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Stalin's Good Calls

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  • grognard
    replied
    Originally posted by bricklayer View Post
    Conjecture.
    Not according to the sources--have you read them?

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  • bricklayer
    replied
    Originally posted by grognard View Post
    But Stalin's whole idea was to let the capitalist countries wear each other out, then strike.
    Conjecture.

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  • ShAA
    replied
    Originally posted by Imperial View Post
    Stalin gave Germany a 1-front war against France,
    The irony is had it joined it would've been a 1-front war against the SU with no assistance from Britain or France. Just like it happened to Poland. After Munich the trust in such allies could only be measured in negative values, so without the hindsight, Stalin was right to deal with Hitler directly and bypassing those who feared to take any action and hated him no less than Hitler, in the first place.

    economic cooperation against Britain's blockade,
    Why did he have to provoke Hitler into attacking? Britain was safe to play tricks and shout taunts, comfortably sitting on its unreachable island and protected by the strongest navy in the world. The SU had no such advantage.

    and the Balkans, in return for some additional space which turned out to be barely enough to save Moscow just 2 years later? It looks more like a huge error in judgement and the huge losses also gave the USSR a significant handicap in the Cold War.
    The error was rooted mainly in the Soviet pre-war doctrine to which Stalin or Communism had little to no relation. Otherwise one has to be consistent and say that Stalin's bloody hand reached out for the French generals in summer 1940 and did to them exactly the same as to the Soviet ones.

    The Pact was the final act in a long list of acts that created the setting for the disaster to take place in Europe on the scale it did, not something that saved Europe.
    While this was nothing to "save Europe", it was a direct consequence of the collapse of the European security system caused by the Munich agreement.

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  • grognard
    replied
    Originally posted by Imperial View Post
    Stalin gave Germany a 1-front war against France, economic cooperation against Britain's blockade, and the Balkans, in return for some additional space which turned out to be barely enough to save Moscow just 2 years later? It looks more like a huge error in judgement and the huge losses also gave the USSR a significant handicap in the Cold War.

    The Pact was the final act in a long list of acts that created the setting for the disaster to take place in Europe on the scale it did, not something that saved Europe.
    That a two-front war against Hitler in 1939 would have defeated Germany sooner, agreed. But Stalin's whole idea was to let the capitalist countries wear each other out, then strike. In 1939, no one expected a rapid French collapse. so from Stalin's prespective, the pact made sense. He was able to gert the baltics, a piece of Romania and some of Poland at little cost. And it was only after the fall of france that Stalin realized the need for large armored formations. Given the situation at the time, 1939 his decision made sense.

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  • Imperial
    replied
    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.
    Stalin gave Germany a 1-front war against France, economic cooperation against Britain's blockade, and the Balkans, in return for some additional space which turned out to be barely enough to save Moscow just 2 years later? It looks more like a huge error in judgement and the huge losses also gave the USSR a significant handicap in the Cold War.

    The Pact was the final act in a long list of acts that created the setting for the disaster to take place in Europe on the scale it did, not something that saved Europe.

    Leave a comment:


  • ShAA
    replied
    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.

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  • bricklayer
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ShAA
    replied
    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.

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  • bricklayer
    replied
    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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  • ShAA
    replied
    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.

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  • bricklayer
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • bricklayer
    replied
    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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  • ShAA
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Purist
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tuomas_
    replied
    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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