One of the reasons why Glantz is my favorite eastern front researcher is because he has previleged acces to russian/soviet archives like barely anyone outside Russia. But I also appriciate Overy, and he states that all in all purge griped 45%!!! of the highest officers. This included 71 out of 85 officers in Revolutionary army soviet (these are, top man like Tukhachevsky,Yegerov and like, people responsible for creating strategic direction in which army is to evolve and to see it through); 720 out of 837 senior active military commanders, Shaposhnikov beeing a notable exception. Than he states the lower figures you mantioned (34 500 purged,of whom 11 500 returned etc...) and says that most of the officers weren't purged, but concludes : 'This new true picture about military purge doesn't change it's impact'. Of course it doesn't change, because if almost all of top man are removed(as he claims), it doesn't help much if several thousands low ranking and at the time insignificant officers are left unharmed.(of course, this insignificanse was exactly the thing that saved them, if they were brilliant, ambitious, strong willed, self reliant and initiative, Stalin would have percieved tham as threat.) Chris Belamy in Blitzkrieg campaigns also argues that main reason for Soviet desaster in '41 was reversal of Tukhachevskys reforms and incapability of purged officer corp to meet intellectual chalanges of modern war. If we take examples from real events ( Meinstein's plan for 'Fall gelb' being adopted by chance, because allready adopted plans, that predicted no forcing of Ardens with mechanised forces, fall into hands of the enemy; Paulus, taking sixth army after Richenau, maybe/probably causing Germans to loose key battle in the war; Zhukov taking command of Leningrad from Voroshilov and saving the city; Stalin listening to Zhukov and Vasillevsky and leting the Nazis smash thamselfs into prepared defences at Kursk, instead of attacking them first), we can see what impact one or few commanders can have on the course of the war. Now imagine the effect of thousands of top man dissapearing from whatever army. Imagine Guderian, Halder,Kleist, Kluge, Bock, Hoth, Richenau,Meinstein, Rommel, Hoepner, Ude, Denitz and thousands more most competent officers down to regimental level being shot, tens of thousands purged, and crucially their development processes reversed. What effect would this have on the Wermacht? Would people still argue, nah, Wermacht would be the same anyway. No corection. But this is just the consequence of neglect of command and control development, part of deevolution proces during and after the purges. I don't know to what extant would radio and other modern means of communication be developed, hadn't it been for the this negative process, but I do know that this development was predicted in formal form since the early 30s. Hadn't this development and all men doing it been stopped, the situation wit communication IMO in '41 would be considerably better. Agreed. But manual is not just theory, bunch of wild ideas. The theorethical roots were in mid 20s, in the days of Frunze. In mid 30s those theories were allready practice to a great degree. Those quotations from the manual I posted, are just general directions, there is also elaboration to a great detail. If something is in the official manual of the army, that means that it is it's official policy and rules and that all efforts will be invested to see it throuhg. This means steering industrial capacities toward the needs of this regulations/doctrine,and testing and perfecting in practice the rules laid down in this document. Again it's hard to say to what degree would it evolve in reality, but for sure much more, then it was the case with morons of Stalins clique taking over. No they were not paralised, actualy that's the reason why Stalin distrusted tham and purged them. ..War games were held in Kremlin in 1936 on the theme of German invasion. Tukhachevsky was late to arive to Kremlin, and saw that Stalins minions allready dutifully prepared a simulation in which soviet forces repelled Germans, bursted into Poland, connected with anti fascist forces and score a great victory on the table. Tukhachevsky said they made a mistake, and argued that Germany will attack without warning, with overwhelming forces and force long and bitter defensive struggle upon them. Stalin yelled: 'What are you trying to pull here? Scare the soviet regime?!' Few weeks later preparations for the arrest of Tukhachevsky and reckoning with prodigeous part of the army begun. This shows that those man were not afraid of Stalin as later everyone would be, it also shows how far sighted and proficient in modern war science Tukhachevsky was.It also shows that he wasn't so exclusive and dogmatic to belive that just offensive war is possible. IMO also, defence plan for '41 would have been infinetly better and would have predicted the need for defence and not just hopless suicidal attacks, that patheticly tried to emulate what once was envisaged as Deep battle. I am convinced if this man prepared USSR for war, the results would be distinctively different. No it wouldn't be the same. Because these were ad hoc formations, created hastly in desperate attempt to reverse 4 years of criminal neglect and sabotage done to the army. These units didn't have elaborated command and control, logistics, transport, rear services etc. All this was predicted to be developed and to certain degree for sure would have been developed if Tukhachevsky and thousands of others continued their work unhindered.In '36 Germans also didn't have all worked out, not by a longshot. Spain was critical period for their(German) improvements, and there is no reason IMO that Soviets would do any less, or at least much better than they actually did. One of so many examples of indeliberate sabotage that befell the Red army are inspired reforms of Marsall Kulik who orderd complete suspension of production and development of all anti tank and anti aircraft guns and withrowal of all automatic weapons from the Red army. )) Why wouldn't we belive that Tukhachevsky and entire generation of talented designers, engineers, commanders and theoreticians wouldn't make Red army better in the period from 1936-1941, if with much less educated and experienced man they evolved into modern army witnin 1.5-2 years after the war started.