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"Glantz - Forgotten Battles Series" Topic

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1,167 hits since 13 Apr 2011
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ace1rush13 Apr 2011 12:11 p.m. PST

I'm currently reading Glantz's volume 1 of the Stalingrad series, "To the Gates of Stalingrad". It's quite good but rather high level. The notes reference some of his self published books like the Forgotten Battles series. How detailed are those books? I'm interested in some of the battles around Kharkov in spring 1942. Do these books get down to the brigade or company level actions? How much detail is there?

What is the best spot to purchase these in the US?



aecurtis Fezian Inactive Member13 Apr 2011 12:19 p.m. PST

COL Glantz (as he was a faculty advisor long ago, I still balk at calling him "Dave") doesn't often get down too far into the nitty-gritty. That's not his focus or interest for the most part, and bless him for being able to analyze and explain the big picture. In detail…

If I recall correctly, the "Forgotten Battles" series was self-published, and a decade or more old. It'll be specialist military bookshops or the man himself, I suspect.


pancerni2 Inactive Member13 Apr 2011 12:50 p.m. PST

I just finished "To the Gates of Stalingrad" also…I may be alone but I don't care for the approach…yes he doesn't get immersed in the nitty gritty details, but he also doesn't really write as much as he provides narrative strings between Soviet and German orders and official reports. If you do that you should provide a little more interpretation of the material…and much of the detail in, for example, the Soviet orders is unncessary. Very little of it adds to the narrative and he'd be better off providing a summary of the orders rather than documentation within the text.


raylev313 Apr 2011 7:22 p.m. PST

…but it still adds to the body of knowledge in a medium everyone can access. Plus, he knows his stuff.

aercdr Inactive Member13 Apr 2011 9:31 p.m. PST

I have all of the Forgotten Battles. They are primarily operational narrative supported by extensive excerpts from official orders, reports, etc. Tremendous amounts to be learned from them. They are not for the casual reader.

I am a big Glantz fan and have both his Stalingrad books (as well as the third, published seperately). The second is crammed with tactical detail. One of the fascinating aspects is the continual Soviet over-estimation of German strength.

I greatly enjoyed his first Smolensk volume, which paints quite a different picture than that so commonly associated with the summer of 1941.

pancerni2 Inactive Member14 Apr 2011 9:39 a.m. PST

"but it still adds to the body of knowledge in a medium everyone can access. Plus, he knows his stuff." "They are not for the casual reader"

I agree with both those statements, but I think you can both provide access to the information and make it more readable at the same time…actually my biggest disappointment with the Stalingrad book is the maps…they are all copies of German operational maps, which are horrible to try and interpret. The maps in the Kursk book are a different style but don't add much.


Matsuru Sami Kaze15 Apr 2011 2:38 p.m. PST

I'm on my second read of "To the Gates of Stalingrad". It is quite rich.I have already made notes to construct wargame scenarios based on the Soviet spoiling attacks NW of Stalingrad. These attacks came in waves in August-Nov '42 for the Germans hunkered down in battlegroups on hill defenses. The attacks on 16 Panzer and 3rd Motorized in the XIV Panzer Korps (Hube) in the corridor north of Stalingrad that first hit the Volga in August are also of interest as gamable.

I learned a lot from these books. Ran into a guy at Con last weekend who told me he didn't want to hear about Glantz (and House)' new Stalingrad books. He was "Stalingraded out". The self-appointed game expert bailed on turn three.

Point is if you want to be in on the conversation on Stalingrad, the Glantz (and House) trilogy is terrifically baseline. Can't do it without reading Glantz.

As far as the maps go, find yourself a big honking magnifier with a light and knock yourself out. Not sure what more can be added if the map had Cyrillic writing on it.

manchesterreg20 Apr 2011 2:06 p.m. PST

Really enjoy his works.Rereading Book 2 on Stalingrad at the moment. Waiting for part two of Smolensk.

tuscaloosa Inactive Member21 Apr 2011 9:12 p.m. PST

I'll echo what has been said before I could follow Glantz's narrative much more easily if he had useful maps. The tiny reprints included in his Stalingrad series are not useful.

Once you move from the maneuver battles in the Don bend to the streetfighting, you may want to consider Michael K. Jones "Stalingrad" as a more correct interpretation of many events. Glantz still repeats many myths (Pavlov's House) for example, while Jones has interviewed the people involved (who exhibited a refreshing post-Soviet honesty) and found insights that change our views of some of the traditional, "common knowledge" beliefs. And it is fodder for scenarios, too.

This isn't to criticise Glantz's trilogy; I agree it's indispensable. But don't stop there, and don't take its word as definitive in all areas.

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