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What If? - Stalin Lets Tukhachevsky Head Development of the Red Army

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Eastern Front & Balka' started by arca, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Those Russian "documentaries" (and I use the term loosely), have been thoroughly debunked by recent serious researchers, as already mentioned in this very thread.
     
  2. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    I agree with Greenslime... The notion that the Red Army troops were blindly led into the field of battle as cattle is a myth. This is Ofcourse not denying that such cases didn't occur.

    Frontal charges at German positions occurred primarily at the beginning of Barbarossa. The Soviet Union was desperate to buy time. The horrific losses endured by the Red Army had its intended effect. The Blitzkrieg had been stopped.

    After 42' the only soldiers charging at German positions were those in the Shtrofbat (penal) battalion. These unfortunate soles have been known to clear minefields by rushing them but then again did they risk more than the US troops charging German bunkers at Omaha? Or the Germans trying to break out of a Soviet encirclement at Courland?
     
  3. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    If it is a myth, then why were red army losses so very much higher than every other nation's in every single battle led by generals other than Rokossovski and the Polish generals and the offensive against Japan (when generals had learnt after years of figthing the Germans and there was overwhelming air, armor, artillery and troops superiority), despite superior numbers, and equipment and a poorly supplied and reinforced thinly spread WM, fighting on two fronts?

    Why did the Soviets need to make 100,000 tanks, 37,000 Sturmoviks, millions of antitanks bombs, 500,000 cannon, millions of AT mines, Katyusha, etc, plus 15,000 tanks from the allies and several years to take back what the Germans took in months, despite the fact that there were never more than 3,600 Panzers in the USSR at a given time? Why in proportion to their strength and plane quality did the Polish, Dutch, French or Yugoslavs destroy more LW planes and lose fewer planes on the ground than did the massive Soviet air force and AAA in the first days of Barbarossa, if not because of utterly incompetent leadership?

    Why if the red army pioneered paratroopers before the purges and before the rest of the world, could the Soviets not perform a single successful paratrooper operation against the Germans?

    Why did the Soviet leaders employ for years the same tactic of heavy shelling before an offensive, despite the evidence that huge quantities of shells were being wasted for very few enemy casualties, since the German troops pulled back momentariily and manned their positions when the shlelling stopped and mowed down the Soviet attackers (the Somme all over again hundreds of times)?

    It takes a lot of incompetence to lose millions of men, 20,000 tanks and planes and a huge territory in Barbarossa, but even more so to lose so many men in Damyansk, Leningrad, Rostov, Rzhev, Stalingrad, Kharkov in 1943, Kursk, Kurson, Kurland, the Autobahn battles in Belorussia, Berlin, etc, with ever increasing overwhelming superiority
     
  4. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Seeing as you may need this to be explained in simple terms:

    I walk up to you on the street, and sucker punch you.

    Surprised? You betcha. How much of a fight did you put up, before your rear end is on the concrete? Not much.

    Next time we met on the street, you'd be a tad wary. And so would I; so when you try to sucker punch me back, I'm not falling for it. Does that make you a braindead weakling? According to your analysis, I guess it does.

    That's the difference between the summer of '41, and the rest of the war.
     
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  5. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    The Finns and the Wehrmacht sucker punched Timoshenko, Zhukov, Koniev, Bagramian, etc, time and again for years, which is why millions of Soviets and tens of thousands of tanks, planes, etc, were lost every year and the Soviets had to produce the numbers I mentioned and receive 12 billion dollars of L-L and still wasted years to defeat a much smaller country, without resources, with a small industry (Germany produced fewer panes than Britain alone) and engaged in several fronts (losing on average 750 planes per month in 1943 and 1,000 planes per month to the western allies in 1944, fighting partisans in Greece and Yugoslavia. resistance in Norway, France, etc,)

    How is it possible that the USSR lost a lot more troops, tanks, cannon, trucks, horses, etc, to Germany alone in under 4 years, than Germany lost fighting the huge red army and air force , the huge American army and air force, the large French army, the good size Polish army, the British (including Canadian, Australian,, Indian, NZ, S African, etc, the huge RN and RAF), Belgian, Yugoslav, Greek, Dutch, etc, armies for 6 years, despite the Soviets having huge numbers of the best tank, cannon, rockets, mortars, AT bombs and mines, etc, of the war? Only because most of their generals were ignorant butchers, who took 4 years of beating, until a few of them learnt how to fight and kicked butt against even weaker Japan.
     
  6. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Because the lily-white Germans were busy fighting naked without weapons in the snow.

    Nobody wants to shoot a naked person in the snow.
     
  7. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    The most glaring proof of poor Soviet generalship is Kursk and its counter offensive (sucker punching after two years):

    Despite there being several times as many Soviets, thousands of km of AT and defensive trenches (dug over months and in part by huge numbers of civilians. For some reason, the Soviets, who could order anything they wanted from Santa through L-L, never ordered earth moving equipment), 400,000 mines (which detroyed many tanks, including several Tigers), tens of thousands of carefully emplaced and camouflaged cannon, mortars, rocket launchers and machine guns (with ridiculously large amounts of munitions), a lot more Soviet than German tanks and planes and the Germans and their supply lines being exposed and their guns periodically relocated, and despite most Panthers malfunctioning and the Germans relying in large part on STUG (cheaper than and inferior to a T-34, with a crew of 4 and w/o a turret with a machine gun, which provides better visibility and the ability to continue firing even if a track is lost) and short on munitions, fuel, trucks, etc, incredibly, the Soviets lost a lot more of everything than the Germans! What did the generals need to anihilate much smaller forces, while incurring reasonable losses? Truly surreal.

    Moreover the generals knew ahead of time at what time, where, in what direction and the strength of the German attack.

    It was worse than the coyote and the road-runner.
     
  8. green slime

    green slime Member

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    I have a caveat on that rule that nobody wants to shoot naked people in the snow.



    Nobody, that is, but the German armed forces, of course.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    OTL The wee Romanian navy did well during Barbarossa. The Italian built destroyer Regina Maria sank the larger, faster and heavier gunned destroyer leader Moska. Their mines also sank 5 Soviet subs. However, Soviet bombers sank a Romanian mine-layer on July 15 (it was quite a feat for a Soviet bomber to hit a small ship). A mine from a Soviet sub sank a mine-layer and Soviet subs sank several Romanian and Bulgarian cargo ships that year. Soviet naval planes also shot down several Romanian planes during Barbarossa. Planes from Crimea bombed Ploesti, etc,

    The Germans did much worse in the Black Sea during Barbarossa, Stuka sank only the small, WW I destroyer Frunze (three 4" guns) and in late October and a gunboat. But the LW allowed a second Dunkirk from Odessa to Crimea.

    ATL with heavy LW presence in the area, the Romanian navy is much more effective (it sinks the few submarines, mine layers, etc, which escape air attack) and fewer axis ships are lost. Odessa has no time to prepare 3 tiers of defenses or to receive reinforcements and supplies by Sea after it is cut off.
     
  10. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    I think had Tukochevsky been spared and placed in charge of such an endeavor, the T34s would have wings!

    Boom.
     
  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    :)
     
  12. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
     
  13. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Your outlook of the entire East Front is reminiscent of rogues who used to visit this forum a while back. They no longer do. I don't think you truly appreciate the catastrophe that be fell the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 and the Herculean effort it took to come out victorious.

    Speaking of numerical superiority; the Soviets were larger only on paper. When Barbarossa was launched for example, only half of the Soviet troops were at the front. To make things worse strict orders were given to NOT return fire thinking provocation (this lasted two hours). Concentrating their forces on a specific objective in force the Germans always outnumbered the Soviets on a local front. With lines of communication severed and the Germans advancing with such speed orders were given for counter attacks with units that no longer existed! Concussion, panic and disbelief was rampant.

    If your going to count disadvantages which plagued the Germans, then it ls only fair that you count the Soviets as well. The Russian soldiers and officers alike were faced with an enemy that not only "sucker punched" them but also happened to conquere all off main land Europe without losing a single battle on land.Try doing that without orders, supplies, or an air force among many other shortcomings.

    The Russians desperately needed time. They did the best they could with what they had. The Red Army was a very different beast in 44'. On the anniversary of Barbarossa (June 22, 1944) Bagration was launched and it was very reminiscent of the German one, three years prior.

    I will also remind you that Germany did not invaded the Soviet Union alone. As for casualties: Germany lost 80% of her war machine in the East. Three out of four Germans died in Russia. Germanys allies suffered greatly as well. Italy alone lost over 160k men in Stalingrad.

    From 1941-44 the Red Army faced roughly 190 divisions daily. The Allies in comparison from 1944-45 faced around 40...
     
  14. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Glantz and House have this to say, in "The Battle of Kursk":

    "Interesting enough, Western armies went through the same sort of education against blitzkrieg and with mixed results. Having failed to deal with it in 1940, Western armies struggled to overcome it in 1944. The British tried to ape German armoured practices at Caen (Operation Goodwood) but failed in the teeth of an effective antitank defence. In Operation Cobra (St. Lô) the Americans resorted to carpet bombing to smash German defences and unleash Patton's third army for its drive on Paris. At Mortain, American air power combined with determined ground defence sapped the strength and shock power of four attacking German panzer divisions. The same occurred (with the help of the weather and the terrain) in the Bulge in late 1944, when Hitler unleashed several panzer armies against the Allies. Despite these primarily defensive successes, neither the British nor the Americans were able to mount offensive operations as routinely spectacular as the Germans of 1941 and 1942 or the Soviets of 1943 through 1945, partly because of inexperience and partly of their less mature force structure and tactical and operational doctrine."

    ​But I'm sure you would've done a whole lot better...
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Ike also seemed to prefer the wide front attack method he said the Russians did so well. Maybe he did not notice the change in tactics in Bagration.?
     
  16. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    ???? Bagration seams to me to be a rather clear case of a wide front offensive. Initial penetrations made on a narrow front don't determine the scope of the operation. Note that Ike's wide front offensive wasn't on a tactical level and arguably not even on an operational one but on the strategic level. That seams to be true of most if not all the Soviet operations as well. A narrow front strategy gave the Germans too much latitude in how they used their reserves.
     
  18. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    There was no change in tactics in Bagration : the Soviets advanced in the summer of 1944 on a broad front from the East See to the Black Sea .

    Everyone preferred the wide front attack,because a small front attack never could be decisive,as it was impossible to supply a big army in a small front attack .
     
  19. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    What reserves in Bagration or France?
    Patton penetrated very fast and was stopped only because Ike diverted all the fuel, etc, to Monty, who wasted thousands of tons of bombs, etc, which wiped out the German vangard, but owing to Monty's poor preparations and maneuvers the Germans repeatedly reinforced the devastated front and inflicted hellacious casualties on Monty's force (Sicily all over again). Monty never understood that only a fast advance can result in low casualties and destabilize the enemy.
    A good armor general advances so fast that enemy reserves cannot be deployed in time, especially the battered WM in the summer of 1944, without even trucks, fuel, etc, and with complete Soviet air domination (thousands of bombers preventing deployment).

    It was a major mistake to put Monty in charge on D-day and then to keep him in charge of the largest force, regardless of poor performance (little advance and heavy losses, despite colossal air and naval gun support) and finally to assign him priority, even after Patton had penetrated deep and destabilized the enemy. But perhaps the dumbest decision was to waste Patton´s army taking completely useless fortifications around Metz (the worst use for armor), while the Germans redeloyed and fortified their country. Early in the campaign it had also been absurd to send Patton's tanks to attack fortified coastal cities (again, the worst use for armor), when the way was completely open for Paris. Ike, Monty, Bradley and Churchill were poor diletantes, completely out of Patton's league. Ike even forced Patton to place a completely useless general, without any armor experience at all, over his best armor general, at the worst possible time. Patton had a fit when the guy told him that an advance of a couple of miles a day was good.
    Patton advanced so fast that he captured and used German fuel, which allowed him to advance a little more before running out of supplies. Imagine Monty ever doing that or even thinking about doing it.
    The large number of troops escaping the Falaise gap was purely the result of ordering Patton to halt, while Monty closed it. Fortunately, the Poles eventually closed it, incurring heavy losses, otherwise Monty would have taken even longer.
    Talking about reserve deployment, how did Ike and Bradley do in the Bulge? Patton (not in the reserve) had to rush quite a distance after changing direction abruptly (without any planning or logistics preparations) and on icy roads to save the day. Monty was much closer and would only brag about saving the day, after minimum action with his huge force. Patton and planes (when the weather cleared) stopped the Germans much more than reserve deployment.
     
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Patton advance fairly quickly once he broke out but that wouldn't have happened if there hadn't been pressure all along the line. When the breakout finally occurred it was in large part due to the fact that the Germans had committed most of their reserves elsewhere and simply didn't have the force to halt Patton. Even if the log effort hadn't been moved to support Monty Patton was reaching the point where he couldn't be supported in any case. At least enough to maintain the offensive. Had the rest of the Western allied or worse the rest of the allies decided to hold in place the Germans would have had no problem shifting enough reserves to prevent the breakout.
     

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