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 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Germany's War with the Soviet Union -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 7:15:59 AM
By it's sheer scale of destruction, the war on the Eastern Front was unprecedented; from Leningrad - Crimea, from Kiev - Stalingrad, the Soviet Union was devastated - at least 25 million Soviet citizens died.

And in the end what did the German aggressors have- to show for it???? Only their dead IMO.

This war between Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia- IMO- was always going to be bitterly fought - but could anyone have forecast the enormous destruction caused by this- IMO- ill-considered attack????

Edit -Title


Regards

Jim
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James W.
Ballina, Australia
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 7:25:27 AM
Napoleon's ghost?
Too bad der Fuehrer didn't confer with him, when he paid homage to his Paris tomb, in June 1940..

BWilson

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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 7:45:37 AM
Jim,

 The thread is IMO misnamed. Germany's war was with the Soviet Union, even if the Russians were the dominant power therein. Even the top dog of the USSR wasn't a Russian.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, nervous glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

anemone
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Re: Germany's War with the Soviet Union -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 8:10:32 AM
Thanks Bill- for pointing me in the right direction-have amended accordingly.

Regards

Jim
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kaii
Edinburgh, UK
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 8:43:21 AM

Quote:
Jim,

 The thread is IMO misnamed. Germany's war was with the Soviet Union, even if the Russians were the dominant power therein. Even the top dog of the USSR wasn't a Russian.

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


Thank you Bill! I don't know how often I have had to point out, even to Russians, that 25 million Russians did not die in Ww2, and Russia did not defeat Germany in ww2. Of course, it fits the current propaganda picture from Kremlin to say they did. (not that I accuse anemone of anything like that!)

It is, unfortunately, common in the West to use Russia and Soviet Union as synonyms (a bit like Holland and The Netherlands I suppose)...
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Lightning
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 8:55:28 AM

Quote:
It is, unfortunately, common in the West to use Russia and Soviet Union as synonyms (a bit like Holland and The Netherlands I suppose)...--kaii


As a Scot, my particular bugbear is people saying "England", when they in fact mean "Britain" or "United Kingdom". Unfortunately it's still common, even on this well-versed forum.

As to the subject itself:

The Soviet Union defeated the bulk of the German forces, that much is true. That it could have done so without the mass amount of materiel provided to it by the UK and the US is questionable, not to mention that a considerable amount of German units and assets were pinned down in the West on garrison and defensive duties, is a question worth debating. Could these units and assets have swung the balance in favour of the Germans, particularly prior to Kursk?

Cheers,

Colin
---------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

anemone
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 9:12:13 AM
The great Battle of Kursk is a special study in it's own right-indeed Guderian wrote:

"With the failure of Zitadelle we have suffered a decisive defeat. The armoured formations, reformed and re-equipped with so much effort, had lost heavily in both men and equipment and would now be unemployable for a long time to come. It was problematical whether they could be rehabilitated in time to defend the Eastern Front ... Needless to say the Soviets exploited their victory to the full. There were to be no more periods of quiet on the Eastern Front. From now on, the enemy was in undisputed possession of the initiative."

Regards

Jim
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kaii
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 9:17:25 AM

Quote:

Quote:
It is, unfortunately, common in the West to use Russia and Soviet Union as synonyms (a bit like Holland and The Netherlands I suppose)...--kaii


As a Scot, my particular bugbear is people saying "England", when they in fact mean "Britain" or "United Kingdom". Unfortunately it's still common, even on this well-versed forum.

As to the subject itself:

The Soviet Union defeated the bulk of the German forces, that much is true. That it could have done so without the mass amount of materiel provided to it by the UK and the US is questionable, not to mention that a considerable amount of German units and assets were pinned down in the West on garrison and defensive duties, is a question worth debating. Could these units and assets have swung the balance in favour of the Germans, particularly prior to Kursk?

Cheers,

Colin

--Lightning


Good points Colin, only yesterday I overheard a couple of tourists on Princes Street in Edinburgh talking about how the weather was always grey "here in England". Could have been dangerous,as there was a Hearts vs Hibs derby on that day, but they escaped unharmed..

Always interesting to debate the War in the East vs the German commitments in the West. Being Norwegian, and having studied ww2 in Scandianvia quite extensively, I am always amazed that the Germans kept a garrison of 3-400 thousand soldiers in Norway, even at times when these could have made a difference on other fronts. The Germans certainly did not need the troops to control the 2,5mill Norwegian population, so b getting into Hitler's head and getting him to designate Norway as the "destiny area" of the war, Allied propaganda kept masses of German soldiers way from the front lines.

On the other hand, one can, I suppose, argue that it wasn't lack of numerical strength that stopped the Germans in 1941, but rather logistical problems and weather. Another million or two soldiers probably would have made the problems worse rather than better.
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phil andrade
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 9:40:04 AM
Could anyone have foreseen the destruction ?

The answer would have to be yes , in my opinion.

The awful example of 1914-18 was all too close : given the scale of the Nazi Soviet clash, the totalitarian regimes and the racial ideology of the Germans, it was clear that the horrors of the Great War were going to be magnified.

Regards, Phil
---------------
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"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

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Lightning
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 9:48:19 AM
Hi Kai,

In the tourists' defence, there are so many English accents in Edinburgh (some real, some affected) that one might not always be sure where you are if you were suddenly dropped in!

Regarding the extra troops in the West, I suspect that it really depends when you made them available to the German eastern commanders. Another million in the summer of 1941 might have given them the numbers to finish it before winter, whereas a few hundred thousand extra troops released in 1945 weren't going to stop the Soviets juggernaut.

The garrison for Norway does seem absurdly high - I wonder what the reasoning was for this? Did Hitler anticipate the Allies seriously trying to liberate Europe from the north down? Roman Britain was garrisoned by a peak of 50,000 soldiers (5% of the estimated population of 1 million in the 1st century A.D.) against an often violently rebellious population. 150,000 soldiers would have been plenty, IMO, for the Germans to safely garrison Norway.

Cheers,

Colin
---------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

phil andrade
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 11:10:09 AM
Safeguarding supply of iron ore from Sweden ?

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 11:19:12 AM
Phil-the population of the USSR fell by 40 million.Large cities such as Leningrad and Stalingrad and others had been virtually destroyed. All industries had been worked to near destruction; and roughly a quarter of the Soviet Union's capital resources had been destroyed, industrial and agricultural output in 1945 fell way way short of pre-war levels.

To help rebuild the country, the Soviet government obtained limited credits from Britain and Sweden;but it refused assistance offered by the United States under the Marshall Plan.It leant heavily on annexed territories for cash,goods and labour.

Regards

Jim
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BWilson

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Re: Germany's War with the Soviet Union -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 12:38:46 PM

Quote:
Thanks Bill- for pointing me in the right direction-have amended accordingly.

Regards

Jim
--anemone


Jim,

 In your "defense" (not that you need anyone to defend you!), the conflict is also called by the name "Russo-German War". The question of "ethnic" participation in the war, by both sides, is of interest. Following on Kai's comment about what he has told Russians, I have also scolded internet entities when it was fashionable for them to recall the activities of Bandera and his followers during the period in which they collaborated with the Germans. Fortunately, Glantz's works saved me and I was able to point out how very much larger the number of Ukrainians serving in the Red Army was.

 Both Romania and Hungary paid a handsome price for taking part in the war against the Soviets. Romania more so because the Soviets forced them to turn and fight the Germans on a logistical shoestring through mountainous terrain. Bulgaria was by contrast "well" treated because they had not fought in the east, although they were made to fight the Germans -- but with significantly more Soviet support than the Romanians got. Some situations were less well defined -- Russians fighting Soviet troops (Vlasov) and Estonians fighting each other as satellite troops to both regimes.

Cheers

BW
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phil andrade
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 12:43:31 PM
Jim,

The population fell by forty million ?

You refer to what demographic historians call population deficit : this is a notional figure, based on the difference between what the population was after the event, compared with what it might have been if pre war population growth had been sustained . It doesn't mean that the war killed forty million people from the Soviet Union. This makes me look horribly pedantic, I know, but it's an important distinction.

The estimates of war deaths range between twenty and twenty seven million. Of these, recorded military deaths were 8.7 million. Note that word recorded .



The thing was bloody catastrophic, I agree. It must rank as the most murderous onslaught ever mounted by one nation against another in modern times.

Hitler declared that it was to be a war without mercy.

A striking thing about the Second World War is how its impact differed. The UK government predicted six hundred thousand civilian deaths from aerial bombardment, along with one million seriously injured. This proved to be a tenfold exaggeration. The British army was to lose barely one fifth as many men killed as it had lost in the First World War. It seems that, for the British people, WW2 turned out to be a good deal less destructive of lives than had been feared. I hope I do not appear complacent about the loss of several hundred thousand British people 1939-45.

How different was the fate that befell the Soviet Union !

All the worst predictions fulfilled.

Regards, Phil





---------------
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anemone
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 1:18:39 PM
"All the worst predictions fulfilled"


The Soviet Union came out of World War II militarily victorious but economically and structurally devastated. Much of the combat took place in or close by populated areas, the actions of both sides contributed to massive loss of civilian life and tremendous material damage.

According to a summary, presented by Lieutenant General Roman Rudenko at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, the property damage in the Soviet Union inflicted by the Axis invasion was estimated to a value of 679 billion rubles.

The largest number of civilian deaths in a single city was 1.2 million citizens dead during the Siege of Leningrad. The combined damage consisted of complete or partial destruction of 1,710 cities and towns, 70,000 villages/hamlets, 2,508 church buildings, 31,850 industrial establishments, 40,000 miles of railroad, 4,100 railroad stations, 40,000 hospitals, 84,000 schools, and 43,000 public libraries; leaving 25 million homeless.

Seven million horses, 17 million cattle, 20 million pigs, 27 million sheep were also slaughtered or driven off. Wild fauna were also affected. Wolves and foxes fleeing westward from the killing zone, as the Soviet army advanced 1943–45, were responsible for a rabies epidemic which spread slowly westwards, reaching the coast of the English Channel by 1968.

PS No way cou;ld i remember all of that detail
Source-Wikipedia

It has to be admitted here that RAF Bomber Command's Second front's aim was "to wreck Germany from end to end"; and they certainly caused very many civilian deaths and a helluva lot of buildings and infrastructure destroyed or made useless.

Regards

Jim











Regards

Jim
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phil andrade
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 3:22:02 PM
How heavy a burden can the citizens of a state carry in the pursuit of victory ?

If the burden becomes harder and harder to bear, what kicks in, consent or coercion ?

The Soviet Union, 1941-45, sets a record in modern history in this respect.


Perhaps the ancient Romans took a comparable punishment in their war against Hannibal.

Regards, Phil



---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Lightning
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 7:57:14 PM
Phil,

Certainly, the Roman legions and their allied federates suffered three decisive catastrophic defeats at the hands of Hannibal (unrivalled in the history of the Roman republic), but the invading Carthaginian coalition took great effort not to alienate the Italian population, as they were keenly aware that Rome's strength (like the USSR) lay in the sum of its parts - break up the Roman client states and Rome would struggle to carry on the war. Hannibal wanted them to accept Carthage as their new partner (or overlord) willingly, rather than at spear point.

If Nazi Germany had taken a more conciliatory stance with the various parts of the USSR that it had conquered, it might have found wiling and able allies in the ongoing war against Bolshevism.

Cheers,

Colin
---------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

brian grafton
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/13/2017 9:40:27 PM
I've not spent that much time studying the Eastern Front battles, so I'm not comfortable with exactly what percentages of Soviet troops were Russian and what percentage were from other member states. But am I wrong in believing that the soviet, bolshevik nature of our great ally in the East was played down with some efficiency in the West. Some never forgot that during the post-1917 years the biggest threat was perceived to be from Bolshevism, not Fascism or Nazism. But Churchill, who hated bolshevism to the last farthing 's worth of his aristocratic character, was prepared in 1941 to say some kind things about the the Soviet Union in the House. I'm also ready to bet that every Old Etonian scribbling copy for the Ministry of Information was aware that it was easier to sell Mother Russia than Godless Communists. Just as it was easier to sell the image of Uncle Joe than to sell the faceless grey eminence of the Politburo.

To be honest, I've always thought of the bulk of Eastern troops simply as Stalin's forces, because wherever they came from (with the very minor exclusions concerning guerrilla troops or – for short periods – those who came together for events such as the Polish uprising), they were under the control of Stalin's military control. Stalin, a native Georgian IIUC, didn't seem to mind his forces being described as "Russian".

The role of Lend-Lease in Soviet defence is pretty clouded by propaganda, IMHO. Colin has raised the issue, just as he has raised whether pressure for a second front might have weakened military power available for the drive East. I think neither played as large a part in the Eastern Front as we like to believe, though of course they played some role. I sense that Germans and Western Allies alike underestimated the capabilities of Soviet forces based on the Winter War, which was a dumb thing to do. The Finns surprised the world with their resilience and their effective counter-strikes, of course. But the Soviets won that war, as it did later wars against Finland. I wonder how many German Generals (and how many Western military advisors) misinterpreted Soviet capability based on unexpected Finnish belligerence?

I don't think those beliefs had changed by July 1941, when Barbarossa was launched. "Experts" gave Soviet Forces six weeks' fighting at best (well, I believe a couple gave the Ruskies closer to 12 weeks' time) before they would be forced to bow to greater German skill, better German armour, and significantly more sophisticated air support for land wars. I believe the main argument supporting this inevitable collapse centred around Mr. Stalin's purges of the military caste in the mid-30s, and the consequent lack of professional leadership in Soviet military commands. As it turns out, the West got that assessment wrong. So did the Germans.

Redirection of Lend-Lease goods coming to Britain from the US was not necessarily as noble a gesture as it is often presented to be. Basic rations, uniforms (or parts of them, such as boots), basic medications and other requirements for an army in the field (cots, tents, shovels etc.) were of only limited use to the British Army who were looking for major equipment replacement and the like. More sophisticated goods – guns, ammo, a/c and the like – were of different value. The Brits tried certain a/c that had been stripped of the very design elements that made them valuable, and – finding them less than great (I'm thinking, e.g., of the P-38 without counter-rotation and turbocharging, and the P-39 with its tricycle gear and unorthodox engine placement) sent them on to Russia without much expectation they would work much better in the East.

I'll not mock the bravery or commitment of either RN, RCN or merchant mariners concerning the Murmansk convoys. They were death-traps, and they went on despite little thanks from the Soviets. At the time, they seemed vital life-lines. Now, I believe that propaganda has obscured whether those convoys were as vital as we have been led to believe.

Pardon me. I'm waltzing through my thought process rather than playing the finished tune.

I think the Lend-Lease arrangements, at first between the US and the UK and then between the UK and the East, provided largely non-vital assistance only. If the Soviets were as weak as everyone believed, mere beginnings of assistance would not have made sufficient impact to stem the German assault. I think successful Russian resistance was primarily provided by space, time and weather: nothing much different than in 1812.

I'll not mock the generosity of the US in offering assistance at a time of great peril. Before their entrance into the war, the US was way out of line in supporting Lend-Lease, particularly when that offer was extended to Russia.

I honestly don't know the importance of Lend-Lease on Soviet-German land war pre-Kursk. The information is probably being unveiled in Soviet archives, but I haven't seen it. I will be difficult to interpret the importance of Lend-Lease, in part because of the distinctly different demands of a nation who sent such support and a nation that received it. Personally, I think we lie to ourselves if we exaggerate the West's importance to the victory on the East Front. i'm not in any way denying that what the US sent was used, whether boots, P-39s, locomotives or something else. And I don't think Russia every denied receiving LL goods, though I know they tried to downplay the significance. Think of that old apocryphal comment attributed to Marshal Stalin: "American Boots. Russian bodies."

This wasn't WW2 in the eyes of the Soviets. It was the great patriotic war, during which communist values defeated those of fascism. We might argue that the Soviets have rather overdone their part in the battle. But I think by extolling Lend-Lease we are ignoring, forgetting, or even mocking the basic strengths of the Red Armies during those months they were expecting to fold. They made huge errors. They were forced into surrender by the tens of thousands by being out-maneuvered and often out-fought. But they persevered, and they held. If Lend-Lease assisted with some of that, the point is that the Russian/Soviet/Bolshevist soldier, under orders of Russian/Soviet/Bolshevik military leaders, faced and outlasted a powerful militant nation's invsion.

What do we lose by acknowledging that?

Cheers
Brian G

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kaii
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/14/2017 9:12:43 AM
Good post Brian, I agree with most of it -certainly that most Western generals had underestimated the Soviets. It is a lesson that the Finns, of all people, tried to underline to any western officer that would listen: contrary to popular belief, the Soviet soldier showed great courage in the winter war. They would usually fight to the last man rather than surrender, and the Finns had great respect for the fighting ability of the average Soviet soldier - a respect not shared by the Germans. Soviet problems were with leadership (the commissar model) and doctrines, both of which had been, at least partly, corrected in time for the invasion in 1941.

regarding lend-lease and its importance for the Soviet war machine, it usually comes down to two arguments

1. The Soviets, and the Russians now, argue that lend-lease only accounted for a very small part of Soviet war production and expenditure of equipment, so in reality did not play a big role in the Soviet victory. The numbers they use are correct of course and overall their argument is sound.

2. However, as western analysts point out, lend lease was critical for the Soviets in the winter months of 1941, when Moscow was about to fall and most of the Red Army had been destroyed. If one then looks at the percentages of equipment and food from lend-lease, the picture is completely different, and does present some evidence that it was critical in stopping the Germans. Later in the war, especially the trucks received, allowed the Soviets to focus their own production on front line equipment like the T-34.


In reality the truth is probably somewhere in between - lend lease was important, also from a psychological point of view, but perhaps not critical. Would the Soviets have survived the winter of 1941 without it? Impossible to say for sure of course, everything hinges on whether the Germans could have captured Moscow, and whether that in itself would have forces Stalin to the table.
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Phil andrade
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/14/2017 9:47:40 AM
Those who disparaged Soviet fighting abilities might have ignored the battle at Khalkin Gol, where, in the summer of 1939, Japanese forces were defeated in intense fighting.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Phil andrade
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/14/2017 11:00:00 AM
Attempting to assess the military battle losses of the Soviet Union 1941-1945, I've compared them, on a percentage basis, with those of Metropolitan France 1914-1918. In both cases, the states were engaged in existential struggle for a roughly similar period of time, in warfare of maximum intensity.

These figures are strictly confined to killed in action and died from wounds : all deaths from disease or while POW are excluded, which would obviously make a huge difference in the case of the USSR, which lost millions of its men as prisoners of the enemy.

Fifteen per cent of all French soldiers were killed in battle 1914-18 ; in the case of the Soviets 1941-45, eighteen and a quarter per cent were killed in battle.

Bearing in mind the fact that the French had enormous help from the British, who shared - or even on occasions carried the main - burden in the second half of WWI ; and later from the Americans, the respective figures show a relative parity. In this sense, then, the cost of the military struggle between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany was in accordance with what might have been expected, judged by previous experience. What made the warfare between Germany and the Soviets transcend was the sheer atrocity of the onslaught, with all racial and ideological aspects spreading the massacre way beyond the confines of the battlefield....

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

brian grafton
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/14/2017 8:37:11 PM
I've always liked the irony that after the fall of Poland and until the German invasion of Denmark and Norway in April 1940, only Finland and Soviet Russia were actually fighting, and because it was winter and the battle took place in Finland, it was a nasty but relatively brief confrontation. Enter the "first casualty of war". Kai, how trusted were the Finns during WW2? All other issues aside, what benefit would come from believing that tiny Finland had beaten a courageous, dauntless enemy rather than a group of ill-trained badly led troops?

Would it have been in the interest of the two Western allies? I think some of us too easily forget there were only three belligerents at the time: France and Great Britain (with her entourage) on one side and Germany (with that critical non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union) on the other. Most of Europe was officially neutral, and two major European countries – Spain and Italy – though linked to Germany's ideology, had not committed themselves to Hitler's war. There were some interesting naval confrontations across the globe, but until German expansion of the war with the invasion of Denmark and Norway, it was hard even to call this a European War: it was a confrontation between three old enemies. It was Japan, not yet a member of the Axis, whose activities would make this a world war.

After German attacks on Scandinavian countries in April 1940, and after the larger expansion of the war through incredibly successful attacks on France and the low countries, the world order had changed. Of most importance was that Britain, with most of its equipment lost and with very little backup (God bless the 10-year policy), with its strategic plans in tatters (a "German blockade" was valid in 1916, but not in late June 1940), with only a relatively few a/c and the support of a totally untried air defence system, was at immediate threat. I still believe that, had the Germans had the means to follow up their conquest of France with an invasion of the British Isles, they would have won in a cakewalk. Try to sell that to a Brit!

You say:
Quote:
[R]egarding lend-lease and its importance for the Soviet war machine, it usually comes down to two arguments

1. The Soviets, and the Russians now, argue that lend-lease only accounted for a very small part of Soviet war production and expenditure of equipment, so in reality did not play a big role in the Soviet victory. The numbers they use are correct of course and overall their argument is sound.

2. However, as western analysts point out, lend lease was critical for the Soviets in the winter months of 1941, when Moscow was about to fall and most of the Red Army had been destroyed. If one then looks at the percentages of equipment and food from lend-lease, the picture is completely different, and does present some evidence that it was critical in stopping the Germans. Later in the war, especially the trucks received, allowed the Soviets to focus their own production on front line equipment like the T-34.

My question is: how much stuff got to Moscow under Lend-Lease in the first five months of the German assault? And how much that got to Moscow was distributed effectively for use against the Germans before German miscalculations became larger contributing factors. Tanks don't run when their engines freeze. Men don't survive Russia's winter dressed in summer uniforms. Advances cannot be made over ground that is impassable. Lend-Lease may have provided comforts to Soviet Forces, but it seem to me that German arrogance and lack of long-term planning played a bigger part in the battle.

Question: would England have survived without Lend-Lease? Keep in mind that before GB was offered Lend-Lease she was bled dry of her Sterling assets held in the US. So the concept of Lend-Lease, which appeared in early Spring 1941, makes the question somewhat moot. The UK didn't have to find out: Germany dropped the ball. For a second (or third) time, German planning was less effective than German military capability. Lend-Lease helped the UK, but not at her most dangerous time. Equally, "destroyers for bases" helped the UK, but not as much as was anticipated. For the UK, Lend-Lease and a host of other programs came too late to help what was developing as an "invasion crisis". My argument would be, like Moscow, the best support came from the poor planning of their enemy.


Quote:
In reality the truth is probably somewhere in between - lend lease was important, also from a psychological point of view, but perhaps not critical. Would the Soviets have survived the winter of 1941 without it? Impossible to say for sure of course, everything hinges on whether the Germans could have captured Moscow, and whether that in itself would have forces Stalin to the table.
My concern is who benefited most psychologically from Lend-Lease. I don't think it was the recipients, though I'm not wishing to disagree with your focus. I think the US gained a great deal as a proof of it's "arsenal of democracy" status. I think the Brits gained some benefits by being able to talk about sharing with others "even during our darkest hour".

I can see great benefits as the war progressed. But I remain unconvinced that Lend-Lease played a major point in any critical point in the early war years.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

James W.
Ballina, Australia
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Posts: 674

Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/14/2017 11:50:34 PM
The West had a poor regard for Soviet military capabilities, esp' post-purges of the officer corps & the fairly 2nd rate showing against Poland in `39, & its even worse one during the 'Winter War' in Finland..

This was notwithstanding any success versus the forces of the Kwantung Army - Nippon capabilities were rated even lower than the Italians by Churchill, & he used this as a ( very foolish) justification to send scores of Hurricanes & Matilda tanks to Stalin - rather than to Singapore.

( I note it is the 75th anniversary of the fall/surrender of Singapore - 'the biggest disgrace to British arms' & naturally, getting a
bit of a flogging in the media over here today).

GROFAZ (A. Hitler) being the magical thinking/manifest destiny/'racial superiority'/'triumph of the will' believer that he was, also
put great store in his own personal WW I combat experience, which was entirely on the Western Front.. & thinking that 'we whipped them then', expected to do so again.. esp' with his new-fangled 'Blitzkreig' method which had rolled up all before it..

Back in WW I, however, Germany actively supported covert 'white-anting'/rebellion against the Czarist/Imperial regime ( inc' Lenin),
whereas Hitler with his purblind 'racial'/'lebensraum' purview let such opportunities for 'regime change' - from within - go begging..

The clincher of his mistaken 'roll of the dice' political gambles was to ( actually very rare for him) declare war on the USA, & sans
a reciprocal undertaking from Nippon, to actively oppose Stalin.. a thing which is credited with effectively saving Moscow/dooming Berlin..

If the IJN submarine fleet had used German 'wolf pack' tactics ( as the USN did) against L-L shipping to Vladivostok...

Now as to the Hess approach to Britain... If his proposals (alas, still locked away under the '100 year' rule for another 1/4 century) were
accepted, chances are, Stalin would've lost, & Brexit would never have happened - ok that last bit is a tad frivolous, but Britain would
have avoided going bankrupt in order to fund firebombing Germany, & decades of US/Soviet hegemony in Europe would not have occurred..







Phil andrade
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/15/2017 3:30:51 AM
That Hess episode must have been lined up to pave the way for Barbarossa, surely ?

It also coincided with the fiercest aerial bombardments against London. More Londoners were killed on the night of May 10-11 1941 than in any other single raid : this cannot have been a coincidence. The culminating effort to persuade the British to change their minds : with them out of the way, the Soviet Union's chances of survival were bound to be diminished.

Hess and bombs : carrot and stick.

Regards, Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Lightning
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/15/2017 4:40:42 AM
The notion of a negotiated peace with Britain brings us back to the question of whether the German assets deployed in the West could have made the difference in the opening stages of Barbarossa? Does anybody have any rough numbers of German troop numbers and hardware deployed throughout western Europe? Assuming Germany leaves a skeleton garrison of, say, 10% of existing forces, would the 90% heading east be enough to decisively tip the balance before General Winter launched his counter-attack on the German forces? I'm inclined to agree with earlier comments by Kai that another million men heading east simply become another million mouths to feed and bodies to clothe with already scant resources. That said, Germany came mightily close to finishing off the USSR in 1941, arguably closer than their fathers had been in taking out France in 1914. Denuded of the influence of the USSR in the post-war years, what would the world look like today?

Cheers,

Colin
---------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

BWilson

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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/15/2017 6:22:40 AM
Colin,

 Here is a total of where German divisions were in the war (taken from the Axis History website). It gives some indication of deployment of forces. [Read More]


Month Germany East West Norway Finland S-East Africa Italy
Sep 1939 3 60 49 0 0 0 0 0
Oct 1939 41 8 67 0 0 0 0 0
Nov 1939 44 10 68 0 0 0 0 0
Dec 1939 31 10 98 0 0 0 0 0

1940
Jan 1940 31 10 101 0 0 0 0 0
Feb 1940 46 10 98 0 0 0 0 0
Mar 1940 46 17 99 0 0 0 0 0
Apr 1940 40 18 100 6 0 0 0 0
May 1940 29 15 114 7 0 0 0 0
Jun 1940 11 7 142 7 0 0 0 0
Jul 1940 33 16 111 7 0 0 0 0
Aug 1940 43 16 101 7 0 0 0 0
Sep 1940 27 30 89 7 0 0 0 0
Oct 1940 51 30 74 6 1 1 0 0
Nov 1940 69 31 74 7 1 1 0 0
Dec 1940 78 32 72 7 1 2 0 0

1941
Jan 1941 78 28 67 7 1 9 0 0
Feb 1941 79 29 66 7 1 9 0 0
Mar 1941 72 33 64 7 1 17 1 0
Apr 1941 62 46 53 7 1 28 1 0
May 1941 64 64 46 7 2 24 2 0
Jun 1941 38 93 51 8 3 14 2 0
Jul 1941 4 145 40 7 4 7 2 0
Aug 1941 4 145 40 7 4 7 2 0
Sep 1941 1 146 43 7 6 7 2 0
Oct 1941 0 149 40 7 6 9 2 0
Nov 1941 3 147 40 7 6 8 2 0
Dec 1941 6 146 42 7 6 9 3 0

1942
Jan 1942 8 155 36 7 5 7 3 0
Feb 1942 7 164 32 8 6 6 3 0
Mar 1942 8 167 32 8 7 5 3 0
Apr 1942 3 172 32 11 7 5 3 0
May 1942 2 170 34 11 7 5 3 0
Jun 1942 2 180 27 11 7 5 3 0
Jul 1942 5 179 29 11 7 5 3 0
Aug 1942 3 176 36 11 7 6 4 0
Sep 1942 9 178 37 11 7 6 4 0
Oct 1942 12 179 41 11 7 6 4 0
Nov 1942 16 181 45 11 7 6 4 0
Dec 1942 11 184 45 11 7 6 6 0

1943
Jan 1943 3 191 48 12 7 8 7 0
Feb 1943 1 195 49 12 7 9 8 0
Mar 1943 2 185 44 12 7 9 8 0
Apr 1943 2 184 54 12 7 11 8 0
May 1943 3 185 56 13 7 11 9 2
Jun 1943 5 187 53 13 7 13 0 4
Jul 1943 6 188 52 13 7 15 0 6
Aug 1943 5 189 46 13 7 17 0 14
Sep 1943 2 188 51 13 7 19 0 16
Oct 1943 3 186 52 13 7 20 0 18
Nov 1943 4 177 53 13 7 22 0 23
Dec 1943 6 176 52 13 7 22 0 20

1944
Jan 1944 7 166 54 13 7 25 0 21
Feb 1944 6 163 60 13 7 23 0 22
Mar 1944 6 160 63 13 7 23 0 22
Apr 1944 2 163 60 12 8 23 0 23
May 1944 1 160 63 12 8 24 0 23
Jun 1944 7 150 66 12 8 24 0 27
Jul 1944 19 124 69 11 8 23 0 27
Aug 1944 2 130 72 10 8 21 0 29
Sep 1944 2 127 64 11 8 20 0 25
Oct 1944 1 134 67 11 8 20 0 25
Nov 1944 2 133 70 18 0 21 0 26
Dec 1944 2 135 76 17 0 22 0 25

1945
Jan 1945 3 146 79 15 0 15 0 28
Feb 1945 3 173 68 13 0 13 0 27
Mar 1945 3 173 72 13 0 13 0 26
Apr 1945 0 163 67 11 0 12 0 23
May 1945 0 78 4 0 0 11 0 2


Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, nervous glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

kaii
Edinburgh, UK
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/15/2017 7:08:53 AM

Quote:
I've always liked the irony that after the fall of Poland and until the German invasion of Denmark and Norway in April 1940, only Finland and Soviet Russia were actually fighting, and because it was winter and the battle took place in Finland, it was a nasty but relatively brief confrontation. Enter the "first casualty of war". Kai, how trusted were the Finns during WW2? All other issues aside, what benefit would come from believing that tiny Finland had beaten a courageous, dauntless enemy rather than a group of ill-trained badly led troops?

Would it have been in the interest of the two Western allies? I think some of us too easily forget there were only three belligerents at the time: France and Great Britain (with her entourage) on one side and Germany (with that critical non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union) on the other. Most of Europe was officially neutral, and two major European countries – Spain and Italy – though linked to Germany's ideology, had not committed themselves to Hitler's war. There were some interesting naval confrontations across the globe, but until German expansion of the war with the invasion of Denmark and Norway, it was hard even to call this a European War: it was a confrontation between three old enemies. It was Japan, not yet a member of the Axis, whose activities would make this a world war.

After German attacks on Scandinavian countries in April 1940, and after the larger expansion of the war through incredibly successful attacks on France and the low countries, the world order had changed. Of most importance was that Britain, with most of its equipment lost and with very little backup (God bless the 10-year policy), with its strategic plans in tatters (a "German blockade" was valid in 1916, but not in late June 1940), with only a relatively few a/c and the support of a totally untried air defence system, was at immediate threat. I still believe that, had the Germans had the means to follow up their conquest of France with an invasion of the British Isles, they would have won in a cakewalk. Try to sell that to a Brit!

You say:
Quote:
[R]egarding lend-lease and its importance for the Soviet war machine, it usually comes down to two arguments

1. The Soviets, and the Russians now, argue that lend-lease only accounted for a very small part of Soviet war production and expenditure of equipment, so in reality did not play a big role in the Soviet victory. The numbers they use are correct of course and overall their argument is sound.

2. However, as western analysts point out, lend lease was critical for the Soviets in the winter months of 1941, when Moscow was about to fall and most of the Red Army had been destroyed. If one then looks at the percentages of equipment and food from lend-lease, the picture is completely different, and does present some evidence that it was critical in stopping the Germans. Later in the war, especially the trucks received, allowed the Soviets to focus their own production on front line equipment like the T-34.

My question is: how much stuff got to Moscow under Lend-Lease in the first five months of the German assault? And how much that got to Moscow was distributed effectively for use against the Germans before German miscalculations became larger contributing factors. Tanks don't run when their engines freeze. Men don't survive Russia's winter dressed in summer uniforms. Advances cannot be made over ground that is impassable. Lend-Lease may have provided comforts to Soviet Forces, but it seem to me that German arrogance and lack of long-term planning played a bigger part in the battle.

Question: would England have survived without Lend-Lease? Keep in mind that before GB was offered Lend-Lease she was bled dry of her Sterling assets held in the US. So the concept of Lend-Lease, which appeared in early Spring 1941, makes the question somewhat moot. The UK didn't have to find out: Germany dropped the ball. For a second (or third) time, German planning was less effective than German military capability. Lend-Lease helped the UK, but not at her most dangerous time. Equally, "destroyers for bases" helped the UK, but not as much as was anticipated. For the UK, Lend-Lease and a host of other programs came too late to help what was developing as an "invasion crisis". My argument would be, like Moscow, the best support came from the poor planning of their enemy.


Quote:
In reality the truth is probably somewhere in between - lend lease was important, also from a psychological point of view, but perhaps not critical. Would the Soviets have survived the winter of 1941 without it? Impossible to say for sure of course, everything hinges on whether the Germans could have captured Moscow, and whether that in itself would have forces Stalin to the table.
My concern is who benefited most psychologically from Lend-Lease. I don't think it was the recipients, though I'm not wishing to disagree with your focus. I think the US gained a great deal as a proof of it's "arsenal of democracy" status. I think the Brits gained some benefits by being able to talk about sharing with others "even during our darkest hour".

I can see great benefits as the war progressed. But I remain unconvinced that Lend-Lease played a major point in any critical point in the early war years.

Cheers
Brian G
--brian grafton


Brian,
good questions about lend-lease. Personally I don't know enough about the subject to say either way.
By pure chance, while trying to change address on a subscription, I cam across this article from HistoryNet in the UK. Note, HistoryNet is sort of a popHistory site, but they are usually quite accurate in their articles and research. The article deals exactly with your question, how much did lend-lease mean for the battles in late 1941 - the conclusion is: a great deal.

This bit is especially interesting

Quote:
The tanks reached the front lines with extraordinary speed. Extrapolating from available statistics, researchers estimate that British-supplied tanks made up 30 to 40 percent of the entire heavy and medium tank strength of Soviet forces before Moscow at the beginning of December 1941, and certainly made up a significant proportion of tanks available as reinforcements at this critical point in the fighting. By the end of 1941 Britain had delivered 466 tanks out of the 750 promised.


And the overall conclusion

Quote:
Lend-Lease aid did not “save” the Soviet Union from defeat during the Battle of Moscow. But the speed at which Britain in particular was willing and able to provide aid to the Soviet Union, and at which the Soviet Union was able to put foreign equipment into frontline use, is still an underappreciated part of this story. During the bitter fighting of the winter of 1941–1942, British aid made a crucial difference.


[Read More]
---------------
A fool and his money are soon elected.

redcoat
Stockport, UK
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/15/2017 4:39:17 PM

Quote:


If Nazi Germany had taken a more conciliatory stance with the various parts of the USSR that it had conquered, it might have found wiling and able allies in the ongoing war against Bolshevism.

Cheers,

Colin

--Lightning

Two things need to be taken into consideration.
Firstly, the Nazi's plan for the invasion required them to strip the newly occupied territories in the east of all the available food and foodstuffs just to supply their invasion forces, so they were always going to lose the support of a large percentage of the population.
Secondly, if they gain the support of the local population what are they going to equip them with for them to help fight the Red army. They didn't even have the ability to properly equip the forces they had in reality.

redcoat
Stockport, UK
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Posts: 193

Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/15/2017 5:03:03 PM

Quote:


If the IJN submarine fleet had used German 'wolf pack' tactics ( as the USN did) against L-L shipping to Vladivostok...
The vessels used on this route were all Soviet flagged, the IJN were totally forbidden by their government from attacking them.


Quote:
Now as to the Hess approach to Britain... If his proposals (alas, still locked away under the '100 year' rule for another 1/4 century) were
accepted, chances are, Stalin would've lost, & Brexit would never have happened - ok that last bit is a tad frivolous, but Britain would
have avoided going bankrupt in order to fund firebombing Germany, & decades of US/Soviet hegemony in Europe would not have occurred..






--James W.
Contrary to myth, all the files related to the Hess interrogation have been released early.
Here is the peace plan that Hess gave to his interrogators after his capture (taken from the British government file FO 371/34484)

(i) That Germany should be given a free hand in Europe.

(ii) That England should have a free hand in the British Empire, except that the ex-
German colonies should be returned to Germany.

(iii) That Russia should be included in Asia, but that Germany had certain demands to
make of Russia which would have to be satisfied either by negotiation or as the result
of war. There was, however, no truth in the rumours that the Führer contemplated an
early attack on Russia.

(iv) That the British should evacuate Iraq.

(v) The peace agreement would have to contain a provision for the reciprocal
indemnification of British and German Nationals, whose property had been
expropriated as the result of war.

(vi) The proposal could only be considered on the understanding that it was
negotiated by Germany with an English Government other than the present British
Government. Mr. Churchill, who had planned the war since 1936, and his colleagues,
who had lent themselves to his war policy, were not persons with whom the Führer
would negotiate.

Hess concluded by emphasising that the Führer really wanted a permanent understanding with
Great Britain on a basis which preserved the British Empire intact. His own flight was
intended to give Great Britain a chance of opening conversations without loss of prestige. If
this chance were to be rejected it would be the Führer’s duty to destroy Great Britain utterly
and to keep the country after the war in a state of permanent subjection.

phil andrade
London, UK
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/15/2017 6:00:53 PM
Ten days after this Hess business, the Germans launched their attack on Crete.

Please help me put this into perspective.

Was this operation designed to protect the southern periphery and safeguard the German invasion of Russia from an underbelly thrust ; or was it engendered by the dynamic of Anglo German conflict, and, as such, independent from the planning and execution of Barbarossa ?

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

redcoat
Stockport, UK
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Posts: 193

Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/15/2017 6:31:05 PM

Quote:


Was this operation designed to protect the southern periphery and safeguard the German invasion of Russia from an underbelly thrust ; or was it engendered by the dynamic of Anglo German conflict, and, as such, independent from the planning and execution of Barbarossa ?

Regards, Phil
--phil andrade
A major concern was that the Romanian oil fields were within the range of any RAF bombers based on Crete

James W.
Ballina, Australia
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Posts: 674

Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/15/2017 7:15:41 PM
R-C, if Nippon had taken the northern option of their war plan, the Soviet maritime east would've been locked down.
With no hot war for US forces, FDR's war aim of ending European hegemony in Asia would've been much more difficult.
& a peace deal between Germany/Britain would've surely taken the southern option - off the table.



The 1941 German thrust through the Balkans to Crete was an example both of Mussolini's weakness ( Italy was a net drain on the Axis),
& the stranglehold Churchill had on power in Britain, since unlike in WW I, he was not effectively held to account for his numerous cock-ups..


Barbarossa was thus delayed by about a month AFAIR, a month lost which - might have - had Moscow ( & Stalin) falling.

Hitler remained focused on the west, even amidst his death-struggle with Stalin, time & again he would divert forces west at crucial periods,
such as when the Stalingrad situation was in the balance, resources were sent to Tunisia instead, & thereafter he'd repeat this cycle,
- canning Kursk to shore up Italy, post the invasion of Sicily; denuding the Ostfront of his panzer 'firebrigade' -sent west to be spent in
Normandy, when 'Bagration' was about to burst; & again for the Ardennes offensive, when the Western Allies were hung up on the Siegfried line.

The Nazi resources spent in the west, from Atlantic Wall/anti-bomber defensive efforts ( inc' the majority of the Jagdwaffe), to the offensive
U-boat/'vengeance' bombing campaigns against Britain, certainly massively contributed to Stalin's ability to wrest possession of eastern Europe..


As for the Nazi plan to clear 'lebensraum' in the east by starvation, this was to some extent based on Stalin's 'Holodomor' subjection of Ukraine,
& seen as 'justified' by Churchill's repetition of his WW I 'Starvation Blockade' of maritime trade - to occupied Europe.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/15/2017 8:53:08 PM
James W, gimme a while to explore what you say as opposed to how you say it. I may have to ask you what a couple of expressions mean. But I like at least some of the points you make, and your oerspective is fascinating.

E.g., I've seen nothing on the fall of Singapore in standard papers today, yet Singapore's loss wrote a huge chapter in the death of the British Empire (and probably a rather healthy few paras in the growth to regional power of Oz).

Phil (I believe it was Phil) has pointed out the confrontation between Japanese and Soviet Forces. How much can be judged by that rather brief conflict still seems up to debate. But – sadly to some extent, because I think despite himself WSC was the salvation of Great Britain – the man never really demonstrated an understanding of military capability. His assessment of Japanese forces was simply dead wrong, as both Singapore and Hong Kong demonstrated. Talk about gun-boat diplomacy!

Anyway, lots to think about in your post. Thanks

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
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"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

BWilson

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Posts: 2722

Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/16/2017 2:14:01 AM

Quote:
Ten days after this Hess business, the Germans launched their attack on Crete.

Please help me put this into perspective.

Was this operation designed to protect the southern periphery and safeguard the German invasion of Russia from an underbelly thrust ; or was it engendered by the dynamic of Anglo German conflict, and, as such, independent from the planning and execution of Barbarossa ?

Regards, Phil
--phil andrade


 Is it that detached from a "thorough conclusion" (in German eyes) to the conquest of Greece ?

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, nervous glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

phil andrade
London, UK
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/16/2017 4:53:39 AM
What really exercises me here is the question as to how far Barbarossa was the central theme of Hitler's ambition ; and as to how far his war against the Western powers was a peripheral matter that had to be settled in order to allow him to pursue his principal goal.

Was he opportunistic ; making it up as he went along ?

Crete is an exemplar of this. The operation cost the lives of several thousand German paratroopers : a drop in the ocean compared with the multi million massacre that was to come in Russia ....but in qualitative terms, very damaging to German potential .

Regards, Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

BWilson

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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/16/2017 5:06:21 AM
 He would have gone into the USSR, no matter what. His fixation on mythical notions regarding German destiny were no mere political gambit.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, nervous glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

James W.
Ballina, Australia
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Posts: 674

Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/16/2017 5:07:28 AM
If we go by Hitler's political manifesto 'Mein Kampf' Phil, - then the answer is yes..

& he was strangely moved by the heavy losses to his elite paras, something that inhibited him later,
- by failing to use them to take Malta in a timely fashion.

( ironically, the recent post about the death of the US airborne cavalry commander, who ran into trouble in the 'Nam,
was yet another example of the limitations of lightly equipped airborne troops when facing 'proper' military units).

phil andrade
London, UK
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Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/16/2017 5:53:24 AM
Andrew Roberts makes two assertions.

The first is that four fifths of all German military deaths in WWII were attributable to the war against the Soviet Union. Most would agree : maybe it was three quarters, not four fifths, but who's going to quibble about a million ?

More controversially, and - in my belief - erroneously - he maintains that Hitler invaded Russia as a means of undermining Britain ; in much the same manner as Napoleon had done 129 years earlier . Maybe I'm doing Roberts a great injustice : perhaps my memory plays me false and he didn't say that....but it looks arse about face to me.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

redcoat
Stockport, UK
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Posts: 193

Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/16/2017 7:51:27 AM

Quote:

More controversially, and - in my belief - erroneously - he maintains that Hitler invaded Russia as a means of undermining Britain ; in much the same manner as Napoleon had done 129 years earlier . Maybe I'm doing Roberts a great injustice : perhaps my memory plays me false and he didn't say that....but it looks arse about face to me.

Regards, Phil
--phil andrade
Andrew Roberts wasn't the first to make that claim. Hitler stated this very reason to his fellow Nazis and generals on a number of occasions during the planning for the attack on the Soviet Union.
There are two schools of thought on this claim, either Hitler truly believed that defeating the Soviet Union would forced Britain to make peace, or he was saying this just to pacify any of his generals who were worried about starting another two front war.
My view is that Hitler was at a loss about what to do about Britain, but at the same time he wanted to deal with the Soviet Union, so he convinced himself ( because that is what he wanted to believe) that defeating the Soviet Union would force Britain to seek peace.

phil andrade
London, UK
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Moderator
Posts: 2011

Re: Germany's War with Russia -1941-45
Posted on: 2/16/2017 4:22:59 PM
It's hard to get my head round.

The man who - in his Table Talk - admired the British Empire, because fifty thousand " English " could rule two hundred and fifty million Indians - and who saw the millennial struggle as settling accounts with the Slavic races to the east ; and who wanted to destroy the Judeo Marxist Bolshevik conspirators...why would such a man seek a death struggle with the British Empire ?

Hitler seems to have had an inordinate fixation on the periphery - be it the Mediterranean or the fjords of Norway - in this sense, he resembles Churchill.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

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