Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Scorched Earth by Paul Carell.

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by Vet, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. Vet

    Vet Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    36
    I just started to read this and it seems packed with information. It mostly deals with the Battle of Kursk and it mentions how the Soviets considered attacking Germany first based on information on archives that were not available before the fall of the USSR.
     
  2. fsbof

    fsbof Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    15
    Scorched Earth, and its companion Hitler Moves East, were translated from the original German editions, written by Paul Carell in the early 1960s. At the time, both were revelatory works for English-speaking audiences due to Carell's writing style and information presented about the Russian Front. Plus, the hardback volumes each featured a selection of color photos from that campaign, which were relatively rare to readers in the West. A third volume Der Russlandkrieg by Carell was a book of photos tied to his two narrative works. Documents and other information that have become available since the books' publishing have lessened the historical value of both, but they are readable accounts and are still sought by buffs. The photo volume, IMO still holds up well as a visual record of the Eastern Front.
     
  3. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    good read isn't it and still the Classic on the Ost front though many illustrious text/photo histories are now in print since Carrell released his works including the big Bildband. have both in the German language and a softback in English
     
  4. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,578
    Likes Received:
    1,487
    Location:
    London, England.
    Don't forget that 'Paul Carell' was in the SS ! ;) Slight allowance has to be made for some bias, and, as stated above, research has moved on from the 1960s ( and there was no knowledge of ULTRA, so some of his theories about Russian espionage are redundant ).

    Having said all that, his three books remain some of my favourite WWII books - I have re-read them several times and they are a centrepiece of my Ostfront collection.
     
  5. halder

    halder Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    10
    I've always wondered why he never completed his trilogy. Scorched Earth ends in the summer of 1944 and it's a real shame that the story doesn't reach its logical conclusion - particularly as Carell was still active as a writer more than two decades after Scorched Earth was written.
     
  6. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    Martin I had heard of this some years ago and always wondered why no-one ever studied Carell to find out what particular SS unit he was from ?

    halder I thought at one time that he became ill and was convalesed in bed ??
     
  7. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,984
    Likes Received:
    2,385
    I haven't read it yet. Another one to add on my Christmas list it seems
     
  8. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,578
    Likes Received:
    1,487
    Location:
    London, England.
    Actually, you probably heard it here - we discussed it on the Forum in 2002 ! ;)

    To recap, 'Paul Carell' was in reality Paul Karl Schmidt, who joined the NSDAP in 1931 and transferred to the SS in 1934 ( his SS-No was 308263 ). His journalistic talents led him to become attached to the Foreign Affairs Propaganda Ministry, and during WWII he attained the rank of Obersturmbannfuhrer-SS.

    Ok, we can say all the usual things, and 'Carells' work has been justifiably criticized for omitting all mention of atrocities, exterminations, Einsatzgruppen, etc.

    But, OTOH, his connections and past gave him unique access to first-hand accounts from frontline soldiers at a time when memories were relatively fresh - access that no other writer or journalist would probably have been granted at that time.

    IMPO this is what gives the books their vivid flavour of Eastern Front fighting.
     
  9. Vet

    Vet Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    36
    So I should take his claims that the Soviets were planning a first strike with a grain of salt?
     
  10. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    8,809
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    Portugal
    Paul Carell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Herr Obersturmbannf├╝hrer Schmidt's books belong to the old school "The Russians were too many and that's why they won despite our supreme sacrifices". Thanfully research has evolved somewht since then.

    It's only natural memories become selective when things become getting too unpleasant, see von Manstein's 'Lost Battles', it also ends with the business unfinished ;)

    Use the whole bucket! It's nice to have such justification "See? Barbarossa was only preventive, hit them before they hit us!"
     

Share This Page