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  • David Glantz

    Can anyone give me their opinion on Glantz' books on the Eastern Front? Are they generally well-researched and objective? Also, are they a good read? (Not too dry, etc.?)

    Thanks,
    Rob

  • #2
    I just recieved "Collossus Reborn" for Christmas but haven't finished it yet. From what I hear he is using new information from the Soviet archives that is rather enlightening.
    If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by robarrieta
      Can anyone give me their opinion on Glantz' books on the Eastern Front? Are they generally well-researched and objective? Also, are they a good read? (Not too dry, etc.?)

      Thanks,
      Rob
      They seem well researched imo... however, they are somewhat dry but do provide a wealth of information given his use of soviet archives that weren't available to many western historians.
      Islam... it's a blast - literally.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the replies. I am considering purchasing When Titans Clash.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by robarrieta
          Thanks for the replies. I am considering purchasing When Titans Clash.
          If you are looking for romatic tales, don't buy. If you are a researcher, or a wargamer, or a people who would like to get military picture of the Eastern front, when buy it!!!
          a brain cell

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          • #6
            I read the book he did on the Korsun Pocket and it was just a compilation of his translations of Russian sources with some commentary by him. It seemd more of a reference than a historical analysis. I don't know about any of his other works mainly because of reading that first pout me off from spending money on any others.
            Blackcloud6

            Refighting World War II - One hex at a time!

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            • #7
              David Glantz has been a groundbreaker in using Soviet sources bounced against German sources to tell the Red Army side of the fighting on the eastern front. He has through the years managed to get his hands on Soviet archival material before the small window of opportunity opened during Glasnost. I have always used Glantz's as a guide for newly, available sources.

              His approach is like a staff study, which is like most of the Soviet literature, and this creates a writing style that is a dry as a popcorn fart. I have noticed in his more recent books he has worked to make them more readable by developing the historical personalities, at times he has stretched beyond the support of source material, for example, claiming what a Red Army commander must have felt or giving a reflection to an individual that may have not been in the Soviet literature, nor the individual's memoir (because the characterization was out of character with the Soviet man projection in their literature--one does not find highlighting of flaws, personality quirks--an exception are Popel's memoirs and he was condemned for his "subjectivism".)

              One cannot study the eastern front without reading Glantz. And if I find an author without Glantz in his bibliography or footnotes, I will not waste time to read him--even if he does not agree with Glantz, the author must cite Glantz's position and then argue against it because of Glantz's lead in the field.

              Glantz became a darling of Soviet military historians in the late 1980's and early 1990's for what he was doing in the west by showing Red Army contributions and the basis for their victories. He came under a cloud when he started to knock chips out of Zhukov's Soviet, marble statue. He has since moved on to identifying what he calls the "forgotten" battles, which are the unsuccessful or less known operations to include some which were execllent but credit was not given to the commander, for example Rokossosvky's Central Front gains in early 1943 which set up the Kursk salient.

              I am currently buying and reading his seven volume "Forgotten Battles"--this will upset many Russians, but it not only balances the Red Army's effort, but also, I think, demonstrates the realistic growth and efforts to turnaround their army in the face of catastrophic defeat.
              Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 28 Dec 05, 07:21.
              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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              • #8
                I've read a few of Glantz's books (Before Stalingrad, The Battle of Kursk and When Titans Clashed) and consider them to be excellent. He's generally considered to be the leading writer on the military aspects of the Soviets' war.

                While, as noted above, his writing style is somewhat dry, it's perfectly servicable and most of his books can be understood by people with an interest in military history. His translations of Soviet Source materials are probably best left to laymen though - I suspect that this is what Blackcloud read.

                I'd recomend that you start out with 'When Titans Clashed', and if you like it move onto his other stuff.
                Owner and operator, Armed Forces of the Asia Pacific
                Forum administrator, www.orbat.com
                Co-administrator, www.historic-battles.com

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