Now You See Them ... Roger Moorhouse Revisits a Perceptive Article by John Erickson on the Nazi Invasion of the Soviet Union, First Published in History Today in 2001, Its Insights Born of a Brief Period of Russian Openness

By Moorhouse, Roger | History Today, March 2011 | Go to article overview

Now You See Them ... Roger Moorhouse Revisits a Perceptive Article by John Erickson on the Nazi Invasion of the Soviet Union, First Published in History Today in 2001, Its Insights Born of a Brief Period of Russian Openness


Moorhouse, Roger, History Today


When the late John Erickson penned his article in 2001 the historical world was still basking in the afterglow of Gorbachevian glasnost, relishing the steady stream of publications and archival revelations that had finally shed light on some of the darker recesses of Russian history.

There was much to be revealed. For one thing, the Red Army had been voracious in 'acquiring' many archival holdings that had themselves been 'acquired' by the Germans during the Second World War. Thus, following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg all received back sections of their archives that had been looted many years before.

Russia's own archives were similarly bountiful. When the paranoid deep-freeze of Communist rule finally thawed in the early 1990s many authors and historians made hay among the newly-opened documents. Consequently there was a spate of revelations, reassessments and revisions throughout that decade. Perhaps the most noteworthy of them all was the contention, put forward by the Russian author Viktor Suvorov in his book Icebreaker, that Stalin had intended to attack Hitler in 1941 and that what Hitler launched against the Soviet dictator that summer was, effectively, a pre-emptive strike.

As Erickson correctly noted, the book was something of a 'literary bombshell; dividing public opinion in Russia and the wider academic community, with many instinctive anti-Soviets lending the book credence, while others dismissed it as a 'fairy tale'. In his article, Erickson gave a masterful, forensic dissection of Suvorov's thesis. He traced its precursors--which actually predated 1991--and showed how it had quickly developed a historiography all of its own, thereby giving it what he called the 'patina of respectability'.

Yet, for all the book's apparent plausibility, Erickson was not sparing in his criticisms. Its archival basis, he said, was weak as it was based primarily upon memoirs and military publications, thereby 'conveying the impression (but not the substance) of drawing on actual archives'.

Moreover, Icebreaker's fundamental premise was incorrect, he argued. Germany could hardly have launched a pre-emptive strike, he suggested, if there was precious little sense in the German High Command of being directly threatened by the Red Army. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Now You See Them ... Roger Moorhouse Revisits a Perceptive Article by John Erickson on the Nazi Invasion of the Soviet Union, First Published in History Today in 2001, Its Insights Born of a Brief Period of Russian Openness
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.