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  #106  
Old 22 Feb 12, 18:44
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Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
ShAA, call me geographically challenged if you like, is this KaUR region towards Kronstadt?
Well, it's slightly to the northeast of Kronstadt.



Quote:
I can't get your link to work!
Strange, it works well on my computer. Do you have Javascript disabled in your browser? Turn it on and you'll see a window with a Google map where you can click on individual markers to see pictures of bunkers in these areas.

Quote:
the regions mentioned in the Leningrad area are: Kingisepp, Pskov
They sort of were in the Leningrad province but they were separate fortified regions Kingissepp and Pskov are 100-150 km away from the city while KaUR is only 30-40 km away, right next to the old Finnish border.

Quote:
and Polotsk.
Wonder how it ended up there? It's in Belarus.

Last edited by ShAA; 22 Feb 12 at 19:02..
  #107  
Old 22 Feb 12, 18:55
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Originally Posted by Inspector71 View Post
I was wondering if anyone had read this book? ... The cheapest copy I have found is around $97 bucks. and a new one is going for $750 dollars! Before I could lay out $100 dollars, I'd have to know if anyone has read it and is it worth the cost. Thanks in advance.
If you are still looking for it, send me a pm. I have a copy you can have for free - and in English.
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  #108  
Old 22 Feb 12, 21:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
I've been a bit of a tank nut for several years, so please bear with me. The early versions of the T-28 (models 1932,1933 & 1935) had max 30mm armour. The KT-28 76.2mm gun was 16.5 calibres and the L-10 76.2mm was 26. Apart from the applique armour added to some of them, they were comparable to early Pz-IV. However, it was a bit of a dog. The KV-1 was available in reasonable numbers at the start of Barbarossa, as was the T-34 (combined, 900?). After the Axis invasion, production was ramped up, but it was like swimming in a riptide, hence the request/demand/plea for aid from the West. The Panzer divisions just had too much experience. The KV-2 was a serious bunker-buster but was just too heavy (the Reds recognised this and stopped production when the plant was moved to Siberia), couldn't fire on the move and suffered even more strain on the transmission than the KV-1. Great idea, rubbish delivery.
I still have a hard time believing that the Germans would have performed anywhere near as effectively in June 1941 if not for the Red Army being deployed in a very vulnerable position. While the Germans had experience, so did the Soviets in successful operations against the Japanese, Poles, Finns, Balts and Romanians. Even with a somewhat less experienced officer corps and ORs I find it difficult to see the soviets taking so many loses if they'd been deployed for defence. Zhukov wasn't a fool and neither were other Soviet Generals.

The German Panzer divisions were watered down to create more of them so they were actually weaker going into the East than France and Poland. The Germans also still relied on mostly light to barely medium tanks, well deployed units of T-34 equipped tankers should have made mincemeat of German formations, and just a few KVs likewise.

Quote:
The early BTs could run on their wheels, but the ground had to be good, or tarmac, otherwise things broke. I'll admit they fitted with Tukhachevsky's Deep Battle doctrine, but somebody had to have the lead in tank design in the 1930s. By chance it was the Red Army. As for obsolete bombers, the Red Air Force never had enough. And again - someone had to lead. Is being first with the technology or capability inherently aggressive?
The well developed road network of western Europe would have worked well fro the BT series tanks, especially the Autobahn system.

When you consider the nature of the Soviet system of government the fact it was building so many weapons of an offensive nature would indicate an aggressive intent. That and the fact the Soviet union was attacking and annexing its neighbours well before the German attack.

Quote:
While I understand and accept this, I am not the only commentator to lament the lost opportunities of the Phoney War, especially considering the numbers facing the French army and the aforementioned British bombing policy. Once more, with feeling
During the interwar years more thought was given to defence and much less to attack, in France and Britain it was politically unfashionable to be seen as too offensive minded as Churchill found out to his disadvantage for many years. I'm not convinced the western allies could have made much of an inroad in the German western frontier in 1939. And they didn't have just Germany to face, they also had the Soviet Union which had made common cause with Germany.

Quote:
I would never justify it. Explain it, place it within Stalinist-Marxist-Leninist political doctrine, point out the internal logic based on that doctrine, but never justify. Personally, I think Molotov's figures may be a little on the high side - the demographic data doesn't indicate a loss of 8,000,000 within a year. But given the state of Soviet statistics, all they had were estimates for several years.
It was rule by terror plain and simple and nothing to do with ideology, just the fact that the Bolsheviks were trying to impose their will on a nation that really didn't want them. And there were many examples of a clear contempt for human life and rights, the peasants were crushed during collectivization because of their continuing support for a free market for their products and many minorities in the USSR were singled out for oppression and transportation to the far east such as the Kalmyks, Tartars, Chechens, ethnic Germans, Poles and more. Millions of people were forced into slave labor under the Gulag system to fund much of the industrial expansion of the Soviet Union much of which went into military materials and very little into consumer products.

The closest comparison I can think of to the USSR in contempary culture is Mordor from Tolkiens books.

Quote:
Ivan would have approved of Oliver Cromwell's behaviour in Ireland. The Catholic Irish still hate Cromwell.
That doesn't say much for Ivan, along with the destruction Cromwell caused in Ireland he also sent thousands of Irish into slavery in the Caribbean, many African Americans claim Irish ancestory.

Quote:
Communism requires perfect people.
And I'm fully aware of the nature of the Bolshevik revolution, the February revolution and the interplay of the SR, Mensheviks and Bolsheviks - part of those varsity courses. The murder of Kirov is one of those things where the balance of probability indicates Stalin organised it, but there's not enough evidence to hang the man. He certainly profited from it. In fact, Stalin managed to paint himself as the great survivor.
There were so many smoking guns pointing in Stalins direction I think it's pretty plain from a historical standpoint that he was the architect of most of the misery occuring in the USSR after the decline and death of Lenin.

Like any ism, communisn is an ideal that can never be truly reached, but they didn't even really try in the USSR. It was a sham country used to hide a very unpleasant truth. The Bolsheviks were about power and revenge to a large degree, on Lenin's part for the death of his brother by execution by the state and what he felt was discrimination for being related to a revolutionary afterward and the rest had their grudges and psychological issues.

Quote:
The Ma Deuce could too. The Soviet 45mm was just a Rheinmetall 37mm bored to maximum calibre. The primary advantage is the HE shell packs a punch and not a slap. In a country full of rivers and shyte roads, those amphibious tanks make great sense. The Japanese also had amphibious tanks...
Put in perspective, the Red Army had almost as many amphibious tanks as the Germans had tanks of all models in 1941.

Quote:
Stalin took advantage of the fact that he could impose his will on the countries the Red Army liberated, just as the West was free to do as well. But then, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria and to an extent Poland had been fascist states and the first three had invaded the USSR. So imposing his will on them was to an extent payback. But he stayed true to his word in not supporting communist insurgencies in Italy, France or Greece. And the what later became the Warsaw Pact allies did form a protective glacis. And protection is something paranoids are keen on.
Who invaded who first?

Claims of Soviet retribution ignore the fact it was the Soviets acting in concert with the Nazis that started the whole ball rolling in 1939. The soviet Union was already an aggressor long before Barbarossa began in 1941.

Stalin was interested in one thing, unlimited power, he did everything he could to acheive it in the USSR and in my opinion and the opinion of many others was well on his way to doing the same thing on a much greater international scale when attacked by Hitler in 1941. The two tyrants spoiled each others plans.

Last edited by Mil_dude; 22 Feb 12 at 21:18..
  #109  
Old 22 Feb 12, 21:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShAA View Post
I'm surprised they mentioned the Vyborg fortified region at all -
Imagine my own surprise.
Here I am trying to uphold the honor of the Red Army and you & the rest are totally ignoring my efforts.

Serves me right... but I guess you guys can put it down to a Capitalist plot.
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  #110  
Old 23 Feb 12, 05:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exorcist View Post
Imagine my own surprise.
Here I am trying to uphold the honor of the Red Army and you & the rest are totally ignoring my efforts.

Serves me right... but I guess you guys can put it down to a Capitalist plot.
If we pay you enough, will you do it?
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  #111  
Old 23 Feb 12, 06:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
Stalin took advantage of the fact that he could impose his will on the countries the Red Army liberated, just as the West was free to do as well. But then, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria and to an extent Poland had been fascist states and the first three had invaded the USSR. So imposing his will on them was to an extent payback. But he stayed true to his word in not supporting communist insurgencies in Italy, France or Greece. And the what later became the Warsaw Pact allies did form a protective glacis. And protection is something paranoids are keen on.
Actually Romanians were deported from Basarabia and Bucovina to the Soviet Gulag, in cattle trains, from June 1940 to June 1941. Romania hadn't launched any attack on the USSR. Similar deportations took place in the Baltics around the same time. It wasn't payback, it was the expansion of communism.

As for what happened after 1944/1945, the communists sent millions of Romanians to prisons and forced labor camps, and deportations to the Gulag continued. Hundreds of thousands died. You could consider this payback, however these measures did not focus on fascists alone, they targeted all political elites, intellectuals of all political persuasions, wealthy peasants, students and so on.
  #112  
Old 23 Feb 12, 06:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mil_dude View Post
I still have a hard time believing that the Germans would have performed anywhere near as effectively in June 1941 if not for the Red Army being deployed in a very vulnerable position. While the Germans had experience, so did the Soviets in successful operations against the Japanese, Poles, Finns, Balts and Romanians. Even with a somewhat less experienced officer corps and ORs I find it difficult to see the soviets taking so many loses if they'd been deployed for defence. Zhukov wasn't a fool and neither were other Soviet Generals.
Quick run through - The RA v the Finns started off a disaster and improved. Against the Japanese, excellent admin work and overall effort. The Invasion of Poland indicated the kit was rubbish and needed replacement. The Poles faced even worse odds than they did against the Germans. Casualties on both sides were quite light (combined total max. 10,000). The "invasions of the Baltics and Romania were not military invasions so much as "gunboat diplomacy". They were all agreed in the R-M pact. As for Soviet troop dispositions - unfortunately the generals had to agree to the Politburo's directives regarding these. Zhukov, Timoshenko and Shaposhnikov weren't fools. Unfortunately for the RA, Voroshilov and Budyonny were.

Quote:
The German Panzer divisions were watered down to create more of them so they were actually weaker going into the East than France and Poland. The Germans also still relied on mostly light to barely medium tanks, well deployed units of T-34 equipped tankers should have made mincemeat of German formations, and just a few KVs likewise.
The problem the RA had was that, while the T-34 and KV-1 were deadly on the Panzers, the LW controlled the air making supply, recce and movement difficult. They were also not available in large groups. A lack of radios made coordination a bit hit or miss too.

Quote:
The well developed road network of western Europe would have worked well fro the BT series tanks, especially the Autobahn system.
Getting to it involved going through either Poland, Hungary, Romania or Slovakia. These guys are not renowned for their roads.

Quote:
When you consider the nature of the Soviet system of government the fact it was building so many weapons of an offensive nature would indicate an aggressive intent. That and the fact the Soviet union was attacking and annexing its neighbours well before the German attack.
Two attacks, four annexations. In the same period, Germany annexed four countries (one twice), and attacked eight. Germany was surrounded by enemies of their own creation. The USSR was surrounded by states inimical to the Soviet system of government, as well as a few distant and vocal opponents. The USSR was the only communist state and perceived itself very much under siege. During the October revolution/civil war, they had been invaded by several western countries, Japan and had the Baltics and a few other pieces of territory stripped off by German machinations.

Quote:
During the interwar years more thought was given to defence and much less to attack, in France and Britain it was politically unfashionable to be seen as too offensive minded as Churchill found out to his disadvantage for many years. I'm not convinced the western allies could have made much of an inroad in the German western frontier in 1939. And they didn't have just Germany to face, they also had the Soviet Union which had made common cause with Germany.
Soviet armies charging to the defence of the Third Reich? The R-M pact is a non-aggression treaty: a promise to remain neutral if either party is attacked by a third party. I know you hate the Bolsheviks, but I think you need to take a couple of deep breaths and re-check some of the assumptions you've made here.

Quote:
It was rule by terror plain and simple and nothing to do with ideology, just the fact that the Bolsheviks were trying to impose their will on a nation that really didn't want them. And there were many examples of a clear contempt for human life and rights, the peasants were crushed during collectivization because of their continuing support for a free market for their products and many minorities in the USSR were singled out for oppression and transportation to the far east such as the Kalmyks, Tartars, Chechens, ethnic Germans, Poles and more. Millions of people were forced into slave labor under the Gulag system to fund much of the industrial expansion of the Soviet Union much of which went into military materials and very little into consumer products.

The closest comparison I can think of to the USSR in contempary culture is Mordor from Tolkiens books.
The Kalmyks, Chechens, and Crimean Tatars (as opposed to the Volga Tatars) made the mistake of supporting the invading Germans. The ethnic Germans and the Poles were deported because of Stalin's paranoia. Whether the ethnic Germans would have welcomed the Nazi regime is a question I've not heard anyone give a definitive answer to.

Quote:
That doesn't say much for Ivan, along with the destruction Cromwell caused in Ireland he also sent thousands of Irish into slavery in the Caribbean, many African Americans claim Irish ancestory.
And the English think themselves civilised...

Quote:
There were so many smoking guns pointing in Stalins direction I think it's pretty plain from a historical standpoint that he was the architect of most of the misery occuring in the USSR after the decline and death of Lenin.

Like any ism, communisn is an ideal that can never be truly reached, but they didn't even really try in the USSR. It was a sham country used to hide a very unpleasant truth. The Bolsheviks were about power and revenge to a large degree, on Lenin's part for the death of his brother by execution by the state and what he felt was discrimination for being related to a revolutionary afterward and the rest had their grudges and psychological issues.
No arguments with that.

Quote:
Put in perspective, the Red Army had almost as many amphibious tanks as the Germans had tanks of all models in 1941.
Also in perspective, 80% were over 6 years old in 1941.

Quote:
Who invaded who first?

Claims of Soviet retribution ignore the fact it was the Soviets acting in concert with the Nazis that started the whole ball rolling in 1939. The soviet Union was already an aggressor long before Barbarossa began in 1941.

Stalin was interested in one thing, unlimited power, he did everything he could to acheive it in the USSR and in my opinion and the opinion of many others was well on his way to doing the same thing on a much greater international scale when attacked by Hitler in 1941. The two tyrants spoiled each others plans.
Who invaded whom first? Germany invaded the Rhineland, then Austria, then Czechoslovakia (twice) and finally Poland before war was declared. Here's a link to the agreed Soviet-German sphere's of influence according to the R-M pact. The interesting thing about the Soviet annexations were that the Germans supported them and to an extent moderated them Romania was to have lost more territory to the USSR than they did but Stalin complied with a German request to lessen his demands. Also, all the territory taken by the USSR had been part of the Tsarist empire in 1914. Stalin was recovering the lost empire (see what they took off Japan in 1945).

The other thing to consider is that Stalin was not a gambler. Part of the reason for the incredibly harsh industrialisation was that Stalin was aware how important industrial output was. It was the reason Russia fell out of WWI. And it was plain Germany, the largest economic power in Europe was going steadily further to the right and the Nazis were making lots of loud noises about Lebensraum, Jewish Bolsheviks and using violence to do something about both. Damn straight they're going to get armed to the teeth. Wouldn't you?
  #113  
Old 23 Feb 12, 14:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
Quick run through - The RA v the Finns started off a disaster and improved. Against the Japanese, excellent admin work and overall effort. The Invasion of Poland indicated the kit was rubbish and needed replacement. The Poles faced even worse odds than they did against the Germans. Casualties on both sides were quite light (combined total max. 10,000). The "invasions of the Baltics and Romania were not military invasions so much as "gunboat diplomacy". They were all agreed in the R-M pact. As for Soviet troop dispositions - unfortunately the generals had to agree to the Politburo's directives regarding these. Zhukov, Timoshenko and Shaposhnikov weren't fools. Unfortunately for the RA, Voroshilov and Budyonny were.
I live in a cold climate and know what it's like to work outdoors in -40C degree weather, just operating in those conditions is a challenge. The Red Army not only operated, it was carrying out large scale offensive operations in terrain dominated by lakes, rock outcropping and dense conifer forests against a well trained opponent who had several decades to prepare and was fighting from well planned positions. The area was heavily mined and while not as heavily fortified as it was made out to be by some sources was a tough defence to crack. Most sane commanders wouldn't have even tried and most armed forces would have been broken. The Red Army took heavy damage, picked itself up and continued on to eventually succeed, it's an impressive campaign, not a failure.

The battles around Khalkhin Gol convinced the Japanese to avoid combat with the Red Army if at all possible.

Just moving the massive amounts of units in operations like in the Baltic States and Moldavia is a challenge, the Red Army was gaining experience and confidence with every successful operation.

Quote:
The problem the RA had was that, while the T-34 and KV-1 were deadly on the Panzers, the LW controlled the air making supply, recce and movement difficult. They were also not available in large groups. A lack of radios made coordination a bit hit or miss too.
The big problem in June of 1941 is that many Red Army units were in transit to the frontier when the Germans hit, it's hard to carry out effective operations when most of your division is strung out for miles on trains or your HQ isn't in contact with most of its attached units. It wasn't the inferiority of the Red Army that was the problem in June of 1941, it was its disposition.

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Getting to it involved going through either Poland, Hungary, Romania or Slovakia. These guys are not renowned for their roads.
The BT series tanks weren't useless on unimproved road networks, just more suited to hard surfaced roads. And there were plenty of other tanks to do the breakthrough work. There were already closed to 1,000 T-34 reaching front line units with more to come, and I think close to 500 KV-1s. That's close to half the number of the German tanks of much lighter qualities. If the Red Army had stolen the march on the Germans the results would most likely have been as catastrophic for the Axis powers massing on the Eastern frontier.

Quote:
Two attacks, four annexations. In the same period, Germany annexed four countries (one twice), and attacked eight. Germany was surrounded by enemies of their own creation. The USSR was surrounded by states inimical to the Soviet system of government, as well as a few distant and vocal opponents. The USSR was the only communist state and perceived itself very much under siege. During the October revolution/civil war, they had been invaded by several western countries, Japan and had the Baltics and a few other pieces of territory stripped off by German machinations.
The Soviet moves were a set up for the eventual movement westwards.

The USSR was seen quite rightly as the base of a political, military movement whose main intent was the removal of other systems of government and economic control it felt was somehow inferior to communist ideals...so who is inimical to whom. From its earliest days when the Bolsheviks made common cause with the Germans during WW I they were creating a hostile relationship with the western nations. When the Bolsheviks accepted German aid in getting Lenin and other party leaders from Switzerland to Russia in 1917 and then millions of marks funneled through Sweden to build the support base to take over the nation it was in the expectation that the Bolsheviks would remove Russia from the war and possibly allow the Germans to win, which almost happened as Germany was able to mass powerful forces in the west after the USSR signed a peace treaty with Germany in the spring of 1918. You don't create good will by stabbing your allies in the back, and it created a precedent that Stalin repeated in August of 1939 when he made common cause with Hitler.

Soviet leaders didn't see themselves under seige, they saw themsleves as the forefront of a movement that would sweep away the old world order and replace it with a communist utopia...only it was a fantasy. People had more rights under the old Russian Imperial system than they did under communism.

International communism was almost exclusively a creation of the Communist Party of the USSR and served it's interests and caused a lot of grief for decades to western open society at many levels...so who was placing whom under seige?

Quote:
Soviet armies charging to the defence of the Third Reich? The R-M pact is a non-aggression treaty: a promise to remain neutral if either party is attacked by a third party. I know you hate the Bolsheviks, but I think you need to take a couple of deep breaths and re-check some of the assumptions you've made here.
It wasn't a non-aggression pact, when the Red Army invaded Poland it became a mutual aggression towards other nations pact.

And I don't hate the Bolsheviks, I love the freedoms I was born into and I feel strongly are worth defending.

Quote:
The Kalmyks, Chechens, and Crimean Tatars (as opposed to the Volga Tatars) made the mistake of supporting the invading Germans. The ethnic Germans and the Poles were deported because of Stalin's paranoia. Whether the ethnic Germans would have welcomed the Nazi regime is a question I've not heard anyone give a definitive answer to.
Anyway you try and rationalize it, Stalin was a brutal leader who had virtually no regard for individual life.

Quote:
And the English think themselves civilised...
Nobody is perfect, nations colonized by the British tend to do better in many regards than those colonized or created by other powers. Ireland is definitely a black eye though and still remains one to a degree.

Quote:
Also in perspective, 80% were over 6 years old in 1941.
How many decades did T-34s and T-54/55s run for, there are still Soviet built tanks from the 1950s in battle today. The Soviets built their equipment tough.

Quote:
Who invaded whom first? Germany invaded the Rhineland, then Austria, then Czechoslovakia (twice) and finally Poland before war was declared. Here's a link to the agreed Soviet-German sphere's of influence according to the R-M pact. The interesting thing about the Soviet annexations were that the Germans supported them and to an extent moderated them Romania was to have lost more territory to the USSR than they did but Stalin complied with a German request to lessen his demands. Also, all the territory taken by the USSR had been part of the Tsarist empire in 1914. Stalin was recovering the lost empire (see what they took off Japan in 1945).
And the Germans would in all likelyhood not have been able to carry out such operations for years if not for Soviet assistance in preparing for war. Suvorov's main thesis is Stalin was the main architect of the struggle which he intended to use as a means to expanding his control into all of Europe, I don't see any indications this wasn't the case.

So you're admitting that Stalin was recreating the expansionist Russian Empire, thank you for finally seeing what I've been trying to say. Yes, Stalin was an imperialist of the old school and he was once again rapidly expanding the Russian Empire to its old glory and well beyond with the modern technology he had acquired from the west and intended to use againt them.

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The other thing to consider is that Stalin was not a gambler. Part of the reason for the incredibly harsh industrialisation was that Stalin was aware how important industrial output was. It was the reason Russia fell out of WWI. And it was plain Germany, the largest economic power in Europe was going steadily further to the right and the Nazis were making lots of loud noises about Lebensraum, Jewish Bolsheviks and using violence to do something about both. Damn straight they're going to get armed to the teeth. Wouldn't you?
Stalin was the ultimate gambler, he just used other people to place his bets and had done so for years. Industrialization in the USSR was about militarization, not building a more just and equal society.

I don't see a nation arming for defence in the Soviet Union between the wars, from what we know now, Stalin was one of the most ruthless and ambitious figures in history, people like that aren't interested in maintaining the status quo, they create the status quo to fit their own needs.

Last edited by Mil_dude; 23 Feb 12 at 17:54..
  #114  
Old 23 Feb 12, 15:35
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IMHO,it is wrong to say that the battle of Kalkhin Gol decided the Japanese to avoid in the future any fighting with the Soviets :that's the old-fahioned,obsolete way of thinking(I thought it was ericated) that's giving individual battles an importance they never had :if Japan was going south and not north,it was 1) because there was nothing usefull in Siberia 2) because ,from the Japanese POV,there were obliged to go south,because of the US embargo .
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Old 23 Feb 12, 16:54
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Actually Siberia had lots of useful stuff. Oil is the biggest of the "stuff". Then you have the minerals. Most important might well have been space to allow colonists. The Japanese Army had occupied much of Siberia after WW I and had a good idea what was there.

What attracted the Japanese to the South was the extreme vulnerability of the European colonies. They wanted the Dutch Indies and Malaya very badly. The Philippines were done as a flank protection. The Japanese infiltrated all three areas, plus Burma and were able to place construction companies there. These had heavy equipment useful in Engineer units. Business contacts allowed much gathering of intelligence.

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  #116  
Old 23 Feb 12, 17:31
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One correction from one of my earlier posts about the Soviet Danube river flotilla, it was composed of vessels from the Dnepr not Volga river.(I've finally got hold of the book The Chief Culprit again).
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Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
Actually Siberia had lots of useful stuff. Oil is the biggest of the "stuff".
The whole irony was that Japan had more to lose than to gain from the conflict, especially in the light of US' growing hostility and its oil embargo. Japan had oil concessions on the Soviet territory at North Sakhalin which produced an average of 160-180 thousand tons an year. Why risk a stable source of oil which could be easily reached by bomber aircraft from the mainland when the Soviet side didn't take any serious action to halt oil production there even during the conflicts at lake Khasan and Khalkhin-Gol?

Beside North Sakhalin there were no other discovered oil wells in the whole region, at least those which would be feasible to develop, taking into account the delivery costs.

It's incredible how off base were those Japanese Generals (and their modern day fans) who proposed the Northern option - keeping a stable source of oil coming from a state with a powerful overland army while attacking the colonies of the faraway and weakened British empire was the only natural choice for Japan. The only reason for attacking the SU was pure militaristic frenzy of the IJA as no economic calculations could support such decision.

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Then you have the minerals.
There were not too many to speak of. From my geography classes at school I remember that it only made sense to export gold and diamonds from Siberia, the other mineral ores had to be processed into concentrates to make their delivery to the factories feasible. This is not speaking of the weather and terrain conditions at most mines. The Japanese could get it all in China far easier.

Quote:
Most important might well have been space to allow colonists.
China and Manchukou presented lots of opportunities for colonisation with their much more hospitable climate.

Quote:
The Japanese Army had occupied much of Siberia after WW I and had a good idea what was there.
Nobody has ever said that they were led by the considerations of any grand economic startegy. It's much more likely that the idea of "Let's smash these Commie wimps! Banzai!" seemed to be the only thing the Army leaders had in their minds. During the occupation of the Russian Far East the Japanese mainly plundered whatever was left from the Tsar's times: they took all the ships of the Amur Flotilla and the Amur Shipping, they about 2000 railway carriages and even a large amount of rails of the Transsiberian Railroad, large quantities of timber and about 40 tons of gold, part of which was the Tsar's gold kept by Kolchak. While these resources were worth their while, there was nothing strategic about them as opposed to what they could get in the South.
  #118  
Old 24 Feb 12, 00:52
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Originally Posted by Imperial View Post
Shouldn't they have shown more caution by saying "based on the evidence we have he had no plans to conquer Europe"?
A redundancy, surely, Imperial.

A reputable historian writing for a reputable publisher is always writing based on the evidence, no?

There's no documentation about Stalin's orders to land paratroopers on Leicester Square or drive BT-5s through the Champs d'Elysee.

Nor do any witnesses say he wanted to either - and there are plenty of people who were free to speak after his death, including Krushchev, and who did fess up to lots of other evil deeds.

To suggest he was going to invade Western Europe is speculation without evidence - and as biographers point out, inconsistent with both his "socialism in one state" policies and cautious frame of mind.

In addition, he was much too busy consolidating brutal rule over his own country. A tyrant's work is never done ... so many names to cross off the list!

Last edited by clackers; 24 Feb 12 at 01:46..
  #119  
Old 24 Feb 12, 01:09
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Originally Posted by ljadw View Post
IMHO,it is wrong to say that the battle of Kalkhin Gol decided the Japanese to avoid in the future any fighting with the Soviets :that's the old-fahioned,obsolete way of thinking(I thought it was ericated) that's giving individual battles an importance they never had :if Japan was going south and not north,it was 1) because there was nothing usefull in Siberia 2) because ,from the Japanese POV,there were obliged to go south,because of the US embargo .
On (1): The Soviet Union was regarded by the IJA from the 1920s up to 1939 as the most likely nation to take on in a war.

On (2): To go south would mean the IJN would get all the resources and the glory, which the IJA wouldn't tolerate until the humiliation of Khalkhin Gol meant it lost all credibility anyway. The eccentric Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka was the one guy who in 1941 wanted to revive the Go North strategy, and was sacked for it.

For the devastating outcome of the battle for the Japanese generals involved, check Alvin Coox's Nomonhan: Japan Against Russia, 1939
  #120  
Old 24 Feb 12, 01:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mil_dude View Post

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.
Except that Stalin turned his back on all that stuff, Mil_dude.

He'd seen Lenin charge the Red Army into Poland hoping it would induce Europe wide revolution in 1920, and it had ended in tears.

When Stalin took over, he focussed on putting the parts of pre-Versailles Russia back together again (I do like your later opinion that he was a Tsar revived, rather than a 'good' communist - as Tito and Mao were to find to their disgust) and securing it against what he saw was Fascism growing on his borders (from 1931 onward a rabidly anti-communist Japan was on the move in East Asia, and by 1938 the only liberal democracy in Eastern Europe was Czechoslovakia).

While he desperately (and murderously) industrialized his backward country, his policy in the 1930s was co-existence with the West and an attempt to form alliances against Italy and Germany. You can see this in the hard work of his foreign minister Maxim Litvinov.

During the 30's, the United States officially recognized the Soviet Union, it joined the League of Nations, and would happily have allied with Britain and France (especially during the Czech crisis), but was not taken seriously.

Not being taken seriously by those Western powers despite the clear and present danger of Hitler resulted in a foreign policy crisis that led to Litvinov being removed and the non-aggression pact made with Germany ... an attempt to ride the bear while the country modernized!

Last edited by clackers; 24 Feb 12 at 05:04..
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