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> Mark Solonin - The cask and the hoops
Victor
Posted: September 15, 2012 05:49 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ September 15, 2012 03:08 pm)
@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!

Why do you claim Glantz has to come up with solid arguments when you yourself stated that did not read his book? How do you know he didn't?
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Victor
Posted: September 15, 2012 05:54 pm
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QUOTE (PaulC @ September 14, 2012 09:27 pm)
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 ).

Please list all the "Glantz crap" Solonin debunked and do so by sparing me the usual theatrics in your posts.
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MMM
Posted: September 15, 2012 06:55 pm
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Indeed I hadn't read anything written by Glantz, but given the oppinions of Suvorov, Solonin and PaulC (!), I supposed he was some kind of apologet of the Red Army. BTW, is there a link to Glantz's book(s)?
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PaulC
Posted: September 15, 2012 07:54 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ September 15, 2012 03:08 pm)
@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!

Glantz doesn't have a theory to promote, he's promoted himself as the "details" man. He floods you with huge amounts of data, that each T34 had 5 screws missing, that BT tanks had 71 hours of motor life left, that each platoon had 13% of the radios needed, 70% of the boots, 24% of the ammo, etc ,etc.

His second "expertise" is to uncover so called "forgotten battles". Apparently, the Eastern front is full of large battles that went wrong on both sides and are hidden under the carpet. Huge soviet offensives like operation Mars that blasts away Zhukov's professionalism and competence.

Why I'm saying he's a fraud ? Because he writes in disparaging terms of the Red Army, portrays them as a bunch of imbeciles and being the pinnacle of incompetence ( as if all the incompetence of the world gathered there ). And you know from where he has those juicy details ? From the Ministry of Defense in Russia. He boasts about his trips in Russia and how he is shown previously classified material. And what for ? To prove the Russians are incompetent. And what is the Ministry of Defense saying ? " Very good, comrade Glantz. Come next year also, we might have some more archives for you."

To anyone with half a brain, this should sound suspicious. An american researcher is invited by the Ministry of Defense in Russia and is given a wealth of numbers and percentages. No official Russian historian has that amount of details. Their books seem stuck in the '50s, each copying from the previous. To them, the Red Army still had 1800 tanks at the beginning of Barbarossa. The new generation of Russian historians, almost all amateur, have used the cracks in the system to get juicy details too. Solonin, Melthiukov don't stand Glantz. And is easy to see why, their story is totally different an inline with Suvorov.

Btw, I wonder if somebody would go to the French Defense Ministry and ask access to the archives for a book where he intends to prove the French army was incompetent and lazy. He would be deported in 24h from the country.

A simple example why Glantz is a fraud, he's famous data about the reliability of the Red Army tanks. "29% need rebuild and 44% major overhaul" - that's 73% of the soviet tanks being inoperable on June 1st. But is it really so ?

Let's see what Solonin says :

QUOTE
The copy of the "Collection of combat documents of the Great Patriotic War, N 35" I worked with (which contains most of the information set forth in the previous chapters) is stamped with a blue stamp: "Declassified. The General Staff directive N 203995 of 30.11.65".

        The problem is that declassifying and making publicly available does not mean the same thing in our country. The so-called "general public" has actually no idea (and frankly speaking, no access) of these document by today. What is interesting is that the so-called Soviet "historians" started their preparation for the moment when the truth finally comes out well beforehand. They issued hundreds of books and articles telling "to the city and the world" that Soviet tanks were extremely unreliable, primitive, well-worn and had their motor capacity worked out… And that was the reason why they went to pieces right on the march in the first days of war…

         Unfortunately, that's not a joke. Titles making pretence to scientific depth had been replicating for four decades the myth that "three fourths of tanks required repair by the start of war", with 29% need overhaul and 44% among them requiring "major repairs". Sad to say that, but even authors of such an authoritative statistical research as the "Secrecy label removed" had no scruple to tell their readers that "there were 3.8 thousand units combat-ready" of the total of 14.2 thousand Soviet tanks in the ranks of the Army in the Field by June 22, 1941. These ravings were taken from the works of Soviet "historians" right into the monographs of certain "researchers" from the West (like the infamous American Colonel David Glantz) and came back onto the shelves of Russian bookshops as a "high-class imported product".

         At the same time the actual information on technical conditions of the Red Army tank park is known since at least 1993 (from the day of the well-known "Were combat-ready" publication by N.Zolotov and S.Isayev in the "Military history Magazine", N 11/1993). N.Zolotov and S.Isayev also disclosed the truly "elegant way" to upbuild a years-long falsification.

          The fact is that according to the Order of the People's Commissar of Defense of the USSR N15 of January 10, 1940 armored vehicles were to be broken down into the following five categories:

1. New, never been in service, and suitable to be used as intended.

2. Been in service, quite operable and suitable to be used as intended.

3. Requiring repair in district workshops (intermediate overhaul).

4. Requiring repair in central workshops and in the factories (major overhaul).

5. Unserviceable (tanks belonging to this category were taken off the books and were not listed on summary spreadsheets).

          I hope it's already obvious to my reader how he or she was gammoned: the "combat-ready" tanks were only those from the 1st category (that is, brand new tanks), with the 2nd category being identified as "requiring repair". This is about the same as identifying the cars as technically sound only if they stay on the runway in the showroom, with all the cars in the streets being announced as "requiring repair"…

         The last pre-war "Summary of condition and amount of combat vehicles as of June 1, 1941" (Central Archives of the Ministry of Defence, f.38, op.11353, 924, 135-138, 909, 2-18) tells us that there were 12,782 tanks in the ranks of five western frontier districts (without the outdated T-27 tankettes removed from operational use), of which 10,540 tanks were "suitable to be used as intended" (categories 1 and 2), which makes 82.5% of the whole tank park. Among them, 5465 tanks belonged to the Kiev special military district (the future South-Western front), with 4788 units in the 1st and 2nd categories (87.6 %).

         These figures, however, do not describe the technical condition of the tanks which directly belonged to the mechcorps of the Kiev special military district. The fact is that there were more tanks in the district than in the mechcorps. The eight (22nd, 15th, 4th, 8th, 16th, 9th, 19th, 24th) mechcorps of the Kiev special military district had "only" 4808 tanks of the total 5465. Six hundred more tanks belonged to scout battalions of rifle divisions, tank regiments of cavalry divisions, training centers, repair bases and depots. We can reliably suppose that all (or almost all) new tanks went to the mechcorps rather than to rifle divisions. This means that the percent of the mechcorps tanks "suitable to be used as intended" was higher than the district average.

         Let us now get to technical condition estimation of the tanks in the 10th tank division of the 15th Mechcorps – the phenomenal casualties of which made up the start of this chapter. Let us once again open the "Report on combat actions of the 10th tank division at the battlefront against the German fascism" and read the following:

"…the KV and T-34 tanks were all without exception new units and had up to 10 machine hours by the start of warfare (mainly due to test runs)…

The average endurance range of the T-28 tanks was up to 75 machine hours…

Endurance range of the BT-7 tanks was from 40 to 100 machine hours...

Most of the T-26 tanks were in good technical condition with only up to 75 machine hours…" (28, p. 207)

        Now let's get from the "machine hours" to mileage which is clear to everyone. The very modest (and an absurdly low for a high-speet BT tank) cruising speed of 10 kpm turn a "tiny" rest of 75-100 machine hours into 750-1000 kilometers. It's very little for a bus running by schedule and having to carry passengers all the day long. But that's more than enough for a tank. Actually, tanks do not live that much in wartime. A large front-scale offensive supposes an advance of 200-250-300 kilometers  One has to multiply these numbers by 1.5 or 2 (up to 500-600 km), taking into consideration the maneuvering inevitable in days-long battles. Tanks of the 10th tank divisions had motor capacity more than enough to reach Lyublin and Krakov. Actually, one could not want more. A tank surviving a large front offensive completely pays off its productions and operation. It can be wrote off or put to a major overhaul with a free heart after that…


Coming back to your post, regarding pre-June 22, I'm referring to the 3-4 months before when both the Red Army ( which started first ) and the Wehrmacht were deploying for their jump of positions in the bulges pinpointing towards the enemy.

This post has been edited by PaulC on September 15, 2012 07:59 pm
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Posted: September 15, 2012 07:58 pm
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QUOTE (Victor @ September 15, 2012 07:54 pm)
QUOTE (PaulC @ September 14, 2012 09:27 pm)
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 ).

Please list all the "Glantz crap" Solonin debunked and do so by sparing me the usual theatrics in your posts.

By coincidence, already did that in the previous post regarding tank availability.

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PaulC
Posted: September 15, 2012 08:11 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ September 15, 2012 08:55 pm)
Indeed I hadn't read anything written by Glantz, but given the oppinions of Suvorov, Solonin and PaulC (!), I supposed he was some kind of apologet of the Red Army. BTW, is there a link to Glantz's book(s)?

He;s not really apologetic, he's a few words short of calling the Red Army a rabble ( o gloata de neispraviti ). His books follow the party line, not deviating 1" from it.

Which is funny since the data and his conclusions are most of the time going head to head. I will post you 2 user reviews from the Amazon since they capture exactly what I mean.

QUOTE


Review 1.

Glantz is the leading authority of Soviet experience in World War II. In `Stumbling Colossus' he rebuts starkly revisionist thesis of Vladimir Bogdanovich Rezun alias Viktor Suvorov that Soviet Union was poised to invade Nazi Germany in summer of 1941. Author goes to considerable length in exposing the weakness of Red Army; he vehemently argues about its woeful unpreparedness for war. Thanks, author just stopped short of calling it a rabble. I do not wish to elaborate on this. Because this is the same rigmarole stuff which we get to read in books covering war in the Eastern front.

While agreeing to broad contours of argument some aspects of Soviet deployment were profoundly disturbing. For instance, massing troops and material in narrow strips of land which wedged deep into German territory. Soviet troop concentrations in Bialystok and Lvov bulges looked frightening. Further Red Army built supply dumps, ammunition and fuel depots and airfields closer to the border. Ironically, author has dropped hints in this regard. Most of the airfields were located closer to the border. And airfields were crammed because in most cases two air regiments shared single airfield creating aircraft densities of up to 150 aircraft per airfield making it increasingly vulnerable to surprise enemy air attack. Some airfields were within striking distance of enemy artillery. Point is you require airfields closer to the border only if you are planning an offensive war, for the advancing ground troops have to be given fire support. In short, a nation planning to defend its territory the above deployment is nothing but courting suicide.

Instead what Soviets should have done was to retain Poland as a buffer state. Unfortunately after the signing of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact Poland as a state was wiped out. Then main body of defending troops should have been deployed deep inside Soviet territory. After that lay mines, erect fortifications, barriers, obstacles from the state border toward main zones of defence Here idea is to wear down, exhaust the enemy before he comes into contact with main body of defending forces. A perfect manifestation of such a posture was Soviet deployment in the Kursk Bulge

Author deprecates Red Army's combat performance in Poland, Romania, Finland, Mongolia. It is difficult to concur with this view. At khalkin-Gol in Outer Mongolia Japanese Kwantung Army was smashed. Here Japanese centre was pinned down and Zhukov used rocket-firing ground-strike aircraft, armour to launch two powerful flanking blows. Main body of Japanese forces was caught in a pocket which contracted, shrank and ceased to exist. This was a classic battle of double envelopment, annihilation. Soviet propaganda played down the victory to foster an illusion of weakness. Author, it appears, has succumbed to this deceit.

On the positive side, author has given human face to war. Some of Red Army commanders were utterly merciless and cruel. Individuals were used as a cannon fodder. Head-on assaults were launched against well-entrenched German positions devoid of any strategic value when they could have been enveloped. Stalin preferred such assaults as he thought Soviet human resources were inexhaustible.

Another key factor was the mobilization process which went to work once German invasion commenced. Within no time Red Army was able to double, quadruple its strength. Losses were quickly replenished, divisions destroyed replaced; new divisions were raised from the scratch. Once fully mobilized Soviets had an immense pool of trained reserves amounting to 14 million men that helped absorb shock of German attack and wear down the aggressor. As author rightly puts it: Reserves, of course, did not stop German blitzkrieg but it helped ensure Soviet Union would survive in 1941,1942 and emerge victorious in 1945.

Nearly 70 years have passed since Hitler invaded Soviet Union. Even to this day there is no unanimity of opinion among learned men regarding circumstances which contributed to invasion. `Barbarossa' continues to be dogged by controversy. Book falls short of my expectations, for I thought Glantz to offer a point -by-point rebuttal of Suvorov's thesis. Judging from that sense the book was disappointing leaving readers to fall amid two diametrically opposing views.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R1CVROI7R8LZJ...e=&nodeID=&tag=


................................................................................................

Review 2

Back in the 1960s, when I took high school Speech Class, my teacher taught me a useful trick. When asked to speak on something you don't want to talk about, pretend to talk about the subject you were assigned, then switch to else. It's not honest, but it works surprisingly often. STUMBLING COLOSSUS is a book-length example of this technique in action.

When Adolf Hitler invaded the former Soviet Union in June of 1941, his professed reason was that the USSR was planning to attack Germany. He only struck first, he claimed, as a measure of self-defense. The Kremlin denied this accusation, and for decades the denial was almost universally accepted.

Then in 1989, "Viktor Suvorov" (the pen name of former GRU agent Vladimir Bogdonavich Rezun) attracted attention with his book Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?, which claimed that Hitler was correct about Stalin planning to invade Germany. Suvorov wasn't the first to say this, but he attracted widespread attention to the issue. ICEBREAKER marshaled a large amount of evidence suggesting that Stalin was indeed planning on attacking Nazi Germany in July of 1941.

Now, judging what Stalin may have intended to do at any time is incredibly difficult. "Uncle Joe" never hesitated to lie, he broke agreements without hesitation, and he changed course on a dime. "The Boss" was also good at keeping his mouth shut about his intentions. Since the few people Stalin confided in tended to be as dishonest as he was, since Stalin's successors had their own 'lines' to promote, and since so much of the surviving documentation from that time is still secret, unraveling the truth about Stalin's intentions is bound to be a difficult historical detective job.

It gets worse when you realize that the Soviet Union was addicted to official lies. For instance, during the purges, it wasn't enough for him to shoot those he distrusted, and condemn millions to slave labor death camps. He also demanded that they first be convicted in "trials" where the verdict and sentence had been decided before the "judges" ever met. In his latest book, Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II (Blue Jacket Bks), Suvorov claims that the Soviet war games of January 1941 studied the Soviet 'response' to a German 'attack' on the USSR. The games supposedly had three phases 1) stopping the invaders; 2) driving them back to the border; 3) going on the offensive to invade Germany. But only 3) was actually played, Suvorov says. Thus did the Soviet Union plan aggression while labeling it defense.

Thus, to evaluate Stalin's intention towards Hitler, you'd have to examine available documents very, very critically, cross-reference a huge number of sources, and above all look at what Stalin's military DID up till June 22, 1941, constantly asking yourself "Is this more consistent with a plan to remain at peace with Germany, or a plan for surprise attack?"

Enter David Glantz and STUMBLING COLOSSUS. For reasons I can't fathom, Glantz thinks that if Stalin was indeed planning to attack Hitler, this justifies and excuses Germany's genocidal invasion of Russia. Frankly, I can't see it. Hitler was a "social Darwinist" racist who always aimed to attack his neighbors, and either enslave or murder "inferiors", a category that included most of the human race. The only thing he was justified in doing during WWII was committing suicide. But Glantz sees the idea that Stalin might have planned aggression against Hitler as "frightening", and he's determined to denounce the heresy.

Unfortunately for Glantz, he can't actually come up with much material showing Stalin's desire for peace. Glantz continually insists that the Soviets were worried that Hitler was going to attack the USSR, that the Soviets believed they were in a "war imminent" state, that the Red Army was looking at a "variety of defensive topics" and that Stalin refused to strike first (p.6-7). Yet Glantz also insists that Stalin was certain that Hitler was NOT going to attack the USSR in 1941 (chapter 9, passim), and he blithely asserts that the Soviet govt. believed "it could avoid hostilities until at least the summer of 1942" (p. 191). Aside from the blatant contradiction, Glantz is left with another problem: if war was going to start 'imminently', but Hitler was not going to attack, then Stalin MUST have been planning on attacking Hitler. The fact that so much of the Red Army was forward deployed close to the border (pp.102-107); that reinforcements were moving up secretly and separately from heavy equipment, and without support services mobilizing yet (ibid); that airfields and planes were concentrated near the border without defenses or even much camouflage, while the Red Air Force lacked " 'a precise plan for the employment of the air forces' " when Hitler attacked (p. 195,199); and the demand from Moscow for defensive plans that would stop any German attack at the border (pp.270-288), coupled with order that FORBADE the troops from manning border defenses, setting up anti-tank obstacles, or laying minefields (pp. 246-252); that Stalin continually rejected People's Commissar for Defense Timoshenko and Red Army Chief of General Staff Zhukov's warnings of possible German aggression while secretly mobilizing (pp. 234 -241); that, at a time when war was was supposedly imminent, the signals units that would coordinate the millions of Soviet troops were at a peace-time configuration (p. 113); that there were no plans for evacuating equipment and retreating in an orderly manner if the Germans attack (p. 135); above all, that Timosheko and Zhukov that wrote a report for Stalin saying that the USSR should pre-emptively attack the Wehrmacht forces at the Soviet border, because the Germans were in a position which enabled possible "forestalling (preempting)" of Soviet plans (plans that aren't specified, btw) (pp. 241-245) -- to me, all these certainly look much more like a Red Army getting ready for a surprise attack on its own timetable than they look like a Red Army frantically preparing for a German onslaught. Glantz contends these were actually defensive measures, but doesn't try to explain how they were supposed to work, and frequently criticizes them himself. An examination of Soviet defensive doctrine would seem in order, but Glantz doesn't provide any. Perhaps that's because Red Army doctrine was, according to Glantz himself, traditionally offensive.

How then is Glantz to defend Stalin's pacifistic intentions? He responds by saying that IT DOESN'T MATTER IF STALIN WAS PLANNING TO ATTACK HITLER, since Hitler attacked first (p. 245). But this will only work if he first succeeds in making the reader forget that the entire controversy was not 'Did Stalin ACTUALLY attack Hitler first?' (not even Josef Goebbels claimed THAT), but 'Did Stalin PLAN to attack Hitler first?'. So Glantz uses my old speech teacher's trick. He shifts the topic to 'Was the Red Army ready for war on June 22nd, 1941?', when Hitler attacked Stalin. The many disastrous defeats that the Red Army suffered during Operation Barbarossa show that it was NOT ready. Glantz tries to link Red Army combat performance in 1941 to Stalin's future plans by asserting that the Red Tsar was well informed about his army's capabilities, possessed of good military judgment, and not about to order an offensive against Germany, because such an offensive "would have bordered on the lunatic," and Stalin "was not a lunatic." Yet the information GLANTZ himself presents on Stalin's state of information, soundness of judgment, and even his sanity all tend in the opposite direction. Glantz contends that Stalin wrecked the Red Army with continual paranoiac purges; filled the upper ranks with cronies and yes-men; ignored obvious signs of attack by Hitler; approved badly flawed mobilization and deployment plans that cost Russian millions of soldiers killed and captured; and that he couldn't be bothered to train his troops. Throughout the early months of the war, Stalin refused to let units retreat in time to escape traps, and ordered counter-attacks that had almost no hope of success, but which ground up the Red Army at a frightful rate. How this tale of incompetence shows that Stalin was 'too smart to attack Hitler' is beyond me.

On June 22nd many troops were marching forward on foot, while their equipment moved by train, their ranks were not at war strength, they were short on staff officers, their units were scattered, and support forces were still unmobilized. Troops at the front weren't dug in, and were further from the unmanned border defenses than the German attackers. The Red Air Force was under orders not to interfere with German aircraft crossing the border, and thus hit on the ground. Caught so completely off balance, no army could be expected to fight well. But given time to finish mobilization and deployment, it's arguable that most of these problems would have vanished, or at least been much ameliorated. In Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War, 1941-1945, Evan Mawdsley gives figures for aircraft losses that show that the Red Air Force loss rate went down by a factor of NINE when comparing the first two weeks of Barbarossa with the next fourteen. The Red Army's rate of retreat fell by a similar factor after the opening battles, from over 23 miles per day to less than than three, despite total German air command and Soviet troops being fed into battles piecemeal and unsupported. By December, the Wehrmacht was stalled before Moscow, and the Luftwaffe had lost nearly twice as many planes as during the battle of Britain. It is not obvious to me that a July Red offensive that caught Germany by surprise was doomed to fail, much less so obviously impossible only a lunatic would have ordered one.

There's also a spirit of what I can only judge to be dishonesty throughout this work. For instance, Glantz incessantly claims that Stalin's purges of the officer corps resulted in a lack of experience and time in position when the war started, and that these problems were instrumental in the early failures. By Glantz's figures, supplemented by those of Suvorov in his latest book (Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II (Blue Jacket Bks); highly recommended) and Evan Mawdsley (Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War, 1941-1945), the number purged and kept out of the Red Army was about 43,000 officers, many veterans of the Russian Civil War (around 55,000 were purged, but 12,000 restored to service; not all of those purged were active duty officer, by the way, and thousands were commissars, rather than commanders, facts Glantz doesn't see fit to mention). By June, 1941, the officer corps was around 440,000. If no one had been purged at all, it could not have affected more than 10% of officer assignments. Arguing that the lack of these 43,000 people was a huge factor in the defeats of 1941 is hard to credit, especially when many of the Civil War veterans still on active duty turned in lackluster performances. Moreover, of the 43,000 permanently purged, 18,000 got the boot in 1940 and 1941, when the Red Army was occupying territories and fighting a war with Finland, a performance Glantz judges very unfavorably. How many of those 18,000 were justifiably let go because they failed to perform? The author doesn't address the issue. As far as he's concerned, the fact that someone was purged proves his comptence.

In the end, STUMBLING COLOSSUS has a few minor virtues. It does provide a partial picture of the problems the Red Army experienced in 1937-41, though it never really comes to grips with the difficulties of expanding an army over three times in size in less than two years. It is an interesting statistical source, though full of strange omissions. The bibliography provides pointers for further reading. But mostly, it shows how the "will to believe" can blind lead an author to produce a book with a conclusion that is utterly contradicted by its own evidence.

NOT recommended, unless you're studying the psychology of self-deception.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R1VCZUCJCIBXP...e=&nodeID=&tag=
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This post has been edited by PaulC on September 15, 2012 08:15 pm
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Posted: September 16, 2012 06:59 am
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Interesting comments from Amazon.com. Thanks for posting.

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This post has been edited by Dénes on September 16, 2012 07:00 am
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Posted: September 16, 2012 08:06 am
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QUOTE (Dénes @ September 16, 2012 09:59 am)
Interesting comments from Amazon.com. Thanks for posting.

Gen. Dénes

Yeah... so it's highly controversed and expensive! So I won't buy it any time soon... :(
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Posted: September 16, 2012 02:50 pm
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QUOTE (PaulC @ September 15, 2012 08:11 pm)
He;s not really  apologetic, he's a few words short of calling the Red Army a rabble ( o gloata de neispraviti ). His books follow the party line, not deviating 1" from it.

Which is funny since the data and his conclusions are most of the time going head to head. I will post you 2 user reviews from the Amazon since they capture exactly what I mean.

QUOTE

................................................................................................

Review 2

Back in the 1960s, when I took high school Speech Class, my teacher taught me a useful trick. When asked to speak on something you don't want to talk about, pretend to talk about the subject you were assigned, then switch to else. It's not honest, but it works surprisingly often. STUMBLING COLOSSUS is a book-length example of this technique in action.

When Adolf Hitler invaded the former Soviet Union in June of 1941, his professed reason was that the USSR was planning to attack Germany. He only struck first, he claimed, as a measure of self-defense. The Kremlin denied this accusation, and for decades the denial was almost universally accepted.

Then in 1989, "Viktor Suvorov" (the pen name of former GRU agent Vladimir Bogdonavich Rezun) attracted attention with his book Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?, which claimed that Hitler was correct about Stalin planning to invade Germany. Suvorov wasn't the first to say this, but he attracted widespread attention to the issue. ICEBREAKER marshaled a large amount of evidence suggesting that Stalin was indeed planning on attacking Nazi Germany in July of 1941.

Just because Glantz doesn't engage in speculation like Suvorov doesn't mean he's towing "the party line".

In regard to that 2nd review, we know why Hitler attacked Russia and we even know when he took the decision to do so. His decision had nothing to do with Soviet troops massing on the border or with a possible Soviet invasion in 1941. So the attempt to link Suvorov's theory to Hitler's publicly professed reasons for Barbarossa only shows the subconscious mental mechanisms of some of Suvorov's biggest fans.

This post has been edited by Imperialist on September 16, 2012 02:51 pm
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QUOTE (Imperialist @ September 16, 2012 05:50 pm)
In regard to that 2nd review, we know why Hitler attacked Russia and we even know when he took the decision to do so. His decision had nothing to do with Soviet troops massing on the border or with a possible Soviet invasion in 1941. So the attempt to link Suvorov's theory to Hitler's publicly professed reasons for Barbarossa only shows the subconscious mental mechanisms of some of Suvorov's biggest fans.

Hitler's decision was taken because of the aggresive behaviour of USSR. I do NOT think that Hitler wanted to attack USSR in 1939 or prior to that... only after doing business directly with them he got the idea that they (aka Stalin, Molotov etc.) could be even more ruthless and aggresive than himself. It is, however, very suspicious that the very German generals which trained in the USSR in the 20's and early 30's, have not considered the Russian tanks worth a damn, nor the Russian production capabilities! I mean, Untermensch, but if you do see their achievements, why would you (Hitler and his henchmen) not try to surpass that?
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Victor
Posted: September 16, 2012 05:30 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ September 15, 2012 08:55 pm)
Indeed I hadn't read anything written by Glantz, but given the oppinions of Suvorov, Solonin and PaulC (!), I supposed he was some kind of apologet of the Red Army. BTW, is there a link to Glantz's book(s)?

It would be normal to read a book, paper, anything written by him and and then cast judgement. A least do the effort and google him.
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PaulC
Posted: September 16, 2012 06:06 pm
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QUOTE

Just because Glantz doesn't engage in speculation like Suvorov doesn't mean he's towing "the party line".


I'm sure he'd give anything to find such a big fish like what Suvorov caught. But such opportunities come and go once in a lifetime and all he can do is to play the old theme and crush the readers with enormous amount of figures and percentages. With no beginning and no end.

He can't engage in speculation. At best he can memorize something and repeat it to you. Suvorov is a thrill to read because you notice from the very beginning the guy is creative and has an incredible critical thinking. He's training in the GRU also becomes apparent for attention to detail. Glantz doesn't posses that. Instead of critical thinking all he can do is to criticize everything.

QUOTE

In regard to that 2nd review, we know


Who is we ?
QUOTE

why Hitler attacked Russia and we even know when he took the decision to do so.


Why and when ?

QUOTE

His decision had nothing to do with Soviet troops massing on the border or with a possible Soviet invasion in 1941.


QUOTE

So the attempt to link Suvorov's theory to Hitler's publicly professed reasons for Barbarossa only shows the subconscious mental mechanisms of some of Suvorov's biggest fans.


You mean the reasons proven by the soviet deployment ?

QUOTE

Memorandum of the Conversation Between the Reich Foreign Minister and Soviet Russian Ambassador Dekanosov in the Foreign Office at 4 a. m. on June 22,
[1941]

Aufz. RAM 37/41

The Reich Foreign Minister began the conversation with the remark that the hostile attitude of the Soviet Government toward Germany and the serious threat that Germany saw in the Russian concentration on the eastern border of Germany, had forced the Reich to military countermeasures. Dekanosov would find a detailed statement of the reasons for the German attitude in the memorandum, which the Reich Foreign Minister then handed him. [23] The Reich Foreign Minister added that he regretted very much this development in German-Russian relations as he in particular had made every attempt to bring about better relations between the two countries. It had, however, unfortunately transpired that the ideological conflict between the two countries had become stronger than common sense, upon which he, the Reich Foreign Minister, had pinned his hopes. He had nothing further, the Reich Foreign Minister said in conclusion to add to his remarks.

Dekanosov replied that he had asked for an interview with the Reich Foreign Minister because, in the name of the Soviet Government, he wanted to pose a few questions that, in his opinion, required clarification.

The Reich Foreign Minister thereupon replied that he had nothing to add to what he had already stated. He had hoped that the two countries would contrive a sensible relationship with each other. He had been deceived in this great hope for reasons that were explained in detail in the memorandum just delivered. The hostile policy of the Soviet Government toward Germany, which had reached its climax in the conclusion of a pact with Yugoslavia at the very time of the German-Yugoslav conflict, had been evident for a year. At a moment when Germany was engaged in a life-and-death struggle, the attitude of Soviet-Russia, particularly the concentration of the Russian military forces at the Soviet border, had presented so serious a threat to the Reich that the Führer had to decide to take military countermeasures. The policy of compromise between the two countries had therefore been unsuccessful. This was, however, by no means the fault of the Reich Government, which had carried out the German-Russian treaty in detail, but was attributable rather to a hostile attitude of Soviet Russia toward Germany, that had existed for some time. Under the pressure of a serious threat of a political and military nature which was emanating from Soviet Russia Germany had since this morning taken the appropriate counter-measures in the military sphere. The Reich Foreign Minister regretted not to be able to add anything to these remarks, especially since he himself had had to conclude that, in spite of earnest efforts, he had not succeeded in creating sensible relations between the two countries.

Dekanosov replied briefly that, for his part too, he exceedingly regretted this development, which was based on a completely erroneous conception on the part of the German Government, and, in view of this situation, he had nothing further to say except that the status of the Russian Embassy would now be arranged with the competent German authorities.

He thereupon took leave of the Reich Foreign Minister.

MINISTER SCHMIDT

BERLIN, June 22, 1941.


I dare you to find a single lie in the reasons expressed by Ribbentrop.
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Victor
Posted: September 16, 2012 06:32 pm
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QUOTE (PaulC @ September 15, 2012 09:54 pm)
A simple example why Glantz is a fraud, he's famous data about the reliability of the Red Army tanks. "29% need rebuild and 44% major overhaul" - that's 73% of the soviet tanks being inoperable on June 1st. But is it really so ?

We already discussed this once, but I will repeat the answer.
First of all, the actual quote is:
QUOTE
An additional 16,500 new model tanks were required to bring all mechanized corps up to full combat strength, and the NKO anticipated that industry would require not less than three years to meet this requirement. In the meantime, the corps were equipped largely with lesser number of older light BT and T-26 models. Soviet commanders permitted many of these older models to fall into disrepair in the expectation that new models would soon replace them. On 15 June 1941, 29% of the older model tanks required capital repair and 44% lesser maintenance.

(Stumbling Colussus, page 117-118)
So it's not "rebuild", it's "capital repair" and it's not "major overhaul", it's "lesser maintenance" and it's not the entire Soviet tank park, it's just the older models. If you are quoting, better do it from the actual source, not your interpretation of Solonin. t's not ok to attribute incorrect quotes to an author just to make your point.

Furthermore, you won't find in Stumbling Colossus the claim that there were only 3800 combat ready tanks in the Red Army on 22 June 1941. But if you do, please refer to the specific page.

Second, "lesser maintenance" could very well include the tanks that have minor problems that could be resolved in the divisional workshops and not fall into categories 3-5 (overhauling). Btw, isn't it odd for you that there is no category for "under repairs at division level"? Under this circumstances one could argue that "quite operable" includes "lesser maintenance".

So that leaves 29% of the older models. Given that 1,475 were T-34s and KVs, this means that 12,782-1,475=11,307 were older models. One could argue that the B-7Ms were also new models and thus further decrease the total of older models, but for simplicity, let's leave it like this. 29% out of 11,307 is 3,279, which means that a total of 9,502 tanks were operable or quite operable. Not that far from 10,540 and certainly not 3,800.

But, other than this one example of "Glantz crap", which is the only case where Solonin mentions his name, can you provide more? You yourself claimed that
QUOTE

Solonin debunked a lot of the crap Glantz was spewing under the patronage of the Russian Ministry of Defense

"A lot" means more than one.

You also claim that Glantz has portrayed the Red Army :
QUOTE
as a bunch of imbeciles and being the pinnacle of incompetence ( as if all the incompetence of the world gathered there )

I suggest you read other books written by David Glantz (Colossus Reborn, When Titans Clashed, Red Storm over Blakans) to see that this is not the case.
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Radub
Posted: September 16, 2012 07:44 pm
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QUOTE (PaulC @ September 15, 2012 07:54 pm)

Why I'm saying he's a fraud ? Because he writes in disparaging terms of the Red Army, portrays them as a bunch of imbeciles and being the pinnacle of incompetence ( as if all the incompetence of the world gathered there ). And you know from where he has those juicy details ? From the Ministry of Defense in Russia. He boasts about his trips in Russia and how he is shown previously classified material. And what for ? To prove the Russians are incompetent. And what is the Ministry of Defense saying ? " Very good, comrade Glantz. Come next year also, we might have some more archives for you."

To anyone with half a brain, this should sound suspicious. An american researcher is invited by the Ministry of Defense in Russia and is given a wealth of numbers and percentages. No official Russian historian has that amount of details. Their books seem stuck in the '50s, each copying from the previous. To them, the Red Army still had 1800 tanks at the beginning of Barbarossa. The new generation of Russian historians, almost all amateur, have used the cracks in the system to get juicy details too. Solonin, Melthiukov don't stand Glantz. And is easy to see why, their story is totally different an inline with Suvorov.

Btw, I wonder if somebody would go to the French Defense Ministry and ask access to the archives for a book where he intends to prove the French army was incompetent and lazy. He would be deported in 24h from the country.


This simply makes no sense.
So what if a country opened its archives? Who made it a rule that unless one writes "nicely" about the "helphul country" that makes one a "fraud"?
What if Germany opened their archives to a historian? Would you call a "fraud" any such historian who did not write "nicely" about Hitler's Germany? The truth has nothing to do with "being nice".
We mentioned above how Romania was blighted by "rubbish historians" who kissed the behind of whoever was nice to them.
Radu

This post has been edited by Radub on September 16, 2012 07:52 pm
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Imperialist
Posted: September 16, 2012 08:00 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ September 16, 2012 04:15 pm)
Hitler's decision was taken because of the aggresive behaviour of USSR. I do NOT think that Hitler wanted to attack USSR in 1939 or prior to that... only after doing business directly with them he got the idea that they (aka Stalin, Molotov etc.) could be even more ruthless and aggresive than himself.

@MM & PaulC

Hitler made his mind up to attack Russia after conquering France, in 1940.

His decision was geostrategic, not determined by Soviet deployment of forces. The extent of which German intelligence had no clue about anyway.

The very existance of numerous Soviet divisions was a big problem for Germany. The British blockade and the increasingly clear prospects of US involvement in the war on Britain's side made Germany's economic situation even more critical. The very existance of Russia's natural resources was a big attraction. For these reasons, aggressive or not Russia was going to be attacked. Only with the Red Army out of the picture and Russia's natural resources under its control would Germany be free and able to handle the war with UK&US and go for world power.

That is why Hitler attacked the Soviet Union. The official reasons presented to the public are have to be taken with a grain of salt because they were subordinate to a propaganda purpose. Germany had to claim the moral highground and to engage the whole of Europe in a crusade against Bolshevism. All public messages were subordinated to those "PR" goals.

p.s. That doesn't mean they don't have a grain of truth. But they're not telling the whole story. They're just an excuse, not the core reasons.

This post has been edited by Imperialist on September 16, 2012 08:05 pm
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