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  • New Russian Military Historians

    More of the Russian Military Historians are being translated into English editions of their works, such as Aleksei Isaev, Valeriy Zamulin, Igor Nebolsin, Dr Boris Sokolov. What is their reputation with Russian readers?

    What are their background and credentials for writing authoritative history?
    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

  • #2
    First two have a very good reputation. Zamulin can be considered as a leading historian on Kursk while Isaev is a popularisator for large audiences. Nebolsin, I know little about him but judging by reviews of his books, he looks like a solid historian. Finally Sokolov has a reputation pretty similar to Rezun (Suvorov). His main objective is to prove that Red Army lost 10 times more dead than Germans. Zamulin and Sokolov are professional historians. Isaev first started wrote books and only later he get his degree in history more for reasons of image.
    There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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    • #3
      Interesting - would like to read some of these works.

      Comment


      • #4
        Isayev - engineer in a telecommunication company, amateur and autodidact, but got his PhD in history several year ago. Writes and publishes too much IMO, some of his works were half-cooked and unpolished (again IMO), somewhat clumsy writing style. Was notorious for his bad temper when he was active on internet forums, got more restrained with age. Still has a tremendous knowledge of WWII, worked with tons of Soviet and German docs. I consider "Berlin 1945", "Stalingrad" and "Battle of Crimea" his best books.
        Zamulin - professional historian, a Battle of Kursk guru. A usual problem is a massive volume of his books, they would probably be better shortened.
        Nebolsin - another amateur with interest in Soviet armored forces. Wrote some solid books on the history of 1 and 2 Tank Armies. Can't say more about him.
        Sokolov - a relic from Perestroika era with its characteristics traits (violent anti-communism, a lot of conspiracy theories). Educated in ethnic geography, got his PhD for the thesis titled "British meta-ethnic community outside the British Isles"). I bet he has never been in a military archive in his life. Produces a student-level compilations at best.

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        • #5
          Of all relatively recent Russian book I would distinguish a history of the Kerch-Eltigen landing by Andrei Kuznetsov:
          https://www.e-reading.club/book.php?book=1003349
          That is simply the best military history book I've seen in my life which deserves 11/10 in every respect and sets the standard for military history books in 2010s. Don't know if it would be translated into English someday.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Emtos View Post
            First two have a very good reputation. Zamulin can be considered as a leading historian on Kursk while Isaev is a popularisator for large audiences. Nebolsin, I know little about him but judging by reviews of his books, he looks like a solid historian. Finally Sokolov has a reputation pretty similar to Rezun (Suvorov). His main objective is to prove that Red Army lost 10 times more dead than Germans. Zamulin and Sokolov are professional historians. Isaev first started wrote books and only later he get his degree in history more for reasons of image.
            Thanks for your overview. I had the same impression on Isaev and found Sokolov weak in substantiating his points (and now you equate him with Suvorov, I know to carry a salt shaker when I read him).

            Zamulin is solid in methodology and demonstrates great depth in his research. I had not realized until I read his recent translated collection of short pieces on Kursk, that he had also published articles in David Glantz's Slavic Military journal.
            Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 25 May 18, 08:06.
            Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
              Isayev - engineer in a telecommunication company, amateur and autodidact, but got his PhD in history several year ago. Writes and publishes too much IMO, some of his works were half-cooked and unpolished (again IMO), somewhat clumsy writing style. Was notorious for his bad temper when he was active on internet forums, got more restrained with age. Still has a tremendous knowledge of WWII, worked with tons of Soviet and German docs. I consider "Berlin 1945", "Stalingrad" and "Battle of Crimea" his best books.
              Zamulin - professional historian, a Battle of Kursk guru. A usual problem is a massive volume of his books, they would probably be better shortened.
              Nebolsin - another amateur with interest in Soviet armored forces. Wrote some solid books on the history of 1 and 2 Tank Armies. Can't say more about him.
              Sokolov - a relic from Perestroika era with its characteristics traits (violent anti-communism, a lot of conspiracy theories). Educated in ethnic geography, got his PhD for the thesis titled "British meta-ethnic community outside the British Isles"). I bet he has never been in a military archive in his life. Produces a student-level compilations at best.
              Thanks for the background on Isaev. His works do not cite sources for some of his reaching claims which creates doubts in his works as well as exhibiting a lack of good training in historical methodology. Agree, he cranks out too many to have researched in debt which will indicate he starts with a proposition and then writes to prove it without documented evidence. I have the same concerns on Nebolsin in conclusions, but his works have brought a great deal of archival material in reports and orders.

              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
                Of all relatively recent Russian book I would distinguish a history of the Kerch-Eltigen landing by Andrei Kuznetsov:
                https://www.e-reading.club/book.php?book=1003349
                That is simply the best military history book I've seen in my life which deserves 11/10 in every respect and sets the standard for military history books in 2010s. Don't know if it would be translated into English someday.
                Thanks for referral, two thumbs up!
                Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm thinking about another author who goes at the same level as Rezun and Sokolov, it's Beshanov Vladimir.
                  There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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                  • #10
                    I read Isaev's "Tomb of the Panzerwaffe" which was informative but far too short and with a lot of gaps. The text that concerned the offensive itself (and not concerning a re-hash of the Konrad operations) was only incrementally longer than a typical Osprey campaign booklet.

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                    • #11
                      These authors have not been published in English, as far as I know, what do you think of their background and credentials?

                      Lev Lopukhovskii-Prokhorovka byez grifa sekretnosti

                      Yevgenii Drig-Mekhanizirovannye korpusa RKKA v boyu [Red Army defensive force 1940-41]

                      Dmitrii Shein-Tanki vedet Rybalko [Combat path 3rd Gds Tank Army]

                      Mikhail Makarov and Maksim Kolomtsets- Reaktivnaya Artilleriya Kracnoy armii 1941-1945
                      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Don't know Yevgheni Drig and Mikhail Makarov. Lopukhovski is a pretty good historian. Shein and Kolomets too.
                        There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You can find some info on Zamulin, Isayev and Kolomiets in the Russian wiki:
                          https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%97...B2%D0%B8%D1%87
                          https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%98...B2%D0%B8%D1%87
                          https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9A...B2%D0%B8%D1%87

                          Lev Lopukhovsky - an old men (well over 80) and not in quite good state of health, as far as I know. Retired Soviet officer, former lecturer in the Frunze military academy. He came to prominence when he and Zamulin published a series of pioneering articles on Prokhorovka in early 2000s. Then for some reasons they parted and each published his own "Prokhorovka" book nearly simultaneously. I've found Lopukhovsky's variant somewhat better structured and more readable. Another book on the Vyazma pocket was translated into English. Lopukhovsky was very active in criticism of official Soviet casualties figures, and even wrote an open letter to Putin calling for their revisal.

                          Evgeniy Drig - amateur historian (he worked in a bank IIRC) and an avid researcher of pre-war and early war Soviet armored force. A founder of the now defunct "Mechcorps" website and a co-founder of still functioning but derelict rkka.ru website. The book "Mechanized Corps..." is essentially a paper version of the first website and is practically the first systematic study of the history of first-generation mech. corps, a valuable source but is somewhat dated in 2018. The man went off the radar completely and seems to lost any interest in history.

                          Dmitriy Shein - shares background with Isayev (engineering education, amateur, writing career launched from internet forums), focuses on history of Soviet armored forces. Known for copying TsAMO documents on nearly industrial scale. The book on the 3 GTA is a synopsis of after-action reports and other docs from the army's archival section. It's densely packed with numbers but is somewhat dry as far as operational narrative is concerned. I've found an older Soviet history a useful complement. Also two other books as a coauthor - early T-34 (history and combat employment):
                          https://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id/24899326/
                          and situation and problems of Soviet armored forces by June 1941:
                          https://www.labirint.ru/books/595195...96128571259931

                          Maxim Kolomiets - another armor enthusiast, mostly illustrated brochures on armor, so many that I can't remember them all.
                          Last edited by Artyom_A; 27 May 18, 16:44.

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                          • #14
                            I read Lev Lopukhovsky 's book on Viazma 1941. I personally found it helpful at the time as it covered a gap with Glantz. I have his other book, the "Price of Victory" but I have not read it.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
                              You can find some info on Zamulin, Isayev and Kolomiets in the Russian wiki:
                              https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%97...B2%D0%B8%D1%87
                              https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%98...B2%D0%B8%D1%87
                              https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9A...B2%D0%B8%D1%87

                              Lev Lopukhovsky - an old men (well over 80) and not in quite good state of health, as far as I know. Retired Soviet officer, former lecturer in the Frunze military academy. He came to prominence when he and Zamulin published a series of pioneering articles on Prokhorovka in early 2000s. Then for some reasons they parted and each published his own "Prokhorovka" book nearly simultaneously. I've found Lopukhovsky's variant somewhat better structured and more readable. Another book on the Vyazma pocket was translated into English. Lopukhovsky was very active in criticism of official Soviet casualties figures, and even wrote an open letter to Putin calling for their revisal.

                              Evgeniy Drig - amateur historian (he worked in a bank IIRC) and an avid researcher of pre-war and early war Soviet armored force. A founder of the now defunct "Mechcorps" website and a co-founder of still functioning but derelict rkka.ru website. The book "Mechanized Corps..." is essentially a paper version of the first website and is practically the first systematic study of the history of first-generation mech. corps, a valuable source but is somewhat dated in 2018. The man went off the radar completely and seems to lost any interest in history.

                              Dmitriy Shein - shares background with Isayev (engineering education, amateur, writing career launched from internet forums), focuses on history of Soviet armored forces. Known for copying TsAMO documents on nearly industrial scale. The book on the 3 GTA is a synopsis of after-action reports and other docs from the army's archival section. It's densely packed with numbers but is somewhat dry as far as operational narrative is concerned. I've found an older Soviet history a useful complement. Also two other books as a coauthor - early T-34 (history and combat employment):
                              https://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id/24899326/
                              and situation and problems of Soviet armored forces by June 1941:
                              https://www.labirint.ru/books/595195...96128571259931

                              Maxim Kolomiets - another armor enthusiast, mostly illustrated brochures on armor, so many that I can't remember them all.
                              Thanks guys for the thumbnail sketches and comments on the authors.

                              I was hoping to see more from Drig. The Russsian historians and enthusiasts who have pulled archival data with Tsamo citations into view are a great complement to past works.
                              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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