs


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quote:

Its great from a historical point of view that a senior SS person has penned the war in the east from their vantage point as one of the protangists.


Your completely missing the point. Paul Karl Schmidt (aka Paul Carrell) was a Nazi propagandist, that is not history, but slanted one sided racist socialism. After World War Two all the Nazi German Generals (yes there were thousands of them and don't let them fool you with "I was just a poor German Soldier/Officer doing my duty and carrying out my orders" blind you to the truth of the matter) that surrendered to the West influenced 80% of the West history books with their 'one-sided' German viewpoints. It was not until the likes of Erickson, Ziemke and Glantz came along to open up the Russian archives did we get anything of a more realistic viewpoint from the correct winning side, yes the Russians defeated the Germans in World War Two, plain and simple.




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Post #: 31
RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 3:57:37 PM   
Berkut

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: dlazov66

quote:

Its great from a historical point of view that a senior SS person has penned the war in the east from their vantage point as one of the protangists.


Your completely missing the point. Paul Karl Schmidt (aka Paul Carrell) was a Nazi propagandist, that is not history, but slanted one sided racist socialism. After World War Two all the Nazi German Generals (yes there were thousands of them and don't let them fool you with "I was just a poor German Soldier/Officer doing my duty and carrying out my orders" blind you to the truth of the matter) that surrendered to the West influenced 80% of the West history books with their 'one-sided' German viewpoints. It was not until the likes of Erickson, Ziemke and Glantz came along to open up the Russian archives did we get anything of a more realistic viewpoint from the correct winning side, yes the Russians defeated the Germans in World War Two, plain and simple.





Well, while I agree that there has been a great adjustment in how we look at the WW2 in the east, I think you are over-stating it quite a bit.

The German accounds, by an large, were not nearly as grossly biased as you are making them out to be. In fact, I would say that the Soviet accounts of WW2 prior to some historians getting into source materials and giving more rational Soviet views of the war, were MUCH more biased. That is part of the reason the German viewpoint dominated - the Soviet "history" was pretty universally seen as just utter crap, and it largely was.

The Soviets, IMO, have nobody to blame but themselves at the German/Western domination of scholarship post war - it was the only real alternative. And while there certainly was plenty of bias, it was largely known and understood, and accounted for. The Germans, furthermore, were generally pretty meticulous at record keeping, and since they lost, those records were very available. The Soviets kept their records under lock and key for a very, very long time.

The relatively recent scholarship from the Soviet side (meaning driven by Soviet primary sources, but not Soviet propaganda) has done much to address this, but there is some sense of it being over-done, and there is still plenty of now Russian nationalism creeping into some of the scholarship, with the role of the non-Eastern Fronts, Lend-Lease, etc., etc., being intentionally de-emphasized as either non-decisive, or even completely irrelevant.

I am confident that we will end up with a reasonable balance, once all is said and done though.

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RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 4:01:41 PM   
Ron

 

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My thoughts exactly Berkut, well said.

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RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 6:16:31 PM   
Helpless


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quote:

The relatively recent scholarship from the Soviet side (meaning driven by Soviet primary sources, but not Soviet propaganda) has done much to address this, but there is some sense of it being over-done, and there is still plenty of now Russian nationalism creeping into some of the scholarship, with the role of the non-Eastern Fronts, Lend-Lease, etc., etc., being intentionally de-emphasized as either non-decisive, or even completely irrelevant.


Any examples of these "plenty of now Russian nationalism creeping into some of the scholarship.. "? I think you are very wrong in your assumptions.






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RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 6:33:55 PM   
MikeBrough


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Another good 1-volume overview is Chris Bellamy's Absolute War. He tries to present the Soviet view (partially successful) but the second half of the war is a bit condensed.

A trifle dry but adds a few tidbits I wasn't previously aware of.

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RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 7:23:17 PM   
Flaviusx


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Well, the Sovs did hide that fiasco of operation Mars (among other things), until Glantz dug it up. And he is now persona non grata in Russia because of this, btw. So the nationalism is there to some extent and some subjects are still very touchy in post Soviet Russia. (Vlasov appears to be another such touchy subject, according to Glantz.) Not so much in what they say, but in what they don't say and what subjects get ignored.

But, really. I cannot believe anybody takes Paul Carrell seriously at this point. There's a huge difference between this kind of dreck and what you read from Russia today, which is basically reliable as far as it goes.

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RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 7:41:17 PM   
Helpless


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quote:

Not so much in what they say, but in what they don't say and what subjects get ignored.


Again any examples? You read russian?

Believe me, there is no taboos in modern historical society in Russia, but it doesn't make it "cleaner" though. And all these old Soviet "secrets" done dirty job, but they are not a real threat right now. Most "average" people are much more influenced by post-Soviet suvorov-like revisionistic crap...


< Message edited by Helpless -- 4/29/2010 7:50:05 PM >


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RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 7:49:10 PM   
Flaviusx


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The forgotten battles. (Mars is by no means the only such one, Glantz claims that as many as 40% of the battles that took place in the Eastern Front have been systematically ignored by the Russians for a variety of reasons.) Look, if you want the details on this, read Glantz. Or scroll all the way up to the top and check out that Youtube link I posted, which is a recorded hour long lecture from him he recently gave, and he touched on this in that lecture.

I don't read Russian. He does and I respect his opinion on these matters.

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Post #: 38
RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 7:51:03 PM   
Helpless


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quote:

I don't read Russian. He does and I respect his opinion on these matters.


I respect Glatz as well, but I don't see anything which could lead to the conclusions you made. And I read russian.

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RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 7:55:59 PM   
Flaviusx


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Helpless, if you force me to choose between you and Glantz, I'm going to have to go with Glantz on this.

Anyways, if you don't want to slog through Colossus Reborn (which goes through this in huge detail, literally hundreds of pages of it), then check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Clz27nghIg





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Post #: 40
RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 8:01:26 PM   
Helpless


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quote:

Helpless, if you force me to choose between you and Glantz, I'm going to have to go with Glantz on this.


I'm not asking you to choose between me and whoever. I'm just advising to choose your conclusions more carefully.

Your words:
quote:

Not so much in what they say, but in what they don't say and what subjects get ignored


Who are they? What they don't say? What should they say? Sounds like a conspiracy theory.

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RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 8:11:28 PM   
Flaviusx


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You've got a link, and you've got a book (Colossus Reborn.) If you want to pursue the subject, you know where to go. You're asking me to argue Glantz's thesis, and I think he's the best person to do this, not me.


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RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 8:14:19 PM   
Helpless


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quote:

You're asking me to argue Glantz's thesis


There is no such thesis in Glantz books

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RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 8:20:36 PM   
Flaviusx


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But there is. The forgotten battles is a huge part of Colossus Reborn. Hell, he wrote an entire book on Operation Mars (and the Russians were not at all happy about that book, according to him. Evidently that sensationalist subtitle "Zhukov's Greatest Defeat" was not well recieved...) 

Anyways, check out the youtube vid, I think you'll find it interesting.

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RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 8:39:53 PM   
Helpless


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quote:

Evidently that sensationalist subtitle "Zhukov's Greatest Defeat" was not well recieved


Do you need some sources(in russian) where leading Russian historians agrees with Glantz point of view on Mars?


quote:

But there is. The forgotten battles is a huge part of Colossus Reborn. Hell, he wrote an entire book on Operation Mars (and the Russians were not at all happy about that book, according to him. Evidently that sensationalist subtitle "Zhukov's Greatest Defeat" was not well recieved...)

Anyways, check out the youtube vid, I think you'll find it interesting.



I've read almost all books by Glantz and I can sign almost by every word he is saying. I've seen this video as well (which is quite old btw, and some subjects he is mentioning are not true anymore) - and in fact he is fighting more with western myths on SGW. And there is nothing similar in his words what you claimed and then don't dare to comment.



< Message edited by Helpless -- 4/29/2010 8:42:17 PM >


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RE: East Front book talk - 4/29/2010 9:07:39 PM   
wiking62


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Another couple of books that i have read recently, and would recommend are:

Black Edelweiss - memoirs from a member of SS Gebirgsjäger Infanterie Regiment 11 "Reinhard Heydrich", 6th SS Gebirgsjäger Division "Nord".

Twilight of the Gods: A Swedish Waffen-SS Volunteer's Experiences with 11th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Nordland.

Blood Red Snow by G Koschorrek

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Post #: 46
RE: East Front book talk - 4/30/2010 1:59:19 AM   
Flaviusx


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Helpless, you need to read more carefully. I mean, this is all over the place in his works. Rather than go chapter by chapter and quote stuff, I'll simply go to page xvi-xvii of the introduction of Colossus reborn and quote Glantz:

"Although Soviet and Russian historians have written many detailed, scholarly and suprisingly accurate studies of the war and wartime battles and operations, too often government censors have forced them to either skirt or ignore facts and events considered embarrassing to the state, its army, or its most famous generals. General works on the war most accessible to Western audiences tend to be the most biased, the most highly politicized, and the least accurate, and until quite recently official state organs routinely vetted even the most scholarly of these books for political and ideological reasons. Even now, over 10 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, political pressure and limited archival access prevent Russian historians from researching  or revealing many subjects subject to censorship in the past."

The various sections discussing the forgotten battles point out the specifics here, which battles have been glossed over and why (and there's lots of them, most infamously Operation Mars) but that is his basic starting point. Nor do historians have full archival access even now, it appears.


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RE: East Front book talk - 4/30/2010 6:17:21 AM   
Helpless


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quote:

...The various sections discussing the forgotten battles point out the specifics here, which battles have been glossed over and why (and there's lots of them, most infamously Operation Mars) but that is his basic starting point. Nor do historians have full archival access even now, it appears.


Don't make such conclusion on past decade video..

There is no full access to ALL archives in any country. Access to the biggest Archive of Ministry of Defense in Podolsk (TSAMO) is full and unrestricted.

< Message edited by Helpless -- 4/30/2010 6:19:34 AM >


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RE: East Front book talk - 4/30/2010 10:09:02 AM   
Aurelian

 

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I've never even heard of Operation Mars till Glantz. I don't recall if Zhukov covered it in his book I read back in the 1970's either.

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RE: East Front book talk - 4/30/2010 1:08:04 PM   
malfid

 

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Flavius:

What point are you trying to make? Soviet historiography does not make a great deal of reference to the Rzhev-Sychevka operation (Mars, in operational parlance). But Krivosheev shows that the casualties thereof are freely available to the public (as evidenced in both his opus on Soviet wartime losses, and references thereto in Glantz's own 'When Titans Clashed'). It is not 'hidden'. It's poorly covered. There is a very significant difference.

Soviet historians do not focus on Mars to any great extent for the same reason that German historians choose to overlook a multitude of shattering defeats (like the Lake Balaton operation, for example). A non-decisive strategic engagement that did not in the least alter the military balance, but resulted in casualties. These battles had no drama to them, and their impact was primarily on the units engaged and the strategic reserves. Why else do we concentrate on Kursk, but not on Belgorod-Kharkov, or its sister operation?

quote:

I've never even heard of Operation Mars till Glantz. I don't recall if Zhukov covered it in his book I read back in the 1970's either.


Why would either surprise you? Rzhev-Sychevka was Zhukov's brainchild. He surely was not going to be the one to obsess with his costliest failure. That Western audiences would not have information on the operation until Glantz 'uncovered' it (by reading publicly available archives, no less) should be even less surprising... Western access to Soviet archives pre-Perestroika was extremely poor.

quote:

Glantz claims that as many as 40% of the battles that took place in the Eastern Front have been systematically ignored by the Russians for a variety of reasons.


The inference (I'm sorry, but this is sounding like conspiracy theory, prima facie) is laughable. Glantz himself would laugh at it, no less. He would say, however, that Russian historians have previously not spent a great deal of time covering operations of lesser strategic importance (either in conception or due to an unfavorable result). Both due to censorship, which only eased in the 80s (and the cult of WW2 is stronger in modern Russia than anywhere else in the world, Germany included), and due to the fact that there is very little popular demand for dry accounts of Soviet failures (and that cult also plays into this). As it stands, the information is available to any serious researcher. Glantz, whose niche is exploring a facet of the Second World War that remains relatively unknown in the West (the Soviet experience of the war) has a ready audience for any material that 'sheds light' on his favorite topic.

Which is why Glantz's 1,000 page account of the Stalingrad fighting (the driest account available, by far) - definitely a brilliant piece of academic research, nonetheless - will sell well. It's not engaging; the information is available in Russian and has been for decades, but Western complete-ist enthusiasts will love the day-by-day narrative of the military action.

Your suggestion, to me at least, seems to be an instance of fitting the facts to the case, rather than the other way around.

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RE: East Front book talk - 4/30/2010 1:13:51 PM   
malfid

 

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Hey man, in retrospect, parts of my post sounded a little belligerent. Don't take any offense - chalk it up to a long day at work...

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RE: East Front book talk - 4/30/2010 4:33:15 PM   
Flaviusx


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Really, are you guys even reading the same Collosus Reborn that I have?

I'm not going to sit down here and quote every operation that Glantz covers or his own very explicit statements that things are indeed being glossed over for political reasons (yes even now). I quoted his own freaking introduction -- there's no "inference" here. He states this very very plainly numerous times. If you don't want to see this, I don't know what to say. This isn't "conspiracy theory" it's what he himself is saying.

I'm not taking offense here. I'm simply gobsmacked. All I can say is: reread the book.



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RE: East Front book talk - 5/1/2010 12:59:31 AM   
Eambar


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I also like Panzer Operations, the Memoirs of General Raus (my favourite German memoir) and Tigers in the Mud by Otto Carius.

On the Russian side, The End of the Third Reich by Chuikov and of course Reminiscenes and Reflections by Zhukov are very interesting reads.

On the scholarly side, I have all of the works by Glantz, Erikson, Beevor, Newton etc and find Clark's Barbarossa and the work on the Korsun Pocket by Zetterling and Frankston to be among my favourites.

The question was posed earlier about what Zhukov wrote in R&R about Op Mars. Here's what he said:

" Analysing the reasons for the failure of the offensive taken by the Western Front, we concluded the main factor was underestimation of the rugged terrain in the theatre selected by the Front Command for the main attack...Another reason for the failure sustained in this sector was the shortage of supporting armour, artillery, mortars and aircraft..."

He goes on to say that it was a success though because it drew German reinforcements away from the more important Stalingrad operation. Zhukov devotes about three pages (in my edition) to Op Mars, and in his own words

"However, back to our operations at Stalingrad"

Cheers and good reading,

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RE: East Front book talk - 5/1/2010 11:02:26 PM   
chrisdrost

 

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Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East by David Stahel (though expensive) is the best book I have read concerning the planning and logistics for Barbarossa.

< Message edited by chrisdrost -- 5/9/2010 3:47:27 PM >

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Post #: 54
RE: East Front book talk - 5/2/2010 3:35:12 AM   
EdinHouston

 

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Has anyone mentioned Fugate's work "Operation Barbarossa"? It only covers 1941 but it is quite good.

There was a book called 'The Secret Of Stalingrad' which covered the 1942 campaign and was revealing in terms of the vast reserve forces the Soviet Union could bring to bear, and how they were deployed at the onset of the '42 campaign in the mistaken belief that Germany would attack towards Moscow again.

The chapter on the eastern front in Van Crefeld's book 'Supplying War' is very good too, in that it shows the tremendous logistics problems of the invasion. Basically, it shows that the goals of the campaign were vastly greater than what logistics would allow. In fact, the two great campaigns that led to Germany's defeat in each war, the Schlieffen Plan in 1914 and Barbarossa in 1941, were both doomed from a logistics standpoint.

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RE: East Front book talk - 5/3/2010 10:43:13 PM   
FM WarB

 

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Thanks for the suggestions. Looks like I'll be building onto my bookshelves.

Here is a negative recommendation: Stackpole books Beyond Stalingrad. This poorly written hommage to von Manstein also suffers from useless maps and no oobs.

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RE: East Front book talk - 5/4/2010 6:34:42 AM   
oldman45


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I really enjoyed the 3 vol set "History of the Panzercorps GrossDeutschland" written by Helmuth Spaeter. It was a very personable set of books containing after action reports and personal accounts. It went a long way describing the absolute horrors of the fighting on the eastern front.


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Post #: 57
RE: East Front book talk - 5/4/2010 9:22:35 AM   
JamesM

 

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Are any of these books available as an ebooks particularly either in mobipocket or pdf format?

Do not have any more room to store books in my unit.

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RE: East Front book talk - 5/4/2010 8:09:39 PM   
british exil


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Wasn't Großdeutschland a Panzergrenadier Division?

I have a book at home given to me by a Veteran of this Division. He talked a bit about the things he went through
France, the Balkans and Russia. He only had fond memories to tell comaradarie etc. I could tell by his face he still had bad ugly things in his mind but refused to talk about them.


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RE: East Front book talk - 5/4/2010 8:16:24 PM   
MarcA


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Gross Deutschland had many incarnations. By 1945 it had been converted to a PzK.

http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=1664

Edit: I should say PzGD Gross Deutschland still existed separately to PzK Gross Deutschland

< Message edited by mantill -- 5/4/2010 8:19:03 PM >

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