Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

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panzermahn
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Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

Post by panzermahn » Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:52 am

Hi folks

Anyone had this 3rd volume of Richard J. Evans history of the Third Reich ? I just bought it today (it was quite expensive too). Normally I wouldn't buy any Richard Evans' book but I just want to get one to see how a detractor of David Irving writes. I have not finished reading it but from the looks of it, I guess I am going to regret it :(

First of all, a very big fundamental mistake when writting history about Third Reich in English. Evans keep using translated terms such as Task Force C, Task Force D when talking about shooting of Jews in the early stages of Barbarossa. I would probably know that Evans meant Einsatzgruppe C or Einsatzgruppe D (Einsatzgruppe should be literally translated as "action group"). I have no idea why Evans used Task Force as a translation for Einsatzgruppe, but for layman, this term of Task Force could be misunderstood as American units massacring Jews. Evans should know better (as a professional historian) than to use English translation for German words which are quite difficult to translate to English. A good example is Ian kershaw's Hubris and Nemesis who utilized German words but had parenthesis to explain the meaning

Other examples are Racial Observer (Volksicher Beobachter), Death Head (Totenkopf), People's Storm (Volkssturm).

Picture 21 is wrongly caption as Tiger in production instead of Sturmgeschuetze (Assault gun)

I noticed that Evan's style of writting is hugely turgid and boring (it's like reading the Mein Kampf from a literature standpoint), like a typical academic textbook. Contrast this with Antony Beevor's style and flair of writting from a literature perspective in his two books, Stalingrad and Berlin

There is no interesting anecdotes like how we used to find it in Irving's books. The Third Reich at war is just plain boring with no new analysis, interpretation or information. there is not even any discussion about the issue of preventive war which was been forwarded by Russian historians such as Mikhail Meltyukhov nor any discussion about different aspects of the war by researchers such as Bogdan Musial, Joachim Hoffmann, Pavel Polian.

I only give credit to Evans on having a huge list of Bibliography.

I rate it only 2.5 out of 5

Panzermahn

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Re: Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

Post by Alex Dekker » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:00 am

Thanks, I was thinking about buying it. I think I won't.
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Re: Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

Post by panzermahn » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:59 am

Additional examples of Evans type of translation:

The Stormer (Der Stuermer - how the heck Evans could used an English translation for the Nazi newspaper Der Stuermer. Of course the German word "stuerm" means storm in a literal meaning however in the context of historiography of the Third Reich, one can't simplay translate the meaning of the newspaper name as "The Stormer" because it is definitely out of context from a historical point of view)

Combined Armed Forces High Command (OKW - Oberkommando der Wehrmacht. My God, why must Evans comes out with his own new terminology as a translation for German words? Armed Forces High Command is the consensus accepted translation for OKW among professional historians even back in the 60s and 70s.

I need to revise my rating for this book, 1.5 out of 5 :down: :down: :down: . The only additional credits I would give is that it is well sourced and had extensive list of bibliography

I beginning to believed David Irving's criticism of Evans is justified seeing by how Evans wrote the historiography of the Third Reich in such an amateurish method from a literature standpoint.

Paying RM 165 (Malaysian ringgit, around US 50 dollars) for a book which I initially thought it would be worth it is a mistake I had made :(

Panzermahn

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Re: Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

Post by panzermahn » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:06 am

From a literature standpoint, I would rate David Irving and Antony Beevor who has the best flair and style of writting history. It is always exciting to read the David Irving's and Antony Beevor although many would have disagreed with the views espoused.

From academic standpoint, Ian Kershaw would be the best although his style of writting seems a bit plain and straight

Evans would be the last :down:

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Re: Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

Post by panzermahn » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:16 pm

More ridiculousity from Evans' book

SS Well of Life (I presume it should be Lebensborn)

SS journal The Black Corps (Das Schwarze Korps)

Some 300 were killed in Bromberg, where local ethnic Germans had staged an armed uprising against the town's garrison in the belief that the war was virtually over, and had been killed by enraged Poles - page 8-9. (This sentence was not even sourced at all and not footnotes were given to it. Sounds to me like the English version of Karol Marian Propiesalzski's work on Bromberg Bloody Sunday. Apparently Professor Evans never bother to further up his research about Bromberg Bloody Sunday. He doesn't even cite Alfred Maurice de Zayas's excellent research on Bromberger Blutsonntag, which were detailed in the latter's book, The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, where there is not even a mention of uprising by ethnic Germans at Bromberg)

German General Paper (I really had no idea which German newspaper Evans were referring)

Regional Leader of the Party (I take it that this means Reichsleiter)

SS Security Service (SD - Sicherheitsdienst)

the Leader (gosh, did anyone writting about Hitler used the English translation for the word Fuehrer")

Franz von Halder (I take it Professor Evans did not even get the name of Colonel General Franz Halder correct which Halder is not a "von" Junker)

Africa Corps (Afrikakorps)

The rape of Tunisian Jewish women by German soldiers was far from uncommon - page 150 (I don't know where Professor Evans got his source of the rape of Tunisian Jewish women by German soldiers of Afrikakorps.)

At the same time, Stalin realized that, as he told graduating military cadets in Moscow on 5 May 1941, "War with German is inevitable, Molotov might be able to postpone it for two or three months, but in the mean time it was vital to re-teach our army and our commanders. Educate them in the spirit of attack. Delivered to young officers as rhetorical message for the future, this was not a statement of intent. (I take it Professor Evans never read about the research of the so-called Stalin's speech that was done by Dimitri Volkogonov, Vladimir Rezun, Mikhail Meltyukhov, Petra Bianca and has already decided that he should put his own personal views on history instead of doing more concrete research. Professor Evans would be the only historian who thinks that Stalin has no intent to conquer Europe by formenting world revolution)

Armed SS (Waffen SS)

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Re: Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

Post by B Hellqvist » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:14 pm

panzermahn wrote: German General Paper (I really had no idea which German newspaper Evans were referring)
Perhaps Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung.

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Re: Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

Post by panzermahn » Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:23 pm

B Hellqvist wrote:
panzermahn wrote: German General Paper (I really had no idea which German newspaper Evans were referring)
Perhaps Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung.

Hi B Hellqvist

I think you are right. Thanks

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Re: Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

Post by panzermahn » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:52 am

The apex of Professor Evans translation of German terms in his book, The Third Reich At War

Adolf Hitler's Personal Flag (page 503) = Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

I think Evans used a google translator to do the translations for him

Panzermahn

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Re: Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

Post by Michael Miller / ABR » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:35 pm

Thank you very much for the review and additional comments. These unnecessary and too-literal translations of Evans are incredibly annoying- in fact, I have a headache after reading the samples you provided. I'm guessing, btw, that he means "Gauleiter" when he writes "Regional Leader."

And his writing style is indeed boring. Will wait 'til I can get a very, very cheap copy via abe.com.

While I don't agree with all things David Irving has written and espoused, he writes excellently and has gone straight to the source for much of his material. Too many people are quick to discard him for strictly political and ideological reasons- a case of "throwing out the baby with the bathwater".


Best wishes,
~ Mike
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~Leopold von Ranke, 19th Century German Historian

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Re: Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

Post by Michael Miller / ABR » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:36 pm

Adolf Hitler's Personal Flag (page 503) = Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler

No f***ing way... !!!! :roll: %E :roll:
"I am a historian before I am a Christian; my object is simply to find out how the things actually occurred."

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Re: Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

Post by panzermahn » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:49 am

Michael Miller / ABR wrote:
Adolf Hitler's Personal Flag (page 503) = Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler

No f***ing way... !!!! :roll: %E :roll:
Hi Mike

Yup, that is correct. Let me give you the whole sentence from page 503

"Its history went back to the early days of the Third Reich, when Hitler has formed an armed personal bodyguard, which later became the so-called 'Adolf Hitler's Personal Flag' (Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler)."

I think Professor Evans (I am not sure if he speaks German though) misundertood the German term Leibstandarte.

Leib = life, standarte = banner or regiment

In this case , the Leibstandarte should be translated as Bodyguard Regiment (David Irving had it translated as 'Life Guards' in Hitler's War but that is back in the 80s but at least it makes more sense that 'Personal Flag' term used by Evans)

Mike, my advise is, that if you really plan to get this book, make sure you buy it at 2nd hand book shop store when the value is less than USD 10 dollars.

Professor Evans's book might be good for layman who wanted to understands WW2 history of Germany, but for those who had studied WW2 more extensively, this book is nothing but just mediocre in its contents.

To be fair, the only credit I will give to Professor Evans is the huge list of bibliography and footnote sourcing.

Other than that I was extremely disappointed with the contents of the book. I was hoping Evans would analysed latest research especially issues like

a) preventive war thesis (Meltyukhov, Volkogonov, Heinz Magenheimer, RFS Stolfi, Vladimir Rezun, Petra Bianca)

b) brutalization of the Russo-German war (Bogdan Musial - too bad Musial's work was never translated into English. I heard that his book Konterrevolutioner Elemente sind Erschossen is a highly regard work on this matter)

Panzermahn

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Re: Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

Post by FalkeEins » Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:03 am

...have to agree entirely ..just read the chapter on the Battle of Britain (one of Evans's key turning points) - amateurish analysis, " Hitler's first defeat ". Large chunks of the book as pointed out are intensely annoying - "The Stormer" ..is that a word in English ?

despite the author's protestations in the Foreword this is not so much a history of the Third Reich at war, but a treatise on the 'Final Solution' and Nazi administration of the occupied territories

didn't buy my copy - library order..

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Re: Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

Post by Tom Houlihan » Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:43 am

I'm not trying to give it away, but it almost sounds like someone should send him the URL to Kriegsprache :shock: !
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Re: Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

Post by panzermahn » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:24 am

FalkeEins wrote: didn't buy my copy - library order..
Lucky you :?

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Re: Third Reich At War by Richard J. Evans

Post by panzermahn » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:30 am

Tom Houlihan wrote:I'm not trying to give it away, but it almost sounds like someone should send him the URL to Kriegsprache :shock: !
Hi Tom,

That would be a great idea....

I saw reviews at Amazon giving this book 5 stars out of 5...Gosh, could anyone that ignorant to give Evans' book such high rating?

Panzermahn

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