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Stalin, the "hero"

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Sep 2004, 16:21
Politburo
Post 02 Nov 2006, 14:54
Quote:
According to Wikipedia the Axis had the strength of 3.2 million persons. It is kind of hard not to notice that kind of thing on ones border.

Quite a few of those 3.2 million troops were stationed elswhere than at the Soviet border, doing things like, oh I dunno, fighting World War II?


Quote:
Soviet intelligence told Stalin, but Stalin didn't want to believe that the Germans would come so soon.

He also had reason to suspect that British intelligence had infiltrated his spy rings. It was in the interests of the imperialist powers to set Hitler and Stalin at each others' throats, in the hope that they would kill each other off and the imperialists could then scoop the jackpot. Stalin heard all these reports of a forthcoming Nazi invasion, but regarded them as provocations by the British. Churchill even made the mistake of personally warning Stalin the Nazis were about to invade, which just confirmed Stalin's suspicions that the British were behind it all. He just didn't believe that Hitler would fight a war on two fronts, that he would invade the Soviet Union before Britain had been decisively defeated. Stalin later said, "Never put yourself in someone else's position. If you do that, you could make a terrible mistake." He was referring to Operation Barbarossa. Stalin put himself in Hitler's shoes and asked himself, "If I were Hitler, would I invade?" and the answer was a definite "No!" But Stalin was a cautious strategist, while Hitler was a reckless gambler. All Hitler's gambles had paid off so far, so he decided to gamble again and stake everything on one more roll of the dice. That gamble didn't work out exactly as Hitler wanted....
"Comrade Lenin left us a great legacy, and we fucкed it up." - Josef Stalin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
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Post 02 Nov 2006, 18:37
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He went to a aviation engineer


Ironically Stalin was afraid of flying.

Quote:
Quite a few of those 3.2 million troops were stationed elswhere than at the Soviet border, doing things like, oh I dunno, fighting World War II?


As in fighting the other Eastern European countries? Doesn't that mean that the USSR should have been slightly better prepared?
Also I've confirmed from other internet sources that the Germans did have ~3 million men on the Soviet border.

Quote:
He also had reason to suspect that British intelligence had infiltrated his spy rings.


There is truth to that, but still the Axis powers were conquering or allying with Easterm European countries. The Russian military should have been more prepared. Yes they had some difficulties (such as an imperialist orchestrated war between fascism and communist or that most soviet officers took the weekend off during the start of the invasion). But Stalin did not even fully mobilise the Army.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Sep 2004, 16:21
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Post 02 Nov 2006, 19:15
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But Stalin did not even fully mobilise the Army.

Do you know how World War I got started? Because that 'genius' Nicholas II mobilised the Russian army. Germany interpreted this as a hostile act, which of course it was, and declared war. The network of treaties sprang into effect, and before anybody knew it the whole of Europe was at war with itself. If Stalin had mobilised the Soviet Army, this would have been interpreted by Hitler (correctly) as a hostile act, and would have made a Nazi invasion inevitable, whether Hitler initially intended to invade or not. You would then be posting messages in this thread about what a warmongering, blundering idiot Stalin was for triggering the Nazi invasion before he was ready for it. Stalin did not want to do anything to provoke the Germans, and mobilising his army would certainly have done that.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Feb 2004, 20:50
Party Bureaucrat
Post 02 Nov 2006, 23:23
I have to agree with Potemkin. Stalin had enough trouble at that time anyway. It took him one week to realize that the Wehrmacht was advancing on soviet territory. Only after a huge accumulation of reports saying that the Germans were actually attacking, he officially gave the order to defend positions.

That's what Iossif and Adolf had in common; they both had absolutly no understanding for military issues.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
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Post 02 Nov 2006, 23:51
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Stalin did not want to do anything to provoke the Germans, and mobilising his army would certainly have done that.


This contradicts what you stated Stalin's earlier logic. That Stalin thought Hitler wouldn't open up a 2 front war. Having an army of 3 million, that is at worst hostile, marching around outside Russia is a good reason to mobilise the military. Example, during the first part of the invasion most Russian planes couldn't even get off the airfield.

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That's what Iossif and Adolf had in common; they both had absolutly no understanding for military issues.


Hitler was a soldier in WWI. He thought to have a amazing gift (from God IIRC) for understanding army strategy. He wasn't as good as he thought he was and he let his beliefs (adding the race factor was a bad idea) get in the way. Hitler had an ok understanding of the military.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Nov 2005, 17:55
Party Bureaucrat
Post 03 Nov 2006, 00:03
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This contradicts what you stated Stalin's earlier logic. That Stalin thought Hitler wouldn't open up a 2 front war. Having an army of 3 million, that is at worst hostile, marching around outside Russia is a good reason to mobilise the military. Example, during the first part of the invasion most Russian planes couldn't even get off the airfield


I'm sorry, but what was the contradiction?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Sep 2004, 16:21
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Post 03 Nov 2006, 00:05
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This contradicts what you stated Stalin's earlier logic. That Stalin thought Hitler wouldn't open up a 2 front war. Having an army of 3 million, that is at worst hostile, marching around outside Russia is a good reason to mobilise the military.

Not really. Hitler may not have wanted (so Stalin believed) to invade the Soviet Union before Britain had been decisively defeated, to avoid fighting on two fronts (which Hitler had asserted in 'Mein Kampf' he would never do - and Stalin studied 'Mein Kampf' assiduously to gauge Hitler's intentions), but he would certainly have revised that plan if Stalin had mobilised the Soviet Army. Hitler would have launched an immediate attack, whether he had originally intended to or not, simply to prevent Stalin from doing to him what he ended up doing to Stalin. When you mobilise your army, there is no going back - war becomes inevitable and imminent. Stalin believed Hitler would wait until Britain had finally capitulated before invading the Soviet Union; to have mobilised the Soviet Army would therefore have merely been a provocative act which would have induced the very invasion Stalin feared. It certainly had that effect when Nicholas II mobilised the Russian Army in World War I; it even started WWI.
Last edited by Potemkin on 03 Nov 2006, 00:08, edited 1 time in total.
"Comrade Lenin left us a great legacy, and we fucкed it up." - Josef Stalin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
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Post 03 Nov 2006, 00:05
Stalin thought Hitler didn't want a 2 front war. If Stalin mobilised the army why would Hitler invade if he didn't want a two front war.

Edit:
Mobilising the army is usually leads to war. But since Stalin read Mein Kampf, he knew what Hitler was going to do (invade Russia). It would have been wise to be prepared.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Feb 2004, 20:50
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Post 03 Nov 2006, 00:13
An "OK" is not enough when you are about to command the whole german Army on a 3-front war. If Hitler understood modern military strategies (remember, he was soldier in WW1 which stands for the last tradtional war in some way) he would have not forbidden any retreat. The notion of tactical retreat was not familiar with him.

Losing the 6th army at Stalingrad, was the worst consequence of his limited strategical understanding.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Nov 2005, 17:55
Party Bureaucrat
Post 03 Nov 2006, 00:14
It would have been wise to be prepared, but preparation required correct timing; since Stalin thought Hitler was engrossed in its war with the UK, the time wasn't right to mobilize and set off alarm bells in the Wehrmacht high command. The choices available to Stalin in 1941 weren't that great.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Sep 2004, 16:21
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Post 03 Nov 2006, 00:20
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Stalin thought Hitler didn't want a 2 front war. If Stalin mobilised the army why would Hitler invade if he didn't want a two front war.

If you have 3 million men just across the border from your mortal enemy, and that mortal enemy begins to mobilise his huge army, what do you do? You have no choice - you must immediately attack, preferably before he completes mobilisation. If you don't, your enemy will be ready to pre-emptively attack you at any time. Hitler would have had no choice, just as Kaiser Wilhelm had no choice in 1914. Mobilisation leads to war. Stalin believed Hitler would not invade so long as Britain was undefeated and he, Stalin, did nothing to provoke Hitler. If either of those two conditions failed, then the invasion became almost inevitable. If you can't see the logic behind Stalin's position, then thank God you weren't in charge of military strategy during WWII.


Quote:
Mobilising the army is usually leads to war. But since Stalin read Mein Kampf, he knew what Hitler was going to do (invade Russia). It would have been wise to be prepared.

He was in the process of preparing. IIRC, he believed he would be ready by 1943. He therefore had to do everything in his power to avoid provoking Hitler into a premature invasion of the Soviet Union. This is why he did not mobilise his army, and why he refused to believe the spies who told him that Hitler would invade. Stalin never trusted spies, and he believed the reports of an imminent Nazi invasion were British provocations. The British had every interest in diverting Hitler away from them and onto Stalin. Why should Stalin trust them?
"Comrade Lenin left us a great legacy, and we fucкed it up." - Josef Stalin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
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Post 03 Nov 2006, 00:24
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If Hitler understood modern military strategies [...] he would have not forbidden any retreat. The notion of tactical retreat was not familiar with him.


I was more so saying that Hitler knew what it was like to be a soldier. Your correct with your statement though.

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It would have been wise to be prepared, but preparation required correct timing; since Stalin thought Hitler was engrossed in its war with the UK, the time wasn't right to mobilize and set off alarm bells in the Wehrmacht high command.


I feel like a broken record when saying this, but 3 million axis soldiers where on the Soviet border. They weren't fighting the UK and the subjugation of Eastern Europe didn't require that kind of manpower.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
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Post 03 Nov 2006, 00:31
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The choices available to Stalin in 1941 weren't that great.


True enough.

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If you have 3 million men just across the border from your mortal enemy, and that mortal enemy begins to mobilise his huge army, what do you do?


As I said in my previous post, those 3 million men weren't going anywhere else. It wasn't like Hitler pulled them away from the UK to Eastern Europe only to pull them back to the UK.

Quote:
He was in the process of preparing. IIRC, he believed he would be ready by 1943. He therefore had to do everything in his power to avoid provoking Hitler into a premature invasion of the Soviet Union.


That makes enough sense. But didn't Stalin toy with the idea of a pre-emptive strike at Germany a couple of years earlier? What happened to the ready Russian army? Or did that plan never get off to a start?

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Stalin never trusted spies


And for good reasons. But there were other reports that did not have ties to the UK. Wiki mentioned a German defector the day before Barbarossa, who said that Germany would invade the next day.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Sep 2004, 16:21
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Post 03 Nov 2006, 00:40
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Wiki mentioned a German defector the day before Barbarossa, who said that Germany would invade the next day.

That's correct, but the obvious conclusion to draw was that he was a double agent, either working for the British or for the Nazis - Hitler may have wanted to provoke a reaction from Stalin which would 'justify' the Nazi invasion, just as he had dressed up some dead Poles in German uniforms and claimed the Poles had attacked German border posts in 1939.

By the way, it is often claimed that the German soldier was shot. This is untrue; he was initially ordered to be shot, but was released (no doubt with profuse apologies) just after the invasion actually happened.
"Comrade Lenin left us a great legacy, and we fucкed it up." - Josef Stalin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Nov 2005, 08:18
Komsomol
Post 10 Nov 2006, 04:14
Oh, Stalin, the great wise leader!

I, always a supporter of Stalin, think it time to throw some criticism at him now, as he really did make un-excuseable errors up until 1943.

Stalin! Friend of Soviet pilots! When, in actual fact, he never really did anything to truly advance Soviet aviation; P.V. Rychagov, head of the VVS was at a conference about the safety of Soviet aircraft (at that time, there was crash after crash), and was strongly criticised for this. P.V. Rychagov was only just appointed to this post (he had 7-8 predecessors who turned out to be 'enemies of the people') was also young and naive. When time came to defend himself, he turned to Stalin and said to his face:
- There are serious problems with safety, as there always were and it will only get worse, because you(!) force us to fly on flying coffins!
After a long silence of Stalin walking in his cabinet, Stalin said:
- You, comrade Rychagov,shouldn't have spoken in such words...You shouldn't have! - he repeated in a Georgian accent.
Rychagov was arrested on leaving the room as well as his wife (champion of parachute sporting) who was arrested right at the airfield. Both were executed.

Stalin also, as you would all know, created a fear of himself for everyone, including F.I. Golikov (head of intelligence [he also had 4 'enemy of the people' predecessors]) was less naive than Rychagov and appeased Stalin. Stalin truly didn't believe there would be a war with Germany, so Golikov didn't argue with Stalin on this subject (or any subject for that matter), and dismissed all reports from spies. Golikov wasn't arrested.

Also, Stalin had a lot of 'henchmen-observers' for example Mehlis, who allowed the Wehrmacht to take Sevastopol' and encircle large amounts of forces on Kerch. Stalin had 'friends' like Timoshenko who somehow were never punished, etc., etc., etc...
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Oct 2004, 15:15
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Politburo
Post 18 Nov 2006, 17:43
What should Timoshenko have been punished for, then?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Nov 2005, 08:18
Komsomol
Post 19 Nov 2006, 07:00
Blatantly stupid, extremely costly and ineffective and terrible operation of attacking the Germans just before Stalingrad, leading Soviet troops to being encircled destroyed and captured (against the advice of other Generals). He was in hiding for days after this, and no one could find him. Anyone else in his position would have been shot 10 times over.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Feb 2005, 02:51
Party Bureaucrat
Post 19 Nov 2006, 07:45
Don't be so harsh on Timoshenko, compare to Stalin's other cronies like Mekhlis, Voroshilov, Kulik and Budyonniy, he's at least competent in his job. And second Kharkov wasn't all his fault either, the offensive would have been a success if Stalin listened to Zhukov and strengthen the southern sector to hold the German counter offensive.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
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Post 19 Nov 2006, 22:11
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Blatantly stupid


So stupidity is a crime?
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"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?" - Walter Rodney
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