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For the motherland? Stalingrad.

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe October 1939 to February 1943' started by tommy tater, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    OK, Ok...

    This may well have to be resolved from the Russians themselves.

    Trouble is, how do we know they are on the level? The former Soviet Union and the modern state of Russia are both not very well known for objective accuracy in their official histories, and the people seem too ashamed of the so called consequences to get the truth out of them, or too busy trying to defend the dignity of their people.

    Whom does one believe?

    The Red Army's casualty figures post Stalingrad would certainly suggest that many people are whitewashing the whole issue.

    I ask again....whom does one put their faith in as a perpetrator of the truth? Is it EVER going to be possible for the truth to appear?
     
  2. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    Glantz did have access to the Soviet archives and he argued that the Soviet Union's mindset of treating knowledge pertaining to war making as a Marxist science gave the official after action reports and battlefield post-mertum sufficient creditability for historical purposes. His stance is that human-wave assaults were frequent in 41 but there after discouraged as bad tactics. Lapses occurred frequently as blunders in 42 but thereafter very, very rare. Notice he based his observation on contemporary Russian doctrinal instructions that presumably was circulated within the Red Army.

    Which is not to say the Russians didn't drive their troops into fire sometimes just to be decoys. However the Germans were also awful in their policy with stern guards assigned to cover a retreat... They were often given a rifle and told to hold out until position is untenable and usually ended up being killed. These considerably slowed down Allied advances. Heck, there were even isolated incidences in which the Americans found inexperienced Volksgrenadiers attacking them in parade formation and got slaughtered for it.
     
  3. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    So, lets say that in Russian casualties were 25....30 million military dead? 20 million was the accepted figure during the Cold War, but this has been revised UPWARD in recent years....

    5 million prisoners....that still leaves 20 million people killed in 48 months of war. Barbarossa, by their own admission, cost them the most, but this averages out to 2 and one half million casualties in every six month period of the war....

    There must have been a LOT of BAD Generalship....
     
  4. ANZAC

    ANZAC Member

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    Soviet military casualties vary widely from Keegan's 7,000,000 to Sokolov's new calculations, 26.4M, with a median number of 10 million.
    But I still go by the detailed figures put forward by Krivosheev in his book 'Soviet Casualties and Combat Loses' [rightly or wrongly]

    He lists the casualties for each quarter of the war from start to finish, including irrecoverable losses [killed or missing in action, died of wounds or disease, POW's, non combat losses] & sick & wounded, [including frostbite cases]


    And he comes up with KIA or died of wounds 6,329,600, MIA or POW 4,559,000, Non-combat deaths (sickness, accidents, executions) 555,50, Total 11,444,100, Surviving missing and POWs 2,775,700, Total deaths and missing 8,668,400, wounded 18,319,723.


    The Red Army took much higher casualties than any other military force during WW2, in part because the high manpower attrition did not allow adequate time for training. And the catastrophic losses of men and equipment during the first months of the German invasion were in large part due to Stalin's mishandling during Barbarossa, & having purged the Red Army had his inferior cronies like Voroshilov & Budenny in Command plus the likes of Kulik [who thought tanks were over rated,] & military incompetents like party commissioner Mekhlis, [who's major claim to fame was condemning Generals and soldiers to death and having them executed immediately.] He later took on Manstein in the Crimea & was quickly dispatched.

    But eventually the Red Army learnt the hard way how to fight & with men like Zhukov & Vasilevski in command were an invincible force by '44/45.
     
  5. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    I now have a copy of Chris Bellamy's "Absolute War"...after unchaining my wallet to spend the 30 bucks....and will plough my way through it. Just in his preface, he acknowledges..."a special debt to Colonel David Glantz, editor of the "Journal of Slavic (formerly Soviet) Military Studies", another leading world scholar of Soviet and German military operations. David's work on the subject is voluminous, and has proved an essential corrective to much Soviet writing that was, to say the least, economical with the truth."

    This book has taken Mr. Bellamy ten years to compile. I'll be ploughing through it in the next few days...keep you posted as to it's findings.

    Christopher
     
  6. Not One Step Back

    Not One Step Back Member

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    true the street fighting was executed well - but their tactics can't have been that sophisticated - or do you think there's another reason for them losing 500, 000 dead in that battle.
     
  7. Not One Step Back

    Not One Step Back Member

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    sorry i have to disagree
    the end result worked well for them? they lost 8 million soldiers! their country was in ruin!
    human waves are the result of bad leadership, nothing else, and were not used by the western allies or by germany.
    yes they had the supplies of men, but a human life is not a resource and it should not be thrown away.
     
  8. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Human waves are not the reason why the Red Army lost so many men. By the end of 43' the tables had turned and it was the Germans who began losing more than the Red Army.
     
  9. Kersantti Gustafsson

    Kersantti Gustafsson Member

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    An author I recently read gave another twist with regard to the Rattenkrieg, in that after the attempted (and seemingly successful) flattening of Stalingrad by the continual bombings and shellings the native rodents (rats) of the city took refuge wherever they could, including german panzers. Once inside, they would chew electircal lines (the '30-'50's cloth wrapped wiring) that would disable systems of the panzers. Total war indeed!
     

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