Icebreaker has ratings and 34 reviews. Allen said: If Hitler had delayed the invasion of the Soviet Union by two weeks, Europe would today be speakin. ICEBREAKER. Who Started the. Second World War? Viktor Suvorov. Translated by Thomas B. Beattie. HAMISH HAMILTON. London. ICEBREAKER Who Started the Second World War? Viktor Suvorov Translated by Thomas B. Beattie HAMISH HAMILTON London For my brother Hamish.
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Having read the book in Russian, the logic seemed fairly sound, and the cited facts sounded legit – at least to a teenager who had a decent knowledge of history for an average person but not more. However, in study-of-history context, it seems that Suvorov’s books and theories are viewed between “disputed” and “outright scientific fraud”.
A lot of discussions are summarized on the Wiki: I’m not aware of any serious historians favoring this theory, and Suvorov unfortunately isn’t one – he seems to be willingly omit or even falsificate facts in his books by misquoting and quoting out of context. I was referring to Alexei Isaev’s book Antisuvorov Russian. He lists a bunch of falsifications in the preface of his book.
First example is Suvorov’s quoting of colonel S. Hvalei’s book approximate translation:. It happened that the division was immediately behind the frontier posts at the start of the war, meaning right next to the state border. Isaev explains and the online version of the book proves him right that Hvalei doesn’t actually say that. Instead, he says that his division met Germans after they passed the frontier posts and defeated another division.
And Hvalei even mentions where it was: The book mentions lots of similar cases.
You have to consider that Icebreaker was first published in and verifying the sources was a lot harder back then. So Suvorov had no problem to adjust citations to better fit his idea. Isaev’s book also goes into more general issues. For example, one of Suvorov’s core points was that the Soviet Union didn’t have any defense plans – only attack plans.
Isaev notes that this statement is useless if one doesn’t compare to other countries. As it turns out, neither Poland nor France had defense plans – attacking the enemy regardless of who starts the war was apparently the dominating war theory at the time and likely still is. Isaev also explains how merely comparing the number of tanks and their technical parameters is useless. After all, all these tanks didn’t help the Soviet Union at the start of the war.
He notes how the Soviets didn’t have proper tactics of using tanks at the beginning of the war, unlike Germans who already had lots of experience using them.
Isaev discredits a bunch of Suvorov’s myths about Soviet tanks, airplanes, lines of defense and many more, his arguments are easy to verify thanks to the internet.
But I cannot translate it all – it is probably easier if you ask questions about specific claims Suvorov made. Isaev claims that the Hvalei quote I mentioned above isn’t an isolated incident, rather that Suvorov’s books are full of falsifications and quoting out of context. I must say that I didn’t actually believe that. However, over the past years I had to check a bunch of quotes used by Suvorov – and realized that every single one of them has been modified to better support his theories.
Just a single example, a rather spectacular claim from “Suicide” approximate translation:. And found a brilliant solution. He uses this quote to support the idea of Hitler being a crazy idiot. But what did Hitler really say? I managed to find the original on Google Booksit says:. Other than that the Russian territories, that come under our reign, are so full of problems that we would have more than enough work for the coming centuries. In the central part the infinite swamps first have to be cultivated by planting reed and similar, so that the extreme Russian colds are confined in the winters to come.
The differences here cannot be explained merely by different translations, e. Hitler clearly doesn’t talk about the next winter as Suvorov suggests.
But even assuming that Suvorov was reading a translated version I somehow assumed that he knew German and read the original and that the translator made a mistake here – the context makes it very obvious that this is just some theoretical thoughts about something that could be done over centuries.
It was by no means a strategy for the ongoing war. But that context was omitted because otherwise this nice quote would become boring. As I said, it seems that all “facts” listed in the books got the same treatment. That explains why real historians scoff at them – it is hard to take somebody seriously who has to invent things in order to support his claims. I’m new to this topic so not a lot to offer. However, from what I’ve read it’s the western historians who seem to dispute this theory of Hitler beating Stalin to the punch with the most verve.
Some Russian historians do support Suvorov’s hypothesis. In any revisionist look at WWII one must consider the political motivations of even allegedly unbiased historians. It is my view that the West would never let it’s version of WWII history be disputed by something as volatile as Suvorov’s thesis which some could certainly interpret as Hitler’s Germany fighting to preserve Europe from Communism. It strikes me as unusually heated the way some western historians so easily cast Suvorov’s thesis off as nonsense.
They seem to hold it to a far higher standard than they do other historical events. For example, many western historians main point of contention with Suvorov’s claim is that there is little evidentiary support for it. However, how about the Soviet invasion of Finland in winter ’39? There is also very little evidentiary support of the planning for that operation, yet it certainly took place Anyway, interesting topic but I doubt the passions involved would allow the “established” version of WWII on the eastern front to ever be challenged.
He addresses these issues in “Stumbling Colossus” which I would commend to any one who has read Suvorov’s “Icebreaker” and “Chief Culprit” and wishes to understand the other side of the issue.
His argument seems to be that the Red Army was completely unready for any war – but especially unready for war against the Wehrmacht and therefore he dismisses Suvorov nom de plume of Vladimir Rezun.
I specifically commend his Introduction to you and would suggest that he addresses your questions as follows:. His documentary evidence was sufficient to defend his thesis regarding Stalin’s strategic intent prior to Junebut he presented considerably less evidence to support his more radical contentions concerning Stalin’s war plans for Stalin may have been an unscrupulous tyrant, but he was not a lunatic.
If I had to try to boil Glantz’s argument down to 50 words or less, I would say that he concedes that most of Suvorov’s Rezun’s underlying facts are essentially correct but his interpretation is grossly wrong because it is not based upon analysis of all of the available information in context — with “context” being the key word in the argument. Based on documents reported on by The Telegraphwe now know that the USSR offered a million troops in an attempt to ally with Britain and France to take proactive measures against Germany before Molotov-Ribbentrop.
Is the USSR had been successful in clinching the alliance the Nazis would have been contained and crushed, which wouldn’t provide the wartime chaos necessary for Soviet westward expansion and contradicts Suvorov’s claim of Soviet invasion plans, since this East-West alliance would have struck earlier.
I have not read these books of Suvarov but I have heard several historians like David Glantz scoff at his works. While I would not put anything past Stalin from a moral point of view, he was no fool and it would have been foolish for him to attack in The army was in chaos by the purges in and from its terrible showing versus Finland.
Reforms were in progress but not completed. There were a number of changes in equipment going into effect that were partly complete. Waiting would have allowed these changes to take place smoothly.
The final reason was that the Soviets well knew there were plenty of forces in the area waiting if a Soviet attack occurred. Unlike Poland and Finland, there was no chance of an easy win. I fail to see why anyone would consider Suvorov’s arguments unsubstantiated.
After reading the Icebreakfr translation of Posljednjaja respublika Stalin’s verhinderter Erstschlag I must say I find his arguments rather convincing. As long as proper access to the captured German documents at Podolsk remains a chimera, I am afraid Zuvorov evidence will have to be taken very seriously. His points about the content of German and Rumanian phrase books for Red Army soldiers, ordnance maps, and, yes the tanks and their capacities, performance, deploymentthe diesel fuel pipe lines, the enormous numbers of airborne troops, etc.
How else would icrbreaker explain these facts rather than by a planned offensive against the West? The fact that some high-ranking an influential historians with reputations at stake are vilifying Suvorov is, moreover, an argument a contrario. In early Stalin was preparing for offensive war, perhaps for earlybut the unforeseen quick collapse of France messed up his timetable. So Stalin could only set a trap for Icebreker and hope he had enough people to throw into the meat grinder and that there would be some left.
Icebreaker by Viktor Suvorov
Stalin had been “pushing” into the Baltics and this annoyed Hitler even though Hitler had given them to Stalin in their deal to become allies. Also, Stalin took “more” of Monrovia to the South than was to be his share. So although Stalin was scrupulous in living up to his end of the deal in supplying promised resources and economic support, Hitler made the following calculation: England was making entreaties to Stalin and Roosevelt for help Britain could never figure out that Hitler had more to offer Stalin than they could.
Hitler calculated that, if he attacked Russia whose enmity with Japan kept the Japanese in checkthen Japan would opportunistically flood the Pacific, and the USA would be “too busy” fighting Japan for its first priority which is the Pacific. And, voila, Stalin could not help England as he was fighting for his life, and USA was all tied up, and would not have time to overcome its “isolationist” Congress to help Britain in time. Per Lukacs – Hitler was not a madman. The diaries of his general staff, support that they thought he was a genius.
Also, attacking Russia fed right into his absolute hatred of communism. AND of course he could probably recognize the Megalomania in Stalin. He would have to fight him eventually for hegemony of Europe. Maximum effort to force the British to surrender.
Direct attack, and removal of all hope of war aid from Russia icebreakef USA. Britain had no hope of retaking Western Europe which had been totally conquered by Hitler. Sadly, this led to the partition of Europe.
To be honest, his arguments aren’t very sound.