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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 that both Hitler and Stalin knew it. He provides the most 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 the first available texts of actual 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 blame for the war in eastern Europe is being laid with a fallen regime, Glantz's book sets the record straight on the Soviet Union's readiness-and 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.
About the Author
David M. Glantz is the author or coauthor of numerous books including To the Gates of Stalingrad: Soviet-German Combat Operations, April-August, 1942; Armageddon in Stalingrad: September-November 1942; When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler; The Battle of Kursk; The Battle for Leningrad, 1941-1944; Zhukov's Greatest Defeat: The Red Army's Epic Disaster in Operation Mars, 1942; and Colossus Reborn: The Red Army at War.
Table of Contents
List of Maps and Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
One. Red Army Forces
-Size and Configuration
-Actual Force Generation and Mobilization
Two. Command and Control and Command Personnel
-The Continuing Purges
-Command Cadre and Training
-Key Command and Staff Personnel
Three. The Soviet Soldier
-The Evolving Official Image
-The Emerging Human Dimension
Four. Strategic Deployment Planning and Mobilization
-War and Strategic Deployment Planning on the Eve of War
-Mobilization and Strategic Deployment Prior to 22 June 1941
Five. Combat Readiness: Ground Combat Forces
-Airborne Forces (Air Assault)
Six. Combat Readiness: Combat Support and Rear Service Forces
-Border Guards and NKVD Forces
Seven. Air Forces
-Structure, Equipment, and Command and Control
-Personnel and Unit Training and Tactics
-Readiness for War
-Readiness in Practice
Eight. Stavka and Strategic Reserves
-Initial Reserves (June to 15 July 1941)
-Subsequent Reserves (15 July to August 1941)
Nine. Red Army Intelligence on the Eve of War
-Warning of War
-On the Eve of Barbarossa
-Judgments on Soviet Intelligence in June 1941
Appendix A. Red Army Order of Battle, 22 June to 1 August 1941
Appendix B. Red Army 1941 Defense Plans
Appendix C. An Opponent's View: German Intelligence Assessments
Appendix D. Correlation of Forces on the German-Soviet Front
Bibliographical Essay and Selective Bibliography