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Did the Soviets win WWII 65 years before WWII?

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  • Did the Soviets win WWII 65 years before WWII?

    A flawed, but interesting video, the author claims the Soviets inherited from Tsarist Russia a system of conscription and reserve armies that played a vital role in surviving the initial onslaught of Barbarossa and then going on to win WWII. Some arguments I have heard before and there are a few errors but I was wondering what you all think.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxQE05OaOBc

  • #2
    Tsarist Russia had big trouble with mobilization in WWI. Soviet system was mostly based on Civil War.
    There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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    • #3
      The Soviets were deeply into revisionist history, in which the Soviet Union played the key role throughout. Since the Soviets could not predict that Stalin, Hitler and WWII would come about, the plain answer is NO - they didn't.

      It's kind of like claiming that by originally electing FDR, America won WWII, because FDR came up with Lend Lease, etc.
      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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      • #4
        Only if losing 25 million people and sustaining economic and cultural wounds which ultimately killed it can be considered 'winning'.

        I would say that the cost of their 'victory' still haunts Russia today. Particularly since both enemies and allies have enjoyed greater prosperity, stability, and security since the war.

        I still think that the greatest irony of the 20th century is that the Soviet Union destroyed itself saving the capitalists it despised.
        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
          Only if losing 25 million people and sustaining economic and cultural wounds which ultimately killed it can be considered 'winning'.

          I would say that the cost of their 'victory' still haunts Russia today. Particularly since both enemies and allies have enjoyed greater prosperity, stability, and security since the war.

          I still think that the greatest irony of the 20th century is that the Soviet Union destroyed itself saving the capitalists it despised.
          The Soviet Union ultimately destroyed itself from within due to it's inherently faulty system of economic management and it's inability to cleanse itself of the criminal elements so deeply entrenched in all aspects of society and culture.

          WWII was, by any standard of measurement, a Pyhrric victory for the Soviet Union.
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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          • #6
            tenor.gif

            As for the video: universal conscription was such a usual thing by the XX century that I wouldn't see anything special about it. Then, pretty large portion of men conscripted during WWII, probably even most of them, didn't have any prior military training. That means a more limited role of trained reserves created by universal conscription than suggested by this presentation.

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            • #7
              Tsarism exited for several reasons unrelated to Soviet policy.

              Tsarist Russia shot itself down, unable to stop partial mobilization. By 1916, they could not feed the people either. Poor foreign and domestic policy is hardly a complex rehearsal for that nightmarish Civil War
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Emtos View Post
                Tsarist Russia had big trouble with mobilization in WWI. Soviet system was mostly based on Civil War.
                But did they ?
                I thought that the speed of Russian mobilization in WW1 caught the Germans by surprise, which is why they had to dilute the thrust of the Schlieffen Plan in the West to try to save the situation in East Prussia.
                "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                Samuel Johnson.

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                • #9
                  You can find a detailed critique of the Russian conscription system in Golovine:
                  https://www.amazon.com/Russian-Army-.../dp/0317275534
                  In short 1) there were so many exemptions from conscription that it couldn't be called "universal", a large share of men didn't serve in the army and had no military training prior to August 1914
                  2) Russia mobilized less men relative to its population than most other belligerents.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post

                    But did they ?
                    I thought that the speed of Russian mobilization in WW1 caught the Germans by surprise, which is why they had to dilute the thrust of the Schlieffen Plan in the West to try to save the situation in East Prussia.
                    Yes and no. For years Imperial Russia counted on fortresses and the depth of the state to allow them time to fully mobilize; however, in 1914 they launched their invasion if Prussia before they were fully mobilized, which caught the Germans off guard.

                    The Russian C3 structure was too clumsy to deal a fatal blow, and the German counter-offensive shredded the Russian armies involved.

                    Imperial Russia, in an eerily similar way to WW2, make massive sacrifices to honor it's alliance by launching offensives to take pressure off the Western Front. IMO if they had looked to their own needs ahead of their allies, they would have lost fewer troops and been in a much better position throughout 1916. Even so, they soundly beat the Turks and gave A-H a rough handling.
                    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post

                      Yes and no. For years Imperial Russia counted on fortresses and the depth of the state to allow them time to fully mobilize; however, in 1914 they launched their invasion if Prussia before they were fully mobilized, which caught the Germans off guard.

                      The Russian C3 structure was too clumsy to deal a fatal blow, and the German counter-offensive shredded the Russian armies involved.
                      The Russian mistake of 1914, IMO, was to send only 2 of their armies against Germany, but 4 against Austria-Hungary.
                      Another army against Germany would probably have prevented the disaster at Tannenberg, allowed Russia to have occupied significant chunks of East Prussia, whilst still more than holding their own against the A-H armies


                      Imperial Russia, in an eerily similar way to WW2, make massive sacrifices to honor it's alliance by launching offensives to take pressure off the Western Front. IMO if they had looked to their own needs ahead of their allies, they would have lost fewer troops and been in a much better position throughout 1916. Even so, they soundly beat the Turks and gave A-H a rough handling.
                      You could say that about the Entente powers though. They were also conducting offensives to relieve the pressure on the Russians.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gooner View Post

                        The Russian mistake of 1914, IMO, was to send only 2 of their armies against Germany, but 4 against Austria-Hungary.
                        Another army against Germany would probably have prevented the disaster at Tannenberg, allowed Russia to have occupied significant chunks of East Prussia, whilst still more than holding their own against the A-H armies
                        True, although give the poor handling of two, could their early war C3 system handle three any better? German staff work and internal rail lines, plus excellent leadership, won Tannenburg.


                        Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                        You could say that about the Entente powers though. They were also conducting offensives to relieve the pressure on the Russians.
                        But their industrial base and internal cohesion were much better. Imperial Russia had to import crucial supplies, had critical shortages in rail capacity, and was internally unstable before the war started.

                        The Russian people were far less likely to grasp the idea that a failed or minimally successful offensive was essential to aid the French, when most considered the next province to be foreigners.

                        Without a middle-class-based NCO system, the Russians suffered far worse effect from the decimation of their pre-war military as well.

                        If Imperial Russia had fought according to a timetable of their own, dictated by their industrial and import capabilities, I think they would have put off the revolution for a year. Once trench warfare set in, the Western Powers weren't going to be blitzed out of the war, but Russia's key weakness was the internal rot undercutting their system.
                        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                        • #13
                          "Universal" conscription, while not at war, meant that any young able-bodied man might be drafted - not that all of them automatically were.
                          Michele

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                          • #14
                            By the Russian law large groups of physically fit men were legally exempt from conscription, so they might not be conscripted in peace-time. That was different from selective conscription by lots, which was a common practice then.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post

                              But did they ?
                              I thought that the speed of Russian mobilization in WW1 caught the Germans by surprise, which is why they had to dilute the thrust of the Schlieffen Plan in the West to try to save the situation in East Prussia.
                              I like to see a proof for the claim that the thrust of the Schlieffen plan was diluted to save the situation in East Prussia, as the Schlieffen plan already had failed before the decision was taken to send reinforcements to the Eat,where these reinforcements arrived after Tannenberg .

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