How are books by David Glantz

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Art
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by Art » 18 Apr 2012 20:17

Michate wrote: The ration strength figure from October (as given by Reinhardt) must include not only air force personnel, but also very considerable numbers of non-military personnel
I remember that. What I mean that as far as the total ration strength is concerned the number looks quite possible.
Out of curiosity, which captured document shows 1,7 million men in December?
I don't know was it from any document or not. The reference in the IV volume of the official history leads to "documents and materials of the Institute of Military History f..., op... etc" which doesn't say anything useful about its origin. Yet there is a great deal of probability it was from a primary source, for by that time (mid-70s) captured German military records in the SU were subject to a considerable scrutiny (not so much as it could be due to limited access, secrecy etc). Needless to say any wartime books and publications where written virtually without any access to primary or secondary sources from the other side, which should be kept in mind when judging them.

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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by Cult Icon » 24 Dec 2014 19:50

Glantz is overall my favorite EF author. I believe that his books are must-read if one cannot read Russian. But still, I am alarmed that he is a 'one man' opinion leader in the english speaking world.

His published (non-self published) operational books seem to be of 2 types. There are also shorter, more general works like 'When Titans clashed', '900 days of Terror', 'Barbarossa', etc. that I won't get into. There are also institutional studies like 'Colossus Reborn', 'Stumbling Colossus', etc,etc.

Operational history:

1. A streamlined, operational history from both German and Soviet sides (Soviet: 2/3, German: 1/3). Battle of Kursk, Red Storm over the Balkans, Stalingrad Trilogy, Zhukov's Greatest defeat, From Don to the Dnepr, etc. With some books he teams up with John House.

2.Other operational histories look to me to be more of a soviet/german source document dump tied together with narrative. This includes Kharkov: Anatomy of a disaster, Barbarossa Derailed series, After Stalingrad, etc. These books are for more advanced readers that have studied these campaigns/battles from other sources already and want to read unfiltered source documents. I do not believe that these books are for beginners to the topic and would serve to confuse and frustrate them.

Books in category #1 are EF must-reads I believe. It is just wrong to study these battles from the German side only or 80, 90% from the German side like the bulk of english published material is.

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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by Cult Icon » 24 Dec 2014 20:22

As far as the issue of German statistics go, Glantz is not 100% perfect with these. His tends to be sins of omission more often than blatant errors. He doesn't put in the level of archive effort like Zetterling does for German stats. Although to his credit.. in his more recent books (Red Storm, Mars, Stalingrad trilogy,etc.) he has used a great quantity of german sources and far more than the usual EF author uses for the soviet. Overall, his effort in this area is not that problematic.

In any event, cherry picking statistics without reading the words is not the main point of reading his books. He gives situational context and the soviet/german troop movements in higher level detail. That is the main value. Readers who studied the RKKA and Wehrmacht institutionally should have no problem visualizing the force structure while cracking open his books. German statistics can be found in other books like unit histories, Jentz panzertruppen I/II, order of battles, etc. in order to enhance the overall experience.

eg. Red Storm over the Balkans:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 4&start=60
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 3&start=75

As far as Soviet source document/General Staff Studies go, their estimates of German forces and losses are wrong, so when Glantz reprints this for reference in appendix, for color, or in his document-dump books it shouldn't be a big deal. Their value is elsewhere and in the qualitative details.

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