Biography


Areas of study

My current area of study is Supply and Transport in the Soviet Army during the Russo-German War 1941-5. This has a rich source of Russian material although very little is written in English and there is sparse coverage by English language authors. Given a widespread lack of knowledge, it is important to use a "Comparative History" approach and lay out German methods alongside the Soviet ones to compare and contrast them. The Russo-German War faces numerous historiographic issues which have been highlighted by David Glantz. He has written extensively about the dangers of an over reliance on German archival sources and personal accounts. However since 1992 and particularly in the last ten years, the release of original material by the Russian Ministry of Defence has made this task easier and a new generation of Russia authors has written on a wide array of subjects. It is to be deplored that some Western authors continue to churn out operational books based solely on German sources without reference to the 'Other side of the hill'.

 

Study Areas

  • Soviet Army in the Russo-German War 1941-1945
  • Prussian/German Army supply and transport 1745-1945
  • British Army logistics 1715-1945
  • Logistics of the C18th and C19th
  • Civilian transport covering the same time periods

Orchid Number:  0000-0002-0956-3024


Career

Most of my career has been spent working in academic publishing on both the books and journals side, for a number of publishing houses concerned with history, international studies and military studies. These included

publishing houses

  • Frank Cass Publishing
  • Taylor and Francis
  • Yale University Press

Author

 H. G. W. Davie

H. G. W. Davie

 

Published Works

The influence of railways on military operations in the Russo-German War 1941-45

Journal of Slavic Military Studies Vol 30 Issue 02 published May 2017

How Soviet railway superiority made a significant impact on the course of the war

Abstract

In common with much of the historiography of the Russo-German War of 1941-45 there has been extensive study of the role of railways in the war with either side concentrating on different aspects of the subject. But to date there has little attempt to make a comparative study of the railways on both sides and to gauge the effect of differences in capacity on military operations and their outcomes. This lack has allowed one or both sides to obscure key failures and to deflect the influence on military operations away from railways. Yet the ubiquitous nature of railways for travel and transport in Russia, due to the large size of the country and the inability of motor vehicles to support operations beyond 3-400 km, meant that every military operation of the war was dependant on railways and the way in which they were used was a key element in their success or failure. The current study aims to compare operating practices between Soviet and German military railways, to give estimates of the railway capacity available to both sides and then to use this information to gauge the effect of this capacity on military operations.

 

Works in Preparation

A study of the rear of Combined Arms Armies during the second and Third periods of the war

Study of primary source material for the 8th Guards Army during the Vistula-Oder Operation and the 7th Guards Army during the Battle of Kursk and Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev.

The Logistics of horse-drawn armies

Addresses the conflict between Van Creveld's viewpoint and that of James Lynn to create a working model of horse drawn armies from 1613 up to 1945.