Stalin's "Torch-men-Order" #0428 confirmed by Russia

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Re: Stalin's "Torch-men-Order" #0428 confirmed by Russia

Postby Hektor » 1 month 3 weeks ago (Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:54 pm)

HMSendeavour wrote:.....

It's interesting that this user provides a source for when the Soviets did in fact wear German uniforms and commit atrocities. But it's just not the Torch-Men-Order.

What I think is worth considering is that we're dealing with Soviet Documents, and these are very unreliable sources of information. Stephen Kotkin, the most recent and comprehensive biographer of Joseph Stalin, has mentioned in talks he's done about how the Soviets had several different documents made with varying different contents that would be used to refute claims made against the Soviet Government. But he also said that there was often a layer beneath the misinformation of authentic documents.

So far people have only been discussing this one document, nobody is to say that there is no other versions of the Torch-Men-Order that contains this phrase about the uniforms, or perhaps another document entirely. I find it hard to believe that it just came out of nowhere.

Consider that for this type of document. There would be a main document of a general nature. But there also would be attachments and referencing documents that may get into the details. For this kind of operations there would be several levels to consider. The strategic, tactical and operational level. The strategic level again would be quite general. The tactical level may go into certain details on how such operations are to be conducted. And the operational level deals with direct instructions and reports on the execution of single actions.

The "Torch-men-order"'s first objective is a scorched earth policy denying the enemy (In this case Axis forces on the offensive in formerly Soviet controlled areas) access to valuable resources. If you can put the enemy in a bad light that would make for a good bonus.

Control of the archives is another matter. They never left Soviet control until the end of the 1980s, when Communism officially collapsed in the former USSR. But also afterward the archivists were still pro-soviet in sentiment. Stalin died in 1953 giving his entourage control over the archives for 8 years after the German capitulation. After that Communism tried to have a bit of a facelift and that provides motive and opportunity for some face lifts. On the other hand, why did they have those archives in the first place. The nomenklatura in the USSR did realise the value of information and when it had to be accurate. Essentially this was also a dual undertaking. Accurate internal information for decision making. And polished up external information for propaganda value. They were masters of disinformation as well. That it's sometimes easy to spot propaganda forgeries can be attributed to the volume of forgery they engaged in. And that means a lot of their human resources were unexperienced and blunt. Doesn't mean they had experts that could make a deception stick.

In conclusion the Soviet archives require more and deeper research, which in turn requires a vast amount of resources dedicated to the task. Only then one may be able to detect what the true context and full-extent of orders and their execution was. That's if you have a more complete record, which may also not be the case.

The use of enemy uniforms also requires opportunity, since they have to be available to perform this kind of trick. This may not always have been the case. But that information would only be on the lower level, since the uniforms would have to be ordered from those that had them available towards those that had use for them.

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