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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

George Collins

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Everything posted by George Collins

  1. Let me guess, you post these clunky propaganda cliches from Olgino?
  2. In which country? Here's the link for the US: https://www.copyright.gov
  3. A couple of comments here, particularly on the following passage: "By now the Germans had advanced nearly 200 miles into the Soviet Union’s territory and they were just a third of the way to Moscow...This strategic operation was launched by the Wehrmacht and commanded by Field Marshal Fedor von Bock, who was the head of Army Group Centre. The plan was to attack from Poland through the Bialystok-Minsk-Smolensk axis towards Moscow." Jurgen keeps referring to Barbarossa as the operation launched "from Poland" into the Soviet Union's territory, when in fact - particularly as it relates to Army Group Center - it was launched from West Poland into East Poland occupied by RKKA. For example, Bialystok only became 'the Soviet Union's territory' just over 2 years prior to that. "The casualities were tremendous for the Soviets: 417,729 men. The equipment the Red Army lost was also great, comprising 1,177-1,669 aircraft, 4,799 tanks, and 9,427 guns and mortars. The Germans, on the other hand, lost a comparably small number of 12,157 men, considering that the initial attack started with a total number of 750,000 men. The battle was ferocious for the Soviets and caused them a defeat which made the world think they lost the war." The description of this battle as "ferocious for the Soviets" will probably change if you add another statistics - namely that the number of Soviet POWs and deserters was in the millions. Hardly a ferocious fighting force, all things considered. I would describe it as a pretty damning evidence of the total command and control collapse.
  4. Sure, but we now know what most people at the time did not. Also, "gaining ground" is probably not the best way to describe it - they certainly kept taking advantage of RKKA General Staff's incompetence until Stalin would finally appoint Vasilevsky at its head. But Wehrmacht could not possibly win the war of attrition, and - as Dr. Todt realized in December 1941 - this is exactly where they found themselves in.
  5. Quote: "At the beginning of December 1941, Hitler’s troops besieged Leningrad and Nazi reconnaissance units scouted the terrain a mere 12 miles from Moscow’s city center. At the same time, large tracts of Northern Africa were in the hands of the Germans. Furthermore, most of Europe was under the Nazi jackboot. Only the United Kingdom and her Empire stood in the Führer’s way. Adolf Hitler was at the pinnacle of his hegemonic power. Apparently, nothing could stand in his way and the Nazi world domination was no longer a mere nightmare, but a reality that threatened to take hold. And true to his word, Hitler declared war on the United States of America four days after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 11, 1941. A world at war had begun in earnest, but it would prove to be Nazi Germany’s downfall less than four years later." In my opinion, this is a skewed view of the situation by December 1941. At the beginning of December, Wehrmacht was already barely hanging on to its lines at Moscow, having missed the chance to take the city by advancing via a gash in RKKA defensive position at Mozhaisk at the end of October. Any meaningful attempts to take Leningrad had been abandoned a month earlier, when panzer divisions were redeployed to Moscow theater. About this very time, Reich Minister for Armaments Fritz Todt reportedly told Hitler that the war was lost in military and economic terms. In this context, Hitler's declaration of war against the US looks insane, unless in his mind it would incentivise the Japanese to resume hosilities against RKKA in Far East and force Stalin to fight on 2 fronts. Of course, the Japanese would not bite, and it was all downhill for Hitler from there.
  6. Do you visit the ship in Charleston, SC, where it's made a museum, Phil?
  7. What does it really have to do with the World War 2? Not that it is relevant to the 2nd World War either, but the Federal Reserve System has not been established to manipulate Federal Budget in any way; it has been established to pursue stable monetary policy. Really? You've just cited a number of incidents that would hardly make even a dent in the overall crime stats anywhere in the world, and you are asking a rhetorical question with geopolitical slant based on these anecdotes? This is a site for discussing military history, if I'm not mistaken. What gives?
  8. Conan White writes, "The last tank in our exclusive 50-plus ton category is the Soviet KV-2, a slow moving, well armored tank with a gigantic tall turret that housed a 152 mm howitzer. Originally it was designed to overcome and defeat enemy fortifications, but it was rapidly pressed into service as a battle tank when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941." The second sentence looks puzzling to me. Whatever KV was designed to do, it was fielded before the launch of Barbarossa. In fact, well over half a thousand KV tanks were in the theater in the summer of 1941 - quite a substantial number, if you consider the fact that the entire Wehrmacht's panzer force moved in with barely 4 thousand tanks, none of which was in the heavy category.
  9. Yeah, I imagine a snow covered trench with a mortar crew in it, and a guy telling his senior, "Comrade Junior Lieutenant, since we're not firing the mortar for another couple of hours, let me grab that sniper rifle and crawl off to shoot some Germans from the distance." And, by the way, where would he even get the sniper rifle? What a crock...
  10. Jay Hemmings writes, "His unit was sent into battle in the Battle of Moscow in 1941, but he quickly decided that he needed to do more to the German soldiers than simply fire mortars at them. He started to use his unit’s time off to hunt down German troops in the city and take them out from a distance." I don't know your source, Jay, but I do know that Wehrmacht never entered Moscow, so the only German troops "in the city" were POWs, and it would make no sense to "hunt them down and take them out from the distance". The part about "he quickly decides" to do anything other than what he was assigned to do as a rank and file soldier in RKKA is very much doubtful as well - this is not how things worked in that organization.
  11. You have to put it into some context. The German and other Axis POWs were not exclusively being herded into the camps - literally millions of former Soviet citizens had been fighting against RKKA and rounded up at the end of the war. I haven't seen any accounts about the Germans particularly being targeted for mass extermination, but they were definitely used as slave labor all over the devastated by the war country. Also, Stalin exiled many ethnic Germans to Kazakhstan during the war. 1989 census reported close to a million of them residing there.
  12. I kind of agree with Joe, the criterion for distinguishing the 'left' from the 'right' seems to be as arbitrary as Hegel's dialectics. In fact, late Stanford University research fellow Antony Sutton said as much calling 'left-right' division a Hegelian trap. It stroke me as insightful enough to pose when I realized that Hitler's Nazi Germany and Stalin's USSR started the Second World War together - as de facto and de jure allies - by agreeing to and executing the division of Poland, a sovereign European state, in near perfect accord.
  13. Do you remember what area did he say they had found the sites in - at least what country?
  14. That alone is highly commendable.
  15. Right, but the purpose of this forum is precisely to sort it all out, I understand. So, making a sweeping accusation does not really help. Not that you are wrong, but we are all looking for the specifics - well, I am anyway...
  16. Well, the Siege of Leningrad was predominantly a suffocating affair. Wehrmacht abandoned any meaningful attempts to take the city early on - in fact at the end of September, 1941, as I recall, all panzer divisions were redeployed to Moscow theater. So, the Finnish advance was very important in that it cut alternative supply routes to and from the city, which was a major production hub of heavy weapons in European part of Russia.
  17. Actually, Vyborg is comparatively close to Leningrad/St. Petersburg - just over 100 km north-west; moreover, without the Finnish advance during the Continuation War between Finland and USSR, the Siege of Leningrad would unlikely take place at all. This phase of the conflict, by the way, began with the bombing raids of Finnish cites by the Soviet VVS on June 25, 1941 - just 3 days after the launch of Barbarossa by Wehrmacht. Makes you think about the RKKA General Staff's strategic prowess. And, yes, Zhukov was the RKKA Chief of General Staff at the time, so he had something to do with that.
  18. Here's a direct quote: "War History Online is publishing an article on a female hero of the Red Army who defended Leningrad from the very beginning of the Siege until the surrender of German troops in Kurland pocket." and there's an issue here - it implies that Kurland pocket operation was directly related to the Siege of Leningrad. It was not. The Siege of Leningrad was officially over by February 1944, over 6 months before the Kurland pocket operation would begin. Not to mention that it was quite some distance from Leningrad.
  19. RKKA was by far the largest army at the onset of WW2 - more so than at its end.
  20. Interesting. I saw another twisted tale. Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, the son of a decorated Wehrmacht officer, as a kid met Stauffenberg's widow in his hometown at the end of the war, and later - wait for this - converted to Judaism and served in the Israeli Defense Forces: https://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/2375263/jewish/I-Am-the-Son-of-a-Nazi.htm
  21. I thought it was common knowledge that Germany was not equipped for the war of attrition, especially after the United States would enter the fray.
  22. We had a go at that already multiple times, of course. Like here:
  23. I don't dismiss the Soviet story - I simply don't have enough information to go on... except that, if the Soviets correctly identified the burnt body as his, there would be literally nothing to perform a meaningful autopsy on. But I fail to see the importance of the one-ball story's origin. Surely, with or without the second ball, Hitler's reputation remains pretty marred.
  24. Autopsy? That's news to me. I though his body was found completely burnt but for some skull and bone fragments that would be transported to Moscow and archived there. At least, that's what the Soviets claimed.
  25. That's a perfectly reasonable position, Steve, and it only underscores the need for critical view of many snippets you're using here. I must say that this is a rather irrelevant statement, all things considered. First of all, it does not pertain to a tank design, per se. Secondly, I've already quoted Solonin about from 30 to 40 percent of RKKA tanks of ALL models being equipped with the radios by June 1941, which means that most if not all T-34 and KV tanks (brand new at the time) were. And if you in any way are implying that Pz-III and Pz-IV were in any way better than T-34, you are not being serious. The Pzs' only comparable feature was 75 mm gun on some (not all) of Pz-IV tanks. Diesel engines powered T-34s faster, farther, and in worse conditions compared to highly flammable gasoline powered Wehrmacht tanks at the time. A ‘Stalin Order’ is a very poor sourcing format, Steve. There were hundreds of "Stalin Orders", so you might want to be more specific about the number, the date and the context. Something tells me that you're using a second hand account here, without specifying what it is. I assume you inadvertently transposed 3 and 4 here, but more to the point is that I can fetch many anecdotal accounts by Wehrmacht personnel of all ranks complaining about their immobilized tanks in vast wilderness of Russia - there is no shortage of that, quite obviously. Yet, one of the foremost authorities on all things WWII, Müller-Hillebrand, wrote, "The appearance of T-34 tank was an unpleasant surprise... Due to its speed, all-terrain travel capability, reinforced armor and armament, especially the extended 76 mm gun providing for improved accuracy and piercing power at unreachable before distances, [T-34] represented an entirely new type of tanks." (Das Heer 1933-1945). Lastly, when you write, "I believe it is still reasonable to say that the T-34/76 in service was notably less reliable than its American or German counterparts (with the exception of early versions of the German Panther which also suffered from reliability issues)", you kind of contradict your own argument. Why would you compare early versions of T-34 to later versions of its "counterparts", if vice versa is not acceptable?
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