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The Great Patriotic War: 1939-1943

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe October 1939 to February 1943' started by Comrade General, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Because the Soviet Union had the cash to pay up front for everything it needed... and agriculturally it never wasted any produce, nor had any issue distributing food supplies around the country, and conscripting 500,000 men a month for the duration placed no further strain on the state whatsoever.

    It's not the dollar value, it's what was supplied.

    "One of the main areas of cooperation was aviation fuel. The USSR could not produce gasoline with high octane. However, it was this fuel that was used by the equipment supplied by the Allies. In addition, the Achilles heel of the Soviet Army was communication and transport. The Soviet industry simply could not meet the demand either in number or in quality."

    "The Allies supplied 1900 locomotives to the USSR, while only 446 locomotives were produced in the country..."

    "It was not only supplies of finished products, but also raw materials that were extremely important – metals, chemicals and products, which were either not produced in the USSR or lost to the enemy. For example, more than half of Soviet aircraft were produced using aluminum supplied by the Allies."
    Russian historian: Importance of Lend-Lease cannot be overestimated

    So, please, lets remove the copper, communication devices, 400,000 trucks, and halve the Soviet air force. To say nothing of all the food supplied... Good Luck USSR.
     
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    With respect you greatly misunderstand my point, I do not discount the Russian effort but I won't over estimate it either. My personal belief over the last 15 to 20 years of my life is that Great Britain and her Commonwealth, USSR and America can take nearly equal credit for the defeat of Nazi Germany. This was not always the case to be honest for in my younger years I accepted that America 'saved' Britain (for a second time!) and of course Europe as well. The evolution in my perception came from reading/watching/listening to the very sources you now decry as propaganda designed to cheat Russia and her people of their proper glory.

    Forgive me but you are using some selective facts, while ignoring others. Over a million Soviet soldiers willingly went into POW camps during the first summer of the war rather than fight to 'the last bullet' as ordered. During the course of the war a million plus became "HiWi's', or 'willing hands' directly serving the German war efforts as driver's, cooks and other unarmed auxiliary personnel. When Hitler learned of such numbers he demanded their dismissal, only to learn from his frontline commanders that operations could not continue with out them. He quietly forgot the issue.

    Perhaps as much as a half million Soviet citizens took up arms for Germany during the course of the war as Death Camp guards, Anti Partisan forces, SS troops and 'Vlasov's Army'. Resistance stiffened as Communist leadership relaxed ideology and restored 'Imperial' standards to the army, the effect of German race policies and the generous application of NKVD brute force; Indeed there was a more than 3 fold increase in NKVD security troops from 15 divisions at the start of the war to over 50 Divisions and nearly 30 independent Brigades by the end.

    Most Soviet troops fought with the same bravery and determination as their western counterparts and did so for the same reason's, loyalty to their fellow buddies. Yes patriotism got them into battle, but loyalty to their brothers in arms kept them there.

    Finally let me address you history chain argument. You can not simply take a few links apart to prove a point while ignoring others. I could counter that the French defense of the Dunkirk perimeter and the British victory in the Battle of Britain ensured Soviet survival/victory by forcing Germany to plan/prepare for a England that never gave up.

    I will never and have never deprived Russia of its well deserved credit in defeating Germany. They did what no other nation could do, but then again so did the Anglo-Americans from their side. Any two of them would probably 'win' a war against Germany if they were willing to pay a higher price than they historically did, but gravely doubt any one could have done so solely on their own.
     
  3. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Did you know that in December 1941, the first British Lend-Lease shipments delivered 145 Matilda and 216 Valentine tanks into Soviet service? That otherwise in December, total Soviet tank production consisted of 327 T-34, a few hundred nearly useless T6-60, and 190 nearly as useless KV-!?

    Did you know that the first shipments in 1941 were entirely British in origin, were in December, and thus represent one of about 45 months of deliveries...about 2%?

    Gee, I wonder what the Soviets do when 80% of their explosives and 24% of their artillery propellant goes away? Use black powder for explosives and propellant? Spitballs?

    And substantial deliveries have begun before the turning point, 1942 and 1943. How do you think the Soviets managed to get to that turning point?

    Soviet production of toluol according to Narodnoye Khozaistvo SSSR v 1941-1945 (The USSR's Economy in 1941-1945) was (1,000 tons):

    1940 - 37.9
    1941 - 57.9
    1942 - 38.1
    1943 - 39.8
    1944 - 38.3
    1945 - 33.5

    Total - 245.5

    The U.S. shipped just under 108,000 MT to the Soviets, 30.6% of the total domestic production and import for the entire period 1940-1945, but delivered the bulk of it (c. 80%) during the period 1942-1945...so it was probably somewhere around 40% of the supply 1942-1945. Apparently about two-thirds of toluol production and imports went to TNT with the remainder used as gasoline additives and solvents. So it also likely went to boosting the octane rating of Soviet gasoline.

    The Soviets produced 505,000 MT of TNT and other explosives and 399,800 MT of smokeless propellants during the war (probably 1 July 1941-1945). The U.S. shipped 123,432 MT of TNT and 127,521 MT of smokeless propellants, as well as 39,717 MT of precursor chemicals such as hexamine, phenol, and picric acid the Soviet chemical industry (crippled when the Donets Basin was overrun) had difficulty producing. So about 20% of the TNT and 24% of the propellant was directly from the U.S., plus as much as 66% of Soviet production was likely based on U.S. chemical imports.

    For TNT/toluol, approximately 15.7% of the total was delivered by 1 March 1943, 46.2% by 31 October 1943, and 56.7% by 1 January 1944. It appears the last shipments were in early 1945, terminating c. 31 March.

    Not the BLUE one!
     
  4. Comrade General

    Comrade General Member

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    I don't agree with the argument that the USSR defeated Nazi Germany on its own. The Allies provided valuable equipment through lend-lease while the USSR disassembled its factories and relocated them eastward. Also, the Anglo-American invasion of Italy and later France (happy 74th anniversary) also served to distract the Wehrmacht while the Red Army continued to advance on Berlin.

    My two main beefs with how the Eastern Front is popularly perceived is instead (1) the lack of proportion in the attention paid to the Western Front versus the East, considering how much more bloody and destructive the latter was and (2) the whitewashing of the political and racial reasons why Nazi Germany (across its leadership) planned and carried out the Nazi-Soviet war the way it did.

    For example, the desire of the NATO countries to "forgive and forget" their new German allies led to many war criminals slipping through the net post-war. Thankfully, the German government is making a last-ditch effort to prosecute those criminals they've found before they go to their grave unpunished. Nazi death squads focus of latest war crime cases in Germany

     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    So casualties and destruction should be the focus when teaching history? I'm not at all sure that makes sense. Also consider that for many clasess at least prior to college the focus is on national history even when the topic is world history the focus is (and not unressonably) on events that affected or were affected by the home country of the school.
    Not sure where you are seeing this white washing. I've seldom seen a discussion of the war in the East that didn't include mention of those factors. Indeed they appear in most discussions of Nazi Germany whether focused there or elsewhere.
    And far more Soviet war criminals weren't even considered for prosecution. The fact that the USSR became so antagonistic so quickly was the distraction that allowed many of the war criminals to escape.
    Of course at this point it's the small fry that are being brought to justice. The leaders are all gone. A cynic would suggest a reason for that.
     
  6. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    This once great community shrunk, regretably, to a pack of trolls closed in their own echo chamber. You don't see whitewashing lwd. Look at yourself first. Own indepedent opinion is inexistent, just repetition of 'well established' but extremely selective narrative. I don't mention here facts or opinion. Just raw propaganda nartive.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Indeed you are doing a good job of repeating Soviet propaganda but it was very often not fact based. Where have I white washed any of the atrocities committed by the Nazis? On the other hand I've seen a marked tendency to at least down play those of the Soviets.
     
  8. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Aha, I see now. You're accusing me of Collussion with Russia! Russia! Russia!
    That's a grave crime.
     
  9. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, sorry, but to me the "pack of trolls" causing problems are those, like you, that don't mention facts, but only opinion.
    It's too much like propaganda.
     
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  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Nope. That's a straw man. I will admit to suggesting that you were/are parroting Soviet propaganda while accusing other people of various similar behaviors. In any case hypocracy isn't a crime but it's not exactly positive behavior either..
     
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  11. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    That's exactly what I'm telling you. If I've done that, like you say, then I have colluded and that's bad enough. Someone could indicte me of collusion with Russia! Russia! Russia!
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    A fair number of your points (opinions really) have been proven wrong by facts and logic and you have yet to support any of them with fact or logic. Instead we just get more opinions, fallacies, and straw men. This conversation is becoming a waste of time.
     
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  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    If Germany had been stuck to war in the West Stalin's wish had been filled. The Blitzkrieg worked and Stalin was in panic. He lost the Winter War practically and Hitler got his eye in the east. Did Stalin prepare for Barbarossa. In a way but not exactly. He refused the front troops to return fire on June 22nd and then it was late to save the border troops. What did Stalin do? Escape to his Da cha? He did not take the problem into immediate matters to do he escaped to his Dacha. When the Germans declared war Molotov said 'did we deserve this?'. Does not sound like a Group of winners does it?
     
  14. Comrade General

    Comrade General Member

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    [​IMG]

    The Rzhev Offensive: January-April 1942

    The successes of the Red Army in defending Moscow through December 1941 led Stalin and the Soviet leadership to stumble into the same overconfidence that had plagued the German high command during Operation Barbarossa. As dangerous as Stalin’s demands for attack were, the perception of invincible German invaders was also dangerous. Soviet Chief of Staff Boris Shaposhnikov drew up plans for a general offensive from Leningrad to the Crimea. General Georgy Zhukov and others protested, but to no avail. Later, the official Soviet history of the war written in the post-Stalin era would be critical of the “overambitious” offensive given the condition of the Red Army entering 1942.

    Around Moscow, the Kalinin Front (named for the city now known as Tver northwest of Moscow) under Ivan Konev was tasked with assaulting the city of Vyazma on the western approaches to the Soviet capital. Meanwhile, the Western Front under Zhukov would exploit a hole in the German defenses south of Kaluga, 93 miles southwest of Moscow. Zhukov would then support Konev’s attack on Vyazma. In this, they would be aided by Pavel Belov’s 1st Guards Cavalry Corps, with Soviet mounted infantry harassing the German lines from the rear. The objective was to essentially encircle and destroy the armies and panzer groups that had tried to take Moscow. These belonged primarily to Army Group Cente under Günther von Kluge, who had replaced Feodor von Bock as commander in late 1941. More modestly, Zhukov and other commanders hoped to force the German units back to their pre-Operation Typhoon positions.

    [​IMG]

    Further supplementing these forces were the airborne troops of 4th and 5th Airborne Corps, the sole surviving Soviet airborne units of Operation Barbarossa. Multiple regiments parachuted behind German lines and captured important roads and highways before linking up with regular forces. By the end of January, the Soviet counteroffensive stalled, hindered by the winter weather and weakened units. Zhukov planned a large air drop west of Vyazma to help in capturing the city. The operation, however, exposed the damaged nature of the Red Army. There were not enough transport planes to parachute all the troops at once and river crossings were required to reach forward airfields. In the end, the operation was aborted after the first drops resulted in little more than the loss of valuable men and equipment dispersed across deep snow with no major gains.

    On January 8, Erich Hoepner, the commander of the Fourth Panzer Army (formerly the Fourth Panzer Group), disobeyed orders to stand-fast and pulled out a corps threatened by being trapped by the advancing Soviets. For this he earned the ire of Hitler, was relieved of command, and dishonorably discharged from the army. When the Fourth Army came under similar heavy pressure, however, with supply lines threatened, Hitler relented and permitted greater flexibility to his generals in defensive operations. This shift, coupled with the clarity that came when the Soviet goal of encircling Army Group Center became obvious, ensured the Germans would be able to push back the Soviet offensive despite setbacks.

    By late January, German Ninth Army under Walter Model succeeded in reconnecting with Third Panzer Army west of the major rail junction at Rzhev. Elements of the German 5th and 11th panzer divisions persisted in holding on to Vyazma. Encircled German troops at Sukhinichi, a railway junction connecting Moscow with Kiev, were rescued, and soon were on the counterattack, causing the Red Army to send valuable reinforcements. The German front-line, however, remained a mess of encircled pockets and persistent gaps and holes, with salients of both sides jutting out east and west. This further convinced the German commanders of the need to shorten their lines, conserve manpower, and better protect supply routes.

    [​IMG]

    With the Soviet offensive in a stalemate, Zhukov responded with another attempted airborne operation launched overnight on February 17. The parachute troops were dropped in the swamplands of the Ugra River west of Vyazma; of the 7,400 men who took off, no more than 70 percent reached their assembly points. German fighters shot down the corps commander and his staff, contributing to the chaos. The marshy terrain, however, provided natural defenses for the airborne soldiers. By May, the deadlock had returned as Soviet forces still lacked the strength needed to make the sort of sustained breakthroughs against the German lines to do anything more than harass their targets.

    As temperatures increased, snow would melt over ground still frozen by the harsh winter cold. The ground too would thaw, the result being large watery lakes covering largely flat terrain. Of course, there would be spring storms as well. The water and mud made movement on anything but paved roads impossible. This spring rasputitsa essentially brought a halt to the Soviet offensives and gave both sides time to plan for next steps. The Soviet leadership would assume that Moscow would again be a chief target, while in reality the Germans would look elsewhere.

    By the spring of 1942 the new lines had stabilized. Zhukov described the offensive of early 1941 "a Pyrrhic victory." The Rzhev-Vyazma operation around Moscow alone would cost 272,000 lives; among veterans it would earn the nickname "Rzhev Meat Grinder" ("Ржевская мясорубка"). From December 1941 to March 1942, Zhukov's Western Front lost 250,000 men and Konev's Kalinin Front around 150,000. Overall, the Red Army would lose about 620,000 men in the same period, compared to about 136,000 German casualties. They had relieved some of the pressure on Moscow, but the Soviets were essentially back to where they had started in January. The Germans, meanwhile, lacked ready reinforcements to replace the heavy losses the military was now suffering on the Eastern Front, and had lost much of their equipment. Between December 1941 and January 1942 alone, German forces had lost 974 tanks and armored assault vehicles; by the end of March 1942, the sixteen panzer divisions fighting in the Soviet Union only had 140 operational tanks. Fuel and ammunition supplies were almost exhausted. Hitler, greatly humbled for the first time, would have to change his strategies. This he would do later in 1942, inflicting upon the Soviet Union some of their darkest defeats.

    Sources

    Bellamy, Chris. 2007. Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

    Fritz, Stephen. 2015. Ostkrieg: Hitler’s War of Extermination in the East. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press.

    Glantz, David and Jonathan House. 1995. When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    For some reason I missed this little bit of incoherence earlier. I'm not sure exactly what it means or what the point is. Doesn't seam relevant to the topic at hand in any case.
     
  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    What's the providence of the pictures?
     

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