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The German's greatest mistake in WWII

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  • If Stalin was stupid (as Adolf),why did the SU win? Maybe they were not inferior to the Krauts (horresco referens
    )

    Because the were BILLIONS.
    There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

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    • Originally posted by Emtos View Post
      )

      Because the were BILLIONS.
      Stalin wasn't stupid. The difference between the two I think was that Stalin learnt from his mistakes and was prepared to listen to others in the end...

      Comment


      • Originally posted by ShAA View Post
        Here's the book "The Other 1941. The Stopped Blitzkrieg"



        It was published in 2010 and it became rather popular among amateur historians in Russia, but so far nobody cared to translate it into English.


        Every time somebody brings something like this to my attention, I rue the fact that I have not yet kept my promise to myself, to learn to read Russian. Perhaps when I retire?

        On the matter of surprise, obviously the effect of it has a limited time but I think the amount of damage and loss inflicted by the Germans, in the opening stages, was greater because of it. Combined with the speed of progress of the German spearheads in key areas, these factors combined must have tended to cause some disarray among the defenders, just as happened to the Western Allies on a smaller scale in 1940. That said, it should not IMO be used as an 'excuse' to explain everything that went wrong for the Soviets during Barbarossa.


        Originally posted by ShAA View Post
        "I've got a question for you: is there a special mental block set for the Western audiences, which makes them exceptionally eager to read any kind of 3rd rate regurgitated for the umpteenth time literature, but absolutely blocks their interest in anything about Soviet side."
        I hope you will excuse me for breaking this up and answering in smaller parts but I think that's the best approach.

        My take on this part of your question is that the people in the West are generally very ill informed about the Soviet angle on WW2. Most would have no proper appreciation of the sheer scale of the conflict and the magnitude of Soviet losses, or for that matter the proportion of German losses sustained on the Eastern Front. They are often not so well informed about the Western Allied and German viewpoints either but at least on these, there is a steady bombardment of literature, TV shows and movies, which unfortunately in large part, do not provide accurate information.

        IMO, the main reason for a relative lack of interest in the Soviet side is that the people's interest and 'appetite for information' on this has never been properly stimulated to begin with. I think this is due to a number of factors.


        Originally posted by ShAA View Post
        "Do they sympathise with the Nazis much more than with the Communists?"
        In the vast majority of cases from my observations, I would say no to that. Although many in the West dislike or despise Communism, most would despise or hate Nazism even more. That said, there is IMO an almost unhealthy fascination with things German in certain quarters which is, again, due to a combination of factors including the fact that the Germans lost the war but were seen to be "fighting valiantly to the bitter end". The fact that they were fighting at the behest of a thoroughly evil regime seems to be disconnected in the minds of some.


        Originally posted by ShAA View Post
        "Why, if they have no interest in such books, they still keep complaining that this information is "oh so hard to get and there's no information about the Soviet side"? Seriously, 30 years have passed since the collapse of the SU, and a lot of books have been written in Russia, based on the declassified archives. Is it a sort of "conspiracy of silence" on part of Western publishing houses and audiences - not to publish and read any modern Russian historical research, or what? I can't find a logical and reasonable answer to this paradox.
        I think what we are still looking at here, is the after-effects of many decades of cold war, which had West Germany as an 'Allied' NATO country, combined with things like the movie industry in the West which has for the most part tended to leave the Soviet story untold or, on the relative minority of occasions when it has touched upon it has not done it very well. My take is that it will probably be quite a while yet before we see a significant swing away from this mindset. The translation of more Russian works into English will help I think, but only for those who choose to read. I think the change we'd both like to see will happen but only in the long term and probably only for those who have at least a reasonable interest in the history of the war. The remainder of the general public in the West will tend, in considerable degree, to swallow whatever they are fed by the popular media.
        "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
        Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by ljadw View Post
          BTW :I never heard some one saying that Stalin was a georgian corporal .
          And a former seminarian. And a bank robber. He was a complex man.

          I think the usual suspects are fascinated with Hitler for the same reason children love dinosaurs: They were big, dangerous and are now dead.
          Will no one tell me what she sings?--
          Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
          For old, unhappy, far-off things,
          And battles long ago:
          -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

          Comment


          • I agree :the usual suspects are children

            Comment


            • Originally posted by panther3485 View Post


              Every time somebody brings something like this to my attention, I rue the fact that I have not yet kept my promise to myself, to learn to read Russian. Perhaps when I retire?
              First of all, thank you for this very detailed answer - this is the level of understanding I was hoping to find here!

              A minor correction: the title translates as "Unknown 1941. The Stopped Blitzkrieg". Isaev is considered one of the leading "anti-Suvorovists" and a major military historian, however, he neither has a wiki page nor any works translated into English

              Here are 3 of his works offered on Amazon:

              http://www.amazon.co.uk/s?_encoding=...Alexey%20Isaev

              At the same time Suvorov and his follower Solonin have their own English-language websites and their books have been translated into English or their works are available online.

              Of course, the Western audiences, for which the works of these to were tailored for, would much rather read about evil Stalin preparing his aggression in 1941 and Hitler just defeding himself against the Commies. Still, can it be that nobody is interested in getting this kind of point of view across? A kind of "soft censorship" imposed by the ignorance of masses who had one opinion hammered into them once and forever? Even if someone decides to get the message across, he will hardly have an easy time persuading Western publishing houses to print his book when there are other authors peddling what the people want to hear and they "also look scholarly"?

              On the matter of surprise, obviously the effect of it has a limited time but I think the amount of damage and loss inflicted by the Germans, in the opening stages, was greater because of it. Combined with the speed of progress of the German spearheads in key areas, these factors combined must have tended to cause some disarray among the defenders, just as happened to the Western Allies on a smaller scale in 1940. That said, it should not IMO be used as an 'excuse' to explain everything that went wrong for the Soviets during Barbarossa.
              Agreed. In fact, after several days of the German attack they started facing formations which were relatively unaffected by the initial attack and dealt with them with almost the same ease as with those they defeated at the very start.

              I hope you will excuse me for breaking this up and answering in smaller parts but I think that's the best approach.
              Definitely!

              My take on this part of your question is that the people in the West are generally very ill informed about the Soviet angle on WW2. Most would have no proper appreciation of the sheer scale of the conflict and the magnitude of Soviet losses, or for that matter the proportion of German losses sustained on the Eastern Front. They are often not so well informed about the Western Allied and German viewpoints either but at least on these, there is a steady bombardment of literature, TV shows and movies, which unfortunately in large part, do not provide accurate information.
              Yes, I've also noticed this phenomenon. There is also a huge yawning gap in the general attitude and the moral evaluation of the opposing sides. Without going into much detail, I'd say that the Germans on the Eastern front are normally seen in the West as a bunch of hardcore professionals fighting against great odds. The "evil" part about them lurks somewhere in the background, if is there at all. This theatre of war is generally seen as a contest of two 19-century or WWI-style armies, fighting in the name of dictators to satisty their manias of grandeur. The fact the Soviets defended their land, once again, might glitter dimly in the background, but is rarely realised. Here the situation is entirely different: the Germans are seen in the context the policies of genocide (Hungerplan and Generalplan Ost) they actively helped implement, as well as the conquest of Lebensraum at the SU's expense. Some modern day Russians might believe Hitler was their liberator, but I'm not speaking about them.

              IMO, the main reason for a relative lack of interest in the Soviet side is that the people's interest and 'appetite for information' on this has never been properly stimulated to begin with. I think this is due to a number of factors.
              And that's one of the things which has always fascinated me thoroughly. I'v just been to Berlin and took a walking tour there. About 60% of this tour was about Hitler and the Nazis. When tourists come to St. Petesburg, they request War or Revolution tours very seldom, so that these tours are considered a "specialist" treat. I understand that Berlin was the Nazi capital and all that, but when the same people come to St. Petesburg and don't express the slightest interest in seeing the places where that very Communism they've heard so much about started - I find such disparate attitude very baffling. I really wonder - why?

              Well, I'm not speaking about the war. You should see the faces of guides when American or British tourists ask them "Oh, so you also fought in WW2?" in the city which suffered the largest loss of population in that war. Thankfully, I haven't got any such people yet, or I would be typing from a prison now

              In the vast majority of cases from my observations, I would say no to that. Although many in the West dislike or despise Communism, most would despise or hate Nazism even more. That said, there is IMO an almost unhealthy fascination with things German in certain quarters which is, again, due to a combination of factors including the fact that the Germans lost the war but were seen to be "fighting valiantly to the bitter end". The fact that they were fighting at the behest of a thoroughly evil regime seems to be disconnected in the minds of some.
              That's really worth a sociological study. Indeed, there were examples of last stands in other armies, yet they are either overlooked or brushed aside.

              Here is another observation. I've just taken my Danish tourists to the Mannerheim Line and showed them a Soviet propaganda documentary on the Winter War which was partly filmed at the locations we visited. What got my interest is that it garnered a lot of negative votes on Youtube, while Deutsche Wochenschau newsreel, remotely similar in their propaganda style got a much more positive reception. Ok, I know that 99% of Youtube commenters are idiots, however the trend is there. How are the Nazis invading Poland so much better, from the "Youtube public" point of view than the Soviets invading Finland? I would be fine with their (deservedly) negative attitudes if both aggressors were treated equally, but this difference struck me as odd.

              I think what we are still looking at here, is the after-effects of many decades of cold war, which had West Germany as an 'Allied' NATO country, combined with things like the movie industry in the West which has for the most part tended to leave the Soviet story untold or, on the relative minority of occasions when it has touched upon it has not done it very well. My take is that it will probably be quite a while yet before we see a significant swing away from this mindset. The translation of more Russian works into English will help I think, but only for those who choose to read. I think the change we'd both like to see will happen but only in the long term and probably only for those who have at least a reasonable interest in the history of the war. The remainder of the general public in the West will tend, in considerable degree, to swallow whatever they are fed by the popular media.
              Sadly enough, this is all true. There are a few minor developments towards the better, though, and I'll post a thread on one of them soon.
              www.histours.ru

              Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

              Comment


              • I think that Panther said about Hollywood's treatment is true, but when did Hollywood ever get anything right? I mean, Jude Law as a Red Army sniper?

                However, books, even popular novels, especially Herman Wouk's The Winds of War and War and Remembrance gave a very sympathetic depiction of the Soviet people and the Red Army's struggle against the invading Germans. General Yevlenko is a very well-drawn character, sympathetic and not at all a teddy bear, tough and realistic in the extreme. Even Stalin comes off pretty well, complete with a sense of humor. It is that set of books that gave me a much more balanced view of the Eastern Front. And Wouk's depicion of Yevlenko's description of Yevlenko's and Captain Henry's visit to Leningrad after the seige was lifted was haunting.
                Will no one tell me what she sings?--
                Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
                For old, unhappy, far-off things,
                And battles long ago:
                -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Desiree Clary View Post
                  I think that Panther said about Hollywood's treatment is true, but when did Hollywood ever get anything right? I mean, Jude Law as a Red Army sniper?
                  Oh, this film should really get the S..l..n treatment on these boards

                  However, books, even popular novels, especially Herman Wouk's The Winds of War and War and Remembrance gave a very sympathetic depiction of the Soviet people and the Red Army's struggle against the invading Germans. General Yevlenko is a very well-drawn character, sympathetic and not at all a teddy bear, tough and realistic in the extreme. Even Stalin comes off pretty well, complete with a sense of humor. It is that set of books that gave me a much more balanced view of the Eastern Front.
                  Thanks for this reference, Desiree! Just checked its synopsis on wiki. I'll have to put it on my to-read list. However I should say this book has never been mentioned in my conversations with foreigners, even amateur history buffs (both old and young) who probably had to know about it. Did this book/film get a very limited audience?
                  www.histours.ru

                  Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                    Oh, this film should really get the S..l..n treatment on these boards



                    Thanks for this reference, Desiree! Just checked its synopsis on wiki. I'll have to put it on my to-read list. However I should say this book has never been mentioned in my conversations with foreigners, even amateur history buffs (both old and young) who probably had to know about it. Did this book/film get a very limited audience?
                    Oh, no, it is a perennial bestseller, and even had not one but two television miniseries made about it, with such stars as Robert Mitchum and Polly Bergen.
                    Will no one tell me what she sings?--
                    Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
                    For old, unhappy, far-off things,
                    And battles long ago:
                    -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

                    Comment


                    • How about the Germans declaring war on the USA?
                      "With foxes we must play the fox."
                      -Thomas Fuller

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Desiree Clary View Post
                        Oh, no, it is a perennial bestseller, and even had not one but two television miniseries made about it, with such stars as Robert Mitchum and Polly Bergen.
                        Interesting, I guess the assorted "Blond knights" and "Forgotten soldiers" almost completely negated its effect - unfortunately.
                        www.histours.ru

                        Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

                        Comment


                        • The youth is not interested in WWII:that's something from 70 years ago,thus the middle-ages.
                          Even Vietnam has become forgotten .

                          Those who know something,are sticking with their prejudices:it is always easier to continue to believe what one was taught when one was young,than to question this .

                          Most of those who are interested in WWII have a limited knowledge,know nothing,or believe the wrong things.

                          A lot of them are only interested in battles where US soldiers were fighting(or British)and are not interested in the war of the east,which is something human.(who in Russia would be interested in the Battle of Alamein ? )

                          Than,one has those who are convinced that the HCH is the gospel(the H CH is attracting such persons)

                          There also is the "cool man" brigade who has read the title of a book (only,the title,because,after the title,they are already overworked)and are arguing,with as knowledge the title.

                          Than,you have the minus habens,who is convinced that the WSS were elite soldiers,and asked why ,the answer is :the uniforms were cool and the goose-stepping is brilliant .

                          If at a certain moment,there is a stagnation,the situation is saved by the reedition of crap as Panzerleader,Lost Victories and the Speer memoires.

                          There also is the reappearing (of course,they never were absent) of the modern crap writers:the self styled acclaimed military historians and authors as Bevin Alexander,always popular guests at the talk shows.

                          As the public wants crap,it gets crap,because no publisher will publish books for a small group of intelligent people.

                          Comment


                          • excellent post!

                            Originally posted by Desiree Clary View Post
                            We covered the subject of food pretty thorougly in the "Eisenhower and the POWs" thread. The blockade by the Allies was very thorough and successful, much more so than the German blockade of the British Isles. Clay Blair in Hitler's U-Boat War makes very plain that despite some sucesses in the early war, at no time was a majority of a convoy sunk or even attacked on the northern run, and even one alarming month (March, 1942? Don't remember exactly) was due to a pack of Type IXs raising cain in South Africa, not the British-US convoys..
                            Failing to stockpile commodities , esp. grain, in the 1930's when it was dirt cheap.

                            In 1935 Canada was desparately trying to give away the huge , embarrassing stockpile of garnet wheat. On almost any terms.

                            Garnet makes inferior bread- but it is nutritionally sound, esp. for feeding conquered people, POW's, etc.

                            http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history...netwheat.shtml

                            In 1935 the Reich could have dumped panzer ones, Heinkel biplanes, rotary presses, Ju 52's etc, ANYTHING into Canada. tarrif free for Garnet.
                            The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

                            Comment


                            • The Germans' greatest mistake of WWII: Hitler.

                              He was the best allied general of the war...and knew how to snatch defeat from the very jaws of victory.
                              "I am the Lorax, and I'll yell and I'll shout for the fine things on earth that are on their way out!"

                              ~Dr. Seuss, The Lorax


                              "The trouble with Scotland...is that it's full of Scots!"

                              Comment


                              • Those who contend that the mistake Hitler made in allowing the B.E.F. to escape from Dunkirk have a couple of good points, from the scenario of the possibility the Brits 'may' have negotiated a peace as has been mentioned, had the Germans over ran the Dunkirk pocket & destroyed the British army as Von Brauchitsch had planned.

                                Would Britain have negotiated a peace in those circumstances?
                                That would have huge consequences in it's self.


                                And perhaps another point could be made for the 24th May 1941,as being the writing on the wall for the Werhmacht, when Hitler committed the first of what would be many incredible blunders of the war, when he stepped in & stopped the Panzers with the BEF about to be over run.

                                Would destroying the BEF have any dire consequences for Britain in the short term, probably not, but thankfully, the first of many blunders by Hitler certainly had dire consequences for Germany.

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