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civdiv

New book series, fodder for scenerio designers...

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Civdiv,

The answer to your question is that sometimes bogging is permanent and sometimes is isn't; it's mostly out of your hands although the better the crew, the more likely they are to get unstuck.

You might want to search the word "bog" in one of the game threads, there's more information out there then you could possibly want.

Good luck on the Glantz books, I've read four of the five and recommend them highly.

Bannon,

If you get a chance read Konev's or Rokossovsky's memoirs; both are in English. IMO those general officer narratives are comparable in quality and intelligence with those of Gudarian and Manstein. Some of the Soviet Army and even Corps commanders wrote even better stuff; Katiukov's memoir is outstanding and beats something like Gavin's all to heck, and Solomatin is one of the most honest-sounding accounts of how a disaster took place I have read this side of Slim. Of course, Katiukov and Solomatin haven't been translated.

Just because the Soviet state controlled information does not ipso facto make all the general officer accounts (and there are tons of them) worthless. Some of them are, Popel' and Leliukshenko spring to my mind, are Comparty epics and close to a total waste of the reader's time. Polryshkin's is just dumb and dull, which is a bit of an accomplishment for a P-39 ace. And Zhukov's is overtly political and not very useful for history.

Of course, one could make the same sort of slams on v. Mellenthin, whose main characteristic as a war author seems to have been an uncanny ability of recording alleged wartime incidents which later get checked by some one in this forum, and are proved to be quite false or at best highly improbable. And yes, the Germans win against overwhelming odds again and again, but it's just a matter of selective writing. Our buddy v. Mellenthin in his memoirs just skips Bagratian completely - as far as he is concerned it had nothing to do with his Panzer Korps. :rolleyes:

But just because v. Mellenthin (and more modern authors of his, uh, ilk) suck, that doesn't mean everything German is tripe. v. Manstein may have been a real lover of the guy with the dumb moustache, but he was one of the great generals of the war and his memoir is a classic, the fact he and v. Mellenthin were in the same army notwithstanding.

Ya gotta use your judgement. Me, I can't see how any one can read Konev and not conclude this was a first-class operational mind writing, and with just as much care (or lack of it) for the historical record as any other general officer.

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The term "revisionist" in the context of history means axe grinding, one sided distortion of facts to support a propagandistic viewpoint. As distinct from conscientious history. "In the moral sciences, prejudice is dishonesty", said Lord Acton.

I've looked at the book in question and it is shot through with revisionism in this bad sense. Is that to be expected as a reaction against old Stalin-extolling myths? No doubt. Was Stalin geopolitically and militarily foolish in 1941? Absolutely. But the rest is hung on those thin reeds, and they can't support the weight. Anything someone makes up doesn't become true just because Stalin was an idiot in 1941.

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Originally posted by civdiv:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Bigduke6:

civdiv,

you might want to check out an author called David S. Glantz, he's very thorough on the Soviet side. He has books on most the major battles.

After you read his stuff you begin to doubt those stories of 15 German infantrymen destroying a Soviet battalion advancing in the open.

I just took advantage of an Amazon gift certificate I got for Kwanza and ordered a bunch of Glantz's books. Ok, the Kwanza part was a joke. I just ordered;

The Battle of Kursk

When Titans Clashed

Colossus Reborn

Before Stalingrad

The Siege of Leningrad

If I like them, I'll make another purchase at Barnes and Noble, I have a gift card there also. </font>

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Originally posted by JasonC:

The term "revisionist" in the context of history means axe grinding, one sided distortion of facts to support a propagandistic viewpoint. As distinct from conscientious history. "In the moral sciences, prejudice is dishonesty", said Lord Acton.

I've looked at the book in question and it is shot through with revisionism in this bad sense. Is that to be expected as a reaction against old Stalin-extolling myths? No doubt. Was Stalin geopolitically and militarily foolish in 1941? Absolutely. But the rest is hung on those thin reeds, and they can't support the weight. Anything someone makes up doesn't become true just because Stalin was an idiot in 1941.

Jason --

When you say you've "looked" at the book, it makes me think you actually haven't read it. I would hardly say calling Stalin an idiot because of his wild belief that events would play out exactly as he had envisioned them as "revisionist." And when they didn't he had a hard time coming to grips with reality. What is it that you are calling revisionist in this book?

The only theory that the author does not support with documentation is the idea that the disposition of the Russian forces in June 1941 suggested a build up for an attack, rather than a defensive posture. This idea is not new and has been stated many times in other histories.

What is hung on thin reeds and what do you think the author has fictionalized?

Bannon

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Bigduke --

thanks for the tips on Konev's and Rokossovsky's and other's memoirs. I did a quick search on Amazon. Konev's "Year of Victory" is available but most of the others are out of print. I'll keep and eye out for them.

Bannon

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Bannon - I skimmed it standing in a book store trying to decide if it were worth buying, and concluding it was not. The Russia was planning to attack stuff is exactly the revisionist nonsense I am referring to. Because Stalin was evil, obviously he was planning something evil. Because Stalin was stupid, obviously he did it incompetently and got righteously clocked for it. That is the political axe being ground. Which is historically false and known to be so by all competent historians - Russia was fully surprised by the attack and entirely unprepared, not prepared to attack but not to defend etc. The author deliberately ignores evidence in order to make a moralizing point, as he sees it, and to express his freedom from (prior, old hat by now) Stalin-worshipping political correctness in Russia. I don't need to know anything further, that tells me how he will treat evidence and what he will use it for - as entirely optional and distortable for whatever preconceived political point he wishes to make. The rest is his personal spittle projected in my direction and I am not interested. I know he is dishonest as a historian, and that is all I need to know to put the book down.

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As I suspected -- you have not read the book and in the maybe five minutes you spent "skimming" it you have summized that the author is a revisionist and a lying hack. Must save a lot of time aquiring knowledge in this way. Good thing an open mind doesn't get in the way.

Jason, you have no way of knowing the "author deliberately ignores evidence in order to make a moralizing point, as he sees it..." because you have not read the book. You don't know how the author treats evidence and whether or not he distorts it in order to make a preconceived political point.

It is obvious that you approach most things from a "preconceived political point" and actually reading and considering evidence slows you down from throwing out so-called authoritative opinions, invectives and slurs. Doesn't that make you guilty of projecting your pesonal spittle into this forum? Yet you carry on with making numerous posts about a book you merely left your fingerprints on.

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Try 30 minutes. Plenty.

As for needing to read all of it, when I pick up a book and find at page 30 that the point of it is to argue that the holocaust never happened, no I do not have to read it to the end to know it is dreck.

Only difference is this guy's motive is "any stick is good enough to beat Stalin" instead of "everything Hitler did was justified". Stalin can be beaten perfectly adequately with things that are true. Reaching for made up ones instead is pathological.

And no I don't need to "consider his argument" that "really" Russia was moving to attack Germany because I know independently that is hogwash. Revisionist, holocaust didn't happen scale hogwash.

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You spent 30 minutes reading "Stalin's Folly" by Constantine Pleshakov and you determined he was a Holocost denier? I think you were reading a different book entirely. I don't think the Holocost was even mentioned in this book. Truly... not even in passing.

If you are using the reference to holocost denial and justifying Hitler's actions as a comparison to being able to tell if a book is credible or not, you should say so. To clarify for other readers of this thread, the book under discussion does not contain, hint at, or even breach the subject of these things.

Considering the topic of the disaster that befell the Soviet Army in June 1941, Stalin deserves a heap of blame. You said so yourself. Any analytical study of the event would come to the same conclusion. You are entirely blowing out of proportion the theory of the pre-emptive attack. It is one possibility to explain the disposition of the Soviet Army that is worthy of discussion.

But, perhaps any further in-depth critique of the book would be better left to those who have read it.

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Originally posted by Bannon DC:

Bigduke --

thanks for the tips on Konev's and Rokossovsky's and other's memoirs. I did a quick search on Amazon. Konev's "Year of Victory" is available but most of the others are out of print. I'll keep and eye out for them.

Bannon

If you do a search for them by title and author you may find them used. There is another Soviet memoir that I particularly like..."The End of the Third Reich" by V.I. Chuikov, Marshal of the Soviet Union

This book is more than likely out of print as well but it would be worth the time and effort to track it down.

Good luck on your search.

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Originally posted by Panther Commander:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Bannon DC:

Bigduke --

thanks for the tips on Konev's and Rokossovsky's and other's memoirs. I did a quick search on Amazon. Konev's "Year of Victory" is available but most of the others are out of print. I'll keep and eye out for them.

Bannon

If you do a search for them by title and author you may find them used. There is another Soviet memoir that I particularly like..."The End of the Third Reich" by V.I. Chuikov, Marshal of the Soviet Union

This book is more than likely out of print as well but it would be worth the time and effort to track it down.

Good luck on your search. </font>

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Bannon, you deliberately duck the issue.

"I don't need to "consider his argument" that "really" Russia was moving to attack Germany because I know independently that is hogwash. Revisionist, holocaust didn't happen scale hogwash."

It is his central claim. And it is revisionist hogwash.

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Originally posted by Sergei:

Civdiv,

ever noticed the url.gif button? Really helpful when you have to type in superlong web addresses which will otherwise cause us to scroll the page horizontally.

I tried it and it made the url twice as long as before. So I guess I did something wrong.

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civdic --

Thanks for the link. It lead me to some other sites and I found a local used book seller that specializes in history and some other fields. Bought some great stuff this afternoon --

2 US Army Historical Study pamphlets (about 100+ pages each with some good maps.) These were written by German generals while held by the Allies after the war. "Russian Combat Methods" and "The German Campaign in Russian, Planning and Operations ('40- '42)." Very happy to find these.

Also picked up a piece of pure Soviet propaganda -- "Russia's Fighting Forces" by Capt. Sergei Kournakoff. This was release in 1942 and covers Japan conflict, Finland, and some rallying remarks about the German attack.

Good stuff.

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Originally posted by Bannon DC:

civdic --

Thanks for the link. It lead me to some other sites and I found a local used book seller that specializes in history and some other fields. Bought some great stuff this afternoon --

2 US Army Historical Study pamphlets (about 100+ pages each with some good maps.) These were written by German generals while held by the Allies after the war. "Russian Combat Methods" and "The German Campaign in Russian, Planning and Operations ('40- '42)." Very happy to find these.

Also picked up a piece of pure Soviet propaganda -- "Russia's Fighting Forces" by Capt. Sergei Kournakoff. This was release in 1942 and covers Japan conflict, Finland, and some rallying remarks about the German attack.

Good stuff.

Sorry, when I edited it, I accidentely took out another link. This is my fave for used books;

www.powellsbooks.com

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I just finshed Glantz' book on Kursk, what a great read! It's pretty much an operational book, so a bit above the level for scenario design, but a definate must-read.

Now I just started his Colossus Reborn. He also has a companion book fore the Colossus series? It seems a bit more applicable to this game as it seems to contain a lot of info on tactical SOPs, organization, and equipment. Anyone familiar with this book? And are all of books at the Operational and Strategic levels?

[ January 30, 2006, 04:25 PM: Message edited by: civdiv ]

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