Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Exhausted by Stalin's regime Russians were ready simply to surrender to the Nazis

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by PzJgr, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    17,654
    Likes Received:
    2,202
    Location:
    Alabama
    Sounds a lot like another army I know, that differed a lot in 1945 from it's 1941 form.

    I'm reading the diary of a landser that is going to be published this Spring or early Summer. It does not have a title yet. The soldier participated in the 1940 French campaign and in the Russian campaign from June 1941 until his death in July 1944, as a member of a Heer division, fighting south of the Pripyat Marshes and later on the north shoulder of the Stalingrad campaign.

    He uses variations of those same (translated) words in many of his descriptions of the Soviet soldier, especially men fighting in 1941-42. He describes many of their attacks in terms similar to our use of human wave.

    After the book is published, I will be able to quote passages from the diary.
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    The only complete work I've read by Gantz is The Bear Went Over the Mountain which definitly doesn't fit that catagorization. In addition many people I've come to trust as to their knowledge of WWII history speak well of him. A rather general statement such as the above doesn't carry much weight as far as I'm concerned.
     
  3. Gerard

    Gerard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    27
    Tartar Hordes - now there's a generalisation if ever I read one. so we are to believe that the Germans have intellect and the Soviets are a horde with no intellect.

    the Germans had the intellect to create blitzkrieg, funny that they didnt plan for a long-term war. No winter clothing initially, terrible logisitics. The Soviets were

    Goebbels Propaganda machine depicted the Soviet Army first as a "Rotting structure", then, when it was clear that they couldnt beat them, the emphasis turned towards the Germans holding back the "horde". Read some of the soldiers memoirs, full of "our brave tankmen, lifted their weary heads and with steely eyes, prepared to face the oncoming horde from the east" Utter tosh.
     
  4. olegbabich

    olegbabich Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    13
    Stalin was also a great motivator. After realizing that his armies might be a little exhausted, he signed Order # 270. Creating cover military formations, ordering all people who were taken prisoners to be shot or imprisoned, and for their families to be denied government assistance.

    This policy was continued for the entire war. A total of 157,593 Red Army soldiers were shot during the war by Military Tribunals. That’s about 10 divisions. Russians were forced to learn how to fight and fight well.

    Ivan had no choice, he was going to win, die in captivity or be killed by his own government.

     
  5. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,599
    Likes Received:
    230
    Not trying to gang up on you, olegbabich, just having a discussion here, but I have a problem with this statement:

    Most historical interpretation goes counter. Stalin's nerves were 'badly rattled' by the onslaught. It can argued that it was the Russian soldier's tenacity that resuscitated Stalin from his state of deep depression. The resistance of the Russian soldier in Sevastopol and Smolensk were legendary. The OKH was extremely consternated by the furosity of the resistance and the fighting spirit of the poorly armed Russian troops. All that was prior to Order No. 270.
     
  6. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,362
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Sewanee, Tennessee, USA
    You could technically argue that after October of '42 the Red Army was drastically different because the official rank of Kommisar was eliminated from the Red Army ranking system. Also after that point onwards, particularly after the disaster at Kharkov (just before Stalingrad) in 1942, Stalin actually began to LISTEN to his generals like Zhukov, who actually (unlike Hitler and Stalin) knew what they were talking about militarily at least half the time.
     
    Anderan likes this.
  7. ANZAC

    ANZAC Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    20
    Why did the Soviets fight?.........

    " ........If, as Hitler claimed to believe, the Will was all-important, the Germans had already lost the war. For what could they put against the Russians grim determination to defend the Motherland? Greed for territory and "Sklaven", a contrived doctrine of racial "superiority", some muddled prejudices against "Bolshevism". These things were valueless against the deep patriotism of the Russians, & if you live by the sword....... "

    "Barbarossa", by Alan Clark.

    He also suggests that privation and sacrifice were, and for centuries, had been the Russians habitual condition, and now in the German invader they had a focus for all their misery and resentment.

    And the Nazi's own racist policies in the East meant it was to be a war without restraint, everyone, men women & children, from Poland to the Urals were classified as ' "untermenschen'' & were fair game.

    When in some areas [such as Ukraine] it seems that some local people had been ready to consider the Germans as liberators helping them to get rid of Stalin, the Germans instead killed about 7 million Ukrainians, including 4.5 million civilians, so no wonder they decided to fight.

    And it was the same story for all the other Soviet republics.
     
  8. sharpe

    sharpe Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    i don't find myself ever sympathizing with the Russian soldier, ever. i have read nothing which personalizes him. when it comes to any battles , i am rooting for the Germans. Why, because the Soviet forces are too huge, impersonal, attack and die. Stalin finally did learn to use his armies at Kursk. Finally, we start to see the Russians doing smart tactics. The germans are desperate and no longer have any offensive hope.
     
  9. Gerard

    Gerard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    27
    do you understand what you are saying - you are rooting for the German Soldier. To root for the German soldier also means you are rooting for the regime they fought for and their ideals and beliefs. And because you are rooting for the German Soldier I also take it that you are rooting for them on the Western Front too. Nice one. well at least we know what we are dealing with.
     
    Skipper likes this.
  10. sharpe

    sharpe Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    in some way i find that the German soldier is different from the Nazis. The Wehrmach is in some way isolated from the regime. Commmanders like Rommel show us the difference. The battles in the East are far different from what is happening in the West. Paulus shows us the futility of loyalty to the Nazis. Its pevasive throughout the army.
     
  11. Gerard

    Gerard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    27
    Rommel? The ex-Commander of the Fuehrer's personal Bodyguard? oh yeah, Rommel was a "good" nazi alright, he despised the regime didnt he? Dont be so quick to put the Desert Fox on a Pedestal. Desmond young's book does a good job of deconstructing the "myth" of Rommel. And as for your assertion that the Wehrmacht was "different" to the Nazis, they were an organisation that let Hitler commit murders en masse, such as the Night of the Long Knives, indeed they stood by and let the SS shoot one of its ex-Commanders and it did nothing. It did nothing when "Kristalnacht" occured, its leaders were awarded Cash and land for their achievements and although the landser may not be personally culpable, the regime it defended was abhorrent and despicable. You dont get to pick and choose what parts of the Third Reich you think were "nice" and which ones "werent". The Wehrmacht was not isolated from the regime. Halder, Brauchitsch, Model, Halder, Reichenau, Guderian, Rommel, they all did nothing and kept silent until it was too late and they knew the tide was turning against them. Keitel and the Commissar order............. Again, the Wehrmacht was in no way isolated from the Regime, they were part of it. If you despise the Wehrmacht in the East, well then its the same for the west. They werent two different armies!
     
    Triple C likes this.
  12. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    17,654
    Likes Received:
    2,202
    Location:
    Alabama
    That creates an interesting paradox. Do we then not root for the Soviet soldier, as they also fought a regime's ideas and beliefs? I view the Soviet Union's form of government in the same light as I do the Nazi's.
     
  13. Gerard

    Gerard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    27
    You're absolutely right Jeff. However I did not say I was rooting for anyone - Sharpe clearly stated that he was rooting for the Germans against the Russians and I am saying that you cant say that the Germans in the East were bad as opposed to the Germans on the West who were more honorable. If thats the case, then at what point crossing Germany did the German divisions become "good"???
     
  14. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    17,654
    Likes Received:
    2,202
    Location:
    Alabama
    I can live with that Gott.
     
    Gerard likes this.
  15. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    6,321
    Likes Received:
    460
    That is because you might have read a book or two about the Easter front, but none about the Russian soldier. I wonder if you would be so quick to root for the German soldier had it been your family which had perished due to they're arrival.

    I would imagine that one would root for the Soviet soldier because he was on the side of good. Unlike his adversary, he was not fighting for his regime's ideals and beliefs but for his home and family. Perhaps had the Russians invaded Europe such an argument could be made...

    Jeff, I can understand a difference of opinion and a dislike for the Soviet Union, but to view them in the same light as the fascists?
     
  16. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,599
    Likes Received:
    230
    Sharpe,

    If you find it difficult to personalize Russian soldiers, I highly recommend The Stalin Front by Gert Ledig. Though fictional, the author had first hand experience of combat in Leningrad and had some interesting things to say about the Russian soldiers he fought. He was a Sturmpioneer, penal battalion soldier and had seen it all. That, or Merridale's Ivan's War which is written to be accessible to the general public. As for the Wehrmacht, while certainly many soldiers acquitted themselves honorably, there were also numerous troops who did not. The regular army's Security Divisions were almost as vicious as the SS Einsatzkommandos, and wanton atrocities on a smaller scale were often recorded or observed.
     
    Kruska likes this.
  17. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,683
    Likes Received:
    954
    And I think this is the crux of most of the disagreements on here whenever the Russians are critisised or maligned. None of us escape the stalinist history...We aint fools. But The above words should be remembered by us all.
     
  18. Artema

    Artema Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    13
    Couldn't you explain the idea more plainly?
     
  19. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,385
    Just a thought : was surrendering to Nazis a real solution for the weak and the exhausted ? These men must have heard about Nazis exhausting and starving Russian pows, so exhausted or not they were better off figting the Germans and being in control (well, sort of, considering there wer epolitical officers behind thier back) than going to Stalag awaiting possible death by starvation.
     
  20. Interwarrior

    Interwarrior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    3
    There were no bad and good Nazis. There were soldiers that were executing orders of the High Command. But it's true that the attitude towards Western and Eastern Allies was different. First of all the attitude towards POWs was different. Nazi ideology stated that Slavonic nations were underpeople and, therefore, didn't have the right to live (very general description).

    On the other hand it's a fact the there were many deserters in the Soviet Army. But that doesn't mean that those people were Nazi-friendly, they just didn't want to fight. Althoug ther were people who did really change the side during the war (there were such soldiers in each and every country at that time).

    Soviet people were fighting fo their freedom and only then for something else. Soldiers are mostly not interested in high politics. My grandparents were soviet soldiers. THey started fighting in 1941 and reached Berlin in 1945 and they were telling me whow cruel were Nazis not only towards soldiers but also towards citizens. My grandmom was in the Nazi concentration camp and then escaped. She told me a lot about what they were doing there...
     
    Sloniksp likes this.

Share This Page