Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dan Carlin about the East Front

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History is back with the first part of a series about the horrors of the East Front in World War II. Enough drama for this podcast that specializes in the narrative side of history to get a good bite from.

The drama contains two evil leaders, Hitler and Stalin, millions of soldiers dragged into the war, soldiers that are perpetrators and victims at the same time. If they are not the good guys, then at least they are the sad guys. And in this tale of the bad and the sad, there is this literary figure of the warning, the historic example of Napoleon's debacle in 1812. An example that is to be avoided and nevertheless comes true.

Carlin thrives on these dramas for his impressionistic tales, but it can be argued he goes over the top here and there. When the facts are grim and sad in themselves, too much emphasis turns the drama into melodrama and I feel he walks a thin line here. So, whether you will appreciate this version of the largest land battles of WW2, is probably a matter of taste. By all means, for those who were not sufficiently informed about the huge Soviet contribution to Hitler's defeat, it is a must listen.

More Hardcore History:
Gwynne Dyer Interview,
Interview with Victor Davis Hanson,
Punic Nightmares III,
Punic Nightmares II.

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