Academic journal article Military Review

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

Academic journal article Military Review

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

Article excerpt

STUMBLING COLOSSUS: The Red Army on the Eve of World War by David M. Glantz. 374 pages. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. 1998. $39.95.

In Stumbling Colossus, David A Glantz has produced a strong work that presents its case with vigor. But, with its dry style and overwhelming data, it is certainly written for Soviet military history specialists. The book is not easy to read.

To understand Glantz's thesis, one must know some of the background of the historiographic battle over the origins of the German invasion of Russia. Fortunately, Glantz's introduction provides an excellent guide to this debate. The earliest, 'conventional' interpretations saw Adolf Hitler's invasion as an aggressive act with little or no justification. However, a recent school of thought, spawned by Victor Rezun (also known as Viktor Suvorov) in his book Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War? (out of print), argues that Joseph Stalin had aggressive designs, and that to some degree, Hitler's attack was a justified preemptive strike.

On several accounts, Glantz takes to task Rezun and the school that views Hitler's invasion as a justified act. He criticizes Rezun's lack of archival research and finds fault with Rezun's use of memoir material, which is often quoted out of context. …

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