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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

Did Hitler & The 3rd Reich Save Western Europe?

Moderators: Thanas, Stas Bush

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Sea Skimmer
PostPosted: 2011-02-12 02:16am 

Yankee Capitalist Air Pirate


Joined: 2002-07-03 11:49pm
Posts: 35417
Location: Passchendaele City, HAB
Certainly some raids on industrial targets took place, as well as very half assed attempts at sustaining a around the clock aerial bombardment of Moscow into 1942. But that was mainly intended to be a propaganda effort to undermine the Soviet state; like most Nazi efforts to do so it failed miserably. Germany couldn't crush the industry of the British nor even come close using ALL its air power, and it never could send it all against Russia. Unlike the allies German air strength in bombers didn't rise very much during the war, had took heavy blows in 1942 and 1943 which pretty well destroyed it as a major force.

The plan to destroy Soviet industry on the ground makes sense. The Nazis intended to murder and deport the local populations; so no one will be left alive to run those captured communist factories. Destroying them removes the need to guard them against a resurgent eastern Russia, or import French slave workers to run them. Germanic colonist populations were intended to be primarily agrarian as far as I can tell; and they’d be spread very thin. Primarily Russia would be a source of raw material. The machinery of the destroyed industry would have been hauled back to the slaveworks of the Reich for conversion into battleships to fight America.
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Stas Bush
PostPosted: 2011-02-12 02:24am 

Glamorous Commie


Joined: 2003-02-26 12:39pm
Posts: 17449
Location: 差不多先生
Sea Skimmer wrote:
The plan to destroy Soviet industry on the ground makes sense. The Nazis intended to murder and deport the local populations; so no one will be left alive to run those captured communist factories. Destroying them removes the need to guard them against a resurgent eastern Russia, or import French slave workers to run them. Germanic colonist populations were intended to be primarily agrarian as far as I can tell; and they’d be spread very thin. Primarily Russia would be a source of raw material. The machinery of the destroyed industry would have been hauled back to the slaveworks of the Reich for conversion into battleships to fight America.

Well damn, you're right. It doesn't make sense from a pragmatic point of view, but from a Nazi view, including the plans of the Ostministerium, it makes quite a bit of sense.
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Sea Skimmer
PostPosted: 2011-02-12 02:28am 

Yankee Capitalist Air Pirate


Joined: 2002-07-03 11:49pm
Posts: 35417
Location: Passchendaele City, HAB
So I just checked some relevant numbers in Hitler’s Luftwaffe, and while the Luftwaffe launched the invasion of Russia with 2,790 combat aircraft, by the end of December 1941 attrition and diversions to the Mediterranean theater had reduced it to a mere 1,700 combat aircraft. In the first six months of the campaign the Germans flew an average of 1,200 combat sorties a day, with surges to about 2,000 sorties during major battles. Of the initial 2,790 combat aircraft 730 were bombers and 310 were dive bombers. The rest are single and twin engine fighters, and recon and coastal aircraft types. Some fighters could carry bombs, most could not. At the time total Luftwaffe combat strength was 4,300 planes, it peaked at about 5,000 during the war.

Now by the time you reach Moscow as the Germans, the front line was about 1,000 miles wide; not counting the Finland-Kola region. So two combat sorties per day per 1 mile or 1.6km of front line at best! That isn’t very much when hundreds of square miles of airspace exist east and west of that imaginary front line mark.

Meanwhile the western allies flew about 11,000 sorties on D-Day on a front about 300 miles wide, though a few thousand of them were transports. Late in the war the Red Air Force managed some similarly massive concentrations of air power most of which bombed targets within just 20 miles of the front line. The Luftwaffe was very strong early in the war, but it just could not compete with what a WORLD WAR really required. You could very easily use up several squadron sized bomber raids in one day supporting just one front line regiment and the Germans had hundreds of infantry regiments fighting.
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Omeganian
PostPosted: 2011-03-10 02:50pm 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2008-03-08 11:38am
Posts: 532
Location: Israel
Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Suvorov gave a figure of 17 out of 80 bunkers completed on the banks of San on the German side. Looks comparable.

Comparable to what?


In terms of percentage. Not absolute terms, of course, but I hardly think every single bunker was built on the banks of San.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Tyulenev viewed the Finnish defenses as the most fitting for the modern times. With a 78 km depth. After all, the Soviets had no choice back then but to consider it exemplary defense.

The line which had like, what - 5 modern fortifications (the Miljoonalinnake). Concrete anti-tank blocks were meant to stop Renault FT-17 tanks; hardly a modern project. The line used 14 520 cubic meters of concrete. In fact, its fortifications were inferior to the most modern ones; so the Soviet command "extolled" the Mannerheim line only because of their own exceptionally bad luck when trying to break through it. And I could go into more detail, if you like, albeit I'm really short on time these days.


I'm talking about the fact they praised its depth. They said a defense line should be deep, and away from the border. So... where is their own depth?

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Re armed? it had over 300 bunkers. A mere dozen old guns brought there could easily mean a deception attempt.

Yeah, except only a handful of the 300+ bunkers were artillery - 7 finished according to Soviet documents. 340 were machine-gun bunkers. Another failure to produce an argument.


For these 340 - only a dozen machine guns.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Which means that the need for upgrades was serious, and the attitude was lousy even earlier than Suvorov initially stated. And the amount of work needed doesn't look that large compared, for example, to the Volga-Don Canal.

There were unfinished bunkers captured by the Germans on the old border line. Which means the work was still ongoing.


Are you sure these weren't the bunkers standing incomplete since 1939?

Quote:
The mass rearmament of the FRs deemed still worthy for combat was slated for September 1941, actually. I see no reasons that would indicate otherwise.


Strange schedule. Did they expect the Germans to attack in September? Or did they expect they won't be able to mobilize until September?

Quote:
Volga-Don actually used lots of heavy construction machinery which was ample during late Stalinism. On the other hand, 1939-1941 was still the middle of the third five-year plan, when many projects were done by hand, often with terrific loss of life. I judge the level of advancement of Soviet industry by the numbers of dead at canal construction. Not a fair gauge, but a good gauge when going into all the minutiae statistics is too much of a hassle.


Belomorkanal wasn't that small either. And there is the one Suvorov mentions being dug for the Pinsk flotilla - 127 km. Not meant for very large ships, but still.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Whether well trained or not, we are talking about resources being spent. In a socialistic country, that means a purpose.

No. Planned economies often waste resources... in black holes. One negative part of a command economy. In any case, that was obviously a necessary spending for a nation that desired to become a modern industrial economy (re: Stalin's 1931 speech to "run the 100 years in 10 years").


Over a hundred thousand pilots trained, with only a few thousand people in the civilian service. How does that make Russia a "modern industrial economy"?

Quote:
Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
You think they were ignorant of their ally's progress? ...Doesn't seem to be the case on the December conference.

Yes, because they were. Otherwise they wouldn't plan for "defence with unmobilized and unconcentrated forces".


What defense?

Quote:
Quote:
What do you mean "otherwise, they wouldn't". If they expected the Germans to have the initiative and attack first, then, yes, such an approach looks ridiculous. But if it's the USSR which concentrates and attacks first, the Germans (reacting directly to Soviet forces concentrating) are unlikely to prepare and launch a full scale attack before the Soviets are ready. A more likely scenario is hastily prepared attacks attempting to disrupt the gathering of the forces - of the exact type the covering plans expected.

I'm sorry, but that's just speculation.


Nah, logic.

Quote:
But this is a history forum, is it not? When something does not have solid documental proof, it's for all extents and purposes speculation.


Like the Soviets planning the Winter War? Where are the plans of that invasion?

The materials of the conference are a "solid documentary proof" that the Soviet military didn't think the way you claim.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Besides, if your forces are "unmobilized and unconcentrated", then most certainly the defense can't be expected to have reserves, which the Soviets state to be necessary.

How so? The Soviet forces had reserves. But they were unconcentrated. Once again you fail to provide evidence.


And the unconcentrated reserves can provide the described organized battle order?

Quote:
You say there are reports - give me a few, why?


Here are quotes (from bdsa.ru). The ones from after Barbarossa was approved. Sorry if mistakes were made during translation (there are some locations mentioned which I couldn't find on the net as they are spelled).

Quote:
December 27th

По данным агентуры, немцы строят бетонированные укрепления по реке Сан, от Перемышля на запад, протяжением в 140 километров. Такие же укрепления по реке Сан строятся от Перемышля до Ярослава. Вокруг Ярослава устанавливаются цементные противотанковые надолбы.

Около города Кросне строится большой форт. По специально проложенной от станции Кросне жел. дорожной ветке прибывают составы с цементом и другими материалами для строительства этого форта.

January 14th

В пограничной полосе, против участка 93-го погранотряда, немцами продолжается усиленное строительство военных укреплений...

В 30 км севере-восточнее г.Варшавы, в районе железнодорожной линии Варшава – Миньск – Мазовецки, строится пункт противовоздушной обороны.

Кроме этого, там же сооружаются железобетонные укрепления от наземного противника.

February 14th

В шести километрах от г.Клайпеды, справа от шоссейной дороги, ведущей на Байор, закончена постройка железобетонных укреплений.

Также закончена постройка железобетонных укреплений около местечка Занкрук, где уже установлена тяжелая, полевая и зенитная артиллерия.

В селе Журавицы, около кладбища, в первой половине января 1941 года, построен подземный склад боеприпасов, обнесенный проволочным заграждением. В этом же пункте продолжается строительство новых укреплений.

На полях около гор.Санок роются окопы и устанавливаются проволочные заграждения.

На ст.Эйтекун, напротив выходного семафора в сторону ст.Эбенроде, в середине декабря 1940 года начато строительство укреплений. Фронт земляных работ раскинут в юго-западном направлении, протяжением около километра. В ночное время место работ освещается прожекторами.

27 декабря 1940 г. с этой станции в Сувалки отправлен военно-строительный поезд в составе 27 платформ, 13 крытых и 10 классных вагонов. В \658\ классных вагонах помещались солдаты, на платформах были погружены машины, бревна, повозки и груз, закрытый брезентом. Поезд следовал в Сувалки на строительство укреплений.

February 27th

Каких-либо конкретных признаков готовящейся против нас близкой агрессии в моем распоряжении нет, но известно лихорадочное дорожное строительство, оборонительных укреплений и содержание большого количества войск в бывшей Польше.

...

По данным, требующим проверки, в районе Клайпеды, на расстоянии 7 10 километров от советско-германской границы, строится линия укреплений. Железобетонные ДОТ, площадью 30 – 50 кв.метров располагаются на расстоянии 500 метров одна от другой и вооружаются тяжелыми орудиями и пулеметами.

Линия укреплений проходит вокруг г.Клайпеды и вдоль шоссейных дорог Прекуле – Тильзит и Пилькаллен – Кенигсберг.

Каждая из ДОТ обнесена проволочными заграждениями и-охраняется часовыми в форме артиллеристов.

На побережье Балтийского моря от Клайпеды до Паланги устанавливаются батареи тяжелых орудий.

В районе ст.Лауксзарген, на расстоянии 500 метров от границы установлена линия проволочных заграждений. На расстоянии 500 – 600 метров от этой линии установлена вторая линия заграждений.

На ст.Тересполь строится бомбоубежище, на перекрытие которого израсходовано 1400 рельсов. Рельсовое перекрытие покрыто слоем бетона.
На ст.Журавица 10 февраля доставлено три вагона железных столбов четырехугольной формы толщиною 20 см, длиною 3 метра. Предполагается, что эти столбы будут использованы для устройства противотанковых заграждений.

March 11th

Сразу же после выхода в 1939 г. на линию новой границы с СССР германское командование приступило к расширению своих восточно-прусских укреплений, к модернизации и усовершенствованию бывших польских укреплений на территории Генерал-Губернаторства.

По приграничной полосе В.Пруссии.

К 1 марта 1941 г. имелись сведения о следующем количестве законченных строительством ДОТ:

в районе Клайпеда 6 ДОТ

-"- Тильзит 3 "

-"- Пилкаллен 25 "

-"- Сталлюпенен 8

на участке Пшеросль – Рачки 18 "

-"- Лык-Просткен 13 " \758\

Всего же на участке Клайпеда – Рачки, занимающем по фронту около 300 км, отмечено законченных или находящихся в последней стадии строительства 103 ДОТ, в действительности же их, видимо, больше.

На территории Генерал-Губернаторства.

На территории Генерал-Губернаторства к 1 марта 1941 г. отмечено следующее количество оконченных или находящихся в последней стадии строительства ДОТ (железобетонных и дерево-земляных):

в районе Остроленка – до 60

-"- Варшавы – до 140

-"- Демблин (участок Рыни, Куруа) – 83

-"- Аннополь – 7
Итого: ок. 290 ДОТ.

April 9th

Вместе с переброской войск и боеприпасов отмечено также усиленное строительство укреплений, аэродромов и дорог.

В феврале начато строительство линии укреплений Варшава - Модлин, на которой заняты главным образом евреи.

Также развернулось строительство укреплений по линии р.Буг.

В районе железнодорожной линии от ст. Рембертов в направлении г. Седлец отрываются окопы и сооружаются военные укрепления и проволочные заграждения.

April 10th

В юго-западном направлении от г. Рачки над рекой Довстуи на протяжении 2 км проходит линия железобетонных подземных укреплений, которые в настоящее время якобы используются под склады боеприпасов и военного имущества.

На границе Восточной Пруссии с Сувалкским уездом в районе деревень Филиппово и Баколажево, построены цементные и железобетонные подземные укрепления.

От д.Носажево в сторону г.Прасныша на протяжении 18 км вдоль шоссейной дороги Млава - Прасныш строится оборонительная линия шириной 10 \59\ 12 км. На территории этого строительства проведена узкоколейная железная дорога, используемая для подвозки строительных материалов. В этом же районе построено большое количество деревянных бараков, в которых в настоящее время находится свыше 5000 германских солдат. Большая часть этих солдат работает на данном строительстве. Вблизи бараков установлены дальнобойные орудия. Все жители деревень, расположенных в районе этого строительства, отселены.

В одном километре от д.Збуйна, в сосновом лесу, по обе стороны шоссейной дороги, идущей в сторону г. Мышинец, построено 45 -50 цементированных огневых точек длиной 15 - 16 м, шириной 10 м и глубиной 7 м. Каждая с боков и сверху имеет амбразуры и замаскирована дерном и специально посаженными деревьями.

Линия укрепления на подступах к Варшаве проходит от р.Нарев до р. Висла через Струга, фольварк Зенка, ст. Милосна, к истоку р. Свидер. В районе линии укреплений в настоящее время продолжают строиться бетонные артиллерийские точки, пулеметные гнезда, противотанковые заграждения, завалы, подготавливаются для минирования поля.

В казармах крепости Модлин, что в 60 км северо-западнее Варшавы, в трехэтажных зданиях может разместиться дивизия военного времени.

Форты преимущественно современные, замаскированные от наблюдения с воздуха. Вооружение фортов состоит из тяжелых, легких, противотанковых и зенитных орудий и тяжелых пулеметов. В подвалах казарм и фортах находятся большие склады продовольствия и боеприпасов.


April 16th

Одновременно с концентрацией немецких войск немецким командованием производится ускоренное строительство железобетонных укреплений и шоссейных дорог.

В район г.Лиско подвезено много готовых железобетонных гнезд, по слухам, якобы с линии Мажино, с целью установления их вблизи советской границы. В окрестностях г. Санок производится трассировка пулеметных и артиллерийских гнезд, места расположения которых отмечены небольшими столбиками с номерами.

Не исключена возможность, что на местах отмеченных столбиками, будут установлены подвезенные готовые железобетонные гнезда.

April 21st

В те же районы, куда прибывали войска, доставлялось большое количество боеприпасов, горючего и искусственных противотанковых препятствий.

В апреле усилились работы по строительству укрепления. Строительство долговременных огневых точек отмечено в Сувапкском уезде в районах Шабляки - Подгурнж - Козьол, и установка противотанковых металлических крестовин в районе Ширвиндта Клайпедской области.

April 29th

23.4.41 г. отмечено в районе Вабицы - Куньковицы - Русска "ВЕС" работы оборонительного характера по берегу реки Сан. С этой целью в ночь на \128\ 23.4.41 г. подвозили стройматериалы на 10 автомашинах. В этом же районе установлено проволочное заграждение в 3 кола - колья железные. Ширина забора 100 метров, высота 1 метр. 24.4.41 г. в районе м. Жиглуд-Гломча продолжаются работы оборонного характера.

В последних числах марта на ст. Старый-Загуж прибыли металлические купола для строительства оборонительных сооружений в погранполосе. Купола якобы доставлены из линии Мажино. На 24.4.41 г. в районе Гнышев, Загроды и Мунина производятся работы оборонительного характера. В указанном районе работает батальон пехотинцев. Немецкими властями спешно ремонтируется и расширяется шоссе Ясло - Сапов. На данном шоссе работает местное население.

May 5th

Подтверждаются сведения о создании на границе с СССР укрепленной линии и отдельных укрепленных районов. Все работы проводились под руководством известного строителя "линии Зигфрида" - инженера ТОДТ силами немецких рабочих и солдат. Для подсобных, главным образом земляных работ, было мобилизовано 35 000 евреев. В частности, из района города Родома выселены все жители окрестных 250 деревень. Здесь создан ряд укрепленных районов. Город Седлец превращен также в укрепленный пункт.

May 10th

На ст. Тересполь ежедневно прибывают по 2 - 3 состава гравия, предназначенного для сооружения укреплений около имения Лобачев, в полутора километрах от Тересполя.

С 1 апреля на границе открыто работают саперы, к местам работы подвозится лес-кругляк.

May 15th

Одновременно с концентрацией немецких войск у границы с СССР отмечается усиленное строительство аэродромов и укреплений.

В Ярославе закончено строительство большого аэродрома, на который прибыли самолеты.

В лесу близ Ярослава быстрыми темпами строятся бетонированные укрепления.

Немецкими властями форсируется строительство оборонительных сооружений. Особенно интенсивные работы по укреплению границы проводятся в районе м.Белз и Заставье.

Во дворе ст. Журавица-Южная строится бетонированное укрепление. (Данные зак.агента "ВЛАДИМИРСКОГО" от 24.4.41 г.).

На станциях Перемышль, Журавицы и Ярослав отмечается строительство разных укреплений. Днем работы не производятся.

В конце апреля на ст.Перемышль в течение 10 суток стоял пассажирский поезд из 10 мягких и одного вагона-ресторана. Поезд охранялся усиленным военным конвоем. В этом поезде якобы приезжали губернатор и какой-то генерал (их фамилии не установлены), которые производили осмотр вновь возведенных укреплений.

May 24th

По результатам опроса отдельных переселенцев, прибывших из Германии в порядке репатриации, строительство укреплений на границе с ЛССР началось с 1939 года и особенно активизируется за последнее время. \254\

Укрепления возводятся по всей линии границы, но мы располагаем только частичными данными по отдельным населенным пунктам.

На территории Мемельского уезда.

1. Строительные работы по сооружению укреплений производятся по берегу Балтийского моря, севернее города Мемель в пунктах: Ферстрей, Мелраге, Зандкруг, Сидершнеце и в воротах к Мемелю.

Расположение огневых точек - шахматный тип. Точки между собой связаны подземными ходами. Глубина - 5 метров, высота над землей около 2 метров, а толщина стен - 1 метр и более. Поверхность укрепления замаскирована под берег. В гнездах отмечено наличие орудий калибра 32 м/м и по 2 пулемета.

По неточным данным, в этом районе под землей имеется помещение для войск, склады боеприпасов и аммуниции. Количество гнезд не выявлено.

В пересеченной местности, вблизи этой линии укреплений, выстроены ДОТы, противотанковые надолбы и проволочные препятствия. На работе по строительству этих укреплений были заняты немцы, а лица других национальностей, якобы, не привлекались.

2. Укрепленные точки также имеются вблизи населенных пунктов: Таурлаукен, Слинчай, Акяй, Дивинчи и Плекен. Около каждого населенного пункта по 3 - 4 железобетонных точки на расстоянии 50 - 100 метров друг от друга. Поверх железобетона проложена резина толщиной 64 см.

Огневые точки в группах соединены железобетонными трубами под землей, где в полусогнутом состоянии свободно проходит человек.

Аналогичного характера укрепления возводятся в 3 км от города Мемеля в сторону Прекуле, возле имения Гесейфе, а также возле местечка Гирули.

3. В 7 км от г. Мемеля, в сторону г.Кретинга - ЛССР, построена ДОТ, замаскированная сверху хворостом под местность. Там же несколько бараков человек на 200.

Подобные ДОТы отмечены возле деревень: Сленден, Фимортен, Наудварен и имения Суркунай. По рассказам местных жителей, эти укрепления строили полтора года.

В район деревни Лелиай, по шоссейной дороге от Мемеля на Прекуле, подвозится большое количество лесоматериала и камня для строительства огневых точек. Проведена уже закладка фундамента для установки тяжелых орудий.

Имеются частичные данные об активном строительстве укреплений в Сувалкском и других уездах, так например:

1. С весны 1940 года начато строительство в районах населенных пунктов: Вижайны, Филиппово, Новинки (Сувалкский уезд), и линия строительства тянется на Августовские леса.

В данное время наблюдается усиленный подвоз стройматериалов - цемента, камня, леса.

Такие же работы проводятся за местечком Краснополь, возле озера Вигри, а по линии Пшеросль - Филиппов - Бакалжево - Рачки - строятся ДОТы по западным берегам озер и реки Роспуда. На строительстве заняты саперные части. Перед ДОТами строятся противотанковые заграждения и тянется проволока.

При въезде в мест. Рачки, со стороны Сувалок, с правой стороны моста 3 ДОТа, а с левой - 4 ДОТа. Строительство продолжается.

К югу от города Сувалок, на расстоянии 8 - 9 км, по дороге СувалкиАвгустов, в лесу, строятся огневые точки и проводится дополнительное шоссе. Эти работы продолжаются около года. \255\

2. На территории Тильзит-Рагнитского уезда укрепленные точки отмечены в лесах Екштаркен - за городом Пагеген. Первоначально работали военнопленные французы (видимо, только на земляных работах), а в настоящее время на работах заняты немцы-саперы.

June 2nd

Продолжаются работы по устройству оборонительных сооружений вблизи границы, главным образом в ночное время.

June 6th

По дороге Просткен - Остроколен с правой стороны построены три огневые точки.

На протяжении 1940 года и до сего времени по всему берегу р.Нарев строятся укрепления разных видов, ежедневно со ст.Остроленка на автомашинах и подводах к местам строительства подвозится цемент, железо, доски и др. строительные материалы.

В 600 метрах от границы в направлении ст.Плятеров в 1 км от ж.д. полотна вправо производится строительство ДОТ.

June 12th

Источник "Ковалевский", будучи на железнодорожной станции Журавица, путем личного наблюдения установил, что вдоль линии границы по всей возвышенности роются окопы. За станцией Журавица... на расстоянии одного километра сооружаются бетонные укрепления.


Quote:
December 27th

According to the agents' reports, the Germans are building concrete fortifications along the San river, from Peremyshl to the west, extending 140 km. Similar fortifications are being built along San from Peremyshl to Jarosław. Concrete anti-tank obstacles are being constructed around Jarosław.

Near the city of Krosno a large fort is being built. Along a separately constructed from the Krosno railroad branch, trains with concrete and other materials are arriving for the building of said fort.

January 14th

Near the border, opposite the territory of the 93rd border unit, the Germans continue increased building of military fortifications.

30 km south east of Warsaw, in the area of the railroad line Warsaw-Mińsk Mazowiecki, an ADF point is being built.

Also, reinforced concrete fortifications against land forces are being built at the same place.

February 14th

6 km from Klaipeda, to the right of the road leading to Bajor, the building of reinforced concrete fortifications was complete.

Likewise was completed the building of reinforced concrete fortifications near the Zankruk borough, where heavy, field and AA artillery has already been placed.

In the Juravitsy town, near the graveyard, in the first half of January 1941, was built an underground ammunition depot, surrounded with barbed wire. in the same place, the building of new fortification continues.

on the Eytekun station, opposite the exit semaphore signal post in the direction of the Ebenrode station, fortification building has started in mid-December 1940. The front of the earthwork stretches about a kilometer in the south-western direction. At nighttime, the work site is lighted by projectors.

On December 27th 1940, from that station into Suwalki, a military construction train was sent, composed of 27 platforms, 13 covered and 10 passenger cars. The passenger cars contained soldiers, the platforms were loaded with machines, logs, carts and tarp covered cargo. The train went into Suwalki for building fortifications.

February 27th

There are no concrete signs of a close aggression being prepared against us, but we know about feverish road and fortification building, as well as a large amount of forces being stationed in former Poland.

...

According to data requiring verification, near Klaipeda, 7-10 km from the Soviet-German border, a forification line is being built. Reinforced concrete pillboxes, 30-50 sq. m. area are positioned 500 meter apart and are being armed with heavy artillery and machine guns.

Fortification line is passing arround Klaipeda and along the roads Priekule - Tilsit and Pillkallen - Königsberg

Each pillbox is surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by sentries in artillery uniform.

On the coast of the Baltic Sea, from Klaipeda to Palanga, heavy artillery batteries are being placed.

Near the Laukszargen station, 500 meter from the border a barbed wire obstacle line has been placed. 500-600 meter away from it there is a second line.

On the Terespol station a shelter is being built, for the cover of which 1400 rails have been used. The rails are covered with a layer of concrete.

On February 10th, the Juravitsa station received 3 train cars of iron poles 20 cm thick, 3 meter long. Presumably, they will be used to construct anti-tank obstacles.

[b]March 11th


Immediately upon reaching the new border with the USSR, the German command started the expansion of its East-Prussian fortifications, modernization and improvement of former Polish fortifications on the General Government territory.

On the border of East Prussia.

As of March 1st 1941, data was present on the following number of complete pillboxes:

Near Klaipeda 6

Tilsit 3

Pillkallen 25

Stallupönen 8

Przerośl - Raczki sector 18

Lyk - Prostken 13

Overall, on the sector Klaipeda - Raczki, stretching 300 km, 103 pillboxes were reported complete or nearly complete, in reality the number is probably higher.


On the General Government territory.

On the General Government territory, as of March 1st 1941 the following number of pillboxes was reported complete or nearly complete (both reinforced concrete and wood-earth):

Near Ostrolenka - up to 60.

Warsaw - up to 140

Demblin (or Deblin?) (sector Ryni-Kurua) - 83

Annopol - 7

Overall, around 290 pillboxes.


April 9th

Along with the transfer of forces and ammunition, an increased building of fortifications, airfields and roads has been noted.

In February, a building started of a fortification line Warsaw - Modlin, using mainly Jews for work.

Likewise, fortification building along the Bug river has started.

In the vicinity of the railroad from Rembertov station towards the City of Siedlec, trenches are being dug, and military fortifications along with barbed wire obstacles are being constructed.

April 10th

In the southwestern direction from Raczki above the river Dovstui (Rospuda?) for 2 km passes a line of underground reinforced concrete fortifications, which are currently supposedly used as a depots for ammunition and military equipment.

On the border of East Prussia and the Suwalki district, near the villages of Philippovo and Bakolajevo, cement and reinforced concrete underground fortifications have been built.

From the village of Nosarzewo towards Przasnysz, over 18 km along the high road Mława-Przasnysz a defensive line is being built 10-12 km wide. On the territory of said construction, a narrow-gauge railway was built, used for delivering building materials. In the same area a large number of wooden barracks has been constructed, which currently house over 5000 German soldiers. Most of the soldiers work at said construction. Long range artillery has been placed near the barracks. All the inhabitants of the nearby villages have been evacuated.

One km from Zbójna, in a pine forest, to both sides of the road leading to Myszyniec, 45-50 cemented firing positions were built 15-16 meter long, 10 meter wide and 7 meter deep. Each one has gun ports to the sides and above, and is concealed with turf and planted trees.

The fortification line on the approaches to Warsaw passes from the Narev river to the Vistula river through Struga, Zenka farm, Miłosna station, to the source of the Świder river. In the fortification line currently they continue building concrete artillery positions, machine gun nests, anti tank obstacles, blockages, fields are being prepared for mining.

In the barracks of the Modlin Fortress, 60 km north-west of Warsaw, in three floor buildings, a wartime division could be stationed.

The forts are mainly modern, concealed from aerial observation. The forts' armament consists of heavy, light, AT and AA guns, as well as heavy machine guns. in the basements of the barracks and the forts there are large amounts of rations and ammunition.

April 16th

Along with concentrating forces, the German command also carries out accelerated building of reinforced concrete fortifications and highroads.

To the vicinity of Lesko, many reinforced concrete nests have been delivered, rumored to be from the Maginot line, in order to put them near the Soviet border. In the vicinity of Sanok routing of machine gun and artillery nests is carried out, with the locations marked with small numbered posts.

It is a possibility, that the places marked with the posts are where the nests will be placed.

April 21st

Into the same areas where the forces are arriving, large amounts of ammunition, fuel and artificial anti tank obstacles are being delivered.

In April, fortification building work has increased. Building of permanent firing positions has been noted in the Suwalki district in the areas Szablaki - Podgurnzh - Kozioł, and installation of anti tank metal crosspieces in the vicinity of Schirwindt, Klaipeda region.

April 29th

23.4.41 have been noted in the vicinity of Vabitsy - Kunkovitsy - Russka VES (?) defensive works on the banks of the San river. For this purpose, in the night before 23/4/41, building materials were delivered on 10 cars. in the same area, a barbed wire obstacle was constructed 3 stakes (deep?) - iron stakes. The fence is 100 meter wide and 1 meter high. 24/4/41 in the Zhiglud - Glomcha area, defensive activity continues.

In the last days of March, the Stary Zagórz station received metal domes for building defensive structures near the border. The domes are reportedly from the Maginot line. As of 24/4/41 in the vicinity of Gnyshev, Zagroda and Munina defensive works are conducted. An infantry batallion is working in the designated area. The German authorities are rapidly repairing and expanding the road Jasło - Sapow. The local population is working on the road.

May 5th

There are confirmations about the reports, that on the border with the USSR, a fortified line is being created, as well separate fortified regions.All the works were conducted under the supervision of the famous Siegfried Line builder - a Todt engineer , with the manpower of German workers and soldiers. For auxiliary, mainly ground works, 35 000 Jews were mobilized. Particularly, from the vicinity of Radom, all the inhabitants of 250 nearby villages were evacuated. A group of fortified regions was created there. Siedlec has likewise been turned into a fortified area.

May 10th

The Terespol station receives 2-3 trains of gravel daily, meant for constructing fortifications near the Lobachev estate, 1.5 km from Terespol.

Since April the 1st, sappers are working on the border openly, round timber is being delivered to the working locations.

May 15th

Along with the concentration of the German forces near the Soviet border, increased building of airfields and fortifications has been noted.

In Jarosław, construction of a large airfield has been completed, to which planes have arrived.

In the forest near Jarosław, concrete fortifications are being constructed rapidly.

German authorities are speeding up construction of defensive structures, especially intensive works on border fortification are being conducted in the area Bełz and Zastave bridge.

In the yard of the station Żurawica-Uuzhnaya, a concrete fortification is building is being built. (A report by the agent "Vladimirsky", 24/4/41)

On the stations of Przemyśl, Zurawica and Jarosław, construction of various fortifications has been noted. No works are conducted during daytime.

In the end of April, on the station of Перемышль, a passenger train of 10 upholstered carriages and a restaurant car was standing for 10 days. A reinforced military convoy was guarding the train. A governor and a general (last names undetermined) have reportedly arrived, for inspecting the freshly constructed fortifications.

May 24th

According to the questioning of migrants, who arrived from Germany as repatriates, the building of fortifications on the border with LSSR has started in 1939, and has significantly increased lately.

Fortifications are constructed along the entire border, but we only posses partial data on individual places.

On the territory of Memel district.

1. Fortifications are being constructed on the coast of the baltic sea, north of Memel in the locations; Ferstrey, Melnragė, Sandkrug, Sidersheze, and the gates to Memel.

Firing positions' order - in staggered rows. The positions are connected with underground passages. Depth - 5 m, Height above ground - 2 m, wall thickness - 1 m and above. The surface of the fortifications is disguised as part of the coast. The nests were noted to contain 2 machine guns each and 32 mm guns.

According to low accuracy data, in this area underground there is a place to house forces, ammunition and equipment depots. The number of nests is unknown.

In rough terrain, near this fortification line, pillboxes, Anti tank obstacles and wire obstacles have been built. Germans were deployed on the construction of said fortifications, while other nationalities, reportedly, were not.

2. Fortified positions are likewise present near the places: Taurlakhen, Slinchay, Akiay, Divinchi and Pleken. Near each place there are 3-4 reinforced concrete positions 50-100 m apart. Above the concrete there is rubber, 64 cm thick.

The positions within the groups are connected underground by reinforced concrete tubes, through which a half bent man can easily pass.

Similar fortifications are being constructed 3 km from Memel in the direction of Priekule, near the Geseife estate, as well as the Giruli borough.

3. 7 km from Memel, in the direction of Kretinga - LSSR, a pillbox has been built, disguised with brushwood as part of the terrain. There are also a few barracks there, for about 200 people.

Similar pillboxes have been sighted near the villages: Slenden, Fimorten, Naudvaren and the Surkunai estate. The locals say the fortifications were built over the course of a year and a half.

Into the vicinity of the Leliai village, on the highway from Memel to Priekule, a large amount of timber and stone is being delivered for firing positions' construction. The foundation was already laid for placing heavy artillery.

Partial data is present about active fortification building in Suwalki and other districts such as:

Since spring 1940, building has started near Wiżajny, Filipów, Nowinki (Suwalki district), with the construction line stretching toward Augustów Forest.

Currently, an increased delivery of building materials was noted - cement, rock, timber.

Similar works are conducted behind Krasnopol, near the Wigry Lake, and on the Przerośl - Filipów - Bakałarzewo - Raczki line - pillboxes are built on the western banks of the lakes and Rospuda river. Sapper units are the ones working. In front of the pillboxes, anti tank obstacles are being built and wire stretches.

At the entrance to Raczki from the side of Suwalki, there are 3 pillboxes to the right side of the bridge, and 4 to the left. The construction continues.

To the south of the Suwalki city, 8-9 km away, on the Suwalki/Augustów road, in the forest, firing positions are being built and additional highroads are being laid. This work continues for about a year.

Om the territory of the Tilsit-Ragnit district fortified positions are noted in the forests behind Pogegen. At first, French POWs worked (earthworks only, it seems), now German sappers are the ones working.

June 2nd

Works are continuing on organizing defensive structures near the border, mainly at night time.

June 6th

On the road Prostki - Ostrykół to the right, three firing positions have been built.

Throughout 1940 and until now, all along the bank of Narev, fortifications of different types are being built. Every day from the Ostrołęka station, on cars and carts, cement, iron, boards and other building materials are being brought.

600 meter from the border, in the direction of the Platerów station, 1 km from the railroad to the right, pillboxes are being constructed.

June 12th

The source "Kovalevsky", while being at Żurawica railroad station, determined through personal observation, that along the border, all over the elevated terrain, trenches are being dug. Behind the Żurawica station... 1 km away, concrete fortifications are being constructed.


Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
In other words; some people are saying that modern defense is dead. Nonsense. However, in order to be viable in modern times, the defense requires modifications - more depth, more reserves. Now, how can a defense which is not manned have reserves? How can it use its full potential? I don't think Timoshenko ignores the issue of the German element of surprise - it's simply taken for granted.

How can a defence "give time for concentration" if forces are already concentrated? A contradiction in terms. Pay attention.


By giving time to concentrate for a more effective defense, as well as other types of action. I see no contradiction. After all, there is never too much defense.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Finland was hardly an operation where speed was an issue.

Really? The USSR didn't plan to swiftly win? I'm sorry, but I've given an example. You failed to counter it with anything meaningful. Besides, the USSR did plan to win swiftly in Finland.

Omeganian wrote:
Pavlov states that in the fast advancing mechcorps, minor repairs which can be done by the crew are to be performed, but anything serious is simply solved by pulling the machine off the road. The slower units will come and see to it.

That's pretty reasonable, but I doubt Pavlov considered an exceptionally high level of breakdowns and huge numbers of machines being kicked out of service when confronting the German forces. The tanks were often engaged in battles with German forces - the results of said battles were not good for the Soviet tanks.


Both arguments are based on the assumption that the real life operation was identical to the plans, without the need to make significant adjustments... any evidence of that?

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
If the enemy is expected to have the initiative - yes. But where's the evidence that was the expected scenario?

The scenario centers around a sudden attack by the Germans. You may be right here, the Soviet command did not expect the enemy to gain the initiative, because they were still thinking in terms of long pre-hostilities, etc.


Documents which show examples of such thinking?

Quote:
Inertia is very hard to shake off.


Seems to me it was shaken off quite well by December 1940.

Quote:
But this exact case is a case where they proposed a plan to defend against a German attack.


A plan to defend against a German attack, which doesn't include said attack as a trigger for execution? Once again, what are you smoking? Where did you hear of a self defense law which requires written permission from a police officer to shoot the attacker?

Quote:
The fact that Stalin and the Soviet leadership prepared a MASSIVE plan of evacuation of all European Soviet industry indicated that they, in fact, admitted at least in theory that there might be a military catastrophe or a long war that would require shielding industries from strategic bombing (it is their, or should I say, our great luck the concept never really caught on with the German air command!).


Mind giving some details about this plan?

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
What are the arguments for the claim it couldn't be abandoned then?

What is the proof it should've been abandoned, though? The USSR was known for it's ad hoc approach to stuff. Today this, tomorrow that.


It should've been abandoned because taking the parade was Stalin's duty. All you are saying is that there would have been no problem doing that.

Quote:
And speculation is not history - ergo...


Unfortunately, gaps are too common to avoid speculation.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
I don't think I'm the only one to say they really overdid it with the Treaty of Versailles.

So why is the USSR to blame for trading with the opressed Weimar Republic and technical cooperation with the nation? :wtf:


Not for trading, for training its generals.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Quote:
I'm not sure how the Soviet aid to the Weimar Republic equals same aid to Nazi Germany.

Germany was a favorable country for starting a war.

Germany was an infavourable country - in 192x-1933 it was an industrial cripple. There were no guarantees whatsoever it could even rise from the Depression. The Depression was at an all-time high and Germany was exceptionally hard hit. In 1933, there were no objective reasons to think it would get better, more powerful or whatever.


A gamble, you say? Not unusual for the Komintern.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Quote:
The cutoff in cooperation post-1933 pretty much proves my point.

How? Judging from World War II, what the Soviets did by then was quite sufficient. What reason did the Soviets would have had to continue the cooperation? Time to play the other side.

Which side? The USSR was cooperating with top industrial powers. In the 20s, there was an idea that a pariah state like Germany would be excellent for tech transfer to the USSR (Junkers concessions were exceptionally important for the Soviet Airforce and air industry in general, etc.) By 1933, Germany became Nazi and that was it. On the other hand, the US was a democracy, a top industrial and it's new leaders JUST AT THIS TIME recognized the USSR diplomatically. Obviously, considering Stalins' own comments that Western democracies are better than Fascists and Nazis, the USSR chose to continue industrial development, using tech transfer from the USA, not from Germany.


Exactly. Allies of Germany when convenient, allies of the USA when convenient... proves absolutely nothing.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Quote:
The USSR only restored it's industrial potential in the early 1950s (and that combined with the German reparations, anyhow).

Would the cost of the skyscrapers built after the war in Moscow have been insufficient to at least get started?

Obviously yes. A few buildings in Moscow did not and could not comprise a large share of Soviet GDP. They were but promilles, I think. I could investigate it further, obviously, by looking at the late-Stalinist skyscraper construction costs in roubles and maybe manhours and the then-Soviet GDP and total manhours. *shrugs* But it should be obvious to people with an understanding of economics, even cursory.


We are not talking about the GDP, we are talking about building a single large skyscraper.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Just like when the building started.

Exactly my point.


So... what changed that the project was abandoned?

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
He provides examples from 1993. Since the book was sent into printing in 1994, and published in 1995 (probably with some last moment modifications), "long" would be an incorrect word. Besides, are you certain the historical science moved on? The 2008 book The Stalin and Molotov Lines, for example, still uses Zhukov's false description of the January games.

Even some new books often fail to notice new documents, true. But, by and large, science HAS moved on.


Suvorov can still find enough to criticize. You have a problem with the examples he gives - well, details?

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Such things are never guaranteed. But what is the guarantee that they would have become hostile to the point Stalin couldn't have at least bought the necessary goods (if the shortage would have been severe enough without the losses of 1941)? What could the attack change? Besides, Suvorov also mentions some blackmailing material, and that is generally worth more than some pieces of paper.

Once again, documental proof of anything Rezun mentions is necessary. Speculation is not history.


Western indifference to Soviet attacks on other countries, however, is a fact. Without the Germans capturing/destroying half the Soviet industry and conquering territory, neutrality of the West would have been quite acceptable for Stalin.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Iron railings were being scrapped due to metal shortages.

And yet, the shortages were never even near the food collapse in the First World war. Metal shortages occured from the simple fact that Britain was undergoing a massive total mobilization of war industries which was necessary to actively participate in the war and win it. The U-boats were pathetically inefficient compared to the overall volume of British-American naval traffic and became completely inefficient by 1943-45, despite their number and technical sophistication only increasing and getting better and better.


And how does all this prove Britain would have had a negative reaction?

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Quote:
It's not unprecended, such orders were issued in the Civil War (hmm, why not mention Tukhachevsky?)

Yeah, on one side, a man who used chemical weapons to suppress revolts, on the other, a man who nuked his army. Also, civil wars and ordinary warfare are often played by different rules.

Please, do without the drama. Americans nuked their army (or, should I even say Navy and Army?) too.


In close proximity to their own cities?

Quote:
Besides, if the order never saw execution, it is not a war crime commited.


So what? Was it legal to issue?

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Including his pointless battering in 1942?

Including - overall. Because other commanders also managed to lose people en masse, duh. Especially in larger battles, e.g. standoffs at Leningrad when Zhukov was already away from there.


Zhukov was the one with the worst defeats.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Quote:
Not knowing where enemy forces are when your forces lack aviation and modern means of intelligence is a common occurence.

For five weeks? Even cavalry could have scouted throughout Poland if organized properly. Which wasn't done.

Cavalry can scout in case there is no active enemy hindrance. If there is, cavalry is pretty much of limited use for scouting. Just like aviation is when there's heavy flak, you know.


Then why did he advance? Nothing can change the fact that this is idiocy.

Quote:
It is a fact Tukhachevsky developed a theory of mechanized operations, because he published works on it.


What are the works saying, exactly? Are they giving actual figures? Are the figures valid (mathematics wasn't his strong suite)? He had a lot of demagoguery (and technobabble obsession), but little actual theory.

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In the late-1920s his views on warfare were similar to those of many commanders of the day. He had many progressive ideas and many strange ideas which seem strange in retrospect. In the late 1920s, the tank-tractor ideas, supermobilization ideas, land cruiser ideas and lots and lots of other crap was quite common in military theorizing.


So, he went along with completely idiotic ideas (or started them)... And you don't doubt his ability?

Besides, we're not talking about the twenties. He wrote the article in 1932, and conversion experiments were conducted even later.


Quote:
I'm not a supporter of Tukhachevsky, but I read his works. I could be more specific, if you want.


How about the one where he said that in 1935 that Germany was building 9 battleships... at the time when only two were ordered, and it's unclear whether they were battleships or battlecruisers?

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Omeganian wrote:
0.94 kg/sq.cm. ground pressure.

Did it seriously impact their real performance?


The problems with Russian terrain are well known.

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Omeganian wrote:
"Roads and wheels" are not mentioned in the corresponding chapter of The Last Republic. He talks about operations in the deep rear; away from the enemy army. So long as a breach is made for you, the deployment of the army doesn't change that much.

Moving on wheels and on-road during combat is prohibited, only on march.


What is this obsession of yours with roads and wheels?

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Omeganian wrote:
And they only had 300 of them. The Soviets had 30 T-26 for each of the mediums, and 500-600 T-28; their own medium tank (mostly with armament similar to Pz IV, being rearmed with a better one).

The T-28 was vastly inferior to the Pz IV, being an old, obsolete multi-turret tank design.


A disadvantage in mobility, but the armor and armament were similar. With a 100% numerical advantage, I wouldn't hurry to dismiss them.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
I am asking; was the difference in the engine weight 5 tons? If not, where did the 5 tons go? When the Soviets built the T-50, they got the same engine as the Germans, about the same armament (smaller caliber, greater rate of fire), more armor... and it still weighed less than the very first modifications of Pz-III. This is what Suvorov's talking about.

And what does the T-50 has to do with the T-26 and German tanks?


You were the one who started the talk about Suvorov arguing the relative inefficiency of the German tanks - and that's exactly his point. He argues that without mentioning T-26 - any type fitting the description works.

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We were discussing the former and latter. The T-26 is a spectacularly bad piece of engineering, and by 1941 it was hardly capable of dealing with newer German machines.


The Germans had enough of the older machines for it to deal with. And I believe we are discussing 1939, too.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Several sources insist that it was the "tractors" brought from America which had such a designation. In any event, judging from the date, they seem to be the model tested. BTW, the words that the speed is "no more that 70 kph" can easily mean the testers expected more.

They might have, but the models failed to get this speed.


And Pz-I couldn't keep up with infantry on Russian roads. Doesn't tell much about the maximum speed under other conditions.

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Omeganian wrote:
But where is the work on the Stalin Line? At all?

There are reports to reinforce the Letichev UR, KAUR before the onset of the war.


I ask about actual work done, not paper.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
How is using fixed defenses AND field defenses worse than using only field defenses?

Not a bad idea; the bad idea is the false belief that fixed defenses can operate without a mobilized army and will hold off the enemy long enough for you to mobilize.


Is there evidence of such a false belief?

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
He mentions fixed defenses in East Prussia, albeit with somewhat thinner walls. But then, the Molotov line also was short on 3 meter walls.

ML bunkers were, however, the most modern and powerful the USSR constructed at the time.


So what? In 1941, German tanks had 30mm armor. It was better that in 1939. It was the best they had. But it doesn't mean it was adequate.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Heigl's Taschenbuch der Tanks from 1935 (translated to Russian) states:

That's not proof.


Why is that?

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
All I see is a description of the revolution attempt in Germany, with Suvorov stating that it looks like Hitler could have been a part of it, but he has no data.

Heh. Speculation, then. And speculation is not history.


Speculation is for filling gaps. With a conspiracy, you often have too much of these.

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Omeganian wrote:
The armor penetration figures seem to be higher for the 45 mm.
How so? Proof?


Figures for Soviet guns are at the bottom of the table.

Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
Suvorov gives a list a list of generals who either:
1) Went from their districts to the west
2) Were on their way to the west
3) were preparing to go.
Your point is that... in one case, Suvorov got the category wrong? How does it affect his point about the generals moving?

Not in that one case; in many cases. Alas, no time to get into detail now - be sure to requote this, I'll give a list.


Quote:
Omeganian wrote:
So it wasn't. Still, why abandon it instead of upgrading?

Parts of SL which were deemed relevant and necessary were upgraded, in fact, or slated for upgrade. Parts which weren't, however, were left to degrade and rot away. KAUR is an example of the former


We saw a witness stating it was neglected. What does it matter that some piece of paper states it shouldn't have been?
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Tenshinai
PostPosted: 2011-04-13 08:17pm 

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Quote:
1) Can we take for granted that barring an aggressive Germany or other power in Western/Central Europe, Stalin would have unleashed his wrath upon all of Europe in a war of conquest at some point in the 1940's?

No. Stalin´s basic idea was that the people of every nation would eventually rise up and overthrow their capitalist opressors, more or less violently.
USSR wasnt even very happy about attacking Finland even BEFORE they did it.

And a nation expecting to attack usually doesnt spend lots of time and resources setting something like the Stalin-line up. It was a loooong defensive line north-south, well INSIDE USSR, not an inflexible concrete line like the Maginot but rather hoardes of prepared positions and thousands of heavy weapons with crew to hold them, meant to be supported by powerful regular army units, if used as meant to, it would have been an extremely tough obstacle.
After the division of Poland, Stalin thought the line was really waaaay too far behind the new frontline with Germany and commanded that the weapons and crews from the line was to be moved up to set up a new line...
This huge movement is the reason for some people quoting "large troop movements in preparation of an westwards attack", and is also the reason why Germany caught so many Soviet guns, especially the much used and liked 76mm field gun, because they attacked while the guns were in transit.
These were garrison troops however and the only way for them to attack would be to stand still and try to shoot into Germany, or push their guns by hand, they didnt even have horses assigned for movement.

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2) If we take the above for granted, could an alliance of Central and Western European powers have stopped such a conquest (barring US involvement)?

Possibly. Despite myths to the contrary, Poland was a pseudofacist and very militaristic nation, and overall quite powerful militarily. Its airforce competing with Japan for the #1 spot on a list of the most welltrained pilots for example. One of the big reasons Hitler got support by the military early on was because of their worry for a Polish invasion of Germany.
The Czechs also packed quite a punch, as did the Greeks even if they were rather primitive compared to Czechoslovakian military of late 30s. The others however, not so great.

Much would depend on matters on the Soviet side however, would military purges that among others got rid of Tuchatevsky still happen? His removal, the man who practically wrote most of USSR military doctrine, was devastating and the reorganisation of the military that followed, and changing doctrine back to the pre-"deep battle", it messed up the Soviet army to an extreme degree.
Early in Barbarossa, the Soviet units that fought best were often those who fell back on deep battle doctrine that officers were confident with, rather than the WWI+wishful thinking doctrine that was cobbled together as replacement.

US involvement at the time would be mostly irrelevant. Without an aggressive Germany to point to, Roosevelt would be unlikely to get his rearming schemes through any budget, and without those, excepting the fleet(which ranged from ok to good, even if its ASW ability was dreadfully poor) and to a lesser degree the airforce, USA was mostly a papertiger.
And a USA military without the massive reforms brought about due to seeing the German invasion of first Poland and then France, even if they were mostly based more on wild guessing than any real facts, well if they were to come up against a non-neutered Soviet army, they would get slaughtered. USA still adhered mostly to pre-WWI doctrines and in the 30s was just barely starting to change(not much really happened until after the Spanish civil war).

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3) Can we thank Nazi Germany for preventing such a conquest due to their aggressive war mobilizing the enemies of Germany into an uneasy alliance?

Hardly!
It might be mentioned that before the Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty, USSR tried to create an alliance with either or both of UK/France against Germany. They even went as far as talking with the Poles despite the less than happy feelings between them.

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4) If on VE day Stalin had simply attacked the Western allies (yes, I know how ridiculous the question is from a practical standpoint when you consider the massive casualties the Russians took in defeating the Germans) and tried to drive them off the continent, would he have had the manpower and industrial power to do so barring the US use of an atomic weapon or even with one?

Wouldnt happen. The troops at that time considered the western allies friends in arms against the hated invaders, not to mention how exhausted USSR at that point was as a nation.
With the loud voices of Patton and his likes outspoken hatred against USSR, the opposite would really be far more likely, and even that was very much not likely either.


*****
Quote:
In fact, Stalin's Soviet industrialization in the 1930s started with greater value-added for civilan sectors than for the military prior to ~1935, when European nations started raising their armament prospects.

While true, USSR by mid/late 1930s had as many tanks as the rest of the world together.
Mostly light and tankettes yes, but other nations had a lot of those as well. And USSR also had the biggest tanks around ( even if those sucked badly ).

*****
Quote:
I hate to butt in on a thread which had its topic fairly well covered already, but in the interest of accuracy, I need to point out the 1920-1921 war was hardly clear-cut with regards to who started the mess. I wouldn't call it "defence against Soviet invasion", since both sides were really damn eager to fight, just looking for an excuse. Things were so bad in 1919 that border patrols sometimes attacked each other with little provocation.

Considering the Poles were the ones starting with a major offensive, its usually them that are stated as the ones starting that war, but simple or onesided it certainly was not.
Also to be recalled is that it was eventually the Poles that did get a big chunk of land as a result of this war. This was a large part of the reason for Stalin to be willing to be part of the partition of Poland later on.

*****
Quote:
The USSR constantly modernized it's army, but to be fair, it was an industrializing nation still.

It should be noted though that while the above is true, it is also somewhat misrepresenting. USSR was a nation undergoing industrialisation, but on a matter of scale rather than advancement.
Compare for example with Japan, which in the 30s were still to a large extent a nation of cottage-industry and craftsmanship, while USSR started experimenting with its own first radarsystems in 1935 and had quite good ability in both electronics and avanced mechanics like engine design as well as optics(only Germany had better optics than the best Soviet gear), even though its ability for massproduction of electronics(and highend optics) was very poor.


*****

Anyway, i dont know who started quoting Suvorov, but please STOP! The man has been debunked as unreliable at best and outright lying at worst for decades by now!
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Omeganian
PostPosted: 2011-04-14 12:12am 

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Joined: 2008-03-08 11:38am
Posts: 532
Location: Israel
Tenshinai wrote:
Quote:
1) Can we take for granted that barring an aggressive Germany or other power in Western/Central Europe, Stalin would have unleashed his wrath upon all of Europe in a war of conquest at some point in the 1940's?

No. Stalin´s basic idea was that the people of every nation would eventually rise up and overthrow their capitalist opressors, more or less violently.


That's what the public was told, but how much Stalin actually believed it can happen spontaneously - well, could be argued.

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And a nation expecting to attack usually doesnt spend lots of time and resources setting something like the Stalin-line up.


Translation; Germans never built the Siegfried Line.

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After the division of Poland, Stalin thought the line was really waaaay too far behind the new frontline with Germany and commanded that the weapons and crews from the line was to be moved up to set up a new line...


And so, he decided to remove them nearly a year before he started to build the new line...

Quote:
These were garrison troops however and the only way for them to attack would be to stand still and try to shoot into Germany, or push their guns by hand, they didnt even have horses assigned for movement.


The numbers seem a bit high for garrisons. And the Head Staff responded harshly to attempts by forces to actually use the fortified regions.
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Stas Bush
PostPosted: 2011-04-14 12:29am 

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Omeganian wrote:
And so, he decided to remove them nearly a year before he started to build the new line...

Zhukov says that the decision to relocate weapons from the already-conserved parts of Stalin Line (conservation decision came in autumn 1939) to the Molotov Line came in early 1941 (during the Feb-March conference, to be precise). Zhukov is lying?
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Omeganian
PostPosted: 2011-04-14 10:35am 

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Joined: 2008-03-08 11:38am
Posts: 532
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Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
And so, he decided to remove them nearly a year before he started to build the new line...

Zhukov says that the decision to relocate weapons from the already-conserved parts of Stalin Line (conservation decision came in autumn 1939) to the Molotov Line came in early 1941 (during the Feb-March conference, to be precise). Zhukov is lying?


Well, it says there was a decision to remove a part of the armaments from secondary positions. Doesn't quite seem to match reality.
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Stas Bush
PostPosted: 2011-04-14 10:53am 

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Omeganian wrote:
Stas Bush wrote:
Zhukov says that the decision to relocate weapons from the already-conserved parts of Stalin Line (conservation decision came in autumn 1939) to the Molotov Line came in early 1941 (during the Feb-March conference, to be precise). Zhukov is lying?

Well, it says there was a decision to remove a part of the armaments from secondary positions. Doesn't quite seem to match reality.

Which is...? Zhukov says Zhdanov's proposal meant to remove artillery pieces from some fortified regions and that proposal met Stalin's approval in early 1941. And reality is? You said "he decided" (i.e. Stalin decided) to remove the armament a year before the construction started, i.e. that'd be in early 1939. Any documents to that effect? There are documents proving that in 1938-1940 the Stalin line FRs were reinforced with artillery pieces (e.g. the inspection in April-May 1941), albeit most of them were obsolete guns from 1877-1895, and only 28 modern guns were transferred to the FRs. However, where is the relocation in early 1939? Mind shedding some light on this?
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Tenshinai
PostPosted: 2011-04-20 07:10pm 

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Joined: 2011-04-13 06:45pm
Posts: 6
Quote:
That's what the public was told, but how much Stalin actually believed it can happen spontaneously - well, could be argued.

Actions coincide with the words so i would say reliable enough.

Quote:
Translation; Germans never built the Siegfried Line.

As the Siegfried line was built during the middle of WWI i assume you refer to the Westwall. Either way, the Germans built it close to the border, except it was never truly prioritised, quality armour plates were never installed in most parts, manning levels were never close to adequate, weapons and ammunition stores were mever sufficient, non-garrison troops supporting it was nonexistant...
In short, the Westwall was most of all a 4th rate "extra" where the only part even remotely close to being finished were the tank obstacles.

Meanwhile, USSR started building the Stalin line in the 1920s, as an intricate chain of wellbuilt defensive positions, far enough from the border to allow for reaction time (meaning that it was meant to be able to defend against surprise attacks ), fully manned, with lots of weapons and supplies in storage, with a large part of the army based to be able to support the line, airfields placed to enable aircover along the full line... Also, the basic part of the line was that it was NOT built like the Maginot line nor the Westwall, it wasnt built to be impenetrable, rather it was meant to force an attacker to move where the defenders were waiting for them, behind the line, so the line required cooperation between garrisons and regular troops, but with that it was also quite capable of stopping just about any attack for a long while, or even completely.

The Westwall OTOH was built more to slow down an enemy while not supported by regular troops. Because Germany needed to be able to have those elsewhere, like Poland or later moving through Belgium into France.
That the Westwall was also never completed, or even halfway so, because mobile troops were prioritised, while in USSR, the Stalin line was, up until 1939, continually improved, should tell another part of what i was referring to.

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And so, he decided to remove them nearly a year before he started to build the new line...

The intention was to have weapons ready and waiting in forward storage when the new line had got complete enough to start using it.
As it started construction in 1940 im not really sure what you´re referring to though.

*****

Quote:
albeit most of them were obsolete guns from 1877-1895

Do note that that does not automatically equate to "bad guns". For example one of the Soviet 76mm gun that was truly common was of pre-WWI heritage, and the Germans used lots of captured guns of the type in WWI as well(usually after mounting it on a lighter carriage to allow it to be moved more easily by infantry), and they were still highly useful in WWII.

Quote:
However, where is the relocation in early 1939? Mind shedding some light on this?

It cant exist because the new line, even the idea of one, wasnt created until after the split of Poland.
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Stas Bush
PostPosted: 2011-04-21 12:20am 

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Tenshinai wrote:
It cant exist because the new line, even the idea of one, wasnt created until after the split of Poland.

I know that, but I want Omeganian to bring forward his arguments.
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Sea Skimmer
PostPosted: 2011-04-21 08:00pm 

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Joined: 2002-07-03 11:49pm
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Tenshinai some stuff is just painfully wrong with your post but I don't have time to spell it all out. You have a very strange view of the West Wall to say the least; here's a hint, if it was not a priority then how to it consume more steel then the German Panzer force in the run up to WW2?
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Omeganian
PostPosted: 2011-04-22 01:57pm 

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Quote:
Tenshinai wrote:
Quote:
That's what the public was told, but how much Stalin actually believed it can happen spontaneously - well, could be argued.

Actions coincide with the words so i would say reliable enough.


Mind elaborating?

Quote:
Meanwhile, USSR started building the Stalin line in the 1920s


Well, the absence of immediate conquest plans in the 1920s can hardly be questioned, so I don't see how a concentration on defense at the time can prove anything.

Quote:
As it started construction in 1940 im not really sure what you´re referring to though.


Certain sources claim the mothballing started in 1939 already.
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Tenshinai
PostPosted: 2011-04-22 06:25pm 

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Joined: 2011-04-13 06:45pm
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Sea Skimmer wrote:
Tenshinai some stuff is just painfully wrong with your post but I don't have time to spell it all out. You have a very strange view of the West Wall to say the least; here's a hint, if it was not a priority then how to it consume more steel then the German Panzer force in the run up to WW2?

Do you understand the difference between highstrength armourgrade steel and normal construction steel?

The vast majority of steel delivered to building the line was the latter while it was meant to be the former, and with the latter the bunkers were simply not capable of withstanding heavy weapons, which sort of defeats most of its purpose, except to make the French more hesitant to attack (and when France did start its planned offensive, German troops were so effective in harrassing the attack that their numbers and quality were greatly overestimated, and coupled with the overestimation of the Westwall, it was considered too much before being fully mobilised and prepared for a massive offensive, and so they retreated back to their own lines)...
Add to that the fact that to fully finish the Westwall, far more than twice as much steel would have been needed. And again, the vast majority of it should have been armourgrade steel to really make the line worthwhile.

In short, the Westwall was a lot of hype, a papertiger with enough real bite and armour to make it look far more than it was.
Any prepared defensive location helps, but the wallies would have had far more trouble if the Westwall had been anything close to what it was designed to be but never became. Some claim this is proof that the line was merely a scam meant as a westward deterrant while Germany was busy in the east, but personally i think its just another showoff of the twisted political system of nazi-Germany. Hitler wanted his cuddly wall, so he got it, even if >95% of it was built with just a fraction of its designed strength.


So, i guess you dont know enough to know that your "hint" was irrelevant.
Shall i assume your "painfully wrong" is equally irrelevant or do you actually have any points to make?
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Sea Skimmer
PostPosted: 2011-04-22 08:18pm 

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Joined: 2002-07-03 11:49pm
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Tenshinai wrote:
Do you understand the difference between highstrength armourgrade steel and normal construction steel?


Yeah I happen to know the difference, and the West Wall sucked up a whole lot of both. Do you understand that tanks in WW2 were not made completely out of armor plate? Never mind all the manpower and concrete which could have otherwise gone directly into building actual tank factories and a whole lot of other stuff Hitler needed on the production end but could not afford. Hitler needed the West Wall because it made him look less aggressive, while shielding his aggression at the same time. The line had to be real to accomplish both objectives. Propaganda played it up, but that was necessary because then as now the average civilian was an idiot, and the Maginot Line set a standard which was far too high to be sane or actually affordable, as seen by its limited length.

Quote:
The vast majority of steel delivered to building the line was the latter while it was meant to be the former, and with the latter the bunkers were simply not capable of withstanding heavy weapons, which sort of defeats most of its purpose, except to make the French more hesitant to attack

Even the weakest of the West Wall bunkers, which were phased out of construction anyway, are far superior to field fortifications in protective value, and no reinforced concrete bunker is easy prey for even the heaviest artillery because it takes so many shells to get that fatal direct hit. 12,000 Americans died assaulting the ‘weak’ West Wall in the Hürtgen Forest in spite of massive US artillery and air superiority. Meanwhile the heaviest works had as much as 3.5m concrete and could withstand a direct hit from any artillery piece in the allied land inventory including the rare French 520mm railway howitzer.

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(and when France did start its planned offensive, German troops were so effective in harrassing the attack that their numbers and quality were greatly overestimated, and coupled with the overestimation of the Westwall, it was considered too much before being fully mobilised and prepared for a massive offensive, and so they retreated back to their own lines)...


What happened was the French ran into the first and until then secret German land mines, and simply had no countermeasure to them at the time. Stupid of the French not to have thought more about it prewar, but that problem would stop any attack dead in its tracks. Also French found out most of the WW1 artillery ammo they had stockpile was in fact unreliable from too long in storage. They did retreat, but they had good reasons to do so; the forested area they had captured would have been a senselessly exposed salient.

Quote:

Add to that the fact that to fully finish the Westwall, far more than twice as much steel would have been needed. And again, the vast majority of it should have been armourgrade steel to really make the line worthwhile.


Little rational reason exists to make rebar out of armor grade steel, and while a lot more work needed to be done that’s simply because the West Wall was intended to be ridiculously expansive. Meanwhile a single A-werk machine gun cloche was a solid mass of cast armor that weighed over 50 metric tons. Brilliantly stupid use of material.

Quote:

In short, the Westwall was a lot of hype, a papertiger with enough real bite and armour to make it look far more than it was.


It did have hype; mainly that the Germans tried to make it look like all the partly constructed and planned overages were actually finished by filming Czech forts, but it was no paper tiger. That’s absurd.

Quote:

So, i guess you dont know enough to know that your "hint" was irrelevant.
Shall i assume your "painfully wrong" is equally irrelevant or do you actually have any points to make?


Yeah now that I’ve got time I do. End of the semester is a bitch.

Quote:
As the Siegfried line was built during the middle of WWI i assume you refer to the Westwall. Either way, the Germans built it close to the border, except it was never truly prioritised, quality armour plates were never installed in most parts, manning levels were never close to adequate, weapons and ammunition stores were mever sufficient, non-garrison troops supporting it was nonexistant...


Clearly you’ve totally missed the point of how the west wall was designed. It was meant to be garrisoned by combat troops when a war actually broke out and it needed to be used. It was not meant to be stocked with supplies and weapons and men in arms when not actually being used as the Maginot Line was. Artillery for example was primarily field guns placed in casemates, and able to be rapidly removed. These were very similar to works developed in the First World War. The Germans saw that French-Cezch style fixed guns were wasteful and unsuited to an army building up for offensive warfare. Some ouvrages were planned and serious work done on several of them, but the rump of the line was meant to be numerous small works for field troops because that simply makes more sense. They even went so far as to paint instructions on the walls about how to use the ventilation systems because the positions would not have a regular garrison except for basic caretakers. German fortresses prior to 1914 were similarly intended for field troops.

Quote:

In short, the Westwall was most of all a 4th rate "extra" where the only part even remotely close to being finished were the tank obstacles.


4th rate compared to what? How many other lines with over 22,000 concrete positions can you name? It was one of the greatest defense lines in Europe and many of its ideas like the heavy mobile artillery casemates were directly copied in the few countries that built really extensive works post war, mainly the Koreas, Taiwan and Albania.

Quote:

Meanwhile, USSR started building the Stalin line in the 1920s, as an intricate chain of wellbuilt defensive positions, far enough from the border to allow for reaction time (meaning that it was meant to be able to defend against surprise attacks ), fully manned, with lots of weapons and supplies in storage, with a large part of the army based to be able to support the line, airfields placed to enable aircover along the full line...


Work was done on the Stalin line from 1928-1932 and then stopped. It was worked on again from 1938-1939. So sure they started back then, but they certainly didn’t keep working the whole time and the earlier phases of construction had major budgetary restrictions. A fair bit of the work was carried out by Russian field forces.

This line which you pronounce to be well built in fact had almost no positions resistant to more then a single hit from 203mm howitzers, and most were only proof against one or two hits from a 155mm weapon. It also had serious quality problems, which is not very suprising considering the state of the USSR at the time. That level of protection perfectly fine for actual combat needs, but it hardly supports the notion of the West Wall being weak. I’ve seen numbers suggesting the Stalin Line only had 2,300 concrete positions, which would be a mere tenth that of the West Wall.

Quote:

Also, the basic part of the line was that it was NOT built like the Maginot line nor the Westwall, it wasnt built to be impenetrable, rather it was meant to force an attacker to move where the defenders were waiting for them, behind the line, so the line required cooperation between garrisons and regular troops, but with that it was also quite capable of stopping just about any attack for a long while, or even completely.


Yeah it wasn’t continuous because Russia couldn’t afford that and Russia is too vast for it to make much sense, but tactically it was in fact very much like the West Wall. Both lines were based on numerous relatively small mutually supporting positions manned by field troops. I’ve never heard of any extensive use of fortress garrison troops on the Russian lines except for maintenance, and even then it suffered a fair bit from neglect prior to 1938. Planning of the Stalin line was actually left the local military regions which probably didn’t help.

Quote:

The Westwall OTOH was built more to slow down an enemy while not supported by regular troops.


No, this is just dead wrong. The Germans did not have more then a few regiments of caretakers for the West Wall, nor intend for more then that. The West Wall was intended to operate exactly like the Siegfried Line did in WW1, providing ready made positions for the field troops who would base the defense heavily on depth and maneuver. It had no pretext at all of being effective without field forces. Any rigid line theory was certain to fail, and that’s why even the Maginot line had if anything, too many field troops backing it up in 1940.

Quote:

Because Germany needed to be able to have those elsewhere, like Poland or later moving through Belgium into France.


Yeah, that was the idea. Keep as much mobile as possible. Why the hell do you keep a big deal about the line not being garrisoned or armed? It was manned and armed when it needed to be by design.

Quote:

That the Westwall was also never completed, or even halfway so, because mobile troops were prioritised, while in USSR, the Stalin line was, up until 1939, continually improved, should tell another part of what i was referring to.


Both sides kept working on fortifications until events on the ground left them unnecessary or overrun. The West Wall being not completed means nothing on its own, in context it was more then strong enough to be a serious barrier. The US never completed its full mobilization plans in WW2 either; does that mean the US war machine was a useless paper tiger? The Maginot Line wasn’t finished either for that matter.

Quote:
Do note that that does not automatically equate to "bad guns". For example one of the Soviet 76mm gun that was truly common was of pre-WWI heritage, and the Germans used lots of captured guns of the type in WWI as well(usually after mounting it on a lighter carriage to allow it to be moved more easily by infantry), and they were still highly useful in WWII.


It really depends on the specific gun. You’re talking about the 76mm M1902 right? Some of those older pieces were not half bad like that one, but anything from before 1897 sucked as it would not have a decent recoil system. The Germans made plenty of use of WW1 stuff, but WW1 is a lot better then 1870s and 1880s era guns. They scrapped thousands of such weapons captured from French reserve depots. The main reason people people kept such old guns around was because they would work with black and brown powder in the event of another smokeless powder shortage as had plagued all of WW1.
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Stas Bush
PostPosted: 2011-04-22 11:45pm 

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Omeganian wrote:
Certain sources claim the mothballing started in 1939 already.

Which sources? And mothballing of what? We've been waiting for several posts for you to provide any factual background on this.
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Omeganian
PostPosted: 2011-05-08 01:55pm 

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Joined: 2008-03-08 11:38am
Posts: 532
Location: Israel
Well, there is this. Admittedly, it does show that the situation didn't grow bad until much later, at least to the north - since, apparently, it had to be fortified "to free up forces for the main grouping in the south". Makes an impression of numerous revisions to the plans.

http://www.retrospicere.narod.ru/fortif ... 04-996.htm
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ChaserGrey
PostPosted: 2011-05-25 12:30am 

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Joined: 2010-10-17 11:04pm
Posts: 501
MKSheppard wrote:
All going slightly okay. In reality that would have led to a military coup deposing Hitler the moment the German army smashed into the Czech fortifications along the boarder.


Yep. The real tragedy that a lot of people don't know about is just how tenuous Hitler's grip on power was, until he managed to get the Western democracies to roll over and convinced everyone that he knew what he was talking about. Poland 1939 and France 1940 reinforced this illusion. Regrettably, it lasted until 1944-ish. :lol:

Steve wrote:
It was Munich that screwed the Czechs royal, because they had that defensive frontier stripped from them, leaving the heartland of Bohemia open to easy invasion by Germany.


The other big problem with Munich was that it took away the Skoda works, which was Czechoslovakia's major defense plant. Czech tanks were actually rather good kit, good enough that the Germans used them as the Panzer 35(t) and 38(t) in front-line units, which was not something they often did with foreign-built gear. With the Skoda plant the Czechs actually had enough of an industrial base to make a German invasion problematic- not that they could beat Germany, necessarily, but they could make an invasion very costly. Without it they were screwed.

EDIT: Oops, wow, just managed to respond to a two-month old post. It's late and I somehow read "3-24" as "5-24". Gah...
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Stas Bush
PostPosted: 2011-07-10 02:08am 

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Joined: 2003-02-26 12:39pm
Posts: 17449
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Omeganian wrote:
In terms of percentage. Not absolute terms, of course, but I hardly think every single bunker was built on the banks of San.

I question the very fact of large bunkers being built in significant numbers, because the reports come from Soviet intelligence, not from internal German documentation. I hope you understand why. If someone's intelligence claims something, only internal documents can confirm it. Needless to say that even in our super-duper advanced age stuff like Yellocake forgeries is enough to start a war. You'd need to convince me with internal documentation, and any historian with a high standard of evidence would behave the same. Higher standards - not "laxer standards". Especially in the light of a complete contradiction coming from Halder with the "only field defenses" statement.
Omeganian wrote:
I'm talking about the fact they praised its depth. They said a defense line should be deep, and away from the border. So... where is their own depth?

Mannerheim line - average distance 20-40 km away from the border, i.e. predpol'ie or forward field was 30 km average. Depth of fortifications - initially planned 2-3 km, later 6-7 km (that was the depth of Summajarvi fortified region which the RKKA broke through). Stalin line - fortification depth 1-2 km (Minsk, Volynsk, Mozyr fortified regions), sometimes 2-5 km. Forward field - 10-15 km average (examples Minsk, Mogilev-Podolsk, Novgorod-Volynsk FRs, etc.). Molotov line - lower depth 4-5 km, higher depth 5-16 km, forward field - 5-15 km. Maginot line didn't have a much greater forward field likewise - 4-16 km.
Omeganian wrote:
For these 340 - only a dozen machine guns.

Rearmament means replacing worn-out equipment. If there be any equipment which is still in workable shape, that's not replaced. Not sure what you're trying to prove. Shipping a few dozen new machine guns to 340 MG nests is a reasonable rate of replacement in peacetime.
Omeganian wrote:
Are you sure these weren't the bunkers standing incomplete since 1939?

I think if we're talking about the Kamenets-Podolsky and Karelsky fortified regions, the construction continued in 1940 and even in 1941, IIRC.
Omeganian wrote:
Strange schedule. Did they expect the Germans to attack in September? Or did they expect they won't be able to mobilize until September?

I presume the latter. I think the USSR realistically estimated their abilities to mobilize and re-arm forces, and September 1941 was a good target date. If, as you say, it doesn't matter when and how you mobilize if you're the one who makes the mobilization decision, it is quite natural that the USSR simply thought it could perhaps begin any combat operations in Sep 1941 with a favourable disposition.
Omeganian wrote:
Belomorkanal wasn't that small either. And there is the one Suvorov mentions being dug for the Pinsk flotilla - 127 km. Not meant for very large ships, but still.

BMK and Moscow-Volga required tens of thousands of dead, incidentally. And using prisoners on military construction might not have had a good effect. Don't know why, but Stalinist bureaucracy preferred to direct convict labour to industrial transport projects as opposed to purely military ones.
Omeganian wrote:
Over a hundred thousand pilots trained, with only a few thousand people in the civilian service. How does that make Russia a "modern industrial economy"?

The GVF (civilian air fleet) said they require 33 thousand pilots already during the first Five-Year Plan (i.e. by 1933!). I'm sure the requirements for the GVF only grew.
Omeganian wrote:
What defense?

Which is to be done in case of a sudden enemy attack, "relying on fortified regions". *shrugs* The one discussed, you know.
Omeganian wrote:
Nah, logic.

Logic of the above-discussed events tell me that logic points to the USSR being unprepared and its leadership looking for a more convenient timeframe to adequately prepare its forces for war.
Omeganian wrote:
Like the Soviets planning the Winter War? Where are the plans of that invasion?

There's a directive from 1939 which demands of the Soviet Navy to destroy navies of the Baltics and Finland, and there are documents (now declassified) how Soviet army should prepare provocations to declare a war on Finland. Are you unaware?
Omeganian wrote:
And the unconcentrated reserves can provide the described organized battle order?

Um... of course. The "unconcentrated reserves", i.e. the 2nd echelon, was quite potent as it was in both units and manpower.
Omeganian wrote:
Here are quotes (from bdsa.ru). The ones from after Barbarossa was approved. Sorry if mistakes were made during translation (there are some locations mentioned which I couldn't find on the net as they are spelled).

Uh... see the very beginning of my post.
Omeganian wrote:
By giving time to concentrate for a more effective defense, as well as other types of action. I see no contradiction. After all, there is never too much defense.

So the USSR was making super-defensive war plans? Doesn't chime in well with the "best defense is offensive" motto and "beat the enemy on his own land".
Omeganian wrote:
Both arguments are based on the assumption that the real life operation was identical to the plans, without the need to make significant adjustments... any evidence of that?

You said speed didn't matter in the war in Finland. I countered it with the fact that the USSR planned to win fast. Goalpost shifting much?
Omeganian wrote:
Documents which show examples of such thinking?

I'll post them below.
Omeganian wrote:
Seems to me it was shaken off quite well by December 1940.

By relying on fixed defense :lol: In 1939, 1940 and early 1941 the Military Comission of the SNK composed drafts of evacuation plans. In May 1941, the Soviet leadership felt that the border regions were already threatened enough so that the evacuation plan orders even slipped into military directives:
6. На случай вынужденного отхода разработать, согласно особых указаний, план эвакуации фабрик, заводов, банков и других хозяйственных предприятий, правительственных учреждений, складов, военного и государственного имущества, военнообязанных, средств транспорта и др.
Omeganian wrote:
It should've been abandoned because taking the parade was Stalin's duty. All you are saying is that there would have been no problem doing that.

And no problem doing anything else. The USSR's leadership never had problems with changing or upholding traditions for reasons that are not related to conspirology.
Omeganian wrote:
Unfortunately, gaps are too common to avoid speculation.

History aims to fill them with documents and facts, not to speculate.
Omeganian wrote:
Not for trading, for training its generals.

Why? Weimar was a friendly democracy.
Omeganian wrote:
A gamble, you say? Not unusual for the Komintern.

Almost nobody could predict the evolution of Weimar in the 20s.
Omeganian wrote:
Exactly. Allies of Germany when convenient, allies of the USA when convenient... proves absolutely nothing.

Just like, um... every other power? Poland was also an ally of Germany while convenient with the Pilsudski-Hitler agreement, and it also grabbed a piece of Czechoslovakia with the help of Germany. What does it prove? Nothing. Britain and France gambled with Germany turning East in 1938, what does this prove? Nothing.
Omeganian wrote:
We are not talking about the GDP, we are talking about building a single large skyscraper.

In this case the cost of that skyscraper wouldn't be enough to "get started". End of answer.
Omeganian wrote:
So... what changed that the project was abandoned?

Slow demise of Stalinist architecture.
Omeganian wrote:
Suvorov can still find enough to criticize. You have a problem with the examples he gives - well, details?

I have a problem with speculation instead of facts and documents, misquotes and the like. Legitimate research is only welcome.
Omeganian wrote:
Western indifference to Soviet attacks on other countries, however, is a fact. Without the Germans capturing/destroying half the Soviet industry and conquering territory, neutrality of the West would have been quite acceptable for Stalin.

Western indifference to German attacks on other countries is also a fact. They chose to stick up for Poland, however. Too much expansion.
Omeganian wrote:
And how does all this prove Britain would have had a negative reaction?

See above.
Omeganian wrote:
In close proximity to their own cities?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_radi ... t_research
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Bravo
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Plumbbob
Omeganian wrote:
So what? Was it legal to issue?

Legality doesn't matter; it was immoral. War crimes often are legalized. The key is that Zhukov's order was immoral. In any case, it never came to execution of the order.
Omeganian wrote:
Zhukov was the one with the worst defeats.

That evens out with the greatest victories, duh.
Omeganian wrote:
Then why did he advance? Nothing can change the fact that this is idiocy.

RKKA wasn't a stellar Army in the Civil War too, and most of Tukh's research was done in the post-war era.
Omeganian wrote:
What are the works saying, exactly? Are they giving actual figures? Are the figures valid (mathematics wasn't his strong suite)? He had a lot of demagoguery (and technobabble obsession), but little actual theory.

http://militera.lib.ru/science/tuhachevsky/index.html
In his treatise on air and motor mechanization, Tukh. correctly predicted a lot of stuff. Most notably the jet revolution, one of the most important things in military aviation in general and in strategic bombing as well. He notes that airpower became so advanced that air assaults and bombing campaigns will become military operations of their own, often more important than joint action with ground forces (in 1943-1944 vindicated by the Allied bombing campaign in Germany). And many other wise things.
Omeganian wrote:
So, he went along with completely idiotic ideas (or started them)... And you don't doubt his ability? Besides, we're not talking about the twenties. He wrote the article in 1932, and conversion experiments were conducted even later.

Everyone produces good and bad ideas. It is unfair to select just one bad idea and trump it all over. By that logic, Joseph Stalin would be the master of bad ideas, he had more than a few of them.
Omeganian wrote:
How about the one where he said that in 1935 that Germany was building 9 battleships... at the time when only two were ordered, and it's unclear whether they were battleships or battlecruisers?

The USSR had a habit of Nazi scares. In 1936, the Soviets learned of Hitler's "70000 pilots" order and started trumping the 150000 pilots figure as an answer.
Omeganian wrote:
The problems with Russian terrain are well known.

Didn't seriously impact the speed of German advance.
Omeganian wrote:
What is this obsession of yours with roads and wheels?

Not mine, Rezun's. He said the instructions/textbooks say BTs have to primarily use wheels. That was shown to be wrong (explicitly prohibited!), that's all.
Omeganian wrote:
A disadvantage in mobility, but the armor and armament were similar. With a 100% numerical advantage, I wouldn't hurry to dismiss them.

Being de-concentrated means they'd fail to do a difference, like most of Soviet stuff. KV and T-34s at least could make a difference even in smaller numbers due to quality superiority, but the older models - in a situation of dispersal they were doomed.
Omeganian wrote:
You were the one who started the talk about Suvorov arguing the relative inefficiency of the German tanks - and that's exactly his point. He argues that without mentioning T-26 - any type fitting the description works.

I said Germans built good models as well, and most of their tanks were better than the Soviet most numerous tank (the T-26). Numerous matters, because with dispersal, this tank was the mainstay of the forces.
Omeganian wrote:
The Germans had enough of the older machines for it to deal with. And I believe we are discussing 1939, too.

See above - my point clarified.
Omeganian wrote:
And Pz-I couldn't keep up with infantry on Russian roads. Doesn't tell much about the maximum speed under other conditions.

Once again, we're quibbling about minor details. Technical top speed is irrelevant.
Omeganian wrote:
I ask about actual work done, not paper.

Internal documents about shipments are much more reliable than foreign intelligence. See above.
Omeganian wrote:
Is there evidence of such a false belief?

Of course. The whole concept (and it was quoted many times from the conference records in this very thread, no need to requote) revolves around unmobilized forces meeting the attacker relying on fixed defences and hold him off while the rest mobilize, concentrate and deploy. Clearly not a sound idea.
Omeganian wrote:
So what? In 1941, German tanks had 30mm armor. It was better that in 1939. It was the best they had. But it doesn't mean it was adequate.

Um... but the question wasn't about adequate. The question was whether the Molotov line defences were superior to the Stalin line, not whether they were adequate. They were superior, that's all. Now I understand you're not Rezun, so you might not hold that point as relevant (especially as you agreed that the situation on the Stalin line was critical long before) - but Rezun does make a point out of it.
Omeganian wrote:
Why is that?

Only technical documentation of the relevant nation on exploitation of their own hardware or technical documentation on the exploitation of trophy hardware would be relevant. If you'd list a German tech doc from 1941-1942 after they captured Soviet trophy tanks that would give the characteristics, that would be a good and valid source. Access and ability to test and run the equipment matters. Soviet reports on the characteristics of M1 Abrams aren't the same as those characteristics, and vice-versa.
Omeganian wrote:
Speculation is for filling gaps. With a conspiracy, you often have too much of these.

Speculation is the field of conspiracy theorists. History aims to work with documents, existing evidence and facts. If there are no facts, you can speculate endlessly and the speculation wouldn't be worth much more than any other speculation. The scientific method is to find facts, not invent them.
Omeganian wrote:
Figures for Soviet guns are at the bottom of the table.

The Three's gun (37-mm KwK 35/36 L/45) could utilize Pzgr.40, giving it a huge edge over the Soviet 45-mm. With ordinary munitions, it was slightly worse, sure. As for the moving generals, Rezun simply says:
Quote:
Итак, под прикрытием Сообщения ТАСС военные командиры высших рангов во главе армий, и один даже во главе штаба фронта, тайно перебрасываются к германским границам, бросив на произвол судьбы (и НКВД) ВСЕ внутренние военные округа

That's an obvious wrong. Not only Konev didn't leave, but Siberian, Arkhangelsk, etc. command was still remaining in their places, as far as I remember.
Omeganian wrote:
We saw a witness stating it was neglected. What does it matter that some piece of paper states it shouldn't have been?

Who said the Karelian fortified region was neglected? Why should his claims be considered seriously? Nobody did. Neglecting parts of the Stalin line was more than natural - the line was deeper than a hundred kilometers away from the border, it was older and often obsolete (compared to the Molotov line, which was, as you said, inadequate too, but at least it was more modern and had better fortifications on the average). However, parts which were still relevant - e.g. the Karelian Fortified Region - were upgraded and improved:
Quote:
В августе 1940 г. было сформировано Управление, получившее наименование 22 Укрепленного района, который объединил крепостные пулеметные батальоны.

После советско-финской войны командование Ленинградского военного округа приняло ряд серьезных мер к укреплению в инженерном отношении рубежа и повышению боеготовности частей. Силами частей Укрепленного района, инженерных частей округа, а в начале войны и жителей города, были построены боевые соружения, которыми заполнены промежутки между батальонными узлами и ротными опорными пунктами и значительно усилена противотанковая оборона, особенно на дорожных направлениях. Всего было построено артиллерийских железобетонных сооружений - 15, пулеметных и артиллерийских сооружений деревянно-земляных и сваренных из корабельной брони - 114.

Весной [1941 г.] в части был призван приписной состав, как рядовой, так и командный, и с ним организована усиленная подготовка.

Note that these measures were carried out between the Winter War and the Great Patriotic War. Why would you do that, if you determine the date and place of attack? The only reasonable threat to the USSR at large from the Finnish direction was German troops attacking through Finland with the support of the Finnish army; Finland on its own was hardly capable of executing a grand attack. The Soviet leadership was aptly preparing what they saw as reasonable defenses - the inadequacy of both defenses themselves new and old alike, and also inadequacy of the very concept of relying on a fixed defense line aside - I can't see what's wrong with my point here.
Omeganian wrote:
Well, there is this. Admittedly, it does show that the situation didn't grow bad until much later, at least to the north - since, apparently, it had to be fortified "to free up forces for the main grouping in the south". Makes an impression of numerous revisions to the plans.

It sure does:
Quote:
Осенью 1939 года УРы оказались далеко от границы. Предстояло решить, как использовать их в дальнейшем. Начальник Главного военно-инженерного управления Красной Армии предложил использовать их в качестве «второй укрепленной полосы» и в связи с этим сохранить их оборудование и вооружение. Но поздней осенью 1939 года был отдан приказ о консервации укрепленных районов...

Затем, в феврале 1940 года, было принято решение: УРы на старой границе не консервировать, а содержать в боевой готовности до возведения УРов по новой границе. Весной 1940 года численность кадрового состава войск укреплённых районов была установлена в 75 тысяч человек.

А проверка, произведённая комиссией Генштаба РККА в конце декабря 1940 года, показала, что пулемётные батальоны УРов Западного особого военного округа по установленному штату мирного времени рядовым и младшим начальствующим (то есть сержантским) составом были укомплектованы полностью. Четыре белорусских укрепрайона - Полоцкий, Минский, Мозырский и Слуцкий - имели тогда в сумме 876 долговременных сооружений (в подавляющем большинстве - пулемётных), из них только 145 сооружений Слуцкого УРа - без вооружения.

Так, «Мобилизационный план № 23», составленный в феврале 1941 года Геншабом РККА, предусматривал увеличение количества управлений укреплённых районов (включая Дальний Восток) до 44-х, а численность личного состава развёрнутых по военному времени войск УРов предполагалось довести до 248,4 (по другим данным - 239,6) тысячи человек. Затем, весной 1941 года последовало распоряжение о формировании управлений комендантов укрепрайонов даже для находящихся в консервации - в целях осуществления ими мероприятий, направленных на «использование указанных укрепрайонов в военное время».

And so, in February 1940 the old FRs were deemed to have to be kept operational until new ones were completed. In December 1940 fortified FRs of ZapOVO were fully complect with commanders. That's good caution, if you ask me. And the Spring 1941 order to form commands - even of fortified regions on conservation - to "conduct measures for use of listed fortified regions in wartime" is clearly a pre-war caution as well, and one which presumes a rather unfortunate turn of events for the USSR - if the enemy never reaches the conserved fortifications, that is unnecessary. That all mixes well with the idea of the USSR being uncertain and threatened, even if bombastic in propaganda, and it doesn't mix with the idea of an overconfident USSR.
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Omeganian
PostPosted: 2011-08-18 12:22pm 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2008-03-08 11:38am
Posts: 532
Location: Israel
I have a feeling both sides are starting to lose track.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
In terms of percentage. Not absolute terms, of course, but I hardly think every single bunker was built on the banks of San.


I question the very fact of large bunkers being built in significant numbers, because the reports come from Soviet intelligence, not from internal German documentation. I hope you understand why. If someone's intelligence claims something, only internal documents can confirm it. Needless to say that even in our super-duper advanced age stuff like Yellocake forgeries is enough to start a war. You'd need to convince me with internal documentation, and any historian with a high standard of evidence would behave the same. Higher standards - not "laxer standards".


Well, there is page 170 here (available as a preview). The numbers seem reasonably consistent with the other sources (although the intel seems to have severely underestimated the number of field fortifications). Unfortunately, I do not have the source the book refers to.

Stas Bush wrote:
Especially in the light of a complete contradiction coming from Halder with the "only field defenses" statement.


Let’s see… The Soviet intel says that the Germans built fortifications since they got to Poland, and Halder makes mention of fortifications in the East at the beginning of 1940. Halder says that at a certain date around the end of 1940, a decision was made to only build new concrete fortifications in Eastern Prussia. … and in spring 1941, East Prussia is all concrete, while the rest of the border also has field fortifications… Where’s the contradiction?

Stas Bush wrote:
[
Omeganian wrote:
I'm talking about the fact they praised its depth. They said a defense line should be deep, and away from the border. So... where is their own depth?


Mannerheim line - average distance 20-40 km away from the border, i.e. predpol'ie or forward field was 30 km average. Depth of fortifications - initially planned 2-3 km, later 6-7 km (that was the depth of Summajarvi fortified region which the RKKA broke through). Stalin line - fortification depth 1-2 km (Minsk, Volynsk, Mozyr fortified regions), sometimes 2-5 km. Forward field - 10-15 km average (examples Minsk, Mogilev-Podolsk, Novgorod-Volynsk FRs, etc.). Molotov line - lower depth 4-5 km, higher depth 5-16 km, forward field - 5-15 km. Maginot line didn't have a much greater forward field likewise - 4-16 km.


General Vladimirskiy claims that for at least two of the regions, the distance to border was 1-3 km, sometimes zero.

http://militera.lib.ru/h/vladimirsky/01.html

BTW, is there reliable data about the Stalin line, second building stage (Kamenets-Podolsky), or the Far East fortifications? They would be a more adequate comparison.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Are you sure these weren't the bunkers standing incomplete since 1939?


I think if we're talking about the Kamenets-Podolsky and Karelsky fortified regions, the construction continued in 1940 and even in 1941, IIRC.


Kamenets-Podolsky was retained as a proving ground.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Strange schedule. Did they expect the Germans to attack in September? Or did they expect they won't be able to mobilize until September?

I presume the latter. I think the USSR realistically estimated their abilities to mobilize and re-arm forces, and September 1941 was a good target date. If, as you say, it doesn't matter when and how you mobilize if you're the one who makes the mobilization decision, it is quite natural that the USSR simply thought it could perhaps begin any combat operations in Sep 1941 with a favorable disposition.


And until then?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Belomorkanal wasn't that small either. And there is the one Suvorov mentions being dug for the Pinsk flotilla - 127 km. Not meant for very large ships, but still.

BMK and Moscow-Volga required tens of thousands of dead, incidentally. And using prisoners on military construction might not have had a good effect. Don't know why, but Stalinist bureaucracy preferred to direct convict labour to industrial transport projects as opposed to purely military ones.


I said that the volume of work stated by the NKVD to be necessary for getting the Stalin Line combat ready was quite possible to provide. So, why wasn’t it provided?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Over a hundred thousand pilots trained, with only a few thousand people in the civilian service. How does that make Russia a "modern industrial economy"?

The GVF (civilian air fleet) said they require 33 thousand pilots already during the first Five-Year Plan (i.e. by 1933!). I'm sure the requirements for the GVF only grew.


«Тов. Тухачевский заманчиво нас дразнит, он прислал нам составленный им сверхграндиозный план развития гражданской авиации на Севере (в 1931 году — 151 самолет, в 1932 году —934 самолета (!), в 1933—299) = итого 1384 плюс 2 дирижабля (?). Конечно, такое шибко преувеличенное количество мы и не освоим, да и достать их неоткуда и незачем. Зная, что хотя это и гражданская авиация, но «летает» она под Вами, мы слезно просим Вас хотя бы один самолет для края в непосредственное наше распоряжение дать».

«Comrade Tukhachevsky is teasing us, he sent us his supergrand plan of developing the civilian air fleet in the north (1931-151 plane, 1932-934 planes(!), 1933, 299)= 1384 plus 2 airships. Of course, there is no way we can master such a number of planes, and there is nowhere to get them, nor any need. Aware that, although it’s civilian aircraft, but it “flies” under you, we beg you to give us at least one plane for the region into our direct disposal».

(S. Bergavinov, January 7th 1930 in a letter to Voroshilov)

Suvorov gives the number of all the personnel in the civilian air fleet as 3927, including stewardesses.

In other words, those “plans” you give require some evidence to prove they had anything to do with reality.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Nah, logic.

Logic of the above-discussed events tell me that logic points to the USSR being unprepared and its leadership looking for a more convenient timeframe to adequately prepare its forces for war.


Well, if the enemy attacks first, you don’t exactly get to choose the timeframe.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Like the Soviets planning the Winter War? Where are the plans of that invasion?

There's a directive from 1939 which demands of the Soviet Navy to destroy navies of the Baltics and Finland


And from November 1940, too. And, you know, when at the very first day, an order is given to the fleet to sink all enemy ships including the Red Cross, it probably means some work was done beforehand.

Stas Bush wrote:
and there are documents (now declassified) how Soviet army should prepare provocations to declare a war on Finland. Are you unaware?


Must have missed them. In what way are they better than the May 1941 plan?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
And the unconcentrated reserves can provide the described organized battle order?

Um... of course. The "unconcentrated reserves", i.e. the 2nd echelon, was quite potent as it was in both units and manpower.


They talk about order required from the beginning. Also, if these reserves are capable of providing the things necessary for defense, what’s bad about relying on them?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
By giving time to concentrate for a more effective defense, as well as other types of action. I see no contradiction. After all, there is never too much defense.

So the USSR was making super-defensive war plans? Doesn't chime in well with the "best defense is offensive" motto and "beat the enemy on his own land".


Just because defense is not expected as the main type of action, doesn’t mean it should be a bad defense. In what ways was the German defense under Yelnya lacking?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Both arguments are based on the assumption that the real life operation was identical to the plans, without the need to make significant adjustments... any evidence of that?

You said speed didn't matter in the war in Finland. I countered it with the fact that the USSR planned to win fast. Goalpost shifting much?


No. I’m just saying that the way it did turn out, there wasn’t much speed – so time could be taken to evacuate the equipment. Did the initial war plans include the evacuation?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Seems to me it was shaken off quite well by December 1940.

By relying on fixed defense :lol:


Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Is there evidence of such a false belief?

Of course. The whole concept (and it was quoted many times from the conference records in this very thread, no need to requote) revolves around unmobilized forces meeting the attacker relying on fixed defences and hold him off while the rest mobilize, concentrate and deploy. Clearly not a sound idea.


Zhukov’s report, when talking about offense gives as a standard a 60-70% mobilized defense of an opponent. Which includes all the components needed. Presumably, the Red Army is supposed to do better. In summer 1941, that hardly seems to have been the case. And where is that talk about fixed defenses? Reserves, maneuver and counterattacks seem to be the main tools. Tyulenev states explicitely that “The foundation of the modern defensive operation is artillery, tanks, aircraft.”


Stas Bush wrote:


Let’s see…

You can’t just evacuate a factory. It must be evacuated somewhere. This somewhere must be decided upon, and then the plans must be coordinated with the administration there - In other words, such a plan must be developed at a level above a district. Yet here, the district is to develop the plan alone, no location is specified, nor any words about coordination. Looks like a decoy.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
It should've been abandoned because taking the parade was Stalin's duty. All you are saying is that there would have been no problem doing that.

And no problem doing anything else. The USSR's leadership never had problems with changing or upholding traditions for reasons that are not related to conspirology.


Maybe. And some will say that one fact’s a coincidence, three’s a pattern. In any event, it’s curious how many people tend to stick to criticizing this (quite unimportant) point.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Unfortunately, gaps are too common to avoid speculation.

History aims to fill them with documents and facts, not to speculate.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Speculation is for filling gaps. With a conspiracy, you often have too much of these.


Speculation is the field of conspiracy theorists. History aims to work with documents, existing evidence and facts. If there are no facts, you can speculate endlessly and the speculation wouldn't be worth much more than any other speculation. The scientific method is to find facts, not invent them.


The scientific method is to extrapolate. The theory of evolution, for example, has plenty of gaps which are filled with extrapolation, there is plenty of speculation… hasn’t lost to creationists yet.

BTW, concerning scientific method. Do all the researchers have access to all the wartime archives already? Because, you know, there are still some complaints.



Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Not for trading, for training its generals.

Why? Weimar was a friendly democracy.


For the USSR? That’s a contradiction in terms.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
A gamble, you say? Not unusual for the Komintern.

Almost nobody could predict the evolution of Weimar in the 20s.


Yeah, almost. Perhaps the Soviets, with their intel, believed it more likely than others. (sigh) Of course, that can never go beyond speculation.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
We are not talking about the GDP, we are talking about building a single large skyscraper.

In this case the cost of that skyscraper wouldn't be enough to "get started". End of answer.


Figures, please.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
So... what changed that the project was abandoned?

Slow demise of Stalinist architecture.


And the construction of the MGU campus?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Suvorov can still find enough to criticize. You have a problem with the examples he gives - well, details?

I have a problem with speculation instead of facts and documents, misquotes and the like.


Well, surprise, Suvorov has a problem with the same.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Western indifference to Soviet attacks on other countries, however, is a fact. Without the Germans capturing/destroying half the Soviet industry and conquering territory, neutrality of the West would have been quite acceptable for Stalin.


Western indifference to German attacks on other countries is also a fact. They chose to stick up for Poland, however. Too much expansion.


Well, here we are dealing with the Western countries encouraging Stalin to attack. I don’t think they would have started complaining until he was in France at least.

Also, at what point did they start complaining about his 1945 advancement in Asia? At what point did they actually take action?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
So what? Was it legal to issue?

Legality doesn't matter; it was immoral. War crimes often are legalized. The key is that Zhukov's order was immoral. In any case, it never came to execution of the order.


Maybe. But it seems suspicious that he didn’t consider the possible negative effects. And there is his criticism of Stalin’s original (much milder) orders after the war.

BTW, about being legalized… this is actually one order which couldn’t be, you know.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Zhukov was the one with the worst defeats.

That evens out with the greatest victories, duh.


What victories? Leningrad? :D

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Then why did he advance? Nothing can change the fact that this is idiocy.

RKKA wasn't a stellar Army in the Civil War too, and most of Tukh's research was done in the post-war era.


I look at his works, and I see very little research. It’s all mottoes.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
What are the works saying, exactly? Are they giving actual figures? Are the figures valid (mathematics wasn't his strong suite)? He had a lot of demagoguery (and technobabble obsession), but little actual theory.


http://militera.lib.ru/science/tuhachevsky/index.html

In his treatise on air and motor mechanization, Tukh. correctly predicted a lot of stuff.


I don’t see any signs of these being his ideas. Where are the calculations? Triandafillov, in his book, makes calculations, shows how much force and ammo is needed to conduct a mobile operation, draws conclusions… we see thought. Admittedly, he hardly mentions tanks yet – because, as he states, tanks of the type required for deep operations are yet to be made in adequate quantity. Tukhachevsky doesn’t have that. Merely mottoes and political propaganda.

Stas Bush wrote:
Most notably the jet revolution, one of the most important things in military aviation in general and in strategic bombing as well.


He supported a lot of new ideas. Recoilless guns, remotely controlled tanks, universal artillery systems, aircraft diesels, gyroplanes… Some is bullshit, a lot is ideas which only saw, and are likely to see only limited military use, some too far ahead of the times, some good, but fucked up with in the actual development (9 years’ work on rocket launchers with nothing to show for it). Yeah, some predictions came true, but that happens to astrologists as well. Statistical inevitability, you know. Anyone can promote new ideas; Tukhachevsky, as the head of the General Staff, was the one to select which ideas are ones worth investing in. Fucked up that part royally.

Stas Bush wrote:
He notes that airpower became so advanced that air assaults and bombing campaigns will become military operations of their own, often more important than joint action with ground forces (in 1943-1944 vindicated by the Allied bombing campaign in Germany).


Yes, Douhet’s doctrine. Was nothing new at the time.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
So, he went along with completely idiotic ideas (or started them)... And you don't doubt his ability? Besides, we're not talking about the twenties. He wrote the article in 1932, and conversion experiments were conducted even later.


Everyone produces good and bad ideas. It is unfair to select just one bad idea and trump it all over.


And to select one good idea and trump it all over is fair?

Stas Bush wrote:

Omeganian wrote:
How about the one where he said that in 1935 that Germany was building 9 battleships... at the time when only two were ordered, and it's unclear whether they were battleships or battlecruisers?


The USSR had a habit of Nazi scares.


Then, why is Tukhachevsky the one always praised for warning of the German threat?

Stas Bush wrote:
In 1936, the Soviets learned of Hitler's "70000 pilots" order and started trumping the 150000 pilots figure as an answer.


Mind giving some details about that order? Never heard of it.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
The problems with Russian terrain are well known.

Didn't seriously impact the speed of German advance.


We're currently discussing vehicle speed, not strategic advancement.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
What is this obsession of yours with roads and wheels?

Not mine, Rezun's. He said the instructions/textbooks say BTs have to primarily use wheels. That was shown to be wrong (explicitly prohibited!), that's all.


I don’t remember him saying that in his latest books.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
A disadvantage in mobility, but the armor and armament were similar. With a 100% numerical advantage, I wouldn't hurry to dismiss them.

Being de-concentrated means they'd fail to do a difference, like most of Soviet stuff. KV and T-34s at least could make a difference even in smaller numbers due to quality superiority, but the older models - in a situation of dispersal they were doomed.


We are talking about 1939. What circumstances could demand concentration at the time? It’s not like Hitler could attack the USSR then.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
You were the one who started the talk about Suvorov arguing the relative inefficiency of the German tanks - and that's exactly his point. He argues that without mentioning T-26 - any type fitting the description works.


I said Germans built good models as well, and most of their tanks were better than the Soviet most numerous tank (the T-26).


The tanks they had were Pz 1-4 and two models of Czechoslovakian tanks. Out of these, only Pz 3-4 can be called better than T-26 (or not… well, whatever). But… they weren’t “most” of the German tank forces even in June 1941, not to mention 1939.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
I ask about actual work done, not paper.

Internal documents about shipments are much more reliable than foreign intelligence. See above.


More reliable or not, they don’t tell what we want to know – how much was being actually done.
Stas Bush wrote:


Omeganian wrote:
So what? In 1941, German tanks had 30mm armor. It was better that in 1939. It was the best they had. But it doesn't mean it was adequate.


Um... but the question wasn't about adequate. The question was whether the Molotov line defences were superior to the Stalin line, not whether they were adequate. They were superior, that's all.


Compared to which building stage? Were they superior to the 8 FR’s being built in 1939?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Why is that?

Only technical documentation of the relevant nation on exploitation of their own hardware or technical documentation on the exploitation of trophy hardware would be relevant.


We’re not talking about secret data here.

Stas Bush wrote:

Omeganian wrote:
Figures for Soviet guns are at the bottom of the table.


The Three's gun (37-mm KwK 35/36 L/45) could utilize Pzgr.40, giving it a huge edge over the Soviet 45-mm.


There is only a large penetration advantage at short ranges, somewhat offset by the fact such a small slug doesn’t guarantee much damage even upon penetrating, and the fact the Soviets had no need for much AP ability. Germans didn’t build heavy armor at the time.

Stas Bush wrote:
As for the moving generals, Rezun simply says:
Quote:
Итак, под прикрытием Сообщения ТАСС военные командиры высших рангов во главе армий, и один даже во главе штаба фронта, тайно перебрасываются к германским границам, бросив на произвол судьбы (и НКВД) ВСЕ внутренние военные округа


That's an obvious wrong. Not only Konev didn't leave, but Siberian, Arkhangelsk, etc. command was still remaining in their places, as far as I remember.


You quote Suvorov saying the generals were being relocated, and your argument is… that the relocation was still incomplete?

Relocating the commanders can be done very quickly, so this is done at a later stage. But the process was already ongoing. The forces were taken away. In Konev’s case, for example, the army was being relocated since the beginning of June, and he was officially its commander since May. The only relevant argument here can be a proof that Konev wasn't supposed to leave at all.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
We saw a witness stating it was neglected. What does it matter that some piece of paper states it shouldn't have been?


Who said the Karelian fortified region was neglected? Why should his claims be considered seriously? Nobody did. Neglecting parts of the Stalin line was more than natural - the line was deeper than a hundred kilometers away from the border, it was older and often obsolete (compared to the Molotov line, which was, as you said, inadequate too, but at least it was more modern and had better fortifications on the average). However, parts which were still relevant - e.g. the Karelian Fortified Region - were upgraded and improved:
Quote:
В августе 1940 г. было сформировано Управление, получившее наименование 22 Укрепленного района, который объединил крепостные пулеметные батальоны.

После советско-финской войны командование Ленинградского военного округа приняло ряд серьезных мер к укреплению в инженерном отношении рубежа и повышению боеготовности частей. Силами частей Укрепленного района, инженерных частей округа, а в начале войны и жителей города, были построены боевые соружения, которыми заполнены промежутки между батальонными узлами и ротными опорными пунктами и значительно усилена противотанковая оборона, особенно на дорожных направлениях. Всего было построено артиллерийских железобетонных сооружений - 15, пулеметных и артиллерийских сооружений деревянно-земляных и сваренных из корабельной брони - 114.

Весной [1941 г.] в части был призван приписной состав, как рядовой, так и командный, и с ним организована усиленная подготовка.

Note that these measures were carried out between the Winter War and the Great Patriotic War. Why would you do that, if you determine the date and place of attack?


Because it’s a secondary direction, where large scale Soviet offense wasn’t a guarantee (or was scheduled for a different time). Although in summer 1941, the Soviets did attack first in that area, you know.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Well, there is this. Admittedly, it does show that the situation didn't grow bad until much later, at least to the north - since, apparently, it had to be fortified "to free up forces for the main grouping in the south". Makes an impression of numerous revisions to the plans.


It sure does:
Quote:
Осенью 1939 года УРы оказались далеко от границы. Предстояло решить, как использовать их в дальнейшем. Начальник Главного военно-инженерного управления Красной Армии предложил использовать их в качестве «второй укрепленной полосы» и в связи с этим сохранить их оборудование и вооружение. Но поздней осенью 1939 года был отдан приказ о консервации укрепленных районов...

Затем, в феврале 1940 года, было принято решение: УРы на старой границе не консервировать, а содержать в боевой готовности до возведения УРов по новой границе. Весной 1940 года численность кадрового состава войск укреплённых районов была установлена в 75 тысяч человек.

А проверка, произведённая комиссией Генштаба РККА в конце декабря 1940 года, показала, что пулемётные батальоны УРов Западного особого военного округа по установленному штату мирного времени рядовым и младшим начальствующим (то есть сержантским) составом были укомплектованы полностью. Четыре белорусских укрепрайона - Полоцкий, Минский, Мозырский и Слуцкий - имели тогда в сумме 876 долговременных сооружений (в подавляющем большинстве - пулемётных), из них только 145 сооружений Слуцкого УРа - без вооружения.

Так, «Мобилизационный план № 23», составленный в феврале 1941 года Геншабом РККА, предусматривал увеличение количества управлений укреплённых районов (включая Дальний Восток) до 44-х, а численность личного состава развёрнутых по военному времени войск УРов предполагалось довести до 248,4 (по другим данным - 239,6) тысячи человек. Затем, весной 1941 года последовало распоряжение о формировании управлений комендантов укрепрайонов даже для находящихся в консервации - в целях осуществления ими мероприятий, направленных на «использование указанных укрепрайонов в военное время».

And so, in February 1940 the old FRs were deemed to have to be kept operational until new ones were completed. In December 1940 fortified FRs of ZapOVO were fully complect with commanders. That's good caution, if you ask me. And the Spring 1941 order to form commands - even of fortified regions on conservation - to "conduct measures for use of listed fortified regions in wartime" is clearly a pre-war caution as well, and one which presumes a rather unfortunate turn of events for the USSR - if the enemy never reaches the conserved fortifications, that is unnecessary. That all mixes well with the idea of the USSR being uncertain and threatened, even if bombastic in propaganda, and it doesn't mix with the idea of an overconfident USSR.


Or it’s a result of the cadre shifts.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-08-18 09:17pm 

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Omeganian
PostPosted: 2011-08-18 11:33pm 

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Joined: 2008-03-08 11:38am
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Stas Bush
PostPosted: 2012-08-27 10:48am 

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Joined: 2003-02-26 12:39pm
Posts: 17449
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Omeganian wrote:
Well, there is page 170 here (available as a preview). The numbers seem reasonably consistent with the other sources (although the intel seems to have severely underestimated the number of field fortifications). Unfortunately, I do not have the source the book refers to.

Could you quote, since Amazon isn't really keen on showing me the contents.
Omeganian wrote:
Let’s see… The Soviet intel says that the Germans built fortifications since they got to Poland, and Halder makes mention of fortifications in the East at the beginning of 1940. Halder says that at a certain date around the end of 1940, a decision was made to only build new concrete fortifications in Eastern Prussia. … and in spring 1941, East Prussia is all concrete, while the rest of the border also has field fortifications… Where’s the contradiction?

Only light fortifications or field fortifications are mentioned by Halder at the end of 1940. None of which are indicating a heavy defensive effort. On the other hand, Halder himself notes in his diary on the 5th of May:
Halter KTB wrote:
Colonel Krebs returned from Moscow where he was acting in Kestring's position. He was courted with great consideration. Russia will do everything to avoid war. We can expect any concessions except for territorial claims.
The Russian officer corps is extremely bad (makes a pitiful impression), much worse than in 1933. Russia will need 20 years to restore the level of their officer cadre [the impression of Krebs]. Re-armament is underway. New fighter. New long-range bomber. However, flight training and capabilities are lacking. Long-range bombers seem to be concentrated along the Western border. Train lines with materials for construction of fortifications are being sent to the border. Other than that no large concentrations of forces [during the railway trip] were noticed.

Omeganian wrote:
Stas Bush wrote:
Mannerheim line - average distance 20-40 km away from the border, i.e. predpol'ie or forward field was 30 km average. Depth of fortifications - initially planned 2-3 km, later 6-7 km (that was the depth of Summajarvi fortified region which the RKKA broke through). Stalin line - fortification depth 1-2 km (Minsk, Volynsk, Mozyr fortified regions), sometimes 2-5 km. Forward field - 10-15 km average (examples Minsk, Mogilev-Podolsk, Novgorod-Volynsk FRs, etc.). Molotov line - lower depth 4-5 km, higher depth 5-16 km, forward field - 5-15 km. Maginot line didn't have a much greater forward field likewise - 4-16 km.

General Vladimirskiy claims that for at least two of the regions, the distance to border was 1-3 km, sometimes zero.

In some cases (e.g. river bank, favorable landscape features, etc.) the distance can indeed be very small - considering the circumstances. The Vladimir-Volynskiy UR certainly was one of the lower-depth ones. Reports mention the UR being 5-6 km deep which is well within the lower limits specified. Distance to the border, however, is not the entire depth of the UR. I guess that's where the confusion comes from. For old FRs (1922-1932), the entire line of defense depth was often limited to 1-3 km.
Omeganian wrote:
BTW, is there reliable data about the Stalin line, second building stage (Kamenets-Podolsky), or the Far East fortifications? They would be a more adequate comparison.

Omeganian wrote:
Compared to which building stage? Were they superior to the 8 FR’s being built in 1939?

Of course there is. 1938's Kamenets-Podolsky UR, for example, 3-5 km deep. Sebezhsky UR - 2-5 km. Slutsky UR - 3-5 km. Shepetovsky UR - 4-5 km. Starokonstantinovsky UR - 5 km. Ostropolsky 3-5 km. Izyaslavsky UR - 2-5 km. Please refer to this table. As for the Far East, Grodekovsky and Ust-Sungariysky UR seem to have a depth of 1-3 km both. By the way, the data on the new fortifications is also present in the table. You're very much welcome.
Omeganian wrote:
Kamenets-Podolsky was retained as a proving ground.

Makes sense. It is more or less easy to man with a low number of fortifications and a short (well, more or less short) 60 km front.
Omeganian wrote:
And until then?

From the data that we have on hand it seems the USSR was busy with rearmament and construction of fortifications.
Omeganian wrote:
I said that the volume of work stated by the NKVD to be necessary for getting the Stalin Line combat ready was quite possible to provide. So, why wasn’t it provided?

I mentioned that using convict labour for military construction was less acceptable than using convict labour for infrastructure projects.
Omeganian wrote:
«Comrade Tukhachevsky is teasing us, he sent us his supergrand plan of developing the civilian air fleet in the north (1931-151 plane, 1932-934 planes(!), 1933, 299)= 1384 plus 2 airships. Of course, there is no way we can master such a number of planes, and there is nowhere to get them, nor any need. Aware that, although it’s civilian aircraft, but it “flies” under you, we beg you to give us at least one plane for the region into our direct disposal».
(S. Bergavinov, January 7th 1930 in a letter to Voroshilov)

In the North? I guess it hardly makes sense to expect such a gigantic number of GVF planes operating in the North.
Omeganian wrote:
Suvorov gives the number of all the personnel in the civilian air fleet as 3927, including stewardesses.

Seems bullshit to me given the number of GVF airplanes (2575). Maybe that's just the pilots and stewardesses? Oh, okay, found it. That's just the "летно-подъемный состав", in other words just the permanent crew members. Which means that all the technicians and engineers, who may also act as test pilots, and all the airfield personnel servicing the planes, is a lot more massive. The total GVF staff was 42685 people, of them 21371 working in airplane operation and maintenance. I suppose my point's well proven - those who finished education but weren't good enough to be part of the permanent crew went on to fill secondary working positions in the GVF system. Which is quite normal. The GVF schools also continued to train pilots to replenish the cadres, since for an 40 000 men strong organization you'd have a certain turnover each year.
Omeganian wrote:
Well, if the enemy attacks first, you don’t exactly get to choose the timeframe.

Exactly. However, isn't that actually what happened?
Omeganian wrote:
And from November 1940, too. And, you know, when at the very first day, an order is given to the fleet to sink all enemy ships including the Red Cross, it probably means some work was done beforehand.

So you admit that there are no directives that would indicate something like that for 1941 and you still think there's... something? *wondering*
Omeganian wrote:
Must have missed them. In what way are they better than the May 1941 plan?

On the 28th of November the USSR denounced the non-agression pact with Finland. On the 29th it was already issuing orders to destroy the Finnish forces. On the 30th it attacked. However, there's more than that. On the 1st of October, for example, the Karelian NKVD started mandatory Finnish courses for their counter-intelligence forces. While not a clear sign of war, it is a sign of severe tensions. It is certain that the possibility of attack formed slowly during October. During November that possibility turned into strong resolve. The documents are all there.
Omeganian wrote:
They talk about order required from the beginning. Also, if these reserves are capable of providing the things necessary for defense, what’s bad about relying on them?

If they are unconcentrated, it is rather hard to rely on them.
Omeganian wrote:
Just because defense is not expected as the main type of action, doesn’t mean it should be a bad defense. In what ways was the German defense under Yelnya lacking?

It wasn't lacking per se, however, that was not deep defence which relied on fixed long-term fortifications. That was field defence, and one which was not pre-planned but was forced on the Germans by the situation - the failure of their attack.
Omeganian wrote:
Zhukov’s report, when talking about offense gives as a standard a 60-70% mobilized defense of an opponent. Which includes all the components needed. Presumably, the Red Army is supposed to do better. In summer 1941, that hardly seems to have been the case. And where is that talk about fixed defenses? Reserves, maneuver and counterattacks seem to be the main tools. Tyulenev states explicitely that “The foundation of the modern defensive operation is artillery, tanks, aircraft.”

All of that was present, but concentration and manning of FRs was certainly a weak point. The line directly above the one you quote says "Win time to concentrate forces" :lol: However, the outdated stuff is pouring out from every sentence of that report. For example "In this case [defense planning in peacetime] when planning a defensive operation organizing the relocation or retreat to a pre-determined defensive line is not necessary". That same report by Tyulenev. What a load of crap.
Stas Bush wrote:

Omeganian wrote:
Let’s see… You can’t just evacuate a factory. It must be evacuated somewhere. This somewhere must be decided upon, and then the plans must be coordinated with the administration there - In other words, such a plan must be developed at a level above a district. Yet here, the district is to develop the plan alone, no location is specified, nor any words about coordination. Looks like a decoy.

It says "according to special instructions" which are the key element given at above district level. The fact is that the Military Comission of the SNK composed drafts of evacuation plans at a national level. So the drafts were there. Moreover, after events of December 1940 the plan for creation of "reserve production plants" was put in action and more than 2900 so-called "twin plants" were created in the East far away from from the border regions. Your explanation?
Omeganian wrote:
Maybe. And some will say that one fact’s a coincidence, three’s a pattern. In any event, it’s curious how many people tend to stick to criticizing this (quite unimportant) point.

When your entire theory is based on tangential points and baseless extrapolations with garbage use of numbers, I'd say every bit of criticism is warranted.
Omeganian wrote:
The scientific method is to extrapolate. The theory of evolution, for example, has plenty of gaps which are filled with extrapolation, there is plenty of speculation… hasn’t lost to creationists yet.

The theory of evolution is falsifiable.
Omeganian wrote:
BTW, concerning scientific method. Do all the researchers have access to all the wartime archives already?

Certainly not all, but there's plenty of material to work with (see above) which suggests that if there ain't a massive of documents related to an event, it is quite likely that there won't be one.
Omeganian wrote:
For the USSR? That’s a contradiction in terms.

Hardly. Both were pariah states. Weimar had relations with the Union way before the USA re-established them.
Omeganian wrote:
Yeah, almost. Perhaps the Soviets, with their intel, believed it more likely than others. (sigh) Of course, that can never go beyond speculation.

The fact that Weimar turned into a fascist state puzzled even the Soviet theorists. Fascism was not really predicted by Marxism (unless one counts rare insights from unorthodox socialists, say, like Iron Heel). This led to Soviet theorists trying to trying to explain how this (and not the long-awaited world revolution) came about.
Omeganian wrote:
Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
We are not talking about the GDP, we are talking about building a single large skyscraper.

In this case the cost of that skyscraper wouldn't be enough to "get started". End of answer.

Figures, please.

The construction of Palace of the Soviets was expected to cost 25 million rubles yearly. The Soviet GDP ca. 1937 was 136 billion rubles, in 1941 around 219 billion rubles. You can do the dividing yourself. For comparison, the entire 5-year construction of the TSIK house was 30 million rubles.
Omeganian wrote:
And the construction of the MGU campus?

What of it? There was also another building in Zaryadie which was cancelled together with Palace of the Soviets. I guess there was some dastardly conspiracy there as well.
Omeganian wrote:
Also, at what point did they start complaining about his 1945 advancement in Asia? At what point did they actually take action?

At no point of course, since there was a prior agreement which explicitly demanded the USSR attack the Japanese Empire. Which prior common agreement with the USSR any of the Western powers made? Oh right there was one about defending Czechoslovakia, but France and Britain shat on it.
Omeganian wrote:
Maybe. But it seems suspicious that he didn’t consider the possible negative effects. And there is his criticism of Stalin’s original (much milder) orders after the war. BTW, about being legalized… this is actually one order which couldn’t be, you know.

That's wrong. Such measures have been legalized beforehand during the Civil War. As extreme-situation circumstances, of course, but nonetheless.
Omeganian wrote:
What victories? Leningrad? :D

Berlin. And Leningrad, which didn't fell, also counts.
Omeganian wrote:
I look at his works, and I see very little research. It’s all mottoes.

Even in the December 1940 conference the generals were constantly saying "how great Stalin teaches us" instead of actually basing their points on facts. :lol: You can't be much worse than that.
Omeganian wrote:
I don’t see any signs of these being his ideas. Where are the calculations? Triandafillov, in his book, makes calculations, shows how much force and ammo is needed to conduct a mobile operation, draws conclusions… we see thought. Admittedly, he hardly mentions tanks yet – because, as he states, tanks of the type required for deep operations are yet to be made in adequate quantity. Tukhachevsky doesn’t have that. Merely mottoes and political propaganda.

Not really. The correct evaluation of extreme importance of strategic bombing, for example, is given by T. in that very work. He also correctly mentions that more durable planes will be required to win in aerial battles and down enemy bombers. That all he mentions before 1938. Or his paragraph about modern ships being unprepared for aerial assault. This proved a real insight further along, in the 40s. I think "New problems of war" is quite prophetic in some aspects. Though not in all statements of course.
Omeganian wrote:
He supported a lot of new ideas. Recoilless guns, remotely controlled tanks, universal artillery systems, aircraft diesels, gyroplanes…

Remotely controlled tanks, sure. As for gyroplanes - they get only a short mention in his works as potentially progressive technologies. The bomber importance takes a whole paragraph. Not much about rockets there either, not in the treatise above at least.
Omeganian wrote:
Yes, Douhet’s doctrine. Was nothing new at the time.

Of course it was new. Douhet's doctrine was well ahead of the strategic planning in the early 30s.
Omeganian wrote:
Then, why is Tukhachevsky the one always praised for warning of the German threat?

Unsure, not that I know anything about it.
Omeganian wrote:
Mind giving some details about that order? Never heard of it.

Quote:
Из доклада помощника японского военного атташе в Москве капитана Коотани в декабре 1937 года: «...Наибольшего нашего внимания требует та работа по популяризации и обучению авиации, которая проводится Осоавиахимом. На съезде Советов в ноябре прошлого года начальник штаба ВВС Хринин заявил: «Германия заявляет, что имеет 70 тысяч летчиков. Если так, то мы должны иметь 100 тысяч». Это было встречено бурными аплодисментами, и на следующий день со стороны рабочих одного ленинградского завода последовал призыв: «100 тысяч мало, подготовим 150 тысяч человек». Это перешло на практические рельсы, и в последнее время Россия готовит 150 тысяч летчиков.

Oh, but there's more. Now from Britain:
Quote:
Will he also go into the whole question of training pilots to see whether it is not possible to turn out a greater number of pilots? We have had Herr Hitler's statement that he has 70,000 pilots and the statement of Signor Mussolini that he has from 20,000 to 30,000 pilots, and I do not feel that we are training sufficient pilots in this country. There are in the towns many young men who ride motor-cycles and so on, and I believe they would be only too pleased to be trained to fly if they had the chance.

Commons debates on 25 May 1938
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debate/?i ... 25a.1327.3
Omeganian wrote:
We're currently discussing vehicle speed, not strategic advancement.

The speed of vehicle is not important - the speed of advance is limited by the speed of the slowest moving combat element.
Omeganian wrote:
I don’t remember him saying that in his latest books.

I don't remember any latest books from Rezun. We're in 2012.
Omeganian wrote:
We are talking about 1939. What circumstances could demand concentration at the time? It’s not like Hitler could attack the USSR then.

I am talking about the fact that positioning of forces means more than their equipment at times. Quite often so.
Omeganian wrote:
The tanks they had were Pz 1-4 and two models of Czechoslovakian tanks. Out of these, only Pz 3-4 can be called better than T-26 (or not… well, whatever). But… they weren’t “most” of the German tank forces even in June 1941, not to mention 1939.

Pz. Kpfw III and IV were superior to most of the Soviet park, not just T-26. And sure, they weren't most of the German park.
Omeganian wrote:
More reliable or not, they don’t tell what we want to know – how much was being actually done.

They actually do, but if you don't like what you read, I guess that's not my problem.
Omeganian wrote:
We’re not talking about secret data here.

Only the relevant instruction on exploitation from the nation which utilizes the hardware can be considered valid. That's quite easy to understand. Especially with military hardware.
Omeganian wrote:
You quote Suvorov saying the generals were being relocated, and your argument is… that the relocation was still incomplete?

No, the fact that the general specifically mentioned (the one which was "in charge of the Front HQ") wasn't in fact relocated to the German border. Wasn't abandoning the internal districts. Wasn't moved. At all. The statement is directly contradicting this - it says all districts were abandoned. :lol: What a load of stupid crap. Unless you can't really read Russian, that is, in which case I could understand why you don't understand the problem.
Omeganian wrote:
Because it’s a secondary direction, where large scale Soviet offense wasn’t a guarantee (or was scheduled for a different time). Although in summer 1941, the Soviets did attack first in that area, you know.

Your own point is very weak - the admission that the USSR conducted an offensive there undermines it even further. It means that offensive is a matter of abilities.
Omeganian wrote:
Stas Bush wrote:
And so, in February 1940 the old FRs were deemed to have to be kept operational until new ones were completed. In December 1940 fortified FRs of ZapOVO were fully complect with commanders. That's good caution, if you ask me. And the Spring 1941 order to form commands - even of fortified regions on conservation - to "conduct measures for use of listed fortified regions in wartime" is clearly a pre-war caution as well, and one which presumes a rather unfortunate turn of events for the USSR - if the enemy never reaches the conserved fortifications, that is unnecessary. That all mixes well with the idea of the USSR being uncertain and threatened, even if bombastic in propaganda, and it doesn't mix with the idea of an overconfident USSR.

Or it’s a result of the cadre shifts.

Perhaps. But even cadre shifts (in addition to what's mentioned above) also indicate uncertainty. Not a dead-on certainity about an attack plan which has been decided upon like half a year before and carried out exactly as planned, you know. This all fits the idea of a nation which was re-arming, and being able defend or attack as war circumstances might demand at a later stage.
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Omeganian
PostPosted: 2012-08-28 09:38am 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2008-03-08 11:38am
Posts: 532
Location: Israel
Interesting... the day you posted this, I just reread one of Suvorov's books.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Well, there is page 170 here (available as a preview). The numbers seem reasonably consistent with the other sources (although the intel seems to have severely underestimated the number of field fortifications). Unfortunately, I do not have the source the book refers to.

Could you quote, since Amazon isn't really keen on showing me the contents.


Doesn't show as available on every try. Interesting.

Image

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Train lines with materials for construction of fortifications are being sent to the border. Other than that no large concentrations of forces [during the railway trip] were noticed.

The Soviets saw that on the German side "Train lines with materials for construction of fortifications are being sent to the border" as well. What does it prove (except for the Soviets hiding their military concentration in the area from the Germans)?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
General Vladimirskiy claims that for at least two of the regions, the distance to border was 1-3 km, sometimes zero.

In some cases (e.g. river bank, favorable landscape features, etc.) the distance can indeed be very small - considering the circumstances. The Vladimir-Volynskiy UR certainly was one of the lower-depth ones. Reports mention the UR being 5-6 km deep which is well within the lower limits specified. Distance to the border, however, is not the entire depth of the UR. I guess that's where the confusion comes from.


What are the distance figures for the older FR's, BTW?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
BTW, is there reliable data about the Stalin line, second building stage (Kamenets-Podolsky), or the Far East fortifications? They would be a more adequate comparison.


Omeganian wrote:
Compared to which building stage? Were they superior to the 8 FR’s being built in 1939?


Of course there is. 1938's Kamenets-Podolsky UR, for example, 3-5 km deep. Sebezhsky UR - 2-5 km. Slutsky UR - 3-5 km. Shepetovsky UR - 4-5 km. Starokonstantinovsky UR - 5 km. Ostropolsky 3-5 km. Izyaslavsky UR - 2-5 km. Please refer to this table. As for the Far East, Grodekovsky and Ust-Sungariysky UR seem to have a depth of 1-3 km both. By the way, the data on the new fortifications is also present in the table. You're very much welcome.


And fortification types? Wall thickness, that is.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
And until then?

From the data that we have on hand it seems the USSR was busy with rearmament and construction of fortifications.


From the memoirs, we don't see that taken seriously. If you need to force the locks open due to the keys being lost, it is difficult to believe someone cared to put in new machineguns.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
I said that the volume of work stated by the NKVD to be necessary for getting the Stalin Line combat ready was quite possible to provide. So, why wasn’t it provided?

I mentioned that using convict labour for military construction was less acceptable than using convict labour for infrastructure projects.


According to Suvorov, in 1941 Stalin was already sending prisoners into the army. Plenty of them were working near the border on bridges and roads. What does it matter if a few will work digging holes for new bunkers? Germans trusted Jews with that.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
«Comrade Tukhachevsky is teasing us, he sent us his supergrand plan of developing the civilian air fleet in the north (1931-151 plane, 1932-934 planes(!), 1933, 299)= 1384 plus 2 airships. Of course, there is no way we can master such a number of planes, and there is nowhere to get them, nor any need. Aware that, although it’s civilian aircraft, but it “flies” under you, we beg you to give us at least one plane for the region into our direct disposal».
(S. Bergavinov, January 7th 1930 in a letter to Voroshilov)

In the North? I guess it hardly makes sense to expect such a gigantic number of GVF planes operating in the North.


My point exactly.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Suvorov gives the number of all the personnel in the civilian air fleet as 3927, including stewardesses.

Seems bullshit to me given the number of GVF airplanes (2575). Maybe that's just the pilots and stewardesses? Oh, okay, found it. That's just the "летно-подъемный состав", in other words just the permanent crew members. Which means that all the technicians and engineers, who may also act as test pilots, and all the airfield personnel servicing the planes, is a lot more massive. The total GVF staff was 42685 people, of them 21371 working in airplane operation and maintenance. I suppose my point's well proven - those who finished education but weren't good enough to be part of the permanent crew went on to fill secondary working positions in the GVF system. Which is quite normal. The GVF schools also continued to train pilots to replenish the cadres, since for an 40 000 men strong organization you'd have a certain turnover each year.


Now, please calculate how long you need to use up 150 000 pilots (after all, other aircraft personnel was being trained as well).

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Must have missed them. In what way are they better than the May 1941 plan?

On the 28th of November the USSR denounced the non-agression pact with Finland. On the 29th it was already issuing orders to destroy the Finnish forces. On the 30th it attacked. However, there's more than that. On the 1st of October, for example, the Karelian NKVD started mandatory Finnish courses for their counter-intelligence forces. While not a clear sign of war, it is a sign of severe tensions. It is certain that the possibility of attack formed slowly during October. During November that possibility turned into strong resolve.


I believe we already discussed the fact that in 1941, the Soviets were printing Russian/German phrasebooks for regular troopers since the end of May (Suvorov also mentions the paratrooper commanders tended to have German aides and learn the language from them). So, the tension was there.

Stas Bush wrote:
The documents are all there.


The only difference I see is the lack of signatures. For all we know, Stalin could have simply ordered to carry it out without a signature. Or there could have been several plans, with that particular one being rejected... doesn't mean the one accepted was different in principle.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
They talk about order required from the beginning. Also, if these reserves are capable of providing the things necessary for defense, what’s bad about relying on them?

If they are unconcentrated, it is rather hard to rely on them.


Who said they Soviets expected them to be unconcentrated in such a case?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Just because defense is not expected as the main type of action, doesn’t mean it should be a bad defense. In what ways was the German defense under Yelnya lacking?

It wasn't lacking per se, however, that was not deep defence which relied on fixed long-term fortifications. That was field defence, and one which was not pre-planned but was forced on the Germans by the situation - the failure of their attack.


Meaning the Soviets were developing contingencies for such an occasion in advance.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Zhukov’s report, when talking about offense gives as a standard a 60-70% mobilized defense of an opponent. Which includes all the components needed. Presumably, the Red Army is supposed to do better. In summer 1941, that hardly seems to have been the case. And where is that talk about fixed defenses? Reserves, maneuver and counterattacks seem to be the main tools. Tyulenev states explicitely that “The foundation of the modern defensive operation is artillery, tanks, aircraft.”

All of that was present, but concentration and manning of FRs was certainly a weak point. The line directly above the one you quote says "Win time to concentrate forces" :lol:


Win time to concentrate forces for an attack on the main direction. The forces for defense are mostly already there.

Stas Bush wrote:
However, the outdated stuff is pouring out from every sentence of that report. For example "In this case [defense planning in peacetime] when planning a defensive operation organizing the relocation or retreat to a pre-determined defensive line is not necessary". That same report by Tyulenev. What a load of crap.


He seems to state that a defense prepared in peace time doesn't need to take into account the parts of gathering under enemy fire. Not sure how much crap it is (it depends on circumstances). Of course, considering there is "no scientifically based theory of defense" and it is of secondary importance, certain shortcomings can be expected.

Stas Bush wrote:
In 1939, 1940 and early 1941 the Military Comission of the SNK composed drafts of evacuation plans. In May 1941, the Soviet leadership felt that the border regions were already threatened enough so that the evacuation plan orders even slipped into military directives:
Quote:

Omeganian wrote:
Let’s see… You can’t just evacuate a factory. It must be evacuated somewhere. This somewhere must be decided upon, and then the plans must be coordinated with the administration there - In other words, such a plan must be developed at a level above a district. Yet here, the district is to develop the plan alone, no location is specified, nor any words about coordination. Looks like a decoy.

It says "according to special instructions" which are the key element given at above district level.


No matter how many instructions there are, if there is anything left for them to develop, they need to coordinate with the other side. And what were these "special instructions"?

Also, the June directives contain no mention of evacuating factories... and even in May, it never went beyond developing plans (where are the actual preparations? No order for that. Were they to start preparing under enemy fire?).

Stas Bush wrote:
The fact is that the Military Comission of the SNK composed drafts of evacuation plans at a national level. So the drafts were there. Moreover, after events of December 1940 the plan for creation of "reserve production plants" was put in action and more than 2900 so-called "twin plants" were created in the East far away from from the border regions. Your explanation?


Details, please.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Maybe. And some will say that one fact’s a coincidence, three’s a pattern. In any event, it’s curious how many people tend to stick to criticizing this (quite unimportant) point.

When your entire theory is based on tangential points and baseless extrapolations with garbage use of numbers, I'd say every bit of criticism is warranted.


To the point of using fake memoirs to disprove it?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
The scientific method is to extrapolate. The theory of evolution, for example, has plenty of gaps which are filled with extrapolation, there is plenty of speculation… hasn’t lost to creationists yet.

The theory of evolution is falsifiable.


I am afraid I don't understand this argument. Mind elaborating?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
BTW, concerning scientific method. Do all the researchers have access to all the wartime archives already?

Certainly not all, but there's plenty of material to work with (see above) which suggests that if there ain't a massive of documents related to an event, it is quite likely that there won't be one.


I am asking; do all the historians have access to the same documents, or are the results still non-repeatable?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Figures, please.

The construction of Palace of the Soviets was expected to cost 25 million rubles yearly. The Soviet GDP ca. 1937 was 136 billion rubles, in 1941 around 219 billion rubles. You can do the dividing yourself. For comparison, the entire 5-year construction of the TSIK house was 30 million rubles.


Figures for after the war GDP and cost estimates, please. And are you mixing up millions and billions? Because hesitating to spend less than a thousandth of GDP doesn't sound like Stalin.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
And the construction of the MGU campus?

What of it? There was also another building in Zaryadie which was cancelled together with Palace of the Soviets. I guess there was some dastardly conspiracy there as well.


Where does Suvorov state there is something sinister in simply stopping the building? No, cutting down what's there for the industry needs is quite natural. Suvorov addresses the fact that after the war, Stalin several times attempted to restart it, and abandoned it each time.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Also, at what point did they start complaining about his 1945 advancement in Asia? At what point did they actually take action?

At no point of course, since there was a prior agreement which explicitly demanded the USSR attack the Japanese Empire. Which prior common agreement with the USSR any of the Western powers made? Oh right there was one about defending Czechoslovakia, but France and Britain shat on it.


Precisely. Pieces of paper change nothing - either way. The only question is; was it in the interests of the West that Stalin attack Hitler? Suvorov says they were already begging and threatening him to. You have sources claiming otherwise? Please present them.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Maybe. But it seems suspicious that he didn’t consider the possible negative effects. And there is his criticism of Stalin’s original (much milder) orders after the war. BTW, about being legalized… this is actually one order which couldn’t be, you know.

That's wrong. Such measures have been legalized beforehand during the Civil War. As extreme-situation circumstances, of course, but nonetheless.


It cannot be legalized because a commander of the Leningrad District doesn't have the authority to shoot people in Moscow or Ural.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
What victories? Leningrad? :D

Berlin. And Leningrad, which didn't fell, also counts.


Well, there is plenty of arguing about whether it was necessary to assault Berlin. As for Leningrad, please remember that:

1) The city was extremely well fortified -well enough that Stalin kept half of the core Politburo members there. Meaning he didn't believe there was a danger of it falling.

2) There were enough forces and armaments that they were being sent away to other fronts.

3) A week before Zhukov arrived, Hitler gave an order to cut Leningrad off instead of assaulting it. Approximately a million dead people prove the order was carried out with hardly a glitch.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
I look at his works, and I see very little research. It’s all mottoes.

Even in the December 1940 conference the generals were constantly saying "how great Stalin teaches us" instead of actually basing their points on facts. :lol: You can't be much worse than that.


In terms of percentage, T. is much worse (and these selected works are full of purely political articles).

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
I don’t see any signs of these being his ideas. Where are the calculations? Triandafillov, in his book, makes calculations, shows how much force and ammo is needed to conduct a mobile operation, draws conclusions… we see thought. Admittedly, he hardly mentions tanks yet – because, as he states, tanks of the type required for deep operations are yet to be made in adequate quantity. Tukhachevsky doesn’t have that. Merely mottoes and political propaganda.

Not really. The correct evaluation of extreme importance of strategic bombing, for example, is given by T. in that very work. He also correctly mentions that more durable planes will be required to win in aerial battles and down enemy bombers. That all he mentions before 1938. Or his paragraph about modern ships being unprepared for aerial assault. This proved a real insight further along, in the 40s. I think "New problems of war" is quite prophetic in some aspects. Though not in all statements of course.


I would say that the article is full of both good ideas and bullshit, and there is still no evidence of any ideas being his (He does acknowledge familiarity with Triandafillov's works, after all - I am yet to see evidence of him doing his own research).

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
He supported a lot of new ideas. Recoilless guns, remotely controlled tanks, universal artillery systems, aircraft diesels, gyroplanes…

Remotely controlled tanks, sure. As for gyroplanes - they get only a short mention in his works as potentially progressive technologies. The bomber importance takes a whole paragraph.


The point is; he couldn't tell what's worth researching and supporting. However, determining such things was his duty.

Stas Bush wrote:
Not much about rockets there either, not in the treatise above at least.


He handled research in that area for 9 years. Results... just about zero. Then there is Grabin telling how he tried explaining to the Marshal you can't replace all the artillery with recoilless. Tukhachevsky said "You don't understand you're slowing down the development of artillery". A trekkie through and through...

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Yes, Douhet’s doctrine. Was nothing new at the time.

Of course it was new. Douhet's doctrine was well ahead of the strategic planning in the early 30s.


Douhet died in 1930. So it wasn't original. Tukhachevsky supported a good idea? Good. Did he support ONLY good ideas? Definitely not. Were any ideas actually his? Evidence becomes sketchy...

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Then, why is Tukhachevsky the one always praised for warning of the German threat?

Unsure, not that I know anything about it.


Suvorov has a chapter on that, BTW:

http://militera.lib.ru/research/suvorov4/12.html

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
Mind giving some details about that order? Never heard of it.

Quote:
Из доклада помощника японского военного атташе в Москве капитана Коотани в декабре 1937 года: «...Наибольшего нашего внимания требует та работа по популяризации и обучению авиации, которая проводится Осоавиахимом. На съезде Советов в ноябре прошлого года начальник штаба ВВС Хринин заявил: «Германия заявляет, что имеет 70 тысяч летчиков. Если так, то мы должны иметь 100 тысяч». Это было встречено бурными аплодисментами, и на следующий день со стороны рабочих одного ленинградского завода последовал призыв: «100 тысяч мало, подготовим 150 тысяч человек». Это перешло на практические рельсы, и в последнее время Россия готовит 150 тысяч летчиков.

Oh, but there's more. Now from Britain:
Quote:
Will he also go into the whole question of training pilots to see whether it is not possible to turn out a greater number of pilots? We have had Herr Hitler's statement that he has 70,000 pilots and the statement of Signor Mussolini that he has from 20,000 to 30,000 pilots, and I do not feel that we are training sufficient pilots in this country. There are in the towns many young men who ride motor-cycles and so on, and I believe they would be only too pleased to be trained to fly if they had the chance.

Commons debates on 25 May 1938
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debate/?i ... 25a.1327.3


So, Hitler said something in public. Was it real or a boast? Why should the other states believe that? Are there any details about it being true? Or was it known to be bullshit, merely used to justify increased spending?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
We're currently discussing vehicle speed, not strategic advancement.

The speed of vehicle is not important - the speed of advance is limited by the speed of the slowest moving combat element.


So why all the arguing about whether it's 70 or 100?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
I don’t remember him saying that in his latest books.

I don't remember any latest books from Rezun. We're in 2012.


Well, my post is from 2011. Suvorov published two books then. As for the subject of WWII, the (currently) latest book on that came out in 2010.

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
We are talking about 1939. What circumstances could demand concentration at the time? It’s not like Hitler could attack the USSR then.

I am talking about the fact that positioning of forces means more than their equipment at times. Quite often so.


So? Was there need for positioning in 1939? Was there a threat?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
The tanks they had were Pz 1-4 and two models of Czechoslovakian tanks. Out of these, only Pz 3-4 can be called better than T-26 (or not… well, whatever). But… they weren’t “most” of the German tank forces even in June 1941, not to mention 1939.

Pz. Kpfw III and IV were superior to most of the Soviet park, not just T-26. And sure, they weren't most of the German park.


Yeah, about ten percent at the time. Just how much better were they to win against 50/1 odds?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
More reliable or not, they don’t tell what we want to know – how much was being actually done.

They actually do, but if you don't like what you read, I guess that's not my problem.


They say what was supposed to be done. But was it enforced? Was it taken seriously (after all, there is evidence it wasn't the case with the covering plans). Were any weapons being installed in the bunkers?

Stas Bush wrote:
Omeganian wrote:
You quote Suvorov saying the generals were being relocated, and your argument is… that the relocation was still incomplete?

No, the fact that the general specifically mentioned (the one which was "in charge of the Front HQ") wasn't in fact relocated to the German border. Wasn't abandoning the internal districts. Wasn't moved. At all.


Who? Tyulenev? Let's see. Half of his staff is there already. On day one of the war, when no one understands what's going on, he's assigned to command a front and goes without a hitch. Are you trying to convince me it was done without preliminary work? No, looks like a long standing decision finalized.
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Blayne
PostPosted: 2012-08-28 11:20am 

On Probation


Joined: 2009-11-19 10:39pm
Posts: 882
The "Hitler's War" series is actually very solid with iirc significantly less repetition than is the norm for his works and seems to work on very plausible lines so I recommend it.

What's noticeable to me is how much more favorable to the USSR this setting is, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is never signed, so the Left of the Western Europe never get disillusioned with Moscow and Republican Spain is entirely in the USSR's pocket (as Madrid never fell and the German's/Italians couldn't support them anymore since the war started early). The USSR never attacks Finland unprovoked but instead much more favorably attacks Poland who was prevented the Red Army from aiding the Czech's, but nevertheless the Red Army Airforce IS able to send Tupolev medium bombers to support the Czech defense.

The USSR instead of the curbstomp it gives Japan at Khalin Gol does up being attacked in force by the Kwangtung army but fights well enough that the Japanese back off once they capture Vladivostok and instead in early 1941 (January?) attack the United States.

A lot more stuff happens as well but pretty much short term OH SHIT for the Soviet Union long term Yeeeeesssssssss.

Then there's equipment, the Germans will be forced to use only a much smaller number of tanks along with much smaller tanks against what will soon be the very impressive T-34 and KV-1 tanks in increasingly greater numbers. The BT Medium tank series was already decent when compared the Panzer II and early Panzer III's, and heck the Germans were still using Panzer I's in the battle of France in this ATL.
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