"Stalin's War of Extermination", by Joachim Hoffma

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Starinov
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Post by Starinov » 07 Nov 2002 14:15

William Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, New York 1960, pages 795 and following) wrote:


As I said previously, It's nice to quote people who wrote books in the 60-ties but try to use more todays authors. New data has been added to the whole affair and archives have been opened. If you would like to convince somebody, use appropraite sources....

Roberto wrote:And what else - if anything - does the fellow tell us about this "planned action of our troops" ?
And whence does he derive the conclusion that the "hitlerite leaders" had prevention on their minds?


Well, I don't see the point: even if i quote the whole book, you would say that this is pure speculation, nonsense, etc.... Find it in a library and read it...

Roberto wrote:And that is so whether or not he correctly or incorrectly quotes the memoirs of one or the other former Soviet general.


And you, of course, know exactly which memoirs he misquoted and in which way...

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Post by Karl da Kraut » 07 Nov 2002 16:52

I think that it may be possible that Stalin planned attacking Germany. Remember that he led agressive wars against Poland, Finland and Japan (though the USSR and Japan had signed a non-agression pact).

There is indeed some circumstantial evidence for the theory of a (more or less immanent) Soviet attack, but nothing has been convincingly proven. I will not discuss this topic further since it'd take too long and I find it to be irrelevant anyways: In early 1941 Hitler didn't know about a planned Soviet attack; he didn't even claim "Barbarossa" to be a preventive strike to thwart an immanent invasion. Hitler didn't care to justify the attack with international law as in 1939. The main reason why he attacked the USSR was to pursue his ideological goals.

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Post by Roberto » 07 Nov 2002 18:12

Starinov wrote:
William Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, New York 1960, pages 795 and following) wrote:


As I said previously, It's nice to quote people who wrote books in the 60-ties but try to use more todays authors. New data has been added to the whole affair and archives have been opened. If you would like to convince somebody, use appropraite sources....


The book may be from 1960, but the evidence it refers to (Adolf's statements, etc.) is conclusive nevertheless. If I quote Shirer, it's on account not so much of his assessment as of the evidence to the policies and intentions of the Nazi government he refers to and quotes from.

As we're at it, wasn't Ivanov's book written in 1974? :wink:

Roberto wrote:And what else - if anything - does the fellow tell us about this "planned action of our troops" ?
And whence does he derive the conclusion that the "hitlerite leaders" had prevention on their minds?


Starinov wrote:[Well, I don't see the point: even if i quote the whole book, you would say that this is pure speculation, nonsense, etc.... Find it in a library and read it...


I don't think it has even been translated from Russian, which I don't read, and as to my expected reaction I'm afraid you're misjudging me. I have no problem with revising my notion of a given historical event if shown evidence that proves the established historical record to be wrong. Which is why I would very much like to see what Mr. Ivanov has got to show us.

Roberto wrote:And that is so whether or not he correctly or incorrectly quotes the memoirs of one or the other former Soviet general.


Starinov wrote:And you, of course, know exactly which memoirs he misquoted and in which way...


Well, as I said I've seen a demonstration of how Suvorov misrepresented Vassilevsky on a historians' online discussion forum, and I consider it rather far-fetched to assume that a renowned German historian like Graml would publicly accuse Suvorov of such misrepresentation if he had nothing to show for his contentions.

But at the moment I'm not interested in Suvorov, but in Ivanov. I'm looking forward to seeing from you a presentation of what this gentleman has got to tell us about the "preventive attack" staged by the "hitlerites".

Needless to say, I'm in no hurry about this. Take your time, but please come back on this issue. I'm definitely interested.

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Post by Starinov » 07 Nov 2002 18:21

Roberto wrote:Well, as I said I've seen a demonstration of how Suvorov misrepresented Vassilevsky on a historians' online discussion forum


Do you have a link for that forum?

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Post by Roberto » 07 Nov 2002 18:46

Starinov wrote:
Roberto wrote:Well, as I said I've seen a demonstration of how Suvorov misrepresented Vassilevsky on a historians' online discussion forum


Do you have a link for that forum?


I already gave it in my last post:

http://www.nfhdata.de/premium/forum_index.html

There's a post about Suvorov's misrepresentation of general Vassilevsky (no. 19) and another about his misrepresentation of one Pjotr Grigorenko (no. 20).

All posts are in German, of course. If you care for a translation into English, let me know.

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Post by Starinov » 07 Nov 2002 20:27

I would be grateful if you could provide me with a translation....

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Post by Roberto » 07 Nov 2002 20:52

Starinov wrote:I would be grateful if you could provide me with a translation....


It will be done as soon as possible. Not until tomorrow because I have a technical translation to finish, but certainly during the weekend.

Cheers,

Roberto

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Post by Starinov » 07 Nov 2002 21:27

thanks

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Post by Roberto » 08 Nov 2002 13:50

On a discussion forum under

http://www.nfhdata.de/premium/forum_index.html

Wigbert Benz (a German historian) wrote the following in post no. 19 on the thread "Zur These vom Praeventivkrieg im Osten" (my translation):

[…]In his book “The Icebreaker” the leading proponent of the preventive war thesis, Viktor Suvorov, makes the memoirs of top-ranking Soviet military men – especially general Vasilevskij – into depositions of “key witnesses” for an allegedly imminent attack by the Red Army in the summer of 1941. In fact Suvorov’s quotes are shown by critical examination to be impudent misrepresentations of the original texts, as will be shown in the following on hand of the example of a deposition by general Vasilevskij central for Suvorov’s “proof”, by comparing Suvorov’s citation with the original.
For the indication of the following source on Vassilevky, which I will set against Suvorov’s citation, I thank Mrs. Prof. Dr. Bianka Pietrow-Ennker, Eastern Europe Historian at Konstanz University; for the translation of the original source I thank Mr. Oskar Obracaj, Tübingen.
- General Vasilevskij twice (Suvorov and original) -
1. Vasilevskij according to Suvorov:
“The central question of my book is the following: If the Red Army could neither turn back nor spend a long time in the frontier regions, what room for maneuver was left to it? (...) All Communist historians are afraid to answer this question.
For this reason I refer to the opinion of a general who since May 1940 has been the Deputy of the Head of Operational Leadership at the General Staff (…), Marshall of the Soviet Union A.M. Vasilevskij, you have the word:
‘The concern that in the West they might make noise on account of the allegedly aggressive intentions of the USSR had to be pushed aside. We had (...; omission by Suvorov. W.B.) reached the Rubikon of war, and the step forward had to be made with firm intention.’ (Military History Review, 1978, No. 2, p.68 ).“
(from: Viktor Suvorov: The Icebreaker. Hitler in Stalin’s Calculus. Stuttgart 1989, p.339)
What is it that general Vasilevskij actually says on page 68 of the Soviet Military History Review named by Suvorov as a source?
2. Vasilevskij in the original:
“By refusing to put the troops in the frontier zone into a state of battle readiness Stalin wanted to avoid giving the slightest pretext for Hitler’s Germany to fell provoked and accuse the USSR of aggressiveness. At the same time, and considering the fact that our country was not yet sufficiently prepared for a great war, he endeavored to gain time in order to strengthen the state’s defense capacity as much as possible (...)
But his fault lay in that he did not see, not realize the line beyond which such a policy was not only unnecessary but even harmful. It would have been necessary to bravely cross that line, to put the armed forces into a state of combat readiness as soon as possible, to carry out mobilization, to convert the country into an armed camp (...)
Evidence that Germany had made preparations to assault our country militarily there were enough; in our time it is difficult to hide such preparations. Concerns that there might be noise in the West on account of alleged aggressive intentions of the USSR had to be pushed aside. We had, because of circumstances not depending on us, reached the Rubikon of war, and it was necessary to make a decisive step forward. The interests of our homeland demanded it.”
Source: A. Vasilevskij: V te surovye gody. In: Voenno-istoriceskij zurnal, 2 (1978), p.65-72, here S.68 (= A. Vasilevskij: In those hard years. In: Militäry History Review 2 (1978), p.68 ). – Source pointed out by Mrs. Prof. Bianka Pietrow-Ennker, University of Konstanz; translation from Russian: Mr. Oskar Obracaj, Tübingen)
Conclusion: The meaning of the statements made by General Vasilevskij in the original is grotesquely distorted through Suvorov’s introduction, way of quotation and manipulative omissions.[…]
Last edited by Roberto on 08 Nov 2002 17:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Starinov » 08 Nov 2002 16:20

Hmmm
Similar but not the same...

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Post by Roberto » 08 Nov 2002 17:13

On a discussion forum under

http://www.nfhdata.de/premium/forum_index.html

Albrecht Kolthoff wrote the following in post no. 20 of the thread "Zur These vom Praeventivkrieg im Osten" (my translation):

[…]A further “key witness” of Suvorov is Pjotr Grigorenko, who in the "Icebreaker" on page 406 Suvorov lets introduce a chapter ("How Hitler foiled Stalin’s War") as follows:
"They had completely prepared us for a war of aggression. And it was not our fault that the aggression had not come from us."
The source given is the following: "General Major P.G. Grigorenko, Im Keller trifft man nur Ratten (‘In the Basement you only meet Rats’), p. 138".
In the context this citation is obviously meant to be related to the situation in 1941.
In this respect it should first be pointed out that Grigorenko was transferred to the Western Front only in 1943; until then he served with the Far East troops. Furthermore Grigorenko held the rank of a First Lieutenant during almost the entire period of the war.
In the annex the source is stated to be a Russian edition that appeared in New York in 1981; a German edition appeared in 1961 under the title "Erinnerungen" (“Memoirs”).
Of course it is possible that in the translation of the original Russian edition of the “Icebreaker" into German deviations also of this quotation may have happened; at any rate the German edition of Grigorenko’s “Memoirs” was not taken into account.
Neither is the citation to be found in this form in the "Memoirs".
A similar passage appears in the following form:
"As we grew up in such an atmosphere, we of cause saw ourselves as soldiers in an upcoming war, saw the peaceful phase in which we lived as the last stage in which the conflict was gathering. War propaganda, always in the name of defense of the country, acquired an ever harsher tone; since the beginning of the 1930s the military striking power was constantly increased. We were also convinced that the Party would from one moment to the next call upon us for the “final decisive battle”. Only it was not then our fault that the attack did not come from our side. Prepared for this we were at any moment, but the leadership turned out to be incapable of taking advantage of this basic mood in the whole army. On the contrary: it neutralized our military preparedness by violently destroying the army’s best cadres." (p. 110)
Grigorenko was speaking of the time when he had just become a soldier and was studying at the Military Technological Academy in Leningrad – in the autumn of 1931. He does not say anything about a “war of aggression". Contrary to the Suvorovian “us”, which meant the Soviet Union as a whole, it becomes clear that Grigorenko’s “us” referred to the young soldiers, whose preparedness and attitude he holds against the military leadership.
A few pages later, in connection with the border clashes at Khalkin-Gol with Japan in 1939, Grigorenko explicitly writes the following:
"Already then we, all freshly baked general staff officers, understood that our gigantic empire was completely unprepared for a war." (p. 189)
Nothing there about an army "completely prepared for a war of aggression”, that is.
In an even more detailed manner Grigorenko addressed the questions of the Red Army’s deficient preparation in a long article he wrote in 1966 in the context of the Nekrich Affair. Alexander Nekrich had in 1965 published a book in Moscow that analyzed the Red Army’s defeat in the days after 22 June 1941 and in the sequence of the XXth Party Congress of the Soviet Communist Party established that Stalin was not only responsible, but also heavily guilty of the combat inefficiency of the Red Army. Nekrich was harshly attacked and later excluded from the party; Grigorenko, who defended him and even intensified his statements, was later deprived of citizenship during a trip abroad. Both Nekrich’s book and Grigorenko’s essay as well as other material from the affair (for example the protocol of an extremely controversial discussion at the Institute for Marxism-Leninism at the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party) are included in the recommendable volume “Genickschuß” (“Shot in the Neck”), which furthermore offers a fascinating insight into the “thaw weather period” and the end thereof.
Conclusion: Also here Suvorov comes across as a forger who partially invents a citation, tears it out of its context and conveys the opposite of the general message that the person cited intended to convey.[…]

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Post by Starinov » 08 Nov 2002 21:09

oleg wrote:
Lieutenant-Colonel Liapin, Chief of the Operations Branch of the 1st Motorised Infantry Division, stated on 15 Septemebr 1941 that a Soviet attack had been expected in the Autumn of 1941
that is especially interesting considering that chief of operational department of 1st Moscow Proletariat Motorized division was Capitan Ratner. Moreover, there is no colonel Liapin in division whatsoever. CO – Colonel (future general of the army) Yakov Kreyzer, deputy colonel (future lieutenant-general) Gluzdovskiy, chief of staff colonel Modeev.


As far as I know, the 1st Proletariat division was a infantry unit. Not a motorised infantry. Maybe that's why the officer cannot be found in that listing...

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Post by Starinov » 08 Nov 2002 21:37

Grigorenko according to Suvorov wrote:They had completely prepared us for a war of aggression. And it was not our fault that the aggression had not come from us.


Grigorenko according to his own memoirs wrote:We were also convinced that the Party would from one moment to the next call upon us for the “final decisive battle”. Only it was not then our fault that the attack did not come from our side.



Both sentences are very similar in sense. The only difference that Suvorov says openly about a war of aggression while Grigorenko talks about a "final decisive battle". Don't forget that the soviet propaganda was telling people for years that a war against the capitalists is coming since they all want to start a war against USSR. Soviet people should be prepared for any circumstances, etc, etc.

Also, According to the article cited by Roberto above, Grigorenko states that the RKKA was not prepared for any actions at Khalkin-Gol. However, according to Colonel David M. Glantz in his book "When Titans Clashed" (page 14)

David M. Glantz wrote:Khalkin-Gol demonstrated the vialibilty of Soviet theory and force structure.


It proved the RKKA's force so well that the Japanese started to search for another enemy knowing that the USSR is too powerful for them. I, personnaly, consider that Grigorenko was wrong on that one... My point is that Grigorenko could not be right about everything since he was a lieutenant in the first stages of the war...

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Post by Roberto » 09 Nov 2002 00:06

Starinov wrote:
Grigorenko according to Suvorov wrote:They had completely prepared us for a war of aggression. And it was not our fault that the aggression had not come from us.


Grigorenko according to his own memoirs wrote:We were also convinced that the Party would from one moment to the next call upon us for the “final decisive battle”. Only it was not then our fault that the attack did not come from our side.


Starinov wrote:Both sentences are very similar in sense. The only difference that Suvorov says openly about a war of aggression while Grigorenko talks about a "final decisive battle".


No. The main difference is that Grigorenko is talking about himself and his bellicose fellow cadets in 1931 whose willingness to go into battle the military leadership would not take advantage of, whereas Suvorov makes it look as if "us" meant the Soviet Union and its armed forces in general, and that in 1941.

Starinov wrote:Don't forget that the soviet propaganda was telling people for years that a war against the capitalists is coming since they all want to start a war against USSR. Soviet people should be prepared for any circumstances, etc, etc.


That may be so, but Grigorenko was referring only to himself and his fellow cadets in 1931, as opposed to a military leadership that

...neutralized our military preparedness by violently destroying the army’s best cadres.


Starinov wrote:Also, According to the article cited by Roberto above, Grigorenko states that the RKKA was not prepared for any actions at Khalkin-Gol.


Even if wrong, it would still be Grigorenko's statement. But he is not stating that the Soviet Army was not prepared for any actions at Khalkin-Gol. He states ("in connection with the border clashes at Khalkin-Gol", according to Kolthoff) that

Already then we, all freshly baked general staff officers, understood that our gigantic empire was completely unprepared for a war.


Starinov wrote:However, according to Colonel David M. Glantz in his book "When Titans Clashed" (page 14)

David M. Glantz wrote:Khalkin-Gol demonstrated the vialibilty of Soviet theory and force structure.


Which does not invalidate the existence of severe shortcomings in the Soviet armed forces, which the same author points out in Stumbling Colossus:

Germany's surprise attack on June 22, 1941, shocked a Soviet Union woefully unprepared to defend itself. The day before the attack, the Red Army still comprised the world's largest fighting force. But by the end of the year, four and a half million of its soldiers lay dead. This new study, based on formerly classified Soviet archival material and neglected German sources, reveals the truth behind this national catastrophe.
Drawing on evidence never before seen in the West, including combat records of early engagements, David Glantz claims that in 1941 the Red Army was poorly trained, inadequately equipped, ineptly organized, and consequently incapable of engaging in large-scale military campaigns--and both Hitler and Stalin knew it. He provides a complete and convincing study of why the Soviets almost lost the war that summer, dispelling many of the myths about the Red Army that have persisted since the war and soundly refuting Viktor Suvorov's controversial thesis that Stalin was planning a preemptive strike against Germany.

Stumbling Colossus describes the Red Army's command leadership, mobilization and war planning, intelligence activities, and active and reserve combat formations. It includes the first complete order of battle of Soviet forces on the eve of the German attack, documents the strength of Soviet armored forces during the war's initial period, and reproduces for the first time available texts of Soviet war plans. It also provides biographical sketches of Soviet officers and tells how Stalin's purges of the late 1930s left the Red Army leadership almost decimated.

At a time when the war in eastern Europe is being blamed on a fallen regime, Glantz's book sets the record straight on the Soviet Union's readiness, as well as its willingness, to fight. Boasting an extensive bibliography of Soviet and German sources, Stumbling Colossus is a convincing study that overshadows recent revisionist history and one that no student of World War II can ignore.

This book is part of the Modern War Studies series.


From the Amazon review under

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... ce&s=books

Starinov wrote:It proved the RKKA's force so well that the Japanese started to search for another enemy knowing that the USSR is too powerful for them. I, personnaly, consider that Grigorenko was wrong on that one... My point is that Grigorenko could not be right about everything since he was a lieutenant in the first stages of the war...


The issue here is not whether Grigorenko's assessment was right or wrong.

The issue is that Suvorov misrepresented his statements and what this tells us about the man's integrity and his reliability as a writer of history.

I wouldn't go out of my way to defend the fellow, if I were you. It seems there are better Russian historians you may refer to, such as Vladimir A. Nieviezhin, whose book about Soviet propaganda promises to be quite interesting according to the review you posted under

http://thirdreichforum.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=6305

What is the source of that review, by the way?

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Post by neugierig » 09 Nov 2002 02:14

Interesting discussion! I would like to run something by you to see what you think. Ernst Topitsch, in his "Stalins Krieg" (Stalins war), writes about a meeting between Hitler/Ribbentrop-Molotov on Nov. 12. 1940. He, Topitsch, claims that this meeting has been covered up by historians. In fact, he states, mention of it was disallowed in Nuremberg. As well, an order went out to the Soviet secret police to secure the minutes of this meeting as soon as the Red Army enters Berlin. At this meeting, just roughly, Molotov brought a list of demands from Stalin dealing with spheres of influence. If Topitsch is right and his sources are reliable, and why not, Hitler could never have accepted those demands. He had two options, accept and wait for further orders/demands, or war. Are any of you learned folk aware of this meeting? If it took place and those demands were made, than there is a parallel to it:
Robert B. Stinnett, in his "Day of Deceit" writes about an eight point programm, worked out by Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum, which left Japan the same two options, accept and become a colony of the US or fight. If all of this is essentially true, and I think it is, than both Russia and the US choose blackmail to get into the war.
Coincidence? Perhaps. :?
Of course all of this is running countrary to the Zeitgeist. Germany and Japan, BAD, Italy bad at the beginning but became good later. England, USA and Russia GOOD, although Russia became bad later, but not really, just sort of, because there is still no interest in addressing the crimes of the Communists and anyone suggesting that they, the Russians, could also be blamed is a Nazi apologiser, as this thread shows.
Oh well :wink:
Wilf

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