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When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler [Paperback]

David M. Glantz , Jonathan M. House
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 1 1995 Modern War Studies
By the time Pearl Harbor had ripped apart America's peacetime pretensions, the German blitzkrieg had already blasted the Red Army back to the gates of Moscow. Yet, less than four years later, the Soviet hammer-and-sickle flew above the ruins of Berlin, stark symbol of a miraculous comeback that destroyed the German army and shattered Hitler's imperial designs.

Told in swift stirring prose, When Titans Clashed provides the first full account of this epic struggle from the Soviet perspective. David Glantz, one of the world's foremost authorities on the Soviet military, and Jonathan House present a fundamentally new interpretation of what the Russians called the "Great Patriotic War." Based on unprecedented access to formerly classified Soviet sources, they counter the German perspective that has dominated previous accounts and radically revise our understanding of the Soviet experience during World War II.

Placing the war within its wider political, economic, and social contexts, the authors recount how the determined Soviets overcame their initial disasters to defeat the most powerful army ever assembled. As they vividly show, this truly was war waged on a titanic scale, sweeping across a half-million square miles from Moscow to Berlin, featuring monumental offensives and counteroffensives, and ultimately costing both sides combined a staggering forty million casualties.

Their work offers new revelations on Soviet strategy and tactics, Stalin's role as supreme commander of the Red Army, the emergence of innovative and courageous commanders in the crucible of combat, numerous previously concealed or neglected military operations, German miscalculations on the road to the Red capital, the effect of D-Day and the "second front" on the Soviet effort, and the war's devastating impact on the Soviet economy and civilian population.

An essential volume for anyone interested in World War II or Soviet history, When Titans Clashed will change forever how we look at one of the greatest military confrontations in world history.

This book is part of the Modern War Studies series.


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Product Description

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

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent ! Very well researched. June 11 2004
By DS
Format:Paperback
David Glantz is without a doubt the foremost expert on the Eastern Front (1941-45) especially after professor John Errickson passed away. Together with Jonathan House the have written a clear and extremely accurate account of the Russo-german War, with a well deserved emphasis on the soviet side (the Soviets were the victors after all!). The maps are very detailed but a little bit crowded with information. The text is excellent and blends the in depth knowledge of Glantz with the writing abilities of House. I found the appendices very useful, especially those wich cover the soviet losses during each campaign of the Great Patriotic War. One really wonders how a nation could withstand such tremendous losses and not only recover but beat desicively a hard, experienced, well armed and professional enemy like the Wehrmacht.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
After reading many books on the subject I found "When Titans Clashed" provides far more detail on the battles during the Russian offensives post-Kursk to Berlin in 1945. These battles are covered sparingly in other books which concentrate heavily on the German victories of 1941/42 upto Stalingrad. It also dispels a lot of common misconceptions of vast Russian hordes, throwing vast manpower to be slaughtered and overrun German lines by explaining that it was common Russian military practice from 1943 onwards to feint an offensive against German strongholds and then attack with massive concentration against the most weakly defended German positions, giving the impression to the German troops and officers who faced these "human waves" that the scale of the offensives was the same across the entire front. While I have a great interest in the Eastern Front this book never really gave me an insight into how the war was fought. After reading the order of battle which consists of dozens of Russian officer's names and ranks, the endless list of regiments and armies involved in each battle you lose the sheer scale and picture of what was really taking place. Lists of casualty figures don't really tell the story. There is only a few sentences devoted to the atrocities commited (by both sides) and partisan involvement. The most frustrating part was right at the end of the book after 250 pages of explaining which Russian general was in charge of which army and of which front and against which panzer division he mentions that to the Germans war in the East was "unmitigating horror" and this is as far as he goes to giving any human element in the whole book and does not "waste" any words elaborating it. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Russian View Nov. 19 2010
Format:Hardcover
Somewhere along the way I realized the scope of the eastern front in world war II as opposed to the western theatre operations more familiar to North American readers. Having read detailed books on Stanlingrad, Kursk and Berlin, I wanted to read a survey histroy of the whole eastern war. This book was perfect. As the title suggests, it is largely written from Soviet perspective. It is relatively detailed and thought provoking. It puts the actions taken by the major parties in perspective. It is fascinating to read about events from 70 years ago that seem impossible now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent read Oct. 22 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
At first glance, this book by Glantz may seem dry as dust and a wee bit technical. It is. However, the author manages to keep the reader intrested by shedding a new light on the "ostfront". A fascinating read for those who enjoy military history.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Post Glasnost Study of the Russian Front March 12 2003
Format:Paperback
David M. Glantz and Jonathan House argue that the Red Army defeated the forces of Nazi Germany because of the superior combat effectiveness of its forces. By adapting strategy and tactics and reforming existing command structures best suited to the nature of the war on the Eastern fronts, the Red Army instituted counter-measures that resulted in victory against the Germans. The authors refute some common theories concerning the Red Army's victory as well as Germany's defeat. The authors claim the vastness of the Russian frontier and the extreme weather conditions (a factor usually attributed to the German defeat) were equally detrimental to the Russian forces. The authors counter the theory that sheer numerical advantage the Russians enjoyed over the Germans attributed to their victory by claiming that by 1944, the Red Army too was suffering from acute manpower shortages.   The authors base their research on newly available Russian sources opened to the west in 1989. The authors conclude from these sources that the Soviet Union always held a military advantage over their western neighbors. The authors claim that during the inter-war years, the Soviet Union's doctrine consisted of an offensive strategy based on a concept known as "Deep Battle," This strategy was devised by the Russian strategists M.N. Tukhachevsky and V.K. Triandafillov. Glantz and House assert that the reason Germany enjoyed initial success in the summer of 1941, was because the Red Army was going through a transition period as a direct result of Stalin's purges of the Red officer corps in the 1930's. Contrary to previous accounts, the authors claim that the Soviets were prepared for a German invasion, yet tried to prolong a confrontation until this transition period was complete. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok but not great.
I was looking for something like David Irving's Seminal work Hitler's war but from Stalis perspective. Read more
Published on June 14 2003 by rafe
3.0 out of 5 stars Armies, Corps and Generals
A strategically complete text, one of the smallest in length that covers the entire Eastern Front including the Russo-Finnish War, with some pages devoted to the Japanese... Read more
Published on March 13 2003 by Parker, A.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book but some wrong facts
This is in one word an excellent work shedding light on the Russian (Soviet) contribution to the defeat of fascism. Read more
Published on May 9 2002 by DICK
4.0 out of 5 stars Who stopped Hitler?
The Russians - is the answer of two American military historians. American and British contribution was large and important (and the authors correctly stress that), but the... Read more
Published on Dec 28 2001 by Igor Biryukov
1.0 out of 5 stars embarrassingly one-sided, Pravda-like in objectivity
If you're tired of histories of the Russo-German conflict that rely heavily on German generals' memoirs, here's the "evil twin"! Read more
Published on Aug. 28 2001 by Jim Reed
5.0 out of 5 stars A great primer on the military history of the Eastern Front
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... Read more
Published on June 13 2001 by Signorelli Luca
5.0 out of 5 stars Eastern Front History that is dirty and detailed
Glantz's book is perhaps the finest one volume history of the Eastern Front for the serious student interested in an OPERATIONAL history rather than a novelized drama about it. Read more
Published on April 26 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars an overview of the eastern front that reads like a novel
starts with how both nazi and soviets armies were formed before the conflict, then follows the progress of the war by geography and operation. authoritative. Read more
Published on April 22 2001 by J. R. Derry
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