Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

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historygeek2021
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Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

Post by historygeek2021 » 08 Jun 2022 23:27

May 25, 1940 - While the British war cabinet quarrels over whether to seek Italian mediation, Stalin receives news that the BEF and French 1st Army are now completely cut off with little chance of escape. His gamble on the capitalist powers bleeding each other dry has failed. Germany has won a quick victory over France and Britain. Stalin has read Mein Kampf. He knows that Hitler's goal has always been to conquer Lebensraum in the USSR. Stalin knows that the USSR is next on Germany's chopping block, and soon.

He calls a meeting of the Politburo. "Germany is going to invade us," he tells them. "We must begin immediate preparations for total war. Our Red Army is the laughing stock of the world after what the Finns did to us. Hitler will think he can conquer us easily."

"When will the Germans invade?" Asks Molotov.

"Spring of next year," replies Stalin. "Hitler would love to strike this year, but he won't have time to redeploy his army before the autumn rasputitsa. In any event, we must bring the economy to a total war footing now so that the Red Army is ready whenever Hitler comes."

"But won't that that trigger a German invasion?" Asks Beria. "That's what happened in 1914."

Stalin glares at this veiled reference to the fate of the Czar. "Hitler is going to invade anyway. We will do our best to keep it secret. Life in Moscow will carry on as normal. Foreign diplomats will continue to have their movements strictly limited to areas of the city that are not affected by mobilization. Everywhere else will convert to a wartime footing."

"What about our trade agreement with the Nazis?" Asks Malenkov. "Should we terminate it now?"

"No, we'll keep it going until August or September. Then we will demand strict fulfillment of German obligations before we send them anymore raw materials. By then it will be too late. We will have the entire autumn and winter to get ready for war."

"Our army is a long way from war readiness," interjects Timoshenko. "It will take a tremendous effort to have it ready for war within a year."

"Then there is no time to waste!" bellows Stalin. "Begin total mobilization immediately!"

All across the Soviet Union, economic activity is converted to wartime production. The Third Five Year Plan is cancelled so that industry can focus exclusively on munitions production. Millions of peasants are called up for military service and begin training. Trucks and tractors are confiscated by the army to give its forces mobility. Strict rationing is imposed to make up for the decline in food production.

In October, Soviet deliveries of raw materials to Germany cease. Hitler is incensed, but Molotov insists that Germany must fulfill its outstanding obligations under the terms of the trade agreement. Hitler resolves to go to war as soon as the mud dries in May. Ernst Köstring, the German military attaché in Moscow, wires ominous reports of total mobilization. Hitler gets serious and orders all military production to focus on the upcoming war with the Soviet Union. He accepts Greek requests to mediate and forces Mussolini to accept a truce so that Germany can focus everything on the Soviet Union.

By May 1941, the Soviet Union has deployed 6 million men at the front. Aircraft are scattered and camouflaged so they cannot be taken out by the Luftwaffe on the ground. German reconnaissance planes have been shot down every time they crossed the border. Each Red Army division has a full complement of 14,000 men and a full supply of trucks and tractors to move artillery and ammunition. 3,000 fully operational T-34s and 1,000 KV-1s are deployed in mechanized corps behind the front. 20 armies man the front, double that in the OTL. Another 20 are deployed in depth - over 500 divisions.

When Germany invades, they run into a wall of artillery and anti-tank guns. The puny Panzer IIIs and IVs are no match for the KV-1s and T-34s. The four panzer groups are destroyed within 100 kilometers of the border. Germany's infantry armies go on the defensive but are buried under an avalanche of fire from 50,000 Soviet artillery pieces. The Red Army pours into Poland and Romania. The Wehrmacht cannot stop the Red tide. Berlin falls in August. The Red Army reaches the French border in September. The Nazis have been defeated. Europe is saved.

Edit: Typos
Last edited by historygeek2021 on 09 Jun 2022 06:12, edited 1 time in total.

paulrward
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Re: Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

Post by paulrward » 09 Jun 2022 01:04

Hello All :

by historygeek2021 » 08 Jun 2022 15:27
The Wehrmacht cannot stop the Red tide. Berlin falls in August. The Red Army reaches the
French border in September. The Nazis have been defeated. Europe is saved.

" But, the Red Army does not Stop. Grinding onward, it engulfs the Low Countries, and
then France, and pausing only briefly to get over the Alps and Pyrennees, swallows up
Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

In Moscow, Stalin puffs his pipe contentedly, contemplating the fact that, under his rule,
the Comintern now reigns supreme on the Continent of Europe. Then, he returns to
studying the dozen pages of Single-Spaced typed names of the people he will order liquidated
the following day........."


Paul R. Ward
Information not shared, is information lost
Voices that are banned, are voices who cannot share information....
Discussions that are silenced, are discussions that will occur elsewhere !

historygeek2021
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Re: Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

Post by historygeek2021 » 09 Jun 2022 01:35

paulrward wrote:
09 Jun 2022 01:04

" But, the Red Army does not Stop. Grinding onward, it engulfs the Low Countries, and
then France, and pausing only briefly to get over the Alps and Pyrennees, swallows up
Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

In Moscow, Stalin puffs his pipe contentedly, contemplating the fact that, under his rule,
the Comintern now reigns supreme on the Continent of Europe. Then, he returns to
studying the dozen pages of Single-Spaced typed names of the people he will order liquidated
the following day........."


Paul R. Ward
I think you meant, "The workers democratically control the means of production." :lol:

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Re: Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Jun 2022 05:11

historygeek2021 wrote:
08 Jun 2022 23:27
May 25, 1940 - ...

He calls a meeting of the Politburo. "Germany is going to invade us," he tells them. "We must begin immediate preparations for total war. Our Red Army is the laughing stock of the world after what the Finns did to us. Hitler will think he can conquer us easily."

...

"Then there is no time to waste!" bellows Stalin. "Begin total mobilization immediately!"

I don't think a year is remotely enough time to resolve the problem of command and staff training. In six years 1933 - 1939 the Germans managed to train that for close to 100 divisions and lay the foundation for another 100 to be stood in the next two years.
The US starting in autumn 1940 managed to create properly trained commanders and staff for 90 Army & six Marine divisions in four years, plus the same for its large Air Force and huge support formation. A few years ago I read through Merekovs examination of the Red Army mobilization October 1939-June 1941. Even with a start of partially trained officers for 180 infantry divisions in 1939 & roughly sixty other ground combat divisions the training of the commanders & HQ staff by mid 1941 was bad. Im skeptical creating a offensive capable leadership in a year for 600 divisions would happen. Even getting the 200+ divisions of 1939 up to speed in two years is problematic.

There also some questions about the railways of the western USSR & Poland supporting the supply of 600 or even 300 ground divisions & their air support.

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Re: Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

Post by historygeek2021 » 09 Jun 2022 06:09

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
09 Jun 2022 05:11

I don't think a year is remotely enough time to resolve the problem of command and staff training. In six years 1933 - 1939 the Germans managed to train that for close to 100 divisions and lay the foundation for another 100 to be stood in the next two years.
The US starting in autumn 1940 managed to create properly trained commanders and staff for 90 Army & six Marine divisions in four years, plus the same for its large Air Force and huge support formation. A few years ago I read through Merekovs examination of the Red Army mobilization October 1939-June 1941. Even with a start of partially trained officers for 180 infantry divisions in 1939 & roughly sixty other ground combat divisions the training of the commanders & HQ staff by mid 1941 was bad. Im skeptical creating a offensive capable leadership in a year for 600 divisions would happen. Even getting the 200+ divisions of 1939 up to speed in two years is problematic.

There also some questions about the railways of the western USSR & Poland supporting the supply of 600 or even 300 ground divisions & their air support.
And yet the Soviet Union fielded the equivalent of over 600 divisions within a year of Barbarossa, despite losing a third of the population of their country, close to two-thirds of their coal, steel and aluminum production and the equivalent of their entire pre-war army. Railroads were not an issue. The USSR moved millions of soldiers from internal military districts across the entire country to the front in time for the Moscow counter-offensive in 1941, while simultaneously evacuating hundreds of factories. When Stalin set his will to do something, the country got it done. All my ATL requires is that Stalin take Germany seriously.

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Re: Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

Post by Peter89 » 09 Jun 2022 08:01

I often wondered whether the Soviets got lucky or unlucky by being attacked half-prepared. According to Glantz, there were serious problems on every level of command - including that of strategy. The Red Army was postured in a very offensive way. If they start to mobilize earlier and put the bulk of their forces in the striking radius of the Wehrmacht, I am not sure how much better they'd do. Also, a fully mobilized Red Army on the borders might make the Germans question their belief in an easy victory.

And even though the Soviet general staff reached a competitive level with the Germans by 1942, the lower level commanders and the cadre got there only in 1943. I seriously doubt that the Red Army could advance to Paris or anything; also, the prospect of a Soviet invasion / occupation would unite Europe, and a Soviet-dominated continent would be against Britain's will, too.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

historygeek2021
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Re: Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

Post by historygeek2021 » 09 Jun 2022 16:18

Peter89 wrote:
09 Jun 2022 08:01
I often wondered whether the Soviets got lucky or unlucky by being attacked half-prepared. According to Glantz, there were serious problems on every level of command - including that of strategy. The Red Army was postured in a very offensive way. If they start to mobilize earlier and put the bulk of their forces in the striking radius of the Wehrmacht, I am not sure how much better they'd do. Also, a fully mobilized Red Army on the borders might make the Germans question their belief in an easy victory.
The Germans got lucky that the Red Army was so unprepared. Germany suffered their highest casualties in June, July and August when they were fighting against the pre-war Red Army. The hastily assembled replacements that started filtering in during the rest of the year performed far worse than the pre-war Red Army cadre divisions. Now fill those divisions out to full strength, give them adequate logistical support, add more divisions behind them, and the Ostheer will be stopped cold in June 1941.
And even though the Soviet general staff reached a competitive level with the Germans by 1942, the lower level commanders and the cadre got there only in 1943. I seriously doubt that the Red Army could advance to Paris or anything; also, the prospect of a Soviet invasion / occupation would unite Europe, and a Soviet-dominated continent would be against Britain's will, too.
It would unite the workers of Europe. Not only is this their chance to overthrow Hitler, but the capitalists as well. There was a strong communist movement throughout Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. This is their chance to rise up.

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Re: Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

Post by Huszar666 » 09 Jun 2022 17:39

Europe is saved.
Having lived (shorty) under the reds, I don't think it would be a good thing to be saved by Stalin from Hitler. ,
It would unite the workers of Europe. Not only is this their chance to overthrow Hitler, but the capitalists as well. There was a strong communist movement throughout Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. This is their chance to rise up.
Yeah, overthworing capitalism went soooooo well for... everyone that tried it. Not that capitalism is soooo much more better than socialism...

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Re: Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Jun 2022 17:49

historygeek2021 wrote:
09 Jun 2022 06:09
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
09 Jun 2022 05:11

I don't think a year is remotely enough time to resolve the problem of command and staff training. In six years 1933 - 1939 the Germans managed to train that for close to 100 divisions and lay the foundation for another 100 to be stood in the next two years.
The US starting in autumn 1940 managed to create properly trained commanders and staff for 90 Army & six Marine divisions in four years, plus the same for its large Air Force and huge support formation. A few years ago I read through Merekovs examination of the Red Army mobilization October 1939-June 1941. Even with a start of partially trained officers for 180 infantry divisions in 1939 & roughly sixty other ground combat divisions the training of the commanders & HQ staff by mid 1941 was bad. Im skeptical creating a offensive capable leadership in a year for 600 divisions would happen. Even getting the 200+ divisions of 1939 up to speed in two years is problematic.

There also some questions about the railways of the western USSR & Poland supporting the supply of 600 or even 300 ground divisions & their air support.
And yet the Soviet Union fielded the equivalent of over 600 divisions within a year of Barbarossa, despite losing a third of the population of their country, close to two-thirds of their coal, steel and aluminum production and the equivalent of their entire pre-war army. Railroads were not an issue. The USSR moved millions of soldiers from internal military districts across the entire country to the front in time for the Moscow counter-offensive in 1941, while simultaneously evacuating hundreds of factories. When Stalin set his will to do something, the country got it done. All my ATL requires is that Stalin take Germany seriously.

And yet the staff work was still not good enough, particularly at the division & below, tho army HQ had their deficiencies. Measures like dissolving most of the Corps HQ ed 1941 were necessary to concentrate the few capable officers among Army & Front HQ. A similar thing is described in the artillery, that is the division artillery lost its trained officers, who were concentrated in the Army or Front artillery brigades in late 1941 & into 1942. The division artillery was confined to only the simplest techniques until enough officers & NCO were properly train in 1943-44. Having 600 'divisions' is meaningless if the commanders & HQ staff cannot plan, organize, & execute basic tactical or operational tasks. In many respects the Red army would have been better off executing its original mobilization plans that Merkov describes existing in 1939. A lot fewer ground combat divisions in 1941, but with a denser population of officers qualified for their assignments & thus a more capable army.

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Re: Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

Post by historygeek2021 » 09 Jun 2022 17:53

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
09 Jun 2022 17:49

And yet the staff work was still not good enough, particularly at the division & below, tho army HQ had their deficiencies. Measures like dissolving most of the Corps HQ ed 1941 were necessary to concentrate the few capable officers among Army & Front HQ. A similar thing is described in the artillery, that is the division artillery lost its trained officers, who were concentrated in the Army or Front artillery brigades in late 1941 & into 1942. The division artillery was confined to only the simplest techniques until enough officers & NCO were properly train in 1943-44. Having 600 'divisions' is meaningless if the commanders & HQ staff cannot plan, organize, & execute basic tactical or operational tasks. In many respects the Red army would have been better off executing its original mobilization plans that Merkov describes existing in 1939. A lot fewer ground combat divisions in 1941, but with a denser population of officers qualified for their assignments & thus a more capable army.
Because the Red Army's officer ranks were decimated by the German offensive in 1941. Bring the Red Army up to a wartime footing before the German invasion, and there will be fewer officer losses. The Red Army had tens of thousands of reserve officers and NCOs before the war. Call them up in the summer of 1940 and give them a year working with their units, and the Red Army that almost bled the Ostheer dry in June-August of 1941 will finish the job.

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Re: Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

Post by historygeek2021 » 09 Jun 2022 18:01

Huszar666 wrote:
09 Jun 2022 17:39
Yeah, overthworing capitalism went soooooo well for... everyone that tried it. Not that capitalism is soooo much more better than socialism...
That's OTL. This is ATL. Without a long war against Germany, the delta in civilian goods will easily be 300% higher by 1943.

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Re: Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

Post by pugsville » 10 Jun 2022 01:04

historygeek2021 wrote:
08 Jun 2022 23:27
May 25, 1940 - While the British war cabinet quarrels over whether to seek Italian mediation, Stalin receives news that the BEF and French 1st Army are now completely cut off with little chance of escape. His gamble on the capitalist powers bleeding each other dry has failed. Germany has won a quick victory over France and Britain. Stalin has read Mein Kampf. He knows that Hitler's goal has always been to conquer Lebensraum in the USSR. Stalin knows that the USSR is next on Germany's chopping block, and soon.

He calls a meeting of the Politburo. "Germany is going to invade us," he tells them. "We must begin immediate preparations for total war. Our Red Army is the laughing stock of the world after what the Finns did to us. Hitler will think he can conquer us easily."

"When will the Germans invade?" Asks Molotov.

"Spring of next year," replies Stalin. "Hitler would love to strike this year, but he won't have time to redeploy his army before the autumn rasputitsa. In any event, we must bring the economy to a total war footing now so that the Red Army is ready whenever Hitler comes."

"But won't that that trigger a German invasion?" Asks Beria. "That's what happened in 1914."

Stalin glares at this veiled reference to the fate of the Czar. "Hitler is going to invade anyway. We will do our best to keep it secret. Life in Moscow will carry on as normal. Foreign diplomats will continue to have their movements strictly limited to areas of the city that are not affected by mobilization. Everywhere else will convert to a wartime footing."

"What about our trade agreement with the Nazis?" Asks Malenkov. "Should we terminate it now?"

"No, we'll keep it going until August or September. Then we will demand strict fulfillment of German obligations before we send them anymore raw materials. By then it will be too late. We will have the entire autumn and winter to get ready for war."

"Our army is a long way from war readiness," interjects Timoshenko. "It will take a tremendous effort to have it ready for war within a year."

"Then there is no time to waste!" bellows Stalin. "Begin total mobilization immediately!"

All across the Soviet Union, economic activity is converted to wartime production. The Third Five Year Plan is cancelled so that industry can focus exclusively on munitions production. Millions of peasants are called up for military service and begin training. Trucks and tractors are confiscated by the army to give its forces mobility. Strict rationing is imposed to make up for the decline in food production.

In October, Soviet deliveries of raw materials to Germany cease. Hitler is incensed, but Molotov insists that Germany must fulfill its outstanding obligations under the terms of the trade agreement. Hitler resolves to go to war as soon as the mud dries in May. Ernst Köstring, the German military attaché in Moscow, wires ominous reports of total mobilization. Hitler gets serious and orders all military production to focus on the upcoming war with the Soviet Union. He accepts Greek requests to mediate and forces Mussolini to accept a truce so that Germany can focus everything on the Soviet Union.

By May 1941, the Soviet Union has deployed 6 million men at the front. Aircraft are scattered and camouflaged so they cannot be taken out by the Luftwaffe on the ground. German reconnaissance planes have been shot down every time they crossed the border. Each Red Army division has a full complement of 14,000 men and a full supply of trucks and tractors to move artillery and ammunition. 3,000 fully operational T-34s and 1,000 KV-1s are deployed in mechanized corps behind the front. 20 armies man the front, double that in the OTL. Another 20 are deployed in depth - over 500 divisions.

When Germany invades, they run into a wall of artillery and anti-tank guns. The puny Panzer IIIs and IVs are no match for the KV-1s and T-34s. The four panzer groups are destroyed within 100 kilometers of the border. Germany's infantry armies go on the defensive but are buried under an avalanche of fire from 50,000 Soviet artillery pieces. The Red Army pours into Poland and Romania. The Wehrmacht cannot stop the Red tide. Berlin falls in August. The Red Army reaches the French border in September. The Nazis have been defeated. Europe is saved.

Edit: Typos
There not a switch to total mobilization of the wall. It's process not a setting. You cannot just go to total mobilization (and that not really a thing, beyond a level mobilization and it not really obvious where , most nations over run it, which the economy goes backwards and it;s actually counter productive)

There a speed at which an army con absorb new recruits, you camps, instructors, uniforms, organizational stuff. And generally the first part of massive expansion you not actually incorporating new people but preparing to do so (trialing the instructors, building camps, gearing up rifle and uniform production) the faster you mash the button to mobilize everyone know, the poorer the initial phase, goes. Guys with wooden rifles freezing in tent camps getting no useful instruction.

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Re: Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

Post by historygeek2021 » 10 Jun 2022 01:21

pugsville wrote:
10 Jun 2022 01:04

There not a switch to total mobilization of the wall. It's process not a setting. You cannot just go to total mobilization (and that not really a thing, beyond a level mobilization and it not really obvious where , most nations over run it, which the economy goes backwards and it;s actually counter productive)

There a speed at which an army con absorb new recruits, you camps, instructors, uniforms, organizational stuff. And generally the first part of massive expansion you not actually incorporating new people but preparing to do so (trialing the instructors, building camps, gearing up rifle and uniform production) the faster you mash the button to mobilize everyone know, the poorer the initial phase, goes. Guys with wooden rifles freezing in tent camps getting no useful instruction.
The Soviet Union went from a frontline force of 2.9 million in June 1941 to 5.3 million in June 1942, despite losing a third of their population, two-thirds of their coal, steel and aluminum, and their entire pre-war army. They could have easily gotten to an even stronger army by June 1941 if Stalin had been willing to own up to his error of entering into the non-aggression pact with Germany.

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Re: Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

Post by T. A. Gardner » 10 Jun 2022 01:55

The problem is, warm bodies alone don't count. Most Red Army divisions in June 1941 were short of equipment, and even what they had was often unserviceable. This was due in large part to the army expanding while factories concentrated on turning out finished equipment while scant attention was paid to spare parts and such.

So, even if you stand up a division, if it doesn't have the proper equipment, or even serviceable substitutes, lacks spares, lacks ammunition, and other gear then it's really just a POW camp looking for a place to exist.

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Re: Stalin orders total mobilization before Barbarossa

Post by pugsville » 10 Jun 2022 02:30

historygeek2021 wrote:
10 Jun 2022 01:21
pugsville wrote:
10 Jun 2022 01:04

There not a switch to total mobilization of the wall. It's process not a setting. You cannot just go to total mobilization (and that not really a thing, beyond a level mobilization and it not really obvious where , most nations over run it, which the economy goes backwards and it;s actually counter productive)

There a speed at which an army con absorb new recruits, you camps, instructors, uniforms, organizational stuff. And generally the first part of massive expansion you not actually incorporating new people but preparing to do so (trialing the instructors, building camps, gearing up rifle and uniform production) the faster you mash the button to mobilize everyone know, the poorer the initial phase, goes. Guys with wooden rifles freezing in tent camps getting no useful instruction.
The Soviet Union went from a frontline force of 2.9 million in June 1941 to 5.3 million in June 1942, despite losing a third of their population, two-thirds of their coal, steel and aluminum, and their entire pre-war army. They could have easily gotten to an even stronger army by June 1941 if Stalin had been willing to own up to his error of entering into the non-aggression pact with Germany.
It was already undergoing at expansion prior to the war, that 1941 number had not been static, in par it was able to expand in the first year of the war because it had already been prepared for and planned. Sure they kicked it up and had crash emergency program in top of that, and the war did bring challenges,

Stalin was arming and arming quickly he always thought the Germans would come for him , but he thought not so soon, he did not think the Germans woudl start a two front war. Nor did he expect France to cave in so quickly in 1940,

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