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  • Books by David Glantz?

    How are books by David Glantz?

    As he has written many books about the Eastern Front such as the Colossus series about the Red Army and the Battle of Kursk, which I was seriously thinking about picking up at Borders today.

  • #2
    I just finished "The Battle of Kursk" which he co-authored with Jonathan House. This book gives a very dry, detailed, day by day analysis of the events of "Citadel". I highly recommend this book if you want greater clarity of the entire operation.

    My current read is "Zhukov's Greatest Defeat, The Red Army's Epic Disaster in Operation Mars, 1942". I'm only partially through it and once again David Glantz is providing a detailed, day by day analysis, but in this volume he is using some artistic license when he reports the fronts, army and corps commanders thoughts in first person. While this makes this book more enjoyable to read, the downside is it interjects his personal beliefs as to what he thought they, the combatants, were thinking.

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    • #3
      It's not difficult to guess what the Soviet commanders were thinking.

      "I'm going to be shot! I'm going to be shot!"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kevin23 View Post
        How are books by David Glantz?

        As he has written many books about the Eastern Front such as the Colossus series about the Red Army and the Battle of Kursk, which I was seriously thinking about picking up at Borders today.
        They are no doubt masterpieces of historical research and I own a few- Barbarossa, Mars, Leningrad, Kursk.

        As Gorque so aptly sums up though, they can provide 'very dry, detailed day by day analysis of the events' and that would be my criticism. I've never yet finished one, and view them as largely reference material, rather like a dictionary, and as such these are as good as they get.

        Writing style is important to me on history, because otherwise I can't engage or remain so, in which case no-one wins, since I never finish the book and the author never gets to sell me another one.

        I pick them up when I see them very cheap, because then they represent a bargain, but I'd never pay RRP. For a contrast on writing style, I'd have to suggest Ernle Bradford on 'The Great Siege: Malta 1565' (no wonder so expensive even paperback) or John Julius Norwich's series on Byzantium- none of these are dry and they make the subject matter come alive as you read.
        Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
        (J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

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        • #5
          Mumble.

          He is a great historian, but I gotta say, a pretty lousy writer. Some of the bigger books are so full of repetition and driving the same point home in an almost insulting manner I can't stand them. It can be like wading through half-molten rubber.

          The real pearls in his works are the shorter things where he didn't have a dummy publisher (apparently) force him to fill a whole book. The papers that he prints himself and that you order from him directly are much more concise and to the point. Excellent maps.

          Some of the real books are good. Namely the Soviet deception book (although you can argue that the shorter summary in Handel's deception book is sufficient) and the tactical maneuver book. The tactical maneuver book is the worst I have seen when it comes to writing style (yes I got the idea that engineers clear mine the first 20 times it was mentioned, not to mention anyone picking up this book knew it before), but the quality of insight presented is very, very high.

          I sold most of my full-size commercial publisher Glantz books, partially read. But some of the better stuff are among my most valued books.

          I can give a better list with exact titles of the above if desired.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Redwolf View Post
            Mumble.

            He is a great historian, but I gotta say, a pretty lousy writer. Some of the bigger books are so full of repetition and driving the same point home in an almost insulting manner I can't stand them. It can be like wading through half-molten rubber.

            The real pearls in his works are the shorter things where he didn't have a dummy publisher (apparently) force him to fill a whole book. The papers that he prints himself and that you order from him directly are much more concise and to the point. Excellent maps.

            Some of the real books are good. Namely the Soviet deception book (although you can argue that the shorter summary in Handel's deception book is sufficient) and the tactical maneuver book. The tactical maneuver book is the worst I have seen when it comes to writing style (yes I got the idea that engineers clear mine the first 20 times it was mentioned, not to mention anyone picking up this book knew it before), but the quality of insight presented is very, very high.

            I sold most of my full-size commercial publisher Glantz books, partially read. But some of the better stuff are among my most valued books.

            I can give a better list with exact titles of the above if desired.
            I would like to see what you have to offer.

            PM me if you want to.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Gorque View Post
              ... David Glantz is providing a detailed, day by day analysis...
              the "analisis" he provides would be ok if not coupled with a bias against all things Soviet...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by stalin View Post
                the "analisis" he provides would be ok if not coupled with a bias against all things Soviet...
                Clean off your glasses and you'll soon see that Mr. Glantz criticizes both sides. But then of course, considering your avatar, that would be an impossibility......

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by stalin View Post
                  the "analisis" he provides would be ok if not coupled with a bias against all things Soviet...
                  Hardly. He certainly writes paying a good deal of lip service (one could almost call it a kiss) to Soviet writing style. And I haven't read it, but I understand his tome on how the RKKA recovered from initial disasters and reformed into a world class club said a few good things.
                  Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
                  (J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

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                  • #10
                    Personally, Glanz book on Operation Mars is his best work. I found the other books to be dry as toast. They are really serious historical studies and not aimed at casual history buffs. The detail is incredible but the presentation is clinical.

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                    • #11
                      I've only read Kursk, but loved it. Personally I didn't think it was dry, but I'm glad there were plenty of maps, otherwise I would have got lost in the awesome amount of detail.
                      How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                      Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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                      • #12
                        A book that costs 1400 Sek here must be good!
                        Or 166$
                        Or 118£
                        “For there is nothing more serious than a lunatic when he comes to the central point of his lunacy.”

                        Max Sterner

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Erkki View Post
                          A book that costs 1400 Sek here must be good!
                          Or 166$
                          Or 118£
                          Which book of his costs that much?

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                          • #14
                            Don´t remember which it was, the guy at the book store told me soo, they had some cheaper ones for half that price.
                            “For there is nothing more serious than a lunatic when he comes to the central point of his lunacy.”

                            Max Sterner

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                            • #15
                              I have "When Titans Clash" and "The Stumbling Collossus" both good. Glantz is a bit dry, not for the Jr. grogs.

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