Drawing on evidence never before seen in the West, including combat records of early engagements, David Glantz claims that in 1941 the Red Army was poorly trained, inadequately equipped, ineptly organized, and consequently incapable of engaging in large-scale military campaigns - and both Hitler and Stalin knew it. He provides a complete and convincing study of why the SovDrawing on evidence never before seen in the West, including combat records of early engagements, David Glantz claims that in 1941 the Red Army was poorly trained, inadequately equipped, ineptly organized, and consequently incapable of engaging in large-scale military campaigns - and both Hitler and Stalin knew it. He provides a complete and convincing study of why the Soviets almost lost the war that summer, dispelling many of the myths about the Red Army that have persisted since the war and soundly refuting Viktor Suvorov's controversial thesis that Stalin was planning a preemptive strike against Germany....
|Title||:||Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War|
|Number of Pages||:||392 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War Reviews
A sideways Glantz at Suvorov: Suvorov book "Icebreaker" elicited a response in the form a book titled "Stumbling Colossus" by non other than David Glantz a prolific heavy weight author who specialises on the Eastern Front. Glantz's book claims to obliterate the Suvorov myth by proving that the Red Army in 1941 was beyond putting up a reasonable defence let alone launching a surprise attack. Unlike Suvorov he bases his work on recently declassified Soviet documents and reams of statistical data.One would have expected Glantz to tackle Suvorov head on and take apart his book paragraph by paragraph. To the frustration of many a reader this does not happen and it appears that he talks past Suvorov for most of the time. Nevertheless he succeeds in proving to the reader that the Soviet War machine was in no fit state to even consider any pre-emptative strike and therefore due to this one fact the whole of Suvarov can therefore be consigned to the rubbish bin. It is as if a child asks the question "What would happen if the moon fell down?" and the father answers that this can never happen. If Suvorov book raises one question that begs a direct answer from Glantz, it is to why the Red Army, assuming that it had adopted a defensive posture with over a year to prepare this strategy, had not done a better job of it. In fact it seems that the Red Army performance at the opening of Barbarossa bordered on nothing less than gross negligence. The onus was on Glantz to illuminate on the strategy that the Red Army was trying to achieve, rather than suggest that they had no strategy at all. The Suvorov thesis that an army in an offensive mode deployed offensively can offer up nothing but a poor defence if surprised, seems attractive in a vacuum created by a lack of other evidenceGlantz's book is by no means an easy reader. His books are about as much fun as reading a technical manual. His writing style reveals very little of the author or his viewpoints, but instead stick to a rigid presentation of the facts as revealed in copious amounts of Russian documents he has examined. However his contribution to the study of the Eastern front is immense and writing style aside he has made a massive contribution to our understanding of this epic struggle. This is not a book for the layman as it takes a dedicated few, hungry for the knowledge to wade through copious amounts of dry statistics
Glantz earns a four star rating from me due to the originality of his research and work. Looking at the Soviet army prior to 1941 is usually limited to Finland, or the one or two books (usually heavily error prone) on Nomonhon. However, a staff level planning view of what the Soviet Army leadership were thinking and how their plans matched or did not to the reality of war is fascinating. It is a must read for any student of the Eastern Front in WW2 on this basis alone.However, there are some glaring omissions which almost made me give it a 3 star. The massive support that the Soviet Union provided Germany with from August of 1939 through June 1941 is omitted along wiht the severe war scare with Japan. Glantz has unfortunately carried over a singular narrative that has the focus entirely on Germany even when Germany was the biggest ally and Stalin was more worried about the UK or Japan. This is not reflected in his research and it would make a fine update or even a second book to delve into the continency plans for the UK and Japanese conflict with Germany as ally from the period 1939 to 1941. The battle assessments from Finland, the border with Manchuria (indeed, even the invasion of Manchuria by the Soviet Union in 1927-1928), the excursions into China to exterminate the ethnic Kyrgystani and other ethnic groups from territory Russia recently captured and occupied, would be additional material necessary to understand more in depth the views of the General Staff in their assessment and planning process.Despite these omissions, the book remains an excellent reference to understand the buildup to WW2 for the Soviet Union.
Crammed with statistical detail and a little bit repetitive, but a sobering overview of Soviet military readiness on the eve of World War 2. One of the hypothesis Glantz is answering in this book is one posed by some revisionist historians who argue that the German attack was pre-emptive and the Soviets were the ones who were about to wage aggressive warfare. As Glantz shows, the Soviets were woefully unprepared for the German attack with most of their forces not up to full strength. And as a result of the Stalinist purges, their leadership was also not ready for the task of leading any kind of attack (let alone a defense against the German onslaught). Despite the tremendous defeats in the early part of the war, the Soviets were basically able to trade bodies and space for time to build their military. The survivors of the brutal year of 1941 became the core of a reborn Soviet army that marched to victory all the way to Berlin. This book is highly technical and isn't a good introduction to the topic of the east front in WW2, but if you have some background in the topic it is worth at least skimming this for some keen insights. Glantz cites many sources that would be interesting to follow-up on.
Read like a manual at times. Reminds me of the Wehrmacht in 1945. Every single reasonable idea a Soviet general had was summarily rejected by Stalin. Hitler later played the same game to disastrous effect for Germany. I guess these demagogues just can't resist.
Another excellent reference, but just a reference. Even Glantz's opinions appear to be expressed as facts and statistics.