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Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  67 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Drawing on evidence never before seen in the West, including combat records of early engagements, David Glantz claims that in 1941 the Red Army was poorly trained, inadequately equipped, ineptly organized, and consequently incapable of engaging in large-scale military campaigns - and both Hitler and Stalin knew it. He provides a complete and convincing study of why the Sov ...more
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published May 15th 1998 by University Press of Kansas (first published May 1998)
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Jul 15, 2008 added it
A sideways Glantz at Suvorov: Suvorov book "Icebreaker" elicited a response in the form a book titled "Stumbling Colossus" by non other than David Glantz a prolific heavy weight author who specialises on the Eastern Front. Glantz's book claims to obliterate the Suvorov myth by proving that the Red Army in 1941 was beyond putting up a reasonable defence let alone launching a surprise attack. Unlike Suvorov he bases his work on recently declassified Soviet documents and reams of statistical data.


Al Johnson
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Glantz earns a four star rating from me due to the originality of his research and work. Looking at the Soviet army prior to 1941 is usually limited to Finland, or the one or two books (usually heavily error prone) on Nomonhon. However, a staff level planning view of what the Soviet Army leadership were thinking and how their plans matched or did not to the reality of war is fascinating. It is a must read for any student of the Eastern Front in WW2 on this basis alone.

However, there are some gla
Nov 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Crammed with statistical detail and a little bit repetitive, but a sobering overview of Soviet military readiness on the eve of World War 2. One of the hypothesis Glantz is answering in this book is one posed by some revisionist historians who argue that the German attack was pre-emptive and the Soviets were the ones who were about to wage aggressive warfare. As Glantz shows, the Soviets were woefully unprepared for the German attack with most of their forces not up to full strength. And as a re ...more
Kyle Worlitz
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read like a manual at times. Reminds me of the Wehrmacht in 1945. Every single reasonable idea a Soviet general had was summarily rejected by Stalin. Hitler later played the same game to disastrous effect for Germany. I guess these demagogues just can't resist.
Nov 11, 2010 rated it did not like it
Another excellent reference, but just a reference. Even Glantz's opinions appear to be expressed as facts and statistics.
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David M. Glantz is an American military historian and the editor of The Journal of Slavic Military Studies.

Glantz received degrees in history from the Virginia Military Institute and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Defense Language Institute, Institute for Russian and Eastern European Studies, and U.S. Army War
More about David M. Glantz

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