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The Soviet Victory in World War II Was a Russian One
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The USSR played the leading role in the defeat of Nazi Germany, which the majority of Europeans recognized in 1945 even if half a century of Hollywood propaganda successfully displaced it in the public imagination in favor of the USA. But what about within the USSR itself?

Back in January 2015, during his brief nationalist phase after the return of Crimea, Putin declared that Russians played the leading role in the defeat of Nazism and paid the highest sacrifices. That seems like a dream today. Official rhetoric proclaims that “we achieved victory together” played over footage of Ramzan Kadyrov and Tajik workers wearing St. George’s ribbons (in the meantime, Tajikistan has banned the Immortal Regiments march on the grounds that it is un-Islamic).

So who’s right: Putin 2015, or Putin 2017?

I compiled the following two graphs based on the results of the Soviet Census of 1939 and Grigory Krivosheev’s statistics on military deaths by ethnicity in WW2 (table 122).

soviet-military-deaths-ww2-by-ethnicity

Predictably, Russians bore the highest number of absolute losses – some two thirds of the 8.7 million total.

Together with the Ukrainians and Belorussians that figure rises to 85%.

soviet-military-deaths-ww2-by-percentage-of-ethnicity

Moreover, Russians also bore the highest relative military losses as a percentage of their population, together with the Buryats.

The Ukrainians and Belorussians were somewhat lower, though this is explainable on account of them being occupied for part of the war, and incurring a greater share of civilian deaths as a result. There would have been be a similar dynamic with respect to the Jews, a large percentage of whom unfortunately fell within the Nazi zone of occupation.

I recall reading a history paper (can’t find it at the moment) where it was claimed that the USSR would create ethnic minority units from the Finno-Ugric peoples and intentionally send them to the hottest fronts so as to make them incur heavier casualties and shift the demographic balance in favor of Russins. That is obviously nonsense based on these figures, though that said, they did almost do their fair share.

The Central Asians, especially the Uzbeks and Tajiks, are underrepresented – the latter by a factor of almost three. This is perhaps not that bad a thing, since they had a reputation for technical incompetence; even in the late USSR, conscripts from those regions tended to go into “Class C” rear divisions with simple, obsolete equipment.

Of the major ethnicities, the worst group in terms of its lack of contribution were the restive Muslim provinces of the North Caucasus. Dagestan underdid its fair share by a factor of four, while the Chechens and Ingush as is known pretty much defected to the Germans en masse (hence the deportations).

I didn’t include any figures for the Balts and Moldovans. They were annexed by the USSR after the 1939 Census, so their percentages would be meaningless.

For comparison, the Germans lost approximately 6.1% of their population as military losses in WW2, including: Germany proper: 6.4%; Austria: 3.9%; The German diaspora in Eastern Europe: 7.2%, according to Rüdiger Overmans’s calculations.

***

Nationality Population (1939) WW2 Mil. Deaths % All Mil. Deaths % Deaths Population
Russians 99,591,520 5,756,000 66.40% 5.78%
Ukrainians 28,111,007 1,377,400 15.89% 4.90%
Belorussians 5,275,393 252,900 2.92% 4.79%
Georgians 2,249,636 79,500 0.92% 3.53%
Azeris 2,275,678 58,400 0.67% 2.57%
Armenians 2,152,860 83,700 0.97% 3.89%
Uzbeks 4,845,140 117,900 1.36% 2.43%
Turkmen 812,404 21,300 0.25% 2.62%
Tajiks 1,229,170 22,900 0.26% 1.86%
Kazakhs 3,100,949 125,500 1.45% 4.05%
Kyrgyz 884,615 26,600 0.31% 3.01%
Karelians 252,716 9,500 0.11% 3.76%
Komi 422,317 11,600 0.13% 2.75%
Bashkirs 843,648 31,700 0.37% 3.76%
Udmurts 606,326 23,200 0.27% 3.83%
Tatars 4,313,488 187,700 2.17% 4.35%
Mari 481,587 20,900 0.24% 4.34%
Mordovians 1,456,330 63,300 0.73% 4.35%
Chuvash 1,369,574 63,300 0.73% 4.62%
Kalmyks 134,402 4,000 0.05% 2.98%
Buryats 224,719 13,000 0.15% 5.79%
Jews 3,028,538 142,500 1.64% 4.71%
Kabardians & Balkars 206,870 3,400 0.04% 1.64%
Chechens & Ingush 500,088 2,300 0.03% 0.46%
Ossetians 354,818 10,700 0.12% 3.02%
Dagestanis 857,499 11,100 0.13% 1.29%
Bulgars 113,494 1,100 0.01% 0.97%
Greeks 286,444 2,400 0.03% 0.84%
Chinese 32,023 400 0.00% 1.25%
Poles 630,097 10,100 0.12% 1.60%
Finns 143,437 1,600 0.02% 1.12%
Others 3,770,306 132,500 1.53% 3.51%
TOTAL 170,557,093 8,668,400 100.00% 5.08%
 
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  1. Mr. XYZ says:

    What explains the extremely high Buryat military casualties in WWII?

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    • Replies: @Vendetta
    I assume they were enlisted in the Siberian divisions that got tansferred to the west and used as the final line of defense to halt the German advance on Moscow.
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  2. salam says:

    Happy Americano-Zionist Victory Day.

    USSR is gone. Large parts of it are smouldering. Brother kills brother, goaded by the Jew.

    The British Empire turned an also-run, after being the guiding light of the planet for more than a century. Back then, they could give us penicillin. Now, they are all about tranny rights at the antipodes.

    Germany and Japan are better than ever, although they still have to obey the Americans when they demand adjustments to the exchange rate. (Those of you who are younger, look up Plaza Accords.)

    The EU empire is run by the Germans together with the French, despite the former losing the war, and the latter barely participating. (There have been more Hungarian or Romanian soldiers dead than French.)

    But hey, we got Israel, and the equally malefic reaction to it – the monstrosities of Iran and Saudi.

    I think there is no point in belaboring the fact that Germans and Soviets were massive idiots. Stalin should have sued for peace ASAP, and eventually help Hitler sink the unsinkable carrier.

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  3. ANOSPH says:

    Anatoly,

    I really enjoyed reading this post and your last one. Did you get a chance to see the parade or one of the rehearsals in person this year? I watched the technika drive down and accumulate on Tverskaya last year during one of the rehearsals; it was a powerful sight in person. There’s also a rooftop bar in one of the hotels closest to ohotniy ryad (called O2 I believe) from which the view was excellent.

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  4. I notice that the Banderastanis disgraced themselves again. They really have not an iota of dignity.

    One would have thought that with the TV crews there, covering the Eurovision event, that they would at least try and behave themselves.

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  5. AP says:

    A few people from Kiev have been posting on facebook: “Without Ukrainians there would be no victory, but without Russians there would be no war.” That seems to be a popular meme among the ex-Soviet, anti-Russian Ukrainians.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    Without Russians Generalplan Ost would have been completed. Most Ukrainians would be dead and the rest would be slaves of German settlers.

    The latter has almost happened and only the Ukraine's corruption has saved it:

    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/what-business-is-really-like-in-ukraine
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  6. @AP
    A few people from Kiev have been posting on facebook: "Without Ukrainians there would be no victory, but without Russians there would be no war." That seems to be a popular meme among the ex-Soviet, anti-Russian Ukrainians.

    Without Russians Generalplan Ost would have been completed. Most Ukrainians would be dead and the rest would be slaves of German settlers.

    The latter has almost happened and only the Ukraine’s corruption has saved it:

    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/what-business-is-really-like-in-ukraine

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Without Russians Generalplan Ost would have been completed. Most Ukrainians would be dead and the rest would be slaves of German settlers.
     
    Mostly correct, though some minority of Ukrainians were to be Germanized. Which doesn't contradict the statement I posted.
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  7. Cyrano says:

    Apparently at the end of WW2 Stalin made a speech on the Red Square thanking only the Great Russian People for the victory – omitting everyone else. I guess you can say that Stalin was the greatest Russian – even though he wasn’t.

    Also, at the end of WW2 Marshal Zhukov apparently approached Stalin suggesting that he (Stalin) should lead the victory parade on a white horse, to which Stalin replied that no, Marshal Zhukov should do that. Zhukov got scared, believing that Stalin is setting him up – if he accepts, that means that he is showing too much ambition and should be fast-tracked to the Gulag. It turns out the truth was that Stalin couldn’t ride a horse and his offer was genuine, so at the end Zhukov did end up leading the victory parade on the Red Square, riding a white horse. I don’t know about anybody else, for me = the Russians make me proud not only to be a Slav, but a human being as well. Congratulations on the Great Victory.

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  8. AP says:
    @jimmyriddle
    Without Russians Generalplan Ost would have been completed. Most Ukrainians would be dead and the rest would be slaves of German settlers.

    The latter has almost happened and only the Ukraine's corruption has saved it:

    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/what-business-is-really-like-in-ukraine

    Without Russians Generalplan Ost would have been completed. Most Ukrainians would be dead and the rest would be slaves of German settlers.

    Mostly correct, though some minority of Ukrainians were to be Germanized. Which doesn’t contradict the statement I posted.

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  9. anon says: • Disclaimer

    The fairest way to measure population losses would be what was the population under the control of Moscow at the end of 1941. At its peak the Nazis controlled about 70,000,000 Soviet citizens. Russia was one area almost entirely not under its occupation. Also casualties in WW1 were less for ethnic minorities in remote areas (central Asia, far east, Caucasus, etc.) precisely because they were so remote and transportation was so underdeveloped in these areas.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Not ideal, because many were called up before being overrun in 1941, and then subjected to conscription again as Soviet territories were liberated in 1943-44.

    That said, I mentioned this factor wrt Ukrainians, Belorussians, and Jews, the groups that would have been most affected by this.

    Not sure remoteness itself played a huge role - see the Buryats.
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  10. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “The Central Asians, especially the Uzbeks and Tajiks, are underrepresented – the latter by a factor of almost three. This is perhaps not that bad a thing, since they had a reputation for technical incompetence; even in the late USSR, conscripts from those regions tended to go into “Class C” rear divisions with simple, obsolete equipment.”

    Kazakh and Kyrgyzstan people are better represented. Why?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Kazakh and Kyrgyzstan people are better represented. Why?
     
    Nomads. Strong tradition of hunting and, not that long ago, raiding.
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  11. Vlad says:

    Of course the Russians had suffered the heaviest losses. That is obvious. For me the question is why did they suffer more losses than the Germans. Leaving the civilian casualties aside for the moment, as these were obviously victims of German occupation, why front line losses on the Soviet side were so much heavier. Here it seems there are two contradictory explanations. On the one hand you have serious strategic incompetence of Soviet High Command, presumably comrade Stalin. Specifically I mean prepositioning Soviet air force near the border to be wiped out on the first day, the refusal to allow orderly retreat in August 1941, the ridiculous order to advance in May 1942 near Kharkov that cost 400000 Soviet losses, the similar incompetent order a year later in same area that cost loss of Kharkov after it had been liberated. And the list goes on. Stalin was impatient, inconsiderate of losses, did not like to hear objections, made people around him afraid to speak their mind, tended to blame others for his own blunders. All these factors cost hundreds of thousands of Russian lives that could have been avoided.
    On the other hand, when I read Alaxander Werth, a French Russian journalist describe the battle of Stalingrad, I notice things no one is talking about now. We all are so profoundly respectful and grateful to those who fought and died fighting the Germans that we forget or refuse to acknowledge what Werth noticed writing as an eyewitness. There was a lot of cynicism among the troops, a lot of disbelief that anybody could withstand German onslaught. Werth writes about lack of desire to go a die in an endless war that was being lost, as it seemed in 1942. From here follows a conclusion that many patriotic Russians will find uncomfortable, namely that the war was won because of Stalin\s ruthless determination. He held the reluctant and the doubtful in check, he reversed the catastrophic panicky retreat of 1941 and 1942. he managed to mobilize, arm and throw into battle millions new troops after 3 million were taken prisoner of war. He basically overcame apathy, defeatism, fear, lack of belief in the possibility of victory by 1943. That is why despite the blunders, despite the strategic incompetence, he whipped the Russians to victory.

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    For me the question is why did they suffer more losses than the Germans.
     
    The main reason is simple - the German industry was far superior to the Soviet. The Wehrmacht was armed with much better weapons.
    , @AP
    A realistic comment. But if the massive blunders early in the war didn't happen, those hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives (those who surrendered were largely starved to death under the brutal conditions in POW camps) needlessly squandered, probably the apathy, defeatism, fear, lack of belief in the possibility of victory wouldn't have been much of an issue.
    , @Miro23

    On the one hand you have serious strategic incompetence of Soviet High Command, presumably comrade Stalin. Specifically I mean prepositioning Soviet air force near the border to be wiped out on the first day, the refusal to allow orderly retreat in August 1941, the ridiculous order to advance in May 1942 near Kharkov that cost 400000 Soviet losses, the similar incompetent order a year later in same area that cost loss of Kharkov after it had been liberated. And the list goes on. Stalin was impatient, inconsiderate of losses, did not like to hear objections, made people around him afraid to speak their mind, tended to blame others for his own blunders. All these factors cost hundreds of thousands of Russian lives that could have been avoided.
     

    From here follows a conclusion that many patriotic Russians will find uncomfortable, namely that the war was won because of Stalin\s ruthless determination. He held the reluctant and the doubtful in check, he reversed the catastrophic panicky retreat of 1941 and 1942. he managed to mobilize, arm and throw into battle millions new troops after 3 million were taken prisoner of war. He basically overcame apathy, defeatism, fear, lack of belief in the possibility of victory by 1943. That is why despite the blunders, despite the strategic incompetence, he whipped the Russians to victory.
     
    Both of these comments are probably right.

    But Stalin also eventually managed to put together a first class group of generals who introduced excellent strategic logic into his decision making e.g. the carefully prepared Operation Saturn to encircle and destroy German 6th Army at Stalingrad.

    Also, when it looked like the battle for Moscow was lost, Stalin went into some kind of depression and opted out of daily affairs, and it was these same generals led by Zhukov who went to see him (he assumed that they had come to remove him in a coup), and persuaded him to get involved again.
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  12. 5371 says:

    One should compare with male population of military age, especially in the peak ages from 18-25 – not with overall population. That would change the order of nationalities somewhat – the Russian and other white birthrate had declined sharply in the 30s.
    What definition of military deaths is being used? If only killed in battle and died of wounds, the figure seems high – if also POW deaths, missing and died prematurely of natural causes on active service, it seems low.

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  13. @anon
    The fairest way to measure population losses would be what was the population under the control of Moscow at the end of 1941. At its peak the Nazis controlled about 70,000,000 Soviet citizens. Russia was one area almost entirely not under its occupation. Also casualties in WW1 were less for ethnic minorities in remote areas (central Asia, far east, Caucasus, etc.) precisely because they were so remote and transportation was so underdeveloped in these areas.

    Not ideal, because many were called up before being overrun in 1941, and then subjected to conscription again as Soviet territories were liberated in 1943-44.

    That said, I mentioned this factor wrt Ukrainians, Belorussians, and Jews, the groups that would have been most affected by this.

    Not sure remoteness itself played a huge role – see the Buryats.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitriev
    Hey Anatoly, you did a post recently on Russian fertility in the first months of 2017, here are the figures for Ukraine for Jan-Feb 2017:

    http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/operativ/operativ2017/ds/pp/pp_u/pp0217_u.html

    2016:

    http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/operativ/operativ2016/ds/pp/pp_u/pp0216_u.html

    and 2015:

    http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/operativ/operativ2015/ds/pp/pp_u/pp0215_u.html
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  14. I was browsing through a book some years back that was based on German Wehrmacht intelligence summaries. Can’t recall the name – it was in a London bookshop. Among other things it noted that ethnic Russians tended to be most loyal to the USSR, followed by Central Asians. Ukrainians, Belarusians and Caucasians were considered to be much less loyal to the USSR. I don’t recall either Jews or Balts being mentioned – while Nazi propaganda tended to present Jews as the real rulers of the Soviet Union, German intelligence summaries seemed to overlook them as not being a significant element in population terms.

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    Ukrainians, Belarusians and Caucasians were considered to be much less loyal to the USSR.
     
    Strange point of view. Belarusians fought a despeate guerrilla war against the German occupation .
    https://i.imgur.com/hnqf5EX.jpg

    "Caucasians" - the unification of a very, very different peoples

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  15. Zzz says:

    Putin declared that Russians played the leading role
    that “we achieved victory together”

    Strange if for you this is contradictory statements

    played over footage of Ramzan Kadyrov and Tajik workers wearing St. George’s ribbon
    Gross exaggeration

    Tajikistan has banned the Immortal Regiments march
    But it was held anyway

    As often nice numbers porn but hack job narrative.

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  16. WW2 in the East, and arguably as a whole, was won or lost based on the loyalty of the ethnic Russians. Stalin went out of his way to congratulate them at the end of the war. Vlasov’s ROA was possibly the main threat to this as its emphasis was on attracting ethnic Russians, but it failed.
    I read somewhere that Stalin could ride a horse but not well and did not want to take the risk that it would be skittish and throw him off on such a public occasion. Zhukov had been a Tsarist cavalryman, was a good rider and Stalin probably reasoned that even if Zhukov got thrown by a horse it wouldn’t be Stalin that experienced the indignity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I read that Stalin actually started practicing with a white horse, but the horse threw him down, and so he decided to forego the opportunity and hand it over to Zhukov. But Zhukov was to use the very same horse which threw Stalin down and wasn't allowed to practice with it much, so Stalin might've hoped that the horse would throw him down. In any event, Zhukov was a nice cavalryman, so it didn't matter much to him.
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  17. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @Uebersetzer
    WW2 in the East, and arguably as a whole, was won or lost based on the loyalty of the ethnic Russians. Stalin went out of his way to congratulate them at the end of the war. Vlasov's ROA was possibly the main threat to this as its emphasis was on attracting ethnic Russians, but it failed.
    I read somewhere that Stalin could ride a horse but not well and did not want to take the risk that it would be skittish and throw him off on such a public occasion. Zhukov had been a Tsarist cavalryman, was a good rider and Stalin probably reasoned that even if Zhukov got thrown by a horse it wouldn't be Stalin that experienced the indignity.

    I read that Stalin actually started practicing with a white horse, but the horse threw him down, and so he decided to forego the opportunity and hand it over to Zhukov. But Zhukov was to use the very same horse which threw Stalin down and wasn’t allowed to practice with it much, so Stalin might’ve hoped that the horse would throw him down. In any event, Zhukov was a nice cavalryman, so it didn’t matter much to him.

    Read More
    • Replies: @El Dato
    Yes, this episode can be found in Beevor's "Berlin:The Downfall 1945".

    Incidentally, on Wikipedia we find " The Russian ambassador to the UK denounced the book as "lies" and "slander against the people who saved the world from Nazism". Well, everyone has an angle.

    Russinans were rough. Forced laborers set free in countries to the west of the Reich actually were unexpectedly a rather uncivilized bunch. Mess up the local bar and perform taḥarruš jamāʕiyy (http://lughat.blogspot.com/2016/01/taharrush-gamea-and-perils-of-reasoning.html) on the local womenfolk? Da!
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  18. nebulafox says:

    All I can say is that the Slavic world was very, very lucky that Josef Stalin was smart enough to realize that Orthodox swords were much more of a motivator for average Russians than Marx and Engels ever could be.

    Vlad: Yes. But the key nuance here is that Stalin showed an ability to learn from his earlier incompetence, unlike Hitler.

    (To be fair to Hitler, up until around 1942, his own judgement and intuition, especially with political factors, was generally superior to that of his generals. Had Hitler not insisted the army stand or die in a hedgehog defense outside Moscow in December 1941, he could have easily turned into Napoleon 2.0-or Charles 3.0. But Hitler’s gifts were *very* dependent on him having the initiative, for a host of complex reasons-on some subliminal level, this was one of the factors that led to Barbarossa in the first place. In a defensive battle, he was completely lost. His own personality and background, combined with his entourage, compounded every mistake from the summer of ’42 onwards.

    One needs to remember that Operation Barbarossa-very much in contrast to war with England and France-was thought of as a cake-walk to be by the whole German Establishment, including the officer corps of the Wehrmacht. In his gross underestimation of the USSR and absolute hatred of “Judeo-Bolshevism”, Hitler had far more in common with his generals than their postwar memoirs would imply, and the experience in Poland did a very good job at immunizing/deadening moral qualms.)

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  19. melanf says:
    @Vlad
    Of course the Russians had suffered the heaviest losses. That is obvious. For me the question is why did they suffer more losses than the Germans. Leaving the civilian casualties aside for the moment, as these were obviously victims of German occupation, why front line losses on the Soviet side were so much heavier. Here it seems there are two contradictory explanations. On the one hand you have serious strategic incompetence of Soviet High Command, presumably comrade Stalin. Specifically I mean prepositioning Soviet air force near the border to be wiped out on the first day, the refusal to allow orderly retreat in August 1941, the ridiculous order to advance in May 1942 near Kharkov that cost 400000 Soviet losses, the similar incompetent order a year later in same area that cost loss of Kharkov after it had been liberated. And the list goes on. Stalin was impatient, inconsiderate of losses, did not like to hear objections, made people around him afraid to speak their mind, tended to blame others for his own blunders. All these factors cost hundreds of thousands of Russian lives that could have been avoided.
    On the other hand, when I read Alaxander Werth, a French Russian journalist describe the battle of Stalingrad, I notice things no one is talking about now. We all are so profoundly respectful and grateful to those who fought and died fighting the Germans that we forget or refuse to acknowledge what Werth noticed writing as an eyewitness. There was a lot of cynicism among the troops, a lot of disbelief that anybody could withstand German onslaught. Werth writes about lack of desire to go a die in an endless war that was being lost, as it seemed in 1942. From here follows a conclusion that many patriotic Russians will find uncomfortable, namely that the war was won because of Stalin\s ruthless determination. He held the reluctant and the doubtful in check, he reversed the catastrophic panicky retreat of 1941 and 1942. he managed to mobilize, arm and throw into battle millions new troops after 3 million were taken prisoner of war. He basically overcame apathy, defeatism, fear, lack of belief in the possibility of victory by 1943. That is why despite the blunders, despite the strategic incompetence, he whipped the Russians to victory.

    For me the question is why did they suffer more losses than the Germans.

    The main reason is simple – the German industry was far superior to the Soviet. The Wehrmacht was armed with much better weapons.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Uebersetzer
    Some Soviet weapons were better. The T-34 and KV-1 tanks were not something the Germans really expected and were a shock, although they were not yet in wide service. The Red Army was also the first the Germans encountered to make wide use of a semi-automatic rifle - the SVT-40. (The Germans did not encounter Garand-wielding American troops until 1943.)
    However, in 1940 some French and British tanks had been superior to the Germans. Hitler had expected to lose a million dead in the French etc. campaign. In the end he won decisive victory in the West with German fatalities of no more than 49,000.
    The Germans had better trained troops and used shock tactics to punch through their opponents in West and East, supplemented by close support air attacks, and when their armoured columns were on the move these often had very few casualties. The German casualty toll rose significantly when they hit prepared positions or had to reduce pockets of defenders. The bulk of the losses were in the follow-up infantry divisions - the panzers just kept going until supply problems and the vastness of the USSR began to take a toll.
    , @Bertie Wooster
    Wermacht was armed not with better weapons most of the time, but with more weapons. One is of particular importance - Germans used about two times more artillery munitions (in terms of weight, not number) than Soviets till the second half of 1944 or so.
    , @Anonymous
    Soviet troops (quantity and toughness yes, skill sometimes) and American manufacturing won the war. Without US supplies the Russians might still have won, but at even higher cost, and just might have lost.


    Of course had Hitler been a thoroughgoing racist he would have won. He'd have ignored the Japanese, not declaring war against the US for long enough for antiwar, anticommunist and anti-Jewish forces to keep the US out, and wiping the Brits out at Dunkirk. And taking Moscow and butchering Stalin and especially Lazar Kaganovich instead of taking Stalingrad to show the old beast.


    Let me make it clear that I think WWII was an unmitigated tragedy and did not benefit Russians, nor Germans, nor British nor Americans, and that while as an American of British and German extraction I feel kinship to those peoples, who are close relations, I do not disrespect Russians and Russia in any way. I am simply pointing out that Hitler was in a better position to achieve total victory than many today believe. Some believe that he invaded Russia because he believed Stalin was planning on invading Germany. I don't know if that is true or not.
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  20. melanf says:
    @Uebersetzer
    I was browsing through a book some years back that was based on German Wehrmacht intelligence summaries. Can't recall the name - it was in a London bookshop. Among other things it noted that ethnic Russians tended to be most loyal to the USSR, followed by Central Asians. Ukrainians, Belarusians and Caucasians were considered to be much less loyal to the USSR. I don't recall either Jews or Balts being mentioned - while Nazi propaganda tended to present Jews as the real rulers of the Soviet Union, German intelligence summaries seemed to overlook them as not being a significant element in population terms.

    Ukrainians, Belarusians and Caucasians were considered to be much less loyal to the USSR.

    Strange point of view. Belarusians fought a despeate guerrilla war against the German occupation .
    “Caucasians” – the unification of a very, very different peoples

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Strange point of view. Belarusians fought a despeate guerrilla war against the German occupation .
     
    True, but it's a bit more complicated than the modern heroic Soviet mythology in Belarus. Not all partisans were locals, and many villages were neutral and not friendly towards the Soviets. Soviet partisans often conducted raids near neutral villages so that the Germans would retaliate against the villages, slaughtering villagers and turning those villages pro-Soviet. A cynical, deadly but effective ploy.
    , @Uebersetzer
    My recollection of the pages in the book I was referring to - a summary of a German intelligence summary in fact, was "Caucasians" were meant to include Armenians, Georgians, Azerbaijanis and also Chechens, Dagestanis etc. It did not seem to have the degree of fine distinctions that Karlin's source has. Essentially the Germans were summarising from experience which nationa groups in the USSR were more likely to go over to the Germans, in general terms and which were more likely to stay loyal to the USSR. In broad terms it bore out Karlin's article, I would say, especially re ethnic Russians.
    There was Belarusian partisan resistance (aided by the dense forests and swamps to be found there) but there was an extensive collaborator movement as well.
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  21. AP says:
    @Vlad
    Of course the Russians had suffered the heaviest losses. That is obvious. For me the question is why did they suffer more losses than the Germans. Leaving the civilian casualties aside for the moment, as these were obviously victims of German occupation, why front line losses on the Soviet side were so much heavier. Here it seems there are two contradictory explanations. On the one hand you have serious strategic incompetence of Soviet High Command, presumably comrade Stalin. Specifically I mean prepositioning Soviet air force near the border to be wiped out on the first day, the refusal to allow orderly retreat in August 1941, the ridiculous order to advance in May 1942 near Kharkov that cost 400000 Soviet losses, the similar incompetent order a year later in same area that cost loss of Kharkov after it had been liberated. And the list goes on. Stalin was impatient, inconsiderate of losses, did not like to hear objections, made people around him afraid to speak their mind, tended to blame others for his own blunders. All these factors cost hundreds of thousands of Russian lives that could have been avoided.
    On the other hand, when I read Alaxander Werth, a French Russian journalist describe the battle of Stalingrad, I notice things no one is talking about now. We all are so profoundly respectful and grateful to those who fought and died fighting the Germans that we forget or refuse to acknowledge what Werth noticed writing as an eyewitness. There was a lot of cynicism among the troops, a lot of disbelief that anybody could withstand German onslaught. Werth writes about lack of desire to go a die in an endless war that was being lost, as it seemed in 1942. From here follows a conclusion that many patriotic Russians will find uncomfortable, namely that the war was won because of Stalin\s ruthless determination. He held the reluctant and the doubtful in check, he reversed the catastrophic panicky retreat of 1941 and 1942. he managed to mobilize, arm and throw into battle millions new troops after 3 million were taken prisoner of war. He basically overcame apathy, defeatism, fear, lack of belief in the possibility of victory by 1943. That is why despite the blunders, despite the strategic incompetence, he whipped the Russians to victory.

    A realistic comment. But if the massive blunders early in the war didn’t happen, those hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives (those who surrendered were largely starved to death under the brutal conditions in POW camps) needlessly squandered, probably the apathy, defeatism, fear, lack of belief in the possibility of victory wouldn’t have been much of an issue.

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  22. El Dato says:

    Don’t forget the Chinese.

    Old Nationalist China kept a few hundred thousand Japanese busy on the mainland.

    Without that, the US would have encountered quite a tough problem in the Pacific.

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  23. AP says:
    @melanf

    Ukrainians, Belarusians and Caucasians were considered to be much less loyal to the USSR.
     
    Strange point of view. Belarusians fought a despeate guerrilla war against the German occupation .
    https://i.imgur.com/hnqf5EX.jpg

    "Caucasians" - the unification of a very, very different peoples

    Strange point of view. Belarusians fought a despeate guerrilla war against the German occupation .

    True, but it’s a bit more complicated than the modern heroic Soviet mythology in Belarus. Not all partisans were locals, and many villages were neutral and not friendly towards the Soviets. Soviet partisans often conducted raids near neutral villages so that the Germans would retaliate against the villages, slaughtering villagers and turning those villages pro-Soviet. A cynical, deadly but effective ploy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    True, but it’s a bit more complicated. Not all partisans were locals, and many villages were neutral and not friendly towards the Soviets. Soviet partisans often conducted raids ...
     
    The same thing happened in the occupied territories of "true" Russia.
    Probably the same thing happened everywhere where fought a guerrilla war.
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  24. El Dato says:
    @reiner Tor
    I read that Stalin actually started practicing with a white horse, but the horse threw him down, and so he decided to forego the opportunity and hand it over to Zhukov. But Zhukov was to use the very same horse which threw Stalin down and wasn't allowed to practice with it much, so Stalin might've hoped that the horse would throw him down. In any event, Zhukov was a nice cavalryman, so it didn't matter much to him.

    Yes, this episode can be found in Beevor’s “Berlin:The Downfall 1945″.

    Incidentally, on Wikipedia we find ” The Russian ambassador to the UK denounced the book as “lies” and “slander against the people who saved the world from Nazism”. Well, everyone has an angle.

    Russinans were rough. Forced laborers set free in countries to the west of the Reich actually were unexpectedly a rather uncivilized bunch. Mess up the local bar and perform taḥarruš jamāʕiyy (http://lughat.blogspot.com/2016/01/taharrush-gamea-and-perils-of-reasoning.html) on the local womenfolk? Da!

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  25. melanf says:
    @AP

    Strange point of view. Belarusians fought a despeate guerrilla war against the German occupation .
     
    True, but it's a bit more complicated than the modern heroic Soviet mythology in Belarus. Not all partisans were locals, and many villages were neutral and not friendly towards the Soviets. Soviet partisans often conducted raids near neutral villages so that the Germans would retaliate against the villages, slaughtering villagers and turning those villages pro-Soviet. A cynical, deadly but effective ploy.

    True, but it’s a bit more complicated. Not all partisans were locals, and many villages were neutral and not friendly towards the Soviets. Soviet partisans often conducted raids …

    The same thing happened in the occupied territories of “true” Russia.
    Probably the same thing happened everywhere where fought a guerrilla war.

    Read More
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  26. J says:

    The Buryats aka the Eskimo and other circumpolar peoples were made fun in the Red Army, yet they were the best fighters. These valiant people conquered China (Manchus) and an eye should be kept on them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    The Buryats aka the Eskimo and other circumpolar peoples were made fun in the Red Army, yet they were the best fighters. These valiant people conquered China (Manchus) and an eye should be kept on them.
     
    Buryatia is the Mongols. They (along with other mongolskij tribes) really conquered China, but in the era of Genghis Khan and his descendants.
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  27. melanf says:
    @J
    The Buryats aka the Eskimo and other circumpolar peoples were made fun in the Red Army, yet they were the best fighters. These valiant people conquered China (Manchus) and an eye should be kept on them.

    The Buryats aka the Eskimo and other circumpolar peoples were made fun in the Red Army, yet they were the best fighters. These valiant people conquered China (Manchus) and an eye should be kept on them.

    Buryatia is the Mongols. They (along with other mongolskij tribes) really conquered China, but in the era of Genghis Khan and his descendants.

    Read More
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  28. @melanf

    Ukrainians, Belarusians and Caucasians were considered to be much less loyal to the USSR.
     
    Strange point of view. Belarusians fought a despeate guerrilla war against the German occupation .
    https://i.imgur.com/hnqf5EX.jpg

    "Caucasians" - the unification of a very, very different peoples

    My recollection of the pages in the book I was referring to – a summary of a German intelligence summary in fact, was “Caucasians” were meant to include Armenians, Georgians, Azerbaijanis and also Chechens, Dagestanis etc. It did not seem to have the degree of fine distinctions that Karlin’s source has. Essentially the Germans were summarising from experience which nationa groups in the USSR were more likely to go over to the Germans, in general terms and which were more likely to stay loyal to the USSR. In broad terms it bore out Karlin’s article, I would say, especially re ethnic Russians.
    There was Belarusian partisan resistance (aided by the dense forests and swamps to be found there) but there was an extensive collaborator movement as well.

    Read More
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  29. @melanf

    For me the question is why did they suffer more losses than the Germans.
     
    The main reason is simple - the German industry was far superior to the Soviet. The Wehrmacht was armed with much better weapons.

    Some Soviet weapons were better. The T-34 and KV-1 tanks were not something the Germans really expected and were a shock, although they were not yet in wide service. The Red Army was also the first the Germans encountered to make wide use of a semi-automatic rifle – the SVT-40. (The Germans did not encounter Garand-wielding American troops until 1943.)
    However, in 1940 some French and British tanks had been superior to the Germans. Hitler had expected to lose a million dead in the French etc. campaign. In the end he won decisive victory in the West with German fatalities of no more than 49,000.
    The Germans had better trained troops and used shock tactics to punch through their opponents in West and East, supplemented by close support air attacks, and when their armoured columns were on the move these often had very few casualties. The German casualty toll rose significantly when they hit prepared positions or had to reduce pockets of defenders. The bulk of the losses were in the follow-up infantry divisions – the panzers just kept going until supply problems and the vastness of the USSR began to take a toll.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cyrano
    T-34 was the best tank in the world until 1943 when the Panthers and the Tigers appeared, which were better, but it was too little too late. The name of the tank is misleading, it should really be called T-41 because that’s when it really entered service. 1934 is the year that they started working on its design. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that it was the weapon that won the war, even the Russians admit that they couldn’t have done it without the T-34.
    , @melanf

    Some Soviet weapons were better. The T-34 and KV-1 tanks were
     
    It is a myth. In 1940, the Soviet Union conducted comparative tests of the Pz III (purchased from Germany) and T-34, and came to the conclusion that the Pz III is superior to the Soviet tanks . The test results were so disappointing that the military is expected to stop production of the T-34, but instead to produce a copy of the Pz III .


    "The study of the last examples of a foreign tank shows that the most successful among them is the German medium tank "Daimler-Benz T-3G"... He has the most successful combination of mobility and armor protection at a small combat weight – approx. 20t... It says that the specified tank at a comparable T-34 armor protection, with a more spacious fighting compartment, excellent mobility.... the main disadvantage of this type of tank is it's armament of 37mm gun.
    But according to the Sept. the intelligence report, these tanks already remade by armor up to 45-52 mm and armament 47mm or even 55mm gun...
    I think that the German army has a tank that has the best combination of mobility, firepower and armor protection, backed by a good review with jobs crew member...
    Need not wasting a minute to continue work on the tank "126" (copy of Pz III ) to bring all of its characteristics to the level of German cars.
    13/IX-40 Fedorenko
    ".

    After the war the German generals were lying about the combat quality of the Soviet tanks to justify their own defeat. The quality of other types of weapons of the Soviet army was also greatly inferior to the enemys weapon
    , @MarkinLA
    The Red Army was also the first the Germans encountered to make wide use of a semi-automatic rifle – the SVT-40.

    I don't think the SVT-40 was in wide use in the Red Army. I remember a number of them being available in the US for 240 bucks unissued in the 80s. Too bad I didn't buy one.

    http://www.armchairgeneral.com/weapons-of-the-red-army-soviet-small-arms-of-world-war-ii.htm
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  30. Vendetta says:
    @Mr. XYZ
    What explains the extremely high Buryat military casualties in WWII?

    I assume they were enlisted in the Siberian divisions that got tansferred to the west and used as the final line of defense to halt the German advance on Moscow.

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  31. Cyrano says:
    @Uebersetzer
    Some Soviet weapons were better. The T-34 and KV-1 tanks were not something the Germans really expected and were a shock, although they were not yet in wide service. The Red Army was also the first the Germans encountered to make wide use of a semi-automatic rifle - the SVT-40. (The Germans did not encounter Garand-wielding American troops until 1943.)
    However, in 1940 some French and British tanks had been superior to the Germans. Hitler had expected to lose a million dead in the French etc. campaign. In the end he won decisive victory in the West with German fatalities of no more than 49,000.
    The Germans had better trained troops and used shock tactics to punch through their opponents in West and East, supplemented by close support air attacks, and when their armoured columns were on the move these often had very few casualties. The German casualty toll rose significantly when they hit prepared positions or had to reduce pockets of defenders. The bulk of the losses were in the follow-up infantry divisions - the panzers just kept going until supply problems and the vastness of the USSR began to take a toll.

    T-34 was the best tank in the world until 1943 when the Panthers and the Tigers appeared, which were better, but it was too little too late. The name of the tank is misleading, it should really be called T-41 because that’s when it really entered service. 1934 is the year that they started working on its design. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that it was the weapon that won the war, even the Russians admit that they couldn’t have done it without the T-34.

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    T-34 was the best tank in the world until 1943
     
    No (see comment above). T-34 from the beginning of the war was greatly inferior to the German tanks in fighting qualities.
    , @melanf

    T-34 was the best tank in the world until 1943
     
    The results of testing tanks T-34 and KW by the US military at the Aberdeen proving grounds, 1942.
    http://english.battlefield.ru/en/tank-development/27-medium-tanks/95-t44.html

    "General comments
    From the American point of view, our tanks are slow. Both our tanks can climb an incline better than any American tank. The welding of the armor plating is extremely crude and careless. The radio sets in laboratory tests turned out to be not bad. However, because of poor shielding and poor protection, after installation in the tanks the sets did not manage to establish normal communications at distances greater than 10 miles. The compactness of the radio sets and their intelligent placement in the tanks was pleasing. The machining of equipment components and parts was, with few exceptions, very poor. In particular, the Americans were troubled by the disgraceful design and extremely poor work on the transmission links on the T-34. After much torment they made a new ones and replaced ours. All the tanks mechanisms demand very frequent fine-tuning.....
    Сomparing American and Russian tanks, it is clear that driving Russian tanks is much harder. A virtuosity is demanded of Russian drivers in changing gear on the move, special experience in using friction clutches, great experience as a mechanic, and the ability to keep tanks in working condition (adjustments and repairs of components, which are constantly becoming disabled). This greatly complicates the training of tankers and drivers.
    Judging by samples, Russians when producing tanks pay little attention to careful machining or the finishing and technology of small parts and components, which leads to the loss of the advantage what would otherwise accrue from what on the whole are well designed tanks.
    Despite the advantages of the use of diesel, the good contours of the tanks, thick armor, good and reliable armaments, the successful design of the tracks etc., Russian tanks are significantly inferior to American tanks in their simplicity of driving, manoeuvrability, the strength of firing (reference to muzzle velocity), speed, the reliability of mechanical construction and the ease of keeping them running
    .
    The head of the 2nd Department of the Main Intelligence Department of the Red Army, major-general Khlopov
    "
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  32. melanf says:
    @Uebersetzer
    Some Soviet weapons were better. The T-34 and KV-1 tanks were not something the Germans really expected and were a shock, although they were not yet in wide service. The Red Army was also the first the Germans encountered to make wide use of a semi-automatic rifle - the SVT-40. (The Germans did not encounter Garand-wielding American troops until 1943.)
    However, in 1940 some French and British tanks had been superior to the Germans. Hitler had expected to lose a million dead in the French etc. campaign. In the end he won decisive victory in the West with German fatalities of no more than 49,000.
    The Germans had better trained troops and used shock tactics to punch through their opponents in West and East, supplemented by close support air attacks, and when their armoured columns were on the move these often had very few casualties. The German casualty toll rose significantly when they hit prepared positions or had to reduce pockets of defenders. The bulk of the losses were in the follow-up infantry divisions - the panzers just kept going until supply problems and the vastness of the USSR began to take a toll.

    Some Soviet weapons were better. The T-34 and KV-1 tanks were

    It is a myth. In 1940, the Soviet Union conducted comparative tests of the Pz III (purchased from Germany) and T-34, and came to the conclusion that the Pz III is superior to the Soviet tanks . The test results were so disappointing that the military is expected to stop production of the T-34, but instead to produce a copy of the Pz III .

    The study of the last examples of a foreign tank shows that the most successful among them is the German medium tank “Daimler-Benz T-3G”… He has the most successful combination of mobility and armor protection at a small combat weight – approx. 20t… It says that the specified tank at a comparable T-34 armor protection, with a more spacious fighting compartment, excellent mobility…. the main disadvantage of this type of tank is it’s armament of 37mm gun.
    But according to the Sept. the intelligence report, these tanks already remade by armor up to 45-52 mm and armament 47mm or even 55mm gun…
    I think that the German army has a tank that has the best combination of mobility, firepower and armor protection, backed by a good review with jobs crew member…
    Need not wasting a minute to continue work on the tank “126″ (copy of Pz III ) to bring all of its characteristics to the level of German cars.
    13/IX-40 Fedorenko
    “.

    After the war the German generals were lying about the combat quality of the Soviet tanks to justify their own defeat. The quality of other types of weapons of the Soviet army was also greatly inferior to the enemys weapon

    Read More
    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    The Panzer III could not be equipped within any cannon bigger than 50mm. The T-34 entered service with a 76mm cannon and was upgraded to the T-34/85 with an 85mm cannon. If the Panzer III was so outstanding, why did German AFV development focus on the Panzer IV, V (Panther) and VI (Tiger I and Tiger II)?
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  33. melanf says:
    @Cyrano
    T-34 was the best tank in the world until 1943 when the Panthers and the Tigers appeared, which were better, but it was too little too late. The name of the tank is misleading, it should really be called T-41 because that’s when it really entered service. 1934 is the year that they started working on its design. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that it was the weapon that won the war, even the Russians admit that they couldn’t have done it without the T-34.

    T-34 was the best tank in the world until 1943

    No (see comment above). T-34 from the beginning of the war was greatly inferior to the German tanks in fighting qualities.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cyrano
    I don’t think you have any idea what you’re talking about. I think that it was Guderian who suggested to Hitler that the way to fix the situation on the eastern front was to start producing T-34 to fight the Russians.

    Of course Hitler would have none of it and the Germans designed the Panther, which pretty much copied the main idea of the design of T-34 – sloped armor for better protection. If you look at those two tanks, the similarity is obvious. T-34 was superior to any tank in the world up to the Panthers and the Tigers, which were never produced in any significant numbers to make a real difference. It has been voted as the best tank of all times overall.

    http://www.achtungpanzer.com/panzerkampfwagen-t-34r-soviet-t-34-in-german-service.htm

    https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/top-10-tanks-of-all-time.html
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  34. @melanf

    For me the question is why did they suffer more losses than the Germans.
     
    The main reason is simple - the German industry was far superior to the Soviet. The Wehrmacht was armed with much better weapons.

    Wermacht was armed not with better weapons most of the time, but with more weapons. One is of particular importance – Germans used about two times more artillery munitions (in terms of weight, not number) than Soviets till the second half of 1944 or so.

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    • Replies: @melanf

    Wermacht was armed not with better weapons most of the time, but with more weapons.
     
    Not all types of weapons. For example the Soviet Union produced more tanks and aircraft. But the quality of German weapons in most cases was much better
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  35. melanf says:
    @Bertie Wooster
    Wermacht was armed not with better weapons most of the time, but with more weapons. One is of particular importance - Germans used about two times more artillery munitions (in terms of weight, not number) than Soviets till the second half of 1944 or so.

    Wermacht was armed not with better weapons most of the time, but with more weapons.

    Not all types of weapons. For example the Soviet Union produced more tanks and aircraft. But the quality of German weapons in most cases was much better

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinPNW
    The quality of the design of German weapons was much better, but when the Germans resorted to using slave labor - including many POW's - in their war industry, the actual combat efficiency greatly declined. German Generals on the Eastern front refused to send their tanks back for overhaul even when baldy worn and damaged due to the fact that they almost always returned from overhaul in even worse condition, and on the Western front after the Normandy landings over half of the German tanks assigned to defend from the West never even made it into combat due to mechanical breakdowns and sabotage.
    , @Bertie Wooster
    >Not all types of weapons. For example the Soviet Union produced more tanks and aircraft.

    Yes, for example Soviet Union had much more artillery pieces (and they were on average better than analogous German ones), but in the same time what a gun worth if you don't have enough ammo for it?

    It was main Soviet problem and why there is such a disparity in the losses for the first half of the war and some months afterwards. Artillery produced about 70% of overall casualties in the war. The side with advantage in artillery suffer less losses than the enemy.

    Americans enjoyed a definitive superiority over Germans in the artillery duel in 1944 and casualties reflect that.
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  36. Cyrano says:
    @melanf

    T-34 was the best tank in the world until 1943
     
    No (see comment above). T-34 from the beginning of the war was greatly inferior to the German tanks in fighting qualities.

    I don’t think you have any idea what you’re talking about. I think that it was Guderian who suggested to Hitler that the way to fix the situation on the eastern front was to start producing T-34 to fight the Russians.

    Of course Hitler would have none of it and the Germans designed the Panther, which pretty much copied the main idea of the design of T-34 – sloped armor for better protection. If you look at those two tanks, the similarity is obvious. T-34 was superior to any tank in the world up to the Panthers and the Tigers, which were never produced in any significant numbers to make a real difference. It has been voted as the best tank of all times overall.

    http://www.achtungpanzer.com/panzerkampfwagen-t-34r-soviet-t-34-in-german-service.htm

    https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/top-10-tanks-of-all-time.html

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    Agreed. The T-34 was the best tank in the world at the beginning of World War II. Heinz Guderian, who knew something about tanks, wanted to produce T-34 copies and one version of the Panther (the one not selected) resembled the T-34 quite closely. The Panthers and Tigers and even the late model PzKpfw Mk IVH were arguably superior on a tank-by-tank comparison, but T-34s were produced in much, much larger numbers. It's actually kind of amazing that the big German victories of 1941 and 1942 were won with PzKpfw Mk III's and IV's and even a lot of PzKpfw Mk II's and Skoda 35s and 38t's. German superiority was generally not a matter of equipment but of leadership, training and tactics. The Russians caught on eventually, but it took some time and a lot of casualties.
    , @melanf

    don’t think you have any idea what you’re talking about.
     
    I have idea.
    When historians turned to the military documents of the era ( not to the memoirs of German generals, and postwar Soviet propaganda) the myth about superiority of T-34 collapsed like a house of cards.
    T-34-76 (compared to Pz III) had a larger caliber gun and thicker armor. However, the Pz III had a cumulative shells and APDS (T-34 did not have such shells ) that completely balanced the superiority of the Soviet tank in gun and thickness of armor. In the rest the German tank was superior. Pz III shot faster, Pz III shot more precisely, the Pz III had the best optics, had a better radio, better maneuvering, it was more reliable, etc.

    However in 1941 the battle between the tanks were a rarity. In 1941 the Germans had numerous anti-tank guns equipped with APDSI and cumulative shells. Because of this, the Germans easily destroyed T-34. The Soviet Union not had such weapons – first piercing projectiles in the USSR were made only in 1942 (for the sake of 4,000 tons of tungsten was obtained from China). Production сumulative shells in the USSR was established only at the end of the war


    Of course Hitler would have none of it and the Germans designed the Panther, which pretty much copied the main idea of the design of T-34
     
    Is this a joke? Compare

    http://www.antoshka-toys.ru/kiwi-public-data/Kiwi_Img/photo_3_1359391774-1004.jpg

    http://rc6.ru/images/product/l/540d76eb.jpg

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  37. MarkinPNW says:
    @melanf

    Wermacht was armed not with better weapons most of the time, but with more weapons.
     
    Not all types of weapons. For example the Soviet Union produced more tanks and aircraft. But the quality of German weapons in most cases was much better

    The quality of the design of German weapons was much better, but when the Germans resorted to using slave labor – including many POW’s – in their war industry, the actual combat efficiency greatly declined. German Generals on the Eastern front refused to send their tanks back for overhaul even when baldy worn and damaged due to the fact that they almost always returned from overhaul in even worse condition, and on the Western front after the Normandy landings over half of the German tanks assigned to defend from the West never even made it into combat due to mechanical breakdowns and sabotage.

    Read More
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  38. @melanf

    Wermacht was armed not with better weapons most of the time, but with more weapons.
     
    Not all types of weapons. For example the Soviet Union produced more tanks and aircraft. But the quality of German weapons in most cases was much better

    >Not all types of weapons. For example the Soviet Union produced more tanks and aircraft.

    Yes, for example Soviet Union had much more artillery pieces (and they were on average better than analogous German ones), but in the same time what a gun worth if you don’t have enough ammo for it?

    It was main Soviet problem and why there is such a disparity in the losses for the first half of the war and some months afterwards. Artillery produced about 70% of overall casualties in the war. The side with advantage in artillery suffer less losses than the enemy.

    Americans enjoyed a definitive superiority over Germans in the artillery duel in 1944 and casualties reflect that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    I don't think that it was just a matter of ammunition supply or number of guns. I think that it had a lot to do with the ability to direct artillery fire onto identified targets. Red Army artillery had a tendency just to line up guns hub to hub and start blasting away. The U.S. Army had good communications for spotting and even liaison with aircraft. The Germans were somewhere in between.
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  39. @melanf

    Some Soviet weapons were better. The T-34 and KV-1 tanks were
     
    It is a myth. In 1940, the Soviet Union conducted comparative tests of the Pz III (purchased from Germany) and T-34, and came to the conclusion that the Pz III is superior to the Soviet tanks . The test results were so disappointing that the military is expected to stop production of the T-34, but instead to produce a copy of the Pz III .


    "The study of the last examples of a foreign tank shows that the most successful among them is the German medium tank "Daimler-Benz T-3G"... He has the most successful combination of mobility and armor protection at a small combat weight – approx. 20t... It says that the specified tank at a comparable T-34 armor protection, with a more spacious fighting compartment, excellent mobility.... the main disadvantage of this type of tank is it's armament of 37mm gun.
    But according to the Sept. the intelligence report, these tanks already remade by armor up to 45-52 mm and armament 47mm or even 55mm gun...
    I think that the German army has a tank that has the best combination of mobility, firepower and armor protection, backed by a good review with jobs crew member...
    Need not wasting a minute to continue work on the tank "126" (copy of Pz III ) to bring all of its characteristics to the level of German cars.
    13/IX-40 Fedorenko
    ".

    After the war the German generals were lying about the combat quality of the Soviet tanks to justify their own defeat. The quality of other types of weapons of the Soviet army was also greatly inferior to the enemys weapon

    The Panzer III could not be equipped within any cannon bigger than 50mm. The T-34 entered service with a 76mm cannon and was upgraded to the T-34/85 with an 85mm cannon. If the Panzer III was so outstanding, why did German AFV development focus on the Panzer IV, V (Panther) and VI (Tiger I and Tiger II)?

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    If the Panzer III was so outstanding, why did German AFV development focus on the Panzer IV, V (Panther) and VI (Tiger I and Tiger II)?
     
    Because the arms race. The Soviet Union in 1944 was replaced the T-34-76
    http://www.kpopov.ru/military/pyshma_2014/t-34-76_1941/dsc_3114.jpg
    by T-34-85
    http://www.telegraf-spb.ru/published/publicdata/B622311/attachments/SC/products_pictures/t34_85u1_enl.jpg


    and tank KW
    https://2ch.hk/b/arch/2016-05-09/src/126016120/14628132331460.png

    by tank IS-2
    http://wartools.ru/images/objects/bronetekhnika/-22705_is-2.jpg
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  40. @Cyrano
    I don’t think you have any idea what you’re talking about. I think that it was Guderian who suggested to Hitler that the way to fix the situation on the eastern front was to start producing T-34 to fight the Russians.

    Of course Hitler would have none of it and the Germans designed the Panther, which pretty much copied the main idea of the design of T-34 – sloped armor for better protection. If you look at those two tanks, the similarity is obvious. T-34 was superior to any tank in the world up to the Panthers and the Tigers, which were never produced in any significant numbers to make a real difference. It has been voted as the best tank of all times overall.

    http://www.achtungpanzer.com/panzerkampfwagen-t-34r-soviet-t-34-in-german-service.htm

    https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/top-10-tanks-of-all-time.html

    Agreed. The T-34 was the best tank in the world at the beginning of World War II. Heinz Guderian, who knew something about tanks, wanted to produce T-34 copies and one version of the Panther (the one not selected) resembled the T-34 quite closely. The Panthers and Tigers and even the late model PzKpfw Mk IVH were arguably superior on a tank-by-tank comparison, but T-34s were produced in much, much larger numbers. It’s actually kind of amazing that the big German victories of 1941 and 1942 were won with PzKpfw Mk III’s and IV’s and even a lot of PzKpfw Mk II’s and Skoda 35s and 38t’s. German superiority was generally not a matter of equipment but of leadership, training and tactics. The Russians caught on eventually, but it took some time and a lot of casualties.

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    Heinz Guderian, who knew something about tanks
     
    Heinz Guderian was a bad General (this is the assessment of military historians), but a talented writer. About the T 34 Guderian in his memoirs shamelessly lied, for obvious reasons.
    The Germans early in the war captured a huge number of T-34, but almost did not use them. That is, the fighting qualities of the T-34 did not cause enthusiasm among the Germans
    , @reiner Tor
    I only have rudimentary knowledge of the matter, but...

    The T-34 had some advantages (like better armor, perhaps also thicker and wider tracks, and a few such things), but in the most decisive things it had distinct disadvantages.

    1) worse ergonomics: too much energy was spent on operating it and that was tiring and left too little energy to observe and assess the situation outside which led to bad decisions and destruction of the tank

    2) worse vision: the commander couldn't accurately assess the situation and this, again, led to bad decisions

    3) poorer comfort: tired people make worse decisions

    4) no radio initially (except in command vehicles), so limited communications, which led to poor decisions... is it boring?

    The Germans would have had a hard time using it if they produced it. (They did use some captured ones, but weren't satisfied at all.)
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  41. melanf says:
    @Cyrano
    I don’t think you have any idea what you’re talking about. I think that it was Guderian who suggested to Hitler that the way to fix the situation on the eastern front was to start producing T-34 to fight the Russians.

    Of course Hitler would have none of it and the Germans designed the Panther, which pretty much copied the main idea of the design of T-34 – sloped armor for better protection. If you look at those two tanks, the similarity is obvious. T-34 was superior to any tank in the world up to the Panthers and the Tigers, which were never produced in any significant numbers to make a real difference. It has been voted as the best tank of all times overall.

    http://www.achtungpanzer.com/panzerkampfwagen-t-34r-soviet-t-34-in-german-service.htm

    https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/top-10-tanks-of-all-time.html

    don’t think you have any idea what you’re talking about.

    I have idea.
    When historians turned to the military documents of the era ( not to the memoirs of German generals, and postwar Soviet propaganda) the myth about superiority of T-34 collapsed like a house of cards.
    T-34-76 (compared to Pz III) had a larger caliber gun and thicker armor. However, the Pz III had a cumulative shells and APDS (T-34 did not have such shells ) that completely balanced the superiority of the Soviet tank in gun and thickness of armor. In the rest the German tank was superior. Pz III shot faster, Pz III shot more precisely, the Pz III had the best optics, had a better radio, better maneuvering, it was more reliable, etc.

    However in 1941 the battle between the tanks were a rarity. In 1941 the Germans had numerous anti-tank guns equipped with APDSI and cumulative shells. Because of this, the Germans easily destroyed T-34. The Soviet Union not had such weapons – first piercing projectiles in the USSR were made only in 1942 (for the sake of 4,000 tons of tungsten was obtained from China). Production сumulative shells in the USSR was established only at the end of the war

    Of course Hitler would have none of it and the Germans designed the Panther, which pretty much copied the main idea of the design of T-34

    Is this a joke? Compare

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    • Replies: @Cyrano
    I think that in terms of armor protection, neither T-34 nor Panzer III can compete with the thickness of your skull. So therefore I declare you a superior tank design compared to both of them.

    T-34 had better armor, more fire power, better manoeuverability, better power to weight ratio, but Panzer III had better radio and better optics and that made it a better tank? The shells fired from Panzer III were bouncing off of T-34, making it unimportant whether it could fire faster or more accurately. Furthermore if Panzer III and IV were better designs than T-34, why would the Germans bother designing Panzer V and VI? To attract more investors?
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  42. @Bertie Wooster
    >Not all types of weapons. For example the Soviet Union produced more tanks and aircraft.

    Yes, for example Soviet Union had much more artillery pieces (and they were on average better than analogous German ones), but in the same time what a gun worth if you don't have enough ammo for it?

    It was main Soviet problem and why there is such a disparity in the losses for the first half of the war and some months afterwards. Artillery produced about 70% of overall casualties in the war. The side with advantage in artillery suffer less losses than the enemy.

    Americans enjoyed a definitive superiority over Germans in the artillery duel in 1944 and casualties reflect that.

    I don’t think that it was just a matter of ammunition supply or number of guns. I think that it had a lot to do with the ability to direct artillery fire onto identified targets. Red Army artillery had a tendency just to line up guns hub to hub and start blasting away. The U.S. Army had good communications for spotting and even liaison with aircraft. The Germans were somewhere in between.

    Read More
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  43. melanf says:
    @Diversity Heretic
    Agreed. The T-34 was the best tank in the world at the beginning of World War II. Heinz Guderian, who knew something about tanks, wanted to produce T-34 copies and one version of the Panther (the one not selected) resembled the T-34 quite closely. The Panthers and Tigers and even the late model PzKpfw Mk IVH were arguably superior on a tank-by-tank comparison, but T-34s were produced in much, much larger numbers. It's actually kind of amazing that the big German victories of 1941 and 1942 were won with PzKpfw Mk III's and IV's and even a lot of PzKpfw Mk II's and Skoda 35s and 38t's. German superiority was generally not a matter of equipment but of leadership, training and tactics. The Russians caught on eventually, but it took some time and a lot of casualties.

    Heinz Guderian, who knew something about tanks

    Heinz Guderian was a bad General (this is the assessment of military historians), but a talented writer. About the T 34 Guderian in his memoirs shamelessly lied, for obvious reasons.
    The Germans early in the war captured a huge number of T-34, but almost did not use them. That is, the fighting qualities of the T-34 did not cause enthusiasm among the Germans

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    Heinz Guderian was a bad General (this is the assessment of military historians)
     
    Which military historians?

    Bundeswehr colonel Karl-Heinz Frieser described in his seminal The Blitzkrieg Legend how crucial Guderian's role was in the French campaign. He was the only one to fully understand mobile warfare. He also executed the plan competently.

    He was later largely successful in Russia as long as the circumstances were reasonably favorable.

    It doesn't mean he couldn't have lied in his memoirs. He probably did. So what? It doesn't make him a bad general.
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  44. utu says:

    Shouldn’t Russians and Ukrainians fighting on German side (circa 900,000 ??) of whom many got killed be somehow included (subtracted I guess) in the balance if one wants to create the statistics of ethnic contributions in defeating III Reich?

    And how one should deal with the 17 September, 1939 – 22 June, 1941 period when USSR was de facto allied with III Reich first by helping defeat Poland then by annexing Baltic states and part of Rumania and starting a war with Finland and all time supplying III Reich with raw materials?

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    Russians and Ukrainians fighting on German side (circa 900,000 ??)
     
    I think the number (perhaps well over a million) was about all Soviet citizens and not just Russians and Ukrainians, and proportionally Russians were quite underrepresented among them. They also cannot be considered full soldiers, certainly not on par with German soldiers.
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  45. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @Diversity Heretic
    Agreed. The T-34 was the best tank in the world at the beginning of World War II. Heinz Guderian, who knew something about tanks, wanted to produce T-34 copies and one version of the Panther (the one not selected) resembled the T-34 quite closely. The Panthers and Tigers and even the late model PzKpfw Mk IVH were arguably superior on a tank-by-tank comparison, but T-34s were produced in much, much larger numbers. It's actually kind of amazing that the big German victories of 1941 and 1942 were won with PzKpfw Mk III's and IV's and even a lot of PzKpfw Mk II's and Skoda 35s and 38t's. German superiority was generally not a matter of equipment but of leadership, training and tactics. The Russians caught on eventually, but it took some time and a lot of casualties.

    I only have rudimentary knowledge of the matter, but…

    The T-34 had some advantages (like better armor, perhaps also thicker and wider tracks, and a few such things), but in the most decisive things it had distinct disadvantages.

    1) worse ergonomics: too much energy was spent on operating it and that was tiring and left too little energy to observe and assess the situation outside which led to bad decisions and destruction of the tank

    2) worse vision: the commander couldn’t accurately assess the situation and this, again, led to bad decisions

    3) poorer comfort: tired people make worse decisions

    4) no radio initially (except in command vehicles), so limited communications, which led to poor decisions… is it boring?

    The Germans would have had a hard time using it if they produced it. (They did use some captured ones, but weren’t satisfied at all.)

    Read More
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  46. melanf says:
    @Diversity Heretic
    The Panzer III could not be equipped within any cannon bigger than 50mm. The T-34 entered service with a 76mm cannon and was upgraded to the T-34/85 with an 85mm cannon. If the Panzer III was so outstanding, why did German AFV development focus on the Panzer IV, V (Panther) and VI (Tiger I and Tiger II)?

    If the Panzer III was so outstanding, why did German AFV development focus on the Panzer IV, V (Panther) and VI (Tiger I and Tiger II)?

    Because the arms race. The Soviet Union in 1944 was replaced the T-34-76

    by T-34-85

    and tank KW

    by tank IS-2

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  47. MarkinLA says:
    @Uebersetzer
    Some Soviet weapons were better. The T-34 and KV-1 tanks were not something the Germans really expected and were a shock, although they were not yet in wide service. The Red Army was also the first the Germans encountered to make wide use of a semi-automatic rifle - the SVT-40. (The Germans did not encounter Garand-wielding American troops until 1943.)
    However, in 1940 some French and British tanks had been superior to the Germans. Hitler had expected to lose a million dead in the French etc. campaign. In the end he won decisive victory in the West with German fatalities of no more than 49,000.
    The Germans had better trained troops and used shock tactics to punch through their opponents in West and East, supplemented by close support air attacks, and when their armoured columns were on the move these often had very few casualties. The German casualty toll rose significantly when they hit prepared positions or had to reduce pockets of defenders. The bulk of the losses were in the follow-up infantry divisions - the panzers just kept going until supply problems and the vastness of the USSR began to take a toll.

    The Red Army was also the first the Germans encountered to make wide use of a semi-automatic rifle – the SVT-40.

    I don’t think the SVT-40 was in wide use in the Red Army. I remember a number of them being available in the US for 240 bucks unissued in the 80s. Too bad I didn’t buy one.

    http://www.armchairgeneral.com/weapons-of-the-red-army-soviet-small-arms-of-world-war-ii.htm

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    • Replies: @Uebersetzer
    Over a million had been manufactured by June 22, 1941 although hundreds of thousands were lost in the 1941 fighting (the Germans enthusiastically used captured examples, and stepped up their own semi-automatic rifle programme).
    The SVT-40 was deemphasised from 1942 onwards, though still manufactured in smaller numbers (c.200,000 in that year) as unlike many Soviet weapons, it needed careful looking after and cleaning and was difficult to manufacture. For this reason there was a tendency to give them to NCOs. The original plan had been to make the SVT-40 the main battle rifle but this was never realised. The Soviets went for a combination of bolt-action rifles and mass production of sub-machine-guns.
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  48. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @utu
    Shouldn't Russians and Ukrainians fighting on German side (circa 900,000 ??) of whom many got killed be somehow included (subtracted I guess) in the balance if one wants to create the statistics of ethnic contributions in defeating III Reich?

    And how one should deal with the 17 September, 1939 - 22 June, 1941 period when USSR was de facto allied with III Reich first by helping defeat Poland then by annexing Baltic states and part of Rumania and starting a war with Finland and all time supplying III Reich with raw materials?

    Russians and Ukrainians fighting on German side (circa 900,000 ??)

    I think the number (perhaps well over a million) was about all Soviet citizens and not just Russians and Ukrainians, and proportionally Russians were quite underrepresented among them. They also cannot be considered full soldiers, certainly not on par with German soldiers.

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    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    When the back up Allied landing arrived in the South of France, the Osttruppen more or less gave up without a fight.
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  49. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @melanf

    Heinz Guderian, who knew something about tanks
     
    Heinz Guderian was a bad General (this is the assessment of military historians), but a talented writer. About the T 34 Guderian in his memoirs shamelessly lied, for obvious reasons.
    The Germans early in the war captured a huge number of T-34, but almost did not use them. That is, the fighting qualities of the T-34 did not cause enthusiasm among the Germans

    Heinz Guderian was a bad General (this is the assessment of military historians)

    Which military historians?

    Bundeswehr colonel Karl-Heinz Frieser described in his seminal The Blitzkrieg Legend how crucial Guderian’s role was in the French campaign. He was the only one to fully understand mobile warfare. He also executed the plan competently.

    He was later largely successful in Russia as long as the circumstances were reasonably favorable.

    It doesn’t mean he couldn’t have lied in his memoirs. He probably did. So what? It doesn’t make him a bad general.

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    • Replies: @melanf


    Heinz Guderian was a bad General (this is the assessment of military historians)
     
    Which military historians?....
    He was later largely successful in Russia as long as the circumstances were reasonably favorable.
     
    http://topbloger.livejournal.com/14260584.html

    "Alexey Isaev: For example, I became extremely skeptical of Guderian. It's possible to say that the darling of the public. But as a tank commander he was, shall we say, not the sharpest knife in the table. And when he directly commanded the troops, always Encirclement (which he did in 1941) was leaky. So it was near Minsk and Bryansk under, everywhere had closed the Encirclement. ... as the commander of Panzer group, and Panzer army later, I will say that Guderian not enthusiastic.
    This is a man who, in his memoirs, modestly talks about his failures. Therefore, following a decade of study including German documents, he has been a disappointment. Manstein is a man who really showed throughout the war the high level of professionalism. But still the tank commanders one and two in Germany were .... but Kleist and Hothт. People who for months and years, quite successfully led to battle tanks. Therefore, we should not ever judge a person according to his memoirs. ... for example, Hothт, wrote memoirs, a weak, but nevertheless he was the man who came to Minsk, Smolensk, Moscow and Stalingrad and Hothт is definitely a professional tank commander. But Guderian in literature was more successful .... From a literary point of view is very nice to read, but this does not always coincide with reality."

    Guderian is Moltke the younger of WWII

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  50. Interesting. This seems to go against the conventional wisdom. During Barbarossa, and the first encounters with the T-34, there were many accounts of German armor-piercing shells “bouncing” off the its armor. However, I suppose it makes sense that the Panzers were better in other respects. Especially their high degree of radio “networking” was critical to their success in both the French campaign and Barbarossa.

    The USSR had no shortage of military hardware (though the logistics of getting it to military formations, especially in the chaos of autumn 1941, were another matter). The USSR had built up huge military stocks, and its military production would outstrip German military production throughout the war. The Germans, unlike the Soviets (and Americans) made a bet on quality over quantity, but this wasn’t always the optimal choice, especially as quality often expressed itself in over-engineering.

    The really big factors that I would identify as things that led to much higher Soviet casualties in the first 2 years were the following:

    * Worse commanders at all levels – In part due to the purges, in part due to a relatively greater emphasis on political loyalty over professionalism (any analogues to someone like Voroshilov in the Wehrmarcht?)

    * Worse soldiers – Less educated, had much less military training (also explains why Soviet weapons were simpler); also couldn’t manage overly complex combined arms operations (a problem compounded by the lack of good commanders).

    * Doctrine – Germany was just way ahead here relative to everyone else, especially on how to use tanks.

    * Worse fighter planes – This was the one aspect of military technology where the USSR was decidedly behind Germany at the outbreak of war.

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    • Replies: @inertial

    Worse commanders at all levels – In part due to the purges, in part due to a relatively greater emphasis on political loyalty over professionalism
     
    And in the greater part because the army and the officer corp grew explosively in the years before the war. In 1937, before the purges, there were 206 thousand officers; in June 1941 , 439 thousand (http://militera.lib.ru/research/pyhalov_i/02.html). These newly minted officers were not as experienced as their German counterparts.

    Worse commanders at all levels....Worse soldiers
     
    Here is how Otto Skorzeny characterized Soviet commanders and soldiers:

    "...But the Russian commanding officers, from division generals down, were good, younger and more determined than ours. Besides, the Russian soldier was outstanding..."

    Skorzeny was an army officer on the Eastern Front in summer and fall 1941, i.e. the worst period for the Soviets. He knew what he was talking about. Incidentally, he believed that the purges had strengthened Red Army by clearing away deadwood.
    , @Uebersetzer
    Von Brauchitsch is probably the closest analogue to Voroshilov, although he tended to be subservient to Hitler out of spinelessness rather than political belief. He had to walk the plank after the assault on Moscow failed. Keitel also had a reputation for sycophancy.
    After the July 20, 1944 plot, Hitler tried to politicise the armed forces more in a Nazi form.
    , @Cortes
    Albert Speer and Guderian both nailed the problem with German armour: the dripping roast for engineering companies maximising profit at the expense of, oddly enough, the folks expected to actually win the war... Pointless "upgrades" almost impossible to maintain in fighting condition, lack of standardised parts etc.
    As most fiction now declares at the outset, "any resemblance to any real current military procurement process is purely accidental."

    Shocked by the Buryat statistics.

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  51. Hibernian says:

    I’ve said this before: Remember the Pacific Theater. Remember Guadalcanal. Remember Tarawa. Remember Iwo Jima.

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  52. Cyrano says:
    @melanf

    don’t think you have any idea what you’re talking about.
     
    I have idea.
    When historians turned to the military documents of the era ( not to the memoirs of German generals, and postwar Soviet propaganda) the myth about superiority of T-34 collapsed like a house of cards.
    T-34-76 (compared to Pz III) had a larger caliber gun and thicker armor. However, the Pz III had a cumulative shells and APDS (T-34 did not have such shells ) that completely balanced the superiority of the Soviet tank in gun and thickness of armor. In the rest the German tank was superior. Pz III shot faster, Pz III shot more precisely, the Pz III had the best optics, had a better radio, better maneuvering, it was more reliable, etc.

    However in 1941 the battle between the tanks were a rarity. In 1941 the Germans had numerous anti-tank guns equipped with APDSI and cumulative shells. Because of this, the Germans easily destroyed T-34. The Soviet Union not had such weapons – first piercing projectiles in the USSR were made only in 1942 (for the sake of 4,000 tons of tungsten was obtained from China). Production сumulative shells in the USSR was established only at the end of the war


    Of course Hitler would have none of it and the Germans designed the Panther, which pretty much copied the main idea of the design of T-34
     
    Is this a joke? Compare

    http://www.antoshka-toys.ru/kiwi-public-data/Kiwi_Img/photo_3_1359391774-1004.jpg

    http://rc6.ru/images/product/l/540d76eb.jpg

    I think that in terms of armor protection, neither T-34 nor Panzer III can compete with the thickness of your skull. So therefore I declare you a superior tank design compared to both of them.

    T-34 had better armor, more fire power, better manoeuverability, better power to weight ratio, but Panzer III had better radio and better optics and that made it a better tank? The shells fired from Panzer III were bouncing off of T-34, making it unimportant whether it could fire faster or more accurately. Furthermore if Panzer III and IV were better designs than T-34, why would the Germans bother designing Panzer V and VI? To attract more investors?

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    The shells fired from Panzer III were bouncing off of T-34, making it unimportant whether it could fire faster or more accurately
     
    This fairy tales (composed after the war by defeated German generals)
    "cumulative shells played an important role in the tank troops of the Wehrmacht....
    As an example, the 3rd armored division, which operated in may 1942 at Kharkov: third tank battalion, 6th tank regiment of the division had 5 tanks "Pz.II", 34 tanks "Pz.III" with 50-mm and 6 "Pz.IV" with 75-mm gun. In the period from 12 to 22 may, the battalion destroyed:
    5 tanks, KW is immobilized using cumulative shells
    36 tanks "T-34" destroyed: 24 tanks by 75-mm cumulative shells , and 12 tanks "T-34" by 50-mm armor-piercing shells of tank "Pz.III."
    16 tanks "BT" destroyed by shells of 50 mm guns
    5 tanks "MK.II" ( "Matilda") disabled...
    "
    Isaev A. V., “Ten myths of the Second World War”

    "50-mm gun tanks "Pz.III"... successfully punched through side armor of the "KV-1" (thickness 75 mm) using a piercing projectile from a distance of ...300 m,
    and punched through the frontal armor of "KW-1" (thickness 105 mm) with a distance of 40 m."
    Isaev A. V., "Ten myths of the Second World War"

    Armor of the T-34 is much inferior to the armor of the KW-1

    , @melanf

    Furthermore if Panzer III and IV were better designs than T-34, why would the Germans bother designing Panzer V and VI? To attract more investors?
     
    1) Because technically simple T-34 was produced in huge quantities, the result was (to late 1942) the defeat of the Wehrmacht. German tanks were better, but the numerical superiority of Soviet armored forces were more important. The Germans tried by new tanks to turn the tide of war

    2) Because the Germans were expecting (rightly) that the Soviet Union rearming its army with more advanced tanks (as happened in 1944 - The Soviet Union replaced the T-34-76 by T-34-85 and tank KW by tank IS-2)

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  53. melanf says:
    @Cyrano
    I think that in terms of armor protection, neither T-34 nor Panzer III can compete with the thickness of your skull. So therefore I declare you a superior tank design compared to both of them.

    T-34 had better armor, more fire power, better manoeuverability, better power to weight ratio, but Panzer III had better radio and better optics and that made it a better tank? The shells fired from Panzer III were bouncing off of T-34, making it unimportant whether it could fire faster or more accurately. Furthermore if Panzer III and IV were better designs than T-34, why would the Germans bother designing Panzer V and VI? To attract more investors?

    The shells fired from Panzer III were bouncing off of T-34, making it unimportant whether it could fire faster or more accurately

    This fairy tales (composed after the war by defeated German generals)
    cumulative shells played an important role in the tank troops of the Wehrmacht….
    As an example, the 3rd armored division, which operated in may 1942 at Kharkov: third tank battalion, 6th tank regiment of the division had 5 tanks “Pz.II”, 34 tanks “Pz.III” with 50-mm and 6 “Pz.IV” with 75-mm gun. In the period from 12 to 22 may, the battalion destroyed:
    5 tanks, KW is immobilized using cumulative shells
    36 tanks “T-34″ destroyed: 24 tanks by 75-mm cumulative shells , and 12 tanks “T-34″ by 50-mm armor-piercing shells of tank “Pz.III.”
    16 tanks “BT” destroyed by shells of 50 mm guns
    5 tanks “MK.II” ( “Matilda”) disabled…

    Isaev A. V., “Ten myths of the Second World War”

    50-mm gun tanks “Pz.III”… successfully punched through side armor of the “KV-1″ (thickness 75 mm) using a piercing projectile from a distance of …300 m,
    and punched through the frontal armor of “KW-1″ (thickness 105 mm) with a distance of 40 m.”
    Isaev A. V., “Ten myths of the Second World War”

    Armor of the T-34 is much inferior to the armor of the KW-1

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  54. melanf says:
    @Cyrano
    T-34 was the best tank in the world until 1943 when the Panthers and the Tigers appeared, which were better, but it was too little too late. The name of the tank is misleading, it should really be called T-41 because that’s when it really entered service. 1934 is the year that they started working on its design. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that it was the weapon that won the war, even the Russians admit that they couldn’t have done it without the T-34.

    T-34 was the best tank in the world until 1943

    The results of testing tanks T-34 and KW by the US military at the Aberdeen proving grounds, 1942.

    http://english.battlefield.ru/en/tank-development/27-medium-tanks/95-t44.html

    General comments
    From the American point of view, our tanks are slow. Both our tanks can climb an incline better than any American tank. The welding of the armor plating is extremely crude and careless. The radio sets in laboratory tests turned out to be not bad. However, because of poor shielding and poor protection, after installation in the tanks the sets did not manage to establish normal communications at distances greater than 10 miles. The compactness of the radio sets and their intelligent placement in the tanks was pleasing. The machining of equipment components and parts was, with few exceptions, very poor. In particular, the Americans were troubled by the disgraceful design and extremely poor work on the transmission links on the T-34. After much torment they made a new ones and replaced ours. All the tanks mechanisms demand very frequent fine-tuning…..
    Сomparing American and Russian tanks, it is clear that driving Russian tanks is much harder. A virtuosity is demanded of Russian drivers in changing gear on the move, special experience in using friction clutches, great experience as a mechanic, and the ability to keep tanks in working condition (adjustments and repairs of components, which are constantly becoming disabled). This greatly complicates the training of tankers and drivers.
    Judging by samples, Russians when producing tanks pay little attention to careful machining or the finishing and technology of small parts and components, which leads to the loss of the advantage what would otherwise accrue from what on the whole are well designed tanks.
    Despite the advantages of the use of diesel, the good contours of the tanks, thick armor, good and reliable armaments, the successful design of the tracks etc., Russian tanks are significantly inferior to American tanks in their simplicity of driving, manoeuvrability, the strength of firing (reference to muzzle velocity), speed, the reliability of mechanical construction and the ease of keeping them running
    .
    The head of the 2nd Department of the Main Intelligence Department of the Red Army, major-general Khlopov

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  55. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    "The Central Asians, especially the Uzbeks and Tajiks, are underrepresented – the latter by a factor of almost three. This is perhaps not that bad a thing, since they had a reputation for technical incompetence; even in the late USSR, conscripts from those regions tended to go into “Class C” rear divisions with simple, obsolete equipment."

    Kazakh and Kyrgyzstan people are better represented. Why?

    Kazakh and Kyrgyzstan people are better represented. Why?

    Nomads. Strong tradition of hunting and, not that long ago, raiding.

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  56. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    In WWII, three countries had massive guerrilla movements and ended up freeing themselves from German occupation without direct military help from outsiders: Russia, Serbia, Greece. Common denominator? Orthodox religion. Was it a factor? I think it was. Germans were strongly “the others”. Unlike, say, in Holland or even Czechoslovakia.

    We always hear about French resistance but in reality it was nothing in comparison to what Greeks and Serbs did.

    We always hear how devastating the summer 1941 was for Russians and how Stalin was to blame for essentially decapitating the army. Yet, we never hear that militarily the Russians even then performed considerably better than French did in 1940.

    In terms of % of total population dead, Poland suffered most than any other country.

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    • Replies: @Uebersetzer
    A pattern that comes through in German soldiers' descriptions of the 1941 fighting is being up against large numbers of Red Army troops, killing and capturing them but also losing men. Then they move off towards the horizon and there's another lot to fight, the process is repeated, and all the time they're getting further and further away from their homeland, their supply situation is starting to deteriorate, they don't get reinforcements to replace the troops they lose but there always seems to be more enemies in front of them. Then the autumn rains turn the roads into a mudbath and not long after that it's winter... Not like France 1940 at all.
    , @reiner Tor

    we never hear that militarily the Russians even then performed considerably better than French did in 1940
     
    We do hear it a lot, but it's not exactly true.

    For example Russian soldiers were less likely to surrender (either individually or as whole units), but it had many reasons, not all which had to do a lot with heroism or patriotism or in some cases ideological commitment to the ideals of communism. One such reason is that the Germans in general treated Soviet POWs very badly, it actually looked like being POW meant a very likely death sentence, so there was a huge disincentive to surrender. (The same is true of the supposed ideological commitment and fanaticism of Waffen-SS troops - they knew they were more likely to be killed even on the Western front, there were also rumors of being sentenced to prison or forced labor for being labelled "war criminals" etc., so they often fought to the last bullet.)

    While French troops often panicked in 1940, after Dunkirk they learned a lot about mobile warfare, and fought much better afterwards - their problem was that after the losses at Dunkerque the Germans now had numerical advantage, their strategic reserves were still in North Africa and took a lot of time to deploy (by which time the Germans broke through and the troops from North Africa arrived in a piecemeal fashion, leading to destruction), and of course their whole organization and military technology was based on now obsolete ideas (like the very slow heavy tanks, which proved quite useless - another meme is "the French had better tanks than the Germans", which is only true in the sense that German tanks found it near impossible to take out French tanks if they met, but they rarely met). They also didn't have enough strategic depth to fall back to - the Soviets could regroup and replenish their troops a thousand or more kilometers from the border, whereas France was simply smaller. Had France been that large... I guess if the grandma had wheels and a trolley pole she would be a tram.
    , @melanf

    We always hear how devastating the summer 1941 was for Russians and how Stalin was to blame for essentially decapitating the army. Yet, we never hear that militarily the Russians even then performed considerably better than French did in 1940.
     
    The Soviet military command was a lot lot better than the French military command. Soviet troops (unlike the French) always constantly counterattacked against the Germans, which ultimately led to the failure of "Barbarossa". If in 39-40 Soviet generals commanded the French army, the Germans would have been defeated in Belgium


    About "decapitating the army" the Soviet myth. Terror has affected a relatively small number of officers. Military talents of the majority of victims are questionable.

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  57. @MarkinLA
    The Red Army was also the first the Germans encountered to make wide use of a semi-automatic rifle – the SVT-40.

    I don't think the SVT-40 was in wide use in the Red Army. I remember a number of them being available in the US for 240 bucks unissued in the 80s. Too bad I didn't buy one.

    http://www.armchairgeneral.com/weapons-of-the-red-army-soviet-small-arms-of-world-war-ii.htm

    Over a million had been manufactured by June 22, 1941 although hundreds of thousands were lost in the 1941 fighting (the Germans enthusiastically used captured examples, and stepped up their own semi-automatic rifle programme).
    The SVT-40 was deemphasised from 1942 onwards, though still manufactured in smaller numbers (c.200,000 in that year) as unlike many Soviet weapons, it needed careful looking after and cleaning and was difficult to manufacture. For this reason there was a tendency to give them to NCOs. The original plan had been to make the SVT-40 the main battle rifle but this was never realised. The Soviets went for a combination of bolt-action rifles and mass production of sub-machine-guns.

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  58. inertial says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Interesting. This seems to go against the conventional wisdom. During Barbarossa, and the first encounters with the T-34, there were many accounts of German armor-piercing shells "bouncing" off the its armor. However, I suppose it makes sense that the Panzers were better in other respects. Especially their high degree of radio "networking" was critical to their success in both the French campaign and Barbarossa.

    The USSR had no shortage of military hardware (though the logistics of getting it to military formations, especially in the chaos of autumn 1941, were another matter). The USSR had built up huge military stocks, and its military production would outstrip German military production throughout the war. The Germans, unlike the Soviets (and Americans) made a bet on quality over quantity, but this wasn't always the optimal choice, especially as quality often expressed itself in over-engineering.

    The really big factors that I would identify as things that led to much higher Soviet casualties in the first 2 years were the following:

    * Worse commanders at all levels - In part due to the purges, in part due to a relatively greater emphasis on political loyalty over professionalism (any analogues to someone like Voroshilov in the Wehrmarcht?)

    * Worse soldiers - Less educated, had much less military training (also explains why Soviet weapons were simpler); also couldn't manage overly complex combined arms operations (a problem compounded by the lack of good commanders).

    * Doctrine - Germany was just way ahead here relative to everyone else, especially on how to use tanks.

    * Worse fighter planes - This was the one aspect of military technology where the USSR was decidedly behind Germany at the outbreak of war.

    Worse commanders at all levels – In part due to the purges, in part due to a relatively greater emphasis on political loyalty over professionalism

    And in the greater part because the army and the officer corp grew explosively in the years before the war. In 1937, before the purges, there were 206 thousand officers; in June 1941 , 439 thousand (http://militera.lib.ru/research/pyhalov_i/02.html). These newly minted officers were not as experienced as their German counterparts.

    Worse commanders at all levels….Worse soldiers

    Here is how Otto Skorzeny characterized Soviet commanders and soldiers:

    …But the Russian commanding officers, from division generals down, were good, younger and more determined than ours. Besides, the Russian soldier was outstanding…

    Skorzeny was an army officer on the Eastern Front in summer and fall 1941, i.e. the worst period for the Soviets. He knew what he was talking about. Incidentally, he believed that the purges had strengthened Red Army by clearing away deadwood.

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  59. Miro23 says:
    @Vlad
    Of course the Russians had suffered the heaviest losses. That is obvious. For me the question is why did they suffer more losses than the Germans. Leaving the civilian casualties aside for the moment, as these were obviously victims of German occupation, why front line losses on the Soviet side were so much heavier. Here it seems there are two contradictory explanations. On the one hand you have serious strategic incompetence of Soviet High Command, presumably comrade Stalin. Specifically I mean prepositioning Soviet air force near the border to be wiped out on the first day, the refusal to allow orderly retreat in August 1941, the ridiculous order to advance in May 1942 near Kharkov that cost 400000 Soviet losses, the similar incompetent order a year later in same area that cost loss of Kharkov after it had been liberated. And the list goes on. Stalin was impatient, inconsiderate of losses, did not like to hear objections, made people around him afraid to speak their mind, tended to blame others for his own blunders. All these factors cost hundreds of thousands of Russian lives that could have been avoided.
    On the other hand, when I read Alaxander Werth, a French Russian journalist describe the battle of Stalingrad, I notice things no one is talking about now. We all are so profoundly respectful and grateful to those who fought and died fighting the Germans that we forget or refuse to acknowledge what Werth noticed writing as an eyewitness. There was a lot of cynicism among the troops, a lot of disbelief that anybody could withstand German onslaught. Werth writes about lack of desire to go a die in an endless war that was being lost, as it seemed in 1942. From here follows a conclusion that many patriotic Russians will find uncomfortable, namely that the war was won because of Stalin\s ruthless determination. He held the reluctant and the doubtful in check, he reversed the catastrophic panicky retreat of 1941 and 1942. he managed to mobilize, arm and throw into battle millions new troops after 3 million were taken prisoner of war. He basically overcame apathy, defeatism, fear, lack of belief in the possibility of victory by 1943. That is why despite the blunders, despite the strategic incompetence, he whipped the Russians to victory.

    On the one hand you have serious strategic incompetence of Soviet High Command, presumably comrade Stalin. Specifically I mean prepositioning Soviet air force near the border to be wiped out on the first day, the refusal to allow orderly retreat in August 1941, the ridiculous order to advance in May 1942 near Kharkov that cost 400000 Soviet losses, the similar incompetent order a year later in same area that cost loss of Kharkov after it had been liberated. And the list goes on. Stalin was impatient, inconsiderate of losses, did not like to hear objections, made people around him afraid to speak their mind, tended to blame others for his own blunders. All these factors cost hundreds of thousands of Russian lives that could have been avoided.

    From here follows a conclusion that many patriotic Russians will find uncomfortable, namely that the war was won because of Stalin\s ruthless determination. He held the reluctant and the doubtful in check, he reversed the catastrophic panicky retreat of 1941 and 1942. he managed to mobilize, arm and throw into battle millions new troops after 3 million were taken prisoner of war. He basically overcame apathy, defeatism, fear, lack of belief in the possibility of victory by 1943. That is why despite the blunders, despite the strategic incompetence, he whipped the Russians to victory.

    Both of these comments are probably right.

    But Stalin also eventually managed to put together a first class group of generals who introduced excellent strategic logic into his decision making e.g. the carefully prepared Operation Saturn to encircle and destroy German 6th Army at Stalingrad.

    Also, when it looked like the battle for Moscow was lost, Stalin went into some kind of depression and opted out of daily affairs, and it was these same generals led by Zhukov who went to see him (he assumed that they had come to remove him in a coup), and persuaded him to get involved again.

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  60. @Anatoly Karlin
    Interesting. This seems to go against the conventional wisdom. During Barbarossa, and the first encounters with the T-34, there were many accounts of German armor-piercing shells "bouncing" off the its armor. However, I suppose it makes sense that the Panzers were better in other respects. Especially their high degree of radio "networking" was critical to their success in both the French campaign and Barbarossa.

    The USSR had no shortage of military hardware (though the logistics of getting it to military formations, especially in the chaos of autumn 1941, were another matter). The USSR had built up huge military stocks, and its military production would outstrip German military production throughout the war. The Germans, unlike the Soviets (and Americans) made a bet on quality over quantity, but this wasn't always the optimal choice, especially as quality often expressed itself in over-engineering.

    The really big factors that I would identify as things that led to much higher Soviet casualties in the first 2 years were the following:

    * Worse commanders at all levels - In part due to the purges, in part due to a relatively greater emphasis on political loyalty over professionalism (any analogues to someone like Voroshilov in the Wehrmarcht?)

    * Worse soldiers - Less educated, had much less military training (also explains why Soviet weapons were simpler); also couldn't manage overly complex combined arms operations (a problem compounded by the lack of good commanders).

    * Doctrine - Germany was just way ahead here relative to everyone else, especially on how to use tanks.

    * Worse fighter planes - This was the one aspect of military technology where the USSR was decidedly behind Germany at the outbreak of war.

    Von Brauchitsch is probably the closest analogue to Voroshilov, although he tended to be subservient to Hitler out of spinelessness rather than political belief. He had to walk the plank after the assault on Moscow failed. Keitel also had a reputation for sycophancy.
    After the July 20, 1944 plot, Hitler tried to politicise the armed forces more in a Nazi form.

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  61. melanf says:
    @Cyrano
    I think that in terms of armor protection, neither T-34 nor Panzer III can compete with the thickness of your skull. So therefore I declare you a superior tank design compared to both of them.

    T-34 had better armor, more fire power, better manoeuverability, better power to weight ratio, but Panzer III had better radio and better optics and that made it a better tank? The shells fired from Panzer III were bouncing off of T-34, making it unimportant whether it could fire faster or more accurately. Furthermore if Panzer III and IV were better designs than T-34, why would the Germans bother designing Panzer V and VI? To attract more investors?

    Furthermore if Panzer III and IV were better designs than T-34, why would the Germans bother designing Panzer V and VI? To attract more investors?

    1) Because technically simple T-34 was produced in huge quantities, the result was (to late 1942) the defeat of the Wehrmacht. German tanks were better, but the numerical superiority of Soviet armored forces were more important. The Germans tried by new tanks to turn the tide of war

    2) Because the Germans were expecting (rightly) that the Soviet Union rearming its army with more advanced tanks (as happened in 1944 – The Soviet Union replaced the T-34-76 by T-34-85 and tank KW by tank IS-2)

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    • Replies: @Cyrano

    Furthermore if Panzer III and IV were better designs than T-34, why would the Germans bother designing Panzer V and VI? To attract more investors?

    1) Because technically simple T-34 was produced in huge quantities,
     

    You are not making any sense, my friend. The Germans designed Panzer V an VI because T-34 was produced in large quantities? And when the Germans produced Panzer V an VI, the Russians got scared and stopped making the T-34 in large quantities?

    I can see that you've read a lot on the subject, but you have difficulty properly processing the information. T-34 was the best tank ever - in what it managed to accomplish. You can try to argue until you turn blue in the face, I won't buy it.

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  62. melanf says:
    @reiner Tor

    Heinz Guderian was a bad General (this is the assessment of military historians)
     
    Which military historians?

    Bundeswehr colonel Karl-Heinz Frieser described in his seminal The Blitzkrieg Legend how crucial Guderian's role was in the French campaign. He was the only one to fully understand mobile warfare. He also executed the plan competently.

    He was later largely successful in Russia as long as the circumstances were reasonably favorable.

    It doesn't mean he couldn't have lied in his memoirs. He probably did. So what? It doesn't make him a bad general.

    Heinz Guderian was a bad General (this is the assessment of military historians)

    Which military historians?….
    He was later largely successful in Russia as long as the circumstances were reasonably favorable.

    http://topbloger.livejournal.com/14260584.html

    Alexey Isaev: For example, I became extremely skeptical of Guderian. It’s possible to say that the darling of the public. But as a tank commander he was, shall we say, not the sharpest knife in the table. And when he directly commanded the troops, always Encirclement (which he did in 1941) was leaky. So it was near Minsk and Bryansk under, everywhere had closed the Encirclement. … as the commander of Panzer group, and Panzer army later, I will say that Guderian not enthusiastic.
    This is a man who, in his memoirs, modestly talks about his failures. Therefore, following a decade of study including German documents, he has been a disappointment. Manstein is a man who really showed throughout the war the high level of professionalism. But still the tank commanders one and two in Germany were …. but Kleist and Hothт. People who for months and years, quite successfully led to battle tanks. Therefore, we should not ever judge a person according to his memoirs. … for example, Hothт, wrote memoirs, a weak, but nevertheless he was the man who came to Minsk, Smolensk, Moscow and Stalingrad and Hothт is definitely a professional tank commander. But Guderian in literature was more successful …. From a literary point of view is very nice to read, but this does not always coincide with reality.”

    Guderian is Moltke the younger of WWII

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    As I wrote already, in 1940 he was the one who proposed to Manstein to develop his plan into a true "Blitzkrieg" plan. He was probably among the first ones to understand the possibilities of the new mobile warfare, and he was also the first one to implement it. That later on perhaps Hoth and von Kleist proved better at implementing (if Isayev knows what he's writing about, then probably they were) doesn't mean he was a bad general, it's just that his strengths were theory and planning and perhaps not so much execution. (But he was competent enough in execution to be able to execute a true Blitzkrieg for the first time in history.)

    This Wikipedia section is based on Frieser's book I already referenced:


    Manstein first thought to follow annihilation theory (Vernichtungsgedanke), envisaging a swing from Sedan to the north, rapidly to annihilate the Allied armies in a cauldron battle (Kesselschlacht). When discussing his intentions with Lieutenant-General Heinz Guderian, commander of the XIX Panzer Corps, the latter proposed to turn it into a strategy to avoid the main body of the Allied armies and swiftly advance with the armoured divisions to the English Channel, to cause the Allies to collapse by catching them off guard and cutting their supply lines. It was thus Guderian who introduced the true "Blitzkrieg" elements to the plan, while Manstein had at first many objections against this aspect, especially fearing the long open flank created by such an advance. Guderian managed to convince him that the danger of a French counterattack from the south could be averted by a simultaneous secondary spoiling offensive to the south, in the general direction of Reims.
     


    Martin van Creveld Israeli historian in his seminal study comparing the German and American troops in WW2 (Fighting Power) mentions that in the Prussian and later in the German army, when assessing officers, they were careful not to disparage officers simply because they deviated from a certain ideal type: many different styles and types could be successful commanders or officers, and everybody had different strengths and weaknesses, and often someone who was weaker in theory proved superb in execution and vice versa - obviously many skills were needed for the army as a whole, and so they needed to give balanced assessments of officers or candidates, because it was better for the army to have many different types of officers with different skillsets and strengths and weaknesses than to have a uniform set of officers with everybody having the same strengths and weaknesses.
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  63. @Anonymous
    In WWII, three countries had massive guerrilla movements and ended up freeing themselves from German occupation without direct military help from outsiders: Russia, Serbia, Greece. Common denominator? Orthodox religion. Was it a factor? I think it was. Germans were strongly "the others". Unlike, say, in Holland or even Czechoslovakia.

    We always hear about French resistance but in reality it was nothing in comparison to what Greeks and Serbs did.

    We always hear how devastating the summer 1941 was for Russians and how Stalin was to blame for essentially decapitating the army. Yet, we never hear that militarily the Russians even then performed considerably better than French did in 1940.

    In terms of % of total population dead, Poland suffered most than any other country.

    A pattern that comes through in German soldiers’ descriptions of the 1941 fighting is being up against large numbers of Red Army troops, killing and capturing them but also losing men. Then they move off towards the horizon and there’s another lot to fight, the process is repeated, and all the time they’re getting further and further away from their homeland, their supply situation is starting to deteriorate, they don’t get reinforcements to replace the troops they lose but there always seems to be more enemies in front of them. Then the autumn rains turn the roads into a mudbath and not long after that it’s winter… Not like France 1940 at all.

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  64. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @melanf


    Heinz Guderian was a bad General (this is the assessment of military historians)
     
    Which military historians?....
    He was later largely successful in Russia as long as the circumstances were reasonably favorable.
     
    http://topbloger.livejournal.com/14260584.html

    "Alexey Isaev: For example, I became extremely skeptical of Guderian. It's possible to say that the darling of the public. But as a tank commander he was, shall we say, not the sharpest knife in the table. And when he directly commanded the troops, always Encirclement (which he did in 1941) was leaky. So it was near Minsk and Bryansk under, everywhere had closed the Encirclement. ... as the commander of Panzer group, and Panzer army later, I will say that Guderian not enthusiastic.
    This is a man who, in his memoirs, modestly talks about his failures. Therefore, following a decade of study including German documents, he has been a disappointment. Manstein is a man who really showed throughout the war the high level of professionalism. But still the tank commanders one and two in Germany were .... but Kleist and Hothт. People who for months and years, quite successfully led to battle tanks. Therefore, we should not ever judge a person according to his memoirs. ... for example, Hothт, wrote memoirs, a weak, but nevertheless he was the man who came to Minsk, Smolensk, Moscow and Stalingrad and Hothт is definitely a professional tank commander. But Guderian in literature was more successful .... From a literary point of view is very nice to read, but this does not always coincide with reality."

    Guderian is Moltke the younger of WWII

    As I wrote already, in 1940 he was the one who proposed to Manstein to develop his plan into a true “Blitzkrieg” plan. He was probably among the first ones to understand the possibilities of the new mobile warfare, and he was also the first one to implement it. That later on perhaps Hoth and von Kleist proved better at implementing (if Isayev knows what he’s writing about, then probably they were) doesn’t mean he was a bad general, it’s just that his strengths were theory and planning and perhaps not so much execution. (But he was competent enough in execution to be able to execute a true Blitzkrieg for the first time in history.)

    This Wikipedia section is based on Frieser’s book I already referenced:

    Manstein first thought to follow annihilation theory (Vernichtungsgedanke), envisaging a swing from Sedan to the north, rapidly to annihilate the Allied armies in a cauldron battle (Kesselschlacht). When discussing his intentions with Lieutenant-General Heinz Guderian, commander of the XIX Panzer Corps, the latter proposed to turn it into a strategy to avoid the main body of the Allied armies and swiftly advance with the armoured divisions to the English Channel, to cause the Allies to collapse by catching them off guard and cutting their supply lines. It was thus Guderian who introduced the true “Blitzkrieg” elements to the plan, while Manstein had at first many objections against this aspect, especially fearing the long open flank created by such an advance. Guderian managed to convince him that the danger of a French counterattack from the south could be averted by a simultaneous secondary spoiling offensive to the south, in the general direction of Reims.

    Martin van Creveld Israeli historian in his seminal study comparing the German and American troops in WW2 (Fighting Power) mentions that in the Prussian and later in the German army, when assessing officers, they were careful not to disparage officers simply because they deviated from a certain ideal type: many different styles and types could be successful commanders or officers, and everybody had different strengths and weaknesses, and often someone who was weaker in theory proved superb in execution and vice versa – obviously many skills were needed for the army as a whole, and so they needed to give balanced assessments of officers or candidates, because it was better for the army to have many different types of officers with different skillsets and strengths and weaknesses than to have a uniform set of officers with everybody having the same strengths and weaknesses.

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  65. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @Anonymous
    In WWII, three countries had massive guerrilla movements and ended up freeing themselves from German occupation without direct military help from outsiders: Russia, Serbia, Greece. Common denominator? Orthodox religion. Was it a factor? I think it was. Germans were strongly "the others". Unlike, say, in Holland or even Czechoslovakia.

    We always hear about French resistance but in reality it was nothing in comparison to what Greeks and Serbs did.

    We always hear how devastating the summer 1941 was for Russians and how Stalin was to blame for essentially decapitating the army. Yet, we never hear that militarily the Russians even then performed considerably better than French did in 1940.

    In terms of % of total population dead, Poland suffered most than any other country.

    we never hear that militarily the Russians even then performed considerably better than French did in 1940

    We do hear it a lot, but it’s not exactly true.

    For example Russian soldiers were less likely to surrender (either individually or as whole units), but it had many reasons, not all which had to do a lot with heroism or patriotism or in some cases ideological commitment to the ideals of communism. One such reason is that the Germans in general treated Soviet POWs very badly, it actually looked like being POW meant a very likely death sentence, so there was a huge disincentive to surrender. (The same is true of the supposed ideological commitment and fanaticism of Waffen-SS troops – they knew they were more likely to be killed even on the Western front, there were also rumors of being sentenced to prison or forced labor for being labelled “war criminals” etc., so they often fought to the last bullet.)

    While French troops often panicked in 1940, after Dunkirk they learned a lot about mobile warfare, and fought much better afterwards – their problem was that after the losses at Dunkerque the Germans now had numerical advantage, their strategic reserves were still in North Africa and took a lot of time to deploy (by which time the Germans broke through and the troops from North Africa arrived in a piecemeal fashion, leading to destruction), and of course their whole organization and military technology was based on now obsolete ideas (like the very slow heavy tanks, which proved quite useless – another meme is “the French had better tanks than the Germans”, which is only true in the sense that German tanks found it near impossible to take out French tanks if they met, but they rarely met). They also didn’t have enough strategic depth to fall back to – the Soviets could regroup and replenish their troops a thousand or more kilometers from the border, whereas France was simply smaller. Had France been that large… I guess if the grandma had wheels and a trolley pole she would be a tram.

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  66. melanf says:
    @Anonymous
    In WWII, three countries had massive guerrilla movements and ended up freeing themselves from German occupation without direct military help from outsiders: Russia, Serbia, Greece. Common denominator? Orthodox religion. Was it a factor? I think it was. Germans were strongly "the others". Unlike, say, in Holland or even Czechoslovakia.

    We always hear about French resistance but in reality it was nothing in comparison to what Greeks and Serbs did.

    We always hear how devastating the summer 1941 was for Russians and how Stalin was to blame for essentially decapitating the army. Yet, we never hear that militarily the Russians even then performed considerably better than French did in 1940.

    In terms of % of total population dead, Poland suffered most than any other country.

    We always hear how devastating the summer 1941 was for Russians and how Stalin was to blame for essentially decapitating the army. Yet, we never hear that militarily the Russians even then performed considerably better than French did in 1940.

    The Soviet military command was a lot lot better than the French military command. Soviet troops (unlike the French) always constantly counterattacked against the Germans, which ultimately led to the failure of “Barbarossa”. If in 39-40 Soviet generals commanded the French army, the Germans would have been defeated in Belgium

    About “decapitating the army” the Soviet myth. Terror has affected a relatively small number of officers. Military talents of the majority of victims are questionable.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    If in 39-40 Soviet generals commanded the French army, the Germans would have been defeated in Belgium
     
    Highly questionable.
    , @Philip Owen
    The French were caught out by the Germans taking a very high risk approach of driving a tank army along single track roads through the dense Ardennes forest. They managed to do it unobserved but one chance discovery and a few bombs would have pinned them there as sitting targets. It was an intelligence failure not a failure of arms.
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  67. Chris T. says:
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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    That's very good.
    , @Cyrano
    For a nation that doesn't know how to make even a bicycle, all of a sudden a Greek is an expert on tanks? Give me a break.
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  68. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @Chris T.
    Regarding the T-34 myth check the following analysis:

    http://chris-intel-corner.blogspot.gr/2012/07/wwii-myths-t-34-best-tank-of-war.html

    That’s very good.

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    • Replies: @melanf

    That’s very good.
     
    Not very good. The author accuses the USSR in the mistaken pursuit of quantity at the expense of quality. But for the Soviet Union (with a hastily created industry, and unskilled labor) it was not possible to produce the same high quality products as the Germans. In the end, the Soviet Union produced a lot of inferior tanks (so that the numerical superiority compensated the lack of quality) - strategy that fully worked, and led to the victory.


    And in the article, a lot of juggling. For example, the author believes that the Arab-Israeli war - proof of unfitness for action of Soviet tanks. But how then should be assessed the extermination of the latest Saudi "Abrams" by Houthis (armed with Soviet weapons )?
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  69. melanf says:
    @reiner Tor
    That's very good.

    That’s very good.

    Not very good. The author accuses the USSR in the mistaken pursuit of quantity at the expense of quality. But for the Soviet Union (with a hastily created industry, and unskilled labor) it was not possible to produce the same high quality products as the Germans. In the end, the Soviet Union produced a lot of inferior tanks (so that the numerical superiority compensated the lack of quality) – strategy that fully worked, and led to the victory.

    And in the article, a lot of juggling. For example, the author believes that the Arab-Israeli war – proof of unfitness for action of Soviet tanks. But how then should be assessed the extermination of the latest Saudi “Abrams” by Houthis (armed with Soviet weapons )?

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Yes, those points are wrong, but the general thrust of the blogpost is a catalogue of the weaknesses of the T-34.

    for the Soviet Union (with a hastily created industry, and unskilled labor) it was not possible to produce the same high quality products as the Germans. In the end, the Soviet Union produced a lot of inferior tanks (so that the numerical superiority compensated the lack of quality) – strategy that fully worked, and led to the victory.
     
    This is true, and reminds me of another seeming shortcoming of the Soviets. A lot of observers (not only Germans, but for example Hungarians, too) have noticed that the Soviets often attacked frontally against fortified positions, essentially relying on very high concentrations of forces and thus created local numerical superiority. The disadvantage was that it led to very high casualties. Many have criticized Soviet leadership for not bypassing such positions.

    Well, the Soviets tried this (they were aware that it was better to bypass and encircle fortified positions than to attack them frontally), but the Germans' tactical superiority meant that they quickly linked up with neighboring fortified positions and so cut off supply lines to the advancing Soviet units. After some serious setbacks in several attacks, the Soviets started emphasizing the destruction of and sometimes even frontal attacks on such fortified positions as costlier (in blood and equipment) but simpler and more reliable methods to break through them.

    Of course, wherever a commander was fairly confident in the abilities of his subordinates, he could still try a local small-scale encirclement.

    Same thing with independence of local commanders. The Germans had the Auftragstaktik, which was great, but you needed well-trained smart officers (and NCOs and soldiers etc.) to do that. Of course the Soviets had none of this, so for them it would've been foolish to let lower ranked officers do whatever they pleased.
    , @Avery
    {But how then should be assessed the extermination of the latest Saudi “Abrams” by Houthis (armed with Soviet weapons )?}

    During the Israeli-Hezbollah war, Hezbollah fighters destroyed lots of Israeli Merkava tanks using modern Russian/Soviet anti-tank missiles.
    Merkava is an excellent tank, with crew protection as primary design objective (...naturally). Merkava is considered on par with modern US and British tanks: no doubt, as is with most military technology of Israel, a lot of Merkava tech, including the Chobham composite armor of Challenger and Arbams tanks, was 'transferred' from US/UK to Israel.
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  70. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @melanf

    That’s very good.
     
    Not very good. The author accuses the USSR in the mistaken pursuit of quantity at the expense of quality. But for the Soviet Union (with a hastily created industry, and unskilled labor) it was not possible to produce the same high quality products as the Germans. In the end, the Soviet Union produced a lot of inferior tanks (so that the numerical superiority compensated the lack of quality) - strategy that fully worked, and led to the victory.


    And in the article, a lot of juggling. For example, the author believes that the Arab-Israeli war - proof of unfitness for action of Soviet tanks. But how then should be assessed the extermination of the latest Saudi "Abrams" by Houthis (armed with Soviet weapons )?

    Yes, those points are wrong, but the general thrust of the blogpost is a catalogue of the weaknesses of the T-34.

    for the Soviet Union (with a hastily created industry, and unskilled labor) it was not possible to produce the same high quality products as the Germans. In the end, the Soviet Union produced a lot of inferior tanks (so that the numerical superiority compensated the lack of quality) – strategy that fully worked, and led to the victory.

    This is true, and reminds me of another seeming shortcoming of the Soviets. A lot of observers (not only Germans, but for example Hungarians, too) have noticed that the Soviets often attacked frontally against fortified positions, essentially relying on very high concentrations of forces and thus created local numerical superiority. The disadvantage was that it led to very high casualties. Many have criticized Soviet leadership for not bypassing such positions.

    Well, the Soviets tried this (they were aware that it was better to bypass and encircle fortified positions than to attack them frontally), but the Germans’ tactical superiority meant that they quickly linked up with neighboring fortified positions and so cut off supply lines to the advancing Soviet units. After some serious setbacks in several attacks, the Soviets started emphasizing the destruction of and sometimes even frontal attacks on such fortified positions as costlier (in blood and equipment) but simpler and more reliable methods to break through them.

    Of course, wherever a commander was fairly confident in the abilities of his subordinates, he could still try a local small-scale encirclement.

    Same thing with independence of local commanders. The Germans had the Auftragstaktik, which was great, but you needed well-trained smart officers (and NCOs and soldiers etc.) to do that. Of course the Soviets had none of this, so for them it would’ve been foolish to let lower ranked officers do whatever they pleased.

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  71. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @melanf

    We always hear how devastating the summer 1941 was for Russians and how Stalin was to blame for essentially decapitating the army. Yet, we never hear that militarily the Russians even then performed considerably better than French did in 1940.
     
    The Soviet military command was a lot lot better than the French military command. Soviet troops (unlike the French) always constantly counterattacked against the Germans, which ultimately led to the failure of "Barbarossa". If in 39-40 Soviet generals commanded the French army, the Germans would have been defeated in Belgium


    About "decapitating the army" the Soviet myth. Terror has affected a relatively small number of officers. Military talents of the majority of victims are questionable.

    If in 39-40 Soviet generals commanded the French army, the Germans would have been defeated in Belgium

    Highly questionable.

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  72. Cyrano says:
    @Chris T.
    Regarding the T-34 myth check the following analysis:

    http://chris-intel-corner.blogspot.gr/2012/07/wwii-myths-t-34-best-tank-of-war.html

    For a nation that doesn’t know how to make even a bicycle, all of a sudden a Greek is an expert on tanks? Give me a break.

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  73. Avery says:
    @melanf

    That’s very good.
     
    Not very good. The author accuses the USSR in the mistaken pursuit of quantity at the expense of quality. But for the Soviet Union (with a hastily created industry, and unskilled labor) it was not possible to produce the same high quality products as the Germans. In the end, the Soviet Union produced a lot of inferior tanks (so that the numerical superiority compensated the lack of quality) - strategy that fully worked, and led to the victory.


    And in the article, a lot of juggling. For example, the author believes that the Arab-Israeli war - proof of unfitness for action of Soviet tanks. But how then should be assessed the extermination of the latest Saudi "Abrams" by Houthis (armed with Soviet weapons )?

    {But how then should be assessed the extermination of the latest Saudi “Abrams” by Houthis (armed with Soviet weapons )?}

    During the Israeli-Hezbollah war, Hezbollah fighters destroyed lots of Israeli Merkava tanks using modern Russian/Soviet anti-tank missiles.
    Merkava is an excellent tank, with crew protection as primary design objective (…naturally). Merkava is considered on par with modern US and British tanks: no doubt, as is with most military technology of Israel, a lot of Merkava tech, including the Chobham composite armor of Challenger and Arbams tanks, was ‘transferred’ from US/UK to Israel.

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  74. Cyrano says:
    @melanf

    Furthermore if Panzer III and IV were better designs than T-34, why would the Germans bother designing Panzer V and VI? To attract more investors?
     
    1) Because technically simple T-34 was produced in huge quantities, the result was (to late 1942) the defeat of the Wehrmacht. German tanks were better, but the numerical superiority of Soviet armored forces were more important. The Germans tried by new tanks to turn the tide of war

    2) Because the Germans were expecting (rightly) that the Soviet Union rearming its army with more advanced tanks (as happened in 1944 - The Soviet Union replaced the T-34-76 by T-34-85 and tank KW by tank IS-2)

    Furthermore if Panzer III and IV were better designs than T-34, why would the Germans bother designing Panzer V and VI? To attract more investors?

    1) Because technically simple T-34 was produced in huge quantities,

    You are not making any sense, my friend. The Germans designed Panzer V an VI because T-34 was produced in large quantities? And when the Germans produced Panzer V an VI, the Russians got scared and stopped making the T-34 in large quantities?

    I can see that you’ve read a lot on the subject, but you have difficulty properly processing the information. T-34 was the best tank ever – in what it managed to accomplish. You can try to argue until you turn blue in the face, I won’t buy it.

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  75. @melanf

    We always hear how devastating the summer 1941 was for Russians and how Stalin was to blame for essentially decapitating the army. Yet, we never hear that militarily the Russians even then performed considerably better than French did in 1940.
     
    The Soviet military command was a lot lot better than the French military command. Soviet troops (unlike the French) always constantly counterattacked against the Germans, which ultimately led to the failure of "Barbarossa". If in 39-40 Soviet generals commanded the French army, the Germans would have been defeated in Belgium


    About "decapitating the army" the Soviet myth. Terror has affected a relatively small number of officers. Military talents of the majority of victims are questionable.

    The French were caught out by the Germans taking a very high risk approach of driving a tank army along single track roads through the dense Ardennes forest. They managed to do it unobserved but one chance discovery and a few bombs would have pinned them there as sitting targets. It was an intelligence failure not a failure of arms.

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  76. @reiner Tor

    Russians and Ukrainians fighting on German side (circa 900,000 ??)
     
    I think the number (perhaps well over a million) was about all Soviet citizens and not just Russians and Ukrainians, and proportionally Russians were quite underrepresented among them. They also cannot be considered full soldiers, certainly not on par with German soldiers.

    When the back up Allied landing arrived in the South of France, the Osttruppen more or less gave up without a fight.

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  77. Cortes says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Interesting. This seems to go against the conventional wisdom. During Barbarossa, and the first encounters with the T-34, there were many accounts of German armor-piercing shells "bouncing" off the its armor. However, I suppose it makes sense that the Panzers were better in other respects. Especially their high degree of radio "networking" was critical to their success in both the French campaign and Barbarossa.

    The USSR had no shortage of military hardware (though the logistics of getting it to military formations, especially in the chaos of autumn 1941, were another matter). The USSR had built up huge military stocks, and its military production would outstrip German military production throughout the war. The Germans, unlike the Soviets (and Americans) made a bet on quality over quantity, but this wasn't always the optimal choice, especially as quality often expressed itself in over-engineering.

    The really big factors that I would identify as things that led to much higher Soviet casualties in the first 2 years were the following:

    * Worse commanders at all levels - In part due to the purges, in part due to a relatively greater emphasis on political loyalty over professionalism (any analogues to someone like Voroshilov in the Wehrmarcht?)

    * Worse soldiers - Less educated, had much less military training (also explains why Soviet weapons were simpler); also couldn't manage overly complex combined arms operations (a problem compounded by the lack of good commanders).

    * Doctrine - Germany was just way ahead here relative to everyone else, especially on how to use tanks.

    * Worse fighter planes - This was the one aspect of military technology where the USSR was decidedly behind Germany at the outbreak of war.

    Albert Speer and Guderian both nailed the problem with German armour: the dripping roast for engineering companies maximising profit at the expense of, oddly enough, the folks expected to actually win the war… Pointless “upgrades” almost impossible to maintain in fighting condition, lack of standardised parts etc.
    As most fiction now declares at the outset, “any resemblance to any real current military procurement process is purely accidental.”

    Shocked by the Buryat statistics.

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  78. anon says: • Disclaimer

    I think it is widely accepted in the US that the Russian’s on the Eastern Front did most of the heavy fighting and dying. The US didn’t directly attack the continent until June, 1944. Part of it was the time needed to fully mobilize but also the US wasn’t directly threatened and was able to delay until they were prepared and Germany severely weakened.

    Instead of dwelling on weapons systems, the Allies advantage in petroleum supplies was certain to be decisive the longer a war of attrition continued. Since I am not at all expert regarding this subject, I will make a couple of points. It may be the least exciting part of the entire war, but the US supplied several hundred thousand trucks to Russia, through Lend/Lease. The US had been producing over 3 million passenger cars/year prior to the war. There were 200,000 of these https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studebaker_US6_2%C2%BD-ton_6x6_truck lent to the Soviets.

    Horse logistics slowed down the German advance. The 6th Army, engaged in urban warfare in Stalingrad, was unable to feed or graze their horses and sent them to the rear.[24] When the Soviets enveloped the 6th Army in November 1942, the German troops were cut off from their horse transport and would have been unable to move their artillery had they tried to evacuate the city.

    The Red Army also found them to be a suitable platform for conversion into Katyusha rocket launchers. The truck became affectionately known as the Studer by Soviet troops and was even recognised by Joseph Stalin, who sent a letter of appreciation to Studebaker, in which he thanked them for the superb quality of the US6 for Soviet service.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyVMeTPZT7E

    They may not have been a decisive weapon, but the entire Red Army marching West with the ability to display this sort of firepower had to have been an impressive sight.

    Not to take anything away from the massive Soviet victory.

    Personally, I think it is unfortunate that the West showed no interest in any joint commemoration of the Allied victory with Russians.

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    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    I think it is widely accepted in the US that the Russian’s on the Eastern Front did most of the heavy fighting and dying.

    It is barely even known, let alone accepted or acknowledged.
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  79. @anon
    I think it is widely accepted in the US that the Russian's on the Eastern Front did most of the heavy fighting and dying. The US didn't directly attack the continent until June, 1944. Part of it was the time needed to fully mobilize but also the US wasn't directly threatened and was able to delay until they were prepared and Germany severely weakened.

    Instead of dwelling on weapons systems, the Allies advantage in petroleum supplies was certain to be decisive the longer a war of attrition continued. Since I am not at all expert regarding this subject, I will make a couple of points. It may be the least exciting part of the entire war, but the US supplied several hundred thousand trucks to Russia, through Lend/Lease. The US had been producing over 3 million passenger cars/year prior to the war. There were 200,000 of these https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studebaker_US6_2%C2%BD-ton_6x6_truck lent to the Soviets.

    Horse logistics slowed down the German advance. The 6th Army, engaged in urban warfare in Stalingrad, was unable to feed or graze their horses and sent them to the rear.[24] When the Soviets enveloped the 6th Army in November 1942, the German troops were cut off from their horse transport and would have been unable to move their artillery had they tried to evacuate the city.
     

    The Red Army also found them to be a suitable platform for conversion into Katyusha rocket launchers. The truck became affectionately known as the Studer by Soviet troops and was even recognised by Joseph Stalin, who sent a letter of appreciation to Studebaker, in which he thanked them for the superb quality of the US6 for Soviet service.
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyVMeTPZT7E
    They may not have been a decisive weapon, but the entire Red Army marching West with the ability to display this sort of firepower had to have been an impressive sight.

    Not to take anything away from the massive Soviet victory.

    Personally, I think it is unfortunate that the West showed no interest in any joint commemoration of the Allied victory with Russians.

    I think it is widely accepted in the US that the Russian’s on the Eastern Front did most of the heavy fighting and dying.

    It is barely even known, let alone accepted or acknowledged.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    {It is barely even known, let alone accepted or acknowledged}

    Right you are.

    On the contrary, there is a deliberate, organized effort by UK and US propaganda and disinformation channels to obliterate the existence of the Red Army from the fight against Nazi Germany.

    I can't think of a single Hollywood production of the war against Nazis that even mentions any role played by USSR.
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  80. Seraphim says:

    ews, a large percentage of whom unfortunately fell within the Nazi zone of occupation.

    Contemporary data tend to disagree:

    “Russia Helped 1,750,000 Jews to Escape Nazis, Says James N. Rosenberg”
    New York (Jul. 1. 1943)

    “Russia has saved over ten times as many Jews from Nazi extermination as all the rest of the world put together,” James N. Rosenberg, American Jewish leader, declared here today in an address of welcome which he delivered at a reception given at the Astor Hotel to Solomon Mikhoels and Itzik Feffer, the Jewish cultural delegation from Russia. The reception was attended by several hundred representatives of various Jewish organizations.
    Emphasizing that he based his estimate of those saved on facts gathered by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Mr. Rosenberg quoted the organization’s journal as reporting that “of some 1,750,000 Jews who succeeded in escaping the Axis since the outbreak of hostilities, about 1,600,000 were evacuated by the Soviet Government from Eastern Poland and subsequently occupied Soviet territory and transported far into the Russian interior and beyond the Urals. About 150,000 others managed to reach Palestine, the United States, and other countries beyond the seas.”
    “We Jews,” Mr. Rosenberg said, “rightly give thanks for the innumerable resolutions of sympathy for Jews, adopted by well-meaning men and groups horrified by the hideous tragedy which has befallen our people. Russia has chosen deeds. She has given life, asylum, bread, and shelter to a vast Jewish population. These facts are not sufficiently known. To make them known to every Jew in this country is a task of supreme importance for the Jewish Council for Russian War Relief. Need I ask what would have happened to those Jews had Russia left them where they were?”
    @http://www.jta.org/1943/07/02/archive/russia-helped-1750000-jews-to-escape-nazis-says-james-n-rosenberg

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    • Replies: @Avery
    {“We Jews,” Mr. Rosenberg said, “rightly give thanks for the innumerable resolutions of sympathy for Jews, adopted by well-meaning men and groups horrified by the hideous tragedy which has befallen our people. Russia has chosen deeds. She has given life, asylum, bread, and shelter to a vast Jewish population.}

    No good deed goes unpunished.

    The current anti-Russian hysteria, and previous efforts to destroy and dismember the Russian Federation are/were spearheaded by US Neocons, who, according to Giraldi....." I recognize that relatively few American Jews are neocons and that many American Jews are in the forefront in resistance to Israel’s inhumane policies, but the reality is that nearly all neocons are Jewish*."


    Many virulently anti-Russian American Neocons living in US today are Russian/Soviet Jews, e.g. Max Boot.

    Can someone explain what is the source of their visceral hatred for Russia and Russians given the above fact recorded by a Jewish man? (Rosenberg).

    ----
    * http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/neocons-as-a-figment-of-imagination/
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  81. The Panzer mark III was only equipped with a 42 caliber 50mm gun in 1941. This was not adquate to cope with the T34. Only in 1942 was a longer caliber gun supplied for the panzer III.

    The problem for the Germans was the T34 outclassed all the light tanks with which they had won their great victories of 1939 and 1940. These tanks became useless at a stroke. And the Panzer IIIs and IVs had to be upgraded. There were never enough upgraded tanks to cope with the huge numbers of T34s.

    The Tigers and Panthers were a big mistake. Only relatively small numbers off these tanks were produced, at a time when the Russians were flooding the battlefields with T34S

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    • Replies: @Cyrano
    If you give the blueprints for the most sophisticated model of Ferrari to a third world manufacturer, most likely they will botch the manufacturing and the final product will be of inferior quality, but it will still likely be able to outperform say an Audi made in Germany. That’s what the idiots which commented on supposedly T-34 inferiority have missed. T-34 was a superior design to both Panzer III and Panzer IV, but it suffered from inferior craftsmanship in manufacturing. Despite those flaws it was still able to outperform Panzer III and Panzer IV on the battlefield.
    , @Diversity Heretic
    Past 1943, German manufacturing of any tank at all might not have made much sense. Priority should have been given to Sturmgeschutzen or Panzerjaegern, essentially turretless armored fighting vehicles. Without turrets they were inferior to tanks, but they were much less expensive to manufacture and could have been produced in greater quantity. They were pretty good, however, in defense, which was what the Wehrmacht was mostly doing after the begining of 1943. Organizationally, however, they were assigned to the artillery, not the armored divisions, so they were not popular with Panzer division commanders.

    It would not, however, have changed the outcome of the war.
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  82. reiner Tor says: • Website

    Regarding Buryats.

    A Hungarian woman told me that her grandfather was an unknown “high-ranking” Soviet military officer, who spent several weeks in a house in a specific street in Budapest during the siege in early 1945. The officer forced her then teenage grandma to live with him in his quarters during that time. It sounds like rape, but apparently her grandma fell in love with the “extremely handsome” 35-40 year old officer, and was stricken with grief when the officer had to move on with his troops.

    A friend of mine is an amateur military historian, and just found documents showing that the headquarters of a guards division was there, so naturally we were looking for the commanding officer (according to the story the officer was a “very high ranking” “general officer”). The commander was a Buryat colonel. Since her mom doesn’t look half Mongol (though I proposed to take a genetic test just to make sure she isn’t – I have seen some half-Asians who don’t look much Asian), it’s likely that the “very high-ranking” officer was someone else (like a member of the military council, the chief of staff of the division, the commander of the artillery of the division, the commander of one of the regiments, etc. etc.) (She actually suspected her grandfather was Jewish. She doesn’t like Jews much, so her mom must’ve looked Jewish to an extent, I guess.)

    I just found it interesting that a Buryat colonel (later major general) popped up just when I was reading about the very high casualty rates of Buryats.

    It’s also interesting regarding the mass rape topic of the previous blog post.

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  83. Cyrano says:
    @Jon Halpenny
    The Panzer mark III was only equipped with a 42 caliber 50mm gun in 1941. This was not adquate to cope with the T34. Only in 1942 was a longer caliber gun supplied for the panzer III.

    The problem for the Germans was the T34 outclassed all the light tanks with which they had won their great victories of 1939 and 1940. These tanks became useless at a stroke. And the Panzer IIIs and IVs had to be upgraded. There were never enough upgraded tanks to cope with the huge numbers of T34s.

    The Tigers and Panthers were a big mistake. Only relatively small numbers off these tanks were produced, at a time when the Russians were flooding the battlefields with T34S

    If you give the blueprints for the most sophisticated model of Ferrari to a third world manufacturer, most likely they will botch the manufacturing and the final product will be of inferior quality, but it will still likely be able to outperform say an Audi made in Germany. That’s what the idiots which commented on supposedly T-34 inferiority have missed. T-34 was a superior design to both Panzer III and Panzer IV, but it suffered from inferior craftsmanship in manufacturing. Despite those flaws it was still able to outperform Panzer III and Panzer IV on the battlefield.

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    • Replies: @Jon Halpenny
    Yes, I agree.

    I think the only way the Germans might have had a chance of winning the war in the east is if they had committed to building a huge amount of upgraded Panzer III/IVs in 1941/42, say at least 1,000 per month. But the Germans had believed they could destroy the USSR in a swift blitzkrieg. When the blitzkrieg failed, it became a war of attrition, for which the Germans had made no preparations. German tank production in 1941/42 was surprisingly modest. Wiki says only 994 Panzer IVs were built in 1942. Soviet production of T34s totalled 12,661 that year.
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  84. @Jon Halpenny
    The Panzer mark III was only equipped with a 42 caliber 50mm gun in 1941. This was not adquate to cope with the T34. Only in 1942 was a longer caliber gun supplied for the panzer III.

    The problem for the Germans was the T34 outclassed all the light tanks with which they had won their great victories of 1939 and 1940. These tanks became useless at a stroke. And the Panzer IIIs and IVs had to be upgraded. There were never enough upgraded tanks to cope with the huge numbers of T34s.

    The Tigers and Panthers were a big mistake. Only relatively small numbers off these tanks were produced, at a time when the Russians were flooding the battlefields with T34S

    Past 1943, German manufacturing of any tank at all might not have made much sense. Priority should have been given to Sturmgeschutzen or Panzerjaegern, essentially turretless armored fighting vehicles. Without turrets they were inferior to tanks, but they were much less expensive to manufacture and could have been produced in greater quantity. They were pretty good, however, in defense, which was what the Wehrmacht was mostly doing after the begining of 1943. Organizationally, however, they were assigned to the artillery, not the armored divisions, so they were not popular with Panzer division commanders.

    It would not, however, have changed the outcome of the war.

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  85. Avery says:
    @PiltdownMan
    I think it is widely accepted in the US that the Russian’s on the Eastern Front did most of the heavy fighting and dying.

    It is barely even known, let alone accepted or acknowledged.

    {It is barely even known, let alone accepted or acknowledged}

    Right you are.

    On the contrary, there is a deliberate, organized effort by UK and US propaganda and disinformation channels to obliterate the existence of the Red Army from the fight against Nazi Germany.

    I can’t think of a single Hollywood production of the war against Nazis that even mentions any role played by USSR.

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    • Replies: @colm
    Enemy at the Gates. There is at least one.
    , @PiltdownMan
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ3bzg-Tvt4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVsa_rJ_46E

    , @Matra
    On the contrary, there is a deliberate, organized effort by UK and US propaganda and disinformation channels to obliterate the existence of the Red Army from the fight against Nazi Germany.

    Laughable paranoia. Meanwhile there are Russians who claim the war was 1941-5. lol

    BTW in the UK, at least amongst patriotic but often bitter and ill-informed working class people, there is far more downgrading of the American role than that of the Russians. It usually goes along the lines of "the bloody yanks didn't come in till the end, then they stole all the credit". Older Canadians say similar things. Maybe Aussies do too. It's probably due to lingering resentment - Britain's decline, America's rise - and the usual in-group (intra-Anglo) rivalries.

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  86. Avery says:
    @Seraphim
    @Jews, a large percentage of whom unfortunately fell within the Nazi zone of occupation.

    Contemporary data tend to disagree:

    "Russia Helped 1,750,000 Jews to Escape Nazis, Says James N. Rosenberg"
    New York (Jul. 1. 1943)

    “Russia has saved over ten times as many Jews from Nazi extermination as all the rest of the world put together,” James N. Rosenberg, American Jewish leader, declared here today in an address of welcome which he delivered at a reception given at the Astor Hotel to Solomon Mikhoels and Itzik Feffer, the Jewish cultural delegation from Russia. The reception was attended by several hundred representatives of various Jewish organizations.
    Emphasizing that he based his estimate of those saved on facts gathered by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Mr. Rosenberg quoted the organization’s journal as reporting that “of some 1,750,000 Jews who succeeded in escaping the Axis since the outbreak of hostilities, about 1,600,000 were evacuated by the Soviet Government from Eastern Poland and subsequently occupied Soviet territory and transported far into the Russian interior and beyond the Urals. About 150,000 others managed to reach Palestine, the United States, and other countries beyond the seas.”
    “We Jews,” Mr. Rosenberg said, “rightly give thanks for the innumerable resolutions of sympathy for Jews, adopted by well-meaning men and groups horrified by the hideous tragedy which has befallen our people. Russia has chosen deeds. She has given life, asylum, bread, and shelter to a vast Jewish population. These facts are not sufficiently known. To make them known to every Jew in this country is a task of supreme importance for the Jewish Council for Russian War Relief. Need I ask what would have happened to those Jews had Russia left them where they were?”
    @http://www.jta.org/1943/07/02/archive/russia-helped-1750000-jews-to-escape-nazis-says-james-n-rosenberg

    {“We Jews,” Mr. Rosenberg said, “rightly give thanks for the innumerable resolutions of sympathy for Jews, adopted by well-meaning men and groups horrified by the hideous tragedy which has befallen our people. Russia has chosen deeds. She has given life, asylum, bread, and shelter to a vast Jewish population.}

    No good deed goes unpunished.

    The current anti-Russian hysteria, and previous efforts to destroy and dismember the Russian Federation are/were spearheaded by US Neocons, who, according to Giraldi…..” I recognize that relatively few American Jews are neocons and that many American Jews are in the forefront in resistance to Israel’s inhumane policies, but the reality is that nearly all neocons are Jewish*.”

    Many virulently anti-Russian American Neocons living in US today are Russian/Soviet Jews, e.g. Max Boot.

    Can someone explain what is the source of their visceral hatred for Russia and Russians given the above fact recorded by a Jewish man? (Rosenberg).

    —-
    * http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/neocons-as-a-figment-of-imagination/

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    The source of their 'visceral hatred for Russia' is their visceral hatred for the Church of Christ which they accused as the source of their imaginary 'persecutions'.
    Rosenberg was lavishing his praise on their creation, Soviet Russia, which nearly destroyed that accursed Church and bestowed all her favors on the Jews. The idea was that Soviet Russia was fighting the war not for her own survival, but for the Jews. When after the war it became apparent that it did not fight for the reinstating of the Jews in their pre-war positions, 'Stalin's Russia' became again the anti-semitic monster that was in the time of the accursed Tsars.
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  87. Seraphim says:
    @Avery
    {“We Jews,” Mr. Rosenberg said, “rightly give thanks for the innumerable resolutions of sympathy for Jews, adopted by well-meaning men and groups horrified by the hideous tragedy which has befallen our people. Russia has chosen deeds. She has given life, asylum, bread, and shelter to a vast Jewish population.}

    No good deed goes unpunished.

    The current anti-Russian hysteria, and previous efforts to destroy and dismember the Russian Federation are/were spearheaded by US Neocons, who, according to Giraldi....." I recognize that relatively few American Jews are neocons and that many American Jews are in the forefront in resistance to Israel’s inhumane policies, but the reality is that nearly all neocons are Jewish*."


    Many virulently anti-Russian American Neocons living in US today are Russian/Soviet Jews, e.g. Max Boot.

    Can someone explain what is the source of their visceral hatred for Russia and Russians given the above fact recorded by a Jewish man? (Rosenberg).

    ----
    * http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/neocons-as-a-figment-of-imagination/

    The source of their ‘visceral hatred for Russia’ is their visceral hatred for the Church of Christ which they accused as the source of their imaginary ‘persecutions’.
    Rosenberg was lavishing his praise on their creation, Soviet Russia, which nearly destroyed that accursed Church and bestowed all her favors on the Jews. The idea was that Soviet Russia was fighting the war not for her own survival, but for the Jews. When after the war it became apparent that it did not fight for the reinstating of the Jews in their pre-war positions, ‘Stalin’s Russia’ became again the anti-semitic monster that was in the time of the accursed Tsars.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    Interesting.
    Hadn't thought of that angle.
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  88. colm says:

    Two words will end such theory.

    Lend Lease.

    If the Japanese had any kind of strategic idea they would have attacked the Siberian railroad from Manchouli, cut off the spine of the supplies from Vladivostok (and make the Soviet Far East wither and die), and put the USSR into a big shit.

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    The Japanese fought the Russians at Kholkin Gul (my spelling may be off) in 1939. Faced a fellow named Georgi Zhukov. They didn't want a repeat.
    , @Seraphim
    If, if, if....
    Actually, Japan and the Soviet Union had a Neutrality Pact signed on the 13 April 1941.

    DECLARATION
    "In conformity with the spirit of the Pact on neutrality concluded on April 13, 1941, between the U.S.S.R. and Japan, the Government of the U.S.S.R. and the Government of Japan, in the interest of insuring peaceful and friendly relations between the two countries, solemnly declare that the U.S.S.R. pledges to respect the territorial integrity and inviolability of Manchoukuo and Japan pledges to respect the territorial integrity and inviolability of the Mongolian People's Republic.
    Moscow, April 13, 1941
    On behalf of the Government of the U.S.S.R.
    V. MOLOTOV
    On behalf of the Government of Japan
    YOSUKE MATSUOKA
    YOSHITSUGU TATEKAWA

    Viewed in the context of the German–Soviet Axis talks concerning the Soviet Union's potential entry as a fourth Axis Power in World War II, it gains a different signification. The Japanese kept their part of the bargain. Germany didn't.
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  89. colm says:

    Also, Eisenhower stopped Patch (in the Alsace sector) from crossing the Rhine. Being very non-ambitious, he obeyed Eisenhower. (With Patton it would have been a different story) If Patch disobeyed Eisenhower, Russians would have met Americans at Poznan by Nov 1944.

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  90. colm says:
    @Avery
    {It is barely even known, let alone accepted or acknowledged}

    Right you are.

    On the contrary, there is a deliberate, organized effort by UK and US propaganda and disinformation channels to obliterate the existence of the Red Army from the fight against Nazi Germany.

    I can't think of a single Hollywood production of the war against Nazis that even mentions any role played by USSR.

    Enemy at the Gates. There is at least one.

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  91. @Avery
    {It is barely even known, let alone accepted or acknowledged}

    Right you are.

    On the contrary, there is a deliberate, organized effort by UK and US propaganda and disinformation channels to obliterate the existence of the Red Army from the fight against Nazi Germany.

    I can't think of a single Hollywood production of the war against Nazis that even mentions any role played by USSR.

    Read More
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  92. @colm
    Two words will end such theory.

    Lend Lease.

    If the Japanese had any kind of strategic idea they would have attacked the Siberian railroad from Manchouli, cut off the spine of the supplies from Vladivostok (and make the Soviet Far East wither and die), and put the USSR into a big shit.

    The Japanese fought the Russians at Kholkin Gul (my spelling may be off) in 1939. Faced a fellow named Georgi Zhukov. They didn’t want a repeat.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    The Japanese only had light battle tanks designed for China (where there were no strong bridges), no medium or heavy tanks, and I think they also lacked anti-tank weapons. They had serious difficulties attacking the USSR.

    But let's assume that in spite of all this, they attacked it, and managed to push back the Soviets to the Lake Baikal. So what? OK, Lend Lease would've had some difficulties, but most Lend Lease arrived through other routes (Murmansk, Persia), so it's not like it would've blocked it. And logistics is a bitch, it's not like the Japanese could've captured Moscow from the east... I think Stalin would've let the Far East fall, focusing on protecting Moscow.

    In 1941 it would've made no difference at all, and in 1942 very little difference. By 1943 the war was lost for Germany anyway.
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  93. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @Diversity Heretic
    The Japanese fought the Russians at Kholkin Gul (my spelling may be off) in 1939. Faced a fellow named Georgi Zhukov. They didn't want a repeat.

    The Japanese only had light battle tanks designed for China (where there were no strong bridges), no medium or heavy tanks, and I think they also lacked anti-tank weapons. They had serious difficulties attacking the USSR.

    But let’s assume that in spite of all this, they attacked it, and managed to push back the Soviets to the Lake Baikal. So what? OK, Lend Lease would’ve had some difficulties, but most Lend Lease arrived through other routes (Murmansk, Persia), so it’s not like it would’ve blocked it. And logistics is a bitch, it’s not like the Japanese could’ve captured Moscow from the east… I think Stalin would’ve let the Far East fall, focusing on protecting Moscow.

    In 1941 it would’ve made no difference at all, and in 1942 very little difference. By 1943 the war was lost for Germany anyway.

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  94. This is a candidate for the most mindless article on UR.

    Why? Because both ww1 and WW2 were unnecessary wars. No country won either. The winners were the money bag war mongers such as described in General Butler’s “War is a Racket.”

    It’s been 3/4 of a century since the major shooting in “ww2″ stopped, but the war continues. Why are these such difficult concepts?

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  95. Seraphim says:
    @colm
    Two words will end such theory.

    Lend Lease.

    If the Japanese had any kind of strategic idea they would have attacked the Siberian railroad from Manchouli, cut off the spine of the supplies from Vladivostok (and make the Soviet Far East wither and die), and put the USSR into a big shit.

    If, if, if….
    Actually, Japan and the Soviet Union had a Neutrality Pact signed on the 13 April 1941.

    DECLARATION
    “In conformity with the spirit of the Pact on neutrality concluded on April 13, 1941, between the U.S.S.R. and Japan, the Government of the U.S.S.R. and the Government of Japan, in the interest of insuring peaceful and friendly relations between the two countries, solemnly declare that the U.S.S.R. pledges to respect the territorial integrity and inviolability of Manchoukuo and Japan pledges to respect the territorial integrity and inviolability of the Mongolian People’s Republic.
    Moscow, April 13, 1941
    On behalf of the Government of the U.S.S.R.
    V. MOLOTOV
    On behalf of the Government of Japan
    YOSUKE MATSUOKA
    YOSHITSUGU TATEKAWA

    Viewed in the context of the German–Soviet Axis talks concerning the Soviet Union’s potential entry as a fourth Axis Power in World War II, it gains a different signification. The Japanese kept their part of the bargain. Germany didn’t.

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  96. Avery says:
    @Seraphim
    The source of their 'visceral hatred for Russia' is their visceral hatred for the Church of Christ which they accused as the source of their imaginary 'persecutions'.
    Rosenberg was lavishing his praise on their creation, Soviet Russia, which nearly destroyed that accursed Church and bestowed all her favors on the Jews. The idea was that Soviet Russia was fighting the war not for her own survival, but for the Jews. When after the war it became apparent that it did not fight for the reinstating of the Jews in their pre-war positions, 'Stalin's Russia' became again the anti-semitic monster that was in the time of the accursed Tsars.

    Interesting.
    Hadn’t thought of that angle.

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  97. AP says:

    OT, but a large study of religiosity in Eastern Europe has come out:

    http://www.pewforum.org/2017/05/10/religious-belief-and-national-belonging-in-central-and-eastern-europe/

    There are some non-religious questions, such as:

    “A strong Russia is necessary to counter the West”

    85% of Russians agree. As do 83% of Armenians, 80% of Serbs, 76% of Belarussians. The lowest % among Orthodox countries are Georgia and Romania – 52% each. Ukraine is the big outlier – only 22% of Ukrainians agree.

    The most pro-Russian of Catholic countries is Croatia – 50% agree. 34% of Poles and Lithuanians agree.

    Looks like Ukraine is now the most anti-Russian country in eastern Europe.

    Russians claim to be Christians now but their weekly church attendance is very low – only 6%. Serbia is just as low. Among Orthodox Ukrainians it is also low, but twice the Russian and Serb rate – 12%.* Highest rates of weekly Orthodox church-going are in Romania (21%) and Greece (17%).

    Among Ukrainian Catholics weekly church attendance is 43%, about the same as in Poland (45%). Poles and western Ukrainians are the most Christian peoples in Europe.

    *One reason why the Moscow patriarch is careful not to be too openly on Russia’s side in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is because there is a disproportionate number of believers in Ukraine, even not including those who are under the non-Moscow Kiev patriarch..

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    • Replies: @AP
    I only read part of the first page when I posted, but there is much to see there...
    , @Mao Cheng Ji

    Russians claim to be Christians now but their weekly church attendance is very low – only 6%.
     
    There's no contradiction between being Christian and disliking the church. In fact, according to my own observations (and some literature I read), a typical Russian (including the Ukrainian variety) is fairly religious while highly skeptical about the official church and and its priesthood. The church is (and has been) considered an arm of the state authority, the priests are nothing but greedy, pompous, and womanizing SOBs. And that's (most likely) also the main reason for the wholesale destruction of churches and killings of priests during the civil war.
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  98. AP says:
    @AP
    OT, but a large study of religiosity in Eastern Europe has come out:

    http://www.pewforum.org/2017/05/10/religious-belief-and-national-belonging-in-central-and-eastern-europe/

    There are some non-religious questions, such as:

    "A strong Russia is necessary to counter the West"

    85% of Russians agree. As do 83% of Armenians, 80% of Serbs, 76% of Belarussians. The lowest % among Orthodox countries are Georgia and Romania - 52% each. Ukraine is the big outlier - only 22% of Ukrainians agree.

    The most pro-Russian of Catholic countries is Croatia - 50% agree. 34% of Poles and Lithuanians agree.

    Looks like Ukraine is now the most anti-Russian country in eastern Europe.

    Russians claim to be Christians now but their weekly church attendance is very low - only 6%. Serbia is just as low. Among Orthodox Ukrainians it is also low, but twice the Russian and Serb rate - 12%.* Highest rates of weekly Orthodox church-going are in Romania (21%) and Greece (17%).

    Among Ukrainian Catholics weekly church attendance is 43%, about the same as in Poland (45%). Poles and western Ukrainians are the most Christian peoples in Europe.

    *One reason why the Moscow patriarch is careful not to be too openly on Russia's side in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is because there is a disproportionate number of believers in Ukraine, even not including those who are under the non-Moscow Kiev patriarch..

    I only read part of the first page when I posted, but there is much to see there…

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  99. Matra says:
    @Avery
    {It is barely even known, let alone accepted or acknowledged}

    Right you are.

    On the contrary, there is a deliberate, organized effort by UK and US propaganda and disinformation channels to obliterate the existence of the Red Army from the fight against Nazi Germany.

    I can't think of a single Hollywood production of the war against Nazis that even mentions any role played by USSR.

    On the contrary, there is a deliberate, organized effort by UK and US propaganda and disinformation channels to obliterate the existence of the Red Army from the fight against Nazi Germany.

    Laughable paranoia. Meanwhile there are Russians who claim the war was 1941-5. lol

    BTW in the UK, at least amongst patriotic but often bitter and ill-informed working class people, there is far more downgrading of the American role than that of the Russians. It usually goes along the lines of “the bloody yanks didn’t come in till the end, then they stole all the credit”. Older Canadians say similar things. Maybe Aussies do too. It’s probably due to lingering resentment – Britain’s decline, America’s rise – and the usual in-group (intra-Anglo) rivalries.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    {Laughable paranoia.}

    Nope: informed opinion.

    Have lived in US long enough and have been kept informed about this stuff often enough to be quite sure.

    {Meanwhile there are Russians who claim the war was 1941-5. lol}

    I am sure there are (some) Russians who claims that.
    Not without good reason, mind you.
    When did WW2 start exactly?
    Was that in 1939 when Hitler invaded Poland, and UK and France declared war on Germany?
    What happened next: German panzers chased the British expeditionary force all the way to Dunkirk. Brits and French ran like chickens.
    France surrendered in what, 3 weeks?
    You call that war?

    Then you have the 'official' Phoney War period till May 1940.
    Then the Blitz of London began.
    You call that war?

    But then 3.8 million German/Axis personnel, 3,350 tanks, 2,770 aircraft, 7,200 artillery pieces invade USSR.
    Now that's what I call WAR.


    {BTW in the UK,...then they stole all the credit”}

    What exactly did the Brits contribute to the defeat of Nazi Germany?
    Americans can at least take full credit for the defeat of Imperial Japan.
    What exactly can Brits take credit for?

    And.....'lol'?
    How old are you son.
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  100. @Cyrano
    If you give the blueprints for the most sophisticated model of Ferrari to a third world manufacturer, most likely they will botch the manufacturing and the final product will be of inferior quality, but it will still likely be able to outperform say an Audi made in Germany. That’s what the idiots which commented on supposedly T-34 inferiority have missed. T-34 was a superior design to both Panzer III and Panzer IV, but it suffered from inferior craftsmanship in manufacturing. Despite those flaws it was still able to outperform Panzer III and Panzer IV on the battlefield.

    Yes, I agree.

    I think the only way the Germans might have had a chance of winning the war in the east is if they had committed to building a huge amount of upgraded Panzer III/IVs in 1941/42, say at least 1,000 per month. But the Germans had believed they could destroy the USSR in a swift blitzkrieg. When the blitzkrieg failed, it became a war of attrition, for which the Germans had made no preparations. German tank production in 1941/42 was surprisingly modest. Wiki says only 994 Panzer IVs were built in 1942. Soviet production of T34s totalled 12,661 that year.

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  101. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @melanf

    For me the question is why did they suffer more losses than the Germans.
     
    The main reason is simple - the German industry was far superior to the Soviet. The Wehrmacht was armed with much better weapons.

    Soviet troops (quantity and toughness yes, skill sometimes) and American manufacturing won the war. Without US supplies the Russians might still have won, but at even higher cost, and just might have lost.

    Of course had Hitler been a thoroughgoing racist he would have won. He’d have ignored the Japanese, not declaring war against the US for long enough for antiwar, anticommunist and anti-Jewish forces to keep the US out, and wiping the Brits out at Dunkirk. And taking Moscow and butchering Stalin and especially Lazar Kaganovich instead of taking Stalingrad to show the old beast.

    Let me make it clear that I think WWII was an unmitigated tragedy and did not benefit Russians, nor Germans, nor British nor Americans, and that while as an American of British and German extraction I feel kinship to those peoples, who are close relations, I do not disrespect Russians and Russia in any way. I am simply pointing out that Hitler was in a better position to achieve total victory than many today believe. Some believe that he invaded Russia because he believed Stalin was planning on invading Germany. I don’t know if that is true or not.

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    • Replies: @colm
    The winner of World War II was the colonials, who became independent after the powers no longer had the ability to subdue them.

    And the result was, I have to say, not too great.
    , @Beckow
    WWII was an inmitigated disaster. Yet, in retrospect it was inevitable. People always make mistakes during a prolonged crisis. Germans did, so did all allies. Germans' fatal mistake was to openly wage a war of extermination in the east. Russia is simply too big, has too many people willing to fight, and too few collaborators to ever be defeated when they start fighting for their existence.

    The way to defeat Russia is through flattery and feigned friendship, e.g. the 90's catastrophe with Yeltsin. It happened before a few times, always with deception by the West and never with a frontal assault. With WWII and Yeltsin in Russia's fresh memory, West will have to wait a generation or two before flattery can be tried again.

    Russia was not going to invade Germany - that's an uninformed, silly fantasy. Russia has never invaded West - not a single time in their history. They were always invaded first, and they pursued the attackers - Napoleon to Paris, Poles to Warsaw, Swedes to the Baltic sea, Ottomans all the way to Bulgaria. But the key to Russia's behavior is that in its 1,000 year history it has never invaded toward the West. It is simply not something they do, and it would make absolutely no sense. On the other hand, when attacked - as in WWII - they will push back hard. Defending has its own momentum, does anyone seriously think that Red Army could have - or should have stopped at pre-WWII borders?

    Today Russia has essentially declared that they would rather destroy the world than ever allow an invasion - or any fighting - on their territory. Where exactly are the precise borders and buffer zones is a bit fluid, but the eastern Russian speaking Ukraine is probably off limits, and also Kaliningrad.

    So let us settle in for a long crisis, this will stay about the same for decades - if we are lucky. Eventually some in the West will realize that frontal assault is a folly and offer a new 'detante' - some sincerely, others hoping that they can get another 90's like shot at defeating Russia through kindness. By then there will be a new generation in Russia itching to be allowed to wait in lines at the Eiffel Tower. The cycle might repeat. That is if we are lucky and nobody makes a catastrophic mistake. Trump is just to early for that.

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  102. Dmitriev says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Not ideal, because many were called up before being overrun in 1941, and then subjected to conscription again as Soviet territories were liberated in 1943-44.

    That said, I mentioned this factor wrt Ukrainians, Belorussians, and Jews, the groups that would have been most affected by this.

    Not sure remoteness itself played a huge role - see the Buryats.

    Hey Anatoly, you did a post recently on Russian fertility in the first months of 2017, here are the figures for Ukraine for Jan-Feb 2017:

    http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/operativ/operativ2017/ds/pp/pp_u/pp0217_u.html

    2016:

    http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/operativ/operativ2016/ds/pp/pp_u/pp0216_u.html

    and 2015:

    http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/operativ/operativ2015/ds/pp/pp_u/pp0215_u.html

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  103. Avery says:
    @Matra
    On the contrary, there is a deliberate, organized effort by UK and US propaganda and disinformation channels to obliterate the existence of the Red Army from the fight against Nazi Germany.

    Laughable paranoia. Meanwhile there are Russians who claim the war was 1941-5. lol

    BTW in the UK, at least amongst patriotic but often bitter and ill-informed working class people, there is far more downgrading of the American role than that of the Russians. It usually goes along the lines of "the bloody yanks didn't come in till the end, then they stole all the credit". Older Canadians say similar things. Maybe Aussies do too. It's probably due to lingering resentment - Britain's decline, America's rise - and the usual in-group (intra-Anglo) rivalries.

    {Laughable paranoia.}

    Nope: informed opinion.

    Have lived in US long enough and have been kept informed about this stuff often enough to be quite sure.

    {Meanwhile there are Russians who claim the war was 1941-5. lol}

    I am sure there are (some) Russians who claims that.
    Not without good reason, mind you.
    When did WW2 start exactly?
    Was that in 1939 when Hitler invaded Poland, and UK and France declared war on Germany?
    What happened next: German panzers chased the British expeditionary force all the way to Dunkirk. Brits and French ran like chickens.
    France surrendered in what, 3 weeks?
    You call that war?

    Then you have the ‘official’ Phoney War period till May 1940.
    Then the Blitz of London began.
    You call that war?

    But then 3.8 million German/Axis personnel, 3,350 tanks, 2,770 aircraft, 7,200 artillery pieces invade USSR.
    Now that’s what I call WAR.

    {BTW in the UK,…then they stole all the credit”}

    What exactly did the Brits contribute to the defeat of Nazi Germany?
    Americans can at least take full credit for the defeat of Imperial Japan.
    What exactly can Brits take credit for?

    And…..‘lol’?
    How old are you son.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    What happened next: German panzers chased the British expeditionary force all the way to Dunkirk. Brits and French ran like chickens.
    France surrendered in what, 3 weeks?
    You call that war?

    Then you have the ‘official’ Phoney War period till May 1940.
    Then the Blitz of London began.
    You call that war?
     
    French dead during the battle of France range somewhere between 50 000 and 100 000; the Blitz killed 40 000 in Britain. Most people would call that war.
    It's also worth noting that the Soviet Union during the same period traded extensively with Germany as agreed under Molotov-Ribbentropp, and distinguished itself by such heroic deeds as the Katyn massacre or attacking Finland.
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  104. Max Payne says:

    Excuse me… Tom Hanks and his Thompson single-handedly won WW2.

    What did the Soviet Union ever do but ask for hand outs from Uncle Sam?

    As for the retard who linked Enemy at the Gates up top…. I can tell you right now… no Jew ever gave his life to save a Russian. That’s all that movie was about. Everything else was just a facade. Ultimately a Jew helps a Soviet sniper defeat the UBER German sharpshooter…by sacrificing himself no less. Boring.

    Actually now that I think about had they cut out that character altogether the movie would make more sense overall. I guess you gotta shoehorn them everywhere.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow
    "Enemy at the Gates" was an outlier - it got almost no publicity or distribution. One can cynically think that it was made for the purpose of being able to mention it when someone says that Hollywood has totally misrepresented WWII. Nobody saw it and it had zero impact on culture.

    The movie is also very dark, very unheroic, "two sides" to all issues. Germans are human, not Nazis (maybe realistic, but different from the usual Hollywood depiction.) It is nothing like when Hanks defeated the Nazis by roaming around Normandy countryside 6 months before the end of the war.

    I would bet that large percentage of Americans have no idea who was who in WWII. Some might even think that it was against Russia, or that it was all about Holocaust, the point is to confuse them and make the actual history muddy - except of course the dominant mythology of Normandy, etc...

    Is it "organized propaganda"? I guess it would depend on the definition of "organized" and "propaganda". And since we are dealing with mostly liberals here, maybe also on the definition of "is"....

    , @Avery
    {Excuse me… Tom Hanks and his Thompson single-handedly won WW2.}

    Don't forget Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood, who between the two of them, wiped out an entire division of crack German Alpine troops.
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  105. colm says:
    @Anonymous
    Soviet troops (quantity and toughness yes, skill sometimes) and American manufacturing won the war. Without US supplies the Russians might still have won, but at even higher cost, and just might have lost.


    Of course had Hitler been a thoroughgoing racist he would have won. He'd have ignored the Japanese, not declaring war against the US for long enough for antiwar, anticommunist and anti-Jewish forces to keep the US out, and wiping the Brits out at Dunkirk. And taking Moscow and butchering Stalin and especially Lazar Kaganovich instead of taking Stalingrad to show the old beast.


    Let me make it clear that I think WWII was an unmitigated tragedy and did not benefit Russians, nor Germans, nor British nor Americans, and that while as an American of British and German extraction I feel kinship to those peoples, who are close relations, I do not disrespect Russians and Russia in any way. I am simply pointing out that Hitler was in a better position to achieve total victory than many today believe. Some believe that he invaded Russia because he believed Stalin was planning on invading Germany. I don't know if that is true or not.

    The winner of World War II was the colonials, who became independent after the powers no longer had the ability to subdue them.

    And the result was, I have to say, not too great.

    Read More
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  106. Beckow says:
    @Anonymous
    Soviet troops (quantity and toughness yes, skill sometimes) and American manufacturing won the war. Without US supplies the Russians might still have won, but at even higher cost, and just might have lost.


    Of course had Hitler been a thoroughgoing racist he would have won. He'd have ignored the Japanese, not declaring war against the US for long enough for antiwar, anticommunist and anti-Jewish forces to keep the US out, and wiping the Brits out at Dunkirk. And taking Moscow and butchering Stalin and especially Lazar Kaganovich instead of taking Stalingrad to show the old beast.


    Let me make it clear that I think WWII was an unmitigated tragedy and did not benefit Russians, nor Germans, nor British nor Americans, and that while as an American of British and German extraction I feel kinship to those peoples, who are close relations, I do not disrespect Russians and Russia in any way. I am simply pointing out that Hitler was in a better position to achieve total victory than many today believe. Some believe that he invaded Russia because he believed Stalin was planning on invading Germany. I don't know if that is true or not.

    WWII was an inmitigated disaster. Yet, in retrospect it was inevitable. People always make mistakes during a prolonged crisis. Germans did, so did all allies. Germans’ fatal mistake was to openly wage a war of extermination in the east. Russia is simply too big, has too many people willing to fight, and too few collaborators to ever be defeated when they start fighting for their existence.

    The way to defeat Russia is through flattery and feigned friendship, e.g. the 90′s catastrophe with Yeltsin. It happened before a few times, always with deception by the West and never with a frontal assault. With WWII and Yeltsin in Russia’s fresh memory, West will have to wait a generation or two before flattery can be tried again.

    Russia was not going to invade Germany – that’s an uninformed, silly fantasy. Russia has never invaded West – not a single time in their history. They were always invaded first, and they pursued the attackers – Napoleon to Paris, Poles to Warsaw, Swedes to the Baltic sea, Ottomans all the way to Bulgaria. But the key to Russia’s behavior is that in its 1,000 year history it has never invaded toward the West. It is simply not something they do, and it would make absolutely no sense. On the other hand, when attacked – as in WWII – they will push back hard. Defending has its own momentum, does anyone seriously think that Red Army could have – or should have stopped at pre-WWII borders?

    Today Russia has essentially declared that they would rather destroy the world than ever allow an invasion – or any fighting – on their territory. Where exactly are the precise borders and buffer zones is a bit fluid, but the eastern Russian speaking Ukraine is probably off limits, and also Kaliningrad.

    So let us settle in for a long crisis, this will stay about the same for decades – if we are lucky. Eventually some in the West will realize that frontal assault is a folly and offer a new ‘detante’ – some sincerely, others hoping that they can get another 90′s like shot at defeating Russia through kindness. By then there will be a new generation in Russia itching to be allowed to wait in lines at the Eiffel Tower. The cycle might repeat. That is if we are lucky and nobody makes a catastrophic mistake. Trump is just to early for that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thea
    how wonderful if Western leaders also made it clear that others need to stay out of their territory.

    The Angloshere lies like a drunken slattern with her legs spread for the world.

    , @Hippopotamusdrome


    Russia was not going to invade Germany

     

    They just wanted to invade only Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and nothing more.
    , @AP

    Russia was not going to invade Germany – that’s an uninformed, silly fantasy. Russia has never invaded West – not a single time in their history. They were always invaded first, and they pursued the attackers – Napoleon to Paris, Poles to Warsaw, Swedes to the Baltic sea, Ottomans all the way to Bulgaria. But the key to Russia’s behavior is that in its 1,000 year history it has never invaded toward the West.
     
    False.

    The Great Northern War in which Sweden ultimately lost to Russia began with Russia and its allies attacking Sweden first:

    https://www.britannica.com/event/Second-Northern-War

    The death of the Swedish king Charles XI in 1697, when his heir, Charles XII, was but a boy of 14, became the signal for Denmark-Norway to organize an anti-Swedish coalition.

    Upon the formation of the coalition (1698–99), Augustus II the Strong, king of Poland and elector of Saxony, attacked Livonia (February 1700), while Frederick IV, king of Denmark and Norway, marched into Schleswig and Holstein (March 1700) and Peter I the Great, tsar of Russia, laid siege to Narva (October 1700). Charles XII of Sweden responded first by concentrating his forces against Denmark. Landing a few miles from Copenhagen, he compelled Frederick to withdraw from the anti-Swedish alliance and to sign the Treaty of Traventhal (August 1700), which restored the status quo. Charles next confronted the Russians, victoriously attacking them at Narva (Nov. 30, 1700).

    While Sweden did "invade Russia" this invasion was prompted by a Russian invasion of Swedish lands first (Narva had been Swedish since 1581, prior to to that it had been Russian for 30 years but prior to that it had belonged to the Livonian Confederation; Narva was founded by Danes in the late 1200s).

    It's shocking that you didn't know this.

    :::::::::

    So in your world partition of Poland in 1939 and grabbing of Romanian, Polish areas and the Baltics was not an invasion?

    :::::::::

    Although Germany declared war against Russia first in World War I (in response to hostile Russian mobilization), conflict on the Eastern Front in that war began with a Russian invasion of Prussia.

    , @Jaakko Raipala
    "Russia has never invaded West – not a single time in their history. They were always invaded first, and they pursued the attackers "

    Nonsense. There was quite a bit of war to establish the border between Sweden and Novgorod but after that agreement neither side tried an expansionist invasion, though piracy was common and we lived under a constant threat of slave raiding parties. Expansionist aggression was started by the Russians under Ivan III who, after conquering the Western Russian states and cities, proceeded to try to conquer the Western non-Russian neighbors.

    Your history is exactly backwards. Sweden is a nation that was nearly strangled in its cradle by an alliance of the Danes and Muscovites and the survival against Ivan III was considered a miracle. Sweden before was a loose tribal confederation with little ability for military campaigns and the desire to turn it into a militant power was a result of being shaken to the core with fear after the emergence of Muscovite dominated Russia as an aggressive, expansionist power.

    Ivan IV resumed ambitions to expand West, though its hard to say who was the aggressor in that war since it was preceded by years of mutual low intensity hostilities. The destruction of Novgorod weakened Russia in the northwest, Ivan IV dropped dead in the middle of the war and was followed by his inept son. He left behind a succession crisis where Sweden intervened in exchange for more land. Later there were wars where Sweden was clearly the aggressor but those are ironically the ones where Sweden kept losing land instead of gaining.

    As for Russian patriotism and willingness to fight, that was at the absolute historical low at the beginning of World War II and I firmly believe that if the Germans had behaved the same way towards East Slavs as they behaved towards French, Dutch and other Westerners we would have easily won the war and the 20th century might have belonged to the right-wing. There were just so many Russians willing to switch sides in 1939. Russian soldiers were often poorly motivated in our wars but Russian prisoners offering to fight against their government and Russian exiles showing up offering to lead them never happened before.

    Finland was just too small to take up that cause and Germany had different plans.
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  107. Beckow says:
    @Max Payne
    Excuse me... Tom Hanks and his Thompson single-handedly won WW2.

    What did the Soviet Union ever do but ask for hand outs from Uncle Sam?

    As for the retard who linked Enemy at the Gates up top.... I can tell you right now... no Jew ever gave his life to save a Russian. That's all that movie was about. Everything else was just a facade. Ultimately a Jew helps a Soviet sniper defeat the UBER German sharpshooter...by sacrificing himself no less. Boring.

    Actually now that I think about had they cut out that character altogether the movie would make more sense overall. I guess you gotta shoehorn them everywhere.

    “Enemy at the Gates” was an outlier – it got almost no publicity or distribution. One can cynically think that it was made for the purpose of being able to mention it when someone says that Hollywood has totally misrepresented WWII. Nobody saw it and it had zero impact on culture.

    The movie is also very dark, very unheroic, “two sides” to all issues. Germans are human, not Nazis (maybe realistic, but different from the usual Hollywood depiction.) It is nothing like when Hanks defeated the Nazis by roaming around Normandy countryside 6 months before the end of the war.

    I would bet that large percentage of Americans have no idea who was who in WWII. Some might even think that it was against Russia, or that it was all about Holocaust, the point is to confuse them and make the actual history muddy – except of course the dominant mythology of Normandy, etc…

    Is it “organized propaganda”? I guess it would depend on the definition of “organized” and “propaganda”. And since we are dealing with mostly liberals here, maybe also on the definition of “is”….

    Read More
    • Replies: @Max Payne
    Outlier? Back in 2006 there were several gun websites offering a Mosin–Nagant, with 200 rounds of ammunition AND a copy of Enemy at the Gates. All for the low low price of $200 USD. I'm serious. If I could remember the websites I'd use the WayBack Machine.

    It's not that much of an outlier I assure you.
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  108. Avery says:
    @Max Payne
    Excuse me... Tom Hanks and his Thompson single-handedly won WW2.

    What did the Soviet Union ever do but ask for hand outs from Uncle Sam?

    As for the retard who linked Enemy at the Gates up top.... I can tell you right now... no Jew ever gave his life to save a Russian. That's all that movie was about. Everything else was just a facade. Ultimately a Jew helps a Soviet sniper defeat the UBER German sharpshooter...by sacrificing himself no less. Boring.

    Actually now that I think about had they cut out that character altogether the movie would make more sense overall. I guess you gotta shoehorn them everywhere.

    {Excuse me… Tom Hanks and his Thompson single-handedly won WW2.}

    Don’t forget Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood, who between the two of them, wiped out an entire division of crack German Alpine troops.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Uebersetzer
    They were helped by their discovery of the infinity magazine, enabling them to shoot off vast amounts of automatic weapons fire without reloading.
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  109. @Avery
    {Laughable paranoia.}

    Nope: informed opinion.

    Have lived in US long enough and have been kept informed about this stuff often enough to be quite sure.

    {Meanwhile there are Russians who claim the war was 1941-5. lol}

    I am sure there are (some) Russians who claims that.
    Not without good reason, mind you.
    When did WW2 start exactly?
    Was that in 1939 when Hitler invaded Poland, and UK and France declared war on Germany?
    What happened next: German panzers chased the British expeditionary force all the way to Dunkirk. Brits and French ran like chickens.
    France surrendered in what, 3 weeks?
    You call that war?

    Then you have the 'official' Phoney War period till May 1940.
    Then the Blitz of London began.
    You call that war?

    But then 3.8 million German/Axis personnel, 3,350 tanks, 2,770 aircraft, 7,200 artillery pieces invade USSR.
    Now that's what I call WAR.


    {BTW in the UK,...then they stole all the credit”}

    What exactly did the Brits contribute to the defeat of Nazi Germany?
    Americans can at least take full credit for the defeat of Imperial Japan.
    What exactly can Brits take credit for?

    And.....'lol'?
    How old are you son.

    What happened next: German panzers chased the British expeditionary force all the way to Dunkirk. Brits and French ran like chickens.
    France surrendered in what, 3 weeks?
    You call that war?

    Then you have the ‘official’ Phoney War period till May 1940.
    Then the Blitz of London began.
    You call that war?

    French dead during the battle of France range somewhere between 50 000 and 100 000; the Blitz killed 40 000 in Britain. Most people would call that war.
    It’s also worth noting that the Soviet Union during the same period traded extensively with Germany as agreed under Molotov-Ribbentropp, and distinguished itself by such heroic deeds as the Katyn massacre or attacking Finland.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Avery
    {French dead during the battle of France range somewhere between 50 000 and 100 000; the Blitz killed 40 000 in Britain. Most people would call that war.}

    See above: {Meanwhile there are Russians who claim the war was 1941-5. lol}

    Yeah, I am sure some people would call that war at another time, in another place. US calls it 'Iraqi War', even though 'only' about 4,500 US military personnel were killed (KIA and accidents).

    However, when you (i.e. a Soviet observer, after the war) compares the losses of UK, US, France, etc with your own, then one's definition of war changes.

    -UK losses WW2: Military, 380K. Civilian, 70K.
    -US losses WW2: Mil, 400K. Civ, 12K.
    -France WW2: Mil 210K. Civ, 390K.
    -Nazi Germany WW2: Mil 5 million (~80% on East front, after 1941). Civ 2 million.
    -USSR WW2: Military 10 million. Civilians, 16 million.


    {It’s also worth noting that the Soviet Union during the same period traded extensively with Germany as agreed under Molotov-Ribbentropp},

    Stalin was so terrified of Hitler that he did everything not to give him an excuse to invade USSR. The trade you are talking about was mostly raw materials being sent to Nazi Germany from USSR. Even as Nazi panzers were rolling into SU and Stukas were wiping out Soviet military targets, Soviet trains loaded with raw materials were still rolling towards West.

    It's also worth noting that Poland signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany in........1934.
    It's also worth noting that Stalin tried desperately to sign pacts with UK and France against Nazi Germany: both rebuffed him. Then, and only then Stalin, in a vain attempt to forestall a Nazi invasion of USSR, signed with Hitler.

    {...and distinguished itself by such heroic deeds as the Katyn massacre or attacking Finland.}

    If Hitler had not gotten the ball rolling by annexing a large chunk of Czechoslovakia in 1938 and started massively re-arming and preparing to invade USSR and exterminate all Slavic peoples West of the Urals to make room his Lebensraum , neither Katyn nor Finland would have happened.

    All your (German/Nazis') fault.
    Have a nice day.

    , @LondonBob
    Of course he omits the breaking of enigma, the RAF securing dominance of the air and the Royal Navy the seas. Tide being turned in North Africa by the Army too.
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  110. Thea says:
    @Beckow
    WWII was an inmitigated disaster. Yet, in retrospect it was inevitable. People always make mistakes during a prolonged crisis. Germans did, so did all allies. Germans' fatal mistake was to openly wage a war of extermination in the east. Russia is simply too big, has too many people willing to fight, and too few collaborators to ever be defeated when they start fighting for their existence.

    The way to defeat Russia is through flattery and feigned friendship, e.g. the 90's catastrophe with Yeltsin. It happened before a few times, always with deception by the West and never with a frontal assault. With WWII and Yeltsin in Russia's fresh memory, West will have to wait a generation or two before flattery can be tried again.

    Russia was not going to invade Germany - that's an uninformed, silly fantasy. Russia has never invaded West - not a single time in their history. They were always invaded first, and they pursued the attackers - Napoleon to Paris, Poles to Warsaw, Swedes to the Baltic sea, Ottomans all the way to Bulgaria. But the key to Russia's behavior is that in its 1,000 year history it has never invaded toward the West. It is simply not something they do, and it would make absolutely no sense. On the other hand, when attacked - as in WWII - they will push back hard. Defending has its own momentum, does anyone seriously think that Red Army could have - or should have stopped at pre-WWII borders?

    Today Russia has essentially declared that they would rather destroy the world than ever allow an invasion - or any fighting - on their territory. Where exactly are the precise borders and buffer zones is a bit fluid, but the eastern Russian speaking Ukraine is probably off limits, and also Kaliningrad.

    So let us settle in for a long crisis, this will stay about the same for decades - if we are lucky. Eventually some in the West will realize that frontal assault is a folly and offer a new 'detante' - some sincerely, others hoping that they can get another 90's like shot at defeating Russia through kindness. By then there will be a new generation in Russia itching to be allowed to wait in lines at the Eiffel Tower. The cycle might repeat. That is if we are lucky and nobody makes a catastrophic mistake. Trump is just to early for that.

    how wonderful if Western leaders also made it clear that others need to stay out of their territory.

    The Angloshere lies like a drunken slattern with her legs spread for the world.

    Read More
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  111. Boris N says:

    It may be a little late, but you may consider this table.

    http://pyhalov.livejournal.com/194231.html

    Read More
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  112. @Beckow
    WWII was an inmitigated disaster. Yet, in retrospect it was inevitable. People always make mistakes during a prolonged crisis. Germans did, so did all allies. Germans' fatal mistake was to openly wage a war of extermination in the east. Russia is simply too big, has too many people willing to fight, and too few collaborators to ever be defeated when they start fighting for their existence.

    The way to defeat Russia is through flattery and feigned friendship, e.g. the 90's catastrophe with Yeltsin. It happened before a few times, always with deception by the West and never with a frontal assault. With WWII and Yeltsin in Russia's fresh memory, West will have to wait a generation or two before flattery can be tried again.

    Russia was not going to invade Germany - that's an uninformed, silly fantasy. Russia has never invaded West - not a single time in their history. They were always invaded first, and they pursued the attackers - Napoleon to Paris, Poles to Warsaw, Swedes to the Baltic sea, Ottomans all the way to Bulgaria. But the key to Russia's behavior is that in its 1,000 year history it has never invaded toward the West. It is simply not something they do, and it would make absolutely no sense. On the other hand, when attacked - as in WWII - they will push back hard. Defending has its own momentum, does anyone seriously think that Red Army could have - or should have stopped at pre-WWII borders?

    Today Russia has essentially declared that they would rather destroy the world than ever allow an invasion - or any fighting - on their territory. Where exactly are the precise borders and buffer zones is a bit fluid, but the eastern Russian speaking Ukraine is probably off limits, and also Kaliningrad.

    So let us settle in for a long crisis, this will stay about the same for decades - if we are lucky. Eventually some in the West will realize that frontal assault is a folly and offer a new 'detante' - some sincerely, others hoping that they can get another 90's like shot at defeating Russia through kindness. By then there will be a new generation in Russia itching to be allowed to wait in lines at the Eiffel Tower. The cycle might repeat. That is if we are lucky and nobody makes a catastrophic mistake. Trump is just to early for that.

    Russia was not going to invade Germany

    They just wanted to invade only Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and nothing more.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cyrano
    You are so funny.
    , @Beckow

    invade only Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia
     
    Those are - or were at that time - mostly disputed territories that had belonged to the Russian Empire for hundreds of years. And they were part of the Russian Empire because they invaded Russia and failed. Again and gain. That's what I said above, same pattern: invade Russia, lose, suffer the consequences.
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  113. Avery says:
    @German_reader

    What happened next: German panzers chased the British expeditionary force all the way to Dunkirk. Brits and French ran like chickens.
    France surrendered in what, 3 weeks?
    You call that war?

    Then you have the ‘official’ Phoney War period till May 1940.
    Then the Blitz of London began.
    You call that war?
     
    French dead during the battle of France range somewhere between 50 000 and 100 000; the Blitz killed 40 000 in Britain. Most people would call that war.
    It's also worth noting that the Soviet Union during the same period traded extensively with Germany as agreed under Molotov-Ribbentropp, and distinguished itself by such heroic deeds as the Katyn massacre or attacking Finland.

    {French dead during the battle of France range somewhere between 50 000 and 100 000; the Blitz killed 40 000 in Britain. Most people would call that war.}

    See above: {Meanwhile there are Russians who claim the war was 1941-5. lol}

    Yeah, I am sure some people would call that war at another time, in another place. US calls it ‘Iraqi War’, even though ‘only’ about 4,500 US military personnel were killed (KIA and accidents).

    However, when you (i.e. a Soviet observer, after the war) compares the losses of UK, US, France, etc with your own, then one’s definition of war changes.

    -UK losses WW2: Military, 380K. Civilian, 70K.
    -US losses WW2: Mil, 400K. Civ, 12K.
    -France WW2: Mil 210K. Civ, 390K.
    -Nazi Germany WW2: Mil 5 million (~80% on East front, after 1941). Civ 2 million.
    -USSR WW2: Military 10 million. Civilians, 16 million.


    {It’s also worth noting that the Soviet Union during the same period traded extensively with Germany as agreed under Molotov-Ribbentropp},

    Stalin was so terrified of Hitler that he did everything not to give him an excuse to invade USSR. The trade you are talking about was mostly raw materials being sent to Nazi Germany from USSR. Even as Nazi panzers were rolling into SU and Stukas were wiping out Soviet military targets, Soviet trains loaded with raw materials were still rolling towards West.

    It’s also worth noting that Poland signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany in……..1934.
    It’s also worth noting that Stalin tried desperately to sign pacts with UK and France against Nazi Germany: both rebuffed him. Then, and only then Stalin, in a vain attempt to forestall a Nazi invasion of USSR, signed with Hitler.

    {…and distinguished itself by such heroic deeds as the Katyn massacre or attacking Finland.}

    If Hitler had not gotten the ball rolling by annexing a large chunk of Czechoslovakia in 1938 and started massively re-arming and preparing to invade USSR and exterminate all Slavic peoples West of the Urals to make room his Lebensraum , neither Katyn nor Finland would have happened.

    All your (German/Nazis’) fault.
    Have a nice day.

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  114. Cyrano says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome


    Russia was not going to invade Germany

     

    They just wanted to invade only Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and nothing more.

    You are so funny.

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  115. @Avery
    {Excuse me… Tom Hanks and his Thompson single-handedly won WW2.}

    Don't forget Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood, who between the two of them, wiped out an entire division of crack German Alpine troops.

    They were helped by their discovery of the infinity magazine, enabling them to shoot off vast amounts of automatic weapons fire without reloading.

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  116. Without the help of the outside, civilized world, the USSR would have been destroyed despite Hitlers blunders and obsessions. Russian troops road into battle on Chrysler trucks, and lived off Spam and American wheat. The Soviet government couldn’t even produce decent telephone wire, it all had to come from the west. Society aircraft flew on American High-test gasoline. And of course we donated many tanks and plans.

    The wests incredible stupidity in backing one evil regime over another guaranteed decades of discord and slavery for millions of people.

    As Kissinger said of the Iran Iraq war, “It’s a pity that they can’t both loose.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cyrano

    Without the help of the outside, civilized world, the USSR would have been destroyed
     
    I think you got it a** backwards, my friend. It should be: Without the help by the USSR, the civilized world would have been destroyed. As for the Kissinger quote - that's exactly how I feel about the US war on terror.
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  117. Beckow says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome


    Russia was not going to invade Germany

     

    They just wanted to invade only Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and nothing more.

    invade only Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia

    Those are – or were at that time – mostly disputed territories that had belonged to the Russian Empire for hundreds of years. And they were part of the Russian Empire because they invaded Russia and failed. Again and gain. That’s what I said above, same pattern: invade Russia, lose, suffer the consequences.

    Read More
    • Agree: Cyrano
    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome
    In that case Germany didn't technically invade Poland because it used to be part of the German Empire.
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  118. Cyrano says:
    @Thomas O. Meehan
    Without the help of the outside, civilized world, the USSR would have been destroyed despite Hitlers blunders and obsessions. Russian troops road into battle on Chrysler trucks, and lived off Spam and American wheat. The Soviet government couldn't even produce decent telephone wire, it all had to come from the west. Society aircraft flew on American High-test gasoline. And of course we donated many tanks and plans.

    The wests incredible stupidity in backing one evil regime over another guaranteed decades of discord and slavery for millions of people.

    As Kissinger said of the Iran Iraq war, "It's a pity that they can't both loose."

    Without the help of the outside, civilized world, the USSR would have been destroyed

    I think you got it a** backwards, my friend. It should be: Without the help by the USSR, the civilized world would have been destroyed. As for the Kissinger quote – that’s exactly how I feel about the US war on terror.

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  119. LondonBob says:
    @German_reader

    What happened next: German panzers chased the British expeditionary force all the way to Dunkirk. Brits and French ran like chickens.
    France surrendered in what, 3 weeks?
    You call that war?

    Then you have the ‘official’ Phoney War period till May 1940.
    Then the Blitz of London began.
    You call that war?
     
    French dead during the battle of France range somewhere between 50 000 and 100 000; the Blitz killed 40 000 in Britain. Most people would call that war.
    It's also worth noting that the Soviet Union during the same period traded extensively with Germany as agreed under Molotov-Ribbentropp, and distinguished itself by such heroic deeds as the Katyn massacre or attacking Finland.

    Of course he omits the breaking of enigma, the RAF securing dominance of the air and the Royal Navy the seas. Tide being turned in North Africa by the Army too.

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  120. AP says:
    @Beckow
    WWII was an inmitigated disaster. Yet, in retrospect it was inevitable. People always make mistakes during a prolonged crisis. Germans did, so did all allies. Germans' fatal mistake was to openly wage a war of extermination in the east. Russia is simply too big, has too many people willing to fight, and too few collaborators to ever be defeated when they start fighting for their existence.

    The way to defeat Russia is through flattery and feigned friendship, e.g. the 90's catastrophe with Yeltsin. It happened before a few times, always with deception by the West and never with a frontal assault. With WWII and Yeltsin in Russia's fresh memory, West will have to wait a generation or two before flattery can be tried again.

    Russia was not going to invade Germany - that's an uninformed, silly fantasy. Russia has never invaded West - not a single time in their history. They were always invaded first, and they pursued the attackers - Napoleon to Paris, Poles to Warsaw, Swedes to the Baltic sea, Ottomans all the way to Bulgaria. But the key to Russia's behavior is that in its 1,000 year history it has never invaded toward the West. It is simply not something they do, and it would make absolutely no sense. On the other hand, when attacked - as in WWII - they will push back hard. Defending has its own momentum, does anyone seriously think that Red Army could have - or should have stopped at pre-WWII borders?

    Today Russia has essentially declared that they would rather destroy the world than ever allow an invasion - or any fighting - on their territory. Where exactly are the precise borders and buffer zones is a bit fluid, but the eastern Russian speaking Ukraine is probably off limits, and also Kaliningrad.

    So let us settle in for a long crisis, this will stay about the same for decades - if we are lucky. Eventually some in the West will realize that frontal assault is a folly and offer a new 'detante' - some sincerely, others hoping that they can get another 90's like shot at defeating Russia through kindness. By then there will be a new generation in Russia itching to be allowed to wait in lines at the Eiffel Tower. The cycle might repeat. That is if we are lucky and nobody makes a catastrophic mistake. Trump is just to early for that.

    Russia was not going to invade Germany – that’s an uninformed, silly fantasy. Russia has never invaded West – not a single time in their history. They were always invaded first, and they pursued the attackers – Napoleon to Paris, Poles to Warsaw, Swedes to the Baltic sea, Ottomans all the way to Bulgaria. But the key to Russia’s behavior is that in its 1,000 year history it has never invaded toward the West.

    False.

    The Great Northern War in which Sweden ultimately lost to Russia began with Russia and its allies attacking Sweden first:

    https://www.britannica.com/event/Second-Northern-War

    The death of the Swedish king Charles XI in 1697, when his heir, Charles XII, was but a boy of 14, became the signal for Denmark-Norway to organize an anti-Swedish coalition.

    Upon the formation of the coalition (1698–99), Augustus II the Strong, king of Poland and elector of Saxony, attacked Livonia (February 1700), while Frederick IV, king of Denmark and Norway, marched into Schleswig and Holstein (March 1700) and Peter I the Great, tsar of Russia, laid siege to Narva (October 1700). Charles XII of Sweden responded first by concentrating his forces against Denmark. Landing a few miles from Copenhagen, he compelled Frederick to withdraw from the anti-Swedish alliance and to sign the Treaty of Traventhal (August 1700), which restored the status quo. Charles next confronted the Russians, victoriously attacking them at Narva (Nov. 30, 1700).

    While Sweden did “invade Russia” this invasion was prompted by a Russian invasion of Swedish lands first (Narva had been Swedish since 1581, prior to to that it had been Russian for 30 years but prior to that it had belonged to the Livonian Confederation; Narva was founded by Danes in the late 1200s).

    It’s shocking that you didn’t know this.

    :::::::::

    So in your world partition of Poland in 1939 and grabbing of Romanian, Polish areas and the Baltics was not an invasion?

    :::::::::

    Although Germany declared war against Russia first in World War I (in response to hostile Russian mobilization), conflict on the Eastern Front in that war began with a Russian invasion of Prussia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Then of course there was the invasion of Hungary in 1956 and invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

    Unless you believe that the coming to power of independent governments in those countries was a Western invasion.
    , @Beckow
    Sweden was an imperial power that expanded in 17th century to take over lands on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, where no Swedes have ever lived. The Second Northern War was against Swedish expansionism - so Denmark, Saxony, Poland a Russia joined forces to fight Sweden, in effect to defend their lands. Sweden invaded all the way to Poltava - deep in today's Ukraine territory and was defeated. As always, thousands and thousands of local peasants were murdered and villages burnt to the ground (same as Napoleon or Hitler later).

    After defeat at Poltava, Sweden declined as a regional power and has been fairly contained (until the recent idiocy with migrants and submarines that indicates future trouble, they seem again unhinged and unable to act rationally).

    So, no, Russia didn't "invade Sweden", they defended their lands, and not a single Russian soldier has ever even stepped on Sweden's territory.

    Hungary and Czechoslovakia in '56 and '68 were simply a consequence of WWII. It is idiotic to see them as separate events - 10 or 20 years after the most brutal conflict in living memory, it was hard to imagine that Russia (or Soviet Union) would simply vacate what they had won. Let me remind you that Hungary and Slovakia (not Czech R. because they were occupied) participated in the 1941 invasion of Russia with Nazis. Hungarians were very prominent. So what I said about invade-attemp genocide-lose-pay for it pattern also holds here. By the way, in both cases the conflict was largely between domestic forces, in the case of Czechoslovakia two factions of the communist party.

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  121. AP says:

    Then of course there was the invasion of Hungary in 1956 and invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

    Unless you believe that the coming to power of independent governments in those countries was a Western invasion.

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  122. AP says:
    @AP

    Russia was not going to invade Germany – that’s an uninformed, silly fantasy. Russia has never invaded West – not a single time in their history. They were always invaded first, and they pursued the attackers – Napoleon to Paris, Poles to Warsaw, Swedes to the Baltic sea, Ottomans all the way to Bulgaria. But the key to Russia’s behavior is that in its 1,000 year history it has never invaded toward the West.
     
    False.

    The Great Northern War in which Sweden ultimately lost to Russia began with Russia and its allies attacking Sweden first:

    https://www.britannica.com/event/Second-Northern-War

    The death of the Swedish king Charles XI in 1697, when his heir, Charles XII, was but a boy of 14, became the signal for Denmark-Norway to organize an anti-Swedish coalition.

    Upon the formation of the coalition (1698–99), Augustus II the Strong, king of Poland and elector of Saxony, attacked Livonia (February 1700), while Frederick IV, king of Denmark and Norway, marched into Schleswig and Holstein (March 1700) and Peter I the Great, tsar of Russia, laid siege to Narva (October 1700). Charles XII of Sweden responded first by concentrating his forces against Denmark. Landing a few miles from Copenhagen, he compelled Frederick to withdraw from the anti-Swedish alliance and to sign the Treaty of Traventhal (August 1700), which restored the status quo. Charles next confronted the Russians, victoriously attacking them at Narva (Nov. 30, 1700).

    While Sweden did "invade Russia" this invasion was prompted by a Russian invasion of Swedish lands first (Narva had been Swedish since 1581, prior to to that it had been Russian for 30 years but prior to that it had belonged to the Livonian Confederation; Narva was founded by Danes in the late 1200s).

    It's shocking that you didn't know this.

    :::::::::

    So in your world partition of Poland in 1939 and grabbing of Romanian, Polish areas and the Baltics was not an invasion?

    :::::::::

    Although Germany declared war against Russia first in World War I (in response to hostile Russian mobilization), conflict on the Eastern Front in that war began with a Russian invasion of Prussia.

    Then of course there was the invasion of Hungary in 1956 and invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

    Unless you believe that the coming to power of independent governments in those countries was a Western invasion.

    Read More
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  123. Beckow says:
    @AP

    Russia was not going to invade Germany – that’s an uninformed, silly fantasy. Russia has never invaded West – not a single time in their history. They were always invaded first, and they pursued the attackers – Napoleon to Paris, Poles to Warsaw, Swedes to the Baltic sea, Ottomans all the way to Bulgaria. But the key to Russia’s behavior is that in its 1,000 year history it has never invaded toward the West.
     
    False.

    The Great Northern War in which Sweden ultimately lost to Russia began with Russia and its allies attacking Sweden first:

    https://www.britannica.com/event/Second-Northern-War

    The death of the Swedish king Charles XI in 1697, when his heir, Charles XII, was but a boy of 14, became the signal for Denmark-Norway to organize an anti-Swedish coalition.

    Upon the formation of the coalition (1698–99), Augustus II the Strong, king of Poland and elector of Saxony, attacked Livonia (February 1700), while Frederick IV, king of Denmark and Norway, marched into Schleswig and Holstein (March 1700) and Peter I the Great, tsar of Russia, laid siege to Narva (October 1700). Charles XII of Sweden responded first by concentrating his forces against Denmark. Landing a few miles from Copenhagen, he compelled Frederick to withdraw from the anti-Swedish alliance and to sign the Treaty of Traventhal (August 1700), which restored the status quo. Charles next confronted the Russians, victoriously attacking them at Narva (Nov. 30, 1700).

    While Sweden did "invade Russia" this invasion was prompted by a Russian invasion of Swedish lands first (Narva had been Swedish since 1581, prior to to that it had been Russian for 30 years but prior to that it had belonged to the Livonian Confederation; Narva was founded by Danes in the late 1200s).

    It's shocking that you didn't know this.

    :::::::::

    So in your world partition of Poland in 1939 and grabbing of Romanian, Polish areas and the Baltics was not an invasion?

    :::::::::

    Although Germany declared war against Russia first in World War I (in response to hostile Russian mobilization), conflict on the Eastern Front in that war began with a Russian invasion of Prussia.

    Sweden was an imperial power that expanded in 17th century to take over lands on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, where no Swedes have ever lived. The Second Northern War was against Swedish expansionism – so Denmark, Saxony, Poland a Russia joined forces to fight Sweden, in effect to defend their lands. Sweden invaded all the way to Poltava – deep in today’s Ukraine territory and was defeated. As always, thousands and thousands of local peasants were murdered and villages burnt to the ground (same as Napoleon or Hitler later).

    After defeat at Poltava, Sweden declined as a regional power and has been fairly contained (until the recent idiocy with migrants and submarines that indicates future trouble, they seem again unhinged and unable to act rationally).

    So, no, Russia didn’t “invade Sweden”, they defended their lands, and not a single Russian soldier has ever even stepped on Sweden’s territory.

    Hungary and Czechoslovakia in ’56 and ’68 were simply a consequence of WWII. It is idiotic to see them as separate events – 10 or 20 years after the most brutal conflict in living memory, it was hard to imagine that Russia (or Soviet Union) would simply vacate what they had won. Let me remind you that Hungary and Slovakia (not Czech R. because they were occupied) participated in the 1941 invasion of Russia with Nazis. Hungarians were very prominent. So what I said about invade-attemp genocide-lose-pay for it pattern also holds here. By the way, in both cases the conflict was largely between domestic forces, in the case of Czechoslovakia two factions of the communist party.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Sweden was an imperial power that expanded in 17th century to take over lands on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, where no Swedes have ever lived.
     
    Those lands weren't Russia however. And Russia attacked Swedish-held territory first, capturing a city that had been built by Danes and had been a part of Sweden for over 100 years.

    You stated that in 1,000 years Russia had never invaded westward. You were wrong. Admit it, and move on.

    Rather than be honest and admit it, you decide to change the goal-posts. So now a westward invasion isn't really an invasion if the territory being invaded isn't the core territory of that territory's owner.

    So we see that you are both ignorant and dishonest.


    Sweden invaded all the way to Poltava
     
    Sure, and in World War II the USSR "invaded" all the way to Berlin.

    Russia attacked Sweden first. Sweden drove into Poltava, at the invitation of the ruler of the local autonomous entity, that had only been part of Russia for about 50 years, as a consequence of Russia's attack on Sweden.


    Hungary and Czechoslovakia in ’56 and ’68 were simply a consequence of WWII. It is idiotic to see them as separate events – 10 or 20 years after the most brutal conflict in living memory, it was hard to imagine that Russia (or Soviet Union) would simply vacate what they had won.
     
    So if Russia invades Poland again it won't be a real invasion because the Cold War ended only a little more than 25 years ago?

    You can creatively find all kinds of excuses to why each of Russia's westward invasions wasn't really an invasion, but the bottom line is that you were wrong and Russia did on several occasions invade westward.

    , @Anonymous

    to take over lands on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, where no Swedes have ever lived
     
    Neither had the Russians. The truth is that Russians have lived in the Baltics in any significant numbers only starting the 1950s due to forced russification.
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  124. @AP
    OT, but a large study of religiosity in Eastern Europe has come out:

    http://www.pewforum.org/2017/05/10/religious-belief-and-national-belonging-in-central-and-eastern-europe/

    There are some non-religious questions, such as:

    "A strong Russia is necessary to counter the West"

    85% of Russians agree. As do 83% of Armenians, 80% of Serbs, 76% of Belarussians. The lowest % among Orthodox countries are Georgia and Romania - 52% each. Ukraine is the big outlier - only 22% of Ukrainians agree.

    The most pro-Russian of Catholic countries is Croatia - 50% agree. 34% of Poles and Lithuanians agree.

    Looks like Ukraine is now the most anti-Russian country in eastern Europe.

    Russians claim to be Christians now but their weekly church attendance is very low - only 6%. Serbia is just as low. Among Orthodox Ukrainians it is also low, but twice the Russian and Serb rate - 12%.* Highest rates of weekly Orthodox church-going are in Romania (21%) and Greece (17%).

    Among Ukrainian Catholics weekly church attendance is 43%, about the same as in Poland (45%). Poles and western Ukrainians are the most Christian peoples in Europe.

    *One reason why the Moscow patriarch is careful not to be too openly on Russia's side in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is because there is a disproportionate number of believers in Ukraine, even not including those who are under the non-Moscow Kiev patriarch..

    Russians claim to be Christians now but their weekly church attendance is very low – only 6%.

    There’s no contradiction between being Christian and disliking the church. In fact, according to my own observations (and some literature I read), a typical Russian (including the Ukrainian variety) is fairly religious while highly skeptical about the official church and and its priesthood. The church is (and has been) considered an arm of the state authority, the priests are nothing but greedy, pompous, and womanizing SOBs. And that’s (most likely) also the main reason for the wholesale destruction of churches and killings of priests during the civil war.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Attending Liturgy is a sacrament necessary for salvation. A Christian who doesn't make an effort to attend church is one only in words.

    Good to see you justifying the mass murder of priests by Bolsheviks. Another window into your morality.
    , @Anonymous

    In fact, according to my own observations (and some literature I read), a typical Russian (including the Ukrainian variety) is fairly religious while highly skeptical about the official church
     
    The typical Russian is secular. Please, for once, quit spreading this nonsense that Russians are religious. Yes, some are, but your typical Russian is secular. Everyone here who is ex-USSR knows this very well.
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  125. AP says:
    @Beckow
    Sweden was an imperial power that expanded in 17th century to take over lands on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, where no Swedes have ever lived. The Second Northern War was against Swedish expansionism - so Denmark, Saxony, Poland a Russia joined forces to fight Sweden, in effect to defend their lands. Sweden invaded all the way to Poltava - deep in today's Ukraine territory and was defeated. As always, thousands and thousands of local peasants were murdered and villages burnt to the ground (same as Napoleon or Hitler later).

    After defeat at Poltava, Sweden declined as a regional power and has been fairly contained (until the recent idiocy with migrants and submarines that indicates future trouble, they seem again unhinged and unable to act rationally).

    So, no, Russia didn't "invade Sweden", they defended their lands, and not a single Russian soldier has ever even stepped on Sweden's territory.

    Hungary and Czechoslovakia in '56 and '68 were simply a consequence of WWII. It is idiotic to see them as separate events - 10 or 20 years after the most brutal conflict in living memory, it was hard to imagine that Russia (or Soviet Union) would simply vacate what they had won. Let me remind you that Hungary and Slovakia (not Czech R. because they were occupied) participated in the 1941 invasion of Russia with Nazis. Hungarians were very prominent. So what I said about invade-attemp genocide-lose-pay for it pattern also holds here. By the way, in both cases the conflict was largely between domestic forces, in the case of Czechoslovakia two factions of the communist party.

    Sweden was an imperial power that expanded in 17th century to take over lands on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, where no Swedes have ever lived.

    Those lands weren’t Russia however. And Russia attacked Swedish-held territory first, capturing a city that had been built by Danes and had been a part of Sweden for over 100 years.

    You stated that in 1,000 years Russia had never invaded westward. You were wrong. Admit it, and move on.

    Rather than be honest and admit it, you decide to change the goal-posts. So now a westward invasion isn’t really an invasion if the territory being invaded isn’t the core territory of that territory’s owner.

    So we see that you are both ignorant and dishonest.

    Sweden invaded all the way to Poltava

    Sure, and in World War II the USSR “invaded” all the way to Berlin.

    Russia attacked Sweden first. Sweden drove into Poltava, at the invitation of the ruler of the local autonomous entity, that had only been part of Russia for about 50 years, as a consequence of Russia’s attack on Sweden.

    Hungary and Czechoslovakia in ’56 and ’68 were simply a consequence of WWII. It is idiotic to see them as separate events – 10 or 20 years after the most brutal conflict in living memory, it was hard to imagine that Russia (or Soviet Union) would simply vacate what they had won.

    So if Russia invades Poland again it won’t be a real invasion because the Cold War ended only a little more than 25 years ago?

    You can creatively find all kinds of excuses to why each of Russia’s westward invasions wasn’t really an invasion, but the bottom line is that you were wrong and Russia did on several occasions invade westward.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow
    The "West" has a certain meaning, and I am sorry but under no definition would Ingria qualify. Territorial outposts are colonies, as much as Cape Town wasn't "West", neither was Ingria.

    Let's be clear, no Russian soldier in 1,000 years as much as stepped on the territory of Sweden, or Denmark, UK, and most of what we understand as the West. They entered Paris, Berlin, Warsaw after - that's the key word here: AFTER - they were invaded by Napoleon, Hitler, Polish kings. So what I said absolutely holds. If the best you can come with is "Ingria" in the early 18th century, you are validating what I said.

    The post-WWII occupation of eastern Europe (not the West) was a rather understandable response to a genociadal attack on Russia in WWII in which many - if not most - of the eastern European countries participated. And, no it is not the same as the lame, no fighting Cold War - so I do not think the same would apply to today and Poland. It is just a bad analogy, the experience of WWII was nothing like the Cold War. Poland is safe (except from their own emotional imaturity).

    My point stands, it is the reality that you try so hard not to see. Russians have not invaded West unless invaded first. Let's not do this again.

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  126. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Russians claim to be Christians now but their weekly church attendance is very low – only 6%.
     
    There's no contradiction between being Christian and disliking the church. In fact, according to my own observations (and some literature I read), a typical Russian (including the Ukrainian variety) is fairly religious while highly skeptical about the official church and and its priesthood. The church is (and has been) considered an arm of the state authority, the priests are nothing but greedy, pompous, and womanizing SOBs. And that's (most likely) also the main reason for the wholesale destruction of churches and killings of priests during the civil war.

    Attending Liturgy is a sacrament necessary for salvation. A Christian who doesn’t make an effort to attend church is one only in words.

    Good to see you justifying the mass murder of priests by Bolsheviks. Another window into your morality.

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  127. @Beckow
    WWII was an inmitigated disaster. Yet, in retrospect it was inevitable. People always make mistakes during a prolonged crisis. Germans did, so did all allies. Germans' fatal mistake was to openly wage a war of extermination in the east. Russia is simply too big, has too many people willing to fight, and too few collaborators to ever be defeated when they start fighting for their existence.

    The way to defeat Russia is through flattery and feigned friendship, e.g. the 90's catastrophe with Yeltsin. It happened before a few times, always with deception by the West and never with a frontal assault. With WWII and Yeltsin in Russia's fresh memory, West will have to wait a generation or two before flattery can be tried again.

    Russia was not going to invade Germany - that's an uninformed, silly fantasy. Russia has never invaded West - not a single time in their history. They were always invaded first, and they pursued the attackers - Napoleon to Paris, Poles to Warsaw, Swedes to the Baltic sea, Ottomans all the way to Bulgaria. But the key to Russia's behavior is that in its 1,000 year history it has never invaded toward the West. It is simply not something they do, and it would make absolutely no sense. On the other hand, when attacked - as in WWII - they will push back hard. Defending has its own momentum, does anyone seriously think that Red Army could have - or should have stopped at pre-WWII borders?

    Today Russia has essentially declared that they would rather destroy the world than ever allow an invasion - or any fighting - on their territory. Where exactly are the precise borders and buffer zones is a bit fluid, but the eastern Russian speaking Ukraine is probably off limits, and also Kaliningrad.

    So let us settle in for a long crisis, this will stay about the same for decades - if we are lucky. Eventually some in the West will realize that frontal assault is a folly and offer a new 'detante' - some sincerely, others hoping that they can get another 90's like shot at defeating Russia through kindness. By then there will be a new generation in Russia itching to be allowed to wait in lines at the Eiffel Tower. The cycle might repeat. That is if we are lucky and nobody makes a catastrophic mistake. Trump is just to early for that.

    “Russia has never invaded West – not a single time in their history. They were always invaded first, and they pursued the attackers ”

    Nonsense. There was quite a bit of war to establish the border between Sweden and Novgorod but after that agreement neither side tried an expansionist invasion, though piracy was common and we lived under a constant threat of slave raiding parties. Expansionist aggression was started by the Russians under Ivan III who, after conquering the Western Russian states and cities, proceeded to try to conquer the Western non-Russian neighbors.

    Your history is exactly backwards. Sweden is a nation that was nearly strangled in its cradle by an alliance of the Danes and Muscovites and the survival against Ivan III was considered a miracle. Sweden before was a loose tribal confederation with little ability for military campaigns and the desire to turn it into a militant power was a result of being shaken to the core with fear after the emergence of Muscovite dominated Russia as an aggressive, expansionist power.

    Ivan IV resumed ambitions to expand West, though its hard to say who was the aggressor in that war since it was preceded by years of mutual low intensity hostilities. The destruction of Novgorod weakened Russia in the northwest, Ivan IV dropped dead in the middle of the war and was followed by his inept son. He left behind a succession crisis where Sweden intervened in exchange for more land. Later there were wars where Sweden was clearly the aggressor but those are ironically the ones where Sweden kept losing land instead of gaining.

    As for Russian patriotism and willingness to fight, that was at the absolute historical low at the beginning of World War II and I firmly believe that if the Germans had behaved the same way towards East Slavs as they behaved towards French, Dutch and other Westerners we would have easily won the war and the 20th century might have belonged to the right-wing. There were just so many Russians willing to switch sides in 1939. Russian soldiers were often poorly motivated in our wars but Russian prisoners offering to fight against their government and Russian exiles showing up offering to lead them never happened before.

    Finland was just too small to take up that cause and Germany had different plans.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    that was at the absolute historical low at the beginning of World War II and I firmly believe that if the Germans had behaved the same way towards East Slavs as they behaved towards French, Dutch and other Westerners we would have easily won the war and the 20th century might have belonged to the right-wing.
     
    Yes, that's the great "what if"...if the Nazis hadn't been genocidal anti-Slav racists and been more like imperial Germany in WW1, who knows what might have happened? Even as it was, there seem to have been many in Russia (not just in Ukraine and the recently annexed Baltics or Eastern Poland) who hated the Soviet system and mistakenly thought Germans would "liberate" them. Pity it turned out so differently.
    , @AP
    Beckow has revealed himself as someone who is ill-informed and who revels in foolish ideas, despite not being unintelligent.
    , @Johann Ricke

    As for Russian patriotism and willingness to fight, that was at the absolute historical low at the beginning of World War II and I firmly believe that if the Germans had behaved the same way towards East Slavs as they behaved towards French, Dutch and other Westerners we would have easily won the war and the 20th century might have belonged to the right-wing. There were just so many Russians willing to switch sides in 1939. Russian soldiers were often poorly motivated in our wars but Russian prisoners offering to fight against their government and Russian exiles showing up offering to lead them never happened before.

    Finland was just too small to take up that cause and Germany had different plans.
     
    Hitler's novel Final Solution was worse than a crime - it was a mistake. There is a reason no successful empire-builder has ever gone up Hitler's blind alley.
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  128. Beckow says:
    @AP

    Sweden was an imperial power that expanded in 17th century to take over lands on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, where no Swedes have ever lived.
     
    Those lands weren't Russia however. And Russia attacked Swedish-held territory first, capturing a city that had been built by Danes and had been a part of Sweden for over 100 years.

    You stated that in 1,000 years Russia had never invaded westward. You were wrong. Admit it, and move on.

    Rather than be honest and admit it, you decide to change the goal-posts. So now a westward invasion isn't really an invasion if the territory being invaded isn't the core territory of that territory's owner.

    So we see that you are both ignorant and dishonest.


    Sweden invaded all the way to Poltava
     
    Sure, and in World War II the USSR "invaded" all the way to Berlin.

    Russia attacked Sweden first. Sweden drove into Poltava, at the invitation of the ruler of the local autonomous entity, that had only been part of Russia for about 50 years, as a consequence of Russia's attack on Sweden.


    Hungary and Czechoslovakia in ’56 and ’68 were simply a consequence of WWII. It is idiotic to see them as separate events – 10 or 20 years after the most brutal conflict in living memory, it was hard to imagine that Russia (or Soviet Union) would simply vacate what they had won.
     
    So if Russia invades Poland again it won't be a real invasion because the Cold War ended only a little more than 25 years ago?

    You can creatively find all kinds of excuses to why each of Russia's westward invasions wasn't really an invasion, but the bottom line is that you were wrong and Russia did on several occasions invade westward.

    The “West” has a certain meaning, and I am sorry but under no definition would Ingria qualify. Territorial outposts are colonies, as much as Cape Town wasn’t “West”, neither was Ingria.

    Let’s be clear, no Russian soldier in 1,000 years as much as stepped on the territory of Sweden, or Denmark, UK, and most of what we understand as the West. They entered Paris, Berlin, Warsaw after – that’s the key word here: AFTER – they were invaded by Napoleon, Hitler, Polish kings. So what I said absolutely holds. If the best you can come with is “Ingria” in the early 18th century, you are validating what I said.

    The post-WWII occupation of eastern Europe (not the West) was a rather understandable response to a genociadal attack on Russia in WWII in which many – if not most – of the eastern European countries participated. And, no it is not the same as the lame, no fighting Cold War – so I do not think the same would apply to today and Poland. It is just a bad analogy, the experience of WWII was nothing like the Cold War. Poland is safe (except from their own emotional imaturity).

    My point stands, it is the reality that you try so hard not to see. Russians have not invaded West unless invaded first. Let’s not do this again.

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    • Agree: Cyrano
    • Replies: @AP

    The “West” has a certain meaning, and I am sorry but under no definition would Ingria qualify. Territorial outposts are colonies, as much as Cape Town wasn’t “West”, neither was Ingria.
     
    In order to cover up your mistake you try to change the meaning of what you said. Let me remind you. Your direct words:

    " But the key to Russia’s behavior is that in its 1,000 year history it has never invaded toward the West."

    Invading a Danish-built city that had been Swedish territory for over 100 years to the WEST was indeed invading toward the West.

    We have demonstrated that you are too intellectually dishonest to admit even this obvious (yet minor) mistake; everything else you claim and argue can be viewed accordingly.
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  129. @Jaakko Raipala
    "Russia has never invaded West – not a single time in their history. They were always invaded first, and they pursued the attackers "

    Nonsense. There was quite a bit of war to establish the border between Sweden and Novgorod but after that agreement neither side tried an expansionist invasion, though piracy was common and we lived under a constant threat of slave raiding parties. Expansionist aggression was started by the Russians under Ivan III who, after conquering the Western Russian states and cities, proceeded to try to conquer the Western non-Russian neighbors.

    Your history is exactly backwards. Sweden is a nation that was nearly strangled in its cradle by an alliance of the Danes and Muscovites and the survival against Ivan III was considered a miracle. Sweden before was a loose tribal confederation with little ability for military campaigns and the desire to turn it into a militant power was a result of being shaken to the core with fear after the emergence of Muscovite dominated Russia as an aggressive, expansionist power.

    Ivan IV resumed ambitions to expand West, though its hard to say who was the aggressor in that war since it was preceded by years of mutual low intensity hostilities. The destruction of Novgorod weakened Russia in the northwest, Ivan IV dropped dead in the middle of the war and was followed by his inept son. He left behind a succession crisis where Sweden intervened in exchange for more land. Later there were wars where Sweden was clearly the aggressor but those are ironically the ones where Sweden kept losing land instead of gaining.

    As for Russian patriotism and willingness to fight, that was at the absolute historical low at the beginning of World War II and I firmly believe that if the Germans had behaved the same way towards East Slavs as they behaved towards French, Dutch and other Westerners we would have easily won the war and the 20th century might have belonged to the right-wing. There were just so many Russians willing to switch sides in 1939. Russian soldiers were often poorly motivated in our wars but Russian prisoners offering to fight against their government and Russian exiles showing up offering to lead them never happened before.

    Finland was just too small to take up that cause and Germany had different plans.

    that was at the absolute historical low at the beginning of World War II and I firmly believe that if the Germans had behaved the same way towards East Slavs as they behaved towards French, Dutch and other Westerners we would have easily won the war and the 20th century might have belonged to the right-wing.

    Yes, that’s the great “what if”…if the Nazis hadn’t been genocidal anti-Slav racists and been more like imperial Germany in WW1, who knows what might have happened? Even as it was, there seem to have been many in Russia (not just in Ukraine and the recently annexed Baltics or Eastern Poland) who hated the Soviet system and mistakenly thought Germans would “liberate” them. Pity it turned out so differently.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    Even as it was, there seem to have been many in Russia (not just in Ukraine and the recently annexed Baltics or Eastern Poland) who hated the Soviet system and mistakenly thought Germans would “liberate” them.
     
    That's not how ordinary people think. They don't expect heavily armed foreigners from far-away lands to 'liberate' them from their domestic governments. People collaborate with foreign invaders in order to survive, to get money, status, other advantages, but not to be 'liberated'. Ordinary people typically aren't fools (although intellectuals often are).
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  130. @Beckow

    invade only Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia
     
    Those are - or were at that time - mostly disputed territories that had belonged to the Russian Empire for hundreds of years. And they were part of the Russian Empire because they invaded Russia and failed. Again and gain. That's what I said above, same pattern: invade Russia, lose, suffer the consequences.

    In that case Germany didn’t technically invade Poland because it used to be part of the German Empire.

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    • Replies: @AP
    And neither France nor Germany ever technically invaded each other because both had been part of the Frankish Empire of Charlemagne.
    , @Beckow
    "Germany didn’t technically invade Poland because it used to be part of the German Empire"

    If you can tell us when was Warsaw and core Poland a part of German Empire, please do so. When?

    Same goes for Russia. When was Russia a part of Denmark or Sweden or Germany? How can you justify eastern expansion? When was the last time a Russian soldier was in Sweden?

    You guys are caught lying and pretending things all the time, that shows an agenda. There was a reason why every time Germans, French, Swedes, etc... attacked east toward Russia it was a genociadial madness (like WWII). You are showing us that reason. From what I see here, you would probably act the same. Leopard doesn't change his spots. WWII was hardly an anomaly - it reflected something in your psyche. Try to get over it.

    It is better to avoid a new conflict.

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  131. @German_reader

    that was at the absolute historical low at the beginning of World War II and I firmly believe that if the Germans had behaved the same way towards East Slavs as they behaved towards French, Dutch and other Westerners we would have easily won the war and the 20th century might have belonged to the right-wing.
     
    Yes, that's the great "what if"...if the Nazis hadn't been genocidal anti-Slav racists and been more like imperial Germany in WW1, who knows what might have happened? Even as it was, there seem to have been many in Russia (not just in Ukraine and the recently annexed Baltics or Eastern Poland) who hated the Soviet system and mistakenly thought Germans would "liberate" them. Pity it turned out so differently.

    Even as it was, there seem to have been many in Russia (not just in Ukraine and the recently annexed Baltics or Eastern Poland) who hated the Soviet system and mistakenly thought Germans would “liberate” them.

    That’s not how ordinary people think. They don’t expect heavily armed foreigners from far-away lands to ‘liberate’ them from their domestic governments. People collaborate with foreign invaders in order to survive, to get money, status, other advantages, but not to be ‘liberated’. Ordinary people typically aren’t fools (although intellectuals often are).

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    Well obviously not in the sense that they thought Germans were coming to liberate them out of sheer altruism...more in the sense of "Germans weren't that bad in the last war, might be an improvement on what the Bolsheviks have been doing to the country for the last 20 years".
    Obviously any such hopes quickly died when the Germans started committing lots of atrocities and made it clear that their goal was enslavement and extermination, but still, even then there was a non-trivial amount of collaboration. But ultimately such "what if" scenarios are pointless of course.
    , @Jaakko Raipala
    The Bolsheviks were hardly a regular government and not very "domestic". Back in the days of Russian-Swedish wars if we tried to take Orthodox territory, their clergy would be ushering the resistance and Orthodoxes would start hard guerrilla campaigns against us even if they were ethnically Finnic. We of course knew that would happen but if we persecuted Orthodox clergy the locals became even more resistant.

    This time was different and our harsh treatment of Bolsheviks did not really get the locals outraged the same way killing their priests historically did. The government was an imposition, not something to identify with. Pre-Bolshevik Russia had a very good immune system against foreign invaders and Orthodoxes never needed to be threatened by the state to stay loyal against us. That no longer existed.
    , @AP

    That’s not how ordinary people think. They don’t expect heavily armed foreigners from far-away lands to ‘liberate’ them from their domestic governments.
     
    You are the last person to guess about how ordinary people think.

    A lot of people didn't think of the Bolshevik gang as their domestic government. There were mass surrenders, and many cases of locals greeting the Germans as liberators early on, before the Germans revealed themselves.
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  132. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Even as it was, there seem to have been many in Russia (not just in Ukraine and the recently annexed Baltics or Eastern Poland) who hated the Soviet system and mistakenly thought Germans would “liberate” them.
     
    That's not how ordinary people think. They don't expect heavily armed foreigners from far-away lands to 'liberate' them from their domestic governments. People collaborate with foreign invaders in order to survive, to get money, status, other advantages, but not to be 'liberated'. Ordinary people typically aren't fools (although intellectuals often are).

    Well obviously not in the sense that they thought Germans were coming to liberate them out of sheer altruism…more in the sense of “Germans weren’t that bad in the last war, might be an improvement on what the Bolsheviks have been doing to the country for the last 20 years”.
    Obviously any such hopes quickly died when the Germans started committing lots of atrocities and made it clear that their goal was enslavement and extermination, but still, even then there was a non-trivial amount of collaboration. But ultimately such “what if” scenarios are pointless of course.

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  133. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Even as it was, there seem to have been many in Russia (not just in Ukraine and the recently annexed Baltics or Eastern Poland) who hated the Soviet system and mistakenly thought Germans would “liberate” them.
     
    That's not how ordinary people think. They don't expect heavily armed foreigners from far-away lands to 'liberate' them from their domestic governments. People collaborate with foreign invaders in order to survive, to get money, status, other advantages, but not to be 'liberated'. Ordinary people typically aren't fools (although intellectuals often are).

    The Bolsheviks were hardly a regular government and not very “domestic”. Back in the days of Russian-Swedish wars if we tried to take Orthodox territory, their clergy would be ushering the resistance and Orthodoxes would start hard guerrilla campaigns against us even if they were ethnically Finnic. We of course knew that would happen but if we persecuted Orthodox clergy the locals became even more resistant.

    This time was different and our harsh treatment of Bolsheviks did not really get the locals outraged the same way killing their priests historically did. The government was an imposition, not something to identify with. Pre-Bolshevik Russia had a very good immune system against foreign invaders and Orthodoxes never needed to be threatened by the state to stay loyal against us. That no longer existed.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    The government was an imposition, not something to identify with.
     
    Nah, I'm pretty sure the government was very much something to identify with. The royalty, the aristocracy gone, the priests gone, even the over-ideologized idealist revolutionaries (bolsheviks) gone.

    It was, more or less, government 'of the people by the people for the people', where those from the humblest backgrounds enjoyed the highest priority. Like never before. As the man said, according to St. Matthew: 'many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.'
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  134. AP says:
    @Jaakko Raipala
    "Russia has never invaded West – not a single time in their history. They were always invaded first, and they pursued the attackers "

    Nonsense. There was quite a bit of war to establish the border between Sweden and Novgorod but after that agreement neither side tried an expansionist invasion, though piracy was common and we lived under a constant threat of slave raiding parties. Expansionist aggression was started by the Russians under Ivan III who, after conquering the Western Russian states and cities, proceeded to try to conquer the Western non-Russian neighbors.

    Your history is exactly backwards. Sweden is a nation that was nearly strangled in its cradle by an alliance of the Danes and Muscovites and the survival against Ivan III was considered a miracle. Sweden before was a loose tribal confederation with little ability for military campaigns and the desire to turn it into a militant power was a result of being shaken to the core with fear after the emergence of Muscovite dominated Russia as an aggressive, expansionist power.

    Ivan IV resumed ambitions to expand West, though its hard to say who was the aggressor in that war since it was preceded by years of mutual low intensity hostilities. The destruction of Novgorod weakened Russia in the northwest, Ivan IV dropped dead in the middle of the war and was followed by his inept son. He left behind a succession crisis where Sweden intervened in exchange for more land. Later there were wars where Sweden was clearly the aggressor but those are ironically the ones where Sweden kept losing land instead of gaining.

    As for Russian patriotism and willingness to fight, that was at the absolute historical low at the beginning of World War II and I firmly believe that if the Germans had behaved the same way towards East Slavs as they behaved towards French, Dutch and other Westerners we would have easily won the war and the 20th century might have belonged to the right-wing. There were just so many Russians willing to switch sides in 1939. Russian soldiers were often poorly motivated in our wars but Russian prisoners offering to fight against their government and Russian exiles showing up offering to lead them never happened before.

    Finland was just too small to take up that cause and Germany had different plans.

    Beckow has revealed himself as someone who is ill-informed and who revels in foolish ideas, despite not being unintelligent.

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  135. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Even as it was, there seem to have been many in Russia (not just in Ukraine and the recently annexed Baltics or Eastern Poland) who hated the Soviet system and mistakenly thought Germans would “liberate” them.
     
    That's not how ordinary people think. They don't expect heavily armed foreigners from far-away lands to 'liberate' them from their domestic governments. People collaborate with foreign invaders in order to survive, to get money, status, other advantages, but not to be 'liberated'. Ordinary people typically aren't fools (although intellectuals often are).

    That’s not how ordinary people think. They don’t expect heavily armed foreigners from far-away lands to ‘liberate’ them from their domestic governments.

    You are the last person to guess about how ordinary people think.

    A lot of people didn’t think of the Bolshevik gang as their domestic government. There were mass surrenders, and many cases of locals greeting the Germans as liberators early on, before the Germans revealed themselves.

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  136. AP says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome
    In that case Germany didn't technically invade Poland because it used to be part of the German Empire.

    And neither France nor Germany ever technically invaded each other because both had been part of the Frankish Empire of Charlemagne.

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  137. AP says:
    @Beckow
    The "West" has a certain meaning, and I am sorry but under no definition would Ingria qualify. Territorial outposts are colonies, as much as Cape Town wasn't "West", neither was Ingria.

    Let's be clear, no Russian soldier in 1,000 years as much as stepped on the territory of Sweden, or Denmark, UK, and most of what we understand as the West. They entered Paris, Berlin, Warsaw after - that's the key word here: AFTER - they were invaded by Napoleon, Hitler, Polish kings. So what I said absolutely holds. If the best you can come with is "Ingria" in the early 18th century, you are validating what I said.

    The post-WWII occupation of eastern Europe (not the West) was a rather understandable response to a genociadal attack on Russia in WWII in which many - if not most - of the eastern European countries participated. And, no it is not the same as the lame, no fighting Cold War - so I do not think the same would apply to today and Poland. It is just a bad analogy, the experience of WWII was nothing like the Cold War. Poland is safe (except from their own emotional imaturity).

    My point stands, it is the reality that you try so hard not to see. Russians have not invaded West unless invaded first. Let's not do this again.

    The “West” has a certain meaning, and I am sorry but under no definition would Ingria qualify. Territorial outposts are colonies, as much as Cape Town wasn’t “West”, neither was Ingria.

    In order to cover up your mistake you try to change the meaning of what you said. Let me remind you. Your direct words:

    ” But the key to Russia’s behavior is that in its 1,000 year history it has never invaded toward the West.

    Invading a Danish-built city that had been Swedish territory for over 100 years to the WEST was indeed invading toward the West.

    We have demonstrated that you are too intellectually dishonest to admit even this obvious (yet minor) mistake; everything else you claim and argue can be viewed accordingly.

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    • Replies: @Beckow

    "Invading a Danish-built city that had been Swedish territory for over 100 years to the WEST was indeed invading toward the West"
     
    If you say so. And if you really believe that your minutia obsession with Ingria 300 plus years ago is 'honest', we are probably wasting time here.

    Let's quantify your argument. The Ingria fort accounts for less than 1% of wars between the West and Russia. A lot less, but let's give you that 1%. The Hungary-Czechoslovakia after WWII are another 1-2% each - they were understandable after WWII attack on Russia, but these are modern times and especially Czechoslovakia in 1968 was clearly stupid. Not violent, mind you - only about 50 people died mostly in accidents - but it was a huge Russian blunder.

    So we have a 1,000 year West-Russian history where minimally 95% of attacks, invasions and probably close to 90% of the killing and pillage was done by the West. Again and again. WWII was a bloody culmination of this long-term history. Now we have new agitation to try it again - in spite of having a few billion more real invaders from the south and east (yes, I know they 'enrich' us, whatever). Is 95% enough for you? But if you would rather dream about liberating a 16th century Danish fort in Ingria, well, contra gustos no hay disputas.

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  138. Beckow says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome
    In that case Germany didn't technically invade Poland because it used to be part of the German Empire.

    “Germany didn’t technically invade Poland because it used to be part of the German Empire”

    If you can tell us when was Warsaw and core Poland a part of German Empire, please do so. When?

    Same goes for Russia. When was Russia a part of Denmark or Sweden or Germany? How can you justify eastern expansion? When was the last time a Russian soldier was in Sweden?

    You guys are caught lying and pretending things all the time, that shows an agenda. There was a reason why every time Germans, French, Swedes, etc… attacked east toward Russia it was a genociadial madness (like WWII). You are showing us that reason. From what I see here, you would probably act the same. Leopard doesn’t change his spots. WWII was hardly an anomaly – it reflected something in your psyche. Try to get over it.

    It is better to avoid a new conflict.

    Read More
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  139. Beckow says:
    @AP

    The “West” has a certain meaning, and I am sorry but under no definition would Ingria qualify. Territorial outposts are colonies, as much as Cape Town wasn’t “West”, neither was Ingria.
     
    In order to cover up your mistake you try to change the meaning of what you said. Let me remind you. Your direct words:

    " But the key to Russia’s behavior is that in its 1,000 year history it has never invaded toward the West."

    Invading a Danish-built city that had been Swedish territory for over 100 years to the WEST was indeed invading toward the West.

    We have demonstrated that you are too intellectually dishonest to admit even this obvious (yet minor) mistake; everything else you claim and argue can be viewed accordingly.

    “Invading a Danish-built city that had been Swedish territory for over 100 years to the WEST was indeed invading toward the West”

    If you say so. And if you really believe that your minutia obsession with Ingria 300 plus years ago is ‘honest’, we are probably wasting time here.

    Let’s quantify your argument. The Ingria fort accounts for less than 1% of wars between the West and Russia. A lot less, but let’s give you that 1%. The Hungary-Czechoslovakia after WWII are another 1-2% each – they were understandable after WWII attack on Russia, but these are modern times and especially Czechoslovakia in 1968 was clearly stupid. Not violent, mind you – only about 50 people died mostly in accidents – but it was a huge Russian blunder.

    So we have a 1,000 year West-Russian history where minimally 95% of attacks, invasions and probably close to 90% of the killing and pillage was done by the West. Again and again. WWII was a bloody culmination of this long-term history. Now we have new agitation to try it again – in spite of having a few billion more real invaders from the south and east (yes, I know they ‘enrich’ us, whatever). Is 95% enough for you? But if you would rather dream about liberating a 16th century Danish fort in Ingria, well, contra gustos no hay disputas.

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    • Replies: @AP

    If you say so. And if you really believe that your minutia obsession with Ingria 300 plus years ago is ‘honest’, we are probably wasting time here.
     
    Russia attacked Sweden and took Narva. It grabbed other Baltic territories upon which it built its new capital. Are you suggesting that it would have ended there, had not Sweden stopped Russia and then gone into Russia, before ultimately being defeated?

    The Ingria fort accounts for less than 1% of wars between the West and Russia.
     
    The Great Northern War, that began with Russia's attack on Sweden and invasion westward into Swedish territory, was a significant war. It ended with Russia grabbing the Baltic regions.

    Here is your intellectual dishonesty at work, again.

    Charles XII's "invasion" of Russian territory was like the USSR's "invasion" of German territory - a reaction to being attacked - with the difference being that Peter's Russia was able to successfully defeat the enemy on its own territory while Germany did not do this.

    So we have a 1,000 year West-Russian history where minimally 95% of attacks, invasions and probably close to 90% of the killing and pillage was done by the West.
     
    Of the five major wars involving foreign troops on Russian soil (conflict with Poland, Sweden, France and Germany twice) one began as a result of a Russian attack and invasion of a Western country's territory.

    So 80%.

    And the first world war was rather tricky. Germany did declare war first, but it was in response to aggressive Russian mobilization, and Russia actually invaded Prussia before the German counterattacked. So probably neither side ought to be considered an aggressor there, and perhaps the reality is closer to 75% (1 in 4 invasions were of Russia westward).

    But it's good that against your will you are forced to move closer to the truth.

    Oh by the way, we did not even discuss the Finnish War, where in 1808 Russia attacked Sweden and stole Finland.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_War

    On February 21, 1808, 24,000 Russian troops under Friedrich Wilhelm von Buxhoevden crossed the border. Since Klingspor had not arrived Lieutenant General Karl Nathanael af Klercker acted as Swedish commander in Finland. He was notified of the Russian invasion already on 21 February and since it was impossible to hold the predefined defense lines as the army had not yet fully assembled he ordered the army to assemble at Tavastehus. Before the engagement started Klingspor finally arrived on 2 March and assumed command. Instead of facing the Russians at Tavastehus he ordered the army to withdraw. In Savolax the Russians also forced the Swedes to withdraw.[7] The king was quite unprepared for the attack, especially as war was not declared until April. About 21,000 Swedish troops were stationed in various fortresses in Finland, while the rest of his army was unable to leave southern Sweden for fear of Danish attack.

    The Russian advance was swift. On the first day of the war they had captured the town of Lovisa and besieged the Swedish seafortress of Svartholm. Borgå was captured on 24 February and Helsingfors on 2 March. Abandoned Swedish fortifications Hangö Peninsula were taken and manned on 21 March and on the same day the Russian army took Åbo while a small detachment was sent to Åland. Before the end of March 1808 even Vasa was taken. In Savolax Russians also advanced rapidly and took Kuopio on 16 March. Swedish forces had mostly just withdrawn before the advancing Russian often destroying usable materials. For example, the Swedish archipelago fleets ships that been docked in Åbo (nearly 50 gun sloops) were torched to prevent their capture.[7]
     
    , @Jaakko Raipala
    Again, will you give some explanation as to why the first attempt at state territorial expansion after borders had been agreed to was a Russian invasion of Sweden:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Swedish_War_(1495%E2%80%9397)

    The initial border treaty between Sweden and Novgorod held for 272 years without either side attempting to expand through war, though Novgorod raided us for slaves, local Finnic tribes continued conflicts without caring about the border and so on. The first *272 years* of state neighborhood between Sweden and Russia in the form of Novgorod were spent without either side invading in an attempt to annex a bit of the other.

    That kind of an expansionist power first appeared in the scene in the form of Muscovite Russia that first conquered Novgorod and the other Western Russian cities and then tried to conquer its Western non-Russian neighbors. This was devastating for us as Russian troops penetrated deep into what was then Sweden and what had never been a part of any form of Russia and burned down towns, destroyed churches and carried off survivors as slaves.

    Your claims of Sweden being an aggressive military power and Russia needing to respond to that are a complete reversal of the history. The militant Sweden emerged as a reaction to the rise of Moscow and their aggressively expansionist version of Russia that replaced the unloving but stable neighborship with Novgorod that had lasted three centuries. At the time of Ivan III Sweden was barely a state, it was a loose tribal confederation de facto and sometimes de jure dominated by Danes, and it didn't even have the logistical capability to hold the territories it had gained while pursuing the Russian invaders to Ivangorod.

    After the miraculous survival it became a priority to develop Sweden into a real state that would be actually capable of the kind of competent campaigns that were already standard for the Muscovites. When Ivan IV resumed ambitions to expand West, Sweden was better prepared and actually both sides pushed for war, Sweden got the best of that and then Russia had a period of weakness between the death of Ivan IV and the rise of the Romanovs.

    You keep talking about "1000 years of history" but you still start looking at history from the point barely centuries ago when Sweden was already a militant great power. If you just keep cutting off your evaluation of history at a point that best fits your narrative you can claim just about anything.
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  140. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Russians claim to be Christians now but their weekly church attendance is very low – only 6%.
     
    There's no contradiction between being Christian and disliking the church. In fact, according to my own observations (and some literature I read), a typical Russian (including the Ukrainian variety) is fairly religious while highly skeptical about the official church and and its priesthood. The church is (and has been) considered an arm of the state authority, the priests are nothing but greedy, pompous, and womanizing SOBs. And that's (most likely) also the main reason for the wholesale destruction of churches and killings of priests during the civil war.

    In fact, according to my own observations (and some literature I read), a typical Russian (including the Ukrainian variety) is fairly religious while highly skeptical about the official church

    The typical Russian is secular. Please, for once, quit spreading this nonsense that Russians are religious. Yes, some are, but your typical Russian is secular. Everyone here who is ex-USSR knows this very well.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    The typical Russian is secular.
     
    Indeed they were secular during the Soviet times, but it's been 27 years since then. I imagine it had to change somewhat. Most of those I know these days, I believe they have internalized Orthodox Christianity as their traditional creed. Sans the silly rituals.
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  141. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Beckow
    Sweden was an imperial power that expanded in 17th century to take over lands on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, where no Swedes have ever lived. The Second Northern War was against Swedish expansionism - so Denmark, Saxony, Poland a Russia joined forces to fight Sweden, in effect to defend their lands. Sweden invaded all the way to Poltava - deep in today's Ukraine territory and was defeated. As always, thousands and thousands of local peasants were murdered and villages burnt to the ground (same as Napoleon or Hitler later).

    After defeat at Poltava, Sweden declined as a regional power and has been fairly contained (until the recent idiocy with migrants and submarines that indicates future trouble, they seem again unhinged and unable to act rationally).

    So, no, Russia didn't "invade Sweden", they defended their lands, and not a single Russian soldier has ever even stepped on Sweden's territory.

    Hungary and Czechoslovakia in '56 and '68 were simply a consequence of WWII. It is idiotic to see them as separate events - 10 or 20 years after the most brutal conflict in living memory, it was hard to imagine that Russia (or Soviet Union) would simply vacate what they had won. Let me remind you that Hungary and Slovakia (not Czech R. because they were occupied) participated in the 1941 invasion of Russia with Nazis. Hungarians were very prominent. So what I said about invade-attemp genocide-lose-pay for it pattern also holds here. By the way, in both cases the conflict was largely between domestic forces, in the case of Czechoslovakia two factions of the communist party.

    to take over lands on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, where no Swedes have ever lived

    Neither had the Russians. The truth is that Russians have lived in the Baltics in any significant numbers only starting the 1950s due to forced russification.

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    • Replies: @Beckow

    "truth is that Russians have lived in the Baltics in any significant numbers only starting the 1950s"
     
    Well, not really. St. Petersburg is from 18th century and is on the Baltic shore. Riga and other large cities had 10-20% Russian populations in late 19th century (see census reports on wiki). And Novgorod, Narva or Pskov have been Russian for hundreds of years. Certainly Pskov is closer to east baltic than Stockholm.

    But what are you suggesting? Should Russian Baltic populations leave? Should they vacate St Petersburg? Or should the 40-45% Russian 'minority' in Riga or Tallin pack up and go east of Urals?

    You are driven by emotions, dislike or low level hatred. But the reality on the ground there - and the history of that region - don't support what you want. Unless you just want another war.
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  142. Beckow says:
    @Anonymous

    to take over lands on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, where no Swedes have ever lived
     
    Neither had the Russians. The truth is that Russians have lived in the Baltics in any significant numbers only starting the 1950s due to forced russification.

    “truth is that Russians have lived in the Baltics in any significant numbers only starting the 1950s”

    Well, not really. St. Petersburg is from 18th century and is on the Baltic shore. Riga and other large cities had 10-20% Russian populations in late 19th century (see census reports on wiki). And Novgorod, Narva or Pskov have been Russian for hundreds of years. Certainly Pskov is closer to east baltic than Stockholm.

    But what are you suggesting? Should Russian Baltic populations leave? Should they vacate St Petersburg? Or should the 40-45% Russian ‘minority’ in Riga or Tallin pack up and go east of Urals?

    You are driven by emotions, dislike or low level hatred. But the reality on the ground there – and the history of that region – don’t support what you want. Unless you just want another war.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    No, the fact remains, that when it comes to the Baltic states (I am not talking about Pskov here), the Russians have not lived there in significant numbers historically - that is in reply to what you said about the Swedes having not lived there and using that as some sort of an argument when the same can be said about Russians. The very recent russification (illegal resettlement of Russians to the Baltics) was unjust, as much as you'd like to deny that (yes, there were some Russians in Riga, but the overall percentage of Russians in Latvia, for instance, prior to the 1950s was under 10%).. And, no, neither the Swedes nor Russians should live there in large numbers. But that wasn't the point of the conversation, you're veering again.
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  143. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Beckow

    "truth is that Russians have lived in the Baltics in any significant numbers only starting the 1950s"
     
    Well, not really. St. Petersburg is from 18th century and is on the Baltic shore. Riga and other large cities had 10-20% Russian populations in late 19th century (see census reports on wiki). And Novgorod, Narva or Pskov have been Russian for hundreds of years. Certainly Pskov is closer to east baltic than Stockholm.

    But what are you suggesting? Should Russian Baltic populations leave? Should they vacate St Petersburg? Or should the 40-45% Russian 'minority' in Riga or Tallin pack up and go east of Urals?

    You are driven by emotions, dislike or low level hatred. But the reality on the ground there - and the history of that region - don't support what you want. Unless you just want another war.

    No, the fact remains, that when it comes to the Baltic states (I am not talking about Pskov here), the Russians have not lived there in significant numbers historically – that is in reply to what you said about the Swedes having not lived there and using that as some sort of an argument when the same can be said about Russians. The very recent russification (illegal resettlement of Russians to the Baltics) was unjust, as much as you’d like to deny that (yes, there were some Russians in Riga, but the overall percentage of Russians in Latvia, for instance, prior to the 1950s was under 10%).. And, no, neither the Swedes nor Russians should live there in large numbers. But that wasn’t the point of the conversation, you’re veering again.

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    • Replies: @Beckow
    You said:

    “truth is that Russians have lived in the Baltics in any significant numbers only starting the 1950s”
     
    I responded that simply isn't true. I poined out St Petersburg - the largest Baltic city by far, etc... Then you countered with "not significant". I don't know, e.g. in 1910 Riga was already 12% Russian and over 20% Russian speaking. You must have a different understanding of what is 'significant'. E.g. blacks in US are only 13%, or Germans in Belgium, Basques in Spain or France, or Swedes in Finland are only 7-8% - all fully recognized minorities.

    You also say that the additional movement of Russians to Baltics was "illegal". How so? Are Poles moving to UK "illegal"? Turks in Germany? Or the millions upon millions of people who move around? Why are only - and only - Russians considered "illegal"?

    You make no sense. Let me remind you that we are talking about EU, EU standards and laws, it appears that none of that applies in your mind to Russians. You cannot win this one - sooner or later the Baltics states will be multi-national as they were in the past, and then how are you goung to explain these discriminatory views?

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  144. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    D0n’t be silly, Beckow – nobody needs Pskov or St.Pete.

    It is in fact Russia and Russians themselves that earn for Western investment and oil drilling technology.

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  145. @Jaakko Raipala
    The Bolsheviks were hardly a regular government and not very "domestic". Back in the days of Russian-Swedish wars if we tried to take Orthodox territory, their clergy would be ushering the resistance and Orthodoxes would start hard guerrilla campaigns against us even if they were ethnically Finnic. We of course knew that would happen but if we persecuted Orthodox clergy the locals became even more resistant.

    This time was different and our harsh treatment of Bolsheviks did not really get the locals outraged the same way killing their priests historically did. The government was an imposition, not something to identify with. Pre-Bolshevik Russia had a very good immune system against foreign invaders and Orthodoxes never needed to be threatened by the state to stay loyal against us. That no longer existed.

    The government was an imposition, not something to identify with.

    Nah, I’m pretty sure the government was very much something to identify with. The royalty, the aristocracy gone, the priests gone, even the over-ideologized idealist revolutionaries (bolsheviks) gone.

    It was, more or less, government ‘of the people by the people for the people’, where those from the humblest backgrounds enjoyed the highest priority. Like never before. As the man said, according to St. Matthew: ‘many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.’

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    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    Well, it wasn't. We threw communists in their own prison camps (or often just shot them) and the majority reacted with either apathy or glee.

    This never happened when Russia was an Orthodox country. Even if the local priest was an asshole, he was a representative of an ancestral identity that most deeply identified with and some Swede or Finn invader coming in to abuse him would rally the locals in defense of their identity against the invader. Few people identified with communists bosses and the popular guerrilla resistance that we always found when occupying literally the same places with Swedes was not there, there was just the minority communist resistance that they also had in France etc.
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  146. Beckow says:
    @Anonymous
    No, the fact remains, that when it comes to the Baltic states (I am not talking about Pskov here), the Russians have not lived there in significant numbers historically - that is in reply to what you said about the Swedes having not lived there and using that as some sort of an argument when the same can be said about Russians. The very recent russification (illegal resettlement of Russians to the Baltics) was unjust, as much as you'd like to deny that (yes, there were some Russians in Riga, but the overall percentage of Russians in Latvia, for instance, prior to the 1950s was under 10%).. And, no, neither the Swedes nor Russians should live there in large numbers. But that wasn't the point of the conversation, you're veering again.

    You said:

    “truth is that Russians have lived in the Baltics in any significant numbers only starting the 1950s”

    I responded that simply isn’t true. I poined out St Petersburg – the largest Baltic city by far, etc… Then you countered with “not significant”. I don’t know, e.g. in 1910 Riga was already 12% Russian and over 20% Russian speaking. You must have a different understanding of what is ‘significant’. E.g. blacks in US are only 13%, or Germans in Belgium, Basques in Spain or France, or Swedes in Finland are only 7-8% – all fully recognized minorities.

    You also say that the additional movement of Russians to Baltics was “illegal”. How so? Are Poles moving to UK “illegal”? Turks in Germany? Or the millions upon millions of people who move around? Why are only – and only – Russians considered “illegal”?

    You make no sense. Let me remind you that we are talking about EU, EU standards and laws, it appears that none of that applies in your mind to Russians. You cannot win this one – sooner or later the Baltics states will be multi-national as they were in the past, and then how are you goung to explain these discriminatory views?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Sorry, I must've missed something in the initial argument but it seemed that you said something about Swedes not having lived in the Baltic area so they have no claim to it but somehow the Russians do, and then I said, no, because they haven't lived there historically in large numbers anyway- I didn't realize you meant St.Pete. As I said, who needs St Pete (except the Russians themselves).

    Anyway, I was talking about the current Baltic states (or former Livonia and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). Russians have not lived there in large enough numbers.

    And you know darn well what I was implying - that flooding colonized lands (such as the Baltic countries after 1945) with huge masses of colonists is not legal under international law. The French left Algeria (were expelled) but the Balts were too meek to expel Russians or didn't wish to (unlike Azeris, Chechens, and other former Soviet nationalities who literally pushed the Russians out physically after 1991).

    That you compare the Soviet Union's policy that way to the EU Polish migration means... you are either ignorant or are just playing dumb. Anyone that compares the EU to the Soviet Union... I just can't take them seriously. And, no, the Baltic states will not become more "multi-national" as you imply, in fact, the trend is the other way. But I digress.. as I said... there is no agenda to invade Pskov or St Pete - the agenda is to weaken the Russian influence in the region, like AP implied, (and no, that doesn't include Pskov or St Pete in this case) not to invade Russia. I also highly, highly doubt that Americans will have any real means to invade Russia through the Baltic region (even if they wanted to), hitting from the south might even be more possible (not that I recommend, ofc). As I said, who needs to invade these days? There are buffers everywhere in place already as a result of WW2, plus there are missiles. Plus, Russia is yearning for Western capital and technology, did you miss that?

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  147. @Anonymous

    In fact, according to my own observations (and some literature I read), a typical Russian (including the Ukrainian variety) is fairly religious while highly skeptical about the official church
     
    The typical Russian is secular. Please, for once, quit spreading this nonsense that Russians are religious. Yes, some are, but your typical Russian is secular. Everyone here who is ex-USSR knows this very well.

    The typical Russian is secular.

    Indeed they were secular during the Soviet times, but it’s been 27 years since then. I imagine it had to change somewhat. Most of those I know these days, I believe they have internalized Orthodox Christianity as their traditional creed. Sans the silly rituals.

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  148. @Mao Cheng Ji

    The government was an imposition, not something to identify with.
     
    Nah, I'm pretty sure the government was very much something to identify with. The royalty, the aristocracy gone, the priests gone, even the over-ideologized idealist revolutionaries (bolsheviks) gone.

    It was, more or less, government 'of the people by the people for the people', where those from the humblest backgrounds enjoyed the highest priority. Like never before. As the man said, according to St. Matthew: 'many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.'

    Well, it wasn’t. We threw communists in their own prison camps (or often just shot them) and the majority reacted with either apathy or glee.

    This never happened when Russia was an Orthodox country. Even if the local priest was an asshole, he was a representative of an ancestral identity that most deeply identified with and some Swede or Finn invader coming in to abuse him would rally the locals in defense of their identity against the invader. Few people identified with communists bosses and the popular guerrilla resistance that we always found when occupying literally the same places with Swedes was not there, there was just the minority communist resistance that they also had in France etc.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    Well, it wasn’t. We threw communists in their own prison camps (or often just shot them) and the majority reacted with either apathy or glee.
     
    Who's 'we' - Finland? Why, sure, in Finland communists lost the civil war. But had they won, they would've been executing the upper-class and their minions, with majority reacting with even more glee, I'm sure. This is neither here nor there.

    there was just the minority communist resistance that they also had in France etc.
     
    Hmm, I don't know, in France PCF was very powerful, after the war. Maurice Thorez, and all. The most popular party, I believe. In Italy as well. Yes, Americans won in the end, but for a while it wasn't all that obvious. And it was, most likely, the main reason for the Marshall Plan and NATO.
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  149. AP says:
    @Beckow

    "Invading a Danish-built city that had been Swedish territory for over 100 years to the WEST was indeed invading toward the West"
     
    If you say so. And if you really believe that your minutia obsession with Ingria 300 plus years ago is 'honest', we are probably wasting time here.

    Let's quantify your argument. The Ingria fort accounts for less than 1% of wars between the West and Russia. A lot less, but let's give you that 1%. The Hungary-Czechoslovakia after WWII are another 1-2% each - they were understandable after WWII attack on Russia, but these are modern times and especially Czechoslovakia in 1968 was clearly stupid. Not violent, mind you - only about 50 people died mostly in accidents - but it was a huge Russian blunder.

    So we have a 1,000 year West-Russian history where minimally 95% of attacks, invasions and probably close to 90% of the killing and pillage was done by the West. Again and again. WWII was a bloody culmination of this long-term history. Now we have new agitation to try it again - in spite of having a few billion more real invaders from the south and east (yes, I know they 'enrich' us, whatever). Is 95% enough for you? But if you would rather dream about liberating a 16th century Danish fort in Ingria, well, contra gustos no hay disputas.

    If you say so. And if you really believe that your minutia obsession with Ingria 300 plus years ago is ‘honest’, we are probably wasting time here.

    Russia attacked Sweden and took Narva. It grabbed other Baltic territories upon which it built its new capital. Are you suggesting that it would have ended there, had not Sweden stopped Russia and then gone into Russia, before ultimately being defeated?

    The Ingria fort accounts for less than 1% of wars between the West and Russia.

    The Great Northern War, that began with Russia’s attack on Sweden and invasion westward into Swedish territory, was a significant war. It ended with Russia grabbing the Baltic regions.

    Here is your intellectual dishonesty at work, again.

    Charles XII’s “invasion” of Russian territory was like the USSR’s “invasion” of German territory – a reaction to being attacked – with the difference being that Peter’s Russia was able to successfully defeat the enemy on its own territory while Germany did not do this.

    So we have a 1,000 year West-Russian history where minimally 95% of attacks, invasions and probably close to 90% of the killing and pillage was done by the West.

    Of the five major wars involving foreign troops on Russian soil (conflict with Poland, Sweden, France and Germany twice) one began as a result of a Russian attack and invasion of a Western country’s territory.

    So 80%.

    And the first world war was rather tricky. Germany did declare war first, but it was in response to aggressive Russian mobilization, and Russia actually invaded Prussia before the German counterattacked. So probably neither side ought to be considered an aggressor there, and perhaps the reality is closer to 75% (1 in 4 invasions were of Russia westward).

    But it’s good that against your will you are forced to move closer to the truth.

    Oh by the way, we did not even discuss the Finnish War, where in 1808 Russia attacked Sweden and stole Finland.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_War

    On February 21, 1808, 24,000 Russian troops under Friedrich Wilhelm von Buxhoevden crossed the border. Since Klingspor had not arrived Lieutenant General Karl Nathanael af Klercker acted as Swedish commander in Finland. He was notified of the Russian invasion already on 21 February and since it was impossible to hold the predefined defense lines as the army had not yet fully assembled he ordered the army to assemble at Tavastehus. Before the engagement started Klingspor finally arrived on 2 March and assumed command. Instead of facing the Russians at Tavastehus he ordered the army to withdraw. In Savolax the Russians also forced the Swedes to withdraw.[7] The king was quite unprepared for the attack, especially as war was not declared until April. About 21,000 Swedish troops were stationed in various fortresses in Finland, while the rest of his army was unable to leave southern Sweden for fear of Danish attack.

    The Russian advance was swift. On the first day of the war they had captured the town of Lovisa and besieged the Swedish seafortress of Svartholm. Borgå was captured on 24 February and Helsingfors on 2 March. Abandoned Swedish fortifications Hangö Peninsula were taken and manned on 21 March and on the same day the Russian army took Åbo while a small detachment was sent to Åland. Before the end of March 1808 even Vasa was taken. In Savolax Russians also advanced rapidly and took Kuopio on 16 March. Swedish forces had mostly just withdrawn before the advancing Russian often destroying usable materials. For example, the Swedish archipelago fleets ships that been docked in Åbo (nearly 50 gun sloops) were torched to prevent their capture.[7]

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    • Replies: @Beckow
    Let's clarify the numbers. First of all there were closer to 10 major invasions of Russia from the West (or wars). There was Crimean war in 1850's (yes, Britain, France, Turkey invaded together that time), there were a number of Ottoman wars assisted by Western allies, Poland invaded twice, Germans invaded 3-4 times starting with German crusade in 13th century, Teutonic Knights, etc... There were 1918-19 Western interventions.

    They were not all equal in brutality and importance - WWII, Napoleon and the Polish invasions were in a class of their own.

    So if you take the full list of invasions/wars and if we assume that Sweden were "defending" themselves at Poltava (bullshit, but whatever), and if you assign proper weight to each (WWII 2-3 times more significant), you end up with rougly my estimate: 95% of attacks, invasions and probably close to 90% of the killing and pillage was done by the West.

    That's reality. Those who try to lie about it, minimize it, etc... those people have an agenda. That agenda I am afraid is not too far from what was driving Germans in WWII. You will be known by the company you keep....

    All of this is rather pointless, since I am convinced if there is another attempt at invading Russia from the West, we will all be gone very quickly, with not much time to make intellectual or historical points. But if Swedes are still sore about "Ingria", who van help them? I think they should worry less about Ingria and a bit more about some Stockholm suburbs and the demographic replacement that is taking place there. But I guess it is so much more pleasant to just worry about the evil "Russians"....

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  150. @Jaakko Raipala
    Well, it wasn't. We threw communists in their own prison camps (or often just shot them) and the majority reacted with either apathy or glee.

    This never happened when Russia was an Orthodox country. Even if the local priest was an asshole, he was a representative of an ancestral identity that most deeply identified with and some Swede or Finn invader coming in to abuse him would rally the locals in defense of their identity against the invader. Few people identified with communists bosses and the popular guerrilla resistance that we always found when occupying literally the same places with Swedes was not there, there was just the minority communist resistance that they also had in France etc.

    Well, it wasn’t. We threw communists in their own prison camps (or often just shot them) and the majority reacted with either apathy or glee.

    Who’s ‘we’ – Finland? Why, sure, in Finland communists lost the civil war. But had they won, they would’ve been executing the upper-class and their minions, with majority reacting with even more glee, I’m sure. This is neither here nor there.

    there was just the minority communist resistance that they also had in France etc.

    Hmm, I don’t know, in France PCF was very powerful, after the war. Maurice Thorez, and all. The most popular party, I believe. In Italy as well. Yes, Americans won in the end, but for a while it wasn’t all that obvious. And it was, most likely, the main reason for the Marshall Plan and NATO.

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  151. @Beckow

    "Invading a Danish-built city that had been Swedish territory for over 100 years to the WEST was indeed invading toward the West"
     
    If you say so. And if you really believe that your minutia obsession with Ingria 300 plus years ago is 'honest', we are probably wasting time here.

    Let's quantify your argument. The Ingria fort accounts for less than 1% of wars between the West and Russia. A lot less, but let's give you that 1%. The Hungary-Czechoslovakia after WWII are another 1-2% each - they were understandable after WWII attack on Russia, but these are modern times and especially Czechoslovakia in 1968 was clearly stupid. Not violent, mind you - only about 50 people died mostly in accidents - but it was a huge Russian blunder.

    So we have a 1,000 year West-Russian history where minimally 95% of attacks, invasions and probably close to 90% of the killing and pillage was done by the West. Again and again. WWII was a bloody culmination of this long-term history. Now we have new agitation to try it again - in spite of having a few billion more real invaders from the south and east (yes, I know they 'enrich' us, whatever). Is 95% enough for you? But if you would rather dream about liberating a 16th century Danish fort in Ingria, well, contra gustos no hay disputas.

    Again, will you give some explanation as to why the first attempt at state territorial expansion after borders had been agreed to was a Russian invasion of Sweden:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Swedish_War_(1495%E2%80%9397)

    The initial border treaty between Sweden and Novgorod held for 272 years without either side attempting to expand through war, though Novgorod raided us for slaves, local Finnic tribes continued conflicts without caring about the border and so on. The first *272 years* of state neighborhood between Sweden and Russia in the form of Novgorod were spent without either side invading in an attempt to annex a bit of the other.

    That kind of an expansionist power first appeared in the scene in the form of Muscovite Russia that first conquered Novgorod and the other Western Russian cities and then tried to conquer its Western non-Russian neighbors. This was devastating for us as Russian troops penetrated deep into what was then Sweden and what had never been a part of any form of Russia and burned down towns, destroyed churches and carried off survivors as slaves.

    Your claims of Sweden being an aggressive military power and Russia needing to respond to that are a complete reversal of the history. The militant Sweden emerged as a reaction to the rise of Moscow and their aggressively expansionist version of Russia that replaced the unloving but stable neighborship with Novgorod that had lasted three centuries. At the time of Ivan III Sweden was barely a state, it was a loose tribal confederation de facto and sometimes de jure dominated by Danes, and it didn’t even have the logistical capability to hold the territories it had gained while pursuing the Russian invaders to Ivangorod.

    After the miraculous survival it became a priority to develop Sweden into a real state that would be actually capable of the kind of competent campaigns that were already standard for the Muscovites. When Ivan IV resumed ambitions to expand West, Sweden was better prepared and actually both sides pushed for war, Sweden got the best of that and then Russia had a period of weakness between the death of Ivan IV and the rise of the Romanovs.

    You keep talking about “1000 years of history” but you still start looking at history from the point barely centuries ago when Sweden was already a militant great power. If you just keep cutting off your evaluation of history at a point that best fits your narrative you can claim just about anything.

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  152. Beckow says:
    @AP

    If you say so. And if you really believe that your minutia obsession with Ingria 300 plus years ago is ‘honest’, we are probably wasting time here.
     
    Russia attacked Sweden and took Narva. It grabbed other Baltic territories upon which it built its new capital. Are you suggesting that it would have ended there, had not Sweden stopped Russia and then gone into Russia, before ultimately being defeated?

    The Ingria fort accounts for less than 1% of wars between the West and Russia.
     
    The Great Northern War, that began with Russia's attack on Sweden and invasion westward into Swedish territory, was a significant war. It ended with Russia grabbing the Baltic regions.

    Here is your intellectual dishonesty at work, again.

    Charles XII's "invasion" of Russian territory was like the USSR's "invasion" of German territory - a reaction to being attacked - with the difference being that Peter's Russia was able to successfully defeat the enemy on its own territory while Germany did not do this.

    So we have a 1,000 year West-Russian history where minimally 95% of attacks, invasions and probably close to 90% of the killing and pillage was done by the West.
     
    Of the five major wars involving foreign troops on Russian soil (conflict with Poland, Sweden, France and Germany twice) one began as a result of a Russian attack and invasion of a Western country's territory.

    So 80%.

    And the first world war was rather tricky. Germany did declare war first, but it was in response to aggressive Russian mobilization, and Russia actually invaded Prussia before the German counterattacked. So probably neither side ought to be considered an aggressor there, and perhaps the reality is closer to 75% (1 in 4 invasions were of Russia westward).

    But it's good that against your will you are forced to move closer to the truth.

    Oh by the way, we did not even discuss the Finnish War, where in 1808 Russia attacked Sweden and stole Finland.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_War

    On February 21, 1808, 24,000 Russian troops under Friedrich Wilhelm von Buxhoevden crossed the border. Since Klingspor had not arrived Lieutenant General Karl Nathanael af Klercker acted as Swedish commander in Finland. He was notified of the Russian invasion already on 21 February and since it was impossible to hold the predefined defense lines as the army had not yet fully assembled he ordered the army to assemble at Tavastehus. Before the engagement started Klingspor finally arrived on 2 March and assumed command. Instead of facing the Russians at Tavastehus he ordered the army to withdraw. In Savolax the Russians also forced the Swedes to withdraw.[7] The king was quite unprepared for the attack, especially as war was not declared until April. About 21,000 Swedish troops were stationed in various fortresses in Finland, while the rest of his army was unable to leave southern Sweden for fear of Danish attack.

    The Russian advance was swift. On the first day of the war they had captured the town of Lovisa and besieged the Swedish seafortress of Svartholm. Borgå was captured on 24 February and Helsingfors on 2 March. Abandoned Swedish fortifications Hangö Peninsula were taken and manned on 21 March and on the same day the Russian army took Åbo while a small detachment was sent to Åland. Before the end of March 1808 even Vasa was taken. In Savolax Russians also advanced rapidly and took Kuopio on 16 March. Swedish forces had mostly just withdrawn before the advancing Russian often destroying usable materials. For example, the Swedish archipelago fleets ships that been docked in Åbo (nearly 50 gun sloops) were torched to prevent their capture.[7]
     

    Let’s clarify the numbers. First of all there were closer to 10 major invasions of Russia from the West (or wars). There was Crimean war in 1850′s (yes, Britain, France, Turkey invaded together that time), there were a number of Ottoman wars assisted by Western allies, Poland invaded twice, Germans invaded 3-4 times starting with German crusade in 13th century, Teutonic Knights, etc… There were 1918-19 Western interventions.

    They were not all equal in brutality and importance – WWII, Napoleon and the Polish invasions were in a class of their own.

    So if you take the full list of invasions/wars and if we assume that Sweden were “defending” themselves at Poltava (bullshit, but whatever), and if you assign proper weight to each (WWII 2-3 times more significant), you end up with rougly my estimate: 95% of attacks, invasions and probably close to 90% of the killing and pillage was done by the West.

    That’s reality. Those who try to lie about it, minimize it, etc… those people have an agenda. That agenda I am afraid is not too far from what was driving Germans in WWII. You will be known by the company you keep….

    All of this is rather pointless, since I am convinced if there is another attempt at invading Russia from the West, we will all be gone very quickly, with not much time to make intellectual or historical points. But if Swedes are still sore about “Ingria”, who van help them? I think they should worry less about Ingria and a bit more about some Stockholm suburbs and the demographic replacement that is taking place there. But I guess it is so much more pleasant to just worry about the evil “Russians”….

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    • Replies: @AP

    Let’s clarify the numbers. First of all there were closer to 10 major invasions of Russia from the West (or wars). There was Crimean war in 1850′s (yes, Britain, France, Turkey invaded together that time)
     
    In your intellectual dishonesty you claim that Russia attacking Sweden and grabbing a city that had been Swedish for over 100 years wasn't really an invasion, but describe attacking Crimea (much further from Moscow or St. Pete than Narva is from Stockholm - Narva to Stockholm 650 km; Sevastopol to Moscow 1480 km), Russian less than 80 years, as a "major invasion."

    Poland invaded twice
     
    Not all of the Polish-Russian wars from centuries ago were Polish invasions of Russia. Indeed, it looked like those Russian-Polish wars began with Russia invading westward first:

    Look at all of this 16th century Russian aggression against the West:

    https://www.britannica.com/event/Livonian-War


    Livonian War, (1558–83), prolonged military conflict, during which Russia unsuccessfully fought Poland, Lithuania, and Sweden for control of greater Livonia—the area including Estonia, Livonia, Courland, and the island of Oesel—which was ruled by the Livonian branch of the Teutonic Knights (Order of the Brothers of the Sword).

    In 1558 Ivan IV of Russia invaded Livonia, hoping to gain access to the Baltic Sea and to take advantage of the weakness of the Livonian Knights; he seized Narva and Dorpat and besieged Reval. The Knights, unable to withstand the Russian attack, dissolved their Order (1561); they placed Livonia proper under Lithuanian protection and gave Courland to Poland, Estonia to Sweden, and Oesel to Denmark.

    Ivan was then obliged to wage war against Sweden and Lithuania to retain his conquests in Livonia. Initially successful, the Russians captured Polotsk, in Lithuanian Belorussia (1563), and occupied Lithuanian territory up to Vilna. In 1566 the Russian zemsky sobor (“assembly of the land”) refused a Lithuanian peace proposal. But as the war progressed, Russia’s position deteriorated; during the 1560s Russia experienced severe internal social and economic disruptions while Lithuania became stronger, forming a political union with Poland (1569) and acquiring a new king, Stephen Báthory (1576).

    Báthory launched a series of campaigns against Russia, recapturing Polotsk (1579) and laying siege to Pskov. In 1582 Russia and Lithuania agreed upon a peace settlement (Peace of Yam Zapolsky), whereby Russia returned all the Lithuanian territory it had captured and renounced its claims to Livonia. In 1583 Russia also made peace with Sweden, surrendering several Russian towns along the Gulf of Finland (its only access to the Baltic Sea) and giving up its claims to Estonia.
     

    So the series of Polish-Russian wars began with a Russian invasion westward.

    And that wasn't Russia's only invasion westward. In response to a rebellion within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Russia invaded in support of the rebels, in 1654. During Polish civil wars Russia invaded Poland in 1734 and 1768.

    The real question about you, Beckow, is to what degree are you ignorant and to what degree you are dishonest.

    Setting aside Beckow's personal and moral shortcomings, a pattern in these invasions seems to emerge: whenever one side is stronger or more unified and senses that the other is weak and divided, it strikes. Usually the West has been stronger and there have been more invasions from the West, but whenever the reverse was true Russia was quick to try to take advantage, as we see when it invaded the Baltics in the 16th century and invaded Swedish territory when a 14 year old boy ascended Sweden's throne. Or Ukraine currently.

    It would seem that the best way to prevent Russian aggression is to have Russia be weaker than its neighbors, and the best way of preventing Western aggression it to keep the West weak and divided. Both sides seem to be pursuing policies to that effect.

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  153. AP says:
    @Beckow
    Let's clarify the numbers. First of all there were closer to 10 major invasions of Russia from the West (or wars). There was Crimean war in 1850's (yes, Britain, France, Turkey invaded together that time), there were a number of Ottoman wars assisted by Western allies, Poland invaded twice, Germans invaded 3-4 times starting with German crusade in 13th century, Teutonic Knights, etc... There were 1918-19 Western interventions.

    They were not all equal in brutality and importance - WWII, Napoleon and the Polish invasions were in a class of their own.

    So if you take the full list of invasions/wars and if we assume that Sweden were "defending" themselves at Poltava (bullshit, but whatever), and if you assign proper weight to each (WWII 2-3 times more significant), you end up with rougly my estimate: 95% of attacks, invasions and probably close to 90% of the killing and pillage was done by the West.

    That's reality. Those who try to lie about it, minimize it, etc... those people have an agenda. That agenda I am afraid is not too far from what was driving Germans in WWII. You will be known by the company you keep....

    All of this is rather pointless, since I am convinced if there is another attempt at invading Russia from the West, we will all be gone very quickly, with not much time to make intellectual or historical points. But if Swedes are still sore about "Ingria", who van help them? I think they should worry less about Ingria and a bit more about some Stockholm suburbs and the demographic replacement that is taking place there. But I guess it is so much more pleasant to just worry about the evil "Russians"....

    Let’s clarify the numbers. First of all there were closer to 10 major invasions of Russia from the West (or wars). There was Crimean war in 1850′s (yes, Britain, France, Turkey invaded together that time)

    In your intellectual dishonesty you claim that Russia attacking Sweden and grabbing a city that had been Swedish for over 100 years wasn’t really an invasion, but describe attacking Crimea (much further from Moscow or St. Pete than Narva is from Stockholm – Narva to Stockholm 650 km; Sevastopol to Moscow 1480 km), Russian less than 80 years, as a “major invasion.”

    Poland invaded twice

    Not all of the Polish-Russian wars from centuries ago were Polish invasions of Russia. Indeed, it looked like those Russian-Polish wars began with Russia invading westward first:

    Look at all of this 16th century Russian aggression against the West:

    https://www.britannica.com/event/Livonian-War

    Livonian War, (1558–83), prolonged military conflict, during which Russia unsuccessfully fought Poland, Lithuania, and Sweden for control of greater Livonia—the area including Estonia, Livonia, Courland, and the island of Oesel—which was ruled by the Livonian branch of the Teutonic Knights (Order of the Brothers of the Sword).

    In 1558 Ivan IV of Russia invaded Livonia, hoping to gain access to the Baltic Sea and to take advantage of the weakness of the Livonian Knights; he seized Narva and Dorpat and besieged Reval. The Knights, unable to withstand the Russian attack, dissolved their Order (1561); they placed Livonia proper under Lithuanian protection and gave Courland to Poland, Estonia to Sweden, and Oesel to Denmark.

    Ivan was then obliged to wage war against Sweden and Lithuania to retain his conquests in Livonia. Initially successful, the Russians captured Polotsk, in Lithuanian Belorussia (1563), and occupied Lithuanian territory up to Vilna. In 1566 the Russian zemsky sobor (“assembly of the land”) refused a Lithuanian peace proposal. But as the war progressed, Russia’s position deteriorated; during the 1560s Russia experienced severe internal social and economic disruptions while Lithuania became stronger, forming a political union with Poland (1569) and acquiring a new king, Stephen Báthory (1576).

    Báthory launched a series of campaigns against Russia, recapturing Polotsk (1579) and laying siege to Pskov. In 1582 Russia and Lithuania agreed upon a peace settlement (Peace of Yam Zapolsky), whereby Russia returned all the Lithuanian territory it had captured and renounced its claims to Livonia. In 1583 Russia also made peace with Sweden, surrendering several Russian towns along the Gulf of Finland (its only access to the Baltic Sea) and giving up its claims to Estonia.

    So the series of Polish-Russian wars began with a Russian invasion westward.

    And that wasn’t Russia’s only invasion westward. In response to a rebellion within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Russia invaded in support of the rebels, in 1654. During Polish civil wars Russia invaded Poland in 1734 and 1768.

    The real question about you, Beckow, is to what degree are you ignorant and to what degree you are dishonest.

    Setting aside Beckow’s personal and moral shortcomings, a pattern in these invasions seems to emerge: whenever one side is stronger or more unified and senses that the other is weak and divided, it strikes. Usually the West has been stronger and there have been more invasions from the West, but whenever the reverse was true Russia was quick to try to take advantage, as we see when it invaded the Baltics in the 16th century and invaded Swedish territory when a 14 year old boy ascended Sweden’s throne. Or Ukraine currently.

    It would seem that the best way to prevent Russian aggression is to have Russia be weaker than its neighbors, and the best way of preventing Western aggression it to keep the West weak and divided. Both sides seem to be pursuing policies to that effect.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow
    Could you skip the ad hominem attacks? They subtract from your points.

    None of your points refutes what I said: 95% or so of Russia-West wars were Western invasions of Russia.


    "best way to prevent Russian aggression is to have Russia be weaker than its neighbors, and the best way of preventing Western aggression it to keep the West weak and divided"
     
    That's a circular argument - you can reverse it and replace Russia with West and vice versa and it works equally well. I am also not sure what "weak" means with a nuclear power. As we perish, the "strong" will mock the "weak", or drive better cars?

    West is never as divided as it might appear when it comes to Russia. Let me remind you that WWII, Napoleon, Crimean war, etc... all had long lists of Western countries joining together to attack Russia. West is not divided and Russia is not weak.

    Based on 1,000 years of experience it is very unlikely Russia would invade West. It would also make absolutely no sense. If there is a war it will be because some people in the West just cannot help themselves to try 'one more time', or because of some huge miscalculation. Then we all die.

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  154. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Beckow
    You said:

    “truth is that Russians have lived in the Baltics in any significant numbers only starting the 1950s”
     
    I responded that simply isn't true. I poined out St Petersburg - the largest Baltic city by far, etc... Then you countered with "not significant". I don't know, e.g. in 1910 Riga was already 12% Russian and over 20% Russian speaking. You must have a different understanding of what is 'significant'. E.g. blacks in US are only 13%, or Germans in Belgium, Basques in Spain or France, or Swedes in Finland are only 7-8% - all fully recognized minorities.

    You also say that the additional movement of Russians to Baltics was "illegal". How so? Are Poles moving to UK "illegal"? Turks in Germany? Or the millions upon millions of people who move around? Why are only - and only - Russians considered "illegal"?

    You make no sense. Let me remind you that we are talking about EU, EU standards and laws, it appears that none of that applies in your mind to Russians. You cannot win this one - sooner or later the Baltics states will be multi-national as they were in the past, and then how are you goung to explain these discriminatory views?

    Sorry, I must’ve missed something in the initial argument but it seemed that you said something about Swedes not having lived in the Baltic area so they have no claim to it but somehow the Russians do, and then I said, no, because they haven’t lived there historically in large numbers anyway- I didn’t realize you meant St.Pete. As I said, who needs St Pete (except the Russians themselves).

    Anyway, I was talking about the current Baltic states (or former Livonia and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). Russians have not lived there in large enough numbers.

    And you know darn well what I was implying – that flooding colonized lands (such as the Baltic countries after 1945) with huge masses of colonists is not legal under international law. The French left Algeria (were expelled) but the Balts were too meek to expel Russians or didn’t wish to (unlike Azeris, Chechens, and other former Soviet nationalities who literally pushed the Russians out physically after 1991).

    That you compare the Soviet Union’s policy that way to the EU Polish migration means… you are either ignorant or are just playing dumb. Anyone that compares the EU to the Soviet Union… I just can’t take them seriously. And, no, the Baltic states will not become more “multi-national” as you imply, in fact, the trend is the other way. But I digress.. as I said… there is no agenda to invade Pskov or St Pete – the agenda is to weaken the Russian influence in the region, like AP implied, (and no, that doesn’t include Pskov or St Pete in this case) not to invade Russia. I also highly, highly doubt that Americans will have any real means to invade Russia through the Baltic region (even if they wanted to), hitting from the south might even be more possible (not that I recommend, ofc). As I said, who needs to invade these days? There are buffers everywhere in place already as a result of WW2, plus there are missiles. Plus, Russia is yearning for Western capital and technology, did you miss that?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    In any case he's completely wrong about Swedes not living there before Russians as well. All the shores of the Baltic Sea always had scattered Swedish populations, even if the inland was Finnic or Baltic, and that was true long before Sweden as a state existed and before Slavs even started migrating to the region. All the first recorded towns in northwest Russia are Scandinavian. Even before that, there's plentiful evidence of the Germanic predecessors of Scandinavians like Goths running around preserved as influence in Finnic languages and archaeological finds.

    And the even older layer is of course Finnic and the pre-Russian population of these areas was mostly Finnic tribes with Scandinavian outposts along rivers and lakes along the route from the Baltic Sea to the Volga. The mouth of the Neva (where St Peterburg is today) became a battleground in the initial fight for control between Sweden and Novgorod and the centers of trade moved to more secure locations that were more firmly under the control of either side. The area only had some Finnic peasants for a big chunk of the middle ages but as far as merely having your ethnic group show up makes some sort of a claim, the priority claim to the area is clearly Finnic first, Scandinavian second and Slavic last.

    Of course making territorial claims based on Viking Age ethnic distribution would be more than a bit silly but if since the guy is making a big deal about "1000 years", "NEVER lived there" it is fair to point out that he's completely wrong about everything.

    , @Mao Cheng Ji

    And you know darn well what I was implying – that flooding colonized lands (such as the Baltic countries after 1945) with huge masses of colonists is not legal under international law.
     
    This is absurd. Baltic "countries" were not colonies, they were republics of the USSR, with the same status as RSFSR or Armenia or Ukraine, or any other republic. Their populations were 100% equal citizens of the USSR, no different from any other Soviet republic. They were all citizens of the Soviet Union, all with an equal right to move freely inside the USSR and settle in any Soviet republic of their choice. You're just blowing hot air here, I'm afraid.
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  155. Beckow says:
    @AP

    Let’s clarify the numbers. First of all there were closer to 10 major invasions of Russia from the West (or wars). There was Crimean war in 1850′s (yes, Britain, France, Turkey invaded together that time)
     
    In your intellectual dishonesty you claim that Russia attacking Sweden and grabbing a city that had been Swedish for over 100 years wasn't really an invasion, but describe attacking Crimea (much further from Moscow or St. Pete than Narva is from Stockholm - Narva to Stockholm 650 km; Sevastopol to Moscow 1480 km), Russian less than 80 years, as a "major invasion."

    Poland invaded twice
     
    Not all of the Polish-Russian wars from centuries ago were Polish invasions of Russia. Indeed, it looked like those Russian-Polish wars began with Russia invading westward first:

    Look at all of this 16th century Russian aggression against the West:

    https://www.britannica.com/event/Livonian-War


    Livonian War, (1558–83), prolonged military conflict, during which Russia unsuccessfully fought Poland, Lithuania, and Sweden for control of greater Livonia—the area including Estonia, Livonia, Courland, and the island of Oesel—which was ruled by the Livonian branch of the Teutonic Knights (Order of the Brothers of the Sword).

    In 1558 Ivan IV of Russia invaded Livonia, hoping to gain access to the Baltic Sea and to take advantage of the weakness of the Livonian Knights; he seized Narva and Dorpat and besieged Reval. The Knights, unable to withstand the Russian attack, dissolved their Order (1561); they placed Livonia proper under Lithuanian protection and gave Courland to Poland, Estonia to Sweden, and Oesel to Denmark.

    Ivan was then obliged to wage war against Sweden and Lithuania to retain his conquests in Livonia. Initially successful, the Russians captured Polotsk, in Lithuanian Belorussia (1563), and occupied Lithuanian territory up to Vilna. In 1566 the Russian zemsky sobor (“assembly of the land”) refused a Lithuanian peace proposal. But as the war progressed, Russia’s position deteriorated; during the 1560s Russia experienced severe internal social and economic disruptions while Lithuania became stronger, forming a political union with Poland (1569) and acquiring a new king, Stephen Báthory (1576).

    Báthory launched a series of campaigns against Russia, recapturing Polotsk (1579) and laying siege to Pskov. In 1582 Russia and Lithuania agreed upon a peace settlement (Peace of Yam Zapolsky), whereby Russia returned all the Lithuanian territory it had captured and renounced its claims to Livonia. In 1583 Russia also made peace with Sweden, surrendering several Russian towns along the Gulf of Finland (its only access to the Baltic Sea) and giving up its claims to Estonia.
     

    So the series of Polish-Russian wars began with a Russian invasion westward.

    And that wasn't Russia's only invasion westward. In response to a rebellion within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Russia invaded in support of the rebels, in 1654. During Polish civil wars Russia invaded Poland in 1734 and 1768.

    The real question about you, Beckow, is to what degree are you ignorant and to what degree you are dishonest.

    Setting aside Beckow's personal and moral shortcomings, a pattern in these invasions seems to emerge: whenever one side is stronger or more unified and senses that the other is weak and divided, it strikes. Usually the West has been stronger and there have been more invasions from the West, but whenever the reverse was true Russia was quick to try to take advantage, as we see when it invaded the Baltics in the 16th century and invaded Swedish territory when a 14 year old boy ascended Sweden's throne. Or Ukraine currently.

    It would seem that the best way to prevent Russian aggression is to have Russia be weaker than its neighbors, and the best way of preventing Western aggression it to keep the West weak and divided. Both sides seem to be pursuing policies to that effect.

    Could you skip the ad hominem attacks? They subtract from your points.

    None of your points refutes what I said: 95% or so of Russia-West wars were Western invasions of Russia.

    “best way to prevent Russian aggression is to have Russia be weaker than its neighbors, and the best way of preventing Western aggression it to keep the West weak and divided”

    That’s a circular argument – you can reverse it and replace Russia with West and vice versa and it works equally well. I am also not sure what “weak” means with a nuclear power. As we perish, the “strong” will mock the “weak”, or drive better cars?

    West is never as divided as it might appear when it comes to Russia. Let me remind you that WWII, Napoleon, Crimean war, etc… all had long lists of Western countries joining together to attack Russia. West is not divided and Russia is not weak.

    Based on 1,000 years of experience it is very unlikely Russia would invade West. It would also make absolutely no sense. If there is a war it will be because some people in the West just cannot help themselves to try ‘one more time’, or because of some huge miscalculation. Then we all die.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    None of your points refutes what I said: 95% or so of Russia-West wars were Western invasions of Russia.
     
    Well, in the course of this discussion I and others have pointed out to you that:

    Russia began the Polish-Russian wars with its invasion of Baltic lands, including occupying Vilnius, in the 16th century before being driven back.

    Russia began the Great Northern War with Sweden by invading Swedish-held territory in the Baltics and seizing Narva, a city 200 km closer to Stockholm than it is to Moscow.

    Russia invaded Poland in 1734 and 1768.

    Russia attacked Sweden in 1808, stealing Finland.

    Given that you have access to this information, yet state the nonsense "None of your points refutes what I said: 95% or so of Russia-West wars were Western invasions of Russia" I think we can conclude that you are dishonest more than you are ignorant.
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  156. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    a pattern in these invasions seems to emerge: whenever one side is stronger or more unified and senses that the other is weak and divided, it strikes. Usually the West has been stronger and there have been more invasions from the West, but whenever the reverse was true Russia was quick to try to take advantage

    Reading this made me think that this is almost similar to the old British / Spanish rivalries and the rivalries between big European countries, and look at things now – those have been laid to rest. Maybe this will (or could) happen with Russia and Eastern Europe, too, in the future? Ukraine being the last one of such events (sad as it is). But that these relationships could eventually change.

    Read More
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  157. @Anonymous
    Sorry, I must've missed something in the initial argument but it seemed that you said something about Swedes not having lived in the Baltic area so they have no claim to it but somehow the Russians do, and then I said, no, because they haven't lived there historically in large numbers anyway- I didn't realize you meant St.Pete. As I said, who needs St Pete (except the Russians themselves).

    Anyway, I was talking about the current Baltic states (or former Livonia and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). Russians have not lived there in large enough numbers.

    And you know darn well what I was implying - that flooding colonized lands (such as the Baltic countries after 1945) with huge masses of colonists is not legal under international law. The French left Algeria (were expelled) but the Balts were too meek to expel Russians or didn't wish to (unlike Azeris, Chechens, and other former Soviet nationalities who literally pushed the Russians out physically after 1991).

    That you compare the Soviet Union's policy that way to the EU Polish migration means... you are either ignorant or are just playing dumb. Anyone that compares the EU to the Soviet Union... I just can't take them seriously. And, no, the Baltic states will not become more "multi-national" as you imply, in fact, the trend is the other way. But I digress.. as I said... there is no agenda to invade Pskov or St Pete - the agenda is to weaken the Russian influence in the region, like AP implied, (and no, that doesn't include Pskov or St Pete in this case) not to invade Russia. I also highly, highly doubt that Americans will have any real means to invade Russia through the Baltic region (even if they wanted to), hitting from the south might even be more possible (not that I recommend, ofc). As I said, who needs to invade these days? There are buffers everywhere in place already as a result of WW2, plus there are missiles. Plus, Russia is yearning for Western capital and technology, did you miss that?

    In any case he’s completely wrong about Swedes not living there before Russians as well. All the shores of the Baltic Sea always had scattered Swedish populations, even if the inland was Finnic or Baltic, and that was true long before Sweden as a state existed and before Slavs even started migrating to the region. All the first recorded towns in northwest Russia are Scandinavian. Even before that, there’s plentiful evidence of the Germanic predecessors of Scandinavians like Goths running around preserved as influence in Finnic languages and archaeological finds.

    And the even older layer is of course Finnic and the pre-Russian population of these areas was mostly Finnic tribes with Scandinavian outposts along rivers and lakes along the route from the Baltic Sea to the Volga. The mouth of the Neva (where St Peterburg is today) became a battleground in the initial fight for control between Sweden and Novgorod and the centers of trade moved to more secure locations that were more firmly under the control of either side. The area only had some Finnic peasants for a big chunk of the middle ages but as far as merely having your ethnic group show up makes some sort of a claim, the priority claim to the area is clearly Finnic first, Scandinavian second and Slavic last.

    Of course making territorial claims based on Viking Age ethnic distribution would be more than a bit silly but if since the guy is making a big deal about “1000 years”, “NEVER lived there” it is fair to point out that he’s completely wrong about everything.

    Read More
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  158. @Anonymous
    Sorry, I must've missed something in the initial argument but it seemed that you said something about Swedes not having lived in the Baltic area so they have no claim to it but somehow the Russians do, and then I said, no, because they haven't lived there historically in large numbers anyway- I didn't realize you meant St.Pete. As I said, who needs St Pete (except the Russians themselves).

    Anyway, I was talking about the current Baltic states (or former Livonia and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). Russians have not lived there in large enough numbers.

    And you know darn well what I was implying - that flooding colonized lands (such as the Baltic countries after 1945) with huge masses of colonists is not legal under international law. The French left Algeria (were expelled) but the Balts were too meek to expel Russians or didn't wish to (unlike Azeris, Chechens, and other former Soviet nationalities who literally pushed the Russians out physically after 1991).

    That you compare the Soviet Union's policy that way to the EU Polish migration means... you are either ignorant or are just playing dumb. Anyone that compares the EU to the Soviet Union... I just can't take them seriously. And, no, the Baltic states will not become more "multi-national" as you imply, in fact, the trend is the other way. But I digress.. as I said... there is no agenda to invade Pskov or St Pete - the agenda is to weaken the Russian influence in the region, like AP implied, (and no, that doesn't include Pskov or St Pete in this case) not to invade Russia. I also highly, highly doubt that Americans will have any real means to invade Russia through the Baltic region (even if they wanted to), hitting from the south might even be more possible (not that I recommend, ofc). As I said, who needs to invade these days? There are buffers everywhere in place already as a result of WW2, plus there are missiles. Plus, Russia is yearning for Western capital and technology, did you miss that?

    And you know darn well what I was implying – that flooding colonized lands (such as the Baltic countries after 1945) with huge masses of colonists is not legal under international law.

    This is absurd. Baltic “countries” were not colonies, they were republics of the USSR, with the same status as RSFSR or Armenia or Ukraine, or any other republic. Their populations were 100% equal citizens of the USSR, no different from any other Soviet republic. They were all citizens of the Soviet Union, all with an equal right to move freely inside the USSR and settle in any Soviet republic of their choice. You’re just blowing hot air here, I’m afraid.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    all with an equal right to move freely inside the USSR and settle in any Soviet republic of their choice
     
    I think it was a bit more complicated. The USSR wasn't that big on freedom of movement for all of its citizens to any of its cities. Besides, the government ran the economy, it could make sure people were moving here or there.

    all with an equal right to move freely inside the USSR and settle in any Soviet republic of their choice
     
    Also, isn't it like saying Africans are not flooding Europe, and there's no reason for Europeans to complain about it, because Europeans could just as easily move to Africa?
    , @German_reader
    Don't be silly, there were mass deportations to the Gulag from the Baltic states after 1944, and there was an intentional programme of Russification. That's in line with what had happened during the Soviet occupation in 1940/41 (e.g. in Latvia only the leadership of the Latvian communists were ethnic Latvians, the vast mass of members were Russians and Jews). Soviet rule was a foreign imposition on the Baltic states and there was a deliberate attempt to secure it by re-engineering the demographic composition of the population.
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  159. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    And you know darn well what I was implying – that flooding colonized lands (such as the Baltic countries after 1945) with huge masses of colonists is not legal under international law.
     
    This is absurd. Baltic "countries" were not colonies, they were republics of the USSR, with the same status as RSFSR or Armenia or Ukraine, or any other republic. Their populations were 100% equal citizens of the USSR, no different from any other Soviet republic. They were all citizens of the Soviet Union, all with an equal right to move freely inside the USSR and settle in any Soviet republic of their choice. You're just blowing hot air here, I'm afraid.

    all with an equal right to move freely inside the USSR and settle in any Soviet republic of their choice

    I think it was a bit more complicated. The USSR wasn’t that big on freedom of movement for all of its citizens to any of its cities. Besides, the government ran the economy, it could make sure people were moving here or there.

    all with an equal right to move freely inside the USSR and settle in any Soviet republic of their choice

    Also, isn’t it like saying Africans are not flooding Europe, and there’s no reason for Europeans to complain about it, because Europeans could just as easily move to Africa?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    Also, isn’t it like saying Africans are not flooding Europe, and there’s no reason for Europeans to complain about it, because Europeans could just as easily move to Africa?
     
    No, it's nothing like that. It's more like saying that Alsace is a colony, and French citizens from outside Alsace moving and settling there are "masses of colonists not legal under international law".
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  160. @Mao Cheng Ji

    And you know darn well what I was implying – that flooding colonized lands (such as the Baltic countries after 1945) with huge masses of colonists is not legal under international law.
     
    This is absurd. Baltic "countries" were not colonies, they were republics of the USSR, with the same status as RSFSR or Armenia or Ukraine, or any other republic. Their populations were 100% equal citizens of the USSR, no different from any other Soviet republic. They were all citizens of the Soviet Union, all with an equal right to move freely inside the USSR and settle in any Soviet republic of their choice. You're just blowing hot air here, I'm afraid.

    Don’t be silly, there were mass deportations to the Gulag from the Baltic states after 1944, and there was an intentional programme of Russification. That’s in line with what had happened during the Soviet occupation in 1940/41 (e.g. in Latvia only the leadership of the Latvian communists were ethnic Latvians, the vast mass of members were Russians and Jews). Soviet rule was a foreign imposition on the Baltic states and there was a deliberate attempt to secure it by re-engineering the demographic composition of the population.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Thanks for answering it for me. The reason I brought it up was because Beckow (and others here) talk about the Russian presence in the region, but forget to add the above mentioned, important context (some Soviets literally walked into apartments formerly owned by Latvians who had just been deported, with table cloths still covering tables and women's gowns left in the wardrobes by previous owners)..
    , @Mao Cheng Ji

    Don’t be silly, there were mass deportations to the Gulag from the Baltic states after 1944
     
    "deportations to the Gulag" is not a thing.

    1944 was in the middle of the most brutal war in history, a lot of things could happen in 1944. But none of these things - or, for that matter, any other things - makes any of the Soviet republics a 'colony'. Because it's just absurd; read my lips: ab-surd.

    Of course you can complain about the Soviet governments all you want, and about the governments of the Soviet Baltic republics too, that's fine. There's no government on earth, and has never been, that is not hated by someone, some group of people.
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  161. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @German_reader
    Don't be silly, there were mass deportations to the Gulag from the Baltic states after 1944, and there was an intentional programme of Russification. That's in line with what had happened during the Soviet occupation in 1940/41 (e.g. in Latvia only the leadership of the Latvian communists were ethnic Latvians, the vast mass of members were Russians and Jews). Soviet rule was a foreign imposition on the Baltic states and there was a deliberate attempt to secure it by re-engineering the demographic composition of the population.

    Thanks for answering it for me. The reason I brought it up was because Beckow (and others here) talk about the Russian presence in the region, but forget to add the above mentioned, important context (some Soviets literally walked into apartments formerly owned by Latvians who had just been deported, with table cloths still covering tables and women’s gowns left in the wardrobes by previous owners)..

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  162. Max Payne says:
    @Beckow
    "Enemy at the Gates" was an outlier - it got almost no publicity or distribution. One can cynically think that it was made for the purpose of being able to mention it when someone says that Hollywood has totally misrepresented WWII. Nobody saw it and it had zero impact on culture.

    The movie is also very dark, very unheroic, "two sides" to all issues. Germans are human, not Nazis (maybe realistic, but different from the usual Hollywood depiction.) It is nothing like when Hanks defeated the Nazis by roaming around Normandy countryside 6 months before the end of the war.

    I would bet that large percentage of Americans have no idea who was who in WWII. Some might even think that it was against Russia, or that it was all about Holocaust, the point is to confuse them and make the actual history muddy - except of course the dominant mythology of Normandy, etc...

    Is it "organized propaganda"? I guess it would depend on the definition of "organized" and "propaganda". And since we are dealing with mostly liberals here, maybe also on the definition of "is"....

    Outlier? Back in 2006 there were several gun websites offering a Mosin–Nagant, with 200 rounds of ammunition AND a copy of Enemy at the Gates. All for the low low price of $200 USD. I’m serious. If I could remember the websites I’d use the WayBack Machine.

    It’s not that much of an outlier I assure you.

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  163. @German_reader
    Don't be silly, there were mass deportations to the Gulag from the Baltic states after 1944, and there was an intentional programme of Russification. That's in line with what had happened during the Soviet occupation in 1940/41 (e.g. in Latvia only the leadership of the Latvian communists were ethnic Latvians, the vast mass of members were Russians and Jews). Soviet rule was a foreign imposition on the Baltic states and there was a deliberate attempt to secure it by re-engineering the demographic composition of the population.

    Don’t be silly, there were mass deportations to the Gulag from the Baltic states after 1944

    “deportations to the Gulag” is not a thing.

    1944 was in the middle of the most brutal war in history, a lot of things could happen in 1944. But none of these things – or, for that matter, any other things – makes any of the Soviet republics a ‘colony’. Because it’s just absurd; read my lips: ab-surd.

    Of course you can complain about the Soviet governments all you want, and about the governments of the Soviet Baltic republics too, that’s fine. There’s no government on earth, and has never been, that is not hated by someone, some group of people.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    “deportations to the Gulag” is not a thing.
     
    Umm, why not? A quite significant part of the population of the Baltics was deported to Soviet camps, and that had already happened to elite sectors of the population during the 1940/41 occupation (you can google where Latvian prime minister Ulmanis ended his life...iirc other members of Latvia's elite were simply shot outright, not too dissimilar to what happened at Katyn). And from 1944 onwards that affected much wider levels of the general population (and not it wasn't limited to 1944, this lasted well into the post-war era...so not just a wartime emergency).
    Have you actually ever read anything about the specific situation in the Baltics in the 1940s? Somehow I don't quite get that impression.
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  164. @reiner Tor

    all with an equal right to move freely inside the USSR and settle in any Soviet republic of their choice
     
    I think it was a bit more complicated. The USSR wasn't that big on freedom of movement for all of its citizens to any of its cities. Besides, the government ran the economy, it could make sure people were moving here or there.

    all with an equal right to move freely inside the USSR and settle in any Soviet republic of their choice
     
    Also, isn't it like saying Africans are not flooding Europe, and there's no reason for Europeans to complain about it, because Europeans could just as easily move to Africa?

    Also, isn’t it like saying Africans are not flooding Europe, and there’s no reason for Europeans to complain about it, because Europeans could just as easily move to Africa?

    No, it’s nothing like that. It’s more like saying that Alsace is a colony, and French citizens from outside Alsace moving and settling there are “masses of colonists not legal under international law”.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    You seem incapable of understanding the viewpoints of other peoples. That kind of nationalism is among nations the equivalent of what psychopathy is among people.
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  165. reiner Tor says: • Website
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Also, isn’t it like saying Africans are not flooding Europe, and there’s no reason for Europeans to complain about it, because Europeans could just as easily move to Africa?
     
    No, it's nothing like that. It's more like saying that Alsace is a colony, and French citizens from outside Alsace moving and settling there are "masses of colonists not legal under international law".

    You seem incapable of understanding the viewpoints of other peoples. That kind of nationalism is among nations the equivalent of what psychopathy is among people.

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  166. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Don’t be silly, there were mass deportations to the Gulag from the Baltic states after 1944
     
    "deportations to the Gulag" is not a thing.

    1944 was in the middle of the most brutal war in history, a lot of things could happen in 1944. But none of these things - or, for that matter, any other things - makes any of the Soviet republics a 'colony'. Because it's just absurd; read my lips: ab-surd.

    Of course you can complain about the Soviet governments all you want, and about the governments of the Soviet Baltic republics too, that's fine. There's no government on earth, and has never been, that is not hated by someone, some group of people.

    “deportations to the Gulag” is not a thing.

    Umm, why not? A quite significant part of the population of the Baltics was deported to Soviet camps, and that had already happened to elite sectors of the population during the 1940/41 occupation (you can google where Latvian prime minister Ulmanis ended his life…iirc other members of Latvia’s elite were simply shot outright, not too dissimilar to what happened at Katyn). And from 1944 onwards that affected much wider levels of the general population (and not it wasn’t limited to 1944, this lasted well into the post-war era…so not just a wartime emergency).
    Have you actually ever read anything about the specific situation in the Baltics in the 1940s? Somehow I don’t quite get that impression.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    GULAG is an acronym for the Soviet system of penal labor camps. The word 'deportation' usually describes something different.

    Anyway, real and perceived enemies of the state were punished in various ways, some executed, that's all true. That was an M.O. of the Soviet state, especially during the stalinist period. It wasn't Balitics-specific, but even it were, still, none of it makes the Baltic republics 'colonies'.

    Like I said: they were completely equal republics in the Soviet state, their denizens had ordinary Soviet passports and were full-fledged Soviet citizens. Population migration within the single country (the USSR, in this case) has nothing to do with any "masses of colonists". It's no different from, say, retired new-yorkers migrating to Florida. That's all I'm saying.

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  167. @German_reader

    “deportations to the Gulag” is not a thing.
     
    Umm, why not? A quite significant part of the population of the Baltics was deported to Soviet camps, and that had already happened to elite sectors of the population during the 1940/41 occupation (you can google where Latvian prime minister Ulmanis ended his life...iirc other members of Latvia's elite were simply shot outright, not too dissimilar to what happened at Katyn). And from 1944 onwards that affected much wider levels of the general population (and not it wasn't limited to 1944, this lasted well into the post-war era...so not just a wartime emergency).
    Have you actually ever read anything about the specific situation in the Baltics in the 1940s? Somehow I don't quite get that impression.

    GULAG is an acronym for the Soviet system of penal labor camps. The word ‘deportation’ usually describes something different.

    Anyway, real and perceived enemies of the state were punished in various ways, some executed, that’s all true. That was an M.O. of the Soviet state, especially during the stalinist period. It wasn’t Balitics-specific, but even it were, still, none of it makes the Baltic republics ‘colonies’.

    Like I said: they were completely equal republics in the Soviet state, their denizens had ordinary Soviet passports and were full-fledged Soviet citizens. Population migration within the single country (the USSR, in this case) has nothing to do with any “masses of colonists”. It’s no different from, say, retired new-yorkers migrating to Florida. That’s all I’m saying.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall in our exchange...you're either unwilling or unable to understand my posts. Also what's your point about "deportations"? It's a commonly used word for forced mass relocations of ethnic groups, e.g. the ancient Assyrians deported various peoples as a means of securing their rule over conquered areas (if you don't believe me, just google "deportations assyria"). It doesn't imply any genocidal intent or equivalence to the Holocaust (if that's what you're getting at).
    Seems like this exchange is rather unproductive...in any case I've stated what I wanted to point out.
    , @Anonymous
    You are full of sh*t and you know it! The invasion of the Baltics and the deportations of their best and brightest was not just a political step (beginning of colonization) but it was plain robbery. Home owners in downtown Riga who had built their wealth with their own work, had Latvian citizenship and had nothing whatsoever to do with the Soviet Union or anything Russian, were taken out of their homes, with their families, taken to Siberia where they died within a year, and Red Army officers were settled in with their families into those very homes and apartments in downtown Riga. A mother has a child on the way to Siberia, dies, the chekist takes her out and puts her newborn baby on the ground next to her to die. No biggie, right, just because it used to "happen to everyone"... You know what, we have higher standards and to us a human life actually means something.

    Equal, yea right. Why is that Russian was immediately imposed on a population that had never spoken Russian before? Most Balts did not speak it in 1945. Why is it that all the official paperwork all of a sudden had to be done in Russian? Why is it that when in the 1950s the Balts who wanted to leave the SU, were imprisoned. They were looking for a clause in the SU constitution that said you can exit. A young man lifted up the Latvian flag on a central building and was sent to Gulag for 6 years. His mother said "Bye" to him and had a weird feeling as he walked out of the house, then she didn't see him again for 6 years. All the best housing was given away to the newly arrived Russians. How is that equal? You know darn well, that most Balts did NOT want to move to live in Russia! Look, we had Russian friends, too, and there are lots of nice people among them (ofc, most of them were clueless about what happened), but that doesn't take away from the point. Look, I don't even want to gripe about this, it's just when you and Beckow (who's probably not even Russian and doesn't even have a first hand experience) spew your entitled nonsense, this needs to be said.

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  168. AP says:
    @Beckow
    Could you skip the ad hominem attacks? They subtract from your points.

    None of your points refutes what I said: 95% or so of Russia-West wars were Western invasions of Russia.


    "best way to prevent Russian aggression is to have Russia be weaker than its neighbors, and the best way of preventing Western aggression it to keep the West weak and divided"
     
    That's a circular argument - you can reverse it and replace Russia with West and vice versa and it works equally well. I am also not sure what "weak" means with a nuclear power. As we perish, the "strong" will mock the "weak", or drive better cars?

    West is never as divided as it might appear when it comes to Russia. Let me remind you that WWII, Napoleon, Crimean war, etc... all had long lists of Western countries joining together to attack Russia. West is not divided and Russia is not weak.

    Based on 1,000 years of experience it is very unlikely Russia would invade West. It would also make absolutely no sense. If there is a war it will be because some people in the West just cannot help themselves to try 'one more time', or because of some huge miscalculation. Then we all die.

    None of your points refutes what I said: 95% or so of Russia-West wars were Western invasions of Russia.

    Well, in the course of this discussion I and others have pointed out to you that:

    Russia began the Polish-Russian wars with its invasion of Baltic lands, including occupying Vilnius, in the 16th century before being driven back.

    Russia began the Great Northern War with Sweden by invading Swedish-held territory in the Baltics and seizing Narva, a city 200 km closer to Stockholm than it is to Moscow.

    Russia invaded Poland in 1734 and 1768.

    Russia attacked Sweden in 1808, stealing Finland.

    Given that you have access to this information, yet state the nonsense “None of your points refutes what I said: 95% or so of Russia-West wars were Western invasions of Russia” I think we can conclude that you are dishonest more than you are ignorant.

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  169. @Mao Cheng Ji
    GULAG is an acronym for the Soviet system of penal labor camps. The word 'deportation' usually describes something different.

    Anyway, real and perceived enemies of the state were punished in various ways, some executed, that's all true. That was an M.O. of the Soviet state, especially during the stalinist period. It wasn't Balitics-specific, but even it were, still, none of it makes the Baltic republics 'colonies'.

    Like I said: they were completely equal republics in the Soviet state, their denizens had ordinary Soviet passports and were full-fledged Soviet citizens. Population migration within the single country (the USSR, in this case) has nothing to do with any "masses of colonists". It's no different from, say, retired new-yorkers migrating to Florida. That's all I'm saying.

    I feel like I’m talking to a brick wall in our exchange…you’re either unwilling or unable to understand my posts. Also what’s your point about “deportations”? It’s a commonly used word for forced mass relocations of ethnic groups, e.g. the ancient Assyrians deported various peoples as a means of securing their rule over conquered areas (if you don’t believe me, just google “deportations assyria”). It doesn’t imply any genocidal intent or equivalence to the Holocaust (if that’s what you’re getting at).
    Seems like this exchange is rather unproductive…in any case I’ve stated what I wanted to point out.

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  170. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    GULAG is an acronym for the Soviet system of penal labor camps. The word 'deportation' usually describes something different.

    Anyway, real and perceived enemies of the state were punished in various ways, some executed, that's all true. That was an M.O. of the Soviet state, especially during the stalinist period. It wasn't Balitics-specific, but even it were, still, none of it makes the Baltic republics 'colonies'.

    Like I said: they were completely equal republics in the Soviet state, their denizens had ordinary Soviet passports and were full-fledged Soviet citizens. Population migration within the single country (the USSR, in this case) has nothing to do with any "masses of colonists". It's no different from, say, retired new-yorkers migrating to Florida. That's all I'm saying.

    You are full of sh*t and you know it! The invasion of the Baltics and the deportations of their best and brightest was not just a political step (beginning of colonization) but it was plain robbery. Home owners in downtown Riga who had built their wealth with their own work, had Latvian citizenship and had nothing whatsoever to do with the Soviet Union or anything Russian, were taken out of their homes, with their families, taken to Siberia where they died within a year, and Red Army officers were settled in with their families into those very homes and apartments in downtown Riga. A mother has a child on the way to Siberia, dies, the chekist takes her out and puts her newborn baby on the ground next to her to die. No biggie, right, just because it used to “happen to everyone”… You know what, we have higher standards and to us a human life actually means something.

    Equal, yea right. Why is that Russian was immediately imposed on a population that had never spoken Russian before? Most Balts did not speak it in 1945. Why is it that all the official paperwork all of a sudden had to be done in Russian? Why is it that when in the 1950s the Balts who wanted to leave the SU, were imprisoned. They were looking for a clause in the SU constitution that said you can exit. A young man lifted up the Latvian flag on a central building and was sent to Gulag for 6 years. His mother said “Bye” to him and had a weird feeling as he walked out of the house, then she didn’t see him again for 6 years. All the best housing was given away to the newly arrived Russians. How is that equal? You know darn well, that most Balts did NOT want to move to live in Russia! Look, we had Russian friends, too, and there are lots of nice people among them (ofc, most of them were clueless about what happened), but that doesn’t take away from the point. Look, I don’t even want to gripe about this, it’s just when you and Beckow (who’s probably not even Russian and doesn’t even have a first hand experience) spew your entitled nonsense, this needs to be said.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    Russian was the lingua franca in all Soviet republics. There was no invasion, and the 'best and brightest' remained perfectly fine - what took place was the usual Soviet cleanup, getting rid of the exploiter class and their symps. It happened everywhere, in all Soviet republics: nous ne sommes rien, soyons tout . Perfectly ordinary communist takeover. Baltic republics became communist republics in a communist country, the USSR; with all - good and bad - that it entails.

    Russians, Ukrainians, and other Soviets participated in the process, but then plenty of Balts participated in the Russian bolshevik revolution too. Nothing remarkable here. Many of the Balts loved it, and took advantage of it, others not so much. To summarize: your ethno-nationalist narrative is total bs, and has nothing whatsoever to do with reality.

    And now please have the last word.

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  171. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    And, one more thing to Beckow, what you fail to see is the new realities on the ground that are a bit different from the times of Alexander Nevsky and even 1940 – there are now Russian missiles in central Europe (Kaliningrad) pointing Westwards that can hit Berlin, Warsaw, Copenhagen, probably Stockholm. We, Balts, can be hit from Russia proper, but creating Kaliningrad – Stalin’s long term plan, directed at the West. This is slightly different than what Alexander Nevsky had to deal with, I’d say.

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  172. @Anonymous
    You are full of sh*t and you know it! The invasion of the Baltics and the deportations of their best and brightest was not just a political step (beginning of colonization) but it was plain robbery. Home owners in downtown Riga who had built their wealth with their own work, had Latvian citizenship and had nothing whatsoever to do with the Soviet Union or anything Russian, were taken out of their homes, with their families, taken to Siberia where they died within a year, and Red Army officers were settled in with their families into those very homes and apartments in downtown Riga. A mother has a child on the way to Siberia, dies, the chekist takes her out and puts her newborn baby on the ground next to her to die. No biggie, right, just because it used to "happen to everyone"... You know what, we have higher standards and to us a human life actually means something.

    Equal, yea right. Why is that Russian was immediately imposed on a population that had never spoken Russian before? Most Balts did not speak it in 1945. Why is it that all the official paperwork all of a sudden had to be done in Russian? Why is it that when in the 1950s the Balts who wanted to leave the SU, were imprisoned. They were looking for a clause in the SU constitution that said you can exit. A young man lifted up the Latvian flag on a central building and was sent to Gulag for 6 years. His mother said "Bye" to him and had a weird feeling as he walked out of the house, then she didn't see him again for 6 years. All the best housing was given away to the newly arrived Russians. How is that equal? You know darn well, that most Balts did NOT want to move to live in Russia! Look, we had Russian friends, too, and there are lots of nice people among them (ofc, most of them were clueless about what happened), but that doesn't take away from the point. Look, I don't even want to gripe about this, it's just when you and Beckow (who's probably not even Russian and doesn't even have a first hand experience) spew your entitled nonsense, this needs to be said.

    Russian was the lingua franca in all Soviet republics. There was no invasion, and the ‘best and brightest’ remained perfectly fine – what took place was the usual Soviet cleanup, getting rid of the exploiter class and their symps. It happened everywhere, in all Soviet republics: nous ne sommes rien, soyons tout . Perfectly ordinary communist takeover. Baltic republics became communist republics in a communist country, the USSR; with all – good and bad – that it entails.

    Russians, Ukrainians, and other Soviets participated in the process, but then plenty of Balts participated in the Russian bolshevik revolution too. Nothing remarkable here. Many of the Balts loved it, and took advantage of it, others not so much. To summarize: your ethno-nationalist narrative is total bs, and has nothing whatsoever to do with reality.

    And now please have the last word.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    And now please have the last word.
     
    Fine, here are my last words - I don't know if you're Russian born or following the World Ice Hockey championship, but Sweden and Russia just got into the semifinals (so did Canada, of course). So - good luck! I know how much that kind of a pobeda usually means to Russian fans and I admire Russian hockey. :)
    , @Anonymous

    And now please have the last word.
     
    Fine, here are my last words - I don't know if you're Russian born or following the World Ice Hockey championship, but Sweden and Russia just got into the semifinals (so did Canada, of course). So - good luck! I know how much that kind of a pobeda usually means to Russian fans and I admire Russian hockey. :) Shaibu, shaibu!
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  173. @Jaakko Raipala
    "Russia has never invaded West – not a single time in their history. They were always invaded first, and they pursued the attackers "

    Nonsense. There was quite a bit of war to establish the border between Sweden and Novgorod but after that agreement neither side tried an expansionist invasion, though piracy was common and we lived under a constant threat of slave raiding parties. Expansionist aggression was started by the Russians under Ivan III who, after conquering the Western Russian states and cities, proceeded to try to conquer the Western non-Russian neighbors.

    Your history is exactly backwards. Sweden is a nation that was nearly strangled in its cradle by an alliance of the Danes and Muscovites and the survival against Ivan III was considered a miracle. Sweden before was a loose tribal confederation with little ability for military campaigns and the desire to turn it into a militant power was a result of being shaken to the core with fear after the emergence of Muscovite dominated Russia as an aggressive, expansionist power.

    Ivan IV resumed ambitions to expand West, though its hard to say who was the aggressor in that war since it was preceded by years of mutual low intensity hostilities. The destruction of Novgorod weakened Russia in the northwest, Ivan IV dropped dead in the middle of the war and was followed by his inept son. He left behind a succession crisis where Sweden intervened in exchange for more land. Later there were wars where Sweden was clearly the aggressor but those are ironically the ones where Sweden kept losing land instead of gaining.

    As for Russian patriotism and willingness to fight, that was at the absolute historical low at the beginning of World War II and I firmly believe that if the Germans had behaved the same way towards East Slavs as they behaved towards French, Dutch and other Westerners we would have easily won the war and the 20th century might have belonged to the right-wing. There were just so many Russians willing to switch sides in 1939. Russian soldiers were often poorly motivated in our wars but Russian prisoners offering to fight against their government and Russian exiles showing up offering to lead them never happened before.

    Finland was just too small to take up that cause and Germany had different plans.

    As for Russian patriotism and willingness to fight, that was at the absolute historical low at the beginning of World War II and I firmly believe that if the Germans had behaved the same way towards East Slavs as they behaved towards French, Dutch and other Westerners we would have easily won the war and the 20th century might have belonged to the right-wing. There were just so many Russians willing to switch sides in 1939. Russian soldiers were often poorly motivated in our wars but Russian prisoners offering to fight against their government and Russian exiles showing up offering to lead them never happened before.

    Finland was just too small to take up that cause and Germany had different plans.

    Hitler’s novel Final Solution was worse than a crime – it was a mistake. There is a reason no successful empire-builder has ever gone up Hitler’s blind alley.

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  174. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    Russian was the lingua franca in all Soviet republics. There was no invasion, and the 'best and brightest' remained perfectly fine - what took place was the usual Soviet cleanup, getting rid of the exploiter class and their symps. It happened everywhere, in all Soviet republics: nous ne sommes rien, soyons tout . Perfectly ordinary communist takeover. Baltic republics became communist republics in a communist country, the USSR; with all - good and bad - that it entails.

    Russians, Ukrainians, and other Soviets participated in the process, but then plenty of Balts participated in the Russian bolshevik revolution too. Nothing remarkable here. Many of the Balts loved it, and took advantage of it, others not so much. To summarize: your ethno-nationalist narrative is total bs, and has nothing whatsoever to do with reality.

    And now please have the last word.

    And now please have the last word.

    Fine, here are my last words – I don’t know if you’re Russian born or following the World Ice Hockey championship, but Sweden and Russia just got into the semifinals (so did Canada, of course). So – good luck! I know how much that kind of a pobeda usually means to Russian fans and I admire Russian hockey. :)

    Read More
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  175. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    Russian was the lingua franca in all Soviet republics. There was no invasion, and the 'best and brightest' remained perfectly fine - what took place was the usual Soviet cleanup, getting rid of the exploiter class and their symps. It happened everywhere, in all Soviet republics: nous ne sommes rien, soyons tout . Perfectly ordinary communist takeover. Baltic republics became communist republics in a communist country, the USSR; with all - good and bad - that it entails.

    Russians, Ukrainians, and other Soviets participated in the process, but then plenty of Balts participated in the Russian bolshevik revolution too. Nothing remarkable here. Many of the Balts loved it, and took advantage of it, others not so much. To summarize: your ethno-nationalist narrative is total bs, and has nothing whatsoever to do with reality.

    And now please have the last word.

    And now please have the last word.

    Fine, here are my last words – I don’t know if you’re Russian born or following the World Ice Hockey championship, but Sweden and Russia just got into the semifinals (so did Canada, of course). So – good luck! I know how much that kind of a pobeda usually means to Russian fans and I admire Russian hockey. :) Shaibu, shaibu!

    Read More
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