The Stalingrad Thread

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:36 am

I poked around a bit and it seems that not until mid-1943 was Vlasov permitted by his captors to distribute propaganda ("Smolensk Proclamation") against the USSR. My memory on this one seems to have been better than usual :)
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:23 pm

Hitler opposed the use of Soviet nationals serving in the German forces, it didn't fit with his vision of exploiting the USSR for solely German purposes. He didn't want them to get their hopes up about autonomy in reward for them serving. He was also suspicious of their motives and a lot of Soviet units were transferred to the Western Front.

The Wehrmacht took a much more pragmatic view about using Soviet citizens as translators, support and frontline troops, etc. I think (I'll have to look this up later) that the Wehrmacht used some creative accounting to hide this from Himmler and Hitler.

This is one of the great failures of Hitler during the war, this failure to take advantage of Soviet discontent with Stalin's regime.

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:53 pm

One is almost tempted to say that Rosenberg was onto something . . .
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:36 pm

Yep, he was. This is my favorite bit of evidence against deniers who said that the death of so many Soviet POWS was an unavoidable tragedy:

28 February 1942

To the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces
[OKW]
Berlin W 35, Tirpitzufer 72-76

Subject: Prisoners of war.


....The fate of the Soviet prisoners of war in Germany is on the contrary a tragedy of the greatest extent. Of 3.6 millions of prisoners of war, only several hundred thousand are still able to work fully. A large part of them has starved, or died, because of the hazards of the weather.


....It is understood, of course, that there are difficulties encountered in the feeding of such a large number of prisoners of war. Anyhow, with a certain amount of understanding for goals aimed at by German politics, dying and deterioration could have been avoided in the extent described. For instance, according to information on hand, the native population within the Soviet Union are absolutely willing to put food at the disposal of the prisoners of war. Several understanding camp commanders have successfully chosen this course. However in the majority of the cases, the camp commanders have forbidden the civilian population to put food at the disposal of the prisoners, and they have rather let them starve to death. Even on the march to the camps, the civilian population was not allowed to give the prisoners of war food. In many cases, when prisoners of war could no longer keep up on the march because of hunger and exhaustion, they were shot before the eyes of the horrified civilian population, and the corpses were left. In numerous camps, no shelter for the prisoners of war was provided at all. They lay under the open sky during rain or snow. Even tools were not made available to dig holes or caves.


....Finally, the shooting of prisoners of war must be mentioned; these were partly carried out according to viewpoints which ignore all political understanding. For instance, in various camps, all the "Asiatics" were shot, although the inhabitants of the areas, considered belonging to Asia, of Transcaucasia and Turkestan especially, are among those people in the Soviet Union who are most strongly opposed to Russian subjugation and to Bolshevism.


https://www.phdn.org/archives/www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/pow2.htm

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:18 pm

There is much to be said on the subject of disaffection from the Soviet regime, especially on the part of non-Russian nationalities. A novel that I read some 30 years ago was written from life by a Russian author named Anatolii Kuznetsov who lived through the invasion in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. I believe it has been translated into English. The narrator describes how his grandfather welcomed the German invaders, saying they would bring civilization to him and his barbarian people. (He found out the truth, too late.) The book is called Babii Yar, and it gives full details of the atrocity that took place there.

As for Stalingrad, I think it was the name more than anything that made Hitler determined to destroy it. He sent one army to destroy Leningrad, one to capture Moscow, and one to destroy Stalingrad. Those names were to him what the name Obama is to Trump. He wanted to remove them from history. If there was any sense in attacking Stalingrad, it had to be related to the Caucasus oil fields that Hitler coveted.

When Paulus was surrounded in the late autumn and early winter of 1942-43, he begged for a tank column to come to his relief. But the Soviets put an iron ring around the place that the panzers couldn't penetrate. Hitler expected Paulus to fight to the last man and to commit suicide. Paulus declined the honor. There have been a number of Soviet books and films devoted to this. One rather recent film that I had on CD until I loaned it to a friend is told in flashback by a Russian aid worker assisting after the Fukushima disaster in 2011. It focuses on the day-to-day life of a small group of people in Stalingrad. It's not the usual flag-waving super-patriotic film one might expect.

The first book I read about the battle, some 50 years ago, was a Soviet-era novel called In the Trenches of Stalingrad. Very gritty, told by a soldier who was there. Consulting Wikipedia, I learn that it has been translated into English as Front-line Stalingrad. Still worth reading. Again, another Russian born in Ukrainian Kiev, and, according to Wikipedia, the first Soviet writer to advocate putting up a monument at Babii Yar.
"Reserve a part of your wrath ; you have not seen the worst yet. You suppose that this war has been a criminal blunder and an exceptional horror ; you imagine that before long reason will prevail, and all these inferior people that govern the world will be swept aside, and your own party will reform everything and remain always in office. You are mistaken."

George Santayana, "Tipperary" (1918)

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:47 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:There is much to be said on the subject of disaffection from the Soviet regime, especially on the part of non-Russian nationalities. A novel that I read some 30 years ago was written from life by a Russian author named Anatolii Kuznetsov who lived through the invasion in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. I believe it has been translated into English. The narrator describes how his grandfather welcomed the German invaders, saying they would bring civilization to him and his barbarian people. (He found out the truth, too late.) The book is called Babii Yar, and it gives full details of the atrocity that took place there.

As for Stalingrad, I think it was the name more than anything that made Hitler determined to destroy it. He sent one army to destroy Leningrad, one to capture Moscow, and one to destroy Stalingrad. Those names were to him what the name Obama is to Trump. He wanted to remove them from history. If there was any sense in attacking Stalingrad, it had to be related to the Caucasus oil fields that Hitler coveted.

When Paulus was surrounded in the late autumn and early winter of 1942-43, he begged for a tank column to come to his relief. But the Soviets put an iron ring around the place that the panzers couldn't penetrate. Hitler expected Paulus to fight to the last man and to commit suicide. Paulus declined the honor. There have been a number of Soviet books and films devoted to this. One rather recent film that I had on CD until I loaned it to a friend is told in flashback by a Russian aid worker assisting after the Fukushima disaster in 2011. It focuses on the day-to-day life of a small group of people in Stalingrad. It's not the usual flag-waving super-patriotic film one might expect.

The first book I read about the battle, some 50 years ago, was a Soviet-era novel called In the Trenches of Stalingrad. Very gritty, told by a soldier who was there (supposedly).


Sorry, I haven't had as much time to devote to this as I wanted, I've also acquired Beevor's book on it and I'm reading it to get a better idea (in detail) how I want to discuss this.

Andrew Roberts in his book "Storm of War" had a very good section on Stalingrad and Operation Blue, I'll pull it out over the weekend to maybe get us caught up to the end of September/beginning of October of 1942 and flesh out some details.

But, back to what you were saying about disaffection of Soviet citizens, especially minorities, had Hitler decided to harness this instead of immediately attempting to treat the occupied areas of the USSR as conquered subjects it isn't out of the realm of possibility he could have won the war. But, Hitler believed that the Soviet system was so rotten that one devastating blow would make the whole thing collapse. He never reckoned the hold Stalin maintained and the ruthless lengths Stalin (and the others) were prepared to go to in order to save their regime.

In some ways, though, Hitler became trapped by circumstances he could not control. Germany lacked the resources to fight a long war, oil and food became lodestones he could not ignore. When the war started to drag out in July, August and September food supplies for the Wehrmacht became dire and shortages of fuel and other supplies caused offensives to sputter. Hitler's insistence on attacking on such a broad front exacerbated these difficulties. Hitler's strategic error in sending Guderian and his armor North and South instead of attacking Moscow in July and August stopped the attack on Moscow until October.

Because of this the Wehrmacht was required to live off the land. This, along with the appalling treatment of Soviet POWS, turned the native population against the Germans.

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Jeff_36 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:18 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Balmoral95 wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:I thought Vlasov's actual recruiting didn't begin until sometime in 1943? Maybe my memory is shite . . . I will look it up later . . .


He was captured at the beginning of 1942 near Leningrad and turned not long afterwords. That's all I know. I think that you might be right about this.


He floundered around the Nazis in captivity through '43 and '44... did a bit of propaganda stuff against the Reds. Dolfy and Onkel Heini were pretty undecided about his worth. Me thinks his ROA cobbled together force wasn't shoved into the line until late '44 or early '45, iirc.

thanks, that sounds more like it, the Russians at Stalingrad would then have been pre-Vlasov Hiwis?




Vlasov wasn't captured until July 12th, 1942. He did some propaganda work but it wasn't until September of 1944 that he was permitted to form the ROA. He only fought the Red Army in one battle in 1945 and didn't turn on the Germans until May 6th, 1945.


Ok, I stand corrected. It was at the Liberation of Prague that Vlasov switched sides for the second time, literally the last battle of the war.

Like Statmech said, the Russians fighting for the Nazis at Stalingrad must have been earlier Hiwis, IMO either Cossacks or former POW's of Azeri or Tartar origin.

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:24 am

Jeff_36 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Balmoral95 wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:I thought Vlasov's actual recruiting didn't begin until sometime in 1943? Maybe my memory is shite . . . I will look it up later . . .


He was captured at the beginning of 1942 near Leningrad and turned not long afterwords. That's all I know. I think that you might be right about this.


He floundered around the Nazis in captivity through '43 and '44... did a bit of propaganda stuff against the Reds. Dolfy and Onkel Heini were pretty undecided about his worth. Me thinks his ROA cobbled together force wasn't shoved into the line until late '44 or early '45, iirc.

thanks, that sounds more like it, the Russians at Stalingrad would then have been pre-Vlasov Hiwis?




Vlasov wasn't captured until July 12th, 1942. He did some propaganda work but it wasn't until September of 1944 that he was permitted to form the ROA. He only fought the Red Army in one battle in 1945 and didn't turn on the Germans until May 6th, 1945.


Ok, I stand corrected. It was at the Liberation of Prague that Vlasov switched sides for the second time, literally the last battle of the war.


Yes, sadly for him, Stalin was not noted for his feel-good, fuzzy, forgiving nature.

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Jeff_36 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:38 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Balmoral95 wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:I thought Vlasov's actual recruiting didn't begin until sometime in 1943? Maybe my memory is shite . . . I will look it up later . . .


He was captured at the beginning of 1942 near Leningrad and turned not long afterwords. That's all I know. I think that you might be right about this.


He floundered around the Nazis in captivity through '43 and '44... did a bit of propaganda stuff against the Reds. Dolfy and Onkel Heini were pretty undecided about his worth. Me thinks his ROA cobbled together force wasn't shoved into the line until late '44 or early '45, iirc.

thanks, that sounds more like it, the Russians at Stalingrad would then have been pre-Vlasov Hiwis?




Vlasov wasn't captured until July 12th, 1942. He did some propaganda work but it wasn't until September of 1944 that he was permitted to form the ROA. He only fought the Red Army in one battle in 1945 and didn't turn on the Germans until May 6th, 1945.


Ok, I stand corrected. It was at the Liberation of Prague that Vlasov switched sides for the second time, literally the last battle of the war.


Yes, sadly for him, Stalin was not noted for his feel-good, fuzzy, forgiving nature.


He made his choice, and he suffered the consequences.

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Balmoral95 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:00 am

His "consequence" was written in stone the day he surrendered.

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:51 am

"Collaboration" and all its permutations deserves its own thread.

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Denying-History » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:31 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:"Collaboration" and all its permutations deserves its own thread.
Oh fun... We will discuss the very political spot on OUN-UPA...
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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:35 pm

So, Beevor's book on Stalingrad is due back at the library so just a few things before I send it back.

American and British aid:
The Soviets didn't like British Hurricane fighters or American tanks. They also didn't like British greatcoats because they were unsuitable for winter fighting.


Where the aid made the most difference was the quantity of vehicles like Fords and Studebakers and food. The US sent tons of wheat and cans of meat like Spam and corned beef that helped prevent starvation.

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Balmoral95 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:49 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:So, Beevor's book on Stalingrad is due back at the library so just a few things before I send it back.

American and British aid:
The Soviets didn't like British Hurricane fighters or American tanks. They also didn't like British greatcoats because they were unsuitable for winter fighting.


Where the aid made the most difference was the quantity of vehicles like Fords and Studebakers and food. The US sent tons of wheat and cans of meat like Spam and corned beef that helped prevent starvation.


Don't think many would be inclined to trade a T-34 for a Sherman.

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:05 pm

Balmoral95 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:So, Beevor's book on Stalingrad is due back at the library so just a few things before I send it back.

American and British aid:
The Soviets didn't like British Hurricane fighters or American tanks. They also didn't like British greatcoats because they were unsuitable for winter fighting.


Where the aid made the most difference was the quantity of vehicles like Fords and Studebakers and food. The US sent tons of wheat and cans of meat like Spam and corned beef that helped prevent starvation.


Don't think many would be inclined to trade a T-34 for a Sherman.


They called the Sherman "Ronson Lighters."

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Balmoral95 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:11 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Balmoral95 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:So, Beevor's book on Stalingrad is due back at the library so just a few things before I send it back.

American and British aid:
The Soviets didn't like British Hurricane fighters or American tanks. They also didn't like British greatcoats because they were unsuitable for winter fighting.


Where the aid made the most difference was the quantity of vehicles like Fords and Studebakers and food. The US sent tons of wheat and cans of meat like Spam and corned beef that helped prevent starvation.


Don't think many would be inclined to trade a T-34 for a Sherman.


They called the Sherman "Ronson Lighters."


Just seems like a wrong application of the vehicle on the Ostfront: gasoline motor, relatively narrowly-tracked, relatively high profile. Overall use, the thing always seemed like a half-arsed effort.

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Balmoral95 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:09 am

These "better weapons than" threads always remind me of a very old RODOH.1 thread in which Mr. Smith expressed his disdain with the Anglo-Americans for developing a strategic air force as "unfair" to the Nazis :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: The Stalingrad Thread

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:51 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote: Where the aid made the most difference was the quantity of vehicles like Fords and Studebakers.........
The Russians built their Katyusha rocket launcher mostly on Studebakers but for propaganda purposes generally only show Katyushas on Soviet made trucks.


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