From: Manchester, UK
ORIGINAL: Arctic Blast
It's hard to really throw the accolades on Soviet commanders, though, as their doctrine often consisted of "Throw another wave of infantry in to the meat grinder."
As far as I know, recent research by the like of Glantz suggest that this is only partially the case, and that the quality of Soviet leadership has not been appreciated because, until peple like Glantz started doing serious, source material research, nearly all the accounts of the war are based on German accounts, and one-side biographies. This may have been inevitable before the opening of the Soviet archives, but is now considered highly biased. Unfortunately the notion that masses of Russians threw themselves like lemmings at the Nazis, has become so entrenched that it's hard to dislodge. This bias still continues despite the work of Glantz, Overy, Erickson and the like If you look at the much feted book Hell's Gate, which claims in the "bumbf" to be a balanced account of the Korsun Pocket, it is nearly all about the Nazis, is very sympathetic to their "plight" and draws conclusion which are almost propaganda. The author also has current photographs of himself with the survivors of the pocket, all of whom were ex-members of SS Viking. When you're up against that, it's no wonder that the bias continues. As for the East, I imagine there is at least a case that Japan had to keep a large number of troops in Manchuria, because of the potential Russian threat, hence keeping them from engaging in the conflict in the Pacific against US and Commonwealth forces. When the Russians did turn their attentions to the Japanese (even if it was for political advantage, they swept up the Japanese in a matter of days.
But Soviet tactical abilities are not necessarily the same thing as Soviet Leadership. It is possible to appreciate the operational art but still recognise the tactical shortcomings. You can find plenty of examples of Russian huiman waves. The trick is recognising that once those waves had done their job, there was a growing operational competence driving the Operational Maneuver Groups passing through them.