Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Soviet Union without Stalin nor Trotzky and sans Purges

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Soviet Union without Stalin nor Trotzky and sans Purges

    For this alternate timeline, what if the USSR had been ruled by a pragmatist cabal instead of paranoid Stalin or world-revolutionaire Trotzky?
    I am especially wondering how the USSR would have fared if the Red Army had been left alone, no Great Purge and ideally no executive meddling, at least not worse than in other nations? The pre-purge Red Army is said to have had some ideas not only about Blitzkrieg-like concepts but also about how to counter them.
    Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
    Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
    USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

  • #2
    Originally posted by Acheron View Post
    For this alternate timeline, what if the USSR had been ruled by a pragmatist cabal instead of paranoid Stalin or world-revolutionaire Trotzky?
    I am especially wondering how the USSR would have fared if the Red Army had been left alone, no Great Purge and ideally no executive meddling, at least not worse than in other nations? The pre-purge Red Army is said to have had some ideas not only about Blitzkrieg-like concepts but also about how to counter them.
    Acheron,

    Just for clarification - do you mean what would have happened if an individual like Bukharin had seized power and left the NEP in place instead of pursuing collectivisation and forced industrialisation? This would have to be considered along with a Red Army devoid of a purges.

    Comment


    • #3
      A difficult question. Here are some implications I can think of.

      1. Less industrial Soviet Union means less tanks and equipment? Red Army not the biggest and greatest in the world in 1939?

      2. No MRP, weaker and less aggressive Soviet Union makes MRP less of a must for Hitler, but also makes Russian-Polish alliance a possibility.

      3. When is the break from real history? Does this mean no German-Russian cooperation in developing the blitzkrieg? Does this mean the French can overpower Hitler?

      4. No winter war, Finnish gulf closed and Leningrad farther to reach for Hitler?

      5. Japanese less afraid of Soviet Union and ready to pounce?

      6. No purges, no collectivization means a larger and more united nation. Hitler has no goodwill to waste. This doesn't really affect much, because Hitler made so little use of this potential.

      7. No Stalin, no Stalingrad? Would the defense of Volgograd been as fierce?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Acheron View Post
        what if the USSR had been ruled by a pragmatist cabal instead of paranoid Stalin
        but it indeed was ruled by 'a pragmatist cabal' that included: Stalin, Beria, Molotov etc.
        and the 'paranoia' was nothing more but a 'pragmatic method' in this case.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by pp(est) View Post
          3. When is the break from real history? Does this mean no German-Russian cooperation in developing the blitzkrieg? Does this mean the French can overpower Hitler?
          There was no cooperation in the development of Deep Battle and Blitzkrieg. Both developed independent of the other. Russia wanted a doctrine devoid of Western influence and Germany didn't trust Russia enough to enable cooperation. Even the German tank school in Kazan was secretive.

          Deep Battle and tank organization would still have to be refined through the school of hard knocks, as it was in late 42'.
          If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by pp(est) View Post
            A difficult question. Here are some implications I can think of.

            1. Less industrial Soviet Union means less tanks and equipment? Red Army not the biggest and greatest in the world in 1939?

            2. No MRP, weaker and less aggressive Soviet Union makes MRP less of a must for Hitler, but also makes Russian-Polish alliance a possibility.

            3. When is the break from real history? Does this mean no German-Russian cooperation in developing the blitzkrieg? Does this mean the French can overpower Hitler?

            4. No winter war, Finnish gulf closed and Leningrad farther to reach for Hitler?

            5. Japanese less afraid of Soviet Union and ready to pounce?

            6. No purges, no collectivization means a larger and more united nation. Hitler has no goodwill to waste. This doesn't really affect much, because Hitler made so little use of this potential.

            7. No Stalin, no Stalingrad? Would the defense of Volgograd been as fierce?
            1- Biggest, yes, but greatest?
            With less to squander, they might have been more careful about what was built. They did not have to build thousands of T-26s or BT-7s to develop the T-34, and all those gangs of death-traps did was provide target practice for the Germans and get the pre-war crews killed.

            2- I doubt an alliance with Poland was going to happen, under any circumstances. This would be as much Poland's doing as anything else... unless the proposed 1933 invasion of Germany was taken more seriously.

            3- THAT is something that will need to be clarified.

            4- Granted. Who in their right mind thought that little stunt was a good idea?

            5- wow... that's a big one, and one I'm not prepared to go into just yet. It does seem to be one area where Stalin's influence might have had a positive effect.
            For Russia, I mean.

            6- No purges would have had a fantastic effect. The German General Staff reffered to the purges as their first big victory of the war.

            7- Some other city would have served the same purpose just as well. There would have been a show-down based on breaking the will of one side or another eventually, be it Moscow, Ashtrakhan, or even Gorky.

            I suppose the main difference would have been fewer peasants meeting the Germans with bread and salt.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
              No purges would have had a fantastic effect...
              ...of more of the traitors like general Vlassov among red army commanders?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by stalin View Post
                ...of more of the traitors like general Vlassov among red army commanders?
                Somehow, the Purge over-looked that bastard, but they managed to imprison Rokksovsky. Nice work!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am mainly wondering how the unpurged officers would have handled Barbarossa. So let's go with everything historically EXCEPT that the Red Army is unpurged, and no higher authority tells them to do stupid things that gets them killed.
                  Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
                  Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
                  USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Given my experiences with the late period more benign Soviet Union (the fact that it was no longer Stalin - horrible does not mean it should be confused with anything nice) I am highly skeptical that merely being more benign would have made them more effective. Communism is ultimatively a system corrupt to its core and I don't think the starting point i.e. the Czarist military leadership was exactly brilliant.

                    Without purges there would surely be a few more bright minds here and there compared to actual history, but is it really enough to make a difference? And how to quantify that difference? I might be wrong here, so I would very much appreciate if somebody could point out which brilliant leaders were lost in the purges and why they were brilliant. Statistically there had to of course be unknown stars in the lot, but it would be more interesting to hear if there is something more substantive.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This subject has been raised twice before in the last three years. My current take is the development of the RKKA or whatever it might be called, from 1937 would diverge greatly from the historical course.

                      1. Would the leaders take the same course in the expansion and mobilization between 193 & June 1941? Fewer new formations means the trained officers and NCO are not spread so thinly across the ground and airforces.

                      2. Would the leaders follow the historical course and not alert the border formations and field armies in the west in June as per the historical course? Or would those formations be alerted to the possible German attack? In that case a weeks alert would have them deployed, entrenched, camoflaged, with ammunition distributed, tactical and operational communications established, air units dispersed, antiaircraft artillery ready, ect....

                      3. Would the development of tactical and operational doctrines really take the same course as historically. There is no guarantee these different leaders would choose from either of the two historical options for operational doctrine.

                      4. Would the choice of weapons for production remain the same? There was nothing set in stone about the decisiosn for choosing one set of prototypes over another. If different operational or tactical doctrines are chosen it is likely different choices for weapons will be be made.

                      That is just scratching the surface. It is a bit silly to think such a radical difference in leaders would cause only a few changes in everything else.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Acheron View Post
                        I am mainly wondering how the unpurged officers would have handled Barbarossa. So let's go with everything historically EXCEPT that the Red Army is unpurged, .....
                        If by historical you mean no alert of the armies in the western zones in June then the initial outcome is the same. The Germans can still make incredible gains in late June and July against a army with little tactical preperation, whatever its doctrine. Similarly if the state of training is the same then the doctrine is irrelevant since they cant execute it effectively. or is your basis here that without the purge the overall skill will be better?

                        Originally posted by Acheron View Post
                        .... and no higher authority tells them to do stupid things that gets them killed.
                        Does blaming all things bad on 'higher authority' bring the assumption that the subordinate leaders do not make the same or other equally bad mistakes? A larger group of unpurged trained leaders might make a difference at the tactical level, but that can be thrown away through poor decisions at the senior levels. The Germans had a high level of tactical and operational skill, but it was all wasted through poor stratigic decisions. The same is possible with the Soviet forces.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by stalin View Post
                          but it indeed was ruled by 'a pragmatist cabal' that included: Stalin, Beria, Molotov etc.
                          and the 'paranoia' was nothing more but a 'pragmatic method' in this case.
                          Paranoia is only recognition you have enemies?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                            A larger group of unpurged trained leaders might make a difference at the tactical level, but that can be thrown away through poor decisions at the senior levels.
                            From the wikipedia:
                            Originally posted by Wikipedia
                            The purge of the army removed three of five marshals (then equivalent to six-star generals), 13 of 15 army commanders (then equivalent to four- and five-star generals), eight of nine admirals (the purge fell heavily on the Navy, who were suspected of exploiting their opportunities for foreign contacts), 50 of 57 army corps commanders, 154 out of 186 division commanders, 16 of 16 army commissars, and 25 of 28 army corps commissars.
                            The level at which the purges took place clearly exceeds the mere tactical level, I would argue that without the purges, the Red Army would have been led much more competently on the operational and strategic level, too.

                            Let us assume that Barbarossa DOES take the unpurged Red Army by surprise. Weren't the historically heavy casualties a result of positioning too many troops too close to the front? IIRC, the pre-purge generals had favoured allowing the enemy's attack to exhaust itself before counterattacking, wouldn't that automatically mean a more reasonable deployment?
                            Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
                            Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
                            USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Acheron View Post
                              I am mainly wondering how the unpurged officers would have handled Barbarossa. So let's go with everything historically EXCEPT that the Red Army is unpurged, and no higher authority tells them to do stupid things that gets them killed.
                              How far back to do you want to go? Does Mikhail Frunze survive his bout with ulceration and receive a fatally excessive dose of chloroform? If so, I don't think we can underestimate his potential impact.

                              Comment

                              Latest Topics

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X