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German vs Soviet casualties

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Leopard2, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Hi Erich, I was responding to the post above mine, concerning Kursk. My point simply put was the German plan didn't work, the Soviet one did ;)

    And yes, as you say the Red Army suffered very large losses in the latter part of the war but they were on the offense against a capable defensive fighter, so these figures are expectable.
     
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  2. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    The thing about it, the Germans themselves heaved praises on the Soviet infantry. They were tougher than anything the Germans ran into before or since during the war. They were not the most professionally skilled fighters, but their force of will made them formidable.
     
  3. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Ahhh, you see therein lies a weird little situation, the Germans made out that the Soviet people were somehow closer to nature, more animalistic and therefore tougher and more resiliant. Weird how we still use German racist stereotypes to explain their defeat.

    I think Eddie Izzard about summed up the situation:
    "So, America did well, Russia did well, and deservedly so, because half a million American soldiers died, half a million British soldiers died, and about 26 million Russian soldiers died. Soldiers and civilians, and that's just 50 times as many. It's just un-f*****g-believable, you know, and no one mentions it!" - Eddie Izzard
     
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  4. Vet

    Vet Dishonorably Discharged

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    There was much more fighting on the Eastern front so the Soviets having more casualties is a given. People who do not know much about WW2 are shocked when I tell them those statistics.
     
  5. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Hello GH,

    thanks for your historical run up, propably I might know much more now :rolleyes:.
    Fact is the Germans did not slaughter all these people that are registered as having died during WW2. The Germans certainly had their share which was never denied by me. Everybody knows (should know) in detail about every single attrocity committed by the Germans since this has been covered in detail for the last 65 years- so what is the point in bringing it up all the time?

    If we talk about the Vietnam war should we constantly bring up the millions of civilians that died in the "cause" of that war?? and who slaughtered them and how and why??

    Well I wouldn't have a problem at all talking or discussing about the Vietnam war without ever touching that specific topic which is (should) be known to anyone anyway. So what would be the point besides needing to get a pleasure or rantup about wacking away at those evil Americans ??.

    Does it contribute anything to further knowledge in regards to history a war or military issues??, besides repeating and repeating the same old stuff all the time that is known to anyone anyway??.

    So my friend I can "suck it up" but it will still annoy me.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  6. Gerard

    Gerard Member

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    We could ignore the civilian casualties Kruska but when you are talking about the Ostfront it is difficult to see it purely as a military campaign. There is so much political and social background to it. You can choose to ignore it but unfortunately it gives off a one-dimensional view of the conflict. Unlike the war in the west, Hitler wanted to destroy a civilisation purely on racial grounds. To ignore this is to ignore for example the partisan war behind the lines, a war that was ignited by the Third Reich's attitude towards the conquered peoples. Stalins Soviet Union was a despicable regime in itself as any Georgian or Ukrainian will testify, but it pales into comparison with the excesses of the Third Reich. You can say what you want about it annoying you that the Germans are constantly accused of atrocities, they stand condemned forever for the misery and suffering they inflicted upon the world. Hitler's shadow has only now started to recede from the face of Europe. There were hundreds of thousands of Germans worked to death in the Siberian mines, Prussia was wiped off the face of the Earth. The fall of the Eastern Provinces of the Reich is a speciality of mine and although I do feel for the displaced peoples and the suffering that they endured how many of them knew the suffering their troops caused in the Soviet Union? I'm not saying that the Germans caused the deaths of 25 million but they were responsible for the majority of that amount and I'm not about to start becoming an apologist for the Third Reich by ignoring any atrocities committed.
     
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  7. chocapic

    chocapic Member

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    I agree rants against Germans often spoil WWII related forums :D
     
  8. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Hello GH,

    again this topic is not being ignored, thanks to certain people it is brought up again, again and again. So what is the benefit of constantly repeating something that is known???.

    Off course we can talk abou the war itself, but maybe it could, should be about sharing on something were people have a different view or might lack in knowledge.
    Any dumb.a.s knows about these attrocities or wipe out the Jews and Untermenschen issue so whats the news? Those Germans who point at the Russian hordes for raping and murdering and don't know what else, get on my nerves just as well, because they refute and ignore the fact about who started of this war in the first place and anyone knows anyway about what happened to the Germans from Russian hordes to Dresden.

    I would just like to see threats about new, unkown and worthwile topics that benefit to the overall issue of WWII or any other war.

    But maybe I am simply asking for too much.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  9. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Exactly, I mean of course there were going to be more casualties but the number is fantastic, I for one simply can't comprehend that number of people dieing. To give you a comparison, it is equivilant to every male living in the UK aged below 65 dieing!
     
  10. Gerard

    Gerard Member

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    Well to be honest I much prefer to study the military aspects of a campaign Kruska but it is very difficult to study the East without bringing up the political and social elements too. This thread from the very beginning was based on an idiotic stereotype and probably shouldnt have run this long. We'll never get back the minutes devoted to it!! :). Wanting to see threads about new and worthwhile topics is indeed a noble aspiration Kruska and I do agree with you on that!! :D
     
  11. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    :cheers: cheers and Prost GH,

    Regards
    Kruska
     
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  12. Vet

    Vet Dishonorably Discharged

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    I remember reading somewhere that Truman took a flight to Moscow after the war. He mentioned there was not a house standing,as he watched out the window of the plane,until he reached Moscow. I could only imagine viewing such destruction.
     
  13. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    Very astute, Stefan. German racism at the time had been the bane of researchers, and some of the histories that derived too heavily from German sources suffered from it. That is my little criticism of Max Hastings that he sometimes used blatantly racist commentry from German vets without reflection.

    However, I am still inclined to believe German evaluations of Russian military performance when the person uses coherent logic and provides empirical evidences for his opinions. It is hard to argue with German panzer crews' praise of Russian fighting spirit when they related to their experience of seeing Russian tankers to continue fighting in their tank after it was hit and burning, firing weapons until the tank exploded, or rifleman who observed that whe bled-out Russian POWs regained their consciousness in the holding area, they often began immedately at attacing the nearest German soldier.

    Another situation when I accept such evaluations of Russian superiority are when they are widely reported and can be accounted for reasons other than Slavic racial stereotypes. It is harder to argue that the prevasive fear of the night reported German soldiers due to Red Army night patroll troops and attacks are a racist invention, or the Russian's highly respected ability of infiltration, combat engineering, or hand-to-hand combat--especially when some of those advantages are collaborated with Russian self-criticisms and evaluations. I am more than willing to concede that Germans of the Second Wordl War often viewed the fighting arround them from the lens of racial bias, but it is also true that the average Russian soldier did come from primitive living conditions and were hardier soldiers as a result.
     
  14. Mibo

    Mibo Member

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    That would be the same as, every human, male, female, child, in Finland, dying, 5 times over. :eek:

    Also you gotta remember, the Soviets attacked, Third Reich defended, offensive side will lose more people. Defenders can be well dug in, and wait for an attack, when the attackers have to run, crawl, drive, fly, to the enemy line, and over it.

    And as someone pointed out, the soviets were pretty much on schedual(spelling?)and their plan worked, and they beat the Allieds to Berlin. ;)
     
  15. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    I agree, however I think that we can generally find more likely explanations for the ferocity of Soviet soldiers, be it that they had stronger motivation in defense, they were often more used to a difficult lifestyle or indeed that they were simply more aggressive by nature than their attackers.
     
  16. Gerard

    Gerard Member

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    Once news began to filter through about the treatment of Soviet POWs it certainly became a motivating factor. The Soviets were literally fighting for their lives and they knew. "Mother Russia" was a very powerful motivation and the Soviet Leadership tended to use this in its propaganda. I have seen posters were Tsarist Generals (from the Napoleonic era) were portrayed urging greater efforts from the people. Certainly at the beginning there was a toning down of the Communist propaganda.
    But it was a huge motivator for the Russians
     
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  17. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Actually I disagree, at the beginning the propaganda was more heavily communist, however around 1942-3 with the changes to the roles of Kommissars and political officers, as well as the change to a Tsarist style uniform we see the USSR making much greater use of the idea of drawing a parallel between Red Army soldiers and various historic figures from Alexander Nevsky to Kutuzov. Stalin realised that by connecting the Motherland, the Party and Stalin himself through propaganda (be it posters or political officers) he could bind the army tighter and provide better motivation. Hence by 1945 you hear of Soviet soldiers crying 'Za Stalina, Za Rodina, Za Oberonya' (for Stalin, for the motherland, for freedom) as they fight.

    Very clever stuff and not to be underestimated when it comes to understanding the motivation of RKKA soldiers.
     
  18. Gerard

    Gerard Member

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    Absolutely Stefan I take your point about the start of the war but as you have said it was a great motivator. As said, the importance of "Mother Russia" should not be underestimated.
     
  19. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Somewhat of a simplification but I shall let it pass :D

    Yeeees? Do I hear my name being called? :lol:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Miguel B.

    Miguel B. Member

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    Wonderful thread. Very nice posting Gotthard and Stefan! I believe it all falls to the old saying "You can defeat an army but not the people!". I think that from the moment Germans started to mistreat the Soviet people, they were doomed. They antagonized a population used to sacrifice. They had survived the five year plan and were disgrunted by it which just begins to show the kind of treatment they suffered at the hands of the Germans for them to turn against their possible "liberators" (take Ukrain for instance).

    Stalin propaganda pundits did a great job turning Every inch of Russian Soil as inhospitable to the Germans as it could be. In the end, the germans reaped the bitter fruit of what they sowed (We have a saying in Portugal wich says "He who sows winds, reaps storms!").


    Cheers...
     

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