I'm reading 'Stalin's keys to Victory' (Dunn) and like Glantz he identifies the formations against Blau I-III July-August as being mostly those formed during the chaos of 1941.
These were a mixed bag and generally weaker in leadership, morale, unit cohesion, weapons, and training. Some units fought hard, while others disintegrated under enough pressure or fumbled in operations (like the tank corps (summer counterstrikes) and some infantry units.
The soviet formations moved into the Stalingrad sector in the fall/winter of 1942 were comparably better trained, and performed noticeably better. This trend can be sensed in 'Leaping horseman'.
I think what stands out with the soviet command and control system is its ruthless commitment of combat units in order to execute a strategy. The soviet forces fought inside Stalingrad were outclassed in terms of firepower and suffered from continuous & accurate aerial bombing on a daily basis by hundreds of bombers. It was not like they were spread out on the steppe; they were all concentrated there in predictable city areas. The bombing would only end in bad weather or nightfall.
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle
This was a major element in the excellent World At War series
. From a diaryof a German soldier, you are illuminated on how tough those damn Bolsheviks can be (even if most were actually peasants).