I normally avoid this section of the forum as I am not knowledgeable enough on the Holocaust to post anything of interest. But I am interested in everyone's thoughts on why the Soviets didn't do more to put an end to the camp when they discovered its existence and purpose in August 1944. It has been extensively discussed in other threads why the Americans and British didn't bomb Auschwitz, but could the Soviets have attempted to bomb the death camp or take some other action to persuade the Western allies to act.
To the members who like to engage in petty-point scoring earlier in this thread, I am not interested in playing your games and will not respond to insults. I am just interested in intelligent discussion.
Thanks in advance for all information received.
Well said David about the pettiness. Sadly, an occupational hazard of this section of the forum, given the contentiousness of the issues.
At least one article has been written addressing this question, I've not read it, but will endeavour to locate the reference. It pertained to the ability of the Red Air Force to bomb Auschwitz.
Other means, such as partisan action, were unavailable to the Soviets, even after they had overrun the Lublin district in July-August 1944 and arrived at Warsaw. The Polish AK was already engaged with a mini-civil war against Soviet forces and Polish AL in liberated territory.
The timing of the matter is utterly critical; the most pressing need for the Soviet military was if anything to airdrop supplies to the Warsaw Uprising which broke out at the beginning of August 1944. Postwar, the Soviet unit history of the relevant air army claimed to have made thousands of sorties to this effect, but their contribution was either exaggerated or the Polish veterans have ignored it out of bitterness of the seeming stasis of the Soviet front. A reference to this can be found in the relevant section of the endnotes of Erickson's Road to Berlin.
Quite simply, the Soviet drive begun June 22 had run out of most of its steam by August, with supply lines trailing behind, airfields all over the place, and so forth.
A good place to start looking would be whatever is written on the long-range air forces that the Soviets possessed. Most Soviet airpower was front aviation and generally consisted of tactical bombers; that would have been hard-pressed to have mounted a deep strike against a target in Upper Silesia.
There should be some consideration of whether Allied-Soviet agreements had been worked out by this date regarding bomb-lines. Later on, such agreements were pencilled in. It may therefore be that the Soviets considered it the duty of the Western Allies with their long-range heavy bomber force to attack targets in Upper Silesia.
Finally, the information developed by the NKGB might not necessarily have been shared with Soviet military intelligence. Perhaps it was, and a similar paper-trail exists in the Russian archives to that in NARA and the PRO. But perhaps it was sat on by the chekisty
, and not passed along to the military; instead hitting a ceiling somewhere inside the NKVD-NKGB apparatus.