From what they were saying on the 'We have ways' podcast, Ryan did very few of the interviews himself, he had a team do it for him. Course that in itself does not make it inaccurate, but it's an odd way for a historian to work. Even less a journalist, which I believe was his previous profession.
Din't know that, although I'd say it less of a problem than how Beevor did his archival research for Stalingrad. IIRC he was totally reliant on a female Russian assistant to find stuff and tell him what it said as he did not have the language.
With ref to historians doing their own research, I've seen folk employ others to help with research, sometimes PhD students studying allied topics, especially if its extensive as it's difficult for one person to do everything. I also suspect it comes down to funding - if they could afford it I bet you'd see a lot more historians employing folk. Not me of course, I'm far to anally retentive for that...
Yeah, I remember listening to a podcast where even Beevor tacitly admitted it had aspects he was uncomfortable with. For example, he uncovered a document from the Red Army detailing about rapes in Berlin, and his female assistant retorted 'Well, after all, they were Nazi's!'. Which begs the question how much, unwittingly or otherwise, might have been missed by the translator. Nobody really wants to see their forebears in a bad light, and I think those coming from former Soviet Regimes can be particularly adept at such things.
I dont know what Ryans health was like, I think he died of Cancer in the end? So if he had a long illness it might explain it. I dont think there is anything necessarily wrong with it, I just wonder how often aspects were missed because he wasnt there grilling them. Imagine if he gave Urquhart a hard time about poncing around in an attic for example. As said though, I thought it stood up well when I read it about 20 years ago. He had a knack (particularly with Longest day) of seeing a breadth of a military operation from the eyes of the participants that is not always that easy to find.
And the Para's seemed to like it too. When I was knee high to a grasshopper, I remember looking around the Para museum at Aldershot and seeing the cover of his book fully illustrated with lights showing the battle for the bridge underway. That was something of an endorsement.
Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 31 January 2020 - 0427 AM.