Morning Music: Sabaton

Sabaton - Primo Victoria

Sheep in the Box sends us to another metal band: Sabaton, which he says “seems to make music exclusively about historical battles.”

This relates to my day. I’ve been charged to put together some articles for a website about tanks. And I don’t know much about tanks. I’ve never found military history all that interesting.

But I was confronted with some facts that reinforce my major prejudice: that there is no magic in war. Things like technological innovation and strategic brilliance are extremely rare. Normally, the better army wins.

It was interesting to see that in World War II the Allies had far more resources than the Axis powers: troops, tanks, warships. The only reason they did as well as they did is because they started the war. There really was no question what the ultimate outcome would be.

In fact, the war was effectively over with the failure of Operation Barbarossa — the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. And that was at about the same time as the US joined the war.

(I feel it necessary to pre-defend myself here. I’m afraid some WWII buff will come along and point out that the Nazi’s almost took Moscow. Yes, they came about 8 miles from it. And then the Soviet army pushed them back a hundred miles. Regardless, I don’t know why people think that taking the capital of a country means the country is destroyed. The war would have continued. The mistake was invading the USSR in the first place. No good was coming from that.)


I like Sabaton a lot more than I do Amon Amarth. But they are still heavy metal and offer up that combination I just can’t get excited about: serious style and silly content.

Today, we listen to “Stalingrad” off their first released (second recorded) album Primo Victoria. Musically, it’s pretty good with an awesome instrumental part in the middle. The lyrics are banal.

Having said this, I could listen to Sabaton for a long time without hating it. And for a style I don’t like that much, that says a lot.

Primo Victoria cover via Amazon under Fair Use.

2 thoughts on “Morning Music: Sabaton

  1. The guitar “shredding” in that song (while, skill-wise, is very impressive indeed) reminded me of this movie clip:

    I literally snorted pop out my nose when I saw that thing in the theater. Which was fine, as virtually no-one else was in that theater.

    I’ll have to push back on Hitler/Russia a teensy bit. Up until a point, I also believed it a huge strategic blunder, trying to conquer a country for no more reason than trying to win a game of Risk. Until I was speed-reading one of Herman Wouk’s novels (long story why, short version being Herman Wouk’s WWII novels were considered essential reading in 1963 or thereabouts, so I was curious).

    The book was as terrible as you could imagine, but it did have a great observation: invading Russia was no mistake. Hitler, because he was crazy, might have wanted to plant a flag in Moscow or whatever, that wasn’t the German military’s plan. They wanted control of Russian oilfields. Germany has no oil. (They do have coal, and you can convert coal into oil, but it’s an incredibly inefficient process.) Russia has tons of oil. Germany didn’t get it. And so, by the end of the war, they were using horses to lug around artillery cannons.

    Why Napoleon invaded Russia (in winter!), that I couldn’t tell ya. But I’m sure it had at least as much sense behind it as America being the bazillionth country to try invading Afghanistan. (Pipeline routes, maybe? One of the better Bond films, from 1987, has Bond siding with the Afghan resistance to Soviet invasion. Yes, that’s James Bond, 007 himself, getting all cuddly with the Taliban. Neat stunts/score/photography, though!)

    • That’s very good. I wish it were shown before all films.

      Hitler had been talking about destroying the Soviets since the 1920s. So it was ideologically driven. You undoubtedly are right about his generals but I wonder if there wasn’t another side of this. By slowly growing the empire, German could have controlled its need for oil. It seems unlikely that the generals were pushing to expand the war given that they had enough to manage with controlling Europe and destroying the UK. And why was Germany’s intelligence on the Soviet’s tank developments so bad? That seems more a sign that they weren’t focused on opening up that front.

      Regardless, I think countries rarely go to war for rational reasons.

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