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David M. Glantz Fights for the Truth About Stalingrad

By Gene Santoro 
Originally published by World War II magazine. Published Online: March 12, 2010 
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Photograph by Jennifer E. Berry
Photograph by Jennifer E. Berry

'The Soviet troops are sacrificial lambs. Divisions that come in with 10,000 men have 500 the next day'

A retired U.S. Army colonel fluent in Russian, David M. Glantz writes data-rich tomes that synthesize his research in the recently opened Soviet archives. His goal: to debunk long-standing myths with what he calls "ground truth." His latest epics, To the Gates of Stalingrad and Armageddon in Stalingrad (both published in 2009, with a third volume due next year), recast history's biggest battle in a new light. For example, he and coauthor Jonathan M. House are the first historians to use archival material from the brutal Soviet secret police force, the NKVD, which was charged with maintaining discipline in the Red Army. "Its documents are surprisingly candid about declining morale, the amount of censorship, numbers of deserters, and so on," Glantz says, "a human dimension of the battle often speculated upon but never before documented."

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What do you mean by ground truth?
I mean examining the records of both sides to finally strip away the myths and begin to restore reality. You can't reach judgments regarding political, diplomatic, economic, or social factors in the war as a whole unless you have reached sound decisions regarding how the war was conducted, to what end it was conducted, and so forth. Historians today are focused not on operational but social issues. But it all sits on the structure of military reality.

Why choose Stalingrad?
There have been hundreds of books on the battle, dating back to the early 1950s. Many early ones were German memoirs, or about specific Germans. In the 1980s and 1990s, many were essentially derived from those sources plus a narrow base of Soviet sources, the predominant one being memoirs by Vasily Chuikov, who headed the Soviet Sixty-second Army; those are quite accurate and very good. But over time, all these books incorporated the same basic conclusions about the campaign as a whole and the battle for the city. And many of those conclusions are simply wrong.

For example?
One common perception is this: unlike in Barbarossa in 1941, where the Soviet army resisted the Wehrmacht and took immense casualties, during Blau in 1942 Stalin very quickly withdraws his forces and decides to trade space for time; once he gets back to a more defensible line, he launches a counteroffensive. That's flat wrong. From Blau's very beginning, Stalin's orders are to stand and fight. His strategy throughout the war is to attack everywhere at every time, in the belief that somewhere someone will break.

Does the Red Army attack on the road to Stalingrad?
Despite widespread belief otherwise, there's some horrendous fighting, generally caused by Soviet forces in counterattacks, counterstrokes, and even counteroffensives. The most important comes in July along the Germans' northern flank. Stalin commits a tank army as well as other new formations that didn't exist in 1941. There are major tank battles, 500 to 1,000 Soviet tanks.

What do these achieve?
In the first operations they're very poorly led, and so don't achieve that much—except that they bleed the Germans. The same thing happens at the end of July: two new Soviet tank armies appear at the bend of the Don River and launch counterattacks in support of the new Sixty-second Army. This huge tank battle goes on for nearly three weeks, and throws the German plan right out the window.

The number of Germans in the attacking infantry force is far smaller than in 1941, and many of the infantry units trailing in the panzers' wake are Romanians and Italians, who aren't really interested in dying for the führer. So in 1942, although Russian armies are encircled and their fighting ability destroyed, the troops get out and either go to ground or rejoin the Red Army later.

What happens to the German plan?
As Sixth Army advances, it has to protect its flanks, especially along the Don. So an ever-smaller part of the army is committed forward. After they clear the bend in the Don, they mount an offensive to seize the city. This is probably the most important point in the Battle of Stalingrad. They plan to seize the city by crossing the Don and advancing to the Volga in two pincers headed by panzer corps: get them into Stalingrad from the north and south, and seize it without a fight.

What stops them?
As soon as they launch their attacks, the Soviets begin counterattacks. They're often suicidal and futile, but totally preoccupy the northern panzer corps and prevent it from turning any forces south toward the city. That leaves three German divisions in hedgehogs stretched along a 40-kilometer road. They never get into the factory district in the north end of the city, which becomes the site of the last battles. The southern pincer does what it is supposed to. But the Soviet reaction north of the city thwarts [Sixth Army commander Friedrich] Paulus's plan.

Where does that leave him?
With one infantry corps—the only force he has to reduce the city. It has three infantry divisions in it, and a few other supporting groups—only one-third of Sixth Army. Since he can't get into Stalingrad with his armor, he goes in from the west on foot—block by block, street by street. He does try to lead attacks with armor, until each of those panzer divisions is worn out. By the time he's in the center city and trying to get into the north, German armor is gone and he's in a slug match. By October 1942, his regiments are battalions, divisions are regiments, and Sixth Army is probably a corps.

What is the Soviet strategy?
To feed just enough troops into the city to keep it from falling. They are sacrificial lambs. Divisions that come in with 10,000 men have 500 the next day. Many divisions are fragments. The 13th Guards, always described as an elite force, was destroyed two months before; they're sent in half-trained and one-third equipped. The 284th Rifle Division, popularized in the film Enemy at the Gates—only one of its three regiments has rifles. It's like Muhammad Ali's rope-a-dope. It was so brutal that Stavka, the Soviet high command, forbade A. I. Eremenko, Stalingrad front commander, and his commissar, Nikita Khrushchev, from crossing the river into the city: Stavka was afraid they'd develop an affinity with the poor troops dying there and decide to abandon it.

How do the Germans react?
For them it becomes a meat grinder. Every division they send in is weakened, so they have to pull new ones off the flanks. According to Sixth Army's loss figures, most divisions go in rated combat-ready. Within a week, they're rated either as weak or exhausted. The attrition rate is phenomenal. The Luftwaffe's rubbling of the city only exacerbates things. In early November, they run out of divisions. It's a true war of attrition.

How do they maintain the offensive?
They take all the engineer battalions out of Army Group B, which makes the final attack on November 11. So they have nobody to defend the Don, except Italians and Romanians. Hungarians are already in the line. Army Group B's left flank is an allied army group. The Soviets understand that weakness from their intelligence, and that's where they launch their counteroffensive.

What kind of leader was Stalin?
The myth is that Stalin micromanaged the first year, then at about the time of Stalingrad began deferring to his commanders, and thereafter the commanders fought the war under his general guidance. That's wrong. He was hands-on throughout. In 1941, his stubbornness and insistence on fighting back cost him a lot, but also ensured that Hitler's key assumption—that the Red Army would dissolve once it was smashed—didn't happen. By 1942, after Leningrad and Moscow, Stalin and Marshal Georgi Zhukov think alike. They understand that even if you have to ruthlessly expend manpower, resistance will wear down a numerically weaker opponent. That tactic cost probably 14 million military dead—the price of defeating a more experienced, battle-worthy, savvy Wehrmacht.

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2010 issue of World War II. Click here to hear Glantz discuss his Stalingrad trilogy in a HistoryNet podcast.

35 Responses to “David M. Glantz Fights for the Truth About Stalingrad”

  1. 1
    Bruce B says:

    Mr. Glantz is by far my favorite WWII author. His books are just incredible. Kursk, Leningrad, Operation Mars, now his trilogy on the Stalingrad campaigns are just required reading for all WWII readers.

  2. 2 says:

    I don't know what to make of Joseph Stalin's stratagems. On the one hand, Stalin ignores the lustrous ascendance and near triumph of the glorious potential of free Man. But on the other hand, it is saddening to have to tell Stalin that he is the most lubricious polemic witnessed by the history of mankind. Without going into all the gory details, let's just say that I have observed that those who disagree with me on the next point tend to be unsophisticated and those who recognize the validity of the point to be more educated. The point is that I have reason to believe that Stalin is about to waste our time and money. I pray that I'm wrong, of course, because the outcome could be devastating. Nevertheless, the indications are there that when Stalin hears anyone say that history teaches us that to ignore or dismiss people like Stalin simply as insane, impulsive dips can have devastating consequences, Stalin's answer is to gag the innocent accused from protesting racism-motivated prosecutions. That's similar to taking a few drunken swings at a beehive: it just makes me want even more to make him pay for his crimes against humanity. To end this letter, I would like to make a bet with Joseph Stalin. I will gladly give him a day's salary if he can prove that honor counts for nothing, as he insists. If Stalin is unable to prove that, then his end of the bargain is to step aside while I place a high value on honor and self-respect. So, do we have a bet, Stalin?

  3. 3
    James says:

    Churchill and Hitler and history and stuff..

    Winston Churchill was knighted after World War 2 and buried from Westminster Abbey, perhaps the highest tribute that could be paid to him, while Adolf Hitler has been accorded the status of perhaps the most evil politician in human history.

    WINSTON CHURCHILL in July 1940

    "When I look around to see how we can win the war I see that there is only one sure path. We have no Continental army which can defeat the German military power.. Should [Hitler].. not try invasion [of Britain].. there is one thing that will bring him back and bring him down, and that is an absolutely devastating, exterminating attack by very heavy bombers from this country upon the Nazi homeland. We must be able to overwhelm them by this means, without which I do not see a way through. We cannot accept any aim lower than air mastery. When can it be obtained?" [Extract from Winston S Churchill The Second World War (Volume 2 Their Finest Hour Appendix A), Memo from Prime Minister to Minister of Aircraft Production, 8.July 1940].

    ADOLF HITLER in May 1940

    Britain and France declared war on Germany, not the other way around. Hitler actually wanted peace with Britain, as the German generals admitted (Basil Liddell Hart, The Other Side of the Hill 1948, Pan Books 1983) with regard to the so-called Halt Order of 24 May 1940 at Dunkirk, where Hitler had the opportunity to capture the entire British Army, but chose not to. Liddell Hart, one of Britain’s most respected military historians, quotes the German General von Blumentritt with regard to this Halt Order:

    "He (Hitler) then astonished us by speaking with admiration of the British Empire, of the necessity for its existence, and of the civilization that Britain had brought into the world. He remarked, with a shrug of the shoulders, that the creation of its Empire had been achieved by means that were often harsh, but ‘where there is planing, there are shavings flying’. He compared the British Empire with the Catholic Church – saying they were both essential elements of stability in the world. He said that all he wanted from Britain was that she should acknowledge Germany’s position on the Continent. The return of Germany’s colonies would be desirable but not essential, and he would even offer to support Britain with troops if she should be involved in difficulties anywhere.." (p 200).

    According to Liddell Hart, "At the time we believed that the repulse of the Luftwaffe in the ‘Battle over Britain’ had saved her. That is only part of the explanation, the last part of it. The original cause, which goes much deeper, is that Hitler did not want to conquer England. He took little interest in the invasion preparations, and for weeks did nothing to spur them on; then, after a brief impulse to invade, he veered around again and suspended the preparations. He was preparing, instead, to invade Russia" (p140).

    David Irving in the foreword to his book The Warpath (1978) refers to "the discovery.. that at no time did this man (Hitler) pose or intend a real threat to Britain or the Empire."

    And.. it’s now official – there’s no actual shortage of Holocaust survivors:

    Quote from The Holocaust Industry by Norman G. Finkelstein of the City University of New York, published by Verso in the year 2000:

    'The Israeli Prime Minister's office recently put the number of "living Holocaust survivors" at nearly a million.' (page 83)

  4. 4
    James says:

    At the Nuremberg trials, captured German leaders were convicted of ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘war crimes’ as defined in the London Charter signed on August 8 1945 by the Allied powers. The judicial procedures that were followed remain interesting. The Trials were judicial in appearance only. The judges were not neutral. The victors in the war commissioned their own judges, who were under pressure to provide justification for Allied policies. The Allies themselves were guilty of major war crimes, the most outstanding of which were

    * the fire-bombing of the civilian residential areas of Dresden (no military significance) under Winston Churchill’s orders (David Irving The Destruction of Dresden (1966) pp. 96-100), Alexander McKee Dresden 1945 (1982) p 300, 306, 310); and
    * the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9 1945, in spite of the fact that Japan had signalled her willingness to capitulate some weeks previously (Robert Junck Brighter than a Thousand Suns (1958) pp. 189-191, Martin J Sherwin A World Destroyed (1975) pp. 235-237).

    To summarize the sequence of the important dates concerning the atomic bombing:

    * Mid-July 1945: Japanese government communicates to US government their willingness to negotiate capitulation;
    * August 6 1945: US drops atom bomb on Hiroshima;
    * August 8 1945: US signs the 'London Charter', or Charter of the International Military Tribunal defining war crimes, including Principle 6 (b) ‘wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.’
    * August 9 1945: US drops atom bomb on Nagasaki.

    With reference to the atomic bomb, Admiral William Leahy – Chief of Staff to both Roosevelt and Truman – commented, 'My own feeling was that, in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Age. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.' (Liddell Hart, History of the Second World War (1970) p725-6, JFC Fuller, The Decisive Battles of the Western World, 1792-1945 (1970) p584).

    Awkwardly enough, for the sake of judicial impartiality, Churchill and Truman should themselves have been hung at Nuremberg for these undoubted crimes.

    • 4.1
      xnay says:

      You are incorrect. Wars can be won by destroying women and children if you are ruthless enough about it.

    • 4.2
      RMM says:

      I disagree with you regarding Truman's decision to use the A Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even after both bombs were dropped, The Japanese military was not inclined to surrender. Furthermore, War Minister Anami, And Chief of the Imperial General Staff Kawabe endorsed a plan to eliminate all vestiges of a separate civilian government and rule Japan from Imperial General Headquarters, which never came to fruition.. Furthermore the legal government of Japan never agreed on its own to surrender. Check out The Pacific War Companion from Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima, edited by Daniel Marston.

    • 4.3
      Sydney Bradwell says:

      You are clearly a total amateur as a historian and military analyst, unable to separate aggressor from victim. There is no comparison between Hitler, a madman who not only murdered 6 mil Jews but also 'euthanized' more than 100 000 disabled Germans, murdered Poles, gypsies etc. en masse to Churchill who took England through its darkest period in history to a victory (largely assisted admittedly by Soviet effort on the eastern front).

      Furthermore holocaust denial has been repeatedly debunked. Its a childish, grudge-infested whitewashing of Nazi crimes which is easily destroyed by the overwhelming evidence (interviews, documents, war crimes trials etc.) about the death camps and Einsatzgruppen. A small minority survived and BTW Finkelsteins attacks are not on the reality or facts of what happened in WW2 but on exploitation of it. (Thats another topic altogether).

      • 4.3.1
        Herbster says:

        Sydney. Beautifully stated. Facts do trump suppositions. Your brief history here is right on point. Thank you for setting straight all who needed a lesson here.

      • 4.3.2
        Herbster says:

        Sydney. May I suggest an excellent book on the Battle for Stalingrad? If you have not already read it, pick up a copy of STALINGRAD the fateful siege 1942-1943 by Antony Beevor.

  5. 5
    hereward says:

    In my view, the biggest problem the Germans had in WWII was that they were completely lost in the realm of grand strategy. Tactically and operationally they were superior to their enemies, especially the Russians, but their top-level decisions were almost unbelievably bad. The Russians, on the other hand, were tactically inferior, but operationally and strategically competent. There's a lot more that could be said, but I think that fairly well sums it up; given Soviet industrial superiority along with their greater troop numbers, German strategic incompetence guaranteed the outcome.

    • 5.1
      Jonathan says:

      The German objectives were much too ambitious relative to available troop and logistic strengths. Their strategic assumption was particularly bad: Their plan would have worked, if and only if the Soviets were in a complete disarray, 'You just knock the rotten door and the Russian house will collapse.' Their hubris was especially disturbing; they did not engage in total mobilization until after the Battle of Stalingrad. Too little, too late.

      The divergent nature of Axis grand strategy did not help the matter either. Japan was involved in China and Southeast Asia, and even signed a neutrality pact with the Soviet Union.

      • 5.1.1
        Jon Ray says:

        The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact happened at exactly the same time as Japan was defeated by Zhukov's forces in the East. Known as the battle of Khalkin Gol by Russia and the Nomohan Incident in Japan. Planned or not, the timing was perfect for Stalin as it prevented all possibility of two fronts opening up on the Soviet Union. This defeat and isolation from Germany meant Japan headed south for its own oil and war with the United States.
        Stuart Goldman wrote Nomonhan, 1939: The Red Army's Victory That Shaped World War II. Did Hitler make a strategic error agreeing to a non-aggression pact with Stalin at that time?
        Although by no means a perfect account it gives a new perspective on how the war took shape, and how it possibly could have been different…

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Tim says:

    James you ate a world class clown to even dare to compare Churchill to the scum that was Hitler.

    Remember we didn't start the war Hitler did , Hitler waged war throughput Europe while the UK was the only power to stand tall and win the first battle . You might remember it "The Battle Of Britain" while the US stood on the sidelines and the Russians cut deals with Hitler.

    So remember it was a 39-45 war for the Uk , Canada and India.

    Oh yeah Battle Of Britain , El Alemein , Radar , Bletchley Park , Enigma etc etc etc

    • 7.1
      paul hart says:

      Tim,this is the babble that one expects from people who obtain their 'facts' from propaganda broadcasts and the history channel! Churchill was,indeed,a ruthless and self-serving warmonger whose deeds throughout the world wars and colonial rule were abominable.The fact that Hitler was on the opposing side in World War 2 does not excuse Churchill any more than it does Stalin.
      Churchill,would stoop to any depths including placing the Lusitania in harm's way in his continuous cynical efforts to get the USA into the Great War.Between the wars he proposed the use of poison gas on defenceless Arab tribes.In 1940 he deliberately provoked the Germans into bombing London by ordering the bombing of Berlin.This suited his personal political agenda.His delight in bombing German women and children is well known.He also allowed the situation in Bengal to deteriorate to the point where over 2 million people died in the famine! This is your great hero!

    • 7.2
      RMM says:

      Yes comparing Sir Winston Churchill with the monster Hitler is insulting and offensive, and as a Yank I admit that my nation stood on the sidelines during the Battle of Britain while the RAF battled Goering's Luftwaffe. However, remember Bundles for Britain, founded by an American woman in 1940? Remember the Lend Lease act of March 1941, and the Three Eagle Squadrons consisting largely of Yanks that began to form in Sept40? And once we officially entered the war and fought alongside our British allies, many Americans died helping to liberate Europe from Nazi tyranny. I have two Uncles who served in WW2. One in the ETO, and another Uncle who served in the CBI theater. So I hope you will give the Yanks some credit, Mate.

    • 7.3
      Keith W MacHendry says:

      Radar, Watson Watt, an Angus man buried in my home town Pitlochry, Perthshire, a braw lad.

  8. 8
    jim says:

    Hitler hit Poland first; Why? Because he wanted a land-connect with the USSR; Why?Andrew Nagorski has the exact answer. August 11 1939; Hitler speaks privately with Commissioner Burckhardt (League of Nations)
    " Everything I undertake is directed against the Russians. If the West is too stupid and blind to grasp this, then I shall be compelled to come to an agreement with the Russians, beat the West and then after their defeat turn against the Soviet Union with all my forces. I need the Ukraine so they can't starve us out, as happened in the last war"
    World War Two explained by a madman days before he signed up with Stalin. Why did this stupid Commissioner not reveal this?

  9. 9
    Erling Baldorf says:

    So how do you get in contact with Glantz to correct a glaring error in his book about Barbarossa?

  10. 10
    Jonathan says:

    Colonel Glantz, thank you very much for the series of books covering the Soviet-German War. Comprehensive and thoroughly referenced literatures are not easy to come by. I still have two hard-bound titles in my bookshelf: When Titans Clashed and Stumbling Colossus.

    This repetitively suicidal attacks made by the Soviets remind me of a Romanian classmate of mine whose granddad had served on the Stalingrad Front. I was told that the Russians were making numerous suicidal assaults where his granddad's unit defended. It did not make much sense and I brushed it aside as a typical 'Axis perception' of that battle. But now that it is a fact that such a ruthless conduct of Stalingrad operation was integral to Soviet planning … wow!

    Perhaps single thing that still astonishes me is how the Germans became sucked up into a war of attrition. They already got rough handled in 1941 and, by mid 1942, they should have known better. Yet, they allow themselves to become even more attrited. It is as though this war has ballooned into a war for the sake of to see who is literally the last one standing!

  11. 11
    Paulie says:

    I'd like to point out to any remaining admirers of the alleged historian David Irving that this charlatan is a LIAR and proved to be so in a British court, where his numerous deliberate distortions of the facts of the Holocaust and the Dresden casualty figures where laid out for the world to see. Leaving him totally discredited as any kind of historian only fit for revisionist web sites and PREACHING to his dwindling audience of senile ex-nazis, dimwitted American anti-Communists(in this day and age-really that's one battle that IS over)conspiracy nuts (Hi Mr Suvrov paid CIA asset, so what's his work as an historian worth—mmmm less than zero?) and lastly those excellent examples of the Aryan master race neo-nazi skinheads. Well good luck with that Irving look where you fanboy worship of adolf has got you—yup 'The dustbin of history' where you so richly deserve to rest.

  12. 12
    Herbster says:

    It is a shame that the battle of Stalingrad, and for that matter, World War Two itself, is not taught in schools today. Children today know nothing of history, including the history of their own country. A sad commentary on what passes for education today.

    • 12.1
      Jonathan says:

      History in general has not been a 'money-maker', so not very many are interested in. A while back, a professor from freshman business class once remarked that the most popular major has been MBA, while the least popular major has been history.

      I did not know anything about the Eastern Front, let alone much about World War II, until I started playing computerized wargames during my teenage years. I wanted to know more, so I frequented public libraries. So, based on my own experience, an hobbyist interested in military history is more likely to be enthusiastic.

  13. 13
    clint rochford says:

    has anyone got information on the release date for STALINGRAD V3 by GLANTZ

  14. 14
    paul hart says:

    Sydney Bradwell…better to be an amateur historian than a dupe of professional historians as you obviously are.
    On every point you make you parrot propagandist 'history'.[A]Hitler was quite sane. [B]The six million figure for Jews is demonstrably a gross exaggeration[eventhough one is too many] [C] The British victory you claim was a Soviet victory with very little British assistance apart from the bombing of civilians and a lamentably late invasion of France [D] The evidence you cite for the so called 'debunking' of holocaust 'deniers' are;[one]the Nuremberg trials[itself debunked as a legal farce],[two]'documents'….there are remarkably few and [three]interviews…eyewitness reports can also be found in the hundreds attesting to gas chambers at Dachau and Buchenwald…and guess what….now even the most staunch defenders of the Holocaust Legend admit these places were not using gas chambers. In short your entire argument is drivel.

  15. 15
    turner 433 says:

    Glantz and other military historians have asked when Germany lost the war in the East. A question that fascinates me is whether, if Germany had made a retreat at Stalingrad (and thus not lost the 6th Army), had not attempted the offensive Operation Zitadelle (which wore down parts of Army Group Centre and Army Group South, and had made a strategic retreat at Minsk in response to Operation Bagration (and thus avoided the destruction of 4th Army/Army Group Centre in June-July 1944), could they have mounted a defense of Germany, and possibly East Prussia and Poland, against the Soviets and negotiated an armistice with the Soviets?
    I think there are two parts to this question: German intelligence, from the generals in the field, to OKW, to Hitler, as to the Soviet's enormous build-up of soldiers, tanks and other material — as to whether they could have made decisions that would have avoided the losses above, and two, even if the above losses were avoided, would Germany's remaining soldiers, tanks and other equipment have permitted a defense against the Soviet's massive buildup?

  16. 16
    Steve Bohlin says:

    The critical German (Hitlerian) blunder of Fall Blau was dividing Army Group South into Groups A & B and assigning them to tackle both Stalingrad and the Caucasus oil fields. Bock could easily have taken Stalingrad and crossed to the left bank of the Volga thereby interdicting the flow of Caucasian oil up the Volga transportation corridor. A concerted drive on Stalingrad with the southern flank defenses anchored on Rostov-Kerch would have been the nightmare scenario for the Soviets in 1942.

  17. 17
    Tony Giammichele says:

    Mr Glantz, I normally read more about Ancient History , however I find \The Battle of Stalingrad\ facinating.

    I have only ever read: \Stalingrad\ by Antony Beevor, and I liked it enough to read it several times over the past few years.

    Looking at all the books available about Stalingrad on Amazon and similar operations between the German and Soviet Armies. I don't know where to start reading?

    From the books you wrote along with some others written by other authors, I would really appreciate your recommendation on what book to start my reading with and maybe some sort of path to follow with other books on the same subject \Stalingrad\.

    My research shows you to be the \master\ of this subject, so your feedback will be greatly appreciated.

    Best Regards,

    Tony Giammichele

  18. 18
    robert haggerty says:

    Perhaps Glantz. who I admire as a historian, is not always correct in some of his conclusions regarding the war in the East but his work in the field is tremendously important in debunking the prevalent attitude of so many Americans regarding WW II that \we beat Hitler\. The average American is completely ignorant of the predominant role that the Red Army played in defeating Hitler. With the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion approaching, I am bracing myself for the usual flood of nonsense from the American media. My favorite is the one constantly repeated that the Normandy landings \changed the course of the war\ How can anyone seriously believe that as of June 5, 1944 the Germans were winning the war? The war in the West was never more than a side-show as far as defeating Hitler goes. Unfortunately the unjustified hubris from such a misconception has led to some very serious miscalculations and misjudgments about the military capabilities of the US Army in particular. I just hope that more and more people become more familiar with the work of Glantz and other historians such as Max Hastings so as to fully comprehend how the Germans were defeated.

  19. 19
    Ryan says:

    Most Americans are very ignorant of the fact that if the Soviets hadn't worn down and destroyed 80% of the German army stopping Hitler would have been impossible. Instead the US and the UK faced young boys and old men as well as resting depleted divisions from the eastern front. The Normandy landings did however, to the Western Allies credit, greatly hastened the war's end. As soon as the Germans lost the beaches the Germans had a collective Oh Crap moment with their greatest fear realized – a continental two front ground war (and technically a 3 front war with the Allies going through Italy). Normandy most certainly was anything but a turning point. Casualty wise it would have been insignificant compared to the Eastern Front (millions dead vs a few thousand at Normandy.) Strategically it was crucial to hasten the collapse of Germany. After all Stalin must have been somewhat worried without an Allied invasion since he was pretty ticked the Allies took so long while his Army was losing 10s of millions. Normandy was more of a symbolic victory in that now Hitler had to siphon off more than boys and old men to protect the Western ground war. So Normandy was important but without the Soviets the Allies would have been completely destroyed attempting a landing against Germany had the Soviets not destroyed the bulk of the German Army. And even for those who who say the Battle of Britain was so crucial it is important to note that Hitler had little desire to destroy Britain. If he had committed to a serious campaign against Britain, he wouldn't have only sent in just an Air Force. He hoped the British would \come to their senses\ if scared by bombings. In essence the British defeated the Germans in the Battle of Britain because Hitler stopping short of destroying the British at Dunkirk and Hitler never seriously considering an invasion. IMO Britain got lucky Hitler wanted to prepare a war with the Soviets. And there again though Stalin was a murdering fanatic he saved the USSR from extinction as well as gave the western Allies breathing room to prevail. It's just sad that the Cold War western propaganda minimized Soviet contributions yet the irony is without the USSR the western Allies would have had to capitulate and US isolationism would have prevailed leaving Britain alone throughout. Rather than western propaganda making Churchill and Roosevelt the mythical figures they were portrayed to be in the Victor's history books, the Allies winning had more to do with Stalin's brutal leadership than anything else.

  20. 20
    Markus says:

    I'll give one example how costly Red Army offensives were also against Finns. During the Jan to April 1942 Red Army started 4 separate operations: two in Krivi, one in Syväri and one in Kiestinki. They didn't gain any areas at all but lost (following even their own very questionable loss figures) 44 000 soldiers killed in action and 161 000 wounded in action. Finns lost some 2 000 soldiers killed in action, missing in action or died in wounds. With the kill rate of 1:22 one should really think about twice when claiming that Red Army became better and better after tragedy of summer 1941.

    And interestingly there are lots of both German and Finnish military intelligence documents showing how moral of Red Army became suprisingly even lower during the latter part of the war even though (or perhaps because) they marched to west. What were should never forget is the fact that Red Army lost their five last battles against Finns during July-August 1944 before peace treaty: battle of Tali-Ihantala, Bay of Viborg, Äyräpää-Vuosalmi, U-line and of Ilomantsi. One of reasons was their bad foodstuff supply causing morale declining.

  21. 21
    Markus says:

    We should never too believe in Soviet myths and legends about 80% role of destroying Hitler's Germany. First of all it's based on fact that Soviet Union left so many German prisoners died in terrible conditions of camps during and after the war. Actually Germans lost 35% of their armor against Western allies which is very good measure because we got quite the same percentage when following German loss figures of KIA, WIA, DIW and MIA (33-35% in west and south, 65-67% in east).

    As early as in fall 1943 Luftwaffe have to put 65% of dayfighters against just US 8th Air Force. Interestingly during that time Luftwaffe lost air dominance also in east. 95% of German Navy losses came against western allies. Luftwaffe probably lost 50% of aircraft against western allies too.

    Then their lend lease. Even Zhukov addmitted after the war that without western aid Red Army \could not have managed to build strategic reserve\ and \continued the war\. Lend lease made Red Army real mobiled and faster moving force in east which played a crucial part in Belo Russia during summer of 1944. However the level of Red Army soldiers didn't become much better, likely the opposite.

    And finally, we should never forget that population rate between Greater Germany and Soviet Union was only 1:2 favoring Soviets. At the same time Germans were always much better killing Red Army soldiers. Even following very questionably Soviet loss figures we got loss rate of 1:6 until late 1943. So Stalin was loosing his cannon fodder about three times faster than Germans when we note population rate of both nations. That's the main reason why Stalin so eagerly wanted \new fronts\ in west though there were several already.

    The pale truth very few Russians and even westeners have found is that without western aid and new fronts Stalin would have never win the war. More likely we would have sawn a terrible bloody stalemate in east. It's time to abolish myths and legends of Great Patriotic War. It wasn't not so glorious victory for Stalin than former believed. The price was too terrible and western allies helped great dictator more than Russians are mentally ready to admit.

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