Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

All aspects including lead-in to hostilities and results.

Moderator: Moderator

Forum rules
Be sure to read the Rules/guidelines before you post!
Werd
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 1093
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 2:23 am

Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Werd » 5 years 9 months ago (Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:59 am)

Page 3.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 962#p87962
Starinov

For Roberto and Wildboar:
The Germans were unaware that Timoshenko and Zhukov had created the Front of Reserve Armies in the area from Vitebsk to Kiev [...]. Thus unknown to the German Army, the Soviet Government had begun a second line of formations.


Source: Malcolm MacIntosh, Juggernaut: a History of the Soviet Armed Forces, 1967, page 138.
Major General M.F. Lukin, commander of the 16th Army of the Transbaikal Military District in the Far East, recieved orders to transfer his army to Starokonstantinov in the Ukraine southwest of Kiev - a distance of 4000 miles. There it was to joinGeneral's I.S. Konev's 19th Army from the North Caucasus and General A.K. Smornov's 18th Army, forming in the Kharkov Military District, as part of the Reserve Front in the southern sector. At the same time, Lieutenant General P.A. Kurochkin, the commander of the Transbaikal Military District, was ordered back to Moscow to take command of a new 20th Army destined to form part of the Front of Reserve Armies on the western sector. General F.A. Ershakov, who commanded the Ural Military District, was ordered to transferhis troops (organized as the 22nd Army) with two rifles corps to the Vitebsk area; and the troops of the Orel Military District under General F.N. Remizov were to be deployed as the 21st Army in the area of the middle Dnieper River.

Source: Ibid. pages 135-136.
Roberto
How many divisions would that be, how many men and how many guns and tanks


The 16th Army had at least the 32nd A.C (152nd RD & 46th RD) and and 5th M.C. (1 TD, 17 TD & 109 MD).

the 18th Army existed on June 22nd but had no Corps attached yet.

The 19th Army (38th RD) was composed of, at least, the 25th A.C. (127th RD & 162th RD), 34th A.C. (129th RD, 158th RD, 171th RD & two more that I could not identify yet), 26th M.C. (52nd TD, 56th TD & 103rd MD).

The 20th Army was composed of, at least, the 61st A.C. (110th RD, 144th RD & 172nd RD), 69th A.C. (73rd RD, 229th RD & 233rd RD), 7 M.C. (14th TD, 18th TD & 1st RD).

The 21st Army was composed of, at least, the 63th A.C. (53rd RD, 148th RD & 167th RD), 66th A.C. (61st RD, 117th RD & 154th RD), 25th M.C. (50th TD, 55th TD & 219th MD).

The 22nd Army was composed of, at least, the 51st A.C. (98th RD, 112th RD & 153rd RD), and the 62nd A.C. (170th RD, 174th RD & 186th RD).

For a total of at least 27 RD's (plus two I could not identify yet, so probably 29 RD), 3 MD's and 8 TD's.

Source: http://www.rkka.ru

Roberto
Michael Mills
Although the German Government gravely underestimated Soviet military strength, its intelligence was good enough to realise that Soviet strength was concentrated in the south, covering Ukraine, and was superior to the strength of Germany and its allies in that sector. For that reason, the centre of gravity of the German attack was in the north and centre, and that is what enabled the initial breakthrough.

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

Hoffman 67-68
Under the influence of such reports, the Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH: German Army High Command) did not anticipate the use of strong armored units by the Soviets for intensive
aggressive operations [Source: BA-MA, RH 20-9/247a, 16.5.1941].


It would be interesting to know if there’s something about “intensive aggressive preparations” in the source invoked by Hoffmann, or if that’s just his own assumption.
HoffmanThe armored arm was, moreover, viewed primarily as only an auxiliary arm of the infantry, although tank attacks with limited objectives, or counterattacks against an enemy breakthrough, appeared quite conceivable.

Richard Overy (Russia’s War, page 190
In the summer of 1941 Soviet air and tank forces, though numerically large, proved incapable of inflicting more than local damage on the concentrated tank and air forces of the enemy. Tanks were divided up to support infantry regiments in small numbers and as a result lost the advantages of striking power and mobility that they should have offered

Hoffmann wrote
Since the Germans did not know about the existence of approximately one hundred armored and motorized divisions before June 22, 1941 [my emphasis] - rather, they assumed only seven armored divisions and thirty-eight motorized, mechanized brigades [Source: BA-MA, RH 20-6/487, 17.6.1941; BA-MA, RH 20-9/247, 17.6.1941; BA-MA, RH 20-18/951, 18.6.1941; BA-MA, RH 21-1/470, 19.12.1941] - they were very surprised after the onset of the war by the huge mass of armored divisions that suddenly confronted them [Source: BA-MA, RH 24-28/10, June 1941; BA-MA. RH 21-4/266, 10.7.1941; BA-MA, RH 20-17/282, 11.7.1941; BA-MA, RH 21-1/470, 19.12.1941]. It "soon appeared obvious that the Russians had many more divisions available than had been assumed by the OKH before the beginning of the eastern campaign", noted the 1st Panzer Army on December 19, 1941. "Throughout the entire section, the enemy was obviously stronger than had been assumed at the beginning of the operation", stated Panzer Group 3 as early as June 23, 1941 [Source: BA-MA, RH 21-3/v. 423, 23.6., 8.7.1941]. This astonishment not only related to the numbers of tanks and aircraft, which exceeded all expectations, but also to the quality of Soviet weapons and equipment. To some extent, the Soviet leadership even received a word of praise, and was described, for example, in the appraisal of the enemy situation of Panzer Group 3 of July 8, 1941, as "extremely skilful, energetically active, and deliberate".

Whatever. If the data in the table transcribed above are accurate, the Red Army was still equal in numbers at best and outnumbered at worst, thus far from achieving the numerical superiority of at least two to one that Stalin considered mandatory to launch a successful offensive. Which may have been the reason why Stalin rejected the proposal forwarded by Zhukov and Timoshenko in May 1941.
Hoffman
The admission of a crass underestimation of the Red Army is also found in Dr. Goebbels's diaries. Looking back, he noted on August 19, 1941:

'We obviously quite underestimated the Soviet shock power and, above all, the equipment of the Soviet army. We had nowhere any idea of what the Bolsheviks had available. This led to erroneous decision-making.....' [Source: Goebbels, Tagebuecher, vol. 4, pp. 1,655 ff].

Is this were Goebbels is supposed to have stated that Hitler might not have launched ‘Barbarossa’ if he had been aware of the true strength of Soviet forces?
Hoffman
The High Command of the Wehrmacht, on the other hand -perhaps because of its wider horizon - had drawn considerably more realistic conclusions from reconnaissance in the Spring of 1941 than the competing High Command of the Army. The Chief of the Operations Staff of the OKW (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht; High Command of the Armed Forces), Lieutenant General Jodl and the Chief of the OKW, Field Marshal Keitel, sent several letters to the Foreign Office and to the Reich Government between April and June 1941, in which, with increasing concern, and, finally, in almost imploring tones and with "the strongest emphasis", they drew their attention to the fact that Soviet Russia "was conducting the most gigantic military deployment force in its history, directed against Germany" and that "a huge Soviet troop force" to the west could be set in motion "at any moment" [Sources: Jodl to Ritter, 1.3., 23.4., 6.5., 8.6., 20.6.1941 (attached: "Zusammenstellung der Grenzverletzungen durch russische Flugzeuge und russische Soldaten. Grenzzwischenfaelle Winter 1939/40");

Given that Jodl had every interest in sucking border clashes and violations of German airspace by Soviet planes out of his thumb, it would be interesting to know in what other source, if any, such occurrences are reported.

They would have gone against the grain of Stalin’s interdiction of anything that might be seen by the Germans as a “provocation”.

They are also not mentioned, for some reason, in the cited report of the Wehrmachtsabteilung Fremde Heere Ost of 20.05.1941:
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 fare 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)
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Hoffman
This included the "deliberate use of the Soviet Air Force over the sovereign territory of the Reich", the "almost daily incoming reports of additional border violations by Soviet aircraft", and "deliberate provocations". In the same vein belongs "the methodical surveying of terrain and reconnaissance activities in German territory by Soviet military commissions", "sometimes by top officers with large staffs".

Rather bizarre phenomena, at a time when Stalin had interdicted any move that might be taken as a “provocation” by the Germans.
Harrison E. Salisbury (The 900 Days, pages 90-92)
[…]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.

[…]

Colonel-General M.P. Kirponos, the Kiev commander, ordered some of his troops to occupy sections of the frontier fortifications which had not yet been completed. This move had hardly started when the Chief of Staff, General Zhukov, telegraphed peremptory orders from Moscow: “The chief of NKVD border troops reports the chief of the fortified region has received orders to occupy the forward works. Such action may quickly provoke the Germans to armed clash with serious consequences. You are ordered to revoke it immediately and report specifically who ordered such an arbitrary disposition.” According to one version, this intervention was directly inspired by Police Chief Beria.[…]

___________________________________________________________________________
Whence does Hoffmann draw his conclusion that the OKW’s interpretation of detected Soviet measures for the eventuality of war breaking out was accurate?

Here’s what those “preparations for extensive bombing attacks on the German Reich” (I didn’t know the Soviets even had a significant force of long-range bombers) looked like in the eyes of the Soviet High Command:
Harrison E. Salisbury (The 900 Days, page 98
[…]The chiefs of the Soviet air force and the air construction industry were hastily summoned to the Kremlin in early June and denounced for failure to develop a system of camouflaging Soviet planes. Stalin had learned, through a letter from an aviator, that air force planes along the Western border were parked in parade formation at the airdromes, gleaming in aluminum, beautiful targets for attack. No one had ever given the question of camouflage the slightest thought. The Air Construction Commissariat was ordered to come forward with a comprehensive plan for camouflage within three days. The plan was submitted in early June but had not been carried out, except in part, by the time the attack started.



Page 4.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 048#p88048
Roberto:
In his book ‘The Icebreaker. Hitler in Stalin’s Calculus’ “Suvorov” even gives the date of Stalin’s assault: 6 July 1941. The fact that reviewers in the German press manifested themselves impressed by the ‘Icebreaker’, however, has to do only with the widespread demand for apologetic literature and not at all with the quality of the writing. For 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. All that “Suvorov” does is to arbitrarily declare the dislocation of the Red Army in the spring of 1941 to have been a marching-up for a preventive strike, and the few citations from memoirs of Soviet military men that he tries to support this act of arbitrariness with are revealed by examination as shameless forgeries of the original texts.

I translated the above from an article by Hermann Graml published in Wolfgang Benz et al, Legenden, Lügen, Vorurteile, 12th edition 2002 by dtv Munich, page 194.

That the USSR was better prepared for war than the Nazis thought is not exactly a spectacular new discovery, by the way. The Germans came to realize that soon after they started their attack.

Starinov
"The hitlerite leaders stroke with a preventive attack exactly two weeks before the planned action of our troops"

Source: Army General S. Ivanov, Naczalnii Period voiny, 1974, page 212.
Translation is mine

June 22nd plus 14-15 days gives.... July 6th-7th 1941.

Roberto:
Wonderful.

Assuming you quoted Mr. Ivanov directly and not after "Suvorov", what exactly was he doing in 1941, and to what extent - if at all - was he involved in or knew about Soviet high command planning?

And what else - if anything - does the fellow tell us about this "planned action of our troops" ?

And whence does he derive the conclusion that the "hitlerite leaders" had prevention on their minds?

Starinov
In 1941, he was the chief of the operational section of the staff of the 13th army. He became later chief of staff of the Voronezh Front with the rank of Lt-General to finally end his career as the commander of the Academy of the Genral Staff of the Soviet Army with the rank of Army General.

His book "Naczalnii Period Voiny' (Initial Stages of War) is a complete study of the that period of war... Since he was highly placed in the General Staff, he could write his study...

Michael MIlls
It may be that Viktor Rezun alias Suvorov has used Ivanov as a source, and quoted him.

But why should he not do that? All historians base their conclusions on sources. And if Rezun/Suvorov has used Ivanov as a source, that demolishes the claim of his leftist detractors that he simply made everything up.

If Roberto thinks that Rezun/Suvorov may have misused information from Ivanov's book, then it is incumbent on him to prove it. So far, all he has done is quote a claim from Graml that Rezun/Suvorov "forged" sources, but has not quoted any material from Graml (or anyone else) that would back up that claim.

The date 6 July 1941 also occurs in Hoffmann's book, in the following context (page 83):

Furthermore, what did the Politburo of the Central Committee mean, according to point 183 of Protocol No. 33 in its meeting of June 4, 1941, when it made the decision to fix July 1 as the date of "the establishment of an Infantry Division consisting of personnel of Polish nationality and Polish language in units of the Red Army"? In Boris Sokolov's opinion, the arguments in favor of a "Soviet attack upon Germany on July 6, 1941" thus acquire "the status of a scientific certainty".
[Source: Boris Sokolov, "Pochval'noe slovo Viktoru Suvorovu i epitafia katynskim poliakam" {= A panegyric to Victor Suvorov and an epitaph for the Poles of Katyn} in: Nezavisimaia Gazeta, 5.4.1994].



It should be noted the "Nezavisimaia gazeta" is a respected, independent Russian newspaper (that is what its name means), that was set up in opposition to Government media left over from the Soviet era.

Roberto
Starinov
In 1941, he was the chief of the operational section of the staff of the 13th army. He became later chief of staff of the Voronezh Front with the rank of Lt-General to finally end his career as the commander of the Academy of the Genral Staff of the Soviet Army with the rank of Army General.

His book "Naczalnii Period Voiny' (Initial Stages of War) is a complete study of the that period of war... Since he was highly placed in the General Staff, he could write his study...

Now to my other questions:

And what else - if anything - does the fellow tell us about this "planned action of our troops" ?

And whence does he derive the conclusion that the "hitlerite leaders" had prevention on their minds?

Michael Mills
In the case of German planning, which is better known from captured documents, Hitler's original decision of July 1940 to start contingency planning ofr a war against the Soviet Union was definitely preventive; that is, he saw the Soviet Union as a potential ally of Britain, and a factor that kept Britain fighting, and therefore elimination of the Soviet Union by an attack would prevent its later entering the war on the side of Britain, when Germany had been weakened.

Once the planning had commenced, the conquest-related elements entered the picture, ie the planning to exploit Soviet resources. But Hitler did not tell his generals to start planning war on the Soviet Union in order to grab land; he told them to start planning to prevent it becoming a future threat as Britain's last support.

Roberto:
What the “leftist detractors” are saying is that Suvorov offers no conclusive proof in support of his thesis.

And that is so whether or not he correctly or incorrectly quotes the memoirs of one or the other former Soviet general.

The not necessarily unequivocal single-sentence statements of such memoir writers can hardly be deemed sufficient as proof of Suvorov’s theses without knowledge of the context in which they were made and of further details provided by these authors.

Which is why I asked Starinov to tell us more about Ivanov’s writings.
Michael Mills
So far, all he has done is quote a claim from Graml that Rezun/Suvorov "forged" sources, but has not quoted any material from Graml (or anyone else) that would back up that claim.

Well, I see no reason to assume that a renowned scholar like Graml sucks such accusations out of his thumbs, as Mills seems wont to do.

I might now add as an example a demonstration of Suvorov’s misrepresentation of the utterances of Soviet general Vassilevsky that I found in an online forum discussion under

http://www.nfhdata.de/premium/forum_index.html

But first I’ll wait for the further details from Ivanov’s book that Starinov will certainly be glad to give us, assuming that he has read Ivanov’s book itself and not relied on Suvorov’s rendering of Ivanov’s utterances.
__________________________________________________________________________________

Hoffman:
"Furthermore, what did the Politburo of the Central Committee mean, according to point 183 of Protocol No. 33 in its meeting of June 4, 1941, when it made the decision to fix July 1 as the date of "the establishment of an Infantry Division consisting of personnel of Polish nationality and Polish language in units of the Red Army"? In Boris Sokolov's opinion, the arguments in favor of a "Soviet attack upon Germany on July 6, 1941" thus acquire "the status of a scientific certainty".
[Source: Boris Sokolov, "Pochval'noe slovo Viktoru Suvorovu i epitafia katynskim poliakam" {= A panegyric to Victor Suvorov and an epitaph for the Poles of Katyn} in: Nezavisimaia Gazeta, 5.4.1994]."


Let’s see if I got this right: Is Hoffmann basing his conclusion that the Soviets planned to attack on 6 July 1941 on nothing other than the intention to create an infantry division made up of Polish nationals?

Lack of evidence seems to be the mother of speculation just as need is the mother of invention.

Roberto
Michael Mills
Roberto has posted material showing that Hitler ordered the German General Staff to begin planning for an invasion of the Soviet Union as early as July 1940. Was that an indication that Germany definitely intended to invade, or was Hitler simply ordering a contingency plan to cover a particular eventuality, for example if the war against Britain was not concluded and the Soviet Union began to draw closer to it?

Readers may have a look at the assessments I referred to and judge for themselves:

William Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, New York 1960, pages 795 and following)

It is clear from his acts and from the secret German papers that though Stalin was out to get all he could in Eastern Europe while the Germans were tied down in the West, he did not wish or contemplate a break with Hitler.
Toward the end of June [1940] Churchill had tried to warn Stalin in a personal letter of the danger of the German conquests to Russia as well as to Britain. The Soviet dictator did not bother to answer; probably, like everyone else, he thought Britain was finished. So he tattled to the Germans what the British government was up to. Sir Stafford Cripps, a left-wing Labor Party leader, whom the Prime Minister had rushed to Moscow as the new British ambassador in the hope of striking a more responsive chord among the Bolsheviks - a forlorn hope, as he later ruefully admitted - was received by Stalin early in July in an interview that Churchill described as “formal and rigid.” On July 13 Molotov, on Stalin’s instructions, handed the German ambassador a written memorandum of his confidential conversation.
It is an interesting document. It reveals, as no other source does, the severe limitations of the Soviet dicator in his cold calculations of foreign affairs. Schulenburg sped it to Berlin “most urgent” and, of course, “secret”, and Ribbentrop was so grateful for its contents that he told the Soviet government he “greatly appreciated this information”. Cripps had pressed Stalin, the memorandum said, for his attitude on this principal question, among others:

The British government was convinced that Germany was striving for hegemony in Europe . . . This was dangerous to the Soviet Union as well as England. Therefore both countries ought to agree on a common policy of self-protection against Germany and on the re-establishment of the European balance of power ...

Stalin’s answers are given as follows:

He did not see any danger of the hegemony of any one country in Europe and still less any danger that Europe might be engulfed by Germany. Stalin observed the policy of Germany, and knew several leading German statesmen well. He had not discovered any desire on their part to engulf European countries. Stalin was not of the opinion that German military successes menaced the Soviet Union and her friendly relations with Germany ...

Such staggering smugness, such abysmal ignorance leave one breathless. The Russian tyrant did not know, of course, the secrets of Hitler’s turgid mind, but the Führer’s past behavior, his known ambitions and the unexpectedly rapid Nazi conquests ought to have been enough to warn him of the dire danger the Soviet Union was now in. But, incomprehensibly, they were not enough.

From the captured Nazi documents and from the testimony of many leading German figures in the great drama that was being played over the vast expanse of Western Europe that year, it is plain that at the very moment of Stalin’s monumental complacency Hitler had in fact been mulling over in his mind the idea of turning on the Soviet Union and destroying her.

The basic idea went back much further, at least fifteen years - to Mein Kampf.

And so we National Socialists [Hitler wrote] take up where we broke off six hundred years ago. We stop the endless German movement toward the south and west of Europe and turn our gaze toward the lands of the East ... when we speak of new territory in Europe today we must think principally of Russia and her border vassal states. Destiny itself seems to wish to point our the way to us here ... This colossal empire in the East is ripe for dissolution, and the end of the Jewish domination in Russia will also be the end of Russia as a state.

This idea lay like bedrock in Hitler’s mind, and his pact with Stalin had not changed it at all, but merely postponed acting on it. And but briefly. In fact, less than two months after the deal was signed and had been utilized to destroy Poland, the Führer instructed the Army that the conquered Polish territory was to be regarded “as an assembly area for future German operations.” The date was October 18, 1939, and Halder recorded that day in his diary.
Five weeks later, on November 22, when he harangued his reluctant generals about attacking in the West, Russia was by no means out of his mind. “We can oppose Russia,” he declared, “only when we are free in the West.”
At that time the two-front war, the nightmare of German generals for a century, was very much on Hitler’s mind, and he spoke of it at length on this occasion. He would not repeat the mistake of former German rulers; he could continue to see to it that the Army had one front at a time.
It was only natural, then, that with the fall of France, the chasing of the British Army across the Channel and the prospects of Britain’s imminent collapse, Hitler’s thoughts should turn once again to Russia. For he now supposed himself to be free in the West and thereby to have achieved the one condition he had laid down in order to be in a position to “oppose Russia.” the rapidity with which Stalin seized the Baltic States and the two Romanian provinces in June spurred Hitler to a decision.
The moment of its making can now be traced. Jodl says that the “fundamental decision” was taken “as far back as during the Western Campaign.” Colonel Walter Warlimont, Jodl’s deputy at OKW, remembered that on July 29 Jodl announced at a meeting of Operations Staff officers that “Hitler intended to attack the U.S.S.R. in the spring of 1941.” Sometime previous to this meeting, Jodl related, Hitler had told Keitel “that he intended to launch the attack against the U.S.S.R. during the fall of 1940.” But this was too much even for Keitel and he had argued Hitler out of it by contending that not only the bad weather in the autumn but the difficulties of transferring the bulk of the Army from the West to the East made it impossible. By the time of this conference on July 29, Warlimont relates, “the date for the intended attack [against Russia] had been moved back to the spring of 1941.”
Only a week before, we know from Halder’s diary, the Führer had still held to a possible campaign in Russia for the autumn if Britain were not invaded. At a military conference in Berlin on July 21 he told Brauchitsch to get busy on the preparations for it.
That the Army Commander in Chief had already given the problem some thought - but not enough thought - is evident from his response to Hitler. Brauchitsch told the Leader that the campaign “would last four to six weeks” and that the aim would be “to defeat the Russian Army or at least to occupy enough Russian territory so that Soviet bombers could not reach Berlin or the Silesian industrial area while, on the other hand, the Luftwaffe bombers could reach all important objectives in the Soviet Union.” Brauchitsch thought that from eighty to a hundred German divisions could do the job; he assessed Russian strength at “fifty to seventy-five good divisions.” Halder’s notes on what Brauchitsch told him of the meeting show that Hitler had been stung by Stalin’s grabs in the East, that he thought the Soviet dictator was “coquetting with England” in order to encourage her to hold out, but that he had seen no signs that Russia was preparing to enter the war against Germany.
At a further conference at the Berghof on the last day of July 1940, the receding prospects of an invasion of Britain prompted Hitler to announce for the first time to his Army chiefs his decision on Russia. Halder was personally present this time and jotted down his shorthand notes of exactly what the warlord said. They reveal not only that Hitler had made a definite decision to attack Russia in the following spring but that he had already worked out in his mind the major strategic aims.

Britain’s hope [Hitler said] lies in Russia and America. If that hope in Russia is destroyed then it will be destroyed for America too because elimination of Russia will enormously increase Japan’s power in the Far East.

The more he thought of it the more convinced he was, Hitler said, that Britain’s stubborn determination to continue the war was due to its counting on the Soviet Union.

Something strange [he explained] has happened in Britain! The British were already completely down. Now they are back on their feet. Intercepted conversations. Russia unpleasantly disturbed by the swift development in Western Europe.
Russia needs only to hint to England that she does not wish to see Germany too strong and the English, like a drowning man, will regain hope that the situation in six to eight months will have completely changed.
But if Russia is smashed, Britain’s last hope will be shattered. Then Germany will be master of Europe and the Balkans.
Decision: In view of these considerations Russia must be liquidated. Spring, 1941.
The sooner Russia is smashed, the better.


The Nazi warlord then elaborated on his strategic plans which, it was obvious to the generals, had been ripening in his mind for some time despite all his preoccupations with the fighting in the West. The operation, he said, would be worth carrying out only if its aim was to shatter the Soviet nation in one great blow. Conquering a lot of Russian territory would not be enough. “Wiping out the very power to exist of Russia! That is the goal!” Hitler emphasized. There would be two initial drives: one in the south to Kiev and the Dnieper River, the second in the north up through the Baltic States and then toward Moscow. There the two armies would make a junction. After that a special operation, if necessary, to secure the Baku oil fields. The very thought of such new conquests excited Hitler; he already had in his mind what he would do with them. He would annex outright, he said, the Ukraine, White Russia and the Baltic States and extend Finland’s territory to the White Sea. For the whole operation he would allot 120 divisions, keeping sixty divisions for the defense of the West and Scandinavia. The attack, he laid it down, would begin in May 1941 and would take five months to carry through. It would be finished by winter. He would have preferred, he said, to do it this year but this had not proved possible.

The next day, August 1, Halder went to work on the plans with his General Staff. Though he would later claim to have opposed the whole idea of an attack on Russia as insane, his diary entry for this day discloses him full of enthusiasm as he applied himself to the challenging new task.
Planning now went ahead with typical German thoroughness on three levels: that of the Army General Staff, of Warlimont’s Operations Staff at OKW, of General Thomas’ Economic and Armaments Branch of OKW. Thomas was instructed on August 14 by Göring that Hitler desired deliveries of ordered goods to the Russians “only till spring of 1941.” In the meantime his office was to make a detailed survey of Soviet industry, transportation and oil centers both as a guide to targets and later on as an aid for administering Russia.
A few days before, on August 9, Warlimont had got out his first directive for preparing the deployment areas in the East for the jump-off against the Russians. On August 26, Hitler ordered ten infantry and two armored divisions to be sent from the West to Poland. The panzer units, he stipulated, were to be concentrated in southeastern Poland so that they could intervene to protect the Romanian oil fields. The transfer of large bodies of troops to the East could not be done without exciting Stalin’s easily aroused suspicions if he learned of it, and the Germans went to great lengths to see that he didn’t. Since some movements were bound to be detected, General Ernst Köstring, the German military attaché in Moscow, was instructed to inform the Soviet General Staff that it was merely a question of replacing older men, who were being released to industry, by younger men. On September 6, Jodl got out a directive outlining in considerable detail the means of camouflage and deception. “These regroupings,” he laid it down, “must not create the impression in Russia that we are preparing an offensive in the East.”
So that the armed services should not rest on their laurels after the great victories of the summer, Hitler issued on November 12, 1940, a comprehensive top-secret directive outlining military tasks all over Europe and beyond. We shall come back to some of them. What concerns us here is that portion dealing with the Soviet Union.

Political discussions have been initiated with the aim of clarifying Russia’s attitude for the time being. Irrespective of the results of these discussions, all preparations for the East which have already been verbally ordered will be continued. Instructions on this will follow, as soon as the general outline of the Army’s operation plans have been submitted to, and approved by, me.

As a matter of fact, on that very day, November 12, Molotov arrived in Berlin to continue with Hitler himself those political discussions.

Emphases are mine.
Richard Overy (Russia's War, Penguin Books 1998, pages 61 and following)
The sudden expansion of Soviet territory westward, although conceded in principle in 1939, produced fresh anxieties in Berlin. The Soviet-Finnish war had left Germany in a difficult position, for her sympathies were with the Finns. After the end of the war German troops were stationed in Finland. The deliveries of machinery and weapons to the Soviet Union agreed upon in the pact were slow and irregular, in sharp contrast with the scrupulous provision by the Soviet side of materials and food. Despite constant Soviet complaints, the German suppliers dragged their heels whenever they could rather than allow the latest technology fall into Russian hands. From Hitler’s point of view the most unfortunate consequence of the pact was the rapid forward deployment of the Red Army in Eastern Europe. He was embroiled in a major war, which he had not wanted and which the pact had been supposed to avert. Now, instead of a powerful Germany dominating Eastern and Central Europe following Poland’s defeat, Germany was engaged in an unpredictable war against the British Empire, while the Soviet Union was free to extend its influence unchecked. The occupation of Bessarabia was a final blow. A few weeks later Goebbels wrote in his diary: ‘Perhaps we shall be forced to take steps against all this, despite everything, and drive this Asiatic spirit back out of Europe and into Asia, where it belongs.’
Hitler had anticipated him. On July 3 [1940],instructions were issued to the German armed forces, under the code name ‘Fritz’, to begin preliminary studies for an operation against the Soviet Union. At first the army believed that Hitler wanted to inflict only a local defeat on Soviet forces so as to push back the frontier between them and force Stalin to recognize ‘Germany’s dominant position in Europe’. The army told Hitler on July 21 that a limited campaign could be launched in four to six weeks. But Hitler’s ideas, which had at first been uncertain, hardened over the course of the month, as a stream of intelligence information came in showing how Soviet diplomats were now pushing into the Balkans in their efforts to spread Soviet influence. When Hitler’s Operations Chief, General Alfred Jodl, called together his senior colleagues on July 29, he had the most startling news. After making sure that every door and window in the conference room aboard a specially converted train was tightly sealed, he announced that Hitler had decided to rid the world ‘once and for all’ of the Soviet menace by a surprise attack scheduled for May 1941.
[….]
There can be no doubt that practical strategic issues did push Hitler towards the most radical of military solutions. But a great war in the East had always been part of his thinking. Here was the real stuff of Lebensraum – living space. Hitler’s plans assumed fantastic proportions. By August he had decided to seize the whole vast area stretching from Archangel to Astrakhan (the ‘A-A Line’) and to populate it with fortified garrison cities, keeping the population under the permanent control of the master race, while a rump Asian state beyond the Urals, the Slavlands, would accommodate the rest of the Soviet people. Planning moved forward on this basis. By the spring of 1941 comprehensive programmes for the racial, political and economic exploitation of the new empire had been drawn up. ‘Russia’, Hitler is reported as saying, ‘will be our India!’.
[…]



Page 5.
Roberto
Starinov
Do you have a link for that forum?


I already gave it in my last post:

http://www.nfhdata.de/premium/forum_index.html

There's a post about Suvorov's misrepresentation of general Vassilevsky (no. 19) and another about his misrepresentation of one Pjotr Grigorenko (no. 20).

All posts are in German, of course. If you care for a translation into English, let me know.

Roberto
On a discussion forum under

http://www.nfhdata.de/premium/forum_index.html

Wigbert Benz (a German historian) wrote the following in post no. 19 on the thread "Zur These vom Praeventivkrieg im Osten" (my translation):
In his book “The Icebreaker” the leading proponent of the preventive war thesis, Viktor Suvorov, makes the memoirs of top-ranking Soviet military men – especially general Vasilevskij – into depositions of “key witnesses” for an allegedly imminent attack by the Red Army in the summer of 1941. In fact Suvorov’s quotes are shown by critical examination to be impudent misrepresentations of the original texts, as will be shown in the following on hand of the example of a deposition by general Vasilevskij central for Suvorov’s “proof”, by comparing Suvorov’s citation with the original.
For the indication of the following source on Vassilevky, which I will set against Suvorov’s citation, I thank Mrs. Prof. Dr. Bianka Pietrow-Ennker, Eastern Europe Historian at Konstanz University; for the translation of the original source I thank Mr. Oskar Obracaj, Tübingen.
- General Vasilevskij twice (Suvorov and original) -
1. Vasilevskij according to Suvorov:
“The central question of my book is the following: If the Red Army could neither turn back nor spend a long time in the frontier regions, what room for maneuver was left to it? (...) All Communist historians are afraid to answer this question.
For this reason I refer to the opinion of a general who since May 1940 has been the Deputy of the Head of Operational Leadership at the General Staff (…), Marshall of the Soviet Union A.M. Vasilevskij, you have the word:
‘The concern that in the West they might make noise on account of the allegedly aggressive intentions of the USSR had to be pushed aside. We had (...; omission by Suvorov. W.B.) reached the Rubikon of war, and the step forward had to be made with firm intention.’ (Military History Review, 1978, No. 2, p.68 ).“
(from: Viktor Suvorov: The Icebreaker. Hitler in Stalin’s Calculus. Stuttgart 1989, p.339)
What is it that general Vasilevskij actually says on page 68 of the Soviet Military History Review named by Suvorov as a source?
2. Vasilevskij in the original:
“By refusing to put the troops in the frontier zone into a state of battle readiness Stalin wanted to avoid giving the slightest pretext for Hitler’s Germany to fell provoked and accuse the USSR of aggressiveness. At the same time, and considering the fact that our country was not yet sufficiently prepared for a great war, he endeavored to gain time in order to strengthen the state’s defense capacity as much as possible (...)
But his fault lay in that he did not see, not realize the line beyond which such a policy was not only unnecessary but even harmful. It would have been necessary to bravely cross that line, to put the armed forces into a state of combat readiness as soon as possible, to carry out mobilization, to convert the country into an armed camp (...)
Evidence that Germany had made preparations to assault our country militarily there were enough; in our time it is difficult to hide such preparations. Concerns that there might be noise in the West on account of alleged aggressive intentions of the USSR had to be pushed aside. We had, because of circumstances not depending on us, reached the Rubikon of war, and it was necessary to make a decisive step forward. The interests of our homeland demanded it.”
Source: A. Vasilevskij: V te surovye gody. In: Voenno-istoriceskij zurnal, 2 (1978), p.65-72, here S.68 (= A. Vasilevskij: In those hard years. In: Militäry History Review 2 (1978), p.68 ). – Source pointed out by Mrs. Prof. Bianka Pietrow-Ennker, University of Konstanz; translation from Russian: Mr. Oskar Obracaj, Tübingen)
Conclusion: The meaning of the statements made by General Vasilevskij in the original is grotesquely distorted through Suvorov’s introduction, way of quotation and manipulative omissions.[…]

Starinov
Hmmm
Similar but not the same...

Roberto:
On a discussion forum under

http://www.nfhdata.de/premium/forum_index.html

Albrecht Kolthoff wrote the following in post no. 20 of the thread "Zur These vom Praeventivkrieg im Osten" (my translation):

]A further “key witness” of Suvorov is Pjotr Grigorenko, who in the "Icebreaker" on page 406 Suvorov lets introduce a chapter ("How Hitler foiled Stalin’s War") as follows:
"They had completely prepared us for a war of aggression. And it was not our fault that the aggression had not come from us."
The source given is the following: "General Major P.G. Grigorenko, Im Keller trifft man nur Ratten (‘In the Basement you only meet Rats’), p. 138".
In the context this citation is obviously meant to be related to the situation in 1941.
In this respect it should first be pointed out that Grigorenko was transferred to the Western Front only in 1943; until then he served with the Far East troops. Furthermore Grigorenko held the rank of a First Lieutenant during almost the entire period of the war.
In the annex the source is stated to be a Russian edition that appeared in New York in 1981; a German edition appeared in 1961 under the title "Erinnerungen" (“Memoirs”).
Of course it is possible that in the translation of the original Russian edition of the “Icebreaker" into German deviations also of this quotation may have happened; at any rate the German edition of Grigorenko’s “Memoirs” was not taken into account.
Neither is the citation to be found in this form in the "Memoirs".
A similar passage appears in the following form:
"As we grew up in such an atmosphere, we of cause saw ourselves as soldiers in an upcoming war, saw the peaceful phase in which we lived as the last stage in which the conflict was gathering. War propaganda, always in the name of defense of the country, acquired an ever harsher tone; since the beginning of the 1930s the military striking power was constantly increased. We were also convinced that the Party would from one moment to the next call upon us for the “final decisive battle”. Only it was not then our fault that the attack did not come from our side. Prepared for this we were at any moment, but the leadership turned out to be incapable of taking advantage of this basic mood in the whole army. On the contrary: it neutralized our military preparedness by violently destroying the army’s best cadres." (p. 110)
Grigorenko was speaking of the time when he had just become a soldier and was studying at the Military Technological Academy in Leningrad – in the autumn of 1931. He does not say anything about a “war of aggression". Contrary to the Suvorovian “us”, which meant the Soviet Union as a whole, it becomes clear that Grigorenko’s “us” referred to the young soldiers, whose preparedness and attitude he holds against the military leadership.
A few pages later, in connection with the border clashes at Khalkin-Gol with Japan in 1939, Grigorenko explicitly writes the following:
"Already then we, all freshly baked general staff officers, understood that our gigantic empire was completely unprepared for a war." (p. 189)
Nothing there about an army "completely prepared for a war of aggression”, that is.
In an even more detailed manner Grigorenko addressed the questions of the Red Army’s deficient preparation in a long article he wrote in 1966 in the context of the Nekrich Affair. Alexander Nekrich had in 1965 published a book in Moscow that analyzed the Red Army’s defeat in the days after 22 June 1941 and in the sequence of the XXth Party Congress of the Soviet Communist Party established that Stalin was not only responsible, but also heavily guilty of the combat inefficiency of the Red Army. Nekrich was harshly attacked and later excluded from the party; Grigorenko, who defended him and even intensified his statements, was later deprived of citizenship during a trip abroad. Both Nekrich’s book and Grigorenko’s essay as well as other material from the affair (for example the protocol of an extremely controversial discussion at the Institute for Marxism-Leninism at the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party) are included in the recommendable volume “Genickschuß” (“Shot in the Neck”), which furthermore offers a fascinating insight into the “thaw weather period” and the end thereof.
Conclusion: Also here Suvorov comes across as a forger who partially invents a citation, tears it out of its context and conveys the opposite of the general message that the person cited intended to convey.[…]

Starinov
Grigorenko according to Suvorov wrote:
They had completely prepared us for a war of aggression. And it was not our fault that the aggression had not come from us.

Grigorenko according to his own memoirs wrote:
We were also convinced that the Party would from one moment to the next call upon us for the “final decisive battle”. Only it was not then our fault that the attack did not come from our side.

Both sentences are very similar in sense. The only difference that Suvorov says openly about a war of aggression while Grigorenko talks about a "final decisive battle". Don't forget that the soviet propaganda was telling people for years that a war against the capitalists is coming since they all want to start a war against USSR. Soviet people should be prepared for any circumstances, etc, etc.

Also, According to the article cited by Roberto above, Grigorenko states that the RKKA was not prepared for any actions at Khalkin-Gol. However, according to Colonel David M. Glantz in his book "When Titans Clashed" (page 14)
David M. Glantz wrote:
Khalkin-Gol demonstrated the vialibilty of Soviet theory and force structure.

It proved the RKKA's force so well that the Japanese started to search for another enemy knowing that the USSR is too powerful for them. I, personnaly, consider that Grigorenko was wrong on that one... My point is that Grigorenko could not be right about everything since he was a lieutenant in the first stages of the war.

Roberto
Starinov
Both sentences are very similar in sense. The only difference that Suvorov says openly about a war of aggression while Grigorenko talks about a "final decisive battle".

No. The main difference is that Grigorenko is talking about himself and his bellicose fellow cadets in 1931 whose willingness to go into battle the military leadership would not take advantage of, whereas Suvorov makes it look as if "us" meant the Soviet Union and its armed forces in general, and that in 1941.
Starinov
Don't forget that the soviet propaganda was telling people for years that a war against the capitalists is coming since they all want to start a war against USSR. Soviet people should be prepared for any circumstances, etc, etc.

That may be so, but Grigorenko was referring only to himself and his fellow cadets in 1931, as opposed to a military leadership that

"...neutralized our military preparedness by violently destroying the army’s best cadres."

Starinov
Also, According to the article cited by Roberto above, Grigorenko states that the RKKA was not prepared for any actions at Khalkin-Gol.

Even if wrong, it would still be Grigorenko's statement. But he is not stating that the Soviet Army was not prepared for any actions at Khalkin-Gol. He states ("in connection with the border clashes at Khalkin-Gol", according to Kolthoff) that

"Already then we, all freshly baked general staff officers, understood that our gigantic empire was completely unprepared for a war"

Starinov
However, according to Colonel David M. Glantz in his book "When Titans Clashed" (page 14)

"Khalkin-Gol demonstrated the vialibilty of Soviet theory and force structure."

Which does not invalidate the existence of severe shortcomings in the Soviet armed forces, which the same author points out in Stumbling Colossus:

Germany's surprise attack on June 22, 1941, shocked a Soviet Union woefully unprepared to defend itself. The day before the attack, the Red Army still comprised the world's largest fighting force. But by the end of the year, four and a half million of its soldiers lay dead. This new study, based on formerly classified Soviet archival material and neglected German sources, reveals the truth behind this national catastrophe.
Drawing on evidence never before seen in the West, including combat records of early engagements, David Glantz claims that in 1941 the Red Army was poorly trained, inadequately equipped, ineptly organized, and consequently incapable of engaging in large-scale military campaigns--and both Hitler and Stalin knew it. He provides a complete and convincing study of why the Soviets almost lost the war that summer, dispelling many of the myths about the Red Army that have persisted since the war and soundly refuting Viktor Suvorov's controversial thesis that Stalin was planning a preemptive strike against Germany.

Stumbling Colossus describes the Red Army's command leadership, mobilization and war planning, intelligence activities, and active and reserve combat formations. It includes the first complete order of battle of Soviet forces on the eve of the German attack, documents the strength of Soviet armored forces during the war's initial period, and reproduces for the first time available texts of Soviet war plans. It also provides biographical sketches of Soviet officers and tells how Stalin's purges of the late 1930s left the Red Army leadership almost decimated.

At a time when the war in eastern Europe is being blamed on a fallen regime, Glantz's book sets the record straight on the Soviet Union's readiness, as well as its willingness, to fight. Boasting an extensive bibliography of Soviet and German sources, Stumbling Colossus is a convincing study that overshadows recent revisionist history and one that no student of World War II can ignore.

This book is part of the Modern War Studies series.

From the Amazon review under
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... ce&s=books
Starinov
It proved the RKKA's force so well that the Japanese started to search for another enemy knowing that the USSR is too powerful for them. I, personnaly, consider that Grigorenko was wrong on that one... My point is that Grigorenko could not be right about everything since he was a lieutenant in the first stages of the war...

The issue here is not whether Grigorenko's assessment was right or wrong.

The issue is that Suvorov misrepresented his statements and what this tells us about the man's integrity and his reliability as a writer of history.

I wouldn't go out of my way to defend the fellow, if I were you. It seems there are better Russian historians you may refer to, such as Vladimir A. Nieviezhin, whose book about Soviet propaganda promises to be quite interesting according to the review you posted under

http://thirdreichforum.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=6305

What is the source of that review, by the way?

Well, that would certainly seem to throw an article such as this
http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n6p22_Bishop.html
into disrepute, given what has been shown about the liberties Suvoror has taken with certain primary sources.

Page 6.
Roberto
Mills completely overlooked the context of my citation of the review of Glantz's book, which was meant to show Starinov that the same Glantz who Starinov cites in support of his contention that Soviet troops had shown their preparedness at Khalkin Gol obviously identified severe shortcomings hampering the Red Army's military performance in 1941.
________________________________________________________________________________
Whether Glantz really achieved in his book what the review says he achieved is another question, although it would not be surprising that he so did given Suvorov’s inability to put legs under his contentions.

Starinov
I re-read parts of Ivanov's memoirs and what the General said was altered by Suvorov. In the original, Ivanov said that the Germans were faster in bringing their troops to combat readiness by two weeks but there is no mention of an attack.

I apologize for using that source before....

Roberto
No Problem.

This to me is all a clear indication of the flawed nature of Hoffman's book which is lacking critical documentation from primary sources he claims to have seen or is just summarizing in his own way and expecting us to take his word for it. And if Suvorov is altering primary sources, that does not look good for him either, I'm afraid.
Roberto:
Stalin was neither innocent nor peace-loving, he just knew that his country was not prepared for waging war against Germany.

As to what else Stalin knew and did, evidence suggests that he did what he could to avoid any provocation, as a matter of fact.

And as to the SU’s being unprepared,
Richard Overy (Russia’s War, page 64
[…]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.[…]

neugierig wrote:
Topitsch refers to a speech Stalin gave in front of some graduates of a military academy, on May 5, 1941. Next day "Prawda", in a short article titled: "We have to be prepared for any eventuality" (my rough translation) mentions the speech and that Stalin told the graduates that: "....because of the necessities of modern warfare, the army has been modernized and equipped accordingly....." There are, according to Topitsch, different versions of this speech, but Stalin supposedly stated that war was inevitable, it would start no later than 1942, and that, if need be, the SU would have to take the initiative.

I have the following on this famous speech:
Richard Overy (Russia's War, page 69
It is also true that Stalin and other military leaders stressed that the Red Army was an offensive force. On May 5 Stalin spoke publicly about the Soviet military: ‘The Red Army is a modern army, and a modern army is an offensive army’. This, too, has been taken as evidence of malign intent. Yet it is entirely consistent with the Soviet view of fighting dating from the 1920s. Defense was regarded neither as an acceptable option for a revolutionary state, nor as militarily desirable. Stalin said nothing that had not been said a hundred times before.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
As to Stalin, the available evidence to his behavior suggests that, rather than trying to get Germany to attack (something he didn't have to do for, as we have seen, Hitler had been preparing the attack already before the Molotov visit) he did what he could to appease Germany and to avoid any provocation, trying to delay as much as possible an attack that he knew his armed forces were not prepared for.

This is how German military intelligence of the Wehrmachtsabteilung Fremde Heere Ost saw the situation, for instance:
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)



I will certainly not be paying for Hoffman's book. Nor would I consider paying for Survov's "Icebreaker" book. If there were for free, maybe I would take them.
Last edited by Werd on Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Werd
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 1093
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 2:23 am

Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Werd » 5 years 9 months ago (Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:41 am)

So what are the opinions of the readers and posters on here regarding the discussion on that German forum that Roberto gave translations for that Suvorov was taking liberties with what was written in certain diaries of ex Russian military men? I say that is very problematic for Suvorov's credibility. But those are the only two instances that Roberto could come up with. Are those perhaps accidents in some way? What explanation could there be? Or is Suvorov possibly correct, but just for other reasons? Or maybe right about Stalin but for the wrong ones?

Russian and German Historians Debate Barbarossa and Its Aftermath
By Daniel Michaels
http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v20/v20n6p59_Michaels.html

Historian Details Stalin's Two-Year 'Mobilization' Plan for European Conquest
Der Tag M ("M Day"), by Viktor Suvorov (Vladimir B. Rezun). Translated from the Russian by Hans Jaeger. Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1995. Hardcover. 356 pages. Photos. Source references. Bibliography. Index.
Reviewed by Daniel W. Michaels
http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n6p28_Michaels.html

Exposing Stalin's Plan to Conquer Europe

Examining Stalin's 1941 Plan to Attack Germany

Revising the Twentieth Century's 'Perfect Storm'
Russian and German Historians Debate Barbarossa and Its Aftermath

"Stalin's Role in the Coming of World War II,"

"Stalin's Role in the Coming of World War II:
The International Debate Goes On,"

All posted at:
http://www.gnosticliberationfront.com/e ... m#exposing

Werd
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 1093
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 2:23 am

Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Werd » 5 years 9 months ago (Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:09 am)

Did the Soviet Union Plan to Attack Germany?
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 5&start=60
Michael Mills

The historiography of the German-Soviet War 1941-45 has unfortunately been coloured, on both sides of the discussion, by Cold War considerations.

Historians from the Right proceeded from the position that the Soviet Union had always, because of its Communist ideology, always been expansionist and a threat to Western Europe, and was still such a threat in the 1970s and 1980s, when they were writing their histories. Both Fabry and Topitsch are guilty of this, Topitsch moreso. Fabry ends his history with an implicit swipe at the Ostpolitik of Willi Brandt that had just begun at the time he produced his book, but apart from that one allusion to the situation at the time he was writing, his book is relatively free of bias. Although Topitsch covers much the same material as fabry, his work is far more ideological; his aim is to prove that the Soviet Union in the 1980s was pursuing the same expansionist policies in the 1980s as in the 1940s, when it had "used" Hitler as its unwitting instrument. For that reason I have never recommended the book by Topitsch, although I do recommend the book by Fabry, with due allowance for the ideological position from which he writes.

Historians of the Left proceeded from a position of opposition to the anti-Soviet policies pursued by the United States and its allies in the Cold War. They took the view that the Soviet Union was not expansionist, either in the present or in the past, and that its policies had always been defensive. Furthermore, they had a rather romantic view of the Soviet Union as the leader in the so-called "fight against Fascism". These view led them to deny that the Soviet Union had any expansionist tendencies in the 1940s, and to defend all the actual expansionist moves by the Soviet Union at that time, eg into Eastern Poland, the Baltic States, Finland and parts of Rumania, as essentially defensive, with the aim of setting up a protective belt for the coming "war against Fascism".

When reading works produced by historians either of the right or of the left, it is necessary to take account of their particular biases. Both sets of historians have a part of the truth, but not all of it. The truth about the lead-up to the German attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941 probably lies between the two extremes of the views expressed by Left and Right.

Mine own view is that the Soviet Union did pursue the expansionist aims of Tsarist Russia, reinforced by the ideological aims of Communism, but after the War it reverted to a policy of maintaining its east European gains rather than pursuing further expansion. I consider the view propagated by the United States in the 1980s of the Soviet Union as the "Empire of Evil" to be totally force. The Soviet Union had been "evil", under Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin, but then became simply corrupt and mediocre, not really a threat.

Leftist historians, whose views have obviously been accepted by Andy W, continually state that the concept of a German "preventive war" against the Soviet Union has been decisively refuted. In fact, what has been refuted is the claim that the Soviet Union was on the point of launching an invasion of Germany and German-occupied Europe in the summer of 1942. Examination of the actual moves made by the Soviet Union in the Spring of 1941 show that it could not have been preparing an advance into German-occupied POland and East Prussia at that time.

The mistake made by the Leftist historians is their claim that the refutation of the more extreme claims of defectors like "Suvorov" (real name Rezun) constitutes a refutation of any notion that the Soviet Union was pursuing an expansionist policy in the 1940s, and that it posed a very real threat to Germany in the near future, against which preventive measures had to be taken. In fact, the Leftist historians have not demonstrated conclusively that the Soviet Union had no expansionist plans, and that it was not discussing with Britain the possibility of its joining the war against Germany, with domination of Eastern Europe as its prize.


I am afraid the burden of proof does not work that way in philosophy. You can't demand someone prove a negative. If there is proof that the Soviet Union WAS discussing with Britain the possibility of joining with them against Germany at a certain time or place, that evidence needs to be put forward in a debate or textbook or whatever. It's just that when you demand someone prove a negative, you make yourself look foolish and ignorant of the proper rules of debate - socratic style.
The more moderate Rightist historians such as Fabry do not support the contention that Germany faced an imminent attack by the Soviet Union in 1941. In fact, Fabry states that Hitler lied when he claimed in his announcement of the invasion that he was countering such an imminent attack. Fabry also states that an attack on the Soviet Union was not Hitler's only option; he could have warded off any threat from the East by making a compromise peace with Britain based on relinquishing Germany's conquests in the West and retaining only the strictly ethnic German territories (whether in fact such an option really did exist is open to question).

Fabry's purpose is not to justify the German attack on the Soviet Union, but to explain it in strategic terms. His view is that the prime reason for the decision to attack was not ideological but strategic. Hitler was perfectly willing to accept the Soviet Union as a full ally within the Three-Power Pact of Germany, Italy and Japan, thereby forming a Euroasian Bloc that would be powerful enough to resist any blockade imposed by Britain and the United States. In doing so, Hitler was accepting the policies of Ribbentrop, based on the geopolitical theories of Haushofer, with a division of the world into spheres of influence.

According to Fabry, at the begining of 1941, Stalin believed that he faced three options:

1. Germany would attack Britain via a seaborne invasion. Since that would occupy all of Germany's forces, the Red Army could advance to the South-West and occupy Rumania, Bulgaria and the Straits without substantial opposition. From that position of strength, Stalin would be able to dictate terms to whichever side emerged victorious from the invasion of Britain.

It is noteworthy that once the Soviet Union had contained the German invasion by the end of 1942 and pushed German forces back to its western border by the end of 1943, it then spent the whole of 1944 conquering South-East Europe, Rumania, Bulgaria, a large part of Yugoslavia and eastern Hungary, before it began, at the beginning of 1945, its westward advance from the Vistula which delivered the knockout blow to Germany. It is highly likely that Stalin was following his original plan for occupation of the Balkans, followed by the invasion of Germany (if it did not simply surrender once its supply of oil had been cut off), which he intended to implement in 1942 at the earliest, or perhaps in 1943.

2. Germany would launch an attack on the southern Soviet Union with the aim of occupying Ukraine and the oilfields of the Caucasus and thereby bringing under its absolute control the resources which it needed for prosecuting the war against Britain (and potentially the United States) and for which at the time it was dependent on a less-then-reliable Soviet goodwill. In order to meet that possibility, Stalin concentrated the Red Army in the South, particularly its most modern weapons; that concentration also served the purpose of moving into Rumania if Option 1 eventuated.

However, the concentration of Soviet forces in the South enabled the Wehrmacht to make its breakthough in the North and centre. The Wehrmacht did not move in the South until some weeks after the start of barbarossa, until the reakthrough in the North had achieved overwhelming success. Wehrmacht plans show that it was well aware that Soviet forces in the south, facing Rumania and Hungary, were locally stronger than the forces of Germany and its allies, while those in the North were weaker.

3. Germany would do nothing, and the stalemate with Britain would continue. In that situation, Stalin could afford to wait, since Germany would grow progressively weaker, due to the British Blockade, while the Soviet Union would grow progressively stronger. By 1942, the Red Army would be sufficiently strong to prevent any German attack. In the meantime, Stalin could regulate the flow of supplies to Germany to keep it strong enough to prevent an Anglo-American invasion of the Conmtinent, but not strong enough to deliver a knockout blow to Britain. Then, at the right time, which might well not occur until 1943, Stalin would be able either to force the surrender of a weakened Germany, which would enable Soviet forces to take the whole of German-occupied Europe, or else to launch an invasion, either on its own or in a formal alliance with Britain, which, starting from the border of East Prussia and a position not far to the East of Warsaw, would have allowed the Red Army to advance rapidly westward and occupy the whole of Western Europe well before Britain and the United States could mount their own seaborne invasion.

Fabry's view is that Hitler decided to invade the Soviet Union for strategic reasons, but that once he had reached that decision, he reverted to his original anti-Bolshevism and gave the war its ideological character.

Roberto has already been quoted as saying he never thought Stalin was an angel. He just thinks there is no evidence that Barbarossa was a preventive measure because there is no evidence that Stalin's Red Army ever posed a serious threat to Germany.

Mkk
Valued contributor
Valued contributor
Posts: 566
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:00 am

Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Mkk » 5 years 9 months ago (Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:00 pm)

I haven't done in-depth research on this, but I have read a number of articles and forum debates at Axis History.

Maybe the Soviets were planning an expansion at some point, but I don't believe the evidence is very strong that an immediate attack was planned.

I also dont believe that Hitler launched a preemptive strike - the original documentation from Summer 1940 shows that Hitler attacked the USSR because it was seen as the UK's last hope. An alleged oncoming attack by Stalin is not mentioned there or in other relevant documentation.

Roberto quotes from two interesting articles here: http://holocaustcontroversies.yuku.com/topic/1873 http://holocaustcontroversies.yuku.com/ ... vEbxz1_uSo http://holocaustcontroversies.yuku.com/ ... -or-Attack

I personally think that Hitler made a big mistake because from Summer 1940 onwards his mindset was mainly that the only way to win the war was with a full frontal assault on the USSR. This led to mistakes such as attacking Crete instead of Malta. It would have been better to capture the Middle East and thus threaten the Caucasian oilfields.

Maybe Hitler and Stalin were both independently planning to aggressively attack eachother? :?
"Truth is hate for those who hate the truth"- Auchwitz lies, p.13

Werd
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 1093
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 2:23 am

Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Werd » 5 years 9 months ago (Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:51 pm)

Let there be no illusions about why I have quoted Roberto in debates on axishistory. I do not for one second Roberto Muehlenkamp is anywhere close to the truth when it comes to the holocaust. Absolutely not. I have seen his work deconstructed enough times that it brings me to laughter. Just today I was listening to an old Friedrich Paul Berg interview with Deanna Spingola
https://archive.org/details/DeannaSping ... jectingThe
and one of the things he said to a caller to the show was that the Soviets conducted two trials about the alleged guilt of Germans regarding gas vans. For these trials, the Americans and British were kept from examining the evidence. The Soviets ran a kangaroo show trial as revenge for the Germans exposing what the Russians did at Katyn. Berg said no holocaust historian today dares to talk about those ridiculous trials because they are an embarrassment. The only one who puts stock into them these days is Roberto Muehlenkamp.

And it just came to me today. Though Roberto is obviously well read and can be an almost formidable opponent if he would just put his mind to it, he often gets shown up when it comes to the holocaust. Even the gas chamber mongers had to admit Friedrich Paul Berg wiped the floor with Roberto in the last debate they had. Roberto memorizes a lot but it turns out to be quite inconsequential and useless and just plain incorrect. He is like Dustin Hoffman in "The Rain Man." Others call him melonhead. I call him Rainman Roberto.

But ON THIS ISSUE, I think Roberto has managed to pull together some good resources showing that Stalin was not actually willing to attack Germany on the eve of Germany's Barbarossa invasion on that one axishistory forum I quoted from. I had to read that topic at twice before I could go back and slowly figure out what to copy and paste in here as relevant without too much repitition and without pasting useless flame wars in this codoh topic here. It was quite the experience and I am glad I did it. It was fun for me to put in that kind of effort like I did when I resurrected those topic(s) on Dresden back in November after going back and forth between axishistory forum and other places. I found out where they went wrong and where David Irving went right.

I would say Roberto's sources are correct about the issue of Stalin and Hitler. And Streit's exposure of Suvorov doctoring primary sources should also be considered. Like I said, if Hoffman's book and Suvorov's Icebreaker was offered to me for me, I might take it. I certainly would not pay for it. Although Roberto Muehlenkamp - and I guess David Irving - are clueless about the holocaust, they may be able to say some useful things about other elements of world war two. The difference of course is Roberto hasn't done much archive research whereas David Irving in the old days (when most revisionists were largely ignorant of his tactics because he hasn't shown his true colors yet) could command respect for all the documents he went after and managed to quote.

Werd
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 1093
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 2:23 am

Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Werd » 5 years 9 months ago (Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:51 am)

http://majorityrights.com/weblog/commen ... 53th_post/
Posted by Effra on March 26, 2005, 07:21 PM | #

I have grave doubts about post-Soviet revisionism concerning Stalin’s alleged plan to attack the Third Reich. It seems to me a ripe example of hack historians amd journalists in a half-starved country starting to sing a new song to please their future paymasters: Americans saturated in Cold War mythology about the international revolutionary aims of Soviet communism, and guilty about the massive help America gave ‘godless bolshevism’ in WW2.

Stalin was one of the most cautious, pragmatic and xenophobic diplomatic and military strategists ever to rule an empire. He hated the contamination of Russia by foreigners, he dreaded the effects of contact with the West, he treated every released POW as a potential Nazi agent or defeatist. No Little Englander ever railed more against ‘rootless cosmopolitans’. Trotsky’s urge to spread the revolution abroad more than anything incurred Stalin’s odium. He became anti-Jewish because he detected this vein in his Jewish subordinates: his version of the old divided-loyalty charge.

After 1945 Stalin largely respected the division of spheres of influence laid down at Yalta, Teheran and Potsdam, permitting Jugoslavia and Greece to slip out of his grasp rather than have to send the Red Army. Even the Berlin blockade was arguably within the scope of what he had agreed with FDR and Churchill. Yet by then the USSR was in a far stronger position to sweep through Europe than when the Nazi-Soviet Pact was signed, and the objectives Stalin had followed in 1939-41 (Finland, half of Poland, northern Romania) were well within Tsarist imperial boundaries. Stalin knew all about overstretch, and was not tempted to march to the English Channel or North Sea even before the military industrial complex saddled the USA with a grotesquely unnecessary 5:1 advantage in nuclear missiles. By 1955 at the latest, the Cold War was an illusion for the benefit of arms manufacturers. The USSR played along to keep its own serfs in order.

Since Solzhenitsyn has been mentioned here, it is worth pointing out that Stalin’s former prisoner always thought that Uncle Joe had been caught totally off guard in 1941: vide the treatment of the first days of Barbarossa in ‘The First Circle’. Solzhenitsyn said that Stalin never trusted his colleagues but had a naive faith in Hitler’s probity.

It is not obvious either that the Soviet economy was steadily gearing up for war in the late 1930s. Stalin had proclaimed more effort to supply consumer goods after the Constitution of 1936 wwas ratified—‘Now comrades, life is brighter, life is more beautiful’—in response to disgruntlement after years of semi-starvation and heavy industry Five Year Plans. The pact Molotov and Ribbentrop signed was meant to give the Soviet Union a breathing space to deliver the goods to the shops, investing valuta earned by exporting raw materials to Hitler’s Germany. Once tested, the USSR’s war machine creaked badly and America had to ride to its aid with planes, munitions and tanks.

Doubtless both dictators probably thought the Pact would not last for ever, and that one day they would have to rerun 1812 or 1914. But only Hitler acted urgently. He believed Stalin’s industrialisation was working so well that by 1943 it would be too late to win a quick blitzkrieg victory. As it turned out, it was already too late. The contingency plans for evacuating the sinews of war behind the Urals, beyond the range of Luftwaffe bombers, worked brilliantly in 1941. Disrupted at first, it soon consolidated into a Stakhanovite efficiency. No matter how many men fell into the Wehramcht’s bag in the early days, the invasion was foredoomed to peter out in a quagmire of mud and snow. Uncle Joe could always find more men, and increasingly he found the food and the weapons too, without relying on Uncle Sam’s largesse.

Mortimer
Valued contributor
Valued contributor
Posts: 422
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:27 am

Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Mortimer » 5 years 9 months ago (Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:43 pm)

Werd,
Does Roberto Muehlenkamp have anything to say about Igor Bunich as he is another Russian who supports the Operation Barbarossa being a preventive attack scenario? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igor_Bunich
Bunich has written a book on this subject but as far as I know it is only available in Russian language.
The original book by Viktor Suvorov on this subject ICEBREAKER is available free online. The preface here - http://www.jrbooksonline.com/HTML-docs/ ... reface.htm
The rest of the book here - http://www.jrbooksonline.com/PDF_Books/icebreaker.pdf
"According to mainstream historians the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was based on the premise of Stalin's trust in Hitler. I would like to state it clearly and loudly:Stalin trusted no one. Never ever! Because of this paranoid mistrust of everyone, he managed to survive and thrive in the snake pit of Soviet leadership after Lenin's death in the early 1920's. How could Stalin possibly trust Hitler - a foreigner, a non communist, a person with whom he had never met?
Vladimir Bukovsky former Soviet dissident who spent twelve years in Soviet prisons, labor camps and psychiatric hospitals and author of TO BUILD A CASTLE and JUDGEMENT IN MOSCOW
There are 2 sides to every story - always listen or read both points of view and make up your own mind. Don't let others do your thinking for you.

User avatar
Kingfisher
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 1673
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:55 pm

Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Kingfisher » 5 years 9 months ago (Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:41 pm)

I don't have the in-depth knowledge of some people posting here, but I have read most of Ice-breaker (I didn't complete it because I got bogged down in the details of troop movements) and I have just completed reading Suvorov's most recent book The Chief Culprit, which contains most of the material in Ice-breaker and much more putting it into its historical context.

Either Suvorov is lying in his teeth from beginning to end or he has produced incontrovertible evidence that:
1. The Soviet Union had the largest and best equipped military in the world by 1940. German equipment was inferior, especially for fighting in Russia.
2. Soviet industrial military production was on a similar scale
3. The deployment and equipment of Soviet forces was entirely offensive, this being the reason why the German's attacking first were able to surround them, destroy the air force and take more than a million prisoners.
4. Stalin had only postponed, not abandoned the aim of bringing all of Europe into the Soviet sphere

Suvorov's claims are backed by precise figures and examples. I am not familiar with the alleged refutations of his position, but I would be interested to hear what they are and and other posters evaluations of them

Werd
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 1093
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 2:23 am

Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Werd » 5 years 9 months ago (Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:43 pm)

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:

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.



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

My post of Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:17 am here
Werd @ Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack
Talks about the numbers and manpower of Soviets verus Germans. The sources Roberto cites claim the Soviets did not have much power. Further back in the topic, there was at least one speech made by Stalin where he admitted the lack of structure and discipline in the Soviet army.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 618#p87618
In that same post, he quotes from the historian Harrison Salisbury who states the Germans had superior forces.
In this post from Roberto, which I already quoted way back,
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 461#p92461
he uses a bunch of numbers from http://www.shortway.to/1941/ to claim the Soviet forces were not really that superior.
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

Richard Overy (Russia’s War, page 190
In the summer of 1941 Soviet air and tank forces, though numerically large, proved incapable of inflicting more than local damage on the concentrated tank and air forces of the enemy. Tanks were divided up to support infantry regiments in small numbers and as a result lost the advantages of striking power and mobility that they should have offered

If the data in the table transcribed above are accurate, the Red Army was still equal in numbers at best and outnumbered at worst, thus far from achieving the numerical superiority of at least two to one that Stalin considered mandatory to launch a successful offensive. Which may have been the reason why Stalin rejected the proposal forwarded by Zhukov and Timoshenko in May 1941.


Here
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 048#p88048
Roberto quotes the following:
In his book ‘The Icebreaker. Hitler in Stalin’s Calculus’ “Suvorov” even gives the date of Stalin’s assault: 6 July 1941. The fact that reviewers in the German press manifested themselves impressed by the ‘Icebreaker’, however, has to do only with the widespread demand for apologetic literature and not at all with the quality of the writing. For 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. All that “Suvorov” does is to arbitrarily declare the dislocation of the Red Army in the spring of 1941 to have been a marching-up for a preventive strike, and the few citations from memoirs of Soviet military men that he tries to support this act of arbitrariness with are revealed by examination as shameless forgeries of the original texts.

I translated the above from an article by Hermann Graml published in Wolfgang Benz et al, Legenden, Lügen, Vorurteile, 12th edition 2002 by dtv Munich, page 194.

That the USSR was better prepared for war than the Nazis thought is not exactly a spectacular new discovery, by the way. The Germans came to realize that soon after they started their attack.

Just because the Soviets were better prepared than expected, it does not logically entail that the Germans realized the Soviets were superior. There is a difference.

Roberto also provided this.
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)



As for Suvorov, I have quoted two examples given by German historians of him distorting diaries and personal letters of Soviet military men. Those showed up on page 5 of the axishistory forum.
Roberto
On a discussion forum under

http://www.nfhdata.de/premium/forum_index.html

Wigbert Benz (a German historian) wrote the following in post no. 19 on the thread "Zur These vom Praeventivkrieg im Osten" (my translation):
In his book “The Icebreaker” the leading proponent of the preventive war thesis, Viktor Suvorov, makes the memoirs of top-ranking Soviet military men – especially general Vasilevskij – into depositions of “key witnesses” for an allegedly imminent attack by the Red Army in the summer of 1941. In fact Suvorov’s quotes are shown by critical examination to be impudent misrepresentations of the original texts, as will be shown in the following on hand of the example of a deposition by general Vasilevskij central for Suvorov’s “proof”, by comparing Suvorov’s citation with the original.
For the indication of the following source on Vassilevky, which I will set against Suvorov’s citation, I thank Mrs. Prof. Dr. Bianka Pietrow-Ennker, Eastern Europe Historian at Konstanz University; for the translation of the original source I thank Mr. Oskar Obracaj, Tübingen.
- General Vasilevskij twice (Suvorov and original) -
1. Vasilevskij according to Suvorov:
“The central question of my book is the following: If the Red Army could neither turn back nor spend a long time in the frontier regions, what room for maneuver was left to it? (...) All Communist historians are afraid to answer this question.
For this reason I refer to the opinion of a general who since May 1940 has been the Deputy of the Head of Operational Leadership at the General Staff (…), Marshall of the Soviet Union A.M. Vasilevskij, you have the word:
‘The concern that in the West they might make noise on account of the allegedly aggressive intentions of the USSR had to be pushed aside. We had (...; omission by Suvorov. W.B.) reached the Rubikon of war, and the step forward had to be made with firm intention.’ (Military History Review, 1978, No. 2, p.68 ).“
(from: Viktor Suvorov: The Icebreaker. Hitler in Stalin’s Calculus. Stuttgart 1989, p.339)
What is it that general Vasilevskij actually says on page 68 of the Soviet Military History Review named by Suvorov as a source?
2. Vasilevskij in the original:
“By refusing to put the troops in the frontier zone into a state of battle readiness Stalin wanted to avoid giving the slightest pretext for Hitler’s Germany to fell provoked and accuse the USSR of aggressiveness. At the same time, and considering the fact that our country was not yet sufficiently prepared for a great war, he endeavored to gain time in order to strengthen the state’s defense capacity as much as possible (...)
But his fault lay in that he did not see, not realize the line beyond which such a policy was not only unnecessary but even harmful. It would have been necessary to bravely cross that line, to put the armed forces into a state of combat readiness as soon as possible, to carry out mobilization, to convert the country into an armed camp (...)
Evidence that Germany had made preparations to assault our country militarily there were enough; in our time it is difficult to hide such preparations. Concerns that there might be noise in the West on account of alleged aggressive intentions of the USSR had to be pushed aside. We had, because of circumstances not depending on us, reached the Rubikon of war, and it was necessary to make a decisive step forward. The interests of our homeland demanded it.”
Source: A. Vasilevskij: V te surovye gody. In: Voenno-istoriceskij zurnal, 2 (1978), p.65-72, here S.68 (= A. Vasilevskij: In those hard years. In: Militäry History Review 2 (1978), p.68 ). – Source pointed out by Mrs. Prof. Bianka Pietrow-Ennker, University of Konstanz; translation from Russian: Mr. Oskar Obracaj, Tübingen)
Conclusion: The meaning of the statements made by General Vasilevskij in the original is grotesquely distorted through Suvorov’s introduction, way of quotation and manipulative omissions.[…]

Roberto
On a discussion forum under

http://www.nfhdata.de/premium/forum_index.html

Albrecht Kolthoff wrote the following in post no. 20 of the thread "Zur These vom Praeventivkrieg im Osten" (my translation):
A further “key witness” of Suvorov is Pjotr Grigorenko, who in the "Icebreaker" on page 406 Suvorov lets introduce a chapter ("How Hitler foiled Stalin’s War") as follows:
"They had completely prepared us for a war of aggression. And it was not our fault that the aggression had not come from us."
The source given is the following: "General Major P.G. Grigorenko, Im Keller trifft man nur Ratten (‘In the Basement you only meet Rats’), p. 138".
In the context this citation is obviously meant to be related to the situation in 1941.
In this respect it should first be pointed out that Grigorenko was transferred to the Western Front only in 1943; until then he served with the Far East troops. Furthermore Grigorenko held the rank of a First Lieutenant during almost the entire period of the war.
In the annex the source is stated to be a Russian edition that appeared in New York in 1981; a German edition appeared in 1961 under the title "Erinnerungen" (“Memoirs”).
Of course it is possible that in the translation of the original Russian edition of the “Icebreaker" into German deviations also of this quotation may have happened; at any rate the German edition of Grigorenko’s “Memoirs” was not taken into account.
Neither is the citation to be found in this form in the "Memoirs".
A similar passage appears in the following form:
"As we grew up in such an atmosphere, we of cause saw ourselves as soldiers in an upcoming war, saw the peaceful phase in which we lived as the last stage in which the conflict was gathering. War propaganda, always in the name of defense of the country, acquired an ever harsher tone; since the beginning of the 1930s the military striking power was constantly increased. We were also convinced that the Party would from one moment to the next call upon us for the “final decisive battle”. Only it was not then our fault that the attack did not come from our side. Prepared for this we were at any moment, but the leadership turned out to be incapable of taking advantage of this basic mood in the whole army. On the contrary: it neutralized our military preparedness by violently destroying the army’s best cadres." (p. 110)
Grigorenko was speaking of the time when he had just become a soldier and was studying at the Military Technological Academy in Leningrad – in the autumn of 1931. He does not say anything about a “war of aggression". Contrary to the Suvorovian “us”, which meant the Soviet Union as a whole, it becomes clear that Grigorenko’s “us” referred to the young soldiers, whose preparedness and attitude he holds against the military leadership.
A few pages later, in connection with the border clashes at Khalkin-Gol with Japan in 1939, Grigorenko explicitly writes the following:
"Already then we, all freshly baked general staff officers, understood that our gigantic empire was completely unprepared for a war." (p. 189)
Nothing there about an army "completely prepared for a war of aggression”, that is.
In an even more detailed manner Grigorenko addressed the questions of the Red Army’s deficient preparation in a long article he wrote in 1966 in the context of the Nekrich Affair. Alexander Nekrich had in 1965 published a book in Moscow that analyzed the Red Army’s defeat in the days after 22 June 1941 and in the sequence of the XXth Party Congress of the Soviet Communist Party established that Stalin was not only responsible, but also heavily guilty of the combat inefficiency of the Red Army. Nekrich was harshly attacked and later excluded from the party; Grigorenko, who defended him and even intensified his statements, was later deprived of citizenship during a trip abroad. Both Nekrich’s book and Grigorenko’s essay as well as other material from the affair (for example the protocol of an extremely controversial discussion at the Institute for Marxism-Leninism at the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party) are included in the recommendable volume “Genickschuß” (“Shot in the Neck”), which furthermore offers a fascinating insight into the “thaw weather period” and the end thereof.
Conclusion: Also here Suvorov comes across as a forger who partially invents a citation, tears it out of its context and conveys the opposite of the general message that the person cited intended to convey.[…]

And,
Starinov
Grigorenko according to Suvorov wrote:
They had completely prepared us for a war of aggression. And it was not our fault that the aggression had not come from us.

Grigorenko according to his own memoirs wrote:
We were also convinced that the Party would from one moment to the next call upon us for the “final decisive battle”. Only it was not then our fault that the attack did not come from our side.

Both sentences are very similar in sense. The only difference that Suvorov says openly about a war of aggression while Grigorenko talks about a "final decisive battle". Don't forget that the soviet propaganda was telling people for years that a war against the capitalists is coming since they all want to start a war against USSR. Soviet people should be prepared for any circumstances, etc, etc.

Also, According to the article cited by Roberto above, Grigorenko states that the RKKA was not prepared for any actions at Khalkin-Gol. However, according to Colonel David M. Glantz in his book "When Titans Clashed" (page 14)
David M. Glantz:
Khalkin-Gol demonstrated the vialibilty of Soviet theory and force structure.

It proved the RKKA's force so well that the Japanese started to search for another enemy knowing that the USSR is too powerful for them. I, personnaly, consider that Grigorenko was wrong on that one... My point is that Grigorenko could not be right about everything since he was a lieutenant in the first stages of the war.

Roberto
Starinov
Both sentences are very similar in sense. The only difference that Suvorov says openly about a war of aggression while Grigorenko talks about a "final decisive battle".


No. The main difference is that Grigorenko is talking about himself and his bellicose fellow cadets in 1931 whose willingness to go into battle the military leadership would not take advantage of, whereas Suvorov makes it look as if "us" meant the Soviet Union and its armed forces in general, and that in 1941.
Starinov
Don't forget that the soviet propaganda was telling people for years that a war against the capitalists is coming since they all want to start a war against USSR. Soviet people should be prepared for any circumstances, etc, etc.

That may be so, but Grigorenko was referring only to himself and his fellow cadets in 1931, as opposed to a military leadership that, ""...neutralized our military preparedness by violently destroying the army’s best cadres.""
Starinov
Also, According to the article cited by Roberto above, Grigorenko states that the RKKA was not prepared for any actions at Khalkin-Gol.

Even if wrong, it would still be Grigorenko's statement. But he is not stating that the Soviet Army was not prepared for any actions at Khalkin-Gol. He states ("in connection with the border clashes at Khalkin-Gol", according to Kolthoff) that

"Already then we, all freshly baked general staff officers, understood that our gigantic empire was completely unprepared for a war"
Starinov However, according to Colonel David M. Glantz in his book "When Titans Clashed" (page 14)

"Khalkin-Gol demonstrated the vialibilty of Soviet theory and force structure."

Which does not invalidate the existence of severe shortcomings in the Soviet armed forces, which the same author points out in Stumbling Colossus:
Germany's surprise attack on June 22, 1941, shocked a Soviet Union woefully unprepared to defend itself. The day before the attack, the Red Army still comprised the world's largest fighting force. But by the end of the year, four and a half million of its soldiers lay dead. This new study, based on formerly classified Soviet archival material and neglected German sources, reveals the truth behind this national catastrophe.
Drawing on evidence never before seen in the West, including combat records of early engagements, David Glantz claims that in 1941 the Red Army was poorly trained, inadequately equipped, ineptly organized, and consequently incapable of engaging in large-scale military campaigns--and both Hitler and Stalin knew it. He provides a complete and convincing study of why the Soviets almost lost the war that summer, dispelling many of the myths about the Red Army that have persisted since the war and soundly refuting Viktor Suvorov's controversial thesis that Stalin was planning a preemptive strike against Germany.

Stumbling Colossus describes the Red Army's command leadership, mobilization and war planning, intelligence activities, and active and reserve combat formations. It includes the first complete order of battle of Soviet forces on the eve of the German attack, documents the strength of Soviet armored forces during the war's initial period, and reproduces for the first time available texts of Soviet war plans. It also provides biographical sketches of Soviet officers and tells how Stalin's purges of the late 1930s left the Red Army leadership almost decimated.

At a time when the war in eastern Europe is being blamed on a fallen regime, Glantz's book sets the record straight on the Soviet Union's readiness, as well as its willingness, to fight. Boasting an extensive bibliography of Soviet and German sources, Stumbling Colossus is a convincing study that overshadows recent revisionist history and one that no student of World War II can ignore.

This book is part of the Modern War Studies series.

From the Amazon review under
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... ce&s=books
Starinov
It proved the RKKA's force so well that the Japanese started to search for another enemy knowing that the USSR is too powerful for them. I, personnaly, consider that Grigorenko was wrong on that one... My point is that Grigorenko could not be right about everything since he was a lieutenant in the first stages of the war...

The issue here is not whether Grigorenko's assessment was right or wrong.

The issue is that Suvorov misrepresented his statements and what this tells us about the man's integrity and his reliability as a writer of history.

I wouldn't go out of my way to defend the fellow, if I were you. It seems there are better Russian historians you may refer to, such as Vladimir A. Nieviezhin, whose book about Soviet propaganda promises to be quite interesting according to the review you posted under

http://thirdreichforum.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=6305

What is the source of that review, by the way?

And on page 6
Roberto
Mills completely overlooked the context of my citation of the review of Glantz's book, which was meant to show Starinov that the same Glantz who Starinov cites in support of his contention that Soviet troops had shown their preparedness at Khalkin Gol obviously identified severe shortcomings hampering the Red Army's military performance in 1941.
________________________________________________________________________________
Whether Glantz really achieved in his book what the review says he achieved is another question, although it would not be surprising that he so did given Suvorov’s inability to put legs under his contentions.

Starinov
I re-read parts of Ivanov's memoirs and what the General said was altered by Suvorov. In the original, Ivanov said that the Germans were faster in bringing their troops to combat readiness by two weeks but there is no mention of an attack.

I apologize for using that source before....

Once again, Suvorov seems to be taking liberties with those quotes from Russian military men and that does not look good. I do not see any justification for changing words like that.

Mortimer
Valued contributor
Valued contributor
Posts: 422
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:27 am

Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Mortimer » 5 years 9 months ago (Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:49 am)

ICEBREAKER was written over 20 years ago. Suvorov's most recent work in English is THE CHIEF CULPRIT - STALIN'S GRAND DESIGN TO START WORLD WAR II. Having read it myself I can say it is more polished and contains more info on the subject than ICEBREAKER. Why doesn't Muehlenkamp critique THE CHIEF CULPRIT? In one of the chapters Suvorov talks about Russian-German phrase books. Published in Moscow in May 1941 5 million copies were printed. A question in Russian followed by the same question in German written in Russian letters then in German in Latin letters. The answers were also printed in Russian and German with Latin and Cyrillic letters. Some of the phrases included "Where is the water? Is it drinkable? Drink it first yourself! Where are the German soldiers hiding? Where is the burghermeister? ( I would point out that burghermeister is a German term and they do not exist in Russia) and most tellingly You do not need to be afraid! The red army will come soon!" If the Soviet Union was fighting a purely defensive war on Russian speaking territory then can Muehlenkamp explain why they had millions of Russian-German phrase books? The red army also had Russian-Romanian phrase books as well.
THE CHIEF CULPRIT page 258 - "Soviet soldiers and officers were preparing for a victorious march on Berlin but the war against Germany in 1941 didn't run according to plan. As a result when Soviet commanders were captured the Germans found quite interesting maps and curious orders in their bags. Thousands of soldiers had Russian-German and Russian-Romanian phrase books. Many simply did not think of the necessity to get rid of this compromising evidence. The commander of the 5th battery of the 14th howitzer regiment of the 14th tank division of the 7th mechanized corps, Yakov Iosifovich Dzhugashvili, son of Stalin, was no exception. He was taken prisoner but at first he was not recognised. The senior lieutenant was betrayed by his subordinates. Stalin's son was searched and questioned. A letter was found in his pockets from a certain junior lieutenant in the reserves named Victor:I am at the training camps, I would like to be home by fall, but the planned walk to Berlin might hinder this. The letter is dated June 11 1941. The contents of the letter were reported to Hitler personally;he mentioned it on May 18 1942. German intelligence officers showed the letter to Yakov Dzugashvili and asked him to clarify the statement about the "planned walk to Berlin". The questioning protocol recorded Stalin's son's reaction. He read the letter and quietly muttered: Damn it!
During questioning Stalin's son was asked why the soviet artillery which had the best cannon and howitzers in the world and in incredible numbers fired so poorly. Stalin's son answered: The maps let the red army down because the war contrary to expectations unfolded to the east of the state border. Stalin's son told the truth. In 1941 the red army fought without maps. There simply weren't any. But the artillery couldn't fire without maps. Direct aiming and firing was just a small fraction of the work done by artillery in war. Most of the time artillery fired beyond the horizon.
"It turned out that in soviet Russia a map making industry was created that surpassed everything that had ever been done before in its size, organization, volume and quality of work" concluded the Germans about the soviet topographic services. How do we reconcile the best map making industry in the world with the complete absence of maps? Lieutenant General A I Lossev explained: "Storages of topographic maps located unreasonably close to the border were either seized by the enemy or destroyed by the enemy during the first bomb raids. As a result the troops lost 100 million maps".
There are 2 sides to every story - always listen or read both points of view and make up your own mind. Don't let others do your thinking for you.

User avatar
Kingfisher
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 1673
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:55 pm

Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Kingfisher » 5 years 9 months ago (Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:46 pm)

Whether Suvorov misquoted somebody does matter but it is of little evidential importance compared with the material evidence, such as the phrase books quoted by Mortimer and the evidence of events on the ground.

There were massive troop movements from the Far East. These and other troop movements were secret. If you want to deter an enemy from attacking you emphasize the strength of your defences, whereas for attack you hope to take him by surprise

There had been a heavily fortified defence line (the Stalin Line) along and behind the frontier with Poland. After the partition of Poland it would have been logical, if defence were the prime concern, to maintain this line with openings permitting rapid withdrawal of Soviet troops if required and funnelling an advancing enemy into them. Instead, the Stalin Line was demolished and a weaker line (the Molotov Line) built along the new frontier. Units were positioned, not behind rivers and other barriers, as would be right for defence, but in front of them ready to advance. Troops were moved into salients, with the risk of being surrounded in a defensive war, but offering the same threat to the Germans of being surrounded in their own salients if the Soviets attacked first. Airfields were built practically on the frontier, providing maximum range in attack, but open to enemy bombardment and encirclement if in defence.

The choice of materiel was more appropriate for attack than defence. I have returned the book to the library so I can't go into the detail that Suvorov gives about the aircraft, though they include strategic bombers, but tanks included one specifically designed to shed its tracks and run fast on wheels on metalled roads, such as the German autobahns, which would not be of great use in Russian conditions. Suvorov has not invented this tank: I have confirmed it on Wikipedia.

Mortimer and I can only give the briefest outline in these short posts, but Suvorov gives detailed figures to support all his points. I strongly urge anyone interested in this topic to read this book.

Mortimer
Valued contributor
Valued contributor
Posts: 422
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:27 am

Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Mortimer » 5 years 9 months ago (Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:11 am)

The claim that the Soviet Union did not want to subjugate and dominate Europe is false. They had an organisation called the Comintern (Communist International) with operatives in every European country. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comintern
During the Spanish civil war many communist fought in the ranks of the Republicans. Stalin also sent arms and ammunition, tanks, planes and military advisors. http://www.gutenberg-e.org/kod01/frames/fkod01.html
During world war 2 Bulgaria was in a unique position amongst the European Axis countries in that it did not go to war against the USSR after June 22 1941. Hitler asked Boris III for military assistance but he refused. The Bulgarian monarch would not even allow a Waffen SS recruitment agency for individuals who wanted to enlist. In September 1944 after advancing through Romania to the Bulgarian frontier the Bulgarian government reminded the USSR that it was neutral in the nazi-soviet conflict. The red army invaded anyway. If the Soviet Union didn't want to conquer Europe then why did it invade Bulgaria when that country was not at war with it?
Japan and the USSR were signatories to a non aggression pact which the Japanese adhered to. But that didn't stop the soviets from attacking the Japanese when it suited them after the war in Europe had ended.
You can get a copy of THE CHIEF CULPRIT STALIN'S GRAND DESIGN TO START WORLD WAR II for less than US$20 from Amazon -
http://www.amazon.com/The-Chief-Culprit ... pd_sim_b_7
There are 2 sides to every story - always listen or read both points of view and make up your own mind. Don't let others do your thinking for you.

User avatar
hermod
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 2076
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:52 am

Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby hermod » 5 years 9 months ago (Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:16 pm)

30.05.2011

Comrade Stalin's Three Plans
By Mark Solonin


The fact is that Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union at dawn on June 22, 1941 became a horrible surprise for Comrade Stalin. Stalin didn’t believe in the possibility of events unfolding this way.

[...]

Germany’s attack astonished the inhabitants of the Kremlin’s offices, stunning them and putting them into a state of shock. That is the fact.

There is another fact. In May-June of 1941 the Soviet Union’s military forces were in a state of covert strategic deployment. All aspects of strategic deployment (mobilization of reservists, strategic regrouping and concentration of troops, operative deployment of alignments) were carried out in a strict secrecy unheard of even by Stalin’s harsh standards.

[...]

In June, 1941 the Soviet Union was preparing for broad-scale military action, but it tried to conceal its preparation by all possible means. That’s the second fact.

Historians have been faced with the task of combining these two facts and interpreting them in a way that is internally consistent. To put it simply, there’s one single question that has to be clarified: if Stalin didn’t expect the German invasion, then why were thousands of military trains headed towards the border, and why were the front commandsbeing created on the basis of the border districts' headquarters? And why on June 19, two days prior to the German attack that Stalin wasn’t expecting, did thosefront commands start moving towards the field command points, in accordance to theorders from Moscow?

Twenty years ago Viktor Suvorov gave a detailed answer to this question. He assumed – and supported his assumption with the open Soviet publications that were at his disposal – that Stalin was preparing for war. He was always preparing, from the very first day he gained power. Collectivization, industrialization, the Great Terror –those were just difference faces of Comrade Stalin’s multifaceted work towards turning the Country of the Soviets into a gigantic military camp and dividing the builders of communism into two categories: the workforce and the cannon fodder. In August, 1939 Stalin made a final decision to support Hitler, to support him the same way in which the noose supports the hanged man. Stalin helped Hitler to start the war against the coalition of Western countries (Great Britain, France, and their allies) in order that the exterminatory struggle would destroy Europe and allow Stalin’s armies to march over its ashes in triumph. In June, 1941 the preparations for this march were interrupted by the invasion by the Wehrmacht, a surprise for a Stalin who was blinded by his delusions of grandeur.

Viktor Suvorov’s hypothesis also bore that main characteristic of the genuine scientific theory, which is this: new facts and documents fit within its boundaries the same way cartridges fit in a pistol clip. New facts fit his theorywith precision and clarity, without violating its structure, but rather enhancing its lethal power. P. Bobylev, T. Bushueva, V. Danilov, V. Kiselev, M. Meltyukhov, V. Nevezhin, I. Pavlova, M. Solonin, Y. Felshtinskiy, J. Hoffmann, H. Magenheimer, W. Maser, B. Musial, R. Raack, S. Scheil, E. Topitsch, E. Mawdsley – that’s an incomplete list of the Russian and foreign historians whose works cite hundreds of documents and facts that support V. Suvorov’s hypothesis and transfer it from the category of hypothesis to the ranks of scientifically established truth. (Despite the political correctness that’s currently the trend, I believe that the truth does exist, and that the goal of historian is to look for it instead of just writing narratives.)

On the other hand, no alternative concepts were formulated in the 20 years after The Icebreaker was published. There was not a single book or a single article. No one tried even once to promote a different explanation or interpretation of the two fundamental facts that I described earlier.

I don’t need a critique. I need a version.” This phrase, left by an anonymous reader on one of the countless Internet forums, most accurately describes the present state the Nazi-Soviet War historiography. There was no, and there still is no, alternative to Suvorov’s hypothesis/version.

The deafening silence of the Russia's official military historians isn’t just a sign of agreement with Suvorov’s hypothesis. It’s a white flag of surrender. Having herds of taxpayer-supported personel and all the Russian archives at their disposal for 20 years, they still couldn’t give the public one document that would prove Stalin’s peaceful intentions.

[...]



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUDx70kRXtU
Important evidence has come to light in recent decades that shatters the official, endlessly repeated view that Hitler, bent on world conquest, launched a treacherous surprise attack against a peaceful Soviet Union. Long-suppressed documents and other detailed evidence shows that by June 1941 Soviet dictator Stalin had built the world's largest military machine, and had deployed an enormous strike force on the western Soviet frontier, in readiness for a massive attack against Germany that would roll on to overwhelm central and western Europe. Hitler's 'Barbarossa" attack, say a growing number of historians in Russia, Germany and other countries, was actually a preventive war to forestall an imminent Soviet strike.
"But, however the world pretends to divide itself, there are ony two divisions in the world to-day - human beings and Germans. – Rudyard Kipling, The Morning Post (London), June 22, 1915

propagandaskeptic
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby propagandaskeptic » 5 years 8 months ago (Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:32 pm)

http://national-socialist-worldview.blo ... ified.html

Hitler's Calculations in 1939

Hitler as chancellor assumed that a clash between National-Socialist Germany and world-revolutionary Soviet imperialism would be inevitable, and that he must do everything to prepare for this danger.

The gathering of all Germans into a Great Germany (Großdeutschland) and Hitler's policy of reconciliation with the West, especially his offers of friendship to England, served this purpose.

However, when England and France had demonstrated through their guarantee to Poland that they were unwilling to tolerate a Germany that would have been strong enough to stand up to the growing Soviet colossus, Hitler began to reorient his foreign-policy overtures from West to East.

In mid-1939 when England and France were trying to complete their encirclement-policy by enlisting even the Soviet Union in an alliance against the Reich, Hitler saw only one escape from the trap: conciliation with Russia. Through that alone, he believed that he would be able to avert a two-front war.


Stalin's Calculations

Meanwhile, Stalin was counting on the certainty of a war waged by England and France against Germany, from which he could at first remain aloof so as to prepare his military might, and at the favorable moment enter the war and win, either with the Reich against the capitalist West or, even more advantageously, with the capitalist West against the national-socialist Reich. It turned out that Stalin had much less time to prepare than he could have expected, because Germany conquered Poland and France with unprecedented speed.

Stalin's calculations in 1939-40 were based on hostility between Germany and France and England. When however Stalin saw Germany making peace-offers to France and England in late 1939 and 1940, the Bolshevik dictator began to ally himself with England and America against the ever-stronger Germany, so as to expand the Soviet dictatorship into Europe and Asia with the help of "democracy" and "capitalism."

Precisely on account of the repeated German peace offers to France and England, Stalin feared the end of Europe's fratricidal war and therefore from fall 1940 directed his aggression also against Germany, in violation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The American Secretary of State Byrnes writes in his memoirs: "It is obvious that the Soviet Government has concluded this pact with the clear intention of breaking it.” Even [Czechoslovakian President Edvard] Beneš affirms in his memoirs that the Soviet Union concluded the “non-aggression pact” only to gain time, i.e. so as to enter into the war later, when the warring parties had been weakened.

Molotov’s November 1940 extortion attempt in Berlin already practically signaled Stalin’s determination for war. He was pressuring Germany, which was still at war with England and already in a de facto war with the United States, to hand over to the Soviet Union the Balkans, the Baltic Sea, and above all the war-deciding oil supply in Romania, thereby making it clear that he would stab Germany in the back at the first opportunity.

Already in 1940 Stalin had begun negotiations in Moscow with the English representative Sir Stafford Cripps, thus with the enemy of a still allied Germany.

In spring 1941 the anti-German coup in Yugoslavia, which mortally threatened Germany’s position in the Balkans and therewith its oil supply, had been instigated and supported by Moscow together with England.

The Red Army increased its divisions in Germany’s rear from 65 divisions in September 1939 to 153 divisions and 36 motorized brigades in 1940-41.


The Preemptive War

Germany's preemptive war forestalled a gigantic Soviet offensive. The Bolshevik danger was even greater than could even be reported previously. One of Hitler’s enemies, Chief of Staff Franz Halder, demonstrates that. He affirms that Hitler’s conviction “that Russia was preparing for an attack on Germany” was justified, and declares, “We know today from good sources that he was right about that."

At Nuremberg General Winter testified under oath: “We had at the time the subjective impression that we were striking into an offensive deployment in progress.” Field Marshal von Rundstedt is also a witness to that.

In a secret session of the House of Commons in 1940, Churchill rationalized his rejection of the German peace offer and his decision to broaden the war, with the affirmation that he had at that time, because of the negotiations conducted by the ambassador Sir Stafford Cripps in Moscow, obtained the explicit pledge that the Soviet Union would enter the war on the English side.

Jewish journalist Alexander Werth, who was a correspondent in Russia and in his heart still stands on the Soviet side, reports about Stalin’s speech of 5 May 1941:

All my sources agree in fundamental features with the most important points of Stalin’s speech: the conviction that the war “almost unavoidably” would be decided in 1942, wherein, if necessary, the Soviets must seize the initiative.

The testimony of Senior-General Jodl at Nuremberg is thereby proven correct on all essential points by the Soviet side.

In his conversation with Hitler, in fall 1940 when the possibility of a preemptive war against the Bolshevik threat first came up, the motive of acquiring Lebensraum was never mentioned.

At Nuremberg Senior-General Jodl testifies: "The Fuehrer has never named in my presence even just one hint of a reason other than the purely strategic." For months on end Hitler continuously repeated to Jodl's face:

"There is no doubt now that England puts her hopes in this last mainland proxy; otherwise she would have already called off the war after Dunkirk.... Agreements have certainly already been made. The Russian deployment is unmistakable. One day suddenly we shall be either coldly blackmailed or attacked."


What Germany Gave Up for the Preemptive War

Jodl himself had placed great hopes in the famous negotiations with Molotov, since with a neutral Russia in the rear -- which furthermore would help Germany with economic supplies -- the D-Day Invasion would never have been possible. No statesman and no field-marshal could sacrifice such a favorable situation without being forced by circumstances. It is a fact that Hitler "for months struggled inwardly in the most serious way with this decision, certainly influenced by the many opposing pictures that both the Reichsmarschall and the Supreme Commander of the Kriegsmarine as well as the Foreign Minister raised."

That the actions of 1941 were a preemptive strike in defense of Germany, permitted under international law, is most strongly proven by the strategic situation. It would have been political and military madness that contradicted all accomplishments of the German leadership up to that point, if one had given up the victory over England, certainly possible at the time [by pushing British forces out of the Mediterranean, which would have caused Britain to sue for peace], in order to attack Russia, if the German leadership had not been compelled first to fight off the threat in the east.

How the Final Decision was Reached

The foreign-backed coup that overthrew the pro-German government of Yugoslavia, the hostile doings of the Soviet Government in combination with England, compelled the final decision. Jodl testifies:

"Until then the Fuehrer still had doubts. On 1 April and no sooner ... his decision to conduct the attack stood firm, and on 1 April he gave the order to expect the launch of Operation Barbarossa for approximately 22 June."

Why Didn't Germany Simply Prepare a Defense?

To his defense-attorney's question, whether later discoveries had proven the military necessity of this decision, Jodl testified:

"It was without a doubt a purely preemptive war. What we later established was in any case the certainty of an enormous Russian military preparation facing our borders. I want to forgo details but I can just say that we succeeded in achieving tactical surprise with the day and hour of attack, but not strategic surprise. Russia was fully prepared for war."

Continuing, Senior General Jodl again named an essential reason for the preemptive war:

"We were never strong enough to be able to defend ourselves in the East; events since the year 1942 have proven it. It may sound grotesque, but in order to cover this front of over 2000 kilometers we would have needed at least 300 divisions, and we never had that.

"If we had waited until we had been caught perhaps in the pincers of a simultaneous Allied invasion and Russian attack, with certainty we would have been lost...."

Nuremberg defense-attorney Dr. Exner argued that a preemptive war was justified:

"The true preemptive war is one of the essential means of self-preservation. It was also indisputably permitted according to the Kellogg-Briand Pact. Thus was the right of defense of all signatory states understood."

Mortimer
Valued contributor
Valued contributor
Posts: 422
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:27 am

Re: Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

Postby Mortimer » 5 years 5 months ago (Mon May 26, 2014 1:11 pm)

John Mosier is the author of DEATH RIDE : HITLER VS STALIN - THE EASTERN FRONT 1941-1945 He has also come to the conclusion that Operation Barbarossa was preventive in nature. http://inconvenienthistory.com/archive/ ... thride.php
There are 2 sides to every story - always listen or read both points of view and make up your own mind. Don't let others do your thinking for you.


Return to “WWII Europe / Atlantic Theater Revisionist Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests