Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

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Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Mortimer » 4 years 1 week ago (Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:17 am)

There is now ample evidence to substantiate the claim that the German led Axis invasion of the Soviet Union was a preventive attack to forestall Stalin's attempted invasion of Europe which was Codenamed Operation Thunderstorm. It was Russian historians who led the way with the release of this information and books on this subject. Three of them are Victor Suvorov http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Suvorov and Igor Bunich http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igor_Bunich and Mark Solonin http://www.solonin.org/en/article_comra ... hree-plans
The following are reviews of revisionist works on this subject -
http://codoh.com/library/document/1906/
http://codoh.com/library/document/2724/
http://codoh.com/library/document/2833/
http://codoh.com/library/document/2947/
http://codoh.com/library/document/3000/
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Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Mortimer » 3 years 10 months ago (Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:58 am)

In 1934 Poland and the USSR signed a non aggression pact - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet-Pol ... ssion_Pact This was thrown to the wind when the soviets invaded Poland in September 1939 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Poland This is further proof that Stalin was willing to break the non aggression pact with Germany when it suited him.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Moderator » 3 years 10 months ago (Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:13 pm)

Only lies need to be shielded from debate, truth welcomes it.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Mortimer » 3 years 9 months ago (Sat Oct 05, 2013 5:34 pm)

Adolf Hitler explains his reasons for attacking the USSR. http://codoh.com/library/document/2948/ His explanation certainly sounds a lot more credible than the British/American propaganda charge that he was a "madman who wanted to take over the world". Even more so than the Soviet communist propaganda which was "the peace loving and neutral USSR was suddenly and treacherously attacked by the fascist Hitlerites". The trouble is the "peace loving" and "neutral" USSR had already invaded Poland and Finland in 1939 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_War Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania in 1940 and even after the nazi-soviet war started they invaded Iran in August 1941 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Sovi ... on_of_Iran
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Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Kingfisher » 3 years 9 months ago (Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:04 am)

@ Mortimer

...and went on to occupy half of Europe for 50 years.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Hektor » 3 years 9 months ago (Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:37 pm)

I believe German Historian Stefan Scheil did do extensive research on this and also published on it. Unfortunately I only could find something in German on that:
https://archive.org/details/UrsachenUnd ... Weltkriegs

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Mortimer » 3 years 9 months ago (Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:38 am)

The German general Otto Ernst Remer talks about Operation Barbarossa in this 1990 interview - http://codoh.com/library/document/2278/
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Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Hektor » 3 years 9 months ago (Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:55 am)

Mortimer wrote:Adolf Hitler explains his reasons for attacking the USSR. http://codoh.com/library/document/2948 His explanation certainly sounds a lot more credible than the British/American propaganda charge that he was a "madman who wanted to take over the world". Even more so than the Soviet communist propaganda which was "the peace loving and neutral USSR was suddenly and treacherously attacked by the fascist Hitlerites". The trouble is the "peace loving" and "neutral" USSR had already invaded Poland and Finland in 1939 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_War Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania in 1940 and even after the nazi-soviet war started they invaded Iran in August 1941 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Sovi ... on_of_Iran


Actually, Stalin violated the non-aggression-treaty with Germany, when he invaded Lithuania. A country considered to be part of the German sphere on influence according to that treaty. Non-Invasion by Germany, btw. demonstrates that the motives of the Polish campaign were different from "conquering Lebensraum" as the sheeple are fed usually.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby borjastick » 3 years 8 months ago (Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:01 pm)

Poland needed a non aggression pact with Russia. Russia did not. It would have made the Polish elite feel safe and warm at night but was in fact as useful as a chocolate tea pot, or as useful as the Maginot line that the French thought would save them from Germany. In fact the French army was deficient in almost every way and was an easy take for the Germans.
'Of the four million Jews under Nazi control in WW2, six million died and alas only five million survived.'

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Mortimer » 3 years 8 months ago (Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:39 am)

Another article which provides evidence to back up the claim that Operation Barbarossa prevented Stalin's invasion of Europe -
http://www.wintersonnenwende.com/script ... plans.html

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Hannover » 3 years 8 months ago (Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:40 pm)

Mortimer wrote:Another article which provides evidence to back up the claim that Operation Barbarossa prevented Stalin's invasion of Europe -
http://www.wintersonnenwende.com/script ... plans.html
Informative analysis, Mortimer. It's incredible the extent that some will go to provide cover for the communists. Thanks.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Mortimer » 3 years 7 months ago (Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:26 pm)

14 Days That Saved The World
http://heretical.com/miscella/14days.html

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Werd » 3 years 5 months ago (Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:27 am)

On this topic, I think some historians Roberto quotes are correct in that Stalin probably did not want to invade as early as 1941. Or even if he did, he probably could not pull it off. Much like Roberto had a few good arguments against certain statments made in Mattogno's Belzec book,
Belzec: a fraudulent excavation
albiet, tiny little victories that mean little in the overall picture
he has made a few good points about Hoffman being very short on full quotations or document reproductions in his book when he quotes only one or two lines from a document or summarizes the document in his own words.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 288#p96288
michael mills wrote:

Hoffmann considers, on the basis of the evidence, that during the first few months of the war there was no Stalin order for the execution of captured Germans, and that the summary killings were local initiatives. On page 257 he writes:

Although similar actions can be proven in relation to the Army, Corps and Divisional Staffs, a "general order" for the shooting of prisoners does not appear to have existed during this phase of the conflict. The large number of such killings, which can be proven on the basis of testimony by Soviet officers, political officials, doctors, and soldiers as early as July 1941, were attributed by the Germans to "individual or special orders" of the various Soviet command agencies.

Roberto wrote:

The following footnote I translated from Christian Streit's Keine Kameraden: Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen 1941-1945 (1997 edition, footnote 155 to pages 108-109) may be of interest in this respect:

Otto Bräutigam wrote in his memoirs that in the late summer of 1941, upon his complaint about the bad treatment of Soviet prisoners of war, the Army High Command had replied that the Red Army treated German prisoners in the same way. When B. thereupon examined the collection of cases put together at the Army High Command, he came to the conclusion "that on the whole there were about 180 cases, of which several had obviously been reported by various entitities and were thus included in the collection several times". (Otto Bräutigam, So hat es sich zugetragen. Ein Leben als Soldat und Diplomat, Würzburg 1968, page 376. The files I examined confirm this impression. An "assessment of the enemy" by the Ic/AO of Army Group Center dated 10.3.1942, which the Wehrmacht High Command / Amt Ausl.Abw./Abw. II [Colonel Lahousen] communicated to the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, attributed the shooting of German prisoners of war to the "quickly spread knowledge of the misery of Russian prisoners of war": Federal Archives R 41/169, page 259.

Michael Mills wrote:

Hoffmann shows that a change came with Stalin's speech of 6 November 1941, on the 24th anniversary of the October Revolution, in which he proclaimed a "war of extermination" against the German occupiers (the source of the title of Hoffmann's book). Now all the German soldiers were regarded as "fascists", deserving extermination.

Roberto:


Does Hoffmann quote the text of the speech ?

Michael Mills:

Hoffmann shows how on 10 December 1941, following Stalin;'s proclamation, the slogan "Proletarians of all lands unite!" was replaced by the slogan "Death to the German Occupiers", by order of the Chief of the Main Political Directorate of the Red Army, Army Commissar First Rank Mekhlis (that damned Tibetan Buddhist again!), by Directive No. 278.

Roberto:

Somewhat less than surprising, considering that the leader of those German Occupiers had proclaimed a war of annihilation as early as 30 March 1941 and his commanders and troops had acted accordingly ever since.

Again, does Hoffmann give us the text of the directive in question ?

To both those questions Michael Mills did not answer for the rest of the topic which is already over ten years old, despite the fact Michael was only banned a couple of years ago from axishistoryforum. As for this Hitler declaration of war, I looked it up and this is what I found.

http://wih.sagepub.com/content/11/1/61.abstract
Two complementary speeches made by Hitler and Stalin in the months before the invasion are uniquely revealing. On 30 March 1941 Hitler addressed the leaders of the Wehrmacht’s forces deployed in the east about the military situation and the nature of the planned campaign. Five weeks later, on 5 May, Stalin presented a similar overview of the military situation at a Red Army graduation ceremony attended by many Soviet leaders. Despite their great importance neither speech exists as a certain text, and the present article contains different sets of notes for both speeches. The notes on Hitler’s speech made by Col. Gen. Franz Halder have been available in published form for many years, but they can now be compared with a second and longer version, by Col. Gen. Hermann Hoth, which has never been published before. The first extensive notes of Stalin’s speech were published only in the 1990s, and these have more recently been supplemented by notes from the diaries of Georgi Dimitrov and V.A. Malyshev. Stalin’s speech has not, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, been published in full in English before, and neither have the Dimitrov and Malyshev notes.


And,
Imperial Germany Revisited: Continuing Debates and New Perspectives
edited by Sven Oliver Mulle

Page 242.

In a speech on 30 March 1941 Hitler prepared the armed forces commanders for Operation Barbarossa. The fundamental idea was that the coming war would be a "struggle between two ideologies," that the "Jewish-Bolshevist system" had to be wiped out: "We must forget the concept of comradeship between soldiers. A communist is no comrade before or after battle. This is a war of annihilation." [14]


14. Cited form the Halder diaries in J. Forster, "Operation Barbarossa as a War of Conquest and Annihilation," in Germany and the Second World War, vol. 4: The Attack On the Soviet Union, oxford, 1998, ed. Militargeschichtliches Forschungsamt (Stuggart, 1996), 481-521), here 497.

Google books:
http://books.google.ca/books?id=fH7DtjR ... 41&f=false

However you read the end of Roberto's post and he says that phrases like this from Ehrenburg's mouth
"The Germans...... must be driven into the ground. They must be killed one after the other", he wrote on December 22, 1941, and on February 20, 1942, he reiterated: "You must wipe the Germans from the face of the earth".

Are merely "A propagandist’s ramblings."

Rightly, later on, Michael Mills pointed out a double standard.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 329#p98329
The title of Hoffmann's book is derived from Stalin's speech of 6 November 1941, which he does quote, at the very beginning, on page 7:

Well now, if the Germans want a war of extermination, they will get it (thunderous, long drawn-out applause). From now on, it will be our task, the task of the peoples of the Soviet Union, the task of all the fighters, commanders, and political officials of our Army and Navy, to exterminate to the last man all Germans having invaded the territory of our hoemland as occupiers (thunderous applause; shouts of 'Quite right!'; cheers). No mercy to the German occupiers! Death to the German occupiers! (Thuderous applause).


Hoffmann points out that Stalin's "war of extermination" actually began on 22 June 1941, with the massacre of political prisoners, at Lwow among other places, by NKVD forces prior to the Soviet retreat.

In the term "war of extermination", Hoffmann includes not only the summary execution of German POWs in Soviet hands (he does not include the mass mortality from disease etc), but also the massacres of political prisoners, the killings carried out by the Red Army in the territories occupied by them (both ordered and unordered), and the mass deportations of Germans and others.

Therefore, the title "Stalin's war of extermination" is quite justified. Hoffmann nowhere denies that the war waged by Germany in the Soviet Union also contained exterminatory elements, of Jews and others.

Please recall that Hoffman may have left out a denial of this since he had to get his book past the German censors. But Roberto has a final reply on the subject matter near the end of page 10, because on page 11, it veers off and a moderator locks the topic.
How generous of Hoffmann, who conveniently ignores certain important differences between Hitler’s and Stalin’s wars of extermination, namely that the former included the following features:

- Certain segments of the Soviet population – representatives and functionaries of the Soviet government, Gypsies and Jews – were to be physically liquidated root and branch;

- Soviet prisoners of war were pronounced to be trash (“no comrade before and after”) before the outbreak of hostilities, the application of any rules of international law was rejected beforehand and as a matter of principle, certain groups of prisoners were systematically executed and in the autumn of 1941 the decision was taken to starve to death the “non-working” prisoners of war;

- The occupied territories were to be ruthlessly exploited for food supplies to allow the armed forces to live off the land and to enable the home front to enjoy food consumption as in peacetime, even though this exploitation was clearly foreseen to bring about the starvation death of “umpteen million” people;

- The inhabitants of the Soviet territories who were not to be liquidated, allowed to starve of expelled beyond the Urals were to be reduced to the status of Helots serving and living at the whim of their German masters.

Propaganda and rhetorical figures aside, it is rather hard to identify such plans for wholesale slaughter and enslavement let alone their execution in the Soviet conduct of the war, brutal and criminal though it also was.



Earlier on page 8 we have another instance of Michael Mills apparently backing down from showing Roberto where Hoffman gets so and so from a document that he allegedly fails to provide in his book.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 046#p91046
viriato wrote:

j.north wrote:

The Finns took 64,000 prisoners between June and September 1941 and a further 17,000 in the rest of the war. Of this total 18,700 died.

18,700 of 81,000 is still more than 23% and well above what we might have expected of a normal situation.

Roberto

Certainly so, but it suggests that Hoffmann, quoted by Mills as follows:

Comparatively speaking, it may be said that the mortality rate among Soviet prisoners of war in Finnish captivity amounted to almost one thirdemphasis mine] of the total of men captured.

either didn't know what he was talking about or again engaged in one of those dishonest manipulations that he accused his colleague Streit of.

Another instance of such behavior is addressed on pages 10 and following of the 1997 edition of Keine Kameraden. Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen 1941 - 1945, Verlag J.H.W. Dietz Nachf., Bonn, where Christian Streit assessed the criticism to which his book had been subjected by other historians, including Alfred Streim and Joachim Hoffmann. This is what he wrote:

[...]Wie nicht anders zu erwarten, löste die von mir berechnete Zahl der Todesopfer - etwa 3 300 000 - Widerspruch aus. Alfred Streim schätzt dagegen eine Zahl von “mindestens 2 530 000”. Seine Berechnung basiert in erster Linie auf einer Aufstellung von OKW/Kgf. vom 1.Mai 1944; er legt eine Gesamtzahl von etwa 5 200 000 Gefangenen zugrunde. Während Streim seinen Berechnungsmodus offenlegt, nennt Joachim Hoffmann bei einer Gesamtzahl von “genau 5 245 882” eine Opferzahl von “rund 2 Millionen”, ohne diese Zahl näher zu begründen; er führt lediglich “unbekannte Originalakten und sonstige Unterlagen” an, ohne sie nachzuweisen. [Fußnote] Weder Streim noch Hoffmann begründen, weshalb die von mir einer Aufstellung der Abt. Fremde Heere Ost im OKH entnommene Gesamtzahl von 5 754 528 (für Februar 1945) nicht zutreffen sollte. Diese Größenordnung ist aber in den Akten noch einmal belegt. Der Chef des Kriegsgefangenenwesens schätzte die Gesamtzahl der sowjetischen Gefangenen im Dezember 1944 auf 5,6 Millionen.[...]

[Fußnote, S. 304]
“Die Kriegsführung aus der Sicht der Sowjetunion” (1984), S. 730. - Roschmann, Gutachten, S. 17-25, rechnet die Zahl durch mehrfachen Abzug desselben Faktors auf 1 680 000 herunter. Er argumentiert, die Fronttruppen hätten in der Siegeseuphorie 1941 stark überhöhte Zahlen gemeldet. Deswegen vernachlässigt er eine Zahl von 280 810, die in der Aufstellung vom 1.5.44 als “Abgänge beim Transport, Zählfehler u. dergl.” erklärt ist, von vornherein (Streim, S. 225, rechnet sie mit gutem Grund “zu einem großen Teil zu den Todesfällen”). Sodann zieht R. von den 845 128 für den OKH-Bereich gemeldeten Todesfällen kurzerhand 300 000 als “Meldefehler” ab. Er nimmt nicht zur Kenntnis, daß der Generalquartiermeister des Heeres schon am 25.12.1941 die Kriegsgefangenenstatistik wegen “nunmehr festgestellter Fehlmeldungen [...] um rund 500 000” berichtigt hatte: KTB OKW, Bd. I, S. 1106.

My translation:
As was to be expected, the number of deaths I calculated - about 3 300 000 - led to protests. Alfred Streim estimates a number of “at least 2 530 000”. His calculation is mainly based on a listing by the OKW/Kgf. of 1 Mai 1944; and he considers a total number of about 5 200 000 prisoners. Whereas Streim openly shows his way of calculation, Joachim Hoffmann speaks of a total number of “exactly 5 245 882” and a number of victims of “around 2 million”, without providing a detailed justification of this number; he merely refers to “unknown original files and other documents” without providing evidence to their existence. [Footnote] Neither Streim nor explain why the total number that I took from a listing of the Abt. Fremde Heere Ost at the OKH, 5 754 528 (as of February 1945) should not be accurate. For this order of magnitude, however, there is further proof in the files. The Chief of Prisoner of War Matters estimated the total number of Soviet prisoners in December 1944 at 5.6 million.

[Footnote, page 304]
“Die Kriegsführung aus der Sicht der Sowjetunion” (1984), S. 730. - Roschmann, Gutachten, pages 17-25, reduces the number by repeated deduction of the same factor to 1 680 000. He argues that the front-line troops had reported strongly exaggerated numbers in the victory euphoria of 1941. Thus he dismisses a number of 280 810 that is explained in the listing of 1.5.44 as “Losses during transport, counting errors and similar” right away (Streim, S. 225, considers it, with good reason, as referring “to a large extent to deaths”). Hereafter R. takes the 845 128 deaths reported for the OKH area and simply deduces 300 000 as a “reporting error”. He does not take into consideration that the General Quarter of the Army had already on 25.12.1941 corrected the statistics of prisoners of war due to “reporting errors detected in the meantime [...] by around 500 000”: KTB OKW, Volume I, page 1106.

Emphases are mine.

"Hoffmann...refers to “unknown original files and other documents” without providing evidence to their existence."
Damn. What a shame. :?
I personally didn't like certain show trials in post war Germany where there were no transcripts available to researchers, only summaries of testimonies. So I feel I have to apply the same standards in certain places in Hoffman's book too. If he has a document saying something that helps his thesis, he would provide it. I exepct the same out of him I expect out of those holocaust gas chamber/six million number mongers. So I think Michael Mills loses that one. Unless someone on here who has read the book can quote those documents in full that Roberto asked but never got; because Michael Mills ignored his request to tackle other issues and just forgot to find them in the book and present them, or he couldn't because Hoffman never cited them like Roberto implies, and Michael knew it. Either way that exchange on page 10 does not bear well on Hoffman for those apparent two instances of lacking proper sourcing.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Werd » 3 years 5 months ago (Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:17 am)

A little lower down on page 8, and for a bit onto page 9, there is a discussion about actual numbers and manpower with regards to the Soviets and the Nazis. First let us start with the discussion at axishistory forum and then I will move on to some other sources regarding numbers and capabilities.

Starting here.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 528#p91528
Roberto:
Michael Mills

the following quote from the book "The Unholy Alliance: Stalin's Pact with Hitler", by Geoffrey Roberts, may prove useful.

This book is generally pro-Soviet, as shown by the following description of the Soviet invasion and annexation of the Baltic States, given on pages 189-90, in a section titled "Bolting the Baltic door":

"There was a degree of popular support for the overthrow of the Baltic regimes, for the radical measures which were implemented by the new [Communist] governments and, to a lesser extent, for the union with Soviet Russia".

The excerpt at issue is from pages 186-187:

Hitler's conquest of Western Europe in the spring and summer of 1940 completely upset this prognosis and led to sharp turns in both Soviet and domestic foreign policy. When France fell in June, Soviet Russia found itself in a position more vulnerable to attack than it had been in 1939. German military might was unimpaired and had at its disposal the combined material resources of most of continental Europe. Britain, led by the new Churchill Government, was determined to fight on, but its capacity to resist Hitler for much longer seemed doubtful.

In domestic policy, the Soviets responded to the new danger with a series of measures to speed up the tempo of war preparations. A ukase of the Supreme Soviet on 26 June introduced eight-hour day, six-day week working and stiffened the discipline of the already harsh labour code. Behind the scenes, other initiatives were also in progress. The decade-long economic mobilization for war [my emphasis] assumed a more urgent character as steps were taken to increase the production of tanks, aircraft, artillery, guns and ammunition and the crucial industrial inputs to manufacture these armaments. Various reorganizations were carried out, including that of the army, which found itself with a new disciplinary code too. Thousands of purged officers returned to the Red Army [my emphasis], and the core of commanders who were to win the great victories of 1942-5 began to occupy key positions in the army structure.

The efficacy of these and other measures remains open to question: indeed, it has been the subject of a long and intense debate both in the West and in the Soviet Union. The discussion has ranged over strategic planning and economic performance, questions of military doctrine and organization, policy-making structures and procedures, the impact of key procurement decisions and the role of particular individuals, not least that of Stalin and the core of the Soviet political and military leadership. In all these respects it is possible to detect major defects in the Soviet war preparations: targets unmet because of the astringent nature of the planning and economic system; miscalculations of the likely direction and targets of the coming German attack [my emphasis]; wrong decisions on priorities and procurement policies in relation to key instruments of modern warfare (especially modern tanks and aircraft); an over concentration of power in the hands of those least equipped with the specialist knowledge needed to make decisions. There is general agreement, however, on two issues. First, that the intent of Soviet war preparations was clear and purposeful: to prepare as thoroughly as possible for the coming Nazi onslaught. Second, that the Soviet mobilization for war, if ill-judged in certain respects, was on a massive scale [my emphasis]. One indication of the extent of the Soviet mobilization is the growth in the armed forces during 1939-41. Manpower grew from 2 million to over 5 million, from under 100 divisions to over 300. More than 7,000 tanks and 17,000 planes were delivered to the Red Army in this period, along with 30,000 field guns, 50,000 mortars and 100,000 machine guns.

The bulk of this massive force was deployed along or near the USSR's western borders [my emphasis]- hardly surprising given that in the the summer of 1940 Nazi Germany was explicitly identified as the pricipal future foe. From this time on Soviet operational plans and war games proceeded on the assumption that defence against attack by Nazi Germany was the prime military objective. The details of Soviet military planning need not detain us, except for one aspect of Soviet 'war doctrine' that was to have a crucial effect on Soviet political calculations in 1941. The doctrine in question was the assumption that the Germans would not be able to conceal the deployment of their main force for a surprise attack of massive weight. The expectation was that war would begin with classic frontier battles in which the attacking side would attempt to gain the tactical initiative. This would be followed by a time interval of several days during which each side would mobilize and commit its main force with the aim of securing the offensive/defensive strategic initiative. Within this conception a strategic surprise attack of the kind actually launched by the Germans in June 1941 was militarily inconceivable. Its political effect was, as we shall see, to reinforce Stalin's determination to gamble everything on putting off the war for as long as possible. After all, what was the danger of a few minor tactical setbacks compared with the great strategic prize of delaying the war for a few more weeks, months, perhaps even until 1942 when Soviet defence preparations were scheduled for completion?



The passage above is a typical example of the pro-Soviet version of events, according which the Soviet Union's military preparations were purely defensive; its position was essentially passive, waiting to receive and repel a German offensive.

However, it does back up Hoffmann's point that since 1940 the Soviet Union was preparing on a massive scale for war with Germany,

Poor Hoffmann, may he rest in peace, did not exactly made a spectacular new discovery.

Harrison E. Salisbury (The 900 Days, New York 1970, page 97) wrote:

By June 21, 1941, the Soviets had deployed about 2.9 million troops in the Western defense districts against an estimated 4.2 million Germans. The total strength of the Soviet military establishment had been strongly expanded from the 1939 level – up to 4.2 million in January, 1941, against 2.5 million in January, 1939. The total stood just below 5 million June 1. The air force had been tripled and land forces increased 2.7 times. The army had 124 new rifle divisions.
But the numbers were deceptive. The army had only 30 percent of the automatic weapons provided by the table of organization; only 20 percent of the planes were of new modern types and only 9 percent of the tanks. When General M. Shtemenko took over the 34th Cavalry Division in July, 1941, he found it had no arms whatever. He finally got some 1927 vintage cannons but was unable to obtain enough rifles or ammunition to equip his troops. There were no antitank guns – nothing but Molotov cocktails (gasoline bottles with wicks). He got twelve antitank guns, but not until October 1941.

Michael Mills:

and that by 1941 its forces were greatly superior to the German.

Where in Roberts' writings Mills identifies this conclusion remains his mystery. Or did I miss something?
michael mills wrote

Roberts does not make a comparison, but on page 223 he does quote the official 1960 history of the CPSU to the effect that "Germany had massed......a huge invasion army totalling 190 divisions, including 153 German divisions". Given that only the 153 German divisions were worth anything in comparison with the Soviet power, those figures show that the Soviet Union had achieved the two-to-one attacking ration that Roberto is constantly squawking about.

Mills arithmetic never ceases to amaze me.

Perhaps he can explain to us how 2.9 million Soviet troops in the Western defense districts of the USSR by June 21, 1941 against 4.2 million German troops would make for the numerical superiority of two to one that Stalin considered mandatory for a successful offensive.
Harrison E. Salisbury (as above, pages 75 and following) wrote:

Other listeners were deeply disturbed by Stalin’s pronouncement (faithfully approved by the meeting) that a superiority of at least two to one was required for a successful offensive not only in the area of the principal breakthrough but on the whole operational front[my emphasis]. The application of such a doctrine would require numbers, equipment and rear support far beyond anything heretofore contemplated. The Soviet commanders agreed that overwhelming superiority was needed at in the breakthrough area, but they did not see why such great numerical concentrations were required on the non-active part of the front.

Even if the German number given by Salisbury is too high and there were only 3 million German combat troops - Overy, page 72, speaks of

"Over three million men, organized in 146 army divisions, with 14 more Romanian divisions to the south and Finnish forces to the north, all supported by more than 2,000 aircraft and 3,350 tanks"

- the ratio would still have been 1:1 - without counting the Romanian and Finnish divisions on the German side.

And, same post a little lower down,
Roberto:

Michael Mlls:

For example, the statment by Roberts that Soviet operational planning and war games from 1940 were predicated on defence against attack by Nazi Germany does not reflect the whole truth; even material published on this forum has shown that the Red Army was planning a number of variants of a westward offensive against german-occupied Europe.

Sometimes I wonder whether Mills even reads his own source carefully enough.
Roberts (quoted by Mills) wrote:

[…]The doctrine in question was the assumption that the Germans would not be able to conceal the deployment of their main force for a surprise attack of massive weight. The expectation was that war would begin with classic frontier battles in which the attacking side would attempt to gain the tactical initiative. This would be followed by a time interval of several days during which each side would mobilize and commit its main force with the aim of securing the offensive/defensive strategic initiative.[…]

Roberts hints that the Soviet military doctrine was one of offensive, that the Soviets believed that in the event of war breaking out a Red Army attacking rather than reduced to defense would quickly carry the war onto enemy territory. In this context it is not surprising that their operational planning included “a number of variants of a westward offensive against german-occupied Europe”.
Richard Overy (Russia’s War, Penguin Books 1998, pages 64 and following) wrote:

The failure of Molotov’s visit did not diminish Stalin’s desire to avoid a direct military confrontation with Germany. The Soviet Union was not, as Hitler knew, ready for a major war, and would not be for at least a year. Stalin has often been pictured as a man blinded by appeasement, leading an unprepared country to the brink of ruin in 1941. 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.
Consistent with the Red Army’s philosophy of active defense and massive counter-offensive into enemy territory, Stalin wanted a new zone of defense to be moved right up to the frontier with Germany and its allies. [my emphasis] To the astonishment of German forces, Soviet engineers began to build fortifications in full view, right on the frontier itself. The old Stalin Line was almost entirely abandoned; depots and strong points were left to crumble, or were covered with earth or in some cases handed over to be used as vegetable warehouses by local collective farms. Much of the equipment removed from them was poorly stored or was moved forward to the new frontier, where it sat rusting while the new fortifications were constructed. The new fortified zones, on which the whole strategy of forward defense hinged, were too numerous to complete all at once. By the spring most of them lacked guns of any kind, radio equipment, even electric power or air filters. When Zhukov visited the border districts in April he immediately ordered armored doors to be installed at the entrances to the fortifications. On the eve of the German invasion the key frontier areas had no minefields, camouflage or effective fields of fire. Of 2,300 strong points set up on Zhukov’s orders, fewer than 1,000 had any artillery.
[…]
The war games followed a week-long conference that began on December 23. The object was to thrash out the lessons of the year and to review the current state of military planning. No serious attempt was made to challenge the central principles upon which Soviet war-planning rested. The war games were staged to confirm what was seen as a received wisdom. The first was fought between Zhukov and General Dimitri Pavlov, chief of the Soviet mechanized forces, on New Year’s Day, 1941. Zhukov was the German side, Pavlov the Soviet. Although Pavlov was able to bring his forces to bear on East Prussia, consistent with the strategy of the massive counter-offensive, he was routed by Zhukov. In the second game, played a week later, the players were reversed. This time Zhukov pushed successfully across the frontier into Hungary; Pavlov’s weak counter-attack attempted to parry. [my emphasis] The outcome said a great deal about Zhukov’s battlefield skills, even on a table-top. But there were worrying signs for Soviet strategy. When Stalin assembled the commanders and officials for the second game, a curious drama unfolded.
The chief of staff was asked to report on the outcome of the games. Meretskov spoke hesitantly. Rather than say out loud that the Zhukov Germans had won the first game, Meretskov applauded the early stages, when Pavlov with sixty divisions had overcome the fifty-five German divisions defending the Reich frontier. Stalin angrily took the floor and exposed as nonsense the view that a ratio of little more than one division to one could overcome the fixed German defenses. It was all right ‘for propaganda purposes’, he told the assembly, ‘but here we have to talk in terms of real capabilities’. [my emphasis] The uncomfortable Meretskov was then asked about the second game but would give no definite answer on the outcome, which was inconclusive. When one of Timoshenko’s deputies followed the discussion by insisting on voicing his own belief that infantry divisions should be horse-drawn rather than mechanized, Stalin’s patience was stretched to the limit. The General Staff left the conference in a despondent mood. The following day Zhukov was appointed Chief of the General Staff, and Meretskov was put in charge of training.[...]

Well, Mr. Mills, please keep us informed of any spectacular future discoveries, and until then, keep dreaming.


Continues on page 9. Michael Mills posts first but Roberto quotes it bit by bit so I will not bother reproducing Michael Mills' post, since its entirety is preserved, albiet, broken up by Roberto.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 461#p92461
Roberto:
Michael Mills:

Let's look at the figures again.

Roberts states that the number of Soviet divisions was well over 300 (by 1941), the great majority massed on the western frontier of the Soviet Union. That figure accords with those quoted by the late Dr Hoffmann.

According to Roberts, quoting Soviet sources, the number of German divisions facing them was 153, backed up by the lower-quality troops of its allies, which can be largely discounted (the Red Army had no difficulty in sweeping them aside, eg in the encirclement of Stalingrad). Overy, quoted by Roberto, gives a lower figure for the German strength - 146 divisions.

Therefore, the Red Army had essentially achieved the two-to-one ratio demanded by Stalin for a successful offensive.

That's Mills' honesty for whoever is dumb enough to believe in it: counting only the number of divisions without checking if the numerical strength of a German division was not much higher than that of a Soviet division, and assuming without further evidence (in fact against evidence, as we shall see below) that what Roberts called the "great majority" was nearly 100 per cent.

As we will see below, Roberto doesn't just argue from agnosticism, he supplies a quote from Harrison Salisbury who gets right down to the numbers.

Roberto:
Michael Mills

In actual equipment, the Red Army superiority was even more obvious.

According to Roberts, the Red Army had 7,000 new tanks and 17,000 aircraft delivered to it between 1939 and 1941, ie not including those it already had (which perhaps can be discounted owing to obsolescence).

By contrast, the German Army had 2,000 aircraft and 3,350 tanks, according to Overy, as quoted by Roberto. Furthermore, Hoffmann demonstrates that the German tanks were all inferior to the latest model Soviet tanks, ie the new tanks delivered by 1941, referred to by Roberts.

Well, I strongly doubt that Hoffmann has demonstrated that any Soviet models other than the T34 and the KV were superior to what the Germans had.

These two models, although Mills is disingenuously using Roberts to make believe that all tanks this author calls "new" were T34s or KVs, were available only in rather modest quantities in 1941, the insufficient training of their crews and the fact that the Soviets sent them into battle individually as infantry support instead of using masses of tanks supported by ground attack planes, like the Germans did, largely neutralizing their technical advantages.
Michael Mills

It is obvious that the Soviet tank force outnumbered the German by two to one, a numerical superiority magnified by its technical superiority, and the Soviet airforce had an almost 9 to one superiority.

None of which made much of a difference, as most of both tanks and planes were old junk that did not match up to the Germans' equipment, inferior training, organization and tactics widening the qualitative gap.

Mills also conveniently omits a key factor in assessing numerical strength and superiority: manpower.
Harrison E. Salisbury (The 900 Days, New York 1970, page 97) wrote:

By June 21, 1941, the Soviets had deployed about 2.9 million troops in the Western defense districts against an estimated 4.2 million Germans. The total strength of the Soviet military establishment had been strongly expanded from the 1939 level - up to 4.2 million in January, 1941, against 2.5 million in January, 1939. The total stood just below 5 million June 1. The air force had been tripled and land forces increased 2.7 times. The army had 124 new rifle divisions.
But the numbers were deceptive. The army had only 30 percent of the automatic weapons provided by the table of organization; only 20 percent of the planes were of new modern types and only 9 percent of the tanks. When General M. Shtemenko took over the 34th Cavalry Division in July, 1941, he found it had no arms whatever. He finally got some 1927 vintage cannons but was unable to obtain enough rifles or ammunition to equip his troops. There were no antitank guns – nothing but Molotov cocktails (gasoline bottles with wicks). He got twelve antitank guns, but not until October 1941.

Emphases are mine.

As I said in my last post, even if the German number given by Salisbury is too high and there were only 3 million German combat troops - Overy, Russia's War, page 72, speaks of

"Over three million men, organized in 146 army divisions, with 14 more Romanian divisions to the south and Finnish forces to the north, all supported by more than 2,000 aircraft and 3,350 tanks,"

- the ratio would still have been 1:1 - without counting the Romanian and Finnish divisions on the German side.
Michael Mills:

It is also obvious that the superiority of the Red Army, as shown above, gave it the capacity to launch a westward attack as early as 1941; it had clearly achieved the two-to-one criterion laid down by Stalin. However, that superiority was negated at the beginning of Barbarossa by the fact that Germany unexpectedly attacked in the north where Soviet forces were weaker, rather than in the south where Stalin expected the attack and has massed his forces. Because of that factor, the German Army was able to achieve an immediate breakthrough, and surround and destroy a great part of the Soviet forces. It took the Soviet Union over a year to regain its initial superiority in strength, and begin to drive back the German forces.

Mills would like to believe the above so badly that he ignores the orders of battle which show that neither on the whole front nor on any part of it the Soviet army had a manpower strength remotely approaching the superiority of at least two to one that Stalin considered mandatory for a successful offensive.

I took down the following data from an online source featured under

http://www.shortway.to/1941/

Opposing forces as of 22 June 1941

North Direction
Item; Soviet; German
Divisions; 21,50; 21,50
Men; 426.230; 407.440
Guns and Mortars; 9.589; 3.084
Tanks; 1.857; 192
Aircraft; 2.104; 424

North-West Direction
Item; Soviet; German
Divisions; 24,00; 29,00
Men; 375.863; 787.500
Guns and Mortars; 7.467; 8.348
Tanks; 1.514; 679
Aircraft; 1.814; 830

West Direction
Item; Soviet; German
Divisions; 54,00; 51,50
Men; 791.445; 1.455.900
Guns and Mortars; 16.151; 15.161
Tanks; 3.852; 2.156
Aircraft; 2.129; 1.712

South-West Direction
Item; Soviet; German
Divisions; 91,50; 61,50
Men; 1.412.136; 1.508.500
Guns and Mortars; 26.580; 16.008
Tanks; 8.069; 1.144
Aircraft; 4.696; 1.829

Whole German-Soviet Front
Item; Soviet; German
Divisions; 191,00; 163,50
Men; 3.005.674; 4.159.340
Guns and Mortars; 59.787; 42.601
Tanks; 15.292; 4.171
Aircraft; 10.743; 4.795

If the percentages of modern planes and tanks according to Salisbury's above quote are applied to the above numbers, it also becomes clear that in state-of-the-art tanks and combat aircraft, the Soviets hardly had any numerical superiority at all. 20 % of 10,743 aircraft is 2,148 planes, and 9 per cent of 15,292 tanks is 1,376 tanks. This means that, in what concerns state-of-the-art tanks and planes, the Soviets were in fact outnumbered by the Germans, as they were in regard to manpower.

For the rest of page 9, Michael Mills DOES NOT respond to these points. DOES NOT! Furthermore, recall on page 8 where I used elipses to illustrate a point that Roberto quoted from an author...

"Hoffmann... refers to “unknown original files and other documents” without providing evidence to their existence."

Roberto put that quote up again on page 9 and MIchael MIlls still ignored it. That in my opinion does not bode well for Hoffman's work.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Werd » 3 years 5 months ago (Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:49 am)

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10129
Highlights of pages one and two

Michael mills claims after the Germans invaded they found Soviet documents which indicated they were in fact planning to start a war to run over Europe, and at the very least, attack Germany. He cites Hoffman's book STALIN'S WAR OF EXTERMINATION

76-77

As early as May 1941, a large-scale propaganda campaign was initiated with the objective of adapting all human resources of the Red Army to Stalin's demands, both politically and ideologically, in accordance with the concept of an offensive war. Thus, the Department for Political propaganda of the 5th Army, in consultation with the Chief of the 7th Department of the GUPPKA [= Glavnoe Upravlenie Politicheskoi Propagandy Krasnoi Armii = Chief Administration of Political Propaganda of the Red Army], who was sent from Moscow, worked out a "Plan for Politically Securing Military Operations during the Offensive" (Plan politicheskogo obespecheniia voennykh operatsii pri nastuplenii) that reveals that Stalin's directives were being immediately implemented. This document was captured by German troops in the headquarters building of the 5th Army of the Kiev Special Military District in Luck, in addition to other important documents (my emphasis). [Source: BA-MA, RW 4/v. 329, (May) 1941; see also V. A. Nevezhin, "Vystuplenie Stalina 5 maia 1941 g. i povorot v propagande. Analiz direktivnykh materialov {= Stalin's emergence on 5 May 1941 and the turn in propagand. An analysis of directive materials}, in "Gotovil li Stalin nastupatel'nuiu Voinu {= Did Stalin prepare an offensive war?}, pp. 147-167]. The document contains detailed instructions by the Chief of POlitical propaganda of the 5th Army, apparently Uronov, for the political and propagandistic preparation and implementation of a surprise attack on the German Wehrmacht. This "Plan for Politically Securing Military Operations during the Offensive" was worked out on the directive of the GUPPKA ("On the Tasks of Political Propaganda...") on Stalin's orders, and apparently upon additional instructions from the emissary from Moscow. The plan states: "The German Army has lost the taste for a further improvement in military technology. A significant part of the German Army has become tired of the war".

Accordingly, a report from the Laeder for POlitical propaganda of the 5th Army from Rovno dated May 4, 1941, on the "Morale of the Population of the General Gouvernement" noted the "first indications of a collapse in morale in the German Wehrmacht" [Source: BA-MA, RW 4/v. 325, 4.5. 1941]. The German soldiers were said to be unsatisfied, and this dissatisfaction was said to find expression in "open and covert opinions against the war and against Hitler's policies", "in hostile statements", in "the distribution of Communist propaganda literature", in "drunkenness", "Quarrelsomeness", "suicides", "lack of enjoyment in doing service", and "desertion". In plain language, the "Plan for POlitically Securing Military Operations during the Offensive" says:

'It is necessary to deal the enemy a very hard, lightning-like blow, in order to quickly shatter the morale and strength of resistance of the soldiers......a lightning-like blow by the Red Army will undoubtedly have the consequence of a growing and deepening of the phenomena of decomposition already becoming perceptible in the enemy army...'

The "concentration of the army, the capture of lines of departure, and preparation to traverse the Bug [River]" were viewed as the "first" stage, and this formulation alone shows the preparation of an offensive war.


Michael Mills continues, "As a comment on the above, the material captured by the German Army strongly suggests that the Soviet forces were gearing up for a westward offensive at some time in the future. What is not clear is when that offensive was to take place, although if the Soviet Government really believed that Germany was on the point of collapse it may well have been prepared to risk an attack in the late summer of 1941. "


Roberto then replies regarding what I bolded above.
"I wouldn’t trust without having seen the full text of the document itself." He then says "the step from preparations, considerations and recommendations of a political propaganda department to an order and a plan of the Soviet high command to initiate military preparations for an all-out attack on the enemy is a big one, if you consider i.a. the state of readiness of Soviet military industry:" To which he quotes Harrison E. Salisbury, The 900 Days, 1970 Avon Books New York, page 90.

The strongest support for the conclusion that Stalin remained confident even on the eve of war in his ability to prevent its outbreak is provided by the fact that on June 6 [1941] he approved a comprehensive plan for the shift-over of Soviet industry to war production. This timetable called for completion of the plan by the end of 1942! It was an excellent detailed schedule, calling for the conversion of large numbers of civilian plants to military purposes and the construction of much-needed defense facilities.

Allowing Roberto to conclude that, "So Stalin may indeed have had an attack on Germany in mind – after the end of 1942."

Referring to Michael's above claim that it was not clear when the attack was to happen precisely, Roberto states, "Mills’ speculation that the late summer of 1941 may have been the chosen date stumbles i.a. on the above mentioned timing for the shift-over of Soviet industry to war production, in the light of which the documents invoked by Hoffmann may also be seen as supporting the impression that the Soviets considered time to be working in their favor: the longer they waited and the better they prepared themselves, the greater the edge they would eventually have in terms of morale, material and military technology – the latter considering the German army’s supposedly having “lost the taste for a further improvement in military technology”.


Roberto links to an old forum which does not exist anymore and someone gave out this link.
http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v20/v20n6p59_Michaels.html
To which he replied, in part
Far-fetched speculations based on nothing other than Soviet troop movements and rhetorical propaganda statements, which all by themselves may mean a lot or nothing at all.

No documentary or other evidence that there was a Soviet intention to embark on an all-out war of aggression and conquest, or that what British historian Richard Overy called "a desperate gambit to obstruct German mobilization against the Soviet Union" - the plan for a pre-emptive attack produced by Zhukov and Timoshenko on 15 May 1941 - ever received a "go ahead" from Stalin.

No documentary or other evidence that poor Adolf was in any way concerned with an imminent Soviet attack or even the threat of a potential future attack, let alone that such considerations in any way influenced his decision.

I don't see what can be interesting about such a "review", which notably includes only the view of such historians who can be presented as supporting the author's view. What about Graml, Ueberschär, Hillgruber, Wette, Müller, Benz, Overy and others who consider the theories of Suvorov et al to be untenable?

Could Mr. Michaels or any of his fans tell us, for instance, why the German troops, although they captured the staffs of whole Soviet armies and army groups during the great encirclement battles in 1941, did not come upon a single element of evidence hinting at a Soviet attack in the making?


He then quotes historian Graml who says, "A closer look reveals that “Suvorov” cannot provide plausible arguments let alone documentary evidence in support of his theses. This is not surprising given that in the encirclement battles of 1941 the German troops, although the staffs of armies and army groups fell into their hands, did not capture a single document that would indicate plans by Stalin for a preventive war, and such are lacking to this day." He continues on about Michael Mills saying, "maybe he can confirm that the following statements quoted by Hoffmann’s professional colleague Wigbert Benz, already referred to in my post of Thu Oct 24, 2002 10:27 am on the above mentioned thread, are indeed to be found in Stalin’s Vernichtungskrieg: "

Roberto has another quote:
Hoffmann wrote:
Hitler only narrowly anticipated an attack that Stalin was preparing with high pressure. 22 June 1941 was about the last date on which such a 'preventive war' could still be waged at all.

[…]

Not on 22 June 1941 was Stalin his by a shock, but (…when) it became clear that the Germans were, after all, the better fighters.[…]


Michael Mills replied, "It is only dishonest propagandists who claim that Hoffmann is justifying the German invasion as a purely defensive measure. Hoffmann is saying that the German invasion, planned for its own reasons, happened to pre-empt an impending Soviet attack, by accident as it were."
He then quotes from Hoffman again.
The German-Soviet war was inevitable. The only open question was which of the two competing powers would strike first to preempt its adversary.

To which I must interrupt and recall that Roberto is asking for evidence the Germans knew Russia wanted to attack them at all. Continuing on...
The rapidly increasing superiority and strength of Soviet armaments, especially in tanks, aircraft, and artillery, over the troops of the Wehrmacht, dispersed over all parts of Europe, led the Germans to view June 1941 as the last possible opportunity for German initiation of preventive war. Further delay would have eroded the only factor favouring the Germans, which was their level of training. The most recent discoveries in Soviet archives illustrate the extent to which Soviet military preparation and deployment had in fact already been completed. To all apppearances, Stalin moved the attack date forward from 1942 to the months of July-September 1941. This would offer a plausible explanation of Stalin's desire to postpone the initiation of hostilities "even if only for....a month, a week, or a few days", to complete his own military preparations - without the slightest fear of German attack. Soviet research has also arrived at the conclusion that the "military struggle against Germany might have begun in July 1941". [Source: M.I. Mel'tiukhov, 'Spory vokrug 1941 goda: opyt kriticheskogo osmyshleniia odnoi diskussii' {=Controversies concerning the year 1941: an attempt at a critical analysis of a discussion}, in: Gotovil li Stalin nastupatel'nuiu voinu {= Did Stalin prepare an offensive war?}, p. 104 ff].

.................................................This does not, of course, constitute a justification of the politically and morally detrimental methods employed by Hitler in Russia (and Poland). Hitler planned a war of conquest, too. The National Socialist war on the Soviet Union was conducted in the spirit of a statement once made by Benjamin Disraeli, the Earl of Beaconsfield: "The racial question is the key to world history". It should be boren in mind, in this regard, that, by the very nature of things, no conflict between the National Socialist German Reich and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, could possibly resemble an "ordinary" war; the war was inevitably fated to acquire extraordinary features from the very outset. Militarily speaking, the great initial successes of the troops of the Wehrmacht and their rapid penetration of Soviet territory resulted in an underestimation of Soviet strength and powers of resistance which ultimately proved fatal.

Hmmm. Hoffman appears to be saying that what Hitler did in Russia and Poland has some serious moral questions attacked to them. Interesting...
In response to the Harrison Salisbury quote Michael Mills said,
The quote from Harrison Salisbury is not conclusive in itself. It shows that the Soviet Government planned to have shifted to full war production by the end of 1942, and had only approved that plan in June 1941.

When did Germany originally plan to be fully prepared for war? It was about 1943, as I remember. And when did it shift to full war production? It was at the beginning of 1943, after the Stalingrad disaster, and after the appointment of Speer.

Would Roberto argue from those facts that, since Hitler originally planned to be ready for war in about 1942 or 1943, the outbreak of war in 1939 cannot have had anything to do with Hitler's actions?

When Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, in the full knowledge that thereby it risked war with Britain and France, it was nowhere near fully prepared for war, in fact well behind Britain and France. Nevertheless, it went to war against Poland and risked the outbreak of a general European war because of the situation in which it found itself, with the strategic situation beginning to move against it (a movement that was temporarily offset by the sudden agreement with the Soviet Union).

So it is entirely possible that the Soviet Union was planning for war with Germany by 1942, but brought its planning forward in response to strategic developments, perhaps its awareness of German preparations. That seems to be the nub of Hoffmann's thesis.

Michael Mills then quotes on to quote many officers quoted in Hoffman's book claiming that Stalin had plans for war earlier than previously believed.

Hoffmann also quotes a number of Russian sources in support of his position, mainly interrogations of captured Soviet officers (pp. 83-85).

Captain Krasko, Adjutant of the 661st Infantry Regiment of the 200th Infantry Division, declared on 26 July 1941: "In May 1941, among the officers, the opinion was already expressed that the war would begin right after 1 July".

Major Koskov, Commander of the 24th Infantry regiment of the 44th Infantry Division, testified:
"In the view of the Regimental Commander, the justification - namely the evacuation of the Western Ukraine, 'because the Soviets were allegedly attacked without preparation' was in no way true, because Soviet lilitary preparations had been underway for a long time, and, in accordance with the extent and intensity of these military preparations, the Russians would have attacked Germany of their own accord in two to three weeks at the latest".

And
An unnamed Lieutenant-Colonel and commander of an artillery regiment declared on 26 July 1941 that Germany had "unilaterally broken the Non-Aggression Pact and attacked us", but added:
"But I admit that the concentration of the Red Army on your eastern border constituted athreat to Germany: after all, it was being said that the Germans could expect us to attack them in August of this year".


Michael Mills goes on. "The range of dates given by the various Russian sources indicates that as of 22 June 1941 no target date for a Soviet attack had yet been communicated to the field ranks of the Red Army. That may be because the Soviet Government had not yet decided on a date, or that it had decided a date but kept knowledge of it restricted to the highest levels." He then says, "The issue was whether, as Roberto claimed, the Germans failed to find "a single element of evidence hinting at a Soviet attack in the making" (Roberto's own words). Roberto was clearly trying to give the impression that absolutely NO evidence of Soviet preparations for an attack was found. My original response, and the material I have subsequently quoted, shows that, contrary to Roberto's rash assertion, Hoffmann was able to demonstrate that such evidence was indeed found."


Roberto then says, "historiography has it that Stalin was pursuing an aggressive foreign policy while waiting for his turn to step in after Germany and the Western Allies had exhausted themselves fighting each other. Which doesn’t make Hitler’s attack look as anything other than unprovoked, naked aggression, of course." And he also says, "Hoffmann seems to contend that the Germans had prevention of a Soviet strike in the near future on their minds. Has he got anything to show for that contention?" And, "What evidence does Hoffmann offer that Stalin was planning to attack in 1942? What evidence that he moved the attack date forward to “the months of July-September 1941”? "

So now we are dealing with at least two arguments here.
1. What was in the mind of Stalin in terms of attacking westward, and how soon was he trying to get it done?
2. What if anything did the Germans know about Stalin's plans and how soon did they know about these plans of Stalin's which were apparently, also going to come to fruition quicker than previously believed (if Hoffman's thesis is correct)?

Now Michael Mills made a good point that though the German army wasn't fully mobilized until 1943, they still attacked Poland at least. And there does seem to be Soviet documentation that Stalin was planning to attack in 1941 as opposed to 1942 as Roberto implied while quoting Harrison Salisbury. But Roberto continues on...
There is much evidence indeed that Stalin was biding for time, but why would that necessarily make it time for preparing his own attack rather than time to have his forces in shape to withstand a German attack?

So just because Hitler and the Germans rushed forward, that does not automatically prove Stalin wanted to as well. However, if what Hoffman/Mills adducted above is true, Stalin clearly didn't give a damn about not being at full force in 1941 like Hitler apparently didn't give a damn about being at full force when he invaded Poland in 1939.
Michael Mills

When did Germany originally plan to be fully prepared for war? It was about 1943."


Roberto continues
"Stalin seems to have been a friend of playing it safe, requiring an overall superiority of at least two to one for a successful offensive. At least that’s what he told his generals at a conference at the Kremlin on 13 January 1941, following a war game that was run off between January 8 and 11 for top-ranking officers:"

Harrison E. Salisbury, The 900 Days, page 75 and following

Other listeners were deeply disturbed by Stalin’s pronouncement (faithfully approved by the meeting) that a superiority of at least two to one was required for a successful offensive not only in the area of the principal breakthrough but on the whole operational front. The application of such a doctrine would require numbers, equipment and rear support far beyond anything heretofore contemplated. The Soviet commanders agreed that overwhelming superiority was needed at in the breakthrough area, but they did not see why such great numerical concentrations were required on the non-active part of the front.

Harrison E. Salisbury, The 900 Days, page 97 and following

By June 21, 1941, the Soviets had deployed about 2.9 million troops in the Western defense districts against an estimated 4.2 million Germans. The total strength of the Soviet military establishment had been strongly expanded from the 1939 level – up to 4.2 million in January, 1941, against 2.5 million in January, 1939. The total stood just below 5 million June 1. The air force had been tripled and land forces increased 2.7 times. The army had 124 new rifle divisions.

But the numbers were deceptive. The army had only 30 percent of the automatic weapons provided by the table of organization; only 20 percent of the planes were of new modern types and only 9 percent of the tanks. When General M. Shtemenko took over the 34th Cavalry Division in July, 1941, he found it had no arms whatever. He finally got some 1927 vintage cannons but was unable to obtain enough rifles or ammunition to equip his troops. There were no antitank guns – nothing but Molotov cocktails (gasoline bottles with wicks). He got twelve antitank guns, but not until October 1941.


Roberto says:
Salisbury demonstrates that Stalin had precise intelligence from various sources as to the strength of German forces on the Soviet borders.

That being so, and unless it can be demonstrated that Stalin renounced to his “at least two to one along the whole front” doctrine, how could Stalin have possibly seen himself as having the numerical superiority he considered necessary to mount a successful offensive?

And whence does Hoffmann derive the conclusion that Stalin had not “the slightest fear of German attack”?

What assessment does Hoffmann tell us that Stalin made of the German buildup at the frontier and the constant reconnaissance flights, unmistakable signs of a German attack in the making?

He then quotes again from Salisbury saying Stalin in 1941 approved a comprehensive war plan to be completed by 1942.

Roberto then retorts:
Mills is comparing apples with oranges here, for several reasons.

Hitler got a war with France and Britain on his hands much earlier than he would have wanted to and would have been convenient for him in view of Germany’s lack of preparation for war, because he gambled and lost. He thought he might get away with his attack on Poland as he had previously got away with the annexation of the Sudetenland and the rest of Czechoslovakia, and when, contrary to his expectations, Britain and France declared war, he anxiously stuttered “Was nun”? (“What shall we do now?”).

What Hitler had expected was a local conflict with Poland, but instead he got a major European war he didn't want to have before 1943.

Stalin, on the other hand, couldn’t have looked upon an attack on Germany as a local conflict and comparatively minor affair.

War with Germany was necessarily the decisive, all-out encounter with the Soviet Union’s major opponent in Europe.

It seems implausible that Stalin would have risked this encounter without considering his country to be fully prepared for it, its industry completely on war footing.

Stalin, as we have seen, liked to play it safe, requiring a two-to-one superiority along the whole front line for an offensive to be successful.

If Stalin’s intention had been too anticipate a German attack he considered to be in the making by an offensive of his own, he would hardly have allowed for such a generous time schedule to put the country on war footing, but required that such be accomplished within the shortest time possible and that especially the production of new models of tanks and aircraft be speeded up.

Yet there is no evidence that such urgency measures regarding war production were ordered by Stalin.

Which makes it reasonable to assume that Stalin counted on war not breaking out so soon, as Salisbury does.

Salisbury in fact presents interesting evidence (including a diary note by Halder on June 20, 1941, that translates "Molotov wanted to see the Führer on June 18", as above, page 100) suggesting that Stalin thought Hitler was trying to blackmail him into making concessions, and that he was seeking to avoid a German attack through an eleventh-hour meeting with Hitler where he would give in to the latter’s demands, thus “buying his way out of the cul-de-sac into which his policy had led his country and himself” as Salisbury (as above, page 99) puts it.


Roberto then goes on to ignore all those quoted Russian officers thinking war was inevitable and Stalin wasn't purely interested in defense. "Assuming that those interrogated were not just telling their interrogators what the latter wanted to hear, what we have here are personal opinions of captured Soviet officers regarding not the orders they had been given, but what the feeling among the officer corps as to what would happen had been – not surprising in an army whose doctrine was that in the event of war it would carry the fight to the enemy rather than be reduced to defending itself against an enemy onslaught." And, "the conclusion to be drawn from such statements is merely that i) the Soviet officer corps, more alert and realistic than its supreme commander, expected the war to be on the verge of breaking out and ii) some thought that, in accordance with Soviet military doctrine, it was the Soviet army that would take the initiative.

Such optimism, which seems to have existed only at ranks below divisional or even regimental level, was bound to be foiled by the insufficiency of the Soviet buildup to live up to Stalin’s above-mentioned requirements for a successful offensive, as described above, even if Stalin should have harbored aggressive intentions."

michael mills wrote:

Hoffmann also refers to the book "Stalin Means War", published in London in 1951, and written by Colonel G.A. Tokaev, former Chief of the Aerodynamics Laboratory of the Aur Force Academy in Moscow. On page 34, Tokaev stated, with reference to the Commissar of War, General Klokov:
"The Politburo expected the Soviet-German war to start in very early August. That was the time that Stalin and Molotov considered most favorable to attack their friends Hitler and Ribbentrop".


Roberto: Hoffmann blindly relies on a book written by a Soviet emigrant in London at the height of the cold war, without even looking at indications against the accuracy of the statement quoted therein, such as the interdiction of political indoctrination of the troops towards war by Stalin himself:

Harrison E. Salisbury wrote:

On June 3 a meeting of the Supreme Military Council was convened in Moscow to approve a draft of instructions for the army’s political workers which would emphasize the need for vigilance and the danger of war. Stalin’s closest associate, Georgi M. Malenkov, attacked the draft in the sharpest terms, contending that it sought to prepare the troops for the possibility of war in the nearest future. Such a presentation, he said, was entirely unacceptable.
“The document is formulated in primitive terms”, Malenkov sneered, “as though we were going to war tomorrow.”
Stalin supported Malenkov’s opinion, and the instructions were not issued. The official attitude was unchanging: all rumors and reports of war were but a British trick to sow trouble between Russia and Germany.

[…]

The consequences of Malenkov’s intervention against realistic political instructions for the army quickly assumed a sinister aspect. Officers who continued to warn about German attack or speak of the danger of war were branded as provocateurs. Some were arrested. Others were threatened with arrest. Political commissars were sent out from Moscow. They described Stalin as carrying out the most delicate act in order to avoid war. “Stalin”, one said, “can walk so quietly he doesn’t even shake the china”. They referred to Bismarck’s dictum that Germany could not fight a war on two fronts.

The 900 Days pages 90-92.


Michael Mills
michael mills wrote:The range of dates given by the various Russian sources indicates that as of 22 June 1941 no target date for a Soviet attack had yet been communicated to the field ranks of the Red Army. That may be because the Soviet Government had not yet decided on a date, or that it had decided a date but kept knowledge of it restricted to the highest levels.

Roberto
Or because the Soviet Government did not contemplate attack in the near future, which is the most plausible explanation in view of the evidence to Stalin’s military caution and appeasement efforts, and in the absence of any evidence - other than the dubious statement of Malyshkin and the equally dubious statement attributed to Klokov, see above - to the Soviet High Command having ordered or intending to order preparations for an all-out offensive.

Michael Mills:
Roberto is being less than honest here. In his post to which I originally responded, he did not nominate the date 1941 at all. Nor did I mention 1941 at all. The issue was whether, as Roberto claimed, the Germans failed to find "a single element of evidence hinting at a Soviet attack in the making" (Roberto's own words). Roberto was clearly trying to give the impression that absolutely NO evidence of Soviet preparations for an attack was found. My original response, and the material I have subsequently quoted, shows that, contrary to Roberto's rash assertion, Hoffmann was able to demonstrate that such evidence was indeed found.

Roberto:
Mills obviously considers the audience to be dumb enough not to realize that a statement regarding evidence to a Soviet attack in the making in the context of a discussion about the theories of “Suvorov” and others (including, as it seems, Mr. Hoffmann), who contend that Hitler’s aggression on 22 June 1941 barely anticipated a Soviet attack, must necessarily refer to a Soviet attack in 1941, and not to an attack that might have taken place in 1942 or later.

Mills himself knows this very well, of course.
_______________________________________________________________________________

I call to memory the accusation of tendentiousness that Mills leveled against Christian Streit’s "Keine Kameraden: Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen 1941-1945", based on a statement of Hoffmann’s that Streit commented on as follows (my translation):

As was to be expected, the number of deaths I calculated - about 3 300 000 - led to protests. Alfred Streim estimates a number of “at least 2 530 000”. His calculation is mainly based on a listing by the OKW/Kgf. of 1 Mai 1944; and he considers a total number of about 5 200 000 prisoners. Whereas Streim openly shows his way of calculation, Joachim Hoffmann speaks of a total number of “exactly 5 245 882” and a number of victims of “around 2 million”, without providing a detailed justification of this number; he merely refers to “unknown original files and other documents” without providing evidence to their existence.

So Hoffmann accuses a professional colleague not only of being wrong but – according to the quote provided by Mills on the thread mentioned in my last post – of manipulating figures, invoking “unknown original files and documents” which he doesn’t even show.

What kind of a scholar is that?



Continuing.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 246#p87246
Roberto:

Hoffmann wrote:
If Stalin's arrogance appplied in the event of defense against enemy attack, then it applied equally to his own general offensive plans. In 1990, Colonel Karpov said with reference to the General Staff Plan of May 15, 1941:
"In the early grayness of a May or June morning, thousands of our aircraft and tens of thousands of our cannons would have dealt the blow against thickly concentrated German troops, whose location was known to us right down to battalion level - a surprise even more inconceivable than a German attack on us". [Source: Karpov, in 'Kommunist vooruzhennykh sil, 1990 {= The Communist of the armed forces}. See also 'Schlafende Aggressoren. Enthuellung in Moskau: Stalins Militaers wollten 1941 dem Angriff Hitlers zuvorkommen. Doch der Diktator mochte nicht hoeren", in: Der Spiegel, no. 22, 1990, pp. 170-172].


Karpov seems to have placed high hopes in a plan that Richard Overy, in his book Russia's war (page 68 ), referred to in the following terms:
In May 1941 Zhukov and Timoshenko produced what turned out to be the last version of the deployment plan before the German invasion. It varied little from the plan drawn up the previous October, except that it now postulated two counter-offensives into German-held territory: one towards Cracow, to cut Germany off from her southern allies; one towards Lublin, with the ultimate object of securing German-occupied Poland and East Prussia. A section of this document has been seized upon as evidence that the Soviet Union was planning a pre-emptive strike against Germany in the summer of 1941, a strike undone by the sudden launching of Barbarossa. The document in question, an unsigned memorandum dated May 15, was not an order or directive but an explanatory recommendation for force deployment entirely consistent with the planning of the previous two years. There is no evidence that Stalin saw it, but even if he had there are no grounds for thinking that this was anything other than a continued review of the forward defense posture on which Soviet strategy had relied since the 1930s. Some form of pre-emption through spoiling attacks on the mobilizing forces of the enemy was an integral part of that posture. It did not signify a Soviet intention to launch unprovoked war but was, on the contrary, a desperate gambit to obstruct German mobilization against the Soviet Union.

Hoffmann wrote:
Stalin, the General Staff, and the GUPPKA, in any case, expected an easy victory by the Red Army.
They expected that the huge offensive they were planning would end with the complete destruction of the enemy with only a few Soviet casualties.


Very seminal indeed. What evidence does Hoffmann present that "Stalin, the General Staff, and the GUPPKA" expected the plan produced by Zhukov and Timoshenko to save the day, even provide for "an easy victory" by the Red Army "with only a few Soviet casualties" - quite a feat of wishful thinking after the disastrous performance in the Winter War against Finland and, more recently, at the war games in January 1941, by an army that would not master the art of offensive warfare in summer until more than two years later?

Overy refers to the above mentioned war games as follows (as above, pages 66/67):
The war games followed a week-long conference that began on December 23. The object was to thrash out the lessons of the year and to review the current state of military planning. No serious attempt was made to challenge the central principles upon which Soviet war-planning rested. The war games were staged to confirm what was seen as a received wisdom. The first was fought between Zhukov and General Dimitri Pavlov, chief of the Soviet mechanized forces, on New Year’s Day, 1941. Zhukov was the German side, Pavlov the Soviet. Although Pavlov was able to bring his forces to bear on East Prussia, consistent with the strategy of the massive counter-offensive, he was routed by Zhukov. In the second game, played a week later, the players were reversed. This time Zhukov pushed successfully across the frontier into Hungary; Pavlov’s weak counter-attack attempted to parry. The outcome said a great deal about Zhukov’s battlefield skills, even on a table-top. But there were worrying signs for Soviet strategy. When Stalin assembled the commanders and officials for the second game, a curious drama unfolded.
The chief of staff was asked to report on the outcome of the games. Meretskov spoke hesitantly. Rather than say out loud that the Zhukov Germans had won the first game, Meretskov applauded the early stages, when Pavlov with sixty divisions had overcome the fifty-five German divisions defending the Reich frontier. Stalin angrily took the floor and exposed as nonsense the view that a ratio of little more than one division to one could overcome the fixed German defenses. It was all right ‘for propaganda purposes’, he told the assembly, ‘but here we have to talk in terms of real capabilities’. The uncomfortable Meretskov was then asked about the second game but would give no definite answer on the outcome, which was inconclusive. When one of Timoshenko’s deputies followed the discussion by insisting on voicing his own belief that infantry divisions should be horse-drawn rather than mechanized, Stalin’s patience was stretched to the limit. The General Staff left the conference in a despondent mood. The following day Zhukov was appointed Chief of the General Staff, and Meretskov was put in charge of training.

If despite all these indications against the Red Army being prepared to wage offensive war, and despite the fact that it did not come close to mustering the numerical superiority of at least two to one considered mandatory by Stalin (according to his address on 13 January 1941 cited by Salisbury, see my post of Mon Nov 04, 2002 12:51 am on this thread), he nevertheless saw the prospect of an "easy victory", then why didn’t he give the go ahead for this marvelous offensive?

Why, as is obviously pointed out in the Spiegel article cited by Hoffmann, did he refuse to listen to his generals?

Hoffmann wrote, "As for Hitler and the Germans, they had only a very complete notion of what the Soviets were preparing."

Before I show clear evidence to the contrary presented by Hoffmann’s colleague Wigbert Benz, I would first like to see what Hoffmann has provided by way of evidence in support of this contention.
When one considers the extent of these preparations, however, it becomes clear that Hitler under high pressure only barely preempted an attack planned by Stalin. June 22, 1941, was therefore pretty much the last date on which it would have been possible to initiate a "preventive war".

Here we are. The quintessence of Hoffmann’s nonsense, bolded by one of his faithful fans.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Hoffmann
Colonel Petrov, a candidate in the historical sciences, expressed this in plain but accurate language on the anniversary of the victory on May 8, 1991, in a leading article of the official party organ Pravda:

"As a result of the overestimation of our own possibilities and the underestimation of enemy possibilities, we drew up unrealistic plans of an offensive nature before the war. In keeping with these plans, we began the deployment of the Soviet armed forces on the western border. But the enemy preempted us. [odnako protivnik upredil nas]"
{Source: Petrov, B. "Tragediia i muzhestvo. K 50-letiiu nachala Velikoi Otechestvennoi Voiny" {= tragedy and valour. On the 5oth anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War}, in Pravda, 8.5.1991, p. 3].


What I understand Petrov as saying here is that, notwithstanding all indications to the contrary, the Red Army kept believing its own propaganda that it was an offensive army which, if war broke out, would carry the fight to the enemy, that it thus deployed as it had been taught to do notwithstanding the fact that it was not in conditions to wage this kind of warfare, and that the enemy fell upon it before it had finished a deployment that, as Petrov acknowledges, would not have got it anywhere.

To read anything further into Petrov’s statement requires a fair amount of wishful thinking and ignoring all evidence speaking against an all-out Soviet attack in the making, including but not limited to Stalin’s mentioned requirement of a numerical superiority of at least two to one along the whole front line for an offensive to be successful.
Michael Mills

[Note by me. My Russian dictionary gives for "uprezhdat', perf. upredit'" the meanings "to anticipate, to forestall". Hoffmann's translation "preempt" therefore is reasonable, and does not distort the meaning.]

Thanks for that rare bout of honesty, Mills.

Petrov is saying that the enemy "anticipated/forestalled" the Red Army, i.e. fell upon it before it could conclude a deployment that was in line with its operational doctrine but, according to Petrov himself, out of touch with its real capabilities.

Hoffmann’s translation “preempt”, on the other hand, conveys the impression of a pre-emptive strike anticipating a Soviet offensive in the making (and not just the conclusion of deployment for offensive warfare in accordance with the Red Army’s operational doctrine).

Hoffmann's translation can therefore be looked upon as a distortion of the meaning of Petrov’s original statement.
Hoffman wrote:

Finally, the Russian historian M. Nikitin should be mentioned who made a detailed analysis of the objectives of the Soviet leadership during the decisive months of May and June 1941. He summarized his research findings in the following words:

"We once again repeat that the fundamental objective of the USSR consisted of expanding the 'Front of Socialism' to the greatest possible terrirorial extent, ideally to include all of Europe. In Moscow's opinion, cicumstances favored the realization of this scheme. The occupation of large parts of the continent by Germany, the protracted futile war, the increasing dissatisfaction of the populace of the occupied countries, the dispersion of the forces of the Wehrmacht on various fronts, the prospects of a conflict between Japan and the United States - all these factors were thought to give the Soviet leadership a unique chance to smash Germany by surprise attack, and to 'liberate Europe' from 'rotting capitalism' ".
[Source: Nikitin, M. "Otsenka sovetskim rukovodstvom sobytii vtoroi mirovoi voiny (Po ideologicheskim dokumentam maia-iiunia 1941 g.) {= An evaluation by the Soviet leadership of the events of the second world war (on the basis of ideological documents of May-June 1941)}, in "Gotovil li Stalin nastupatel'nuiu voinu" {= Did Stalin prepare an offensive war}, pp 142, 146].

A study of the guiding documents of the Central Committee of the VKP(b), in Nikitin's view, "together with the data on the immediate military offensive preparations of the Red Army........unequivocally proves the intention of the Soviet leadership to attack Germany in the summer of 1941".

Nothing against Hoffmann quoting like-minded scholars (I wouldn’t be surprised if he also quoted his brother in spirit “Suvorov”), but does Nikitin present any evidence in support of his contentions that can be considered more conclusive than what Hoffmann comes up with?

What "guiding documents of the Central Committee of the VKP" does he show to back up his assertions?

Could it be that he didn't share such key documents with his colleague Hoffmann, or that Hoffmann didn't even care to contact him about what, if substantial, would have made his day?


http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 553#p87553
Michael Mills

Roberto asks whether Hoffmann's theses agree with those of Volkogonov, Karpov and Danilov. Well those three sources are heavily relied on by Hoffmann. Karpov is in fact the source of the statement quoted by Hoffmann, that if the Zhukov-Timoshenko preemptive attack plan had been implemented, it would have achieved a greater surprise than the later German attack.

Roberto also engages in some very dishonest hair-splitting over the meaning of the Russian verb "uprezhdat' ", rather similar to the hair-splitting over the meaning of the German verb "ausrotten". The meaning of the passage by Colonel Petrov quoted by Hoffmann is quite clear; the enemy (Germany) launched its attack before the Soviets could implement their offensive plans, which were being unfolded at the time. The fact that Petrov calls those offensive plans unrealistic is irrelevant; he is saying that the Red Army was deploying in accordance with plans for an offensive.

The verb "uprezhdat' " is derived from the word "prezhde" = before, and is therefore equivalent to the German "zuvorkommen", which is probably the word Hoffmann originally (Roberto says Hoffmann used the word "preempt", but that is of course the translation; Roberto knows that, but in his usual deceitful way conceals it).

Roberto's speculation that Nikitin may be a "scorned outsider" says a lot about his mentality. For him, historians either belong to the "establishment", or they are "scorned outsiders". Scorned by whom? By former Soviet-era propagandists, such as Lev Bezymenski?


http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 574#p87574
Roberto:

Where Hoffmann refers to primary sources (documents, eyewitness testimonials), I analyze the probatory value thereof in what concerns Hoffmann's theses.

Where Hoffmann refers to secondary sources (like Nikitin), I state that I would like to see what those sources based their claims on - a legitimate pretension in the face of indications warranting the assumption that Hoffmann is somewhat less than objective and accordingly selective in regard to the secondary sources he refers to.

And this is a point of mine. It appears Hoffman is very short on those and other historians have noticed it as well.
Roberto
Michael Mills

Roberto also engages in some very dishonest hair-splitting over the meaning of the Russian verb "uprezhdat' ", rather similar to the hair-splitting over the meaning of the German verb "ausrotten".


Roberto was manifesting his disagreement to Mills' contention that translating the Russian term for "anticipated, forestalled" as "pre-empted" was not bound to convey the wrong impression of Petrov's statement.
Michael Mills

The meaning of the passage by Colonel Petrov quoted by Hoffmann is quite clear; the enemy (Germany) launched its attack before the Soviets could implement their offensive plans, which were being unfolded at the time. The fact that Petrov calls those offensive plans unrealistic is irrelevant; he is saying that the Red Army was deploying in accordance with plans for an offensive.

Let’s look again at Petrov’s statement quoted by Hoffmann.

""As a result of the overestimation of our own possibilities and the underestimation of enemy possibilities, we drew up unrealistic plans of an offensive nature before the war. In keeping with these plans, we began the deployment of the Soviet armed forces on the western border. But the enemy preempted us. [odnako protivnik upredil nas]"
{Source: Petrov, B. "Tragediia i muzhestvo. K 50-letiiu nachala Velikoi Otechestvennoi Voiny" {= tragedy and valour. On the 5oth anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War}, in Pravda, 8.5.1991, p. 3]."


What Petrov is stating here, first of all, is that the Red Army drew up “plans of an offensive nature”. In the absence of other evidence to the drawing up of such plans signaling an intention to engage in all-out aggression, they are nothing other than contingency plans for the eventuality of a war breaking out, and what Petrov is saying is that those plans were unrealistically offensive, which was in keeping with the Red Army’s military doctrine.

When Petrov says “the enemy pre-empted us”, he is strictly saying nothing else than that the enemy anticipated the conclusion of the Red Army’s preparations. What the aim of those preparations was he doesn't tell us. It may have been an all-out attack on the enemy prior to a declaration of war. It may also have been standing ready for such an all-out attack in the event that push came to shove and diplomatic relations were broken off. What exactly it was cannot, in my opinion, be inferred from Petrov’s statement alone.

Michael Mills

The verb "uprezhdat' " is derived from the word "prezhde" = before, and is therefore equivalent to the German "zuvorkommen", which is probably the word Hoffmann originally.

“Zuvorkommen” is the equivalent of “forestall” or “anticipate” and signals that the Red Army was kept from concluding its preparations for whatever the Soviet High Command may have had in mind, as explained above. Whether that was staging an all-out attack on the enemy without a prior declaration of war or standing at ready to stage such an attack as soon as diplomatic relations were broken off does not, as also explained, become clear from Petrov’s statement.
Michael Mills
(Roberto says Hoffmann used the word "preempt", but that is of course the translation; Roberto knows that, but in his usual deceitful way conceals it).

Mills seems to be suffering from a memory failure. If I remember correctly,

[Note by me. My Russian dictionary gives for "uprezhdat', perf. upredit'" the meanings "to anticipate, to forestall". Hoffmann's translation "preempt" therefore is reasonable, and does not distort the meaning.]

I might not have even noticed this detail if it had not been for Mills’ above remark.


http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 618#p87618
wildboar

in your fury of debate you have missed a vital point.
stalins purges of officer core of red army had made it just a bunch of armed mob lacking basic military disipline?
how can such a depleted force wage a pre-emptive agressive war against well disiplined wehermacht.
stalin felt the effect of lack of disipline in red army during opertation barbbossa who would same army launch a agressive war? a million dollar question to ponder.
here i quote stalins order no 227 dated July 28, 1942 which states lack of basic military disipline in red army--

ORDER no 227 BY THE PEOPLE’S COMMISSAR OF DEFENCE OF THE USSR
July 28, 1942
Moscow


The enemy feeds more and more resources to the front, and, paying no attention to losses, moves on, penetrates deeper into the Soviet Union,
captures new areas, devastates and plunders our cities and villages, rapes, kills and robs the Soviet people. The fighting goes on in Voronezh
area, at Don, in the Southern Russia, at the gates of the North Caucasus.
The German invaders are driving towards Stalingrad, towards Volga, and
want to capture Kuban and the North Caucasus with their oil and bread riches at any price. The enemy has already captured Voroshilovgrad,
Starobelsk, Rossosh, Kupyansk, Valuiki, Novocherkassk, Rostov on Don, half of Voronezh. Some units of the South front, following the panic-mongers, have abandoned Rostov and Novocherkassk without serious resistance and without order from Moscow, thus covering their banners with shame.
The people of our country, who treat the Red Army with love and respect,
are now starting to be disappointed with it, lose faith in the Red Army,
and many of them curse the Army for its fleeing to the east and leaving
the population under German yoke.
Some unwise people at the front comfort themselves with arguments that we can continue the retreat to the east, as we have vast territories, a lot
of soil, many people, and that we will always have abundance of bread. By these arguments they try to justify their shameful behaviour at the front.
But all these arguments are fully false, faked and working for our
enemies.
Every commander, every soldier and political officer have to realise that our resources are not infinite. The territory of the Soviet Union is not a
wilderness, but people – workers, peasants, intelligentsia, our fathers
and mothers, wives, brothers, children. Territory of USSR that has been
captured by the enemy and which enemy is longing to capture is bread and other resources for the army and the civilians, iron and fuel for the
industries, factories and plants that supply the military with hardware
and ammo; this is also railroads. With loss of Ukraine, Belorussia, the Baltics, Donetsk basin and other areas we have lost vast territories, that
means that we have lost many people, bread, metals, factories, and plants.
We no longer have superiority over enemy in human resources and in bread supply. Continuation of retreat means to destroy us and also our
Motherland. Every new piece of territory that we leave to the enemy will
strengthen our enemy and weaken us, our defences, our Motherland.
This is why we have to eradicate the conversations that we can retreat
without ending, that we have a lot of territory, that our country is great
and rich, that we have a lot of population and we will always have enough
bread. These conversations are false and harmful, as they weaken us and
strengthen the enemy, for if we do not stop retreating, we will be left without bread, without fuel, without metals, without raw materials, without factories and plants, without railways.
The conclusion is that it is time to stop the retreat. Not a single step
back! This should be our slogan from now. We need to protect every strongpoint, every metre of Soviet soil stubbornly, till the last droplet of blood, grab every piece of our soil and defend it as long as it is possible. Our Motherland is going through hard times. We have to stop, and then throw back and destroy the enemy, whatever it might cost us. The Germans are not as strong as the panic-mongers say. They are stretching their strength to the limit. To withstand their blow now means to ensure victory in the future.
Can we stand and throw the enemy back toward west? Yes, we can, as our plants and factories in the rear areas are working perfectly and are
supplying our army with more and more tanks, planes, artillery and mortars.
So what do we lack? We lack order and discipline in companies, regiments
and divisions, in tank units, in the Air Force squadrons. This is our major drawback. We have to introduce the strictest order and strong discipline in our army, if we want to save the situation and defend our
Motherland.
We can no longer tolerate commanders, commissars, and political officers,
whose units leave their defences at will. We can no longer tolerate the
fact that the commanders, commissars and political officers allow several
cowards to run the show at the battlefield, that the panic-mongers carry
away other soldiers in their retreat and open the way to the enemy. Panic-mongers and cowards are to be exterminated at the site. From now on the iron law of discipline for every officer, soldier, political officer should be – not a single step back without order from higher command. Company, battalion, regiment and division commanders, as
well as the commissars and political officers of corresponding ranks who
retreat without order from above, are traitors of the Motherland. They
should be treated as traitors of the Motherland. This is the call of our
Motherland.
To fulfil this order means to defend our country, to save our Motherland,
to destroy and overcome the hated enemy.
After their winter retreat under pressure of the Red Army, when morale and discipline fell in the German troops, the Germans took some strict measures that led to pretty good results. They have formed 100 penal companies that were comprised of soldiers who broke discipline due to cowardice or instability; they have deployed them at the most dangerous sections of the front and have ordered them to redeem their sins by blood. Further on, they have formed around ten penal battalions comprised of officers who had broken discipline due to cowardice and instability, deprived them of their decorations and put them at even more dangerous sections of the front and ordered them to redeem their sins by blood. At last, the Germans have formed special guards units and deployed them behind unstable divisions and ordered them to execute panic-mongers at the site if they tried to leave their defensive positions without order or if they tried to surrender. As we know, these measures were effective, and now the German troops fight better than they fought in winter. What we have here is that the German troops have good discipline, although the not have an uplifted mission of protection of the Motherland, and only have one goal – to conquer a strange land. Our troops, having defence of defiled Motherland as their mission, do not have this discipline and thus suffer defeat.
Shouldn’t we learn this lesson from our enemy, as our ancestors learned
from their enemies in the past and overcame their enemies? I think that we should.
THE SUPREME COMMAND OF THE RED ARMY ORDERS:
1. The military Councils of the fronts and first of all front commanders
should:
a) In all circumstances decisively eradicate retreat attitude in the
troops and with an iron hand prevent propaganda that we can as should continue the retreat to the east, and this retreat will not be harmful to us;
b) In all circumstances remove from offices and send to Stavka for
court-martial those army commanders who allowed their troops to retreat at will, without authorisation by the Front command;
c) Form within each Front 1 to 3 (depending on the situation) penal
battalions (800 personnel), where commanding, senior commanders and political officers of corresponding ranks from all services, who have
broken discipline due to cowardice or instability, should be sent. These
battalions should be put on the more difficult sections of a Front, thus
giving them an opportunity to redeem their crimes against the Motherland
by blood.
2. The Military Councils of armies and first of all army commanders
should: a) In all circumstances remove from offices corps and army commanders and commissars, who have allowed their troops to retreat at will without authorisation by the army command, and send them to the Military Councils of the Fronts for court-martial;
b) Form 3 to 5 well-armed guards (barrage) units (zagradotryads), deploy them in the rear of unstable divisions and oblige them to execute panic-mongers and cowards at site in case of panic and chaotic retreat, thus giving faithful soldiers a chance to do their duty before the
Motherland;
c) Form 5 to 10 (depending on the situation) penal companies, where
soldiers and NCOs, who have broken discipline due to cowardice or
instability, should be sent. These units should be deployed at the most
difficult sectors of the front, thus giving their soldiers an opportunity
to redeem their crimes against the Motherland by blood.
3. Corps and division commanders and commissars should:
a) In all circumstances remove from offices regiment and battalion
commanders and commissars who allowed their troops to retreat at will without authorisation from divisional or corps command, deprive them of their military decorations and send them to the Military Councils of
fronts for court-martial;
b) Provide all possible help and support to the guards (barrage) units
(zagradotryads) of the army in their work of strengthening discipline and order in the units.
This order is to be read aloud in all companies, troops, batteries,
squadrons, teams and staffs.


The People’s Commissar for Defence
J.STALIN



http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 635#p87635
Roberto

Before we even get to that part, and as I already said, Stalin seems to have been a friend of playing it safe, requiring an overall superiority of at least two to one for a successful offensive. At least that’s what he told his generals at a conference at the Kremlin on 13 January 1941, following a war game that was run off between January 8 and 11 for top-ranking officers:
Harrison E. Salisbury, The 900 Days, 1970 Avon Books, New York, pages 75 and following

Other listeners were deeply disturbed by Stalin’s pronouncement (faithfully approved by the meeting) that a superiority of at least two to one was required for a successful offensive not only in the area of the principal breakthrough but on the whole operational front.The application of such a doctrine would require numbers, equipment and rear support far beyond anything heretofore contemplated. The Soviet commanders agreed that overwhelming superiority was needed at in the breakthrough area, but they did not see why such great numerical concentrations were required on the non-active part of the front.


Emphasis is mine.

On pages 97 of and following of the same book

By June 21, 1941, the Soviets had deployed about 2.9 million troops in the Western defense districts against an estimated 4.2 million Germans. The total strength of the Soviet military establishment had been strongly expanded from the 1939 level – up to 4.2 million in January, 1941, against 2.5 million in January, 1939. The total stood just below 5 million June 1. The air force had been tripled and land forces increased 2.7 times. The army had 124 new rifle divisions.
But the numbers were deceptive. The army had only 30 percent of the automatic weapons provided by the table of organization; only 20 percent of the planes were of new modern types and only 9 percent of the tanks. When General M. Shtemenko took over the 34th Cavalry Division in July, 1941, he found it had no arms whatever. He finally got some 1927 vintage cannons but was unable to obtain enough rifles or ammunition to equip his troops. There were no antitank guns – nothing but Molotov cocktails (gasoline bottles with wicks). He got twelve antitank guns, but not until October 1941.


Salisbury demonstrates that Stalin had precise intelligence from various sources as to the strength of German forces on the Soviet borders.

That being so, and unless it can be demonstrated that Stalin renounced to his “at least two to one along the whole front” doctrine, how could Stalin have possibly seen himself as having the numerical superiority he considered necessary to mount a successful offensive?

The inherent flaws of the Red Army are another factor to consider, as wildboar pointed out. Not even Stalin could have been so blind as to ignore the sad fact that, apart from being short of achieving the numerical superiority he required, the Red Army was qualitatively in no shape to wage offensive war.
Richard Overy (Russia’s War, page 67) wrote:
In March [1941] the Government called for the creation of twenty mechanized corps to be distributed along the frontier, but by June less than half were equipped. The air force was ordered to establish 106 new air regiments, using the new models coming into production, but by May only nineteen were complete. These forces were crammed into a narrow belt behind, or sometimes straddling, the frontier. They absorbed four-fifths of the production of the new T-34 tank, the most advanced in the world, and half of the available modern aircraft, but they lacked the training (and spare parts) needed to operate them effectively. Morale among the forward troops was at its nadir; officers were losing control of their men. Crime and insubordination were widespread.

How Mr. Karpov could under these conditions state that the pre-emptive attack proposed by Zhukov and Timoshenko would have brought about a splendid success if it had been unleashed is beyond my understanding.

German military intelligence of the Wehrmachtsabteilung Fremde Heere Ost, at any rate, didn't see the Soviets as being up to much.
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

My translation:
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)



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