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"Western Front against Third Reich" by V.Zolotarev - What do you think of this book?

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  • #16
    Hastings is a moron. I'm reading his Armgeddon, and as I expected from a British "historian", it goes on at length with political rants against the Soviet Union, Stalin, et al. sounding far more sympathetic and supportive of the Germans than the Red Army. Eyewitnesses that don't support the narrative he decided on are said to be affected by modern Russian nationalism and other nonsense. Of course this expert on Russian culture somehow managed to write that 7 January is the "Russian New Year's eve." Interesting. Is it any surprise that one of the accolades for this book comes from none other than Anthony Beevor?

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    • #17
      Agree for the most part, but there are some good British historians as well, John Erickson for example. They are historians first though.

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      • #18
        Yes but even he has a bit of the "Stalin was an omnipotent octupus controlling everything that occurred in the Soviet Union" syndrome. Still, he is far better than Max Hastings.

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        • #19
          Hastings is a moron. I'm reading his Armgeddon, and as I expected from a British "historian", it goes on at length with political rants against the Soviet Union, Stalin, et al. sounding far more sympathetic and supportive of the Germans than the Red Army. Eyewitnesses that don't support the narrative he decided on are said to be affected by modern Russian nationalism and other nonsense. Of course this expert on Russian culture somehow managed to write that 7 January is the "Russian New Year's eve." Interesting. Is it any surprise that one of the accolades for this book comes from none other than Anthony Beevor?
          I haven't read this one but in regards to the books I mentioned, I think he was very good. It's surprising that he could be found too 'cold war.' He was much more forgiving of the North Koreans and Chinese than many.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Swampwolf View Post
            I haven't read this one but in regards to the books I mentioned, I think he was very good. It's surprising that he could be found too 'cold war.' He was much more forgiving of the North Koreans and Chinese than many.

            I'm sure his book Overlord was pretty good. But the thing about these British historians is that they have some bone to pick with Russia, it goes deeper than anti-Communism. It's like they don't know that the Great Game ended. Hastings, like Beevor and others, likes to project British imperialism onto the Soviet Union, pretending that the USSR was just another empire, and it was in WWII to seize territory. While he goes into detail about every atrocity real or imagined, committed against Germans, he never does the same regarding the Russians. He slanders women in the Red Army, and he attacks the memories of any veteran that doesn't support his pre-conceived worldview. Worst of all, he cries crocodile tears over Poland, while never noticing that if Britain and France were truly concerned with Poland's freedom they could have, if not accepted the USSR's proposed anti-Fascist pact years prior, planned an offensive against Germany. Instead they were arming an expeditionary group to fight the Soviets in Finland.

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            • #21
              Well I've read Beevor's Berlin book, and I was disappointed. I have to agree with you. Little attention is paid to German warcrimes even though I do see some proper exclusions for WW1 vets of the Volksturm or the indignant attitudes of soldier-families (I would expect no less in any invasion, no matter how justified). Even still, the detail of the rapes sounds like a neo-nazi website at times. Also I can't believe there was a Berlin book without mention of the fake Hitlers......

              My final conclusion from this and his very good Stalingrad book (and translation of Writer at War) is that he is not anti-Russian as much as expressing the modern notion about war: that all sides are equally wrong to fight, and war itself is the criminal.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Swampwolf View Post
                Well I've read Beevor's Berlin book, and I was disappointed. I have to agree with you. Little attention is paid to German warcrimes even though I do see some proper exclusions for WW1 vets of the Volksturm or the indignant attitudes of soldier-families (I would expect no less in any invasion, no matter how justified). Even still, the detail of the rapes sounds like a neo-nazi website at times. Also I can't believe there was a Berlin book without mention of the fake Hitlers......

                My final conclusion from this and his very good Stalingrad book (and translation of Writer at War) is that he is not anti-Russian as much as expressing the modern notion about war: that all sides are equally wrong to fight, and war itself is the criminal.
                No way, he goes way too far, though not as far as Hastings. With Hastings it's more obvious. In Armageddon, he alternates between what is happening on both fronts, with interludes of what the Germans were doing on those fronts. When dealing with the British and Americans, he is rather objective. He talks about rape, looting, rudeness. He talks about incompetent commanders and cowardly soldiers. But at the same time it is all very military. And of course the heroic British were in this war to save POLAND(via the unconventional method of sitting on their asses in 1939). Get to the chapter talking about Soviets, and suddenly it's a political tirade where Stalin controls every action ever carried out, where George "I never set foot in the Soviet Union" Orwell is suddenly an expert, and rape is the order of the day.

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