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

Friday, February 06, 2004


This is coolbert;

More on the thoughts of Suvorov from "Icebreaker":

[my comments in bold]

"Stalin raised 125 new infantry divisions, 30 new motorized divisions, and 61 tank and 79 air divisions -- a total of 295 divisions organized in 16 armies."

The air divisions were organized into Air Armies. Each front [grouping of armies], would be supported by an Air Army. Ground support aircraft intended to support the ground offensive. Soviet Air Force was meant almost exclusively for ground support, not having a strategic branch.

[Soviet divisions were organized into armies, and armies into fronts. A front was a collection of armies. We call it an Army Group, an archaic formation now].

"By June 1941, the Soviet navy had more than 218 submarines in service, with another 91 under construction. Stalin commanded the world's largest submarine fleet, a force that was created for aggressive war. "

Most of those subs were bottled up in port for the entire war. Of very dubious utility. Again, the Soviet Navy had choke points that inhibited it's usefulness. And each navy could not support the other. Not possible for combined action. The greatest sea disaster of all time was the sinking of a German merchantman carrying 8000 German refugees from East Prussia in 1944. Ship was torpedoed by a Soviet sub and sank. Only ten survivors!!

"The [Soviet] defeat at the outbreak of the war [June-September 1941] was due to the fact that the German Wehrmacht launched its surprise attack at just the moment when the Soviet artillery was being moved to the border, and together with it the corresponding supplies of munitions. The artillery was not prepared to deal with a defensive war, and on June 22 was not able to go on the offensive."

For two weeks after the June 22 date, Stalin went into seclusion and was not available for command. During this time, the cowed leadership remaining did nothing. Too afraid to take command as they might offend Stalin.

"During the first four months of the 'Barbarossa' attack, Axis forces destroyed perhaps 75 percent of Stalin's war-making ability, thereby eliminating the immediate military threat to Europe. Between July and November 1941, German forces seized or overran 303 gunpowder, munitions and grenade factories, which annually produced 85 percent of the country's entire Soviet munitions production."

The Soviets were also able to move much of their most vital weapons production equipment to the Urals and east of the Urals. Lifted the equipment from it's moorings and sent an entire factory east on a train. Took years to get production back to pre-war level, but they were able to do so.

"Also contributing substantially to the Soviet victory was the entry into the war of the United States, the substantial American aid, and, of course, the legendary stoic toughness of the Russian soldier."

With regard to the latter, I spoke on talk radio with the German officer who commanded the unit guarding the bridge in Normandy that was attacked and captured by British glider borne troops on D-Day. This German officer had extensive experience in Russia as well. This officer was of the opinion that overwhelming numbers was the main reason for German defeat. However, SS General Max Simon stated that the resolve, tenacity, and toughness of the Russian soldier was the main reason for German defeat. Probably some combination of the two is the real reason why.

"Since the publication of 'M Day,' Russian scholars have dug up additional evidence from the former Soviet archives that further confirms the Suvorov thesis and obliges a radical rewriting of Second World War history."

There is a heck of a lot of this stuff out there now! Almost too much!

"of the young men born between the years 1922 and 1925, and who were sent to war by Stalin, only three out of a hundred survived the conflict. "

This is just a staggering statistic.

"Man is so constituted that the truth, however painful, is more important in the final analysis than the spurious bliss of living in lies and ignorance. "

This is correct, but it is hard for a lot of people to accept the truth, whatever it may be.

"I have challenged the one sacred thing the Russian people still cling to -- their memory of the 'Great Patriotic War.' I have sacrificed everything dear to me to write these books. It would have been intolerable to have died without telling the people what I have uncovered. Curse the books! Curse me! But even as you curse me try to understand."

Well, this is not exactly true. The Russian people have a lot to be proud for. They did fight with great courage and determination. If they had lost, their lot would have been really bad. They can be proud of what they did for the most part.




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