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Soviet Barbarossa - 3/7/2018 7:36:51 PM   
Capitaine

 

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In some groundbreaking news, I recently was informed directly by perhaps the world's foremost WWII historian that it will shortly be established that the Soviets had definitively resolved to launch an attack on Germany on July 15th of 1941, and that the German Barbarossa was timed and intended as a preemptive strike against this plan.

Such a plan would be consistent with the forward Soviet deployment on the frontier, and the nearly exclusively attack posture/training of the Soviet formations. To say that the Soviets didn't expect a German attack would thus be accurate: They were expecting to start the conflict before Germany, and didn't consider their deployment from a defensive perspective.

I have no more to offer, but in my mind given my source this is essentially a certainty.

So I wonder what effect, if any, such a situation would have on War in the East 2?
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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/7/2018 7:42:48 PM   
morvael


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WitE could use some what-if scenarios.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/7/2018 8:10:44 PM   
Capitaine

 

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Might be a short-lived offensive.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/7/2018 9:57:27 PM   
uw06670


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Just imagine if true and Germany had delayed their attack. Good chance Germany wins the war.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/7/2018 10:26:21 PM   
Capitaine

 

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If the aggression were perceived to be on the Soviet's part I wonder if there would be any diplomatic consequences. Britain, already at war with GE, would still support USSR just as much. U.S. as only other real power might be less inclined to support Soviets with LL? Early? Maybe?

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 2:39:35 AM   
56ajax


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I must admit I struggle with this, especially the 15th July date, 3 weeks after the start of Barbarossa. This would imply some visible preparation and deployment, noticeable a couple of months before. Obviously they were going to attack from the Ukraine, without any recon.

Then again the Russian s thought they were the best army in the world, and to say otherwise would label you as counter revolutionary and lead to the firing squad. Furthermore, training breaks equipment, especially aircraft, which leads to you being classified as a saboteur and here comes the firing squad again. Best leave aircraft, tanks, guns etc in the shed.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Russians did have a plan to attack Germany, but was it going to kick off on the 15th July. no.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 9:42:06 AM   
Stelteck

 

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Some science fiction / What if scenario like this (with different forces configuration at start) could be very interesting in the game.

In WITP AE there is some of them that are very good. (I especially love the "renforced japan for long war" one).

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 1:08:14 PM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capitaine
I recently was informed directly by perhaps the world's foremost WWII historian that it will shortly be established that the Soviets had definitively resolved to launch an attack on Germany on July 15th of 1941, and that the German Barbarossa was timed and intended as a preemptive strike against this plan.


I would be cautious with this - I have heard this statement many times and it usually traces back to a former Soviet spy who does a lecture by this very title. While he did have access to the files decades later and it is very well presented - I do not think there is any definitive proof or that any of the really top World War II historians have said so.

That said I have no doubt the Soviet Union would have invaded Germany if they thought they could win - as they had already done so with most of their other neighbours. I have no doubt that they made a lot of plans for it. Just as America and Britain had plans to go to war with each other. But the resolution perhaps could only be known by the mind of Stalin himself - and only mind readers can know that.


< Message edited by Telemecus -- 3/8/2018 2:21:30 PM >

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 2:03:27 PM   
No idea

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capitaine

In some groundbreaking news, I recently was informed directly by perhaps the world's foremost WWII historian that it will shortly be established that the Soviets had definitively resolved to launch an attack on Germany on July 15th of 1941, and that the German Barbarossa was timed and intended as a preemptive strike against this plan.

Such a plan would be consistent with the forward Soviet deployment on the frontier, and the nearly exclusively attack posture/training of the Soviet formations. To say that the Soviets didn't expect a German attack would thus be accurate: They were expecting to start the conflict before Germany, and didn't consider their deployment from a defensive perspective.

I have no more to offer, but in my mind given my source this is essentially a certainty.

So I wonder what effect, if any, such a situation would have on War in the East 2?


Some questions

Can you say who is this historian?

I assume he will have imporant documents to back his words?

How is that, if the attacked was planned for 15 th July, the soviet army was in such disarray? (And I mean, not just logistically, but it was in the middle of a process of orgnizational change, with most tank corps still "in the works")

In short, why would Stalin want to launch an attck when Germany had no relevant enemies left (apart from the UK on its island) and it wasnt prepared? Stalin was not an utter idiot.

Unless overwhelming proof is presented, something I doubt a lot, I still think Stalin was "on the sidelines", waiting for a chance, not wanting to get into a life/death struggle all alone





< Message edited by No idea -- 3/8/2018 2:05:41 PM >

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 2:18:12 PM   
Capitaine

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: No idea

quote:

ORIGINAL: Capitaine

In some groundbreaking news, I recently was informed directly by perhaps the world's foremost WWII historian that it will shortly be established that the Soviets had definitively resolved to launch an attack on Germany on July 15th of 1941, and that the German Barbarossa was timed and intended as a preemptive strike against this plan.

Such a plan would be consistent with the forward Soviet deployment on the frontier, and the nearly exclusively attack posture/training of the Soviet formations. To say that the Soviets didn't expect a German attack would thus be accurate: They were expecting to start the conflict before Germany, and didn't consider their deployment from a defensive perspective.

I have no more to offer, but in my mind given my source this is essentially a certainty.

So I wonder what effect, if any, such a situation would have on War in the East 2?


Some questions

Can you say who is this historian?

I assume he will have imporant documents to back his words?

How is that, if the attacked was planned for 15 th July, the soviet army was in such disarray? (And I mean, not just logistically, but it was in the middle of a process of orgnizational change, with most tank corps still "in the works")

In short, why would Stalin want to launch an attck when Germany had no relevant enemies left (apart from the UK on its island) and it wasnt prepared? Stalin was not an utter idiot.

Unless overwhelming proof is presented, something I doubt a lot, I still think Stalin was "on the sidelines", waiting for a chance, not wanting to get into a life/death struggle all alone

No, I won't identify the historian as it was a confidential communication and this matter was unsolicited and came up merely as a heads up. I also did not get the impression that this development was through his own work; only that he'd known about it before and that the definitive proof was forthcoming.

As to the credibility, this historian relies *solely* on primary source material; the best of all available. I trust *his* judgment on WWII matters more than I trust anyone else's on the planet. Bar NONE.

Beyond that, take it as you like. I throw this out there as a tip in the spirit it was communicated to me. I understand completely if you'd prefer to await the actual proffering of the evidence before forming an opinion, as that is only rational. My trust in my source, though, is very high. For me.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 2:22:05 PM   
Capitaine

 

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I will also aver that probably the primary importance of this information would be political rather than military, even though it would as discussed above probably explain some military decisions by the Soviets that otherwise aren't terribly explicable.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 2:35:15 PM   
Stelteck

 

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I also heard that poland tried to invade germany leading to the start of WW2

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 2:38:36 PM   
Telemecus


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The Nazi justification was that Poland attacked first. They even staged an attack on a border radio station with Germans given Polish uniforms for the propaganda.

Poland did have one of the biggest armies of Europe and in the decade before very successfully attacked the Soviet Union. It is only in hindsight that we see it as one sided.

< Message edited by Telemecus -- 3/8/2018 2:41:56 PM >

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 3:56:36 PM   
No idea

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capitaine

I will also aver that probably the primary importance of this information would be political rather than military, even though it would as discussed above probably explain some military decisions by the Soviets that otherwise aren't terribly explicable.


Even if I am sceptical, thank you for the info. I will wait unitl the historians work is released to give my opinion.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 4:48:04 PM   
chaos45

 

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I find this hard to believe, esp with the lack of motorization of the Soviet forces in the West in June. It would have taken incredible efforts to get the Soviet western forces fully mobile, not to mention the training and supply stockpiles they would need to conduct an offensive.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 5:15:14 PM   
Capitaine

 

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One thing to consider, though, is that if the shoe is placed on the other foot then it's very understandable why the Soviets, and Russia today, would not want this information released. Nor would any of the victorious Allies want it released. There were and are high national security reasons to cover this up. So no one can claim that had this been the plan, we'd surely have known about it before now. I seriously think not.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 7:13:44 PM   
chaos45

 

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I just think your wrong and I think whoever this noted historian is, is also wrong.

Soviet equipment readiness was very low, they lacked massive supply stockpiles, and many units were less than 20% authorized transport.

No Army preparing for an offensive in a month would even think they had a chance of success in such a dilapidated state. I could go on, but the general soviet military situation in Jun and even Jul without a German attack was/would have been horrible. Just driving to the polish border to attack would have cut their tank strength down by easily 25-50% because maintenance and spare parts were so lacking...not to mention fuel was even an issue for them at that point in the units.

Also I think Stalin's near catatonic state he fell into after he finally realized the Germans were indeed invading shows how ill prepared he was as the countries leader for the event. If he had truly been preparing to attack Germany in 1941 I dont think his reaction would have been such.

Maybe in 1942 or later the Soviet generals or stalin had some aspirations to attack Germany at an opportune time, but all evidence within the Soviet Army points to a complete lack of preparedness to conduct really any operations let alone an offensive.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 8:08:20 PM   
Telemecus


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You do have to distinguish the political readiness to go to war and the military. Italy was not ready for war in 1941 - but Mussolini wanted it anyway. Indeed he was worried he would enter too late for the victory parade.

If Germany was weak they would have attacked - like they did with so many others. Whatever the reality of Soviet readiness we now know this was not the estimation of Stalin who regularly ordered counter attacks from day one. And it is Stalin's estimation of their military forces the day before the invasion started that is the one we should use to evaluate the decision they would have made.

My criticism of the historian, and there is certainly one historian very famous for this thesis, is that they are evaluating a political decision. In a system like the Soviet Union polling public opinion, military readiness or even planning will not tell you if the Soviet Union was going to invade. Only Stalin could. So when a historian says they have categorical proof it is simply a category mistake.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 8:29:09 PM   
Capitaine

 

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I have no idea what the source of the information might be. Could it be significant German intelligence documents showing that this was forcing their hand? I have no idea. Maybe it could even be Soviet source material. I agree that we all have to await any word as to what it is. But I trust the instincts and word of my own source. So I'm counting on it to be true whatever it might be. I.e., I don't *expect* to be disappointed.

And BTW, none of our own opinions or beliefs matter one whit as to the truth of this. It will either be solid proof, or it will be more hearsay and secondary source material that isn't up to snuff. Either way it will either authenticate itself if as told, like all the other primary information my source is responsible for; or it won't.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 10:13:38 PM   
No idea

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capitaine

One thing to consider, though, is that if the shoe is placed on the other foot then it's very understandable why the Soviets, and Russia today, would not want this information released. Nor would any of the victorious Allies want it released. There were and are high national security reasons to cover this up. So no one can claim that had this been the plan, we'd surely have known about it before now. I seriously think not.


Certainly Rusisia isnt interested in it be known. But that makes it even harder to see how did he get political documents that point an invasion 15 th June of 1941. Besides, with the soviet geenrals that fell into nazi hands in 1941. How is that they didnt tell the germas anything about that attack? At least Ulasov would have been happy to give that info away. Granted, he was just a mech corps general when Barbarossa began, but I think a mech corps general would have known 3 weeks in advance that an attack over Germany was coming. Plans and preparations have to be made beforehand.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/8/2018 11:12:17 PM   
chaos45

 

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exactly No idea.....military operations in real life are unbelievably more difficult than in the game of moving counters around lol.

So with only roughly a month before the operation alot would have had to be prepared and practiced for. Even Stalin wouldn't have been crazy/stupid enough to take on what was at the time considered the worlds most powerful and trained army off the cuff without letting his military units/leaders prepare some. It would have been regime suicide IMO.

I do firmly believe that sensing alot of weakness or maybe in another year or so of preparations the Soviets/Stalin might have attacked the Germans...but not in July of 1941.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/9/2018 6:50:07 AM   
morvael


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quote:

ORIGINAL: chaos45
No Army preparing for an offensive in a month would even think they had a chance of success in such a dilapidated state.


I refer you to 56ajax's post:

quote:

ORIGINAL: 56ajax
Then again the Russian s thought they were the best army in the world, and to say otherwise would label you as counter revolutionary and lead to the firing squad. Furthermore, training breaks equipment, especially aircraft, which leads to you being classified as a saboteur and here comes the firing squad again. Best leave aircraft, tanks, guns etc in the shed.


Do not apply cold logic to how the Red Army operated, it required two years of bloodbath (mostly of their own making) before they were ready to accept rules of cold logic and allow for certain honesty in reports. Some people say Glantz's books are pro-Soviet, but even they are chock full of authentic reports from lower to upper echelons of command which were deliberately misleading in order to cover ****ups they made in order not to lose their post (or head), and completely unrealistic orders from upper to lower echelons of command, demanding impossible, without taking into account actual troop numbers, and readiness, formed on the basis of wishful thinking instead of actual recon. So it's not possible to say that USSR didn't plan to attack Nazi Germany because they were unready in objective terms. Yes, they were unready for offensive and defensive ops, but they lied to themselves that they are, so they could start the war if the only decisive person in their government would say the word. And they prepared for such eventuality, as all armies actually do. The only problem is we won't ever know with 100% accuracy what date (if any) Uncle Joe had in mind. There is certain evidence preparations were quite advanced, while some will counter these saying it was purely defensive mobilization. But a what-if scenario of Soviet attack in July 1941 is actually more sound than some other possible what-if scenarios.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/9/2018 7:13:48 AM   
No idea

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: morvael


quote:

ORIGINAL: chaos45
No Army preparing for an offensive in a month would even think they had a chance of success in such a dilapidated state.


I refer you to 56ajax's post:

quote:

ORIGINAL: 56ajax
Then again the Russian s thought they were the best army in the world, and to say otherwise would label you as counter revolutionary and lead to the firing squad. Furthermore, training breaks equipment, especially aircraft, which leads to you being classified as a saboteur and here comes the firing squad again. Best leave aircraft, tanks, guns etc in the shed.


Do not apply cold logic to how the Red Army operated, it required two years of bloodbath (mostly of their own making) before they were ready to accept rules of cold logic and allow for certain honesty in reports. Some people say Glantz's books are pro-Soviet, but even they are chock full of authentic reports from lower to upper echelons of command which were deliberately misleading in order to cover ****ups they made in order not to lose their post (or head), and completely unrealistic orders from upper to lower echelons of command, demanding impossible, without taking into account actual troop numbers, and readiness, formed on the basis of wishful thinking instead of actual recon. So it's not possible to say that USSR didn't plan to attack Nazi Germany because they were unready in objective terms. Yes, they were unready for offensive and defensive ops, but they lied to themselves that they are, so they could start the war if the only decisive person in their government would say the word. And they prepared for such eventuality, as all armies actually do. The only problem is we won't ever know with 100% accuracy what date (if any) Uncle Joe had in mind. There is certain evidence preparations were quite advanced, while some will counter these saying it was purely defensive mobilization. But a what-if scenario of Soviet attack in July 1941 is actually more sound than some other possible what-if scenarios.


I agree to some extent that we cant apply cold logic only (and the huge adventage of knowing what happened with the soviet army in 1941) to this situation, but unless Stalin was an utter idiot (something he wasnt) I dont see how he had on mind 15 th july of 1941 as invasion date (I acknowledge later dates, in 1942 or 1943 could be possible).

First, Stalin was in the middle of an organizational change. He acknowledge that tanks and mechanization were key in modern warfare. That is why he ordered the mech corps be rebuild after being aware of what had happened in France. But those mech corps were mostly being formed in mid 1941. Why would Stalin attack when his main units were still "in the works"?

Second, even if Stalin lied to himself (or others lied to him) about the sorry state of soviet forces, the winter war should have give him something to consider that his forces werent as good as he might have thought.

Thrid, Stalin was always cautious on his dealings with foreing affairs. By cautious I mean that he didnt act until he was sure the pieces were in place. He didnt start expanding in the east until he struck a deal with Germany. I dont see why would Stalin attack Germany in 1941, a Germany who had no enemies left on the continent, without first securing help from the UK (besides being already at war with Germany) or the USA.

Fourth, Stalin might think his armies were superb and could roll on everything, but having lead troops himself, I am sure he was aware that units needed some time to make plans and train before attacking. The winter war surely taught him that if he didnt know it. However, no soviet general was aware of offensive ops for july 1941?


< Message edited by No idea -- 3/9/2018 7:21:02 AM >

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/9/2018 7:35:42 AM   
morvael


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On the other hand no army is ever achieving the goal of being 100% ready. Improvements are a continuous process and some parts of the army may be at lower readiness because of that. The goal is to be ready enough, not fully. And you can cheat yourself into thinking you're ready enough.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/9/2018 9:24:56 AM   
demyansk


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Stalin may have had something on paper but forces totally inadequate for any type of offensive action. The purge of 1937 resulted in dire consequences. Besides, the German military was second to none by 1941/42. It will be an interesting read and Glantz is the top rated author on Eastern Front.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/10/2018 7:19:55 AM   
Gefreiter Wardstein

 

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Although its many years since I read it, in "Thunder on the Dnepr" by Brian Fugate & Lev Dvoretsky (1997)the basic premise is that although the Soviet High Command had wargamed the possibilities of a Soviet pre emptive attack in 1941, Soviet doctrine at the time was for the frontier formations to hold their positions and repulse the German formations and then with reserve formations to counter attack and thus drive the Germans back.... as they successfully did later at Kursk.

The book does make clear though that there were no realistic plan or strategy for a Soviet pre emptive strike.

< Message edited by Gefreiter Wardstein -- 3/10/2018 7:21:05 AM >

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/10/2018 10:19:39 AM   
Telemecus


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Perhaps Viktor Suvorov is the main one making money on the lecture circuit for this thesis. So worth seeing what he says I suppose

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Clv-c6QdBs

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/10/2018 1:53:26 PM   
Capitaine

 

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Very good presentation from Suvorov. Of course his points are accurate, and he presents some supporting documentation along with his rationale. And you see this is not a stupid position. It's very cagey. We'll have to see what may be forthcoming on this.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/10/2018 2:54:49 PM   
Telemecus


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Yes I agree all the points can be correct, documentation accurate and rationale reasonable. Just I do not think that leads to saying Stalin had definitely decided to attack Germany - only a mind reader could know that. Without that all conclusions have to be provisional, and probably always will be for what-ifs of dictatorships. I followed the same debate about Franco during the second world war - was he going to invade France, was he going to attack Gibraltar, was he in the pay of the British secretly, or just playing everyone off each other. Although Falangist Spain was less absolutist, most now agree nobody can ever get a final definitive answer from inside Franco's head.

< Message edited by Telemecus -- 3/10/2018 2:59:18 PM >

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/10/2018 4:43:51 PM   
Dinglir


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when Soviet signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, Stalin knew this would spark a German invasion of Poland and he hoped that the Western allies and Germany would tear each other apart in a long and bloody conflict. When Poland and later on France fell very quickly, Stalin became trapped by his own politics. He had supported the build up of the German war machine hoping that it would bleed to death against France, while his own Soviet military could build up its strength, to march over the ruins of Europe.

In 1941 Stalin frantically wanted peace to continue with Germany. He knew the Soviets were not prepared (it was not dangerous for him to know this, only to say it) and he feared for his own position should war break out. I read somewhere that Zhukov, playing the Germans in a war game, had managed to penetrate deep into Russia some months before the outbreak of the war. In short, Stalin was rather certain a palace coup would have him ousted (and executed) should war break out.

The Soviet high command were acutely aware that the Soviet Union was in no position to fight Germany in 1941. The lessons from France and Finland clearly showed the difference between the two nations.

When war did break out, Stalin went to his dacha and did nothing for several days. I believe he was actually sure, that the palace coup would come and he would be executed. It was only after the other members of STAVKA all backed him, that he began fighting back.

Based on this, I find it extremely unlikey that Stalin should seriously contemplate going to war with Germany in the summer of 1941.

_____________________________

We need only to kick in the door, and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down.

Adolf Hitler, on the eve of Barbarossa.
-----

There are only 10 kinds of people. Those that use binary numbers and those that do not.

Unknown origi

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