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CoH2 Reading List

24 Nov 2012, 14:44 PM
#1
avatar of Ronald Dumsfeld

Posts: 80

So. We are all stoked up about the imminent release of CoH goes East. Right?

But it's still a while aways yet. What to do to fill the time?

Get into the atmosphere. That's what.

So to that end I would like to hear your suggestions for the best books on the WW2 Eastern Front.

My top recommendation is Anthony Beevor - Stalingrad

Reviews here

He manages to capture both the individual suffering and the truly epic scale of the conflict. Also as a relatively impartial chronicler of the campaign so long after the event the book is largely free of the normal nationalistic tub thumping found in earlier works on the subject.

Over to you........
24 Nov 2012, 15:03 PM
#2
avatar of AmiPolizeiFunk
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I always wanted a piece like this to be done for the blog. Glad you will do it! Antony Beevor's "Berlin - The Downfall" should be included here as well. I enjoyed them both very much.

ImperialDane recommended another author (back on the dev) but I can't remember who it was. Anybody?
24 Nov 2012, 22:28 PM
#3
avatar of Imperial Dane
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I would be a bit cautious with Beevor.. he can be a bit manipulative in my findings at least. Plus i found him a bit stale myself :P

And it was Sir Max Hastings i recommended. Much more interesting historian in my own opinion :)
24 Nov 2012, 22:40 PM
#4
avatar of Symbiosis

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Barbarossa - Alan Clark
25 Nov 2012, 10:56 AM
#5
avatar of MajorBloodnok
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Through Hell for Hitler by Henry Metelmann.

Some reviews from amazon

The Eastern Front as experienced by a driver in the Panzers, from a lower income family, who was clawed into the totalitarian war machine system and came to see it for it was.
25 Nov 2012, 11:03 AM
#6
avatar of OnkelSam
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And it was Sir Max Hastings i recommended. Much more interesting historian in my own opinion :)

anything specific by him?
25 Nov 2012, 11:09 AM
#7
avatar of Imperial Dane
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Normandiefront - About the 352nd Infantry division in Normandy, also nicely describes other German units nearby and how things generally operated.

Victory was beyond their grasp - About the 272nd Volksgrenadier division

Hitler's Great Panzer Heist - gives a nice idea of the German Panzerwaffe used the armour of other nations but also describes how the Germans used the industries of other nations.

Lost Victories - The Memoirs of Mannstein, nice read.

Panzer Leader - Memoirs of Guderian. Very interesting read.

Panzer Commander - The Memoris of Hans von Luck who served under Rommel and fought throughout the entire war.

Field Marshal Model. Hitler's favorite General - Very interesting book about a commander you don't hear so much about. Provides a lot of details and paints a more nuanced picture of a commander usually relegated to being a fanatic. And also provides a picture of a commander who didn't pursue the same thoughts of Mannstein and Guderian, but did extremely well against the Soviets nonetheless.

From Max Hastings. Overlord, Armageddon.. Even Nemesis despite it being about the Pacific. I think he also has a book that covers the entire world war.
25 Nov 2012, 11:18 AM
#8
avatar of Relaxx666677676

Posts: 134

I found both Stalingrad and Berlin to be fascinating. Well worth reading IMO.
25 Nov 2012, 18:47 PM
#9
avatar of MajorBloodnok
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Normandiefront - About the 352nd Infantry division in Normandy, also nicely describes other German units nearby and how things generally operated.

A very interesting book and informative - I agree.

.....................

Panzer Commander - The Memoris of Hans von Luck who served under Rommel and fought throughout the entire war.


Well worth the read - it demonstrates the resilience of the Junior Command hierarchy. I was surprised he did not take up a command position in the Bundeswehr.

From Max Hastings. Overlord, Armageddon.. Even Nemesis despite it being about the Pacific. I think he also has a book that covers the entire world war.


y-e-e-e-e-s--s-s-s........ I am a little conflated here. Some of Hastings' writing seems a little 'racy'? I mean, we know that there were vile acts perpetrated by both sides on the Eastern Front. I see little point in describing acts of rape in great detail, when the likelihood is that -(sadly)- such repulsive deeds were being perpetrated time and again by both sides. There were times in "Armageddon", when the effect seemd more pornographic, rather than historical.

And as for Beevor, I tend to agree with your assessment.
25 Nov 2012, 21:02 PM
#10
avatar of Imperial Dane
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Well if you think Hastings is "racy" then i don't know what to call Beevor. Sure hastings makes effort to point it out. But Beevor seems to delight in it and then claim some sort of moral superiority.
26 Nov 2012, 00:03 AM
#11
avatar of Eupolemos
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Lord Alanbrookes diary. It is hard to explain, I guess it is the day-to-day uncertainty, as they are written "real-time" for his wife, by a man feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders, as well as Churchill's :D

He was head of the Expeditionary Forces assigned to hold back the Nazis headed for France, and then put in charge of all British Imperial forces (CIGS). It offers quite a different and sober view of WWII, such as the US fighting capabilities, Generals and Churchill. Very British in the good sense.

It entails the entire war, including meetings with Stalin whom he respected.

Having read this, Alanbrooke pretty much became my idol.
26 Nov 2012, 19:57 PM
#12
avatar of MajorBloodnok
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Well if you think Hastings is "racy" then i don't know what to call Beevor. Sure hastings makes effort to point it out. But Beevor seems to delight in it and then claim some sort of moral superiority.


You make my point for me, I think. :)

Neither of the gentlemen in question is a true UK, academic historian. You have to read Michael Howard.

It is easy to for several historians (sic) of British conflict in WWI/WWII, to don a mantle they have not gained through academia.

IMO, Hastings has currently run out of subjects. I cannot see how his latest book will shed any real further light on his narratives in Overlord,Armageddon or Nemesis.
26 Nov 2012, 20:26 PM
#13
avatar of HelpingHans
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The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer. Interesting perspective of the war told from the German side.
27 Nov 2012, 11:52 AM
#14
avatar of Ronald Dumsfeld

Posts: 80

^^ Yes. I'd forgotten about that one.

A real classic. Been almost permanently in print for 50 years.

He wasn't German either. He was French, from Alsace. The book was originally published in French as 'Le soldat oublié' He volunteered when he though the Germans were going to win and war was glorious. He lived to regret that but he did live, lucky bastard.

As regards Hastings vs Beevor.

Beevor writes a fairly readable book for an academic historian, Hastings writes a fairly academic book for a popular journalist. Also Hastings has not as yet written anything covering the entire Eastern Front conflict (although he has published a one volume history of WW2 - All Hell Let Loose - 2011 and Armageddon 44-45) so in the context of the OP it's really no contest.

ed: 27/11/12 correction - added reference to Armageddon 44-45, thx to ImpD for that)

27 Nov 2012, 14:35 PM
#15
avatar of Imperial Dane
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Perhaps. But i still don't like Beevor :P. And there is Armageddon which does deal in the Eastern front.
27 Nov 2012, 15:58 PM
#16
avatar of Relaxx666677676

Posts: 134

The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer. Interesting perspective of the war told from the German side.


I forgot about this one. A very good book, although there are arguments both for and against its authenticity.
27 Nov 2012, 17:39 PM
#17
avatar of Ronald Dumsfeld

Posts: 80

I found myself on Charing Cross Road, London yesterday. So I popped into the last of the great, old, bricks and mortar bookshops to see what was in print and recommended by the trade.

Foyle's alone has over 10m of shelf space devoted to books on the WW2 Eastern Front. That's not including individual unit histories, orders of battle, equipment manifests, political considerations or combined volumes.

That said, we seem to have nailed all the classics from British authors already. With the exception of 'Richard Overy's : Russia's War' which has the benefit of being the shortest. I've read this and recommend it highly.

I've tried to list some books which were available in paperback, looked interesting and well written but which give a different perspective. I haven't read these books and would like to hear from anyone who has. I'd also like to hear from anyone who can recommend books on the Eastern Front from nationalities or social groups not so far covered. For example, but not limited to, Hungarians, Romanians, Russian partisans or civilians.



Classics:

Russia's War 1941-45 : Richard Overy

The most accessible introduction for someone short of time or patience. It's the shortest.

Barbarossa - Alan Clarke

The classic account in English for the educated layreader prior to Beevor.



Different Perspective:

Panzers on the Eastern Front: General Erhard Raus and His Panzer Divisions in

Russia 1941-1945 : Ed Peter Tsouras


An abridged account from the perspective of a German Staff officer.

Ostfront 1944: The German Defensive Battles on the Russian Front 1944 : Alex Buchner

In depth analysis from a German author.


Red Road From Stalingrad - Recollections of a Soviet Infantryman : Mansur Abdulin

From the perspective of a Soviet (Siberian) infantryman. Very well reviewed.


When Titans Clashed - How the Red Army Stopped Hitler : David M. Glantz and Jonathan M. House

Glantz seems to be the premier American author working in the field.


Viking Panzers : The German 5Th SS Tank Regiment in the East : Ewald Klapdor


I didn't realise quite how many Scandinavian and Low Counties soldiers served with the Germans in WW2. Looks interesting and detailed.


Eastern Front 1941-1945: German Troops and the Barbarisation of Warfare : Omer Bartov

One of those books you rather wish never had to be written but which covers a disturbing subject which deserves to be read and remembered.

Novels:

The Legion of the Damned (et al) : Sven Hassel

Classic series of pulp, sensationalist novels. The author claims to have served himself but the current consensus is he was a Gestapo collaborator who recycles stories told him by returning Danish SS veterans after the war.


Front-Line Stalingrad : Victor Nekrasov

Apparently a very famous account written by a decorated Soviet veteran now translated into English. Won the USSR star prize for literature in 1947.
27 Nov 2012, 19:39 PM
#18
avatar of CallMeSarge

Posts: 81 | Subs: 1


From Max Hastings. Overlord, Armageddon.. Even Nemesis despite it being about the Pacific. I think he also has a book that covers the entire world war.


Its All Hell Let Loose, read it last Christmas, it is great - I am a big Max Hastings fanboy. Overlord is essentially CoH(1), the book.
28 Nov 2012, 09:13 AM
#19
avatar of Imperial Dane
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Erhard raus has written several books. Basically the books you can get are taken from a series of texts he wrote for the US army after the war.

Got one of them, quite some interesting stuff :)

Heard about Glantz, he is taken as one of the premier authors. Although i have seen mentions that he might be taking Soviet sources a bit too much at facevalue.

And there are plenty of books on the Volunteer SS. One author has a series about them. Jonathan Trigg. Got one called Hitler's Vikings. Details the Scandinavian Volunteers, how they were recruited, trained, problems with integrating them into the Waffen SS and their battles on the eastern front.

He's also written about the French Waffen SS and the dutch ones.
28 Nov 2012, 17:11 PM
#20
avatar of MVGame

Posts: 429

Can't read that's why I play computer games.
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