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

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

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 26 Sep 2020 17:58

Thumpalumpacus wrote:
20 Sep 2020 23:13
The leadership purge of the Red Army began in '37, did it not? How might that affect the battle?

It seemed to have some effect on the later Winter War. Would its effects have been felt as soon as 1937?
The purges of 1937 were largely confined to senior generals & Marshals. One possibility is these same men are removed in this WI scenario, then the purge is halted for the war & the lower level generals and senior field grade officers removed in 1938 are not purged as OTL. Rather they continue until they prove deficient & are then removed. This leaves the trained leadership of the Red Army largely intact. I suspect here the large scale doctrinal changes that followed along with the Purge of OTL will not be yet implemented. They may occur later as the war continues, or be heavily influenced by the lessons learned & take on a different character.

If the Purge continues at the same scale of OTL during the war things become very difficult for the Red Army.

Alternately Stalin anticipates this war with Poland in 1935 or 1936 & executes all or part of the purge early. This of course drops the number or trained officers and leads to the expected problems.

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

Post by Thumpalumpacus » 26 Sep 2020 19:44

Thanks, Carl. I hadn't really considered an interrupted purge -- nor an accelerated one. I guess I've got a lot to learn about this what-if stuff.

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

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 26 Sep 2020 21:14

You are doing better than most. This is actually a fairly complex question & I wish we had some Russian or Soviet history scholars weigh in.

James A Pratt III
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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 06 Oct 2020 23:58

1937 Air war overview at first against the Poles and later the Rumanians the Soviets managed to get air superiority over them but can seem to use it effectively. Later in the year when the German, Italians and Hungarians enter the war they get parity and sometimes superiority in the air. The Bf 109 fighter is better than any other fighter in use at this time. The Ju 87 proved very good in the close air support role.
At the end of the year Foggia Italy was where all the axis air forces set up training bases. It was there the Germans taught their Allies the finger four fighter tactics learned in Spain. During the winter the Soviets flew a few long distance raids on Berlin that really shook a few Germans up.

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