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Stalin's Good Calls

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  • #16
    Originally posted by bricklayer View Post
    Well as good decisions go this one is quite unremarkable. This merely means that he could have been an even bigger moron which is always possible. But no other leader besides him would ever be in the position to contemplate executing an officer of Konev's calibre in the first place.
    Since relieving officers who failed was common in every nation, I don't see your point--what is UNREMARKABLE about keeping someone who failed miserably?

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    • #17
      Originally posted by The Highwayman View Post
      the amusing thing is that Stalin disproved the Marxist principle that a country cannot defend itself without a dictatorship
      er, what?... i've always thought even America and Britain had to turn themselves into sort of a dictatorships during WWII

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      • #18
        Originally posted by bricklayer View Post
        But no other leader besides him would ever be in the position to contemplate executing an officer of Konev's calibre in the first place.
        Except, perhaps, the other great 'moron' of the twentieth century, Adolf Hitler, who 'contemplated' executing Erwin Rommel and DID execute Erich Hoepner, one of the four Panzer Group commanders who in the summer of 1941 ripped the Red Army apart.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Sharposhnikov View Post
          Except, perhaps, the other great 'moron' of the twentieth century, Adolf Hitler, who 'contemplated' executing Erwin Rommel and DID execute Erich Hoepner, one of the four Panzer Group commanders who in the summer of 1941 ripped the Red Army apart.
          That wasn't connected to their generalship.

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          • #20
            True. Connected to their 'generalship' he had already forcibly retired Hoepner. Also von Rundstedt, Guderian, von Bock, and a host of others. 'Purge' in Germany never had quite the same meaning it had in Russia, but it was just about as effective at removing a general from his command. Guderian and von Rundstedt are two of the few who were ever re-employed after being sent home.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by bricklayer View Post
              Most indicatively Stalin refused to believe Hitler would attack in 1941 even on the very eve of the invasion. So the attack came as a surprise to the USSR with all the disadvantages that entailed, even though Stalin was essentially alone in thinking the attack would not take place - it had been clear to Soviet generals that the Germans were in fact going to invade for months. However given the level of terror within the USSR it was not safe to contradict Stalin. He went to great lengths to appease Hitler (who was going to attack him regardless) in the 1940-41 period. The resources exported to Germany in this time substantially aided the German war effort against the Soviet Union.
              The latest Finnish research points the same way.

              Apart from maybe Stalin was learning to listen to his political experts and military generals in 1940, but I have nothing substantial on that.

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              • #22
                Another good move by Stalin was Non-Aggression Pact and annexation of the Baltic States. The acquisition of territory provided just enough additional space to save Moscow and Leningrad. Had the Germans annexed Lithuania and been able to invade from the border near Minsk, the USSR may not have survived.

                This admittedly aggressive moves arguably saved Europe from a far greater disaster.
                The Purist

                Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                  Another good move by Stalin was Non-Aggression Pact and annexation of the Baltic States. The acquisition of territory provided just enough additional space to save Moscow and Leningrad. Had the Germans annexed Lithuania and been able to invade from the border near Minsk, the USSR may not have survived.

                  This admittedly aggressive moves arguably saved Europe from a far greater disaster.
                  This has become the subject of debate recently. The idea was good for the long term, but in the short term it worked against the SU - the new fortified line and, more importantly, new airfields hadn't been prepared by the time the Germans attacked. High aircraft losses were caused not by the immediate destruction of most planes in the border regions but by the lack of backup airfileds where they could fly to refuel and get repairs. Same goes for the fortified lines - properly manned and equipped lines held for up to a month while those next to the border were overrun almost immediately.
                  www.histours.ru

                  Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                    Another good move by Stalin was Non-Aggression Pact and annexation of the Baltic States. The acquisition of territory provided just enough additional space to save Moscow and Leningrad.
                    The newly acquired territory threw the existing war plans into disarray, they were now useless. Possibly it further stretched out the forces making defeat in detail more likely to occur and it deprived the defenders of a fortified defensive line, since the line along the old border was partially cannibalized, but the new one was in June 1941 not jet worth much. Also it made enemy of Finland and tipped Romania into the Axis providing Hitler with 650,000 allied troops for Barbarossa.
                    Last edited by bricklayer; 09 Apr 11, 14:19.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                      This has become the subject of debate recently. The idea was good for the long term, but in the short term it worked against the SU - the new fortified line and, more importantly, new airfields hadn't been prepared by the time the Germans attacked.
                      Has there been any debating/speculating on what would have happened with the Baltic states had they been left alone by Stalin? Would they have stayed neutral and out of the war? Would they have stayed neutral, but be invaded by Germany like the Low Countries? Or would they have joined the Axis?

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by bricklayer View Post
                        Has there been any debating/speculating on what would have happened with the Baltic states had they been left alone by Stalin? Would they have stayed neutral and out of the war? Would they have stayed neutral, but be invaded by Germany like the Low Countries? Or would they have joined the Axis?
                        I think there's been some debate but I haven't paid much attention to it. Hitler would've most likely coaxed them into cooperation like some other Eastern European countries or he could've steamrolled through them even faster than he did in 1941 when the Red Army was deployed there.
                        www.histours.ru

                        Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                          or he could've steamrolled through them even faster than he did in 1941 when the Red Army was deployed there.
                          In which case they would likely come to hate the Germans more than the Soviet Union and acted accordingly.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by bricklayer View Post
                            In which case they would likely come to hate the Germans more than the Soviet Union and acted accordingly.
                            This would've had very little overall effect on the fighting. Moreover, there were Red Army units made up of ethnic Estonians, and in general the situation was not as black and white and the modern Estonian nationalist historians want to present.
                            www.histours.ru

                            Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                              This would've had very little overall effect on the fighting.
                              Well as it was it had very little effect since the Balts did not contribute much to the Axis. Perhaps the way in which they affected the situation the most was by volunteering for auxillary police battalions which were nothing more than death squads.

                              But the net effect was for the Axis, maybe this way, with some kind of native anti-German resistance the net effect would be against the Axis.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by bricklayer View Post
                                Well as it was it had very little effect since the Balts did not contribute much to the Axis. Perhaps the way in which they affected the situation the most was by volunteering for auxillary police battalions which were nothing more than death squads.
                                Yeah, these were the kind of local Nazis who would've joined them anyway.

                                But the net effect was for the Axis, maybe this way, with some kind of native anti-German resistance the net effect would be against the Axis.
                                Surely there might've been more local resistance, but I don't think it could've been anywhere on par with Poland, for example.
                                www.histours.ru

                                Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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