- Gebundene Ausgabe: 655 Seiten
- Verlag: Modern War Studies (Hardcover) (15. Mai 2009)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0700616306
- ISBN-13: 978-0700616305
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,5 x 5,3 x 23,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 136.540 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
To the Gates of Stalingrad: Soviet-German Combat Operations, April-August 1942 (Modern War Studies (Hardcover)) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 15. Mai 2009
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"Glantz is the world's top scholar of the Soviet-German War."
"A magisterial new survey that draws on a wealth of previously inaccessible Red Army records and will be indispensable reading for all serious students of the battle." -- Michael K. Jones
"In a way never before attempted, Glantz reveals how the battle proceeded through the step-by-step, day-by-day efforts of leaders to plan, supervise, and conduct combat operations amidst the fog of war." -- Roger R. Reese
"Fifteen years ago the late John Erickson wrote that the research of Glantz and house reflected an 'encyclopaedic knowledge' of the Nazi-Soviet war and constituted a benchmark for excellence in the field. The Stalingrad trilogy reflects the fact that they maintain that standard, while bringing to light a new understanding of many old questions." War in History"
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
David M. Glantz is the author of numerous books, including The Battle for Leningrad, 1941-1944; Colossus Reborn: The Red Army at War; and Red Storm over the Balkans: The Failed Soviet Invasion of Romania. Jonathan M. House is the author of Combined Arms Warfare in the Twentieth Century. Glantz and House are also coauthors of When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler and The Battle of Kursk (see page 41).
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What makes these volumes so outstanding today is their incorporation of recently released records and materials from the Soviet side as well as the official German history of WWII, "Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg", most specifically, Volume 4, Der Angriff auf die Sowjetunion, with its accompanying maps in a separate binding.
Two factors stand out: that if the German Army was unable to destroy/capture large formations of the Red Army in the summer campaign of 1942 as well as capturing the resources necessary to continue the war (in particular, working or repairable oil fields and refining capacity) then the war was lost, and secondly, not until the fall of 1942 was the Red Army able to effect proper combined arms coordination and develop its combat leadership sufficiently to win battles under non-winter conditions. The first was specifically spelled out in "Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg", and the second in Glantz's publications based on releases from the Russian archives. But here these aspects are presented and developed so as to reach the average reader.
Excepting the victory by Manstein in the Crimea (Operation Bustard Hunt) that was reported by him as a true battle of annihilation (Vernichtungskampf), none of the German victories in 1942 resulted in large numbers of Soviet prisoners as in 1941. The Soviet armies were defeated but not annihilated and were able to fight another day (although the Soviet victories in the fall of 1942 were won by new formations.) The German weakness in infantry allowed large numbers of Soviet soldiers to escape encirclement and capture, and this weakness was endemic and not to be solved subsequent to the German losses in the winter of 1941. Time and again, this fatal defect shows up in Glantz's discussions of the battles of 1942. In addition, the Soviets learned readily from the Germans in 1942 and were able to turn the tables on an ever-weakening Wehrmacht in the later Stalingrad battle and post-Citadel operations in 1943.
A side point on this excellent volume is that the German formations were blessed with extremely good leadership, particularly the armored units. The extreme cohesiveness in the German units and their sticking together under very adverse conditions time and again pulled victory out of what threatened to become a catastrophy. Although this phenomenon haas been studied at length by the American military, our political structure and policies have prevented the introduction of the training and unit cohesion needed to achieve a similar high level of effectiveness in the American Army. German units often experienced open flanks and non-continuous lines yet were still able to persevere under the most adverse conditions.
The review by David Shrank is excellent in depicting the extent of this volume and I recommend that any prospective purchaser read his review. I offer my comments only in addition to his. Please note that this work is extremely scholarly -- the various appendices, end notes, bibliography and index take up no less than 169 pages. I recommend the end notes to be read right along with the text, and as such, would have wished the authors to have included them with the text as foot notes.
I heartily recommend this very fine work to all readers interested in the military history of World War II.
I have read books on Operation Case Blau. Paul Carrel's 'Hitler moves East'gives detailed narration but does not go to the extent of this work. Most Historians have been obsessed with explaining Red army's epic defence of Stalingrad while paying scant attention to operations which preceded it. This book ably fills that void. Authors have thoroughly combed official records of both sides including hitherto neglected sources. As a result they have shed new light which profoundly expands and alters our understanding of the subject.
Wehrmacht launched Case Blau on June 28,1942.This was Hitler's bid to seize Stalingrad and oil resources of Grozny ,Maikop in the Caucasus. prelude to it Germans launched a string of preliminary operations: Friedrichus I,II,Wilhelm there by gained additional territory which served as a springboard to unleash their grand offensive. Meanwhile Manstein's 11th army had broken the siege of Sevastopol in Crimea and evicted Soviets from Kerch peninsula: Operation Bustard Hunt.This opened the backdoor to Caucasus but Hitler by shifting Manstein's forces to Leningrad did not exploit opportunity that beckoned him.
From Soviet perspective ,Stalin thought Germans in summer of 1942 will renew their bid to seize Moscow. Author's have argued Reichel incident had no effect on Stalin's thinking. Soviet dictator disposed his best forces along the Moscow axis. At the same time he did not shrink from bolstering soviet defences in the south.
Authors have divided the Blau operation into 4 phases.Phase 1 was an absolute success.Within a span of 15ays panzer groupings of Armeegroup Weichs and Paulus Sixth army in a pincer move smashed and shattered the armies of Soviet Briansk and Southwestern fronts to reach Voronezh on the western bank of river Don.Phase 2 Hoth's forth panzer armyand army Group As first panzer army completed the encirclement and destruction of soviet forces in the Donbas region.Phase 3 involved fourth panzer army now under the operational command of army group A with 3 of Army group Bs panzer corps co-operating with Kleist First panzer army in outflanking and defeating Soviet southern Front which defended the approaches to Rostov. By this time Hitler had split the army Group South into two:A and B.Fourth phase saw penetration of Wehrmacht into Caucasus,a zone of war again ignored by most historians. Authors focus attention on futile German drive to seize Stalingrad in a rapier-like thrust. Stalin managed to slow the Wehrmacht by erecting a wall of armies along the western bank of Don river.
Judging from a strategic perspective Blau operation cannot be deemed an unqualified success.Why? Hitler elated by the fall of Rostov chopped the battle into two halves.He now wanted Wehrmacht to seize Stalingrad and oil resources of Caucasus simultaneously which entailed the dissipation of German strength across a sprawling territory. I feel this ruined the campaign. Splitting of effort resulted in Germans being strong nowhere.
Secondly, Red army's ability to raise fresh divisions . As authors point out no sooner Germans smash 25 Soviet divisions another 50 divisions take their place. Sounds startling! Yes,Germans underestimated Russian colossus. You cannot defeat an enemy which keeps raising and fielding fresh armies. It is like trying to tear card pack. You can tear a card but not a card pack.Because pack which is formed by cards protects the card. So quantity generates its own quality.
Attrition became so debilitating so much so when Wehrmacht neared key objectives of the operation it had lost its cutting edge.It's precisely here this book makes a radical departure from previous works.Earlier books have emphasized Red Army practising elastic defence when German attack opened. Authors have shown this to be false. Though defeated everywhere Red Army continued to resist stubbornly.
Thirdly, Germans lacked strategic air power.This would have made big difference to the campaign. Strategic bombers could have ranged deep and wide behind the Soviet fronts. By bombing railroad networks they could have blocked the movement of red army reserves to the battle zone. Key to German victory lay in isolating the latter from Soviet rear just as allies did in Normandy.
Book is divided into 12 chapters. Each chapter is impeccably researched.Back pages contain extensive research notes.Few pages feature charts ,tables showing composition of forces and force ratios.Some pages carry illustrations seen for the first time.My only grudge is about maps few of which look smudged. There is interesting biographical sketch of top Soviet and German commanders.
Finally. a word of advice. This book is meant only for serious-minded.Authors say Sixth army reached Stalingrad only in successive spurts. I finished reading it in similar fashion.
The problem, I think, is information overload. There is so much unit information that paragraph after paragraph is devoted to what is essentially order-of-battle information on every action. If you are looking for that, this book is what you want. If you want a smooth-flowing narrative, you won't find it.
The maps are mostly far too small, so I strongly recommend you read the book with a magnifying glass in hand. Otherwise, the maps won't add much.
Having said that, Glantz presents a fresh view of the campaign. The Russians fought harder than others have suggested, and did much to wear-down the Germans. It was not a cake-walk followed by a sudden stiffening of resistance. Like everything else in the East, it was hard-fought.
The first two chapters discuss the state of the Wehrmacht and the Red Army in the spring of 1942. Glantz begins by laying out the development of the German plan for the summer offensive, the three-phased Plan Blau (Blue). He then addresses force dispositions and order of battle at length (this is Glantz's greatest strength) and then ploughs into a lengthy biographical section on all the commanders involved, much of which belongs in the appendix on commanders. I found this biographical section served to break up the narrative in the first two chapters and it's usually a bad idea to introduce characters hundreds of pages before they appear in the narrative. Chapter three covers the preliminaries to Blau in 50 pages, beginning with the German offensive in the Crimea, which is erroneously listed as "Trappenjagt" (it was "Trappenjagd"). Glantz then discusses the Second Battle of Kharkov, the capture of Sevastopol and other operations in the Ukraine. This chapter provides a decent overview of the German shaping operations leading up to the main even but it is not supported by the same level of research as the rest of the book and suffers from a number of errors (e.g. maps with units in the wrong place, claims that the Germans had six 42cm Gamma mortars at Sevastopol when there was only one).
Chapter four covers the opening phase of the German summer offensive (Blau I) in 42 pages. Glantz covers the German drive on Voronezh and the unsuccessful counterattack by the Soviet 5th Tank Army. Although the narrative is coherent it often gives little flavor for the actual operations; for example, there is no mention about whether or not the Soviets were able to evacuate the civilian populace from Voronezh and little mention of fighting within the city. Both sides' air operations and logistic support are mentioned only in passing. This phase of the German offensive was successful and Glantz offers three conclusions that break with existing historiography: (1) the Germans won despite numerical inferiority in troops and tanks, (2) the fighting in Blau I was more intense than previously described and (3) Stalin did not order a precipitous withdrawal but instead demanded that the Red Army stand and fight.
Chapter five covers Blau II during the period 9-24 July 1942. Herein, the author points out Hitler's decision to change the axis of advance southward toward Rostov in the hope of encircling several Soviet armies. He concludes, "the Rostov diversion shifted the center of gravity of Operation Blau away from Stalingrad, thereby undermining the intent of Blau III." Chapter six covers the German advance into the Great Bend of the Don River during 23-31 July 1942. This period is usually given short shrift in other accounts, but Glantz provides a wealth of fresh information about how mounting Soviet resistance and supply shortages brought the German 6 Armee to an abrupt halt. He also details incessant Soviet counterattacks, including the counteroffensive by the Soviet 1st and 4th Tank Armies that was repulsed with the loss of 482 Soviet tanks in just a few days, as well as Stalin's infamous "Not a Step back!" order. He continues his description of the fighting in the Great Bend in Chapter Seven, which discusses Hitler's commitment of 4 Panzerarmee to help the 6 Armee disrupt the Soviet defenses southwest of Stalingrad. Glantz points out that this 3-week battle along the Don was fiercer than has been previously depicted and severely reduced 6 Armee's fighter power even before it got to Stalingrad. He states that von Paulus, the 6 Armee commander, was forced to conduct a series of start/stop offensives rather than a triumphal sweep into the city because of the increasing weakness of his forces. Chapter Eight covers the German advance to the Volga River and the outskirts of Stalingrad in late August 1942 and the style shifts to a more tactical focus. This is very exciting, well-written chapter that shows both the difficulty Hans Hube's 16th Panzer had in reaching the Volga and how close the Soviets came to isolating and crushing the German spearhead. He concludes that Stalingrad "became a black hole that absorbed German attention, supplies, and blood in a tactical environment where the combat groups of Chuikov's defending 62nd Army would neutralize or counter most of the tactical and technical advantages of their German counterparts." He also notes that the German high command's failure to appreciate Stalin's ability to mobilize new armies to replace his losses as a major factor leading to failure in the campaign. The ninth chapter covers flank operations (primarily Heeresgruppe A advance into the Caucasus, but also Soviet offensives at Voronezh and Rzhev) and the tenth chapter sums up the author's conclusions about the first two months of the campaign.