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The myths of WWII (Eastern Europe)

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by LJAd, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Well,that's questionable :I never was a source claiming that Stalin was convinced of the superiority of the Soviet army in 1939.
     
  2. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Autumn 1939, after the battles against Japan and before the Winter War:

    "The performance of the Soviet forces under Marshal Zhukov, particularly that of the mechanized units and tactical air power, validated the Red Army's ability to fight coordinated, mobile warfare in accordance with their 1936 doctrine. The performance of Zhukov and his forces also confirmed the Soviet leadership of the "invincibility" of their forces. Stalin and the High Command used the performance of the army in Manchuria to support the contention that the purge did not reduce the effectiveness of the Red Army but had strengthened it." (Seweryn Bialer, Stalin and His Generals, (New York: Pegasus, 1969), 596; and D. Fedotoff White, The Growth of the Red Army, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1944), 392.)

    HyperWar: Soviet-Finnish War, 1939-1940--Getting the Doctrine Right
     
  3. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Am I missing something here?

    The Red Army under Zhukov performed exceptionaly well and defeated the enemy. Stalin was impressed, and why shouldnt he have been? Finland was another matter and exposed Red Army's weaknesses.... So what?
     
  4. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Maybe you haven't followed the previous conversation? Or perhaps have forgotten it?

    Somebody wrote before that by allying with Hitler Stalin was only buying time to get ready to defend the SU. In reality Stalin thought that the SU was already ready enough for war. In soviet language "war" only meant attack - not defence.

    The soviet-German alliance was an offensive move by Stalin - not defensive.
     
  5. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    An opinion, and a speculative one at best. The secret mobilization of 1941 and strategic realignment to a defensive posture in the Western districts do not lend much evidence to back your opinion.
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    You mean creating the defensive position hundreds of miles to the west of the orginal Soviet border? ( Finland,Poland,Baltic countries, Bessarabia )
     
  7. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    I was writing about the situation in 1939. Some people try to defend Stalin's alliance with Hitler by the false explanation of "the need for buing time to build up defence". Stalin was only looking for the opportunity to expand. The alliance with the Nazi-Germany was a kick of luck for him.

    Since you mentioned it - soviet troops in June 1941 were in offensive alignment, not defensive. The soviet army was not made, trained or prepared for defence but for attack. Unfortunately for the SU Germany was faster...
     
  8. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    NO:the offensive capability of the Red Army was inexistent:for an offensive,you need mobile forces ,well,the Soviet mobile forces were created mostly in 1941,there were big shortages of everything : of tanks,transport capacity,of fuel,of ammunition,etc,etc.
    There was no possibility for the Red Army to start an offensive in 1941.
    Even the defensive capacity of the Red Army was very dubious .
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Don´t forget the Red Army defensive strategy: you push the enemy to its own ground and beat it there. They did not have a strategy to let the enemy in and beat it there. That is why the units where close to the borderline, and "easy prey" for the German attacks to push far behind these armies, who lost contact to the neighbouring units and Stalin. The Germans did a great job with destroying the cable contact between Russian ground units, as I am sure these forces would have been more efficient in stopping Germans if the radio contacts would have worked. Old-fashioned Generals did not believe in contact without a telephone cable contact. Something like with the French top command 1940 perhaps?
     
  10. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    One has to be able to separate two different things: the beliefs of the soviet regime and the reality.

    We are all well aware of the real incapabilities of the soviet army prior 1943, which you once again pointed out. However what mattered to the decisions and politics of Stalin and his regime was how they saw their army and it's performance. Before the Winter War the soviet regime was convinced of the superiority of the red army, as I explained with quotes before.

    After the Winter War the strategic basic idea of an offensive to the west was continued, with lots of alterations to the army which the poor performance in the Winter War had made necessary. Still the Winter War was seen as a kind of an exception, with unique climate and terrain difficulties (partly true), which did not occur elsewhere, against a stubborn and specialised (e.g. the ski troops) enemy. In Stalin's mind his army was still a formidable force in "normal" terrain and climate, against "normal" enemies.

    When Germany's threat became imminent the attack preparations were hastened. The soviet army HAD TO start the offensive in 1941 - ready or not. Still the time run out...

    I repeat: the soviet army was ONLY made, trained and prepared for attack - not for defence.
     
  11. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    In case of war, how many countries willingly let a belligerent on their soil? Do any current Nato members have such a doctrine? How many countries/kingdom/empires etc. willingly fought wars on their soil rather than the enemies and survived?

    Im a bit baffled as to whats being discussed here...

    Ironically, it was the Soviet Unions' non-existent defensive capabilities which proved too much for the aggressors.
     
  12. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    I don't buy it :
    The Soviet military leaders knew the bad situation of the Red Army,saying that Stalin believed that the Red Army was superior,is saying that that Zhukow a.o.were concealing the reality=lying to Stalin .
    BTW,it was obvious,even for the civilian which was Stalin,that the offensive capabilities of the Red Army were depending on its mobile forces =the Mechanized Corps,and it was also obvious for a layman that the MC were no good .
    And,if Stalin was convinced of the superiority of the Red Army,why was he not attacking in june 1940,while the WM was busy in France,and NOTHING was preventing him from advancing to Berlin ?
    I have to see the proof that in june 1941,Stalin was convinced that the Red Army was superior to the WM,while EVERY ONE was convinced that the WM was superior .
    Post 402 is not convincing :
    Stalin and the High Command used the performance of the Red Army in Manchuria to support the contention that the purge did not reduce the effectiveness of the Red Army but had strenghtened it:
    the translation of this is :
    after the purge,the general belief abroad was that the Red Army was weakened,but Stalin claimed that the victory in Manchuria was proving the opposite .
    Of course,Stalin was claiming this,one would not expect that he would admit that the purge had weakened the Red Army,but,there is no PROOF that Stalin was believing what he claimed .
     
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  13. scrounger

    scrounger Member

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    Was Stalin convinced that war with Germany was inevitable ? and that one of the reasons he signed the non agression pact in August 1939 was to buy time , or was he fooled into thinking he could trust Hitler ?
     
  14. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Stalin would not trust his mother...he certainly did not trust his daughter, so I don't think he would trust anyone but himself.
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    How could a man that has killed almost all his fellow politicians trust anyone? Definitely none. He made a miscalculation with Hitler in 1941, but he did not trust Hitler. Stalin did say though after hearing about the "night of the long knives" that Hitler was a man for his taste....
     
  16. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Most countries do/have to stick to the defence on their soil - AFTER the enemy has attacked. NATO countries were preparing themselves for a soviet attack (=defence) and SU (with subordinates) was readying for an attack - not the other way round.

    It is/has been very "handy" for the SU/Russia to attack with an excuse of "fear of an enemy attack".

    It was not the red army's defensive capabilities in 1941 which saved the SU. It was the combination of the enourmous size of the SU, climate, Hitler's errors and miscalculations, total disregard of own losses and the huge help from the western allies.
     
  17. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    - On the 46th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe, the influential Moscow daily (May 8, 1991) told readers: "Unrealistic [Soviet] plans of an offensive nature were drawn up before the war as a result of an overestimation of our own capabilities and an underestimation of the enemy's. In accordance with these plans we began deploying our forces on the western frontier. But the enemy beat us to it."

    - Stalin's attitude towards defence autumn 1938: "All the fuss about defence. It's nothing but cover".

    - On May 5, 1941, just seven weeks before the German attack, Stalin delivered another important speech, this one at a ceremonial banquet in the Kremlin
    to graduates of the Frunze Military Academy. Russian historian Lev Bezymensky found the text of a portion of the speech, which had been edited for anticipated publication, in Kremlin archives. He published this text in a 1992 issue of the scholarly journal osteuropa.

    In this speech Stalin stressed that the recent peaceful policy of the Soviet state had played out its role. (With this policy, the Soviet Union had greatly extended its borders westward in 1939 and 1940, absorbing some 30 million people.) Now, Stalin bluntly announced, it was time to prepare for war against Germany, a conflict that would begin soon. He cited the tremendous buildup of Soviet military power, both in quantity and quality during the last few years. The recent German "occupation" of Bulgaria and the transfer of German troops to Finland, he went on, are "grounds for war against Germany".

    Stalin said:
    "Our war plan is ready... We can begin the war with Germany within the next two months... There is a peace treaty with Germany, but this is only
    a deception, or rather a curtain, behind which we can openly work..."

    "The peaceful policy secured peace for our country... Now, however,
    with our reorganized army, which is technologically well prepared for modern warfare, now that we are strong, we must now go from defense to attack."

    "In fully defending our country, we are obliged to act offensively, must move from defense to a military policy of offensive action. We must
    reorganize our propaganda, agitation, and our press in an offensive spirit. The Red Army is a modern army, and a modern army is an offensive army."

    "The motto of a peaceful policy of the Soviet government is now out of date, and has been overtaken by events ... A new era in the development of the Soviet state has begun, the era of the expansion of its borders, not, as before, through a peaceful policy, but rather by force of arms. Our country has available all the necessary conditions for this."

    "The successes of the German army are due to the fact that it has not encountered an equally strong opponent. Some Soviet commanders have falsely
    overestimated the successes of the German army..."

    "Therefore, I propose a toast to the new era that has dawned in the development of our socialist fatherland. Long live the active offensive policy of Soviet state!"

    - Andrei Zhdanov, Chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, stated to the Military Council of the Supreme Soviet in June, 1941: "We have become strong, and we can now begin accomplishing things by more active approach. The wars in Poland and Finland were not defensive wars. We already have started on the road of attacking politicks."

    - June was too early for an attack.

    - Of course one can NEVER be absolutely sure about anybody else's real thoughts; there will and can never be PROOF of those thoughts. That's why we have to look for what's been said and done. For me at least it is pretty obvious.
     
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  18. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    1. Yes, because he wanted that war - after Germany and the western powers had first exhausted themselves by fighting each other.
    2. No, he didn't think (in 1939) that he needed any more time.
    3. No, he didn't trust anyone.
     
  19. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    If a country has to fight a war on its own soil, it is out of necessity NOT preference.

    In almost 75 yrs, the SU/Russia has started 2 foreign conflicts (Finland in 39 and Afghanistan in 79) and only once did such an excuse come up (Finland). Reading your post almost makes it seem like it happens all the time. You really are going out on a limb.

    Much of what you say it true. There were many factors for why the Blitzkrieg failed in Russia. Russia is big and cold, Hitler made blunders, and help was arriving from the West.... IMO, however; had it not been for the "Ivan", the Germans would have been victorious regardless of how cold they might have been or far they might have had to walk. German casualty figures paint a pretty good picture as to what occurred.


    PS
    Yes, the Soviet Union received help, but so did Germany. Finland, helped Germany along with Axis nations ;)
     
  20. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Most countries do not start the wars. Attacking your neighbour means always that YOU start the war - no matter how you want to see it yourself. That's very dangerous thinking and often leads to unwanted consequencies.

    Well - that seems to be the general belief in Russia...

    Where to start...:

    - during/after the Russian Civil War occupation of independent countries of Ukraina, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Which ones did I forget?
    - 1939 attack on Poland
    - 1939 attack on Finland
    - 1940 occupation and annexation of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina
    - 1945 attack on Japan
    - 1953 bloody suppression of the East-German uprising
    - 1956 attack on Hungary
    - 1956 occupation of Czechoslovakia
    - 1979 attack on Afganistan
    - 1991 onwards attacks and occupations in Georgia
    - 1991 onwards occupation of Transnistria





    German casualty figures were lower than those of the SU until the very last months.

    As much as I would like to overestimate the importance of the Finnish (or Axis) aid to the Germans I still can't compare it with the ENOURMOUS help the western allies gave to the SU.
     

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