Actually, the Soviets used mass attack with pretty much everything at the same time after hellish artillery prep. They overwhelmed with numbers, not pretty or tactically sophisticated. But the brute force usually got the job done. Ask Army Group Center circa 22 June '44. No standstill there.
A number of writers on the topic wouldn't agree with you, or not completely, including Glantz, amongst others.
The later war Soviet attacks could be pretty sophisticated in their own way.
Glantz for one.
A number of writers would, most works reside in my library. Let's examine one, shall we!
Page one (Soviet Blitzkrieg - The Battle for White Russia 1944, Walter S. Dunn Jr, 2000):
...When the heavy artillery and rockets finally quieted, the relentless air attacks intensified....Finally the rumbling of engines and the clatter of steel tracks signaled the approach of dreaded Soviet tanks...
A torrent of tanks and riflemen from four divisions of General N.I. Krylov's 5th Army stormed the German trenches along the 18 kilometer sector, about 36,000 men, or 3 men for every meter. With the shouting Red Army riflemen came two tank brigades and five assault gun regiments with over 120 tanks and 100 assault guns, double the strength of a panzer division.
Sounds kind of like what I described.
Sounds like a combined arms assault, actually, which is what Blitzkrieg morphed into during the war.
Of course, I presume your source has left out all of the preliminaries ...
"By 1944 the typical Soviet offensive was preceded by careful planning and deception measures, designed to concentrate forces at the designated bnreakthrough point. The attack began with a wave of reconaissance batallions that inflitrated the German defenses and seized key positions, thereby rendering the rest of the German positions untenable. This infiltration was accompanied or followed by massive, carefully orchestrated air and artillery offensives. When the whirlwinds of artillery fire shifted from the front lines to the German rear areas, infantry, heavy armour and engineers conducted the conventional assault to eliminate the centres of German resistance. As quickly as possible, senior Soviet commanders committed their mobile forces through the resulting gaps ..."
- "When Titans Clashed" David M Glantz and Johnathon House, UKansas Press, 1995, page #289
Combined Arms assault (modified Blitzkrieg) followed by motorised (armour and mechanised infantry, and some cavalry) forces. Like I said.
Glantz/House continue ... "Although the tank armies and separate mobile corps were large formations commanded by experienced general officers, much of their tactical success depended on the work of the young captains and majors who commanded the leading forward detachments. These highly mobile, combined arms groups of 800-2000 soldiers avoided pitched battles wherever possible, bypassing German defenders in order to establish large encirclements and seize bridgeheads for the next offensive. Follow on Rifle forces, supported by the increasingly powerful Red Air Force, then reduced the German encirclements, while the mobile forces continued their exploitation. Throughout their offensives, the Rear Services performed prodigious feats of improvisation to keep the spearheads supplied even 400 kilometers behind enemy lines. Just as in the German offensives of 1941-42, the later Soviet attacks were often halted by logistical overextension rather than by enemy action."
- same page
So, Glantz/House seem to be one of the sources that I suggested didn't agree with your statement.
Note: I didn't say every source did, merely that to make the statement that you did as if it was the only point of view held by eminent historians of the period and, therefore, the pure unvarnished undisputed truth (by implication), was not correct as, indeed as I have shown, and as I stated, not all historians would agree.
I think most people here understand that Glantz has a fairly good reputation as a Historian of the period and place.
Sophisticated? In their own way? What does that even mean?
Well, as G/H notes elsewhere in WTC, they didn't copy the German model, they had their own ideas ... what they ultimately did was to use an amalgam of the Blitzkrieg and their own pre-war Deep Battle theories, and it worked well most of the time.
Most of the time.
Just like the German operations quite often, but not always, worked well.
Yes, they were prone to using brute force, to a significant degree, but not "brute force and ignorance", as the saying here in Oz goes.
And, of course, Stalin (like Hitler) could put his oar in and cause significant problems.
I would have thought that was reasonably clear, but I apologise if it wasn't.
Zhukov's ill-advised use of anti-air searchlights to blind German defenders in his Oder bridgehead breakout? Pretty late-war and ultimately relied on brute force and overwhelming numbers to finally force his way to Seelow.
Indeed, and German plans didn't always work perfectly. And were occasionaly, with the benefit of 20:20 hindsight, harebrained too.
Which doesn't change the fact that not every historian agrees with the one you cited as if it was the definitive truth, which was (and remains) my point.
I hope that that clarifies things?
Not really. Because it's pretty much the same thing. Did they learn? Yes. Did they have to fall back on sheer numbers attacks/defense most of the time? Yes.
So recon and signals deception is now considered some kind of high-speed (U.S. Army term) sophistication? C'mon. Shifting artillery from the front line of trenches sequentially to the rear? Concentrating forces at the point of attack? Point of attack at the junction point between different units?
That's not sophistication. That's basics. One need only look at the casualties and destroyed equipment the Soviets suffered while making these attacks, from the steppe grappling with Manstein to the fall of Berlin.
To say the Soviets were tactical masters and not mostly a steam roller is the outlier statement. Although, I would submit that their small unit tactics in the rubble-strewn streets of Stalingrad were superior to German street-fighting tactics.
But if you want to go battle to battle. Source for source, I'm pretty sure I can come up with many, many, many more instances of victories due to Soviet steamroller that out number victories due to Soviet tactical genius --- by a magnitude.
I got a bookshelf full.
But see, that's not even what got this going:
You:In Blitzkrieg tactics, the German Infantry divisions punched a hole in the front and the Panzer divisions then exploited ... the Russian refinement of mobile war operated pretty much the same.
I said: Actually, the Soviets used mass attack with pretty much everything at the same time after hellish artillery prep. They overwhelmed with numbers, not pretty or tactically sophisticated. But the brute force usually got the job done. Ask Army Group Center circa 22 June '44. No standstill there.
Now you're saying: Combined Arms assault (modified Blitzkrieg) followed by motorised (armour and mechanised infantry, and some cavalry) forces. Like I said.
Which is it?
"It take a brave soldier to be a coward in the Red Army" -- Uncle Joe
"Is it you or I that commands 9th Army, My Fuhrer?" -- Model