Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Union?

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
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Lit.
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Re: Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Union?

Post by Lit. » 23 Aug 2008 20:31

eric_stugfan wrote:Hi, Lit:

Just want to say this thread is really great, I've little idea how baltican people did in the WWII, your arguments and photos are very powerful and informative, I think your fellow lithuanians should be proud for this thread.

Eric
Thanks Eric,
for your words. Yes they are.

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Re: Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Union?

Post by Lit. » 09 Dec 2008 12:47

From the new photo album "Prisieke Tevynei", Kaunas 2008.
Image
"Didzioji Kova" military district. 2 brothers (from the left): Kazys Puodziunas - "Titnagas" and Povilas Puodziunas - "Zeruolis" (Žeruolis).
Kazys Puodziunas - "Titnagas" ("Flint" in English) (1917-1951); joined Lithuanian-Soviet war in 1944. He was commander of 3rd battalon, of division "B" in the "Didziosios Kovos Apygarda" ("The Great Battle" military district), and after 1950 - commander of all DKA military district. KIA 1951.09.26. in the Azumakis forest together with Pranas Kiausinis - "Kiaune", Vincas Miskinis - "Vienuolis" and Rapolas Purlys - "Slapunas".
Povilas Puodziunas - "Zeruolis" (1927-199?); joined Lithuanian Freedom fight in 1949; was member of DKA staff (head for social relations). In April of 1952 was captured allive and after "special treatment" (tortures etc.) became a treator agent "Mokytojas" ("Teacher") of MGB (=KGB). Till 1953.05.15 with his active collaboration with occupants were killed or captured alive 19 Lithuanian partisans. After Lithuania gained back it's independance (1990.03.11) poor trator Povilas Puodziunas could't stand such a shame and hanged himself in his flat in Kaunas.
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Re: Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Union?

Post by Lit. » 23 Feb 2009 15:30

The new book about Lithuanian-Soviet war for French readers:

Thierry Pinet
"La Résistance armée des Lituaniens contre le pouvoir soviétique (1944–1953)"
Image
ISBN 978-9955-463-24-5

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Re: Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Union?

Post by Lit. » 23 Feb 2009 15:39

Documentary about Lithuanian Army marching to the capital Vilnius, October 27-28th, 1939:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=_-EfcUsFzzg
http://youtube.com/watch?v=G4TlnaXQUE8

Lithuanian Army in 1937-1938 (film in colour):
http://youtube.com/watch?v=wyt6843uI_w

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Re: Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Union?

Post by Lit. » 29 Mar 2009 17:11

The same brothers: Kazys Puodziunas - "Titnagas" ("Flint" in English) (1917-1951)
and Povilas Puodziunas - "Zeruolis" (1927-199?) with other Lithuanian partisans from "Didžioji Kova" (The Great Fight military District) "B" command. In the first raw: from the left: Vladas Virbalas - "Puriena", "Riteris" and Adomas Širvinckas - "Šalmas" (KIA 1953.03.14-15); standing (from the left): Stasys Rokas - "Beržas", Kazimieras Puodžiunas - "Titnagas", Povilas Puodžiunas - "Žeruolis" and Vladas Rinkunas - "Vetra" (KIA 1951.04.16).
(Picture from the book "Aukstaitijos partizanu atsiminimai VI dalis", "Margi raštai", Vilnius 2008. ISBN 978-9986-09-348-0)
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Re: Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Union?

Post by Lit. » 29 Mar 2009 17:46

From the same source as above: Brone Daktariunaite - "Viltis ("Hope") and Brone Kudabaite - "Dainava".
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Re: Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Union?

Post by Lit. » 08 Apr 2009 18:16

Documentary “Red Terror on the Amber Coast” has been completed and is currently being distributed.
It is a 55 minute documentary, with interviews from a number of people including President Adamkus and Landsbergis to partizanai, and their wives, and children deported to the Gulag and Arctic.Kun. David O’Rourke
Point Richmond, CA



“Red Terror on the Amber” Coast

Soviet Occupation-Lithuanian Resistance 1939-1993

A documentary by Ken Gumbert and David O’Rourke, 2008, DVD, 60:00 min

“Red Terror on the Amber Coast” documents the fifty-year-long struggle between the people of Lithuania and the Soviet KGB and their predecessors to impose Soviet control on a free and democratic, Western republic. Using filmed interviews, archival photos and newsreel footage, it describes Stalin’s use of state-sponsored terror to destroy opposition, collectivize agriculture and industry, and create a single social class all under party control. Some interviews record the long-term, armed resistance by organized partisans to the KGB and its troops. Others describe their experiences, as adults and children, of arrest, imprisonment, deportation to Siberia and the Arctic coast, and years as slave laborers in the mines and forests of the far East.

For more information please visit: http://www.domediaproductions.org
<...>
David O’Rourke
301 West Richmond Ave.
Point Richmond, CA
94801
http://www.sflithuanians.com/main/2008/ ... %E2%80%9D/
http://www.domediaproductions.org/CurrentProjects.html
http://www.projo.com/tv/content/wk-red_ ... 878f0.html
http://www.newenglandfilm.com/news/arch ... umbert.htm
http://jbanc.org/?page=gallery&gal_id=18
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYET4bk0gvU

There is a few videos from the new documentary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIO6zzP-yb8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJUbWhNQTHs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PvtUIH9OcI

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Re: Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Union?

Post by Grellber » 08 Apr 2009 20:58

Right.


So what do we do to be able to watch the entire one?

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Re: Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Union?

Post by imanc » 09 Apr 2009 00:33

Firstly I would like to say that I haven't 100% read all the posts here, so sorry if I'm repeating some mentioned facts already.
Secondly, Lit has indeed given outstanding contribution here, great!

About the original question - without doubt, they could. All inter-war armies were trained exactly for 2 plans - War with the USSR or with Germany. If I remember correctly, Latvia even had plan if both would attack.. And I'm sure Poland had seperate plans if one of them attacked, but had no plan if both would attack at once.

About if Baltic States had fighting chance. As Lit already showed here, they definitely had. My personal speculation is that if there would have been organised resistence before occupation, USSR would show higher respect for this region and organise puppet state like in Poland, Bulgaria, etc, and like it planned to do for Finland (as I see unrealistic actually beating Soviet army totally in region so "desirable" by them, like finnish troops, Baltic armies would be definitely eventually beaten).
What I think nobody has written here are the numbers that Baltic States could have mobilized, if there would have been the political will for it. For Latvia the decision to not mobilize was made of course without any democratic considerations (very different from Finland) in few persons meeting with ultimate question "do we have fighting chance" and the answer from both generals "no". Actually, army was trained exactly for that. However, it was allways assumed that fighting would be "until" western help, thats why getting western help was so important during all interwar period and thats why probably generals said "no". And thats why so many in 1945 thought that UK (or even USA), the friends from Liberation War, will soon come, and help to beat the Soviets, with their fleets and planes. Also, Poland's campaign changed totally everything. It was not supposed to be be so so quick. So all Baltic states, to whom Poland's army was one to learn something from, were shocked (like everybody else).

However, the numbers that could be gained with the 24-72h mobilization plans -
Latvia 130'000-140'000 (plus 50'000 with outside material help) - (8 divisions from peacetime 4)
Lithuania ~140'000 (plus 100'000 with help) - (not sure, peacetime 5)
Estonia 80'000 (plus 60'000 with help) - (not sure of wartime plans, peacetime 3, though it has very short bourder to defend, so it probably had the highest amount of troops per km)

So without any help they combined would have ~300'000 to add to their existing forces (existing - 60'000-65'000) in definitely less then a week.
For such small nations there could be no "second chance" if battles would go bad, too little space to retreat to, so they were prepared to mobilize everything, and fight to the maximum at once. And the maximum to mobilize is - ~10%-20% of population, depending on how prosperous the country is or/and how many rich allies it has.

By western accounts, Estonian army though not armed the best, could be even capable of offensive opperations, at least, better then Lat & Lit. Though none of them were really trained for that.
To compare - Finland had ~250'000 troops in winter war, similar number of tanks and planes as Baltics.
And, Soviet Union needed ~1 month to attack Finland after talks broke. So the fastest that Soviet Union could attack Baltics would be middle or end of October 1939 - not the best wether for, as Finland showed, actually not too battle-capable army (appearently great purges, like many countries thought, indeed weakened Red army greatly).

The combined defencive budgets of all 3 Baltic States were somewhat smaller then Yugoslavia's, definitely larger then Finlands - but coordinated military cooporation was almost nonexistant - however, it is without doubt that with actual military operations starting, such cooperation - at least on local scale, would be quick to appear.

So, again, answering the question. Soviet Union had no woking blizkrieg in 1939, as Winter War showed. So mobilization would have happened even during war. Thus, would ~360'000 be capable to resiste against 120'000-150'000 that were on the borders? Definitely yes. At least till more Soviet troops would be sent in, and then probably for a month or two. (Finland, in winter time, resisted for some 100 days)

Would they be capable of resisting individualy with weak cooperation? Probably. At least few weeks.
Might Red army be strong enough to occupy Baltics faster then in 72 hours and thus have to battle only the standing armies? I doubt it. If so, war might be over in a few days (and even that would be enough to have partial mobilization). However, Soviet army was supposed to enter Helsinki in 4 days.
So, my personal conclusion about Baltic States resisting would be - minimum 3-5 days (with Red army opperating "as intended" and not "as in Finland"), maximum - 2-3 months (too little supplies were collected to have prolonged war).

However, after signing treaty's for bases in 1939, winter was spent actively trying to buy heavy weaponery, understanding that tanks and planes have far outgrown their supposed roles. During war time it was particulary difficult with very little sellers, but still, at least Latvia managed to buy some heavy equipment. So if Baltics would have resisted in the summer of 1940,
1) no hope for international support, even moral one, since France was about to/had just fallen. (and Soviet Union used fall of Paris to occupy Baltics)
2) up to 20-30'000 thousands of russian troops on western side of the each country. (total at least 50'000)
3) many lessons learned by Soviet army from Finland.

However, even then there was a thought that maybe there should be resistance. But I think that in such a case, even though there were some plans to fight both the russians from west and east, war would be over in 2-3 days. A week would be very hard to believe.

So, I think it was 50 years of occupation that somehow printed in peoples minds that "there could have been no resistance". There could have, and in 1939 it would have worked.

P.S. very interesting, how Anchluss and events of march 1939 triggered events like, Mussolini wanting to show how powerfull he is, so he invaded Albania. And did Stalin wished to appear any weaker? Yea, right.
P.P.S. mobilized amounts of troops in Germany's and Soviet's armies from Baltic states represent approximetly how many could have been mobilized, more or less by their own governments.
P.P.P.S. I know that Latvians, though less and not as long as Lithuanians, also resisted up till ~mid 50ties, but I haven't heard if Estonians had armed resistance, I assume they probably did, maybe Lit knows?

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Re: Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Union?

Post by Lit. » 09 Apr 2009 10:26

Grellber wrote:Right.


So what do we do to be able to watch the entire one?
I don't know other way that this one:
If you would like a copy, please send a check for $20.00 made out to “Domedia Productions” to the following address. I will then send a copy of the film.
http://www.sflithuanians.com/main/2008/ ... %E2%80%9D/

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Re: Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Unio

Post by Lit. » 18 Dec 2010 14:31

New documentary: The Invisible Front is the story of the armed resistance against the Soviet Union in Lithuania from 1944 to 1953. The documentary tells the story of the resistance through the words and experiences of Juozas Lukša (pronounced Luksha) who is a hero of the Lithuanian partisan resistance.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/120 ... ible-front

http://theinvisiblefront.com/website/index.html

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Re: Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Unio

Post by Lit. » 26 Dec 2010 10:49

A Christmas Miracle by Juozas Lukša
Hi Everyone,

I thought I would share a brief excerpt from Juozas Lukša's book „Partizanai“. ( http://www.ceupress.com/books/html/ForestBrothers.htm )

Lukša and his comrades had escaped Lithuania through Kaliningrad to Poland before he eventually wound up in Paris. His mission was to gather support for the Resistance from the West.

The following is an abridged passage about his Partisan Christmas of 1947, two and a half years after the end of World War II.

The photos I’ve posted were taken in Kaliningrad during that mission.
-Vincas

CHRISTMAS IN THE MANGER

Everywhere people were preparing for Christmas. Women were cleaning their homes, tidying them up to the last detail and decorating for Christmas Eve. We were exhausted. Our faces were gaunt and spotted with sores caused by the constant exposure to the harsh weather. We wanted nothing more than to sleep.

We stopped at a farm. Seeing our exhaustion, the farmer showed us to a back room where we collapsed and slept. One of us took the bed, another a chair. I leaned against the stove, resting on my gun. We did not undress although our clothing was wet. We slept with our weapons cocked and loaded and close. The farmer noticed this and it made him anxious. We did not worry him more by telling him we were wanted men.

At midday the Polish Security Forces showed up at the farm where we were hiding. We were sleeping so deeply we did not hear them arrive. The search began so quickly he had no time to warn us. The Polish Security Forces ransacked his house and outbuildings, searching the barn and stables, going down into the cellars. We slept through it all. By some miracle they did not enter the room where we were sleeping. We think it was perhaps because the farmer’s wife had pasted the door and wall over with decorative Christmas paper. Because of her wallpaper job, the door blended in with the wall. We think that the Polish Communists simply did not realize that there was one room in the house that they had left unsearched.

Once the Polish Security Forces drove off, our host burst into our room and woke us. He kissed our hands and made the sign of the cross and explained what had happened. He declared the incident was a miracle, a true Christmas miracle.

Translated by Laima Vincė
Image

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/120 ... ront/posts

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Re: Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Unio

Post by elizabethpwalker » 05 Jul 2011 20:21

that's a really interesting thread. i've got to know much more about the baltic people during the WWII

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Re: Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Unio

Post by ScornfulOne 138 » 28 Sep 2014 04:48

The Baltics could have resisted with guerrilla warfare (especially in the case of Estonia's air force). If they had larger militaries and more contemporary weaponry (again mostly in the aerial warfare aspect) in the first place, it would have been better. At any rate, they probably would have lost at some point. Maybe Germany and Finland would have supported them because both countries had issues with the USSR. Also, German Jews were transported to the ghetto in Riga, Latvia. The Baltics were anti-Semitic countries and could have joined the Axis and/or Finland as co-belligerents, assuming they held out around the time of the Winter War.
"History shows that there are no invincible armies."--Iosef Stalin

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Re: Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Unio

Post by Peeter » 02 Oct 2014 11:44


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