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I was just rereading Glantz' article "The Red Army at War, 1941-1945: Sources and Interpretations" when this caught my eye (p.603):

Writing under the pen-name Paul Carell, Paul Schmidt tapped a wealth of personal wartime recollections by individual German officers and enlisted men to construct moving human narratives of the harrowing combat. All the while he consulted extensively with military experts on the war whose contributions made his essentially journalistic accounts remarkably accurate, moving and credible.
What?! He wasn't the evil Nazi just distorting history, like I have read on this forum! :eek: ;)
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Originally posted by Keke:

I was just rereading Glantz' article "The Red Army at War, 1941-1945: Sources and Interpretations" when this caught my eye (p.603):

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Writing under the pen-name Paul Carell, Paul Schmidt tapped a wealth of personal wartime recollections by individual German officers and enlisted men to construct moving human narratives of the harrowing combat. All the while he consulted extensively with military experts on the war whose contributions made his essentially journalistic accounts remarkably accurate, moving and credible.

What?! He wasn't the evil Nazi just distorting history, like I have read on this forum! :eek: ;) </font>
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I believe Paul Schmidt aka Paul Carell used to work for the German wartime publication Signal which was little more than propoganda. That's not to say that what he's written is worthless but take that information into account when reading his description of events. I would suggest it would be hard for him not to be biased with his real life experiences taken into account.

Regards

Jim R.

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Originally posted by Keke:

I was just rereading Glantz' article "The Red Army at War, 1941-1945: Sources and Interpretations" when this caught my eye (p.603):

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Writing under the pen-name Paul Carell, Paul Schmidt tapped a wealth of personal wartime recollections by individual German officers and enlisted men to construct moving human narratives of the harrowing combat. All the while he consulted extensively with military experts on the war whose contributions made his essentially journalistic accounts remarkably accurate, moving and credible.

What?! He wasn't the evil Nazi just distorting history, like I have read on this forum! :eek: ;) </font>
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Originally posted by Andreas:

Schmidt was involved in coming up with a justification for the sending of Hungarian jews to the furnaces in Auschwitz. I am not sure if that makes him an evil Nazi in your eyes, and frankly don't care - it does in mine.

Glantz is not particularly good at his selection of German sources, and I have taken to not trusting him very much on them. He relies too much on secondary sources, such as Schmidt.

PC - Carrell is far from the 'Gold standard'. That is an insult to serious historians. The gold standard is 'Germany and the second world war'. End of story. Schmidt was a fully paid-up Nazi and propaganda lackey of Goebbels during the war - if you want to believe what he writes to be the unblemished truth, you are welcome to it. I will keep that in mind when deciding which 'historical' scenarios to play.

Even if Carell/Schmidt was a Nazi, how does that make him automatically a poor historian, and his work "insult to serious historians"? His books have biases (German point of view). They are same sort of biases every other western historian had when writing about the Eastern Front during the 1960's, but there sure are no 'Nazi' ones. If there are people who take his writings, or writings of any other historian, as unblemished truth, those people have no clue about historiography.

With your logic, we should also double-check backrounds of every Soviet historian, their involvement in any possible crimes of the communist regime, before we could decide if their writings are worth reading or not.

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Originally posted by Andreas:

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

I was just rereading Glantz' article "The Red Army at War, 1941-1945: Sources and Interpretations" when this caught my eye (p.603):

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Writing under the pen-name Paul Carell, Paul Schmidt tapped a wealth of personal wartime recollections by individual German officers and enlisted men to construct moving human narratives of the harrowing combat. All the while he consulted extensively with military experts on the war whose contributions made his essentially journalistic accounts remarkably accurate, moving and credible.

What?! He wasn't the evil Nazi just distorting history, like I have read on this forum! :eek: ;) </font>
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Originally posted by Andreas:

Schmidt was involved in coming up with a justification for the sending of Hungarian jews to the furnaces in Auschwitz. I am not sure if that makes him an evil Nazi in your eyes, and frankly don't care - it does in mine.

[/QB]

I agree with you it makes him an evil Nazi in my eyes too. Knowing what was going on with the death camps is definately guilty.

What do you mean by "he was involved with coming up with a justification"? That he did the spin work on it? That he made it "alright" for the Germans to kill Hungarian Jews, with "his" propaganda?

Certainly that would be wrong. If he was very involved he would have been hung after the war. So what was his punishment for his work?

Not being funny, just curious.

Panther Commander

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Originally posted by Panther Commander:

I have read THOUSANDS of books on WWII.

Thousands? Really? I am astonished. I've been reading fairly steadily on the subject for nigh on to 50 years now, but I wouldn't claim to have read as many as a thousand books. Perhaps more than a couple thousand magazine articles. Where do you find the time? May I ask how old you are? Do you speed read? Do you do anything else?

I'm not trying to start something; I'm honestly curious.

Michael

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Originally posted by Michael Emrys:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Panther Commander:

I have read THOUSANDS of books on WWII.

Thousands? Really? I am astonished. I've been reading fairly steadily on the subject for nigh on to 50 years now, but I wouldn't claim to have read as many as a thousand books. Perhaps more than a couple thousand magazine articles. Where do you find the time? May I ask how old you are? Do you speed read? Do you do anything else?

I'm not trying to start something; I'm honestly curious.

Michael </font>

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Originally posted by Panther Commander:

What do you mean by "he was involved with coming up with a justification"? That he did the spin work on it? That he made it "alright" for the Germans to kill Hungarian Jews, with "his" propaganda?

He invented incidents that would be used as a justification to round up the Hungarian Jews and send them on their way. I got your email, and will respond to it, but probably only next week - I am insanely busy this weel.

Apart from that, he joined the NSDAP before Hitler came to power, IIRC. So the 'I only did it to keep my job' excuse does not apply. To answer Keke's persistent doubts about whether he was a Nazi or not. Apart from that I suggest you reread my post Keke, since you totally fail to understand it.

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Originally posted by Andreas:

Apart from that, he joined the NSDAP before Hitler came to power, IIRC. So the 'I only did it to keep my job' excuse does not apply. To answer Keke's persistent doubts about whether he was a Nazi or not. Apart from that I suggest you reread my post Keke, since you totally fail to understand it.

Persistent doubts? LOL! For the record, I don't care if he was Nazi or not, I'm not interested in his political career but in his books about WWII.

If you think I didn't understand your post, well then we have a major communication problem...

Originally posted by Panther Commander:

...You seem to want to use your politics as a platform for your wargaming. You can do that...

...Now about Col. Glantz. He specializes in Soviet history not German. Sorry if his level of expertise doesn't meet your standards either. Who pray tell does meet your standards and why haven't you chosen to publish your vast knowledge of the war???? I'm sure the rest of us would find your books enlightening.

Exactly what I had in mind.
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Originally posted by Keke:

If you think I didn't understand your post, well then we have a major communication problem...

Yes indeed - for example show me where I say Schmidt's works are an insult to historians. For starters.

As for the point about Glantz - Glantz is a specialist in Soviet history. He uses primary source material for that. He is not a specialist in German history, and does not use primary source material for that either. Neither does Schmidt, by the way. So Glantz is quoting what is at best 3rd level analysis. To then suppose that his use of Schmidt gives Schmidt any credence as a source, as you have done in your initial post, is a stretch that I am not prepared to make.

But you go back to your minor bias works written by Obersturmbannfuehrer, NSDAP member and Chief nazi propagandist Schmidt, believing that they give you something useful. Sorry for disturbing your slumber.

The point about me not publishing and only criticising is quite silly, and it goes to show your interest in serious discussion that you endorse it. Critical analysis of sources is the key to improving our understanding of historical events. If you think you can do without it, then I know what to make of your opinion on these events. I can't find the quote about me using my politics for wargaming that you attribute to PC. I think that is another silly statement, and not knowing where it came from, I won't respond to it.

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Originally posted by Andreas:

Yes indeed - for example show me where I say Schmidt's works are an insult to historians. For starters.

Well...

"Carrell is far from the 'Gold standard'. That is an insult to serious historians."

Originally posted by Andreas:

As for the point about Glantz - Glantz is a specialist in Soviet history. He uses primary source material for that. He is not a specialist in German history, and does not use primary source material for that either. Neither does Schmidt, by the way. So Glantz is quoting what is at best 3rd level analysis. To then suppose that his use of Schmidt gives Schmidt any credence as a source, as you have done in your initial post, is a stretch that I am not prepared to make.

But you go back to your minor bias works written by Obersturmbannfuehrer, NSDAP member and Chief nazi propagandist Schmidt, believing that they give you something useful. Sorry for disturbing your slumber.

You have every right to criticize Glantz' use of secondary sources, and his judgements on any historians. What I don't understand is your very own political bias. I guess you judge Soviet historians based on their political careers too. :rolleyes: I rephrase my earlier statement: I don't care if Carell/Schmidt was Adolf Hitler in disguise, as long as he keeps his Nazi views out of his books.

Originally posted by Andreas:

The point about me not publishing and only criticising is quite silly, and it goes to show your interest in serious discussion that you endorse it.

Anyone can criticize, but you seem to think that it is only you, who can define serious discussions, serious history and serious criticism.

Originally posted by Andreas:

Critical analysis of sources is the key to improving our understanding of historical events. If you think you can do without it, then I know what to make of your opinion on these events.

Nobody has claimed otherwise. May I ask you this: Have you ever studied history?
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I'm trying to follow this thread, but see that you guys are not really focusing very well. Some of the reason for this is that it is unclear what your statements actually are. Even the original Glantz quote

tapped a wealth of personal wartime recollections [...] to construct moving human narratives of the harrowing combat. [...]whose contributions made his essentially journalistic accounts remarkably accurate, moving and credible.
is unclear to me. Is Glantz saying that Carell/Schmidt is a an accurate historian, or that he writes moving narratives? Or does he think that these two are essentially the same?

Is Keke just picking a fight due to a bad hangover?

What does PC mean with 'gold standard' in a time when currencies fluctuate freely?

Is Andreas on a Holy Mission against former Nazis?

What am I doing here?

To get this discussion going, I'd suggest all of you clarify your points. Alternatively I'll let Keke step into my shoes against Andreas in Siiranmäki battle and slug it out to the last toothpick.

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Originally posted by Sergei:

To get this discussion going, I'd suggest all of you clarify your points. Alternatively I'll let Keke step into my shoes against Andreas in Siiranmäki battle and slug it out to the last toothpick.

Have you done Siiranmäki? :eek: I have had a half-ready map of it on my HD (made with MappingMission of course) for months. Lemme check it out!

(not focusing very well? whaddaya mean? :D )

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Originally posted by Keke:

Have you done Siiranmäki? :eek: I have had a half-ready map of it on my HD (made with MappingMission of course) for months. Lemme check it out!

(not focusing very well? whaddaya mean? :D )

Okay, now you got me totally confused!!! I downloaded Siiranmäki v2 some time ago from the Scenario Depot, and am now playing it with Andreas. I thought it was put there by YOU. :confused: :confused: ;)
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I have not heard this about Carell. My interest lies with the western front and the PTO. The one book I have by Carell (in german with a pamphlet in English) is Unternehman Barbarossa, a pictorial book of soldier photos (most of them anyway) from the Eastern Front.

I read nothing controversial in that book - he let the pictures do the talking.

I cannot add to the discussion with just this one example and my little knowledge of the German/Russian conflict. However I am reading this with interest.

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I have read Carrell's "Invasion, They're Coming" and I would agree his analysis of "why" the Germans were losing was questionable, but I feel comfortable that his intimate stories of various small unit experiences are accurate.

I cannot recall specifically the chapter, I think it was "Cherry, this is Lemon" about a platoon of tanks entrenched in the hedgerows and fighting defensively. It certainly seemed believable.

Perhaps he was relating the stories honestly, but slanting the "reasons" for them happening.

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"Glantz is a specialist in Soviet history. He uses primary source material for that."

Actually Glantz will be the first one to tell you that there are serious problems with primary source materials especially on the Soviet Side, (Where he has great experience) as most Soviet AArs were written to make sure commander X didn't get shot or thrown in the Gulag after the fight was over. in some cases he feels that consulting a military's promary source materials should be one of the last places you look. Glantz goes into this in his book "Zhukov's greatest disaster". (IIRC the title)

While Carrell makes for a great read I too think it's far from the "Gold standard" (BTW I wouldn't call any one source the gold standard, that's inane). It is however another source in the tapestry of history of history on the Russain front and certainly a good idea generator for scenarios. But then again being a nazi or even someone who once worked for Signal does not automatically make one a poor writer or historian.

"Is Andreas on a Holy Mission against former Nazis?"

I think his anger management issues have less to do with Nazi's than his perception that those who read about them and go "aww cool"?

Los

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I have read 'Scorched earth' and 'Hitler moves east' by him before I learned of his dubious reputation on this forum.

I found both books to be an enthralling read but it was immediately clear to me that he was constantly overemphasizing the problems for the Germans and belittling the ones the Soviets had to deal with.

If the Germans achieved something it was always against overwhelming odds and through excellent soldiering. When the Soviets forced a breakthrough it was almost always by pure luck or sheer weight of numbers.

Overall, he maintains the typical 'the poor old Wehrmacht was thrust into a war they did not ask for and look how well they did against all odds' line of reasoning, apologetic and yet full of largely misplaced pride at the same time. This is typical of a number of postwar Nazis (Speer springs to mind).

So I came to my own conclusions regarding the historical value of his writings.

I don't have such an extensive knowledge of WWII literature as some here and thus much of what I take to be true about actual combat tends to come from what I see in CM.

In this regard the books I read by PC were valuable because he offers some interesting accounts of real life battles to compare with situations in CM.

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Originally posted by Sgt_Kelly:

I have read 'Scorched earth' and 'Hitler moves east' by him before I learned of his dubious reputation on this forum.

I found both books to be an enthralling read but it was immediately clear to me that he was constantly overemphasizing the problems for the Germans and belittling the ones the Soviets had to deal with.

If the Germans achieved something it was always against overwhelming odds and through excellent soldiering. When the Soviets forced a breakthrough it was almost always by pure luck or sheer weight of numbers.

Overall, he maintains the typical 'the poor old Wehrmacht was thrust into a war they did not ask for and look how well they did against all odds' line of reasoning, apologetic and yet full of largely misplaced pride at the same time. This is typical of a number of postwar Nazis (Speer springs to mind).

As Glantz wrote in the article:

Beginning on the early 1960's, an increasing number of able historians began producing accounts of war and operations on the German Eastern front. Although these works were more thorough than those of their predecessors, since they were based on primarly on German sources, they did not achieve requisite balance between the German and Soviet perspectives.
Then he goes on presenting shortly "the best and most substantive of these works" of this 'era', including writers Alan Clark, Earl Ziemke, Paul Carell, Harrison Salisbury and Albert Seaton. The initial Carell-quote was from this chapter.

[ January 26, 2004, 11:15 AM: Message edited by: Keke ]

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Originally posted by Los:

While Carrell makes for a great read I too think it's far from the "Gold standard" (BTW I wouldn't call any one source the gold standard, that's inane). It is however another source in the tapestry of history of history on the Russain front and certainly a good idea generator for scenarios. But then again being a nazi or even someone who once worked for Signal does not automatically make one a poor writer or historian.

"Is Andreas on a Holy Mission against former Nazis?"

I think his anger management issues have less to do with Nazi's than his perception that those who read about them and go "aww cool"?

Los

The reason I say the Carell/Schmidt, is the gold standard, is because I don't know of many people, interested in WWII, that haven't read his works.

Like them or not they have brought an entire generation and now maybe two into further study of WWII. His were the first German view books of the war I ever read. They sent me in search of more and more. I think the popularity of his books, gave us to a great extent, the huge amount of offerings available to us today.

His writing style, which probably was developed in his Nazi job by the sounds of it, is very good. He draws you into the fighting. I have never been one to care much about strategy so I didn't give his poor me attitude much latitude. I think the bias is in any author's work anyway.

Like him or not he has done great service to those of us that call this our hobby. IMHO.

I too have an issue with people that think the Nazi's were "cool". I don't think every person that ever read for instance, Manstein's book, is a Nazi lover however. For me the facination is the against all odds part of the story. They shouldn't have put themselves in that position. The German people have a lot of soul searching to do and I believe most of them that lived through that era have.

I lived in Germany for a time and found them to be a very pleasant people. Not what one would expect from a Nazi. I only ever met one Nazi and SS Major who wasn't apologetic for a single minute and was ready to go back to Russia in a moments notice. The war is over. Time to go on. Discussing Carell is okay. Getting emotional about it is a little unusual.

Having seen some of the documentation on Andreas' website I can certainly understand his attitude. I just don't necessarily agree with it. But that's okay we don't have to agree with each other about everything. I wish him all the best.

I did not know of Schmidt's past, and now that I do, I will continue to view his published works in the same light as I did before. They are a record of the German fighting man in adverse conditions, what they did to make the best of it, and what the outcome was.

As for Schmidt the man, I don't know if he is still alive or not, I can only hope that he is repentant for what his part of the evil that the 3rd Reich was. It appears that his, was a bigger share, than most Germans came close to having.

Panther Commander

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