Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Stalin's Generals Hardcover – September, 1993
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
Harold Shukman is an Emeritus Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford, where he was for a number of years Director of the Russian and East European Centre and University Lecturer in Modern Russian History. He edited and translated Dmitri Volkogonov's Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy (1991), Trotsky: The Eternal Revolutionary (1996), and The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire (1998). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The book includes summaries about most of the usual suspects--Zhukov, Konev, Rokossovsky, Vasilievsky, Timoshenko, etc., but also about quite a few less-well-known generals, such as Batov, Antonov, Boldin, Shtemenko, etc.
In general, it is difficult to recommend this book for the casual reader, as it is too dry. For researchers, however, the book is rather useful, not only for describing the various generals' careers all the way into retirement, but often also mentioning which generals served or studied with each other at various points during their careers, which can be useful background info.
The array of contributor is impressive - John Erickson, Geoffrey Jukes, David Glantz, Richard Woff, Victor Anfilov and many others: what could you ask for more? Each contribution (the list is strictly alphabetical) deals with one name, usually mixing biographical data with some interesting assessment on the relative ability (or inability) of the subject. Some of the portraits are extraordinarily vivid - for instance, Konev as the competitive bastard, Rokossovsky as the compassionate, self restrained but gifted commander, Shaposhnikov as the old-school General Staff officer getting surprisingly well along with Stalin, Antonov and Vasilevsky as the brainy war managers (a la Nimitz), Vatutin and Rybalko as the impetuous field commanders, Golikov as the enigmatic "political" general, Boldin as epitome of mediocrity, Budenny as the man hopelessly out of sync with its times, Batov as the talented, professional Army officer who could have received much more recognition, had he fought with a Western power. And the list could continue - the book collect 26 monographs, plus a final article on the Soviet general fallen during (or immediately after) the war
The articles on Vlasov and Tuchachevksy stands out of the whole pack. The first in negative: Catherine Andreyev portrait of the ex-Soviet General who defected to the Germans has more to do with the then (1993) current Russian political situation than with serious research. On the reverse, Shimon Naveh's story on Tuchachevksy - deep operation lead theorist's, executed by Stalin in 1937 for an alleged "anti Soviet" plot - is simply terrific.
And now comes my only real gripe - where's Chernyakovsky? Red Army youngest "front" commander, and possibly the most talented Red Army field general, killed in action in East Prussia in 1945 after a meteoric and much deserved rise - I just can't believe it that Harold Shukman, book's editor, has just forgotten to include him. I mean, why Moskalenko (a rather undistinguished general) yes and Chernyakovsky no? It's true that you can't have everything in life...