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Old July 20th, 2012, 05:05 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by irishcrusader95 View Post
it was part of the soviets military philosophy. they view was that being they had such huge numbers of tank, aircraft, soldiers etc. that when any war broke out they were all to immediately go the offensive and try to overwhelmed their enemy. Zhukov even had a number of preemptive strike plans drawn up for an attacking poland if they expected a german attack. yet these plans it should be remembered were really just on the drawing Bord at the time and the army in any case was in no fit state to carry out such an act as most divisions were not fully equipped and most men had very little training with their weapons, many of them being only recently recruited with the large surge since around 1940. soviet intelligence definitely knew that an attack may be inevitable but Stalin was not listening treating all reports as disinformation by the west.

its easy to have the simple picture of the soviet soldiers all fighting courageously to the death and never surrendering, the truth is far more interesting. while i am not trying to play down their bravery and their were certainly many who did perform with incredible bravery and duty through the war yet their motives for fighting need to be understood and Antonina does well in describing what those motivations were such as the treat of their families being left to die if they surrendered and the huge propaganda value the soviets made of german atrocities. many soviet soldiers knew it themselves that surrender meant death as those awful german prisoner camps were no joke, it would have been more merciful to shoot them all.

yet a detailed look at the first 6 months of the war show how critical the situation was the the SU by Th end of 41 and again through 41 looked very much on the verge of collapse. a fallback capital had already been chosen in late 41 at a city on the upper Volga, Kubyoshive i think it was called. all the government had already been evacuated there along with the foreign dignitaries. Zhukov in latter years mentioned that at this time he overheard stalin in a conversation saying that in sending out peace feelers he would be willing to let the germans keep all they had taken so far if they stopped now, he later claimed this was just a ploy to through them off.
Must infer that you agree with our Mosquito, who is yet to answer my questions.

So I guess both of you share the same major obvious inconsistency; if Uncle Joe really didn't expect any German attack, why on Earth were there so many weapons and soldiers in his western border?

Now, an additional inconsistency from your last post (not Mosquito's) is the bizarre idea that just by threatening the families of the own regular citizens one would get fantastic courageous super-soldiers... ?!?!?
Were it for real, such incredibly complex discovery would be the secret for the military success of any authoritarian nation, from Mussolini to Saddam.
However, and aside of the myriad examples all along History that entirely contradict such naive assumption, and amazingly as it may sound, such kind of threat clearly didn't prevent literally hundreds of thousands of non-ethnic Russian Soviet citizens from switching sides in this war and fighting for the III Reich, in fact often quite bravely.

So it seems that, after all, the Soviet soldiers clearly risked their lives to such spectacular extent for exactly the same old fashioned love for their menaced homeland so regularly shared by essentially any other soldier all around this Planet, Germans & British included.

Yet a detailed look (or even a superficial one) to the History of this war previous to Barbarossa would show us how critical a swift total defeat had been for absolutely any other power to face the III Reich.
All of them were absolutely crushed in a matter of weeks; Poland & France were quickly occupied and Britain had been saved from an analogous fate just by some miles of sea.

So the main anomaly of Barbarossa relative to previous clashes of other powers with the III Reich was just that for any reason the Soviets were not 100% crushed in a matter of weeks; period.

Now, just not to derail this thread any more, we may actually agree on the OP; the III Reich & co. definitively had a good chance of crushing the Soviet Union in 1941, possibly even in 1942.
The Soviets survived just because they were able to tolerate manpower losses exponentially greater than anything that had made each & any of the previous enemies of the Wehrmacht surrender or flee.

Just imagine if such kind of courage from the own soldiers could be achieved by simply threatening the families; how an easy formula for any dictator all around this Planet.

Last edited by sylla1; July 20th, 2012 at 05:11 PM.
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Old July 20th, 2012, 06:01 PM   #42

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no i wasn't saying that stalin never expected an attack. he just didn't expect it this soon. his belief when war in the west started was that it would be like WW1, long and attritious. then when the western powers were exhausted it would leave the soviets clear to conquer. but with the lighting campaigns over so fast that changed things quite a bit. the massive concentrations i would see as a precaution, with only two major powers left on the continent you would have have every reason to be cautious. yet stalin dismissed many of his intelligence reports as disinformation. in one instance an agent sent a report he received from a source inside the german air service just a few weeks before the invasion telling of the preparations that were in place for it. stalin simply took a green pen and wrote across the report
"you can tell your most informed source that he can go and f**k his mother, this is not a source but disinformation"

this is all stated well in Mark Bellamy's book 'Absolute War'
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Old July 20th, 2012, 07:32 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by irishcrusader95 View Post
no i wasn't saying that stalin never expected an attack. he just didn't expect it this soon. his belief when war in the west started was that it would be like WW1, long and attritious. then when the western powers were exhausted it would leave the soviets clear to conquer. but with the lighting campaigns over so fast that changed things quite a bit. the massive concentrations i would see as a precaution, with only two major powers left on the continent you would have have every reason to be cautious. yet stalin dismissed many of his intelligence reports as disinformation. in one instance an agent sent a report he received from a source inside the german air service just a few weeks before the invasion telling of the preparations that were in place for it. stalin simply took a green pen and wrote across the report
"you can tell your most informed source that he can go and f**k his mother, this is not a source but disinformation"

this is all stated well in Mark Bellamy's book 'Absolute War'
In practice, most people didn't expect a German attack so soon, not even the German staff, most of whom opposed the initiative, simply because it was poor strategy to begin a colossal invasion to the East when there was still ongoing a rather active struggle against the powerful British Empire.

In any case, in spite of Mr Bellamy's better opinion, the Soviets were hardly unprepared for any attack.
They were actively building two major fortified lines (nicknamed Molotov & Stalin) and they had nothing less than 138 divisions, 48 brigades and some 9.576 aircraft (BTW by then the largest air force of this Planet) stationed mostly close to their western border.

Even more
Quote:
By April 1941, Soviet-German relations were deteriorating, and Soviet intelligence began detecting German offensive preparations.
As indications of future German attack increased during the ensuing months, Stalin and Soviet diplomats postured as if peace reigned supreme. Despite this pacific political stance, in April 1941 Stalin implemented readiness measures of a "special threatening period of war" [osoboe ugrozhaemyi voen-nyi period], a special readiness state that was to be implemented only when war was imminent.
In the context of spring 1941, this meant partial mobilization while diplomacy focused on the maintenance of peace...
Between April and June 1941, the Soviets accelerated the process of "creeping up to war"—which had in reality been under way since 1937— by conducting a concealed strategic deployment (mobilization) of forces.
From April 26 through May 10, the Trans-Baikal, Ural, and Siberian Military Districts and Far Eastern Front dispatched forces to the border military districts.
On 13 May, the General Staff ordered 28 rifle divisions and the headquarters of four armies (16th, 19th, 21st, and 22d) to move from interior districts to border districts, and a fifth army to assemble near Moscow.
This mobilization was to be complete by 10 July.
From late May to early June, the General Staff called up 800,000 reservists
to fill out 100 cadre divisions and numerous fortified regions.
(Source: [ame="http://www.amazon.com/When-Titans-Clashed-Stopped-Studies/dp/0700608990"]Amazon.com: When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler (Modern War Studies) (9780700608997): David M. Glantz, Jonathan M. House: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512pN-%2B1QoL.@@AMEPARAM@@512pN-%2B1QoL[/ame]
... page 26)

Exactly which additional military measures was the Soviet Union expected to take in your opinion?

(Short of a pre-emptive strike against the Reich, which AFAIK in opinion of most scholars would have been plainly absurd, especially after the poor performance of the Red Army in the Winter War)

Plainly, the Wehrmacht was simply still at the height of its power, man by man the best army of Europe; period.
In fact, from the very first moment the performance of the Soviets was overwhelmingly superior than any opposition previously faced by the Germans, certainly including the proud armies of France & Britain in May-June 1940, in spite of the long eight months (!!!) of the Phoney War that they had to prepare for the campaign, hardly any "surprise" by any standard.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 03:41 AM   #44

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Originally Posted by emperor of seleucid View Post
I want sources for all your information for the numbers.
The figures are quoted by the German historian B.Musial in "Stalins Beutzug" 2012 (I don't know if it's available in English, I read in Polish translation)
The same information can be found in R.D.Muller "An der Seite der Wermacht", p.146-152

Quote:
Originally Posted by emperor of seleucid View Post
you forgot that most of the traitors were non Russian
On the contrary, the overwhelming majority of those who voluntarily served in the Wermacht were ethnic Russians. As stated before:

800,000 Russians
250,000 Ukrainians
280,000 Caucassian nations
47,000 Belarusians
180,000 Balts

Whatner they were traitors or not is debatable.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 03:48 AM   #45

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Originally Posted by antonina View Post

On the contrary, the overwhelming majority of those who voluntarily served in the Wermacht were ethnic Russians. As stated before:

800,000 Russians
250,000 Ukrainians
280,000 Caucassian nations
47,000 Belarusians
180,000 Balts

Whatner they were traitors or not is debatable.
One man's traitor is another man's freedom fighter... but fighting for the Nazis... hmmm must have been desperate.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 04:26 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by rehabnonono View Post
One man's traitor is another man's freedom fighter... but fighting for the Nazis... hmmm must have been desperate.
Well actually peoples of the whole Europe served in Wehrmacht. To estimate the scale of it, we can see the NKVD data on the captured Axis soldiers by nations in 1945

’оеннопленн‹е в ССС* во в€емя ’‚о€ой ми€овой войн‹ €” ’икипедия

U can use google translater there to see that among the POWs there were many French, Belgics, Danes, Dutch, Poles, Czechs and Slovaks, Austrians (yes I know that Austria was annexed by Germany), Norwegians and even Swedes. Not to mention that Italy, Hugary, Romania, Finland were also fighting on the Nazis side. And this is just the number of POWs, let alone those who died fighting for the Nazis, and those who survived and were not captured. So it is not some Russian phenomen, it was across the whole Europe, different scale of volunteers explained simply by the different population size and different scale of wars in Europe and in USSR.

Btw I'd like to point out that in that table we don't see three nations:

Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbians (Yugoslavians mentioned in the table are Croatians). How do you think what unites these 3 countries?

The number of the Soviet citizens served in the ''Hiwi'' forces (since 1941 to 1945) can be checked here - http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A5%...B8#cite_note-4 the sources taken there is a book of Drobyazko.

It is 700.000 Slavs (Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians), 300.000 Balts and ~ 200.000 others

The number of Hiwi forces by years

1942 - 200.000

1943 - 600.000

1944 - from 800.000 to 900.000

1945 (February) - 700.000

So as we can see, the longer they were in occupation, more volunteers were appearing. Basically the core of Hiwis was formed since 1943 which was 2 years after severe politics of Hitler on the occupied territories. So yes, they were really desperate up to that time...

Last edited by Montage; July 21st, 2012 at 04:49 AM.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 06:03 AM   #47

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Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
Now, an additional inconsistency from your last post (not Mosquito's) is the bizarre idea that just by threatening the families of the own regular citizens one would get fantastic courageous super-soldiers... ?!?!?

Were it for real, such incredibly complex discovery would be the secret for the military success of any authoritarian nation, from Mussolini to Saddam.

...Just imagine if such kind of courage from the own soldiers could be achieved by simply threatening the families; how an easy formula for any dictator all around this Planet.
Amazing as it may sound, fear - for your own life and your loved ones - has been a major motivator in most wars.

Why should fear of being shot if you turn round or fear that your parents / wife and kids will starve / be maltreated and worked to death if you surrender be so inconceivable to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
...such kind of threat clearly didn't prevent literally hundreds of thousands of non-ethnic Russian Soviet citizens from switching sides in this war and fighting for the III Reich, in fact often quite bravely.
You're overlooking the realities: non-Russian Soviet citizens who volunteered to fight with the Germans (Ukrainians, Belarusians, Baltic people) knew their relatives were under German rule and (amazing as it may sound) were obviously determined to prevent the USSR from ruling them again.

Your argument would logically apply better to the 800,000 ethic Russian citizens who volunteered to fight for the Wermacht. No saying why the argument their relatives would starve/be maltreated and worked to death should fail to work in their case. Perhaps because their relatives had already been starved/maltreated and worked to death?

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Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
So it seems that, after all, the Soviet soldiers clearly risked their lives to such spectacular extent for exactly the same old fashioned love for their menaced homeland so regularly shared by essentially any other soldier all around this Planet, Germans & British included.
Patriotism (love for homeland) becomes a highly complex issue when your homeland is in the clutch of a homicidal regime.

Last edited by antonina; July 21st, 2012 at 06:09 AM.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 06:05 AM   #48

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fighting for the Nazis... hmmm must have been desperate.
Exactly.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 06:28 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by antonina View Post
Amazing as it may sound, fear - for your own life and your loved ones - has been a major motivator in most wars.

Why should fear of being shot if you turn round or fear that your parents / wife and kids will starve / be maltreated and worked to death if you surrender be so inconceivable to you?



You're overlooking the realities: non-Russian Soviet citizens who volunteered to fight with the Germans (Ukrainians, Belarusians, Baltic people) knew their relatives were under German rule and (amazing as it may sound) were obviously determined to prevent the USSR from ruling them again.

Your argument would logically apply better to the 800,000 ethic Russian citizens who volunteered to fight for the Wermacht. No saying why the argument their relatives would starve/be maltreated and worked to death should fail to work in their case. Perhaps because their relatives had already been starved/maltreated and worked to death?



Patriotism (love for homeland) becomes a highly complex issue when your homeland is in the clutch of a homicidal regime.
That's a straw man fallacy, because I have never stated that it may be "unconceivable for me" that people may fight because of fear for their family.

The point with which I naturally & necessatily disagree is the utterly absurd pretension that such elementary tautological piece of knowledge evident for any five-year child would be the whole secret behind the unique & spectacular tolerance for casualties of the Soviet army & people at WW2, as pretended by some previous posters in this thread; that's all.

I'm not overlooking any reality; it is you who pretend to overlook the obvious fact that the families of such non-ethnic Russian Soviet citizens were equally at the mercy of the Soviet administration, exactly the same as any regular Soviet soldier of the millions who died bravely fighting against the Nazi & co.
So it is evident that all those hundreds of thousands of regular humans were perfectly able to overcome the purporpetdly incredibly effective fear for their families, which is obviouly not any magic formula for obtaining super-soldiers.

At the risk of overstating the obvious, not to mention the myriad aurthoritarian regimes all along History that have been entirely unable to achieve such kind of courage from mere terror at any level, from Mussolini to Saddam.

Not to mention another tautology; the fear for their familie of the Soviet citizens (and for their homeland) came fundamentally from the Nazi menace, as it was so evident all along the immense occupied Soviet territories from the very first moment.

In plain English, you don't get brave professional soldiers exclusively by terror; that is preposterous to the Nth degree; period.

Of course my argument also applies to the ethnic Russians fightoing under the SS; needless to say, the 800,000 figure seems ridiculously high; have you any hard evidence to back such categorical statement? (no source was mentioned by you, let say like some of us here; you simply took the number for granted)

And of course, Patriotism is and has always been a highly complex issue; so???


Back to the OP; the III Reich & co, definitively had a chance against the Soviet Union in 1941 & 1942.

Last edited by sylla1; July 21st, 2012 at 06:44 AM.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 09:42 AM   #50

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Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
The point with which I naturally & necessatily disagree is the utterly absurd pretension that such elementary tautological piece of knowledge evident for any five-year child would be the whole secret behind the unique & spectacular tolerance for casualties of the Soviet army & people at WW2, as pretended by some previous posters in this thread; that's all.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean here. What "tolerance for casualties"?

The Red Army had enormous casualties, yes. The main reason was the fact that for the Soviet leadership soldiers (and human bengs in general) were entirely disposable and casualtuies the last consideration in planning and carrying out any operation.

What "tolerance" you have in mind and why it should be "spectacular" I fail to comprehend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
I'm not overlooking any reality; it is you who pretend to overlook the obvious fact that the families of such non-ethnic Russian Soviet citizens were equally at the mercy of the Soviet administration, exactly the same as any regular Soviet soldier of the millions who died bravely fighting against the Nazi & co.
Following 22 June 1941 the Germans overran the Baltics, Belarus and Ukraine (while heading for Moscow - a look at the map should make it clear). Thus,
the families of Balarusians, Ukrainians and Balts voluntering for the Wermacht were not "at the mercy of Soviet administration".


Quote:
Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
At the risk of overstating the obvious, not to mention the myriad aurthoritarian regimes all along History that have been entirely unable to achieve such kind of courage from mere terror at any level, from Mussolini to Saddam.

Not to mention another tautology; the fear for their familie of the Soviet citizens (and for their homeland) came fundamentally from the Nazi menace, as it was so evident all along the immense occupied Soviet territories from the very first moment.
Sorry, but you clearly haven't spent much time looking into the realities of what was going on the immense Soviet territories from 1917 onwards.

By 22 June 1941 the Soviet people had been living under the communist menace aka. Red Terror for 24 years. And the preceding few years were its peak - known in history as the Great Terror.

I've just finished reading this memoir of a Polish pilot who spent several years in the Gulag. His name was Wladyslaw Cehak and he died five years ago in the USA. Among hundreds of other encounters with Soviet camp prisoners, he describes a meeting with a Red Army general who'd had to watch his six year old son tortured by NKVD (as means of making him sign a confession of "treason", being an imperialist spy etc.) After Barbarossa all camp inmates were herded to hear Stalin's speech blasted through the loudspeaker. Fear and anxiety trembled behind the Georgian accents. "The Bastard's afraid" - said the general with tremendous satisfaction."Hitler is a gangster himself, that's why he hit it off so well with Stalin. And now he's ouitwitted him. Let Hitler be Lucifer hiself - if only he throws open the gates of hell the Russian people are locked in I'll go down on my knees to greet him."

Click the image to open in full size.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
In plain English, you don't get brave professional soldiers exclusively by terror; that is preposterous to the Nth degree; period.
No, not exclusively, though terror definitely played a very big part here.

The other part was (in my personal opinion) hate for the Germans and the intangible thing called love for your homeland and your own folks. This dies hard, even if one's had a bunch of thugs and murderers at the helm for 24 years,

Quote:
Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
Of course my argument also applies to the ethnic Russians fightoing under the SS; needless to say, the 800,000 figure seems ridiculously high; have you any hard evidence to back such categorical statement? (no source was mentioned by you, let say like some of us here; you simply took the number for granted)
I already quoted the source for my figures in the response to Emperor. I'll do it again, as you seem to have overlooked it:

B.Musial in "Stalins Beutzug" 2012 (I don't know if it's available in English, I read the book in Polish translation)

R.D.Muller "An der Seite der Wermacht", p.146-152

Both authors are reputable German historians. Musial is the guy who spotted that some photos in the "Wermacht crimes" exhibition were incorrectly attributed.

Why do the figures seem "absurd" to you? True, Soviet historiography hid the extent of local collaboration with the Germans, but why should the rest of the world abide by Soviet historiography?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
Back to the OP; the III Reich & co, definitively had a chance against the Soviet Union in 1941 & 1942.
Definitely, if the Third Reich had had the sense to treat the Soviet people as human beings. It would have made such a nice change fror them success would have been assured.

Last edited by antonina; July 21st, 2012 at 10:15 AM.
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