- Audio CD
- Verlag: Tantor Audio; Auflage: Library. (15. Juni 2010)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1400147360
- ISBN-13: 978-1400147366
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 17 x 2,3 x 16,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
Deathride: Hitler vs. Stalin: The Eastern Front, 1941-1945 (Englisch) Audio-CD – Audiobook, CD, Ungekürzte Ausgabe
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“Deathride is a dramatic departure from the conventional wisdom and is itself a dramatic chronicle of the most brutal theater in the most brutal war in one of history’s most brutal centuries. . . . This is a clear-eyed, compelling description of a battle that has been described many times, but seldom with such an ironic eye.”
—David M. Shribman, The Boston Globe
“Mr. Mosier [is] one of the more entertainingly contrarian military historians writing today. . . . an important and groundbreaking book about the Eastern front.”
—Joseph C. Goulden, The Washington Times -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Audio CD.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
John Mosier is the author of The Myth of the Great War. He is full professor of English at Loyola University in New Orleans, where, as chair of the English Department and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, he taught primarily European literature and film. His background as a military historian dates from his role in developing an interdisciplinary curriculum for the study of the two world wars, a program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. From 1989 to 1992 he edited the New Orleans Review. He lives in Jefferson, Louisiana. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Audio CD.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
Hier werden die vielen kleinen Vorgänge beleuchtet, die zum "totalen Krieg" mit Rußland führen mussten. Auch wenn die Theorie von Hitlers "Präventivschlag" verpönt sein mag, findet sie hier ihre absolute Bestätigung. Es werden auch die Machenschaften der alliierten Siegermächte nach dem 1 WK beleuchtet und wie die Sowjets "unsere" östlichen nachbarn als Schutzschilde, prellböcke und Opferlämmer gezüchtet haben, um bei der heißersehnten Verbreitung des Bolschewismus auf so wenig Widerstand wie möglich zu treffen ( der einzige Widerstand wäre das Deutsche Reich gewesen und dieses wurde durch die provozierten Kriegsaktionen militärisch gebunden).
Selbst Winston Churchill musste schon 1945 eingestehen, dass er ( Zitat ) mit Hitler "wohl das falsche Schwein geschlachtet" habe. Und deshalb war es für die Alliierten so verdammt wichtig, an die atomare Technologie des Dritten Reiches zu kommen: man brauchte eine mehr als abschreckende Waffe, um den Kommunismus dort zu halten, wo er herkam. Ich weiss nicht, ob das Hiroshima und Nagasaki rechtfertigt und den alliierten-Verrat an Polen, der Tschechei, Ungarn und Rumänien mildert, aber diese lückenlose Richtigstellung der Zeitgeschichte verdient allemal
5 Sterne :-)
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Historian John Mosier takes the controversial position that Germany came very close to winning the war against the Soviet Union and that support from the Allies ... both from lend-lease aid and in opening combat fronts on the ground in Africa/Italy and in the air over Germany ... tipped the scales and saved the USSR. He further states that Stalin was able to paint a picture of an all-conquering, unstoppable Red Army to the world that was not at all accurate but was accepted by the world. He also writes that it was primarily due to the severe economic shocks that World War II had on the Soviet economy that the USSR finally collapsed.
My take? I find much to like about the book and much that I disagree with. Mr Mosier has taken many of the facts about World War II, added some new interpretations of his own, and basically reassembled them in a way that challenges the conventional wisdom about the war on the Eastern Front.
A few of the things I agree with: Hitler, although ultimately a madman and guilty of the murder of untold millions, was probably a better armed forces commander than his generals portrayed him. The German generals shifted most of the blame for losing the war onto Hitler's interference rather than their own shortcomings or the valor and sacrifices of the Red Army. While I disagree that Hitler's decisions and leadership was as positive as portrayed by Mr Mosier, I think he was better than how history views him. Second, Mr Mosier disputes the tremendous Soviet production figures for tanks/heavy weaponry, casualty reports, and other official records, arguing that Soviet records are somewhat disingenuous due to the nature of the Soviet regime. I agree that they are not to be wholly trusted at face value. Third, Mr Mosier believes the German's were basically bleeding the Red Army to death due to a favorable casualty exchange rate, and if they could have held on longer, they could have forced a stalemate. While I don't think the Soviets had hit the bottom of the barrel of their manpower reserves, I do believe they were having increasing difficulty in sustaining their units at full strength as the end of the war approached.
A few of the things I disagree with: First, Mr Mosier felt that the Germans could have won the war as late as 1943, arguing among other things, that German casualties were much lighter than popularly believed. While German casualties were perhaps not as catastrophic as perceived, Mr Mosier doesn't fully account for the fact that human losses were only part of the equation. At Moscow in 1941 and at Stalingrad in 1942/43, the Germans lost perhaps the equivalent of a full year's production of war material. Even if the Germans had broken out of Stalingrad in December 1942, the remains of Sixth Army would have been close to worthless for months until it could be re-equipped, as it would have had to leave most of its artillery, armor, and supporting equipment behind. While Mr Mosier points out that German tank/AFV totals actually rose during the war, I don't think he gives enough weight to the fact that other key war items, such as number of trucks, transport aircraft, and so on, were on a continual decline over the course of the war, and those losses had a dramatic impact on how the war was fought as time went on. Second, I disagree that Allied aid and the establishment of a second front and third front (in the Mediterranean and the air over Germany) basically saved the USSR. I think their cumulative impact was much greater than historically portrayed, but it was ultimately the Red Army that broke the back of the Wehrmacht. Third, Mr Mosier writes that the Red Army did not improve much in combat techniques as the war went on, basically just continuing to bludgeon the Germans, with the exception of Operation Bagration, and that operation's success was in large part due to allied aid in providing enough trucks to enable the Soviets to advance faster than the Germans could retreat. While there is some truth in that allied trucks were an important element in providing needed mobility and logistical support to the Red Army, I believe that Soviet war performance improved greatly between 1941 and 1945. While I don't think they ever reached the level of proficiency of the Wehrmacht, they greatly closed the gap.
Overall, I give this book four stars. Mr Mosier provides support for his analysis, and whether you agree with his interpretations or not, he presents a plausible alternative to the conduct of the war on the Eastern Front. Although I'm far from a professional historian, I own well over 400 books on World War II, with a primary focus on the Eastern Front, and I found it to be an interesting and thought provoking read.
That said, there are a number of interesting points that are fairly persuasive. Mosier begins by attacking the Soviet production figures and their casualty figures and faulting historians who use them, and he does so by placing them in the historical context of a system that routinely and massively massaged data to support ideology. Soviet production numbers don't make sense when you look at actual material deployments (the Soviets fielded many fewer tanks than you would expect from the factory numbers) and they suffered from very high incidences of mechanical unreliability. The casualty figures are likewise extremely dubious, and Mosier makes a good case that German figures should be used as the basis for discussing the war. Knocking out the legs from under the argument that the Soviets built huge arsenals of tanks and fighters brings the contributions of the American and British Lend Lease into greater focus.
Mosier's basic position is that the Western Powers were responsible for winning the war. Without Western material, the Soviets could not have sustained an advance that would have allowed them to reach Germany before their army was bled completely dry. The removal of the Luftwaffe to other theaters was decisive in reducing German offensive capability, and the invasion of Sicily heralded a shift of major armored resources to the Western theater, creating the conditions for the Soviet advances of 1943-1944. Just looking at the number of troops deployed on the respective fronts, the argument wouldn't seem to hold much weight, but Mosier makes the point that much of the German firepower was held in a relatively small number of supersized divisions (Waffen SS, Gross Deutschland), and those units were overwhelmingly removed from Russia and deployed to France. So even though the German losses in Bagration were crippling, they paled next to the destruction of the Westheer in the Normandy fighting and the Falaise Pocket, because most of the German firepower was fighting the Western Allies.
The other big argument is that the population disparity was not as great as is often made out, and that the Germans had more than enough of a population to defeat Russia considering the exchange rate, which ran 3:1 Germany's way throughout the war. That actually matches up with Glantz's take on the war, which suggested that the Russians were able to create overwhelming numbers for their offensives not because of limitless resources but because of their ability to rotate formations and to concentrate for offensives without the Germans being able to effectively identify where the units were coming from.
John Mosier starts with a strong, unconventional, contrarian and likely controversial premise: Stalin's and the Soviet's accounts of the Great Patriotic War are not to be trusted because of their systemic and pathological distortion of facts and the desire to create additional myths on the merits of Stalin's brand of socialism. Mosier argues that many Western military historians have not been sufficiently critical in their assessments and have relied too heavily on highly questionable Soviet sources of information on casualties and strategic and tactical accounts of major engagements. Mosier makes his case through detailed recounting of casualty rates and equipment loss rates. The astonishing disparity in casualties between the Wehrmacht and the Soviets seems to support this basic contention. The Soviet forces according to Mosier were poorly equipped, poorly trained, poorly maintained, poorly coordinated and, for the most part, poorly led. By comparison, Mosier sees the Wehrmacht as well equipped, well trained, well maintained, well-coordinated and, for the most part, well led.
In Mosier's view both Hitler and Stalin were totally ruthless, but Hitler's war strategy was more coherent while Stalin's was incredibly wasteful of lives and material. Mosier makes a strong case that Hitler's direction of the Eastern Front and his focus on strategic targets, notably the Baku oil fields, as opposed to major cities was militarily reasonable. The facts on the ground seem to support Hitler's notion of a war of attrition - it simply didn't happen fast enough and it could not be sustained once Hitler moved resources to the Western Front. Mosier argues that Hitler perceived the Allies as more of a threat to his ability to wage war than were the Russians presumably because of the relative proximity of the Ruhr and industrial areas to any Allied invasion and the sheer distance and his reasonable perception that the Soviets could be defeated readily if the Allies were thrown back. Hitler gambled and lost.
My major criticisms of the book are Mosier's awkward writing style, the repetitiveness of the arguments, the frequent sidetracks and the absence of maps especially for major battles like Kursk.
All in all, it is a thought provoking read that forces the reader to reassess what he thinks he knows about the true nature of Stalin's and the Soviets' contribution to defeating Hitler.
As in his previous books, Mosier takes his conclusions to extremes, makes a few (minor) factual errors, and expresses certainty on matters that are clearly still a matter for debate.
So why four stars? Because the conventional wisdom of academic historians too often contains its on sort of smug certainty, and western military history in particular suffers from what Professor Jeremy Black called "mechanistic determinism" which reads history not as unfolding events which could have gone differently, but backward to explain how what happened had to happen. Writers like Mosier are needed to break open those assumptions and force a fresh look at the course of the war, and if Mosier's opinions are hit and miss, there are quite enough hits to warrent paying attention.