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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 07 Feb 2007, 14:38
Quote:
On the other side, what interests does an historian nowadays have by warming up old cold-war polemics?


Cold War polemics are as politically useful today as they were during the Cold War due to the ever-increasing sense of triumphalism in the Western world. Consider it: Beevor is writing a history from the Soviet point of view, a perspective that disgusts many people in the West due to their old Cold War prejudices, so, to expand his readership, he has to introduce the polemics.
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"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
--Napoleon Bonaparte
Soviet cogitations: 638
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 May 2006, 07:44
Ideology: Left Communism
Resident Soviet
Post 07 Feb 2007, 14:51
Are you suspecting me of what... lying? Pretending this? Page 40 in the Russian edition contains Beevor's absolutely unfounded claims about the ineffectiveness of Rokossovsky's order 006. I'm not sure which page this is in the English version. A lot of lies elsewhere in Beevor's chapters about how the USSR treated the soldiers who returned from Germany, etc. - all that is common for the "totalitarian" school, a lot of denouncement of "totalitarism" based on single-person accounts, pathetic and absolutely irrelevant, not to mention that absolutely false, claims about Stalin's antisemitism, etc. (people were trialed for anti-semitism in the USSR on Stalin's laws). All in all, a bunch of anti-Soviet myths packed in a stylish war book.

Beevor writes little about the actual course of battles, the units, their operations and, well, WAR STUFF - he concentrates on "atrocities" of the USSR, and "evil" Soviet state, all that crap. No wonder that he's falling as a propagandist.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Feb 2004, 20:50
Party Bureaucrat
Post 07 Feb 2007, 14:54
Quote:
Cold War polemics are as politically useful today as they were during the Cold War due to the ever-increasing sense of triumphalism in the Western world.


Yes of course they are. But Beevor is not in politics, he's an historian and I doubt if he has some urgend political reasons to overrate soviet attrocities.

Quote:
Consider it: Beevor is writing a history from the Soviet point of view, a perspective that disgusts many people in the West due to their old Cold War prejudices, so, to expand his readership, he has to introduce the polemics.


That's a good point. However, I must say that I wasn't disgusted by what he wrote. I never interpretated anything he wrote as blank anti-soviet propaganda and it certainly did not change my picture of the USSR during WW2 (which was and is positiv). Even if there are some details which are a bit confusing, it doesn't give you the impression that Beevor wants to demonize the soviets. In return, I get the impression that some of you are rather sensitive concering matters like this.
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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, 15:02
I don't think he's doing it for political reasons either. It's just the common Western culture (need to isert denouncements of "antidemocratic" regimes no matter what).
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Feb 2004, 20:50
Party Bureaucrat
Post 07 Feb 2007, 15:09
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Are you suspecting me of what... lying?


... I just want to check it out by myself. I got the french verion and I can't find anything of it. Must be somewhere else.

Quote:
I don't think he's doing it for political reasons either. It's just the common Western culture (need to isert denouncements of "antidemocratic" regimes no matter what).


Ah yes western culture... and all americans are stupid, french people smoke too much and eat baguette all day. Yes yes... you must be right... its in the gens...
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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, 15:34
Quote:
Ah yes western culture...

You disagree that the West has developed an distinct anti-socialist culture over the last century?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Jan 2007, 19:29
Komsomol
Post 07 Feb 2007, 18:53
My grand parents never told me anything about russians having raped women as to the extent as A. Beever is claiming. And they should know as they were fleeing from east-prussia to Berlin to avoid the advancing red army. I think Beever is making all this up as he is walking along to sell his books better. There have been rape cases no question as in every war. He is an apologist for the nazis as he is trying to equate the russian liberators with the nazi barbarians.

He should make a book about the 1945 Dresden bombing by the western allies in which 30000+ civilians were unnecessarily fire bombed to death in one night. But again its always the evil russians.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Nov 2005, 17:55
Party Bureaucrat
Post 07 Feb 2007, 19:01
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Yes of course they are. But Beevor is not in politics, he's an historian and I doubt if he has some urgend political reasons to overrate soviet attrocities.


It's not so much that he has an agenda, but
a. he needs to sell his book
b. modern-day histories are always political in nature. Saying anything good about Stalin virtually discredits any Western historian or turns that historian into a pariah, who won't get good book sales.

Having only read "Stalingrad", I will say that Beevor is much more balanced than other historians on the subject, but as with everything, I would take Beevor's assertions about the rapes with a grain (or mound) of salt. As it is, most historians I have read have a penchant for exaggerating or overly dramatizing statistics.
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"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Aug 2006, 17:42
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
R.I.P.
Post 07 Feb 2007, 19:06
one of the stories I was interested in validating, touching on your point, ossi, the story I heard of the red army taking german citizens and showing them the atrocities of the concentration camps they liberated.

has anyone else heard something to this story?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Jan 2007, 19:29
Komsomol
Post 07 Feb 2007, 19:32
Chaz,

They all did it the soviet, the british and the american soldiers. They gathered the local populations and forced them to see what the concentration camps looked like from the inside. The locals knew well that the camps existed as many were suppliers and sub-contractors to the SS personal. But in all fairness I don't think all germans expected the extent of the barabarity that took place in those places. The war liberators used to display all the torture and killing items, piles of death bodies, items made of human skin etc to the locals. Many felt so guilty they actually went straight into denial.
Last edited by Ossi on 07 Feb 2007, 23:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Feb 2004, 20:50
Party Bureaucrat
Post 07 Feb 2007, 20:03
Stanis wrote:
You disagree that the West has developed an distinct anti-socialist culture over the last century?


As far as you consider Europe, I would say yes. Left-wing organisations are very much represented over the contient, at least much more then in the US. They have however limited impact on politics, but still they have.

Your picture of political culture in the west is way too simplistic.

Konev wrote:
Having only read "Stalingrad", I will say that Beevor is much more balanced than other historians on the subject, but as with everything, I would take Beevor's assertions about the rapes with a grain (or mound) of salt. As it is, most historians I have read have a penchant for exaggerating or overly dramatizing statistics.


You always should take messages in a book with a grain of salt. And I must agree with you saying that Beevor is counted under the balanced authors.

ossi wrote:
They all did it the soviet, the british and the american soldiers.


I can confirm that. I don't know if the russians did take the wifes of SS personal to burry the bodies of KZ victimes, but I know that yankees did that. Does someone have info on this?
Last edited by SpetsNaz on 07 Feb 2007, 20:29, edited 1 time in total.
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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, 20:28
Quote:
They have however limited impact on politics, but still they have.

Because the perspectives of struggling inside the empitome of global capitalist system are not really shining and bright, like in other Third World places where people really feel the support coming from the exploited, maintain tense ties with workers...

The left is weak in centers of imperialism, it has been marginalized and the workers have been paid more to keep their mouths shut and hands set to work for the capitalists.

I won't be commenting guerilla activities in Russia and the level of support such actions gather as this might be damaging to the cause of Russian communists. We act in public, yet covertly - the "democratic" regimes of the Third World, Russia including, are ruthless in their opression of communists, second only to fascists.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Jan 2007, 19:29
Komsomol
Post 07 Feb 2007, 20:38
SpetsNaz Quote:
Quote:
I can confirm that. I don't know if the russians did take the wifes of SS personal to burry the bodies of KZ victimes, but I know that yankees did that. Does someone have info on this?


It was the british army in Bergen-Belsen and it was not the wives of SS personal but real female SS guards.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Aug 2006, 17:30
Party Bureaucrat
Post 18 Feb 2007, 00:21
If the war is lost, the people will be lost also. It is not necessary to worry about what the German people will need for elemental survival. On the contrary, it is best for us to destroy even these things. For the nation has proven to be the weaker, and the future belongs solely to the stronger eastern nation. In any case only those who are inferior will remain after this struggle, for the good have already been killed.

AH, march 1945, conversation with Speer


If the German nation is now defeated in this struggle, it has been too weak. That will mean it has not withstood the test of history and was destined for nothing but doom.

AH, july 1944
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Ideology transforms human beings into subjects, leading them to see themselves as self-determining agents when they are in fact shaped by ideological processes. L. Althusser
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Jan 2007, 19:29
Komsomol
Post 18 Feb 2007, 00:39
This statement by AH about the the german people makes my blood boil. This little austrian ******
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Nov 2005, 21:16
Komsomol
Post 11 Jun 2007, 04:24
I hated the book, it was complete cold war propaganda. The book was more about human tragedy than the titianic struggle that was being waged for the fate of the earth. In my opinion it was very condecending toward the men of the red army, it portrayed then as being brave but very stupid and easily minipulated by thier leaders to be cannon fodder, overall a book without a point that just focuses on different innumurable tragedy's is very boring.
"Its the ones who are subject to occupation that ultimately get to decide whether it was benicfial or not".

Myself.
Soviet cogitations: 5
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Dec 2005, 09:21
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 30 Nov 2008, 23:56
A critical evaluation of Beevor can be found here:

http://www.mariosousa.se/ReviewBeevorSt ... 50729.html
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Oct 2010, 00:20
Ideology: Other
Pioneer
Post 30 Jan 2012, 03:54
A good book for people who are interested in the battle for Stalingrad - but not for military history buffs.

Yeah, yeah - Beevor isn't exactly a fan of Stalin - if he was I wouldn't have read it anyway.
He isn't a fan of Hitler either and denouncing him by alleging he has sympathies for the Nazis - forget it.

So: For beginners who can/want not cope with page after page of lists, figures and charts and the typically dry style in which many of the more 'advanced' books are written:
A clear recommendation.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Mar 2012, 00:06
Unperson
Post 19 Mar 2012, 00:16
The Soviet military success in Stalingrad only shows how ingenious Soviet or Russian military strategists were. Stalin's collaboration with Hitler was a ploy. It had no evil motive at all but to stall Hitler into taking over the whole world. 3000 T-tanks were a mighty bunch of military hardware of which Hitler's Panzer groups were no match. I admire Stalin's generals. And their appointments were objectively done or objectively approved. Some were leftovers or remnants of the Tsarist monarchy. Stalin was not a monster. He was humane just like any disillusioned German or patriotic American.
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