On Reading Glantz's Red Storm over the Balkans

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
User avatar
Benoit Douville
Financial supporter
Posts: 3184
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 01:13
Location: Montréal

Red Storm Over the Balkans

Post by Benoit Douville » 24 Nov 2006 22:25

This is a new book by Glantz really promising about the Red Army invasion of Romania in April and May 1944 which produced nearly 200 000 casualties and tarnished the reputations of its commanders.

Glantz reveals the immense scope and ambitious intent of the first Iasi-Kishinev offensive. His re-creation shows that Stalin was not as preoccupied with a direct route to Berlin as he was with a “broad front” strategy designed to gain territory and find vulnerable points in Germany’s extended lines of defense. If successful, the invasion would have also eliminated Romania as Germany’s ally, cut off the vital Ploiesti oilfields, and provided a base from which to consolidate Soviet power throughout the Balkans.

Glantz discloses General Ivan Konev’s strategic plan as the 2nd Ukrainian Front prepared its Iasi offensive and fought a climactic battle with the German Eighth Army and its Romanian allies in the Tirgu-Frumos region in early May, then the regrouping of General Rodion Malinovsky’s 3rd Ukrainian Front for its decisive offensive toward Kishinev, which aborted in the face of a skillful counterstroke by a threadbare German Sixth Army. Glantz describes how the Wehrmacht, with a nucleus of combat veterans, was able to beat back Soviet forces hampered by spring floods, while already fragile Soviet logistical support was further undermined by the Wehrmacht’s scorched-earth strategy.

Although Konev’s and Malinovsky’s offensives failed, the Red Army managed to inflict heavy losses on Axis forces, exacerbating the effects of Germany’s defeats in the Ukraine and making it more difficult for the Wehrmacht to contain the Soviet juggernaut’s ultimate advance toward Berlin.

Source: University Press of Kansas:



Image

Jan-Hendrik
Member
Posts: 8197
Joined: 11 Nov 2004 12:53
Location: Hohnhorst / Deutschland

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 24 Nov 2006 23:31

Thanks for this info , that sounds really interesting !

Jan-Hendrik

User avatar
Kunikov
Member
Posts: 4454
Joined: 20 Jan 2004 19:23

Post by Kunikov » 25 Nov 2006 07:37

It was supposed to have already been out, I wonder why the delay...

User avatar
Kim Sung
Member
Posts: 5039
Joined: 28 May 2005 13:36
Location: The Last Confucian State

Post by Kim Sung » 25 Nov 2006 08:23

Kunikov wrote:It was supposed to have already been out, I wonder why the delay...


I've got the same delay mail from http://www.amazon.com yesterday.

Andreas
Member
Posts: 6938
Joined: 10 Nov 2002 14:12
Location: Europe

Post by Andreas » 25 Nov 2006 09:15

Kunikov wrote:It was supposed to have already been out, I wonder why the delay...


Books get delayed all the time. Editing problems, need to rewrite a section because of new findings, someone (e.g. editor/proofreader/author) not in the way at a critical time (e.g. when proofs need to be returned with corrections), etc.pp.

Once a project has reached the stage of this one, in my experience the reasons for delay are usually associated with production issues (where production start is the point where the draft is handed to the printers).

All the best

Andreas

pitman
Member
Posts: 277
Joined: 08 Jan 2006 21:54
Location: Columbus, OH

Post by pitman » 26 Nov 2006 18:48

Well, I ordered it some months ago when I saw it, but my expectations are not very high. Glantz has done some stuff I have liked, but he churns stuff out so fast that I have questions about the carefulness and completeness of his research. The one time one of his books dealt with a subject I was very familiar with, I found a number of errors. It has made me suspicious of those other books whose facts I am less conversant with. Additionally, his writing is pedestrian.

User avatar
Benoit Douville
Financial supporter
Posts: 3184
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 01:13
Location: Montréal

Post by Benoit Douville » 27 Nov 2006 17:24

Uh? Who are you to criticize Glantz? He is probably the best when it come to the Eastern Front, his research is totally outstanding.

Regards

User avatar
Kim Sung
Member
Posts: 5039
Joined: 28 May 2005 13:36
Location: The Last Confucian State

Post by Kim Sung » 28 Nov 2006 04:10

Benoit Douville wrote:Uh? Who are you to criticize Glantz? He is probably the best when it come to the Eastern Front, his research is totally outstanding.

Yes, he has outstanding knowledge on the Eastern Front. But, in terms of writing style, his works are not attractive to people who are not specialists. For non-English speakers like me, his books are very difficult to absorb. And he explains the courses of a battle using maps that are very confusing like in Kursk 1943.

On these points, I partly agree to pitman's view on David Glantz.

User avatar
Richard Hargreaves
Member
Posts: 1319
Joined: 04 Jul 2003 22:48
Location: Portsmouth, England

Post by Richard Hargreaves » 28 Nov 2006 09:26

I'll concur with that. First rate researcher, but not a great writer. No-one understands the Red Army on the Eastern Front better in the English-speaking world probably, but he lacks panache as a writer. Still, way better than Albert Seaton :D

User avatar
Kim Sung
Member
Posts: 5039
Joined: 28 May 2005 13:36
Location: The Last Confucian State

Post by Kim Sung » 28 Nov 2006 09:39

halder wrote:First rate researcher, but not a great writer.

This sentence accurately describes David Glantz. If he had a genius as a writer, he could be a legend.

Andreas
Member
Posts: 6938
Joined: 10 Nov 2002 14:12
Location: Europe

Post by Andreas » 28 Nov 2006 12:01

I agree that Glantz is not the greatest writer there ever was. I also have issues with his research on the German side, which IMO relies far too much on secondary works, and is therefore of a lower standard than his research on the Red Army side. I would sincerely hope that he has stopped using Paul Karl Schmidt (Carell) for this book, and relies less on other works of a more autobiographical nature (such as 'Bis Stalingrad 48km' and 'Panzer zwischen Don und Donetz', or 'Rschww - Eckpfeiler der Ostfront', all of which he used as sources in his older works). I find this use of secondary material on the German side disappointing, given that he should have little trouble accessing e.g. the war diaries of the German formations involved, and work primarily from those.

Having said all that, anyone seriously interested in the war in the east can not do without Glantz, but I recommend reading Ziemke alongside, when it comes to the German side.

All the best

Andreas

User avatar
Kunikov
Member
Posts: 4454
Joined: 20 Jan 2004 19:23

Post by Kunikov » 29 Nov 2006 05:14

Seems like it's finally available, mine is shipping out soon :D

User avatar
Kim Sung
Member
Posts: 5039
Joined: 28 May 2005 13:36
Location: The Last Confucian State

Post by Kim Sung » 29 Nov 2006 05:38

I've got a mail, too. :)

User avatar
Benoit Douville
Financial supporter
Posts: 3184
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 01:13
Location: Montréal

Post by Benoit Douville » 29 Nov 2006 16:43

I agree if you are talking about his writing style, true it is arid, I was talking more about his research.

The book is available right now at the University Press of Kansas, I can't wait to read it.

Regards

Nucleicacidman
Member
Posts: 126
Joined: 01 Apr 2004 05:53
Location: El Provencio, Cuenca, España

Post by Nucleicacidman » 30 Nov 2006 02:51

There have been complaints concerning his book The Battle of Kursk. I had an 'argument' on another forum, and although I ended up not being able to locate the other person's references, he does make a point. Although I personally believe that, at least in this specific book, he leaves actual casualty predictions to the reader, as he presents casualty reports from various sources, he does give old-Soviet archival sources a bit more credence than he plausibly should. To put this into perspective, it was a Finnish poster who said this. That considered, AFAIK there are not very many German sources on the Battle of Targul Frumos. I have seen recent Western sources that give brief accounts, and these are based on U.S. army monographs written by Manteuffel himself and the memoirs of the same general and von Luck. This book has been out with Borders for at least a month, but I haven't had a chance to pick it up yet.

Return to “WW2 in Eastern Europe”