One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:50 pm

I have to say that I'm not biting on the "Stalin wasn't stupid" line: it smacks of the flawed thinking over hyper-intentionality that plagues CTs. Stupid or not, people do things that create unintended consequences, they can be outwitted by clever or even unclever opponents whose goals aren't discernible, they make mistakes, they can fail to control all the variables of a situation. That line, repeated so many times, comes across as covering up a weakness in the discussion, as though every move these guys made must have been directed successfully toward an end and with the same "clairvoyance" we enjoy after the fact.

Now, I will bite on "Stalin Wasn't Stallin'": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI3u80z1qKo
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:57 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:I have to say that I'm not biting on the "Stalin wasn't stupid" line: it smacks of the flawed thinking over hyper-intentionality that plagues CTs. Stupid or not, people do things that create unintended consequences, they can be outwitted by clever or even unclever opponents whose goals aren't discernible, they make mistakes, they can fail to control all the variables of a situation. That line, repeated so many times, comes across as covering up a weakness in the discussion, as though every move these guys made must have been directed successfully toward an end and with the same "clairvoyance" we enjoy after the fact.


Exactly. You don't kill your airforce commander when you are about to launch an major invasion.

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Balsamo » Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:26 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:I have to say that I'm not biting on the "Stalin wasn't stupid" line: it smacks of the flawed thinking over hyper-intentionality that plagues CTs. Stupid or not, people do things that create unintended consequences, they can be outwitted by clever or even unclever opponents whose goals aren't discernible, they make mistakes, they can fail to control all the variables of a situation. That line, repeated so many times, comes across as covering up a weakness in the discussion, as though every move these guys made must have been directed successfully toward an end and with the same "clairvoyance" we enjoy after the fact.

Now, I will bite on "Stalin Wasn't Stallin'": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI3u80z1qKo


Actually, my argument is not that all rulers are bright and intelligent, and that all everything they do is brilliant.
But that "State's policy" are rarely illogic. They may seem so, in some cases, but then most of the time, the problem is that the perspective in which they are alanized is the wrong one.
Without being insulting to anyone, it is fairly accepted that George W was not the brightest president in the USA, but that does not mean that the USA foreign policies were as stupid.

To clarify what i meant by "idiots theories":
The "idiots theories" are theories developped by oberservers, searchers, theorists who when faced with an actions that does not fit in their logic and perspectives, and key of understanding, to conclude, "Right, what the subject of my study did is absurd but he did it anyway because he was an idiot". Not that the action itself was stupid per se, any action can be considered through various perspectives. And this action may look stupid in one perspective but pertinent in another. Of course, if one excludes from the start any other perspective, then the theorist is forced to turn to "Idiots theories".

In many regards, the launch of Barbarossa was a very "stupid idea" - and it turned to be one rapidly - it does not make Hitler an illogical actor of the International scene. Quite the contrary, he was a very rational "mad man" and geopolitical "player", but that i mean that Nazi Germany's international policies are quite easy to understand and to conceptualize.

But when it comes to Stalin, reference to "idiots theories" are just all over the place, and does not help nor to understand Russia's foreign actions, even less to conceptualize them. Basically because he did many actions which do not fit with what we are told was the USSR intentions, we are given "idiots theories" which are supposed to explain why we cannot explain those actions...And stangely enough, it still works quite well.

Let's have a closer look at the lack of preparation of the Red Army gambit:
What Glantz propose basically is that the disaster of 1941 prooves the lack of readiness of the Red Army - which is fair enough - but then, it starts from that point to go back in time to develop the idea that every Stalin moves should have integrated this reality about his army. Although an "idiots" for so many things, Stalin could only be a smart man and be aware that his multi-milion standing army and his tens of thousands of tanks were just worth {!#%@}. So everything he did from 1939 (and even before that) to 1941 was dictated by this reality, had to be dictated by this reality.
This approach makes no sense at all, whether in History or in Political science... It seems that it is only valid for Stalin - and only for that short period of time.

Basically, if this approach was to be a "rule", then something must have motivated or even forced Mussolini to strike Greece. He could not have wanted to strike, given the lack of readiness of the Italian Army...The lack of readiness being shown by the beating it recieve in Greece... The same way, Tzar Nicholas II could not have an aggressive foreign policy before WW1, because the performance of his imperial Army was poor during the combats...So his role in the events before the war MUST have been misunderstood somehow...

You both asked:
“helping Germany build its overall capabilities through this fulfillment - and planning war with Germany at the same time?”
Good question.
But you seem to forget that the treaty was bilateral. Germany got food, oil, rare materials, and more important access to the Asian market, but Germany was providing Coal (500 million RM), two war ships, the blueprints of its most recent airplanes, along with samples of each, blueprints of the Bismarck, artillery pieces and ammunitions (to be studied), machine tools, electric plants, etc

So I guess the same question might be raised regarding the Germans. Does it make sense to share its military technology with a country they were planning to strike?

As for the answer:
YES it may make sense in both cases, if both parties needed what they got from the deal. By sending as soon as early 1940 150.000 tons of fuel to Germany, Stalin made it possible for Hitler to attack France without having to worry about his stockpiles. For the USSR, what was delivery was less than 1/30 of its output…not a big sacrifice.
Obviously, Hitler needed Stalin much more than Stalin needed Hitler (still the technologies in everything but tanks and artillery is what the USSR lacked). Still Stalin would have made it without, Hitler wouldn't.

For Germany, the sacrifice was larger, and even unthinkable, if it had no intention to attack the USSR before the given technologies could be materialized into military units. And anyway, Germany had nothing close to tanks like the KV and the T-34, but they did not know that. It needed the oil to fight its war and the food, the rubber, the chrome, the manganese, all those little think indispensable to build shoes, boots, tires, shells and tanks…all those little things it was short in supplies of since September 39.
(Yes that is not what deniers say, but it is important, more on this later)

Glantz and others argue that the USSR was not ready for attack – and as you admitted, Jeff, without mentioning the number of tanks production. My question would be what is needed to be ready for attack. Is two times as troops, five times as tanks and planes, not enough? Can one consider, given the army gathered for Barbarossa, that Germany really was ready for a strike against the USSR, given that he had not even winter cloths, only 3300 tanks (a third of that still those tin cans of Pz I and II), 1,4 million tons of fuel, and all the soldiers it could find (which was still only a little more than the half of the Red Army?)

Of course, one can find Soviet’s documents saying that all the plans were not yet implemented, the same way that there a plenty of German memorandums stating 1943 as the objective of completion for the Wehrmacht "restructuring".
What is valid for one, is irrelevant for the other.

Statistically, the comparison between both military strenght of both Armies is quite shocking. Still no one raise the "Hitler idiocity" of starting a war with his 1939 army, while it supposed to be obvious for anyone that the "Red Army was a giand with clay feet,"

So one have to come with another astonishing arguments. (Jeff, i would really appreciate if you could develop Glantz argumentation on that).

All of a sudden, the USSR had
"No tank crews, no pilots and no Sailors."

Not only does it goes behind any “idiots theories” – I would say it is close to racism against the Russians: So a States which has been developing tanks since the very early 30’s, producing tens of thousands of them, and producing even more in 1941 (over 6.000 during the first 6 months), had no crews? Must be some kind of Russian logic :” Tanks building period: 1931-1941; crew training: 1941-43).

I really would like to see on what this argument are based, because basically all German tanks crews had been trained in the USSR up until 1933 – as well as most pilots (Germany was not supposed to have an air force). So that might be the explanation: Let’s form and train the Germans first. In 1934, the Germans had to trained in cardboard boxes, while the Soviets were developing the best tanks. Did Stalin Purged the tank crews as well?

Jeff:
“You imply that the Germans saw their attack as pre emtive in nature which is not true at all”


No I DO NOT. I imply that Germany had not many options but to attack or put all its fate and destiny in Stalin`s hands. I imply that after the failure of the November 40 meeting, Stalin and the Russians must have known that. What I do imply is that the Soviets had very good reasons to make a pre-emptive attack OR to prepare their defenses properly. What i imply is that they certainly DID NOT DO the later.

“I have already addressed the occupation of Bessarabia - Stalin was likely under the impression that he would be allowed to occupy Romania and asked this from Hitler at a meeting in late 1940. Hitler refused.”


No you didn’t.
How could Stalin be under the impression that he would be allowed to occupy Romania, as Romania was the main source of oil and was designated as part of the German sphere of influence in the Pact?
Granted, Bessarabia was implicitly given to Stalin, but he also invaded Bukovina (which was the second breach of the pact after the annexation of Lithuania). Besides, Both Romanian regions were taken while Hitler was busy in France, 5 months before the meeting of November 40 – which was much more about than Stalin asking for any permission anything.
This meeting was nothing less than negotiation about the possibility for the USSR to join the Axis. These negotiation are enough to prove Hitler’s ambition at this stage of the war, but the same applies to Stalin…Indeed, he asked for Romania (a absurd demand), but also for Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey (to secure the Bosphorus, access to the Mediterranean (very old Russian dream still quite influential today. ), etc.

My position on those negotiations is that Hitler was not very hot about this perspective, contrary to a whole party within the Foreign ministry as it would not have changed anything on the fundamental dependency of the Reich toward the USSR, while a military victory against the Soviets would have made the Reich the sole European power. On the other hand, it also shows that Stalin ambitions was clearly westward – which was incompatible with Hitler’s project. Stalin's offer was basically a consolidation of Germany's dependency for supplies ad vitam. Hitler's ambition was certainly not to be a lower partner in a huge alliance from Japan to Spain...
The fact that Molotov's proposal had been rejected SHOULD have convinced even the most stupid "Commies".

“Again - I make no arguments as to his long term intentions. My arguments are strictly related to 1941. He indeed had began the construction of fortifications at the time of the attack. As for the buffer zone argument - Stalin, having no military experience of his own (unlike Mannerhiem), was not the best strategist and was known to overrule his Generals to catastrophic effect (The Battle of Kiev for instance).”


The Germans began building fortification in Silesia as well - behind the Poland buffer zone - which did not prevent them from attacking. So it proves very little.
As I said, regarding to the construction of fortifications, Stalin did not have to “begin” anything. Still waiting for Glantz explanation of dismantling the Stalin line – the results of years of efforts – to build some very light ones right in front of the German Army. So yet again, confronted with this not very good defensive move – Stalin was an idiot.
We are to believe that after the failure of the 1940 meeting, and some tension, the wise defensive decision was to dismantle an expugable lines and displaced it right in front of 110 divisions?

Better to stick with Russian collective insanity.

“We are getting into the very long term strategy here. Estonia has historically been very close to Finland and would have sided with Germany anyway in all likelihood. You must remember that Stalin was something of a Russian nationalist who had dreams of expanding into the territory of the old empire. The Baltics were part of that Hubris.”


Hum...I am not getting that right. The Pact made sure that there was nothing to fear from the Baltic States, the winter war from Finland. Any moves from them "inspired by germany" would have meant that the Nazi were breaking the Pact. Something they didn't up to the last minutes, contrary to Stalin. Being in a sphere of influence does not mean full annexation right away. The Batic States had been "turned" into friendly puppets as soon as 1939. It would have been more "defensive" to keep those States as puppets like Slovakia, Hitler would have had to recognize them (just like Stalin recognized Slovakia), he could have had annexed them when ready. This would have been "long term plans"

Again, i am not saying that those annexations were stupid - I agree with you, those States were part of imperial Russia - they only were if one holds for granted that Stalin was affraid of Hitler and praying for time, and therefore obsessed by the defense of his country until his poor army is ready.
By annexing and massing troops in those States, when Hitler is fighting France, Stalin is nothing less than opportunistic at best, not inspired by any long term plans.
Besides, no State thinks "long term" when the world is at war, and whatever you look at it, you cannot make those annexations integrate a "long term" strategy motivated by a nonexisting threat and still consider Stalin's actions through his obsession for security.

Typical example of "Idiots theory".

“Incorrect. As said before, the planners of Barbarossa explicitly and clearly denied in meetings that the Soviets were planning an impending invasion.”


I have a copy of "the Chief Culprint" next to me...and in this one, he does not mention any date of attack. I do not personnally anyway, my disagreement is not about what the German did and why they did it, as i explained.
Relative to Germany intelligence about the USSR, i think it is fair to say that it was rather inexistent, contrary to Stalin's intelligence on the rest of the world...

What I wanted to show is not just that Glantz is not always right, nor did I want to show that Suvorov and friends are right. What I wanted to outline is that in both case we have different perspectives which influence those authors’ logics.

So when you conclude:
“Suvorov's points do not help his thesis. There was no attack coming in 1941 and Hitler's Generals were not concerned by such an attack. That contrasts with the two main points of Suvorov's thesis (or at least how it was presented by Ernst Nolte that fascist freak).
The problem with Suvorovists is that they make no distinction between immediate plans and very, very long term aspirations. That and their apologeticness for the worst genocidal invasion in history.”


So am I supposed or react? Having not read any of his books, you can only rely on what Deniers have made out of them, which, by definition, you know it will be in a dishonestly way. I do not doubt your sincerity but it is a loical consequence of only knowing “one side’s version”. As I said, it is widely known that the “Hitler’s generals and the OKW” had a very poor knowledge of what was happening in Russia. Most of them were also a bunch of National-Socialist racist who felt so superior that “intelligence” in this matter did not matter much, although it is wrong to speak about “ALL”. One might call Nolte a {!#%@} fascist without denying its merits in opening new windows (even wrong windows, creating debates is always healthy).

And no one here is denying the genocidal character of this invasion, well I don’t, and until proven otherwise, I do not think that “Suvorov” having been a Soviet, does or would… My feeling is that he considers both Hitler and Stalin like the {!#%@} they were.

Again, I am not trying to make Hitler being less guilty – it is impossible –and unless I am proven the contrary, I do not think it is Suvorov’s intention, but my hope is that at least one may look at the other side of things. I never had the feeling that Suvorov was a Hitler apologist, he just points out that “HIS” side was far from being clean and had contributed much more that it is now accepted to all the crimes that took place.

But if we refuse to even look at some elements, just because of what a bunch of isolated neo-Nazi night do with it, which is what is almost openly said by Glantz, then it opens real threat to what historical science and also political science is all about. And this is why i do not let go this thread. I don't care about Suvorovists, and i don't even care about Suvorov, all that should matter are the points he has raised, and the flaws which exists in Glantz' logic, those are the things that should be discussed without fear.

This is the reason why i proposed to go back to the start, and why i asked this rather fundamental question:

- Why did Stalin supported Hitler in his war? Why did Stalin the means to do what he did?

Depending on how you deal with this fundamental question, the perspective will be of course different, and i do not see how the simple fact to refute what has been told for the last 60 years should pose any threat.

For decades, we have been repeated the same crap: that Stalin – who was afraid of everything – wanted to “SAVE PEACE” and “GAIN TIME” (seriously, try to “google” the question).
I am still waiting for a pertinent explanation to support this statement, besides the usual “Stalin didn’t trust Churchill”, the incapability of the “Entente” to guarantee “collective security”…And in all those cases, we just have statement, no real arguments.

There is just this amazing – one of its kind – consensus that agrees to artificially create a “historical gap” – a hole in the timeline – during which the USSR and the Soviets (Stalin) was a peaceful State really worried about his security, which he hoped only to be disappointed that the Great Powers could guarantee. As a “Star and Stripes news” states: the Red Army intervened in Poland to stop the “fascist aggressor”… Of course, the honey moon ceased in 1945 when the “Russian Gandhi” chose to stay in his “liberated part of Europe”, an idea he must have gotten somewhere between June 1941 and 1944 or 1945...no other explanations as he was only thinking about peace before June 41, right?

And one still finds today that Stalin invaded – without declaration of war – Poland, deported the Polish intelligentia, killed the officer, “de-polonized” his part of Poland to “save peace” and “gain time” because he felt threatened…by…Nazi Germany…That the mighty Red Army lost because it was in “peacetime mood” and that only a miracle – the mud and the winter – saved humanity from the fascist threat.

The post-war soviets – especially after 1953 – loved that. A kind of providence helped their peaceful regime to “liberate” half of Europe and to turn those countries into “Proletarian’s paradise”. And when confronted with the “secret protocols of the Pact”, well they just denied it. It was officially considered by the USSR as a fake until 1990, but of course, all the other sources are all right. Even if, according to some, some important documents of the period 39-41 are still unavailable.

The question I am still asking at this stage is
- Would have Hitler attacked Poland (and risk a World war or at least most probably a british blockade) without this pact, and essentially the economic part of the Pact?
Feel free to answer.
The second question – which is quite essential when dealing with geopolitical behavior – would be
“which were the States identified as “threats” for and by the USSR?”

The most common answer would be Nazi Germany, right? But here ceases the “logic” and from there the observers are forced to count on “idiots theories”. Because what Stalin DID after the British guarantee on Poland is everything but logic with the “peace and time thing”…until proven otherwise…
There are volumes of works about the supposed “lack of readiness” of the Red Army (the purges), but very few look at what was the Wehrmacht of 1939.

You made fun about the BT-5, describing it as a “tin can”…although the BT series was the best “light tank” of its generation. You also said that those “tin cans” could not be considered as weapon of aggression, while “cavalry tanks” as they are called sometimes are the “offensive” weapons by excellence, useless as a mean of defense. The BT’s were far more superior than those poor “Pz I and Pz II”, which were the tanks used by Hitler to launch the war!

It is now proven that Hitler would probably not have been in the capacity to “blitzkrieg” France without the 150.000 tons delivered monthly by Stalin. In those condition, I ask the question one more time how could Germany – even if Nazi and with a lunatic and genocidal fool at its head – be a threat to the huge USSR?
So again, why did Stalin provide the means to Hitler to launch war in the first place? And thus to become a real threat?
How can this be explained by “to save peace” and “gain time”?

Should we look at this “powerful Wehrmacht” Stalin was so afraid of?
Early 1939, the Germans had Wehrmacht had 98 Pz-IIIs, 211 Pz-IVs and 280 light Skoda 35(t) and 38(t), armed with 37mm cannon. Among this number military departments had at hand 87 Pz-IIIs, 198 Pz-IVs and 167 Czech tanks. That is about 450 tanks!

Of course, it had also plenty of its own tin cans build in 1933-34 for training purposes…and many of them, 1445 Pz I (with basically was basically a machine gun on wheel) and 1200 Pz II with a 20mm gun…
Just to compare, the BT-5 “tin can” had a cannon of 45mm, and the Red Army had many thousands of them, as well as medium tanks (T-35) (vs 211 PzIV). The T-34 was already under development, and by 1940 400 completed.

But as we are told that Stalin was scared of the mighty Wehrmacht and its 450 tanks while he had more than 12.000 of more powerful more efficient ones? We have to believe that? Bollocks!

That he was caught by surprise in the middle of a building up? But what were the plans? to have 30.000 or 40.000 thousands tanks?

As I said, everyone is free to try. Good luck.

Then we have the period between the fall of France (June 40) and Barbarossa (June 41). Which, again to “gain time” saw an increase in the “economic exchanges” between the two dictatorships. Not only that, this also the period chosen by Stalin to get closer to his main “threat” by annexing the Baltic States (including Lithuania which was supposed to belong to the German Sphere), Bessarabia AND Bukovina (which was also excluded from the Soviet Sphere), without forgetting the Assault on Finland (which officially excluded the USSR from the league of Nations), the negotiation of November 1940 (which is a subject large enough to be the subject of a thread of its own)… And more importantly, the concept of “sphere of influence” does not automatically means full annexations – there was a special chapter dedicated for the sharing of Poland : to put bases and 25.000 troops is one thing, full annexation is another, especially when Lithuania was annexed as well… and those Baltic states filled with troops at a time when the German Army was mostly in France and still expecting to be sent to England…Can this really be considered as a prudent move from someone only preoccupied by saving peace and time?

In addition, another point which is systematically overlooked is that the “free world” at that time ignored the secret protocols, so it is a supposedly insecure and frightened Stalin who basically challenged the “world community” (by invading Finland, and those annexations), but we are to believed that he did all that by knowing the lack of preparation of his army, fearing that the war would strike his poor and unprepared nation…tanks but no crews, planes but no pilots, war vessels but no bunch of “Popeye”… Of course, Stalin knew that Great Britain was not in a position to do anything, and that the USA was still quite isolated and more concerned about Hitler. Still the move is from an opportunist, not from a scared dictator praying for time to create an Army to protect his huge country to be overblown from the “invincible German armada”.

And this is probably why “good studies” on the problematic of the Soviets policies and their first defeats HAVE to start in 1941 and then go back to 1939…while it should be the opposite. Most of those pre-barbarossa events are basically disregarded or diminished or ridiculed, like the one that states that in November 1940, Stalin only wanted to inquire about the Nazis intentions…

Of course, as Jeff said rightly, the USSR or Russia considered those annexed territories as its own…And I would add that, indeed, it was with Germany the most “revisionist” State on earth…But if it is rightly accepted that Hitler did not believe or even accept any notion of “collective security”, it is still accepted that a Revisionist State, and a former Great Power like Russia, was… Even though the primary objective of “collective security” is the prevention of wars and the guarantee of existing frontiers… astonishing to say the least.

Here is a big contradiction : If the USSR was motivated to get his 1914 borders back - which is quite obvious – then it could not have been searching for “collective security” with sincerity…both concepts are just incompatible…The international scene is open for States’ acting and performances, like Hitler’s call of a general disarmament, or Stalin calling for help in securing the USSR so weak position. Common sense dismissed the first, but believes the second? Seriously?

Does this incompatibility refrains our fellows from arguing that Stalin got close to Hitler only because the “Entente” were reluctant or incapable to providing protection and security to anxious Russia? Or that he was sure that because Hitler was busy with a “non-existent” western front after June 40, so busy he would not dare to transfer 3 million soldiers at the eastern front? Considering that, again, Stalin was too stupid to see that while Hitler had no mean to really harm Great Britain, Great Britain had no means to do anything about Hitler, hence NO front? Well, “yes” says colonel Glantz… adding “and so what?”

So we have to believe that all those actions, invasions, annexations were done in order to “save peace” and “to gain time” because the Red Army was not ready and afraid of the risk of war, that Stalin was preparing its defense, building new fortifications while expanding west! And all this is supposed to make sense, even though, most should be considered as illogical militarily, illogical geopolitically, IF and ONLY IF the USSR was behaving in the DEFENSIVE perspective we are told.

The conclusion seems to be " He was in a defensive stance, no doubts, but was an idiot” who did not learn anything from anything.
To all the strategic nonsenses that can be pointed out, the answer would be “Stalin knew nothing about Strategy and killed his most talented generals”, on all the geopolitical moves he made, quite aggressive in every sense of the terms, “Stalin did not understand geo-policies very well, he thought he could…” without risking peace which was his only obsession.

Imagine one minute if those very same arguments were used and applied in the case of Hitler?

Of course, it would lead to the same nonsenses, but guess what? We used them for Stalin nevertheless.

So how to analyze fairly the event of 1941, or even from 1939 to 1941, if one takes for granted that basis so full of contradictions?
By Stating such idiocies like “the USSR was building tanks without crews, planes without pilots, and war ships without sailor, was creating hundreds of divisions without generals”… and the pill should pass? Who trained the German pilots of the Luftwaffe during the prohibition? Who formed the Panzers’ crews? Should the answer be “irrelevant questions, my friend?”

Well, that is basically what Glantz and friends want us to swallow. And I would note that in his “Barbarossa”, while being fond in enumerating the Red army losses, Glantz never, ever, mentions any German losses, never. He described the Wehrmacht as a formidable war machine, invincible, rolling overs disorganized and unprepared Soviets units…Wonder if Omer Bartov is in his bibliography… omitting to mention that the Wehrmacht was losing like 100.000 soldiers a month, 3000 a day, since day one…much more when having to confront real defensive positions like Brest…Not a word about their strategic reserves in fuel…Nothing could have stopped the Wehrmacht, but the mud and the snow…even though Hitler could only make his tanks roll over Russia for an additional 6 months or so… had he not captured additional reserves.

I don’t know if I mentioned it, but Hitler started his 1942 summer offensive with 797.000 tons of fuel… (Barbarossa used up to 450.000 in less than 4 months (22/06/41) to (01/10/41), and to be able to gather this reserve, he had to diminish drastically the fuel allocated to the Luftwaffe which in 1942 could not even have pretended to any air superiority, to reduce the number of tanks in each of his panzer divisions, etc… But that must be small details…But I did mention that the Russian output was like 34 million tons a year and were for the year 1942 producing more than 12.000 tanks (half of the global production of Nazi Germany), right? Thank God, in just 6 months after the attack, the USSR were able to suddenly find thousands of pilots for its thousands of planes, tens of thousands tanks crews for their tens of thousands T-34 tanks...a kind of miracle on its own, only the Russians know the secret.

Anyway,

Happy new year to all ( without real decent connection here for the last couple of days, not written tonight) :neener:

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:08 am

Balsamo wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:I have to say that I'm not biting on the "Stalin wasn't stupid" line: it smacks of the flawed thinking over hyper-intentionality that plagues CTs. Stupid or not, people do things that create unintended consequences, they can be outwitted by clever or even unclever opponents whose goals aren't discernible, they make mistakes, they can fail to control all the variables of a situation. That line, repeated so many times, comes across as covering up a weakness in the discussion, as though every move these guys made must have been directed successfully toward an end and with the same "clairvoyance" we enjoy after the fact.

Now, I will bite on "Stalin Wasn't Stallin'": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI3u80z1qKo


Actually, my argument is not that all rulers are bright and intelligent, and that all everything they do is brilliant.

Nor did I write that this was your argument.

Balsamo wrote:But that "State's policy" are rarely illogic.

Well, I will disagree with you on that, but it wasn't what I was replying to. I was replying to where you wrote that neither Hitler nor Stalin was stupid, your words, not mine.

But interests and policies aren't a given - they are what politics and leaders and movements define. For better or worse.

Balsamo wrote:They may seem so, in some cases, but then most of the time, the problem is that the perspective in which they are alanized is the wrong one.

This is totally assumptive and implies so many givens I don't know what to say - other than that some critics of a policy might well have a perspective (ends in mind) counter to that policy, while others may be in basic agreement on the perspective but find the means flawed.

Balsamo wrote:Without being insulting to anyone, it is fairly accepted that George W was not the brightest president in the USA, but that does not mean that the USA foreign policies were as stupid.

Without getting into US policy and presidents, the policies of the Bush era - from tax policy to financial regulation to Middle Eastern policy - were pretty {!#%@} stupid and pretty worthy of the stupid president. But we are not discussing stupidity of leaders - we are discussing the bizarre claim you seemed to make that because Stalin and Hitler weren't stupid, their policies advanced interests that you attribute to their states.

Balsamo wrote:The "idiots theories" are theories developped by oberservers, searchers, theorists who when faced with an actions that does not fit in their logic and perspectives,

Pure CT logic - as I have said, there are many possible grounds on which to assess policies, and not all criticism can be so glibly and cheaply dismissed.

Balsamo wrote: to conclude, "Right, what the subject of my study did is absurd but he did it anyway because he was an idiot".

And that is a total mischaracterization of the issue I raised, which was the opposite - that "Stupid or not, people do things that create unintended consequences, they can be outwitted by clever or even unclever opponents whose goals aren't discernible, they make mistakes, they can fail to control all the variables of a situation." That is, the argument that Stalin wasn't stupid doesn't necessarily tell us anything about Soviet interests as defined by Stalin and Soviet policy developed to support those interests.

Balsamo wrote: Not that the action itself was stupid per se, any action can be considered through various perspectives. And this action may look stupid in one perspective but pertinent in another. Of course, if one excludes from the start any other perspective, then the theorist is forced to turn to "Idiots theories".

Which no one did here.

I'm a bit lost as you seem to be misunderstanding replies made here and throwing a jumble of ideas and concepts together. So I will drop off here . . .

Bonne année!
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:20 am

Balsamo wrote: Stalin could only be a smart man and be aware that his multi-milion standing army and his tens of thousands of tanks were just worth {!#%@}. So everything he did from 1939 (and even before that) to 1941 was dictated by this reality, had to be dictated by this reality.
David Fletcher at the Bovington tank museum made a similar interesting comment. Russia and Britain "benefited" from having all their early obsolete armour destroyed early in the war, forcing them to invest in more modern designs. The most common German tank, throughout the war, the Panzer IV, was a 1936 design and pretty old fashioned, although quite reliable mechanically.

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Jeff_36 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:19 pm

Balsamo wrote:In many regards, the launch of Barbarossa was a very "stupid idea" - and it turned to be one rapidly - it does not make Hitler an illogical actor of the International scene. Quite the contrary, he was a very rational "mad man" and geopolitical "player", but that i mean that Nazi Germany's international policies are quite easy to understand and to conceptualize.


Barbarossa was fuled at least partially by ideological concerns, which naturally are mutually exclusive with reason.

But when it comes to Stalin, reference to "idiots theories" are just all over the place, and does not help nor to understand Russia's foreign actions, even less to conceptualize them. Basically because he did many actions which do not fit with what we are told was the USSR intentions, we are given "idiots theories" which are supposed to explain why we cannot explain those actions...And stangely enough, it still works quite well.


Hate to break it to you but he was an idiot. His actions during the purges give me the impression of a paranoid, delusional simpleton.

What Glantz propose basically is that the disaster of 1941 prooves the lack of readiness of the Red Army

It does.

Although an "idiots" for so many things, Stalin could only be a smart man and be aware that his multi-milion standing army and his tens of thousands of tanks were just worth {!#%@}. So everything he did from 1939 (and even before that) to 1941 was dictated by this reality, had to be dictated by this reality.
This approach makes no sense at all, whether in History or in Political science... It seems that it is only valid for Stalin - and only for that short period of time.


Much like a child fascinated by a shiny spoon you seem positively engrossed by the Red army's tanks and manpower. However you fail to understand that they were severely lacking in many other areas, such as aircrew, aircraft, artillery, communications, leadership........ The simple fact is that the Red Army of 1941 could not have invaded my backyard. 1942 would have been a different story, but that's not what {!#%@} alleges.


Basically, if this approach was to be a "rule", then something must have motivated or even forced Mussolini to strike Greece. He could not have wanted to strike, given the lack of readiness of the Italian Army...The lack of readiness being shown by the beating it recieve in Greece...

He imagined that Greece would have folded much like Albania had done. His hubris was understandable. Misjudging a minnow like Greece is hardly comparable to the situation with Russia and Germany. You could not have miscalculated when launching an "invasion" of the most ferocious millitary power in the world. Stalin was vary cautious and would not have invaded until his army was fully locked and loaded.

The same way, Tzar Nicholas II could not have an aggressive foreign policy before WW1, because the performance of his imperial Army was poor during the combats...So his role in the events before the war MUST have been misunderstood somehow...


The 1905 war had been a full decade beforehand. Additionally the Tzar's mistakes were the motivating factor for Stalin to insist upon total preparedness.

You both asked:
“helping Germany build its overall capabilities through this fulfillment - and planning war with Germany at the same time?”
Good question.
But you seem to forget that the treaty was bilateral. Germany got food, oil, rare materials, and more important access to the Asian market, but Germany was providing Coal (500 million RM), two war ships, the blueprints of its most recent airplanes, along with samples of each, blueprints of the Bismarck, artillery pieces and ammunitions (to be studied), machine tools, electric plants, etc

So I guess the same question might be raised regarding the Germans. Does it make sense to share its military technology with a country they were planning to strike?

As for the answer:
YES it may make sense in both cases, if both parties needed what they got from the deal. By sending as soon as early 1940 150.000 tons of fuel to Germany, Stalin made it possible for Hitler to attack France without having to worry about his stockpiles. For the USSR, what was delivery was less than 1/30 of its output…not a big sacrifice.
Obviously, Hitler needed Stalin much more than Stalin needed Hitler (still the technologies in everything but tanks and artillery is what the USSR lacked). Still Stalin would have made it without, Hitler wouldn't.


You raise a good point - but you fail to understand that Germany was getting shipments of oil right up until the day of the invasion. It does not make sense to continue to feed your target until the 11th hour. Suvorov's thesis (as presented in his book M-Day) was that the invasion was to take place in early July 1941. Normally one would expect that the deliveries would have been cut off at some point.


Glantz and others argue that the USSR was not ready for attack – and as you admitted, Jeff, without mentioning the number of tanks production.


I'm saying that the tanks are irrelevant. He could easily have hada billion tanks but without proper crews, air support ect. it is useless. A few tanks does not a July 1941 invasion make.

My question would be what is needed to be ready for attack. Is two times as troops, five times as tanks and planes, not enough? Can one consider, given the army gathered for Barbarossa, that Germany really was ready for a strike against the USSR, given that he had not even winter cloths, only 3300 tanks (a third of that still those tin cans of Pz I and II), 1,4 million tons of fuel, and all the soldiers it could find (which was still only a little more than the half of the Red Army?)


Superior training, superior leadership, superior communications, superior weapons, superior tactics, absolutely superior air power.........

Of course, one can find Soviet’s documents saying that all the plans were not yet implemented, the same way that there a plenty of German memorandums stating 1943 as the objective of completion for the Wehrmacht "restructuring".


I'm gonna call BS on that one.
And even if it is true, you cannot compare apples to oranges. Hitler thought that his invasion of Poland in 1939 would be a regional war that would be over in a few weeks, hence the 1943 date. He did not expect to be part of a world war. Stalin on the other hand would have known full well that invading the most powerful state in the world would require a full basket. He explicitly stated as much. The restructuring would have had to be fully finished by the tine of the invasion.

Statistically, the comparison between both military strenght of both Armies is quite shocking. Still no one raise the "Hitler idiocity" of starting a war with his 1939 army, while it supposed to be obvious for anyone that the "Red Army was a giand with clay feet,"


Superior training, superior leadership, superior communications, superior weapons, superior tactics, absolutely superior air power.........


"No tank crews, no pilots and no Sailors."

Your incredulity fails in the face of the facts. That assertion is true and the simple, infalliable truth is that the Soviets could not have invaded without the proper hardware and forces.

Not only does it goes behind any “idiots theories” – I would say it is close to racism against the Russians: So a States which has been developing tanks since the very early 30’s, producing tens of thousands of them, and producing even more in 1941 (over 6.000 during the first 6 months), had no crews? Must be some kind of Russian logic :” Tanks building period: 1931-1941; crew training: 1941-43).


You and your {!#%@} tanks again......
You do realize that it takes more than just tanks to launch the largest invasion in history right? You also realize that the Germans outnumbered the soviets considerably on the eastern front in June 1941?

Did Stalin Purged the tank crews as well?


He purged his two best armored tacticians.

I imply that Germany had not many options but to attack or put all its fate and destiny in Stalin`s hands.


They could have launched an actual pre-emptive strike (a la Israel on Egypt in 1967) in 1942-43. It would have worked beautifully.

I imply that after the failure of the November 40 meeting, Stalin and the Russians must have known that. What I do imply is that the Soviets had very good reasons to make a pre-emptive attack OR to prepare their defenses properly. What i imply is that they certainly DID NOT DO the later.


We agree that Stalin came away from the 1940 meeting bitter and likely decided to plan for an eventual attack on Germany. But his armies were not ready at all in 1941 for such an endevour and all indications point to his actions in 1941 as being directed towards the prolongation of the pact.

However you fail to realize that Hitler had instructed OKH in September of 1940 that regardless of the results of the November meeting, the invasion plans would continue.

You fail to realize that Stalin was noticeably terrified of German offensive power, and that the 1940 Blitzkrieg had a huge impact on him. After the fall of France he remarked to Kaganovich: "what are we going to do? the Germans will eat us alive." He had no confidence in his military.

No you didn’t.
How could Stalin be under the impression that he would be allowed to occupy Romania, as Romania was the main source of oil and was designated as part of the German sphere of influence in the Pact?

He was a delusional peasant simpleton who had a severely over-inflated sense of his own importance. Additionally he exhibited old Pan-Russian hegemonic inclinations that had been around long before 1941 or even 1917.


This meeting was nothing less than negotiation about the possibility for the USSR to join the Axis. These negotiation are enough to prove Hitler’s ambition at this stage of the war, but the same applies to Stalin…Indeed, he asked for Romania (a absurd demand), but also for Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey (to secure the Bosphorus, access to the Mediterranean (very old Russian dream still quite influential today. ), etc.


His wanting access to the Mediterranean was nothing new: every Russian government for at least a century had lusted after it.


The Germans began building fortification in Silesia as well - behind the Poland buffer zone - which did not prevent them from attacking. So it proves very little.

His orders were explicitly to construct a defensive perimeter and to avoid provocations. So yes, in this case it proves a whole lot more than a little.

As I said, regarding to the construction of fortifications, Stalin did not have to “begin” anything. Still waiting for Glantz explanation of dismantling the Stalin line – the results of years of efforts – to build some very light ones right in front of the German Army. So yet again, confronted with this not very good defensive move – Stalin was an idiot.


Glantz does not deny westward ambitions on part of Stalin in the long run, nor do I. Such a move was an example of every long term planning/



Hum...I am not getting that right. The Pact made sure that there was nothing to fear from the Baltic States, the winter war from Finland. Any moves from them "inspired by germany" would have meant that the Nazi were breaking the Pact. Something they didn't up to the last minutes, contrary to Stalin. Being in a sphere of influence does not mean full annexation right away. The Batic States had been "turned" into friendly puppets as soon as 1939. It would have been more "defensive" to keep those States as puppets like Slovakia, Hitler would have had to recognize them (just like Stalin recognized Slovakia), he could have had annexed them when ready. This would have been "long term plans"


No, if these countries were to be invaded by the Germans, the pupped governments would be overthrown and they would proceed to become military allies of Germany. By invading them Stalin was able to set his troops up in the area and forestall the chance of such a thing happening. It was also motivated in his desire to restore the old imperial Russian borders.


I have a copy of "the Chief Culprint" next to me...and in this one, he does not mention any date of attack. I do not personnally anyway, my disagreement is not about what the German did and why they did it, as i explained.


In "M-Day" Suvorov explicitly states that the invasion was to take place in early July 1941. In Icebreaker and M-Day he framed the invasion as a pre-emptive strike, which it was not.

Relative to Germany intelligence about the USSR, i think it is fair to say that it was rather inexistent, contrary to Stalin's intelligence on the rest of the world...

That doesn't matter - I'm talking about principle here. In principle, the German attack could not have been a pre emptive strike if they honestly thought that the Russians were not an immediate threat (and that is exactly what OKH stated). That removes the moral root of Suvorovisim: it's portrayal of Hitler as a humanitarian.

So am I supposed or react? Having not read any of his books, you can only rely on what Deniers have made out of them, which, by definition, you know it will be in a dishonestly way.


I know enough to understand his critical arguments. He is invoked constantly at AHF and has been addressed and refuted by scores of military historians from Russia, Germany, the United States and elsewhere.


And no one here is denying the genocidal character of this invasion,


Suvorovists such as Mills of AHF and Trollo of RODOH explicitly do just that. Hargis of codoh is a huge fan of Suvorov as well iirc.

Again, I am not trying to make Hitler being less guilty


Suvorovists such as Joahiem Hoffmann and Ernst Topsisch clearly attempted to do so, as did Ernst Nolte.


For decades, we have been repeated the same crap: that Stalin – who was afraid of everything – wanted to “SAVE PEACE” and “GAIN TIME” (seriously, try to “google” the question).
I am still waiting for a pertinent explanation to support this statement, besides the usual “Stalin didn’t trust Churchill”, the incapability of the “Entente” to guarantee “collective security”…And in all those cases, we just have statement, no real arguments.


No one worth his salt paints Stalin as anything more than a bloody mined freak. And no one worth his salt denies that he was building his military up for an eventual showdown with Hitler, and that all evidence points to his intentions to take the offensive in that eventual showdown.

But this was not to take place in 1941 due to the shoddy and inferior state of his army. And Hitler's invasion was planned before Stalin started thinking about his own plans and was not pre emptive in nature. Stalin was cunning when it came to internal maneuvering but fundamentally he was still an ignorant peasant who was easily manipulated by Hitler.

And one still finds today that Stalin invaded – without declaration of war – Poland, deported the Polish intelligentia, killed the officer, “de-polonized” his part of Poland to “save peace” and “gain time” because he felt threatened…by…Nazi Germany…That the mighty Red Army lost because it was in “peacetime mood” and that only a miracle – the mud and the winter – saved humanity from the fascist threat.


The Red Army lost because it was in the midst of a rebuild and was barely capable of basic combat. So yes, it was a miracle that the Nazis did not take Moscow, because they sure were having an easy time beforehand.


The question I am still asking at this stage is
- Would have Hitler attacked Poland (and risk a World war or at least most probably a british blockade) without this pact, and essentially the economic part of the Pact?

No. But let's not pretend that Hitler did not lust after Polish territory. The signing of the pact was a way for him to cover his bases.

The most common answer would be Nazi Germany, right? But here ceases the “logic” and from there the observers are forced to count on “idiots theories”. Because what Stalin DID after the British guarantee on Poland is everything but logic with the “peace and time thing”…until proven otherwise…


His quasi-imperialist expansionism from 1939 to 1941 was irrelevant. The inevitable confrontation with Germany was looming in the distant future and he needed time and territory to prepare for it. He certainly was not intending to invade in July of 1941. :roll: :roll:

You made fun about the BT-5, describing it as a “tin can”…although the BT series was the best “light tank” of its generation.


It could be knocked out by a 38 millimeter antitank gun. You're {!#%@} right it was a tin can.

The BT’s were far more superior than those poor “Pz I and Pz II”, which were the tanks used by Hitler to launch the war!


Again with the tanks. If the Panzer corps was oh so pathetic in 1941 why did they make mincemeat out of Russian armor?

It is now proven that Hitler would probably not have been in the capacity to “blitzkrieg” France without the 150.000 tons delivered monthly by Stalin. In those condition, I ask the question one more time how could Germany – even if Nazi and with a lunatic and genocidal fool at its head – be a threat to the huge USSR?


If they had gotten a hold of British oil reserves in the middle east it would have been over for the Russians. Stalin's leverage would be gone and he would be stuck with his inferior army led by a pack of silly hype men.


But as we are told that Stalin was scared of the mighty Wehrmacht and its 450 tanks while he had more than 12.000 of more powerful more efficient ones? We have to believe that? Bollocks!


The results speak for themselves. And in your bizarre fixation on tanks you ignore the absolutely critical reason why Stalin was petrified: air power. The VVS was in shambles and it's anti-air defenses were outdated. The Germans had an absolutely monstrous advantage in air power and boasted the most fearsome fighter-bomber of it's time: the Stuka. The legendary Sturmovik was not yet fully introduced by the VVS in 1941 and would not be until January of 1942 and only then because production was sped up by the invasion. Do you really expect anyone to believe that Stalin would have invaded without any semblance of air superiority or air-to ground attacking power? BS.

That he was caught by surprise in the middle of a building up? But what were the plans? to have 30.000 or 40.000 thousands tanks?


You really like tanks don't you. Well: newsflash - it takes more than tanks to launch an invasion. You need people to operate them, infantry commanders to operate around them, fighter jets to protect them and fighter-bombers to smash the opposing tanks. Stalin may have had a lot of tanks but he had literally none of the other intangibles.

In addition, another point which is systematically overlooked is that the “free world” at that time ignored the secret protocols, so it is a supposedly insecure and frightened Stalin who basically challenged the “world community” (by invading Finland, and those annexations), but we are to believed that he did all that by knowing the lack of preparation of his army, fearing that the war would strike his poor and unprepared nation…tanks but no crews, planes but no pilots, war vessels but no bunch of “Popeye”…


Invading Finland and Bessarabia is one thing but invading the most powerful country on earth is entirely different. And by all accounts the hiding he had received in Finland dramatically reduced his confidence in the Red Army.

<snipped inane cold war paranoia>

Considering that, again, Stalin was too stupid to see that while Hitler had no mean to really harm Great Britain, Great Britain had no means to do anything about Hitler, hence NO front? Well, “yes” says colonel Glantz… adding “and so what?”


His distrust of Britain is a matter of historical fact and yes, he was too stupid to see that Germany had no means to harm Britain. Recall that there were fears of German invasion in Britain well into 1941.


By Stating such idiocies like “the USSR was building tanks without crews, planes without pilots, and war ships without sailor, was creating hundreds of divisions without generals”… and the pill should pass? Who trained the German pilots of the Luftwaffe during the prohibition? Who formed the Panzers’ crews? Should the answer be “irrelevant questions, my friend?”


They are indeed irrelevant. The statement “the USSR was building tanks without crews, planes without pilots, and war ships without sailor, was creating hundreds of divisions without generals” is true to a T and is quite relevant: such an army cannot launch an invasion.

Well, that is basically what Glantz and friends want us to swallow. And I would note that in his “Barbarossa”, while being fond in enumerating the Red army losses, Glantz never, ever, mentions any German losses, never. He described the Wehrmacht as a formidable war machine, invincible, rolling overs disorganized and unprepared Soviets units…Wonder if Omer Bartov is in his bibliography… omitting to mention that the Wehrmacht was losing like 100.000 soldiers a month, 3000 a day, since day one…much more when having to confront real defensive positions like Brest…Not a word about their strategic reserves in fuel…Nothing could have stopped the Wehrmacht, but the mud and the snow…even though Hitler could only make his tanks roll over Russia for an additional 6 months or so… had he not captured additional reserves.


Their "losses" paled in comparison to Russian losses. The first six months of Barbarossa was a one sided beating unparalleled in military history before or since. No amount of revisionist woo woo, no amount of "well, but...." can diminish that basic fact.

It is a matter of fact that the USSR was not scheduled to enter into full war production until December of 1942. The glaring issues with the Red Army in 1941 so adroitly pointed out by Glantz and others would have been mostly corrected by 1942. This it makes sense that Stalin was planning some kind of offensive action against Germany - in or after 1942. It is a matter of fact that he demanded that his divisions be at full capacity in the event of a war. In 1941 there were divisions at 20% or 30% capacity. The average seems o be 40-65%. That is not an army that is about to invade. Anyone who disputes that a thing is in dire need of institutionalization.

It all boils down to a simple principle: If it can't happen it won't happen. An army that can't invade won't invade until it can. The Red Army in 1941 was in no position to invade and its directives at the time indicate that they were not intending to do so at that time.

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Balsamo » Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:41 pm

Statmec:

Well, I will disagree with you on that, but it wasn't what I was replying to. I was replying to where you wrote that neither Hitler nor Stalin was stupid, your words, not mine.

But interests and policies aren't a given - they are what politics and leaders and movements define. For better or worse.


As a Realist, this is something i contest, or at least it should be put in perspective. Hitler as well as Stalin were Statesmen before being normal individuals, therefore there is like a mutual influence between a Statesman personality and the States he is leading. States as entity have their own logic, which in a realist outlook, is dictated by the need to exist, to struggle among international chaos, which logically leads for a struggle for power. This logic articulates around two principal dynamics: the quest of fulfilling its interests and the obligation to deal with its perceived threats.
Of course, the Statesmen do participate to the definition of their interests and their nation threat, although most of the time, those interests and threats impose themselves to them.

To put this more clearly: Some observers clearly warned that the treaty of Versaille was an open door for a new war. And they were absolutely right. They were already talking about Germany, and in some cases Russia, although nor Hitler nor Stalin were in power. It was clear that the Czeckoslovia would be a permanent problem, as it was an obvious threat to Germany's security - as a sword planted in Germany's belly - And every German leaders would have seen Czechoslovakia the same way. Hitler of course did as well. Where the personality of the Statesman intervenes is how the States deal with its problem. Of course, the more personalized a State is the more influence the leader has. But this applies for both Hitler and Stalin.

To sum it, whatever their personalities, they were given geo-political situations which were outside their reach. There is a whole set of elements which are not controled by the Statesman or the Government, therefore it is right to use the term "STATES", even a pacifist regime or government can be dragged into a war.

Without getting into US policy and presidents, the policies of the Bush era - from tax policy to financial regulation to Middle Eastern policy - were pretty {!#%@} stupid and pretty worthy of the stupid president.


I agree not to get into real US politic here. But thanks for the example:
You may consider those policies stupid - i exclude the tax things which is purely internal - and i would agree with you. But if i had to do a work on the US foreign policy in the middle east, my personal subjective opinion on those policies would not be what i would have been asked. In the case of the USA, i think the role of the president - only elected for four years - should not be overrated, but let's leave that aside. What matters is that the definition of interests and threats are often given to more permanent bodies of government like the Security council, the Pentagon, the CIA, etc. Whoever is responsible, the file "terrorism" will be on the next president desk, Terrorism will impose itself and would not be the result of some elected politicians.
President Obama promised to shut down Guantanamo, well he did not because he could not.

What changes of course is how the States deal with their perceived interests and threats. And in this perspective, personalities like Hitler and Stalin are quite decisive.

Pure CT logic - as I have said, there are many possible grounds on which to assess policies, and not all criticism can be so glibly and cheaply dismissed
.

If by CT you mean conspiracy theories, well i have already say "all the good i think about those theories", so let's forget that. And especially when they become a weapon against those who notes flaws in some logics, reasoning. My intervention in this thread was about Glantz and his conclusions, so i don't know if you have read his works, but i think i have the right NOT to agree with most of his conclusions, and to be more precise with his approach which i consider asymmetrical ( i have no better word).
So when Jeff present him as the ultimate highest authority having debunked Suvorov (whom i have never designated as a Scholar in the first place), without having read the other book, well i pointed out that He just did not debunked anything as he did not address most of the point Suvorov proposed.
No CT in here.

Are we CT when we agree that dear Lucy D works is sub standard? Or that Lipstadt work on denial shows a clear misunderstanding of European mind?

As to assess foreign policies there are indeed methods, a various approaches possible, and i don't pretend that i hold the truth here, but when the basis are incorrect, then the conclusions cannot be considered as definitive.

And that is a total mischaracterization of the issue I raised, which was the opposite - that "Stupid or not, people do things that create unintended consequences, they can be outwitted by clever or even unclever opponents whose goals aren't discernible, they make mistakes, they can fail to control all the variables of a situation." That is, the argument that Stalin wasn't stupid doesn't necessarily tell us anything about Soviet interests as defined by Stalin and Soviet policy developed to support those interests.


No offense intended here, but my walls of text were not intended to answer your remarks, but were addressing GLANTZ thesis and Jeff rendition of them.

Which no one did here.


Well, GLANTZ does, and indirectly Jeff.

Bonne annee aussi...

:D

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Balsamo » Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:49 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Balsamo wrote: Stalin could only be a smart man and be aware that his multi-milion standing army and his tens of thousands of tanks were just worth {!#%@}. So everything he did from 1939 (and even before that) to 1941 was dictated by this reality, had to be dictated by this reality.
David Fletcher at the Bovington tank museum made a similar interesting comment. Russia and Britain "benefited" from having all their early obsolete armour destroyed early in the war, forcing them to invest in more modern designs. The most common German tank, throughout the war, the Panzer IV, was a 1936 design and pretty old fashioned, although quite reliable mechanically.


With all respect for mister Fletcher, the Bt-5, Bt-7, T-25, etc were far better than what Germany had in 1939, and the technology behind the T-34 was already ready before any russian tanks were destroyed as the production of the T-34 started in 1940, production was increased in 1941, reached crazy levels in 1942, skyrocketed in 1944 and 1945. Not to speak about the KV, and later, the IS...

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:14 pm

Balsamo wrote:Statmec:

Well, I will disagree with you on that, but it wasn't what I was replying to. I was replying to where you wrote that neither Hitler nor Stalin was stupid, your words, not mine.

But interests and policies aren't a given - they are what politics and leaders and movements define. For better or worse.


As a Realist, this is something i contest, or at least it should be put in perspective. Hitler as well as Stalin were Statesmen before being normal individuals, therefore there is like a mutual influence between a Statesman personality and the States he is leading. States as entity have their own logic, which in a realist outlook, is dictated by the need to exist, to struggle among international chaos, which logically leads for a struggle for power. This logic articulates around two principal dynamics: the quest of fulfilling its interests and the obligation to deal with its perceived threats.
Of course, the Statesmen do participate to the definition of their interests and their nation threat, although most of the time, those interests and threats impose themselves to them.

To put this more clearly: Some observers clearly warned that the treaty of Versaille was an open door for a new war. And they were absolutely right. They were already talking about Germany, and in some cases Russia, although nor Hitler nor Stalin were in power. It was clear that the Czeckoslovia would be a permanent problem, as it was an obvious threat to Germany's security - as a sword planted in Germany's belly - And every German leaders would have seen Czechoslovakia the same way. Hitler of course did as well. Where the personality of the Statesman intervenes is how the States deal with its problem. Of course, the more personalized a State is the more influence the leader has. But this applies for both Hitler and Stalin.

To sum it, whatever their personalities,

But, of course, I was not thinking or writing about "personalities." Different movements, parties, and groups of leaders and activists may well differ on both how they define the country's interest and how they promote it, viz., Trotsky faction - Stalin faction, FDR - isolationists, slaveholders - abolitionists, Copperheads - Republicans, etc.

Balsamo wrote:they were given geo-political situations which were outside their reach. There is a whole set of elements which are not controled by the Statesman or the Government, therefore it is right to use the term "STATES", even a pacifist regime or government can be dragged into a war.

So what? This reads like a cross between conspiracy thinking and geographical determinism, because the question is what people make of things, which is why your ignoring almost entirely ideologies - lived relation of people to their contexts - seems to be part of this. The argument here runs like crude base-superstructure thinking in Marxism.

Balsamo wrote:
Without getting into US policy and presidents, the policies of the Bush era - from tax policy to financial regulation to Middle Eastern policy - were pretty {!#%@} stupid and pretty worthy of the stupid president.


I agree not to get into real US politic here. But thanks for the example:
You may consider those policies stupid - i exclude the tax things which is purely internal - and i would agree with you.

Which is my point: that policies don't perfectly match, support, or promote what you define as essential interests.

Balsamo wrote:But if i had to do a work on the US foreign policy in the middle east, my personal subjective opinion on those policies would not be what i would have been asked.

Nor I - which raises the question why you keep suggesting that those who don't agree with you are operating that way.

Balsamo wrote:In the case of the USA, i think the role of the president - only elected for four years - should not be overrated, but let's leave that aside. What matters is that the definition of interests and threats are often given to more permanent bodies of government like the Security council, the Pentagon, the CIA, etc. Whoever is responsible, the file "terrorism" will be on the next president desk, Terrorism will impose itself and would not be the result of some elected politicians.
President Obama promised to shut down Guantanamo, well he did not because he could not.

Or because Obama would not. Or because in the last period there's been little difference among the political parties, foreign policy establishment, etc on such issues. But the neo-cons, including Hillary Clinton, have promoted distinct policies - and with a Democratic president in 2003 named Al Gore I do not think the US would have invaded Iraq (Afghanistan, yes but Iraq, no).

But, again, that's not my point: I'm not arguing that Obama's policies are successful and Bush's weren't. Nor am I arguing that the NSA, Pentagon, etc don't play an immense role in establishing policy (although I know that there are differences within these agencies . . . ). Nor am I saying that there isn't convergence or continuity. OTOH it would be foolish to dismiss the State Department and the White House, and just as foolish to dismiss something like the idea of a post-Vietnam foreign policy in the US that redefined intervention and use of military forces and that arose partly from mass and electoral politics, partly in relation to reactions to the Vietnam aggression and partly in relation its outcome.

Balsamo wrote:What changes of course is how the States deal with their perceived interests and threats.

Which has in part to do with leadership/party, ideology, competition, etc. You can't simply equate your idea of US or USSR or German interest and match it to the party in power: there are continuities, and there are differences. For both continuities and differences, we need to understand the political and other fractures within the country we're discussing, as well as their capabilities, world outlook, strengths and shortcomings, intelligence, organization, etc.

Ok, as I said, I don't have a strong view here, since it's years since I've read on the topic - so my comment was on the persuasiveness of points made. But let's take the earlier example of the Baltics, that the incorporation of these countries into the USSR is some kind of proof of Stalin's offensive posture, that incorporation being bereft for defense. That just rings hollow - and rests on an assumption, unless much more is said, of an offensive posture. Because there are possibly good defensive reasons for the Stalin government to annex these countries, e.g., they are unreliable because moving to the right and toward fascism, their governments are growing closer to Germany, or others. There are also other reasons - less good for defense but still not offensive - that the USSR might have incorporate the Baltics (e.g., opportunism, political or national aggrandizement, posturing, etc).

In this sense, you keep writing in circles, proving premises by premises - in the case of the Baltics that because the wiser defensive strategy is to keep a buffer, therefore the less wise defensive more had to be offensive.

Balsamo wrote:so i don't know if you have read his works, but i think i have the right NOT to agree with most of his conclusions,

I am replying as an interested reader who has not read Suvorov, Glantz, or even Werth . . . replying to what's being written here . . . and just saying that some of the argument is very unpersuasive. So I'm not commenting on Glantz or on whether to accept his arguments or not. I have no opinion on Glantz. The CT is the hyperintentionality of the argumentation.

Balsamo wrote:Are we CT when we agree that dear Lucy D works is sub standard? Or that Lipstadt work on denial shows a clear misunderstanding of European mind?

No, not remotely. As noted, I am responding to an argument you're making, not your dismissal of Glantz, whom I've not read.

As to assess foreign policies there are indeed methods, a various approaches possible, and i don't pretend that i hold the truth here, but when the basis are incorrect, then the conclusions cannot be considered as definitive.

Balsamo wrote:
And that is a total mischaracterization of the issue I raised, which was the opposite - that "Stupid or not, people do things that create unintended consequences, they can be outwitted by clever or even unclever opponents whose goals aren't discernible, they make mistakes, they can fail to control all the variables of a situation." That is, the argument that Stalin wasn't stupid doesn't necessarily tell us anything about Soviet interests as defined by Stalin and Soviet policy developed to support those interests.

No offense intended here, but my walls of text were not intended to answer your remarks, but were addressing GLANTZ thesis and Jeff rendition of them.

No offense taken . . . I replied as I did only because your post started out replying to the objection I'd posted earlier. I stopped my WoT, you may have noticed, when your WoT drifted to the issues you and Jeff have been discussing.

Balsamo wrote:
Which no one did here.


Well, GLANTZ does, and indirectly Jeff.

Not that I noticed!

Balsamo wrote:Bonne annee aussi...

:D

And at least my replying shows that the WoTs are being read! LOL
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Jeff_36 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:14 pm

Jeff_36 has a Question for the suvorovists: if Stalin was such a diabolical genius, why did he top Yakov Shmuskievich, the commander of his airforce, in early June, 3-6 months before his alleged "invasion" was to begin. Jeff_36 finds the notion of Bomber Harris being executed right before d-day to be patently absurd. The suvorovists have dodged this particular inconvenient fact before in this very thread. Jeff_36 reminds the local Suvorovits that Shmuskievich was considered to be an excellent ariel offensive tactician for his time.
Last edited by Jeff_36 on Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:20 pm

I find it creepy that Jeff is now writing like Monstrous . . . :)
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Jeff_36 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:24 am

Jeff_36 knows not what Balsamo's exact timeline in regards to this issue is, but Jeff_36's thesis is as follows.

In the opinion of Jeff_36, Stalin was building his army up for an eventual confrontation with Nazi Germany. He was cautious, only acting directly against smaller states (and with inconsistent results - see the case of Finland) while waiting until the Red Army was at full capacity before any action against Nazi Germany. This action may not have been an invasion of Europe up to the channel but rather the restoration of Russia's 1912 borders, but that is mere speculation. In 1941 the Red Army was far from ready for such an action and Stalin knew it. Thus, his focus was on extending the Pact. His intentions can be traced to his deep fear and awe at the German Blitzkrieg power, and a desire to be ready when the time came.

The Germans had decided to embark on a colonial campaign in Russia as early as October of 1940 for their own reasons, and were convinced that the Russians would not launch an attack. Thus it cannot be termed as a pre-emptive strike (which is how Sewverov describes it).

Jeff_36 thinks that Stalin, upon taking notice of the gathering Nazi hailstorm, decided in May or thereabouts to investigate the possibility of a pre-emtive attack on the amassed German forces. This was not an invasion but rather a defensive measure. However, we see a marked change in doctrine in early June 1941 as the deployments were stopped and a defensive positioning was ordered. It is Jeff_36's opinion that Stalin, upon noticing the unpreparedness and shoddiness of his army, canceled the plan and ordered a defensive posture whilst desperately attempting to end the conflict diplomatically. There is evidence that he attempted to send Molotov to Berlin to meet with Hitler on June 18th but this was rebuffed.

Thus, S0v0r0vi5im as a means of reviving the col war era "clean Heer" myth and by extension justifying the barbaric Nazi actions in occupied Russia. You cannot deny that that is what Soovorovisim seeks to accomplish, because that is what his adherents (hargis ect.) state to be the result of his (fraudulent) "research".

Stalin is characterized by Vlaso-Suvorovists as a diabolical genius. That is a half lie. He was evil but he was the literal furthest thing from a genius. In 1941 he was outplayed, outsmarted and just plain duped.

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby nickterry » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:11 am

For God's sake use the first person....

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Balsamo » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:22 am

Hi Jeff,

Hate to break it to you but he was an idiot. His actions during the purges give me the impression of a paranoid, delusional simpleton.


Again, what matter is what you and i think. Granted he was a paranoid, but that shows at least he did not expect his colleagues to love him. The purges allowed him to take grip on the Red Army at a time he had the project to triple its size, and basically to stay on power until his death. His criminal behavior mad a lot of sense to him, in his logic.
Anyway, what matter is what he thought by purging his army, was he thinking "I am weakening my army here, but i have to do it" or "By killing all those soon to be traitors, the army will be mine and much stronger." The stupidity of this reasoning is not of our business, but the question is the way he answered this. The next step is then to see if he later acted like a cautious leader conscious that his Army was week or not.

It does.


Assymetrical again... No one denies that the Red Army acted poorly, the question would be did Stalin knew it would turned out like this. Of course, Glantz argument would be much stronger if he could prove that the Red Army was in full defensive disposition, waiting for a strike.

The problem is that he considers Barbarossa as a logical moves, a thing that was ineluctable, and PERCEIVED AS SUCH BY ANYONE.
When i said that Barbarossa was a "foolish idea", well just consider that Hitler attacked with barely more troops than for the assault against France! with a little more tanks, but much less air force, with no winter equipment and fuel for 10 months.

The crucial issue is was the outcome perceived as certain and ineluctable by Stalin, basically did he fear his army was "{!#%@}" or did he not. As as far as i know all the crucial archives (if they still exists) of Stalin's meetings in June 1941 are still classified, so will have to wait.

However you fail to understand that they were severely lacking in many other areas, such as aircrew, aircraft, artillery, communications, leadership........ The simple fact is that the Red Army of 1941 could not have invaded my backyard. 1942 would have been a different story, but that's not what {!#%@} alleges.


Until proven otherwise, those a just statements...I would appreciate if you could share How Glantz comes with this conclusions, what kind of documents, etc.
Depending on the sources, The Red Army had between 12 and 20.000 thousands active tanks. And as i explained, given the technological advance they had in the "tank industry", and for the reasons i explained, the lack of crews seems dubious.
Of course, if some documents refers to the ratio between tanks BEING produced and the need for crews, then things are different...but what was the ratio knowing that during the 6 first months of 1941 an additional 6500 tanks came out from factories?
As i said, i don't have Stumbling colossus on hand, so if you could summarize Glantz arguments, i would appreciate.

You raise a good point - but you fail to understand that Germany was getting shipments of oil right up until the day of the invasion. It does not make sense to continue to feed your target until the 11th hour. Suvorov's thesis (as presented in his book M-Day) was that the invasion was to take place in early July 1941. Normally one would expect that the deliveries would have been cut off at some point.


yes and no, actually. German ships were still in Russian harbors on the 20th, the Nazi too waited for the last minutes to break the pact. Besides, the oil provided to Germany was negligible quantity for the USSR, like 5 tons a day...
Now, that being said, i am less focus on the question if whether or not Stalin was about to strike in June or July 41...Unfortunately, until the archives are open and if those archives still exists, all this belongs to speculations...which is fine to me as long as they are presented as such... I have never read M-day, i did Icebreaker (which i lost) and the Chief culprint that i still own...
This is why i am more focus on Glantz who is an historian. I reacted because contrary to what you seem to believe Glantz stumbling collossus does not address like 80% of the points raised by Suvorov in the books i have read. What Deniers do out of them is not of my concern, really. So one cannot state that Glantz "debunked" anything...and in addition, i do not like this "term", History being a very relative science.

I'm saying that the tanks are irrelevant. He could easily have hada billion tanks but without proper crews, air support ect. it is useless. A few tanks does not a July 1941 invasion make.


Addressed above, would really love some detail about those assertions, and of course, how in a matter of the worst months in Russian history, the problem will be overcome in a matter of months.

Superior training, superior leadership, superior communications, superior weapons, superior tactics, absolutely superior air power.........


Superior training: YES, Superior Leadership: NO DOUBTS, Superior communication: YES, superior Tactics: absolutly
Superior weapons : WHERE? Superior airpower: thanks to the strikes of the first days, but only a relative close range supports...The Luftwaffe lacked planes and pilots as well and started the campaign with about only 2700 aircraft for a huge front, it also lacked any long range bombers which were not optimal in anyway...the first raid on Moscow was a disaster for the Luftwaffe... By 1942, air superiority was gone for good.

But you should also add:
Inferior equipment, inferior resource, inferior tanks, inferior war production, inferior manpower, almost no food, by december 1941, Hitler's dream was to be thrown in a bin.

Three people realized this : Prince Konoe, prime minister of Japan, El Duce, and Bulgaria.

I'm gonna call BS on that one.


Now those are pre-war memorandums. And yes year 1943 was described as the "showdown" year. If i mention that is that peace time does allow longer projection - note that it is quite a big proof that Hitler was seeing a war as a political objective...Poland 1939 was an opportunity, not a peace time project. In other words, Hitler started his war three years ahead of his own timing. There is no way one can argue that he was ready for a world war, still he won without surprise against Poland, more surprisingly against France...But again, you skipped my question about Hitler launching that mess without Stalin promises to compensate for the expectable British blockade.

Until June 1941, Stalin was not at war with anyone. But then, for the same reason i would dismissed any deniers attempt to prove through these pre-war documents. The same way, the same cautious attitude should be observed with soviet documents which would show some "build up time" somewhere in a future date. Given the arguments you gave, i mentioned them.

Will i turn into a CT again if i contest that the Wehrmacht and Nazi Europe were the most powerful entities in the world? At least, in addition to the Axis members already mentioned above, Chruchill did not see it that way, Charles de Gaulle neither, and i really doubt Stalin did...But that would be a crucial issue again, and of course, one of those i contest...
German occupied Europe was lacking everything food, oil, rare material, rubber, everything but coal...Iron ore was coming from Sweden and Norway, wood and nickel from Finland, etc. All the rest was transiting through the USSR, everything.
How can a country or even a continent lacking everything be considered as the most powerful in the world?

Your incredulity fails in the face of the facts. That assertion is true and the simple, infalliable truth is that the Soviets could not have invaded without the proper hardware and forces.


I consider my incredulity justified, but again, i beg you to provide more details on those statements.
And what i am asking is a logical link between those statements and the fact that despite this incapacity to invade a "Backyard" it did annexed 12% of Finland, half Poland, the three Baltic States, Bessarabia and Bukovina, taking the risk to make some breach in the "life saving Pact".

You and your {!#%@} tanks again......
You do realize that it takes more than just tanks to launch the largest invasion in history right? You also realize that the Germans outnumbered the soviets considerably on the eastern front in June 1941?


Thank you, well as i said, i would like more than just statements saying this and this...
I would love a little coherence and logic as a start.
The largest invasion in history was launched by Germany ( the trip from Poland to Paris is much shorter)...and guess what, it lacked good tanks, lacked good planes, lacked food, lacked fuel and could not align more troops than it did for France, and even lacked a pair of gloves for the winter... and guess what, Hitler did it nevertheless.
I am pretty sure that the German generals would have loved a bunch of Bt-7 and T-25 to replace their poor Pz 1 and 2...and they would have loved additional fuel, a couple of pair of those boots that every Red Army soldier had on his feet, good T-34 which could roll through the mud...

But twice as much as troops (the superiority is said to exist right at the border, and exclude the unites heading to or behind the border, otherwise the German would not have made more prisoners than its own effective), with infinite reserves ( Germany needed 800.000 recruits to fill the gap after the winter offensive 41-42), 12.000 to 20.000 tanks, enough planes to target clearly identified Luftwaffe airfields (i guess they would have at least a couple of pilots for that), enough fuel to make those tanks roll to Portugal and even Washington if they had been a land border, enough raw materials to build whatever the army would need, thousands of factories outside any bombers reach...their could not invade a back ward.

Logic and coherence is also why i asked why Stalin behave the way he did since 1939 if he was aware than his armada, that took years to build, was just a garbage of moujiks...?

Basically, not a single question i have asked had been addressed.

He purged his two best armored tacticians.


Again, the issue is how Stalin "percieved" this sacrifice.

They could have launched an actual pre-emptive strike (a la Israel on Egypt in 1967) in 1942-43. It would have worked beautifully.


Up to now, quite unsupported claims... I feel bad as i have too Glantz here, but not the one that counts in this thread.

We agree that Stalin came away from the 1940 meeting bitter and likely decided to plan for an eventual attack on Germany. But his armies were not ready at all in 1941 for such an endevour and all indications point to his actions in 1941 as being directed towards the prolongation of the pact.



At least, we agree on one point. Although i would say that his proposal of november 1940 was quite insulting for the Germans, as Romania was asked. Did he came away bitter? Well then, that means he thought his proposals were reasonable, but then i would like to point out that those proposals could have been issued by a leader affraid of war and lacking confidence in his force...

However you fail to realize that Hitler had instructed OKH in September of 1940 that regardless of the results of the November meeting, the invasion plans would continue.


I did not fail at all, as i mention quite clearly that the whole project - while beloved by some in the Foreign ministry - was incompatible with Hitler's ambitions, stating that de facto, the deal would have written Germany's dependency to Soviet supplies in stone. I repeating it, in case you are still think i am defending Barbarossa as a pre-emptive strike... ;)

But again, logic and coherence forces us to notice that while Stalin came away bitter (and probably more anxious than ever), while ordering war games in January, he ordered to dismatled his strongest fortifications at his former border, to start new one on the front line - he must have known he could not defend (given his knowledge of his army being {!#%@} in front of the most powerfull entity in the Universe) - and here, to explain that? Well all one can be said : "he was an idiot", right?

Basically, sorry that it comes upon you, but this is how i react reading Glantz most of the time, especially when it comes to the USSR, but only him, by the way...Speaking of "public understanding", the number of insane articles, i have even read recent student essays on that...

You fail to realize that Stalin was noticeably terrified of German offensive power, and that the 1940 Blitzkrieg had a huge impact on him. After the fall of France he remarked to Kaganovich: "what are we going to do? the Germans will eat us alive." He had no confidence in his military.


Right...hum...Do you want me to enumerate the number of amazing quotes found in German Generals memoirs? Am i allowed to doubt this kind of Soviet's testimony the same way i do with some Nazi generals or former minister? I would not reject them, if the following actions were conform with this feeling, but as it is not the case, to put faith in this kind of stuff, and turning it into an absolute proof is beyond me, really.
Do you know how many such testimonies are to be found in Suvorov, like a local commander in charge of the fortifications in Poland requiring 20.000 land mines and receiving 20", "Some air force officer asking why the Air defense was being withdrawn on the 22"...I mean i am searching for logic, not quotes.

And again, again the logic "they will eat us", he decides to challenge Hitler by annexing Lithuania and Bukovina (supposed to be in the German sphere), along with two other Baltic States, and putting tanks at one day ride of his main oil source? "the Tiger will eat us so let's tease him?" quite of craziness?

His orders were explicitly to construct a defensive perimeter and to avoid provocations. So yes, in this case it proves a whole lot more than a little.


Not really, no... no provocation is understandable, depending on his troops dispositions...
By the way, could you share a map of the russian troops disposition, i know Sergei did once in the old Rodoh - but now it is lost - all i have are Suvorov's, and strangely enough they are the only one that comes up on the net...

By the way, Germans were constructing fortification in Silesia between 1940 and 1941.

Glantz does not deny westward ambitions on part of Stalin in the long run,


yes, that is one of his contradictions...in June 1941 while one can say that world war was quite settled in, the Red Army was caught by surprise in a peacetime mood, but of course, despite the world war, he made long term plan of aggression without taking any proper defensive ones ( and no, to dismantle the existing defense to displace it on the front is not a proper defensive measure).

No, if these countries were to be invaded by the Germans, the pupped governments would be overthrown and they would proceed to become military allies of Germany. By invading them Stalin was able to set his troops up in the area and forestall the chance of such a thing happening. It was also motivated in his desire to restore the old imperial Russian borders.


I do not remember Glantz defending that kind of "thesis"...I mean he was a military... Since when good defense means gather troops right at the border?...
There is the french way like the Maginot, right at the border, line which was clearly unwinnable, you just do not cross these kind of fortifications, you have the Mannerheim lines type, not very fortified but well thought and well hidden and up to 65 miles behind the border so the alert can be given long before the contact is made with the enemy - of course you made sure to trap every bridge, every roads which leads to your defensive lines. once those forces reaches your lines they are already exhausted, and the defenders are re
ady.
You do indeed keep a buffer zone so you have time to determine more efficiently what will be the aggressor targets, A buffer zone also withdraw the "surprise effect" as while crossing two borders, you know the enemy is attacking and can get ready.
You also keep your airbase as far as possible from the front line to let the attacker spent his fuel, and to get time to chose the best place to intercept them.
And most essentially, you keep heavy reserves at the rear to prevent your front lines to be overwhelmed, because if all your troops is right at the border, then every division can faced encirclement at every breakthrough...This is what happened when you don't have reserve as in the case of the Group Army center in 1944...because Hitler was really {!#%@} when it came to defense (wonder why)... and anyway, when it was time for Germany to get defensive, it was too late, as the balance of power was too great.
But that was certainly not the case for the Red Army in 1941.

What i have just written is really basic strategy 1.01...If one can show me that the Red Army took at least some of these precautions, i would withdraw most of what i am defending right now.

In "M-Day" Suvorov explicitly states that the invasion was to take place in early July 1941. In Icebreaker and M-Day he framed the invasion as a pre-emptive strike, which it was not.


As i said, i do not remember Icebreaker defending the thesis of any form of Nazi"self defense strike" against the USSR- i have not read M-day - but if that is the case, he tempered his positions in his last book. And again, i am less here to defend Suvorov than to ask for logic in those presented as traditional views.
Anyway, i do not defend anything like this, quite the contrary actually when it comes to Hitler. Hitler's logic ordered him to strike, even with those weak forces. As i often said, he was mainly a gambler betting all in one "coup", and he won a couple of times... Still not sure that Stalin got this part of Hitler's character.
Up to June 1941, Hitler was dependent to Stalin for everything he needed to make war, everything! This was of course unacceptable situation for Hitler and Nazi Germany. This situation could not last, and even Stalin should have known that. And here lies our disagreement, i think Stalin knew, you - well i do not know - but for Glantz, he did not. For Lukacs, it is even worth, Stalin was a Hitler's fan... sorry for not buying this.

Suvorovists such as Mills of AHF and Trollo of RODOH explicitly do just that. Hargis of codoh is a huge fan of Suvorov as well iirc.


As far as i am concerned, i am fed up with those guys, really. It is truly a waste of time. This is why i am more interested to have debates with you, guys...Honnestly, speaking to dumbies is no fun after a while.
And when i ask you precision about Glantz, i am sincere. I am ready to change my mind at every step of any discussion if i am proven wrong. I am not discussing to win, but to get more information and additional stances, approaches, perspectives... I even enjoyed some "debates" on codoh, as long as it went in this direction, that is quite rarely... I admit i also had some fun chasing double standards, especially on codoh...But the same way, double standards is a trouble for me wherever it lies and whoever used it...
I will never join any "camp", i think it is irrelevant, someone called me once a "fence sitter", well and i assume that.
I hate people being tagged for what they say or think. It is a fundamental rights, and History, if its wants to still be called a "science" in the future, should reject all kind of tag.
The only rule should be " every thesis is supposed to be valid until refuted"... For me, this is the core of what Historical research is all about.
We should never forget that even if with scientific pretention, History as well as "political sciences" belongs to "Human science"...Historians are humans, some tend to support the "RIGHT" other "the LEFT", we have all our sensibilities, preexisting opinions, tendencies, or whatever...But all can become historians if they follow the "method" and if they adhere to the rule "Every thesis is valid (if methodologically correct) until refuted".

This tendency to tag people to some political "BINS" because their thesis are politically incorrect is the worst threat to the future of History and historical research. And unfortunately we go for it at full speed. And the CT stuff is making it even faster.

but as i said, i am fed up with it, which is why this forum is the only one i still post, from time to time, as my time is getting scarce.

I'll stop here because if you cannot give me the information i am asking, i will have to order the book (which i will).
I have asked some crucial questions, so that one could, maybe,get through some crucial points together...I was in some form of forced holidays...

ANYWAY, all the best to all of you in 2016.

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:38 am

Balsamo wrote: With all respect for mister Fletcher, the Bt-5, Bt-7, T-25, etc were far better than what Germany had in 1939, and the technology behind the T-34 was already ready before any russian tanks were destroyed as the production of the T-34 started in 1940, production was increased in 1941, reached crazy levels in 1942, skyrocketed in 1944 and 1945. Not to speak about the KV, and later, the IS...

You missed my entire point. I said invest production time in newer models. You seem to forget that the new factories at Chelyabinsk, (Tankograd) was post invasion and only producing new models. The Germans were still manufacturing "1936" Panzer IVs to the end of the war. The German Entwicklungsfahrzeug (standardised) models of 1943-44 never got off the ground.
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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Balsamo » Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:45 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Balsamo wrote: With all respect for mister Fletcher, the Bt-5, Bt-7, T-25, etc were far better than what Germany had in 1939, and the technology behind the T-34 was already ready before any russian tanks were destroyed as the production of the T-34 started in 1940, production was increased in 1941, reached crazy levels in 1942, skyrocketed in 1944 and 1945. Not to speak about the KV, and later, the IS...

You missed my entire point. I said invest production time in newer models. You seem to forget that the new factories at Chelyabinsk, (Tankograd) was post invasion and only producing new models. The Germans were still manufacturing "1936" Panzer IVs to the end of the war. The German Entwicklungsfahrzeug (standardised) models of 1943-44 never got off the ground.
E-100.jpg


I did not catch your point, sorry for that...
Yes indeed, there were still manufacturing the 1936 Panzer IV ( well they improved some things, though) because it was the only valuable tanks they had which could be produced efficiently, at a time when numbers mattered. The Nazis lost a lot of resource and effort in a "tank race" they could not win. Guderian pretends that he did all his best to promote to keep the Panzer IV as the only model, instead of wasting time and resource in prototypes.

so which side had the better tanks?

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:05 am

Balsamo wrote: Guderian pretends that he did all his best to promote to keep the Panzer IV as the only model, instead of wasting time and resource in prototypes.
From memory Guderian, called the Panther the "problem child" but it got there in the end.

Balsamo wrote: so which side had the better tanks?
It is hard to make that comparison because each tank had unique triangular balances between mobility, armour and armament. Then you get into tricky issues like maintenance regime and production cost issues.

If I had to command a tank into battle, I'd probably go for a Panther Ausf G, with Solution-B infra-red. and a chin mantlet. The Germans also simply had better targeting optics. The Russian optics were pretty primitive.
Ausf-G_vampir_IR_system.jpg
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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Xcalibur » Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:01 am

nickterry wrote:For God's sake use the first person....



Amen.

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:38 pm

The Jeff_36 thing is just too creepy . . . Jeff, there is a groundswell of support for the first person at this point!

But a comment Balsamo made and this creepy imitation of Monstrous raise a question: did Monstrous turn up in another forum or just vanish into thin air? Bad as he was, he could at least copy-paste better than David.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Jeff_36 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:46 pm

Jeff_36 apologies for the delay in response. He had been busy in the past few days and without acess to his word docs (I write long responses on Microsoft word) the local suvorovists and various observers can expect a full response tonight or in the wee hours if tomorrow morning.

If the debate persist (and I expect it will) there may be further delays while Jeff_36 looks through his neighborhood library for source materiel.

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Jeff_36 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:49 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:The Jeff_36 thing is just too creepy . . . Jeff, there is a groundswell of support for the first person at this point!

But a comment Balsamo made and this creepy imitation of Monstrous raise a question: did Monstrous turn up in another forum or just vanish into thin air? Bad as he was, he could at least copy-paste better than David.


I agree that he was a named denier. Not one of the rodoh heavyweights (if you could call them that lol) but someone who has clearly done this before. On the other hand, I cannot recall any of the old JREF deniers talking like a low budget B movie villian

The key attributes would have had to be link spamming, kindergarten level knowledge of Russian history, and a strange fondness for cw porter

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Xcalibur » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:15 am

There's an interesting raw video floating around the web for a number years now that touches on this topic. In it Hitler informs Field Marshall Mannerheim that had he known the SU had 30K tanks at the time of Barbarossa's opening he might have reconsidered the invasion altogether.

Probably fairly easily found at AHF or on YT....

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:04 am

Xcalibur wrote:There's an interesting raw video floating around the web for a number years now that touches on this topic. In it Hitler informs Field Marshall Mannerheim that had he known the SU had 30K tanks at the time of Barbarossa's opening he might have reconsidered the invasion altogether.

Probably fairly easily found at AHF or on YT....


That attests to hitlers side of the suvorovists house of cards. Jeff_36 and balsamo seem to have been focusing more on the Stalin half of the suvorovists card house

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:37 am

Xcalibur wrote:There's an interesting raw video floating around the web for a number years now that touches on this topic. In it Hitler informs Field Marshall Mannerheim that had he known the SU had 30K tanks at the time of Barbarossa's opening he might have reconsidered the invasion altogether. Probably fairly easily found at AHF or on YT....


I first heard David Fletcher, from the Bovington Tank museum, quote Hitler on this, in his video series on German tank development, however I'm pretty sure it was 20,000 tanks not 30,000.

If anything it shows how absolutely awful German military intelligence was. Even more embarrassing, as the Germans secretly tested vehicles in Russia at the Kama River, near Kazan up to 1933.

The Secret School of War: The Soviet-German Tank Academy at Kama
While these courses could be taught in classrooms, the real purpose of the facility at Kama was to provide hands-on experience in tank combat for officers, as well as an opportunity to test the vehicles’ capabilities. The major shipment of supplies from Germany, which arrived in May 1929 under the cover of the Rheinmetall Corporation, completely changed the experience of the students at the school. Six tanks arrived at Kama; these were medium tank prototypes the Reichswehr had ordered from Rheinmetall, Daimler-Benz and Krupp several years earlier.142 Captain Hans Pirner was
in charge of supervising the production of these vehicles back in Germany

https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file ... ion=inline

I can show you the type of 1933 Rheinmetall prototype that was probably sent to Kama in early 1933.
7cd7cdec51dc2292b8596a64bd47be45.jpg


Here is an actual early German tank at Kama.
Leichttraktor-Kama-1929.jpg


Errrrr....Yuk.....multiple turrets, a suspension system that needs a week to maintain, vertical armour....but it had a radio!
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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Xcalibur » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:57 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Xcalibur wrote:There's an interesting raw video floating around the web for a number years now that touches on this topic. In it Hitler informs Field Marshall Mannerheim that had he known the SU had 30K tanks at the time of Barbarossa's opening he might have reconsidered the invasion altogether. Probably fairly easily found at AHF or on YT....


I first heard David Fletcher, from the Bovington Tank museum, quote Hitler on this, in his video series on German tank development, however I'm pretty sure it was 20,000 tanks not 30,000.

If anything it shows how absolutely awful German military intelligence was. Even more embarrassing, as the Germans secretly tested vehicles in Russia at the Kama River, near Kazan up to 1933.

The Secret School of War: The Soviet-German Tank Academy at Kama
While these courses could be taught in classrooms, the real purpose of the facility at Kama was to provide hands-on experience in tank combat for officers, as well as an opportunity to test the vehicles’ capabilities. The major shipment of supplies from Germany, which arrived in May 1929 under the cover of the Rheinmetall Corporation, completely changed the experience of the students at the school. Six tanks arrived at Kama; these were medium tank prototypes the Reichswehr had ordered from Rheinmetall, Daimler-Benz and Krupp several years earlier.142 Captain Hans Pirner was
in charge of supervising the production of these vehicles back in Germany

https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file ... ion=inline

I can show you the type of 1933 Rheinmetall prototype that was probably sent to Kama in early 1933.
7cd7cdec51dc2292b8596a64bd47be45.jpg


Here is an actual early German tank at Kama.
Leichttraktor-Kama-1929.jpg


Errrrr....Yuk.....multiple turrets, a suspension system that needs a week to maintain, vertical armour....but it had a radio!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClR9tcp ... ture=share

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:45 pm

Thanks, Xcalibur, 35,000 tanks.

There is a lot there to call into question both the idea that German intelligence about the USSR enabled Hitler to know Stalin's plans and the notion that Germany acted on account of its concern that the Soviet Union was about to attack.

What I also think relevant for this subforum is Hitler's insistence early on in the monologue that he intended to attack and destroy France in '39, but conditions didn't allow it; Hitler's comments on France reminded me of these 3 humorous claims made in another thread by our intrepid denier friends, well, one of them seconded by another:
England and France plunged Europe into war on September 3, 1939
and
Hitler did not want war with England and France
and
There would not have been a European war if France and England did not declare war on Germany.
As you wrote at the time, Jesus wept.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:55 pm

Jeff_36 thinks it is inappropriate to compare Balsamo to David on this matter. I think it would be best to characterize David as a full suvorovist and Balsamo as a half-suvorovist.

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:05 pm

Don't understand your post, Jeff (the 3rd person doesn't help, I keep veering off to Monstrous when I read that . . . ) but if you were referring to the 2nd part of my post on Hitler's monologue, where I slapped David and Maryzilla, uh uh, I was not at all comparing Balsamo and David - there's no comparing David to anyone for that matter, he's a unique kind of mess - I was trying to relate Hitler's audio remarks to some earlier discussions. Not having read Suvorov, I wouldn't make a judgment on who is what in terms of Suvorov's thesis . . . also, from knowing David I doubt that he has read the literature at all but instead cherrypicks this, that and the other to make his false claims, which were the claims I was replying to in the 2nd part of my comment. Sorry if I made the point confusing!
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Balsamo » Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:46 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Balsamo wrote: Guderian pretends that he did all his best to promote to keep the Panzer IV as the only model, instead of wasting time and resource in prototypes.
From memory Guderian, called the Panther the "problem child" but it got there in the end.

Balsamo wrote: so which side had the better tanks?
It is hard to make that comparison because each tank had unique triangular balances between mobility, armour and armament. Then you get into tricky issues like maintenance regime and production cost issues.

If I had to command a tank into battle, I'd probably go for a Panther Ausf G, with Solution-B infra-red. and a chin mantlet. The Germans also simply had better targeting optics. The Russian optics were pretty primitive.
Ausf-G_vampir_IR_system.jpg


Of course, the Panther was a great tank...But it costed much more, had a producing time much longer, and more importanly had a very poor autonomy compared with the T-34...which illustrates the Nazi paradox, the less resource they had, the more thirsty tanks they built...the Panther also came too late, two years later... (3 years later for your model).
Hitler was dreaming of the utlimate weapons which would make the difference by itself and that was pure fantasy.
For the prize of 1 tiger, you could have 6 or 7 T-34. The Germans were looking for perfection, the Russians for the best cost-efficiency ratio. For 1 panther put in service, 20 T-34 were put in service... A no win game for the Nazis.

My question regarding the best tanks was of course for the year 1941.

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Xcalibur » Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:33 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Thanks, Xcalibur, 35,000 tanks.

There is a lot there to call into question both the idea that German intelligence about the USSR enabled Hitler to know Stalin's plans and the notion that Germany acted on account of its concern that the Soviet Union was about to attack.

What I also think relevant for this subforum is Hitler's insistence early on in the monologue that he intended to attack and destroy France in '39, but conditions didn't allow it; Hitler's comments on France reminded me of these 3 humorous claims made in another thread by our intrepid denier friends, well, one of them seconded by another:
England and France plunged Europe into war on September 3, 1939
and
Hitler did not want war with England and France
and
There would not have been a European war if France and England did not declare war on Germany.
As you wrote at the time, Jesus wept.



Yes, that bit about attacking France in '39 was interesting although Dolfy doesn't make clear exactly when in '39 he would have liked to have done it.

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:06 pm

True - I went back to re-read and he says "attack" in fall '39, so it is more ambiguous than I took at first blush . . .
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Xcalibur » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:48 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:True - I went back to re-read and he says "attack" in fall '39, so it is more ambiguous than I took at first blush . . .



A quick skim of the online version of Irving's "Hitler's War". Irving has it that Hitler wanted to attack France towards the beginning of Nov. but was dissuaded from this by General von Brauchitch.

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:54 pm

Xcalibur wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:True - I went back to re-read and he says "attack" in fall '39, so it is more ambiguous than I took at first blush . . .



A quick skim of the online version of Irving's "Hitler's War". Irving has it that Hitler wanted to attack France towards the beginning of Nov. but was dissuaded from this by General von Brauchitch.

thanks, slam at David withdrawn . . . LOL . . . anyway, thanks everyone for this thread - it's interesting and informative
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Xcalibur » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:58 pm

Back to Dolfy and the SU. The way read Hitler's monologue to Mannerheim:

1) Dolfy totally blind sided by SU's number of tanks and the SU's industrial production capacity.

2) Abject failure of 1940 Molotov mission to Berlin spelt the end of the road for a peaceful solution to tensions between the SU and NG. My sense of this is that the SU was pushing Dolfy around pretty good.

3) Realizing the diplomatic front had collapsed, Dolfy's main concern becomes an SU pre-emptive strike against Rumania and its Ploesti oil fields. He also notes that such an attack could be accomplished with relatively few divisions and that if successfully executed, Germany was knocked out of the game necessitating a NG pre-emptive strike against the SU.

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:09 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Don't understand your post, Jeff (the 3rd person doesn't help, I keep veering off to Monstrous when I read that . . . ) but if you were referring to the 2nd part of my post on Hitler's monologue, where I slapped David and Maryzilla, uh uh, I was not at all comparing Balsamo and David - there's no comparing David to anyone for that matter, he's a unique kind of mess - I was trying to relate Hitler's audio remarks to some earlier discussions. Not having read Suvorov, I wouldn't make a judgment on who is what in terms of Suvorov's thesis . . . also, from knowing David I doubt that he has read the literature at all but instead cherrypicks this, that and the other to make his false claims, which were the claims I was replying to in the 2nd part of my comment. Sorry if I made the point confusing!


Speaking of Monstrous, It's interesting to note that he was a fan of Suvorov iirc and restated a claim made in "icebreaker", thus giving the impression that he read it.

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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:19 pm

Xcalibur wrote:Back to Dolfy and the SU. The way read Hitler's monologue to Mannerheim:

1) Dolfy totally blind sided by SU's number of tanks and the SU's industrial production capacity.


This alone debunks any notion of his fearing a massive Soviet Invasion of europe in 1941.

2) Abject failure of 1940 Molotov mission to Berlin spelt the end of the road for a peaceful solution to tensions between the SU and NG. My sense of this is that the SU was pushing Dolfy around pretty good.

Two things

1. it is a fact that Hitler had ordered that planning for the invasion would go ahead regardless of the outcome of the meeting.

2. Yes, it likely IJ36O that Stalin sought to be the dominant partner in the relationship. However Hitler did not see the Red Army as a threat and was not fearful of an invasion of Germany.

3) Realizing the diplomatic front had collapsed, Dolfy's main concern becomes an SU pre-emptive strike against Rumania and its Ploesti oil fields. He also notes that such an attack could be accomplished with relatively few divisions and that if successfully executed, Germany was knocked out of the game necessitating a NG pre-emptive strike against the SU.


That's a half-lie TBH

Hitler had ordered the invasion long before he started to fret about Romania. Anyway, OKH soon reassured him that in their opinion the Russians would not be a threat to the oil fields and that the risk of a Soviet attack was nil. He proceeded with the invasion plan. It was not percived by the Germans as a pre-emptive strike at all. See Halder's diary.
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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:29 pm

Xcalibur wrote:Back to Dolfy and the SU. The way read Hitler's monologue to Mannerheim:

1) Dolfy totally blind sided by SU's number of tanks and the SU's industrial production capacity.

2) Abject failure of 1940 Molotov mission to Berlin spelt the end of the road for a peaceful solution to tensions between the SU and NG. My sense of this is that the SU was pushing Dolfy around pretty good.

3) Realizing the diplomatic front had collapsed, Dolfy's main concern becomes an SU pre-emptive strike against Rumania and its Ploesti oil fields. He also notes that such an attack could be accomplished with relatively few divisions and that if successfully executed, Germany was knocked out of the game necessitating a NG pre-emptive strike against the SU.

Now that I am sure is right! LOL, yes and since a preemptive strike implies this kind of knowledge - well . . . I'd also add Hitler seemed surprised that the USSR hadn't struck at the Romanian oil fields and occupied them (he even says that during this period "the transfer to the east was not that far advanced yet" and Germany couldn't have done a thing . . . so the alternative was to play the USSR along with negotiations, build up strength so he could "counter those extortive demands" being made in the negotiations, and strike. It sounds like he was replaying this as an effort to buy time to strike the USSR, due to conflicting negotiating strength and positions, not acting on knowledge of a Soviet attack.
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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:02 pm

Balsamo wrote:Hi Jeff,


First and foremost, Jeff_36 would like to apologize for the delay in response.

Anyway, what matter is what he thought by purging his army, was he thinking "I am weakening my army here, but i have to do it" or "By killing all those soon to be traitors, the army will be mine and much stronger." The stupidity of this reasoning is not of our business, but the question is the way he answered this. The next step is then to see if he later acted like a cautious leader conscious that his Army was week or not.


Not really, one must look at the type of charges against the Generals - Mikhail Tukachevsky, Vasily Blyukher, Yakov Shmuskievich, Gergori Stern, and Iona Yakir were all accused of being part of a "fascist conspiracy" despite the fact that three of them (Yakir, Shmuskevich, and Stern) were Jews, Yakir was accused of being a Nazi spy! That kind of hilarity seriously refutes any notion of Stalin actually believing his own invective against his Generals.

He thought he was strengthening his army in the long term yes - but that helps Jeff_36's thesis: there was a purge of Generals as late as June of 1941 when he purged Stern (Zhukov's superior ) and Shmuskievich (the commander of the Soviet Air Force). We are expected to believe that he was planning an invasion in 1941 and was just about to attack. Why then is he eliminating some of the finest General officers at his disposal? two of whom (Shmiskievich and Stern) had whopped ass in Mongolia and were proven to be excellent commanders. It makes no sense.

Assymetrical again... No one denies that the Red Army acted poorly, the question would be did Stalin knew it would turned out like this.
.

He did indeed suspect that this would be the result - his diplomatic efforts in June of 941 reveal that he had little confidence in his army, as did his comment to Kaganovich after the Fall of France.

The problem is that he considers Barbarossa as a logical moves, a thing that was ineluctable, and PERCEIVED AS SUCH BY ANYONE.
When i said that Barbarossa was a "foolish idea", well just consider that Hitler attacked with barely more troops than for the assault against France! with a little more tanks, but much less air force, with no winter equipment and fuel for 10 months.


His troops outnumbered the Soviets, and the shambolic state of their forces were known to Hitler. He launched it as an aggressive attack, to take away Britain's "Continental hope". The minutes revel that. OKH was sure that there would be no Soviet attack. That destroys half of Suvorov's thesis advanced in M-Day: namely that Hitler saw the invasion as defensive and that he was a valiant defender of "western civilization" :roll: All lies. Hitlers own words damn him. His Generals (Jodle among others) were so sure of the Red Armies weakness that victory in their minds was going to be extremely simple - and they were correct. See for instance Halder's personal papers and Goebbles' diary on the eve of the invasion where he makes no mention of an "urgent Russian threat" or anything like that.

The crucial issue is was the outcome perceived as certain and ineluctable by Stalin, basically did he fear his army was "{!#%@}" or did he not. As as far as i know all the crucial archives (if they still exists) of Stalin's meetings in June 1941 are still classified, so will have to wait.


More paranoia - the truth is that enough has been declassified to give us a fairly good picture of what was going on in June 1941 and it does not bode well for Suvorovists, and half-Suvorovists like yourself.


Depending on the sources, The Red Army had between 12 and 20.000 thousands active tanks. And as i explained, given the technological advance they had in the "tank industry", and for the reasons i explained, the lack of crews seems dubious.


You and the tanks again. The key is not tanks but rather air power - something that the Germans had an advantage over the Soviets in in every possible conceivable way.

Of course, if some documents refers to the ratio between tanks BEING produced and the need for crews, then things are different...but what was the ratio knowing that during the 6 first months of 1941 an additional 6500 tanks came out from factories?
As i said, i don't have Stumbling colossus on hand, so if you could summarize Glantz arguments, i would appreciate.


I read Stumbling Colossus a few years ago, and it was a Library rental. I will try to attain a copy of it in the coming weeks. In my recollections he states that the ratios would still have been all {!#%@} up in the rest of 1941 and that things would not have stabilized until 1942. I came away from reading it with the impression that Suvorov's thesis was built on bad-faith conspiraloonery similar to denial. I also got the impression that Glantz was not ruling out the chances of a 1942 action by Stalin. He did absolutely demolish any notion of such a thing taking place in 1941 though. To put it very simply: If it can't happen then it won't happen.

Now, that being said, i am less focus on the question if whether or not Stalin was about to strike in June or July 41...Unfortunately, until the archives are open and if those archives still exists, all this belongs to speculations...which is fine to me as long as they are presented as such...


When do you think it would have happened then?

This is why i am more focus on Glantz who is an historian.


Unlike Suvorov. And he is highly regarded.

I reacted because contrary to what you seem to believe Glantz stumbling collossus does not address like 80% of the points raised by Suvorov in the books i have read.


He debunked enough to make Suvorov's thesis about 1941 untenable.

What Deniers do out of them is not of my concern, really. So one cannot state that Glantz "debunked" anything...and in addition, i do not like this "term", History being a very relative science.


He showed conclusively that the Red Army was not going to attack in 1941. I think we can classify that ad a debunking of the main pillar of Suvorovisim: a 1941 attack date.

Addressed above, would really love some detail about those assertions, and of course, how in a matter of the worst months in Russian history, the problem will be overcome in a matter of months.


Part of that was sped up war production, but part of that was scheduled improvements that were to take force only in 1942. And in the matter of air power the problem would emphatically not be addressed in a matter of months. The I-16 was still in use at the beginning of 1942 and Sturmovik (which Stalin would not have launched his offensive without) did not come to full universal use until the spring of 1942. The Yak-9 did not enter service until late 1942 and the Yak-1 would not be fully adopted until early 1942. It is clear to note that due to rushed production, Yak-1's did not even have radios until August of 1942. This alone refutes the 1941 thesis - the new kites would have had to be fully implimneted before any attack was to begin. That would be early spring 1942 at the latest, but if you factor in pilot training ect. ect. then late summer-fall 1942 seems more likely.


Superior weapons : WHERE?


The German small arms were superior to Russian small arms. The k98 was far more accurate than the MN and the legendary MG42 was superior to all of it's counterparts in all allied forces. The German offensive artillery (the famed 88) was superior to its counterpart. Anyway, the Katayusha would not be implemented until 1942 :lol:

Superior airpower: thanks to the strikes of the first days, but only a relative close range supports...The Luftwaffe lacked planes and pilots as well and started the campaign with about only 2700 aircraft for a huge front, it also lacked any long range bombers which were not optimal in anyway...the first raid on Moscow was a disaster for the Luftwaffe... By 1942, air superiority was gone for good.


I have already outlined that the VVS was without it's commander and was still using antiquated fighters, with their replacements not coming into full implementation until 1942. The air battles of 1941 were one sided as they come.

You can split hairs as much as you want but the results speak for themselves.


I consider my incredulity justified, but again, i beg you to provide more details on those statements.


I did above. Modern fighter planes not implemented until 1942, no modern assault aircraft, officer corps wrecked by the purges, primitive and outdated communications that were described as "WWI level" and little by the way of trained tank crews and aircrews. Yoc cannot invade with those defincinceis, one must correct them before he sets out. All indications point to the Russians being early in the process of correcting these deficiencies in 1941.




The largest invasion in history was launched by Germany ( the trip from Poland to Paris is much shorter)...and guess what, it lacked good tanks
,

disputing that

lacked good planes,

:lol:

lacked food, lacked fuel and could not align more troops than it did for France, and even lacked a pair of gloves for the winter... and guess what, Hitler did it nevertheless.


Hitler was on record as stating that it would take no more than 10 weeks. Additiojnally the food problem would have been solved by the "hunger plan" i.e the theft of food from the local population.

Logic and coherence is also why i asked why Stalin behave the way he did since 1939 if he was aware than his armada, that took years to build, was just a garbage of moujiks...?


Again, I will remind you that there is a considerable difference between actions against minnows like Finland or the Baltic states and actions against the most feared military power in the world. In the former one can get way with having the deficiencies outlined above. In the latter one simply cannot invade without correcting the problem.

Basically, not a single question i have asked had been addressed.


Jeff_36 has addressed multiple. The Tanks thing for instance is a bit or a red herring when one considers the other deficincies, most of which were to addressed for a year or more.


Up to now, quite unsupported claims... I feel bad as i have too Glantz here, but not the one that counts in this thread.


compare if you will the level of military preparedness that the western allies boasted before D-Day and he level of military preparedness boasted by the Soviets in 1941. It is a night and day difference. I cannot conceive of a scenario where Stalin would launch a major invasion before the improvements outlined above (replacing the outdated aircraft, letting the officer corps recover, wartime comms, training tank crews and aircrews) were to be done. I just don't buy it.

At least, we agree on one point. Although i would say that his proposal of november 1940 was quite insulting for the Germans, as Romania was asked. Did he came away bitter? Well then, that means he thought his proposals were reasonable, but then i would like to point out that those proposals could have been issued by a leader affraid of war and lacking confidence in his force...


These are proposals by someone who is a) not too bright and b) seeking to continue the partnership but with him as the dominant partner. The November 1940 meeting is really exhibit A on Stalin being a moron.

Anyway, it is important to note that the wheels were rolling before the meeting even started.


But again, logic and coherence forces us to notice that while Stalin came away bitter (and probably more anxious than ever), while ordering war games in January, he ordered to dismatled his strongest fortifications at his former border, to start new one on the front line - he must have known he could not defend (given his knowledge of his army being {!#%@} in front of the most powerfull entity in the Universe) - and here, to explain that? Well all one can be said : "he was an idiot", right?


All accounts show that he was not impressed by the outcome of the war games and harshly criticized his Generals afterwords. The games themselves can be seen as an indicator of his general long term intentions ----- for 1942 or later as all the evidence shows.


Do you know how many such testimonies are to be found in Suvorov, like a local commander in charge of the fortifications in Poland requiring 20.000 land mines and receiving 20",


Bad supply chain. Glantz documented their supply issues IIRC.

And again, again the logic "they will eat us", he decides to challenge Hitler by annexing Lithuania and Bukovina (supposed to be in the German sphere), along with two other Baltic States, and putting tanks at one day ride of his main oil source? "the Tiger will eat us so let's tease him?" quite of craziness?


No, more like "the tiger will eat us so let's bulk up my pathetic, conscript army that I basically crippled with my imbecile behavior" followed shortly thereafter by "the tiger is still going to eat us, and my army won't be at 100% for another year at the least so best cross my fingers, give concessions and hope for the best". That is what I imagine his though process as.


Not really, no... no provocation is understandable, depending on his troops dispositions...


There was also a lot explicit indoctrination orders to commissars demanding that they spread distrust of "British propaganda" and deny that war was imminent.

By the way, could you share a map of the russian troops disposition, i know Sergei did once in the old Rodoh - but now it is lost - all i have are Suvorov's, and strangely enough they are the only one that comes up on the net...

IIRC Jeff_36 found a chart of sorts on ahf a looooooooong time ago and will look for it now.

By the way, Germans were constructing fortification in Silesia between 1940 and 1941.


In this case it cannot prove defensive intent because the balance of evidence point to an aggressive, non pre-emptive war that they were intending. The same balance does not exist for the Russians, with the evidence for general aggressive intentions in the long term being rather clear but the evidence for an imminent 1941 invasion being nonexistent.


I do not remember Glantz defending that kind of "thesis"...I mean he was a military... Since when good defense means gather troops right at the border?...


It's my thesis, not his. And Glantz knows a lot more about this {!#%@} that Suvorov. In their respective ranks Glantz would have been shouting orders at Suvorov.

What i have just written is really basic strategy 1.01...If one can show me that the Red Army took at least some of these precautions, i would withdraw most of what i am defending right now.


There is some evidence that the Russians were attempting to reconstruct the Stalin line right before the invasion. But no, I do not deny that they were framed in a non-defensive posture and neither does Glantz iirc, Jeff_36 denies that they were fully in offensive posture and I deny that they were going to attack imminently, or that they were at full capacity or a threat.

As i said, i do not remember Icebreaker defending the thesis of any form of Nazi"self defense strike" against the USSR- i have not read M-day - but if that is the case, he tempered his positions in his last book. And again, i am less here to defend Suvorov than to ask for logic in those presented as traditional views.


Jeff_36 is not just addressing you. He is also addressing the arguments put out by the likes of Rollo and Hargis, as well as Orthodox Suvorovists on AHF (too many to name). So when Jeff_36 mentions the 1941 date or the preemptive nature of the attack, he is not making false attacks on you generally, but rather critiquing the whole "valiant Hitler, defender of Europe/Barawossa saved de wowd!" arguments that emerge (and you cannot deny that they do emerge) from Suvorovisim.

Anyway, i do not defend anything like this, quite the contrary actually when it comes to Hitler. Hitler's logic ordered him to strike, even with those weak forces. As i often said, he was mainly a gambler betting all in one "coup", and he won a couple of times... Still not sure that Stalin got this part of Hitler's character.


Hitler was a good deal smarter than Stalin IMO and he had a lot more self confidence and a much better army. His pure illogical insanity is what did him in, same with most Nazis. Stalin was fundamentally a brutish, conniving, dim-witted peasant numbskull who suffered from crippling paranoia and was easily manipulated by Hitler. Stalin was known for insisting on absolute preparedness in his armed forces before embarking on a large scale attack. He was also excessively cautious, he apparently refused to authorize Marshal Rossokovsky to use a certain deployment in Operation Bagatrion because he deemed it too risky.

Up to June 1941, Hitler was dependent to Stalin for everything he needed to make war, everything! This was of course unacceptable situation for Hitler and Nazi Germany. This situation could not last, and even Stalin should have known that. And here lies our disagreement, i think Stalin knew, you - well i do not know - but for Glantz, he did not. For Lukacs, it is even worth, Stalin was a Hitler's fan... sorry for not buying this.


I think he was suspicious of Hitler initially (say, march-may 1941) but in May-June was so thoroughly conned and manipulated that he was unsuspecting come June 22nd. Hitler was in what he could term as an unacceptable situation - but he could have gone HAM in the middle east and snatched up some oil for himself. I refuse to buy the notion of his being afraid of a Soviet attack, the documents simply refute that.

As far as i am concerned, i am fed up with those guys, really. It is truly a waste of time. This is why i am more interested to have debates with you, guys...Honnestly, speaking to dumbies is no fun after a while.


When dummies shoot themselves in the foot it can be hilarious. See my Traynor thread.

And when i ask you precision about Glantz, i am sincere. I am ready to change my mind at every step of any discussion if i am proven wrong. I am not discussing to win, but to get more information and additional stances, approaches, perspectives...


As am I. I am not only using Glantz but also Luckas and some Russian historians, Roberto Mhulenkampf, Gorodetsky....... Even mills conceded that Hitler was not afraid of an impending invasion, but rather framed it as "preventative" in that it was to "prevent" Britain from gaining a continental ally or something like that. Some posters slammed him for using a stupidly broad and unconvincing definition of "preventative". In my opinion it refers essentially to situations very much like the Israeli-Egyptian 1967 scenario.


This tendency to tag people to some political "BINS" because their thesis are politically incorrect is the worst threat to the future of History and historical research. And unfortunately we go for it at full speed. And the CT stuff is making it even faster.


Yes and no. We cannot label everything we don't like, but when the authors display such blatant ideological tomato lenses (Irving , Suvorov) that they cannot be trusted it counts. For instance, Joahiem Hoffmann, one of Suvorov's more willing defenders, was found to have been a associate of Germar Rudolf.

but as i said, i am fed up with it, which is why this forum is the only one i still post, from time to time, as my time is getting scarce.


Hunting cocaine traffickers in the jungle with a crack team of SF-GP? 8-) ;)

I'll stop here because if you cannot give me the information i am asking, i will have to order the book (which i will).


I will have to do some digging myself. I honestly do not think that we are far apart. For me it is a question of dates, moral justification, and the whole "valiant Hitler, savior of us all" BS that stems from Suvorovisim.


ANYWAY, all the best to all of you in 2016.


est pour vous aussi mon ami

Matthew Ellard
Real Skeptic
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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:44 am

Balsamo wrote: Hitler was dreaming of the ultimate weapons which would make the difference by itself and that was pure fantasy.
I agree. My father suggested to me, that because Hitler was an ex-soldier, that he bogged down on weapons and had no idea about economics or economic warfare. Good news for us!

Balsamo wrote:My question regarding the best tanks was of course for the year 1941.
Fair enough. T-34 1941 model. Fast, reliable, big gun, great sloped armour, looks good with a big red flag being waved from the cupola. :D

Xcalibur
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Re: One of the grand myths of World War II Soviet propaganda

Postby Xcalibur » Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:48 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Balsamo wrote: Hitler was dreaming of the ultimate weapons which would make the difference by itself and that was pure fantasy.
I agree. My father suggested to me, that because Hitler was an ex-soldier, that he bogged down on weapons and had no idea about economics or economic warfare. Good news for us!

Balsamo wrote:My question regarding the best tanks was of course for the year 1941.
Fair enough. T-34 1941 model. Fast, reliable, big gun, great sloped armour, looks good with a big red flag being waved from the cupola. :D



As to your first point, yes. As well, the German High Command to my mind seemed to have been overly besotted with operations planning to the total exclusion of proper intelligence and logistics planning.


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