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Soviet losses in 1941

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  • Dann Falk
    replied
    I think we have covered the subject.

    The Soviet Union was not ready for the Nazi attack.

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  • stalin
    replied
    Originally posted by Theocide View Post
    mistake that led to flaw in mobilization, was the idea that the war wouldn't start immediately
    but who could have predicted, back then, that Hitler would act in such an adventurous manner...

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  • Theocide
    replied
    Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
    Dann, you are giving better answers than it seems this guy was ready for. When he starts calling you "Suvarov" for trying to answer why the Soviets were deployed so far forward, that ought to be a hint.
    It is a hint, because that's one of Suvorov's line of arguements.

    Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
    Something from my POV- whatever doctrine it was that lead to the Soviet tactics in 1941 was obviously wrong. By thinking on their feet and learning as they went, the Red Army was eventually able to come up with a system that worked.

    Peace time tends to generate a bunch of theories about war that have seriious flaws. War-time tends to dash the theories and leave you with what works.
    The greatest mistake that led to flaw in mobilization, was the idea that the war wouldn't start immediately with an all-out attack, but would go WWI style with 15-25 days of low-scale conflict.
    Last edited by Theocide; 26 Sep 09, 10:25.

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  • Theocide
    replied
    Originally posted by Dann Falk View Post
    I am not really trying to give exact answers, or provide a perfect solution. I am trying to give my opinion and answer your question without writing a book on the subject.

    Actually, the 100,000 troops along the border would be border guards not necessarily the best combat troops.
    Its not about being best or worst, its about battle readiness, and how their actual unit strength corresponds to their roster strength when hostilities began. Thus you'd probably want your most battle ready units to cover the border, if you really want them to do any fighting.

    Originally posted by Dann Falk View Post
    The next set of 100,000 troops, (or maybe 200,000, who knows how many would be needed) would be defending key points, bridges, towns, railroad crossings. Places the Germans would need to control in order to advance quickly. These units would be the ones to delay the German attack for the required 24-48 hours.

    As for the length of the front line, I was only thinking about the area facing Germany, the only real threat to the Soviet Union.
    Leave the whole Southern front unguarded? Are you serious?

    I still don't see how you win these 48 hours, but let's pretend - you leave Romanian and Hungarian parts of the border completely open and Germans look at the gaping hole in defense in amazement but prefer not to encircle immediately your troops through this hole, but attack where your army is.

    And so they reach the main bulk of your forces, east of Bialystok in 24-48 hours. The problem is, you've won absolutely nothing, and lost 300 000 of your most battle ready units, only to see that Russian mobilization plan works in echelons, first echelon to be fully mobilized within 1-3 days is the echelon, that covers the border, which made up 25-30% of peace-time army.

    You don't really get 3 days, so in reality its 8-10% of the army, the total majority of them you gave to the enemy on a silver plate during the first 48 hours.

    And the second echelon - the remaining troops, is to begin its mobilization from 4th to 7th days after the mobilization begins.

    And the third echelon - repair facilities, spare parts warehouses, 8-15 days.

    And the fourth echelon - supporting units, stationary hospitals, 16-30 days.

    Full mobilization within a month. And by the end of the second day you've already lost all your most battle-ready units, before the mobilization of the main bulk of the army began.

    Don't mean to be harsh, I just don't see how your scenario is making it better for the Soviets to defend themselves.



    Originally posted by Dann Falk View Post
    It is true that Soviet military doctrine at the time advocated counter-attacking any attacker, but that is my point. They were not ready in any way to counter-attack. They were not ready to attack and they were also not deployed properly to defend. That is why the Soviets lost so many men and units in 1941. They were just not ready to meet such a massive offensive.
    Soviets failed to start mobilization in time, while Germany was fully mobilized, and met the enemy with a de facto peace-time army. They were unable to either attack or defend properly, since that wasn't intended to happen at all in theory - Stavka blew it big time. That's what the strategic surprise of German attack was all about.

    All these tales about 'not deployed properly' is just that.
    Last edited by Theocide; 26 Sep 09, 09:52.

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  • Erkki
    replied
    Read this book by Rezun., hopefully it will once and for all show what a kind liar he really is.
    http://militera.lib.ru/research/suvorov6/index.html

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  • The Exorcist
    replied
    Dann, you are giving better answers than it seems this guy was ready for. When he starts calling you "Suvarov" for trying to answer why the Soviets were deployed so far forward, that ought to be a hint.

    Something from my POV- whatever doctrine it was that lead to the Soviet tactics in 1941 was obviously wrong. By thinking on their feet and learning as they went, the Red Army was eventually able to come up with a system that worked.

    Peace time tends to generate a bunch of theories about war that have seriious flaws. War-time tends to dash the theories and leave you with what works.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dann Falk
    replied
    I am not really trying to give exact answers, or provide a perfect solution. I am trying to give my opinion and answer your question without writing a book on the subject.

    Actually, the 100,000 troops along the border would be border guards not necessarily the best combat troops.

    The next set of 100,000 troops, (or maybe 200,000, who knows how many would be needed) would be defending key points, bridges, towns, railroad crossings. Places the Germans would need to control in order to advance quickly. These units would be the ones to delay the German attack for the required 24-48 hours.

    As for the length of the front line, I was only thinking about the area facing Germany, the only real threat to the Soviet Union. This would be from the Lwow area in the South to the Batlic Sea in the North, say 800 miles. This also assumes the Soviets would not be defending the bulges in the border area. The 3rd, 10th, and 4th Armies would be pulled back East of Bialystok. In the South, the 6th, 26th, and 12th Armies would be East of the Bug/Dniestr River line.

    Not really. And even then, 2 days wouldn't help much according to Soviet mobilization plan.
    The two days I was talking about was only to bring the existing troops and units, along the main line of resistance, up to combat readiness. Given 24-48 hours to get ready, these units would be able to offer much greater resistance and maybe even delay the German attack for several weeks.

    It is true that Soviet military doctrine at the time advocated counter-attacking any attacker, but that is my point. They were not ready in any way to counter-attack. They were not ready to attack and they were also not deployed properly to defend. That is why the Soviets lost so many men and units in 1941. They were just not ready to meet such a massive offensive.

    With a more realistic defense, the Soviet mobilization plan could have been used to build up the forces needed to go over to the counter-attack. That never happened. Historically, most of the newly raised units were used to plug holes in the front line in a desperate attempt to slow down the German attack.
    Last edited by Dann Falk; 13 Sep 09, 16:39.

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  • Theocide
    replied
    Originally posted by Dann Falk View Post
    1. Soviet forces were deployed forward.
    Large numbers of troops were near the frontier.
    Large amounts of equipment, tanks, and aircraft were too close to the frontier.
    Troops and equipment were not deployed in combat ready manner.



    Well this is the big question right now. That is, what were all these Soviet forces doing so close to the border?
    In accordance with Soviet doctrine, waiting to counter-attack in case of enemy attack, I guess.

    I see, this is going to be another go at Suvorov-esque style of arguement, already beaten to death multiple times... Too bad, didn't really expect that one.


    Originally posted by Dann Falk View Post
    If the Soviet Union (Stalin) were trying to defend, it would make much more sense to have 100,000 troops or so along the border. Then another 100,000 troops 20 miles further back.

    You must be kidding. For a frontline with the length of 1600 km, you'll either have gaping holes in your whole defense line, just waiting for German panzers to poke through, or thinly spread them about a single squadron for 1 km.

    These troops wouldn't be able to hold the enemy even for several hours.

    The Soviet army would have lost the most battle ready troops with little use.

    Originally posted by Dann Falk View Post
    Then 1 to 2 million 50 or 60 miles from the border in the main defence line.
    That way the main group of troops would not be involved in ground combat for 24-48 hours.
    In other words, 100 miles from border. That would have delayed the attack by German panzer divisions against the main bulk of forces for several hours.

    Originally posted by Dann Falk View Post
    They woluld have 2 days to get ready for combat.
    Not really. And even then, 2 days wouldn't help much according to Soviet mobilization plan.

    Originally posted by Dann Falk View Post
    Aircraft would be deployed even further back.


    This is not what happened. Soviet troops Tanks and Aircraft were very close to the border within easy reach of German forces. The only reason for this type of deployment is offensive. In other words, Stalin was planning to attack Nazi Germany.
    Point A doesn't really connect to point B. For one simple reason - as said above, Soviet military doctrine of that time believed that in case of enemy attack he'd be met with counter-attack in force with fight taken to enemy territory, see Field Manual-39.

    Thus the fact that Soviets believed that victory is won only through offensive stage of war, doesn't really give much.

    Originally posted by Dann Falk View Post
    The Germans were able to inflict huge losses on the Soviet troops only because they were not ready to launch their own offensive yet. I have heard that Stalin was planning to attack in 1 to 2 years but Hitler struck first.

    Several books have come out recently talking about this hypothetical Soviet attack.
    Yes, Suvorov and buddies. Old news, really...
    Last edited by Theocide; 13 Sep 09, 11:11.

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  • Dann Falk
    replied
    1. Soviet forces were deployed forward.
    Large numbers of troops were near the frontier.
    Large amounts of equipment, tanks, and aircraft were too close to the frontier.
    Troops and equipment were not deployed in combat ready manner.

    Originally posted by Theocide View Post
    Could you be more specific how this is a problem and where they should have they been deployed were it not the Molotov Line?
    Well this is the big question right now. That is, what were all these Soviet forces doing so close to the border?

    If the Soviet Union (Stalin) were trying to defend, it would make much more sense to have 100,000 troops or so along the border. Then another 100,000 troops 20 miles further back. Then 1 to 2 million 50 or 60 miles from the border in the main defence line. That way the main group of troops would not be involved in ground combat for 24-48 hours. They woluld have 2 days to get ready for combat. Aircraft would be deployed even further back.

    This is not what happened. Soviet troops Tanks and Aircraft were very close to the border within easy reach of German forces. The only reason for this type of deployment is offensive. In other words, Stalin was planning to attack Nazi Germany. The Germans were able to inflict huge losses on the Soviet troops only because they were not ready to launch their own offensive yet. I have heard that Stalin was planning to attack in 1 to 2 years but Hitler struck first.

    Several books have come out recently talking about this hypothetical Soviet attack.

    Leave a comment:


  • Theocide
    replied
    Originally posted by ljadw View Post
    Using irrecoverable losses only is giving a wrong picture :I used the total figures;for 1941 :447382O ;the daily losses are :4473820 divided by 193 =23820;the weekly losses :23820 multiplied by 7 =162262 .And those losses were heavy,but were they that heavy in comparison with the other years ? Look at the figures of 1945
    I don't see the use of dividing yearly losses equally for all days of war, since battles weren't evenly spread, and neither did losses.

    The most catastrophic losses fell on third quarter in 1941 - if you want to include sanitary losses, fine, let's do that.

    IIIrd quarter 1941 - 2 744 765 (july included)

    That's apprx. 196 054 per week. Nothing comparable in 1945.

    Overall Losses were bigger only in IIIrd quarter of 1943, for well-known reason.

    And yet again, if we compare only the irrevocable losses (since for the army itself these losses aren't the same as sanitary losses for obvious reasons), we get more than 2 mln for IIIrd quarter of 1941 - 3 to 10 times more than in any other quarter of war after 1941.

    That's why its absolutely fair to speak of 1941 losses as disastrous.
    Last edited by Theocide; 12 Sep 09, 04:09.

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  • Theocide
    replied
    Originally posted by Dann Falk View Post
    High Soviet Losses in 1941 were due to several issues.

    1. Soviet forces were deployed forward.
    Large numbers of troops were near the frontier.
    Large amounts of equipment, tanks, and aircraft were too close to the frontier.
    Could you be more specific how this is a problem and where they should have they been deployed were it not the Molotov Line?

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  • Theocide
    replied
    Originally posted by Rambow View Post
    IMO it wasn't most important factor - perhaps even not in the first five. Agreed with Amvas - main cause was that Axis had strategic initiative so Red Army occurred poorly mobilized and dispersed in a huge space.

    Not saying that it was THE most important factor, of course. The most important factor is that the Soviet army wasn't fully mobilized when the hostilities broke out - I agree here.

    Originally posted by Rambow View Post
    Second I suppose German superiority in mobile troops - real "wunderwaffe" of that time and not only on the East front. Germans used their mobile corps to cut thin front line troops and then to prevent them from organized regrouping and reinforcing. And again, and again. Soviets spared their Mechcorps in first month and they didn't have anything to meet them even roughly.
    True also. Yet the problem I see is that these are all technical problems, which still wouldn't have changed things much for the best.

    Originally posted by Rambow View Post
    And why are you saying about only combat COs - Universal Primary Education was introduced in 1930.
    Because Combat Cos were the ones who were actually leading troops into battle.

    Reading this
    http://ww2doc.50megs.com/Issue05/Issue05_15.html

    One can see that up until 1942 (and even later, since it didn't heal the problem to full extent) tanks were used extremely primitively despite the field manuals, were thrown into battle without artillery support or recon or any support troops.

    The Soviets won, when war itself made disdain leaders all to obvious, providing new more efficient cadres, leading to the absolutely new army - RKKA of 1944.

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  • Dann Falk
    replied
    High Soviet Losses in 1941 were due to several issues.

    1. Soviet forces were deployed forward.
    Large numbers of troops were near the frontier.
    Large amounts of equipment, tanks, and aircraft were too close to the frontier.
    Troops and equipment were not deployed in combat ready manner.

    2. Troops were not ready for combat
    Ammunition, fuel, spare parts were not available in sufficient amounts.
    Units were not up to full strength in manpower.
    Leadership near frontier was kept in the dark about impending attack.

    3. Lack of effective leadership during first weeks of attack.
    Stalin failed to make critical decisions in time.
    Lack of command flexibility forced units to fight as isolated groups.
    Lack of maneuver allowed units to be surrounded and destroyed.

    4. Germans were well prepared, well lead, and ready to take advantage of Soviet weakness.
    German units were at full strength.
    German units had abundant ammunition, fuel, and spare parts.
    German command and control was very good.
    German leadership produced a good attack plan.
    German units maneuvered with the intent to surround and destroy large numbers of Soviet troops.

    In conclusion:
    German forces were ready for combat and had a good plan.

    Soviet forces were not ready for combat, had no real plan (attack or defense) and were let down by leadership.

    Dann

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  • MonsterZero
    replied
    The Red Army in June 1941 was in many ways stronger than the Wehrmacht. It had more men, more equipment, a better industrial & supply base, a good rail network.

    The truth is the Germans began the war on Russia with insufficient forces. The German army was essentially the same army that had fought against France a year earlier. 120 and 2/3 German divisions were concentrated along the Soviet border on June 22. In comparison, 128 divisions had been used to invade France a year earlier.

    Between the Summer of 1940 and the Summer of 1941 unfavorable changes took place in the Wehrmacht. The Germans greatly increased the number of panzer and motorized divisions (10 Pz. Divisions in France vs. 21 Pz. Divisions for Barbarossa) but with very limited deliveries of new equipment. All those new divisions were created by basically scavenging equipment from existing units. The new panzer division of Barbarossa had only 196 tanks compared to 258 tanks in France so its combat value was lower. When Hitler was counting the number of panzer divisions on his staff maps, he could have been deceived as to what his real power was.

    Despite so many factors in their favor, the Soviets suffered such heavy losses because they were defending a front line more than 1800 km long. It was not always possible for the Soviet high command to predict where the Germans would concentrate their main thrusts. Hence the very high Soviet losses-inflicted mainly by panzer and motorized units, armored infantry, etc.
    Last edited by MonsterZero; 10 Sep 09, 03:38.

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  • ljadw
    replied
    Originally posted by Theocide View Post
    I can't coment on your statistics, since I don't see how you've arrived to it.

    Yes, they undoubtedly were.

    According to same Krivosheev statistics, in third quarter of 1941 alone, the Soviet Army suffered irrecoverable losses of 2.067.801, more than in any other period of war. Source - table 138.
    Using irrecoverable losses only is giving a wrong picture :I used the total figures;for 1941 :447382O ;the daily losses are :4473820 divided by 193 =23820;the weekly losses :23820 multiplied by 7 =162262 .And those losses were heavy,but were they that heavy in comparison with the other years ? Look at the figures of 1945

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