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Imperial Russia in WW2

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  • Ogukuo72
    replied
    Originally posted by grognard View Post
    Saying the German operational focus would be more conventional is where we disagree. In both 1870 AND 1914 they went for the quick kill, and hiostorically they were always looking for quick wins: so IMHO, they would have come up something similar despite a "lack" of input from other theorists.
    Grognard, you're absolutely right. The Germans had always went for a quick kill. In both 1914 and 1940, they believed that they could win quickly and cheaply. The experience of 1914 had not taught them in 1940 the foolhardiness of thinking they can win a quick fight against other industrial great powers. When the Blitzkrieg of 1940 turned into the long hard slogging war of attrition from 1941 onwards, Germany was caught woefully unprepared for total war.

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  • Tsar
    replied
    Originally posted by captainsennef View Post
    Tsar,
    as I read it, both Full Monty and Piero have touched this aspect in their posts # 3 and 4 of this thread.
    Oops my bad. Should have reread everything again before posting, Sorry.

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  • Colonel Sennef
    replied
    Originally posted by grognard View Post
    Saying the German operational focus would be more conventional is where we disagree. In both 1870 AND 1914 they went for the quick kill, and hiostorically they were always looking for quick wins: so IMHO, they would have come up something similar despite a "lack" of input from other theorists.
    Have you been reading Citino ('German Way of Warfare') a lot recently?
    I agree both with you and with him that this was the German operational focus, to go for the quick kill; but then who doesn't? Even the Poles in the summer of '39 thought they could frighten the Germans into submission quickly by dispatching a couple of squadrons of cavalry towards Berlin.

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  • grognard
    replied
    Saying the German operational focus would be more conventional is where we disagree. In both 1870 AND 1914 they went for the quick kill, and hiostorically they were always looking for quick wins: so IMHO, they would have come up something similar despite a "lack" of input from other theorists.

    Leave a comment:


  • Colonel Sennef
    replied
    Originally posted by grognard View Post
    Given the German perchant for fast strikes and German and British tank theory, Germany still developing a blitz concept.
    Grognard, I have taken this in consideration but my reasoning went as follows: German Blitzkrieg theory (as formulated by Heinz Guderian) rests on two pillars: a British one formulated by Fuller and Liddell Hart and a Russian pillar (Tukhachevsky). IMO the important difference in a nutshell between the two pillars is that the British thinkers wanted to mechanize only a part of the army that can force breakthroughs at critical points, which the rest of the army exploits (expanding torrent) whereas the Soviets where thinking of mechanizing the whole army and let it all be part in the continuous executing of 'Deep Operations', till the war was concluded (victoriously, by the Red Army).
    With one (Russian) pillar missing, Germany's Blitzkrieg concept would have looked differently and likely be much much more conventional.

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  • Colonel Sennef
    replied
    Originally posted by tsar View Post
    No one has looked at the possibility that there would not be a Nazi party in charge of Germany at all. Hitler and the Nazi’s rose to power in no small part by battling the communist in Germany. With no Communist there may have been no Nazi party. Another thing to blame Lenin for.

    Tsar,
    as I read it, both Full Monty and Piero have touched this aspect in their posts # 3 and 4 of this thread.

    As for myself: I have thought of the aspect you mention but found it truly
    Originally posted by captainsennef
    a mind boggling 'What if', so many imponderables!
    With the Russian Revolution being crushed a whole new landscape unfolds with different outcomes on the social, economic, political, diplomatic and military level...
    Last edited by Colonel Sennef; 21 Oct 06, 09:00.

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  • Tom Phoenix
    replied
    Originally posted by tsar View Post
    No one has looked at the possibility that there would not be a Nazi party in charge of Germany at all. Hitler and the Naziís rose to power in no small part by battling the communist in Germany. With no Communist there may have been no Nazi party. Another thing to blame Lenin for.
    I fail to see how this has anything to do with the situation in Russia since German Communists rose on their own (as far as I know).

    Also, even without the communists, there would still be the infamous Versailles treaty which pumped Nazi ideology for the most part.

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  • Tsar
    replied
    Originally posted by daemonofdecay View Post
    Here's an idea I thouht of durring my European history class.

    Looking at a map of Russia during the revolution, the White russians owned almost all of the territory sorrounding the Red Russians, and outnumbered them by a great deal.

    Evidently, the Whites could have estroyed the revolution quickly if they had just attacked en masse, but instead they were divided by internal conflicts and personal quests for power.

    So I propose this: What if the White Russians had been able to unite themselves and attack the Reds, destroying the revolution and re-establishing Tsarist Russia.

    So going into the 40's, how would this have affected the political landscape of WW2? Would Germany, instead of striking a deal with the Soviet Union (the Molt.-Ribb. pact), been forced into a two front war earlier than expected when Russia honors her alliance with France, sending troops into Poland to oppose the Blitzkrieg there?

    There might not have been a Winter war between Russia and Finnland, so the Russian army would not have gained the experience it needed there. Also, it's industrial base would likely still be backwards compared to the rest of Europe, meaning the Germans would face less Russian tanks.

    How do you see this situation playing out?

    Perhaps another WW1, with Germany forced to fight a 2 front war from Day 1?

    No one has looked at the possibility that there would not be a Nazi party in charge of Germany at all. Hitler and the Naziís rose to power in no small part by battling the communist in Germany. With no Communist there may have been no Nazi party. Another thing to blame Lenin for.

    Leave a comment:


  • grognard
    replied
    Given the German perchant for fast strikes and German and British tank theory, Germany still developing a blitz concept.
    IMHO the real question is what happens in when Germany invades Poland. Does Russia join in the dismemberment or does Russia "aid" Poland and take on Germany in 1939? An undefeated Russia would probably oppose German expansion in the east.

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  • Colonel Sennef
    replied
    This is a mind boggling 'What if', so many imponderables!

    With the Russian Revolution being crushed a whole new landscape unfolds with different outcomes on the social, economic, political, diplomatic and military level...
    I like to concentrate on one aspect only, or my mind starts to boil!!

    IMO a WW2 where a not-communist Russia has to fight Nazi Germany would be remarkably like a re-run of WW1.
    After WW1, only the defeated Germany is an international pariah; not like in the real history, an outcast together with Communist Russia. Being outsiders together, this creates a bond which causes them to start to have military exchanges. German officers travel to Russia and vice verso, meet each other and exchange ideas. German military thinkers like von Mellenthin take good notice of the ideas of counterparts like Tukhachevsky, who has developed the theory of 'Deep Operations'. This contact, mixed with Liddell Harts ideas of the 'Expanding Torrent' lead to the German 'Blitzkrieg' which is Germany opening move in the beginning of the 'real' Second World War.

    In the alternate world, only Germany is an outcast and it will not bond with post-war victorious Russia.
    (On top of that it is very well possible that in 'Kerensky's Russia' for lack of a better term ( I associate White Russia with Belarus) Tukhachevsky never gets a change to rise as high as he did.) Anyway Tukhachevsky and Melenthin will not meet and discuss ideas. The Blitzkrieg theory, if developed at all, will only be a watery version of it explosive real self which the Soviet thinkers brought in. So a conflict between Russia and Nazi Germany will be much more of a static war, one in which tanks are being used as infantry support: World War 1 re-run.

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  • grognard
    replied
    White Russia could have wanted territory without fighting Germany again, so they agreed to partition Poland.
    BUT, They might have attacked Germany once Hitler hit the west in 1940, but if they were slow mobilizing then Hitler starts attacking them in the late summer of 1940--goodby Balkans and Med because Britain and Greece and kicking Italy's butt and Hitler can't spare troops because of the situation vs. Russia. Romania, Finland and Hungary stay neutral--no winter war or Soviet aggression and the Germans are crossing Poland and White Russia to get to Moscow and/or Kiev. They can't send troops through Romania so everybody is north of the Pripet marshes and the Russians concentrate there also. But Hitler needs troops on his southern flank because of U.K. forces in Greece and Yugoslavia deciding to go after Trieste.

    To quote a (fake) Heer representative "Ver-rr-r-r--y interesting."

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  • Daemon of Decay
    replied
    Ah yeah. I was just kinda ignoring Japan's role in WW2 for the sake of my imagination.

    Truthfully, I agree with you in that White Russia would be weaker than the USSR.

    The leadership would be less decisive, industrial power would be weaker, and the pwople would be less motivated to fight for the motherland (exspecially if the Whites failed to institute any kind of reforms).

    The one thing I do think the Russians would have going for them would be an earlier entrance into the war (possibly).

    Also, the White Russians wouldn't have suffered through Stalin's purges, but the lack of a serious industrial base probably negates this.

    If Russia was still in an alliance with France, would Hitler risk an invasion of Poland knowing that his armies would have to take ALL of Poland, and afterwords instead of turning around to fight France his men would instead stay in Poland to fight Russia?

    If Russia did still honor thier alliance with France, would the allies be much more likely to invade western Germany instead of holding the 'phoney War' along the border there?

    Would the British and French have been willing to step in and enforce the Treaty of Versailles earlier knowing that they had an ally to the east?

    I guess it's all about how one percieves how the different nations would have reacted to a White, rather than Red, Russia.

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  • Tom Phoenix
    replied
    But there is a problem with that. Assuming that events in the Pacific would have taken place just as they did, who is to say that the Whites will be able to hold on long enough for the US to join the war? Given the various elements, they would be much worse prepared for a possible invasion then the Soviets were and the initial aid would have still been small.

    You have to understand that White Russia would have lacked two important elements: industrial capacity and the will to fight. Industrial capacity would have been lower since there wouldn`t have been such a direct and deadly pursuit for a great industrial base. Besides that, it is unlikely the White Russians would pursue the Scorched Earth policy. Meaning many industrial machinery gets left behind to the Germans.

    As for the will to fight....the communists were very effective in propaganda. They had lots of practice prior to the October Revolution. This wouldn`t have been the case with White Russians, meaning they have lesser capability of ralling the masses. Also, there was a lot of supressed nationalities in Tsarist Russia so we can assume it would be similar in White Russia. And to top it all, internal rivlary among commanders would crumble the effectivness of the Russian army.

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  • Daemon of Decay
    replied
    Wow, that was a good post Tom!

    You pointed out some interesting things.

    So, I think the critical things to consider when we look at a White Russia v. Soviet Union in WW2 boil down to thier comprable industrial power, military strength, and political relations.

    We know Stalin created a vast industrial complex that, though ineffecient, would propel the Soviet Union to world power status.

    Personally, I don't see the Whites building such an economy, as they would be dealing with too much internal strife. However, one bonus I do see the Russian's getting is much more aid from the US.

    The Unites States send large amounts of lend-lease equipment to the Soviet Union. Some of it was just waste, like obsolete tanks. However, other items were vastly more important like water-proof wire (for telegraphs and such) and trucks, because the S.U.'s truck factories had been converted into tank producing ones.

    Now, while the SE did recieve much aid, I believe the US would have been a little more goving if Russia had not been a communist state. If the White Russians were at War with Germany, the US could send lots of aid very quickly to Russia, perhaps making up for the losses of industrial power a non-communist government would have initiated.

    And who knows? Maybe the US troops would have been sent to Moscow and England, participating in D-Day and Kursk?

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  • Tom Phoenix
    replied
    I think there has been a lot of overestimates about White Russia in this thread.

    1. No good relations with Germany means that officers don`t get educated in German academies. You have to understand that the officers which were executed during the purges were those who were educated in Germany due to the secret agreement beetween Germany and the Soviet Union.

    Also, while there would be no large scale purges, there would have been common replacements. Also, there would be a lot of internal strife. Already during the Civil War several White officers fought for control over the country. A united White victory would only mean the delay of this fight for power. No army has even worked well with internal strife.

    2. While there would have been foreign investements into Russia, this would have more gone to the already existing infrastructure rather then building of new ones. For example, foreign capital dominated Yugoslavia in the mid-war years, yet prior to WWII industry presented only 12% of the national income.

    3. Stalin did ignore facts that Hitler would attack soon, but he knew that war was inevitable beetween the countries. That is why he had so much of the Red Army stationed on the western border even though Japan presented a "greater" threat during the time. With White Russia, that wouldn`t have been the case.

    4. There are several other reasons why the mayority of the VVS got destroyed in the initial stages of Barbarossa, besides the suprise. One of them was the fact that at the central frontier, airfields were too close to the front. Some were even in range of German long-range artillery. That is why so many planes got destroyed on the ground. Also, the Luftwaffe surpassed the VSS by quality of men and material by far. The Soviet I-15s and I-16s were a no match to the German Me-109F. The air force of a White Russia wouldn`t have been much better of the historical VVS. You have to understand that they would most likely import aircraft from elsewhere. Nationalist China did the same thing and even had foreign volunteers to fly their planes for the most part. The Japanese still made short work of them. I can`t imagine it being any better in a case of a White Russia.

    But this is an interesting scenarion. One has to wonder what would have happened to Ukraine and Byelorussia had they been allowed to exist? (Historiclly, the Soviets conquered these two countries and adopted them into the Soviet Union as SSRs.)

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