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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 4/17/2018 1:47:23 PM   
Kull


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ktonos

Soviet Union has been accused for the entirety of her post war life for collaborating with Hitler. Soviet Union's name has been dragged to the mud because the Luftwaffe flew over London to drop bombs using Soviet oil.


Accused? They DID collaborate with Hitler.

quote:

Yet there was a 1941 "Soviet Barbarossa" and it hasn't been brought out for 5 decades by Soviet propaganda to defend their name? To say "here dummies, we were going to attack all along, here are the 1941 plans".


Maybe because that would be just one more example of "aggressive invading neighbor" (as Finland, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Rumania can all attest) for whom international agreements like signed non aggression pacts are "just a scrap of paper" whereas instead they got to play the role of "poor victim".

Upstanding member of the Grand alliance or Rogue state? Hmmm...which has better propaganda value?

_____________________________


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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 4/29/2018 8:18:32 PM   
Aufklaerungs


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Found this to be an interesting piece for those with an abiding interest in the controversy. One or two of the referenced sources are worthwhile reading as well.
What Stalin Knew: The Enigma

_____________________________

Aufklärungs

(in reply to Kull)
Post #: 122
RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/13/2018 4:02:00 PM   
Kielec

 

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I hate to revive this thread (two months worth of well informed (ehmm...) comments prompted by a murky "I heard something from a very scholary someone" by Capitaine), but I just happened to come across it, and...

I am salivating in anticipation of the revelation. Is the ground-breaking opus out yet?

(in reply to Dinglir)
Post #: 123
RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/14/2018 1:09:02 AM   
IslandInland


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capitaine

Hitler is one of the most lied about men in history.



I've worked out who the 'famous historian' is you refer to in your original post. It's David Irving, isn't it?

This Capitaine dude has previous for these sort of threads. He had this one locked because it got out of hand.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4189498&mpage=1&key=



< Message edited by IslandInland -- 5/15/2018 3:00:13 AM >


_____________________________

I saw generals create imaginary "masses of manoeuvre" with a crayon and dispose of enemy concentrations, that were on the ground and on the map, with an eraser. Who was I to criticise them, hero as I was of a hundred "Chinagraph wars" of make-believe?

(in reply to Capitaine)
Post #: 124
RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/14/2018 3:33:51 PM   
ezhik1

 

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Guys - I am Russian by birth, a military historian by education but not profession. This subject of Soviet attack in summer of 1941 has fascinated me ever since Victor Suvorov published his Icebreaker in Russia in early 1990s.

First a few words on the historiography of this. There are literally tens of books in Russia on this subject - some defending the hypothesis, some rejecting outright and going back to the original (Soviet) version of "Stalin was afraid of Hitler and was purely defensive". The west is largely insulated from this due to language barrier - and not such a bad thing given the amount of total Sh!t published on this topic there.

To cover the long story short:
1. Soviet deployment plans were published in 1993 as I recall. USSR started planning for an aggressive war against Germany in mid 1940. Plans are published - available online. Several variants of the plans have emerged covering the period mid 1940 to May 1941 as those plans evolved. With some gaps, plans are for the whole theater of operations as well as individual fronts.

2. All Soviet plans are broadly the same in their strategic scope. An extremely powerful attack by the Southwestern Front From Lvov towards Krakow and Katowice in Poland with Western front providing support role in destroying whatever German troops are placed in the salient on the opposite side of the border from Brest-Litovsk to Lvov. North-Western front is the weakest and largely defensive against East Prussia. The March 1941 variant is important in that for the first time it adds: "subsequent attack is towards the north to cut off German units in Prussia or attack towards Berlin".

3. Most importantly, the Soviet army had started its deployment and when attacked on 22nd of June was caught in the process of extremely secret (movement at night only) deployment towards the border. Many inner armies were on the trains being transported West. But (and this is important) by 22nd of June 1941, the actual deployment of the Soviet forces is as per the already uncovered documents. I.e. those final plans were being put into action. It is not known of the date was set for attack, no document found so far mentions in. People speculate that Stalin was waiting for a pre-WW1 style crysis which would give him time to mobilize another 7 million men in, push up the 2nd echelon which was on the line Dvina-Dnepr and go in all guns blazing.

4. I reiterate this point - the main proof that the Soviet were planning for aggressive war with Germany was not some "what if" document in the archives of the Defence Ministry. It is a combination of uncovered plans AND the actual ongoing deployments of Soviet forces in May-June 1941 as they totally reflected what was in the docs.

You can see that yourselves when you play the game. The thickest bunch of Soviet divisions is in the South where the main attack towards Krakow was going to be launched from.

5. Among many Russian historians - the fact that Stalin was planning an offensive war is a consensus view (unless its state sponsored - they just repeat stuff from Zhukovs ghost written memoirs) - people are divided on dates (some say July-August), others say 1942 at the earliest.

6. Very important. By all available evidence, the Germans had very little understanding of what the Soviets were planning. You have to imagine Soviet life in that period to understand that it would just not be possible for a Germany spy to operate successfully in that country. How many US spies are there in North Korea today, my guess is - none. Germans may have had some evidence from aerial reconnaissance and civilians crossing the border (escaping). But not much - although enough for Goebels 22nd of June announcement regarding Soviet preparations. Therefore - the German war against Soviet Union cannot in any way be called pre-emptive. Same appears to be true vice versa - the Soviets had 2-3 spies in the German army and air force who were of very low rank. They simply had not access to information about German preparations. So Stalin's planned aggression can also not be called per-emptive. He simply had no idea that the Germans were going to strike.

With regards to results of Soviet attack I agree with historians who suggest that it would not have made a huge amount of difference. They probably would have avoided a couple of large encirclements but after a week or 2, everything would have rolled east. Morale of the army was extremely low.

I have a lot of materials on this and even a documentary script. If somebody wants to discuss further, let me know.

Best,



< Message edited by ezhik1 -- 5/14/2018 9:01:14 PM >

(in reply to IslandInland)
Post #: 125
RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/15/2018 6:48:07 PM   
Ridgeway

 

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I would not be surprised at all if the Soviets intended to invade Germany in 1942.

1941 makes little sense though. In particular, where was the logistical buildup? If they were planning a significant offensive there should have been massive supply dumps (food, ammo and fuel), especially throughout Southwest Front. I am sure the invading Germans would have been more than happy to liberate these, and their propaganda ministry would have had a field day. Plus, the Soviets were furiously trying to reconstitute their officer corps after the purges. Even assuming that people were afraid to mention military unreadiness to Stalin, he had just seen it with his own eyes against the Finns.

But here is the bigger picture, Ezhik1. When people start arguing that the Soviets were about to invade in 1941, they then tend to espouse the following "logic":

1) The Germans were acting in self-defense, preempting an attack they knew was coming. Just like the Israelis in 1973!
2) They were justified in seeking to completely eliminate this threat to their security, and since the Soviets were such fanatics, harsh measures had to be taken. Just like the US dropping the A-Bomb!
3) The Holocaust and atrocities against Soviet soldiers and civilians was just Bolshevik/"modern leftist" propaganda. Sure there were some unfortunate typhus outbreaks, and some local commanders may have run amok, but that was it. And what about My Lai!

That is why I almost never engage on the merits on this topic.

(in reply to ezhik1)
Post #: 126
RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/18/2018 8:20:27 PM   
Kull


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So in other words, you just discounted everything he said, because - in effect - you are afraid of the facts. Of course there are those who might take the Stalin Plan and use that to justify the German invasion, but those are the same sorts of people who try to deny the holocaust. It's like refusing to discuss the Katyn Massacre (or denying it happened) because some people might "twist the logic" to justify German atrocities against Poles and Russians.

As for a 1941 attack, sure it doesn't seem to "make sense", but this is Stalin we are talking about. He operated in a world where what he believed to be true WAS a fact, and the reality of poor military preparedness or the sheer inability of his army to perform the required actions is not a bar to Stalin ordering it to be so. Also, it's not like the post-purge Soviet military leadership was full of guys willing to challenge his beliefs.

_____________________________


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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/19/2018 5:09:16 AM   
tomeck48

 

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The fact is that German intelligence grossly underestimated Soviet strength, so even if there was some intelligence on a Soviet offensive it played no role in the German decision to attack. And the fact is that there was no offensive by the Soviets no matter what their plans were. This issue is nothing more than an obscure side text to the war.

(in reply to Kull)
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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/19/2018 11:54:05 AM   
ezhik1

 

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I am sorry, but I am going to have to strongly disagree with you there. What you have to appreciate is that the "myth" of a victim i.e. an innocent party attacked "treacherously" by the Nazi beast lies at the heart of the propaganda image that USSR cultivated for itself (including via the numerous memoirs of the generals and marshals) in the post war period and that modern Russia has very much taken over. The topic of Soviet preparations is today largely taboo on Russian state media, the MOD archives which were briefly opened in early 90s are closed again, historians who discuss this are pounced on by state trolls. M-R pact, Winter War, occupation of Poland, Baltics etc are also not discussed.

The implication is that if Hitler unintentionally per-empted a Soviet invasion than the USSR/Stalin was not an innocent victim and was not somehow morally superior to the Nazis and that Stalin was a similar type murdering tyrant as was Hitler - he just got the attack date wrong by a few weeks. For post war Soviet/Russian mindset - this is a mind blowing implication - decades of propaganda just screwed their brains up completely.

This whole question is huge and is a massive elephant in the room. Not in the least because it is about today's politics as it is about what actually happened.

< Message edited by ezhik1 -- 5/19/2018 12:01:09 PM >

(in reply to tomeck48)
Post #: 129
RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/19/2018 2:09:41 PM   
whalus

 

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I find that perspective to be rather odd. I think Russia attacking first would have been looked on as a very positive thing by the Allies. Instead we have the Russian government providing needed supplies to the evil German regime right up to the moment of German attack. How does that make Russia look innocent?

(in reply to ezhik1)
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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/19/2018 4:13:42 PM   
tomeck48

 

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quote:

What you have to appreciate is that the "myth" of a victim i.e. an innocent party attacked "treacherously" by the Nazi beast lies at the heart of the propaganda image that USSR cultivated for itself


Ezhik1, I can appreciate that you are much more informed about the myths and on-going propaganda in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia than I am. And I'll admit that perhaps that is an issue that I should know more about, especially given the apparent Russian intrusion into our election.

Given the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, I think both sides planned to break it and assumed the other side had the same plans. It was a race to see who would attack first and Stalin had less time to prepare than he thought he had. That said, an attack by either side would have been for conquest, not preemption.

Though I am an American, my heritage is German, and I am vehemently against anything that attempts to whitewash the Nazi past. Similarly, I would be against any reading of history that says Hitler's invasion of Russia somehow exonerates Stalin's crimes in Russia. A murderer who is killed by another murderer is still a murderer.

Thank you for helping me see this in a new perspective. Good luck to you.

(in reply to ezhik1)
Post #: 131
RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/19/2018 7:58:05 PM   
Capitaine

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: tomeck48

quote:

What you have to appreciate is that the "myth" of a victim i.e. an innocent party attacked "treacherously" by the Nazi beast lies at the heart of the propaganda image that USSR cultivated for itself


Ezhik1, I can appreciate that you are much more informed about the myths and on-going propaganda in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia than I am. And I'll admit that perhaps that is an issue that I should know more about, especially given the apparent Russian intrusion into our election.

Given the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, I think both sides planned to break it and assumed the other side had the same plans. It was a race to see who would attack first and Stalin had less time to prepare than he thought he had. That said, an attack by either side would have been for conquest, not preemption.

Though I am an American, my heritage is German, and I am vehemently against anything that attempts to whitewash the Nazi past. Similarly, I would be against any reading of history that says Hitler's invasion of Russia somehow exonerates Stalin's crimes in Russia. A murderer who is killed by another murderer is still a murderer.

Thank you for helping me see this in a new perspective. Good luck to you.

Right. So if the truth would change a time-honored charge against the Nazi regime, well you just can't accept that. Don't bother you with the facts or the truth. Just keep the animus going against your enemies. Sounds to me exactly what the "Allies" have done and continue to do.

(in reply to tomeck48)
Post #: 132
RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/19/2018 10:26:24 PM   
tomeck48

 

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If you wish to count me as an enemy of the Nazis, both past and present, I am honored to be counted so.

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RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/20/2018 1:16:48 AM   
Sammy5IsAlive

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capitaine

Right. So if the truth would change a time-honored charge against the Nazi regime, well you just can't accept that. Don't bother you with the facts or the truth. Just keep the animus going against your enemies. Sounds to me exactly what the "Allies" have done and continue to do.


I wrote an answer to this before realising that it's the equivalent of arguing with a flat-earther. Think this thread needs closing down as it is heading in exactly the same direction as previous ones that the OP has been involved in.



< Message edited by Sammy5IsAlive -- 5/20/2018 1:28:04 AM >

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Post #: 134
RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/20/2018 2:07:11 AM   
ledo

 

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quote:

Right. So if the truth would change a time-honored charge against the Nazi regime, well you just can't accept that. Don't bother you with the facts or the truth. Just keep the animus going against your enemies. Sounds to me exactly what the "Allies" have done and continue to do.


You talk about the "truth" as if our whole lives are meant to be dedicated to it. In the words of Camus:

"Galileo, who held a scientific truth of great importance, abjured it with the greatest ease as soon as it endangered his life. In a certain sense, he did right. That truth was not worth the stake. Whether the earth or the sun revolves around the other is a matter of
profound indifference. To tell the truth, it is a futile question."

In the same sense, whether Hitler attacked Stalin in self-defense or not, makes absolutely no difference to my life. It does not change my opinion of either of them. It does not changed the fact that Hitler expressed a genocidal intent towards the Slavic people.

Now the pursuit of that truth for someone else might mean something. But I and everyone else have no responsibility to engage with it or desire to find the "truth". If the truth was the sole aim of my life, and I had to seek it out bar all other considerations for every moment I lived, I would sacrifice my freedom and my life in the pursuit of things that don't matter to me. Could I spend the rest of my life visiting prisons and trying to understand serial killers? Sure. Could I spend the rest of my time trying to understand and empathize with the ideology of neo-nazism? Sure. But why would I want to? And why do I have to have some sort of responsibility to do it?

If Tomeck, from experience, has found that this line of historical questioning usually breaks down into Nazi whitewashing, why should he be forced to continue to engage with the topic, again and again? Why can't he find the continued inexhaustible desire by apologists to revise the understanding of Hitler tiresome? Why can't he be wary of anyone that presents this belief? Why can't he require a higher level of proof, and stronger consensus among historians before taking it in as truth? Why does it matter to him or you or anyone anyway? If you want to seek out the "truth" in this matter go for it, but don't make it out to be some sort of righteous crusade, that everyone has to respect. And accept the context of this question, which is that it is often one used to whitewash Nazi history.

< Message edited by ledo -- 5/20/2018 2:08:02 AM >

(in reply to Capitaine)
Post #: 135
RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/20/2018 3:34:03 AM   
D511

 

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Hello, Ezhik1!
I am from Russia, was born here and live here now. I am not historian, but I'm interested in history and I read the historical works of various domestic and foreign authors adhering to different historical views and I would be interested to read the plans about which you mention.
You wrote

quote:

ORIGINAL: ezhik1

USSR started planning for an aggressive war against Germany in mid 1940. Plans are published - available online. Several variants of the plans have emerged covering the period mid 1940 to May 1941 as those plans evolved. With some gaps, plans are for the whole theater of operations as well as individual fronts.
2. All Soviet plans are broadly the same in their strategic scope. An extremely powerful attack by the Southwestern Front From Lvov towards Krakow and Katowice in Poland with Western front providing support role in destroying whatever German troops are placed in the salient on the opposite side of the border from Brest-Litovsk to Lvov. North-Western front is the weakest and largely defensive against East Prussia. The March 1941 variant is important in that for the first time it adds: "subsequent attack is towards the north to cut off German units in Prussia or attack towards Berlin".




Can you share links to that plans for reading?
And can you refer to authors, books and works that use these documents?
Thank you.

< Message edited by D511 -- 5/20/2018 3:49:35 AM >

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Post #: 136
RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/20/2018 8:19:24 AM   
ezhik1

 

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With regards to sources. Meltyukhov - Stalin's Missed Chance (Упущенный шанс Сталина), Mark Solonin (he has numerous books on this) - a lot of literature is online - for a summary see his article Три Плана Товарища Сталина.

With regards to Soviet deployment plans themselves: if you type in "ПЛАН СТРАТЕГИЧЕСКОГО РАЗВЕРТЫВАНИЯ ВООРУЖЕННЫХ СИЛ СОВЕТСКОГО СОЮЗА" 1941 you will see a lot of references. As well as textual, deployment plans are on large (meter wide maps) - scans of them do exist (and I am trying to attach one from May 1941 to this message but unsuccessfully).

Seriously, why the bloody hell am I unable to post links or images... Its impossible to have a sensible sort of discussion only a shouting match..

(in reply to D511)
Post #: 137
RE: Soviet Barbarossa - 5/20/2018 5:05:48 PM   
whalus

 

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Then there is this thread over at the Axis History Forum: Was the Soviet Union preparing to Attack Germany:
(Unable to post links, but if you google the bolded text you should find it easy enough)

Axis History Forum - Was the Soviet Union preparing to Attack Germany?


It goes on for over 100 pages. And provides links to other similar threads on that forum.

(in reply to ezhik1)
Post #: 138
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