Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Thursday, February 05, 2004


This is coolbert:

Here are some comments of mine on the reviews of the ideas of Suvorov as contained in the book "Icebreaker", and reviewed in the web sites I have previously posted [my comments in bold]:

For several years now, a former Soviet military intelligence officer named Vladimir Rezun has provoked heated discussion in Russia for his startling view that Hitler attacked Soviet Russia in June 1941 just as Stalin was preparing to overwhelm Germany and western Europe as part of a well-planned operation to "liberate" all of Europe by bringing it under Communist rule.

In 1920, the Red Army under the command of Mikhail Tukachevsky did attempt to move west. Invaded Poland and were defeated by the newly formed Polish Army. The motto of the Red Army was, "We're taking Warsaw, lets take Berlin too."

The enormous Palace of Soviets, approved by the Soviet government in the early 1930s, was to be 1,250 feet tall, surmounted with a statue of Lenin 300 feet in height -- taller than New York's Empire State Building. It was to be built on the site of the former Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

Grotesque, grandiose monuments of this nature are a characteristic of megalomaniac dictators the world over.

For decades the official version of the 1941-1945 German-Soviet conflict, supported by establishment historians in both Russia and the West, has been something like this:

Hitler launched a surprise "Blitzkrieg" attack against the woefully unprepared Soviet Union, fooling its leader, the unsuspecting and trusting Stalin. The German Fuerher was driven by lust for "living space" and natural resources in the primitive East, and by his long-simmering determination to smash "Jewish Communism" once and for all. In this treacherous attack, which was an important part of Hitler's mad drive for "world conquest," the "Nazi" or "fascist" aggressors initially overwhelmed all resistance with their preponderance of modern tanks and aircraft.

I don't think anyone anywhere has questioned this history of WW2 until Suvorov, or would even want to question this version of history.

Contrary to the official view that the Soviet Union was not prepared for war in June 1941, in fact, Suvorov stresses, it was the Germans who were not really prepared. Germany's hastily drawn up "Operation Barbarossa" plan, which called for a "Blitzkrieg" victory in four or five months by numerically inferior forces advancing in three broad military thrusts, was doomed from the outset.

Hitler's entire appraisal of war with the Soviets prior to the actual outbreak of hostilities was, "one good swift kick and the whole rotten mess will come toppling down."

Victory in the war was predicated upon the belief by the German planners that initial victory would bring about a collapse of the Soviet regime.

It is a generally accepted axiom in military science that attacking forces should have a numerical superiority of three to one over the defenders.

From the outset, German planners knew they would have to fight outnumbered, although they did not know by how much they would be outnumbered. The Germans planned upon superior troops, experience, command ability, tactics and just plain overall superiority to win. The Germans also suffered from what is termed "victory disease".

"It seems that the Russians must already possess better and heavier tanks than we do." It was at the end of July 1941 that the T34 tank appeared on the front and the riddle of the new Russian model was solved.

This seems to be strange in that the Japanese, nominal allies of the Germans, had fought the Russians in 1939 at Khalkin-Gol, and had encountered the Soviet T-34 tank. And yet the Germans seemed to know nothing about this tank?

The Russians introduced their giant Klim Voroshilov [KV] tanks into action near Raseiniai [Lithuania]. Models weighing 43 and 52 tons surprised the Germans, who found the KV nearly unstoppable. One of these Russian tanks took 70 direct hits, but none penetrated its armor.

When encountering the KV tank for the first time, the Germans fired artillery in direct fire mode at this tank, hitting it over and over and not even denting the thing. The Germans had some sort of artillery round used in direct fire with a tracer on the tip of the shell. They could see the shells impacting the KV and not damaging it!!!

Even at the end of the war, the best-quality tank in combat was the Soviet IS ("Iosef Stalin") model.

When encountering the Josef Stalin type tank for the first time, the Germans came out the victors. German tank commanders by 1944 had become very adept at engaging overwhelming numbers of enemy tanks. Maneuvering quickly, the Germans engaged the JS tanks from the rear and destroyed a large number of them!!

The work of an honest amateur military analyst such as Shmelev, one who is sincerely interested in and loves his hobby and the truth, says Suvorov, is often superior to that of a paid government employee.

Suvorov in one of his books says that even intelligence specialists in the west did not fully grasp that during Soviet times, there was an arm of the Soviet military called PVO Strany [Air Defense of the Homeland]. This was a separate military branch that integrated AAA, SAM, ground radars, and interceptor aircraft all in one branch. This fact was not often appreciated by western "experts". So says Suvorov.

The second and third wave corps included troops who spoke French and Spanish.

I would bet that a lot of those troops that spoke Spanish were refugees from the Spanish Civil War that sought refuge in the Soviet Union after the victory of Franco.

a Russian-German phrase book, with sections dedicated to such offensive military operations as seizing railroad stations, orienting parachutists, and so forth, and such useful expressions as "Stop transmitting or I'll shoot."

This book is probably analogous to the "pointie-talkie" book issued to American flyers of the "Flying Tiger" squadron.

First, on the eve of the outbreak of the 1941 war Soviet forces had been provided topographical maps only of frontier and European areas; they were not issued maps to defend Soviet territory or cities, because the war was not to be fought in the homeland.

Maps the Germans had of the Soviet Union were woefully inaccurate. The Germans attempted to capture as many maps as they could from the Soviets and use them when possible. But they were not so successful in capturing contiguous map sheets. It is interesting that when the U.S. U-2 overflights occurred, one of the immediate positives was obtaining accurate maps of the Soviet Union for U.S. purposes. The Gauss-Krasovsky datum used by the Soviets for their map making purposes is reputed to be one of the finest datums in existence, very advanced and accurate for it's time.

Similarly, Winston Churchill was doing everything in his power during the months prior to June 1941 -- when British forces were suffering one military defeat after another -- to bring both the United States and the Soviet Union into the war on Britain's side.

In the days prior to the attack by the Germans, the British gave the most precise warning to Stalin. A warning that was ignored. This warning was based upon very accurate Ultra intelligence [reading the Enigma ciphers].

"I think that if I give him [Stalin] everything I possibly can, and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything, and will work with me for a world of peace and democracy." . . . Perhaps the most accurate (and kindest) explanation for Roosevelt's attitude is a profound ignorance, self-deception or naivete. In the considered view of George Kennan, historian and former high-ranking US diplomat, in foreign policy Roosevelt was "a very superficial man, ignorant, dilettantish, with a severely limited intellectual horizon."

Roosevelt and his cohorts did not see the Soviet Union or Stalin either in such a bad light. Thought the Reds were just making the best of bad hand of cards they had been dealt from the start.

In the years prior to the U.S. entry to WW2, Roosevelt employed his upper class chums as intelligence agents. Would "send" them to foreign capitals to see what "they could find out". This is what intelligence Roosevelt trusted!!??

With regard to 20th-century history, American historians are generally more close-minded than their counterparts in Europe or Russia.

Well, of course they would have to be!! To accept Suvorov is to rewrite the whole history of WW2.

He fails to acknowledge the Western origins of much of Soviet weaponry and hardware. Soviet engineers developed a knack for successfully modifying, simplifying and, often, improving, Western models and designs. For example, the rugged diesel engine used in Soviet tanks was based on a German BMW aircraft diesel.

Whether or not the equipment was an improved copy or just a copy is immaterial. If it was the best, it was the best, regardless of the source. And if it was of foreign source, why was the design of say the BMW engine not being used by the Germans themselves. The Soviets had outright contempt for some foreign equipment that was supplied to them, for instance, the P-39 Aircobra, of U.S. manufacture, was considered to be an inferior aircraft.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home