Russians simply won by the power of numbers

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
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Yuri
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Post by Yuri » 07 Apr 2007 19:53

GaryD wrote: From the Recollection of the Commander of the 39th Guards Rifle Division E. T. Marchenko*

G. E. Marchenko retells a story from his father, Colonel Efim Timofeevich Marchenko, who, as commander of the 39th GRD, 8th Guards Army of General Chuikov, participated in the storming of the Seelow Heights.

"Before the battle for the Seelow Heights a tank corps was attached to the 39th GRD. I don't remember the name of the commander, I only remember that he was not young, very cultured, and a very knowledgeable general. He and my father started to think about how to take the heights. All of the bunkers there were targeted against tanks, and were dug in very well. Father said that tanks could not take them, so they had to think of something else. He thought of forming small, 3-4 person combat teams which would cross the front lines and use grenades to take out enough bunkers so as to create gaps for the tanks. The [tank corps] general agreed with father. When father spoke with Chuikov, he also agreed that it would be reasonable.

The night before the attack they were preparing the combat teams, when suddenly there was a call. The [tank corps] general was summoned to the telephone. It turned out the it was Zhukov calling from the Army CP, and Zhukov started to curse at him. Papa remembered that in an instant the general turned as white as paper while Zhukov screamed obscenities at him, saying that he was a traitor and Zhukov would personally shoot him - why were the tanks not attacking? Then Chuikov took the phone and repeated the same thing to Colonel Marchenko, cursing him hysterically. After this the tanks attacked. Papa remembered that the morning was unusually quiet and clear, and the smoke from burning tanks rose in straight pillars, as if they were tree trunks... It seemed like the entire hillside was covered with a forest of smoke. Around 400 tanks had turned into black pillars, and it was obvious that the tanks had not broken through."

*Military-Historical Archive, 2/2007, p. 58-59.
Such grade stories should be perceived with care.
As is known, at generals of all armies of the world in his failures is guilty not he, and his higher chief. All the more in the given case tells not general Marchenko, and his son.
Besides the magazine « Military-Historical Archive » is known as club fierce opponents of marshal Zhukov.
I do not want to tell, that it is bad magazine. However it is the fact, that members of its edition it fierce criticism of actions of marshal Zhukov.
They cover activity of this commander one-sidedly - under a corner of denying of his merits.

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Post by GaryD » 07 Apr 2007 21:06

Yuri wrote:Such grade stories should be perceived with care.
As is known, at generals of all armies of the world in his failures is guilty not he, and his higher chief. All the more in the given case tells not general Marchenko, and his son.
Besides the magazine « Military-Historical Archive » is known as club fierce opponents of marshal Zhukov.
I do not want to tell, that it is bad magazine. However it is the fact, that members of its edition it fierce criticism of actions of marshal Zhukov.
They cover activity of this commander one-sidedly - under a corner of denying of his merits.
Sorry, I didn't mean to pick on Zhukov. I just used it as an example of the high command's disregard for casualties as a possible explanation for the Soviets' persistently high casualty rates.

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Yuri
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Post by Yuri » 07 Apr 2007 21:24

GaryD wrote: Sorry, I didn't mean to pick on Zhukov. I just used it as an example of the high command's disregard for casualties as a possible explanation for the Soviets' persistently high casualty rates.
It is vivid example of one-sided thinking of supporters to hang up on the Supreme Command of Red Army a label « a defiance for a victim »
It is not necessary to forget, that time very important factor.
Germans were trambled down near Moscow two years and have lost more than 1,000,000 person.
Result zero - they have not taken Moscow.
Russian have taken Berlin for two weeks. Losses have made 72,000.
Whose strategy is more economic?

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Post by Qvist » 07 Apr 2007 21:42

It is not necessary to forget, that time very important factor.
Germans were trambled down near Moscow two years and have lost more than 1,000,000 person.
Result zero - they have not taken Moscow.
Russian have taken Berlin for two weeks. Losses have made 72,000.
Whose strategy is more economic?
Sorry, what is this comparison? The German losses on the whole Eastern Fronts for the first two years of the war compared to the Soviet losses in the last week of the Berlin battle?

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Post by GaryD » 07 Apr 2007 21:50

Yuri wrote:It is vivid example of one-sided thinking of supporters to hang up on the Supreme Command of Red Army a label « a defiance for a victim »
It is not necessary to forget, that time very important factor.
Germans were trambled down near Moscow two years and have lost more than 1,000,000 person.
Result zero - they have not taken Moscow.
Russian have taken Berlin for two weeks. Losses have made 72,000.
Whose strategy is more economic?
I'm afraid I don't follow your reasoning. What's the logic in comparing Soviet losses in a single operation to German losses in two years of combat? No one's arguing that the Soviets didn't win, I'm just wondering why it was so damned expensive.

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Post by Kunikov » 07 Apr 2007 22:11

GaryD wrote:
I think it's quite clear that the Soviets improved steadily from 1941 to 1945. It would be difficult to think otherwise: like all humans they learned from their mistakes. What's really interesting is why they stopped their development at a stage which still required them to lose 2-3 times more casualties than the Germans. What exactly was it that caused them to lose so many men? Could it have been as simple as the following?

From the Recollection of the Commander of the 39th Guards Rifle Division E. T. Marchenko*

G. E. Marchenko retells a story from his father, Colonel Efim Timofeevich Marchenko, who, as commander of the 39th GRD, 8th Guards Army of General Chuikov, participated in the storming of the Seelow Heights.

"Before the battle for the Seelow Heights a tank corps was attached to the 39th GRD. I don't remember the name of the commander, I only remember that he was not young, very cultured, and a very knowledgeable general. He and my father started to think about how to take the heights. All of the bunkers there were targeted against tanks, and were dug in very well. Father said that tanks could not take them, so they had to think of something else. He thought of forming small, 3-4 person combat teams which would cross the front lines and use grenades to take out enough bunkers so as to create gaps for the tanks. The [tank corps] general agreed with father. When father spoke with Chuikov, he also agreed that it would be reasonable.

The night before the attack they were preparing the combat teams, when suddenly there was a call. The [tank corps] general was summoned to the telephone. It turned out the it was Zhukov calling from the Army CP, and Zhukov started to curse at him. Papa remembered that in an instant the general turned as white as paper while Zhukov screamed obscenities at him, saying that he was a traitor and Zhukov would personally shoot him - why were the tanks not attacking? Then Chuikov took the phone and repeated the same thing to Colonel Marchenko, cursing him hysterically. After this the tanks attacked. Papa remembered that the morning was unusually quiet and clear, and the smoke from burning tanks rose in straight pillars, as if they were tree trunks... It seemed like the entire hillside was covered with a forest of smoke. Around 400 tanks had turned into black pillars, and it was obvious that the tanks had not broken through."

*Military-Historical Archive, 2/2007, p. 58-59.
I asked for a friend of mine to comment on the above since it looked, well, interesting yet suspicious at the same time, at least to me.

"1. G.E.Marchenko is a "she", not a "he".
2. 39 Gds rd was committed only on Apr 18, on the third day of battle. Who attached a tank corps to it "before the battle"?
3. The idea that a tank corps was attached to a rifle division is ridiculous.
4. The 28 Gds RC (to which 39 Gds rd belonged) operated with Popov's 8th Gds TC.
5. Popov's corps did not lose 400 tanks in the entire Berlin operation.
6. A tank corp cannot lose 400 tanks in the first place because it has only 200+ of them by TO&E.
7. The "Military History Archive" is a publication of a bunch of pathological Zhukov haters who will stop at nothing and will even publish hearsay from a woman who barely remembers what her father had told her and managed to confuse every single detail except the 8th Gds Army commander.
8. For a more thorough examination of Zhukov's intent and actual performance at Seelow I recommend Aleksei Isaev's recent book on Zhukov."

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Post by Andreas » 07 Apr 2007 22:36

GaryD wrote:Could it have been as simple as the following?

*Military-Historical Archive, 2/2007, p. 58-59.
Obviously not.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by Yuri » 07 Apr 2007 22:37

GaryD wrote: I'm afraid I don't follow your reasoning. What's the logic in comparing Soviet losses in a single operation to German losses in two years of combat? No one's arguing that the Soviets didn't win, I'm just wondering why it was so damned expensive.
Logic very simple.
For unique action Russian have achieved such result which Germans could not achieve for two years.
Whence you know, what "so damned expensive"?
You believe, what Russian did not know a real price of a victory?
You know this price?
Open a secret - name to us this price if she{it} to you is known.

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Post by GaryD » 08 Apr 2007 00:13

Kunikov wrote:I asked for a friend of mine to comment on the above since it looked, well, interesting yet suspicious at the same time, at least to me.

"1. G.E.Marchenko is a "she", not a "he".
2. 39 Gds rd was committed only on Apr 18, on the third day of battle. Who attached a tank corps to it "before the battle"?
3. The idea that a tank corps was attached to a rifle division is ridiculous.
4. The 28 Gds RC (to which 39 Gds rd belonged) operated with Popov's 8th Gds TC.
5. Popov's corps did not lose 400 tanks in the entire Berlin operation.
6. A tank corp cannot lose 400 tanks in the first place because it has only 200+ of them by TO&E.
7. The "Military History Archive" is a publication of a bunch of pathological Zhukov haters who will stop at nothing and will even publish hearsay from a woman who barely remembers what her father had told her and managed to confuse every single detail except the 8th Gds Army commander.
8. For a more thorough examination of Zhukov's intent and actual performance at Seelow I recommend Aleksei Isaev's recent book on Zhukov."
Dude, don't shoot the messenger. If you don't like what was in the magazine, write the editor.

1. Unfortunately, the article gives no clue as to the gender, just "G. E. Marchenko"
2. Ask the editor
3. Perhaps they meant that tanks from a brigade were attached.
4. The 8th is not Popov's TC, but rather Dremov's Mech. Corps. Since 39GRD was placed in reserve and no longer working with the "TC", it could have been 11GTC,11TC or even 8GMC. The editors think it was Yushchuk's 11TC.
5. Wrong corps.
6. Do mean permanent losses or just knocked out? A TA or TC can easily suffer losses of more tanks than it has in a single operation. It happened all the time.
7. Complain to the editor
8. Thanks for the suggestion

Don't forget that this story was probably relayed by the father to his daughter years ago, and she's probably not a military person, so she could have mixed up some things.

39GRD was in 28GRC reserve according to Chuikov, but with the change in attack plan that's plausible. Chuikov, Getman, Babadzhanyan, and Katukov all say that the tank armies were engaged early in the operation, before a breach was made in the enemy lines, and suffered heavy losses (Katukov). Katukov even says that "some writers" claim that the method of attack was ill-conceived.

If you want to continue discussing this battle I suggest opening a new topic.

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Post by GaryD » 08 Apr 2007 00:24

Andreas wrote:
GaryD wrote:Could it have been as simple as the following?

*Military-Historical Archive, 2/2007, p. 58-59.
Obviously not.

All the best

Andreas
Then what?

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Post by GaryD » 08 Apr 2007 00:31

Yuri wrote:Whence you know, what "so damned expensive"?
You believe, what Russian did not know a real price of a victory?
You know this price?
Open a secret - name to us this price if she{it} to you is known.
Yuri, whatever gave you the idea that anyone thinks that the Russians don't know the price of victory?

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Post by Yuri » 08 Apr 2007 05:08

GaryD wrote:
Yuri wrote:Whence you know, what "so damned expensive"?
You believe, what Russian did not know a real price of a victory?
You know this price?
Open a secret - name to us this price if she{it} to you is known.
Yuri, whatever gave you the idea that anyone thinks that the Russians don't know the price of victory?
You have named it " so damned expensive "
Hence, on your logic, should be cheaper, than have paid Russian.
Name your low price.

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Post by GaryD » 08 Apr 2007 06:16

Yuri wrote:You have named it " so damned expensive "
Hence, on your logic, should be cheaper, than have paid Russian.
Name your low price.
Yuri,

I believe you've misunderstood. The "damned" in this instance emphasizes the word "expensive." It's the same as saying "terribly expensive" or "very expensive". It doesn't mean it's cheaper at all.

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Yuri
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Post by Yuri » 08 Apr 2007 07:11

GaryD wrote:
Yuri wrote:You have named it " so damned expensive "
Hence, on your logic, should be cheaper, than have paid Russian.
Name your low price.
Yuri,

I believe you've misunderstood. The "damned" in this instance emphasizes the word "expensive." It's the same as saying "terribly expensive" or "very expensive". It doesn't mean it's cheaper at all.
I have well understood you.
I done not interested with a word "damned"
I am interested with a word "expensive".
If "expensive" that, hence, was possible more cheaply.
On how many is cheaper?

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Post by GaryD » 08 Apr 2007 07:29

Yuri wrote:
GaryD wrote:I have well understood you.
I done not interested with a word "damned"
I am interested with a word "expensive".
If "expensive" that, hence, was possible more cheaply.
On how many is cheaper?
Achieving the same goal with fewer casualties is cheaper. The fewer, the better.

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