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  #46  
Old 18 Feb 12, 06:59
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Originally Posted by Mil_dude View Post
Just do a littel study on the nature of Soviet Communism and the Bolshevik party to understand what it really stood for. It was much closer to a criminal organization than a traditional government and had a long history of violence and the use of deception to advance its interests. Stalin himself used a sucession of alliances with powerful party members like Zinoviev and Kamenev to remove rivals like Trotsky. He was doing the same thing in playing the Germans off against the western powers.
I see from the opening lines of your post that you have made up your mind regarding Stalin and the allegations laid out by Suvorov. Yes, the Bolsheviks were basically a criminal gang and Stalin a cunning political operator.

Quote:
Why would a country like the Soviet Union even support fascist Germany which should have been its clearest enemy if not to take advantage of the results. Without the aid of the Soviet Union the German armed forces wouldn't have even been in a position to rearm to the degree they did in the 1930s. Much of the baseline research and personnel training had been done in places like Kazan from the mid 1920s to the early 1930s. After the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the soviets and Germans became defacto allies and massive amounts of oil, foodstuffs, rubber from the far east, strategic metals and more began flowing into Germany. It's in part what allowed the Germans to sucessfully invade to the west.
Working backwards: In the 1920s, the USSR and Germany were both pariah nations. Military technical cooperation was useful for both, primarily as the USSR wished to place less reliance on officers from the former Tsarist army (who may have been politcally suspect) while Weimar Germany got to play with toys it wasn't allowed (tanks primarily). Shuffling forward a few years and both nations are in the grip of military rearmament and reorganisation. Stalin recognised that the West (France and Britain) while making much noise over containing Nazi Germany, weren't actually doing anything. Judging by the rhetoric coming out of Hitler, the USSR was his enemy #1. So Stalin bought his nation some time by opting for Plan B - the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. It repartitioned Poland, a nation that was annoying to both Hitler and Stalin, allowed Stalin a chance to collect back those territories that were formerly part of the Tsarist Empire, and shifted the focus of Hitler's aggression West, onto other Capitalist countries. France and the UK were supposed to be capable of stopping Nazi Germany, as in 1914. That they didn't came as a great surprise, in more than just Moscow or Paris.

Quote:
Stalin wasn't doing this because he had a kind heart, the guy idolized Ivan The Terrible and Ghengis Khan for instance, he was doing it to weaken or destroy nations he wanted to eventually take over. This isn't conspiracy theory, it was a basic precept of international communism at the time.
Definitely - he wanted France and Germany to slug it out for several years, then he'd send the Red Army forward to pick over the bones. BTW, what is wrong with Ivan the Terrible? He eliminated the Tatar threat to the East, expanded the borders of Muscovy and was a pious man.

Quote:
We saw how thouroughly western governments and intelligence agencies had been penetrated by the Soviets long before the Cold War started and how determined Stalin was to expand communism in supporting war in China, Korea and later leaders in SE Asia, Central America, Africa and the Middle East.
Apart from failing to appreciate the Millennial splendour of Communism (it really is more a religion than a political theory), your point?

Quote:
All indications are the Soviets were coming at some point, and the massive build up of the Red Army on the frontier with Germany indicate it was most likely in 1941. It doesn't make what Hitler did right, it's just means both leaders were cut from the same kind of cloth.
Not in 1941 it wasn't. That's just accepting the statements of Suvorov and the justifications of the Nazis. The Red Army was in the middle of a considerable rearmament and reorganisation phase. New kit, such as the T-34 and KV-1 were being trialled. Mass production was planned and the proving phase of development was in progress. These weapons were to be replacements for the fragile kit dominating the Red Army's tank park of 1941. Part of the reason that there were so many troops near the borders was that in many places, the borders had moved! Certainly, what was eastern Poland was no more and this area had to be integrated into the USSR, as had Bessarabia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. But the biggest indicator that Stalin was not planning an invasion is his directives to not provoke the Germans, even in the event of border transgressions, such as fly-overs by the Luftwaffe. At no stage did the LW report massings of troops indicative of invasion armies. And the LW had plenty of opportunity to spot that sort of thing, considering the number of recon flights they carried out prior to Barbarossa.
  #47  
Old 18 Feb 12, 09:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
I see from the opening lines of your post that you have made up your mind regarding Stalin and the allegations laid out by Suvorov.
That is the logical conclusion.

Quote:
Not in 1941 it wasn't... The Red Army was in the middle of a considerable rearmament and reorganisation phase. New kit, such as the T-34 and KV-1 were being trialled. Mass production was planned and the proving phase of development was in progress. These weapons were to be replacements for the fragile kit dominating the Red Army's tank park of 1941....
Ignoring, for the moment, the complete lack of any documents supporting Suvorov's assertions, the alarming state of the Soviet arsenal is the most compelling argument against his thesis.

In 1936 the Red Army (which includes the air force) was the largest and arguably the most progressive military force in the world. Under Tukhachevsky, the Soviets military had begun to experiment with airborne and air-landed forces, with mechanized divisions combining motorized infantry and tank forces, with chemical weapons, had developed a strategic bombing capability, and possessed some of the most modern weaponry in the world.

By 1939, after Tukhachevsky and other progressive military leaders had been purged, these new concepts had fallen out of favour and the Red Army's 'operational art' had devolved to more conventional set-piece battles where infantry (with artillery) carried the brunt of offensive actions, with tanks seen primarily as a support weapon for footsoldiers. Similarly, the strategic bombing force and airborne units had been reduced to nominal status, with no new equipment or tactical development.

As noted, the 1939 adventure with the Finns had revealed many of the shortcomings of the Red Army: with tactics, the command structure, communications, training and above all, with equipment. Instructions were given at the end of 1939 to develop a whole new generation of weapons, which included T-40, T-50, T-34 and KV tanks as well as Yak, LaGG and MiG fighters, Su-2 and Il-2 ground-attack aircraft, Pe-2 light bombers and Pe-8, Yer-2 and Il-4 heavy bombers.

None of these had entered service in significant numbers by the time of the German attack. Apart from the Il-4, which was developed directly from the prewar DB-3F, all of these designs were brand new and fraught with problems stemming from the new technology used in their construction.

Stalin was many things, but he was not a fool. He was consistently very deliberate in his planning and careful not to act recklessly. In 1941 the Red Army arsenal was woefully incomplete, with most units significantly understrength and still awaiting the introduction of the new generation of weaponry. Given Stalin's history of deliberate calculation, it is beyond credible that he would contemplate an invasion of Nazi Germany, which clearly possessed the most formidable military force in the world at that time. If he had such intentions, and it remains a big if, it would not be possible to do so with a reequipped Red Army before 1943. However, that is not Suvorov's thesis.

Suvorov maintains that Hitler stole a march and attacked the USSR on the brink of a Soviet invasion of Germany. That makes no sense to me, to your professor, or to anyone (with an open mind) who has even a passing familiarity with the details of the Red Army. The fact that so many knowledgeable people reject Suvorov's hypothesis should tell you something. The only people who support it are right-wing reactionaries with an axe to grind, which pretty much describes Suvorov, too.

Regards
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  #48  
Old 18 Feb 12, 17:24
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Originally Posted by BF69 View Post
Your posts seem to be a determined effort to prove my observations (below) correct. They seem to lean awfully heavily on 'Stalin was nasty therefore he must have been up to no good', and 'anything that disagrees with my view is the result of a communist coverup/disinformation'. Got facts to back this up, or just 'this happened therefore it can only mean what I believe it to mean'.
The whole point of the Soviet Union was to spread Communism worldwide, the big break-up between Trotsky and Stalin was over the timing. Trotsky wanted to begin right away by attacking the west and Stalin wanted to build up the Soviet military and industrial base.

When exactly do you think they were coming?

The Soviet Union was a slave state that couldn't peacefull co-exist with the free nations on its border to the west as Suvorov rightly points out.


Quote:
While you're at it, do you have some backup for the bit I've bolded. How exactly did the Volga fleet get to Romania? Assuming they could, why use them rather than something closer? What was this 'river' fleet composed of? The only naval battle I can find in or around Romania in 1941 involved a Russian formation including a cruiser & some destroyers and took place in the Black Sea near Constanta (which was bombarded). Not a Naval expert, but I'm guessing that cruisers & destroyers are more likely to be part of sea-going fleet (perhaps the Black Sea Fleet in this case) than a riverine flotilla. Oh, one Russian destroyer was sunk.
Through the canal to the Don and down the Don to the Black Sea then up the Danube one would presume. I'm not sure of the make-up, the original flotilla was around 60 vessels if I remember right.

There's not a lot out there, but here's a bit:

http://www.avalanchepress.com/RomanianFlotilla.php


Quote:
The Danube Division did not live up to its potential during the war; the monitors skirmished with the Soviet Danube Flotilla in the war’s opening days but did not directly challenge their enemies, as the rapid advance on land assured that the Soviets would have to withdraw soon regardless of Romanian actions on the river.
The boats were probably more along the line of river monitors with shallow draft and a few large guns in turrets, I think 152mm for the largest Soviet monitors, but some my have been equipped with larger motars.
  #49  
Old 18 Feb 12, 17:49
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Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
I see from the opening lines of your post that you have made up your mind regarding Stalin and the allegations laid out by Suvorov. Yes, the Bolsheviks were basically a criminal gang and Stalin a cunning political operator.
My mind about Stalin was made up long before I read Suvorov. A number of my family are refugees from nations like South Korea and Hungary who were made refugees by soviet Communism and I've studied Russian and Eastern History in college.

Quote:
Working backwards: In the 1920s, the USSR and Germany were both pariah nations. Military technical cooperation was useful for both, primarily as the USSR wished to place less reliance on officers from the former Tsarist army (who may have been politcally suspect) while Weimar Germany got to play with toys it wasn't allowed (tanks primarily). Shuffling forward a few years and both nations are in the grip of military rearmament and reorganisation. Stalin recognised that the West (France and Britain) while making much noise over containing Nazi Germany, weren't actually doing anything. Judging by the rhetoric coming out of Hitler, the USSR was his enemy #1. So Stalin bought his nation some time by opting for Plan B - the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. It repartitioned Poland, a nation that was annoying to both Hitler and Stalin, allowed Stalin a chance to collect back those territories that were formerly part of the Tsarist Empire, and shifted the focus of Hitler's aggression West, onto other Capitalist countries. France and the UK were supposed to be capable of stopping Nazi Germany, as in 1914. That they didn't came as a great surprise, in more than just Moscow or Paris.
I disagree with you, Stalin wasn't buying time for his state, he was building the means to drastically expand it. Were talking about a nation with 20,000 tanks and aircraft both and while some were getting a bit long in the tooth, who had a armored force like it anywhere else in the world. The Germans were relying on tanks that barely qualified as medium in the "heaviest" version. And I find it hard to accept they weren't in mostly servicable condition given what happened to anybody who didn't live up to Stalins highest expectation in the nation. The incompetent and poorly equipped Red Army in 1941 is a myth. Just look at the amount of trained paratroopers they had.

And the moment Stalin realized the French and the British were going to finally stand up to Hitler and declare war over the invasion of Poland he signed the Molotov-ribbentrop Pact which more accurately should have been named the Stalin-Hitler Pact. I doubt Hitler would have risked war on two fronts by attacking Poland without knowing what Stalin would do.

Quote:
Definitely - he wanted France and Germany to slug it out for several years, then he'd send the Red Army forward to pick over the bones. BTW, what is wrong with Ivan the Terrible? He eliminated the Tatar threat to the East, expanded the borders of Muscovy and was a pious man.
There's nothing "wrong" with Ivan the Terrible...or Ivan the Awesome or Fearsome as he was known in Russia, it's just his style of rule isn't compatible with more modern enlightened governance. His Oprichniki could be a little on the ruthless side.

Quote:
Apart from failing to appreciate the Millennial splendour of Communism (it really is more a religion than a political theory), your point?
My point is Soviet style communism isn't really communism. As practiced by Stalin it's much closer to old style imperialism(kill em all and let god sort em out) making it fully incompatible with free market democratic style societies.


Quote:
Not in 1941 it wasn't. That's just accepting the statements of Suvorov and the justifications of the Nazis. The Red Army was in the middle of a considerable rearmament and reorganisation phase. New kit, such as the T-34 and KV-1 were being trialled. Mass production was planned and the proving phase of development was in progress. These weapons were to be replacements for the fragile kit dominating the Red Army's tank park of 1941. Part of the reason that there were so many troops near the borders was that in many places, the borders had moved! Certainly, what was eastern Poland was no more and this area had to be integrated into the USSR, as had Bessarabia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. But the biggest indicator that Stalin was not planning an invasion is his directives to not provoke the Germans, even in the event of border transgressions, such as fly-overs by the Luftwaffe. At no stage did the LW report massings of troops indicative of invasion armies. And the LW had plenty of opportunity to spot that sort of thing, considering the number of recon flights they carried out prior to Barbarossa.
Fragile kit?

Compared to what, the massive tanks the Germans had. There were still Pz.Is in the German arsenal and the heaviest "medium" tank barely topped 20 tons and had an anemic short barreled 75mm cannon only really suited to infantry support. Many of the tanks were seized Czech models that while not bad were hardly world beaters.

Even a T-26 is going to be effective if the other guy doesn't have anything, and even Soviet Infantry divisions had organic tank units.

The ostensible reason the large Soviet Forces were near the border was the Soviet Spring exercises which just somehow seemd to extend into summer. According to Suvorov this was the mask stalin was using to prepare the invasion. Once again given the nature of the man and the party he represented it's entirely in line with how they operated. It's how they took over the entire Social Democratic party from the Mensheviks and how they eventually took over the nation. They used armed force to keep the elected Constituent Assembly from sitting in Dec-Jan 1917-18 and eventually imposed a terror state to control an unwilling population.

Violence was an integral part of Soviet Style government and Stalin had no inhibitions both on a personal basis and a national to use it to meet his plans.

Last edited by Mil_dude; 18 Feb 12 at 18:58..
  #50  
Old 18 Feb 12, 19:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BF69
Your posts seem to be a determined effort to prove my observations (below) correct. They seem to lean awfully heavily on 'Stalin was nasty therefore he must have been up to no good', and 'anything that disagrees with my view is the result of a communist coverup/disinformation'. Got facts to back this up, or just 'this happened therefore it can only mean what I believe it to mean'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mil_dude View Post
The whole point of the Soviet Union was to spread Communism worldwide, the big break-up between Trotsky and Stalin was over the timing. Trotsky wanted to begin right away by attacking the west and Stalin wanted to build up the Soviet military and industrial base.

When exactly do you think they were coming?

The Soviet Union was a slave state that couldn't peacefull co-exist with the free nations on its border to the west as Suvorov rightly points out.
A simple 'no' would have sufficed.

Quote:
Through the canal to the Don and down the Don to the Black Sea then up the Danube one would presume. I'm not sure of the make-up, the original flotilla was around 60 vessels if I remember right.
That would have been a neat trick. I suspect that if Stalin could send stuff back through time it would have been jet aircraft & AK47s. Perhaps a stray nuke.

Quote:
The actual construction of today's Volga–Don Canal, designed by Sergey Zhuk's Hydroproject Institute, began prior to the Eastern Front campaign of 1941–1945, which would interrupt the process. From 1948 to 1952, construction was completed; navigation was opened June 1, 1952.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volga%E2%80%93Don_Canal

Quote:
There's not a lot out there
Which makes it a very poor basis for the sort of assertions you made.

Here is something more detailed:

Quote:
On June 17, 1940, in connection with the annexation of Moldavia by the USSR, the Danube Naval Flotilla was created with its main base at Izmail; it included five monitors, 22 armored cutters, 30 minesweeping cutters, seven patrol boats, and other vessels. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War (1941-45) the Danube Naval Flotilla, acting with troops of the Southern Front, repulsed attempts by Rumanian troops to effect a crossing of the Danube. When the Soviet Army retreated, the flotilla transferred its base to Odessa in July, then to Nikolaev and Kherson, where it ensured the crossing of the Iuzhnyi Bug and Dnieper rivers; in September 1941 the flotilla broke through to escape to Sevastopol’, and in October it sailed to Kerch’. On Nov. 21, 1941, it was disbanded. Prior to Sept. 16, 1941, it had been commanded by Rear Admiral N. O. Abramov, and subsequently, by Rear Admiral A. S. Frolov.
...and as for this:

Quote:
It was lost when the German advance cut off it's retreat.
...well, sort of. It seems that much of the flotilla was lost on the Dneiper where it was engaged in defensive battles against the advancing Germans. Some made it all the way back to Kerch.

Russia had flotillas on most of its major river systems, whether close to borders or distant (the Volga, for instance). Shifting a flotilla to the Danube is hardly proof of aggressive intent. The Romanians already had a flotilla of their own - presumably for defence. Again, do you have anything more than 'Stalin was evil and wanted to expand communism' to back up your assertions about the Danube flotilla? It could just as easily have been there to do what it actually did - defend the new border.

So far all you have offered us is questionable factual assertions & the insistence that because Communism is bad and Stalin was evil therefore he must have been planning an invasion in June 1941. Others here have come with facts and details of what the USSR was doing & why, you are just repeating statements about how nasty the communists were & how big their army was. Got anything more?

Last edited by BF69; 19 Feb 12 at 02:51..
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  #51  
Old 19 Feb 12, 01:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mil_dude View Post
My mind about Stalin was made up long before I read Suvorov. A number of my family are refugees from nations like South Korea and Hungary who were made refugees by soviet Communism and I've studied Russian and Eastern History in college.
Likewise, I've studied Russian history at university. Prior to this, I read histories for fun.

Quote:
I disagree with you, Stalin wasn't buying time for his state, he was building the means to drastically expand it. Were talking about a nation with 20,000 tanks and aircraft both and while some were getting a bit long in the tooth, who had a armored force like it anywhere else in the world. The Germans were relying on tanks that barely qualified as medium in the "heaviest" version. And I find it hard to accept they weren't in mostly servicable condition given what happened to anybody who didn't live up to Stalins highest expectation in the nation. The incompetent and poorly equipped Red Army in 1941 is a myth. Just look at the amount of trained paratroopers they had.

And the moment Stalin realized the French and the British were going to finally stand up to Hitler and declare war over the invasion of Poland he signed the Molotov-ribbentrop Pact which more accurately should have been named the Stalin-Hitler Pact. I doubt Hitler would have risked war on two fronts by attacking Poland without knowing what Stalin would do.
Those 20,000 tanks were almost exclusively armoured with 1/2" plate. While the gun on the T-26 (model 1934) and BT-5 & BT-7 was the excellent 45mm, the T-26 was not the most reliable tank, and the BT series were really just recon vehicles, albeit fast. The Red Army threw nothing away. Some of that tank park was vehicles from 1918. Emphasis had been on production, not spares. They were also produced in reaction to the inflated estimates the Red Army bureaucrats made of both German and Japanese production. And yes, they were in poor condition. Stalin was obsessed with production, not maintenance. Stalin's regime was quite warped in its fixations. And those trained paratroopers lack transports to jump from. Some units even lacked parachutes.

And while the French and British declared war on Germany, they didn't do a great deal. The French did a little recon in force and that was it. The British dropped bomphlets. And while Stalin's motives for invading Poland weren't honourable, at least his regime killed far less than 6 million Polish citizens.

Quote:
There's nothing "wrong" with Ivan the Terrible...or Ivan the Awesome or Fearsome as he was known in Russia, it's just his style of rule isn't compatible with more modern enlightened governance. His Oprichniki could be a little on the ruthless side.
Name any 16th C government which didn't use coercion to control the population. They were all ruthless to varying degrees. Henry VIII and Mary I of England make excellent comparisons with Ivan IV.

Quote:
My point is Soviet style communism isn't really communism. As practiced by Stalin it's much closer to old style imperialism(kill em all and let god sort em out) making it fully incompatible with free market democratic style societies.
You've overlooked the point: communism is not democracy, it is the dictatorship of the proletariat. And no country has a fully free market: the US has laws to prevent child labour, as a for instance.

Quote:
Fragile kit?

Compared to what, the massive tanks the Germans had. There were still Pz.Is in the German arsenal and the heaviest "medium" tank barely topped 20 tons and had an anemic short barreled 75mm cannon only really suited to infantry support. Many of the tanks were seized Czech models that while not bad were hardly world beaters.

Even a T-26 is going to be effective if the other guy doesn't have anything, and even Soviet Infantry divisions had organic tank units.
A Pz I is pretty useful too, if the opposition only has rifles. And yes, the vast majority of the Red Army's tanks were fragile. Look at the specs for the T-26, BT series, T-37/38/40, T-28. Only the latter has halfway to reasonable armour.

Quote:
The ostensible reason the large Soviet Forces were near the border was the Soviet Spring exercises which just somehow seemd to extend into summer. According to Suvorov this was the mask stalin was using to prepare the invasion. Once again given the nature of the man and the party he represented it's entirely in line with how they operated. It's how they took over the entire Social Democratic party from the Mensheviks and how they eventually took over the nation. They used armed force to keep the elected Constituent Assembly from sitting in Dec-Jan 1917-18 and eventually imposed a terror state to control an unwilling population.

Violence was an integral part of Soviet Style government and Stalin had no inhibitions both on a personal basis and a national to use it to meet his plans.
Most of the above is correct, except for Suvorov's assertions. If Stalin had been preparing to invade, he would have given instructions to mask the massing of formations. Industrial production of artillery shells would have been scaled up with concomitant huge stock piles. Leave would have been cancelled. Border security would have been significantly higher, especially the air border. Basic plans for an invasion would have been developed. Objectives would have been set. That the army was reorganising its armoured units and acquiring replacement kit (T-34, KV-1, T-50) and full scale production was planned for 1942 implies either the planners were completely reckless or Stalin wanted to go off half-cocked. But the interesting thing is that no RA general had said "if only we'd had x more weeks, we could have struck them."
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Old 19 Feb 12, 05:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Fraser View Post
That is the logical conclusion.



Ignoring, for the moment, the complete lack of any documents supporting Suvorov's assertions, the alarming state of the Soviet arsenal is the most compelling argument against his thesis.

In 1936 the Red Army (which includes the air force) was the largest and arguably the most progressive military force in the world. Under Tukhachevsky, the Soviets military had begun to experiment with airborne and air-landed forces, with mechanized divisions combining motorized infantry and tank forces, with chemical weapons, had developed a strategic bombing capability, and possessed some of the most modern weaponry in the world.

By 1939, after Tukhachevsky and other progressive military leaders had been purged, these new concepts had fallen out of favour and the Red Army's 'operational art' had devolved to more conventional set-piece battles where infantry (with artillery) carried the brunt of offensive actions, with tanks seen primarily as a support weapon for footsoldiers. Similarly, the strategic bombing force and airborne units had been reduced to nominal status, with no new equipment or tactical development.

As noted, the 1939 adventure with the Finns had revealed many of the shortcomings of the Red Army: with tactics, the command structure, communications, training and above all, with equipment. Instructions were given at the end of 1939 to develop a whole new generation of weapons, which included T-40, T-50, T-34 and KV tanks as well as Yak, LaGG and MiG fighters, Su-2 and Il-2 ground-attack aircraft, Pe-2 light bombers and Pe-8, Yer-2 and Il-4 heavy bombers.

None of these had entered service in significant numbers by the time of the German attack. Apart from the Il-4, which was developed directly from the prewar DB-3F, all of these designs were brand new and fraught with problems stemming from the new technology used in their construction.

Stalin was many things, but he was not a fool. He was consistently very deliberate in his planning and careful not to act recklessly. In 1941 the Red Army arsenal was woefully incomplete, with most units significantly understrength and still awaiting the introduction of the new generation of weaponry. Given Stalin's history of deliberate calculation, it is beyond credible that he would contemplate an invasion of Nazi Germany, which clearly possessed the most formidable military force in the world at that time. If he had such intentions, and it remains a big if, it would not be possible to do so with a reequipped Red Army before 1943. However, that is not Suvorov's thesis.

Suvorov maintains that Hitler stole a march and attacked the USSR on the brink of a Soviet invasion of Germany. That makes no sense to me, to your professor, or to anyone (with an open mind) who has even a passing familiarity with the details of the Red Army. The fact that so many knowledgeable people reject Suvorov's hypothesis should tell you something. The only people who support it are right-wing reactionaries with an axe to grind, which pretty much describes Suvorov, too.

Regards
Scott Fraser
The last sentence is,as to be expected,wrong:there is a well known right-wing reactionary (are there also left wing reactionaries?) who never believed the Suvorov story :Hitler,he never believed that Stalin would attack him in 1941.
The only people who believed and still are believing the Suvorov story,are ignoramus,people who have no knowledge of military things .
I also don't believe that Suvorov is a right wing reactionary :he was a turncoat from the east,and had to make a living in the west,thus,he was fabricating a story about an imminent Soviet attack in june 1941.A book about Stalin not planning an attack in june 1941 would not sell.
Of course,it is possible that the result is that he was believing his own inventions (baron von Münchhausen also believed his stories)
  #53  
Old 19 Feb 12, 20:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mil_dude View Post

When exactly do you think they were coming?
Mil_dude, it's best to drop the whole Suvorov thing.

It's really old hat ... the famous conservative German historian Andreas Hilgruber had to retract his belief in the preventative Barbarossa back in the 1950s after debates with Gerhard Weinberg, who dismissed such people as believers in 'fairy tales'.

The orthodox historical position can be represented by the Cambridge History of Russia (p221):

In the mid-1930s the abstract threat of war gave way to real threats from Germany and Japan. Soviet war preparations took the form of accelerated war production and ambitious mobilisation planning. The true extent of militarisation is still debated, and some historians have raised the question of whether Soviet war plans were ultimately designed to counter aggression or to wage aggressive war against the enemy. It is now clear from the archives that Stalin's generals sometimes entertained the idea of a pre-emptive strike, and attack as the best means of defence was the official military doctrine of the time; Stalin himself, however was trying to head off Hitler's colonial ambitions and had no plans to conquer Europe.
  #54  
Old 19 Feb 12, 23:06
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I am entering into this one on strictly technical terms.
Just wanted to make that clear ahead of time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
Those 20,000 tanks were almost exclusively armoured with 1/2" plate.
Yes, and that was not by accident or because the USSR could not cast thicker armor. It was because of the Russian predilection for "Cavalry" type tanks. Dashes rather than slugging matches were envisioned for the armored formations, so they sacrificed armor for speed.
Heavy tanks were also made for the "breakthrough" role, but few could be made to work properly and relatively few were made because it was a specialized role.
Once technology permitted, the T-34 was introduced, a do-it-all tank that actually fit the bill, for once.

20,000 tanks in 1941 is more than what the rest of the world had, combined. You don't have that many unless you want to 'flood the market', as they say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
And while the French and British declared war on Germany, they didn't do a great deal. The French did a little recon in force and that was it. The British dropped bomphlets.
I have already tried to argue that one.
The excuses that people come up with to justify throwing away one of the golden opportunities in all history is mind-boggling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
A Pz I is pretty useful too, if the opposition only has rifles.
Which is a remarkably frequent occurrence in WW2.
And look at it another way; two men can move and shoot a pair of MGs on the line without fear of beig shot or hurt by shell-splinters. As an adjunct to Infantry, the Mk I works just fine, as wargames I have played proved out.
It, and the Russian light tanks, only get into trouble when you use them as fighting tanks rather than support weapons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
Most of the above is correct, except for Suvorov's assertions. If Stalin had been preparing to invade, he would have given instructions to mask the massing of formations. Industrial production of artillery shells would have been scaled up with concomitant huge stock piles. Leave would have been cancelled. Border security would have been significantly higher, especially the air border. Basic plans for an invasion would have been developed. Objectives would have been set. That the army was reorganising its armoured units and acquiring replacement kit (T-34, KV-1, T-50) and full scale production was planned for 1942 implies either the planners were completely reckless or Stalin wanted to go off half-cocked. But the interesting thing is that no RA general had said "if only we'd had x more weeks, we could have struck them."
As for all this, remember that Suvarov is/was Russian, his tendency is to root for the home team when it comes to the historical perspective. (he turned on the political side of the USSR in the aftermath of the suppression of the Prague Spring, in what I have read he never stopped saying that the Red Army way of doing things was the right way) He thinks it could have been done, and therefore it should have been done.
And looking at the TO&Es involved, the firepower and the material involved, I'd be tempted to say the same thing.

If I had to bet my life on the outcome, I would be much more likely to say that, with the element of surprise, it would be more likely for the Red Army to reach Berlin than the Wehrmacht to reach Moscow by the end of 1941.
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  #55  
Old 20 Feb 12, 00:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exorcist View Post

If I had to bet my life on the outcome, I would be much more likely to say that, with the element of surprise, it would be more likely for the Red Army to reach Berlin than the Wehrmacht to reach Moscow by the end of 1941.
I think a Russian attack would more likely have been a replay of Tannenburg in WW I, Exorcist ... a debacle!
  #56  
Old 20 Feb 12, 02:03
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Logic.
May 1940. Stalin did not attack Germany. Stalin did not want to attack Germany.
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  #57  
Old 20 Feb 12, 02:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exorcist View Post
I am entering into this one on strictly technical terms.
Just wanted to make that clear ahead of time.



Yes, and that was not by accident or because the USSR could not cast thicker armor. It was because of the Russian predilection for "Cavalry" type tanks. Dashes rather than slugging matches were envisioned for the armored formations, so they sacrificed armor for speed.
Heavy tanks were also made for the "breakthrough" role, but few could be made to work properly and relatively few were made because it was a specialized role.
Once technology permitted, the T-34 was introduced, a do-it-all tank that actually fit the bill, for once.

20,000 tanks in 1941 is more than what the rest of the world had, combined. You don't have that many unless you want to 'flood the market', as they say.
They had the technology, in the form of the Mariupol Battleship Factory (I'm working from memory on this one). However, two basic designs, the T-26 and the BT series, just couldn't take the weight. The T-26 was derived from the Vickers 6 ton tank and the Soviets never paid too much attention to improving the basic mechanicals - engine, transmission - to allow it to carry extra weight. (Mind you, just about everyone's designs from that period, the early - mid 30s featured thin armour.) By about 1938-9, the Soviets were seeing the need for a more heavily protected vehicle - enter the T-100 and the SMK, but they were limited by both the multi-turret concept and Soviet gearbox/clutch tech. They'd actually got a decent engine in the V-2 diesel, even if the peripherals to it were a little agricultural. The Red Army was one of the few that built with an eye to what AT they'd be up against.

Quote:
I have already tried to argue that one.
The excuses that people come up with to justify throwing away one of the golden opportunities in all history is mind-boggling.
I too am staggered by the complete lack gumption displayed. I mean, the British had to take care with bombing military targets because they might damage private property.

Quote:
Which is a remarkably frequent occurrence in WW2.
And look at it another way; two men can move and shoot a pair of MGs on the line without fear of beig shot or hurt by shell-splinters. As an adjunct to Infantry, the Mk I works just fine, as wargames I have played proved out.
It, and the Russian light tanks, only get into trouble when you use them as fighting tanks rather than support weapons.
And that happened with distressing frequency too, especially when the Red Army only had scout tanks to throw forward to slow the Panzer Divisions. They might just as well have thrown water bombs.

Quote:
As for all this, remember that Suvarov is/was Russian, his tendency is to root for the home team when it comes to the historical perspective. (he turned on the political side of the USSR in the aftermath of the suppression of the Prague Spring, in what I have read he never stopped saying that the Red Army way of doing things was the right way) He thinks it could have been done, and therefore it should have been done.
And looking at the TO&Es involved, the firepower and the material involved, I'd be tempted to say the same thing.

If I had to bet my life on the outcome, I would be much more likely to say that, with the element of surprise, it would be more likely for the Red Army to reach Berlin than the Wehrmacht to reach Moscow by the end of 1941.
I think you've hit the nail on the head with regard to Suvorov's conjectures - it should have been done, so let's insist that they were going to do it, never mind the facts. If they went with the new stuff, yep. If they went with the stuff that was meant to be replaced, I doubt they'd have made it to Warsaw. The BTs were reliable, but he T-26 was a bit dodgy, the T-28 was okay, but the T-35 wasn't guaranteed to cross a puddle without breaking down. And the aircraft weren't much better. A real mixed bag there.

Last edited by broderickwells; 20 Feb 12 at 02:48..
  #58  
Old 20 Feb 12, 02:53
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Feel free to throw your 2c worth in. Don't be frightened to have an opinion. Exo & I will only lightly maul you
  #59  
Old 20 Feb 12, 13:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clackers View Post
The orthodox historical position can be represented by the Cambridge History of Russia (p221):

In the mid-1930s the abstract threat of war gave way to real threats from Germany and Japan. Soviet war preparations took the form of accelerated war production and ambitious mobilisation planning. The true extent of militarisation is still debated, and some historians have raised the question of whether Soviet war plans were ultimately designed to counter aggression or to wage aggressive war against the enemy. It is now clear from the archives that Stalin's generals sometimes entertained the idea of a pre-emptive strike, and attack as the best means of defence was the official military doctrine of the time; Stalin himself, however was trying to head off Hitler's colonial ambitions and had no plans to conquer Europe.
How exactly can the author(s) be so certain he had no plans? Shouldn't they have shown more caution by saying "based on the evidence we have he had no plans to conquer Europe"?
  #60  
Old 20 Feb 12, 14:21
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2 points
1)If Stalin was planning to invade Europe,why did he do nothing in may/june 1940,when the WM was busy in France,and there was no one to stop him on the eastern border?
2)I have seen that the 20000 Soviet tanks have become something mythical.The fact is ....
a)only between 10000 and 14000 of them were in the western military districts
b) less than 50 % of these were operational
c) only few of these 50 % could be supplied :there were no trucks enough to transport fuel,ammunition,repair things for althese 50 %
d)without motorized, infantry/artillery,even 20000 tanks are no more than a lot of scrap iron,and,as there was no motorized infantry/artillery,the whole thing of the 20000 tanks is totally irrelevant .
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