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Subject: Revising History on CBC radio Ideas program rss

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Patroclus
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I heard an interesting segment on Ideas last night.

Part of the show has a retired US Military officer turned historian (I think his name was Glanz or Ganz and I have seen his name in other threads?) who does research on the Eastern Front "missing battles." He said sumfink like 40% of the battles that did not turn out so well for the soviets were not reported or recorded by the historians(?).
surprise

oh, duh, here is his name at the webpage
Col. David Glantz, U.S. Army (retired); author, Zhukov's Greatest Defeat: The Red Army's Epic Disaster in Operation Mars, 1942; and Colossus Reborn: The Red Army at War; editor, Journal of Slavic Military Studies.


http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/2013/07/02/revising-history...
What happens when historians go searching for new evidence about the nation's past? It can change the way its citizens think about their country as well as their identity. And it can upset both citizens and those who govern them.
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David Kershaw
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Should be ok because the Soviet union no longer exists.
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Greg Sager
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Dude, you thumbed yourself.
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Patroclus wrote:
I heard an interesting segment on Ideas last night.

Part of the show has a retired US Military officer turned historian (I think his name was Glanz or Ganz and I have seen his name in other threads?) who does research on the Eastern Front "missing battles." He said sumfink like 40% of the battles that did not turn out so well for the soviets were not reported or recorded by the historians(?).
surprise

oh, duh, here is his name at the webpage
Col. David Glantz, U.S. Army (retired); author, Zhukov's Greatest Defeat: The Red Army's Epic Disaster in Operation Mars, 1942; and Colossus Reborn: The Red Army at War; editor, Journal of Slavic Military Studies.


http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/2013/07/02/revising-history...
What happens when historians go searching for new evidence about the nation's past? It can change the way its citizens think about their country as well as their identity. And it can upset both citizens and those who govern them.
The CBC is usually to military history as Stalin was to human rights. See: The Valor and The Horror, The Kid Who Couldn't Miss, etc.

I haven't listened to the episode in question, but given their track record as far as military history goes, I'm reluctant to spend any time on it without a stronger recommendation than someone who doesn't know how to spell Glantz. Anyone else give this a listen?
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Ben Delp
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Patroclus wrote:
He said sumfink like 40% of the battles that did not turn out so well for the soviets were not reported or recorded by the historians(?).
:surprise:
Don't be too surprised. This is Stalin's USSR we're talking about. Like airbrushing people out of photos and all that. Like Orwell's 1984.

Obviously it's unfortunate that these histories may be lost forever; I'm sure that's how the party wanted it. Although in the longer view, how many battles throughout history are lost/forgotten because someone wasn't there to put pen to paper (quill to papyrus, stick to clay tablet, etc.). Probably enough to put four years in Eastern Europe to shame.

I haven't heard the program. Are there no German records, or are these gone too?
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Michael Dorosh
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delp1871 wrote:

I haven't heard the program. Are there no German records, or are these gone too?
The Germans were meticulous in their record keeping (ask anyone at the Nuremberg trials), but the air campaign did take its toll, as did the practice of destroying records at the end of the war on purpose. I've not seen a figure for surviving records, but I'm led to believe that the majority of personnel and unit records did manage to survive in some manner or another, though large numbers of records were still lost (i.e. not an overwhelming majority).

The German side of the story was aided by the fact that the Cold War demanded West Germany be rehabilitated as a NATO ally. Their record was sufficiently white-washed such that the record was enhanded by a large number of unit records, interviews and even U.S. Army training manuals based on the participation of former Wehrmacht men who helped instruct their former enemies in the British, American, etc. armies in how to fight against the Red Army. I am led to believe that along the way, further distortions to the historical record have crept in.
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Michael Dorosh wrote:

The CBC is usually to military history as Stalin was to human rights. See: The Valor and The Horror, The Kid Who Couldn't Miss, etc.
I agree completely about the The Kid Who Couldn't Miss - it was a travesty.

I thought The Valour and the Horror films were quite well done, though.

People can judge for themselves. The series is available free online:

Death by Moonlight: Bomber Command

Savage Christmas: Hong Kong 1941

In Desperate Battle: Normandy 1944
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Michael Dorosh wrote:
delp1871 wrote:

I haven't heard the program. Are there no German records, or are these gone too?
The Germans were meticulous in their record keeping (ask anyone at the Nuremberg trials), but the air campaign did take its toll, as did the practice of destroying records at the end of the war on purpose. I've not seen a figure for surviving records, but I'm led to believe that the majority of personnel and unit records did manage to survive in some manner or another, though large numbers of records were still lost (i.e. not an overwhelming majority).

The German side of the story was aided by the fact that the Cold War demanded West Germany be rehabilitated as a NATO ally. Their record was sufficiently white-washed such that the record was enhanded by a large number of unit records, interviews and even U.S. Army training manuals based on the participation of former Wehrmacht men who helped instruct their former enemies in the British, American, etc. armies in how to fight against the Red Army. I am led to believe that along the way, further distortions to the historical record have crept in.
You'd expect the Germans to notice *something* if an extra couple of armies are thrown their way. You'd think there'd be divisional histories etc. Okay, with the lack of success the Germans might have registered it as a spoiling attack or local counterattack.

By the way, we also know of Kharkov, Mansteins Backhand Blow etc. You can't wipe them all under the sheets
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Patroclus wrote:
He said sumfink like 40% of the battles that did not turn out so well for the soviets were not reported or recorded by the historians(?)
they were if it was politically advantageous to do so. The Soviets' 'Dunkirk' was Odessa, so Krylov, the heroic commander who lost the city, was given an award rather than being shot. The reason why Odessa's loss was politically important was because it was captured by Romanians, which demonstrated the relative military failure of Italy, whose army never captured an Allied city.

The continuous failure of Western Front after Kursk was not pointed out because its commander, Sokolovsky, had occupied most of the top military offices by the time serious historical assessment was underway in the 1960s.
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Patroclus
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delp1871 wrote:
Patroclus wrote:
He said sumfink like 40% of the battles that did not turn out so well for the soviets were not reported or recorded by the historians(?).
surprise
Don't be too surprised. This is Stalin's USSR we're talking about. Like airbrushing people out of photos and all that. Like Orwell's 1984.

Obviously it's unfortunate that these histories may be lost forever; I'm sure that's how the party wanted it. Although in the longer view, how many battles throughout history are lost/forgotten because someone wasn't there to put pen to paper (quill to papyrus, stick to clay tablet, etc.). Probably enough to put four years in Eastern Europe to shame.

I haven't heard the program. Are there no German records, or are these gone too?
Mr. Glantz says to the effect that he was unaware of these battles until he stumbled upon the German records. I believe Glantz said he has made it his mission to bring these "missing battles" to light.
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Michael Dorosh wrote:
I'm reluctant to spend any time on it without a stronger recommendation than someone who doesn't know how to spell Glantz.
Always the diplomat.

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Michael Dorosh wrote:
Patroclus wrote:
I heard an interesting segment on Ideas last night.

Part of the show has a retired US Military officer turned historian (I think his name was Glanz or Ganz and I have seen his name in other threads?) who does research on the Eastern Front "missing battles." He said sumfink like 40% of the battles that did not turn out so well for the soviets were not reported or recorded by the historians(?).
surprise

oh, duh, here is his name at the webpage
Col. David Glantz, U.S. Army (retired); author, Zhukov's Greatest Defeat: The Red Army's Epic Disaster in Operation Mars, 1942; and Colossus Reborn: The Red Army at War; editor, Journal of Slavic Military Studies.


http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/2013/07/02/revising-history...
What happens when historians go searching for new evidence about the nation's past? It can change the way its citizens think about their country as well as their identity. And it can upset both citizens and those who govern them.
The CBC is usually to military history as Stalin was to human rights. See: The Valor and The Horror, The Kid Who Couldn't Miss, etc.

I haven't listened to the episode in question, but given their track record as far as military history goes, I'm reluctant to spend any time on it without a stronger recommendation than someone who doesn't know how to spell Glantz. Anyone else give this a listen?
Good for you!
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darthhugo wrote:
Michael Dorosh wrote:
I'm reluctant to spend any time on it without a stronger recommendation than someone who doesn't know how to spell Glantz.
Always the diplomat.

I guess he missed the bit where I acknowledged that and pasted in the text of Mr. Glantz's background?\
 
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DeletedUser389997 wrote:
Michael Dorosh wrote:

The CBC is usually to military history as Stalin was to human rights. See: The Valor and The Horror, The Kid Who Couldn't Miss, etc.
I agree completely about the The Kid Who Couldn't Miss - it was a travesty.

I thought The Valour and the Horror films were quite well done, though.

People can judge for themselves. The series is available free online:

Death by Moonlight: Bomber Command

Savage Christmas: Hong Kong 1941

In Desperate Battle: Normandy 1944
Since I have been gaming D-Day in rather gamey fashion lately, I checked out the Normandy film. Is Guy Simmonds as bad as he is portrayed here? Based on my reading, there seem to be inaccuracies in this account, but we all know the value of statistics when it comes to making a film or writing a book.

goo

 
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bentlarsen wrote:

Since I have been gaming D-Day in rather gamey fashion lately, I checked out the Normandy film. Is Guy Simmonds as bad as he is portrayed here? Based on my reading, there seem to be inaccuracies in this account, but we all know the value of statistics when it comes to making a film or writing a book.

The film was so bad that the CBC ombudsman called for a review of the series, in part because of the McKenna's trashing of Simonds, and other distortions. A very good book to read is The Valour and the Horror Revisited which presents a detailed rebuttal, not only including the report of the CBC ombudsman, but detailed comments by several distinguished history professors.

To answer your question - no, Simonds is completely misrepresnted by the film. The Normandy film is the worst of the three.

The Hong Kong film is the least objectionable - in the book I just mentioned, Dr. Ferris (I had the pleasure of taking several of his classes as an undergrad at the U of C) notes that only a couple of minutes are really controversial, and this is the discussion of pre-war strategy and the selection of the Canadian units to go to Hong Kong, which the McKennas paint in the worst possible light, as some kind of conspiracy.

The Bomber Command episode naturally paints Harris as a war criminal and casts aspersions on the RCAF aircrew who participated in the CBO. Veterans of the campaign objected to their portrayal.

The Normandy episode is basically an attempt to bring 1960s journalism to the Second World War, painting Operation SPRING as a failed enterprise for which the "high command" failed the troops and then covered things up, but the McKennas don't show much understanding of basic military history.
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