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|WorldWar2.ro Forum > Eastern Front (1941-1944) > Suvorov books|
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi August 04, 2007 10:17 pm|
| In majority of his books Suvorov claims: URSS WAS PLANING A INVASION IN 1941, the spearhead of the invasion would be aimed at the romanian oil.
In 1941 the romanian army faced the 9th soviet army and the 18th army, were this armys enough for invasion?
if not what aditional forces could the russians deploy? the 12 Army ? or second echelon forces ?
|Posted by: warhunter October 03, 2008 03:39 pm|
| The Soviet 9th Army was of Army Group size and was part of a combined arms teams directed at invading Romania.
On 21 June 1941, the 9th Army had 17 divisions in all, including two air, four tank, two motorized, two cavalry and seven rifle. It was very similar to other heavy shock armies, but it was planned to add to the 9th Army yet another mechanized corps, the 24th, commanded by Major-General I. E. Petrov. This corps was established in the Turkestan Military District, and was secretly transferred westwards before its formation had been fully completed. After it had been included, the Army's complement consisted of 20 divisions, including six tank. At full strength, the seven corps of the 9th Army had 3,341 tanks. This was roughly the same number as the Wehrmacht had; in quality, they were superior. According to Colonel-General P. Belov (at that time he was a major-general, commander of the 2nd Cavalry Corps of the 9th Army), it was intended to give T-34 tanks even to the cavalry of this army. (VIZH, 1959, No. u, p. 66)
The 9th Army had so far had undistinguished commanders. Then everything changed. The 9th Army was given a colonel-general as its commander. It was an exceptionally high rank at the time. There were only eight colonel-generals in the whole of the armed forces of the Soviet Union, while the tank troops had none, the air arms had none, and the NKVD had none. Thirty Soviet armies were led by major-generals and lieutenant generals. The 9th Army was the only exception. In addition, some very bright generals and officers had joined this exceptional army, including three future marshals of the Soviet Union, R. Ya Malinovsky, M. V. Zakharov, and N. I. Krylov; A. Poryshkin, a future air marshal and three times Hero of the Soviet Union; and I. E. Petrov, I. G. Pavlovsky, P. N. Lashchenko, all future full generals of the Army. Many other talented and aggressive commanders, who had already distinguished themselves in battle, joined, including the 28-year-old Air Major-General A. Osipnenko. There is no escaping the impression that somebody's solicitous hand was selecting everything which was best and most promising for this unusual army.
Here we come to a small but significant discovery. The most powerful army in the world was set up in the Soviet Union in the first half of June 1941. It was not set up on the German frontier, but on the border of Romania. After its first disappearance, the 9th Army had suddenly turned up in June 1940 on the Romanian
frontier. By this stage, it had already assumed its new capacity as a real shock army. It was soon to participate in the 'liberation' of Bessarabia; Soviet sources indicate that 'the 9th Army was created specially to solve this important problem'. (VIZH, 1972, No. 10, p. 83)
The training of the army had been accomplished by the most aggressive of Soviet commanders, K. K. Rokossovsky, who by then had been released from prison. The 9th Army became part of the Southern Front as the key lead army, playing the same role as the 7th Army had done in Finland. The Front was under Zhukov's personal command.
After the brief 'liberation campaign', the 9th Army disappeared again. Then, under cover of the TASS report of 13 June 1941, it turned up again in the same place. By now, though, it was no longer simply a shock invasion army. It had become a heavy shock army, and was on the way to becoming the most powerful army in the world. Its purpose can hardly have been defensive, for there were very few troops on the Romanian side of the frontier. Even if there had been, no aggressor would have delivered his main strike through Romania, for the most elementary geographical reasons. Another 'liberation campaign' by the 9th Army into Romania,
however, could have changed the entire strategic balance in Europe and in the world. Romania was Germany's basic source of oil. A strike at Romania would ground all Germany's aircraft, and bring all its tanks, machines, ships, industry and transport to a halt.
That is why the most promising commanders were to be found there. The 9th Army suddenly appeared on the Romanian frontier in the middle of June 1941. But this suddenness was only for the benefit of outside observers; in fact, the 9th Army had never left the area since 'liberating' Bessarabia in the middle of 1940. It was simply that its name had not been used officially for some time, and orders had gone directly to the corps from the headquarters of the Military District. The headquarters of the 9th Army and the headquarters of the Odessa Military District (established in October 1939) simply merged into one entity and then equally simply separated again on 13 June.
Experience shows that, after a shock army appears on the borders of a small country, an order to 'liberate' the neighbor's territory is sure to follow within the month. Irrespective of how events might have unfolded had Soviet troops invaded Germany (which incidentally was just as unprepared for defense as the Soviet Union was), the outcome of the war could have been decided far from the main battlefields. Stalin was clearly counting on this. That was why the 9th Army was the strongest. That was why, as early as March 1941, at a time when the 9th Army officially still did not exist, there arrived there a youngish, highly audacious major general named Radion Yakovlevich Malinovsky. This was the same Malinovsky who four years later was to astonish the world with the tremendous strike he delivered across hills and wilderness into the vast heartland of Manchuria.
In 1941 the task facing Malinovsky and his colleagues in the 9th Army was a fairly simple one. They were faced with a distance of only 180 kilometers to traverse, as opposed to 810 kilometers in Manchuria; not across hills and wilderness, but across a plain with really good roads. The attack had to be made, not against the Japanese Army, but against the considerably weaker Romanian one. What is more, it was planned to give the 9th Army three times more tanks than the 6th Guards Tank Army would have in 1945.
Hitler allowed none of this to happen. A German government statement handed over to the Soviet government on the outbreak of war in the East gives the reasons for Germany's action. One of these reasons was that Soviet troops were being concentrated unjustifiably on the frontier with Romania, and that this represented a mortal danger for Germany. None of this has been invented by Goebbels's propaganda. The 9th (heavy shock) Army had been established exclusively as an offensive army. According to evidence from Colonel-General P. Belov, the 9th Army usually 'regarded every defensive problem as short-term, even after German operations had begun on Soviet territory'. (VIZH, 1959, No. n, p. 65) But then this was the trouble with not just the 9th Army, but with all the other armies as well.
Three times Hero of the Soviet Union, Marshal of the Air Force A. I. Pokryshkin (then a senior lieutenant and deputy commander of a fighter squadron belonging to the 9th Army) sheds an interesting light on the 9th Army's mood. Here is his conversation with a 'filthy bourgeois', whose shop had been confiscated by his 'liberators'. The scene takes place in the spring of 1941, in 'liberated' Bessarabia: 'Ah, Bucharest! You should see what a fine city it is.' 'I'll certainly see it sometime,' I answered with conviction. The shop-owner opened his eyes wide, waiting for me to go on. I had to change the subject. (A. I. Pokryshkin: Nebo voiny, Novosibirsk ZSKI, 1968, p. 10)
Taken From Viktor Suvorov's excellent and well researched book, Icebreaker
|Posted by: MMM January 31, 2009 08:21 am|
|This is right. However, when reading more of Suvorov, one cannot help noticing there are some "logical faults" from point to point, the same kind of "lies" he accuses the SU historians to be guilty of. In conclusion, Suvorov's books are very interesting, they try (and in some respects do) to overthrow some of the myths of SU in WW2, BUT they are not to be taken literally, not to be trusted 100%! Let's not forget he was a spy...|
|Posted by: Florin February 01, 2009 09:16 pm|
| Amused, Hitler himself told to his closest collaborators that Soviet Union missed a rare opportunity to deliver a mortal blow to Germany in 1940. In his words, with only 60 divisions the Soviets will be able to conquer Romania in 1940, thus depriving Germany of the Romanian oil.
I am assuming that the opportunity Hitler mentioned was in the weeks when Germany was busy with France and Great Britain on the Western Front.
|Posted by: MMM February 06, 2009 04:48 pm|
| It would seem so, but Suvorov says - he is very plausible, IMO - that Hitler hadn't finished his job yet (to set Europe on fire, that is) and he had to expect a little more. An interesting scenario would have been to attack Hitler during the Seelowe (which fortunately never happened), when all the airforce and his best divisions would have been blocked in France and in England. Plus the fact the Soviets didn't have a reason as yet (not that they'd care about that, anyway).
I think Suvorov's thesis (the "red line" in all his books) is somehow plausible and he has quite some data supporting his theories; in another way, one has to be very careful when following the logic of his affirmations, because it is a well-known fact that "the best way to make one believe a lie is to present it between two truths so evident that no one would dare to contest them".I don't know who said that, but it's very appropriate to Suvorov's books! Should we not forget the fact that he was a spy and now, as a "refugee", he doesn't have any source of income other than writing; so, his writing must continue to be shocking, to make people buy them. (I guess)
|Posted by: dragos February 07, 2009 09:54 am|
| Several post concerning Operation Seelowe have been moved here:
|Posted by: MMM February 07, 2009 04:02 pm|
|This thread was supposed to be about Vladimir Rezun (oh, sorry, Victor Suvorov he tells himself after fleeing USSR) and his writings. Seelowe appeared only as a debate prop in here. Let's get back to him...|
|Posted by: contras December 31, 2009 12:54 am|
| Maybe the writtigs of Suvorov can be true. His real name is Vladimir Rezun, and his nickname, Suvorov, was quite inapropiate, because Suvorov was one of the greatest Russian generals before ww2 (he and Skobelev). Suvorov, the real one, Conte de Ramnic, after the battle of Ramnic, in Romania, said, about the same time like general Bulow, from Austria, the same words.
"I'll leave to Romanians just their eyes, so they can cry".
It is a sentence, and a fact.
|Posted by: MMM February 14, 2010 04:56 pm|
|Hey, I've found out about an opponent to Suvorov/Rezun. His name is Gabriel Gorodetsky. Has anyone read his theories?|
|Posted by: contras February 14, 2010 05:06 pm|
You know, he has many opponents, each one with a small part of his theories.
I'm not read about this Gorodetsky, but I'm interested. Any info or links?
|Posted by: Victor February 15, 2010 07:34 am|
I believe it was Kutuzov who reportedly said that, not Suvorov. See Kiritescu's book on WW1.
|Posted by: contras February 15, 2010 08:57 am|
I remember that maybe Austrian general Bucov said something like that, too.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi February 15, 2010 11:03 am|
[The Soviet 24th mechanised corps was at 60 % strength in june 1941 it was commanded by Gen.-Major V.I. Chistyakov HQ Proskurov- Ucraine.
It had the grand total of 222 tanks (~ as much as Romania had in 1941 ).
Major-General I. E. Petrov commanded the soviet 27th corps hq Mary- Turkestan it had 356 tanks ( Bt and t-26 ).
|Posted by: MMM February 15, 2010 04:53 pm|
| @contras: no links, just read about him in some anti-Suvorov books. That was the reason I asked in the first place...
@152: where do you get these figures? Why would I believe you and not Suvorov/Rezun?
Finally, one "single" question: if Stalin wouldn't have decided to attack Hitler, why did he mass all those forces he had next to the fronteers - in a definitely offensive manner?
|Posted by: ANDREAS February 15, 2010 06:17 pm|
| Hallo everybody,
For anyone interested in the real strength of the Red Army in the period 1940 -1941, a very detailed and well documented internet site, based (as someone from Moldova Republic told me) on the Soviet military archives. The only little problem is that it is only in Russian... So if you know russian, you are lucky... The link is http://mechcorps.rkka.ru/files/mechcorps/index.htm
From comparing data from Suvorov-s books and the one taken from this site I found (at least for the soviet mechanised units and their equipment) no difference. I think the essence of the dispute (Suvorov - anti-Suvorov) lies in the interpretation of Soviet military leadership intentions in summer 1941, for about technical and numerical force of the Soviet army, that does not leave room for interpretations... at least compared to the Romanian Army! Some of the Suvorov theories were taken (after verification) very seriously by our historians as Florin CONSTANTINIU, Ilie SCHIPOR - Trecerea Nistrului (1941) : O decizie controversată, Editura Albatros, Bucureşti, 1995. I speak here about the possibility of a Soviet Army attack in summer 1941 against Romania, possibility recognized (with some reserves) even by some high ranked soviet military, and proved with captured documents.
|Posted by: Victor February 15, 2010 06:52 pm|
| The Soviet mechanized forces in Bessarabia are well presented in the article I wrote in the 3rd issue of Modelist magazine. There was no 24th Mechanized Corps, just the 2nd and 18th Mechanized Corps. The 2nd Mechanzied Corps was relatively strong with 517 tanks, including 10 KV-1 and 50 T-34. The rest were BT-5 and 7. The 18th Mechanized Corps was, however, 282 tanks strong, all of which were the obsolete T-26 type. How many of these were actually serviceable is still an unanswered question.
Thus the total strength is around 800 tanks, far away from the 3,341+ claimed by Rezun.
|Posted by: contras February 15, 2010 07:32 pm|
|The possibility of an atack against Romania after June 1940, when we evacuated Bassarabia an Northern Bukovina, was indicated by Constantin Kiritescu in his book about Romania in ww2, when he said that the reason for occupation of Northern Bukovina was the fact that it was an excellent base for a future atack against Romania, because the direction of the hills and valleys in Moldova was North - South, and any defence can be outflanked by an attack from Northern Bukovina.|
|Posted by: Victor February 15, 2010 08:16 pm|
|Northern Bukovina was occupied because Hitler protested and said he would not accept the occupation of the entire Bukovina, as Stalin wished. There was no master plan. It was just a land-grabbing campaign of the USSR.|
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi February 15, 2010 08:50 pm|
+ 16th mecanised soviet corps ( 15th tank division Stanislav, 39th tank division Cernauti, 240 motorised division Kamenetz Podolski )
73% strenght 612 tanks
|Posted by: contras February 15, 2010 09:04 pm|
Agree, but that's not the point.
If we look at the map, from Bukovina to south, you can see that the valleys are going from north to south, and the hills were oriented the same. The defence positions must be on top of the hills, oriented east. Bukovina occupied (northern or all), the defence positions were outflanked from north.
Bukovina was never part of Russia, he was claimed in reparation for the "Romanian occupation of Bassarabia". And one of the strategic reason was that it could be a base from an attack against Romania, via Moldavia.
|Posted by: ANDREAS February 15, 2010 10:00 pm|
| Another source of good information which I assume correct -including a map (very interesting one) could be found at http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/maps/other/Location_June_22_41.jpg
And the site is in english, for those interested!
According to the above mentioned map (and other informations on the site) which describes the positioning of large units of the Soviet Army first, as well as those of Germany and its allies on the other hand, there were two mechanised corps - 2nd Mechanised Corps commanded by Lt.-Gen. J.V. Novoselsky (527 tanks in which 50 T-34 and 10 KV-1) and 18th Mechanised Corps commanded by Gen.-Major P.V. Volokh (282 tanks with no T-34 and KV-1 at all) stationed in Bessarabia. These big soviet armored units were overwhelmingly strong compared to the german-romanian forces and only the confusion and disruption resulting from the german success in the western border areas of Soviet Union (and of course the powerful attacks of the german Luftwaffe!) has impeded their probably successful defence operations and even rejection over border of the german-romanian troops. Yes, the german-romanian troops had more infantry divisions in the area, but the soviets had the advantage of armor and artillery! The withdrawal of some armored units (of these Mechanised Corps) in July 1941 lessen the burden of the attacking German-Romanian forces, and led to the success that we know...
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi February 16, 2010 08:19 am|
Certainly looks pretty Andreas
And look The 16th and 24th mechanized corps are exactly were I said the were...
|Posted by: Victor February 16, 2010 11:08 am|
Yet none of those was in Bessarabia or subordinated to the 9th Army.
|Posted by: Victor February 16, 2010 11:16 am|
No, that's exactly the point. The fact that Bukovina was a good base for attack against the forces in Moldavia, is not what I objected to. I objected to the claim that this was the driver for its occupation by the Soviets.
Consider that the Soviets were actually preparing for an offensive against Romania from Bukovina. Why weren't there more mechanized forces concentrated there on 22 June 1941?
|Posted by: Victor February 16, 2010 11:50 am|
Actually the vast majority were retreated in order to be used against the German spearhead in the battle for Uman.
|Posted by: MMM February 16, 2010 01:56 pm|
|Success? Or rather "succesuri": the battle was fought against an enemy who was anyway withdrawing; it was a rear-guard battle! The hypothesis of war (for the Romanian forces, from the OKW point of view) were two: "Nachstoss" (accelerated following of enemy forces retreating, trying to inflict as many losses as possible) and "Munchen", which provided the possibility of resistence from the Soviet forces, also retreating! Of course, the latter was actually applied: the Red Army didn't release any land without a fight, although the retreat was clear for everybody! Why else would have we (Romanian forces - and Germans attacking from Romania) waited two weeks after june 22-nd?|
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi February 16, 2010 02:22 pm|
That would mean exposing the direction of the attack from the start. We would have deploied more divisions there and they would lose the surprise element.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi February 16, 2010 02:39 pm|
They're advantage in artilery is in infantry mortars and antitank guns. In terms of fields cannons and howitzers the numbers are comparable.
|Posted by: contras February 16, 2010 04:20 pm|
Waited for front line to be shorter, after the advance of Army Group Center. If Army Group South (southern part of it) attacked earlier, would prononce an exposed left flank.
|Posted by: ANDREAS February 16, 2010 10:03 pm|
According to the map mentioned above, in 22 june 1941 in Northern Bukovina, stayed in position two soviet infantry/mountain divisions and one tank division - with 209 light tanks T-26 (two thirds of them being operable in july 1941), with another mountain division capable of intervention when needed. On our side of the border stayed three mountain brigades, one cavalry brigade and one infantry division. It's obvious that the soviet forces in the area (Northern Bukovina) were strong enough to initiate when necessary an offensive action towards Romania... even in the absence of other mechanised units.
|Posted by: Victor February 17, 2010 07:28 am|
I am sorry, but this argument makes absolutely no sense to me in the given conditions. The Red Army was strong enough to concentrate a large amount of forces so that they wouldn't need the "element of surprise" if they wished to attack in June 1941, as Rezun claims. Yet they didn't and is only logically to presume that they were not planning the attack in June 1941.
|Posted by: Victor February 17, 2010 07:43 am|
The OKW did not consider that the forces it had at its disposal in Romania were strong enough to initiate an offensive on their own. Thus the idea was to wait for the bulk of Army Group South to bypass the Prypyiat Marshes and then swing south, so that the relatively strong Soviet forces in the area be attacked from two directions and pose less of a challenge to the weaker Romanian-German Army Group.
In Bessarabia, Tiulenev, the CO of the 9th Army overestimated the strength of the forces it had in front of him and started to retreat towards the Stalin Line, while the 12th Army was retreating from Northern Bukovina. This led to the capture of the Northern part of Bessarabia in several days after the initiation of the ground offensive. STAVKA canceled the order and set the line of the Prut as the new target for the 9th Army. It was already tool ate for this and the Axis managed to capture most of the center of Bessarabia, including Chisinau.
After the German 11th Army (including the 3rd Romanian Army) forced the Stalin Line and crossed the Dnestr and with the 1st Panzer Group and 17th Army sweeping down from the North behind the Soviet forces, Stavka ordered the 9th Army to evacuate Southern Bessarabia.
|Posted by: MMM February 17, 2010 07:47 am|
| So the retreat was a local, operational decision? If so, this changes many theories, but it has to be proved! Was Tiulenev executed later, by any chance?
I'm still not sure whwther the Soviet dispositive in june 1941 was offensive or defensive. Suvorov/Rezun claims it was offensive - and many other things are concurring to this theory. Is it so?
|Posted by: Victor February 17, 2010 07:47 am|
Those forces did not outnumber the Romanian ones, by a sufficient margin (if they actually outnumbered them at all - some calculations need to be done). In my opinion it is not that obvious that they were strong enough to initiate a serious offensive towards Romania.
|Posted by: Victor February 17, 2010 07:51 am|
Read David Glantz's book on Operation Barbarossa. It's not fiction like Rezun's "work", but based on real documents researched in the Russian archive by a professional American military historian. There really is no comparison between the two. Altough everyone is entitled to its own opinion, I would appreciate it if here we would see more seriously sourced information (please do not consider Rezun a "source").
|Posted by: MMM February 17, 2010 07:53 am|
|I tried to find Glantz or Gorodetsky, but... in vain! Not on the Net, nor in libraries... Please give "us" a source, because Rezun can be found everywhere!|
|Posted by: Imperialist February 17, 2010 08:17 am|
|You can find a lot of D. Glantz books on Amazon.|
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi February 17, 2010 09:00 am|
The t-26 and bt are not amphibious. They would need to attack the same way we deed : capture the bridgeheads over the Prut and expand them . Only afterward they could commit they're armor to the fight.
But we were ready and we had more infantry divisions to repeal them.
|Posted by: MMM February 17, 2010 10:50 am|
Oh, thanks a lot! Why didn't I think of it? I mean, of course I'd very much like to pay a lot and wait for two-three weeks for some book!
In the meantime, I've found the PDF version of Glantz "Hitler's invasion ..."
For free and right now
|Posted by: Imperialist February 17, 2010 05:10 pm|
|Paying around 50$ on a book is not a lot. Even if financially things are not great one can still save 20$ (meager amount) out of one's monthly wage and be able to buy a good book in 2-3 months' time. In 3-years' time (length of university education nowadays) one can build a decent bibliography. Provided one actually needs it or badly wants it. Of course, it's easier to steal.|
|Posted by: guina February 17, 2010 06:15 pm|
| Imp,a bit harsh,eh?
Any idea how much earns a teacher nowdays?
|Posted by: Imperialist February 17, 2010 07:50 pm|
I don't think it's harsh at all. Their private tutoring systems are highly lucrative and tax exempt and if they're not involved in that they can cut down their consumption of cigarettes and in some cases booze.
|Posted by: ANDREAS February 17, 2010 09:53 pm|
This statement was given by the soviet general short time after his capture and surely before his cohabitation with the germans... And as a commander of the soviet 4th Mechanised Corps we can imagine that Vlasov had informations related to a presumed soviet attack plan against Germany and his allies.
|Posted by: ANDREAS February 18, 2010 12:08 am|
Waching the overall situation (on 22 june 1941) you could be right, but at least in the Bukovina sector the soviet forces were superior to our troops. Obviously taking into account the soviet armor... and the poor antitank equipment of our Mountain Brigades... To be realistic it is clear that the soviet armor would not be attacked before the soviet infantry & mountain divisions have made a breach into the romanian defensive line... and the soviet armored columns would have a free entry into the deep of our territory... and forgot to mention that a mechanised division (from the same Corps as the Cernauti-based Tank Division) was stationed at Kamenets-Podolsky, not far from Nistru...
|Posted by: MMM February 18, 2010 05:56 am|
| @Imperialist: (OoT) dude, you sound almost like the Ministry of Finances! Why pay for a book when you can get it for free? Also, try and see what "consumption" really means. Afterwards, try to think (if possible, for you, of course) what happens if one doesn't smoke or drinks and neither has "tutoring"! Or perhaps should I begin smoking just to have the pleasure of quitting afterwards?
@Andreas: Vlasov says August-September, but Rezun says July 6-th. Why the difference?
|Posted by: Victor February 18, 2010 07:30 am|
This is the book I am talking about:
|Posted by: Victor February 18, 2010 07:49 am|
Actually, I am referring only to the Bukovina sector, when I am saying that the Soviets were not strong enough. It is highly unlikely that the 2-3 Soviet mountain rifle divisions could breach the front defended by the 3 Romanian mountain brigades, one infantry division and 2 cavalry brigades. The terrain is rugged and favorable for the defense, with the exception of the Siret Valley. Historically, Soviet infantry did not fare too good in offensive operations against the Romanian infantry, especially against mountain troops fighting in their element. Why are you sure they could so easily breach the line?
Also, the Red Army of 1941 was a very different thing from that of 1944. The expertise of carrying out deep mechanized operations was not there and neither were the machines to do it successfully (tanks and trucks). There would be no "free entry into Romanian territory" with the forces they had at their disposal on our borders.
|Posted by: Victor February 18, 2010 08:04 am|
Ok, you lost me. What rivers need to be crossed in order to get from Northern to Southern Bukovina and advance down the Siret Valley? As far as one can see on the map, the Soviets already had a huge bridgehead south of the Prut because of the way the frontier was carved up. Also, this bridgehead is poised on the Siret Valley, which seems the easiest and most logical route for a force that would try to outflank the Romanian-German defence on the Prut line.
Their only problem was that they didn't have enough forces there to actually break the front, even with the "element of surprise" you mentioned. It makes perfect sense to assume that if the Soviets actually wanted to attack and outflank the defense on the Prut by striking in Bukovina, they would have concentrated a sufficient number of troops there. I am not familiar with any major Soviet offensive that relied only on the element of surprise, without having also a sufficient numerical and material superiority. Please feel free to mention it.
|Posted by: Imperialist February 18, 2010 08:13 am|
I'd agree if we were talking about books that cost 100-200$. But books that cost 30-40-50$ on Amazon are not out of reach for people in Romania. It's only a question of principles and determination. And maybe some patience.
|Posted by: contras February 18, 2010 09:43 am|
|We always refer at soviet troops who were in position at 22 June 1941. But must take to account the next programed build-up until 7 July, date for Suvorov/Rezun presumable attack. In this two weeks, could soviet army bring enough troops to initiate a devastating attack against Romania?|
|Posted by: MMM February 18, 2010 09:57 am|
| Of course it could - and it had done so, after Suvorov. His theories are "plausible", to say the least. The problem comes from two main things (IMO):
1. It overthrows most of the traditional theories regarding ww2
2. In the absence of "direct" proof from Soviet archives, it it is hard either to corroborate or to deny his "allegations".
End of Part I
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi February 18, 2010 01:16 pm|
That was my point from the start.
On the first post on this topic i have asked:
Was the 9th army strong enough to invade romania as Suvorov writes ?
Or the 12th army was also needed ?
I was constanly reminded on this topic on how much tanks the 9th army had. I wanted to make the distinction that they are not amphibious and the 9th army lacks infantry to carve up a bridgehead to use them.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi February 18, 2010 02:02 pm|
I have already mentioned the 16th mechanized corps of the 12th army.
And no, it does not make sense to concentrate more forces there. More than 600 tanks are enough for a surprise attack.
Here is one example :
After Bagration started the germans fail to appreciate the danger posed to A.G.C. ( after all , 4 of the the soviet tank army's were in Ukraine ).
IMHO the 12th army presents a similar treat to Romania in 1941. The presence of the 9th army ( with so many tanks ) in Basarabia forces us to defend the Prut river but leave us vulnerable from a attack from Bucovina.
Had more tanks bean deployed in Bucovina our defenses would be concentrated up north and fewer on the prut River. My guess is that since the prut river was a natural obstacle by itself , our deployment suited the soviets just fine.
|Posted by: Victor February 18, 2010 03:48 pm|
Let's recapitulate. I asked contras why if the Soviets were supposedly preparing to attack Romania from Bukovina, why were there so few forces concentrated there. You intervened in the discussion and replied in his place that it was supposedly the element of surprise. Correct so far?
I considered my intelligence was insulted by this reply, so I stated the obvious by saying that the Soviets could care less about the element of surprise if they didn't have also a comfortable superiority for the supposed offensive. They did not have the usual comfortable superiority of the latter years. It is relatively easy to do the math.
To this you replied by switching the focus to Bessarabia, which wasn't the subject of the discussion I had initiated with contras. And now you say that you were constantly reminded how much tanks the 9th Army had? What does that have to do with anything of the above? My earlier post about the strength of the tank forces of the 9th Army was a correction of what "warhunter" has written in reply to your post in 2007 and which needed to be corrected, because it was a horribly false information. You replied that there was also the 16th Mechanized Corps, but my post was about Bessarabia and the 9th Army.
In conclusion, after all this babble, if you don't read what is posted and reply in real relation to it, I would simply ignore the post. I no longer have the time and energy to waste on diversionary tactics.
|Posted by: Victor February 18, 2010 03:51 pm|
1. The 16th Mechanized Corps was deployed only partially in Bukovina, which does not automatically mean that it would have been committed entirely against Romania. If the Soviet Union attacked it would attack also the German forces in Poland. There is no way of knowing if the entire 16th Mechanized Corps would be committed southwards
2. The 16th Mechanized Corps was equipped with 484 T-26 and BT tanks, not with 600. Its strength was:
Armored cars: 118
Source: D. Glantz, Stumbling Colossus, page 155
According to the same source, page 118, on average 29% of the Soviet older tanks required capital repairs on 15 June 1941 and 44% lesser maintenance. This seriously diminishes the actual combat strength of corps equipped with such models like the 16th Corps. In fact, during teh early days of Barbarossa, the Soviets lost a huge number of tanks because of mechanical failures and the impossibility to repair (lack of technicians) or tow them to a repair station (lack of appropriate tractors). The expertise of conducting and of executing armored operations in the style of those in 1943-45 simply wasn't there.
The newer Soviet mechanized corps, including the 16th, were missing a lot of key personnel, starting technicians to drivers, from qualified tank officers to staff officers. The 16th MC was among the several such Soviet units that even lacked an operational and staff intelligence section! I find very hard to believe that this unit, even if theoretically it was to be committed entirely against the Romania troops would be enough to break through the Siret Valley.
3. I asked for an example, and I quote,
Bagration does not qualify, because the Soviets had a considerable superiority in men and material, something which, for the nth and last time, they did not have in Northern Bukovina at the end of June 1941.
Like I said, the Soviets never relied solely on surprise.
4 and final. It would be indicated for Rezun's theory supporters to take a look at David Glantz's Stumbling Colossus to get a glimpse at the poor state the Red Army was in June 1941. It relatively obvious that there was no "grand offensive" planned for June-July 1941.
But everyone is entitled to an opinion. However, please start presenting some sources, otherwise there is no actual point in debating.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi February 18, 2010 06:17 pm|
Correct, that is my opinion.
I did not intended to insult your intelligence. Every competent military comander
strives to acheive the element of surprise ( even if it has a comfortable superiority and more so when it does not ). Only idiots do frontal asaults against fortified lines and care less about cassualties.
This is wrong.
I did not switch anything, my intention was to present all the soviet tank forces on our borders, which your reply with "warhunter" did not.
|Posted by: contras February 18, 2010 07:31 pm|
I put a question few replies earlier.
"We always refer at soviet troops who were in position at 22 June 1941. But must take to account the next programed build-up until 7 July, date for Suvorov/Rezun presumable attack. In this two weeks, could soviet army bring enough troops to initiate a devastating attack against Romania? "
But even if the answer is yes, it is not a complete answer.
Sun Tzu said about two armies, main and second, main attacks on front, second outflanked, if enemy reply acordingly, the second become main and the main become second, in infinite posibilities.
Even Stalin was an evil genius, he was a genius. A military one.
If he wants to attack Romania from northern Bukovina, he will not put in position his tanks, even in the last moment, to not loose the surprise element. And this attack would take place not in 7 July, as Suvorov/Rezun presume, but later, because in 7 July Stalin would attack on the Prut river, to fix German-Romanian defence, and later, few days, maybe a week, would attack from northern Bukovina, outflanked German - Romanian defensive positions. Many of them would be taken from the rear, and nothing could stop them until Focsani and Galati's Gap (Poarta Galatiului).
|Posted by: MMM February 18, 2010 07:43 pm|
| @contras: For a speculative "Rezunian" theory, this sounds "reasonable"!
@Victor: I fail to see the difference between the Soviet forces in Bessarabia and the Soviet forces in Bukovina, since all could be directed against the rest of Romanian territorz, at whose new borders they were "waiting".
|Posted by: contras February 18, 2010 07:43 pm|
| Other thing, Suvorov/Rezun said that in 1941, Red Army was at it's best, David Glantz, I understand he said that R.A. was at it's worst. As usualy, the truth is somewhere at the middle.
I do not believe that Red army was so bad, because it proves that: Halhin Gol (1939) and Winter War (1940) said much to me. Of course, in Winter War soviets lost 1 million men, but in 3 month they stabbed the Mannerheim fortified line, in winter conditions, blizzard and frost, temperatures up to -40C.
|Posted by: MMM February 18, 2010 08:05 pm|
|So you agree with Rezun that was a proof of its endurance. I just wonder whether it was wise (militarily speaking) to frontally attack during winter the Mannerheim Line - and also what other leader except Stalin could have got away with those losses...|
|Posted by: contras February 18, 2010 08:36 pm|
| As usual, MMM, you don't read my words, and come with some conclusions.
I must explain myself to you, again.
I don't said that I'm agree with Rezun or it is a proof of endurance, or if was wise or not.
The context it was about the strenght or the weakness of Soviet Army. I said that the truth is somewhere in the middle, and RA was not so weak as Glantz said (I took it from Victor's quotte, I'm don't find Glantz's books until now), and not so strong that Rezun said.
I give examples, as Halhin Gol and Winter War, where they lost 1 million men, but achieved their objective. It was not wise, not strategical, beyond any human mind, to loose 1 million men just like that.
IMO, Winter War was for Stalin just a test.
He wanted to test his army, to force it beyond any human capability, and see how much this army can carry on. And Red Army passed the test.
Of course, with commisaires Nagans on the back of the every soldier skul.
Red Army lost 1 million men in inhuman environment, and the soldiers didn't revolt, attacked the enemy when Stalin said so, and so on. Now, this army was ready for Stalin's plans.
|Posted by: MMM February 18, 2010 08:58 pm|
| An involontary test for Stalin! You should notice that was the first and last time that the Red Army had a frontal winter offensive. I think it was the Darwinian principle - survival of the fittest - for the Winter War!
AFAIK, the Halhin Gol losses were a joke compared with the Winter War and the rest of ww2 offensives:
One more thing: the Mannerheim line was "stabbed" in less than a month, when the Soviets decided to wage a serious all-out war, finally! The fact that Anglo-French intervention came closer also helped the Soviets to try and end faster the conflict...
And I do read your words and also beyond them, for I'm the keeper of the purple flame
(remember Lord Of The Rings I, the scene with Gandalf and the Balrog?)
Later edit: funny thing about Khalkhin Gol: it seems that only G. Jukov (Zhukov) finally survived from the participating generals from both sides; the other Soviets were purged and executed in oct. 1941 and the Japanese, of course, committed suicide later, in 1940.
|Posted by: contras February 18, 2010 09:15 pm|
|I refered at losses and test just for Winter War, not Halhin Gol.|
|Posted by: ANDREAS February 18, 2010 11:24 pm|
What is this? If it (Stalin's plan for attacking Germany and Romania) was just a theory of a traitor -Rezun- than why is it mentioned in the newspaper of the soviet Communist Party? And in what context was it mentioned? The anniversary festivities related to end of World War II. This was no joke and this plans were real... but are still kept secret! Why? Find your own answers to this question!
|Posted by: ANDREAS February 19, 2010 12:51 am|
Theoretically speaking if the soviet industry managed to keep the production program required, the Soviet army have had available nearly 4,000 T-34 at the end 1941. Not to talk about the heavy KV tanks. Surely it's just theoretical... And surely the germans wouldn't just wait... but without an opponent the germans will never improved their PzIII or PzIV, not to think about other types...
|Posted by: Imperialist February 19, 2010 04:26 pm|
Yet the German buildup in the East was known weeks before the start of Barbarossa. Rumors about an impending attack against the SU also intensified 2 weeks before the start of Barbarossa. If the SU had already prepared for 6 months and was willing to attack why didn't it preempt the Germans?
|Posted by: MMM February 19, 2010 08:41 pm|
| a ) Because it wasn't ready yet?
b ) Because Stalin refused to believe Hitler would be such a fool to commit a suicide attack?
c ) Because they waited to be attacked so that they won't look - again - like the bad guys?
Or d) - any or all of the above
|Posted by: Victor February 20, 2010 10:31 am|
The answer is extremely simple: NO. The Red Army was not ready for an offensive in June-July. Read D. Glantz's Stumbling Clossus to get a glimpse in what poor state the Red Army was in the summer of 1941, thanks also to the "military genius" Stalin. Realiatically,it was not capable of mounting an offensive and even if it did, it would have probably been more disastrous than the German onslaught that historically happened.
You and others here seem extremely convinced that had the Red Army attacked in July 1941 it would have been simple walk in the park in Bukovina, due to the "magical" surprise effect or God knows what, because I haven't seen so far any solid arguments supported by numbers.
Let's look at the forces there:
- 96th Mountain Rifle Division: 8,477 men
- 60th Mountain Rifle Division: 8,313 men
- 164th Rifle Division: 9,930 men
These were, according to ANDREAS, going to punch a hole in the Romanian defense through which the barely functioning T-26s of the 39th Tank Division (or the entire 16th Mechanized Corps according to some here) were going to pass through and create destruction and mayheam all the way to Focsani. Right? brushing aside the fact that these machines broke down very often and the Soviets didn't have enough repair crews or even enough fuel trucks (and many other things, like full stocks of ammunition) to support such a long and deep armored offensive, why would any of you disconsider the Romanian oppostion so easily? This is what is bothering me.
Let's take a look, only the 3 mountain brigades, with over 12,000 men each were more numerous than the light infantry force the Soviets had in Bukovina. The 7th Infantry Division was around 18,000 men strong and the 8th Cavalry Brigade, from memory, had around 7-8,000 men. That's around 62,000 men, highly motivated and, more than half of them, very well trained. Seriously, think about it.
|Posted by: Victor February 20, 2010 10:35 am|
That is the problem: it's not about opinions, it's about facts. So far I have seen only opinions either personal or quotes from Vlasov and Pravda. If you guys want to have a discussion based solely on opinions, feel free to do it on other forums, not here.
|Posted by: Victor February 20, 2010 10:37 am|
It's written in the Pravda, then it must be true! I will throw away all the serious research on the subject! It's useless!
|Posted by: Victor February 20, 2010 10:42 am|
And this only goes to show that the Soviet Union was upgrading its forces, which was only natural, no that it was getting ready to attack in July 1941. Wedo not know what Stalin would have done in 1942 with a Red Army much more prepaired for an offensive, but that is another discussion.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi February 20, 2010 01:25 pm|
That would make them mountain divisions not brigades.
As far as i know the romanian mountain brigades had 6 mountain hunters batalions and the cavalry brigades 9 cavalry batalions.
|Posted by: ANDREAS February 20, 2010 02:43 pm|
Right! If we stay to analyze the actions of Soviet troops during the occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina in July 1940 -ok, with no romanian military opposition!- than we can imagine that such a thing is not inconceivable! The two soviet moto -mechanized divisions -39th armored and 240th motorised were more than enough to deal with our ill-equipped brigades from the area. The 208 light T-26 tanks, 5 BA armored cars, 528 trucks and 50 tractors of the 39th Division (9342 men in mid-july 1941, after fightings!) could be enough to reach Focsani with the aid of the forces of the 240th Division (9847 men in mid-july 1941) to secure their flanks. Of course the Soviet forces from Bessarabia would not stayed to wach all this, but engage the german -romanian troops on Pruth river... is this so impossible to imagine? Remember july 1940!
|Posted by: contras February 20, 2010 06:13 pm|
Which are Mr. Glantz sources? The soviet oficial ones. I repeat, oficial. Because, all we know, Russia (Soviet Union) is the only country who don't opened his ww2 archives. So, Glantz theories are based by Soviet oficial version, who deny Stalin intention to attack west since 1945 even present day.
Which are Suvorov/Rezun sources? GRU archives, where he worked few years. (He mentioned in his memory book, Cenusa fara epoleti, as I remember). This archives are secrets even today. He cannot, of course, stil some documents, because he defected few years later, from Viena. During his duty at archives, he had no intention to defect to West.
|Posted by: MMM February 20, 2010 08:00 pm|
| Yeah, Contras, but is he believable? Is Rezun interested in the "historical truth", un-biased, "sine ira et stultorum" or is he interested to sell his books - and thus to write them in a most sensational and controversial manner?
Re: Victor: those Soviet divisions were incomplete, but the question which I ask (rhetorically) is "WHY"? Why were they incomplete? Why isn't it plausible that they were to be completed until a posterior D-Day (July or August, whatever)?
And another rhetorical question: why did Stalin have such masive forces in 1940, led by Jukov, a star-to-be (but still in 1940 a good general) and then in 1941 there were just "remains" and weak forces? I'm talking of the Red Army at our borders, Bukovine AND Bessarabia!
|Posted by: contras February 20, 2010 08:48 pm|
That is the reason why we discuss here, to find the thruth.
|Posted by: MMM February 20, 2010 09:22 pm|
The historic truth is but a myth, a chimaera...
The closest thing could be attained after carefully consulting Soviet archives - both military and of the Communist Party's - from the 1939-1941 period!
|Posted by: contras February 20, 2010 09:49 pm|
I really don't know if any independent expert had acces to those archives, until now.
|Posted by: ANDREAS February 20, 2010 11:44 pm|
For the more inspired than me, please give me a logical explanation to the above text : what military industry in the world creates a weapon system -in our case a piece of artillery- and after testing, put it into production, and, one year later of this event, stop the production with no major defects found? The official explanation was : in the current war started after june 1941 this weapon was no longer useful to the soviet army! Interesting, isn't it? Well how didn't they figure that out before june 1941? Were they idiots? All of them? The engineers, the technicians, the generals, Stalin and the Politburo members, and all the others?
|Posted by: dragos February 21, 2010 12:22 am|
|There are many reasons military projects are canceled, depending on context. In this case we can assume that the resources involved in production of this weapon were redirected for the immediate war effort. 107mm was a non standardized caliber for Soviet artillery, and building ammunition for this caliber alone was a waste of resources. Also your excerpt does not state the reason the production ceased. Perhaps the machine tools required for producing this gun could not be moved in the interior, once the industries in the west became threatened.|
|Posted by: Dénes February 21, 2010 09:34 am|
I've read several books written by Glantz. I've even corresponded with him on several topics.
My personal opinion is that his works are not the "last word" on the subject, they are not unbiased, as they are too pro-Soviet. This is somehow understandable, as if he wrote anything that is not according to the current official Russian ideology (which is quite pro-Soviet), his unique access to ex-Soviet archives would immediately be cut, thus he would lose the principal source of his future works - a move he can hardly afford. Therefore, even if he found proofs that are contrary to the official version, he is not in the possibility to publish them - now. Perhaps, when he will eventually decided to finish with visits Moscow, he may - just may - write a final book, where all these non-conform topics will be included. Let's hope this will be the case one day.
Personally, I would rather look for the works of a new generation of Russian historians, who have the guts - and possibilities - to look at the events from a fresh perspective.
Just to mention one name I know of: M.I. Meltiukhov. Unfortunately for me, I cannot read Russian, but from the English translations of some of his writings I found support to what I believe had actually happened in the German-Soviet conflict: it was neither an unprovoked, sudden attack of the Germans (the current mainstream idea), nor a pre-emptive strike by a clever Hitler (theory á la Suvorov), but rather a parallel build-up for a total war of two totalitarian regimes trying to annihilate the other by the meaning of force, while on the façade they were trying to convince the other that there is in fact an alliance between them, which can be trusted. It just happened that the Germans stroke first in June 1941. Had this not happen, the Soviets would have attacked Germany anyhow, it was just the matter of time.
You may read a more detailed analysis of this topic in the lengthy introduction to the first volume of my book, 'From Barbarossa to Odessa', published by Ian Allan Publ. (UK), in 2007. A shorter version of that Introduction has been published on this site, too.
|Posted by: contras February 21, 2010 05:21 pm|
I agree with your point, Denes. Sooner or later, Stalin would attack.
|Posted by: ANDREAS February 21, 2010 07:26 pm|
Interesting point of view and a credible one, from my perspective. I read something alike in this area - Ernst Nolte's -European Civil War 1917-1945- National Socialism and Bolshevism.
Yes and no, Dragos.
The gun entered production at the No. 352 Plant in Novocherkassk and at the No. 172 Plant in the Ural at Perm. But the explanation given was that the German attack in 1941 led to a situation in which the Soviet Union had neither the requirement for a weapon like the M-60 gun, nor the industrial capacity for its production.
But the reasons offered were close to what you said:
* a shortage of powerful artillery tractors meant divisional artillery would have difficulty in transporting the heavy gun;
* No immediate need for a heavy gun with good anti-tank performance was felt;
* The gun was complicated in production and demanding in maintenance;
* Finally, in the extreme circumstances of 1941, the Soviet Union did not have any spare industrial capacity for the M-60 gun.
At the same time we can not exclude that the gun was designed for missions different from those that appeared after the German invasion. And this last one may be a factor, among others mentioned above.
|Posted by: Victor February 22, 2010 09:55 am|
Glantz's sources are generally based on the Russian Federation's military archives, as well as the writings of different other authors that did their research in these archives. We are talking about actual documents which can at least be verified. Rezun provides no such thing, just supposedly what he has seen.
Glantz provides a solid thesis on the poor state of the RKKA in the summer of 1941, based on numbers and arguments. Instead of opening the mind to the information provided, you dismiss it as a part of a Soviet conspiracy theory. It's your choice, but for me there isn't any point in continuing such an unproductive discussion.
|Posted by: Victor February 22, 2010 11:01 am|
The Red Army was in the process of expanding its forces, a process which had started in the late 30s and which was not going very well for many reasons.
The purges had effectively crippled the Red Army, by eliminating a large number of experienced commanders. Thus, while new units were being created, many of the older ones lost their officers. The officer schools output was not enough to cope with this large demand. Out of sheer necessity the situation of people with little or limited command experience reaching high command positions was common. Even in this situation, there were still many unoccupied positions, especially in the unit staff (these were positions that required a higher decree of education). As I already mentioned, the 16th Mechanized Corps, often mentioned in this thread, did not even have intelligence officers.
Similarly to the shortages of officers were shortages of qualified specialists and of NCOs and also of equipment. For example, there were not even enough cooks and field kitchens in the June 1941. All the tanks had been concentrated in the newly formed mechanized corps, of which none was on full strength even on paper. The actual serviceable machines were, as I showed, fewer. Thus there were no tanks left to equip the rifle divisions with one tank company. Also the Soviet mechanized corps lacked sufficient engineer units, repair crews, fuel trucks, tractors etc.
The Soviet Command was in the process of bringing up to nominal strength some 99 rifle division (IIRC) in the European part of Russia, but at the moment of the Axis attack only around 20 were actually ready. Judging by the average strength of the rifle divisions on 22 June 1941, which in Romania's area was of around 8,400 men for the Odessa Military District and 8,700 men for the Kiev Military District, the Soviets were far from being fully ready for a supposed full-scale attack.
There were too many problems for a full-scale attack on 6 or 7 July, as Rezun claims. My personal opinion is that in 1942, with a more organized and better equipped army, Stalin could have attacked, but in the summer of 1941 he must had been utterly stupid to do this.
Regarding your question on the difference of forces in Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina in 1940 and in 1941, I will have to see the list of units that took part in the 1940 occupation in order to make a comparison. However, keep in mind that the situations in 1940 and the one in 1941 are very much different, because of the 11th German Army and Fliegerkorps present in Romania, the reorganized and up-gunned Romanian Army and the lack of threats on the Western and Southern border.
From 1940 to 1941, Zhukov had been promoted following the replacement of Voroshilov with Timoshenko at the helm of the Soviet armed forces. He was now working at the Stavka, not the Kiev Military District.
|Posted by: Victor February 22, 2010 11:14 am|
Glantz does not deny that the Soviets were building up their forces. In Stumbling Colossus he goes into depth with the expansion of the Red Army prior to the war. The idea is that the Soviets were not ready for a full-scale attack in July 1941, as Rezun claims. 1942 is a possibility (in my opinion a very plausible one), but it is not the issue here.
|Posted by: Victor February 22, 2010 12:52 pm|
Let's take the whole 16th Mechanized Corps, not just these two divisions: 26,920 men and 482 tanks. Add to these the 3 mountain rifle divisions and you get 53,640. The tanks, as I already mentioned, were not all serviceable. According to Stumbling Colossus, on average 29% of the older models were in need of capital repairs and 44% required maintenance. There were also other problems like lack of sufficient numbers of fuel trucks, repair crews, tractors able to tow damaged tanks from the battlefield, lack of intelligence officers (specifically at the 16th Mechanized Corps). These seriously reduce the offensive potential of the mechanized corps and the depth of their advance. Even in late 1942, during Operation Uranus, Soviet tank and mechanized corps lost a large proportion of their machines, probably mostly to brake downs, in the deep plunge behind enemy lines. For Uranus they were well prepared and equipped and with some experience. In the summer of 1941, they were not well equipped, prepared or experienced to conduct such operations successfully.
The Romanian Mountain Corps, which was on the defense in the area had around 63,000 men, many of whom were qualitatively superior to what the Soviets were throwing at them. The terrain is rugged, thus perfectly suited for the mountain troops, with the exception of the Siret Valley, which is not that difficult to be barred against the few forces the Soviets had at their disposal.
Also, by early July 1941, the 1st Armored Division would be deployed relatively close to the area (this is what actually happened historically) and could intervene if the Soviets would manage to break through.
But, please explain why you consider the 1st, 2nd and 4th Mountain Brigades, the 7th Infantry Division and 8th Cavalry Brigade to be ill-equipped compared with the opposing Soviet forces.
|Posted by: contras February 22, 2010 02:47 pm|
| There is a thing I do not copy.
In 1939, Soviet army gave a lesson to Japanese at Halhin Gol (Jukov).
In winter 1940, a huge army entered Finland, with many losses, but acomplish their mission.
In summer 1940, military districts Kiev and Odessa are under alarm, Jukov take comand of new formed Southern Front, just in case Romania will opose resistance to Soviet ultimatum. Aprox. 40 Soviet divisions were on Dniestr. (It will be interesting if you have OOB in June 1940).
And, one year later, sudenly, this army was in bad shape, inferior to all aspects, it lacks everything, tanks were allready crippled, officers corp affected by purges (BTW, in 1939-1940, the same army was not affected by purges, which were in 1936-1938?).
|Posted by: Victor February 22, 2010 08:45 pm|
| The purges continued beyond 1938 as well.
Regarding the actions you mentioned, why do you think they demonstrate the Red Army was strong? The geeral impression they left, especially on the German command was that tthe Red Army had some very important shortcommings.
Let's take them one by one.
In the Far East, due to the distance to Moscow and the skirmishes with Japan, the purges were implemented among the last. Nevetheless, in 1938, in the fighting at Lake Khasan, the Soviets managed to repulse the Japanese incursion using the classic frontal-attacks. The losses according to Krivosheev were:
-Died in hospital: 197
On the other side the Japanese lost 526 KIA and around 900 WIA. Not a stellar performance.
At Khalin Ghol, in 1939, Zhukov could prepare the attack by concentrating enough forces and materials to overwhelm the Japanese 23rd Infantry Division. However we are talking about a force less than 60,000 men, nothing spectecular. Despite enjoying a large superiority in armored vehicles and having air support, the losses, according to Krivosheev, were:
-Died in hospital: 957
The Japanese losses claimed by the Soviet forces are around 60,000, but in reality were probably much smaller (Japanese sources rate them at around 20,000 KIA, MIA and WIA).
In September 1939, the Red Army mobilized two fronts in order to occupy Eastern Poland. The 1 million men taken from the factories seriously disrupted the economy. Yet this operation, although it was supposed to be a walk in the park (striking the rear of the Polish Army, already almost broken by the Wehrmacht) proved not to be so easy. 996 KIA and 2002 WIA in skirmishes with the Polish Army. The level of prepairness was not that high and many of the mobilized units had not yet reached the Polish frontier when the mobile corps crossed it. There were a lot of logistical problems, especially regarding fuel. For example, the 6th Cavalry Corps had to sip the gas out of a third of its trucks in order to allow the other two thirds to continue the race to the frontier agreed with the Germans.
All of the above were not very relevant in showing the Red Army in action, but the Winter War with Finland showed its limitations. It was an utter humiliation for the Soviet Union. The initial assaults were a total fiasco and resulted in huge casualties due to the poor tactics, training and equipment shortages the troops had.
After the replacement of Voroshilov with Timoshenko (and the purging of some of the commanders) things changed abit: fresh troops were mobilized, equiment and munitions were stockpiled, the assaults on the fortifications were rehearsed. By overwhelming pressure, the Finnish were forced to pull-back and eventually ask for an armistice (they were also running out of ammunitions). The cost, according to Krivosheev:
-Died in hospital: 16292
-Frost bites: 17867
Like I said a humiliation, not a show of force.
For Bessarabia, in June 1940, the Red Army again temporarily mobilized a front for the opertion, like in the case of Poland or in the second part of the Winter War. Since there were no real military operations, with the exception of several skirmishes, there is no way to actually evaluate the performance.
In June 1941, the Red Army was not mobilized. It was in a slow process of building up its forces, but not mobilized. This is why the rifle divisions averaged at around 8,000 - 9,000 men and there were many shortages of equipment. When expanding the armed forces from 1.5 million in 1938 to 5 million in June 1941, all the new units that are formed have a core taken from an existing one. It takes time to provide the new division with all the neccesary equiment and to train the officers and NCOs to command it. It is easier to mobilize a smaller force, because one can shuffle equipment and soldiers around to make up for the shortages, but when dealing with the entire Army it is obviously more difficult. It's logical.
|Posted by: Victor February 22, 2010 09:01 pm|
On 15 March 1942, the mountain brigades were renamed mountain divisions. No major organizational change occured. Just the name. They were already almost as large as a division (especially since 1942, the Romanian infantry division shrank to 7 battalions).
For the exact strength of the mountain brigades in 1941, you can check:
Dutu A., Dobre F., Loghin L. Armata Romana in al doilea razboi mondial (1941-1945) - Dictionar Enciclopedic, Editura Enciclopedica, 1999
1st Mountain Brigade on 22 June 1941 had 383 officers, 319 NCOs, 11,628 soldiers.
2nd Mounatin Brigade finished the 1941 campaign with 404 officers, 293 NCOs and 10,487 soldiers. It lost 74 officers, 44 NCOs and 1,808 soldiers. If you add them up you will surpass 12,000.
I have no data on the 4th Mountain Brigade, but it was very likely at similar strength.
|Posted by: contras February 22, 2010 09:05 pm|
The question is, why Red Army increased more than 3 times in less than 3 years? It was almost 4 times, because at 21 June 1941, Soviet Army efectives were about 5,5 millions (without NKVD troops, their number was and is stil secret).
|Posted by: ANDREAS February 22, 2010 09:50 pm|
Victor, long as I don't have a comparative OOB of the two armies, and taking into account only the theoretical strengh (as on paper) of the soviet infantry and our mountain brigades, I believed that, at least in terms of infantry weapons, artillery and and motor vehicles the soviets were in advantage over our forces. But, as I do not know exactly how were equipped the soviet divisions from the Bukovina or Bessarabia area, I can only speculate on this.
On the other hand I admit that some information provided by Rezun are clearly erroneous -as f.i. the armored force of Romania. On page 215 of the Victor Suvorov's The last republic -he said that Romania had in 1941 only 60 FT-17 tanks, omitting the 126 Skoda LT-35 or the 75 Renault R-35. Although, honestly speaking, the only one who could stand in front of the light T-26 or BT tanks was the Skoda, that, perhaps, could beat them.
|Posted by: ANDREAS February 24, 2010 12:24 pm|
| Off topic, but interesting -the eastern front military operations from the soviet point of view ...
|Posted by: Victor February 24, 2010 08:44 pm|
Simple. They were prepairing for war. It was pretty clear that the storm clouds were amassing over Europe and the Soviet Union will eventually have to fight. Thus a series of reforms were initiated in order to increase and upgrade the standing armed forces. The process was slow and had many deficiances, as I already mentioned. between 1937 and 1939 the Red Army transitioned from a territorial-militia force to a regular-cadre system. On 1 September 1939 they passed a law for universal military service, which provided the theoretical manpower to start expanding the standing army.
Unfortunately for the Soviets, they were not ready for a ful-scale war when it eventually started. In April 1941, the NKO (Peoples' Commisariat for Defense) gave the order to bring 99 rifle divisions up to full strength (14,483 men).On 22 June 1941, only 21 were up to strength (after at least 2 months since the order was issued). The echeloned defensive deployment according to Vasilevsky's October 1940 plan had also begun.
Regarding numbers, on 22 June 1941, the Soviets had under arms 2,901,000 men in the Western part of the SU, from a total of 4,826,900 men. The NKVD troops were around 171,900 men.
|Posted by: Victor February 26, 2010 07:03 pm|
|A correction. The 8th Cavalry Brigade was not at around 9,000 men, but rather around 6,000.|
|Posted by: contras February 26, 2010 11:15 pm|
| Let me quote the effecives of Red Army:
1938: 1,513,400 men under arms
1939, August, 19: 2,000,000 (aprox)
1941, January, 1'st: 4,207,000
1941, June, 21: 5,500,000 men under arms
Those figures are without NKVD troops, who were responsable with border protection, escort, guard, operatives, and had proper aviation, marines and operatives troops.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 04, 2010 11:19 am|
Thanks Victor , it seams that i have underextimated the romanian mountain corps.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 04, 2010 11:49 am|
Even at battle of Nomonhan tank brigades sufered from mechanical breakdowns.
Acording to M. Kolomiets the 11th tank brigade ( Col. I.P. Aleeksenko ) lost 89 tanks between Aug 20 -Aug 30. ( on averege 9 tank/day ) to mechanical breakdowns.
But the soviets won.
That being said what does Soviet older tanks mean ?
Or should we asumme that except Kv and T-34 ALL soviet tanks are older tanks ?
Regarding the operational and staff intelligence section , after barbarossa stated the soviets disbanded the corps headquarters a placed the divisions directly under army control.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 08, 2010 09:09 am|
| The t-26 tank was the most widespread tank in Ussr motor poll. Production lasted from 1931 to 1941. Total production figure 10,300.
T-26. The Heavy Fate of the Light Tank -M.Kolomiets 2007
2066 twin-turreted tanks were produced between 1931-1933 (20%).
If 29% of the soviet older tanks required capital repairs, than it's safe to asume that these models would be on the top of the list.
But these models were a small improvement over the british Vickers 6 ton tank and after 7 years of active service, the soviets would be beter of without them.
From the BT series, 620 were BT-2 (model 1932) and 2108 BT-5 (model 1933 ), roughly 32 percent of the total BT production.
So to qoute Suvorov :
What tanks are considered obsolete ?
|Posted by: ANDREAS March 08, 2010 08:35 pm|
| Your approach is correct osutacincizecisidoi!
I think speaking in ridiculous about the light tanks T-26 or BT-5 or BT-7 is wrong, and the Soviets are first interested in creating this image. I do not see why this mistake is made in the west, since the Germans themselves used the Pz.-II or the Skoda LT-35 light tanks, who were not superior to the soviet light tanks mentioned above.
|Posted by: Victor March 10, 2010 08:25 pm|
You are comparing apples with oranges. Nomonhan is but a small skirmish compared to a supposed all-out invasion of Europe, just like the Japanese Army is inferior in every aspect to the German Heer of June 1941.
There is one thing to be able to sustain a certain percentage of losses in a battle limited in terms of space and numbers engaged against an enemy that never really knew throughout the war how to effectively fight against an armored attack or how to carry one out. There is a totally different thing to engage in the largest military invasion in history against the best land army of 1941.
Regarding the "older tanks", Glantz is refering with this term to the T-26 and the BT series. I don't remember using the word "obsolete".
Regarding 16th MC's situation, I was using it as an example of the lack of prepardness of this unit (and many others) and thus the lack of means to carry out the offenssive Suvorov imagined. I fail to see what logical link is between this and the abolition of the rifle and mechanized corps in the Red Army. The less informed or gullible reader might misinterpret this information.
The corps structure was disbanded by Stavka on 15 July 1941, out of necessity. There simply were not enough experienced commanders for several levels of the classical division/corps/army structure, so the Red Army simply eliminated the corps level and put army commanders in charge of several divisions and the remnants of the former tank divisions, which because of the huge losses were much reduced in size. All the new tank formations being created were only at brigade level. The motorized rifle divisions were transformed into rifle divisions, due to the lack of trucks. Only in 1942 would the mechanized corps return, but in a different structure.
So,to sum itup. The Soviets only disbanded the corps because they were forced to, not because it was something planned. In case of an invasion it is only logical and common sense to presume they would plan to use the mechanized corps they had only recently created and, to do this, they would need all the specialists they lacked on 22 June. Simple.
|Posted by: Victor March 10, 2010 08:42 pm|
Let's not fall into conspiacy theories.
Both the Pz II and the Skoda LT-35 (btw it had superior armor to the T-26 or the BT) were equipped with radios. This alone renders them superior from operational point of view to the Soviet models mentioned. Take into consideration the fact that none of the four was invulnerable to the guns of the others.
|Posted by: dragos March 10, 2010 11:08 pm|
| Those who perpetrate the idea of a Soviet attack in 1941 must also bring arguments on how the Soviet Union would be able to logistically support an attack on a huge front with deep objectives.
The Germans had their own logistical problems to supply all of the armies in operation Barbarossa.
A certain level of motorization was required to support fast offensives in the initial stages, especially since the railroads between Soviet Union and the rest of Europe were of different gauges. The Soviets lacked this kind of motorization. Only by the lend-lease program they received enough trucks and vehicles that would support large scale operations.
Under such circumstances, in 1941 one can imagine that after the initial breakthrough the Soviet offensive in the West would rapidly lose steam and would eventually bog down, only to remain exposed to deadly counterattacks carried by highly mobile units.
|Posted by: MMM March 11, 2010 12:29 pm|
| Just for the sake of the argument: let's clarify those "deep objectives": we aren't talking about the distance from the "new fronteer" to Moscow, but to - let's say... Berlin and Ploiesti, for example! - that should've been enough to bring the German war-machine down to its knees! And the roads were (still are) much better west from Russia...
Simply: the Red Army had a much easier task than the Wehrmacht: less distance to the target(s) and much less area to occupy; when starting at the 1941 borders, of course...
|Posted by: contras March 11, 2010 01:10 pm|
If soviets attacked in 1941, they would be benefits of the lend-lease program, too, because they would be allies to UK, and later US. (they beaten Japan in 1939 at Halhin Gol).
The distances between new borders and their targets, as said MMM, wre shorter, and, full of roads and railroads.
|Posted by: dragos March 11, 2010 02:37 pm|
| The vehicles were needed from the preparation phase, not at some point after the offensive has started.
MMM, you missed the fact that Red Army was facing a more organized force than vice-versa. As for the distances, you make it sound like you are playing too much video games.
I'll reformulate: with what would the Soviets sustain an offensive of 100+ divisions on a several hundred kilometers front in summer 1941? Please stop giving Nomonhan as an example.
The Germans had allocated for operation Barbarossa a total of 577,120 motor vehicles while the entire Red Army had a total of 272,600 trucks in June 1941.
|Posted by: MMM March 11, 2010 04:16 pm|
| Well, if things went as Suvorov says Stalin wanted (!!!!), there wouldn't even have been the time and need for a lend-lease act!
PS: @Dragos: let's not fall into what Suvorov describes as a trap (correctly, IMO) and compare all German motorized vehicles with the Soviet trucks!
|Posted by: dragos March 11, 2010 05:24 pm|
This was not going to happen in a real world. Not at least in the world of 1941.
The German figure for vehicles is not exclusively trucks, but does not include armored cars, half-tracks or motorcycles. Nevertheless, the point is the German had more trucks for Barbarossa than Soviets had for their entire army at that moment. And it was still an insufficient number for the German plan of operations!
|Posted by: MMM March 11, 2010 05:28 pm|
|Of course, but the German plan of operation was for a surface of... what? How much had they to go in REAL terms, in the terms of the tanks' guaranteed distance?|
|Posted by: dead-cat March 11, 2010 05:54 pm|
| at the beginning of 1940 the Wehrmacht operated about 120.000 trucks with a capacity greater than 1.5t.
the yearly production during '40-44 averaged between 70.000 and 80.000 with 80% going to the army. which puts the car park of the Wehrmacht in term of trucks in mid '41 at about 215.000 trucks.
that would be less than the RA had.
figures from "Kraftfahrzeuge und Panzer der Reichswehr, Wehrmacht und Bundeswehr", 2003.
it is unclear however, if the figure is wheeled trucks only or if it includes half-track artillery tractors.
|Posted by: dragos March 11, 2010 06:02 pm|
|The trucks captured from France and other occupied territories in 1940 would add up to this number to a considerable amount.|
|Posted by: dead-cat March 11, 2010 06:37 pm|
|can't find anything authoritative on french booty trucks used in the german army, but they'd hat to be at least 60.000, if of the german army truck park of 1940 to match the RA.|
|Posted by: dragos March 11, 2010 09:19 pm|
| From "Trucks of the Wehrmacht" by Reinhard Frank:
|Posted by: ANDREAS March 11, 2010 10:43 pm|
Agree with you Victor, in terms of of capacity of all these tanks to destroy each other, on normal engagement ranges. As I checked the soviet 45mm/L46 tank gun could penetrate 35mm steel armor at 1000m, and the czech 37mm Skoda 37mm A3 L/40 vz.34 or P.U.V. vz.37. L/47.8 could penetrate 23-24mm steel armor at 1000m, or 25-27mm steel armor at 1000m with APC projectiles. Source: Jentz, Thomas L: Panzer Truppen Vol 1.
It was indeed enough for both sides to destroy each other at large distances, the advantage in the armor protection of czech production tanks was useless... and agree with the fact that radios and communication was very important and a real advantage for the german crews! But what about reliability of all these tank types? Than what about cross-country capacity? My point is -the Skoda tanks were a real challenge for their crews -not only romanian ones...
|Posted by: MMM March 12, 2010 07:52 am|
So, the Wehrmacht had its own version of "lend-lease act"
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 12, 2010 08:54 am|
| B]@Victor [/B]
That comparison is yours not mine, besides the 12th army and jukov 57th corps are similar in terms of men and equipment. Needles to say, it faced the Romanian third army not the german Heer.
During june and july the soviets raised the following divisions :
I ask a simple question : From were did the officers and NCO came ?
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 12, 2010 11:20 am|
Very good book thanks
|Posted by: MMM March 12, 2010 02:20 pm|
The idea - which I still stand for also in august 1944 - is that Ploiesti was within striking distance from the airfields of the newly-acquired Bessarabia; not to mention that, as was seen in 1942 (Caucasus), one cannot really exploit oil from the frontline.
So, videogames or not (I actually used to play strategy games ), the distance from the fronteer to Ploiest's refineries was small; if the Soviets would have had pieces of artillery comparable with what Germans had at Sevastopol - that would have brought Astra Română within striking distance - but that's a mere speculation NOW, after the facts. Hitler, however, was extremely cautious when considering this issue.
|Posted by: Victor March 13, 2010 03:13 pm|
If that was not meant as a comparison, then please explain what is the purpose of that particular piece of information and its relation to the current topic. The 3rd Romanian Army was not defending the entire Eastern Front. Needless to say, had the Soviets invaded in July 1941, then they would face in most places the German Heer and Luftwaffe, not the Romanian 3rd Army.
Getting back to the situation of the 3rd Army, it is an interesting what if. One thing is sure though: the 11th German Army and the Luftwaffe Air Corps were a good bolster to the Romanian troops.
Going to the divisions raised by the Soviets in the summer of 1941, I will reply with another question: what makes you think these were anything else than cannon fodder?
I will again quote Glantz (When Titans clashed page 68)
The Red Army's force generation saved the Soviet Union from collapse in 1941, but with the sacrifice of millions of soldiers that went into battle without a real chance of survival. However, it is mistaken to think that these units carried any potential in the advent of a Soviet offenssive.
|Posted by: Victor March 13, 2010 03:15 pm|
They didn't. The Germans were the only ones to develop such ressource consuming weapons. The others were more practical.
|Posted by: dead-cat March 13, 2010 06:35 pm|
|i suppose this is about "Dora", as other railroad artillery was neither as expensive nor as useless.|
|Posted by: MMM March 13, 2010 07:33 pm|
|That - and not only! There were also other "huge" cannons (though not as big as Dora), some of them even mentioned in von Manstein's memoirs. Fun (?) fact: also in ww1 the Germans had some big cannon aimed to Paris! Perhaps this was a real fixation|
|Posted by: ANDREAS March 13, 2010 09:03 pm|
Perhaps the question was already asked, but I guess it's not a shame if I ask again: What was the purpose of Stalin or Stavka when he reformed its armored and mechanized forces of the brigades in the division size? To be more clear, why they reformed the existing armored corps already tested in combat operations in Mongolia, Poland and Finland (1939-1940) in the new and more powerful mechanized corps, expanded in number and volume (at least on the paper...)?
|Posted by: MMM March 13, 2010 10:01 pm|
| Stalin was not alone: Hitler did that as well in 1941, reducing the number of armored regiments per armored divisions; so, from 10 divisions of 2 armored rgts. each he got 20 divisions of 1 armored rgt. each!
I will get back with the reasons, at least according to Liddell Hart!
|Posted by: Victor March 14, 2010 05:42 pm|
Actually there was another step between the 1930s tank corps and the 1941 mechanozed corps. A radically different one.
The Kulik Commission formed by Stalin in 1939 to study the experiences of the Spanish Civil War recommended the replacement of the existing tank corps with smaller units that could better cooperate with the infantry. 39 tank brigades were formed by spring of 1940, as well as 3 motoried armored brigades and 31 tank regiments and 100 tank battalions serving with rifle and cavalry divisions. Because the process was a slow one, the 10th Tank Corps did get to see action in the Winter War before it too was disbanded.
Impressed by the performance of the German Blitzkrieg in France, the NKO (People's Defence Commisariat) issued the order on 6 July 1940 to form nine mechanized corps. The different view was also due to the different leadership after Timoshenko had replaced Voroshilov after the initial humiliation in the Winter War. In February and March 1941, the formation of an additional 20 mechanized corps had begun. These were seen as vital for chieving success in the new type of warfare. The plan was to finish building up this new massive mechanized force in the summer of 1942, although at the pre-war production rate they estimated that it would take three years to completely equip them with the nominal number of heavy tanks.
|Posted by: dead-cat March 14, 2010 08:58 pm|
do you mean the "Karl-Gerät"?
because any other would be regular railroad artillery.
|Posted by: ANDREAS March 14, 2010 09:37 pm|
| Thank you Victor!
Interesting informations! I also suspected that Germany and its armored forces were the inspiration for the Soviets to reorganize their armored formations. Interesting is the fact that a few years after the end of World War II, maybe inspired by the British and Americans, the Soviets returned to the divisional structure for their armored and mechanized troops...
|Posted by: contras March 15, 2010 05:16 am|
|I understand that the number of tanks was different in tank divisions. In German ones, were about 200 tanks/division, in American ones, about 300 tanks/divisions, and in Russian ones, about 400 tanks/division.|
|Posted by: MMM March 15, 2010 08:03 am|
On paper, yes!
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 16, 2010 08:45 am|
I know that they were cannon fodder , many of them would last no more than two months.
From were did the officers and NCO came ?
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 16, 2010 01:18 pm|
My posts were related to the posibilty of soviet invasion of Romania in 1941 . I did not suggest, implied, assumed a drive into the heart of the third Reich even oance.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 16, 2010 02:00 pm|
It was to heavy for a divisional artilery piece or antitank weapon.
|Posted by: ANDREAS March 16, 2010 08:59 pm|
It could be, osutacincizecisidoi,
but didn't they realized this before starting the gun production? Didn't they realise the gun need mechanised traction? Hard to believe Stalin or STAVKA were fools! They did produce however the excellent 152 mm howitzer-gun M1937 (ML-20) that the germans only dream about!
And about the weight of this gun "...the standard German 105 mm gun, the 10.5 cm sK 18 was much heavier at about six tons. The German gun also fired slightly lighter (15 kg) shell..." What about that?
|Posted by: Victor March 17, 2010 08:06 am|
From their homes I presume.
Mostly were mobilized reserves, but some also resulted from the elimination of the corps from the Army structure, from the reduction of the size of the standard rifle division etc. However I am not familiar with any figures regarding the fact that the new rifle divisions had all the necessary officers and NCOs. Are you?
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 17, 2010 08:12 am|
Might be one of the reasons why the germans lost the war.
For the sake of clarity i will stick only to soviet weapons.
At the start of the war the soviet divisional artilery had around 33.000 pieces, the corps artilery 4100 pieces.
The divisional pieces included the modern 76mm F-22 and F-22 Usv , 122 mm M-30 , 152 mm M-10 but the majority were WW1 weapons upgraded in the '30s.
The corps artiley pieces included the 152 mm ML-20 and 122 mm A-19.
The 76 mm USV weight 2,500 kg, the 122 mm M-30 3,100 kg, the 152 mm M-10 4,550 kg.
At 4,300 kg your gun weight almost as much as a 152 mm piece and fired a shell weaker than a 122 mm one .
As a corps gun the M-60 had good range but it was outranged by both ML-20 and A-19 wich fired much powerful shels.
It's one thing to field a few heavy weapons with good range in the cops artilery but it would be criminal to equip the divisional artilery with a weapon that weight to much for his caliber.
So i guees that Stalin or STAVKA were not fools.
|Posted by: Victor March 17, 2010 08:13 am|
Do you really not see the clear link between the two? There is no way one could happen without the other. Had the Soviets attacked only Romania in July 1941, they would also run into the German Heer and Luftwaffe in Romania itself. Or do you have another scenario in mind? Please, by all means, enlighten me.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 17, 2010 08:21 am|
Yes but in Romania itself the germans had only a handfull of division with no tanks.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 17, 2010 08:26 am|
Inside the soviet army . V Rezun
|Posted by: Victor March 18, 2010 07:43 pm|
I see nothing actually related to WW2, just Rezun's allegations regarding the Cold-war era organization of the Red Army (although the number of 150 divisions is not supported by anything than Rezun's claims). There is no actual proof that the Soviet state had managed to create a large pool of well trained and capable officers after the war.
But even admitting such an improbable fact, is there any actual evidence that all the new rifle divisions in 1941 were commanded by skilled and experienced officers? I do not see it. Or are we suppose to take the word of a fiction writer for granted? (I will not go as far as to consider Rezun a historian).
The memoirs of P. Grigorenko, former Red Army general, who did some time in the Gulag for some calls for reform in the 60s, show a distinct picture:
According to Stumbling Colossus, 53% of army, corps and division commanders were in that position for less than six months and over 75% for less than a year (there is a numerical breakdown, I calculated the percentages). Where were those skilled undercover officers?
|Posted by: contras March 18, 2010 09:24 pm|
| We lose a point in this debate.
All over their history, Russian main tactic was overnumbering the enemy. After the artilery apears, their tactic improve a little: massive artilery barage, and after that, mass attack, to overnumber the enemy.
For them, the main bulk of their army was disponsable, because they can recruit anytime a huge number of soldiers. Every conquest they made, it was for land and men who became soldiers under their comand.
Their skilled soldiers and NCO apeared after first stages of battle, from who survived.
Red Army was made of skilled soldiers later phases of ww2, their skills obtained on the battle field. In first stages, they need just massive numbers, to mount overnumbering attacks. This was Commisaires point of wiew, every soldier, every citize, must be ready to die for SU.
|Posted by: Victor March 19, 2010 10:10 am|
Wow, you just reduced 1000+ years of military history into one conclusion. Any evidence to back up this very simplistic view of a very complicated matter? You just managed to sink the discussion, because really there is no point is debating when these are the type of arguments being used. I am simply wasting my time.
|Posted by: dead-cat March 19, 2010 10:22 am|
perhaps you should direct your attention towards the campaigns of 1812 and 1813, particularily the battle of Borodino?
because there you'll find some (but hardy all) examples,where the russians accepted and fought battles in numerical inferiority.
|Posted by: Victor March 19, 2010 10:28 am|
They had seven infantry divisions plus supporting units (that's about half of the Romanian infantry force on the Soviet frontier). Hardly a "handfull". All were equipped to deal with tanks and some even had experience at it.
In my opinion it is mistaken to believe that only tanks could fight tanks in 1941. Many of the Soviet ranks were destroyed in 1941 while attacking German infantry divisions. All the AT guns that equipped them, as well as the Romanian divisions (in lesser numbers) were good enough to destroy any T-26 or BT. For example, in the Battle North of the Azov Sea, the Soviet tanks that broke through the infantry line alone (the infantry had been mowed down by the Romanian mountain troops) were eventually destroyed by German tank hunters.
Besides this sizeable force the Luftwaffe had an entire Fliegerkorps in Romania and was very effective in supporting ground operations during 1941 (see for example C. Bergstrom Black Cross/Red Star vol. 1) and even wining them through the severing of Soviet communications.
Couple all off these with the total lack of effectiveness of the Soviet mechanized operations in 1941 and you start to see that the chances for defeating the 3 Axis armies in Romania were not that high, quite the contrary.
|Posted by: ANDREAS March 19, 2010 09:36 pm|
even if I do not contradict the essence of what you say, which, after my opinion, is correct, a serious concentration of forces, which I did not read anywhere that has done too often by the Soviets in summer 1941, could change the situation radically. As an exemple the June 1941 Battle of Brody (Ukraine) proved that even inexperienced but coherent led the soviet forces could organize a serious offensive operation, against an opponent without pair in Europe (even if it proves that without supporting aircraft the tanks are threatened). What I mean is that if S.U. could concentrate such large scale forces against Romania, the Romanian and German troops in Romania had been defeated. Because I do not want to speak theoretically, I'll say that a concentration of forces of the size realized in July 1940 by S.U. near Romania could make the difference...
|Posted by: contras March 19, 2010 11:13 pm|
I don't want to sink the discussion, and I don't want to waste anybody's time. I think it is a history fact, not a simply statement.
But, please, tell me, everyone on this forum, in your opinion, who was the greatest Soviet general in ww2?
And, who was the greatest Russian/Soviet general in other wars, except ww2?
After that, we can conclude about my statement. (maybe can be the subject of another topic).
|Posted by: dead-cat March 20, 2010 10:09 am|
| you may think that, but no, it's not a fact.
for example Kutusov. or Barclay de Tolly. or perhaps czar Peter I. depends on the criterion you apply for "greatest".
ww2 is a quite recent event, which is why it's present in public consciousness. it was tha same however, with ww1, or the crimeean war, the Napoleonic wars, the cabinet wars of the XVII-XVIII centuries. it's quite obvious by reading beletristics from that time.
|Posted by: Imperialist March 20, 2010 10:09 am|
| This info appeared in the March issue of Magazin Istoric:
On March 5, 1941, Moscow received from Richard Sorge microfilms that contained documents from Germany's Foreign Ministry, documents that revealed Hitler's plan to attack the SU in mid-June.
|Posted by: MMM March 20, 2010 08:29 pm|
| Yes, Imperialist, but for various reasons Stalin chose not to believe Mr. Sorge. I haven't read the article you mention, but I've read some things about Sorge, other than Suvorov's oppinions.
1. He wasn't trusted anymore by Moscow; in fact, he was to be "recalled for maintenance", probably at the famous Lubyanka garage
2. Sometimes, if you hear something that doesn't fit your plans, you just ignore it (as it's the case with some of our fellow forumists in here )
3. Many spies had transmitted many things, not all necessarily worth much.
4. Maybe he DID believe him and that's why he (and Stavka) started to concentrate the Red Army to the western (new) fronteers.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 24, 2010 09:53 am|
The romanian soviet border had ~ 600 km in 1941, that makes a average sector of 20 km per division or brigade.
The standard german division had 72 AT guns.
The density of AT guns is 3.6 per km , not enough to deal with anything larger than a tank company.
If 50 or 100 tanks launch a concentrated attack on a one km front the antitank line would be overrun.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 24, 2010 09:58 am|
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 24, 2010 10:08 am|
The counterattack at Brody was a anything but coherent , the tank losses were so high that the 16th mechanized corps was scrambled toward Berdichev to check Von Kleist advance.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 24, 2010 10:26 am|
How many army's and division even existed one year or six months before ?
Not being in the same position for more than six months does not mean that a division commander never commanded a division before (if he was reassigned ) or that he is less familiar with his division than anyone else ( if he was promoted or given command of command of a new raised unit ).
Given the number of new army's / corps/ divisions raised in 1940 and early 1941 and the subsequent reassignment of command positions, the percentages are reasonable.
Is it even posible to raise 80 new rifle divisions in june- july 1941 and another 90 during aug-sep-oct without officers and NCO ?.
|Posted by: MMM March 24, 2010 04:30 pm|
The average thinking is a plain mistake! And where from did you get the idea that 3.6 ATG/km could deal with just a company of tanks? Presuming that a tnak attack would've managed to pass through the lines (which, BTW, were mostly formed by the Prut River), they would've been severely diminished (and easier to deal with - as it was the case many times during the conflict); given also the fact that we would have fought on our own territory, unlike at Stalingrad, this was an advantage from the supplying point.
|Posted by: contras March 24, 2010 08:14 pm|
About the battle of Borodino:
About a third of Napoleon's soldiers were killed or wounded; Russian losses, while heavier, could be replaced due to Russia's large population, since Napoleon's campaign took place on Russian soil.
The battle itself ended with the disorganized Russian Army out of position and ripe for complete defeat. The state of the French forces and the lack of recognition of the state of the Russian Army led Napoleon to remain on the battlefield with his army instead of the forced pursuit that had marked other campaigns that he had conducted in the past. The battle at Borodino was a pivotal point in the campaign, as it was the last offensive action fought by Napoleon in Russia. By withdrawing, the Russian army preserved its combat strength, eventually allowing them to force Napoleon out of the country.
What is the conclusion of it? The Russians don't win the battle, but the French lost it, because they has no forces to pursuit the enemy. It was not a victory for Russians, but it was a defeat for French.
"The winner is this one who resist five minutes more than the enemy".
Anyhow, the examples of Russians victories when they were in inferiority are the exceptions, not the rule.
|Posted by: ANDREAS March 24, 2010 10:44 pm|
the purpose for which I recalled the battle of Brody from July 1941, was that of a joint action on a large scale of the soviet army, not necessarily successful, but able to carry large number of armored units in a organized manner. About the battle itself, read
|Posted by: Victor March 25, 2010 08:53 am|
Let's try to keep the perspectives. The border was not an open field. The Danube and the Prut formed a natural barrier that needed to be crossed first, thus it is less likely that the situation where the Soviets realize a large concentration of armor against a lone AT gun on 3.6 km is purely theoretical.
I will quote an older post you made in this topic.
The "open field" was limited to the Siret Valley, which isn't that wide (around 7-8 km) and has two roads going down on each side from village to village. It isn't very difficult for a skilled force to block the advance of an enemy that didn't know to well how to conduct mechanized offensives in the summer of 1941, especially when the defender's air force is superior to the attacker's in skill, experience and equipment.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 29, 2010 08:37 am|
A soviet light tank company had 17 tanks at the start of the war.
Do the math.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 29, 2010 08:50 am|
Thanks for the link but i have read it before .
There a couple of problems with Ryabishev story.
The claim of destroying 200 of Von Kleist tanks and another 200 by the 34th tank division alone is science fiction material Imho .
That being said the 8th mechanised corps commander by his own account is no stranger of the corps debacle:
-failure to keep contact an colaborate with the neighbor 15th M.C.
-spliting his command during combat which lead to the destruction of his 34th tank division
-not willing to acnowlege defeat even after his attack has cleary failed.
The after action report of Rokossovski 9th M.C. is more in the realm of reality regarding the batle of Brody.
|Posted by: MMM March 29, 2010 12:31 pm|
That says it all...
Also, IIRC, Kirponos got killed in battle later (in september 1941), so his memories and testimony will never be read!
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 29, 2010 06:37 pm|
Than you would not mind explaining this combat deployment to me :
Basarabia and N Bucovina -243 Mig-3
Leningrad ( finish border)-164 Mig-3
Baltic States -101 Mig-3
Why the soviet forces in former romanian teritories got more modern fighters than anyone else ?
|Posted by: Dénes March 30, 2010 05:27 am|
| No. of MiG-3s of the VVS units attached to OdVO in mid-June 1941:
55 IAP: 62/0, 4 IAP: 60/7, 69 IAP: 5/0, 131 IAP: 5/0, 146 IAP: 57/2.
Total: 189/9 (total/unserviceable a/c).
I am wondering why did you pick the MiG-3?
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi March 30, 2010 06:58 am|
Odessa military district does not include N Bucovina.
Because there were to few yak -1, I-153 is a biplane and probably the I-16 flyes better than it looks ...
|Posted by: ANDREAS March 30, 2010 05:15 pm|
| Interesting discovery ... at least for me!
I had the chance to read two magazines of the polish Wydawnictwo Militaria, describing operation Barbarossa (text partly translated into English). The author Tomasz Lisiecki begins his first volume of the magazine not with the description of events from 22 june 1941 (read page 62-67) but with the description of the soviet plans for an attack on forces of the IIIrd Reich and its allies. The first plan - Marshal S.K.Timoshenko and gen. K.A.Mierieckov, presented Stalin on 18 september 1940, but, modified later and presented to Stalin on october 14, 1940. This plan was the reason of the convening in Moscow of the command of the Red Army 23-31 december 1940 (276 marshals, generals and admirals participated), where mainly the attack plans were discussed, defense only part of a general attack plan. War games (3 scenarios) were held on 2-11 january 1941, the goal of which was the selection of the best attack plan. The second plan - Timoshenko -Zhukov presented to Stalin on march 11, 1941. The last version of this plan was was approved on May 15, 1941.
|Posted by: MMM March 30, 2010 06:29 pm|
| WOW! Are those magazines only in Polish?
Anyway, if the final decision was made on may 15, 1941, would there have been enough time to start the attack on july 6-th?
|Posted by: Dénes March 30, 2010 06:49 pm|
It did. The operational area, renamed Southern Front, spanned towards West up to Beregomet and to North-West up to Smotrich.
As for the MiG-3, bombers were more important than fighters, as they could inflict to the enemy way more damage.
|Posted by: Victor March 30, 2010 07:15 pm|
The statistic is done on:
- 20 armies
- 95 corps
- 198 rifle divisions
- 61 tank divisions
- 31 motorized divisions
The "experience" refers to the time those men had commanded a unit of that level, not the exact unit they commanded on 22 June 1941.
Regarding your question, if you would have bothered to read my post quoting Grigorenko, you would have understood how it was possible to raise the cannon fodder rifle divisions. One can always put junior officers in charge of higher commands and move up higher ranking officers. FOr the rest of the positions one can use reservists with no real experience or even training. The result is a unit the Red Army could sacrifice to slow down the German advance. It is not a unit one could use in case of a mega offensive against the Axis.
And to try to close up this thread of the discussion, the idea is that had the Soviets been preparing and attack, it makes sense for them to use a force that would actually have a chance of achieving something. Calling the reserves to fill in the blanks in 2 weeks some of the regular units is not how one does this, because the reserves would be totally inferior to the regulars and cohesion would lack. In fact, as I already mentioned, there was an order issued in early 1941 to bring up to strength around 100 rifle divisions. Only a small portion of these were up to strength on 22 June. The Soviets were still working on it, slowly, but steadily.
|Posted by: Victor March 30, 2010 07:38 pm|
The battle of Dubno was anything but coherent and the best results were obtained by Rokossovsky's 9th MC when he decided to remain on the defensive. Most of the Soviet tank attacks ran either into German infantry in prepared AT positions or into German tanks that outmaneuvered them. Infantry support was also lacking as the "motorized" rifle divisions lacked trucks and were mostly moving on foot.
Regarding the "concentration" issue, there is little the Soviets could have done in two weeks in terms of concentrating more troops against Romania and preparing the offensive. First of all, more troops against Romania means less troops against the bulk of the German forces and a quicker successful German counteroffensive, which would also imply cutting off the Soviet forces against Romania. Second, and more important, concentrating forces means having the means to supply them, which given the low stocks the existing troops already had, is doubtful it could be achieved in 2 weeks time. It also means having the necessary infrastructure to use the extra troops properly and the infrastructure wasn't that great in Bukovina.
|Posted by: Victor March 30, 2010 08:17 pm|
That's a militaria magazine. You buy it for the technical details of the airplanes/tanks, the nice pictures and drawings, the battle accounts and that's about it. It is not a historical work dealing with a complex subject. From all I could find the mentioned author is a journalist ?!
Glantz describes the Soviet Deployment Planning in some detail. On 18 September 1940, Vasilevsky presented to Timoshenko and Meretskovthe document "Considerations of the Principal Bases of Strategic Deployment of the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union in the West and East in 1940 and 1941". It was the revision of the defensive plan Sharshopnikov had made in July 1940. The plan envisioned an attack by Both Germany and its European allies and Japan and called for the deployment of 80% of the ground forces in Europe, with the bulk of the forces South of Brest in order to be able to carry a counteroffensive that would drive the Germans back across the border and then advance toward Lublin, Krakow and Breslau.
On 5 October, Timoshenko and Meretskov presented Vasilevsky's work to Stalin and the rest of the political leadership. Stalin rejected the views and arguments that Hitler would concentrate on the shortest route to Moscow and gave them 10 days to shift the balance to the South, because he thought Hitler will be interested in the Ukrainian grain and minerals.
On 14 October Timoshenko presented the new plan to Stalin. The Southwestern front had been strengthened, becoming the main grouping in the European part of the Soviet Union. The priority 1 Axis strike was expected from Southern Poland towards Kiev. Priority 2 was from Romania towards Kiev and Priority 3 was against the Western and Northwestern fronts.
Zhukov's 15 May plan was just a proposal, not a sure thing. First of all it was beyond the Soviet military potential at the time. Second there is no evidence that Stalin has seen it, let alone approved it. It is the job of the General Staff to evaluate different scenarios and create contingency plans. The main directive finished in early May by Stavka was the "1941 Plan for Defending the State and Borders". i think the title speaks for itself regarding what it was about. The military districts submitted their detailed plans between 10 and 20 June 1941.
|Posted by: ANDREAS March 30, 2010 11:12 pm|
| Thank you, Victor!
Some clarifications are really new, others I already read in the pages of that magazine (I mentioned only few ideas about the subject, being described on 6 pages - pictures included). It seemed to me also little suspicious, because the Soviet attack plans described there were very detailed, even though Rezun (who theoretically knew more about that) spoke about the lack of official Soviet documents in this area, so ... About the fact that Zhukov's plan was beyond the Soviet military potential at the time, it looks indeed credible -the weak motorisation of the infantry units from the armored and mechanised divisions, the logistics services, the poor technical condition of a part of Armour, a.o. And about the main directive finished in early May by Stavka, the army have failed to adapt to the requirements of this (if it was defensive)!
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 01, 2010 09:33 pm|
| A question that may be off topic, but is interesting...
The extraordinary growth of the Soviet army from 1939 to 1941 had a beneficial effect in the context of the 1941 campaign, or contrary -dilute the soviet units combat potential? If the Germans had met in battle the soviet forces organized and of the size of 1939 (but better equipped) should they be able to crush the USSR in 1941 or the contrary, would they have been stopped sooner by the soviets?
|Posted by: MMM April 02, 2010 02:37 pm|
| This is hypothetical; but given the fact that in 1939 there weren't any T-34 tanks and much less KV's, my "educated guess" is that Moscow would have been reached; but only when Wehrmacht 1941 fought the Red Army of 1939 - which didn't happen!
Oh, now I've seen "better equipped"! However, given the fact that some troops (and generals) "learned" something in the Winter War, I stand to my oppinion: the Red Army of 1939 was weaker than that of 1941, thus easier to overrun.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 09, 2010 06:13 am|
I was refering to the 149th fighter regiment.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 09, 2010 06:16 am|
That would be the same as P. Grigorenko who started the " Stalin preemptive strike theory " ?
This however does not explain the high proportion of Major generals leading the newlly mobilised divisions, when prewar division were often lead by oficers with the rank of colonel.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 09, 2010 06:22 am|
| @ Victor and others
I did not take Glantz figures for granted and did my own computations (only for ODESSA M.D. )
The data is correct however i wish to make one observation.
By the end off July 1941 the precentage of officers
with more than one year of experience as a division commander would rise to 56 %.
Here are the names included in my statistic:
A I PASTREVICH -95TH R.DIV.
V N MARTSINKEVICH- 176TH R.DIV.
S G GALAKTIONOV -30TH Mn.R.DIV
F YE SHEVERDIN -747TH R.DIV.
A S ZAKHARCHENKO -25TH R.DIV.
P G TSIRULNIKOV -51ST R.DIV
V K BARANOV -5TH Ca. DIV
A F BYCHOSKII-9TH Ca. DIV.
YA F YEREMENKO -116TH R.DIV
M S TKACHEV-106TH R.DIV.
P V CHERNYAEV-156TH R.DIV
I I KHORUN -150TH R.DIV
G I KUZMIN -11TH Tk. DIV.
M I MYNDRO -16TH Tk. DIV.
N N BELOV -15TH Mot. Div.
V P KRYMOV -44TH Tk. DIV.
F N SHILOV -218TH Mot. Div.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 09, 2010 06:28 am|
Why would a 25 year old rezervist , with two years of military service , be totally inferior , to a 19 to 21 y.o. conscript ?
|Posted by: Victor April 11, 2010 11:22 am|
Just out of curiosity: how many were 25 year old reservists with 2 years of military service were called up and how many fresh 19/21 years olds had just been conscripted before the war began?
I think it is common sense that a bunch of reservists called up for duty and shipped to the front in a matter of weeks (as the Soviets desperately did in the summer of 1941) will perform on average worse than regulars would. The complexity of a military force in the 20th century is immense. You cannot just make people that had some military service at some point in their lives click and act with the same cohesion and efficiency as soldiers that have been training together for at least some months. Also the physical fitness of a civilian would also be lower on average and the knowledge of the more modern equipment/tactics would be lacking. All of this gets worse when the reservists and conscripts called up have on average lower education and are used not to display too much initiative (if they know what's good for them).
|Posted by: Victor April 11, 2010 11:31 am|
I don't have BC/RS at hand right now, so I cannot provide the figures, but, from memory, the Kiev and Odessa Military Districts had received by June 1941 more
"modern" aircraft than other MDs.
The MiG-3 in particular was a high-altitude interceptor, i. e. a defensive weapon. The first months of service on the Eastern Front proved it was pretty much crap in other types of missions.
|Posted by: Victor April 11, 2010 11:55 am|
I do not know if Grigorenko started the "Stalin preemptive strike theory". From what I read, Piotr Grigorenko was very critical of the situation of the Red Army's pre-Barbarossa status.
If you are referring to what Rezun had him reportedly say, then better read this old post (8 years) now on AHF: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?p=88729&sid=be8c106e54488d0489c62fe32b3892db#p88729
Regarding the second issue, please first demonstrate with numbers and sources the "high proportion pf major generals leading the newly mobilized divisions". If this is indeed true, then one explanation could be that some of these officers resulted from the disbandment of the corps level which I suppose freed up many high-ranking officers. Otherwise it is difficult to say exactly where they came from. Glantz quotes a report by Shchadenko, the chief of the RKKA Cadre Directorate, which states that in 1938 the Red Army was short of 93,000 command cadre and the reserves of 300,000-350,000. During 1939-41, the schools output was increased and the purges were much reduced, but the shortage could only be decreased and not eliminated. Also the increase in output meant a decrease in quality of the new command cadre.
|Posted by: Victor April 11, 2010 11:56 am|
The Wehrmacht of 1939 was much different from that of 1941 in some many respects that this discussion is really too much of a what if.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 11, 2010 12:55 pm|
that's not my point , this is:
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 11, 2010 01:12 pm|
Did STALIN purged 93,000 command cadre ?
see link : http://rkka.ru/handbook/personal/repress/main.htm about the number of purged officers
i would post the number of major generals leading division formed or forming in june -july 1941 ( before the reduction of the corps HQ ) later.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 11, 2010 01:21 pm|
without any reference at hand i would say 1.2 million 25 y.o reservist versus 3.6 million 19 to 21 y.o. conscripts.
both issued with the same type of rifle used in the civil war.
Not sure about what modern equipment/tactics you are referring.
Also during Stalin reign " fat and idle " does not come
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 11, 2010 03:04 pm|
114,118General-maior Glovatskaya NM ,127 General maior Korneev, TG ,129 Gorodnyanskiy general-maior ,132AM S.S. Biryuzov general-maior,,134 kombrig VK Bazarov ,151 General maior Neretin VI , 160 General-maior Skugarev IM ,162,187 ,194 ,196 General-maior Kulikov KE ,198 General-maior V. Kryukov ,212 General-maior Baranov SV ,214General maior Rozanov, AI ,217,220 General maior Khoruzhenko GN ,226,227,
230 ,232 ,234 ,238 ,239 ,242 Коваленко Кирилл Алексеевич major general ,243 Поленов Виталий Сергеевич maj general,244,245 Корчиц Владислав Викентьевич KOMBRIG ,246 Мельников Иван Иванович major general ,247 ,248Сверчевский Карл Карлович major general ,250 Горбачев Иван Сергеевич major general ,251 Соловьев Филипп Яковлевич major general ,252,253,254 Похазников Петр Николаевич major general ,256 Иванов Степан Александрович major general ,257 Урбанович Виктор Казимирович ,
i can translate the rest of the names for those intrested .
nata could be fould online : http://samsv.narod.ru
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 11, 2010 04:16 pm|
| 258,259 Шилов Федор Николаевич maj. gene ,260 ,261 ,262 Клешнин М. Н maj. general,264 ,266,268 Еншин Михаил Александрович maj.general,269, 270,271 Буренин Иван Николаевич kombrig ,272 ,279 ,280 Данилов Сергей Евлампиевич maj. general ,281 ,282,284 ,285 Кузьмин Иван Кузьмич kombrig ,286,
287,288,289 ,292 ,293,297 ,299 ,300 ,302 ,303 ,305 ,307 ,309 ,310 ,311 ,312 ,313 Павлович Антон Александрович maj general ,314 Шеменков Афанасий Дмитриевич maj. general ,316 Панфилов Иван Васильевич ( pamfilov ivan vasilievich) ,322 ,413 Терешков Алексей Дмитриевич maj general ,415 .
kombrig is 1 star general
maj general 2 star
the rest had the rank polkovnik ( colonel )
|Posted by: Victor April 13, 2010 12:24 pm|
So the fact that these "modern" aircraft were weapons effective only for defense against high-altitude recon aircraft should be discarded?
|Posted by: Victor April 13, 2010 05:46 pm|
Between 1937 and 1941 an estimate of 54,714 officers were purged. The link you provided contains around 3,250 people. Probably these were the ones who were shot. Apart from these, many others were purged.
Anyway, I did not say anywhere that Stalin had purged 93,000 officers and neither did the report I quoted. The Red Army was simply short of this number of command cadre. The same report by Schadenko mentions that during 1928-1938, around 67,670 officers had left the Army for different reasons (willingly or unwillingly) and the output of the schools barely covered this. Since the Red Army and its reserves were expanding, so was the need for command personnel, thus the shortage.
|Posted by: Victor April 14, 2010 05:23 am|
Without any reference it would be interesting to see how you came up with the figures.
We are talking about 20th century warfare, not the Crusades. Wars were no longer fought by handing infantry weapons to a large group of men and herding them towards the enemy (to simplify the matter in the same manner you did). There are a lot of specialist support units and weapons that require a degree of technical knowledge. When the weapon or system changes, it takes time for the men to be re-qualified, especially since most are semi-illiterate. The Red Army was in the full process of rearming. The Mosin Nagant wasn't being replaced (although it was being modified), but other weapons were.
Regarding tactics, Timoshenko had begun in 1940 a series of reforms which logically would affect also the tactics used by the Red Army and which would differ in some respects to what a part of the reservists knew or remembered from their service days.
But one only needs to look at the performance of the hastily raised divisions to see their potential.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 14, 2010 07:52 am|
I realize that i'm playing the devil advocate here, but i'm interested in hearing arguments against Suvorov theories , other than my own.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 14, 2010 07:56 am|
Pokryshkin did not seem to think so, it simply had to be flown differently than the i-16 and the i-153.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 14, 2010 08:22 am|
I would like to see Schadenko's reference for that figure.
Ok. So Schadenko quotes the the figures for the years of the purges, together with the previous 8 years , and comes up with a " terrible " number ...
This not only discredits Schadenko but also Glantz who quotes him.
The red army had around 120.000 officers before the war, 2400 would leave the army each year simply because of old age, in ten years it adds to a significant number but since that figure is not enough, lets add the purged officers also ....
We must also recall that in 1940, Stalin recalled a high number purged officers in the army ( ie ROKOSSOVSKI ) ,i can look up the exact figure if you wish , it 's around 12.000.
The rapid expansion of the army is bound to create experienced officer shortages, i'm not going to argue against that.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 14, 2010 08:53 am|
I used the 1937 census ( from memory ) and some math .
"handing infantry weapons to a large group of men and herding them towards the enemy " Than why did you quote Glantz saying that they lack almost anything except
rifles and political officers ?
The antitank guns , 75 % of the tanks, two thirds of the artillery, truck transport , signal , bridging and pioneer equipment was also in service in 1937 for instance. Only a portion of the prewar army was getting new weapon systems ( and those were designed with commonality in mind ) .
The Red Army won the war with reservists and kids called up after the german invasion, the millions of young conscripts they had in 1941 were either KIA, MIA, WIA, POW , (only a fraction of them survived ). It would be interesting to compare the effectiveness of the newly mobilized divisions with the France's reserves which got 8 months to prepare and train.
|Posted by: Victor April 15, 2010 09:56 am|
Pokryshkin was the exception rather than the rule within the VVS, but he was himself shot down in a MiG-3 in the early months of the war and barely evaded capture by the Romanian infantry advancing towards Odessa.
The fact that the MiG-3 eventually was retreated from service with the front aviation is a clear indication of how unsuited it was for this type of warfare.
|Posted by: Victor April 15, 2010 10:22 am|
Read my intitial post. Schadenko was the chief of the RKKA Cadre Directorate in that period. I believe that a man in his position would probably know very well how many officers the Red Army needed.
The figure for the purges is not taken from Schandenko's report (it is logical to assume that he could not state in 1938 how many officers Stalin purged between 1937-1941), but from a Russian 1990 publication. I only mentioned it because you brought up the very low figures for the purges.
Schadenko mentions the 67,000 officers that left the army since 1928 (including 5-6,000 that were transferred to the VVS) to show that these "losses" were barely covered by the output of the officer schools. This figure is not included in the 93,000
has nothing to do with what I wrote. Please be more attentive to what is written.
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 15, 2010 05:40 pm|
What references the 1990 Russian publication gives for this number ?
My mistake, the figure for 1937-1938 purges is widely publicized. it's based on a report of major general A.T. Ukolov stating 36.761 officers.
However not all of them were arrested ( 10.868 men in the same source ) , and not all of those arrested were shot.
So 36.761 officers removed from command plus 24.000 ( 2.400 times ten ) which left the army between 1928 to 1938 adds up to 60.761 officers.
Lets not disregard the the number which joined the army in these ten years.
Obviously, Schadenko believed that the Red Army needed one officer for every six soldiers ( if he was referring to red army of 1938 )
Edited at Dragos Request
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 15, 2010 05:50 pm|
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi April 15, 2010 05:52 pm|
All fighter aircraft eventually are.
The mig shared the same engine with the IL-2 and PE -2, in 1942 the choice was obvious.
( post edited in order not to create a new one.)
|Posted by: dragos April 15, 2010 06:08 pm|
|Please try to address all of the points into one post, the topic is getting unnecessarily long in number of posts.|
|Posted by: Dettrit August 09, 2010 01:34 pm|
According my information it should be about :
in working condition - 173
and broken - 8
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi September 03, 2010 12:20 pm|
149 IAP/ 64 IAD (149 fighter regiment / 64 air division).
|Posted by: Dettrit September 05, 2010 11:05 am|
But It was just from August, when the Battle for Bessarabie was over. And pilots of this unit just started training for MiG-3, they began war on I-16 & I-153. And before war it was unit of OKVO, not Odessa MD...
|Posted by: osutacincizecisidoi September 15, 2010 07:28 am|
interesting , and your source is ?
|Posted by: guina September 15, 2010 12:48 pm|
| Sorry that jump into your discussion,
You can find that data in the works of notet russian aviation historian Dmitry Hazanov.
See also historians Alexei Stepanov,Vladimir Kondratiev,Dmitry Zaharov,Mark Solonin,etc.
|Posted by: PaulC April 19, 2012 02:54 pm|
| I'm a history and geopolitics enthusiast myself and I've read Suvorov's books. IMO, his presentation is the only one which makes sense and explains what happened in the pre-war years and summer 1941. There is no other explanation except the official one which is full of contradictions ( Stalin is afraid of Germany, but he destroys the neutral countries in between them instead of supporting them; he doesn't believe in the German attack, but the bulk of the Red Army and 2000 airfields are located in a 250km stretch from the border , some airfields were 800m from the German border; ).
The official history never presented any plans whatsoever, they say Suvorov is wrong and there are no plans for attack, however they can't show any for defense either. Somehow, the Red Army was the only army in the world without any plans whatsoever.
I've read also the books of his detractors. What's so nice about the soviet lack of preparation theory is that it's always one sided. Example : VVS availability of front line units is only 70% , the remaining 30% in need of repairs. Is it good ? Is it bad ? That's a nice propoganda trick the soviet school is so fond of. Without comparison (or by false comparisons ) , you can make everything look bad.
The moment you do the comparison everything falls apart.
60% working soviet tanks out of 15000 is far more than 75% working german tanks out of 3400. Somehow, the later were ready for attack, the former were totally incapable.
There are 2 options on the table : either accept Suvorov's theory and everything starts to match or go on believing the irrational contradictions of the official history who's central theme is that the russians were blithering idiots.
A lot can be said of Stalin and his henchmen, but they were no idiots. The idiots were cleansed in 1936-1939.
|Posted by: Imperialist April 20, 2012 01:24 pm|
After the collapse of France and the eviction of Britain from the continent there was no other potential threat for the USSR in Europe but Germany. The only thing standing between peaceful relations and war was a piece of paper - the non-aggression treaty. And it was well known that no piece of paper would stop Hitler from something. Thus, it was logical for the USSR to concentrate the bulk of its forces in the West.
However I don't think Stalin was in a hurry to attack in 1941.
|Posted by: PaulC April 20, 2012 06:15 pm|
Who needed that piece of paper ? Stalin or Hitler ? The answer is obvious, being laid out crystal clear in Stalin's august 19 1939 speech to the Politburo
Stalin had forseen the possibility of a German victory 1 year before, and it was something he desired. Let me emphasize this : Stalin wanted Germany to crush France and Britain and offered whatever strategic materials Germany needed to accomplish this goal.
Someone who does such a thing isn't someone that is afraid of Germany, but one who is actually pulling the strings.
Stalin laid out his vision in the august 19 1939 speech to the politburo. The speech leaked out to the french espionage through Bulgarian communist participants and parts of it appeared as a manifesto sent to English and french communists explaining the rationale behind the paradoxical and apparently illogical pact between mortal enemies, Nazism and Communist ideologies. For 50 years, the communists and all the copy/paste historians of the west declared there was no meeting on august 19 and the speech was a fraud. Now they accept there was a meeting. Now, they found traces of the speech. Probably in 2-5 years they will find the notes in some deep underground bunker.
The change in policy on August 19 was brutal. The august 19 meeting had the purpose of explaining to the soviet leadership the future direction and also the decision to start the covert mobilization of the Red Army was taken. It led directly to the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact and allowed Germany a free hand to start the war.
Hitler was no fool, he realized the danger :
|Posted by: Imperialist April 20, 2012 07:33 pm|
I think you misread that Stalin speech (provided it is true).
It is nothing but a presentation of options, analysis of several possible outcomes (not solely a German victory as you say) and justification of the choice made. Stalin had to pitch to his listeners a very controversial change in policy and to make it clear how such a change would significantly benefit the USSR, communism and the world revolution. One can even see the parts in which he overstates his case.
Anyway, I don't see what this has to do with Suvorov. The problem with Suvorov is his claim that the USSR planned to attack Germany in the summer of 1941.
p.s. Talking of documents and archives, did the Western archives reveal what were the top secret negotiations that the Western envoys had with Stalin in Moscow in August 1939?
|Posted by: Dénes April 20, 2012 07:52 pm|
Why is that a problem, historically speaking? I am not talking about "Suvorov", but about the statement.
|Posted by: PaulC April 21, 2012 07:10 am|
Stalin overstates his case ? Let's look what happened :
-the pact is signed - check
-Germany invades Poland - check
-France and England declare war on Germany - check ( surprisingly, comrade Stalin did not tell Hitler about this tiny little fact, leaving the Fuhrer speechless when the war declaration was presented to him on Sept 3. His " What do we do now ?" tell us everything about the scope of his plans and how prepared he was for this turn of events. But the war weary, half "idiot", comrade Stalin was grinning behind his mustache. Things were going perfectly as he wanted. No wonder he shouted " I cheated Hitler, I did it" after the pact was signed. FYI, Stalin's signature on the map of Europe was 58cm IIRC . That's the mark of someone who is about to explode of enthusiasm and hop around the room in one leg singing)
Btw, this is how the newspapers at the time, early September, presented the pact
Totally different from the bullshit we were fed for 60 years : Stalin was afraid and with his pants down tried to buy time. Does the cartoon look as Stalin was afraid and trying to buy time ?
-the war starts to wear the combatants - -check ( the naval war starts to pick up, new fronts are opened, Norway )
- Stalin supplies Germany with what they need ( oil, rubber, alloy metals, wheat,etc )- check
-Germany attacks France and England - check ( the war is total )
While all this happens, the Red Army triples in size, industry is put on a war footing. Like Stalin said we could plan the opportune time for us to enter the war , by that he doesn't mean getting attacked by Germany. Since no other foe was in front of him, the phrase can only be translated as "we will attack at the opportune moment ". When was the opportune moment ? 1941. Why ? Because the massive draft of 1939 meant that by September 1st 1941, you needed to demobilize the millions called for the 2 year service.
The first to say that were the German High Command. Simply being nazis and having commited all the crimes they did, from a historical POV that doesn't imply they were lying. It's a non-sequitur, one's crimes and brutality do not imply he is lying. But of course, appealing to emotions and logical fallacies is perfectly adequate, God forbid someone says " well , they were right ". It's simply not politically correct.
After the German, there were the soviet officers in captivity like Vlasov. After them were soviet intelligence defectors of the '40s and '50s.
Suvorov only made the case in the '80s and he put together the whole picture ( the World Revolution explained, the interwar years with german-soviet agreements to build military bases in the SU, the industrialization that gave the SU in the shortest time possible the largest armaments industry the world has seen , the purges to get rid the Army of the civil war butchers and comissars ( incompetent and nobody would fight for them ), the pact, the secret mobilization, the transfer to the borders and last but not least the start of the war). He put everything in chronological order and explained the cause-effect of each actions and how the interlinked to support the goal. No other author on the Soviet Union, either russian or foreign, did that. 99% took for granted the official version which is like swiss cheese, full of holes. ( how come Stalin did not prepare for war, yet, his advantage in weapons like planes, tanks, guns, submarins is like 3-1, 4-1, 2-1, 1-1 vs. the entire world, not just Germany. No answer. Why were the soviet army units and HQs moved to close to the border in non-defensible positions ? No answer. Why were 2000 airfields built in a 250km belt from the border ? No answer. Why didn't the Red Army had no plans and no maps on fighting on their own territory ? No answer. Believing the official history is a matter of faith since it blows in the face of every logical inquiry )
The entire problem can be divided in 3 sections :
-Did the communists wanted to realize the World Revolution and thus fostered any civil dissent in western Europe and used Nazi Germany as a tool for starting another world war ? ( without this it's pointless to discuss the date or how prepared they were for attack ) "The experience of the last 20 years has shown that in peacetime the Communist movement is never strong enough for the Bolshevik Party to seize power. The dictatorship of such a Party will only become possible as the result of a major war."
-If we accept that Stalin meticulously helped Germany restart a major war in Europe, when did he want to "liberate" Europe from the Nazi oppresion ? In addition, all the nations that fall under the "protection" of a victorious Germany will become our allies. This presents for us a broad field of action for the initiation of world revolution.
-Thirdly, did Stalin had the means ( to defeat Germany and conquer Europe ) at the date he envisioned ?
Yes they did. It is a well known fact. The Anglo-French tried to get an agreement signed for the defense of Poland with the Soviet Union. However, the SU demanded corridors through Poland to fight Germany if war starts. The Poles categorically refused. Must have something to do with 1919-1920 when they got a first taste of what Red Army presence on your territory means.
A summary of the discussion is presented even on wikipedia page of the pact.
|Posted by: Imperialist April 21, 2012 09:10 am|
Yes he does. He is trying to wrap a realpolitik decision into communist ideological rhetoric and to pitch the change in foreign policy to the Politburo. He overstates his case and even makes some logical fallacies. For example he tells them that USSR couldn't come to the aid and assistance of a Sovietized Germany (in case Germany loses) but USSR would come to the help of a Sovietized France (in case Germany wins).
Are you kidding? Hitler may have been speechless because the Western democracies didn't back down, not because the declaration took him by surprise coming out of the blue. Everyone was aware war was a possibility since it was common knowledge that Britain and Poland had signed an alliance and a military pact. There was no point in Stalin telling Hitler anything.
Since when are newspaper cartoons relevant? Not to mention that is one cartoon, in one newspaper and it looks like it's a Polish newspaper.
BTW, the alleged speech you posted does show buying time was part of Stalin's strategy.
If Stalin had a grand plan to attack Germany the best moment would have been 1940 while Germany was busy in the West.
1941? Not so good. Germany turns around and concentrates all of her might in the East, on a single front, Britain is unable to do anything on the continent. Following the logic presented in that alleged Politburo speech, in 1941 Stalin would bid his time, strengthen his army and wait for further developments between Britain and Germany. He is winning without attacking.
Hitler can't afford to do this because with every passing year he will become weaker. Hitler's decision to attack the USSR was strategic in nature, not based on intelligence reports that USSR will attack in the summer of 1941.
Who said Stalin did not prepare for war? All countries prepare and prepared.
2,000 airfields built in a belt 250-km deep. Sounds awesome until you factor in the length of USSR's Western border (around 3,000 km).
So is that all they talked about?
|Posted by: Victor April 21, 2012 12:39 pm|
Just a footnote before we begin. On 22 June 1941, the VVS had between 9,000 and 10,000 aircraft near the Western border according to Bergstrom & Mikhailov. That would make 4.5-5 aircraft/airfield given a uniform distribution. I would say it's a bit of an inflation of airfields.
The Red Army was a stumbling colossus in June 1941. This is a fact which is well substantiated by David Glantz in the book with the same name and by the military defeats in the first year of war. Furthermore, Stalin and his henchmen, who you seem to think were some sort of Prof. Moriarty&Co, were partly to blame for the poor state of the Red Army and the debacles of the Winter War and of 1941.
I don't know where you got the information from, but I don't think it's statistically possible that all the 54,714 officers killed, imprisoned or discharged were all idiots. The total included 3 of 5 Soviet marshals, 2 of 4 armt commanders 1st rank, 12 of 12 army commanders 2nd rank, 60 of 67 corps commanders, 136 of 199 division commanders, 221 of 397 brigade commanders (see Glantz, Stumbling Colossus, pages 30-31). And the purge went on even to regiment commander level and their staffs. Of course you are welcome provide a source that certifies all these men were idiots, but before you do, you should look up Rokossovsky's, Meretskov or Gorbatov's biography if you are not familiar with them.
Sure, Suvorov's theories are "sexy" and nice to believe in, especially if one has an agenda. It saves up a lot of effort to dig deeper in the matter. However, complicated subjects don't have simple clean-cut answers. Where the Soviets preparing for war against the Axis? Most likely. Where they preparing for an attack in June 1941? The facts don't really point that way. In my opinion, they would have been or believed to have been ready in 1942 and that's when they would have attacked. But it's just a personal opinion, based on "irrational contradictions", not one in which everything matches.
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 21, 2012 05:15 pm|
|Without pronouncing myself in any way on the hypothesis of Suvorov/Rezun (until recently I was a supporter of this hypothesis) I have to say that after the war in the memoirs of some German generals participants at Barbarossa operation, there is not a clue of a suspected intention of the soviets to attack soon! They led German major units who faced the Soviets in late June 1941 and have found no evidence that lead to such a hypothesis... no doubt they all reached a point to realize that Soviet military power far exceeded their estimates, but this does not clarify the moment July 1941 when it would have been the starting date of the hypothetical Soviet attack! I obviously have many elements little or no explained by the official theory which contradicts the Suvorov/Rezun hypothesis, but as I said, I don't take this hypothesis as a good one!|
|Posted by: Dénes April 22, 2012 06:21 am|
| Besides the "Suvorov theory" (Hitler's pre-emptive strike) and the "Germans attacked the unsuspecting Soviets" one (the current mainstream version), there is a third theory, I advocate: both sides prepared for war against the other, but independently to each other, and would have attacked anyway at one point in time. It happened that Hitler stroke first, before Stalin.
See my paper on this, published in my book, From Barbarossa to Odessa, vol. 1 (and on this forum, too): http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/index.php?showtopic=3943&view=findpost&p=59110
|Posted by: PaulC April 23, 2012 06:44 pm|
You're treating the ideological background as if we're discussing of today's politics...
The whole point has an ideological substrate : Stalin&co had the task to initiate the World Revolution. They breathe and live on that. It's their only goal in life and they put everything behind it, robbing banks in Tbilisi or destroying Russia in the attempt to prepare to liberate the world. Lenin tried and failed. In times of peace, nobody is interested in communist ideals. You need war, you need destruction, you need civil unrest, famine. Stalin knew that the moment he took power. All he did from that point was to finance the Comintern and build the worlds largest and most modern weapons industry in the world. If you think he did that being afraid of Finland, Romania, Poland, Mongolia, Japan, whatever, be my guest.
Actually is perfectly logical : Germany lost. Could the SU offer its aid and assistance ? No. Why ? Because the US , British and French army occupied it.
If Germany losses, the traditional power will fight off communism just like they did after ww1 and ww2. ( talk about hindsight )
Assume Germany conquers France. ( which happened btw ). One of the strongest forces in German occupied France was the french communist party. With the Red Army crushing Germany, they could offer direct assistance.
Isn't it the same thing ? What's the difference ? Didn't back down=declared war.
So he was speechless because they didn't back down or because they declared war ? Or is it the other way round ?
Apparently Hitler and the German HQ ( do I need to tell you Raeder's reaction ? ) weren't. And they expected to be Czechoslovakia round 2. Had Stalin told him : "Dear Adolf, we split Poland, no problem my friend, but be aware the England and France will declare war on you", Hitler wouldn't have attacked. In an instant he would have been in a no-win situation : blockaded and dependent on Stalin's benevolence.
That's evidence of how things were perceived at the time. Nowadays, after 60 years of general truth, you find a large contradiction between how our grandparents viewed it and our contemporary view. Now we're told Stalin did it out of fear. The world at the time didn't see a chicken Stalin.
LoL. You're doing a grave misjudgment here. In hindsight everything is clear. The problem is, you know [B] NOW, AFTER IT HAPPENED that 1940 would have been better.
Put yourself in Stalin shoes. Your plan is to release Hitler's hand over Europe and then free it as a savior. It is summer 1939. The tension between Germany and Poland increases, French and English delegations are asking for your help to build an alliance. You know that if you reject the allies and make a pact with Hitler, he will attack Poland. At the same time you know that will lead to war in the west. Even if Germany beats Poland in autumn 1939, they can't do anything in the west until 1940. So 1940 Germany is busy fighting in the west against France, England and the US supplying the allies. The war will last long, maybe a few years.
Keeping in mind the economic impact and the buildup necessary, 1941 is the earliest year the Red Army could attack. 1942 is far away, maybe the allies and Germany not wanting to get bogged down in a ww1 scenario will make peace.
Two years allows the SU to put the industry on a war footing; triple army size and move it to the frontier. All this in secret. Ready to unleash it in summer 1941.
Open any official history book on ww2 and on the Soviet Union chapter it starts with : the Red Army was unprepared, poorly equipped, poorly trained and poorly led having all its senior officers shot in the purges.
Really ? From Konigsberg to Odessa there are 3000km ? Or are you calculating the karelian tundra as well.
You're missing the point. All those airfields were in mortal danger in case of an enemy attack. Being close to the border means little or no reaction time ( and they didn't have radars and Patriot missiles back then ). The result is known. Only in the first hours, the Luftwaffe destroyed over 2000 soviet planes on the ground, airfields were littered with destroyed planes. The massacre continued over the following weeks.
You do not do that if you're thinking even the slightest to DEFEND yourself. You do that, cram the airfields near the border and pack them with planes, only if you want to ATTACK so they can give quick support and maximize the number of missions per day. Just like the Luftwaffe did.
That's the wrap up; yes. I can point you to some authors if you want the full details. They are available.
|Posted by: Imperialist April 23, 2012 08:18 pm|
Well, the Stalin who was so aware of the task of world revolution had to explain to the top echelon of his regime the rationale behind signing a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany. A move that not only came as a change in the USSR foreign policy after 1935, but was also ideologically problematic. Hence the speech. Hence his efforts to emphasize the advantages and paint a brilliant picture of the advantages.
So USSR can come to the help of a Sovietized France occupied by a victorious Germany, but can't come to the help of a Sovietized Germany occupied by France and Britain. Where's the logic?
The possibility of France and Britain declaring war was known, the fact that they actually did may have been a surprise for a Hitler that believed they wouldn't dare go at war over Poland. There is a difference.
First of all, Stalin was neither Hitler's babysitter nor his uncle. It wasn't his job to tell him anything. Secondly, what makes you think Stalin knew for sure what France and Britain were about to do?
First of all, you would need a far bigger sample of newspaper cartoons and articles to paint a relevant picture of how things were perceived at the time.
Secondly, I don't know who exactly tells us Stalin did it out of fear. The only ones I've recently heard say that were some Russian Communists on a forum.
No, I use no hindsight. 1940 was the year Hitler attacked France and left his Eastern borders very exposed. You have to use no hindsight to realize that if Stalin had set a trap for Germany and was willing to attack then this was the best moment to open a second front on an unsuspecting Germany.
Stalin wanted the 3 powers to stand up against Germany in the Czechoslovakian crisis in 1938 and what did France and Britain did? Munich 1938. Now the French and British came to propose action against Germany in the Polish crisis. But action would have meant certain war between Germany and the USSR. Stalin simply didn't want to enter war and allow France and Britain to sit on the sidelines and watch. He wanted that spot for himself.
And if Stalin had a grand plan to invade Germany that would have been a good moment to do it.
If you have a more exact figure why don't you present it.
Where's the proof that airfields were "crammed near the border"? Or "packed with airplanes"?
Also what you call an airfield packed with airplanes ready to attack someone else can call an airfield packed with airplanes ready to defend.
|Posted by: PaulC April 23, 2012 08:33 pm|
The occupied airfield number was around 670. The 2000 airfield figure is from here : http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/aureview/1983/mar-apr/ratley.htm
I know Glantz's title is catchy, but that doesn't add a iota to his claims. Maybe once he had grown tired of visiting Moscow, he will write the truth. Until then, he's just keeping to the party line so the caviar and permits are renewed. New Russian historians like Petukhov and Meltiukhov strongly disagree with Glantz.
I'll happily play the number games with the purges.
It might be a surprise to some, but in each year in every army on this world people are discharged from the army. Some retire, some because they drink, others for being gay, etc , etc. The US Army discharged roughly 15000 people in the last decade over the "Don't ask, don't tell policy" !
So you have 54714 officers discharged according to you. Some of them were imprisoned and some of those imprisoned were killed. I don't want to suspect you of anything, but I find intriguing how you try to seed some subliminal messages by your choice and order of words.
How many people of those discharged were arrested ? How many of those arrested were shot ?
I've added a file that shows that your number alone bears no reflection on the real impact, at most it confuses and spreads misinformation.
Period 1937-1939 ( Stalinist Terror, 2011 )
36898 were discharged
11596 reinstated in the army by may 1940 ( 30% of those discharged )
Suvorov has this figures:
My figures and without the VVS. And not all of those arrested were shot.
What's more interesting is to see the impact at Army level.
1937 we have 144 300 officers in the Red Army - discharged as of May 1940 were only 7,7% ( 11034 people )
1938 we have 179 000 officers in the Red Army - discharged as of May 1940 were 3,7% (6742 people )
1939 we have 282 200 officers in the Red Army - discharged as of May 1940 were 0.08% ( 205 people )
But we were told the Red Army were decapitated, 50% of the officers shot, etc , etc. Utter bullshit!
What about the growth of the Army ?! Did the Wehrmacht have 282k officers in 1939 ? Somehow I doubt it.
yep. Tuhacevski, Egorov and Blucher. Voroshilov and Budeonii remained. Wouldn't have it been better had they shot all 5 ?
Actually there were 8 1st rank and they shot 5. Timoshenko, Shaphosnikov and Kulik. All 3 were marshals in 1940.
Have you heard of Frinovski Mikhail Petrovich ? He was the highest ranked of them. Too bad he had no relation whatsoever with the army. He was second in command of the NKVD and assisted Ejov in all the purges till spring 1939 when he himself was arrested. The killer becomes the victim. You see, most of those shot were Civil War stars, who's rise to fame was their cruelty and savagery. Pure chekists, they held military ranks.
Frinovski was narkom of the Navy, fleet commander. Someone who's real experience was fighting kulaks. Such a loss for the Navy!
Actually there were 10 2nd rank army commanders. How did they manage to shoot 12 ?
At the same time, the army was growing at a phenomenal rate. Everybody was moving up the ladder. It wasn't as if there was nobody to take the post.
The simply fact that most of whom survived finished the war in glory states that the purges did clean the Red Army of incapable blood thirsty chekists tugs who's only fame is having brought the Red Terror on the russian people. But since they held Army ranks, people assume they were true commanders.
Agenda? What's next, calling us nazi apologists because we don't buy the june 22 BS ?
Indeed. That's why millions of Red Army soldiers were hiding in the forests near the border in June 1941. They thought it's a nice idea to camp outside until 1942.
|Posted by: PaulC April 23, 2012 08:56 pm|
Last I've heard, running a 22mil sq km country with 200million people isn't a one-man task.
In the 1st case they are liberators, in the 2nd they are seen as aggressors by western world.
You're playing semantics here.There was the possibility, but he believed they wouldn't so he was suprised. Does that make sense to you ? If we believed it was a possibility it shouldn't have been a surprise !
Yep. That's why they discussed 4 months in Moscow.
As you wish , US one :
Another one :
How interesting ! Friends, but ready to kill each other anytime..
How could he know in 1939 that Hitler would attack France in 1940 ? Secondly, as he said, he needed the western countries to exhaust themselves. He aim wasn't only to occupy Germany, but whole of western Europe. For that he needed western Europe to be in ruins.
Hitler asked danzig and the corridor. Had there been a common Anglo-French-Soviet front against him, he wouldn't have attacked Poland. That's why he sent Ribbentrop to Moscow, to get Stalin's neutrality, not the other way round !
You know that now. How could have he foreseen it in 1939 when German successes puzzled the Germans as much as everyone else ?
My google kung fu, says there are roughly 1800km.
A page above Victor you the Soviet Union had 9000 planes in the west. German reconaissance estimated 9500 as per my link. Germany had 1918 out of which 1280 operational ( I haven't heard anyone claim the Germans couldn't attack since they 40% of their planes were in need of repairs ). If the above difference, the number of the airfields, their proximity and the losses sustained don't ring any bells, I can't be anymore clear than that.
|Posted by: Imperialist April 23, 2012 10:07 pm|
Since when did Stalin care how the Western World viewed him, his actions and world revolution? Not to mention that a Sovietized Germany would have been the greatest success of world revolution. So - being seen as aggressors by western world vs. achieving the great success of defending a fellow Soviet Germany. Hmm, not really a tough choice.
I'm not playing any semantics. 1. The agreements between France, Britain and Poland to give the latter support in case of an attack were public knowledge prior to August 23, 1939. 2. Hitler was apparently surprised by the declaration of war. Logical conclusion - Hitler was aware that Britain and France were compelled by treaty to help out Poland but he hoped they were initimidated enough not to do it.
I can't be sure what they discussed. At any rate, provided they told Stalin and Stalin had reason to trust them (despite Munich 1938), since Stalin refused to be part of any effort against Germany, how exactly was he to know that his decision wouldn't change their mind since it radically changed the whole European calculations? Again, no point in Stalin telling Hitler anything. They weren't even allies.
And you can already see a change in how things were portrayed. The Polish newspaper cartoon you first posted shows Germany kneeling before Stalin, the American cartoons don't show it like that.
I wasn't talking about 1939. I was talking about 1940. You said Stalin had set Hitler up, had prepared a trap with the non-aggression pact, had a massive army and was willing to attack. You also claimed 1941 was the best time to do it. I simply pointed out that if that was so then Stalin should have attacked in 1940.
Also, you claim that Stalin needed Western Europe in ruins and the Western countries exhausted. So why would he attack in 1941 instead of letting Britain and Germany exhaust each other?
That common front died in Munich, in 1938.
I see... so the smart Stalin could foresee in 1939 that the R-M Pact "will lead to war in the west; even if Germany beats Poland in autumn 1939, they can't do anything in the west until 1940; so in 1940 Germany is busy fighting in the west against France, England and the US supplying the allies" (quoting you) but in 1940 it can't realize it's a good moment to open a second front on Germany if his plan is to invade?
Beginning on 22 June 1941, over 3.9 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a 2,900 km (1,800 mi) front,
Why do you think 2,000 airfields deployed in an area 1,500-2,000 km long by 250 km deep is too much? What should have been the "correct" number?
Also, you seem to know very accurately how many airplanes the Luftwaffe had, but did the Soviets?
|Posted by: PaulC April 24, 2012 08:05 am|
The idea was to have the capitalists sent you the rope with which they will later be hanged. Western aid for the Soviet Union started even before the war with US providing assistance and allowing soviet engineers it its armament factories. The first british shipment of arms to the Soviet Union departed on June 12, 1941. How interesting, Britain on the verge of defeat, send weapons to the neutral Soviet Union.
We're not getting anywhere with this so I'll leave it like that.
They weren't allies ? Look at the cartoon again. When you both invade a country and divide Eastern Europe, you're de facto in some sort of alliance.
Nah, the German wolf is in the same bed with the Russian bear. The point I was making if it didn't stick apparently : we were told Stalin acted out of fear. That's not how the world perceived it at that moment. Either in bed, or walking together or kneeling, there is nowhere to see any fear in Stalin's depiction. At worst , they're equals. At best, Germany asks for permission to invade.
You talk as if mobilizing millions of people, doubling and tripling the weapons industry and equipping all of them is as if we're playing Red Alert, a few clicks and you have a new mechanized unit. When you factor in the socio-economic impact, it's pretty clear you need at least 2 years to reach maximum capability. More than that and you're on a downward slope already, keeping tens of millions of people in the army and the armaments industry is only possible in war time. During peace it will bankrupt the country.
1941 was 2 years since the massive soviet mobilization began. Long enough to get the active Red Army to over 5 million and a massive superiority in weapons, but short enough not to ruin the economy.
1940 soviet armament industry grew 52% over 1939 level, Germany grew 76% ( although in absolute numbers, the soviet was much larger )
1941 another growth of 70% for the soviets ( and this was achieved in the first months, since in the 2nd half most of it was being disassembled and shipped to the Urals ) while for Germany the growth was 0 .
From this simple element, soviet weapons growth was phenomenal in late 1940 , first half of 1941. Had the Soviets attacked, the industry would have probably exceeded the combined weapons production of Germany, Britain and the US. ( Germany and ww2, Volume 5, Chapter 5 , page 605 ).
His goal is to occupy Europe. For example , the 8th airborne corp ( Germany had 1 division, the soviets 10 corps ) was filled with spanish republicans. Were do you think he wanted to parachute them ? In Mongolia or Berlin ?
Stalin knew war in the west will start. He didn't know what the outcome will be, but made sure by helping Germany that France and England will be in a serious situation. And like I've said earlier, he needed time to prepare. In the meantime, all he had to do was to ensure Germany is not defeated ( that's why millions of tons of oil, rare metals, rubber, grains, flowed from East to West, bypassing the British blockade ).
That's because it goes from Murmansk to Odessa. The Soviets had no intention of fighting again in Finland and focused on Poland and Romania. From Konigsberg ( East Prussia ) to Odessa, the distance is much smaller.
Try to see things from the other perspective, not from what happened.
Britain was defending itself with like 30 airfields (of course, when you have 400-800 planes it's enough ).
There isn't a correct number; the point was the number was incredible HUGE. You're talking about it as if they are bags of popcorn. Can you imagine the logistical effort to create and maintain this number of airfields ? How many people, trucks, fuel, spare parts, etc ?
That equals war preparation for attack of an unheard scale. Britain was saved because when the pressure was to high on southern airfields, they retreated north, out of the range of German fighter-bombers.
Had the soviets put their airfields on the old border, 400-500km from the front line, there were few Luftwaffe planes that could attack them at all. But instead, they put airfields so close to the border that some were destroyed by German artillery or even machine gun fire.
Considering how good their intelligence was, I suppose they knew very well. Besides, the task for them was much easier. Far fewer airfields and far fewer planes to destroy on the ground with a surprise attack.
|Posted by: Imperialist April 24, 2012 08:48 am|
You're trying to change the subject. What Britain did in 1941 is irrelevant, we were talking about Stalin's alleged Politburo speech in 1939 and the logical errors that show up in it because Stalin was trying to pitch an ideologically controversial decision by wrapping it up in world revolution rhetoric although the decision was to do a deal with Nazi Germany.
No, a cartoon is irrelvant.
Who are "we" and who told "us" this? Nobody of relevance told me that. No teacher, no book.
And looking at how the world perceives a decision is not really proof of why the decision was taken.
No, I'm saying 1940 was strategically the best moment for Stalin to attack. After that moment slipped away there was no point in attacking in 1941. Stalin was in a position to mass troops on the border and wait...
Earlier you said his goal was a prolonged war in the West. In that case he had to attack in 1940, because only by opening a second front against Germany would a prolonged war be possible. Otherwise, helping Germany to avoid the effects of the blockade and to concentrate on one front is no way of prolonging anything. Maybe you should reconsider what you were told.
No intention of fighting again in Finland doesn't mean you don't need airfields and airplanes to cover that area. Once again you're showing that in your view airfields and airplanes are only for offence.
The area is huge too. 1,800-2,900 km by 250 km. Do you realize what 250 km means? From Iasi to Odessa in a straight line.
I think you should also consider the airplanes' combat radius and the Soviet doctrine of defence through counter-attacks. Putting all your airplanes 500 km away from your border is nuts.
|Posted by: PaulC April 24, 2012 09:14 am|
You asked : Why would Stalin care how the western powers saw him ? The answer is simple : he needed to be seen as an liberator and thus given aid.
My point that you're entirely missed is that Stalin maneuvered in such a way that western help started before he even engaged in the war !
The cartoons and newspaper articles reflect the perception at the time. There is a contradiction between how people perceived events back then and how we are told they perceived them. Should be fairly easy to understand.
"We" = people who have read a few books on history including those edited under communist times and/or written by Red Army officers. There are a certain number of myths regarding the war. This is one of them.
And I'm saying that's bullshit since when Stalin ordered the secret mobilization to begin on August 19, 1939 he couldn't have possible known how 1940 would be unless he was related to Nostradamus which you seem to be in hindsight.
And you don't mass the troops on the border and wait, that's common sense. Why don't you camp out for a few month from April to July in the forests near the border, see the effect on condition, mental and physical, and on training.
A prolonged war was in his INTEREST, not his goal. His goal was a SOVIET EUROPE.
And helping Germany to avoid the blockade isn't prolonging the war ? How would Germany fight France and Britain without Soviet supplies ? Steam tanks and aircraft ?
Indeed. I'm generous : take 10 airfields and 200 planes to cover the finish 5 airfields in 100 planes. The fins have nothing better to do than to invade of their own the Soviet North.
30min for fighters and 50min for bombers. About the same distance during the Battle of Britain. Well inside the Luftwaffe umbrella and without early warning equipment it means a complete disaster. Which happened btw.
So what's your point ? That it was a good/neutral idea to have the airfields in that stretch ? That it doesn't matter ? Tell that to the thousands of pilots and thousands of planes destroyed in the early hours. The VVS disintegrated in the few days because if was "excellent" from a defense POV to have the airfields so close, run over by the Germans in the 2nd or 3rd day of operation.
There's no such things as defense through counter-attacks. Their plans were purely offensive and they were tested in January 1941 through massive war games. THey had 2 options, main attack in the north in Prussia or main attack in Galitia. The first option bogged down in the marshes and against German fortifications, the second was deemed viable and split the Wehrmacht in 2.
Had they put their plans 500km from the border and the troops 300km back ( on the Stalin line ) would have meant Barbarossa to end by late summer 1941, completely bogged down. The initial assault would have fallen in no mans' land, the Red Army is intact and same for the VVS. Whenever the Red Army entrenched ( Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, etc ) the German army couldn't break it's lines. Simply imagine the Panzer I and II storming massive fortifications...
But the soviets didn't care about defense at all. In fact, they left the fortified lines in shambles, when they needed them, they couldn't even find the keys to open the bunkers.
|Posted by: Imperialist April 24, 2012 05:37 pm|
Not helping a Sovietized Germany because he needed "aid" from the capitalists is just silly. Makes absolutely no sense. An allied Soviet Germany was the Soviets' wet dream.
I understand, but I don't think perception is relevant for what we were talking about. I said Hitler and Stalin were not allies and you showed me some cartoon showing them holding hands or being in bed together. So what? That's no proof they were allies.
Was Stalin dead in 1940? No, he wasn't. So seeing Germany attacking France and being engaged in fighting with France and Britain, he could have opened a second front, taking Germany by complete surprise. Or maybe he couldn't. Fine. Then what's the point in attacking in 1941 if the propitious 1940 moment was lost?
According to Glantz that was exactly what the Soviet defence plan was, if my memory serves me well. Put the divisions at the border, on 3 echelons of various depth.
Yes, and that's why the idea that he wouldn't come to the aid of a Sovietized Germany is strange.
Not while you also allow Germany to concentrate all her might on one front!
My point is that you had to have airfields in that area.
The MiG-3 for example had a combat radius of 800 km. Putting it 500 kilometers from the border doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Also, giving the Germans 300 kilometers "for free" (no hard fighting) doesn't sound good either.
|Posted by: PaulC April 24, 2012 06:27 pm|
This is pointless so we'll agree to disagree on this.
No proof ? Division of Eastern Europe ? Common defeat of Poland ? Massive soviet supplies keeping the German war machine moving ? Discussions for the partition of spheres of influence ?
Not even Great Britain and France had that many things in common in 1940.
So in august 1939 he sets the date for the attack as summer 1941. At the same time orders are given to massively increase the Red Army. The industry is mobilized for the war effort. So are the transport, the naval infrastructure, etc. Millions are drafted.
9 months later, Germany attacks France and to everyone's surprise defeats it in just over a month. The opportunity was there, it was the best moment to strike the German army, all of it in the west.
But is it possible to cut your preparation, to shorten the schedule of 24 months to 10-12 ? I don't think so. In 1940, the Red Army was under a massive expansion, troops had to be trained, the coordination wasn't there, the factories were just ramping up producing the new models, stocks of fuel and ammunition weren't prepared, etc ,etc. The soviet rail system is slow, you can't quickly move troops around.
It's not like flipping a switch. Even if Stalin would have given the order on june 15 1940 to start the attack, the attack itself couldn't have come sooner than 3 months IMO. By that time, it's late September/October 1940, not exactly the best time to attack. The Germans have autobahns and lots of railways to move troops and supplies in the back. The soviets had marshes and dirt roads.
Really ? Did he produce any document, any memorandum, any report to present the wonderful defense plan that worked exceptionally well on June 22 ?
Let me help you with the real soviet plans. Until now, different sources show what their plans were for summer 1941 ( compiled by Mark Solonin ) :
Feel free to present the defensive plans of the Red Army for 1941.
This were the plans with actual deployment on a map :
What's interesting if we look at the disposition of forces : there are 2 bulges in the German line, one is at Bialostok, the other around Lvov and on the Carpathians ( Galitia ). The bulk of the soviet forces was positioned there. It was in strict accordance with the offensive plan. Marvelous position for attack, unrivaled disaster in waiting for defense.
What happened on june 22 ?
Panzer Group 3 and Panzer Group 2 acted as pincers, trapping the Bialostock bulge with the pincers meeting at Minsk on June 27. 420 000 soldiers, 4800 tanks and 9500 guns lost. The Western Front ceased to exist.
The Lvov bulge was destroyed in series of battles that culminated with the Uman, Sea of Azov and Kiev encirclements destroying the Southwestern front.
So where were those genius defense planned under which the soviets deployed ?
German might without oil and cut from the southern allies would have crumbled in days.
In the Soviet Union, a KV2 stopped the 6th Panzer for a day. I wonder with what would have the Germans stopped the T34s/KVs and tens of thousands of BTs and T26s/28 tanks...
The 300km were obtained for free when Poland was invaded. they would have given up land that they acquired 2 years before. What a tragedy...
Do you know why the Red Army survived 1942 ? Because it started to retreat. They realized they had so much land at their disposal that giving 300-500km was a no brainer. After Kharkov 1942, there were no more mass encirclement and hundreds of thousands of prisoners. Army Group South advanced over 500km from Kharkov to Stalingrad and over 1000km to Maikop without encountering major resistance. The German supply lines became drastically overextended and they stopped. That very moment the Red Army started to pounce on them.
To escape any pincer attack you need to retreat. Having left a 200-300km cushion would have made German advance clear and would have given the Red Army enough time to prepare proper counterattacks.
The French were defeated in the same way. They wanted to defend everything, but when you do that, you defend nothing. Had the French Army remained in France around Paris and not move to help Belgium, the German attack wouldn't have cut them in 2. I can only speculate on what would have happened if the French Army had been intact when the German main advance direction would be clear.
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 24, 2012 08:52 pm|
|To many of the questions raised by PaulC, I'll be very willing to hear an answer myself! In particular on the defense plans of the USSR, if it have even existed!|
|Posted by: Imperialist April 25, 2012 10:09 am|
Yes, all those things don't make an alliance.
And this statement is based on what?
Nothing out of the ordinary in Europe in that period.
Do you know how many divisions Germany had in the East when it attacked France? Very very few, and of lesser quality than those committed in the West. The massive Red Army could easily have swept them away even if the preparation schedule you talk about was cut in half. The goal would have been to force Germany to divert units from the West, like in WWI, not to achieve complete victory.
If Stalin allowed this major opportunity to pass, although his goal was allegedly a repetition of WWI and prolonged war, why would he attack in the summer of 1941? After Germany settled the situation in Southern Europe and after it massed the bulk of its forces in the East? At that point Stalin's best move was to wait. The more time passes the more dependent Germany becomes of Soviet economic support. The more time passes the stronger the Soviet army becomes. The more time passes the higher the chances Germany would do something risky in the West (operation seelowe maybe?).
You can also look at how desperate Stalin was for the Allies to open a second front after 1941. He was obviously not content with fighting Germany all by himself. This also explains why in 1941 he dismissed all intelligence he received about an incoming German attack. He couldn't believe that and he didn't want to do anything rash about it because he didn't want war on these terms. So I seriously doubt Stalin would have started anything in 1941.
Cutting Germany's oil trade with Romania would mean war so you might as well invade it from the East. Stalin did neither, thus allowing Germany to concentrate all of its might against France. The outcome was not hard to figure out.
You don't give something up without a fight.
A fighting withdrawal is different from just vacating a large swath of land and allowing the enemy to get it.
There was a "cushion". Screening forces were deployed close to the border, the main units being farther inside the territory. Creating a huge cushion of 200-300 km with no units whatsovere in it is senseless.
BTW, according to Glantz the Luftwaffe destroyed 1,200 Soviet planes on the first day, by attacking... 66 airfields. Since the Soviets had deployed around 7,000 planes in the West, we could make a mathematical guess that they were probably deployed in some 380 airfields. Anyway, this is only a guess, but they were probably less than 500, not the 2,000 you talk about.
|Posted by: PaulC May 07, 2012 06:11 am|
That's a de facto alliance. Formalizing it would have been the SU to join the Tripartite Pact.
By ordering the mobilization ( with a corresponding increase of 3x by the Red Army ) on August 19 1939. In 2 years they had to act or demobilize the man or the country would collapse from the economic strain.
First of all he didn't want a repetition of WWI. He wanted Germany to win over the western allies and conquer them. That would leave their colonial empires in shambles,.
Secondly, he couldn't kill Germany before it did its job ( defeat the western allies ). And when Germany attacked he couldn't have possibly know that France and the BEF would be defeated in a matter of weeks. He wasn't Nostradamus.
He didn't get anything by waiting. The Soviet Union was strongest in 1941. As days passed, Germany was getting stronger and he technical superiority enjoyed by the SU in 1941 would have rapidly eroded.
As if it's the same starting the war on your terms or getting attacked and having the front line army destroyed...
Why did he dismissed the intelligence ? He didn't believe it ( as if that's an answer ) ?
You don't give something up without a fight.
Try not to put in absolute form everything I'm saying. I don't expect the Red Army, had they prepared for defense, to vacate land without a fight. But the idea is to keep your main forces out of the range of the first attack. Thus you can't be encircled in frontier battles. This is what they've done in summer 1942 and it saved the Soviet Union even if it allowed the Germans to get as far as Stalingrad and Maikop.
BS. The main forces were right on the frontier. Hundreds of head quarters were overran in the very first day. Entire divisions and armies were left without command.
On june 13 the entire 1st echelon comprising of 170 divisions moved right on the state border. At the same time, the 2nd echelon comprising of 70 divisions moved from inside the SU towards the western border. When the attack came , the 1st echelon was destroyed in border battles, being encircles and having fled abandoning all equipment ( how else to you believe the Red Army lost 20 000 tanks and over 78000 guns, about 6x and 2x respectively what the Germans had ) in the first two months.
The second echelon forces came into combat directly from their train carriages. The infantry can jump out and fight, but how do you pull down the KV1 at 45t and the ML20 field guns weighing 8t ?
In the 3rd part of the Last Republic the confusion of the first days is vividly described by Red Army officer testimony. I can upload those pages, they are fascinating.
They didn't had forces to attack more airfields. Given 1200 Luftwaffe planes ( 600 something involved in the first attack ) it means 10 per airfield. The Luftwaffe simply did not have enough power to strike decisively more airfields . Even so, in the following days the VVS was destroyed both on the ground and in the air, their pilots having little or no air-to-air training whatsoever.
And the 1200 are those destroyed by the Luftwaffe ( altough I have figures of over 2000 ) and many more were destroyed by artillery and overran by motorised forces in the very first hours of the campaign. That's a clear testimony how prepared they were for defense, having the airfield in artillery range in case of enemy attack.
|Posted by: Imperialist May 07, 2012 08:16 am|
No it's not, the Soviet Union simply maintained peacetime relations with Germany, while Britain and France went at war with it. B&F being at war and imposing a blockade on Germany didn't obligate others to follow suit if they didn't want to. And reaching an agreement on spheres of influence is not an alliance either.
Your statement was: So in august 1939 he sets the date for the attack as summer 1941. Setting the date for an attack and just ordering a mobilization are two different things.
No, Germany was getting weaker and increasingly dependent on Soviet economic support that could have stopped at any point in the future. Even Hitler recognized this and pointed it out. That is the whole rationale behind Germany attacking the Soviet Union.
So attacking when 1) the element of suprise is gone and 2) the enemy is free to concentrate on a single front means starting the war on "your terms" according to you?
The 170 division you speak of were part of the 1st strategic echelon.
That echelon was itself organized in 3 operational echelons. Here is how they were deployed according to Glantz:
1st operational echelon - 57 divisions deployed 10-50km from the border.
2nd operational echelon - 52 divisions deployed 50-100km from border.
3rd operational echelon - 62 division deployed 100-400km from the border.
Then there was a 2nd strategic echelon consisting of 57 divisions deployed beyond 400km from the border.
Obviously there were "cushions".
The point was not how much power the Luftwaffe had, but how many Soviet airfields could have been there.
If 1,200 Soviet planes were destroyed in 66 airfields and the Soviets had a total of around 7,000-7,500 planes deployed in airfields in the west, on how many airfields could they have been deployed? I think it's called "regula de trei simpla" and the result is far from the 1,200 airfileds you said there were there.
|Posted by: PaulC May 07, 2012 12:05 pm|
LoL. They signed a PACT . What did England and France, the allies, sign ? Germany and the Soviet Union started to cooperate at the end of the first world war. The Germans had technology and know-how, the russians had the space needed far away from controlling eyes of the Allies.
Not only did they allowed Germany to overcome the British blockade, but they offered bases in the far north from which Norway was attacked. So neutral Soviet Union, offers harboring facilities to the belligerent Kriegsmarine and you say "the Soviet Union simply maintained peacetime relations with Germany". Is this a joke ?
It should be pretty obvious from the wording that date in this context doesn't mean the day and the hour, but the time frame.
Secondly, mobilization IS war. When an the Red Army started mobilization, no matter how had they tried to conceal it, the Germans noticed it. We're talking hear about the complete shift of the state from peace conditions to war-like state. The army is expanded drastically, the economy is put on a war footing. The whole country prepares itself.
But there is a problem. Once you start mobilization ( even if in secret, not open like the other belligerents ), the sheer scale of it raised alarms in neighboring countries. And they start to mobilize too. In the end, it becomes a contest between who is ready sooner and can deliver the first strike.
Soviet intentions and war preparations became apparent to Hitler on 2 occasions :
-summer 1940 when the SU annexed the Baltic countries, Basarabia and Bukovina.
-November 1940 when Molotov asked impossible demands : Bulgaria under soviet control, Finland in the soviet sphere, basis in the Baltic Sea and the Skagerak straits and the Dardaneles.
When Hitler heard of this, he lost his mind. The soviet demands were nothing short of blackmail. His reaction was simple : he signed Directive 21 code named Barbarossa.
Germany attacked the SU because of 2 reasons :
-They realized the SU was a direct threat whose interest lie in Europe ( Germany tried to divert them south )
-England could not defeat Germany ( no land army ) while Germany couldn't defeat England ( lack of navy and air force power ). So they were at an impasse. The logical outcome would have been peace. The simple fact that the British weren't considering his peace proposals, made Hitler realize that he British hope lie in the East. Hope as in the Soviet Union invading Germany and actively pushing the Russians for this.
How is the element of surprise gone ? How was Germany free to concentrate on a single front ?
Besides, once the Red Army steamroller started its push, the Werhmacht would have been cut in two. They simply lacked the reserves and the resources to recover.
All the divisions that Glantz mentions were moving towards the border. They weren't "deployed", that's where the war caught them. It is interesting to speculate what would have happened when the deployment ( in progress at june 22 ) would have been done.
Secondly, I've attached maps with the deployment of the opposing forces were, where one can clearly see that both armies deployed to punch through weaker sectors and encircle in huge pincer movements the main concentrations of the enemy. Nobody cared about defense.
I've already attache an US Air Force analysis of the situation which has all the details you need from the Luftwaffe guy in charge of preparing the assault.
|Posted by: Imperialist May 07, 2012 02:12 pm|
Yes, they signed a non-aggression pact with an attached agreement on spheres of influence. The USSR did the same with Japan in 1941. Those are not alliances, sorry. Maybe you are looking for a different term, like "benevolent neutrality" for example.
The blockade imposed by Britain was unilateral and not universal in character. The Soviet Union had no obligation to stop trading with Germany.
As for the bases in the Soviet Union, from what I've read Basis Nord was not used by the Kriegsmarine in its attack on Norway.
The problem is not the date but your contention that an order to mobilize is in effect an order to attack and can't be anything but that. Which is not necessarily true. Stalin could just as well have ordered partial or full demobilization in 1941.
I was talking about strategic surprise, and the element of strategic surprise disappeared since you yourself said:
As for Germany free to concentrate the bulk of its forces on a single front... well do you deny this was the case in 1941?
They were in process of being deployed according to that plan of deployment. 2 strategic echelons, the first consisting of 3 operational echelons with certain depths.
Why is that USAF analysis (which BTW is not in the link you offered) based solely on what a Luftwaffe guy said in 1941?
|Posted by: PaulC May 07, 2012 03:30 pm|
So the cooperation went as far as the SS and NKVD signing a agreement of assistance and exchange of jews/white russians and you compare it with Japan ?
Not only did the SU deliver strategic material to Germany, but it went to extra lengths and acquired in its name materials which were destined for Germany and they didn't had.
What happened between 1939-1941 went far beyond simple or benevolent neutrality. It was much more deeper and went from commercial to military and even in between the repression apparatus.
Unilateral ?When your empire covers 1/6th of the globe and the RN is the largest in the world it doesn't matter if it was unilateral or not. How much merchandise did the US sent to Germany ?
Secondly, the first paragraph destroys your entire premise : indeed, the SU had no obligation to stop trading with Germany. So why did they ? Why did they sent millions of tons on cereals, rubber, oil, zinc, chromium, manganese, and all kinds of other strategic materials ?
If Stalin was afraid of Germany and wanted peace, all had to do was not to enter into a commercial agreement with Germany. All of a sudden, the war material situation in Germany would have worsened significantly. No oil, no war materials, the German industry and the Army would suffer accordingly, rendering them incapable of continuing the war. There would have been no Battle of Britain without soviet oil.
How do you explain this paradox ? If you are afraid of someone, you don't feed him to gain strength over you. Plain and simple.
The only reasonable explanation is that you are feeding him to fight somebody else; nicely explained in Stalin's Aug 19 1939 speech : supply Germany, not enough to gain too much strength, not to little to impede its war in the west.
Up until summer 1941, this worked like a charm.
Always an order for mobilization = order for attack. France and England declared mobilization on Sept 1, on Sept 3rd they declared war.
Same was in 1st ww1. But the element of surprise is gone. Since from by simultaneous mobilization and war declaration, you lose the effect of surprise. So the Soviet Union started a secret mobilization on Sept 1 1939 but undeclared. The public mobilization was meant to be declared on Day M ( July 6th according to some ).
As for the second contention, that's absolutely ridiculous. You triple the army size, increase war production significantly, disrupt the entire economy with the draft and the transport network with the movement of troops and equipment only to send everybody home 2 years later ?
The Red Army WAS on the border on June 22 and millions more were heading in that direction. And all, starting with Stalin himself did not believe the Germans would attack. So why millions were on the border and millions more were heading towards it ? Why were tens of thousands of tanks, hundreds of thousands of rail carriages with ammunition, fuel and spares delivered in the border region ? Just to be captured by the Germans ? Stalin did not believe in the German attack up until 2-3 hours before it. The movement itself started on May 15 when the Germans were busy in Greece and Crete. It picked up pace and on June 13 it turned into an amazon of forces from all over the SU heading towards the border. BUT NOBODY EXPECTED THE GERMAN ATTACK. All were shocked when it happened.
You can either make a leap of faith ( because faith is necessary here in order to stick to the official history ) or simply allow critical thinking to play its part : Stalin laid out the vision on August 19, 1939.
-For the World Revolution to succeed we need war and destruction in Europe
-Germany will attack Poland if we sign a deal with it and divide Poland
-With its back secured and supplied by us, Germany will deal once and for all with the Versailles treaty
-Once the west is crushed and Europe is under the brown boots, everybody will ask for our liberation
All of Soviet Union actions in 1939-1941 are reflected in the speech. And conversely, the speech is proven true simply because what was said in it was followed to the letter by real life actions of the Soviet Union. Only the last one was foiled by the German attack. They were preempted by 2 weeks.
Well the strategic surprise disappeared, true, the moment German Intelligence pieced together the massive Red Army deployments, the anti-German propaganda in the Red Army and Russia, the putting of the economy on a war footing, the Balkan involvement of the soviet intelligence and the Anglo-Soviet negotiations.
For Hitler, it was clear the soviets were up to something. And the threat was so massive, he had to abandon plans to subdue England. He realized if the massive colossus ( not stumbling ) would be allowed the first strike, they were dead. And he said it with his own words and we have the recording from the Finns.
I think the Glantz failled miserably here. He simply looked were the forces were and thought they must have 3 operational echelons in the first strategic echelon when instead he witnessed wawes of formation in their move towards the west.
And btw, there weren't 2 strategic echelons; there were 3. The 3rd one was comprised of NKVD troops.
The link directed you to an analysis done by a US Air Force officer on the SU attack. The Luftwaffe guy, happened to be the major in charge with intelligence gathering and planning the strikes for the Luftwaffe. He identified the no of airfields, the VVS order of battle, analyzed the losses and the success of the strikes.
Who exactly, for God's sake, is more reliable than this ?
|Posted by: Imperialist May 07, 2012 04:28 pm|
Cooperation =/= alliance. Not even close cooperation =/= alliance. Trade =/= alliance. Agreements on all kinds of issues =/= alliance. Maybe you should check what an alliance is.
I think you are confused. What does territorial extent has to do with the way a decision is taken? The decision was unilateral irrespective of how large the British empire was. Unilateral means the Soviet Union was not consulted and not obliged to establish its own blocked.
Because they were not at war with Germany and countries engage in trade.
I never said Stalin was afraid of Germany.
But I also have no doubt Germany wasn't a small country he could simply ignore. It was a strong, militaristic, anti-communist country and after 1940 it was the strongest country on the Soviet Union's borders.
This is nonsense. Mobilizing doesn't necessarily mean you absolutely have to go to war. Besides, if you put it this way, why on earth would the Soviet Union mobilization take almost 2 years!!! This must have been the longest mobilization for war in history. Again, maybe you confuse the terms. A military build-up is not the same with mobilization.
A lot of things can happen in 2 years. Situations could change and yes, in light of possible changes you can order partial or full demobilization. Besides, in a country like the Soviet Union Stalin wouldn't be held to account. Would somebody ask him to pay for a change of mind/orders? Nope.
And where exactly would you have liked for them to be? Mongolia? Kazakhstan? The Arctic? It was natural for them to be where the biggest potential threat was - in the West.
Like I pointed out, that alleged speech outlined several possible outcomes. You are picking only the parts that suit your theory. BTW, the Versailles Treaty had died long before 1940.
When was that clear for Hitler?
Those formations didn't move erratically towards the border, they were given certain deployments and those deployments were outlined above.
No, he estimated the number of airfields based on intelligence he received. Intelligence can be faulty, estimates can be wrong. A historian won't base something solely on one side's intelligence/data/estimate.
|Posted by: PaulC May 07, 2012 06:58 pm|
LoL. I'm doing a Phd on cooperative and competitive strategies. Do you think I need to be told by you what an alliance is ?
In our context I would define alliance as collaboration to further a common interest. The formal form represented is represented by the secret protocols of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. They collaborated on the division of Eastern Europe and establishment of spheres of influence. The collaboration itself, like I've showed before, spanned at multiple levels : military ( joined invasion of Poland ) , commercial ( massive trade agreements ) and even between the secret police ( exchange of "undesirables " ) . Some authors like Richard Watt named the pact as "Nazi-Soviet alliance".
But keep playing semantic games, what can I say.
Unilateral as in Britain + Commonwealth + US ? Back then , the commonwealth actually meant something. And if you believe the blockade wasn't relevant because it was "unilateral" you're in a serious delusion.
One line you say he wasn't afraid, the other line you say he couldn't ignore Germany. What could Germany do ? Occupy the Soviet Union to the Urals with horses and on foot ?
By refusing to supply Germany, Stalin would have stopped the war. Easy as that. We're in 1940 when everything runs on oil and rubber, not 1805 when you need fodder and horses.
Maybe you need to become accustomed to Saphosnikov's work, you can find it on described on wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozg_Armii#cite_note-Kokoshin-0
Saphosnikov was only man in the Soviet Union that Stalin called on his small name and not the official "comrade X " and he kept his book, "Brain of the Army" on his shelf.
Once you get inside Stalin's line of thought everything pieces together.
Imaginary scenarios are contradicted by the Red Army principal theorist. If you want to argue facts with "alternative what ifs" , we better drop it.
A threat that nobody believed in. LoL. How come Stalin did not believe it in possibility of the attack, yet the Red Army was moved at the border ?
The outcome was one and can be pieced together from well known facts. The conclusion is inevitable.
The moment the SU occupied Basarabia and Bucovina. In July 1940, Hitler decided to attack the SU.
And the point is that the position they were in at June 22 isn't reflecting their final destination.
Interesting. What other sources do you have for VVS airfields and losses except the German Luftwaffe personnel ? What other source did any historian have except the Luftwaffe analysis ?
|Posted by: Imperialist May 07, 2012 11:42 pm|
What does your PhD have to do with anything? But yes, judging by the things you said on this thread I felt the need to tell you have to look at what an alliance is.
That's a very loose definition that would turn most of the agreements signed by states into "alliances" and interstate relations would become unnecessarily unclear and difficult to comprehend. I prefer the definition that includes the "casus foederis" thingy. Much clearer and logical.
The USSR was not obliged to stop its own trade in raw materials with a belligerent in order to help the British blockade. We're not talking about international sanctions, we're talking about a unilateral blockade.
In my book "couldn't ignore" =/= "fear" but I guess you're going to complain about semantics again.
What could Germany do? Attack.
Not really, the moment the Germans attacked France they had plenty of oil in their stocks and the Soviet sales of oil represented a minimal share.
So you're saying once mobilization is ordered the only outcome can be war and demobilization is not possible?
I'm sorry, I didn't use any imaginary scenario in what you quoted, I have no idea what you're talking about.
Stalin refused to act based on the info of an imminent attack he received in June, but I don't think he ever dismissed the potential threat from Germany. And you haven't answered the question. Where would you have placed the Soviet Army? The Urals?
No, the speech clearly presents several outcomes.
Yes, that rules out the excuse that Germany preempted a Soviet attack.
The point is that your "all army right on the border" and "no cushion" claims are blatantly false.
I don't have sources on this at this point but that doesn't mean the laws of logic have been suspended. A 1983 article based on the 1941 estimate of a Luftwaffe guy may give a general idea about what the Luftwaffe knew and estimated at that time, but not an accurate idea about what was actually on the ground. I guess we would need a Soviet/Russian source to compare.
|Posted by: PaulC May 08, 2012 05:46 am|
I hope you realize that you are artificially narrowing the definition just so it suits your argument.
Secondly, you fall in your own trap : the Soviet Union had to attack Poland in order to fulfill its obligations under the signed agreement with Germany. Just that they allied themselves for aggressive, not defensive purposes. But that's not a counter-argument irrespective.
That's besides the point ( and also you fail to miss that by the sheer scale, in 1940 a British blockade meant nothing less than a total cut of Germany from the rest of the world except the Soviet Union and the Balkans ) . Why don't you answer why the Soviet Union supplied Germany since that was contrary to the argument you put forward, that is the SU perceived Germany as a threat.
Are you joking ? The moment Germany attacked France, their fuel stock was totally committed for the advance. Even so, they covered only 5 months of mobility warfare. Only through capturing French oil and increased deliveries from Romania/USSR did they replenish the stocks by end of 1940. In other words, Germany's fuel situation and other strategic material was always measured in months. In every scenario, including catching the massive Red Army deploying for attack and taking their huge reserves, the German drive in the SU was suicidal. In the best possible scenario, being supplied by the SU and capturing huge quantities of strategic materials in western USSR - what actually happened, they've failed. Without Soviet supplies it would have failed a lot sooner.
I'm not saying that. The Bible of the Red Army says that : mobilization is the joint effort of the entire state , from industry to peasants to the army and the state apparatus. We're not talking about mobilizing a contingent here, a few divisions.
We're talking about an all out push of the entire country to deliver a deadly blow, all its forces and industries committed.
We're talking about Total War, which in the SU was enforced with the mobilization laws of 1939-1940. They were so comprehensive that they weren't modified throughout the war. The industry became militarized, you were late for work, you ended in the Gulag. Children before the age of 16 were drafted in the factories before the German attack. Goebbels Total War , jan 31 , 1943 call, was already 3 years old in the Soviet Union.
And no, you can't demobilize from that without wrecking the entire country, economically and socially. It's all or nothing. And like Shaposhnikov said, the neighbors see that. Germany saw the massive war preparations. And they started to prepare themselves. In the end it was a matter of who is faster.
LoL. He's dismissal of info regarding the German attack started at about the same time he was informed about Barbarossa; that is December 1940.
Stalin, thoroughly logical couldn't fathom an irrational attack by the Germans. All the reports he received showed how unprepared Germany was. He couldn't believe Germany would act suicidal. Yet, they did. Caught between Britain ( and US ) in the west, threatened directly by the Red Army , Germany had no other option but to strike, irrespective of their chances of winning.
This is getting boring : which outcome was implemented based on the now known facts ? Can't you look at it in reverse order ?
The decision was made in response to the Soviet threat and continuous demands. Hitler couldn't have known at the time the Soviets were mobilizing to strike decisively next year, but his intuition and the intelligence he received ( its enough to read the meetings in Halder's journal ) pointed out something isn't right.
I'll use Glantz ( Barbarossa, 2001, page 16 ) since he seems to be the only source you grasp :
LoL. So they were too far forward ( didn't I say just that a couple of posts back ? ) and secondly, they were in the move on June 22, the deployment not being completed. And one thing was sure : the deployment was towards the WEST, they weren't moving away from the border. The 3 echelons from the 1st echelon ( pun intended ) were nothing more than a reflection of reality on June 22. All the units were moving slowly west.
Besides, you can't get any closer to the border than they were at the time. Why ? because the formations are so huge, they would occupy all the roads. For example, the main German striking force in the France campaign, Panzer group Kleist, with 1200 tanks ( about the same as the Soviet 6th mechanized corp, just that there were 19 more in various conditions ) was spread on 4 columns (!!) each 400km long (!!) in Western Germany. Do you want to compare road density around Frankfurt with the one in 1941's Biellorussia or Western Ukraine ?
Thirdly, I like how Glantz says : " Soviet war planners had fundamentally misjudged the situation " by "concentrating their forces so far forward" and being "off-balance and concentrated in the southwest when the main German mechanized force advanced further north".
How does he explain this ? He doesn't. To him, they were simply stupid and misjudged the situation. But Soviet Intelligence provided them information about the German Army down to battalion size. How could they have been so grossly in error when they KNEW what the enemy was doing ?
The only reasonable explanation is that the Red Army prepared an attack of its own in accordance with its offensive doctrine and battle plans ( presented in an earlier post ), deployed in an offensive manner so it was able to cut the German front in two and then expand multiple thrusts from southern Poland, towards Hungary, Warsaw and forward to Silesia.
The Wehrmacht simply managed to outdo them by 2 weeks.
This is becoming ridiculous. The Luftwaffe flew multiple reconnaissance missions over the Soviet Union and through photographic analysis identified Soviet Airfields. An airfield isn't like a platoon hiding in the forest. It is VISIBLE, especially when packed with aircraft like the Soviet ones were. Once he pieced everything together, they attacked the 66 most important ones. He probably would have attacked more, but they didn't have enough planes.
Once the said airfields were overrun, they analysed the effects of their strikes. There weren't any Russians there to do the same; they were too busy running away. So there aren't any other sources, because there wasn't anybody else there to do post-battle analysis except the Germans. So yes, it seems the laws of logic have been suspended...
|Posted by: Imperialist May 08, 2012 08:59 am|
I hope you realize that the definition you use is so loose that it actually doesn't define anything. Your view that an alliance is "collaboration to further a common interest" would mean that the world is full of alliances!
No, it wasn't an offensive alliance it was an agreement over spheres of influence in Eastern Europe in order to avoid any potential clash over them, so that the non-aggression pact holds. Germany expressed no interest in the Polish territory inhabited mostly by Ukrainians and Belorussians. After Germany attacked Poland the USSR moved in and established its influence there.
You can see a similar agreement over spheres of influence in the non-aggression pact that the Soviet Union signed with Japan in 1941. Are you going to assert the Soviet Union had an alliance with Japan too!??
The USSR not being obliged to stop its own trade in raw materials with a belligerent in order to help the British blockade is beside the point? I don't think so.
First of all they had signed the pact. Which came with economic agreements too. Secondly, although they had declared war on Germany the Western Allies hadn't fought much for many months. Stopping trade with Germany could have drawn Germany's attention in the East in order to get resources by force not by trade. A Stalin suspicious of the West's deals with Hitler or with the danger of seeing the West using Hitler against him might have had something to do with this.
Germany had stocks of oil when it attacked France, so the Soviet Union stopping its sales wouldn't have stopped the blitzkrieg against France as you said earlier. Like I said before, the only way would have been for Stalin to launch an attack from the East.
I know what mobilization is, what mobilization is wasn't the issue.
Yeah, I call BS on that assertion. If you mobilize you can also demobilize if the situation allows it. At least partially.
It wasn't mobilization per se that started WWI, it was the context of the alliance systems and the fact that Germany's war plans called for a knock-out blow against France before Russia fully mobilized.
It was a specific context and a specific country's war plans that precipitated war once mobilization was ordered, not the inability to call off and demobilize!
And you say it took the Soviet Union 2 years to mobilize?
At the time of the speech they didn't know the future, did they?
You're saying that as if it's common knowledge nowadays but poor Hitler didn't know at the time.
Apparently you missed this fragment from Glantz, although you quote it:
However, by 22 June 1941 neither the forward military districts nor the five reserve armies had completed deploying in accordance with the official mobilization and deployment plans
They weren't moving "west" or "towards the border" or "to Berlin", they were deploying in accordance with the deplyment plans. Which I mentioned earlier.
Actually he does. Stalin thought that in case of conflict with Germany the Germans would go for the resource-rich Ukraine and towards the oil-rich Caucasus.
Intelligence is never perfect, that is why they say "estimates".
So if the Luftwaffe destroyed 1,200 soviet planes on the ground on 66 airfields, and there were a total of around 7,500 Soviet planes deployed in the west, on how many other airfields were the remaining 6,300 planes deployed? 1,134? If that's the case then the Soviets were deploying an average of 5 airplanes per airfield. Or maybe only a handful of those alleged 1,200 airfields were "important"? Maybe most of them were emtpy, under construction or not important?
Logic states that even if the Soviets were unable to do post-battle analysis surely they must have now how many airfields they built, right? So relying solely on a 1941 pre-war Luftwaffe intelligence estimate is kind of wrong. In the absence of other sources it may be fine, provided it is taken with a grain of salt and as what it is... an intelligence estimate of one of the belligerents. You however came here and said it as if it was the ultimate truth.
|Posted by: Victor May 08, 2012 07:52 pm|
| Can you mention a source for the 670 occupied airfields?
670 occupied airfields would increase the average number of aircraft per airfield to rougly 15, given a total of 9,910 airplanes the VVS had in this part of the SU. Still a very low figure if one takes into account that some airfields were home to more than one aviation regiment (129 IAP, which was in the process of switching from I-16 to MiG-3 had 52 of the former and 57 of the latter).
The distribution was as following:
- VVS Leningrad Military District, 1,270 aircraft, deployed between Murmansk and Kandaksha, Petrozavodsk, Karelian Isthmus, Siverskaya and Leningrad
- VVS Baltic Special Military District, 1,211 aircraft, deployed at Kaunas, Alytus, Vilnius, Daugavpils, Riga, Liepaya
- VVS Western Special Military District, 1,789 aircraft, deployed near Bialystok, Brest-Litovsk, Grodno-Lida, Vitebsk, Minsk, SMolensk, Bobruysk
- VVS Kiev Special Military District, 1,913 aircraft, deployed near Lutsk, Kiev, Lvov, Ternopol, Stryy, Stanislav, Proskurov, Biyala Tserkov, Vinnitsa
- VVS Odessa Military District, 950 aircraft, deployed near Balti, Tiraspol, Cetatea Alba, Vorms, Razdelnaya, Fedorovka
The long range Bomber Aviation comprised of 1,332 aircraft and was deployed near Soltsy, Krechvitsy, Yedrovo, Bryansk, Orel, Karachev, Kursk, Shchigry, Oboyan, Shatalovo, Seshcha, Smolensk, Borovskoye, Shaykovka, Zaporozhye, Saki, Rostov-on-Don, Novocherkassk, Skomorokhy, Borispol.
Finally there were the 1,445 aircraft of the Northern Fleet, Red Banner Baltic Fleet and Black Sea Fleet.
All these summed up give a grand total of 9,910 aircraft. The data is taken from vol. I of Bergstrom & Mikhailov Black Cross - Red Star. A closer look at the areas were these forces were stationed will show that they were not confined to 250 km from the border (the strategic bomber corps especially). Thus the total number of aircraft in the 250 km band was actually lower and so would be the average per airfield. Taking this into consideration and the fact that there were many airfields with high numbers of airplanes on them, the number of active airfields was definately lower than 670.
Regarding the cadre issue, I have already went into great lengths in the discussion with osutacincizecisidoi in this very same thread and lack the time repeat what was already said. Maybe in a couple of weeks I will be able to do it. In the meantime, I am still waiting to see the source that certifies that all the officers purged in the late 30s were idiots, as you claimed.
I would also appreciate a tone down in the sarcasm and the use of LOL, BS etc. in the posts. It gives a slightly aggressive tone to the posts, which isn't something to be encouraged.
|Posted by: PaulC May 10, 2012 01:50 pm|
I will address the aviation topic later when I have more time.
*Edit - while I couldn't find at a quick search were I took the 670 from ( I need to search my browsing history in more detail ) , I found the 613 airfields figure from Mark Solonim.
Other figure is from Meltyukhov : 612 airfields at 01.01.1941 with 143 being under construction in 1941 for a grand total of 755.
Regarding the fact that you've discussed it at length in the past, I read the thread to present day. What is apparent is this :
-nobody that criticizes Suvorov, including you and imperialist, have actually read his books. And when I meant read, that is actually analyzing with a cold mind what the guy says. To discuss him, these books are a must read ( in this order ) : Icebreaker, Last Republic I, Day M, The purges, Last Republic 2 and 3. All are available in Romanian from Polirom, there's a new 2011 edition.
-You base your argument on Glantz who avoids two things : present the defensive plans and make comparisons with the German Army.
-Most of the new Russian historians agree with Suvorov on the grand points.
-Most of the points you two raise are answered by Suvorov in his books. He also goes to length to respond to his critics including Gorodetski whom he demolishes.
Going back to the purges, I would suggest you read his book , Epurarea, since this can be read as a stand alone book. If you don't have it, PM me your address and consider it a gift meant to improve the debate. Once you've read it 2x we can discuss on the purges. Until then, we're down to " Stalin killed most of the officers of the Red Army, leaderless army, only 6 months on the job, 40000 killed, great geniuses eliminated ,etc ,etc ".
There are 2 books by Suvorov that weren't attacked by his critics : Day M and the Purges. These books don't leave any space for interpretation.
The thesis is very simple : to get to power in a revolution you need a certain breed of people. To maintain the power and expand it, you need a different breed.
Who were the communists forces that crushed Russia in 1917-1922 ? The lowest scum of society. Depraved, sadistic lunatics who won power by terrorizing the masses and destroying any opposition, real or potential. The horrors of the russian civil war are second to none. Once they got in power, they've reserved ranks and privileges from them. Mass murderes, pure chekists ( commisars ) now held army ranks. Of course, they also did not fear Stalin and challenged his power.
The purges were a cleansing of the state apparatus and the army of the most corrupt, depraved and hated lunatics by the population. For the forthcoming struggle, Stalin needed absolute control and a new generation of army and party personnel. Nobody would fight for Tuhacevski, Iakir, Frinovski, Dibenko, Blucher, Stern. Tambov, Orenburg, Ukraine, Crimea were all to vivid in the memory of the population.
The best parallel would be Romania in the 1950's. Who were the communists ? The lowest and most degenerated members of society. They broke the back of the peasantry and destroyed the middle class and the intellectuals. The metal worker from Grivita was now Army or Securitate colonel.
Imagine a war having started : who would have fought for this maniacs ? Would be young peasants who saw their land taken away, maybe beaten if protested, who saw the neighbours being carried to the "Canal" in the middle of the night, would they fight for their butcherers ? Would they fight for those who destroyed their village, families and forced them in collective farms ?
And while Securitatea shot many in mass graves throughout the country or exterminated them in labour camps, this was a walk in the park compared to the Russian Civil war. In Tambov, Tuhacevski used chemical weapons on rebel villages. To convince them of the paradise he was bringing.
|Posted by: Florin May 11, 2012 06:19 pm|
| In the opening post of this topic and according to many discussions here, Soviet Union planned her invasion in 1941.
I think more common is the belief that they planned their invasion of German occupied land in 1943. Some historians are mentioning this as well. The reason is simple: after the lessons learned during the Winter War with Finland, Stalin and his clique decided that the Red Army is not ready.
My grandfather mentioned that Russians officers taken prisoners told them about the planned Soviet invasion to occur in 1943. This sounded so strange during the Communist era, when all I could read was Nazi Germany = horrible aggressor, Soviet Union = peaceful innocent victim.
|Posted by: PaulC May 11, 2012 08:47 pm|
| Since we had a lot of discussions about deployment of the Red Army, I believe M. Solonin's description, book "june 23", to be a must read :
|Posted by: PaulC May 11, 2012 09:28 pm|
If Stalin had planned the invasion in 1943, the Russian officers that your grandfather took prisoner wouldn't be hiding in the woods right near the border in June 1941.
People often forget that Romania was a key player on the eastern front. If the soviets really prepared an aggression in 1941, surely the Romanian intelligence services ( SSI ) must have reported this.
Let's see what the SSI has to say about the "peaceful" and "totally unprepared soviets " ( interesting that in 1941 nobody perceived them as unprepared, neither did the Red Army try everything to avoid conflicts, on the contrary )
I scanned some pages from "Glorie si tragedii - Momente din istoria Serviciilor de Informatii si contrainformatii romane de pe frontul de Est 1941-1944" de Cristian Troncota. The question is how do I upload it ?
|Posted by: dragos May 11, 2012 11:10 pm|
|This is getting ridiculous. If Stalin was not to attack in 1941, then the Soviets would have had only a few picket posts at the border with Germany and Romania?|
|Posted by: Florin May 12, 2012 02:47 am|
In your answer to me, you are mentioning that "People often forget that Romania was a key player on the eastern front." That is correct.
I did not mention that those Russian officers taken prisoners were "hiding in the woods right near the border in June 1941". That was your statement. It could happen anywhere. The mountain division having my grandfather in it went as far as beyond Elbrus - Caucasus Mountains.
Also, if you would pay more attention to my short text, I mentioned that "Nazi Germany = horrible aggressor, Soviet Union = peaceful innocent victim" was the blah-blah provided by the Communist regime. What has my statement to do with your assumptions about Romanian Intelligence Services (SSI) and what they knew in 1941 ? : "...Let's see what the SSI has to say about the "peaceful" and "totally unprepared soviets " "
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Just as a note, maybe off topic: if there was an excellent opportunity to attack the Nazi Empire, it was after Germany started the invasion of Holland - Belgium - Luxembourg - France, and she was deep into this.
I am not sure if in the very long run that would be better for Europe, but I am saying this now, 72 years later.
|Posted by: ANDREAS May 12, 2012 05:33 pm|
Florin, sure that you've be right in what yous say, but surely in this period of time (May-June 1940 compared to June-July 1941) the Red Army had time to concentrate his forces, to prepare his positions for attack, to acquire new amounts and types of weapons, which in May 1940 were not yet ready or available! So, a better moment could be april 1941 f.i.!
|Posted by: PaulC May 14, 2012 02:03 pm|
Barbarossa was delayed because the spring floods caused Polish and Ukrainian rivers to overflow and the airfields were full of mud. I fail to see how April is an appropriate month to launch an attack in Eastern Europe.
Secondly, in April there were no significant German forces in the East. That means the attack would fall on hollow ground, no massive encirclements and destruction of enemy's forces. While it's probably preferable to destroy the enemy's forces in massive border pincer movement, meeting the Wehrmacht head on in western Poland/Silesia wouldn't have made much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. An interesting what if ( assuming there is no Barbarossa planned in 1941 and the Red Army attacks ).
|Posted by: Dénes May 14, 2012 06:16 pm|
AFAIK, Operation Barbarossa was delayed by the unexpected Yugoslav and Greece campaigns. Otherwise, it would have started earlier than 22 June (in May, IIRC).
|Posted by: ANDREAS May 14, 2012 08:12 pm|
| @PaulC ....I meant a possible Soviet attack (if it was planned such thing) and not the German Barbarossa operation...
@Denes absolutely correct, this was the reason (I guess the main one) operation Barbarossa was delayed!
|Posted by: PaulC May 14, 2012 08:40 pm|
I'm talking about the same thing. Read again what I wrote...
No, it wasn't even close to that. Not only were the forces involved minimal ( land army POV ), but they major operations were finished well before June 1. Last echelons of the Wehrmacht started to move East on June 10.
To quote R. Kirchubel " Some historians falsely believe Germany Balkan's invasion fatally delayed the launching of Operation Barbarossa. Von Losberg said that Hitler always planned to invade Greece before Barbarossa. Invading the Balkans was discussed at Fuhrer conference on Dec. 5. The main causes for deferring Barbarossa's start from 15 May 15–22 June were incomplete logistical arrangements, and an unusually wet winter that kept rivers at full flood until late spring."
|Posted by: dragos May 15, 2012 06:30 am|
It's not about the number of forces involved, but the risk of keeping a staging ground for UK/allied troops to perform operations in the close proximity while Wehrmacht was to advance in the East.
|Posted by: PaulC May 15, 2012 06:55 am|
What we are saying isn't mutual exclusive. I'm saying the number of forces used for Maritsa ( the campaign as a whole ) weren't a factor in delaying Barbarossa, the wet spring and logistical issues were behind it. You say they needed to eliminate the British threat in the Balkans. Equally true.
I've shown a quote before where Hitler discussed the Greek campaign even before any british forces landed in Greece.
But all of this is off topic to this thread.
If we were to get it back on topic while not leaving the Balkan campaign, how do you ( generally speaking ) explain the soviet involvement in the Yugolslav coup d'etat ? That flies in the face of soviet neutrality and war avoidance rhetoric.
|Posted by: ANDREAS May 15, 2012 08:48 pm|
PaulC, if it is as you say (I did not studied the way and the time of the concentration of German forces to the eastern border of the Reich) than it is an ideal scenario for any military action! If you, as a military commander, are happy that your enemy troops are concentrating on the border of your country than you are surely a masochist (you understand that I do not speak about you!). The ideal scenario is, after me, to not have opponents in front of you and occupy with your troops as much of the territory and the strategic objectives of the opponent's country. Germany isn't such a big country as we see it and without a large territory to allow it to build up a strong front line is doomed to destruction! Why do you think Stalin would be waited for July 1941 when all reports he received indicated a massive concentrating of German troops to USSR western borders? If he had plans of attack, he wouldn't wait for the Germans to complete their preparations... Please tell me how many Soviet tanks were operational of those concentrated on the Eastern Front in june 1941? But of course, all those tanks would have been operational in July 1941, isn't it?
Maybe you also want to discuss more seriously of the legendary Soviet 9th Army concentrated on Romanian border ... a giant in front of an army (our army) that had virtually no tanks ... according to Rezun/Suvorov!
|Posted by: PaulC May 16, 2012 08:00 am|
No it's not.
German forces concentrated as following :
April 1941 - 43 infantry and 3 tank divisions
May 15 1941 - another 23 infantry and 1 motorized arrived
The bulk came in june : the date of invasion (June 22, 1941) was set by Hitler on April 30; the same date it was decided to switch railroads into schedule of maximal defense transportation, starting from May 23. But even after this with clearly de-masking the whole plan of operation the redeployment of tank and motorized divisions was delayed, "to the last minute”. For instance, five tank divisions of “South” army group were loaded into echelons in the period of June 6 to 16 and arrived to unloading stations in South Poland (Lublin-Sandomierz-Rzeszow) just by June 14-20. Three divisions (13 td, 14 td and 11 td) moved directly to regions of concentration and deployment 25-40 km away from Soviet border just in last hours before invasion, while two others (16 td and 9 td) were still marching 100-150 km away from the border in the evening of June 21.
Perfect time for attack : june 15-june 21. The Wehrmacht would have collapsed having its forces concentrated on small areas, ripe for massive pincer movements and encirclement. The disaster would have been unimaginable : fuel, ammunition, supplies were already at the border ( they are delivered first so units can be battle ready as soon as they disembark from train echelons ); Luftwaffe units attacked in the early morning hours, airfields littered with destroyed planes. Troops and equipment caught in trains; while infantry can jump and fight, how do you unload the Panzer tanks and field artillery in the middle of the field ? All this happened east of the border after June 22. Just to give you an example : 35% of the fuel Wehrmacht used in June-July came from captured soviet stocks near the border. And most depots went out in flames. Only in one region, Bielostock, there were 264,000t of fuel. The Wehrmacht reached Moscow using Soviet supplies.
Such a strategy is absolutely useless. In modern wars the point is to destroy the enemy's forces, not to conquer large areas. It's like playing chess and your objective is to cover as much as possible from the chess board. Try doing it and see what happens. Failing to destroyed the enemy's army caused the destruction of Napoleon and also of the Wehrmacht in Russia. They both conquered land and failed to destroy the Russian army. The end result was the same. Despair was the same for both : the Russian/soviets avoided decisive battles in the critical moments. They retreated.
A Red Army attack without the German army in eastern Poland would mean a clash between an intact Wehrmacht, close to its supply and a Red Army which is moving away from its supply lines. The same happened in North Africa, both combatants conquered and gave back land.
He did wait, didn't he ? So your argument falls to pieces. The idea is to strike when the enemy is in the middle of its deployment. Unfortunately for Stalin, he received his own medicine.
You want to play the number game, no problem.
On June 1st, 1941 there were 12,782 tanks in the 5 western districts with 10,540 ( 82.5% ) suitable to use as intended per Red Army regulations, that means operational ( The last pre-war "Summary of condition and amount of combat vehicles as of June 1, 1941" (Central Archives of the Ministry of Defence, f.38, op.11353, 924, 135-138, 909, 2-18) by Mark Solonim ).
FYI, according to the Order of the People's Commissar of Defense of the USSR N15 of January 10, 1940 armored vehicles were to be broken down into the following five categories:
1. New, never been in service, and suitable to be used as intended .
2. Been in service, quite operable and suitable to be used as intended.
3. Requiring repair in district workshops (intermediate overhaul).
4. Requiring repair in central workshops and in the factories (major overhaul).
5. Unserviceable (tanks belonging to this category were taken off the books and were not listed on summary spreadsheets).
Glantz, who is full of you know what, tell you there were 3800 operational tanks out of 22000. What he's actually counting are brand new tanks, 1st category. It's like saying : only cars in showroom are worthy, all those in the streets need repairs.
Let's look at a factual unit, an average division :
The southwestern front had 5,465 tanks out of which 4,788 ( 87,6%) suitable to use as intended, that is operational. Odessa military district had 797 IIRC. What "tanks" did the Romanian army have ?
|Posted by: Victor May 16, 2012 05:01 pm|
| The fact that you write "full of you know what" doesn't make it less inappropriate than the actual word.
Can you please point our where Glantz writes that there were only 3,800 tanks operational on the Soviet side? The only similar figure I found was 3,600 T-37, T-38 and T-40 tanks that were in fact equipped only with machine-guns. From what I see he mentions 11,000 tanks in the Mechanized Corps deployed in the Western Military Districts. Of these 1,406 were new tanks, which leaves 9594 older models. Of these, on 15 June, 29% required capital repairs and 44% lesser maintenance.
29% of 9594 is 2782, which leaves a total of 8,218 available for operations, provided there was personnel for maintenance or for clearing mines/building bridges. On 28 April, Rokossovsky's 9th Mechanized Corps had only 110 of the 489 support technicians it should have had and only 5 of the 165 engineers. The 32dn Tank Division from the 4th MC had on 22 June only 13% of its repair facilities and 50% of its engineers. All MCs had personnel problems. The average for the Western Military Districts was at around 75%. For example, the 15th, 16th, 19th and 22nd MCs lacked operational or intelligence staff sections. Those that had enough personnel, in many occasions did not have sufficiently trained personnel, especially on the new types. The CO of the 8th MC, maj. gen. Riabyshev, reported after the first weeks of fighting that the KV and T-34 drivers of his unit had only 3 to 5 hours of experience on the new machines and his units had not conducted any tactical exercises prior to the war.
Between 22 and 26 June, the 8th Mechanized Corps had forced marched 495 km and 40-50% of its combat vehicles had broken down and had been left behind. He concluded that the absence of corps evacuation means and the disorganization of front and army evacuation services led to extensive unnecessary equipment losses. Col. Ermolaev who held the temporary command of the 15th MC in July, also considered the long marches, general lack of march discipline and absence of any repair or evacuation capability and resupply one of the important causes for the tank losses of his corps. The corps' 10th Tank Division had 310 out of 355 tanks operational on 22 June. By 15 July it had lost 307 tanks, out of which 151 were lost due to maintenance problems or an inability to evacuate them properly.
Maj. gen. Morgunov, the chief of Southwestern's Front Armored Forces, also concluded in a report on 30 June that the absence of evacuation possibilities, the distance to stationary repair bases and the lack of means in the MCs' repair and reconstruction units led to huge numbers of equipment breakdowns for technical faults.
IMO an overall picture emerges. Those vehicles that required just lesser maintenance and were theoretically combat able on paper, quickly turned out not to be and broke down along side other vehicles. The inability to repair them is owed not only to the rapid German advance, but also to the lack of maintenance and logistic preparedness of the Soviet Mechanized Corps. Of course this adds to the lack of sufficient training, specialized personnel, experience, cohesion etc. etc.
Regarding your question regarding the Romanian tanks, the answer is easily available on the worldwar2.ro website. The 1st Armored Division had 103 R-2 tanks operational on 22 June and the rest of 23 were either in the repair shops on in Piata Victoriei, guarding the Council of Ministers Palace. The 2nd Tank Regiment had 75 R-35 tanks (of which ? operational) deployed in support of 4th Army's infantry. The old FT-17 were not used on the front.
The Soviet 9th Army, Rezun's boogie man, had indeed 799 tanks:
- 517 in the 2nd Mechanized Corps: the 11th TD with 10 KV-1, 50 T-34 and the rest T-26, the 16th TD and 15th MD only with BT-5 and 7s.
- 282 in the 18th Mechanized Corps: the 44th and 47th TD with only T-26s and the 218th MD with no tanks at all.
|Posted by: Imperialist May 16, 2012 07:56 pm|
Striking while the enemy hasn't concentrated his main forces opposite your border is certainly not an absolutely useless strategy.
Striking while your enemy has the bulk of his forces far away in the West (Germany in France, 1940, for example) is even better.
Your supply lines get longer but with your units facing no strong resistence to their advance then this is not a big problem. By the time the enemy shifts strong forces from the West to meet you, you have gained space and time. The enemy may push you back, but you will attrition his forces even farther away from your actual border. This also disrupts his action in the West.
|Posted by: PaulC May 16, 2012 09:02 pm|
True. But two things need to be taken into account :
-transport capacity in western Europe vs. western SU and eastern Poland
-in hindsight, it's logical that with the Germany Army in France it would have been a good moment to strike. However, nobody at the time could have foreseen the sudden collapse of France and secondly you need several moments to be able to launch an attack. A permanent readiness is impossible to maintain. ( in other words, you can't keep the Red Army and its supplies in forests at the western frontier for more than a few weeks ).
|Posted by: PaulC May 16, 2012 10:25 pm|
We'll revise his "achievements" in 20-30 years time. Russia cannot go on forever buried under a mountain of lies. One day, they will clean the foundations of the state for a new start.
29+44%=73% of the tanks required repairs. That leaves 27% operational. 27% out of the ~14k west of the Urals makes 3800 operational tanks.
Marl Solonin provides the real situation and even he calls Glantz "infamous". Let me repeat it for you : On June 1st, 1941 there were 12,782 tanks in the 5 western districts with 10,540 ( 82.5% ) suitable to use as intended per Red Army regulations, that means operational.
Good that you mentioned them.
Only equipped with machineguns as if that's something bad. Somehow the Pz I and the Pz II equipped with machine guns and respectively a 20mm canon were much better, no ? Not to mention they were half of the German tanks..
Besides, T37 and T38 were infantry tanks. How many tanks were in the German infantry divisions ? 0. How many tanks were in the German motorized divisions ? 0. And not to forget a small detail, T37/38 were the only amphibious tanks in the world at the time.
"older models" What is that ? How can a BT7M manufactured in June 1941 be an older model on June 22 ? How can a T26 manufactured weeks before the invasion be old ?
The soviet Union manufactured over 4000 tanks in 1939-1940. Were those old too ?
If we're talking quality wise, we can make a small comparison :
Heavy tanks :
-Red Army 770 ( KV1, KV2, T35 )
-Red Army 1881 ( T34 and T28 )
-Wehrmacht 1654 ( P3, P4 Stug 3 )
-Red Army 21359 ( T26, BT, T37/38/40 )
-Wehrmacht 1698 ( P1, P2 , T35, T38)
Do you want to compare the technical specifications of the tanks ? Do you want to compare a BT7M with a Pz 1 ?
Those older models were superior to everything the Germans had. And there were so many of them, it wasn't even funny.
Actually a picture emerges, but completely different from what you envision. You make a grave logical error, you analyze readiness based on performance after june 22.
You completely ignore several facts :
-the Red Army was concentrated in border regions, with bulk of mechanized forces in protrusions inside Poland, surrounded from 3 sides by the enemy and in mortal danger if Germany attacks
-all the fuel, supplies, repair depos, spare parts were massed at the end of railway lines, hidden in forests or still in tens of thousands of railway carriages. All that was lost in the early days. In the hasty retreat, with conflicting orders, the massive soviet formations lost all bearing, abandoned equipment as fuel ran out, weapons, everything they couldn't carry and started to run eastward. Total ammunition losses according to Suvorov were 25000 ( 500k t ) rail carriages, about 3x the total stock of the Wehrmacht for Barbarossa.
-on the western front alone, there were 160 sapper battalions ( about the same number as the entire Romanian Army to answer your question about combat engineers). 5 days later there were only 3 left. Why ? Why were the sapper battalions lost ? What were they doing at the front end of the soviet spearhead ? The answer is simple : if you plan to attack, you need sapper to do mine clearance in front of your attacking forces, cut the barbed wire of the enemy, to erect temporary bridges, to clear debris, to repair communications, etc.
If you plan to defend yourself, the sapper battalions are in the back, preparing the next defense line to fall back to, mining area, preparing bridges for demolitions, railways, communication facilities, etc. The simple fact that on a single front, such a huge number ( 160!! battalions ) were lost in 5 days means the Red Army was prepared to attack.
-the Red Army had on June 22 around 47k artillery tractors and 273k motorcars. Another 31,5k tractors and 243k motorcars were passed over once the general mobilizations was announced.
What I'm trying to say is, the mediocre display after June 22, isn't a sign of Red Army unpreparedness to conduct offensive operations, but is actually the direct consequence of an army that prepared and deployed only for offensive operations. All the things they did which were logical if you want to attack ( deploy the units as forward as possible, move the sappers in front of the units, bring forwards fuel, ammunition, supplies, spares, ). But the war didn't start as planned. And all the massive preparation backfired. Everything that was done for attack, turned into a disaster in defense. Fuel dumps, repair depos, ammunition warehouses were blown up by German artillery and aviation or by retreating soviet forces. Retreating under pressure, the Red Army units found themselves with no orders, no maps, no fuel, no spares, everything was left behind. The retreat turned into a complete rout with tanks, guns, heavy weapons, everything was abandoned in the general " scapa cine poate".
The boogie man, could obliterate the joke called Romanian tank regiments with impunity. You say only T26 and BTs as if those were donkey carts and we had Leopard 2s. Care to compare their main characteristics ?
Secondly, the 9th army did not receive all its reinforcements. Most were on the way at June 22. Your snapshot isn't only incomplete , but is misleading. Had there been no German attack, rest assure, the 178 Romanian tanks wouldn't have faced "only" 799 soviet tanks, but many more.
Let's see what Suvorov ( Icebreaker ) says about it :
|Posted by: Imperialist May 17, 2012 08:04 am|
Deploying units forward, bringing sappers, fuel, ammunition, supplies and spares is something normal if you want to conduct defensive operations too.
|Posted by: PaulC May 17, 2012 08:06 am|
| Just to preempt a resurgence of some very popular fairy tales regarding the Red Army ( the percent mania about its shortcomings, lack of transport and lack of communications ) I will post what Mark Solonin has to say about this. The deceit perpetrated in the official history and by "famous" experts like Glantz is breathtaking ( strangely people who consider themselves smart and informed don't want to bother themselves with disturbing some elephants on the sofa, they avoid asking the right questions )
|Posted by: PaulC May 17, 2012 08:08 am|
|Posted by: PaulC May 17, 2012 08:17 am|
| What about tanks ? Don't we all know soviet tanks had no radios, masses of uncontrolled tanks ?
|Posted by: PaulC May 17, 2012 08:26 am|
This nonsense worked out so well in the first weeks of the war, did it ?
Arm chair nonsense 0 - Reality 1.
This is so stupid, I don't know why I'm even bothering to explain it : in attack operations, ammunitions, supplies, spares, fuel, unit rearguards, sappers are deployed as forward as possible. The idea is to support the attacking units with minimal disruption and follow in their wake as soon as the border was crossed. The supply chain has to be as short as possible.
In defensive operations, you keep the main units at a safe distance from the border ( one of the main causes of defeat, mentioned even by Glantz was the forward deployment of the troops and supplies ). The whole concept is to avoid falling under the enemy's first blow and allowing enough time and space to correctly identify the main thrusts. I suggest you read about Mainstein's battles in late 1943-early 1944 and what mobile conduct of defensive operations means. Also Seelowe heights in 1945 is a good example of how to conduct defensive operations against modern forces.
Sappers are kept in the back in defensive operations because they are preparing the next fall back lines, they are preparing for demolitions the main communication features. As soon as the fighting forces retreated, the bridge is blown up.
Fuel and supplies are kept safely in the back and are sent to the front on a per need basis .
The Red Army did the exact opposite : they put fuel ( Germans used around 3000t of fuel per day in June and July from captured Russian stocks, stocks that they did not know about and which supposedly were blown up by the retreating Red Army ); ammunition ( 500,000 t lost ) , supplies, spares, even PARACHUTES ( which they had to recover under enemy fire from the border forests ). All the unit support forces were lost and so the Red Army units were left without fuel, without supplies, without repairs, without spares. In a defensive war the fighting units from a division face the enemy and the support units are in the back. On june 22, the fighting units were fleeing east ( thus facing the enemy with their back ) and their support units were being obliterated as they were trying to save the fuel, ammunition, supplies.
|Posted by: Imperialist May 17, 2012 09:02 am|
Why do you think it is nonsense? And no, the fact that it didn't work out well after the Germans attacked is not an argument.
|Posted by: PaulC May 17, 2012 09:29 am|
I already explained in detail why it was nonsense. And that it didn't work out AT ALL and was the main CAUSE of DEFEAT is the absolute argument.
I suggest you spend a few hours on youtube and search videos like : Wehrmacht preparing for attack, crossing the Meuse, etc.
You're talking nonsense and no amount of political correctness can cover that.
Let me help you understand what preparing for attack means :
-Allies Italy 1943
-Allies, Patton 1944
-France May 1940
Fuel, ammunition, spares, mobile repair shops, tractors, everything is concentrated at the very front together with the spearheads. For attack it is perfect. For defense it's a disaster of unimaginable proportions. Imagine a single enemy fighter dropping A SINGLE BOMB on the fuel and ammunition trucks. Can you do that ?
|Posted by: Imperialist May 17, 2012 09:30 am|
| Drop the insults.
In defensive operations you need a strong covering force. And you have been shown how the Soviet divisions were deployed, on three echelons that had depth. In an offensive operation you don't put your attacking forces on three echelons of that depth.
Sure, but allowing time and space is done by fighting. And fighting calls for supplies and fuel. Which should be in reach, not to be brought from 300 kilometers away where it is "safe".
Yes, so if sappers were deployed to the first echelon (I think it was the one deployed within 20-50 kilometers of the border), would that mean they were deployed "forward"?
Also, I'd have to ask you what you meant by "sappers in front of the units"?
Sure, but define "back". A supply dump located 50 kilometers from the border is back or forward?
|Posted by: PaulC May 17, 2012 10:55 am|
What insults ? Spouting nonsense and being called for is an insult ? You seem to have habit of discussing in worthless hypothesis and employing reduction ad absurdum arguments as stupid questions like
What do you expect me to answer for this ? How can be any answer right or wrong ? I can infer that in the June 22 scenario a supply dump 50km back was too close since German motorized columns advanced 50-70km during the first day. Only the western front had 264000t of fuel in exposed positions. Do I need to repeat the fact that 1/3 of the fuel Wehrmacht used in June-July was captured from what remained from Soviet dumps ? So let me revert back to you the nonsense : based on what happened, where the supply dumps positioned with defense in mind ?
There were no 3 echelons in depth. That's pure Glantz nonsense. Soviet forces were arriving in waves not all were at their launch positions.
Since apparently you don't bother to read my posts, let me remind you what happened days before June 22 ( and why Glantz stories of 3 echelons are nonsense )
There is a thing called "mobile supply" and "fixed dumps". Mobile supply covers army/corps/division road trains, the fixed dumps are usually at railway terminals. In between the railway terminals and the troops, there are the so called supply trains. Thousands of trucks which carry what's needed to the front. Depending on road and railway density, the distance between fixed dumps and the troops can be under 50km ( France ) or around 150-200 ( Russia ) or even more ( 300-500km North Africa ).
German flow was the following :
Coming back to the quality of questions : in 5 days , the western front went from 160 sapper battalions to 3 . With this info ( again you don't bother to read my previous posts ), what can you say about their deployment ? Was it too forward ? Forward enough ? In the back ? In Moscow region ?
FYI information, sappers open the way for the armed forces. They are in front because :
-clear the minefields
-cut the barbed wire
-deploy mobile bridges
-attack fortifications with special weapons
Like I've said, there are youtube videos where you can see this live : German sappers on the river edge. A wave of infantry crosses the Bug or the Meuse in dingies. Once a bridgehead is established on the other bank, pontoon sappers quickly build temporary bridges in a few hours. As soon as that is done, the tanks and main columns roll forward.
Better than what I can say in 10 000 words.
|Posted by: Imperialist May 17, 2012 03:39 pm|
I think saying other people's opinions are armchair nonsense and stupid or saying others "spout nonsense" are insults.
Even if you think someone is wrong you can say it politely and you can present your case without embelishing your posts with the insults mentioned above.
Statements you made on this thread, such as "striking an open border is useless strategy" or "there is no defense through counter-attacks", or "had they put their planes 500km from the border and the troops 300km back would have meant Barbarossa to end by late summer 1941" can easily be considered nonsense, but nobody insulted you for them.
If it doesn't suit your opinion it's nonsense.
Oh man, thanks, but I didn't need you to tell me what sappers are or do. My question was what do you mean Soviet sappers were in front of the units? How did you establish this as a fact?
According to the diagrams you yourself posted, from the army railway terminal the supply lines (trucks) go to army dumps and then to division dumps and even lower. Covering forces need to have these division (and lower) dumps already pre-positioned. That was my earlier point (deploying units forward, fuel, ammunition, supplies and spares is something normal if you want to conduct defensive operations too). Thanks for helping me making it clearer.
|Posted by: PaulC May 17, 2012 04:50 pm|
You are wrong on multiple levels then.
That's taken out of context, call me surprised. The discussion was whether it is preferable to destroy the enemy by surprising him in frontier battles or advance through neutral ( polish ) territory and meet the intact German forces in western Poland. I sided with the first view ( not that my opinion carries any weight ) for the following reasons :
-you have the advantage of surprise while in the second case this is lost, the forces meet after several days/weeks
-the bulk of his support services, ammunition, fuel, air force are crippled by surprise air attacks, not the case in the second option
-the main thrusts are not know, in the second case they become obvious and adequate countermeasures can be developed
I can continue , but I believe the point is clear.
Indeed. The Soviet Union never invaded anyone. They just defended themselves :
You're not insulting me, you're insulting Glantz.
What an error, if only they had been a little further from the frontier...like on the old state frontier, 300km from the new one in the bunkers and fortifications of the Stalin line...
Well I will repeat one more time :
Glantz 3 operational echelons morphed into 1. There were 3 at the beginning because you couldn't deploy 170 divisions ON THE STATE BORDER several weeks before the operations. Some of the divisions were deployed on the border; some were further back. On June 13, the entire 1st strategic echelon moved on the border, hiding in forests.
Is it clear now ?
Soviet sappers were preparing cross the Bug river, clear German minefields and open the way for the massive mechanized corps to strike. I've already adressed the sapper topic and their role for offensive operations in my previous post. You have also some "sapper in attack 101 " video made by the German army.
|Posted by: Imperialist May 17, 2012 08:57 pm|
No problem, I think the same about you.
I'm sorry to have bothered you with my questions, but you made a series of dubious statement in the thread and I had to question them. Examples of such statements you made so far in the thread and which I questioned:
- Soviet Union allied with Germany
- "main Soviet forces were right on the frontier"
- "On june 13 the entire 1st echelon comprising of 170 divisions moved right on the state border"
(strangely enough you now say that "you couldn't deploy 170 divisions ON THE STATE BORDER several weeks before the operations"; only Freud could sort this out)
- the Soviets "crammed the airfields near the border"
Then you said the Soviets placed their supplies forward, which could only mean they were for an offensive. So I had to tell you that deploying supplies forward, or relatively close to the border, is something done in view of defense too, especially if you have large covering forces.
Forward dumps have to be close to the units they're supposed to serve.
Yes, but what is the source of your claim that the Soviets had the "sappers in front of the units" when the Germans attacked?
|Posted by: ANDREAS May 17, 2012 10:23 pm|
PaulC, please carefully read the entire text I wrote and not take from it parts to serve your ideas! A massive penetration of Soviet forces does not imply only Germany, but most likely Hungary and Romania, cutting access to oil resources for the Wehrmacht! But what I wanted to emphasize is that stopping a strong opponent in full action would have been not so easy even for the mighty Wehrmacht, and taking back the lead from the soviet hands extremely problematic! The existence of a fortified line built in depth would have helped greatly but I do not know that the Germans were preoccupied to build something like this... So back to my question: why do Stalin, knowing well the concentration of German forces in the USSR borders, not order an immediate offensive if he had the attack plans prepared and his forces (or at least some) so strong as Rezun/Suvorov sugest? Why? Because the Rezun hypothesis of an attack in july 1941 is unfounded! I believe Stalin was thinking about attacking Germany in a favorable moment, but certainly not in the summer of 1941! The stupidity invented by Rezun that the red army was excellent prepared to attack but totally incapable in defense is nonsense, a trained army is able to perform all operations, either offensive or defensive! How much training could the recruits get (I found a lot of cases in which the soviet recruits had no basic knowledge of using their tanks, vehicles or artillery!) from 22 june to 6 july 1941, the alleged date of the Soviet attack?
|Posted by: PaulC May 18, 2012 05:47 am|
We went at length through that one. It seems that no matter how strong the cooperation was ( joint invasion of a neutral country, division of Eastern Europe, economic support to crush western Europe, exchange of undesirables by security services ), you simply refuse to accept reality.
In the same tone, the Sept 28 Nazi-Soviet treaty of friendship isn't pointing to an alliance either in your view.
What can I say beyond "take it or leave it".
This is getting awkward since either you're doing it intentionally ( ignoring evidence ) or it's a matter of reading comprehension :
Let me translate this to you :
-In the middle of may the Red Army begun to transfer its forces to the soviet border. Armies from throughout the Soviet Union arrived in waves
-The 1st strategic echelon was deployed in a 300-400km belt from the border. There weren't enough camps and accommodation facilities near the border to put all the forces there.
-On June 13, the entire first echelon received orders to move to the frontier. It didn't matter they slept in the forests under the clear sky, they weren't meant to stay there for long. On the same day, the 2nd strategic echelon is ordered to the western districts and starts embarkation throughout the Soviet Union.
If you can't understand the citations I'm giving and the explanation, I can't be any more clear than that.
It's not like there weren't between 600-700 active airfields according to various authors ( and the Luftwaffe intelligence identified 2000 , including the reserve ones since for any active airfield you have 2 in reserve ) in a 250km strip from the frontier.
The Luftwaffe destroyed around 2000 aircraft by attacking the 66 most important airfields. Of course to you, they must have did that in Flight Simulator 1941 since there were no "crammed soviet airfields near the border".
Says who ?
So for defense, you deploy your supplies so far forward that they had to be destroyed or ended captured by the enemy ?
Says who ?
Forward dumps are 1-3 combat loads and are on mobile trucks so they keep pace with unit movements. Only around Bielstock the soviets had 260000t of fuel in fixed fuel dumps . About 15 combat loads for all the tanks in Western Soviet Union or around 70 combat loads for the tanks of the Western district. Enough fuel for those 4000 tanks to travel 14,000km. Enough to conquer Europe and take a bath at Gibraltar.
And Bielostock force was not even the main attack force ! The main was around Lvov.
The soviets couldn't save the fuel, the ammunition and supplies. What they put there exceed by 2-3x what the entire Wehrmacht had for Barbarossa.The set fire to the dumps ( sometimes not even that ) and they ran. The Germans used 1/3 of the fuel needed for the drive in June and July from captured soviet stocks.
If you can't grasp the disconnect between what the soviets actually deployed and your theoretical nonsense, I'm truly wasting my time.
"On the Western Front alone, only three of one hundred sixty sapper battalions on or near the front lines on June 22 were still functional five days later (p.165) "
Let's make a logical exercise :
-troops closest to the border had the least chances to survive, I suppose you can agree on that.
-soviet units of the western front were still existing on June 27 ( albeit running east and abandoning everything )
-sapper units ceased to exist by June 27 ( 3 out of 160 according to Glantz ).
The only logical explanation is that they were the first in contact with the enemy ( what you would expect if planning an attack ) and simply disintegrated.
|Posted by: dragos May 18, 2012 07:09 am|
|Re Germany and USSR allegedly being allies. In the context of WW2, the term of alliance is more military oriented than economic and politic. A proper example of alliance is between France and UK or Romania and Germany, which involves military cooperation and joint operational command. Such terms cannot apply to relations between SU and Germany.|
|Posted by: dragos May 18, 2012 07:19 am|
|PaulC, I suggest you drop your aggressive tone. This doesn't add more weight to your arguments.|
|Posted by: Imperialist May 18, 2012 08:20 am|
Regarding the alliance thing, you refuse to accept that friendship and cooperation are one thing, and alliance is something else. Casus foederis makes the difference between an alliance and all the other types of cooperation agreements. Trying to blur the line like you do can only lead to confusion.
And the question was how many airfields should there have been in a strip 250 km x 1,800 km? I believe you said there is no correct answer. Yet before I presented this question you threw that number around and expected people to immediately take it as indubitable proof of offensive intent.
No, for defense you deploy strong covering forces. Those strong covering forces need supplies.
You look at this issue upside-down. Namely, you look at them being destroyed instead of looking at the fact that they had to serve friendly units.
Also, you use "so far forward" again but instead of looking at the Soviet logistical system and where dumps were supposed to be located in relation to Soviet units, you gauge it by looking at how much the Germans advanced and at the fact that they captured 1/3 of the fuel they used in June-July. And you conclude they were too far forward.
That's faulty logic. The Germans advanced what, some 300 kilometers by early July in North and Center? That was enough to overrun the Soviet rear-area dumps too, let alone the forward dumps. In view of that advance maybe the Soviets should have placed their dumps closer to Moscow? Such a conclusion from your part wouldn't surprise me considering you said almost the same about where the Soviet planes and divisions should have been.
Sorry, dumps are not kept on mobile trucks. Not even forward dumps. Here's a fragment:
Had they been on mobile trucks there wouldn't be a need to displace them to keep up with advancing troops.
Do you have clear figures/sources to back this claim?
Glantz doesn't say they ceased to exist, he says they were no longer functional. The same can be said about the Soviet units that ran east and abandoned everything.
|Posted by: PaulC May 18, 2012 08:26 am|
I read and I explained why I thought it is preferable to destroy the German army in frontier battles, not meet it intact in western Poland.
Very true. The soviet operational plans meant exactly this : " “The main strike of the Southwestern Front forces should be targeted towards Krakow and Katowice, cutting Germany off from its southern allies; the auxiliary strike of the left wing of the Western Front should be applied towards Siedlec and Deblin for the purpose of paralyzing the Warsaw grouping and assisting the Southwestern Front in defeating the enemy’s Lublin grouping…”
I fully agree. But I need to mention that it would have been real bloody since without the Luftwaffe destroyed on the ground, the soviet air force would have had a very rough time. Their pilots had only basic ground attack skills, trained to fly in formation and support the ground units. Air battle experience was limited to veterans from Spain, Finland and Japan. The whole concept envisioned gaining air supremacy after destroying the Luftwaffe on the ground.
There were fortifications in East Prussia and also on the Oder, but minimal. That's the reason why KV2 units were deployed on the northern front.
Totally wrong. The entire premise is flawed. Stalin did not know about the concentration of German forces. Secondly, the Red Army deployed according to its own schedule irrespective of the German movements. The deployment planned envisioned to finish deployment by July 10. Let me quote Solonin, who's book is now available from Polirom.
Going back to your hypothesis : why didn't the Red Army attack prior to June 22 ? First of all, because Stalin and the soviet high command didn't believe Germany will attack. Secondly, because they were in the middle of their deployment for attack which was meant to be completed by July 10.
I shown previously that only on June 13 did the 1st strategic echelon receive the order to move on the state frontier and the 2nd strategic echelon to move to the western districts from inside the Soviet Union. They simply weren't ready to attack in between 13 and 22 of June even if they had believe it.
I can only hope that the evidence presented regarding the offensive deployment of the Red Army, the planned dates, can convince you everything was moving inexorably to only one conclusion : a massive attack around July 5-10 1941.
To be ready to attack prior to June 22, the order for deployment needed to be given before April 26 ( Hitler decided on June 22 only on April 30 - more evidence regarding the disconnection between the Soviet and German deployment ). There are sequential measures, bottleneck steps in the process, you can't speed them up, you need to start earlier. But in March 1941, Barbarossa was only in the mind of Hitler and few of his top generals. There were less than 30 divisions on the entire Eastern Front.
He's not saying that. Why don't you actually quote him ? What he is saying is that :
-the Red Army was deployed offensively, in the worst possible places to confront an attack
-the training and indoctrination were unilateral, offensively minded ( pilots for example had basically no air combat training, only ground attack )
Based on this, the disaster was unavoidable.
Of course the Red Army could defend itself. It proved that 6 months later after it lost 90% of the power it had on June 22. If in May Stalin would have declared : we need to defend ourselves, declared full mobilization, Kursk like defenses would have been children's sand castles compared to what the Red Army would have prepared from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
But they DID NOT HAVE ANY INTENTION TO DEFEND THEMSELVES !! All they did was the exact opposite, strengthen their attacking position and weaken the defensive one.
Let's use some critical thinking, sorely missed sometimes.
The Soviet Union had 17000 tanks on sept 1. 1939. Assuming they all were manned only on August 1, they must have had almost 2 years of experience in using their tanks by June 22. In the meantime, thousands of soviet tanks were used for invasion of Poland, Finland and fought in Mongolia. If you want to sell us donuts ( gogosi ) about tankers who did not know what was the front and the back of their tanks, you're targeting the wrong audience.
Let's see what the Japanese say about soviet tankers ( from wiki ) :
Apparently, they knew their tanks in august 1939. Do you want to say that they somehow forgot their skills and got retarded between August 1939 and June 1941 ?
Just as a sidenote, the 9th army facing Romania was commanded by people hand picked from Khalkin-Gol campaign. Do you think those people didn't draw the appropriate lessons and became dumber in the meantime ?
|Posted by: contras May 18, 2012 08:39 am|
|Out of discution, two new Suvorov books are avaible, Vă vom ingropa (We will burry you), about Hruscheev era and nuclear problems. Another one, Spetznatz, about those troops in Soviet army.|
|Posted by: PaulC May 18, 2012 09:00 am|
Casus foederis is applicable; they attacked Poland together, based on a defined agreement. That makes them de facto allies. Allies in aggression, but allies nonetheless. It's you actually who's restricting the definition of allies. Please show me a document of alliance between US and Britain, or between Britain and France.
Wrong question again. Asking "how many should have been" is to put it politely, meaningless.
The RAF survived because its airfields were protected from surprise attacks.
Having your airfields close to the border = unprotected from surprise attack. Which, as history proved, was just what happened. By 1941 they had seen the scenario repeat itself in Poland, Low countries, France, Norway, Balkans. If they would have thought 1 minute about defense, the above sequence would have popped up : maybe we should put the airfields a further back so they can't be attacked by surprise ?
So what are you arguing actually ? That it was a good idea to have that many planes and airfields close to the border if they considered an enemy attack a real possibility ? That Red Air Force losses aren't real ? That the Luftwaffe didn't strike those airfields ?
Too bad nobody thought of defense. So your theoretical construction falls to pieces.
Reality : they served the enemy or were destroyed by the friendly units. It's beyond me how you can argue against REAL things that happened . You're building theories of why it wasn't bad for defense what they did, when we have the definitive proof, WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
I don't conclude that. The soviets discovered that the hard way. The Germans discovered that and opened champaign bottles.
The Germans wouldn't have advanced 300km in 1 week without the soviet supplies. Their own logistics failed to keep up with them. But fortunately for the Wehrmacht they maintained the tempo by using captured supplies.
You do realize that the soviet equivalent weren't only forward dumps that got captured and destroyed, but massive ones, the kind it is mentioned for Inchon area. The problem was that Inchon like dumps were created near the border, dumps which were captured in the first 2-3 days or had to be destroyed since they couldn't be evacuated.
FYI, German stockpiles for Barbarossa were :
-91,000t of ammunition
-500,000t of fuel.
The soviets lost the equivalent of 25000 carriages of ammunition for the western front and 260,000t of fuel only in the Bielostock area. 2-3x is an understatement.
Good, we're down to word games now. They didn't cease to exist, they are no longer functional. Probably, they existed and were functional, just in a parallel universe.
|Posted by: udar May 18, 2012 09:45 am|
| Well, even if i said i would not bother to get here anymore, i want to make few considerations about this topic.
-sapper units near frontier might be related as well with the construction of "Molotov line", a fortified line supposed to be build by Soviets. They started dismantling the previous "Stalin line" to be moved further west, near the new border aquired after the alliance with Nazi Germany under Molotov-Ribentrop pact. The existance of that fortified line at such distance from the new borders was obsolete and useless. Elements of it was kept just near our eastern borders as far as i know. Sure, sappers can be used in ofensive operations too, making way thru enemy lines, blowing up things and so on
Stalin pushed hard to close the gap, the open teritory of stepes when an enemy can rush quicker and advance more easy toward Moscow, the Soviet industrial base and agriculture lands in Ukraine and South Russia. Thats why he wanted a border suported by Danube Delta (Basarabia), Carpathians (Bucovina) and Baltic Sea (half of Poland, Baltic countries, Finland teritories). This border was better suited geographicaly for defense, and let a smaller gap (Poland) to be reinforced and fortified (Molotov line). An attack from Romania was harder to be done, and one in north, from Finland, even much harder, both because Finns was already put in submission (they didn get much inside USSR after Axis attack) and the area was not proper for large concentration of forces.
Same for aircrafts, having a border streched from Black Sea to Baltic Sea needed quite many airfields. And an aircraft back then had an autonomy of just few hundred km, so is normal to be in a distance of tens to hundreds of km from border, to protect it.
The Axis attack caught the Soviets in the middle of this process. As that new to be done fortified line spread from Bukovina to Baltic Sea is not a wonder that such many sapper battalions was used there, to build it.
-my opinion is that Stalin, even if planned a massive attack in Europe, wasnt ready for it in 1941, maybe later in 1943-1944, especially after the hard victory over Finns. He was surprised by the quick German victory in west, the plan was probably to wait until all other European armies slaughter eachother and then attack.
As Germans finished too quickly (for Soviet likes) in west, and turned around to east, Stalin received probably (thru spies who worked for him, voluntarily or memmbers of Soviet services - see Lucy network, Sorge and Red Chapelle) the news that Germans see him as the next target.
So he tried to avoid the invasion by mounting himself a preemtive strike, exactly the other way around as Suvorov say. But it was done in a hurry, less prepared and especially with a less prepared Army.
I think Suvorov grossly exagerate the combat abilities of Red Army, and try to cover their inabilities by pretending it was caught by surprise as was prepared for offensive and not for defence.
The truth is that red army was rely mostly on their number, it was not very well trained, the morale was high at first because of their numbers, but many times dropped quickly when they faced resistance or harder hits, being needed those "death squadrons" behind to shot the ones who retreat.
The fact that some of their leaders was quite incompetent as well made them to be slaughtered en masse, or captured by milions.
This is not just at the begining of Barbarossa, but later too, like the onslaught at Kursk, when even if Soviets had all the possible trump cards they lost way much more troops and materials then Germans, who was diverted partialy by Allied invasion in Sicily and allowed so the Soviets to win at the end.
The only way they managed to win was using their numbers in open stepes, where they throw wave after wave of troops, tanks, artilery, aircraft etc in an attempt to overcome the enemy (especially if that enemy lacked very much such materials, as number of troops or tanks and artilery).
My opinion is that red army was caught unprepared, either for assault either for defense. They knew what will come (German/Axis invasion) but wasnt able to do something significant to avoid that.
Their training was rather low, the morale fluctuated, and was rather German mistakes and Allied help who avoided USSR to fall.
Their weaponry was good in some characteristics, but bad on others. I was surprised seeing Suvorov saying that I-16 was the most powerful fighter in the world for ex, i think he have no idea what he talking about. Or that it was first using missiles attached, which is hilarious, such missiles was used by aircrafts since WW 1 to shot down observation ballons.
Tactically Soviets was weak, their tanks lacked coordination and radio station (it was the commander of the tank poping out from the turret and making signs with some flags to command other tanks), training was rather low, and as i said they relied mostly on sending wave after wave of "cannon fodder", in a total contempt for the lives of common soldier, saw as expendable material, kinda WW 1, but with tanks too this time.
I think that Suvorov just tried to mask this Soviet weaknesses by assembling a scenario with devious and diabolic and inteligent Stalin, with his competent comanders and generals, with the huge (this is true) and well prepared (less true) Red Army who wanted to strike first but was caught unprepared for defense by a hastly German assault.
In other words, he tried to find excuses and in the same time to paint the red army and SU colossus in other colors, from the one who was badly beated and survived just with the help of others, in one who was so devious and strong and ready to take over the entire world, and just some hastly reaction from Hitler, who fight for his very near survival and some bad luck made Stalin to not accomplish his goals.
In other words, this is what Russians call "maskirova", a deception, an attempt to show themselves bigger or stronger and divert the attention from their weaknesess. And Russians was always good to propaganda
|Posted by: dragos May 18, 2012 09:52 am|
|Posted by: PaulC May 18, 2012 10:23 am|
Just to take Imperial's position : that's not an alliance, that's a memorandum of collaboration. It certainly doesn't fall under casus foederis, doesn't it ?
How is it any different from the Soviet-German protocols ?
|Posted by: dragos May 18, 2012 10:55 am|
You asked about a document of alliance. This document stipulates clearly what military actions will be taken in cooperation to defeat the common enemy.
There were no such combined military actions planed in Soviet - German protocols directed towards a common enemy.
|Posted by: PaulC May 18, 2012 11:26 am|
Considerations as in repeating myths and known falsehoods, than yes.
Molotov line in the Bialostock and Lvov bulges ? Surrounded from 3 sides by the enemy ?
Or like you leave yourself an escape option
So to reinforce his security, he enslaved a few million Romanians, Baltic People, 10 million poles and ucrainians, destroying a barrie 1000km wide of neutral states, just to allow Hitler the possibility to attack him by surprise ?
If he was so afraid, he should have backed Poland, send her reinforcement, tell Hitler, "If you attack Poland, you'll fight us too ".
This is so absurd, it's not even funny.
I don't think anyone is ignorant enough to buy this fairy tales. Do you think Romania would have joined Germany in the attack had there been no occupation of Basarabia ? If you can answer this, you've answered yourself.
What's so precious in the occupied territory of Poland that needs to be protected at the border ? Is Moscow situated in the middle of Poland ? Or Kiev ? or Donbass ? Maybe Leningrad ?
And yes it was "normal" to be near the border, just as it was absolutely normal to have them destroyed in the morning hours of June 22.
Have you heard of stories of resistance on the border ? Who ever heard of Molotov line being used in any way please raise his hand! Same can be said for the Stalin line, only 1 UR was defended, the Kiev one, but the Germans simply encircled it.
So those sappers apparently forgot to build anything and had a 2 year long vodka party.
What about the troops ? A few posts back we have direct quotes from the officers, troops were hiding in the forests, not occupying any defenses, not digging trenches or bunkers! Maybe they waited the sappers to do it...
I refuse to believe someone can say this with a straight face. Stalin wasn't ready for attack in 1941 when he had :
-an active army of 5 million
-reserves of another 5 in 1 week
-the country and the industry intact, weapons production outpacing the German one
His superiority, both in numbers and technical was colossal. The Red Army dwarfed all the armies of the world combined. Yet, he wasn't ready to attack.
Somehow, you say he would have been ready by 1943-1944. What happened in 1943-1944 ? The Red Army was back in Central Europe.
-fighting with reservists only
-having lost 3/4 of the war industry
-having lost tens of millions of people, tens of thousands of tanks, hundreds of thousands of guns in 1941-1942.
At least you didn't say he would have been ready in 1947-1948. It would have meant Berlin was conquered by an unprepared army.
How can the active Red Army be less prepared than the Red Army of 1943-1944 composed of reservists and forcefully conscripted men from liberated territories ?
It must have been Darth Vader that defeated Guderian's 2nd Panzer Group at Tula or pushed the army group center and south 100-200km back.
All that with maybe 10% of what was available in June 1941.
So with 10% of the forces , they could stop the Germans, but with 100% they could neither attack nor defend.
Put everyone to dig trenches ? If Stalin wanted they could have build a Baltic-Black Sea canal 1km wide. Let's see how the Germans would cross it.
By the time allied help arrived, the Germans were on the verge of collapsing on the Moscow front. Allied help was under 10% of what the crippled soviet industry produced during the war.
But with that industry intact, also intact army, they could neither defend or attack !
Why not show us the exact quote were he says that ? Maybe he's talking about the mid 30s, just saying..
Why would they lack coordination ? All the tank units had quite a few radios and at least 1 in every 3 tanks had a radio ( platoon commander ). At best you could say, the tank units could act with a granularity of 3 every action. Considering they had 4 x superiority in tanks, that's more than adequate.
So it doesn't appear to you strange that for 70 years, soviet and now russian propoganda portray themselves as frightened, stupid, untrained masses, with idiotic leaders who couldn't act, with tanks that were flammable and useless, planes that couldn't fly, etc, etc. On top of this, if you want to write a book about this, see Glantz, you're given a reception at the military academy and are allowed to get all the material needed to reinforce this view.
Why isn't Glantz going at Paris telling the French Military Academy : I want to write a book to prove how incompetent you were in ww2 and I need access to the archives. What do you think would happen ? In 2 hours he would be on a plane with permanent ban on visiting France.
But in Russia, they toast in your honor. Somehow, that doesn't make any clicks in the brain, it's perfectly normal.
|Posted by: PaulC May 18, 2012 11:31 am|
And dividing Poland is what ?
Of course. On 21 September, the Soviets and Germans signed a formal agreement coordinating military movements in Poland. Does that fall under "combined military actions" ?
|Posted by: Imperialist May 18, 2012 11:53 am|
The question is not wrong because your theory/proof of imminent Soviet attack is based on quantity of forces and their distance from the border. You claim that the number of Soviet airfields (x) placed at the known or estimated distances (y) from the border is undisputable proof of offensive intent.
So my question was what should the x and y have been if the Soviets wanted to defend, not to attack. In other words, how do you establish the quantitative and spatial threshold between defense and offense? You haven't clarified this threshold but you talk of "too close", "too forward," "farther back" while lacking the point of refence. Your only answer regarding this - the one in which you say that if they wanted to defend the Soviets should have kept their forces 300-500 km back - is very unrealistic.
Maybe things are how you say regarding the RAF, but in my opinion the RAF survived because it had a top-notch early warning system that allowed its airfields not to be taken by surprise. The surprise was also gone because Britain knew it was at war with Germany.
I'm saying that the airfields had to be there to cover the covering forces and the border. You have to take into account the airplanes' combat range. Airfields couldn't be placed 400 kilometers back and be of any real use.
Another thing you seem to ignore is that even if you are on strategic defense your airplanes have to act offensively too - striking deep behind enemy lines, disrupting lines of communications and supplies. That's another reason why the airfields couldn't have been placed 100s of kilometers back. The Soviet airplanes' range had to be good enough not only to fight in the air over the Soviet territory but to strike deep behind the advancing Germans too.
Do you know how far behind the frontlines were the American forward supply dumps 2 months after the invasion of Europe? Less than 40 kilometers! The American units fought hard and the Germans didn't wipe the floor with them. As a consequence, the dumps survived and you don't hear anything about them. Had the Germans beaten the Americans to a pulp and consequently captured their dumps you'd probably have said the dumps were placed too close to the frontline!!! You don't judge where a dump should be based on whether it gets destroyed or captured, but on whether units need that dump there or not.
The point is the Soviet dumps were where they were supposed to be IMO but the units they served were defeated and the dumps were captured or destroyed. It happens.
I am waiting for you to refute it.
Yes, the Soviets had 170 divisions in the west, I imagine the logistical footprint was massive. And?
Thank you for those figures. I'll check them out and come back later.
|Posted by: dragos May 18, 2012 12:18 pm|
The difference is obivous but I won't bother continuing this nitpicking.
Can you post the a link to the document re 21 September? Does it stipulate coordinating joint actions or just separates the zones of action so they won't step on each other's foot?
I appreciate the fact that you use references for your posts, but the way you presents your opinions as being ultimate truth and Suvorov's writings as a Holy Bible regarding the subject is hardly constructive and discourage any serious debate on this. I'll leave it on others who have more time and patience on their hands.
|Posted by: PaulC May 18, 2012 12:43 pm|
Sorry, but to accuse me of nitpicking means you haven't read the last pages. I'm the last one that draws the discussion in sinkholes about irrelevant nitpicks avoiding the main questions.
As for the alliance question, I just played imperial's position and you had enough after 30min. That says something...
|Posted by: PaulC May 18, 2012 01:13 pm|
Proof of offensive intent. Let's see what evidence we have :
-we have the operational plans - check
-we have the deployment plan which enables the operational plans - check
-we have a status on deployment on June 13, deployment according to plan - check
-we have the situation on June 22 - check
These are the indisputable proof of offensive intent :
-total disregard of defense and ignoring the threat posed by the enemy
-offensive propaganda in the army and country
The only thing that is missing was interrupted by the German attack.
Did you miss again Glantz explicitly naming deploying too far forward as one of the reasons for defeat ? That is reality. They should have been further back. 100, 300, 500, 1000km is left to discussion. But nobody can deny they were in the wrong positions to defend themselves, however, excellent starting points for attack.
Well, the soviets lacked the top-notch early warning system. How do you protect yourself if you rely on eyes and ears ? Give yourself enough time from when the enemy planes are spotted crossing the border.
Stuka covers at cruise speed :
-25km in 5min
-50km in 10min
-300km in 1h
A Me109 does everything 50% faster leaving you with 150sec for 25km, 7min for 50km and 40min for 300km. How much time do you think you need to get an air regiment 30-60 planes in the air considering you have 30s in between successive takeoffs ?
Where would you place the airfields knowing all this ?
400km for all no; you could have 150-200km for fighters and 300-400km for bombers.
You do realize that soviet bombers bombed Berlin about a dozen time in 1941 from bases near Smolensk and even further away, same story for Konigsberg, Danzig,etc. Ploiesti too.
That's when no surprises were expected. And those forwards dumps were nothing more than thousands of barrels lay on the ground or heaps of ammunition crates. A surprise attack with the Wehrmacht in top form as in 1941, you need to take precautions.
As for the Ardennes, Peiper's group faillure to capture the massive fuel dump near Stavelot saved the allies from some nasty surprised. For the soviets, nothing saved them.
And that line explains all the anomalies on June 22, doesn't it ?
Reality did it and answered all your dilemmas in 1941, no need for me to go further than that.
|Posted by: Imperialist May 18, 2012 02:26 pm|
If everything is as you claim and nothing is debatable or disputable then everything should be crystal clear and we should be reading about this in every serious book written on WWII. Why isn't that? And don't tell me it's a vast communist conspiracy.
The fact is many of your claims are actually disputable and there are Western authors that have dismissed Suvorov's claims. Maybe this will change in the future through a surprising discovery or new insight, but for the time being I'm afraid this is the situation.
Didn't you say the airfields were located on a stretch 250km deep?
Why were no surprises expected?
That's a poor argument relying on hindsight.
Instead of resorting to that you could for example read some books written by army men in the 1930s and see for yourself what the military thinking was on this subject. Hint: the covering forces were supposed to be strong, well supplied, well covered by aviation and positioned close to the borders in order to properly do their defensive role. Their defensive role could also include offensive operations and counter-attacks. But I guess those army men and theorists were full of armchair nonsense.
Regarding the alliances thing, Dragos already pointed out the main thing. But I'll try to give a more detailed, "nitpicking" answer.
1. I'm not sure if France and Britain had a formal alliance, however they had a Supreme War Council that went far beyond what Germany and the Soviet Union had in regard to Poland.
2. Britain and the Soviet Union signed a formal alliance in July 1941.
3. All Allies signed a formal alliance on January 1, 1942 - the United Nations Declaration.
Things are pretty clear. What Germany and the Soviet Union had was less than these examples. If you want so much you can call the relation between Germany and the Soviet Union a loose coalition against Poland. However, that coalition ended with the end of Poland.
|Posted by: udar May 18, 2012 07:38 pm|
Well, ucrainians was already included in USSR. The most close barrier betwen Russia and Germany was Poland. If Stalin and bolsheviks didnt grab a part of it, all Poland will be included in Germany occupied zone. This mean that the border betwen USSR and Nazi Germany eager for "lebensraum" will be more to east, more close to Moscow.
Baltic countries might fall too in German sphere (remeber eastern Prusia was there) opening a new breach closer to Moscow
Romani would not join wilingly Germany, but as Romanian oil was quite needed or wanted by Germans it was very possible that Germany would try to do here what it did in Poland, Yugoslavia, France, Norway etc.
Or just ask us directly, "hey, either give us that oil and let us move to your teritory, either will attack you in full force, with our allies Hungary and Bulgaria, and give them Transilvania, southern Dobrogea, whatever".
How long we'll resist, with France already occupied and with UK trembling on its island and hoping for US help, let alone able to join the fight here?
The space there was important, the space put betwen Moscow and Berlin, as far as Moscow as better.
Its ilogical to put your planes too far from the border, which will be out of their reach and unprotected. The means of those planes was to shot down enemy planes who pass over the border and attack ground troops. I dont think it is good idea to let those invasion forces come near Kiev let say, and just then start the dogfights with them
Well, from all those troops it was some able to fight back, at least here and there.
About the defensive lines, Soviets was caught in the process of dismantling Stalin one and move the materials to build the Molotov one. It was a surprise for them that the war in west was ended so quickly, so thats why they was caught unprepared in this regard.
About Sovites troops then, and seeing how not too well they did most of the war, how comunications betwen diverse echelons and hierarchies was, i am not sure if being caught unprepared was such a surprise
OK, they had 5 millions, which is not as much if you think to this. There was 3 millions Germans i think, around 1 million Romanians that can be mobilized, few hundred thousands Finns and Hungarians, that might come from west. Then was 1 million Japanese in east i think.
Many Soviet tanks was obsolete, the new models, T-34 and KV was still not that much. Same for airplanes. And the space to be protected was huge.
Yes, they had numerical superiority in troops and war material. But lacked some in quality of those, training, tactic, readiness.
In 1943 about 10% of German industry was destroied by Allied bombers and Germans was diverted in Italy but same Allies invansion. After they was forced to go in Africa previously (remember Africa Korps of Rommel).
Then in 1944 some 30% or 40 % of their industry was affected by bombers, and all of their allies in Europe changed sides (Italy, Romania, Finland, Hungary wished to do that too, quite first, but was occupied by Germans, then defeated). And Allies opened another front, in France, diverting even more German troops there.
Then Soviets received thru Lend Lease program almost 12.000 armoured vechicles, including many tanks. I think this counted quite a lot
See above some reasons
There was exceptions, but as an overall, Soviets didnt do quite well on all WW 2, they losses was huge, and not just when they was caught by surprise. This mean a lack of combat abilities, and relying on masses of troops and weapons throw against the enemy, WW 1 style, just fight with WW 2 weapons.
This isnt quite the image of competent generals of Stalin, as Suvorov said. One like Rokosovsky was bring back from jail i think, they surely wasnt that good as Suvorov try to paint them
Thats debatable, you exaggerate their posibilities just for the sake of argue. Told you what he wanted to do, move Stalin line on Molotov line position. This was in process when Germans attacked, Soviets didnt believed the war in west will end that quick
I saod above what helped Soviets in 1943-1944. Yes, Germans didnt conquered Moscow, yes, they lost at Stalingrad in 1943, but still they was able to fight successfully the red army, see Kursk. But by then already the Allies involvement diverted many of their resources in other directions as well
I am sorry, i dont know where, i remember i read somewhere about this, and about Soviet BT tanks, adapted for speed on western roads, acording to Suvororv. If he didnt said that, sorry, i must not understanded well
Even so, with 1 tank of 3 having a radio (i thought it was way less then that) it was hard to coordinate them. That one needed to use flags and so to command the other 3, as the ergonomy of them wasnt too good and at any sudden change of direction or so they needed to be sure they keep in sight the comanding tank. Not to mention that if that 1 tank with a radio would be destroyed, the others would remain on their way
How see the things is like that.
Russians in official propaganda try to portray themselves as the "good guys" who wasnt hand in hand with the Nazis at first, and who suffered a lot because of those Nazis (which is true after 1941, and totally untrue previously, when they was the best buddies and collaborated a lot) and they didnt do anything wrong, didnt act in imperialistic ways (it was some self defence actualy ) nor was prepared for war (this is the reason of their losses).
Then with the heroism of soviet people and a red army reborned from its ashes they managed to defeat almost alone (or basically alone) the Nazi brutes and liberated Europe and so on.
Then is Suvorov propaganda (who showed up in 1990 if i am not mistake, a period when USSR was in a very hard position and needed a new face, a dangerous one not to play with)
So he say that Soviets was very well prepared for war, and not just that they wasnt some pacifist people at that point (as oficial soviet propaganda said) but the devious Stalin and his guys planned and was ready to conquer the world.
So now on USSR is portrayed as a scary mamooth like beast, agressive but calculated, with incredible devious plans shrouded in mistery and ready to put down anyone around and conquer the world.
The problem with both of this is that cold facts kinda disagree with them.
Soviet tanks like T-34 was very good, but have too weaknesses that was covered and hidden by propaganda. Red army was huge and had lots of weapons, but it wasnt at all a monolith rolling invincible over its enemies, and without Allies help they would probably lose the war in east.
Soviet Union wasnt the mortal enemy of Nazis, just much later, at first they was the best buddies and allies. USSr wasnt a peace loving country but an empire ready to grab as much as possible.
Soviet soldier wasnt always the heroic one, but was sometimes forced to fight by seeing the bullets shot by NKVD in the heads of his comrades who retreated. Their training and morale wasnt always, or wasnt many times, up to the task, they win thru numbers usually.
Soviet generals wasnt many of them some briliant commanders, but used many times same WW 1 or XIX century obsolete tactics, replacing maybe the cavalry with tanks and disregarding completely the lives of their soldiers used simply as cannon fodder.
Sure, maybe Stalin really wanted to conquer Europe, at least. I dont say he didnt think to try such huge scale invasion, just that he wasnt ready in 1941, as he didnt expected the Germans to win that easy in west.
The incredible huge amount of losses suffered by Red Army show this, and is not just in 1941, but during all the war period
|Posted by: ANDREAS May 19, 2012 07:48 am|
Udar, I agree with some of your assessments, but others are certainly inspired by Soviet propaganda... the defense of USSR industrial or strategic objectives by military occupation of Bessarabia, the Baltic States and a large part of Poland is a pure Soviet propaganda... I think you didn't mean that! And the story that the USSR was ready for war only in 1943 or 1944 is also uncredible... most experts give the approximate date of soviet army being ready for attack in spring 1942... if there wasn't Barbarossa!
|Posted by: ANDREAS May 19, 2012 09:21 am|
PaulC, you are right in a sense and for I haven't nuanced my statement: the informations about the poor quality of tank crews I found it in several books, but was related to the new T-34 tanks (and rarely on the KV heavy tanks) and in general to newly formed tank (and mechanized) units!
Another element worth taking into account it related to the new military structures in the soviet army -Mechanized Corps, Tank & Mechanized Divisions, which create serious problems in leadership and coordination of units, and which create big problems in any battles the red army would be involved! Maybe in offensive actions these problems would have been less visible, but the problem remains open...
|Posted by: udar May 19, 2012 01:00 pm|
Well, that might be a part of their concerns. Russians became imperialists more from fear i think.
I mean, after centuries of Mongol and Tatar occupation and devastation, not just that they aquire lots of their conquerors genes, but developed too a sense of isolation and fear that someone from outside will come over them. So they try to keep the foreign powers as far as possible. Even by conquering other countries in an attempt to eliminate possible enemies.
It wasnt an imperialism started like "hey, lets conquer those and take their resources and bring them our culture". Russia had and have lots of resources much easy to use then conquering or attacking others, and as culture isnt in position to impose it to others too much (despite their XIX century authors or musicians lets say, which are great and so called "panslavism", blocked by us mostly, in this area).
They do that imperialism because of a primary fear to not be conquered again and in the same time because of the Mongol/Tatar model they was used to, like send the hordes to pillage and steal from others.
It is very possible that Stalin wanted to conquer at least much of Europe, to "liberate" the working class around. But my opinion is he planed that first because he was afraid that a capitalist coalition like that one who supported "the whites" will be formed again against him (and i agree here with Suvorov who said he supported Hitler so to break that possible anti-soviet coallition), and as well because he followed the line imposed since Mongol/Tatars occupation of Russia, like occupy and pillage others as you can.
Sure, all this was "dressed" in nice propaganda words and adapted to modern times.
So then it comes the fairy-tale, a good propaganda when real facts was mixed with lots of lies, that "maskirova" needed to cover what exactly is going on and what are the real facts.
-Fairy-tale, Suvorov variant
1 - SU and Red Army was lead by devious, inteligent and daring leaders, Stalin and his men, who get rid of incompetents and formed a secret plan to take over the world
2 - Red Army was excellent prepared and equiped, best in the world in this regards
3- as they are preparing to strike in Europe, especially against Germany, was surprised by the German counter-invasion, which lead to lots of casualties
However, as i see the facts
1- SU and Red Army was lead by a very mixed people regarding their qualities. Stalin was not stupid at all, quite contrary, but he was lead by a paranoia too, which make him to do mistales and miscalculations as well.
Soviet generals relyied mostly in WW 1 tactics at best, just using WW 2 weapons. Some was smart enough to adapt in time, even borrowing from others, including or especially Germans.
They was chose on the basis of loyality first, and just after competence. Rokosovsky i think, one of their generals, was pulled out of prison and gived comand just when things started to get hot
2 - Red army had as main quality their quantity. Many of propaganda about them is just that, propaganda. They wasnt better prepared then others, quite contrary, many times was less trained actualy. Their weaponry wasnt as good as same propaganda said and their tactics and combat abilities kinda sucks, leading to an amount of military losses bigger then Germany, US, UK, Japan, Romania, Italia, France, Polonia, Yugoslavia, Finland etc, combined.
And they won at the end with help of other different Allies, without that, in an one on one fight with Germany/Axis they would lose, the rate of their tanks and vechicles taken out would be bigger then those able to produce, and the human losses as well would became quickly unsustenable.
I mention again the weaknesses of the T-34, considered by many as the best tank of WW 2.
They (and Germans later, but i think in less extent) was the only ones, as far as i know, who used "death squads" behind their own troops, and shot or kill those who retreated, meaning that was quite many.
And sometimes they retreated not because was cowards or didnt know how to fight, but because of stupidity of their comanders who put them in impossible situations.
3 - another piece of propaganda. Stalin and his men know well before about German plans and about Barbarossa, yet the red army was still caught unprepared. This is either because they didnt bother to react to that, was over-confident in their capabilities, either they wasnt able to react properly.
If you put all this together the image (in my vision, again) is a Soviet Union eager to spread and conquer, in the tradition imposed there by Tatars, and in the same time paranoic and afraid of anyone around.
A Soviet Union who drived by above desires and feelings builded a huge army. But an army who was far from the abilities both their official propaganda and Suvorov try to depict them.
If someone might think they was able to conquer the world back then (1941) he is wrong.
Its enough to look at their losses and way of fighting during WW 2 (even when they was in offensive in 1943-1944), and they fight just on one front mostly (Far East was a joke compared with European Eastern Front).
They had the numbers, they had some guns, but didnt had the skill and the abilities for this.
Both Soviet/Russian and Suvorov propaganda try to cover or hide this facts, but from different perspectives.
Oficial one try to depict a peace loving SU who didnt thought to war and who was surprised by a brutal Nazis attack.
Suvorov try to depict it as a marvelous Army ready to take over the world, surprised by a desperate Nazis attack.
Both i think try to hide the real thing, meaning the USSR was an imperialst state who allied with Hitler to grab as much as possible in any direction, and that even if they knew that a German invasion is coming they wasnt able to fight back at first, because they wasnt actualy that marvelous and prepared.
Stalin was caught in middle of preparations, and red Army was kinda far from the invincible army they like to depict it.
Red Army wasnt for sure able to defeat alone the Axis, if the Allies wouldnt be involved, so the most successfull Stalin action was to suport Hitler and so make it fight with other European powers and with US, diverting the target from USSR to Nazis.
The USSR take over at the end of WW 2 of what was German sphere of influence in Eastern and Central Europe, countries in ruins after the war and after Nazi Germany was defeated by a coallition of countries.
I really doubt USSR would do better in 1941, and if Stalin planned that, he was out of reality
[edited by admin]
|Posted by: ANDREAS May 19, 2012 02:42 pm|
|... and add that informations to not be misunderstood: if the USSR would attacked Germany later, for example in spring 1942, I'm not saying that a victory would be achieved, but perhaps disposing of a superior technique in larger quantities it had a higher chance of getting a favorable result! It's simply absurd to assert that that army who was almost crushed in summer and autumn of 1941, was capable to attack and get a favorable result in july 1941! Impressive figures (like the ones presented by Suvorov/Rezun) however can not contradict obvious facts -the catastrophic defeats of summer-autumn 1941 of the mighty (for Rezun) red army! Speak of the superiority of Soviet arms, Suvorov f.i. praise the Sukhoi Su-2 "Ivanov" aeroplane who (I am no specialist in planes) is written was the best dive-bomber in 1941, information which is not confirmed by any other source I read (admit I read not so much about aircraft!)! Anyway Rezun said that in june 1941 there were about 800 Su-2 aeroplanes ready for combat in the airfields of western USSR, but I read that only about 200 Su-2 were in the units of the soviet air force in the western USSR! Probably other figures are as exaggerated as these ones in the Rezun books!|
|Posted by: Victor May 20, 2012 04:13 pm|
|udar, adding veiled insults to your post does not add weight to the arguments. Let's not go down that path again. I have edited you post.|
|Posted by: Victor May 20, 2012 04:25 pm|
According to C. Bergstrom & A. Mikhailov Black Cross/Red Star vol. I, page 45, there were 75 Su-2 in service on 22 June 1941 and the airplane was guarded as a great secret. So secret, that during one their first missions against Iasi railway station, Su-2s of the 210 BBAP were bounced by several MiG-3s from the 55 IAP. St. Lt. Alexandr Pokryshkin got his first kill of the war that day, after shooting down one of the Su-2s because he wasn't familiar with the type.
As for the Su-2's effectiveness as a weapon, the fact that the Il-2 emerged as the main ground attack aircraft of the VVS in WW2 is suggestive enough.
|Posted by: ANDREAS May 20, 2012 05:27 pm|
| Thanks Victor! One of my sources about the number of the Su-2 Ivanov aeroplanes is here -http://www.sukhoi.org/eng/planes/museum/su2/ but obviously have no ideea how close or far from reality these numbers are!
Another proved incorrect information is the one concerning the Romanian army tanks -Suvorov says that in June 1941 armored Romanian troops endowment consists of only 60 Renault FT-17 tanks, the real situation is correctly described by Victor:
|Posted by: PaulC May 22, 2012 03:12 pm|
Let's make an experiment, you answer to this questions and then we can see whether you still need further explanations :
-how many tanks did the USSR had / Germany had in 1935 ?
-how many tanks did the USSR had/ Germany had in 1939 ?
-how many tanks did the USSR had/ Germany had in 1941 ?
What you will find out, is that in both cases, a small percentage of tanks were added in 1940-1941 ( although in absolute numbers, the difference is staggering in russian favor ). Which means, by 1941, most tank crews had at least a nominal perioad of 2 years of training in peace conditions and partly in battle conditions.
As for structures, they always existed. Germany had 6 tank divisions in 1939. How many did it have in 1940 ? Or in 1941 ? They quadrupled the number in 2 years. By using your logic it would mean leadership and coordination should be awful.
Why it wasn't so ?
Because just like with the russian units, the no of tanks was more or less very similar, they simply split the number of tank and created more divisions. So at small unit level, regiment and lower, there was no change. If before the panzer division had 3 panzer regiments, the new ones had 2, our of every 2 divisions you created another one. Yes, the top level is new, but the foundations are solid.
Same case for the russians. The tanks were organized in regiments and brigades throughout their existance. In 1939 they were gathered in divisons, in 1940 in mechanized corps, than disbanded into divisions and brigades again. But at regiment level it didn't matter : today you were part of the 5th division in the 2nd mechanized corp, tomorrow, you're part of a brigade with a cavalry division. That cannot influence individual tank and small unit ( platoon /company/batallion ) level coordination.
The Wehrmacht changed more or less the unit structure at division level every single year throughout the war. You have the 1939 level infantry division which is different from the 1942 infantry division which is different from the 1944 infantry division. But if I look at the number of people under arms, the difference is much less pronounced, yet divisions increased 3x.
You might want to read about the war games on 1940, when the russians did all kinds of experiments with their mechanized formations, simulating breakthroughs. In one game, they crammed a full mechanized corp with 1000 tanks in an attack sector 12km wide IIRC ( I don't have the references at me, so quoting from memory ). The end result was that the mechanized corp blocked ( for a week ) and destroyed all the roads and nothing could pass behind it. It was the absolute in breakthrough superiority.
|Posted by: ANDREAS May 23, 2012 10:51 pm|
| I find some informations on the USSR armor that could be found to the troops: 10.180 tanks in 1935, 21.100 tanks in 1939 and almost 25.900 tanks in 1941 (my source is http://www.teatrskazka.com/Raznoe/BiChSostavVS/BiChSostavVS_4_01.html). According to this source on june 21, 1941 they were equipping the troops around 1.030 T-34, 481 T-35 medium, 545 KV and 59 T-35 heavy tanks, 3.582 reconnaissance tanks T-37, T-38 and T-40, 8.747 T-26 (combined arms) light tanks, 580 BT-2, 1.688 BT-5, 5.263 BT-7 fast tanks, 1.278 specialized tanks (T-37, T-26, BT-2, etc.), 28 self-propelled artillery tanks, 2.558 T-27 tankettes, 268 tank-based ACs. As I suspected before the numbers are quite different from those provided by Suvorov who speak about 1.363 T-34 medium and 677 KV heavy tanks (I mention only so, just passing ) in his book The last Republic page 170! About the military structures who would have remained unchanged as you said, I know that in 1939 the basic structure of the tank units was the brigade, and in 1941 the regiment! In 1939 I don't know about the existence of tanks and mechanized divisions or mechanized corps (there were 4 tank corps but different in structure), in 1941 they could be found as component of most armies... therefore have been large scale changes, that affected the tanks units... even the older units which existed in 1939 as tank brigades (57 tank brigades in 1939 as I read, from which 8 in the existed tank corps)!
Suvorov/Rezun credibility is questionable when f.i. he's playing with numbers claiming that the 9th soviet Army (which included the 14th, 35th and 48th Infantry Corps, 2nd and 18th Mechanized Corps and the 2nd Cavalry Corps a.o.) should have included at a point 3.341 tanks, and together with other forces would have had 3.725 tanks -opposing these huge number (unreal, in fact 809 tanks on 22 june 1941 in the 9th Army) to the 60 FT-17 light tanks of the romanian army () ...so he said (see page 199 same book!).
|Posted by: Victor May 26, 2012 06:35 pm|
| This is in response to
PaulC, after all Glantz does not say there were 3,800 operational tanks. It is you who is saying it. I will quote you:
First is 3,800 out of 22,000 and then out of 14,000 and then out of 12,782. Which one is it?
Actually Glantz says that 29% of the older models (that is non KV and non T-34s) required capital maintenance and 44% lesser maintenance. So first you should subtract the number of KVs and T-34s from the total number and then start applying percentages. You are adding up these two percentages, which are not the same thing. Actually if you evaluate the 29% of the older models in the MCs, you get 2,782, relatively close to what Solonin is saying: 12,782 - 10,540 = 2,242.
Lesser maintenance could very well mean "quite operable". Maybe the optical system is broken, maybe the radio, maybe the fuel filter needs replacing etc. "Quite operable" doesn't say though that some of the tanks won't break down after 50 km of marching or after 100 or 200 km. Besides the examples already given on breakdowns, I would also add a report by. col. Ivanin, the chief of Western Front's Armored Directorate, from 5 August 1941, in which he states that the 11th, 13th, 14th, 17th and 20th MCs consisted exclusively of older models and had an average of only 75 to 100 motor hours remaining (until major overhauling most likely). The above mentioned MCs totaled 1,371 tanks, out of which 27 were new models. The low remaining resource of the tanks could qualify them as "quite operable", but in need of "lesser maintenance".
Tanks, like any piece of machinery, require technicians for maintenance and these did not seem to be in large supply in the MCs. This is not due to the fact that the technicians were hiding in forests far away from the unit, sitting on stockpiles of fuel, spare parts etc. as Rezun would like to paint it. The units lacked many of the properly trained specialists. And I am not talking only about technicians, many (in some cases the majority - the 37th TD for example) of the men had just been drafted in May 1941 and lacked the proper specialist skills required in such a complex combined arms unit. Drivers, logistics, engineers, staff officers etc. All these are required in modern warfare and the MCs lacked one or the other or all of them. Training specialists takes more time and exercise than training riflemen. The Red Army was in a process of massive expansion and new specialists required time to be formed to satisfy the new need for personnel.
Besides technicians they also lacked the spare parts they needed for small repairs and the means to tow damaged tanks from the battlefield, as mentioned by numerous post-action reports. In some cases they also lacked the foresight to prepare to deal with the numerous breakdowns. This was because they were far from being prepared for military action, especially against an enemy that was well trained and organized for it. You are trying to convey an image of massive stockpiles of men and equipment near the border, which were quickly overran and this is why the Soviet MCs fared so poorly. But the Soviet deployment shows many MCs out of reach of the initial German surprise attack. Those MCs fared as well as those directly on the border: very poorly.
Regarding the tanks, the T-26 and the BT series were older models compared to the T-34 and the KVs, which were part of a newer generation of tanks. This is why they were referred to as older tanks and, in their majority, they were older tanks.
The characteristics of the tanks aren't that important, as demonstrated quite well by the Germans during the entire war. It is how they are used and by whom. The tanks are part of a combined arms organization, which at the time the Soviets didn't master that well. It took a couple of years for them to get everything in working order. Had it not been for the war, the time could have been shorter, but no way they could have been ready in 2 weeks.
The issue of the engineers. The 160 corps and division sapper battalions had been separated from their parent units in February and March 1941 to work on the fortifications being erected on the new frontiers. These units used as workers and did not received any training as combat engineers and in supporting their parent units (see report by maj. gen. Vorobev, chief of Western Front's Engineers), as it would have been normal if the Red Army was preparing for attack in July 1941. To my knowledge, the Germans didn't concentrate all their divisional engineer battalions on the Soviet border several months before 22 June 1941. Also, they did not have fortifications on the border that would require such a concentration of Soviet engineers to clear them. The rush to
complete the Soviet fortifications on the new border was due to the 21 May 1941 NKO directive that mobilized and increased the number of fortified regions. The mobilization had to be completed by 1 July on the new border and by 1 October on the old border. This explains the sappers' deployment in the area.
The 9th Army's theoretical 3,341 tanks are ludicrous. The paper strength of one MC was 1,031 tanks and that of a cavalry corps of 128 light tanks. The 9th Army had 2 MCs (2nd and 18th) and one CC (2nd) = 2,190 theoretical tanks. Even if we add the supposed 27th MC, for whose inclusion in the 9th Army no document basis exists, it would have raised the total by 1,031 theoretical tanks = 3,221 theoretical tanks, which is still less than what Rezun claims. In reality, the two existing MCs had together 799 tanks of which only 10 KV-1s and 50 T-34s and the 2nd Cavalry Corps had no tanks. The 27th MC had on 22 June 1941 a total of 356 tanks, none of which were KV or T-34 (see D. Glantz, Colossus reborn, page 266) and was nowhere near Romania. Increasing the actual strength to the nominal one would have taken considerably more than 2 weeks.
In fact the mighty 9th Army had a lot of time at its disposal to prove its deadliness after the war began. The Romanian front remained stationary until early July, because the OKH didn't consider the terrain and the troops deployed to be adequate for a massive offensive. The 9th Army could have demonstrated its force by crossing the Prut and crushing the supposedly weak defense. Yet it didn't. It may not have been quite a walk in the park as Rezun or Pokryshkin thought.
|Posted by: PaulC May 28, 2012 10:55 am|
You were the one using the % game to prove a point : that the mechanized units were in poor shape. You can't have it both ways.
Tanks break down all the time. Do you want to check the Panzer Division performance in each and every campaign regarding availability ? At every road march, dozens of vehicle were left behind ?
And what's with the "only 75-100 motor hours remaining " ? You make it sounds like it's a disaster. In fact, the most German units hardly had 100 motor hours. Yet they reached Moscow.
With 75 motor hours, the BTs would have easily reached Berlin.
The tanks were already there. Even in 1939 the soviets had around 20.000 tanks. Each of those tanks had a CREW. Was assigned a REPAIR workshop. How were the technicians missing ? The units were there, the repair shops were there. The mech corps might be new, but the platoons, companies, battalions of tanks were there since at least 2 years. How exactly were they suddenly missing on June 22 ? That's one of the propaganda myths that Solonim skillfully explains.
Same thing for the "lack" of tractors, vehicles, etc. I presented in another post how many vehicles, tractors, etc the Red Army had and was planned to requisition from the civilian industry.
Solonin's book had just been printed by Polirom. I suggest you go buy it, read it and see whether all this is suddenly explained.
In short : Solonin states that the USSR planned the invasion and was days away, if not hours from launching it. Lack of intelligence, intelligence failures and overconfidence meant the soviets did not take into account the German attack. They were doing all the preparations on their own schedules. Some units near the border were put on combat alert 24-48 hours before the invasion because they commander took direct notice of the activity on the German side.
When the attack begin, the Red Army crumbled. Suvorov says it was because of the offensive deployment, losing the supplies and the air force destroyed.
Solonin disagrees : he considers that although the deployment was offensive minded, the forward pincers should have sliced through the German lines and cut the attacking forces from their rear. That's what they attempted through the counterattacks in late June. Also, according to Solonim, the German attacks did little to dent the soviet power. There were enough tanks, guns, aircraft, to not only stop the Wehrmacht, but to inflict massive damage to it. This did not happen.
All the counterattacks failed because the Red Army was disintegrating. An army made by citizens who hated the soviets for the destruction of their villages, taking their land, the terror, etc. Once the Germans attack, the fear disappeared : the first to run were the NKVD, soldiers shot their officers and commissars, abandoned equipment and attempted to flee from the fighting. In the first month alone, 7 million rifles were lost ( it's one thing to abandon a broken KV1, but the Mosint rifle ? ) The local population attacked the soviet forces in western Ucraine and the soviet representatives. Everybody was running, the commands especially. Lt-majors were left in charge to lead division size units. Officers and Marshalls ( like Kulik ) ripped their officer insignia and threw it away, dressed in civilian clothes and started runnign.
In attack, like Poland, Finland, Japan it was fine. The Makarov revolver was pointed at the soldier/officer's head by the rear NKVD. But as always, the repression troops are the first to run when confronted by a foreign, well armed and determined enemy. It's one thing to shoot your own troops to instill fear, another thing fighting the Wehrmacht.
The T26s and BT series weren't fighting T34s and KVs. So being older compared to the later is utterly irrelevant.
Comparing them to what the Wehrmacht had, however, fails to show any obsolescence.
Of course. At the beginning they were old and flammable, without communications and inferior weapons. Now all this doesn't matter. All the technical advantages swept aside with a smiling phrase.
It is more than doubtful that you can infer from the early days of the war about the combat performance of the mechanized corps had they been on the offensive. Not only this, but that's a logical error : combat performance after June 22 bears no connection to the existence of an attack prepared by the SU on Germany and its allies.
The SU did prepare for years for attack, like Hitler said to Mannerheim, "It wasn't nothing but a country of slaves working for the sole purpose of producing armaments to enslave Europe ". And that is the frank reality.
By summer 1941, the SU amassed the largest force known to mankind on Germany' and Romania's Eastern borders. And they were days from releasing their attack aimed at occupying Europe and enlarging the the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics ( the name itself doesn't specify any territorial limits ).
The attack could have ended with soviet cavalry taking a bath on the Cote d'Azur or it might have been the blunder of the millennium, with the Red Army being defeated in Eastern Poland, Galitia and Moldova. We can only speculate.
But this cannot be backtracked to they couldn't have prepared to attack because they fought so poorly in the first months.
So they were building a fortified line that the Germans didn't even notice and the Red Army troops did not manned. What was the purpose then ? You do realize the German battle reports DO NOT MENTION resistance on the Molotov line. And a half finished bunker is better than a foxhole, don't you agree ?
You say it's ludicrous and by your own calculations you ended up with 3221 tanks, less than 4% difference to what Suvorov said. Secondly, again, you're comparing status on June 22. Do I need to mention once again the Red Army deployment was meant to be done between July 1st and July 10 ?
Even assuming the 799 tanks, out of which "only 10KVs and 50 T34s" ( I'm again forced to question the words you use intentionally ), what could stop them ? How could an R2/35 destroy a KV1 ?
The 100 something operational R2, R35s ? Leaving aside the 739 "other" soviet tanks, I'd rather have only the 60 KV1s and T34s than 100 iron coffins of the RO Army. Wouldn't you agree ?
Could it attack all by itself ? Around Lvov at the time, the massive soviet forces in the protuberance were melting like ice under than sun under the confusion, massive desertion, conflicting orders and last , German attacks . The ucrainian staffed infantry divisions threw their weapons and fraternized with the Germans through the liberation movements. Last, having the centre front falling apart, the southern front started to pull back, not to be encircled. A fate which it failed to avoid.
|Posted by: dragos May 28, 2012 11:40 am|
What a hypocrisy
Hitler was going to make a great sacrifice and attack Soviet Union first, to save Europe from enslavement. Sound like a martyr to me
|Posted by: PaulC May 28, 2012 11:48 am|
You do realize he wrote those books during the 1980s when the Red Army official history said they had 1861 tanks om June 22 ?
Suvorov said 1861 tanks, including 1225 T34s and 636 KVs IIRC as of June 1. The 1225 figure I've seen before as the no of T34s manufactured to date.
You mention " 1.030 T-34, 481 T-35 medium". What is 481 T-35 medium tanks ?
I know of the 59 T35 heavy tanks, but not the 481 medium tanks.
61 tank divisions were ordered to be created on August 19 1939. Already by June 22 1941, soviet tank division number exceeded 100.
The large scale changes were at high level unit size. How could that influence small unit training, performance and cohesion ?
You do realize he's doing an theoretical exercise assuming full paper strength ? If not, you're in a grave logical error. If you do understand it, than why are you asking about it ?
3 mechanized corps + 1 cavalry corp + independent brigades = ~3500 tanks if not more.
And what importance, just like I asked Viktor, has June 22 ? This date meant nothing in the soviet deployment plan which was supposed to be finished July 10 the latest. How many tanks the 9th would have had on July 6th we can only guess, but I would say over 1200 for sure.
What could stop them ? The 100 something FT17s, R2s and R35s ? Are you seriously wanting to state that the Romanian armor would be anything more than a nuissance ?
Btw, how many training hours did the Romanian crews had ? Their gunners did practice with live ammo ? Did they have radios in all tanks ? Did they have enough maintenance technicians ? Or tractors ? Or spare parts ? Or trucks ? Enough ammunition for the huge 37mm short barrel guns ? How was the unit cohesion ? Was it old or newly created ? Were they fully staffed with experienced officers ?
This isn't meant to be answered, pardon the pun..
|Posted by: PaulC May 28, 2012 11:55 am|
When lacking arguments to refute historical facts, what else is left but to go for the last line defense : " This would exculpate the nazis ! " as if historical truth can be negated in order not to offend the weak minded.
And the logic is sublime : if Stalin wanted to occupy Europe and Hitler prevented this, he will be compensated for all or at least part of his crimes. We can't allow that !
This stupidity says more about the originator of the idea than about the historical and moral implications of the problem. Nobody, but you Sir, had the "martyr" theme around here. The rest , myself included, are interested fully or partially in getting the historical truth without political implications that can be derived from it. If Hitler was a monster, it doesn't mean Stalin was Mother Teresa and the other way round.
Deal with it.