Romanian Military History Forum - Part of Romanian Army in the Second World War Website



Pages: (3) [1] 2 3   ( Go to first unread post ) Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

> Mark Solonin - The cask and the hoops
MMM
Posted: September 08, 2012 06:43 pm
Quote Post


General de divizie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1463
Member No.: 2323
Joined: December 02, 2008



I hope I can write a review for this book - more precisely, for the Romanian version of it, edited by Polirom and translated by a certain Maria Sirghi.

First of all, the author's view is different from Suvorov's theories, although not in a fundamental way. Whereas Suvorov just tries to proove the fact that USSR was preparing for an aggresive move towards Nazi Germany, Solonin (which, by the way, seems to be a historian with "history studies" :P ) not only does that by showing the disposition of Soviet troops at the borders, but explains with data and numbers some stuff: what troops, how many / how ready / how complete, who were the commanders, how did they fight etc.
What makes the book interesting (IMO) is the step-by step analysis of the fighting of some Red Army Mechanized Corps in the first days of the war.
The style of narration is attractive, at least for the instructed reader (familiarized with the Eastern Front actions) and the maps are of real help when trying to follow the routes of attackers and defenders.

A really weak spot of the book is the way in which it was translated and some military terms and names were "masacred", to put it in a mild tone: the word "efreitor" kept appearing in the book; perhaps it is the Russian version of the German "Gefreiter", aka Corporal; perhaps it is just a derogatory term; also, Franz Halder was reffered to as "Halter" a couple of times; Hoth became Gott and there were a couple more of gags like those; annoying, to say the least.

I hope the next book will benefit from a better translation, as some of Suvorov's books do! (translated by Radu Părpăuţă)
PMEmail PosterUsers WebsiteYahoo
Top
Victor
Posted: September 09, 2012 06:53 am
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 4332
Member No.: 3
Joined: February 11, 2003



My impression after reading it is that Solonin does not make a good case on the Suvorov theory. Most of the effort is put in proving that the Soviet state had on paper the means to defend itself against the German attack (contrary to the image that Soviet propaganda has apparently fed to Soviet citizens post war, but nothing new to us) and that the Red Army was actually a colossus with clay feet, something which the much booed David Glantz (booed by the Suvorov fans that is) has already done. If any, in my opinion, his book only goes to strengthen the image put forward by Glantz in "Stumbling Colossus".

Although an educated historian apparently, the writing style of Solonin draws closer to that of Suvorov than to a cold history book, which is regrettable.

The translation/publishing errors were indeed annoying given the price paid for the book. For that money Polirom should have done a cleaner job.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
MMM
Posted: September 09, 2012 08:15 am
Quote Post


General de divizie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1463
Member No.: 2323
Joined: December 02, 2008



Indeed, the style is not very "objective", but it's more objective than Suvorov's - which is a good start! I haven't read Glantz yet, although I've read Gorodetsky (another anti-Suvorov writer) and I can pretty much see the sides in this fight of authors... B)
Anyway, the final chapters are really interesting, at least the "When did the patriotic war really start" and "Cask and hoops" ones!
All in all, after reading also the chapters on solonin.org, I'm waiting for some other books written by him!
PMEmail PosterUsers WebsiteYahoo
Top
guina
Posted: September 09, 2012 11:26 am
Quote Post


Plutonier major
*

Group: Members
Posts: 339
Member No.: 1393
Joined: April 16, 2007



Mark Solonin was educated as an aeronauticl enginier,not as a historian.
PMEmail Poster
Top
MMM
  Posted: September 09, 2012 11:27 am
Quote Post


General de divizie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1463
Member No.: 2323
Joined: December 02, 2008



Then WHY is he assuming this "title"? Just because he's writing history books?
PMEmail PosterUsers WebsiteYahoo
Top
guina
Posted: September 09, 2012 12:42 pm
Quote Post


Plutonier major
*

Group: Members
Posts: 339
Member No.: 1393
Joined: April 16, 2007



Well,here you got to a point that is hotly debated in russian historical media,and not only there.Who is a historian,the guy that finished a third rate historical institute and teaches,god knows what,in a remote village or the one that spends thousands of hours in TsAMO Podolsk ( Central military archives of Russian army) The history "educated" guys argue that only they can hold the title of "historian " and the rest are,in the best case "diletant" historians and the latter argue that only the quality (mainly the quality and volume of research ) of their work defines who is a historian.Thinking of our historians of the 50'( See Roler ) I incine to the second opinion,but i'm not a "historian".
BTW,as a result of this debate there is a new historical magazine on russian market called "DILETANT"
http://www.diletant.ru/journal/
Quite interesting,as a matter of fact .

all the best,Dan

This post has been edited by guina on September 09, 2012 12:42 pm
PMEmail Poster
Top
MMM
  Posted: September 09, 2012 12:51 pm
Quote Post


General de divizie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1463
Member No.: 2323
Joined: December 02, 2008



The guy who is researching in the archives is a researcher, as it is in Romania as well; the guy who teaches History is a teacher and the guy who, having studied history, is writing historical studies (preferably based on archive research) which are acknowledged by his peers as such, is a historian. I see no big issue here...
BTW, although I'm trying to finish my PHD about WW2, I'm a teacher of English... :P and I'll never call myself a "historian"!
Back to Solonin: indeed, much like Suvorov, the archive research seems to have led to very troublesome results, which are not welcomed by the "establishment"; however, it is interesting to read what both sides are "throwing on the market".
Much later edit: Roller himself was NOT a historian, because he did not have studies in this area! :D

This post has been edited by MMM on September 19, 2012 08:23 pm
PMEmail PosterUsers WebsiteYahoo
Top
guina
Posted: September 09, 2012 01:08 pm
Quote Post


Plutonier major
*

Group: Members
Posts: 339
Member No.: 1393
Joined: April 16, 2007



I agree with you,especially with your last lines.
PMEmail Poster
Top
Radub
Posted: September 09, 2012 01:16 pm
Quote Post


General de corp de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1670
Member No.: 476
Joined: January 23, 2005



In Romania we had "serious historians", members of the "Academy of Sciences", revered in their field, honoured with medals and awards, feared by students, who wrote shockingly bad and stupid stuff! These are the people who wrote our history books and excised the entire period from 41 to 44 from Romanians' minds. So, are these guys "historians"? Is the stuff they wrote "history"?
They are actually more dangerous than "dilletants". Those historians actually caused clear and quantifiable harm. They created generations of ill-informed people. And I am willing to bet that these are the people who call themselves "serious historians" and look dow their noses at "dilletants" are such dinosaurs.
History is very subjective. Ten people watching the same event will have ten versions. The best way to understand the event is to read all 10 accounts.
Radu
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
guina
Posted: September 09, 2012 01:27 pm
Quote Post


Plutonier major
*

Group: Members
Posts: 339
Member No.: 1393
Joined: April 16, 2007



100% agree.
PMEmail Poster
Top
MMM
Posted: September 09, 2012 03:40 pm
Quote Post


General de divizie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1463
Member No.: 2323
Joined: December 02, 2008



QUOTE (Radub @ September 09, 2012 04:16 pm)
In Romania we had "serious historians", These are the people who wrote our history books
...
So, are these guys "historians"? Is the stuff they wrote "history"?
...
actually caused clear and quantifiable harm. They created generations of ill-informed people.
...
History is very subjective. Ten people watching the same event will have ten versions. The best way to understand the event is to read all 10 accounts.
Radu

1. Practically we didn't have "history books" between 1948-1989, because everything was altered in order to fit the new concepts (such as fight among classes - "lupta de clasă") and it was quite difficult to discern the grain of truth - where it was!

2. If one asks them, yes/yes. If one checks for himself and reads some other (better-documented) oppinion, no/no; they're just mercenaries and their writing is propaganda.

3. And the process continues, as long as many (too many) of today's "accepted historians" are politically-oriented (couldn't find a milder term)

4. Indeed - and at the faculties of History there was a course called "Istoriography" and another one called "Introduction to History", in which the students were taught some basic notions; yet, the professors should have "kept by the book" themselves and the students should have acquired those notions, but unfortunately this rarely happened.

Now back to Solonin: the main fact from his writings is the confirmation of USSR's aggresive plans - as if someone who read the history from 23.08.1939 (the "Pact") until the annexations (Poland, Finland, Baltic States, Romania) didn't see the aggresive behaviour...

This post has been edited by MMM on September 09, 2012 03:41 pm
PMEmail PosterUsers WebsiteYahoo
Top
MMM
Posted: September 09, 2012 07:11 pm
Quote Post


General de divizie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1463
Member No.: 2323
Joined: December 02, 2008



Re: the problems of history-writing in Romania: see the book above (unfortunately, although it is written in Romanian and printed in Romania, it wasn't spared of typos...)
(IMG:http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/7594/scan030.jpg)
(IMG:http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/5883/scan031.jpg)

This post has been edited by MMM on September 13, 2012 07:52 pm
PMEmail PosterUsers WebsiteYahoo
Top
MMM
Posted: September 13, 2012 07:51 pm
Quote Post


General de divizie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1463
Member No.: 2323
Joined: December 02, 2008



Mr. Solonin is mentioned - and even praised - in one of Suvorov's books, "The Last Republic II: The Holy Cause". It is another book, though. "All the airfields seemed asleep"... Interesting that in "The Cask and the Hoops", Solonin expresses a rather negative oppinion on Suvorov's writings! :o
PMEmail PosterUsers WebsiteYahoo
Top
PaulC
Posted: September 14, 2012 07:27 pm
Quote Post


Sergent
*

Group: Members
Posts: 159
Member No.: 3290
Joined: April 19, 2012



QUOTE (Victor @ September 09, 2012 08:53 am)
My impression after reading it is that Solonin does not make a good case on the Suvorov theory. Most of the effort is put in proving that the Soviet state had on paper the means to defend itself against the German attack (contrary to the image that Soviet propaganda has apparently fed to Soviet citizens post war, but nothing new to us) and that the Red Army was actually a colossus with clay feet, something which the much booed David Glantz (booed by the Suvorov fans that is) has already done. If any, in my opinion, his book only goes to strengthen the image put forward by Glantz in "Stumbling Colossus".

Although an educated historian apparently, the writing style of Solonin draws closer to that of Suvorov than to a cold history book, which is regrettable.

The translation/publishing errors were indeed annoying given the price paid for the book. For that money Polirom should have done a cleaner job.



How isn't he making a good case for Suvorov when a good portion of the book explains in detail the offensive plans and how the Red Army deployed accordingly, being days away from unleashing its own attack ? Did you actually read it or only skipped through it ?

Suvorov's central theme is this :

1. Communism cannot coexist with any other system , its leaders were painfully aware of this, and can spread only due to chaos, destruction and anarchy
2. WW2 was initiated by Stalin's aggressive moves to destabilize Europe ( help Hitler get in power, help Germany rearm, supply it with needed materials, give it a green light to invade Poland )
3. Once the "capitalist countries" were on the brink of collapse, the Soviet Union will enter the war and tilt the balance in its favor ( sovietize Europe ).

Nobody refuted Suvorov on this. Everybody is dragging the discussion into technicalities - they couldn't attack in 1941 because they didn't have enough trucks, the tanks had few motor hours, they lacked AP shells, whatever. Exactly what you do here by mentioning Glantz ( who by the way will be exposed as a FRAUD, it's only a mater of time, Solonin debunked a lot of the crap Glantz was spewing under the patronage of the Russian Ministry of Defense ).

You look at post June 22 actions and declare because of this lame display, they couldn't attack. Which is as completely wrong and devoid of any logic since it implies a-temporal causality.

Stalin couldn't attack, because he wasn't prepared to attack, but this was realized only after he was attacked. Any light-bulbs blinking at the stupidity of this ?

When Stalin decided to industrialize the Soviet Union, to prepare the largest weapons industry in the world, to bring the citizens of the riches country in the world to cannibalism just for building more weapons that the rest of the world combined ( and for a noble purpose, to export cannibalism in the rest of the world ) he couldn't have possibly known his monster armies might be outdone by the Wehrmacht by 2 weeks and that his own subjects might be less than enthusiastic in defending the savage and brutal regime that terrorized them.

Everything that happened after June 22 has no impact on the validity of Suvorov's thesis simply because there isn't any relation between post June 22 combat performance and pre June 22 actions and deployments.

Everybody who studied the pre-June 22 situation on the Eastern front knows very well that Soviet actions were dictated by their own plans and schedules and weren't linked to the German ones. The soviets were going ahead with their preparations IGNORING the German buildup. Solonin explicitly mentions this.

And Solonin isn't negative about Suvorov; that's only misconception of one who analyzed Suvorov superficially. Solonin reinforces Suvorov's points by providing actual data, both absolute and in %. What Suvorov guessed, Solonin proves.

And you know why Suvorov is right ? Because ever since he published his books in the '80s and early '90s, his theory is reinforced by new data that is discovered. Who ever is doing research knows that the first sign you're on the right path is when new data points fit like a glove in the model. Everything that was discovered in the '90s and the last 12 years reinforces Suvorov's theory and dispels the web of lies and false myths propagated by the soviets in the last 60 years.

Solonin brings a new cause in the defeat, which is psychological in nature. Suvorov focused on offensive deployment, lack of maps, lack of plans and in general the one-sided preparation that the Soviet Union undertook.
Solonin goes one step further and proves that apart from all above, the disaster of 1941 was caused for the simply reason that the people of the Soviet Union refused to defend the criminal regime that turned their life into hell. The invasion meant the emblems of the criminal state, the communist party and the NKVD fled. The population felt released. Soldiers saw fear and confusion in the eyes of the commissars and officers and turned against them. And this meant the disintegration of the active Red Army.

It wasn't the lack of equipment, they had more than the world combined, nor the quality, they had the best in everything. When they had THE OPTION to choose between fighting for a criminal regime and deserting they picked the second option. The German attack gave them something they did not have before : the liberty to choose what path to take. Before that their options were simple : do as told or get an NKVD Nagant 7,62mm in the back of the head.

This post has been edited by PaulC on September 15, 2012 05:01 am
PMEmail Poster
Top
MMM
Posted: September 15, 2012 01:08 pm
Quote Post


General de divizie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1463
Member No.: 2323
Joined: December 02, 2008



@PaulC: +1!
Really, now, does Glantz's theory is a fraud? I haven't read it yet, so I couldn't say...
About the Soviet actions pre-22.06.41, they actually were linked with the German ones: they didn't sovietize the Baltic states and Bessarabia until France was out of the game.
Re: Suvorov and Solonin are right: as long as the interested parties (Russia, Glantz, Gorodetsky, whoever) do NOT show up with some solid arguments, well... tough luck!
PMEmail PosterUsers WebsiteYahoo
Top
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

Topic Options Pages: (3) [1] 2 3  Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

 






[ Script Execution time: 0.0274 ]   [ 14 queries used ]   [ GZIP Enabled ]