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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

George Collins

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George Collins last won the day on June 22

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  1. Quote from the article: "Liskow swam across the Bug River, the natural border between the Soviet Union and the Third Reich, on June 21, 1941. The next day, a few hours after he completed his swim, he informed the Soviet Border Guards that the German armies would soon attack Soviet territory." Really? Wehrmacht launched the invasion before dawn on June 22 - that would be "the next day, a few hours after he completed his swim." So, Liskow would be "informing the Soviet Border Guards that the German armies would soon attack Soviet territory" in the midst of a pretty noisy commotion. Not to mention the fact that the "Soviet Border Guards" had long been replaced with RKKA troops by then.
  2. I'm not aware of the 19th century poems, but I am aware of Ricard Kauder - yes, an Austrian Jew, - who was formally on Canaris's staff, while run by the notorious NKVD operative Sudoplatov. He was actually stationed in Sofia, Bulgaria for most for the war. I don't think that anybody can make a definitive call on what spy network was the most effective. What's remarkable about Kauder is that he would be also instrumental in supplying Ben Gurion with the Czech made weaponry in 1948.
  3. The Soviets ran similar networks, such as 'Max and Morris' in the west and Sorge's in the east.
  4. George Collins

    Hitlers underestimation of Russia.

    So, I stand corrected that it went into production in August 1942 and was deployed by the end of that year. It was still nowhere near RKKA in the summer of 1941.
  5. George Collins

    Hitlers underestimation of Russia.

    Finns used swastikas as identification, but it does not make their equipment German necessarily. Even Wehrmacht painted crosses over Soviet tanks like T-26 and T-34 and recycled them in Russia. But more importantly, you need to be careful watching network "documentaries". I remember seeing (US) History Channel special on Barbarossa with images of rolling Tiger tanks and narrator talking about how Wehrmacht overwhelmed RKKA with their Panzer divisions in June - July of 1941. Of course, I happen to know for a fact that Tigers were not even in production until 1943, not to mention that Wehrmacht fielded barely 4 thousand tanks against RKKA's 10 thousand and change.
  6. George Collins

    Hitlers underestimation of Russia.

    This is much more complicated. In fact, from November 1939 through March 1940 - during the Winter War between USSR and Finland - Hitler's Germany and Stalin's USSR were allies, both de facto and de jure. Likewise, Finnish assets included American Brewsters, British Vickers and French Renaults.
  7. George Collins

    Hitlers underestimation of Russia.

    Good question. I believe that there is always a possibility for tipping the scale the other way, merely due to so many close calls on tactical levels affecting strategic outcome of any war. But this is a special case. You see, Hitler killed himself at the end of the war, while many of his subordinates survived. How many of them would eventually write memoirs, and how many of them writing memoirs would blame themselves for committing blunders instead of blaming the conveniently late Fuhrer? For example, look at the infamous pause at Dunkirk. Conventional wisdom is that Hitler blundered by issuing an order to pause the assault, but I've seen accounts about von Runstedt himself writing the order and sending it for Hitler to sign, because his tank commander Kleist had requested the halt due to his losses, because von Runstedt believed that Luftwaffe could finish off the British on the beaches, and because he preferred to 'heroically' grandstand on the doorsteps of Paris instead.
  8. George Collins

    Hitlers underestimation of Russia.

    Mostly agree, except Bulgaria did not produce enough oil at the time to make any difference - Hitler mostly relied on Romanian exports. Bulgaria had access to Mediterrrenian sea, though. Also, Stalin was the first one to violate the Moscow Pact by occupying Bessarabia and Bukovina in the summer of 1940.
  9. I believe that when judging the Soviet troops' behavior in Europe on macro scale, "hatred" factor should be discounted as irrelevant. It's well enough documented that atrocities in East Prussia and Silesia were intentionally organized by NKVD to drive the German population out en mass. Likewise, Rokossovsky's inaction during the Warsaw uprising was a calculated by Stalin move aiming at consequently installing a puppet regime in Poland.
  10. George Collins

    Why the Axis lost the war.

    Actually, Polish contingent - particularly Poniatowski's V Corps - was a substantial part of Napoleon's Grand Armee venturing into Russia in 1812. So, support was found, but the supporter would overreach.
  11. George Collins

    Hitlers underestimation of Russia.

    That's not exactly accurate. Stalin was very much hands-on all the way through the war, particularly regarding personnel assignments.
  12. George Collins

    Average Germans knew Nazi atrocities

    Yeah, back then it was. It started to change in Vietnam, and, I'm sure, marines landing on Somali beaches in the 90's were pretty disoriented under CNN lights and cameras. And what do you do with all the bystanders sporting smart phones nowadays?
  13. George Collins

    Why the Axis lost the war.

    Yeah, that's pretty good. I haven't seen a footnote like this before.
  14. This is a myth, particularly if applied to the time of Wehrmacht invasion. By January 1941, RKKA had 40 front-wide radiostations with the range of up to 2 thousand kilometers and 381 frequency channels; over 1.5 thousand army- and corps-wide radiostations; almost 6 thousand regimental radiostations and over 35.5 thousand portable radios for batalions and companies, with the range of 10-15 kilometers. 35 to 40% of all RKKA tanks deployed by the summer of 1941 were equipped with radios. Like I wrote before, in the summer of 1941, the problem was never the lack of equipment; catastrophic loss of command and control was the problem.
  15. George Collins

    Why the Axis lost the war.

    Well, Mueller-Hillebrandt was pretty sure about it. As was most of Wehrmacht’s high command, who feared that they did not even have enough ammunition to start the invasion. Hitler invaded Poland firmly believing that RKKA would join in from the get-go. For over 2 weeks before RKKA indeed launched their part, Ribbentrop’s staff bombarded Molotov with impatient requests to do so. I’ve actually read this correspondence.