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  • Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
    Do we want to run a pool as to who has the greater staying power?
    It means that I now have to step up to the plate and write more fabulous adventures of the miraculously rejuvenated Castro brothers...

    SOMEONE has to keep this forum going...
    The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

    Comment


    • Originally posted by marktwain View Post
      It means that I now have to step up to the plate and write more fabulous adventures of the miraculously rejuvenated Castro brothers...

      SOMEONE has to keep this forum going...
      Maybe you could start with the exploits of Che Guervia if he hadn't been killed when he was. That should be popular with the Leftists and Hollywood types...

      Comment


      • First of all a few reasons why this entire paper is not relevant to conditions in May, 1946. In fact it only reinforces my contention that Stalin’s one and only chance to successfully invade Western Europe was in May, 1946. He of course didn’t because of a number of reasons two of the most dangerous being the atomic bomb and the B-29. I believe that I have reasonably dealt with those two weapons systems. If you don’t agree than my foray into alternate history is indeed dead in the water and read no further. If you can accept my solutions for these two show stoppers and can pull yourself away from the limits of OTL … read on.

        The author of this paper does not at any point mention the condition of the US/GB/FR forces. I have gathered and presented numerous official reports, anecdotal evidence and cited 3 books with one being a nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, that all agree that in May, 1946, the Western armies were a joke and without a doubt a glorified police force that was busy looting Germany. They were untrained, ill led and unprepared by all and I mean all accounts reliable accounts. All but one was at half strength and that division was led by an untrained officer corps with no combat experience.
        I have gone over all the instances of where the author even mentions 1946 or even infers that the conditions could have been relevant for this time period.

        [quote]Regarding Soviet divisional strength, one JLb report from 1946 suggested that 68 out of an estimated 156 rifle divisions were at only 75-percent strength, but this information never made it into subsequent reports or public discussion. See JWPC 432/7, "Tentative Over-All Strategic Concept and Estimate of Initial Operations—Short Title: PINCHER," June 18, 1946, p. 22.[quote]

        Let’s say this was true, that still leaves 88 at full strength rifle divisions alone. He does not mention the armored, artillery or air force unit strength. Later on he mentions that the fighter forces were at full strength to counter the USAAF and RAF.

        Soviet division strength during the early postwar period ranged from 9,000-12,000 men, depending on type of division. A "division slice," including supporting troops, was estimated at 13,000-15,000.23 Western division strength ranged from 16,000-18,000, while the strength of a Western division slice averaged about 40,000
        No dates but we will assume it relates to, May, 1946. It has already been documented that the western divisions were at half strength so they were actually at 8,000 – 9,000 weak. According to his own picked figures there were 88 full strength Soviet rifle divisions at 9,000 – 12,000. Working with numbers alone and taking the highest figure anyone has come up with, the western forces had 400,000 bodies available including all types of division. 400,000 bodies that could theoretically but up a fight.

        Using the lowest figures anyone has suggested the Soviets had 800,000 in just their full strength rifle divisions not even including their armored divisions. The quality of these 800,000 was the best of the best in 1946. The quality of the 400,000 facing them in the west was the worst of the worst. Let’s say that the Soviet divisions that were at 75% strength were of the same low caliber as their western opponents. Again using the lowest figures for the Soviet they had another 700,000 equally as bad fighting men to add to the pot. So in just numbers and quality alone we have twice as many truly frontline combat veterans as the western rookies. Combine that with another 700,000 of equal value and you have a receipt for a quick western defeat base on numbers alone. I would suggest that when you add in the Soviet Armored divisions you have what is called an overrun in military terms by any definition.

        At the conclusion of hostilities, the road system constituted a serious weakness in motor transport capabilities. Wartime demolition and excessively heavy use by the Germans without adequate maintenance damaged a total of 91,000 km. of main Soviet roads and destroyed 90,000 road bridges measuring 930 km. Although this damage in many places had been temporarily repaired or by-passed, a substantial volume of more permanent construction of roads and bridges is still needed to attain even the low prewar level.
        Once again the Soviets were able to transport and supply the equivalent of 100 combat ready divisions 3,000 miles away using a one track railroad less than six months ago. This same force fought for 500 miles in 10 days. 80% of the bridges in Germany were repaired by May 1946. Six months earlier the Soviets had just supplied 100 divisions in full combat up to the frontlines of the western forces. Nuff said.

        Another major impediment to a rapid advance to the front would have been simply that Soviet and Eastern European track gauges are not the same. The Eastern European tracks are of standard European gauge (4 ft. 8 1/2 in.), whereas Soviet track is wider (5 ft.).43 Thus, troops traveling from the western Soviet Union into Poland, for example, would have to stop at the border and transfer all of their equipment from Soviet to Polish cars before continuing the journey. As one JCS report stated, "The additional problems involved in transshipment between the Soviet Union and satellite areas resulting from gauge differences cannot be overemphasized.”
        The salient point being that the gauge change happens in Poland. They would have had 6 months to stockpile all supplies needed in Poland on the proper gauge rail lines ready to follow the troops into Germany. In addition as mentioned before, they had just supplied the 100 divisions in the Battle for Germany quite successfully. They had now accomplished twice what some to think was impossible. Obviously it wasn’t.

        Pethybridge writes: "The critical situation in western Russia after 1945 was due partly to the havoc left by the German occupation and partly to discontent among the national minorities. Disciplinary measures that were applied throughout the USSR had to be applied with particular severity in this region. After the end of hostilities the state of war was declared to be still applicable in the Baltic republics and in those western provinces of the Ukraine and the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republics that had been under Polish sovereignty. Military courts of the Ministry of the Interior (the secret police) continued to apply criminal law in these areas. . . . Wartime dislocation and apathy or outright hated on the part of the local population hampered the work of the party and government." History of Postwar Russia, p. 67. This somewhat under- states anti-Soviet sentiment. Another source, citing anti-Soviet partisans, claims that in Lithuania from 1945-1952 over 100,000 Soviet MVD, NKVD, and regular army troops were killed by guerrillas. See Albertas Gerutis, ed., Lithuania 700 Years (New York: Manyland Books, 1969), p.
        392.
        I would suggest that large resistance movements do not arise within months of being invaded but in most cases years. In addition they happen in countries that border states that can supply them covertly and only when there is a reasonable hope of actually being liberated soon. Thus they arose in OTL in “Baltic republics and in those western provinces of the Ukraine and the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republics that had been under Polish sovereignty”. If you notice all were able to be supplied by western countries, they only become large after months of being occupied and they all had an expectation of eminent assistance.

        If all of Europe was conquered territory within 90 days with the exception of Britain and the Baltic becomes a Soviet lake, I would suggest that the forces of resistance would have been diminished greatly to the point of being on the par with organized crime in the US. A manageable nuisance but hardly an impediment to conquest or occupation. In addition if it did take 6 months to a year for the US and GB to start supplying and supporting the movements there would have been plenty of idle troops capable of suppression efforts similar to what actually happened in Eastern Europe.


        The purpose here is not to claim that these troops would be unable to fight in the event of war. Rather, it is to suggest that preparation for an offensive war against Western Europe was not the major activity for the bulk of Soviet troops. Rebuilding of the war-torn economy and control of political dissent within the USSR and bordering countries took precedence.
        This would not be true if Stalin was planning on an attack in May, 1946 with the promise of looting France, Spain, Italy and Greece.

        Estimates of the size of the PVO forces during the postwar period have always fallen within the 500,000-600,000 range.73 According to Western sources, half this amount consists of ground elements (and the other half of fighter-interceptor forces). They are usually counted with army manpower estimates despite the fact that the PVO has been a separate branch of the Soviet armed forces since 1948, with a status equal to that of the ground forces, air force, or navy.74 Including the PVO ground elements in an assessment of the offensive capabilities of the Soviet ground forces is extremely misleading, since their major function consisted of operating anti-aircraft artillery in defense of important industrial and economic centers.75 In the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe, it is hardly likely that these forces would have been diverted from their roles of strategic air defense, especially considering the Western preponderance of air power.
        This confirms my theory that Stalin could easily have been convinced that the defense of the new Soviet Union depended upon technological advances in aerospace and an emphasis on fighter production and possibly a SAM system if it could be developed

        Evaluations of the Soviet Conventional Threat
        This essay has attempted to demonstrate that Stalin's postwar army was not capable of a successful blitzkrieg invasion of Western Europe during the period preceding the formation of NATO. The argument has been based on a numerical comparison of available Soviet and Western forces and a consideration of the type of invasion expected by U.S. military planners, as well as on an analysis of Soviet military capabilities and nonmilitary functions.
        As I have pointed out he rarely examines the Soviet capabilities before May, 1946 and never touches on the capabilities, or lack thereof, concerning the western forces facing the Soviets in May, 1946. Therefore I stand by my assessment of this paper not being relevant when discussing the possibility of the success of a Soviet invasion in May, 1946.

        Although the conclusions of this paper are in contrast to the prevailing wisdom concerning the postwar Soviet army, they are consistent with many early postwar intelligence reports regarding Soviet military capabilities and intentions. One such report, from November 1945, enumerated the Soviet Union's "important weaknesses which seriously limit her military capabilities," and estimated "the time required to remedy them to a degree sufficient
        to make the USSR willing to risk a major armed conflict":
        Once again I would argue that it is not relevant for the time period of May, 1946. In addition it is very interesting to note that when the JCS, JWPC or JIC agree with his point of view their conclusions are gospel. When they disagree they are in error. I suggest that he can’t have it both ways without other documented evidence which I have collected that supports my scenario.

        a. War losses in manpower and industry and the set-back in a far from fully developed industry. (15 years)
        b. Lack of technicians. (5-10 years)
        c. Lack of a Strategic Air Force. (5-10 years)
        d. Lack of a modern navy. (15-20 years for a war involving major naval operations)
        e. Poor condition of railway and military transportation systems and equipment. (10 years)
        Lastly let’s look at the predictions he includes in his summary. Were they on target or widly off the mark.

        I’ll take a stab at a few…

        c. Lack of a Strategic Air Force (5 to 10 years)
        Well not so good with the Tu4 and the atomic bomb by 1949 in significant numbers.
        d. Lack of a modern navy. (15-20 years for a war involving major naval operations)
        Pretty much dead on I would say.
        e. Poor condition of railway and military transportation systems and equipment. (10 years) [quote]
        I’d have to say that they missed the mark with this one by at least 5 years.
        www.wwiii1946.blogspot.com
        http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=507846

        Comment


        • On the subject of revolts in the East, you no doubt are aware of the outcome of the "Three question referendum" held in Poland in June 1946. That referendum asked the public if they wanted what amounted to Communist control of the government and economy. Although Stalinist elements already had considerable control of the government, the referendum failed by a margin of almost 3 to 1 against. It was only by outright fraud and rigged results that the Communists claimed a victory.
          At the same time, there was still continued armed resistance to Soviet occupation in Poland and that didn't fully end until nearly 1948.

          The same sorts of problems existed in the Baltic states, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and to a lesser degree Romania and Bulgaria.

          It is clear the Soviets would have had massive resistance to a new offensive war in the West from Eastern Europe and then from newly taken areas. An occupation would have eaten up a huge portion of the Red Army to keep under control, let alone put down.

          Comment


          • No it is not clear at all if they quickly take all of Europe. There would be no British or American operations for a good 6 months if then and then only in countries that could be reached fairly easily. With the Baltic closed off the Polish and Baltic States underground hopes would fade fast and would be over before it started. With no border with a free Austria, Hungry would have fallen in line quickly as well.

            The reason Bulgaria and Romania did not have large resistance is because of the reasons I mentioned of no border for supplies and no hope of imminent freedom. Italy and Greece were almost half communist as it was but would definitely been a place for US and GB mischief. And that's what it would take. Without backers such as the US and GB rebels do not appear and if they do they die quickly without support or the possibility of freedom.

            The new countries with possibly the right conditions would be France, Germany, Norway, possibly Sweden, the low countries, Portugal and Spain. As we know France was pretty tame until the Allies started to win. Portugal and Spain have a long tradition of rebel movements so that would be fertile ground but far from the Motherland. Germany was still in shock and as you recall the Stasi took over pretty quickly in East Germany after the revolt of 1953, but it took until then for the Germans to even try. Norway is fertile ground as is Sweden but not for at least 6 months.

            I still contend that no real opposition to the attack and occupation would emerge until at least 6 months after all of Europe was in Soviet hands. Then it would have erupted in the states mentioned. With no foothold in Europe and no short term threat of invasion, the organic communist parties of the conquered nations, backed by the now idle Soviet combat troops would put down any resistance with ease as demonstrated in Germany, Poland and Hungary.

            In addition most of the critical production facilities and resources worth sabotaging would have been shipped to Russia and safe from harm.

            Bottom line there would be no internal uprisings that would impede the initial attack on the west and nothing would arise for a good 6 moths or longer as the British and US would still be reeling from their defeat.
            www.wwiii1946.blogspot.com
            http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=507846

            Comment


            • Originally posted by hairog View Post
              Just a quick note.

              I'm working on a complete review of this paper as it concerns conditions in May 1946.
              The paper you claim you had already discussed?


              Just to show how certain parties are cherry picking.
              Not something that you would ever do...

              Comment


              • Originally posted by hairog View Post
                First of all a few reasons why this entire paper is not relevant to conditions in May, 1946.
                Except you missed some very relevant points in the paper:

                - level of actual Soviet demobilisation in 1945
                - unreliability of the armies of other Eastern European countries, and indeed the need to maintain occupation forces
                - lack of motorisation - half of the transport of the Red Army was still horse drawn in 1950
                - poor infrastructure in Eastern Europe "Practically all bridges of consequence on east-west routes were destroyed during the war and are being replaced very slowly" from March 1947 report NB the Soviet Union did not take rail lines from Eastern Europe as reparations but Eastern Germany
                -poor morale, discipline and desertion in the Red Army

                You are also ignoring the actual deployment and operational plans for the Soviet forces in Germany in 1946 - a maximum of 20 division deployed defensively in depth, with no plans for a counterattack beyond the inner German border.

                You may claim that Stalin would have done things differently, but not demobilising and moving forces forward would have caused butterflies.

                After reading the paper by Matthew Evangelista at Cornell do you still stand by your claim:
                There is not one credible historian who has disagreed with the premise that in May 1946 the Red Army could have conquered all of continental Europe and Scandinavia in less than 3 months.
                Or will you wriggle?

                Comment


                • Speaking of poor morale and desertion in the Soviet army, that is recounted as a big problem in most studies, like The Soviet Soldier, Soviet Military Management at the Troop Level by Goldhammer.

                  Other issues include a large number of troops that don't speak Russian being in many units, training of new recruits was hit and miss at best, there was a general lack of initiative and quality among the NCO ranks.

                  This wasn't something suddenly new either. Most of it had to do with the nature of the Red / Soviet Army and the institutional norms they operated under.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Aber View Post
                    Except you missed some very relevant points in the paper:
                    - level of actual Soviet demobilisation in 1945
                    They obviously wouldn't have.


                    - unreliability of the armies of other Eastern European countries, and indeed the need to maintain occupation forces
                    I addressed it at length see previous post.

                    - lack of motorisation - half of the transport of the Red Army was still horse drawn in 1950
                    I don't care how they got where they were going even if was on their hands and knees. The undisputed fact is that they managed to cover 500 miles in 10 days during their last campaign. That's all we really need to know.

                    Then they stopped because the war ended. So lets say they ARE using horses. At 15 miles per day average it takes 33 days for enough supplies to reach the front lines for another offensive after stopping in southern France after taking Paris. Another 500 miles takes them to Madrid in another 10 days. Another wait for 33 days for the horses to catch up and Bobs your uncle, they are have conquered all of Europe in 90 days or less even using horses. Which I believe is total propaganda and not true and they certainly didn't use horses in Operation August Storm to any great extent.

                    - poor infrastructure in Eastern Europe "Practically all bridges of consequence on east-west routes were destroyed during the war and are being replaced very slowly" from March 1947 report NB the Soviet Union did not take rail lines from Eastern Europe as reparations but Eastern Germany
                    Already been answered above. Doesn't pertain to 1946. If they could cross Poland to Berlin in 1944 they could cross a Germany with 80% of its bridges intact.

                    -poor morale, discipline and desertion in the Red Army
                    Not until after May, 1946 if even that early.

                    You are also ignoring the actual deployment and operational plans for the Soviet forces in Germany in 1946 - a maximum of 20 division deployed defensively in depth, with no plans for a counterattack beyond the inner German border.
                    Once again, it's called Alternate History. Obviously they would not have demobilized.

                    You may claim that Stalin would have done things differently, but not demobilising and moving forces forward would have caused butterflies.
                    Like what for instance? The US believed that there were 60 full strength division ready to attack at a moments notice and did nothing. So in this scenario the divisions are real. What butterflies would occur on the US/GB side if what they believed and had acted on really was true?

                    After reading the paper by Matthew Evangelista at Cornell do you still stand by your claim:
                    In regards to May, 1946 yes I can still standby my claim. If it makes you feel any better I'll say there is one that possibly disputes the hundreds of other historians and military planners of the time and all the others who have since written about the possibilities of an invasion in May, 1946. So far just one that I've proven is largely irrelevant to May, 1946.


                    Or will you wriggle?
                    Now were are the others on your so called list?
                    www.wwiii1946.blogspot.com
                    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=507846

                    Comment


                    • All those horses a few of you keep bringing got me doing some research. I believe you are misinterpreting the statistics. I think I’ve solved the mystery of all the horses in the Soviet Army. It just didn’t add up to the advances they were able to sustain and the distances they were able to successfully exploit. It just didn’t add up to an army regulated to the speed of a horse drawn wagon. I think I found the answer.

                      If they did exist in such numbers, as some claim, they were not used for moving supplies in the 1945-50 Soviet Army, but for actual combat! The supplies were moved using conventional trucks and all the horses being counted were actually used for some pretty amazing combat functions and not for moving supplies.

                      What better way to move through a battlefield chewed up by tanks and artillery than by riding a horse? There is no way a Duce and a Half can negotiate off road like a horse can. It’s a beautiful concept and I think the Soviets did exactly that. That would explain why there were so many horses on the books yet their armies still move as fast or faster than the Germans and as fast as the US in most major operations after 1944.

                      The Soviet Economy and the Red Army, 1930-1945
                      By Walter Scott Dunn


                      The Soviet cavalry became a major offensive force with the formation of the
                      horse mechanized groups (KMG) in November 1942, consisting of a cavalry
                      corps, a tank corps, and supporting artillery, tank destroyer, antiaircraft, and
                      engineer units. It was a reduced-scale tank army with the mechanized corps
                      replaced by cavalry.51 While the mechanized corps had 191 tanks and 50
                      armored cars, the cavalry corps had 123 tanks and 12 armored cars. Each had
                      one or two regiments of mechanized artillery.5* The horse mechanized groups
                      functioned the same as the tank armies except that the accompanying troops
                      were mounted on horses instead of riding in trucks. The horse mechanized
                      groups were a major part of the Soviet offensive capability from early 1943 until
                      the end of the war.
                      The horse mechanized group also broke through the German lines. In the
                      attack, two of the tank brigades would pierce the enemy front followed closely
                      by the cavalry corps. With the cavalry was the third brigade of the tank corps.
                      The cavalry would attack the enemy infantry while the tanks dealt with any
                      remaining heavy weapons. Rifle divisions then advanced and cleared away any
                      remaining infantry. The advantage was that the advancing tanks had the support
                      of the cavalry immediately behind them to hold the captured ground. If the
                      German strong points with automatic weapons withstood the cavalry, the
                      advancing infantry was soon available.*° While only part of the infantry in the
                      mechanized corps could ride either in the half-tracks or on the tanks, all of the
                      cavalrymen could keep up with the tanks moving across broken ground in a
                      situation of exploiting a breakthrough.
                      By early 1943 the Red Army had eight cavalry corps that could be joined
                      with a tank corps to create a powerful exploitation force superior in firepower
                      to a contemporary German panzer corps. The horse mechanized groups were
                      equal to tank armies in their ability to exploit a breakthrough. Added to the six
                      tank armies and independent tank corps, the Soviets had a plentiful supply of
                      offensive units that could strike randomly anywhere along the front. The
                      Germans were forced to abandon a flexible defense and resort to heavily
                      fortified lines. Despite the German defenses, the Russians retained the ability
                      to break through the German lines at will.
                      Here the author talks about supply

                      In 1941 many horses remained on the farms to produce crops or were lost
                      to the advancing Germans. The area occupied by the Germans had 11 million
                      horses before the war. over half the total number." Because of the shortage
                      of horses, the Red Army relied more heavily on motor transport than did the
                      Germans.
                      The Russians, on the other hand, had large supplies of oil from the Caucasus and
                      other areas. The 100,000 trucks manufactured annually in U.S.-designed
                      factories in the Soviet Union and over 427.000 trucks provided by lend-lease
                      during the war reduced the Russian reliance on horses. The Red Army supply
                      service and artillery was motorized to a much greater extent than the Ger-
                      mans.''26
                      As the Germans were continually
                      retreating into a denser rail network, the dependence of the Germans on the
                      railroad and the horse-drawn wagons was not a crucial factor to them in the last
                      two years of the war, although it did limit their capability to move divisions
                      from one sector to another. The Russians, on the other hand, steadily reduced
                      their reliance on horses for supply with increasing numbers of trucks, making
                      it possible to sustain offensives despite skillful German defense. Toward the end
                      of the war, the Red Army made increasing use of the horse in combat to provide
                      heavily armed mobile infantry support for their tanks. While the role of the
                      horse shrank in supply, it increased in combat, a fitting situation for the horse
                      and its long tradition in battle.
                      My conclusion is that all those horses you bean counters keep talking about were not used to pull wagons full of ammo but were actually used as a very effective exploitation weapon. To me this explains how the Soviets could advance so quickly yet have so many horses on their books.

                      Remember the Red Ball Express?

                      • 6,000 trucks supplied the10 spear head divisions of the 3rd Army in the Battle of the Bulge.
                      • US uses 1.3 times as many supplies per division as USSR
                      • USSR produced 100,000 trucks of its own per year in its own factories
                      • 6 months to prepare and assuming that all the Lend Lease trucks are destroyed and no other trucks exist in the USSR at the end of the war. Zero, nada, zilch.
                      • Those 50,000 trucks produced by the USSRs own factories could easily supply 60 combat divisions.
                      • Now take into account that a major number of the previous year’s trucks produced were still available and that some portion of the Lend Lease trucks were still operational and you have plenty of trucks available and they don’t’ need high octane gas.

                      This concept solves so many conundrums presented here and elsewhere and goes a long way towards explaining the proven abilities of maneuver by the Red Army vs counting horses. It logically explains the large number of horses present as counted by some and also explains how the later war Red Army was able to conduct it's devastating Deep Battle so successfully.
                      www.wwiii1946.blogspot.com
                      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=507846

                      Comment


                      • It looks like it was a problem. The US had about 50,000 cases of desertion during WW 2, most in the ETO and MTO. About 20,000 were tried and convicted.

                        The British / Commonwealth approached 100,000 total, mostly colonial troops, that deserted.

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desertion

                        As a starting point the Soviets shot at least 158,000 men for desertion during WW 2.



                        Order No. 270, dated August 16, 1941, was issued by Joseph Stalin. The order required superiors to shoot deserters on the spot.[13] Their family members were subjected to arrest.[14] Order No. 227 directed that each Army must create "blocking detachments" (barrier troops) which would shoot "cowards" and fleeing panicked troops at the rear. The Soviets executed 158,000 soldiers for desertion.
                        I suspect, although sources are sketchy on it, that the Red Army had several hundred thousand deserters during the war.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                          It looks like it was a problem. The US had about 50,000 cases of desertion during WW 2, most in the ETO and MTO. About 20,000 were tried and convicted.

                          The British / Commonwealth approached 100,000 total, mostly colonial troops, that deserted.

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desertion

                          As a starting point the Soviets shot at least 158,000 men for desertion during WW 2.







                          I suspect, although sources are sketchy on it, that the Red Army had several hundred thousand deserters during the war.
                          And how many in 1946?
                          www.wwiii1946.blogspot.com
                          http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=507846

                          Comment


                          • If my math is correct that is less than 1% of the Soviet forces involved in WWII by the way. Not that large if you ask me.

                            Where did they go? If it was to the West then there would be nowhere to go if Western Europe was overrun in 90 days.
                            www.wwiii1946.blogspot.com
                            http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=507846

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by hairog View Post
                              And how many in 1946?
                              This is called "Begging the question."

                              Desertion and poor morale in the Red Army was a problem in 1935. It was a problem in 1940. It was a problem in 1945. It was a problem in 1965 and 1970.

                              It is reasonable, and a certainty that it was a problem in 1946.

                              You have an enlisted force that is primarily conscripts. The veterans or older conscripts from previous year's drafts are widely known to physically and harshly haze the new recruits.

                              NCO's are not generally the best quality due to low pay and retention rates are nearly zero.

                              Officers frequently treat enlisted as Kulaks and peasants, looking at them as a bunch of illiterate cattle. Senior officers frequently gave junior officers their orders then disappeared to the rear safely out of harm's way. Hardly a way to ensure that leadership would be present.

                              Evgeni Bessonov mentions this several times briefly about his company's Captain doing just that for example.

                              See: Tank Rider: Into the Reich with the Red Army

                              The Red Army was composed of troops on the enlisted side that frequently spoke little or no Russian. About a third of the Red Army's composition was non-Russians from Republics or Oblasts that spoke little or no Russian. Commanding a unit with up to maybe 20+ different nationalities many of whom speak little or no common language is a big issue.
                              Worse, some of those nationalities harbor very real resentment and issues with other ones.

                              Everything written on the morale, discipline, training, leadership, etc., of the Red and Soviet Army point to serious problems within its ranks.

                              Worse, in 1946 political officers returned to most units and began political indoctrination once again. This has never been popular with the troops or officers. They are noted as a major source of friction in most studies.

                              So, the Red Army of 1946 is not going to be some battle hardened intensely trained juggernaut but rather a mostly peacetime force of largely conscripts frequently led by either poor quality officers that can't find employment outside the military or ones that are more interested in finishing their mandatory time than in a military career.

                              The average rifle division of 1946 is going to be the rough equivalent of a US Regimental Combat Team in strength and capability. So, just bean counting divisions isn't a good way to measure true ability of the Red Army either.
                              So, what you really have are a handful of mechanized and tank divisions / corps and a few other Guards and elite units that are decently equipped and manned while the bulk of the Red Army is of indifferent quality, like the majority of Rifle divisions.

                              Comment


                              • My goodness you sure know how to pull stuff out of your ass.

                                Yes the Red Army of 1946 would be the best and full of the battle hardened and the intensely trained Juggernaut it was, if Stalin was going to use it to attack the west. He would not have let it get degraded or reduced in size if he going to use it to invade western Europe.

                                And why would they reorganize from there wartime structure if they are going to war in months?

                                Staying in the military was the most coveted and rewarding thing you could do in the USSR from the end of the war until 1950. You got the best housing for our family, extra rations, prestige. The elite and anyone who wanted to get ahead in life coveted a military career.

                                Sorry but that was perhaps the most illogical thing you've ever written.

                                Worse, in 1946 political officers returned to most units and began political indoctrination once again. This has never been popular with the troops or officers. They are noted as a major source of friction in most studies.

                                So, the Red Army of 1946 is not going to be some battle hardened intensely trained juggernaut but rather a mostly peacetime force of largely conscripts frequently led by either poor quality officers that can't find employment outside the military or ones that are more interested in finishing their mandatory time than in a military career.

                                The average rifle division of 1946 is going to be the rough equivalent of a US Regimental Combat Team in strength and capability. So, just bean counting divisions isn't a good way to measure true ability of the Red Army either.
                                So, what you really have are a handful of mechanized and tank divisions / corps and a few other Guards and elite units that are decently equipped and manned while the bulk of the Red Army is of indifferent quality, like the majority of Rifle divisions.
                                www.wwiii1946.blogspot.com
                                http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=507846

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