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  • The Russians, used smart or crude tactics?

    I think that the Russians used very crude even stupid tactics against the Germans.

    When the germans invaded russia the russians used an idiotic but effective tactic that they used against napoleon, the total distruction of the infrastructure and food reserves, it worked, yes, but it meant not only did the germans suffer , but also the local population and then when the russians took back the territory, they also sufferd.

    Another tactic which the russians used primarily at the war was sending huge numbers of men into battle without a tactic! it worked! yes! but it was EXTREMELY STUPID, stalingrad is a good example, it was a house to house war but also there were parts where the germans entrached them self and the russian commanders just send their men at them! the germans had
    MG42's!!!!! its like fighting a man with a stick when he has a gun.No wonder 10 million russian soldiers died in the war. when the russian offensive started it was a little more planed,tanks,artillary... but it was still basiclly 2.5 million men rushing threw the vast plains of eastern europe not caring about casualties.

    In conclusion,the russians would have had a much easier life with a little planing.
    What? we are allready there? (An Israeli soldier after getting to the suez canal 4 days into the six days war).

    I never sleep, but i dream of victory.

  • #2
    Oh dear.

    Read Russia's War by Richard Overy before making such sweeping statements, champ.

    EDIT: And surely even you could see the inherent contradiction is labelling something both 'idiotic' and 'effective'. If it was effective, it can't have been that idiotic.
    Colonel Summers' widely quoted critique of US strategy in the Vietnam War is having a modest vogue...it is poor history, poor strategy, and poor Clausewitz to boot - Robet Komer, Survival, 27:2, p. 94.

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    • #3
      The Soviets used some very, very good tactics. But like every nation there was a steep learning curve. And as far as labeling the human wave tactic as stupid; remember the Soviets recognized early the German weakness. Put in pure simple terms it was numbers. Sure you lose people, but people that you can afford to lose. Stalingrad was called by the Germans the ratten krieg or 'war of the rats'. The Germans had to be stopped somewhere. Hitler was the one to make the mistake of investing Stalingrad for it's name and not any strategic or tactical value.

      And for the record. Let's remember to not label the modern Russians as the Soviets.
      Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

      "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

      What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

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      • #4
        Generally, the early war tactics (pre-1943) used by the Russians were the result of Stalin's shortcomings, not the Russian soldiers or generals. Stalin's purges of the officer corps in the 1930's replaced alot of talented, forward-thinking, and effective officers and generals with political yes-men. Unfourtunately for Russia and it's people, the army had to build itself back up the hard way, through pure tough experience. By the summer of 43, Russian tactics, equipment, and logistics had improved to the point where they could soundly defeat even superior German officers and equipment.

        If anything, the Russians played on their strengths of territory and population. They could afford to give up large amounts of men and land, while the Germans couldn't. That is, in essence, the riddle of invading Russia: Endless men and endless land.....which is precisely why the Germans failed.
        Last edited by Martin Schenkel; 23 Oct 07, 01:04.

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        • #5
          During the first two years of the war the Russians used something that resembled tactics and they had local successes but at an unacceptable financial and human cost that jeopardized the economic development of the USSR for something like two decades after the conclusion of WWII. Even when Khruschev was in power and country was still licking wounds (of course whatever resources were available were shifted to the space program and the military). Who knows, perhaps the damage to their economy suffered during the war even had something to do with the ultimate collapse of the USSR. Recall that after the losses and expenditures of WWII Britain lost its superpower status and never recovered it. During the summer campaign of 1941 the entire peacetime Red Army was wiped out and had to be rebuild by emergency drafting. The first signs of Red Army professionalism that even the Germans noted and praised did not appear until the summer of 1943. By that time revolutionary slogans were largely dropped in favor of "art of war" as an expression of military professionalism.
          Last edited by MonsterZero; 23 Oct 07, 01:19.

          "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
          --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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          • #6
            If you want some interesting discussions on the Red Army, go visit the RKKA forum, listed below the World War 2 section. Trust me, Andrey will be glad to explain the Red Army to you.

            Pruitt
            Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

            Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

            by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
              If you want some interesting discussions on the Red Army, go visit the RKKA forum, listed below the World War 2 section. Trust me, Andrey will be glad to explain the Red Army to you.

              Pruitt
              Yes, and look up R.N. Armstrong's posts, a professional historian who is a specialist on the Red Army.

              Look at these threads buddy.

              http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ad.php?t=54496

              http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ad.php?t=37048

              Lots of good info there. Lots.

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              • #8
                Mainstream history does usually explain Soviet tactics in such manner. But if you read more on the subject (or at least read the posts from some of our more notable members), you`ll realise that the Soviets did plan quite a lot. Not all their plans were succesfull but that is the case with every country at some point.
                "Beneath its gilded beauty, though, there lies a poorly designed game which rewards the greedy and violent, and punishes the hardworking and honest; and if you think about it, that's a good representation of capitalism" - Nightfreeze about Eve Online

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hebrew Hammer View Post
                  ...Another tactic which the russians used primarily at the war was sending huge numbers of men into battle without a tactic!...
                  oh, man...
                  give up watching all these Hollywood movies and use a bit of common sense, at last !!

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                  • #10
                    I agree with the above posts, particularly Monster's and Martin's posts re the evolution of Soviet tactics. One interesting point is that the blitz doctrine that seemed to work very well in offensive contexts was developed by the Red Army in the 1920's. (That wasn't the only place the theory developed - they called it "deep battle" back then IIRC - but the Red Army invested a considerable effort in its version of the doctrine long before the Germans used it.)

                    One of my favorite campaigns of World War II was Operation Bagration, in which the Russians (as well as Belorussians, Ukrainians, Georgians, Siberians, etc.) in about five weeks swallowed up territory about a third the size of France. If you want to see how well the Soviets had re-learned their lessons, read up on that campaign.

                    You've pronounced German tactics as directed by Hitler stupid, and now the tactics of the Red Army in the same terms. Do you see any sweeping stupidity in the West?
                    "There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."
                    -- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

                    (Avatar: Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, Republic of Texas Navy)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hebrew Hammer View Post

                      when the russian offensive started it was a little more planed,tanks,artillary... but it was still basiclly 2.5 million men rushing threw the vast plains of eastern europe not caring about casualties.

                      In conclusion,the russians would have had a much easier life with a little planing.
                      Just realized that the 2.5 million point may have been a reference to the Belorussian campaign after all. If that is the case, you haven't read up on it.
                      "There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."
                      -- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

                      (Avatar: Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, Republic of Texas Navy)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MonsterZero View Post
                        During the summer campaign of 1941 the entire peacetime Red Army was wiped out and had to be rebuild by emergency drafting.
                        That is incorrect. The Soviet Union had a very large pool of trained men who weren't currently in uniform when the war began. The replacement armies of 1941 were built by calling up such men. Stumbling Collosus by Glantz will clarify that issue for you.

                        With regard to the original poster's question, the Soviets at times used both poor and excellent tactics. In the early part of the war, frontal assaults and human wave attacks were used with poor results. However the Soviets learned and refined their techniques and tactics. Read David Glantz's book on the Leningrad campaign and you'll find a reference to senior commanders reprimanding junior commanders for using wasteful frontal assaults rather than maneuver.

                        By 1944 the Red army was very very good. They practiced deception and then brought overwhelming firepower to bear on the point of attack. They made spoiling attacks to pin down enemy reserves. They practiced mobile battle and maneuver. They used mobile detachments to bypass resistance nests. They reinforced success. Take a good look at the Bagration operation in summer 1944 for how good the Red Army was by then.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hebrew Hammer View Post
                          Another tactic which the russians used primarily at the war was sending huge numbers of men into battle without a tactic! it worked! yes! but it was EXTREMELY STUPID, ...
                          Human wave is indeed a tactic. It was also used by the Chinese and Japanese (and by everyone in WWI and often in earlier wars as well) with similar results.

                          Human Wave is not the most efficient use of manpower, but when you have massive numeric superiority it will work. When your commanders are poorly trained, and your troops are poorly equipped, there isn't much choice but to surrender or fight with a human wave. Most would prefer to die on the battlefield taking a few enemy along with them, then die in a prison camp of "untermench".

                          The Soviets would overrun German positions when the Germans ran out of ammo or barrels for their machine guns. The endless killing would also demoralize the German troops. Study the battle of the Demyansk Pocket with the SS Totenkopf. This was classic Soviet human wave attacks in action.

                          In the Korean war, at times, the Chinese would be sent into battle against the USA troops without even a weapon or with weapons with very little ammo. They were supposed to capture the weapons from the US troops after their positions were overrun or pick up a weapon from a fallen comrade. The USA managed to win against those tactics, but it took a while.

                          The Soviets did what they had to, and ultimately it worked. They paided a terrible price in human lives but was it worth it? I would say, YES!

                          From Stalin's point of view, Hitler help him murder off millions that would have ended up in the Gulags anyway.
                          Battles are dangerous affairs... Wang Hsi

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                          • #14
                            Also check out Soviet defense during the battle of Kursk; a lot of it had to do with getting info about the attack, but a lot more was how much better the Soviets had gotten iirc.
                            And it's over the mountain and over the Main,
                            Through Gibralter, to France and Spain.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pirate-Drakk View Post
                              Human wave is indeed a tactic. It was also used by the Chinese and Japanese (and by everyone in WWI and often in earlier wars as well) with similar results.

                              Human Wave is not the most efficient use of manpower, but when you have massive numeric superiority it will work. When your commanders are poorly trained, and your troops are poorly equipped, there isn't much choice but to surrender or fight with a human wave. Most would prefer to die on the battlefield taking a few enemy along with them, then die in a prison camp of "untermench".

                              The Soviets would overrun German positions when the Germans ran out of ammo or barrels for their machine guns. The endless killing would also demoralize the German troops. Study the battle of the Demyansk Pocket with the SS Totenkopf. This was classic Soviet human wave attacks in action.

                              In the Korean war, at times, the Chinese would be sent into battle against the USA troops without even a weapon or with weapons with very little ammo. They were supposed to capture the weapons from the US troops after their positions were overrun or pick up a weapon from a fallen comrade. The USA managed to win against those tactics, but it took a while.

                              The Soviets did what they had to, and ultimately it worked. They paided a terrible price in human lives but was it worth it? I would say, YES!

                              From Stalin's point of view, Hitler help him murder off millions that would have ended up in the Gulags anyway.
                              Did you read any of the other posts? Did you read any recent or current academic research on the Soviet-German war??

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