Barbarossa

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
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Starinov
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Barbarossa

Post by Starinov » 19 Apr 2002 19:31

I will try to open that thread to continue the discussion that was held in the "Eastern Front 1941-1945". Some of the arguments that were used were extremely interesting. So those who might use insults as way of proving their arguments are the right ones: please go somewhere else.

There are many proofs for a Soviet attack against Germany in 1941. It was to happen on July 6th 1941 according to General Ivanov, General Staff officer during the WWII. It could not be in autonm for a very simple reason. On september 1st 1941, people drafted into the army two years before were to be demobilised. On september 1st 1939, the obligatory military service was annouced for all men 18-year-olds. Before that, the military service was not a obligation and you had to be 21 to join the army. In 1939, things changed. 18-year-olds were drafted as well as the 19-year-olds, 20-year-olds and the 21-year-olds who did not serve in the military before. So on a single day, 4 birth years were drafted. The military service was for two years. If Stalin would attack in autonm, all those men that served in the army and learnt to use modern equipment would be demobilised and all those funds that were necessary for their training would be lost.

On the other hand, Stalin could not attack earlier as in 1940 when Hitler was sending his armies to France since the Red Army was not ready. During the XVIII congress of the Prty Stalin said that he would intervene when the other countries would fight with each other for a long time and would be exhausted. Then and olny then he would strike and "liberate the world". When Hitler won in France after six weeks, The Soviet governement were extremely surprised. They did not plan that the french campaign will be over so soon. When Hitler tried to conquer Britain, Stalin was sharpening his axe. He built a enormous force to conquer Germany. Lenin said that The World Revolution can only start in Germany. That's why Stalin wanted to invade that country.

Many memoirs written by people that lived in those days say that they heard all the time news telling that a war between SU an the Third Reich is near, etc, etc, etc. But the moment the war started, it was a surprise for every one. So what is going on here? Everybody's talking about war and when it starts: it is a surprise. where is the logic? People were being prepared for war by many forms of propaganda but it was a war the the Soviet Union would start and win. It was a war against Germany. everybody knew that.

All the dispositions of the Army at the border shows that an attack was imminent

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admfisher
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Stalin

Post by admfisher » 19 Apr 2002 20:40

What of Stalin's ignoring his own intell. reports showing the Germans were massing on his border.

Who would not take a action for protection? He can not hide behind the old story that he thought he was in pact with Hitler, so Hitler would not invade him.

The only spot the Germans would been massing troops if they were not interested in Russia would of been possibly North Africa, on the way to a possible link with Japan in India.

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The theory

Post by Lars EP » 19 Apr 2002 20:58

The theory about an imminent Soviet attack has been presented time and again, but has as yet failed to convince me.

It seems to me that RKKA was in the middle of re-organizing.

The new KV-1 and T-34 tanks was still only available in limited numbers. A large part of the fighter-force was obsolete, and new fighters was still having teething-problems. Many divisions was under-strenght, and most of the motorized units had not yet received their vehicles. In the summer of -42, I could imagine the Soviet Union attack, but not in -41. Unless some new evidence can be presented, I believe this theory must be discarded.

Regards --- Lars EP

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Re: Stalin

Post by Starinov » 19 Apr 2002 21:03

admfisher wrote:What of Stalin's ignoring his own intell. reports showing the Germans were massing on his border.

Who would not take a action for protection? He can not hide behind the old story that he thought he was in pact with Hitler, so Hitler would not invade him.
Would you beleive a report saying that a bunch of merely 3000 tanks is preparing a invasion of your country while they have fuel reserves for only two months, ammunition stocks for maybe two and a half? A blitzkrieg in the USSR is not possible since the country is enormous. The Germans invaded SU without providing their troops with winter gear, without preparing conservation oils for winter and automn fighting. Barborrossa was a suicidal attack and Stalin did not believe that somebody would commit that at chancellor level

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Russia

Post by admfisher » 20 Apr 2002 00:26

The invasion as we know was a 3 pronged attack. North Central and South.
If you follow all the invasion you will see that if the origanal plans had been followed then Moscow would of probably fallen. This was the first phase. Once there it was supposed to be before the winter had come in all its furey.

The Germans did make it to Moscow and into some of the out lying areas, but that was it.

Overall the whole idea was stupid. But when you think of it, how long could two systems sworn to destroy each other stay away war?

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Starinov
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Re: The theory

Post by Starinov » 20 Apr 2002 00:36

Lars EP wrote:The new KV-1 and T-34 tanks was still only available in limited numbers. A large part of the fighter-force was obsolete, and new fighters was still having teething-problems. Many divisions was under-strenght, and most of the motorized units had not yet received their vehicles.
On June 22nd 1941, USSR had more than 20,000 tanks of whom 1,800 were medium and heavy tanks. 2/3 of those were T-34 and KV-1. That's 1,200 tanks. It is only 1/3 of what the Wehrmacht had. The thing is that the Germans did not have anything similar to those tanks. The heavier was the Panzer IV which was a medium tank but the Germans had only 250 of them. The main battle tank of the Wehrmacht was the Panzer III with a 37mm and 50 mm gun.

The soviet tanks were lost not because the german equipment was better. (On the contrary, german troops had to use the flak 88mm gun to kill them). The lacked fuel when soviet troops got caught in a cauldron

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Re: The theory

Post by Darrin » 20 Apr 2002 05:50

Starinov wrote:
Lars EP wrote:The new KV-1 and T-34 tanks was still only available in limited numbers. A large part of the fighter-force was obsolete, and new fighters was still having teething-problems. Many divisions was under-strenght, and most of the motorized units had not yet received their vehicles.
On June 22nd 1941, USSR had more than 20,000 tanks of whom 1,800 were medium and heavy tanks. 2/3 of those were T-34 and KV-1. That's 1,200 tanks. It is only 1/3 of what the Wehrmacht had. The thing is that the Germans did not have anything similar to those tanks. The heavier was the Panzer IV which was a medium tank but the Germans had only 250 of them. The main battle tank of the Wehrmacht was the Panzer III with a 37mm and 50 mm gun.

The soviet tanks were lost not because the german equipment was better. (On the contrary, german troops had to use the flak 88mm gun to kill them). The lacked fuel when soviet troops got caught in a cauldron

Except 90% of rus tanks were light and any ger fly swatter could kill them. One of the problem with the PzIIIs was they only had the short 50mmL42 gun.

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Post by Gwynn Compton » 20 Apr 2002 06:07

All the dispositions of the Army at the border shows that an attack was imminent
I hope by this comment you're talking about the Ostheer, as the Red Army was certainly not deployed for the offensive.

In fact you'll find that the Red Army was stretched across the entire frontier far too thinly to pose any threat to Europe. Military logic is that you mass forces for an attack, yet there was no massing in Russia.

The reason why the Red Army was deployed this way has been suggested to be linked to Stalin's personality. Stalin we must remember, was a dictator, and not only this but he demanded complete control of everything. Stalin's logic in placing the Red Army across the entire frontier was that he could control it all, and prevent the Germans from exploiting any gaps he left them. In reality Stalin handed the Germans what they truly needed, the Red Army massed in the border, easily unhinged and surrounded.

I have heard so many people claim that the Soviet Union was going to invade in 1941, but none have convinced me, and it will take something special to do so.

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re

Post by IAR80 » 20 Apr 2002 08:22

Is is true that Hitler started the battle of Stalingrad because the russian troops captured in 1941 were actually mostly rearguard units and second-rate divisions, while the better equipped divisions managed to escape, so he decided to lure them into a huge clash and eliminate them?

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Post by Starinov » 20 Apr 2002 14:37

I hope by this comment you're talking about the Ostheer, as the Red Army was certainly not deployed for the offensive.
The 1st ecjhelon was already in place when the Germans attacked and the second one was on his way from different regions of the Soviet Union. On the eve of the german aggression, All the soviet artillery was deployed in the frontier area while the soldier were still being drafted. If Stalin was preparing for an attack he would not post the artillery in the boerder area but some 100-200 km away.

By the way, Stalin had created in may 1941 5 paratrooper corps and 5 more were created in july of the same year. How do you explain the creation of such units knowing that paratroopers are an offensive weapon only. Today, the USA have only two divisions of that kind. Within 4 months, the Soviet Union had 10 corps.

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Post by subskipper » 20 Apr 2002 15:08

The problem as I see it, is that the armoured forces of the Red Army was in a pretty bad shape. The production of T-34's and KV's were indeed increasing, but many armoured units didn't have any tanks to speak of, and of those that did the crews often lacked adequate training (John Erickson mentions an average of one hours practice). Also according to Erickson, one-third of the machines needed overhauling while some 44 per cent were in need of spare parts that didn't exist in repair shops that the Red Army didn't have. The fact that most artillery units lacked adequate ammunition supplies, (and the same is true for the tank units equipped with the T-34 and KV-tanks), speaks against a Soviet invasion during 1941.

Secondly, why would the Red Army deploy for an offensive so early, when the armed forces weren't adequatley supplied? Stalin was indeed very careful to avoid anything that the Germans might see as a provocation, a reaction that compounded the effect of the German offensive.


~Henric Edwards

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Post by admfisher » 20 Apr 2002 19:32

In the talk of the T34 and KV1's I havn't seen nothing written of how they were handled by the Russins.

The first T-34's were decent but the commander was overworked and when we look at both the T34 and the KV1's, we should not forget these tanks were not generally equipped with radio's
The Germans on the other hand used a five man tank crew, so each member had a more balanced work load. They had radio's in most tanks, this alone was a huge helper in beating the superior Russian tanks.
Basically the PanzerTruppen were better trained and equiped. I know the armor and guns were not equal but a winning tank is not a winning tank unless the crew is a well trained team.

That said, with the help of better communications from the trooper to the commander, they were able to fight a battle of manuver and shock. The Russians on the other hand did not start to display this on a large scale till 43.

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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 20 Apr 2002 21:23

Starinov wrote:
I hope by this comment you're talking about the Ostheer, as the Red Army was certainly not deployed for the offensive.
The 1st ecjhelon was already in place when the Germans attacked and the second one was on his way from different regions of the Soviet Union. On the eve of the german aggression, All the soviet artillery was deployed in the frontier area while the soldier were still being drafted. If Stalin was preparing for an attack he would not post the artillery in the boerder area but some 100-200 km away.

By the way, Stalin had created in may 1941 5 paratrooper corps and 5 more were created in july of the same year. How do you explain the creation of such units knowing that paratroopers are an offensive weapon only. Today, the USA have only two divisions of that kind. Within 4 months, the Soviet Union had 10 corps.
The first echelon was nowhere near being in the place. Soviet divisions in the first echelon had cover on the average 50-long border stretch. So called paratrooper’s corps hardly were above division strength -it is very indicative that in fact they were converted into infantry divisions eventually. But even these forces did not had necessary means to get airborne all at ones. T-34 production in fact stopped for a considerable while in 1940 and the tank itself was supposed to be replaced by T-34M in 1941 which would require yet another halt of the production lines.

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Stalin Line

Post by admfisher » 20 Apr 2002 23:06

Didn't the Russians deploy forward of the Stalin Line. This caused them to be overextended. Not only this but they were occupyig new territory, this intern lessens the defenders advantage. The Russians when they deployed forward they did it at a time when there was no time to prepare there new positions.

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Post by Pumpkin » 20 Apr 2002 23:50

Focusing on only one evidence of Soviet invasion plans: Isn't the historical fact that the Red Army suffered enormous losses at the beginning of Barbarossa evidence enough, that it wasn't grouped for defence? It was superior in numbers, tanks and guns. It fought well at all other times. What could explain the devastating defeat, if not that it was NOT grouped for defence? And then why were so large number of troops grouped so close to the border, if not in preparation of an attack?

And it would explain why Stalin didn't interpret the intelligence reports about German troop concentrations at the border as a threat. The natural conclusion for Stalin would be that the Germans were grouping for defence!

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