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Soviet/Russian Myths of the Great Patriotic War 1-The Second Front

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  • #61
    Originally posted by stalin View Post
    in other words, they had a choice which Stalin didn't.
    They, Churchill & roosevelt had a choice of who to listen to, the pro invasion group of generals, call them the Marshall school, and the anti invasion group, the Brooke school. The later won out in the several confrences with impressive numbers representing German strength and some specific Allied weaknesses. I really dont know if Brooke & Churchill believed their arguments or if they had another agenda as so many claim. The final point is Roosevelt accepted the Brooke school and directed his military leaders follow Brooke's strategy. That is until mid 1943, then he refused consideration of priority to other strategies.

    Could Roosevelt have prevailed for the Marshall school in 1942 or 1943? It would require persuading Churchill to dismiss Brooke's arguments as in error or bad strategy. Some historians claim Churchill was nuetral on the subject until persuaded by Brooke. Others claim he only presented that apperance as part of his negotiating strategy.

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    • #62
      Something that I see being overlooked is how unprepared the US was for war, in the material sense.

      The US had a pathetically small Army, reflecting the total lack of interest in involvement with World affairs, and the absolute rejection of any dreams of conquest. Re-Armament had not even begun until 1940, and the most valuable assets from before that year were on the bottom of Pearl Harbor.

      That was the last time the US Military was allowed to become so weak in relation to the rest of the world, and our enemies have chastised us for our strength in the meantime, but that is another story.
      Waiting until June of 1944 WAS over-insurance, and the longer we waited the stronger the German position in France became. But we had another war to fight, against Japan where the USSR was completely passive until Japan was beaten.


      Now, all of that is very, very, very old stuff, there have been so many threads on this that my information must have been posted several times already. I'm tired of typing it.

      Here's a Myth to talk about;
      If Japan had attacked Russia in August of 1941, would that have meant the end of the USSR and an Axis victory?
      I happen to have access to a very complete study on that which includes the Japanese plan of attack. Does this merit a thread of it's own, or can we handle this here?
      "Why is the Rum gone?"

      -Captain Jack

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Andrey View Post
        In 1941-43 the other players of THE TEAM often operated as spectators.

        I only explained Soviet/Russian position.

        There was the only way to force the Germans to transfer large ground forces out of the USSR territory - landing in France. The main threat for the USSR (and to the other World) were German ground forces.
        So transferring air assets and 88s as Anitaircraft doesn't count? You seem to be taking an only the land forces count approach

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
          Here's a Myth to talk about;
          If Japan had attacked Russia in August of 1941, would that have meant the end of the USSR and an Axis victory?
          I happen to have access to a very complete study on that which includes the Japanese plan of attack. Does this merit a thread of it's own, or can we handle this here?
          Hasn't this been discussed in detail already? My opinion is that the Soviet Union could easily trade time for space, and what the Japanese really cared about were coastal regions. Fighting through the taiga along the only railroad line was not going to be an easy thing either.
          www.histours.ru

          Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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          • #65
            Agree, a Japanese front should be in one of the previous discussons, or a new thread.

            Questions about the combat capability of the US Army in 1942 & 1943 deserve more depth in study. They go hand in hand with a frequent shallow understanding of the real strengths and weaknesses of the German military in those years.

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            • #66
              And remember that Allies even have though of cancelling D-Day in case German had more than 15 mobile divisions in the West IIRC (I have to check exact number)
              It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

              Косово је Србија!
              Never go to war with a country whose national holiday celebrates a defeat in 1389.

              Armored Brigade

              Armored Brigade Facebook page

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                Agree, a Japanese front should be in one of the previous discussons, or a new thread.

                Questions about the combat capability of the US Army in 1942 & 1943 deserve more depth in study. They go hand in hand with a frequent shallow understanding of the real strengths and weaknesses of the German military in those years.
                Indeed on both counts.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                  Something that I see being overlooked is how unprepared the US was for war, in the material sense...

                  Waiting until June of 1944 WAS over-insurance...
                  Ummm, I might quibble with this statement. In fact, by December 1944 the US Army was desperately short of infantry, in large part because of the inflated logistics infrastructure vis vis other armies, and drivers and clerks were being issued rifles. The "Red Ball Express" was also stretched past sustainable traffic as the Army moved into Germany.

                  If Japan had attacked Russia in August of 1941, would that have meant the end of the USSR and an Axis victory?

                  I happen to have access to a very complete study on that which includes the Japanese plan of attack. Does this merit a thread of it's own, or can we handle this here?
                  Put it in a thread of it's own. To me, it is merely a curiosity.

                  Any notion of Japan successfully invading the USSR is a fantasy, IMHO. They could have seized Vladivostok, Sakhalin and probably Kamchatka, but so what? They would have to build their own roads and rail as they marched west through thousands of miles of muskeg, like the Alaska Highway tenfold, except for the opposition of the populace. Had they started in 1941, by 1950 they might have made it to... Omsk? I don't think it's a credible notion, quite frankly.

                  People tend to underestimate how vast the distances are, especially for an army on foot. Still, it would be interesting to see how the Japanese thought they would deal with that scenario.

                  Cheers
                  Scott Fraser
                  Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                  A contentedly cantankerous old fart

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                    Hasn't this been discussed in detail already?
                    Yes. It might be in the "alternative reality" section, beside the plan to invade California from the Aleutians.
                    My opinion is that the Soviet Union could easily trade time for space, and what the Japanese really cared about were coastal regions.
                    Yes. Vladivostok, maybe Korsakov and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii.

                    Fighting through the taiga along the only railroad line was not going to be an easy thing either.
                    That would be fun, for the Red Army at least. They learned from the Finns how not to march down a road in the forest, or along a railroad. I can see the Japanese marching to doom, once the road was cut behind them. You can't feed an army with spruce trees, and the army would be gone by spring. The winters can be exceptionally severe, and they were in the early 1940s. My own conclusion is that the Japanese would have no chance away from the coastal regions.

                    Cheers
                    Scott Fraser
                    Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                    A contentedly cantankerous old fart

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by ;1458817
                      What the hell is the use of landing up to 10 divisions only to have them 'decimated' and thrown back in the sea. That would NOT help the defenders of Stalingrad, it was already won.

                      Originally posted by Andrey View Post
                      Why 10? Why not 3-4?

                      In August-september of 1942 Hitler counted every battalion. To force the germans to send 10 first class divisions against the invasion forces (as low quality division coludn't defeat the Allied landing forces) could be be very important for the common victory.
                      Indeed the several operational plans the British wrote under the "Sledgehammer" title were not large operations. The most complete plan, for landing on the east side of the Cotientin pennensula (the same area designated Utah Beach in 1944) Provided for a initiall attack of a single corps of three divisions and a airbourne brigade. Their objective was only the capture of Cherbourg & its port. Although there were at least seven other equipped and trained British divisions in the UK (and four US available) this 'Coteitin Plan envisioned a realatively slow reinforcement, adding only two more corps over four weeks.

                      The less developed Sledgehammer plans for landing on the Calvados coast, or the Pas de Calais were of similar scope. They were to simply establish a single army ashore in late 1942 and the capture of some port/s. Larger scale operations on the continent were for much later in 1943 and not planned in detail under the Sledgehammer title.

                      While there were three US Divisions in the UK, another in Iceland, and a fifth enroute to the UK, with five more available in the US for imeadiate transport, the British written Sledgehammer plans seem to depend on the 10-12 Commwealth divisions in the UK.

                      Here is a discussion of the Sledgehammer plans with a number of usefull sources linked:

                      http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtop...160633&start=0

                      Particuarly usefull is this essay which addresses the specifics of the Coteintin plan for capturing Cherbourg:

                      http://thinkinghistory.net/doc/D-Day...23revNov09.pdf

                      I'd recomend reading the various documents in theose links throughly before judging the merits of the Sledgehammer plans for late 1942

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                        Indeed the several operational plans the British wrote under the "Sledgehammer" title were not large operations. The most complete plan, for landing on the east side of the Cotientin pennensula (the same area designated Utah Beach in 1944) Provided for a initiall attack of a single corps of three divisions and a airbourne brigade. Their objective was only the capture of Cherbourg & its port. Although there were at least seven other equipped and trained British divisions in the UK (and four US available) this 'Coteitin Plan envisioned a realatively slow reinforcement, adding only two more corps over four weeks.

                        The less developed Sledgehammer plans for landing on the Calvados coast, or the Pas de Calais were of similar scope. They were to simply establish a single army ashore in late 1942 and the capture of some port/s. Larger scale operations on the continent were for much later in 1943 and not planned in detail under the Sledgehammer title.

                        While there were three US Divisions in the UK, another in Iceland, and a fifth enroute to the UK, with five more available in the US for imeadiate transport, the British written Sledgehammer plans seem to depend on the 10-12 Commwealth divisions in the UK.

                        Here is a discussion of the Sledgehammer plans with a number of usefull sources linked:

                        http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtop...160633&start=0

                        Particuarly usefull is this essay which addresses the specifics of the Coteintin plan for capturing Cherbourg:

                        http://thinkinghistory.net/doc/D-Day...23revNov09.pdf

                        I'd recomend reading the various documents in theose links throughly before judging the merits of the Sledgehammer plans for late 1942
                        you again speak from the position of the success of the landing.

                        Try to think about the influence on the common victory. try to think about a diverswionary effect...

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Andrey View Post
                          you again speak from the position of the success of the landing.

                          Try to think about the influence on the common victory. try to think about a diverswionary effect...
                          The allies had no interest in throwing away good men and material for a diversionary raid, especially when there were practical theaters of orations to put them in that were of interest to the western allies. The British demonstrated with France that it was not willing to throw away its fighter squadrons and post-dunkirk under-equipped divisions in for the sake of a country. Churchill knew the fall of France was not the end of the allied war effort (famous line where he told the French PM that the battle was not the decisive threatre or the decisive time of the war), and I imagine he felt the same about the USSR, that ultimately an Anglo-American alliance would prevail even without the USSR, though at a higher body count.

                          Churchill was always a man who looked not just at the situation on hand but the future situation. Sacrificing several divisions to give the USSR a break would be detrimental to the west's efforts to secure its interests, among those not having the Soviets bathing in the channel. A botched invasion may mean the allies were kept out of Europe while the Soviets rolled through all the way to the Channel. As hindsight shows, despite perhaps the common victory over Germany, there was a differing interpretation on was a post war Europe looked like and frankly the Soviet one didn't allow for people to have a say in their government.

                          I think Churchill and others did see the Russians as the next potential enemy and really they were not wrong in that regard. The Western-Soviet alliance was one of convenience that quickly died after the war when there was no greater threat to unite them. I think there was a degree of willingness to let the Soviets carry the burden, especially if the next conflict was against them.

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                          • #73
                            So Sicily, Salerno, and Anzio are not a second front?

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Bellerphon1971 View Post
                              "So Sicily, Salerno, and Anzio are not a second front?"
                              Sicily/Italy does constitute a second front of sorts IMO, as a logical follow-on from North Africa, but a relatively minor one in terms of the size of Axis land forces engaged, which was very small compared to the Eastern Front. Still, it was something of value and went hand-in-hand with the Allied air offensive and later, the Normandy landings + those in Southern France.
                              Last edited by panther3485; 19 Apr 10, 05:12.
                              "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Andrey View Post
                                you again speak from the position of the success of the landing.

                                Try to think about the influence on the common victory. try to think about a diverswionary effect...
                                Don't forget the domestic political danger to Churchill and Roosevelt of such an action. Both had electorates to answer to. Would either the UK or US electorates stood for their leaders saying "we sacrificed a half dozen divisions to help the Soviets at Stalingrad?" Possibly, but I'm not sure, even conceding that the divisions would have helped the Soviets (which I'm not sure about, given the scale of the fighting in the East).

                                Now I suppose it could be argued that domestic political considerations shouldn't have mattered, but given the nature of the UK and US, and the personalities of Churchill and Roosevelt, I don't think the issue can be written off.

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