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  #16  
Old 24 Aug 16, 11:44
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Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
The different approaches of soviet breakthrough can be noted. (a distinct willingness for enormous expenditure of manpower and machines in the former in the interest of speed and exploitation of the time element)

I think Dick may emphasize how Soviet deception focused on fooling the Germans in misplacing and misallocating their reserves. That was very important in soviet victories. Theoretically the Germans had the reserves to stop soviet breakthroughs (eg. in Bagration they were in AG north ukraine). But if they can be only allocated in pieces as the Soviets (or US forces in Cobra) dictate the situation, then their effectiveness becomes much reduced.
In my monograph, "Soviet Operational Deception: The Red Cloak" published by Combat Studies Institute and available for free online (or my revised version at Amazon), I give examples through the war, particularly in the latter stages, where the Red Army surprised German intelligence and commanders. The differences were in the level of warfare.

Deception at the tactical level is conducted by corps and below and has the goal of hiding activities associated with battle preparation. Exploiting time of day or night, terrain, weather, and specific camouflage and mock-up devices, tactical units seek to conceal their activities and formations by using feints, ruses, demonstrations, or other tactical actions.

Operational-level deception is conducted at the Front and army levels of command so battle preparations can be conducted secretly. At this level, deception is achieved by maintaining radio silence; concealing command and control and troop regroupings; disseminating false information to the enemy; camouflaging the assembly areas of supporting units; and creating dummy troop concentrations, command posts, and defensive installations. Operational-level deception is achieved only by strictly observing the tactical deception measures.

Strategic-level deception is carried out by commands higher than Front and includes measures for maintaining secrecy in the preparation of strategic level operations and campaigns. These actions disorient enemy estimates and conceal true intentions and operations of the armed forces.

For the three major operations(Baltic states, Belorussian, Lvov-Sandomir) in the summer of 1944, the start dates for was different to confuse the Germans on timing and main effort. Additionally, three tank armies in one front for the Lvov-Sandomir operation was a strategic deception.
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  #17  
Old 24 Aug 16, 14:54
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Quote:
They massed troops in heavy concentrations to achieve a breakthrough that would quickly set conditions for decisive operational maneuvers; they were relentless in their will to destroy the enemy’s forces and, unlike their counterparts in the West, were willing to contend with an enormous amount of casualties. Dick’s analysis shows us how the Red Army, largely free of the political problems that constrained the Allies, was able to develop more radical operational ideas and implement them with a daring and ruthlessness impossible for the armies of democratic states.
I seen this opinion a number of times and I must disagree with it. The war conduct by USSR wasn't made by the political situation but first of all by the means at hands and the strategical situation. Democratic France suffered losses proportional to Soviet in WWI while Britain and Italy performed no better. The idea of influence of political system on casualties is pretty much a myth.
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  #18  
Old 24 Aug 16, 17:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
In my monograph, "Soviet Operational Deception: The Red Cloak" published by Combat Studies Institute and available for free online (or my revised version at Amazon), I give examples through the war, particularly in the latter stages, where the Red Army surprised German intelligence and commanders. The differences were in the level of warfare.

Deception at the tactical level is conducted by corps and below and has the goal of hiding activities associated with battle preparation. Exploiting time of day or night, terrain, weather, and specific camouflage and mock-up devices, tactical units seek to conceal their activities and formations by using feints, ruses, demonstrations, or other tactical actions.

Operational-level deception is conducted at the Front and army levels of command so battle preparations can be conducted secretly. At this level, deception is achieved by maintaining radio silence; concealing command and control and troop regroupings; disseminating false information to the enemy; camouflaging the assembly areas of supporting units; and creating dummy troop concentrations, command posts, and defensive installations. Operational-level deception is achieved only by strictly observing the tactical deception measures.

Strategic-level deception is carried out by commands higher than Front and includes measures for maintaining secrecy in the preparation of strategic level operations and campaigns. These actions disorient enemy estimates and conceal true intentions and operations of the armed forces.

For the three major operations(Baltic states, Belorussian, Lvov-Sandomir) in the summer of 1944, the start dates for was different to confuse the Germans on timing and main effort. Additionally, three tank armies in one front for the Lvov-Sandomir operation was a strategic deception.
Great post plus 1. I just purchased your book here:

https://www.amazon.com/SOVIET-OPERAT...ook#nav-subnav

I was wondering if you have read this book and if so what were your thoughts on it?

https://www.amazon.com/G-S-Isserson-...itary+Theorist

I was thinking about buying it but its on the pricey side for some reason so I'm looking for opinions first.

Regards,Kurt
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  #19  
Old 24 Aug 16, 17:51
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Originally Posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
Great post plus 1. I just purchased your book here:

https://www.amazon.com/SOVIET-OPERAT...ook#nav-subnav

I was wondering if you have read this book and if so what were your thoughts on it?

https://www.amazon.com/G-S-Isserson-...itary+Theorist

I was thinking about buying it but its on the pricey side for some reason so I'm looking for opinions first.

Regards,Kurt
Thank you for your purchase of Soviet Operational Deception.

I have not read Harrison's book on Isserson, but he did good work in his, "The Russian Way of War: Operational Art, 1904-1940". Isserson served on the Frunze and General Staff Academy faculty/staff and his writings were in such journals as "Military Thought" during the 1930's when the Red Army worked theories and issues of contemporary warfare and deep operations. Isserson's writings contributed to understanding where the Red Army wanted to go with mechanization. My primary focus is what the Soviet Army learned from the Red Army's experiences with those theories at the operational and tactical levels. My burning historical question as an intelligence officer was how did the Red Army win. because the U.S. Army during the Cold War period, and before David Glantz, was buying wholesale the German interpretation of what happened on the eastern front.

Now, after the 50th Anniversary of WWII, studies on the Red Army experiences are marketable, but I spend my time at the operational and tactical level--I find men in battle more interesting than military theory. So, I will probably not pickup this work by Harrison.
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  #20  
Old 24 Aug 16, 19:15
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The difference between Nazi/Soviet and Western tactics generally concerns of loss of life (normally among the infantry).

It basically reflects politics, and voting. If you are not concerned with a ballot, you can use your resources as you see fit. It can mean human losses among your own forces being relatively unimportant, regardless how vast they are, if you can win that is.

Western generals didn't like to see their troops killed. As an example, when Patton spoke to the Black Panthers and called them Negro's, he was not insulting them. He did not care about skin colour. He cared about winning and using the best troops to do so. He did not care about using expendables to win a tactical situation.

All Patton wanted was the best troops to win. He used his charisma to make sure they did.

Stalin saw people as a resource to be used as necessary.

This is the difference between WW2 tactics of different nations.
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  #21  
Old 24 Aug 16, 20:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
The difference between Nazi/Soviet and Western tactics generally concerns of loss of life (normally among the infantry).

It basically reflects politics, and voting. If you are not concerned with a ballot, you can use your resources as you see fit. It can mean human losses among your own forces being relatively unimportant, regardless how vast they are, if you can win that is.

Western generals didn't like to see their troops killed. As an example, when Patton spoke to the Black Panthers and called them Negro's, he was not insulting them. He did not care about skin colour. He cared about winning and using the best troops to do so. He did not care about using expendables to win a tactical situation.

All Patton wanted was the best troops to win. He used his charisma to make sure they did.

Stalin saw people as a resource to be used as necessary.

This is the difference between WW2 tactics of different nations.
As pointed above, not really. Before comparing the losses, we must compare the background. US had 3 times the industry of USSR or Germany, not troubles regarding natural ressources and the most important, no threat of enemy invasion. British were in a slightly worse position but still far better than Germany and USSR. The outcome was that Western Allies had the initiative with far better logistics, time for training and all the stuff from tanks to medical supplies. If you fire five shells for one fired by the enemy and can allow your men to train for a year thanks to the ocean between you and the enemy, it's sure that you will lose less than enemy.
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  #22  
Old 24 Aug 16, 23:42
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Originally Posted by Emtos View Post
As pointed above, not really. Before comparing the losses, we must compare the background. US had 3 times the industry of USSR or Germany, not troubles regarding natural ressources and the most important, no threat of enemy invasion. British were in a slightly worse position but still far better than Germany and USSR. The outcome was that Western Allies had the initiative with far better logistics, time for training and all the stuff from tanks to medical supplies. If you fire five shells for one fired by the enemy and can allow your men to train for a year thanks to the ocean between you and the enemy, it's sure that you will lose less than enemy.
If one ignore completely Atlantic battle and Pacific war the 'ocean' argument may make sense.
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  #23  
Old 25 Aug 16, 04:38
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Originally Posted by Emtos View Post
Democratic France suffered losses proportional to Soviet in WWI while Britain and Italy performed no better. The idea of influence of political system on casualties is pretty much a myth.
Yep, in France every 1 of 6 men conscripted to the army during WWI was killed or died. The British Army lost 60 000 men killed and wounded in just one day of the Battle of Somme. With a proper level of propaganda and indoctrination it wasn't an insurmountable problem and political system could function pretty smoothly.
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Old 25 Aug 16, 05:49
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Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
Yep, in France every 1 of 6 men conscripted to the army during WWI was killed or died. The British Army lost 60 000 men killed and wounded in just one day of the Battle of Somme. With a proper level of propaganda and indoctrination it wasn't an insurmountable problem and political system could function pretty smoothly.
But perhaps you could only do that once in a generation or 2; the British approach to WW2 was informed by the aftereffects of WW1.
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Old 25 Aug 16, 08:21
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Originally Posted by Metryll View Post
If one ignore completely Atlantic battle and Pacific war the 'ocean' argument may make sense.
1. Pacific war has secondary priority and wasn't a threat to US and Brtitish mainland.
2. In AtlanticGermans were faced with world's two most powerful navies. They had no chances in this battle.
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Old 25 Aug 16, 08:27
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But perhaps you could only do that once in a generation or 2; the British approach to WW2 was informed by the aftereffects of WW1.
Run back to Britain and wat for Uncle Sam ?
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Old 25 Aug 16, 12:37
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Originally Posted by Emtos View Post
1. Pacific war has secondary priority and wasn't a threat to US and Brtitish mainland.
2. In AtlanticGermans were faced with world's two most powerful navies. They had no chances in this battle.
Germany first never meant that Pacific had secondary priority quite the contrary. Most of USN, Marines Corps and a lage chunk of US Army/USAAF fougth there. By end of war the biggest CW Army was the 14th deployed in Burma.

Whether Germans had or not a chance change nothing to the fact that Allies had to use a large part of their industrial ouput into Atlantic. In order to use large stock of supply in all theaters they had first to be shipped oversea in first instance. Most of naval assets of 'world's most powerful navies' had been build after war breakout.
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Old 25 Aug 16, 13:39
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We really need the Purist to chime in here with his observation that maneuver is only possible once the enemy's reserves have been defeated (by attritting them)....
Seek, and ye shall find. Ask, and the door shall be opened.

And yup,... no ticky-tacks until the baddies have used up their resources. Until then they will just shoot holes in you.

Striking deep into the enemy's territory was only possible when the bulk of the their combat forces were eliminated. It was the so when Caesar marched through Gaul, it is the same today.
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Old 25 Aug 16, 14:23
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Originally Posted by The Purist View Post
Seek, and ye shall find. Ask, and the door shall be opened.

And yup,... no ticky-tacks until the baddies have used up their resources. Until then they will just shoot holes in you.

Striking deep into the enemy's territory was only possible when the bulk of the their combat forces were eliminated. It was the so when Caesar marched through Gaul, it is the same today.
Agree with you there. Lack/misuses of reserves is usually what allow a force to make a sucessful exploitation and Normandy make no exception.
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Old 25 Aug 16, 16:05
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Striking deep into the enemy's territory was only possible when the bulk of the their combat forces were eliminated. It was the so when Caesar marched through Gaul, it is the same today.
Welcome back!

In the battle of Carrhae, 53 BC,despite being heavily outnumbered, Parthian cavalry completely outmaneuvered Roman heavy infantry, killing or capturing most of the Roman soldiers. Extrapolating from the ancient battlefields to WWII battles and operations is reaching. Dispersal on battle grounds has increased significantly in space and duration of operations, and requires mobility and maneuver to place forces in the main effort or reinforce defenders in the defense.

The Soviets looked to the mobile forces' operations in the Red Army during WWII to fashion their concept of an Operational Maneuver Group in the 1980's. They found in the Red Army operations that successful offensive operations would require not only a decisive penetration of the enemy defenses, but also a rapid transfer of the main efforts of the attacker to the enemy's operational depth for the purpose of developing the offensive.

From their war experience, the decisive condition for complete destruction of the enemy was achieving a high attack tempo, for even short halts gave the enemy breathing space to maneuver or counterattack. The Germans conditioned the soviets well by their ability to react literally overnight to Soviet maneuver.

For those interested in the details and examples from the Red Army experience, see my article in Parameters (Journal of the US Army War College), "Mobile Groups: Prologue to OMG, Vol. XVI, No.2, Summer 1986. It is free and available online at Parameters.
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