Stereotypes About The Red Army And Russia

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

  1. L J

    L J Senior Member

    Weather is vital in any military operation. If the Germans had a perfectly favorable weather for them they would be in a much better position (i.e.: when attacking, always have summer like weather, when defending, always have terrible muddy weather).
    They were able to win battles losing 5 times more men than the Germans. I think that this characterizes numerical superiority, and kind of a massive one.
    The soviet union had impressive capabilities to replace lost soldiers. Any other power could not suffer 8 million casualties in 1 year and still maintain the strategic initiative after.
    Well, that myth has some foundations: The operational performance of the Red Army was nothing very good, however, they won the largest war ever, so their strategic leadership must have been quite decent.
    That is simply wrong. Strategic offensives are nearly always envelopment operations.
    - Lend lease was critical for Soviet victory. Without it collapse might have ensured.
    I agree partially with that. Even if it was small, Lend-Lease was important in a front were warfare had a very close outcome.
    Germany had very good operational and tactical leadership. But had bad grand strategic performance. Why? Well, i think that the fact the while in the operational levels there were military genius running the show while in the grand strategic level they had a corporal in charge can explain those events.
    They were very hard men. However, with the rest of this sentence I disagree.
    strategic offensives are nearly always envelopment operations :that is theoretical,in the best circumstances ,but given the status of the two opposing armies in the east and the absence of decent roads,it was rarely searched and even more rarely attainted .About the corporal in charge,sorry,but this is only a repetition of post-war myths:the stupid Hitler without whom Germany would have won the war .
     
  2. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    strategic offensives are nearly always envelopment operations :that is theoretical,in the best circumstances ,but given the status of the two opposing armies in the east and the absence of decent roads,it was rarely searched and even more rarely attainted .About the corporal in charge,sorry,but this is only a repetition of post-war myths:the stupid Hitler without whom Germany would have won the war .

    I disagree rather firmly on this: there is a significant strategic difference between the Soviet 'Deep Operations' and German 'Cauldron' envelopment and destruction, although I suspect that tactically little difference could be discerned. I understand that Hitler was used as a scapegoat by some senior officers but at the end of the day he was head of state and commander in chief - it all happened on his watch.
     
  3. L J

    L J Senior Member

    I disagree rather firmly on this: there is a significant strategic difference between the Soviet 'Deep Operations' and Grerman 'Cauldron' envelopment and destroy, although I suspect that tactically little difference could be discerned. I understand that Hitler was used as a scapegoat by some senior officers but at the end of the day he was head of state and commander in chief - it all happened on his watch.
    The results of mobile warfare in the east were not that important,because both armies were mainly not motorizefd (and I doubt that a motorized army would be able to operate succesfully in the east,may I remember that the motorized armies of the allies in the West had to stop in september,because the supply forces didnot follow ).
    About the Soviet 'Deep Operations'theory :the advance of the Soviets and of the Germans were dictated by logistics and in the East,logistics = railways and if the railways were not repaired,the advance had to stop,even if the enemy resistance was minime .
    About Hitler:I have not seen yet the first exemple of a decision by Hitler that
    a) prevented a total German victory
    b) that caused the German defeat
     
  4. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    I understand the importance of logistics and the role of the railway on the Eastern Front but I think it perhaps going too far to assume that either the RKKA or the Wermacht were not capable of strategic, mobile operations without direct rail support to the fowrad edge of the battle area: what about Operation Zitadelle or Operation Uranus?
    I agree with your last statement: it is difficult to point to a particular time and place and say Hitler was completely at fault but equally it is difficult not to apportion him significant blame for strategic mis-direction, even if only in terms of economics, for example.
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    we sometimes forget to read the old book. in the book of revelation, stalin is one of the four angels who will smite the earth...and of course hitler, churchill and roosevelt.
    don't be shock kids....these angels of death are the fulfillment of the prophecy.

    :lol: What have I been missing in this thread :unsure:

    I've just noticed there's a lot of folks in here with Neg Reps...Quite apt them being 'Red' :lol:
     
  6. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    :lol: What have I been missing in this thread :unsure:

    A nutter who was thankfully discharged some time ago, I think, mate ;)
     
  7. tovarisch

    tovarisch Discharged

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

    Of course. They were machine-gunned down like cattle in hopeless repetitive charges that got the Red Army nowhere. The Germans were way better at every aspect of warfare, they were better equipped, better trained, mentally stronger, they had determined and skilful commanders. Those were only a few of the German superiorities. The 'commies' had no idea how to fight, so they sent their 'comrades'
    to die in millons for their Motherland (a word that is synonymous with Stalin), without any weapons at all. They were like 'all for the Motherland!' and charged the Germans, wearing Ushanka hats.

    Piffle. That was just a revised account of the war on the Eastern front, swiftly compiled by Beevis and Butthead. Nearly all of the stereotypes initially mentioned are either 20% true or complete fables. History was pretty much obscured during the Cold War, something that I'll very sadly admit. All of those stereotypes developed after the war, mostly by people who didn't know what they were talking about.

    The war in the East, according to most people who think that they know what it was all about, was won accidentally by the Soviets, who were killing millions of their own people with no regret, heavily helped by the weather, and the mistakes of the German command. They got lucky. There's no other aspect to it.

    Really? No, I mean, really?
     
    Gerard likes this.
  8. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    On the other hand, which nation managed to lose a World War twice?

    :lol:
     
  9. tovarisch

    tovarisch Discharged

    Who could that have been? lololol :D I have absolutely no idea *rolling eyes* :D
     
  10. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    oh dear God we have a posse of "Sovietites" on our hands!!! ;) Za's got a friend, there'll be no stopping 'em now!!! :)
     
  11. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Correction: Which nation managed to start and lose a World War twice?

    :p
    [​IMG]
     
  12. tovarisch

    tovarisch Discharged

    :D the nation that hosted the 2006 FIFA World Cup, I presume :D
     
  13. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Correction: Which nation managed to start and lose a World War twice?

    :p
    [​IMG]
    Did they start WW1? I'm not sure about that - but they sure managed to lose 2!!!
     
  14. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    If they didn't, then they proceeded to invade Belgium in some haste to make up for time lost :)
     
  15. guaporense

    guaporense Member

    Each lies someplace between the realm of myth and reality.
    True, they were exaggerated but contained some truth. In summary, a few of these judgments are as follows:

    - Weather repeatedly frustrated the fulfillment of German operational aims.

    It did hamper the conduct of operations, however, it did help when they lost the strategic initiative and the ussr had to deal with offensive operations in bad weather.
    - Soviet forces throughout the war in virtually every operation possessed significant or overwhelming numerical superiority.

    That depends, in the first months of the Russo-German war they had numerical parity. However, after the first 18 months of the war the Soviets had always large numerical superiority, and most important, were able to replace the massive losses they suffered so they didn't lose their numerical superiority.
    - Soviet manpower resources were inexhaustible, hence the Soviets continually ignored human losses.

    Their military doctrine established that the entire Red Army would be destroyed and replaced every 8 months, they said and did it, the USSR maintained about 6 million men in the field forces and lost 7.5 million men per year, on average. The Germans lost about 1.5 million men per year in the eastern front and were not able to replace their losses.
    - Lend lease was critical for Soviet victory. Without it collapse might have ensured.

    Second to a paper by Mark Harrison, lend lease was important because it helped to increase the distance from internal collapse due to over mobilization. However, it wasn't a very large part of Soviet GNP, about 8% second to Ferguson (2006). Much smaller than the lost of about 40% of the USSR's economic potential after Barbarossa.
    - 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).
    A very good excuse for any defeat.
     
  16. tovarisch

    tovarisch Discharged

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

    Wahey, that's a first on me. No manpower resources are inexhaustible. That's just an axiome.

    And that's a very simplistic way to put forth a very complex argument. "Ignored" human losses.
     
  17. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    I dont understand Gauporense where it is written that Soviet Doctrine assumed that the entire Red army would be destroyed and replaced every 8 months. What was the name of this doctrine? Where can we view references to this?
     
  18. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Taken from the SWAGPOOHA book?
     
  19. tovarisch

    tovarisch Discharged

    SWAGPOOHA? Me no understand. (in weird Russian accent)
     
  20. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    I think it is human nature that the Germans would blame their own shortcomings on elements outside of their control and to lay the blame at Hitler's door for the major errors and misjudgements.

    The venture into Russia - Halder saw victory being just around the corner one month and the next realised that they had bitten off more than they could possibly chew.
    Rundestedt never wanted to invade Russia and knew it was beyond them .
    Keitel did as he was told and issued orders accordingly.
    OKW - they uniformly failed to be able to control Hitler and could not stand up to him , when Hitler realised this he took full advantage.
    If the German Army had a failing it was within its own higher echelons.

    Weather as has been pointed out hits everyone and when they found themselves still well away from Moscow in September the coming autumn and winter should not have come as such a shock .
    Mud didn't stop the Germans a lack of resources and planning did , as much as an unrealistic view of the system and the people they went to war with.

    The whole ideological aspect got in the way - the book was judged by its cover the Russian soldier was much more able and willing to fight than Hitler had ever imagined.

    Hindsight is a great thing but it is hard to imagine that in 1940 when plans were being made that the Germans didn't consider time , distance , wear and tear, attrition , losses ,supply , distances the realistic speed at which they advanced by foot and horse.

    The Russians did learn by way of the school of hard knocks but they learn quickly and well , they planned for a long struggle something the Germans had not considered - the relocation of industry to the east well out of reach of the Germans was one of the major achievements of the war and whilst lend lease was important the Russians could produce an abundance of tanks better than those which the West could supply - trucks and wheeled transport was what they really needed - sending them tanks was a bit like selling sand to an Arab.

    You can't help but think that their is a certain amount of vanity in the German view of the war in Russia , "we could have one if we had run things" - the German Army lost its major battle not with the enemy but with its own leader and that battle started as soon as they agreed of their own bat to swear an oath to him.
     

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