How are books by David Glantz

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Omeganian
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by Omeganian » 04 Jan 2012 17:20

LWD wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
LWD wrote:Perhaps you could supply a bit more detail?
Of course:
Glantz wrote:This starkly revisionist book... was written by a former Soviet Army major, Viktor Rezun
For starters, his real name is Vladimir Rezun.
And his pen name is Victor Suvorov. Hardly a significant point.
Makes a very bad impression.
LWD wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Glantz wrote:At the least one can validly question how an officer of his lowly rank could have had access to such material in the first place
????? Such a question might be valid for some armies, but for the Soviet Army, it is simply meaningless. Rank was secondary to position. Is Glantz really so ignorant?
I doubt it. Even in the Red Army rank and position were pretty highly correlated were they not? And given his rank and his functions it's still a very valid question.
He was doing a colonel's job. An intel colonel, so he had to know quite a bit about the past.
Glantz wrote:he contended that Stalin... deliberately mobilized and deployed a massive strategic second echelon to achieve victory, that this echelon consisted of imposing "black shirted" NKVD formations and crack shock armies (such as the 16th and the 19th)
Now, that is a completely insane mixture. Suvorov discusses NKVD formations (part of no echelon nor the army) in one chapter, he discusses black divisions (by no means imposing) in the second echelon (neither quite mobilized nor deployed at the time) half a book later, and he discusses shirts... nowhere at all.
Echelon refers to where they are. Suvorov didn't have to specifically state where they were to make that a reasonable inference.
Explain.
As for the shirt colors NKVD uniform shirts were dark grey or black were they not?
Doesn't look that way.

http://rkka.ru/uniform/files/i_nkvd.htm

http://www.memo.ru/history/NKVD/kto/petlicy.htm
It's not unreasonable for Glantz to refer to them as such without Rezun doing the same.
Then why does he talk about them in the second echelon?
As for the rest if it I'd like to see a direct quote, given the context minor changes could make this very reasonable or not.
http://www.jrbooksonline.com/PDF_Books/icebreaker.pdf

NKVD divisions - chapters 7-8. Black divisions - chapter 24.
Glantz wrote:that General A. M. Vasilevsky and not General G. K. Zhukov was the architect and designated implementer of Stalin's cunning plan
I don't remember Suvorov stating such a thing, although lately (in books which came out after the Stumbling Colossus) he does praise Vasilevsky and criticizes Zhukov.
So you are critizeing Glantz for something you don't remember?
Searched the text of the books. Nothing like that.
Glantz wrote:According to both Soviet and German classified sources, the formidable Soviet second strategic echelon, to which Rezun refers, including the vaunted 16th and 19th Armies and their associated mechanized corps, was considerably less than formidable, as attested to by its subsequent combat performance when its forces were committed to action between August and October. Second strategic echelon Soviet mechanized corps almost totally lacked modern medium and heavy tanks
Actually, quite consistent with Suvorov's statements. It's just that Glantz's description has too little in common with them.

Which makes no sense at all.
No statements about it being "formidable" or combat ready.

According to Suvorov, the tanks were mainly concentrated in the first echelon for a massive first strike, and the second echelon, when their turn to fight would have come, would have received the remains of these mechcorps in addition to their own - plus the factory output, of course. So, naturally, it was a bit poor on tanks under the conditions which came to pass.
The way this was written it's not at all clear that there is any specific problem with Glantz.
Suvorov says the second echelon had few tanks, and most of the power was concentrated in the first echelon. Glantz says Suvorov is mistaken because the second echelon had few tanks, and the heavy and medium tanks were concentrated in the first echelon... and you see no problem with that?

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LWD
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by LWD » 04 Jan 2012 18:29

Omeganian wrote:
LWD wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Glantz wrote:This starkly revisionist book... was written by a former Soviet Army major, Viktor Rezun
For starters, his real name is Vladimir Rezun.
And his pen name is Victor Suvorov. Hardly a significant point.
Makes a very bad impression.[/qutoe]
Or not.
LWD wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Glantz wrote:At the least one can validly question how an officer of his lowly rank could have had access to such material in the first place
????? Such a question might be valid for some armies, but for the Soviet Army, it is simply meaningless. Rank was secondary to position. Is Glantz really so ignorant?
I doubt it. Even in the Red Army rank and position were pretty highly correlated were they not? And given his rank and his functions it's still a very valid question.
He was doing a colonel's job. An intel colonel, so he had to know quite a bit about the past.
Not really especially in the area of pre war Soviet plans.
Echelon refers to where they are. Suvorov didn't have to specifically state where they were to make that a reasonable inference.
Explain.
I usually respond poorly to commands from people who aren't authorized to make them. In the future you will get better responses with polite questions than with demands.
This time however. If they weren't in the front then they were second echelon, unless you propose a third echelon and then it would depend on how that were defined. So whether an author specifically stated they were second echelon or third echelon or even first if his descritpion fit the defintion then the use of the term is reasonable.
As for the shirt colors NKVD uniform shirts were dark grey or black were they not?
Doesn't look that way.
Well let's see. With this one: http://rkka.ru/uniform/files/i_nkvd.htm It's hard to tell as I don't know which are NKVD and which aren't but none show the shirts clearly in any case.
And this one: http://www.memo.ru/history/NKVD/kto/petlicy.htm is all in Russian with no pictures so it's hard to tell just what it says. On the otherhand:
http://www.tridentmilitary.com/Reproduc ... forms.html
has one in:
M35NKVD.Reproduction Soviet M35 NKVD / COMMISSAR officer shirt tunics with Raspberry piping around collar and cuffs. Made in Russia with Bluish Gray cotton material
It's not unreasonable to refer to Bluish Gray as black. The same can be said for the uniform of 39A at: http://www.frontofrussia.com/army.html
The 1935 NKVD tanker uniforms at http://www.russianarsenal.com/index.php?cPath=2_7 also look like they could reasonably be described as black. The same with the 1941 NKVD womens uniforms on that page.

Omeganian
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by Omeganian » 04 Jan 2012 19:32

LWD wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
LWD wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Glantz wrote:This starkly revisionist book... was written by a former Soviet Army major, Viktor Rezun
For starters, his real name is Vladimir Rezun.
And his pen name is Victor Suvorov. Hardly a significant point.
Makes a very bad impression.
Or not.
A matter of opinion. I don't like it when people get my name wrong, so I cannot imagine it being different.
LWD wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Glantz wrote:At the least one can validly question how an officer of his lowly rank could have had access to such material in the first place
????? Such a question might be valid for some armies, but for the Soviet Army, it is simply meaningless. Rank was secondary to position. Is Glantz really so ignorant?
I doubt it. Even in the Red Army rank and position were pretty highly correlated were they not? And given his rank and his functions it's still a very valid question.
He was doing a colonel's job. An intel colonel, so he had to know quite a bit about the past.
Not really especially in the area of pre war Soviet plans.
He had enough clearance to do independent work. In any case, none of his former superiors questions that part, and the mere question is completely irrelevant.
Echelon refers to where they are. Suvorov didn't have to specifically state where they were to make that a reasonable inference.
Explain.
If they weren't in the front then they were second echelon, unless you propose a third echelon and then it would depend on how that were defined.
Suvorov is writing about such an echelon. Former border guards. In any case, Glantz claims that Suvorov said something while he did not.
So whether an author specifically stated they were second echelon or third echelon or even first if his descritpion fit the defintion then the use of the term is reasonable.
Suvorov's definition of the second echelon is seven armies of the regular military. No NKVD.
As for the shirt colors NKVD uniform shirts were dark grey or black were they not?
Doesn't look that way.
Well let's see. With this one: http://rkka.ru/uniform/files/i_nkvd.htm It's hard to tell as I don't know which are NKVD and which aren't but none show the shirts clearly in any case.
All are NKVD. And if the shirts are not seen while in the uniform, then how can they be a source of the name?
And this one: http://www.memo.ru/history/NKVD/kto/petlicy.htm is all in Russian with no pictures so it's hard to tell just what it says.
Shirt colors mentioned - white, light blue, dark blue
On the otherhand:
http://www.tridentmilitary.com/Reproduc ... forms.html
has one in:
M35NKVD.Reproduction Soviet M35 NKVD / COMMISSAR officer shirt tunics with Raspberry piping around collar and cuffs. Made in Russia with Bluish Gray cotton material
It's not unreasonable to refer to Bluish Gray as black. The same can be said for the uniform of 39A at: http://www.frontofrussia.com/army.html[/quote]
LWD wrote:The 1935 NKVD tanker uniforms at http://www.russianarsenal.com/index.php?cPath=2_7 also look like they could reasonably be described as black. The same with the 1941 NKVD womens uniforms on that page.
Well, no 1935 uniforms seem to have been in use in 1941. In any case, Suvorov doesn't write about black shirted NKVD units.

In short, a very strong impression Glantz never read Suvorov's books.

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LWD
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by LWD » 04 Jan 2012 20:37

Omeganian wrote: ... In short, a very strong impression Glantz never read Suvorov's books.
So you do have something good to say about Glantz. :)

ljadw
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by ljadw » 04 Jan 2012 20:38

For once,I have to agree with Glantz :reading Suvurov is a waste of time and money.

fuser
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by fuser » 04 Jan 2012 21:03

Well Glantz has its shortcomings (obviously) but there isn't much available alternatives either on those specific subjects....
Glantz IMO is very good for a general overview of the ostfront (at least better than wiki) but of course for a more factual analysis, there hardly exist a single person/book/publication to refer too..

So, keeping in that mind, I would say Glantz has done an excellent work and is highly recommended..

Omeganian
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by Omeganian » 04 Jan 2012 21:40

ljadw wrote:For once,I have to agree with Glantz :reading Suvurov is a waste of time and money.
And for some, reading the works of a man criticizing books he never read is a waste of time and money.

Also, in other places Glantz: Mixes up the terms motorized and mechanized division, claims Rokossovsky was arrested for his connection with the "purged" Blucher (a year before Blucher was arrested), calls Vlasov a WWI veteran (born in 1900), rips out of context when quoting Grigorenko, calls T-26 "diesel driven"... Yeah, right. He can't do simple math, so I must believe he is good in differential equations.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by Sid Guttridge » 05 Jan 2012 11:14

Hi Guys,

I remain amazed at the trivial level of some of the criticism of Glantz.

Glantz has spents years studying Soviet archive material and has published thousands of densely written pages of largely new material, each of which contain dozens of hard facts that are hostages to fortune to any nit-pickers. Given the tens or hundreds of thousands of new hard facts that Glantz has put before the English-reading public, there are bound to be dozens or even hundreds of errors. You would therefore think he offered a massive potential target for critics.

And yet what do we get by way of criticism? A christian name of another author confused with his pen name. What is probably an editorial error by someone else in an index. A question of shirt colour and whether or not another author mentions it. The fact that he had covered some of the same ground in a respected journal as in one of his books. Mixing up the fuel used by a type of tank - only really damaging if Glantz is personally tasked with taking a T26 to a petrol station! A critic beginning "I don't remember..." and yet still offering a criticism on the very subject he doesn't remember!

Sure, I would rather every author was 100% right 100% of the time, but none of them probably are unless they are so sparing with hard facts that there are none to analyze. In which case they might as well write fiction.

Given the enormous amount Glantz has published, the criticisms raised here are too few and insubstantial, and often untraceable due to lack of sourcing, to amount to a serious attack on his reputation.

In fact, rather than showing Glantz in a poor light, most more call into question the sense of proportion of the critics who raise them. Just because we might happen to know one or two comparitively minor things that Glantz may not, doesn't suddenly make us the expert and him the amateur!

So I am with Fuser when he writes, ".....I would say Glantz has done excellent work and is highly recommended."

Cheers,

Sid.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by Sid Guttridge » 05 Jan 2012 11:52

Hi Kernow Tom.

Yes, Glantz is fact-heavy and is a dense read. But in order to pack so much information into a limited space, he has to be.

Glantz's type of book provides the vital skeletal framework on which popular, narrative, anecdotal and fiction historians hang their work. Without the hard facts already being in print, they would often be writing in a vacuum.

If I want a "great read" on Stalingrad, I might go to someone more light weight but accessible, like Beevor. But if I want the hard facts, at least from the Soviet side, there is generally no better source in English than Glantz.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Annelie
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by Annelie » 05 Jan 2012 13:45

Sid wrote
Glantz has spents years studying Soviet archive material and has published thousands of densely written pages of largely new material
Agree with you. Some years ago I bought on ebay Memories of War the experiences of the red army veterans
of the great patriotic war - and Red Army Officers Speak (2001) from Col. David Glantz. He was nice
enough to have even signed them.

The interviews are amazing to read. He didn't just dig out facts but found veterans.

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LWD
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by LWD » 05 Jan 2012 14:25

Omeganian wrote: .. Also, in other places Glantz: Mixes up the terms motorized and mechanized division,....
When discussing WWII formations the terms are used synonimously in many if not most places.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 06 Jan 2012 18:06

Sid
Yes, Glantz is fact-heavy and is a dense read. But in order to pack so much information into a limited space, he has to be.
I quite agree, I think the shortcoming is in my ability to assimilate all that information - not used to reading of military campaigns of such a large scale. :oops:
Glantz's type of book provides the vital skeletal framework on which popular, narrative, anecdotal and fiction historians hang their work. Without the hard facts already being in print, they would often be writing in a vacuum.

In a ideal world, this is true, but how many "popular historians" will even make the effort to absorb Glantz's work? Which is obviously not a criticism of him!
If I want a "great read" on Stalingrad, I might go to someone more light weight but accessible, like Beevor. But if I want the hard facts, at least from the Soviet side, there is generally no better source in English than Glantz.
I'm not sure that I would describe Beevor's Stalingrad book as "light-weight" - did he not exploit untapped reserves of information from Soviet archives as well? He may not have as much number-crunching detail (exact number of tanks, every units' designation, the biographies of major players, etc) but his contribution was surely exposing the human reality behind all those details.

IMHO, as I said before, Rory Muir's Salamanca exhibits a balnce of both approaches - and interesting descriptions of how he worked as a historian to produce the final product - although obviously for a much smaller and shorter event. :)

Personally I think there is probably an "ideal" balance between detail, analysis and "human interest" - but I imagine its a bit like the Higgs Boson - its out there somewhere!!

regards

Tom

ljadw
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by ljadw » 06 Jan 2012 18:43

Hm,hm,

samba_liten
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by samba_liten » 07 Jan 2012 01:39

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi Guys,

I remain amazed at the trivial level of some of the criticism of Glantz.

Glantz has spents years studying Soviet archive material and has published thousands of densely written pages of largely new material, each of which contain dozens of hard facts that are hostages to fortune to any nit-pickers. Given the tens or hundreds of thousands of new hard facts that Glantz has put before the English-reading public, there are bound to be dozens or even hundreds of errors. You would therefore think he offered a massive potential target for critics.

And yet what do we get by way of criticism? A christian name of another author confused with his pen name. What is probably an editorial error by someone else in an index. A question of shirt colour and whether or not another author mentions it. The fact that he had covered some of the same ground in a respected journal as in one of his books. Mixing up the fuel used by a type of tank - only really damaging if Glantz is personally tasked with taking a T26 to a petrol station! A critic beginning "I don't remember..." and yet still offering a criticism on the very subject he doesn't remember!

Sure, I would rather every author was 100% right 100% of the time, but none of them probably are unless they are so sparing with hard facts that there are none to analyze. In which case they might as well write fiction.

Given the enormous amount Glantz has published, the criticisms raised here are too few and insubstantial, and often untraceable due to lack of sourcing, to amount to a serious attack on his reputation.

In fact, rather than showing Glantz in a poor light, most more call into question the sense of proportion of the critics who raise them. Just because we might happen to know one or two comparitively minor things that Glantz may not, doesn't suddenly make us the expert and him the amateur!

So I am with Fuser when he writes, ".....I would say Glantz has done excellent work and is highly recommended."

Cheers,

Sid.
I own several of Glanz's books, and enjoyed reading them. However, this thread had a link to that swedish discussion, which i could understand. A couple of posts on, i found this link to an english discussion, which has led to a decrease in my trust for Glanz.

http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/ubb/Forum ... 00025.html

Best Regards,
Fred

Sid Guttridge
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Re: How are books by David Glantz

Post by Sid Guttridge » 07 Jan 2012 13:03

Hi Tom,

I actually described Beevor's book as "more light weight", rather than "light weight". He is certainly more light weight than Glantz.

Certainly Beevor consulted Soviet archives, but, unlike Glantz, he does not read Russian well and is no specialist in the area.

Beevor has certainly been valuable to military history generally, because he has succeeded in popularizing the subject and thereby made it easier for more serious military historians and amateurs alike to get published.

However, Beevor is dependent on others, such as Glantz and Ericson, to establish the hard facts in more heavy-weight, but less populist, books. He then peoples their landscape with anecdotes and personal experiences, but rarely breaks any new ground himself. What he has done is, as you describe, is add further sourced anecdote "exposing the human reality behind all those details". However, it is not as if he is the first. Alexander Werth began that while the war was still on and later books such as that by Salisbury on the siege of Lenigrad went further. Nor is it as if previous accounts of the battles of Stalingrad or Berlin have been without human interest stories. I think we all know that war is horrible already.

Beevor is a bit of a pillion passenger. He cherry picks the high profile battles all have heard of - i.e. Stalingrad and Berlin -and just puts a slightly new spin on them. By contrast Glantz is at the coal face of historical research, producing numerous volumes on major Soviet operations that few in the English speaking world even knew existed were it not for him.

Personally, I would not like to see a half-way house book that was neither "fish-nor-fowl". There is a need to popularize military history, and Beevor performs that PR role. I would expect any half-way decent public library to stock at least one of his books.

However, as a historian, Beevor is a bit of a dilettante compared with Glantz. He shifts from one popular subject, that already has numerous books on it, to another (Stalingrad, Crete, Berlin, etc.). While Beevor stands on the bridge of the SS Military History collecting the public plaudits and royalties, the real academic work is being done in the engine room by professionals of the likes of Glantz and Ericson, who learn the language, spend a lifetime of primary research and acquire deep specialist knowledge. I don't expect to find most of Glantz's books in a public library, but it would be a poor university or national library that did not stock some of them.

The irony is that, whereas I have, I think, all of Beevor's work, courtesy of his massive print runs and charity shops, I only have a minority of Glantz's. However, although I have always paid the market price for Glantz's books, I have always felt it money well spent.

Cheers,

Sid.

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