Schlachten! part 5, Richard III in DIRECTORS CUT, the filmography of Luk Perceval on Vimeo
And now we shall turn our attention to the book under review here. One can predict, just after having read this first volume, that this is going to be, especially when the 2nd volume is published, the main standard work on the Battle of Tannenberg. First of all, this work is free of any preconceived ideas, of the "pro-this" and "pro-that" attitude. Sven Ekdahl lets the documents and other evidence speak for themselves, and his comments and interpretations are based on the evidence cum the logical deductive method.
And this kind of attitude is basic in writing and interpreting history. The historiography on Tannenberg has always been emotional. Simply because this battle shaped the historical destiny of three nations in this Central European area. Although the Teutonic Knights were, properly speaking, an Order of the Roman Catholic Church, nevertheless, they were primarily Germans, and the German historians have always treated the history of the Teutonic Knights as part of the history of Germany.
Since about A. There is no doubt in my mind that the author, Sven Ekdahl, is deeply familiar with this background. But in this book, I did not find the author mentioning it, even in the basic and briefest outline — in the introductory part of the book. I mention this especially in view of the fact that the author did spend a considerable amount of his research and space cf. The book has, in brief, the following basic parts: Introduction. Then, there follows several special "addenda": proposals for further archeological diggings, the Polish excavations of , etc. At the end of this monumental volume, one finds the German-Polish and Polish-German glossaries of the main geographical names used in the book as well as the listing of the 64 pages of illustrations.
There is also an "excursus" and one item of the "addenda" at the end of the most exhaustive Chapter II pp.
Chapter IV also has two extra "insertions": one analyzes certain data contained in the so-called Kronika Bychowca; the second part of this "excursus" gives the German translation of that part of the Kronika Bychowca which describes the battle of Tannenberg pp. Indeed, Ekdahl must have spent an enormous amount of time going through many archives himself, reading so many references.
It is really amazing that one person could have done so much spade work.
Nowadays, many such a scholarly enterprise is carried out by team work. Apparently, in Europe, especially in Western Germany the scholar devotes his own personal and individual efforts in carrying out his research. Sven Ekdahl seemingly did everything himself, no coauthors nor collaborators helped him along. Even in the area of illustrations the author had to re-draw many maps, tables, etc.
He took many photographs himself as well. The quality of Ekdahl's work, without any doubt, is such that this monumental work, especially when the second volume appears, will be the major reference work on the Battle of Tannenberg. But, since there is no end to perfection, one can always find some minor bones of contention. We will mention a few. There is, for example, the name of the Lithuanian ruler, Vytautas, known in the Lithuanian historiography as Vytautas Didysis, i. Ekdahl chooses the form which has been used in German historiography by tradition: Witold. In similar manner, Ekdahl follows the German scribal tradition.
One term, however, appears here for the first time — at least to my knowledge. This concerns the name, in Modern German, of the original inhabitants of the whole area where the battle took place. These were the Baltic, not Germanic, tribes, or nation s known in the oldest Latin sources as Borussi, or Porussi, or Prussi. They were, linguistically and culturally, closely related to the Lithuanians on their north and north-eastern frontiers.
However, when the Baltic non-Germanic; non-German Prussians died out, the local German inhabitants were called die Preussen, 'the Prussians'. Later, this name was extended to the whole of the expanded Kingdom of Prussia, in some cases — to the whole of Germany. Now, according to Ekdahl cf. This information is given in Footnote 8, p. Rogozin Rogozin observed that there had been a massive multiplication of infected rodents. Correspondingly, according to a Soviet monograph, since the fighting persisted in the region throughout the normal period of the grain harvest, the crops were left standing in the fields, providing ample food for the murine rodents, and causing an intensive multiplication in their numbers.
That supported their infection with Francisella tularensis. In consequence, the infected animals contaminated large areas of the regions of Rostov, Stalingrad and Woroschilowgrad and caused outbreaks of tularaemia in that area These conclusions totally correspond with assessments drawn and published during WW II by German medical officers in at least eight articles.
Each of these papers describe more or less at length that the outbreak was caused by field mice, forest mice, shrews and other rodents, which multiplied rapidly because crops remained unharvested and the grass uncut because of the war, thus providing a large source of food for the rodents Another reason for the enormous multiplication of the rodents — according to both German and Russian experts — was that the systems established to prevent plague and tularaemia had totally collapsed as a consequence of the war4 8 , The majority of soldiers treated in a military hospital specializing in tularaemia had been infected orally by contaminated bread and other food.
Occasionally the bacteria had been transmitted also by insects especially mosquitos and ticks 54 , by contaminated water5 5 and — sometimes — by biting mice The outbreaks of and were caused by water rats who were present in consequence of the flooding of the river Volga In order to protect the German troops from tularaemia, the soldiers were advised to follow the recommendations - issued by the Soviet Southwest army back in - not to take up quarters in contaminated villages or, better still, to bypass the villages altogether.
Contaminated hay or straw should be contained in trenches and burned. And a Russian expert reported that But this high percentage of pulmonary infections is not a proof of the hostile spread of the pathogens. Pulmonary tularaemia arises not only after a deliberate spread of F.
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Most of the cases of inhalationary tularaemia had been caused by the use of hay for bedding in dug-outs and trenches6 2. Rogozin concluded from such data that the inhalation of dust was the decisive factor for the infection In some cases, the occurrence of the disease disappeared within days when a military camp was moved from a field to a forest. On the other hand, soldiers developed tularaemia within a short time - even within 36 hours - when a bivouac was transferred from a forest to a field6 4.
On the contrary, the professor might have been attempting to prevent his student from spreading a crazy unproven idea. The officer told him that a tularaemia weapon had been developed in Presumably the Soviet pre-war BW programme did indeed already include activities with F. This information prompted Kliewe in to recommend measures for protection from hostile spread of F. By the way, allegations regarding the misuse of Francisella tularensis have a long tradition in the USSR. In German epidemiologist Professor Heinrich Zeiss was expelled from the Soviet Union after being involved in the control of plague, tularaemia and other infectious diseases for more than ten years.
Zeiss was accused of having provided German facilities with F. About ten years later leading Soviet microbiologists have been accused and imprisoned again, some of whom even executed, because they had allegedly performed biosabotage and spread, inter alia , tularaemia between But Kliewe did not mention any alleged or actual use of bacteria as weapons by Soviet troops or saboteurs7 3.
There have been also no other reports regarding an alleged use of BW by the Red Army which was obviously not prepared to use such weapons during WW II for several reasons7 4. Neither German medical officers nor Soviet authors considered in their publications the possibility of a hostile spread of tularaemia agents as a possible source for the infections observed.
DIRECTORS CUT, the filmography of Luk Perceval
Likewise, the sanitary officers did not discuss such a possibility in private contacts with Eduard Boecker of the Robert Koch-Institute, Berlin, who was involved in the diagnostics of tularaemia and other diseases during the war The 4 th Panzer Army did indeed interrupt their advance towards Stalingrad, but already in July — five months before the first cases of tularaemia occurred in November of that year 8 0. The advance of the troops towards Stalingrad was not delayed by the disease, but by Hitler.
On 13 July he gave orders to change the direction of their advance southward to support the 1 st Panzer Army, that had orders to cross river Don south of Stalingrad near Rostov, and to approach the Caucasus Mountains8 1. This decision was revised only 18 days later when Hitler ordered instead that the 4 th Panzer Army were to attack Stalingrad8 2.
I thank Professor Dr.
Stefan Winkle for numerous suggestions and critical review of this article; Oberstarzt Dr. Kai Homilius Verlag, Berlin. Biologische Waffen — nicht in Hitlers Arsenalen. Inglesby, D. Henderson et al. Khan, S. Lillibridge et al. Sjostedt and R. Engelberg and W. Tauxe, R.
Context sentences for "Schlacht"
Wise et al. Statement before the Joint Economic Committee, U. Congress, 20 May.
Pravda , 5 February.