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487 A Note on Sources Although a vast literature exists on the German-Soviet war, much of this work has suffered from the inaccessibility of Soviet military accounts and the lack of Soviet archival materials. Fascinating as they are, the popular memoirs of Heinz Guderian, F. W. von Mellenthin, Erich von Manstein, and others portray a war against a faceless enemy, a host that had no concrete form nor precise features. As described in the conclusion, these authors heavily influenced the talented efforts of historians such as Earl Ziemke and Albert Seaton to reconstruct the Soviet face of war; much of their primary material remained German or was heavily influenced by Germans such as former OKH head Franz Halder.1 This same lack of archival records also influenced the few memoirs of prominent Red commanders, such as Georgii Zhukov, Konstanin Rokossovsky, and Vasilii Chuikov . Under the liberalization policies of Nikita Khrushchev, such men were able to publish their recollections during the 1960s. Again, however, these commanders had limited access to the Soviet archives, which forced them to rely on a combination of some archival records and their imperfect memories of the war. Thus, for example, neither side correctly depicted the course of battle inside Stalingrad. Moreover, controversial issues such as the seemingly endless disasters of 1941, Stalin’s failure to withdraw from Kiev, or Zhukov’s disastrous Mars offensive remained off-limits for public discussion. A few historians, through their linguistic talents or unique access to Soviet sources, were able to expose the basic nature of the Soviet Union’s role in the war. Foremost among this group was John Erickson, whose massive tomes The Soviet High Command, Moscow to Stalingrad, and Stalingrad to Berlin will remain military classics, as will perceptive single-volume histories of the war such as Malcolm MacIntosh’s Juggernaut: A History of the Soviet Armed Forces. Supplementing these sources, the most valuable and extensive collection of information and documents related to the war published during the Soviet period is Michael Parrish’s two-volume bibliography of books published in the Soviet Union prior to 1985. The situation began changing in 1990, when closer contacts started to develop between the United States and the USSR and their respective militaries. U.S. president George H. W. Bush’s program of political détente with Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev and, later, Russian Federation president Boris Eltsin (Yeltsin) prompted their respective military establishments to pursue cooperative programs, including the exchange of military texts and studies prepared in the past and used in education for the future. As a result, textbooks, officer dissertations, and other materials from the Soviet General Staff and Frunze Academies, as well as complete collections (Sborniki) of Red Army General Staff war experience studies flowed westward, and U.S. military texts and studies on lessons learned went east. After the fall of the 488 A Note on Sources Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian Federation accelerated these contacts and exchange programs, and later, the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense began releasing fresh archival materials pertaining to the German-Soviet War on its website (www.podvig.naroda.ru). During the mid-1990s, governmental organs such as the Ministry of Defense, the Institute of Military History, the Russian Academy of Science, the Academy of Science’s Institute of General History, the Combined Editorial Office of the Russian MVD, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, the Academy of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, the Main Archives Administration of the city of Moscow, and others began releasing extensive collections of archival documents through their own publishing houses. Among them were Voennoe Izdatel’svto (Voenizdat), the military publishing house of the Ministry of Defense; Nauka (Science), the organ of the Russian Academy of Sciences; IVI RAN, the press of the Institute of General History; and affiliated presses. These collections included wartime directives and reports of the Stavka, the People’s Commissariat of Defense (NKO), the Red Army General Staff, the NKVD, and GRU, as well as documents pertaining to specific wartime military operations (such as Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, the battle for the Dnepr, Belorussia, and Berlin) and other aspects of World War II. At the same time, privately owned publishing firms such as “Iauza,” “Eksmo,” “Veche,” “AST,” “Olma-Press,” Tsentrpoligraf, and others published tens if not hundreds of books written by Russian historians, who, with improved archival access, were able to examine all but a few aspects...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780700621521
Related ISBN
9780700621217
MARC Record
OCLC
923132453
Pages
568
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-13
Language
English
Open Access
No
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