You have obviously started on your PhD. I give it another year or so before sensible debate with you will be impossible. Don't worry, it's part of the process, and necessary for you to finish it.
Hehehe. A wee bit over-theoretical with the paradigm thingy, you thought? Just be happy you didn't know me when i was doing history of ideas.
Anyway, it's good then that there are people around to reconnect me with the ground. I had been playing around with the notion that different approaches to EF interpretation have something of the paradigmatic about them and I still think there is something in that, but this was probably not a good place to apply it.
To me this question is really quite simple. First of all I fully accept that given the observed performance, the Red Army needed numerical superiority to win the war agains the Germans, during all phases of the war. It needed it to survive the initial battering, to hold on during the second German strategic offensive, and to be able to prevail over its adversary when it started pushing him west. No doubt about it being a critical element.
But the more interesting question for me is whether by itself, numerical superiority would have been enough to not just survive, but to actually win on the battlefield. Here I think that numerical superiority is not sufficient to win, again based on the demonstrated performance on the battlefield. Instead what was required was an evolution in structure, command and control, and strategic direction that used numerical superiority in a way that allowed the Red Army to prevail. Numerical superiority did not help the Red Army to prevail during Operation Mars, and it did not help the Red Army to prevail with its grand designs during the second phase of the winter 42/43 battles. Instead, it got soundly beaten both times. This, from what I have read at least, drove the point home to Stavka that they needed to come up with something better than just numerical superiority if they wanted to beat the Germans, even though it was clear that numerical and material superiority were quite sufficient to beat most of the German allies. This they did. They created a doctrine of assault that would allow them to overcome the defences that they failed on outside Bjelyi, Rzhev, and Ssinyavino in winter 1942, harnessing their ability to generate local superiority, and to sustain large scale losses. They created large maneuver units capable of sustained in-depth combat, the tank armies, to overcome German mobile reserves, which they had failed to do in late winter 42/43. They created the logistical basis to allow these two developments to function. They created an integrated strategic approach to their fight that took stock of their limitations, e.g. by allowing the Germans to attack first at Kursk, instead of trying to pre-empt them as they did at Izyum in 1942.
In my view, all of these developments were absolutely critical, and without them, the Red Army would not have prevailed, and I therefore disagree that these were minor things, compared to numerical superiority. They were the mechanisms harnessing numerical superiority into a war-winning factor, instead of a war-surviving factor.
The development of the tank armies and logistics I would call organisational improvements rather than developments in operational methods, but then it appears that you have something broader in mind than operational methods or operational art strictly speaking.
Otherwise I think you basically prove your point, though I might quibble on some points of detail and ultimate extent. I approached the issue somewhat differently, in terms of identifying the factors that gave the Red Army an advantage over its adversary. Yours is better.