Stereotypes About The Red Army And Russia

Discussion in 'The Eastern Front' started by Gerard, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    David Glantz, in his paper American Perspectives on Eastern Front Operations in World War II puts forth the theory that the following sterotypes prevailed about the Red Army and the Eastern Front. Do you agree and also do you think some of these still exist?

    Here is the link to the whole article: http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/e-front.htm

    Here is a part of the paper dealing with the stereotypes. I'd be interested to read what people think:



    The dominant role of German source materials in shaping American perceptions of the war on the Eastern Front and the negative perception of Soviet source materials have had an indelible impact on the American image of war on the Eastern Front. What has resulted in a series of gross judgments treated as truths regarding operations in the East and Soviet (Red) Army combat performance. The gross judgments appear repeatedly in textbooks and all types of historical works, and they are persistent in the extreme. Each lies someplace between the realm of myth and reality. In summary, a few of these judgments are as follows:

    - Weather repeatedly frustrated the fulfillment of German operational aims.

    - Soviet forces throughout the war in virtually every operation possessed significant or overwhelming numerical superiority.

    - Soviet manpower resources were inexhaustible, hence the Soviets continually ignored human losses.

    - Soviet strategic and high level operational leadership was superb. However, lower level leadership (corps and below) was uniformly dismal.

    - Soviet planning was rigid, and the execution of plans at every level was inflexible and unimaginative.

    - Wherever possible, the Soviets relied for success on mass rather than maneuver. Envelopment operations were avoided whenever possible.

    - The Soviets operated in two echelons, never cross attached units, and attacked along straight axes.

    - Lend lease was critical for Soviet victory. Without it collapse might have ensured.

    - Hitler was the cause of virtually all German defeats. Army expertise produced earlier victories (a variation of the post World War I stab in the back. legend).

    - The stereotypical Soviet soldier was capable of enduring great suffering and hardship, fatalistic, dogged in defense (in particular in bridgeheads), a master of infiltration and night fighting, but inflexible, unimaginative, emotional and prone to panic in the face of uncertainty.
     
  2. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor

    I agree with the sterotypes you have mentioned Gotthard and I would still say that a few of the still exist, notably the ones about numerical superiority and manpower resources.
     
  3. Dac

    Dac Senior Member

    Some of the stereotypes have merit others not so much.

    -Weather did play a role in the halt of the German advance in 1941, and there's no question that the Soviets were much better prepared to deal with the sometimes harsh Russian climate.

    -Soviet manpower was not unlimited they were facing shortages in maintaining the 300+ divisions on the eastern front at the end of the war.

    -The Soviets lacked an experinced Officer Corps at the start of WW II due to Stalins' purges. By the end of the war the Soviets had some very experienced and capable officers.

    -I think the Soviets often did take a brute force approach to battle and this is reflected in their high causualties. They were also fighting against the most effective army in the world at that time.

    -Some aspects of lend-lease were a great help to the Soviets in WW II, notably the modern communcations equipment and large number of transport trucks sent from the West.

    -I've read accounts of German soldiers who were impressed at the stoicism show by Russian soldiers at Stalingrad. When hit they often made no sound, and either waited for medical aid or died quietly.
     
  4. smc66

    smc66 Member

    Originally posted by Dac@Sep 15 2005, 07:37 PM
    Some of the stereotypes have merit others not so much.

    -Weather did play a role in the halt of the German advance in 1941, and there's no question that the Soviets were much better prepared to deal with the sometimes harsh Russian climate.
    [post=39076]Quoted post[/post]

    That was because they learnt their lesson the hard way during the Winter War when the Finns taught them how to use the climate to their advantage.
     
  5. Dac

    Dac Senior Member

    Originally posted by smc66+Sep 15 2005, 02:43 PM-->(smc66 @ Sep 15 2005, 02:43 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-Dac@Sep 15 2005, 07:37 PM
    Some of the stereotypes have merit others not so much.

    -Weather did play a role in the halt of the German advance in 1941, and there's no question that the Soviets were much better prepared to deal with the sometimes harsh Russian climate.
    [post=39076]Quoted post[/post]

    That was because they learnt their lesson the hard way during the Winter War when the Finns taught them how to use the climate to their advantage.
    [post=39078]Quoted post[/post]
    [/b]
    One of the more impressive military feats in history.
     
  6. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

     
  7. GUMALANGI

    GUMALANGI Senior Member

    Am wondering should Friedriech is around <_<
     
  8. Dac

    Dac Senior Member

    Very nice find spidge. :)
     
  9. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor

    Yes, good find spidge, amazing the variety of vehicles that was set to the USSR durings Lead-Lease.
     
  10. GUMALANGI

    GUMALANGI Senior Member

    Nice sites spidge,...

    But i can't found any sherman thereI thought Shermans were part of the package as well.,...

    am not too sure where is this sherman roaming,.. but i was thought this was part of russian crewed sherman.
     
  11. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    A couple of other interesting pieces on lend lease.

    According to Ukranian source: Andrew Gregorovich
    The USA supplied the USSR with 6,430 planes, 3,734 tanks, 104 ships and boats, 210,000 autos, 3,000 anti-aircraft guns, 245,000 field telephones, gasoline, aluminum, copper, zinc, steel and five million tons of food. This was enough to feed an army of 12 million every day of the war.
    Britain supplied 5,800 planes, 4,292 tanks, and 12 minesweepers. Canada supplied 1,188 tanks, 842 armoured cars, nearly one million shells, and 208,000 tons of wheat and flour. The USSR depended on American trucks for its mobility since 427,000 out of 665,000 motor vehicles (trucks and jeeps) at the end of the war were of western origin.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  12. Dac

    Dac Senior Member

    Originally posted by GUMALANGI@Sep 16 2005, 09:17 PM
    Nice sites spidge,...

    But i can't found any sherman thereI thought Shermans were part of the package as well.,...

    am not too sure where is this sherman roaming,.. but i was thought this was part of russian crewed sherman.


    The Americans shipped the M4A2 Sherman to Russia. This tank was actually superior to the Shermans used by the Allies in the West at the time. It had two marine diesels, which meant it did not catch fire as easily as gasoline fueled tanks. With one engine shut down the M4A2 became one of the quietest tanks, allowing Russians tankers to sneak up on German positions. It also had the high velocity 76mm gun, which gave it much better penetration than the short-barreled 75mm.

    An auxillary generator on the tank allowed Russin Shermans to stay warm overnight without running the diesels, something the crews valued highly!
     
  13. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Originally posted by GUMALANGI@Sep 17 2005, 02:17 PM
    Nice sites spidge,...

    But i can't found any sherman thereI thought Shermans were part of the package as well.,...

    am not too sure where is this sherman roaming,.. but i was thought this was part of russian crewed sherman.
    [post=39119]Quoted post[/post]


    This list provides the numbers sent by the US, Britain & Canada and the actual numbers received.

    British: Sent Received
    Matilda IIA* 1084 918
    Valentine II/III/IV/V/VII/IX/X 3782
    (incl. 1388 from Canada) 3332
    Valentine Bridgelayer 25
    Churchill III/IV 301 253
    Cromwell 6 6
    Tetrarch 20 19
    Universal Carrier 2560
    (incl. 1348 from Canada)

    American:
    M3A1 Stuart 1676
    M5 Stuart 5
    M24 Chaffee 2
    M3A3/M3A5 Lee/Grant 1386
    M4A2 Sherman (75mm) 2007
    M4A2 Sherman (76mm) 2095
    M10 Wolverine 52
    M18 Hellcat 5
    M26 Pershing 1
    M31 ARV 115
    M15A1 MGMC 100
    M17 MGMC 1000
    T48 {Soviet name SU-57} 650 (from Britain)
    M2 halftrack 342
    M3 halftrack 2
    M5 halftrack 421
    M9 halftrack 413
    T16 96
    M3A1 Scout 3340
    LVT 5

    Note: During the transfer, numbers that were lost!
    443 Stuarts,
    417 M3 & M4,
    54 halftracks,
    228 Scouts,
    320 Valentines,
    43 Churchills,
    252 Matildas,
    224 Carriers.

    The best Lend-Lease tank - Sherman (As Dac has so rightly pointed out)
    The worst Lend-Lease tank - medium M3
     
  14. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Double up previous post.
     
  15. GUMALANGI

    GUMALANGI Senior Member

    Originally posted by spidge+Sep 18 2005, 12:08 AM-->(spidge @ Sep 18 2005, 12:08 AM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-GUMALANGI@Sep 17 2005, 02:17 PM
    Nice sites spidge,...

    But i can't found any sherman thereI thought Shermans were part of the package as well.,...

    am not too sure where is this sherman roaming,.. but i was thought this was part of russian crewed sherman.
    [post=39119]Quoted post[/post]


    This list provides the numbers sent by the US, Britain & Canada and the actual numbers received.

    British: Sent Received
    Matilda IIA* 1084 918
    Valentine II/III/IV/V/VII/IX/X 3782
    (incl. 1388 from Canada) 3332
    Valentine Bridgelayer 25
    Churchill III/IV 301 253
    Cromwell 6 6
    Tetrarch 20 19
    Universal Carrier 2560
    (incl. 1348 from Canada)

    American:
    M3A1 Stuart 1676
    M5 Stuart 5
    M24 Chaffee 2
    M3A3/M3A5 Lee/Grant 1386
    M4A2 Sherman (75mm) 2007
    M4A2 Sherman (76mm) 2095
    M10 Wolverine 52
    M18 Hellcat 5
    M26 Pershing 1
    M31 ARV 115
    M15A1 MGMC 100
    M17 MGMC 1000
    T48 {Soviet name SU-57} 650 (from Britain)
    M2 halftrack 342
    M3 halftrack 2
    M5 halftrack 421
    M9 halftrack 413
    T16 96
    M3A1 Scout 3340
    LVT 5

    Note: During the transfer, numbers that were lost!
    443 Stuarts,
    417 M3 & M4,
    54 halftracks,
    228 Scouts,
    320 Valentines,
    43 Churchills,
    252 Matildas,
    224 Carriers.

    The best Lend-Lease tank - Sherman (As Dac has so rightly pointed out)
    The worst Lend-Lease tank - medium M3
    [post=39140]Quoted post[/post]
    [/b]
    exactly,.. but small wonder,... on the site,.,. shermans seems forgotten
     
  16. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

     
  17. GUMALANGI

    GUMALANGI Senior Member

     
  18. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    I think that if we get involved with the extent of lease-lend to the Soviet Union, we will be missing the point.

    In his paper, Glantz was reviewing the historiography of the German-Soviet conflict and its impact on American perceptions (where even calling it the "Eastern Front" means borrowing a German term). He is not saying, for instance, that all lease-lend was useless, just that it was not crucial. In fact, transport and canned food in particular was very useful, as were grain imports after the loss of the Ukraine.

    He makes the reasons quite clear. Reliance of German sources and writers who had an axe to grind, with no comparable access to Soviet sources.

    Of course, in the 19 years since Glantz wrote this, he has become arguably the most notable Western historian of the German-Soviet conflict, mainly basing his work on Soviet sources, not that he is the most readable of writers. In spite of this, I would strongly recommend his Colossus Reborn: the Red Army at War, 1941-1943, University of Kansas Press, 2005, along with a number of other notable works. This is the second of a major trilogy on the Red Army from 1937 to 1945.
     
  19. Dac

    Dac Senior Member

    The Soviets were so secrective about all aspects of their society during the Cold War that most historians were forced to rely on other sorces to write WW II history involving Russia. It's only fairly recently that Soviets accounts have become available to clear up some misconceptions.
     
  20. MaxPower

    MaxPower Discharged

    First

    The best book on the subject is Richard (James) Overy book "Russia's War" from 1997 there he has accessed the soviet archives gotten them translated and written a very nice book

    Second

    The Food was great the trucks were great that were given in the lend lease program
    Also all the raw materials and Radiostations and cablelines were all great

    BUT

    The tanks sucked big time!
    No Soviet solider never wanted to use the 6 man coffin (name of the americans tanks) because they were many times inferior to the Soviet ones

    Also Lend lease Tanks were allways considered light ones and only used for Scouting operations or sometimes against infentry but never Against other tanks or anti tank guns or self propelled artilery or normal artilery

    Also it must be pointed out that when lend lease kicked in for real it was 1943 so all Soviet Milatery equipment was allways many times more supperior

    BUT

    The Lend Lease Equipment was much better then the Japanese which enabled the Soviets to switch the Soviet Equipment which they hade at the Manchurian border for the Lend Lease equipment

    The Soviets During the whole war hade some 1.4-2 million men on that Border
     

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