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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/10/2018 7:01:46 PM   
Rusty1961

 

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https://www.amazon.com/Chief-Culprit-Stalins-Grand-Design/dp/1591148065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1520711887&sr=8-2&keywords=victor+suvorov&dpID=518KbMSgtEL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

For those of us who are familiar with Victor Suvorov, this is old news. While this book:
https://www.amazon.com/Chief-Culprit-Stalins-Grand-Design/dp/1591148065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1520711887&sr=8-2&keywords=victor+suvorov&dpID=518KbMSgtEL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

came out in 2013, he wrote at length about Stalin's agitation for war back in 1991 with "Icebreaker".

https://www.amazon.com/Icebreaker-WHO-STARTED-SECOND-WORLD-ebook/dp/B007WTZ372/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520712008&sr=8-1&keywords=victor+suvorov&dpID=415Vfkmm0NL&preST=_SX342_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

He uses geometric logic to make a strong case that Stalin was the "Main Culprit" behind WW2 as well as planning to attack German in the summer of '41.

(in reply to Dinglir)
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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/10/2018 10:03:31 PM   
tomeck48

 

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Exactly what Dinglir said. The reading I did years ago was that Stalin was expecting another 1914-18 in the West and he could move in when they were exhausted. So he was planning something a few years out. It doesn't make sense that the reality of 1940 would make him move up the timetable 4-5 years. And with the T-34 production just getting started, why jump the gun?

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/11/2018 1:35:45 AM   
Rusty1961

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: tomeck48

Exactly what Dinglir said. The reading I did years ago was that Stalin was expecting another 1914-18 in the West and he could move in when they were exhausted. So he was planning something a few years out. It doesn't make sense that the reality of 1940 would make him move up the timetable 4-5 years. And with the T-34 production just getting started, why jump the gun?



Read "The Chief Culprit" and it will all make sense

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/12/2018 1:05:16 PM   
postfux

 

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Even a delusional soviet leadership couldnt expect to steamroll Germany in 41 with the Wehrmacht in its prime. So they would have a planning horizon of at least 2 or 3 years.

That are 2 to 3 years for continental Europe to rally behind Germany. Even Britain and the US could not want a German defeat when the SU is attacking. Landing own troops to fight Germany and trust the Soviet juggernaut to stop for them would be a very risky option. Not unlikely they even wouldnt be very welcome in France if the came to possibly pave the way for the Red Army.

The US and Britain would have to decide to either let Germany (and likely the rest of Europe) run out of fuel at some point or to start supporting it. Thats the decision between communist rule over Asia and Europe or negotiatons with Germany.

If Germany isnt isolated Europe offers strategic depth. Even Turkey is a dangerous flank for the SU in this case. In the east Japan is waiting for an opportunity. They are allies of Germany after all and cant be interested in a victorious SU. Nobody could be. A soviet attack would be a strategic game changer.

These years would also be years with horrendous losses for the Red Army, even if succesfull to some extent. The Red Army would be fighting on hostile soil with the propaganda having a hard time to keep the soldiers fighting with spirit when there are setbacks.

In my eyes a Soviet attack in 41 is not a recipe for World Revolution but for an attritional war against the whole world and Red Army mass desertion and revolting front line armies.

History isnt always made by rational decisions. But attacking Germany in 41 would be an extraordinary gamble.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/12/2018 4:10:43 PM   
Capitaine

 

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You're substituting your 20/20 hindsight and sense of reality for the highly politicized thinking present contemporaneously. If you want to do that, fine. But making such seemingly rational observations has no bearing on the truth of the matter whether you like it or not.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/12/2018 4:26:32 PM   
postfux

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capitaine

You're substituting your 20/20 hindsight and sense of reality for the highly politicized thinking present contemporaneously. If you want to do that, fine. But making such seemingly rational observations has no bearing on the truth of the matter whether you like it or not.


Since the event did not happen I am hardly guilty of hindsight.

If you think I am only seemingly rational, please point out where I am not.

If you think I am right in my observations but you believe the Soviet leadership would not share these thoughts I would greatly appreciate why you think this is the case. And I am very serious about this.

If you are not ready to share your thoughts I can also live with that.

(in reply to Capitaine)
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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/13/2018 12:37:49 AM   
Capitaine

 

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My thoughts are not as concrete on this as yours seem to be. I only know that historically, nations do things militarily that turn out disastrous, and likely predictably so, because they are driven by politics. The USSR had some of the best offensive materiel in the world. They were trained exclusively in offensive tactics. Where is the evidence that they were staunchly taking a defensive posture? The Germans and Italians were sweeping up the Balkans in early 1941, an area of historic Russian influence and interest -- it was their interest there that was responsible for the start of WWI. They had already moved offensively into Bessarabia. Do you think they were going to sit still as Germany consolidated its hold on their own targets for annexation?

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/13/2018 3:49:22 AM   
tomeck48

 

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If they had "some of the best offensive material in the world" then why did so many of their counterattacks fail so miserably? Yes, the T34 outclassed anything in the German Army (except the 88s)but there weren't enough of them and their doctrine was somewhat lacking.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/13/2018 9:50:12 AM   
821Bobo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: tomeck48

If they had "some of the best offensive material in the world" then why did so many of their counterattacks fail so miserably? Yes, the T34 outclassed anything in the German Army (except the 88s)but there weren't enough of them and their doctrine was somewhat lacking.


SU in 1941 had more tanks than rest of the world together. They failed miserably because top leadership were incompetent dilettantes and ignorants. Most of the top dogs highest education was 2-3 grades in primary school without any military education.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/13/2018 10:17:06 AM   
tyronec


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quote:

My thoughts are not as concrete on this as yours seem to be. I only know that historically, nations do things militarily that turn out disastrous, and likely predictably so, because they are driven by politics. The USSR had some of the best offensive materiel in the world. They were trained exclusively in offensive tactics. Where is the evidence that they were staunchly taking a defensive posture? The Germans and Italians were sweeping up the Balkans in early 1941, an area of historic Russian influence and interest -- it was their interest there that was responsible for the start of WWI. They had already moved offensively into Bessarabia. Do you think they were going to sit still as Germany consolidated its hold on their own targets for annexation?

What is the evidence that the Soviet Union was intending to expand by military conquest ?
My understanding is that they were willing to make an agreement with the UK and France to stop Germany advancing into Czechoslovakia. Then when they realised that there was no commitment from the West they set about creating buffer areas on their own frontier - Poland, Baltic states, Finland, Bessarabia. Looks like a defensive action to me.
Finland was a mistake but imagine playing WITE starting on the Polish/Baltic states borders, might well have swung the war in favor of Axis. So in actuality good military judgement and politically they got away with it without alienating the West too much.
Yes, they did a land grab against Japan at the end of the way but the Allies were pushing them to attack. And yes, they took advantage of what they held after the defeat of Germany - but that is very different to initiating a war.

There is good publicity to be made by coming out with a dramatic proposition, many authors have made their living out of it. Am not persuaded yet that this one is worth the investment of time and money to read the book.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/13/2018 10:27:00 AM   
postfux

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capitaine

My thoughts are not as concrete on this as yours seem to be. I only know that historically, nations do things militarily that turn out disastrous, and likely predictably so, because they are driven by politics. The USSR had some of the best offensive materiel in the world. They were trained exclusively in offensive tactics. Where is the evidence that they were staunchly taking a defensive posture? The Germans and Italians were sweeping up the Balkans in early 1941, an area of historic Russian influence and interest -- it was their interest there that was responsible for the start of WWI. They had already moved offensively into Bessarabia. Do you think they were going to sit still as Germany consolidated its hold on their own targets for annexation?


Even a raving maniac acts in is own interest or at least thinks he does. So I am with you that nations do disastrous things in a predictable way, if you know their motivation.

My - not very informed - thoughts about a Soviet attack against Germany in 41 are that it would be a very stupid thing. That doesnt mean it is out of the question and I would be very interested about the conditions and expectations that make the Soviet leadership contemplate such a thing.

All the things that made Germany attack the SU in 41 speak against the SU doing the same. And even the German attack was a very risky and in my eyes stupid thing.

Building up pressure against Romania and in doing so starting to blackmail Germany I would consider to be a wise move.

I guess neither you or me will ever be sure about these what ifs.

(in reply to Capitaine)
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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/13/2018 10:52:00 AM   
Capitaine

 

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Folks, not going to argue the rationality of any of this. If you think the Soviets were respectful and peaceful adherents of the European Order, then that's your handicap to overcome. There are plenty of sources to learn why they weren't "the good guys" in any sense of the word, not even as compared to the Nazis. That's not what this is about. This is about hard evidence that will be forthcoming and it will either settle the matter or it won't. Of course, there's nothing to stop people from descending into denial regardless of the strength of the evidence. It happens all the time in our world these days.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/13/2018 11:34:43 AM   
beender


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If German generals, who were experts at war and saw with their own eyes what it was like on the Soviet side of the border right after the invasion, offered no support for a thesis of impending Soviet offensive, and actually argued against it almost universally.

Then I don't think any other source can shed better light on this issue.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/13/2018 7:02:21 PM   
tomeck48

 

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Nobody is arguing that the Soviets were either good guys or competent. To say we are is dishonest. If you want to argue that the Soviets were on the verge of attacking Germany than some evidence, not rumor, is in order.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/13/2018 8:19:10 PM   
Capitaine

 

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LOL, I indicated my stance in the OP. What more is there to discuss. I'm not in the habit of arguing circumstantial evidence on issues such as this.

Oh, beender, which German Generals made such a statement and where are the citations?

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/13/2018 11:34:38 PM   
beender


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@tomeck48
Are you sure you didn't read me exactly the opposite way? It's interesting to see I'm questioned from both sides. Maybe it's my English.

@Capitaine

I'm not a scholar and certainly have no interest to devote much time into research. But as it happens, I was just reading "The other side of the hill", by B. H. Liddell Hart, a few days ago. So while the memory is still fresh, I actually can give you some evidence, a quotation from Rundstedt, on pp 178-179.

quote:

He told me: "Hitler insisted we must
strike before Russia became too strong, and that she was
much nearer striking than we imagined. He provided
us with information that she was planning to launch an
offensive herself that same summer, of 1941. For my part,
I was very doubtful about this — and I found little sign of
it when we crossed the frontier.


quote:

I asked him further about the reasons that had led him
to discredit Hitler's belief in an imminent Russian offensive.
He replied: "In the first place, the Russians appeared to
be taken by surprise when we crossed the frontier. On my
front we found no signs of offensive preparations in the
forward zone, though there were some farther back.
They had twenty-five divisions in the Carpathian sector,
facing the Hungarian frontier, and I had expected that
they would swing round and strike at my right flank as it
advanced. Instead, they retreated. I deduced from this
that they were not in a state of readiness for offensive
operations, and hence that the Russian Command had
not been intending to launch an offensive at an early date."


And there are certainly similar remarks by other generals. Just search and you'll find them.

< Message edited by beender -- 3/13/2018 11:35:49 PM >

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/14/2018 2:02:47 AM   
tomeck48

 

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Beender, sorry, my comment was for capitaine, not you. I'm on your side.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/14/2018 8:47:23 AM   
Stelteck

 

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The subject have been debated and studied to the death by better scholar than us and it is highly unlikely that new evidence would be found today.

Of course, some radicalized political groups have high interest to create alternative version of history and will always have.


< Message edited by Stelteck -- 3/14/2018 8:48:26 AM >

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/14/2018 9:31:55 AM   
beender


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quote:

They had twenty-five divisions in the Carpathian sector,
facing the Hungarian frontier


Rereading it I suddenly realized these are the ones we wrap up in the first week of the war by the famous, or infamous, "Lvov Pocket."

Shame on you Rundstedt

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/14/2018 2:12:31 PM   
uw06670


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I don't have evidence, and can't even cite the source right off, have to dig, but one of the books on the Eastern Front I read, I'm pretty sure that some Soviet defectors and/or prisoners (high ranking) in june/july 41 said that they were expecting to attack Germany. Now, even if they said this on their own (not with German 'encouragement') they of course could have been lied to my Russian higher commanders. I just moved so finding the book could be... a challenge, so I present it here. perhaps someone else knows what I'm referring to.

_____________________________

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/14/2018 2:22:35 PM   
Capitaine

 

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You can see from beender's quotations of v.Rundstedt that Hitler provided some generals evidence of the Soviet plans. It would be a very important thing to see what diaries said about this, as opposed to memoirs which are almost always guilty of revisionism due to both 20/20 hindsight AND any prevailing political influences after the war. This is the kind of thing real historians look to rather than facile after-the-fact accounts and pronouncements.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/14/2018 3:57:17 PM   
Stelteck

 

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https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/3l7lba/how_credible_are_the_claims_that_the_soviets_were/

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/14/2018 8:33:08 PM   
Update


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This is a decades old controversy and argument. If I remember right, even the old Europa-series had a what-if scenario
based in this hypothesis. Operation Gorza, I think, was the codename used in Europa.
We just lack enough information to make any definite decision on the topic. There are valid arguments on both sides
of this historical debate. I even remember from my own studies long time ago (Military History)this same topic and quite heated
exchange of opinions.
My five cents worth: Russian military was trained and oriented for aggressive attack war, not defensive. On the other hand, they just had bad
experience on attacking determined defender during winter 39-40. In other words, I am still sitting on the fence on this one, even after all these years.
I would love to see what kind of documentation would this historian bring forth for his theory of July 15th attack.


_____________________________

Nobody respects a country with a poor army, but everybody respects a country with a good army. I raise my toast to the Finnish Army.

Attributed to Josef Stalin, 1948.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/15/2018 3:02:25 AM   
Ridgeway

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Stelteck

The subject have been debated and studied to the death by better scholar than us and it is highly unlikely that new evidence would be found today.

Of course, some radicalized political groups have high interest to create alternative version of history and will always have.



This.

I look forward to some pending revelations from renowned historians that will show that holocaust death counts are overstated.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/15/2018 1:22:11 PM   
Capitaine

 

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There are always "blue-pilled" people embracing state-approved versions of history regardless of new scholarship, and they will go to great lengths to keep their blinders on. As we've seen, "narratives" are often far more important than accuracy to some.

(in reply to Ridgeway)
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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/15/2018 2:00:08 PM   
postfux

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capitaine

There are always "blue-pilled" people embracing state-approved versions of history regardless of new scholarship, and they will go to great lengths to keep their blinders on. As we've seen, "narratives" are often far more important than accuracy to some.


I am not sure if you are aware that this is shown as "in reply to Ridgeway".

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/16/2018 2:19:05 PM   
Capitaine

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: postfux


quote:

ORIGINAL: Capitaine

There are always "blue-pilled" people embracing state-approved versions of history regardless of new scholarship, and they will go to great lengths to keep their blinders on. As we've seen, "narratives" are often far more important than accuracy to some.


I am not sure if you are aware that this is shown as "in reply to Ridgeway".

???

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/29/2018 2:05:21 AM   
Aurelian

 

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https://www.amazon.com/Stumbling-Colossus-World-Modern-Studies/dp/0700617892

"This book represents the most thorough and intensive examination of the state of the Red Army in 1941 yet to appear. It investigates every aspect of the Soviet military establishment, command, deployment, mobilization, reserves, the Soviet soldier himself, and above all, combat readiness, using Soviet and German archives. Glantz's evidence is unchallengeable, his sources unimpeachable, his conclusion incontestable."--John Erickson, author of The Road to Stalingrad

"Effectively refutes the charge--recently rehabilitated by Viktor Suvorov in Icebreaker--that Stalin was secretly planning an offensive war against Hitler during 1941. With his previous book When Titans Clashed and this latest contribution, David Glantz has established firmly his reputation as the preeminent historian of the Soviet Army."--Mark von Hagen, author of Soldiers in the Proletarian Dictatorship

< Message edited by Aurelian -- 3/29/2018 2:07:47 AM >


_____________________________

"I always take life with a grain of salt. Plus, a slice of lemon. And a shot of tequila."

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 3/29/2018 1:50:50 PM   
Capitaine

 

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Maybe, although I doubt puffery constitutes academic proof. Like I've said, evidence to the contrary is evidence to the contrary, Glantz notwithstanding. Vee shall see.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 4/4/2018 12:09:11 AM   
Capitaine

 

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Nothing from my "source" but I did come across an actual Soviet archived top secret document, Document 103202/06, which became available after the fall of the USSR. This was signed by Marshall Timoshenko and the Chief of the Soviet General Staff at that time Merezkov. It outlines "Operation Thunderstorm" (or "Operatsia Groza") comprising the invasion of Europe slated for July 10, 1941. It was signed three months before Operation Barbarossa was signed.

It's mentioned in this Wikipedia entry here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igor_Bunich

I think it's mentioned in that article that Stalin wasn't a military man but a statesman, and relied on others to implement his plans. Now, this looks concrete to me and with something like this in the offing you'd have to insist that nothing short of waiting till an actual Soviet invasion would provide proof of their intent if this doesn't convince you.

< Message edited by Capitaine -- 4/4/2018 12:10:50 AM >

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