Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

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Peter89
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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by Peter89 » 15 Oct 2021 12:14

Martin_from_Valhalla wrote:
15 Oct 2021 07:26
ljadw wrote:
15 Oct 2021 06:36
Linkagain wrote:
02 Oct 2021 11:25
Good question the USSR forces were larger then Polands,,however Stalin Purges..on Red Army Leadership probably would have a detremential effect on Stragity and tacticas...
HUngary would probaly send to Poland what aid and Volunteers it could because of her ancient freindship with Poland
Although it could not get directly involved in a war with USSR...the Baltic States would also give what aid they could...Poland would lose part of her eastern Providences while the REd Army would suffer high losses {as happened in the Russia-Finland War}
The influence of Stain's purges on the Red Army is very exaggerated and has become mythical .
Most fired officers were fired for incompetence .
The initial Soviet defeats in 1941 were caused by the massive expansion of the Red Army after September 1939,for which there not sufficient officers and NCO's.
I would highly disagree that the effect of purges is exaggerated. Stalin purged tsarist officers who went through First World War and Red officers who went through Civil War. And tsarist officers stayed to serve Russia, not Stalin, they could have been of a bigger use than those who substituted them. Newly baked officers were highly indoctrinated with Marxism and studying Marxist ideology took a lot of time in learning process. And what's more newcomers were highly scared to do something wrong, to act independently according to the situation, they were completely deprived of any free will, free thinking, any innitiative. That's the reason of Red Army's slack acting in the first months of wad.
The C&C did not break down in 1941 because of the purges; it did break down for various other reasons, but mostly because of the lack of preparations, ie. the flaws of the Soviet strategy. Besides; the SU did not consider the Reich as an enemy, especially not as a mortal one. Stalin - correctly - believed that the Germans should strike a deal with the Soviets if they were to establish a new world order or anything resembling an economic independence. The thing that he overplayed his hand and set the Germans' minds to an invasion has nothing to do with his purges. The Soviets could not imagine how and why would Germany attack the SU, because the SU enjoyed superiority in everything, possessed a huge border zone that alone would exhaust some of German offensive capabilities, and got access to some of Germany's advanced military technology (the plans of the Bismarck, the Deutschland-class heavy cruisers, the Me 109, the Ju 88, aero-engines, etc.). On top of this, common sense dictated that an inferior power should avoid a two front war at all costs.

Besides, the Soviet defeats, unlike those in the West, did not come lightly for the invader; the Germans suffered terrible losses well before Moscow. In the Battle of Smolensk alone, supposedly a great German victory, the Wehrmacht suffered approximately the same amount of casualties as in the entire Westfeldzug.
Someone had to stay and fight to wear down the Germans and buy time to organize the defense of the key industrial and population. The loss of C&C would likely happen even if the Soviet commanders would retreat; something like that happened in the summer of 1942 as well.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

ljadw
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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by ljadw » 15 Oct 2021 18:38

Answer to Post 120 : That is the Cold War claim,but after the Soviet Archives were opened, the truth appeared to be different .The problems in the Soviet Army (drunkenness, ..) existed already before the purges .
In 1933 the numbers of new commanders in the RKKA was higher than in 1937,and 1933 was before the Great Purges .
There were in 1936 106247 officers and in 1941 373910 ,thus an increase of 267000,while between 1936 and 1941 41000 were fired ) NOT shot ) and 12000 of these were reinstated .Thus the increase was 10 times higher than the number of fired officers .This proves that the increase was due to the increase of the Red Army from 1,3 million to 4,5 million .
Who were those who were discharged ? (From 1934 til 1940 56785 ) .Even without the purges, the Red Army would have big problems in 1941 .
15743 of them were fired for political reasons ( officially ,because it is probable that a number of them were drunken, incompetent and lazy,but that the Cheka wanted to increase the number of political opponents to increase its power ).
And, that the newcomers were scared to act independently is also an exaggeration, because how to explain the failure of the Germans in the Summer of 1941 ? And why would the newcomers be scared to act independently and not the old ones ?
Last point : the Tsarist officers : some were purged, others not (the chief of staff in 1940 was a tsarist officer ).

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 15 Oct 2021 20:15

In mid 1938 the Russian Liberation Committee was set up from Russian exiles. Shortly afterwards the Russian Liberation Army was formed. Other exiles were formed to form run other parts of the USSR Ukraine, the Caucasus, central Asia. At first many exiles were enraged that the Russian Empire was going to be broken up. The Germans and other Axis replied do you like living in exile? it's better to half a country than no country at all. The Russian exiles after some argument agreed and set up a government, a army and put out a political program. The program included free and fair elections, doing away with collective farms, self determination ect. Copies of it were dropped by Axis aircraft behind Soviet lines. This did led to an increase in the Soviet desertion rate and scared the NKVD and Soviet leadership.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by Martin_from_Valhalla » 17 Oct 2021 07:57

James A Pratt III wrote:
15 Oct 2021 20:15
In mid 1938 the Russian Liberation Committee was set up from Russian exiles. Shortly afterwards the Russian Liberation Army was formed. Other exiles were formed to form run other parts of the USSR Ukraine, the Caucasus, central Asia. At first many exiles were enraged that the Russian Empire was going to be broken up. The Germans and other Axis replied do you like living in exile? it's better to half a country than no country at all. The Russian exiles after some argument agreed and set up a government, a army and put out a political program. The program included free and fair elections, doing away with collective farms, self determination ect. Copies of it were dropped by Axis aircraft behind Soviet lines. This did led to an increase in the Soviet desertion rate and scared the NKVD and Soviet leadership.
The Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia (Russian: Комитет освобождения народов России, Komitet osvobozhdeniya narodov Rossii, abbreviated as Russian: КОНР, KONR) was a committee composed of military and civilian Nazi collaborators from territories of the Soviet Union (most being Russians). It was founded by Nazi Germany on November 14, 1944, in Prague, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (purposely chosen because it was a Slavic city that was still under Axis control).

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by Martin_from_Valhalla » 17 Oct 2021 09:02

Soviet Archives are an interesting read, communists often disguised their true intentions using dry rethoric. Anyway, to shoot people because they are alcoholics or were just caught in their cabinets with a bottle of vodka is not a good way to solve problems. And alcoholism could have been a pretention to just solve other problems, like nepotism, rivalry in working process - snitching and splitting on people hasn't helped any society.

But there are indeed some great points about the increase of The Red Army and percentages shot due to this increase. And people often praise China for giving a death penalty to corrupted officials because other official who takes post of a penalised one would think twice to take bribes or not. May be the "new officers" wouldn't have been scared to act independently and bravely, hadn't they known that their predecessor was shot for some reasons?

The Red Army definitely would have had problems in 1941, no matter were there purges or not, just because there was a marxist doctrine and I have talked a lot to people indoctrinated with marxism on Russian forums in recent years. There is something wrong in their way of thinking, something outdated and illogic, irrational. They think that what they were taught at school in 70s-80s about history is still correct but history has a tendency to move on and change its direction.

German Generals often noticed in their diaries that they met a kind of a "new enemy who was stubborn and ready to fight to the end" speaking about Soviet soldiers but then again, Minsk was occupied a week after the war started and in The First World War Minsk was occupied on 18th February 1918, only when bolsheviks seized power, almost four years after the war started. And it's not the fault of Soviet soldiers, just war tactics changed, there were offensive weaponry like tanks but still... When Hitler learnt about purges in Soviet Army, he said that not a minute should have been wasted until a new generation of officers was raised.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 22 Oct 2021 19:27

Two Soviet Colonels out ice fishing at the end of December

Colonel 1 The coast is clear. How are things really doing?
Colonel 2: Capturing Warsaw was a great victory won at heavy cost
Colonel 1: The enemy suffered heavy losses as well.
Colonel 2: True! but we have many problems the enemy's Pz IV tanks are superior to our BTs and T-26s. Our munition production is up but, supply is barely keeping up with expenditure and getting enough of it to from front is becoming extremely difficult to put it mildly.
Colonel 1: I know we have taken heavy losses in rolling stock mostly do to air attack. Truck production is up and we have more trucks in service but we just don't have enough of them. When our troops make a breakthrough they often can't exploit it because we don't have enough trucks to supply them. Add to this many of the artillery unit in the tank corps are still horse drawn. The enemy on the other hand is much better off in terms of motor transport and can move large bodies of troops faster than we can. They are also much better off in terms of rail and air transport. We are also having real problems feeding our troops. A soldier is lucky if he gets 2/3s of the food he is supposed to have
Colonel 2: True having the army grow its own food in the rear is helping some but, it cuts into training and we are having soldiers die of starvation and starvation related sicknesses.
Colonel 1: The civilian population is also suffering badly, there are some areas in Russia are in famine and I have heard of cases of cannibalism! I have also seen in Moscow people dropping dead of starvation.
Colonel 2: production of everything is suffering. men and women can not do heavy work without being half way decently fed!
Colonel 1: Meanwhile the cockroach is having the Cheka continue to purge the country of "traitors". It's hard to fight a war when your generals are being purged on a regular basis. Then there is that idiot Mekhlis he is traveling the front firing generals for little or no reason.
Colonel 2: It also doesn't help that factory managers are being arrested by the Cheka for sabotage because they can't meet their quotas. Which in many cases are way to high and not having enough material and with a starving work force makes thing worse.
Colonel 1: Sometimes I wonder whose side the cockroach and his gang are on. Adding to our problems the Fascists have set up a "Russian Liberation committee" made up mainly of ex-Whites ect. my
Colonel 2: Yes I have seen their propaganda. I would say that the cockroach and his gang should be very afraid of this group.
Colonel 1: They are. Well lets give the fish another hour then lets head to my quarters warm up and have a nice meal of the ones we caught. When do you think you will back in Moscow?
Colonel 2: most likely in about 6 months as usual for the bi-yearly conference.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 22 Oct 2021 19:30

As for the Russian Liberation Committee that's where I got the name for it

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 12 Nov 2021 21:15

3 Japanese Generals meeting
General1: I just got back from Manchuria our plans for troop and supply build ups are not going as well as planned.
General 3: Production delays mean our army is not yet equipped to fight the Russians. it is no good calling men up when we don't have weapons for them.
General 2: As for the war in Europe it is going badly for Germany and her Allies. I did not expect this to happen. However, if war with Russia start next year. I am still confident the Japanese Spirit will enable our army to win.
General 1: The Japanese Spirit will not help us equip our army. On my visit to Manchuria a few of these newly formed divisions performed poorly in manuvers do to a lack of training.
General 3: If the Russians defeat the Germans and their Allies they will turn their army on us and I don't think the outcome will good for the Empire. adding to our problems we need to build up large stocks of oil and other raw materials in the homeland which we will need to fight a war. However, the cost of them has gone up since the start of the war.
General 1: Members of the Diet are complaining about the cost of the build up. There is a possibility we may not get into the war but, it is a good idea for us to prepare for it.
General 3: I must also point out our intelligence has reported the Russians are building up strong defenses on there side of the border. There is also discussion on forming our Tanks into tank divisions based on the reports from the war. The problems are our tanks are inferior to the Russians and we are short of motor vehicles. In fact we are also still lacking in the Rolling stock in Manchuria for a large scale war. Add to this we are short of horses. T
General 1: I must say those Canadian trucks we bought and are using in Manchuria are proving most usefull we need more of them.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 17 Dec 2021 22:31

The View from the US at the end of 1938:
The US is badly divided there are many people who come from Axis countries Germany, Poland ect who support the Axis add to this White Russian exiles and many US conservatives ect. The USSR has many supporters on the left in the US. Some of their leaders are Jewish which hurts them slightly. Polls say that 90+% of all Americans want to keep out of this war.
The war is good for the US economy. US food, oil and other raw materials are in great demand by the Axis. US auto makers are selling tens of thousands of motor vehicles to the Axis. US and Western banks are quite willing to loan Axis countries money. Some US and other Western countries are selling aircraft and other military equipment to the Axis. If someone does not want to sell something to one Axis power like Germany you can always sell it to the Poles. The USSR on the other hand really cannot get much from the US because the Axis controls the seas. Add to this very few banks want to loan the Soviets any money since Lenin canceled the Tsarist governments debts ect. The few that did had very high interest rates.
There were a few Americans who want to Europe and volunteered to serve in the Axis militaries. The most famous were the Americans who flew with the Polish Air Force. Two of them by the end of 1938 have made ace. As for volunteers for the USSR a group of them set sail in a US merchant ship full of aid to Russia supplies paid for by US Communists sympithizers, lefts ect. It left San Fransico for Petropavlosk in early 1938. Also on board was a pretty US female left wing reporter. The ship was wrecked in a storm north of Petropavlosk and no one on board survivied. Later it was found out some did survive including the female reporter but, they blundered into a gulag camp, saw too much, and had to be eliminated.
Reports of Soviet atrocities in occupied Axis land shocked many Americans since they were documented in part by US and other neutral nations reporters and observers. The Soviets and their supporters just could not talk their way out of this. It also didn't help that Soviet agents place bombs on Axis merchant ships carrying supplies to Europe. In one case a Polish merchant ship blew up in New York harbor and the resulting investigation by the FBI caught the Soviet agents reponsible. This enraged many Americans and resulted in many Soviet "Diplomats" being sent home.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 10 Jan 2022 23:33

The FBI had been helped by "leaked" intel from the Germans and Italians. The Soviets had decided at the start of the war that they needed an air transport to help communicate things between the USSR and US. They were helped by the fact that they bought some DC-3s in 1936 and PBYs in 1937 and got the right to produce them under license which they did in small numbers during this war but, it took awhile to do this. One thing they had to do to get the aircraft ect was to let all US citizens in the USSR be allowed to leave. Most of them who had not been purged and shot did so. The ones who stayed all disappeared into the Gulag fate unknown. Most of the Americans who did make it out had bad thing to say about the USSR.
The Soviets in late 1937 set up the following aircraft routes Petropavlosk-Dutch harbor-Juenau-US, The Leningrad-Oslo-England-Iceland-Newfoundland-US. and some Ireland-Newfoundland. These flights could be dangerous 2 planes were lost in 1938. One crashed into the sea off Alaska and the USCG recovered the body of a NKVD courier with a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist full of secret documents which they gave to the ONI and FBI which also helped them in their spy hunts. Result by early 1939 the Soviets weren't getting much intel ect from the US compared to 1937.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by ThatZenoGuy » 11 Jan 2022 03:07

Nobody:
Russia invading Poland in hypothetical 1937 scenario: HUMAN WAVE OFFENSIVE, URRAAAAAAA!

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 09 Feb 2022 20:24

Spring 1939
Rumania the Soviets launch a major offensive towards Polesti it makes slight gains for heavy casualties. Shortly afterwards the Soviets launch another offensive that breaks through and is only halted at the outskirts of Constanza. The Panzer Group made up of most of the Axis Armored units launches a counter attack near the base of the bulge breaks through and cuts off the attacking forces. The Soviets launched attacks from both inside and outside the pocket which failed. The Soviet Black Sea fleet tried to supply the cut off forces, support them with naval gunfire, and evacuate some but suffered heavy casualties in the process. After much heavy fighting the cut off Soviet forces surrendered.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 16 Mar 2022 19:00

Poland spring 1939
The Soviets launch a major offensive from Warsaw to Lodz that makes some gains but suffers heavy losses.

South Poland the Soviets launch offensives both north and South of Przemysl. Both make gains and the Axis was forced to withdraw from the city because it was about to be encircled.

East Prussia: the Soviets launch an offensive towards Danzig which makes slight gains but suffers heavy losses

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 14 Apr 2022 21:25

Late Spring 1939 While the Soviet Armies are preparing for another round of offensives they are hit by the first major German offensive of the war. The attack which achieved almost complete surprise took place in Northern Poland. The Germans broke through the Soviet line drove to the Lithuanian border turned north and soon reached the Baltic. The offensive left the Soviet leadership in a state of shock! All their attempts to stop it failed. The forces in the pocket managed to set up a defense line which managed to halt the German advance to the East of Konigsberg. Out side the pocket the Soviets managed after a while to rebuild a line from the Lithuanian border to the south of the breakthrough area. It took over a month for the Soviets to gather enough forces to attempt a relief offensive. A lack of motor transport and constant German and Polish air attacks made large scale troop movements difficult. Meanwhile, the Soviet forces in the pocket were ordered to hold on and not break out. The Soviet relief offensive made some gains but, with their superior mobility in part do to large numbers of trucks from the US and Axis command of the air soon halted it.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 03 Jun 2022 16:34

A few weeks later the Soviets made another major offensive to relieve the pocket which made slight gains for heavy losses. The Soviets tried to keep the pocket supplied by air, submarine, and a few small ships. The amount of supplies received was inadequate and this was done at heavy cost. After over 3 months with the Soviet forces running out of ammo and starving the Germans launched an offensive to destroy the pocket. It took about a month before the pocket was destroyed. This defeat was a great one for the Soviets and their friends. It is reguarded by many as a turning point in the war.

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