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  #1  
Old 14th October 2019, 18:16
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Myths and Legends of the Eastern Front: Reassessing the Great Patriotic War [off topic]

A difficult subject but I thought it was worth mentioning. Scheduled for 2 February 2020.

https://www.amazon.com/Myths-Legends.../dp/1526742268

Usual disclaimer,
Ed
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Old 15th October 2019, 15:06
Dénes Bernád Dénes Bernád is offline
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Re: Myths and Legends of the Eastern Front: Reassessing the Great Patriotic War [off topic]

It's not only a difficult subject, but also a controversial one.

Withouth the intend of generating further controversy here, this is my brief input (the proverbial 2 cents), Facebook style, related to the topic, made in connection to a newly released book: Hitler's Great Gamble: A New Look at German Strategy, Operation Barbarossa, and the Axis Defeat in World War II, by James Ellman (Stackpole Books, 20 Sept. 2019).
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Old 15th October 2019, 18:04
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Re: Myths and Legends of the Eastern Front: Reassessing the Great Patriotic War [off topic]

I am hoping for unbiased historical research based on primary documents. I am also hoping for no or few editorial assertions by the author that are unsupported or purely interpretive.
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Old 15th October 2019, 18:06
Dénes Bernád Dénes Bernád is offline
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Re: Myths and Legends of the Eastern Front: Reassessing the Great Patriotic War [off topic]

Ed, an unbiased approach coming from Russia is really a challenge. Exactly for the very reason outlined in the foreword of this book: "The memory of the Second World War on the Eastern Front – still referred to in modern Russia as the Great Patriotic War – is an essential element of Russian identity and history, as alive today as it was in Stalin’s time. It is represented as a defining episode, a positive historical myth that sustains the Russian national idea and unites the majority of Russian citizens."
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Old 15th October 2019, 18:17
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Re: Myths and Legends of the Eastern Front: Reassessing the Great Patriotic War [off topic]

Yes, I know. I am Polish and have relatives living in a former Communist country. Healing begins with the truth.
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Old 15th October 2019, 19:19
Andrei Demjanko Andrei Demjanko is offline
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Re: Myths and Legends of the Eastern Front: Reassessing the Great Patriotic War [off topic]

The problem with this book that it is not about history but about ideology. The previous books of it's author - Boris Sokolov - are purely publicistic in nature. It's just no more than replacing of "positive" myth with "negative" one.

As a result, as Boris Sokolov shows in this powerful and thought-provoking study, the heroic and tragic side of the war is highlighted while the dark side – the incompetent, negligent and even criminal way the war was run – is overlooked

This fragment alone shows how out of touch the author is with the subject

Judging by the previous works of this author, in my opinion it's better to avoid this book
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Old 15th October 2019, 21:21
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is offline
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Re: Myths and Legends of the Eastern Front: Reassessing the Great Patriotic War [off topic]

From the point of art of war, there is no doubt about the incompetent way Soviets fought. E.g. the use of tactical air power was very backward.
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Old 15th October 2019, 22:00
Andrei Demjanko Andrei Demjanko is offline
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Re: Myths and Legends of the Eastern Front: Reassessing the Great Patriotic War [off topic]

I'm sorry to say it but this is another cliché.

German documents even from 1941 period were repeatedly stressing how skillfully RKKA fought.

The same about use ot tactical airpower. Pleas for fighter cover from German ground troops were not uncommon even in the summer of 1941. The fact that VVS never had the same assets as had USAAF of 1944-1945 period by no way means that Soviet use of air assets was backward
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Old 16th October 2019, 13:35
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is offline
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Re: Myths and Legends of the Eastern Front: Reassessing the Great Patriotic War [off topic]

E.g. against Finns in the summer of 1944 Soviet air power employment was very backward. It concentrated on close support when the most effective use would have been interdiction.

Soviet pilots' fighting spirit left also a lot to be desired. Even in 1944 Soviet fighter formations superior in numbers and equipment often fled from battle. A Soviet pilot shot down in late summer wondered during interrogation that Finnish pilots kept attacking even when way outnumbered and that without extra money for scoring (yes, the regime that promised to eliminate money actually paid extra for scoring etc. Hypocrites!).
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Old 16th October 2019, 16:13
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Myths and Legends of the Eastern Front: Reassessing the Great Patriotic War [off topic]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukka Juutinen View Post
E.g. against Finns in the summer of 1944 Soviet air power employment was very backward. It concentrated on close support when the most effective use would have been interdiction.
).
A considerably controversial statement. Yes, it is taken as dogma by many air forces, but when applied in practice interdiction has rarely proven to be effective. The failures of successive campaigns in the Korean War illustrate this point well. The great value of interdiction (to air forces) is that at best it can cause some notable effect whilst significantly reducing the loss rate of the attacking aircraft. Otherwise the greatest effect of air power (after achieving air superiority) has been shown to be application at the point of contact to defeat the opposing forces in the field.

And there are immense numbers of books and theoretical studies arguing this very point, which likely can never be settled. However it is an alternative way of applying air power, not a backward one.
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