Did Siberian divisions save Moscow?

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Globalization41
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Did Siberian divisions save Moscow?

Post by Globalization41 » 02 Sep 2013 08:33

[Split from "At what point did Germany lose WW2?"]

By the time the Germans reached the outskirts of Moscow, their ranks had thinned out considerably. There weren't that many available to be frostbitten. ... The Soviets had only about 30,000 troops themselves to defend Moscow. Both sides were worn down. Law and order actually broke down in Moscow for a few days as riots broke out. Stalin had to sleep on benches in the subways and train stations and was almost ready to evacuate to the East, but Zhukoff said he thought the Russians could hold on. Beria had already booby trapped a lot of strategic targets and was liquidating political prisoners in preparation for the evacuation. ... However, Stalin had been secretly building up a reserve, unknown to Beria and Zhukoff, that included the Siberians, which he unleashed in early December, coincidentally just before Pearl Harbor.

Globalization41.

ljadw
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by ljadw » 02 Sep 2013 08:37

No : the Siberian divisions had been committed much earlier,already in august .

Globalization41
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Globalization41 » 02 Sep 2013 09:11

Asiatics were deployed by the Soviets in August Ijadw, but some Siberians were held in reserve in the Far East. The Soviets knew the Japanese were moving south, jumping from China, to Saigon, and eventually embarking in a massive armada en route to Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and the Dutch East Indies oil fields. The whole world knew it. Japan did not observe radio silence, except for the Aircraft Carrier Squadron sailing north toward Hawaii. ... As the situation became critical west of Moscow, Stalin, knowing Japan would be tied up in the south, redeployed Siberian divisions from the Far East to the Moscow Front. ... ... The evacuation of Dunkerque, Checkov, was actually completed prior to the main Battle of France. Eliminating the Dunkerque pocket, if the British had stood and fought, would have delayed the main German offensive and the fall of France.

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KDF33
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by KDF33 » 02 Sep 2013 23:27

The myth of the Siberian divisions is hard to dispel. Between 22.6.41 and 31.12.41, a total of 28 divisions were transferred "West" from the Soviet "East" (starting at the Urals). Here is the breakdown:

June: 11 divisions
July: 3 divisions
August: none
September: 3 divisions
October: 6 divisions
November: 5 divisions
December: none

Of the 14 divisions sent in the autumn, only 8 were assigned to the "Western" and "Kalinin" Fronts, which took part in the battle of Moscow. These 8 divisions, of which 2 were small cavalry units from Central Asia, can hardly have made the difference during Taifun and it's aftermath.

Regards,

KDF

Davey Boy
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Davey Boy » 03 Sep 2013 02:41

Globalization41 wrote:Asiatics were deployed by the Soviets in August Ijadw, but some Siberians were held in reserve in the Far East. The Soviets knew the Japanese were moving south, jumping from China, to Saigon, and eventually embarking in a massive armada en route to Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and the Dutch East Indies oil fields. The whole world knew it. Japan did not observe radio silence, except for the Aircraft Carrier Squadron sailing north toward Hawaii. ... As the situation became critical west of Moscow, Stalin, knowing Japan would be tied up in the south, redeployed Siberian divisions from the Far East to the Moscow Front. ... ... The evacuation of Dunkerque, Checkov, was actually completed prior to the main Battle of France. Eliminating the Dunkerque pocket, if the British had stood and fought, would have delayed the main German offensive and the fall of France.

Globalization41.
Only a small percentage of the population of the Russian Far East and Siberia are "Asiatics". Most of the people living there are of Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Polish, and even German origin from west of the Urals. So the "Siberian" units moving west to help out near Moscow would have been almost totally of European origin.

Globalization41
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Globalization41 » 03 Sep 2013 08:19

Thanks KDF33 for the enlightening post and link. ... As you mentioned, Siberia starts at the Ural Mountains and extends to the Pacific. ... ... I've seen German newsreels from the start of Barbarossa of captured Asiatics. I'm assuming they could also be described as Siberians or maybe Mongolians. The newsreels, for propaganda purposes, portrayed the captured Asiatics in racist terms as hoards of uncivilized Bolsheviks and barbarians aiming to overrun Europe and civilization. The examples of the Asiatics shown in the newsreels were unflattering. It should be noted that racist portrayals were not unique to Nazism, though it made for a good rallying point. In the 1940s, if one wanted to make war on the sole basis of racism, then one would have to consider the logistics of declaring war on the world. ... Additionally, racism is due to the fact that humans evolved from wild pack animals. ... Davey makes an excellent point that Siberians are not necessarily Asiatic. I would suspect that a few Siberians were decedents of labor deportees, such as Kulaks, that is Ukrainians who had owned a few extra farm animals and who had resisted the Soviet State takeover of agriculture. ... Although Hitler was racist, he seemed to like the Japanese, who were definitely Asiatic. ... Sometimes the line between racism and ideology is blurred for propaganda purposes. American TV this past weekend showed several programs hinting that U.S. isolationists were Nazi sympathisers, even though isolationists are the opposite of interventionists, which the Nazis were. ... Davey (not forgetting KDF33's link) may have clued us in on the origins of the myth of the Siberian divisions, for example, a division from central Russia could be considered Siberian, but not actually Asiatic heritage. ... ... The myth of Richard Sorge (as noted in KDFs link) deserves more comment. Sorge worked for Germany in Japan but spied for Stalin. He informed Stalin of the scheduled June 22nd German invasion date of Russia. Supposedly, if Stalin had listened to his spy in Tokyo the U.S.S.R. would have defended against the Germans much better. However, the NKVD had been supplying Stalin with full reports of German troop concentrations, supply dumps, new airfields, convoys, train movements, headquarter locations, etc, from April 1941 onward. Stalin had spies in various upper headquarters in Germany and practically every road junction up to the German-Soviet demarcation line reporting on invasion plans and every troop movement. With all the information at hand, a report of the invasion date transmitted from Japan was practically meaningless. Stalin was hoping to cut a sphere-of-influence deal with Hitler and possibly delay a war with Germany so as to increase the fighting efficiency of the Red Army in the time gained. The Germans fooled Stalin by putting out rumors that Hitler had been upset by Molotoff's tough stance during the November 1940 sphere-of-influence negotiations in Berlin and was concentrating German forces near the Soviet Union in order to pressure Stalin into a better deal or even signing up with the Axis. Thus the Germans gained the surprise advantage on the June 22nd invasion. ... Supposedly too Sorge informed the Soviets in late 1941 that Japan had decided on a southward expansion instead of exploiting Siberia, thus allowing Stalin to transfer divisions facing Japan to the Moscow front. However, Japan had already informed the world they would be moving south. They claimed it was only natural that the whites should be purged from Asia for the purposes of a co-prosperity sphere of influence for the Asiatics. The occupation of Saigon was a stepping stone to the oil fields in the Dutch East Indies. Japan even lobbied Hitler in April 1941 to enlist Stalin into the Axis. Stalin signed a pact with Japan, also in April 1941, hoping to appease Hitler into offering a deal. Hitler did not inform the Japanese of the impending invasion of Russia. Besides, exploiting the resources of the South Pacific gave Japan's Navy a more important role. The Pacific islands were warm and inviting while Siberia was cold and nasty. In November 1941 while Japan made a lot of noise about moving south, a carrier task force sailed in radio silence to Hawaii in the hopes of eliminating U.S. interference while Japan set up its southern empire. Except for the Hawaii expedition, it was all reported in the world's newspapers. Sorge's information would have been more like an annoying backseat driver. Japan's well-publicized designs to the south would explain why the Soviets were able to deploy the Far Eastern Siberian units (those already formed before the war started) early on, leaving a bare minimum guarding against Japan. ... In Moscow, the time of panic, riots, and looting occurred in mid-October 1941 when it appeared the German Army was about to storm the Soviet capital. But the German advance bogged down. According to the book Stalin, The Court of the Red Tsar, by Simon Montefiore, Page 403, Railroad Commissar Kaganovich organized train transportation in mid-October from the East for "400,000 fresh troops." These Red Army troops, whether officially Siberian or non-Siberian, were held in reserve "behind Moscow." In mid-November (page 406), Stalin delivered two armies to Zhukoff. "Zhukoff fought the Germans to a standstill on 5 December, having lost 155,000 men in twenty days. Effectively, Hitler's Blitzkrieg had failed. On 6 December, Stalin delivered three new armies to Zhukoff and ordered a grand offensive on the four nearest fronts. The next day, Japan attacked America at Pearl Harbor." ... Montefiore claims on pages 394 and 395, "interceptor battalions" shot 157,000 deserters, or 15 divisions, in 1941 and 1942. ... Of the 14 divisions formed before the war, listed in the link provided by KDF33, which could have been affected by the Sorge myth, 11 were transferred west after October 1941 and three before October.

Globalization41.

KDF33
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by KDF33 » 03 Sep 2013 19:44

Hello Globalization41,
Globalization41 wrote:Japan's well-publicized designs to the south would explain why the Soviets were able to deploy the Far Eastern Siberian units (those already formed before the war started) early on, leaving a bare minimum guarding against Japan.
Of the 28 divisions transferred "West" over 1941, only 11 were initially assigned either to the Far Eastern Front or the Transbaikal Military District, which were the theater commands tasked with facing Japan. These 11 divisions hardly constituted the overwhelming majority of the units deployed in the East, and in fact Soviet strength facing Japan grew considerably between 22.6.41 and the Moscow counteroffensive, as shown here. There were 703,714 men facing Japan on the day of the German invasion, whereas there were 1,343,307 on 1.12.41. Admittedly, equipment holdings had fallen somewhat, but still it's obvious from this data that the Soviets never left "a bare minimum" of forces to guard against Japan.

Regards,

KDF

ljadw
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by ljadw » 03 Sep 2013 21:32

It is not so that Siberia sis starting at the Urals and finishing on the Pacific : any Russian will have a good laugh with this claim .

KDF33
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by KDF33 » 03 Sep 2013 22:04

ljadw wrote:It is not so that Siberia sis starting at the Urals and finishing on the Pacific : any Russian will have a good laugh with this claim .
Siberia.

jeger
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Re: Did Siberian divisions save Moscow?

Post by jeger » 10 Jan 2014 18:36

Yes they did mainly because their winter equipment, but the Battle of Stalingrad was the turning point
Jeger

olia
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Re: Did Siberian divisions save Moscow?

Post by olia » 11 Jan 2014 11:53

Not "because of their winter equipment", but due to the fact that they were well-equipped. For example 78 RD from Ussuri region ( this is Far East,not Siberia) had 14,000 people ( Division at wartime 6-8 thousand people), two artillery regiments (Division at wartime- 1 artillery regiment). Defended Moscow since October 1941. By December 1941 had suffered losses and was not a full-completed division.

olia
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Re: Did Siberian divisions save Moscow?

Post by olia » 11 Jan 2014 12:20

August 1941 formation of the Siberian divisions "second wave":
Omsk - 362 RD and 364 RD
Tyumen -368 RD and 384 RD
Novosibirsk - 370 RD
Altai - 372 RD and 380 RD
Tomsk - 366 RD
Kuzbass - 376 RD
Krasnoyarsk region - 374 RD,378 RD and 382 sd .

Along with them was a formation of 73, 75 , 77 and 87 light cavalry divisions .

Divisions of second were sent to Northwestern and Leningrad fronts ( not to Moscow) in November - December 1941.

In december 1941 the Siberian Military District began forming 12 rifle divisions , eight brigades , 11 ski battalions. They were sent to the fronts since April 1942 ( Voronezh, Moscow, Demyansk, Stalingrad )

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LWD
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Re: Did Siberian divisions save Moscow?

Post by LWD » 13 Jan 2014 15:29

jeger wrote:Yes they did mainly because their winter equipment, but the Battle of Stalingrad was the turning point
Jeger
The first half of this has already been called to question. I would point out that while it is off topic for this thread the second half is also quite questionable.

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