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The Myth of the Eastern Front

David's and Jacob Holo's newest alternate, cross history novel.
The Myth of the Eastern Front
Post by Dilandu   » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:59 am

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A really good English-language book about the (unfortunately, popular) myth of "clean, honorable Wehrmacht":

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/217 ... tern_Front

This myth - on which, unfortunately, "The Gordian Protocol" relied upon quite a bit - is basically a post-war construct, created with the one simple goal: to make re-militarization of West Germany less appalling to Europeans. So, the myth was created that "it was those bad SS who done all crimes and massacres, and Wehrmacht was not involved on any significant level". Being Russian (whom ancestors happens to be under German occupation on Ukraine) I knew rather perfectly, that it is a lie.

So, I rather recommend this book to Western readers. It shows rather perfectly, that it is not enough to "just remove Nazi party from power" to create "good, noble German Army against those evil Russians"; to do that, you basically need to filter the whole Wehrmacht, completely removing all Nazi sympathizers (i.e. more that a half of total number of officers, especially on the top).
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- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: The Myth of the Eastern Front
Post by isaac_newton   » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:27 am

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Dilandu wrote:A really good English-language book about the (unfortunately, popular) myth of "clean, honorable Wehrmacht":

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/217 ... tern_Front

This myth - on which, unfortunately, "The Gordian Protocol" relied upon quite a bit - is basically a post-war construct, created with the one simple goal: to make re-militarization of West Germany less appalling to Europeans. So, the myth was created that "it was those bad SS who done all crimes and massacres, and Wehrmacht was not involved on any significant level". Being Russian (whom ancestors happens to be under German occupation on Ukraine) I knew rather perfectly, that it is a lie.

So, I rather recommend this book to Western readers. It shows rather perfectly, that it is not enough to "just remove Nazi party from power" to create "good, noble German Army against those evil Russians"; to do that, you basically need to filter the whole Wehrmacht, completely removing all Nazi sympathizers (i.e. more that a half of total number of officers, especially on the top).



I've recently read 'Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin' by Timothy Snyder.

An outstanding book, well written, thoroughly researched - if deeply depressing.

He concurs with that view of the Wehrmacht in Russia.

I should clearly say that he is no apologist for Stalin either!
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Re: The Myth of the Eastern Front
Post by Dilandu   » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:07 am

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isaac_newton wrote:I've recently read 'Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin' by Timothy Snyder.

An outstanding book, well written, thoroughly researched - if deeply depressing.

He concurs with that view of the Wehrmacht in Russia.

I should clearly say that he is no apologist for Stalin either!


Yep. And that's why I was so deeply disappointed (and, frankly, even distressed) when I found this myth basically proclaimed by RFC and Jacob Holo in the "Goridan Protocol".
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: The Myth of the Eastern Front
Post by TFLYTSNBN   » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:16 am

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Dilandu wrote:A really good English-language book about the (unfortunately, popular) myth of "clean, honorable Wehrmacht":

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/217 ... tern_Front

This myth - on which, unfortunately, "The Gordian Protocol" relied upon quite a bit - is basically a post-war construct, created with the one simple goal: to make re-militarization of West Germany less appalling to Europeans. So, the myth was created that "it was those bad SS who done all crimes and massacres, and Wehrmacht was not involved on any significant level". Being Russian (whom ancestors happens to be under German occupation on Ukraine) I knew rather perfectly, that it is a lie.

So, I rather recommend this book to Western readers. It shows rather perfectly, that it is not enough to "just remove Nazi party from power" to create "good, noble German Army against those evil Russians"; to do that, you basically need to filter the whole Wehrmacht, completely removing all Nazi sympathizers (i.e. more that a half of total number of officers, especially on the top).


I will have to get a copy of the book.

The SS can be thought of as as the worst of the worst, but there was still plenty of the worst in the German army. The Treaty of Versailles which imposed such ruinous reparations on Germany had provoked profound anger and hatred.

Of course one could make the same points about the Soviet Army and the Russian people in regards to the teror famine against the Ukrainians.
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Re: The Myth of the Eastern Front
Post by Dilandu   » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:20 pm

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TFLYTSNBN wrote:
Of course one could make the same points about the Soviet Army and the Russian people in regards to the teror famine against the Ukrainians.


Being half-Ukrainian (my father is from Berdychiv, small town near Zhytomyr), I knew about Holodomor rather good. While it was obviously a disaster, it was worse than a deliberate crime - it was a series of really dumb mistakes, that Soviet leadership made to "demonstrate the advantage of collectivization". They wanted to weaken the Ukrainian peasantry, yes. But they never intended it to become a disaster (hell, the USSR at this time just made ten years without any famine, the first time in Russian history!)

They thought that they would "just force" those "greedy kulak's" to join collective farms by taking away their main means of income, and "everything would be fine". They terribly underestimated both the natural unpredictability of climate (the previous years were fine; the 1932-1933 were rather bad), and the dumb eagerness of local "righteous communists" to took away ALL just to fulfill the quotas.

P.S. And, while it is not as commonly known - Stalin shot every one responsible for disaster)
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: The Myth of the Eastern Front
Post by TFLYTSNBN   » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:18 pm

TFLYTSNBN
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Dilandu wrote:
TFLYTSNBN wrote:
Of course one could make the same points about the Soviet Army and the Russian people in regards to the teror famine against the Ukrainians.


Being half-Ukrainian (my father is from Berdychiv, small town near Zhytomyr), I knew about Holodomor rather good. While it was obviously a disaster, it was worse than a deliberate crime - it was a series of really dumb mistakes, that Soviet leadership made to "demonstrate the advantage of collectivization". They wanted to weaken the Ukrainian peasantry, yes. But they never intended it to become a disaster (hell, the USSR at this time just made ten years without any famine, the first time in Russian history!)

They thought that they would "just force" those "greedy kulak's" to join collective farms by taking away their main means of income, and "everything would be fine". They terribly underestimated both the natural unpredictability of climate (the previous years were fine; the 1932-1933 were rather bad), and the dumb eagerness of local "righteous communists" to took away ALL just to fulfill the quotas.

P.S. And, while it is not as commonly known - Stalin shot every one responsible for disaster)



Those "righteous communists" were just like America's Democrats who are true believers in Global Warming Theology.
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Re: The Myth of the Eastern Front
Post by runsforcelery   » Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:59 am

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Dilandu wrote:
isaac_newton wrote:I've recently read 'Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin' by Timothy Snyder.

An outstanding book, well written, thoroughly researched - if deeply depressing.

He concurs with that view of the Wehrmacht in Russia.

I should clearly say that he is no apologist for Stalin either!


Yep. And that's why I was so deeply disappointed (and, frankly, even distressed) when I found this myth basically proclaimed by RFC and Jacob Holo in the "Goridan Protocol".



Dilandu, I never once said that the Whermacht didn't commit atrocities on the Eastern Front or ever even implied that those atrocities were solely the work of card-carrying Nazis and the SS. We never proclaimed a frigging thing about the real world Eastern Front, and I would appreciate your not implying that we did anything of the sort.

For what it's worth, I haven't believed in that view of WWII since I stopped believing in tooth fairies.

I said that there were Ukranian nationalists who despised Stalin, and there were. I said that the successful FICTIONAL assassination of Hitler touched off a FICTIONAL bloody internal civil war in Germany which the Nazis lost. I said the bloodletting IN GERMANY was severe enough that the Nazi Party (which had not yet committed any atrocities in Russia --- you could certainly argue that the "radio station attack" before the invasion of Poland was an atrocity there, of course) was thoroughly discredited AMONG Germans and that an alternative, Nazi-purged regime was instated and the Nazi party was outlawed. I didn't say there hadn't been a whole big bunch of Nazis in Germany in 1940-41 BEFORE said civil war, nor did I say that a lot of ex-Nazis didn't regret having to turn in their swastikas. I never said that there weren't plenty of atrocities on the Eastern Front in my alternate timeline, either; all I said was that IN UKRAINE the Germans were seen (by local nationalists) as liberators, which was admittedly (by implication) due to the absence of the explicit doctrine of the Untermenschen, and that the post war scene in Europe was very different from where it would have been had Hitler survived and won.

The one legitimate critique you've raised about my intentions and machinations is that the timescale is too telescoped (which I realized full well while I was doing it), and I will cheerfully admit that I DID telescope it because, for storytelling purposes, I wanted the war in the Pacific to be fought and won in a time frame that could lead to Operation Yellow Brick.

The Eastern Front was as brutal, savage, and barbaric a war as has ever been fought. It was a war between two totalitarian states and two dictators who were both about as loathsome as could be imagined. There were partisans, irregulars, massacres, "reprisals,' and genocide and I never once said that there weren't all of those things, both in Real Life and in my alternate history.

You continue to impute to me views and beliefs I do not hold. I had family that disappeared in Central Europe as well, and I hold no brief for the historical Nazis or all the people who suddenly discovered on VE Day that "We had no idea what was happening!" I didn't cover the alternate war in the East in detail because it was largely irrelevant to the main plot of the novel. I would appreciate your not implying that if I had, all would have been sweetness and light from the German side. Hell, WWII wasn't all "sweetness and light" from the AMERICAN perspective, and it doesn't take any revisionist historians to know that. You can see it in the damned newspaper accounts of the war, if you want to go back and read them! And if I ever do a novel in which I actually re-fight the war instead of using its conclusion as a backdrop, I'll be just as nuanced as you want.

But please don't accuse me of supporting the Myth of the Eastern Front or the postwar German efforts to paint themselves as the heroic defenders of Western Civilization against the onslaught of the Bolshevik Slavic hordes.

I thought long and hard about just letting this entire thread pass, but, frankly, I've discovered I'm too pissed off to go on doing that.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: The Myth of the Eastern Front
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:11 am

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runsforcelery wrote:You continue to impute to me views and beliefs I do not hold.


RFC, I do not imply that YOU believe in that. But the book - the "Goridan Protocol" - basically supported that myth.

Please look at it with the view of simple reader, not very proficient in history and eager to believe in "dirty SS, clean Wehrmacht myths". What would he find in this book? Basically a direct confirmation from author who is well-known to be an expert in military history. He would found exactly the basic formula "mad Hitler was killed, then good German military threw away all those Nazi, and became our good friends the Germany with which the USA allied". He would found that "now-good Germans, supported by US bombing campaign liberated the good Ukrainians from nasty Russian communists", and he would became completely sure that it is exactly what you wanted to say. Because it would support the whole system of belief the reader have in mind - the myths of "good Wehrmacht", the still-lingering fear of "communism", the current Russian-Ukrainean unpleasantness (which, as you perfectly knew, labeled by Western media as entirely one-sided aggression of bad Russia against good Ukraine).

Would he find anything about, say, Klaus-Wilhelm losing sleep by thinking of all that cruelty and destruction his armies inflicted against civilians, and trying to persuade himself that it was justified by end results? No.

Would he find anything about hundreds of thousands civilians killed in US bombing campaign against Soviet Union which you depicted simply as "what the Anglo-American heavy bombers could do to his (Stalin's) wartime industry"? No. Of course you could argue that it is implied by definition, but you must admit that it wasn't actually said anywhere, so the reader is left under impression that such bombing campaign may be something like modern precise strikes against, say, Iraq - infrastructure shattered, but not much casualties. Wartime industry. Not towns.

And the whole situation of "everybody went to fight the Soviet Union" - was it presented like a merciless, coldly calculative move of politicians, who thought only about profits and advantages? No. We have absolutely no idea, why, for Pete's sake, USA decided to enter the war against USSR, or why French did not stab Germans in their back as soon as they gave the opportunity. All you gave is "Stalin miscalculated here, Stalin miscalculated there". So basically you presented one side as scheming plotters, and gave no ideas about what the other side was thinking. What would the reader assume? Of course, that the other side is generally noble and have only best intentions (because, let's be fair: in your books there always the all-good and mostly-bad sides).

So to summarize:

* I completely believe that it wasn't your intention (dunno about Holo; I just did not know him as well as you)

* But the unintended consequences is that "Gordian Protocol" - unintentionally - support the aforementioned myth.

Sorry if I'm not entirely coherent here. Last month was... not kind to me at all.
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: The Myth of the Eastern Front
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:19 am

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P.S. About how bad the Western knowledge of East European history is...

https://metalshockfinland.com/2019/07/1 ... -war-2019/


"‘The Attack of the Dead Men’ moves towards the eastern front, where the Soviet and German armies clashed."


Attack of the Dead Men's was in 1915:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osowiec_Fortress

You see the picture? The average reader of Gordian Protocol, I'm afraid, is hardly better. The average reader have a highly messed up assumptions of history, in which Red Russians are increasingly commonly labeled as "bad all along" and WW2 Germans are labeled as "generally bad, but it was all Nazi fault".
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
Top
Re: The Myth of the Eastern Front
Post by justdave   » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:27 pm

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I thought long and hard about just letting this entire thread pass, but, frankly, I've discovered I'm too pissed off to go on doing that.


IMHO what has been missed was that preventing Hitler's assassination was the most severe, gut-wrenching moral choice the 'hero' could be faced with, typical for the Mad Wizard. Once that was established, the rest of the alternate back story follows logically.
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