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When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler (Modern War Studies) Paperback – December 1, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0700608997 ISBN-10: 0700608990 Edition: New edition

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When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler (Modern War Studies) + The Battle of Kursk + Operation Barbarossa: Hitler's Invasion of Russia 1941
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern War Studies
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas; New edition edition (December 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700608990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700608997
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Until now the Soviet-German conflict of WWII has been told largely from the German point of view. This authoritative account, based on newly released Soviet studies, emphasizes the Russian version of events. It reveals, to a greater degree than previously known, how unprepared the Red Army was and how the leadership gradually gained in competence during the Moscow and Stalingrad campaigns. The authors describe how the Werhmacht eventually lost the ability to conduct a general offensive on a wide front while the Soviets learned to focus overwhelming force on a narrow front such as the Kursk salient, where the Red Army finally seized the initiative. The book conveys the colossal scope and scale of the five-year struggle and puts the military aspect in a wider perspective, showing, for example, how the Red Army's defense against the invasion gave the Communist leadership legitimacy. Glantz is an editor of the Journal of Slavic Military Studies; House teaches history at Gordon College in Georgia. Photos.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

"When Titans Clashed represents by all and any reckoning a book whose time has come. The authors' clear and vigorous narrative leaves no doubt about the key decisions and the critical encounters in these massive engagements."--John Erickson, author of The Road to Stalingrad

"A compelling narrative of an epic conflict. No other work has answered with greater authority the lingering historical question--how did the Red Army defeat Nazi Germany?"--Von Hardesty, author of Red Phoenix: The Rise of Soviet Air Power, 1941-1945

"Exceptionally authoritative and exceptionally readable. The cogent assessments of Red Army commanders are not to be missed."--Russell F. Weigley, author of The American Way of War

"Certain to become the standard reference on the most important campaign of the Second World War."--Richard R. Muller, author of The German Air War in Russia

"Corrects longstanding misconceptions and puts a human 'face' on the 'faceless' Soviet army."--O. A. Rzheshevsky, Chief, Department for Studies of the Twentieth-Century Wars, Institute of World History, Moscow

"Indispensable."--Dale R. Herspring, author of The Soviet High Command, 1967-1989

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Customer Reviews

There is no emotion, no drama, no feeling.
Michael W. Chesser
In addition to the facts of the war, Mr Glantz provides commentary and analysis to help the reader understand the significance of the battle action.
Dave Schranck
Sections in the book about evolution Soviet Military Doctrine governing the use of armoured-mechanised forces was very enlightening.
Karun Mukherji

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
David M. Glantz's "When Titans Clashed" is a comprehensive but not overlong operational history covering the entire Russo-German conflict from 1941-45, plus an interesting chapter on the Soviet operations in Manchuria against the Japanese Army. It's exhaustive, it's readable, it's filled with maps, it does include all the recent archival material worth being included, it's balanced even taking in account the focus on the Russian point of view. What could you ask for more? Well, a couple of things, but more of this later.
"When Titans Clashed" is a book that has already been dissected in every possible way, and is, if not a clear-cut best seller, definitely a popular. So I'll just underline the three main reasons why it a mandatory text for anyone even remotely interested in the subject, the first being that colonel Glantz does his own job, and not someone else's. In other words, he's a military expert, and this is an operational, and not political, social or human dissection of the conflict. Richard Overy's "Russia's War" aimed at being all that, and failed. Sticking to his guns, Glantz gives to this (not too big) book a greater level of detail,. Of course, we still need a good political, human and social history of the war - while Robert Thurston's "The People's War : Responses to World War II in the Soviet Union" is a fine social study of wartime Russia, it may be a bit too difficult for the casual reader. But Glantz's focus was on military operation, and this book is just that - a military history.
Second. Glantz comes from old guard: i.e., he works mainly on primary/archival sources, and he knows how to separate gold from garbage. WWII history is a tricky business, and Eastern History (given the political sensitivity of the campaign's outcome) is even more so.
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187 of 207 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan D. Eckel on February 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
This incredible book belongs on the shelf of any student of World War II. It is easy to read, concise, and scholarly. If you don't know much about the Soviet-German conflict, this is an ideal place to start. If you have read widely on the subject, be sure to add this to your collection. It is excellent for both those looking for a quick read or for those who want a starting point for further research. The notes at the end of the book list an impressive number of sources.
So many Americans, even those who are avid readers of military history, are very uninformed about the Russian Front. Anti-Soviet attitudes and the preponderance of books written from the German point of view have combined to present an often false and distorted version of history. In the minds of many, the Red Army was completely dependent on American military aid and survived only because of its "inexhaustable" manpower. The Soviets could only win by throwing more men into battle than the Germans had bullets to shoot them with, and were just barely holding their own prior to D-Day. According to popular imagination, the Russian winter is what really stopped the Nazis. As bad as these misperceptions are, even worse are the schools of thought which suggest that the Soviet Union was as guilty as Germany for the start of the war or that Hitler's invasion was a defensive move against an impending Soviet attack on Germany.
Col. Glantz has proven himself to be the preeminent Western author on the Soviet military in general and its pivotal role in the Second World War in particular. Against all the myths, he presents the facts. Tenacious Soviet resistance, combined with overextended German supply lines, halted the Blitzkrieg at Moscow and Leningrad.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Tony Thomas on October 31, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When Titans Clashed is an excellent attempt to use Glasnos era Soviet opening of documents about the Second World War to present a more precised and accurate history of the War between the Soviet Union and Germany and its allies. The focus here is entirely on military organization, command structure, military doctraine, etc. There is also an effort to overcome weaknesses created by the overavailability of German sources with what new Russian sources reveal.

For me, as someone interested in the Soviet German war for its political and social, rather than military, aspects, Glantz's points about the difficulties that the Soviet Union faces in having adequate forces to replace fallen soldiers, was most interesting. While recent authors have educated me that the old cold-war prejudice that the USSR defeated Hitler because of "inexhaustable" supplies of humans, Glantz's explanation of the shortage of trained soldiers after the Soviet Army had absorbed more than 20 million casualties and the Soviet Union millions more, is very interesting. He shows that by the end of the war, the Soviet commanders, despite their general reputation as being willing to sacrifice their troops for victories in ways that shocked even the Nazi commanders, had to devise tactics that emphasized firepower, mobility, and concentration of forces to deal with a growing shortage of trained forces.

Overall Glantz provides a very extensive explanation of Soviet staff discussions, plans and preparations for operations during the war, and a resultant analysis of how execution of the operations differed from plans. He also links it to the origins of the Red Army and its prewar doctrines and gives some hints on how the war effective postwar Soviet Military doctrine.
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