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

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

by David M. Glantz
     
 

Germany's surprise attack on June 22, 1941, shocked a Soviet Union woefully unprepared to defend itself. The day before the attack, the Red Army still comprised the world's largest fighting force. But by the end of the year, four and a half million of its soldiers lay dead. This new study, based on formerly classified Soviet archival material and neglected German… See more details below

Overview

Germany's surprise attack on June 22, 1941, shocked a Soviet Union woefully unprepared to defend itself. The day before the attack, the Red Army still comprised the world's largest fighting force. But by the end of the year, four and a half million of its soldiers lay dead. This new study, based on formerly classified Soviet archival material and neglected German sources, reveals the truth behind this national catastrophe.

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 Soviets almost lost the war that summer, dispelling many of the myths about the Red Army that have persisted since the war and soundly refuting Viktor Suvorov's controversial thesis that Stalin was planning a preemptive strike against Germany.

Stumbling Colossus describes the Red Army's command leadership, mobilization and war planning, intelligence activities, and active and reserve combat formations. It includes the first complete order of battle of Soviet forces on the eve of the German attack, documents the strength of Soviet armored forces during the war's initial period, and reproduces for the first time available texts of Soviet war plans. It also provides biographical sketches of Soviet officers and tells how Stalin's purges of the late 1930s left the Red Army leadership almost decimated.

At a time when the war in eastern Europe is being blamed on a fallen regime, Glantz's book sets the record straight on the Soviet Union's readiness, as well as its willingness, to fight. Boasting an extensive bibliography of Soviet and German sources, Stumbling Colossus is a convincing study that overshadows recent revisionist history and one that no student of World War II can ignore.

This book is part of the Modern War Studies series.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780700608799
Publisher:
University Press of Kansas
Publication date:
05/28/1998
Series:
Modern War Studies Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
374
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Illustrations
Preface
List of Abbreviations
Introduction1
1Red Army Forces9
2Command and Control and Command Personnel25
3The Soviet Soldier56
4Strategic Deployment Planning and Mobilization82
5Combat Readiness: Ground Combat Forces109
6Combat Readiness: Combat Support and Rear Service Forces160
7Air Forces184
8Stavka and Strategic Reserves205
9Red Army Intelligence on the Eve of War233
Conclusions258
App. ARed Army Order of Battle, 22 June to 1 August 1941261
App. BRed Army 1941 Defense Plans270
App. CAn Opponent's View: German Intelligence Assessments289
App. DCorrelation of Forces on the German-Soviet Front292
Notes297
Bibliographical Essay and Selective Bibliography331
Index355

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