Roberto writes that there is plenty of evidence for Hitler's aggressive planning and hardly any for Soviet aggression. No, really??? The victor writes the history and it is a time honoured tradition to portray the defeated as scum.
Does that affect the quality of the evidence to Hitler's aggressive plans?
Hitler hated Communism and wanted to destroy it. That's not a secret. The topic is whether the innocent and peaceloving SU was totally unprepared for the "Feigen Überfall Hitlerdeutschlands" (cowardly suprise attack of the Nazis), or if Stalin knew war was inevitable and did his best to provoke Hitler so he could claim to be the victim.
Again, who said anything about an “innocent and peaceloving SU”?
Stalin was neither innocent nor peace-loving, he just knew that his country was not prepared for waging war against Germany.
As to what else Stalin knew and did, evidence suggests that he did what he could to avoid
any provocation, as a matter of fact.
And as to the SU’s being unprepared,
Richard Overy (Russia’s War, page 64) wrote:[…]It is certainly true that right up to the moment of the German attack Stalin did not want war and hoped that it could be avoided by negotiation – a view not very different from Neville Chamberlain in 1939 – but the absence of preparation is a myth. The Soviet political and military leadership began to prepare the country from the autumn of 1940 for the possibility of a war with Germany. The problem was not the absence of preparation but the fundamental flaws in strategy and deployment that underpinned it.[…]
Emphases are mine.
neugierig wrote: Topitsch refers to a speech Stalin gave in front of some graduates of a military academy, on May 5, 1941. Next day "Prawda", in a short article titled: "We have to be prepared for any eventuality" (my rough translation) mentions the speech and that Stalin told the graduates that: "....because of the necessities of modern warfare, the army has been modernized and equipped accordingly....." There are, according to Topitsch, different versions of this speech, but Stalin supposedly stated that war was inevitable, it would start no later than 1942, and that, if need be, the SU would have to take the initiative.
I have the following on this famous speech:
Richard Overy (Russia's War, page 69) wrote:It is also true that Stalin and other military leaders stressed that the Red Army was an offensive force. On May 5 Stalin spoke publicly about the Soviet military: ‘The Red Army is a modern army, and a modern army is an offensive army’. This, too, has been taken as evidence of malign intent. Yet it is entirely consistent with the Soviet view of fighting dating from the 1920s. Defense was regarded neither as an acceptable option for a revolutionary state, nor as militarily desirable. Stalin said nothing that had not been said a hundred times before.
neugierig wrote:How good are Topitsch's sources?
And how good is his rendering thereof?
neugierig wrote:I don't know but I think as good as the ones claiming Hitler's 'Alleinschuld'.
What exactly is 'Alleinschuld' supposed to mean?
Whatever Stalin's plans for the future were, there's no evidence that Hitler's attack, at the time it was staged, was anything other than unprovoked aggression.
neugierig wrote:Of course, it doesn't fit in with the Zeitgeist and every effort must be made to discredit them.
Again the "Zeitgeist", which is rather irrelevant as long as Suvorov, Topitsch et al are unable to provide any conclusive evidence in support of their contentions - and which, to the extent that it exists at all, will have to bend to their theories as soon as they have something substantial to show.
neugierig wrote: I still go back to the afore mentioned meeting and the unreasonable demands that were made by the SU.
Again, what "unreasonable demands"?
German withdrawal from Finland, a free hand for the Soviet Union in Iran and the Persian Gulf and Soviet bases in Bulgaria and Turkey?
neugierig wrote: It just strikes me funny that Stalin seems to have used the same tactics as the US used to get Japan to attack, which is a fact.
In your mind, perhaps, unless you can provide evidence in that direction.
As to Stalin, the available evidence to his behavior suggests that, rather than trying to get Germany to attack (something he didn't have to do for, as we have seen, Hitler had been preparing the attack already before the Molotov visit) he did what he could to appease Germany and to avoid any provocation, trying to delay as much as possible an attack that he knew his armed forces were not prepared for.
This is how German military intelligence of the Wehrmachtsabteilung Fremde Heere Ost
saw the situation, for instance:
Feindbeurteilung vom 20.5.1941:
"Die Rote Armee steht mit der Masse der Verbände des europäischen Teils der UdSSR, d.h. mit rund 130 Schützendivisionen - 21 Kavalleriedivisionen - 5 Panzerdivisionen - 36 mot.-mech. Panzerbrigaden entlang der Westgrenze von Czernowitz bis Murmansk...Die Tatsache, dass bisher weit günstigere Gelegenheiten eines Präventivkrieges (schwache Kräfte im Osten, Balkankrieg) von der UdSSR nicht ausgenutzt wurden, ferner das gerade in letzter Zeit fühlbare politische Entgegenkommen und festzustellende Bestreben der Vermeidung möglicher Reibungspunkte lassen eine Angriffsabsicht unwahrscheinlich erscheinen... Grenznahe, zähe Verteidigung, verbunden mit Teilangriffen zu Beginn des Krieges und während der Operationen als Gegenangriffe gegen den durchgebrochenen Feind...erscheint aufgrund der politischen Verhältnisse und des bisher erkennbaren Aufmarsches am wahrscheinlichsten."
(Quelle: BA-MA Freiburg, RH 2/1983)
Source of quote: http://hometown.aol.com/wigbertbenz
Assessment of the Enemy, 20.5.1941:
"The Red Army stands with the mass of its units in the European part of the USSR, i.e. with about 130 rifle divisions - 21 cavalry divisions - 5 tank divisions - 36 motorized – mechanized tank brigades, along the western border from Czernowitz to Murmansk. The fact that hitherto far more advantageous opportunities for a preventive war (weak forces in the East, war in the Balkans) have not been taken advantage of by the USSR, furthermore the political condescension that has made itself especially felt more recently and the apparent endeavor to avoid possible points of friction, let the possibility of an attack seem improbable... Tough defense near the border, combined with partial attacks at the beginning of the war and during the operations as counterattacks against the enemy who has broken through ... are what in the face of the political situation and the so far recognizable order of battle seems most probable."
(Source: BA-MA [Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv = Federal Archives-Military Archives of the FRG], Freiburg, RH 2/1983)
Emphasis is mine.
neugierig wrote: As far as documents go, I know we have lots and lots that prove Hitler's guilt and none, or hardly any to lessen same. Does this prove that he is guilty as charged? Not in my HO.
The documents speak a rather clear language.
neugierig wrote:Many documents are still locked up, we are being manipulated.
Do we have here another conspiracy theorist living in a Wolkenkuckucksheim
of hidden menaces ?
neugierig wrote:For example, when the GDR gave up it's ghost, the Stasi documents were seized by US authorities and shipped to the USA. I can't remember how long the kept them, but they are now back in Germany, or so we are told.
Who is telling "us" so? (= what source are your contentions based on?)
neugierig wrote:Why were they seized and have all of them been returned? Did anybody know for certain how many were shipped and how many returned? What did the Americans do with them? Look at the pictures? I think not. Anything incriminating was removed and destroyed. Did we hear the sound of shredders? No. Can I prove any of this? Of course not, but please give me your explanation.
Explanation for what?
If you believe that documents were destroyed or suppressed, the burden of proof is on you.
neugierig wrote:Because a lot of documents are still locked up and I'm sure some of them have been destroyed, it is impossible to state anything definitively, it would be like reading a book starting with page 27 and then writing a review, not knowing what the first 26 pages contained.
What you are sure of hardly matters.
What you can demonstrate is what counts.
If you can provide no evidence, then either those "manipulators" you believe in did a splendid job or there was no manipulation at all.
Either way, it's tough luck for those who like to fantasize that they are being "manipulated".
neugierig wrote:Anybody saying he/she knows exactly what happened/is happening, I could give them a good deal on the Brooklyn Bridge.
That's what I tell people hooked on conspiracy theories which are not only implausible (in that they would require the connivance of state authorities and historians worldwide, among other things) but for which they can also not offer a shred of evidence.
neugierig wrote:We need to think critically,
That's what historians do all the time, except apparently for those who, like Topitsch, Hoffmann and Suvorov, try to sell a story they would badly like to believe in, no matter how little they can offer in support thereof.
How about thinking critically about what these fellows produce?
There are reasons enough to be suspicious, some of which have been discussed on this thread.
neugierig wrote:like Scott Smith. Oh no, there goes my reputation.
Relax, for now I'll give you the benefit of doubt and assume that you're merely a trusting soul who hasn't been around this forum long enough - even though your "we need to ..." rhetoric carries a strong smell of herring.