CultIcon wrote:the Soviets were not "tactically inferior" on the Eastern Front in 43-45
No serious analyst holds this view. Stiltzkin provided a link to Nigel Askey's Barbarossa analysis a little bit ago; unfortunately the link has since gone dead. viewtopic.php?f=55&t=244177#p2221566
Here's the figures from that link:
Index (tactical performance in comparison to 1941, factoring in quarterly, avg. front strength):
Soviet tactical abilities - measured by casualty infliction adjusted for men and firepower deployed - declined dramatically later in the war.
This makes intuitive sense to me, as Germany lost at least as many men per month during Barbarossa and Summer 1942 as they did during 43-44 campaigns, despite facing a less numerous and less well-equipped RKKA in 41/42. Had the Red Army possessed ~2.5:1 numerical superiority in 1941 I doubt the Germans reach the Dniepr.
Soviet training of junior leaders and enlisted men couldn't keep up with the massive losses to maintain tactical efficiency at June 1941 levels.
Operationally, the Soviets clearly improved as the war went on. This makes perfect sense, as generals like Zhukov, Rokossovsky, Bagramian, et. al. were there from the start and continued learning with experience. Unlike most junior leaders and enlisted men, they weren't killed/captured/crippled in a matter of months after reaching the front.
You rightly point out that the Germans were capturing fewer Soviets in 43-45, but POW's always came when the German army was on the strategic/operational offensive, a situation that rarely held in East after Kursk.
Kursk itself proves the still astoundingly-high level of German tactical proficiency later in the war. Despite failing at the operational level, the Germans inflicted disproportionate casualties at Kursk and overran several Russian defensive lines. They did so against at least 2-1 numerical inferiority and despite probably the best-prepared field defenses of WW2. They also did so mainly with PzIV's; the big cats were a small portion of German armor at Kursk. Have you read Zetterling's Kursk?
To echo my earlier question to you, what modern army has ever fought so well against such odds?
CultIcon wrote:If you look at the situation from the operational/tactical level 43-45 they were doing better than the German units. They were however, inefficient in their attack style- relying on massed infantry and armored attacks, ruthlessly executed. Personnel and AFVs were their "artillery/ammunition" in the soviet sense. If people looked at soviet casualty lists and think of them as ammunition expenditure (tons of bombs/shells fired) it is closer to its true meaning.
Where are you getting this stuff from? Stavka/Stalin issued specific orders NOT to waste men; the SU was facing a manpower crunch throughout the war. The cycles of modifying tank/mechanized corps and other support divisions were precisely to find the right combined arms mix - they show a military seriously grappling with the efficient use of resources, not one heedless of casualties.