After Stalingrad: The Red Army's Winter Offensive 1942-1943

After Stalingrad: The Red Army's Winter Offensive 1942-1943

by David M. Glantz
     
 

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In the wake of the Red Army's signal victory at Stalingrad, which began when its surprise counteroffensive encircled German Sixth Army in Stalingrad region in mid-November 1942 and ended when its forces liquidated beleaguered Sixth Army in early February 1943, the Soviet High Command (Stavka) expanded its counteroffensive into a full-fledged winter offensive which

Overview

In the wake of the Red Army's signal victory at Stalingrad, which began when its surprise counteroffensive encircled German Sixth Army in Stalingrad region in mid-November 1942 and ended when its forces liquidated beleaguered Sixth Army in early February 1943, the Soviet High Command (Stavka) expanded its counteroffensive into a full-fledged winter offensive which nearly collapsed German defenses in southern Russia. History has recorded the many dramatic triumphs the Red Army achieved during the initial phases of this winter offensive, culminating with its rapid advance deep into the Donbas and Khar'kov regions in February 1943. It has also described the subsequent feats of German Field Marshall Erich von Manstein, who, tasked by his Führer, Adolph Hitler, to restore German fortunes in southern Russia, skillfully orchestrated a counterstroke of his own that indeed restored stability to Germany's defenses in the East and paved the way for the climactic battle of Kursk in July 1943.

As is so often the case, however, history has misled its audience for several cogent reasons. On the one hand, the Soviet Union and its historians, anxious to conceal the ambitiousness of its offensive and, at the same time, preserve the reputations of the Red Army and its senior commanders, willfully avoided describing the offensive's true scope and the many failures and shortcomings the Red Army experienced during its conduct. On the other hand, German and other Western historians, frequently basing their accounts on inaccurate Soviet sources, focused only on the most dramatic aspects of the offensive, ignoring much of their adversary's actions and, not coincidentally, missing his intent.

This volume, and the series that provides it context, restores the lost and concealed to the historical record. Exploiting newly released Russian archival materials, it reveals the unbounded ambitions that shaped the Stavka's winter offensive and the full scope and scale of the Red Army's many offensive operations. For example, it reflects on recently rediscovered Operation Mars, Marshal Zhukov's companion-piece to the more famous Operation Uranus at Stalingrad. It then reexamines the Red Army's dramatic offensive into the Donbas and Khar'kov region during February, clearly demonstrating that this offensive was indeed conducted by three rather than two Red Army fronts. Likewise, it describes how the Stavka expanded the scale of its offensive in mid-February 1943 by ordering major strategic efforts, hitherto ignored, by multiple Red Army fronts along the Western (Orel-Smolensk) axis and, in Zhukov's forgotten operation Polar Star, along the Northwestern (Demiansk-Leningrad) axis as well.

Finally, by restoring the full scope of these failed or partially failed Red Army offensives to history, this volume also reassesses the impact of Manstein's dramatic counterstrokes in the Donbas and Khar'kov regions, concluding that their impact was equivalent to that of a full-fledged strategic counteroffensive.

This study includes over 100 operational maps to highlight key aspects of the offensives.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781907677052
Publisher:
Helion & Company, Limited
Publication date:
11/10/2011
Pages:
536
Sales rank:
935,415
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

David M. Glantz (born 11 January 1942 in Port Chester, New York) 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 College. He entered active service with the United States Army in 1963.

He began his military career in 1963 as a field artillery officer from 1965 to 1969, and served in various assignments in the United States, and in Vietnam during the Vietnam War with the II Field Force Fire Support Coordination Element (FSCE) at the Plantation in Long Binh.

After teaching history at the United States Military Academy from 1969 through 1973, he completed the army’s Soviet foreign area specialist program and became chief of Estimates in US Army Europe’s Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (USAREUR ODCSI) from 1977 to 1979. Upon his return to the United States in 1979, he became chief of research at the Army’s newly-formed Combat Studies Institute (CSI) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, from 1979 to 1983 and then Director of Soviet Army Operations at the Center for Land Warfare, U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, from 1983 to 1986. While at the College, Col. Glantz was instrumental in conducting the annual "Art of War" symposia which produced the best analysis of the conduct of operations on the Eastern Front during the Second World War in English to date. The symposia included attendance of a number of former German participants in the operations, and resulted in publication of the seminal transcripts of proceedings. Returning to Fort Leavenworth in 1986, he helped found and later directed the U.S. Army’s Soviet (later Foreign) Military Studies Office (FMSO), where he remained until his retirement in 1993 with the rank of Colonel.

In 1993, while at FMSO, he established The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, a scholarly journal for which he still serves as chief editor, that covers military affairs in the states of Central and Eastern Europe as well as the former Soviet Union.

A member of the Russian Federation’s Academy of Natural Sciences, he has written or co-authored more than twenty commercially published books, over sixty self-published studies and atlases, and over one hundred articles dealing with the history of the Red (Soviet) Army, Soviet military strategy, operational art, and tactics, Soviet airborne operations, intelligence, and deception, and other topics related to World War II. In recognition of his work, he has received several awards, including the Society of Military History’s prestigious Samuel Eliot Morrison Prize for his contributions to the study of military history.

Glantz is regarded by many as one of the best western military historians of the Soviet role in World War II.[1] He is perhaps most associated with the thesis that World War II Soviet military history has been prejudiced in the West by its over-reliance on German oral and printed sources, without being balanced by a similar examination of Soviet source material. A more complete version of this thesis can be found in his paper “The Failures of Historiography: Forgotten Battles of the German-Soviet War (1941-1945).” [2] Despite his acknowledged expertise, Glantz has occasionally been criticized for his stylistic choices, such as inventing specific thoughts and feelings of historical figures without reference to documented sources.[3]

Glantz is also known as an opponent of Viktor Suvorov's thesis, which he endeavored to rebut with the book Stumbling Colossus.

He lives with his wife Mary Ann Glantz in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The Glantzes' daughter Mary E. Glantz, also a historian, has written FDR And The Soviet Union: The President's Battles Over Forei

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