| Anthony Beevor |
|Born||4 December 1946|
Kensington, London, UK
|Alma mater||Abberley Hall School, Winchester College, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst|
|Parents|| • John Beevor|
• Kinta Beevor
|Interests|| • Second World War|
• Spanish Civil War
• Information Research Department?
|Relatives||John Julius Norwich|
Anthony Beevor is a British officer and historian. His books, prominently displayed and promoted in all major bookshops, dominated - presumably with deep state support - the market on WW2 and the Soviet Union.
He then went to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he studied under the military historian John Keegan before receiving a commission in the 11th Hussars on 28 July 1967. Beevor served in England and Germany and was promoted to lieutenant on 28 January 1969 before resigning his commission on 5 August 1970.
His best-known works, the best-selling books Stalingrad (1998) and Berlin: The Downfall 1945 (2002), recount the World War II battles between the Soviet Union and Germany. He has also written several other books on WW2 and the Spanish Civil War.
Soviet black legend
Because he finds in the Soviet Union, with very few exceptions, no real military profession after the purges of 1937-38, and in any case no continuity to the old Russian officer milieu, his criticism is directed against the Red Army in general. The criticism ranges across the scale, such as that the victories on the Eastern Front are due to terror against their own soldiers, that the Soviet soldiers committed boundless mass atrocities against foreign peoples – sometimes also their own – with looting and murder, that Soviet military leaders committed the most unreasonable professional military mistakes because of Stalin's psychology, because of their communist convictions or simply because of a lack of elementary knowledge. His image of the Soviet military leader is that he was primitive, uncivilized, drunken and ignorant. His soldier image is more complex. We occasionally find an honest, decent person, but almost never an honest Communist. Most far fetched, perhaps, is his thesis that the Red Army turned into a regular pack of robbers as soon as they crossed into Germany, and his thesis – presented as truth in several books – that virtually all German women of accessible age and health were raped, and that very many ordinary soldiers were rapists, with Stalin's benign acceptance, of course.
The controversiality in Beevor's views lies not in the claim that there were abuses on the Eastern Front by the Red Army, as in all wars, but in the sheer scale he claims they had. Methodologically, it can also be objected that he uses a completely different template in his depiction of the Red Army than on the armies of other countries. He does not reflect on whether similar abuses by Western allied armed forces took place. It is perhaps no coincidence that such is not focused in Western military history.
Borgersrud also point out that:
There is something strange about Beevor's writing: since 1998 he has published the four major books Stalingrad (1998), Berlin: The Downfall 1945 (2002), The Mystery of Olga Chekhova (2004), edited A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945 (2005), and contributed in several others, such as in the The British Army, Manpower and Society into the Twenty-First Century.
All claim to be based on thorough archival studies, extensive text analysis and the collection of interview material. That means a work of hundreds of pages practically every year. For those who have been through similar work and visited the same archives, this appears to be at the limit of what is physically possible. It takes many years to write a good historical research paper. Most historians fail it no more than once in their lives, the most skilled at most two or three times. But Beevor publishes such books on assembly lines. One has to wonder how he gets it. Does he have an invisible staff of helpers? He himself presents himself as an ordinary solo historian.
- Violent Brink. London: John Murray, 1975. ISBN 978-0-7195-3241-2
- For Reasons of State. London: Jonathan Cape, 1980. ISBN 978-0-224-01930-9
- The Faustian Pact. London: Jonathan Cape, 1983. ISBN 978-0-02-030461-6
- The Enchantment of Christina von Retzen. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989. ISBN 978-0-297-79523-0
- The Spanish Civil War. London: Orbis, 1982. ISBN 978-0-14-100148-7
- Inside the British Army. London: Chatto and Windus, 1990. ISBN 978-0-552-13818-5
- Crete: The Battle and the Resistance. London: John Murray, 1991. ISBN 978-0-14-016787-0
- with Artemis Cooper. Paris After the Liberation, 1944–1949. London: Penguin, 1994.
- Stalingrad. London: Viking Press, 1998. ISBN 978-0-670-87095-0
- Berlin: The Downfall 1945. London: Penguin, 2002. ISBN 978-0-670-03041-5 (Published as The Fall of Berlin 1945 in the U.S.)
- The Mystery of Olga Chekhova. London: Penguin, 2004. ISBN 978-0-670-03340-9
- The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2006. ISBN 978-0-14-303765-1
- D-Day: The Battle for Normandy. London: Penguin, 2009. ISBN 978-0-670-02119-2
- The Second World War. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2012. ISBN 978-0-316-02374-0
- Ardennes 1944: Hitler's Last Gamble. Viking, 2015. ISBN 978-0-670-91864-5
- Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944. Viking, 2018. ISBN 978-0-241-32676-3
- Russia: Revolution and Civil War, 1917—1921. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2022. ISBN 978-1-474-61014-8
- A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941–1945 by Vasily Grossman. ISBN 978-0-375-42407-6
- The British Army, Manpower and Society into the Twenty-First Century, ed by Hew Strachan ISBN 978-0-7146-8069-9
- What Ifs? of American History: Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been, by Robert Cowley (Editor), Antony Beevor and Caleb Carr. (2003) ISBN 978-0-425-19818-6