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Anthony Beevor's Stalingrad

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Nov 2005, 17:55
Party Bureaucrat
Post 24 Apr 2006, 00:12
Hi,
I just bought Anthony Beevor's "Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege 1942-1943 for a really cheap price. For those of you who have read it, would you consider it a good, unbiased read (I haven't started reading it yet)?
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"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
--Napoleon Bonaparte
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Feb 2005, 02:51
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Post 24 Apr 2006, 00:16
Good read, but it shows the authors dislike of Stalin.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Nov 2004, 20:31
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Post 24 Apr 2006, 01:18
Good book. Even if Beevor personally dislikes Stalin that is irrelevant. I don't see anything biased in the book.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Jun 2005, 18:05
Pioneer
Post 24 Apr 2006, 02:17
Excellent read, and is considered relatively unbiased compared to most other novels on stalingrad...which i think the most significant are from a mostly german point of view? Beevors book has many more soviet based sources in this book..and if anything is sympathic towards the russians

Oh and when your done with that pick up Beevor's Berlin: The Downfall 1945 That read is shit-hot, probably better than Stalingrad
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mmm communism...delicious
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Nov 2005, 21:16
Komsomol
Post 28 Jun 2006, 19:12
I think the book was inforative but not a very good read. It meandered to much from one thing to another without really connecting them. I think he often focosed on small details making it hard to pay attention to the big picture.
"Its the ones who are subject to occupation that ultimately get to decide whether it was benicfial or not".

Myself.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Jan 2003, 15:32
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Post 28 Jun 2006, 21:27
The small details of individuals actions are what makes it more personal and involving to the reader. It brings home that it was real people fighting, not just icons on maps in Moscow and Berlin. It also happens to be where I got my sig from.


Overall I found it a good read.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Nov 2004, 20:31
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Post 01 Jul 2006, 20:19
Good reading I say.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Feb 2007, 07:08
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 06 Feb 2007, 03:08
I am always looking out of anti-USSR biased books, this book was actually quite wonderful. Good personal stories, and better than that "historian" Robert Conquest.

Berlin: The Downfall 1945 is even better, in my opinion.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Feb 2007, 02:02
Pioneer
Post 06 Feb 2007, 04:54
I own this book. The author has a relative anti-Stalin bias, but it's more than understandable in my opinion (as he does justify it with factual and even Soviet sources). But he also gives Hitler an equal share of criticism. All in all, it is an excellent readable history book.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 May 2006, 07:44
Ideology: Left Communism
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Post 06 Feb 2007, 05:32
A good book. However, Glantz has criticized Beevor for his art-literature portrayal which sacrificed being factually correct to stylish in some places. I can find Glantz criticism of Beevor, if anyone's interested.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Feb 2005, 02:51
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Post 06 Feb 2007, 07:40
Aye, I have been reading up on Glantz, I have to say, although well written and are good readings, the military value of Beevor's works are virtually non-existent. Good for history buffs, but if you are actually interest the war bit of the great patriotic war, Glantz is better, in fact, Zaloga is pretty good too.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 May 2006, 07:44
Ideology: Left Communism
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Post 06 Feb 2007, 13:50
Glantz and Zaloga present the facts and are historians. Beevor is a publicist. Yes, the military value of his works is zero. Not to mention his utter lack of understanding of military actions which Glantz noted.

Good style, but for substance, turn to Glantz, also you can use documents and historical almanachs. Particulary good Great War analysis is contained in the works of Isaev, Kurtukov and other serious analytics.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Nov 2004, 20:31
Party Bureaucrat
Post 06 Feb 2007, 15:42
Quote:
Beevor is a publicist


No, he is British historian, educated at Winchester College and Sandhurst. He studied under the famous historian of World War II, John Keegan.

Quote:
Yes, the military value of his works is zero.


Quote:
Not to mention his utter lack of understanding of military actions which Glantz noted.


The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, in case the simple name did not ring bells to you.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Jan 2007, 19:29
Komsomol
Post 06 Feb 2007, 16:05
I read his Berlin book and its a pile of anti-soviet junk. I can imagine what the Stalingrad book will be like.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 May 2006, 07:44
Ideology: Left Communism
Resident Soviet
Post 06 Feb 2007, 16:30
Beevor's grasp of military theory is abysmal then, for a military academy graduate. He is a "historian" in the sense that he knows historic facts and knows how to work with historic sources. But there it ends. Because he lacks a grasp of military theory, his interpretation of facts becomes detached from the actual meaning of discussed military practice.

Oh, and Stalingrad is better than Berlin. Berlin is an anti-Soviet pamphlet in the worst Cold War traditions, surpassed in black-tarring only by atrocious Cold War propaganda works like "Erich Hartmann The Blond Knight of the Reich".

Beevor's Berlin book is full of allegations when it comes to Soviet atrocities and their scale, because he has nothing solid - only his wishful fantasies ("It appears like several million women have been raped" - riiight, that's when 5,000 officers have been executed for rapes done by them and their inferiors in 1945 alone and the executions of rapists started _waaay_ before Berlin battle as witnessed by several wartime diaries (Kopelev, etc).

A historian who publishes propaganda without solid factual base, or even outright lies (about the Soviet leadership doing nothing to stop the occasional atrocities towards German civilians, when in fact the Soviet command issued multiple orders to that effect, which the pussy Beevor omits as "insignificant" and "not having effect" - people have been shot on these orders, but Mr."True Historian" follows the path of propaganda.

So if Beevor is so factually correct (isn't his mentor Keegan also an ardent Cold Warrior, eh? Pardon me if I confuse Keegan with someone else), why does he use Cold War propaganda?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Feb 2004, 20:50
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Post 06 Feb 2007, 20:06
Quote:
I read his Berlin book and its a pile of anti-soviet junk. I can imagine what the Stalingrad book will be like.


I read both and I don't think that it is anti-soviet. If you expect a monography on the battle for Berlin stating that soviets lost two men and that soviet soldiers did not rape and stole and that only the nazis were capable of such actions, then of course, you can say that his books are anti-soviet.
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Ya Basta!
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Jan 2007, 19:29
Komsomol
Post 07 Feb 2007, 00:12
Maybe you should read it again! Some people understand things better after having read twice
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Feb 2004, 20:50
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Post 07 Feb 2007, 12:44
Ok, I won't take this as an insult, but it is really border line. In those books, historcal sources were used adequately and Antony Beevor did not give any wild interpretations of this data, just to make the soviets look like monsters. On the other side, what interests does an historian nowadays have by warming up old cold-war polemics?

Besides all this, historians work with thesis and they do not write something, just because they think its right. If you'd like to discuss that, show me some examples of what you mean and disable Beevor's arguments be using empirical data.
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Ya Basta!
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 May 2006, 07:44
Ideology: Left Communism
Resident Soviet
Post 07 Feb 2007, 13:57
Quote:
In those books, historcal sources were used adequately and Antony Beevor did not give any wild interpretations of this data, just to make the soviets look like monsters

He did. My comments in [brackets]:
Beevor wrote:
By the estimates of two main Berlin hospitals, the number of rape victims is 95-130 thousand people [... Bevor gives no reference to any documents whatsoever ...]. One doctor made an estimate about 100.000 women in Berlin [... No reference again ...]. And about 10.000 women died of suicide [... Somehow suicide became connected with rape - while even earlier Beevor, as all historians, acknowledges the fact that suicides were caused by Nazi propaganda about Soviet atrocities, so that many women killed themselves and their children even upon hearing that the Russian forces are coming, thanks to Dr. Goebbels ...]. The number of deaths in East Germany is, to my mind, a lot more [... Number of deaths (!) somehow became connected with number of rapes, and "to his mind" ...], if we take into account 1.400.000 raped in East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia [... Where's the source? Looks like his estimates again ...]. It seems, there was like 2.000.000 raped women in total [... It seems. Wow ...].


Me wrote:
Quote:
Marshal Rokossovsky issued order 006, which said that the feeling of hate should be directed against the enemy on the battlefield. This order established punishment [... Beevor voluntarily omits that the punishment established by Rokossovsky's order was, to put simply, death ...] for looting, robbery, violence towards the population. But it seems this order had not achieved proper effect.

Now how does Beevor arrive at this conclusion? Who knows! He doesn't say. He just "thinks" Rokossovsky's order achieved little effect. He omits that the punishment was shooting. I don't accuse him of an agenda, but that is strange at least - Lev Kopelev, whom he mentiones, writes in his diary that they have received Rokossovsky's order and the punishment it established.


Me wrote:
Rzheshevsky O.A., president of the association of WWII historians, has the following to say in his "Operation Berlin 1945: the discussion continues":
Rzheshevsky wrote:
As the materials of the Military Prosecution have evidence, in the first months of 1945, for cruelty against the civilian population military tribunals sentenced 4148 officers and a great number of privates. Some trials resulted in death sentences.


Me wrote:
Osmar White, an Australian war correspondent has the following to say about the Red Army's occupation zones (he was not a big Red lover, and a contemporary witness):
Osmar White wrote:
The discipline is very harsch in the Red Army. Lootings, rapes and humiliation here is in the same quantity as in any other occupation zone.

He's not speaking about Berlin in this case, but of Eastern Europe.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Feb 2004, 20:50
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Post 07 Feb 2007, 14:31
Give me the page number of the first and the second quote.
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Ya Basta!
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