Author Topic: IceBreakChron IX: THE DAY BEFORE  (Read 4766 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #45 on: June 20, 2020, 03:53:05 PM »
I'm likely to be out of pocket a lot tomorrow for Father's Day, so I'll finish up June 21st entries today.  O:-)

The Politburo session ends early after midnight on June 22nd, 1941.

Zhdanov, once the Politburo's representative for the Winter War invading Finland, gets ready to arrive in Leningrad, planning to meet up with Meretskov there on June 23rd.

Khrushchev (Stalin's eventual successor), who handled the liberation crusade invasions of districts of Poland and (under Zhukov) Romania, races down to Kiev (maybe then to Tiraspol).

According to General Yepishev, "Party and Army", p.176, Andreyev, the Politburo point man for military transports, rushes back up to the Trans-Siberian trunk line to see if he can help in expediting the Second Strategic Echelon -- he'll be spotted in Novosibirsk tomorrow (as recalled by Lieutenant-General Kalinin, "Pondering Bygone Days", p.131.)

None of any of this high competency, today or in previous weeks or months or years, should be too surprising. Nazi Major-General F.W. von Mellentin will later commend them (in his memoir, "Tank Battles, 1939-1941", 1998, p.244), "The Russian high command knows its job better than the command of any other army." (Notice that this comes from a memoir covering events through 1941!)

Even with the massive influx of new officers, as the Red Army has inflated to 5.5 million troops by today, G. Gerasimov will later statistically compare them with the officer corps of 1936, before the Purge kicked into high gear (in the article "The Effective Impact of the 1937-1938 Purges on the Commanding Personnel of the RKKA [i.e. in English the WPRA, the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army]," for the "Russian Historical Journal", #1, 1999): higher education rates have gone up from 6.6 to 7.1 percent among all commanders, and from 29 to 52 percent among all generals specifically. Also from 1934-38 only 23 percent of all commanders had combat experience, whereas on the day before Barbarossa that is 29.5 percent.

Tomorrow, that combat experience percentage will start increasing drastically, of course! But still, with three times the number of officers on this day than five years previously, that's an impressive comparative increase.

Four years later, Nazi propaganda master Goebbels will acknowledge in his diary, March 15, 1945, "Stalin has all the reasons to honor the Soviet marshals like movie stars; they showed remarkable military talents."

No doubt they will acquire a lot more experience over the next four years than they currently have today; but idiots do not learn much from experience. Any idiots in Stalin's service on this day, will not turn into outstanding troop leaders tomorrow or four years from now. Rokossovsky, Malinovsky, Govorov, Meretskov, Vassilevsky, will suffer many defeats starting tomorrow, but they are not idiots tonight. The reasons for their defeat must be found elsewhere -- against Soviet propaganda, both under Stalin (soon and afterward), and after Stalin.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #46 on: June 20, 2020, 03:59:25 PM »
Final Considerations Before the Day of Truth
--------------------------------------------

Suppose the Day of Truth comes and goes tomorrow -- and nothing happens?

Hitler has been delaying it already, in order to make final adjustments; and he might delay it by another couple of weeks or months, to capture Gibraltar or something like that. He only expects a three week campaign, to do what he's trying to do, so he could afford to delay a little longer.

But even on the assumption that his three-week plan will be successful, Hitler cannot delay more than until the start of September, or even on a three week campaign his troops might be caught out of campaign weather, and out of winter quarters, out of defensive arrangement. He will have ruined his economy for nothing. Nazi Germany would collapse without Stalin firing a shot -- although the ideology of Stalin's Marxist-Leninism anticipates firing many shots, in any case, to liberate Germany as a Soviet Republic!

Suppose however that Hitler suddenly realizes or decides that the Second Strategic Echelon exists and is on the way, so that he has no possibility of instigating a revolutionary coup against Stalin by destroying his out-of-position army in only three weeks (just in time for harvest in Nazi as well as Soviet areas). No doubt, in that case, Hitler would pull his troops back somewhat and would now start very-belated defensive preparations on his border. Under such circumstances, he might even face a coup of his own, as German generals try to remove the Nazi government and sue for peace, in cooperative defense against Soviet aggression (whether actual or potential).
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #47 on: June 20, 2020, 04:09:12 PM »
But what choices would Stalin have?

Unlike Hitler (or Hitler's generals if they staged a coup), Stalin cannot pull his armies back. Many Soviet divisions created since February 1941 don't even have bases to return to! -- and many divisions only have gulags to return to -- after Stalin has armed them and their commanders, who are also former political prisoners.

At best, Stalin would need at least six months to put his troops back, dispersed throughout the nation; but moving them forward in two stages, has already overtaxed his logistic rail system, which will soon need rest and refitting in itself.

The current Five Year Plan has already been completely wrecked, not only by monopolizing the rail system so far, but by moving manpower either into troops or into military equipment and supply production. Most of the troops will never get home in time for the harvest, or even in time for winter, so that's adding yet more disaster to prior murderous famines.

The least of Stalin's worries, in that case, would be that all the gliders for his massive airborne forces (not even counting chutes for the paradrop assaulters) will be one hundred percent wasted.

Most supplies are up at the front with the troops; not back with the rest of the population. Eventual Marshal of the Soviet Union Kuroktin, in "Soviet Armed Forces Logistics during the Great Patriotic War", p.325, reports that five of the seven western fronts was already each eating two thousand cattle a day, not counting grain or anything else; and multi-million more troops are on the way, for filling out the First Echelon, and arriving with the Second Echelon. The Second Strategic Echelon also needs feeding. So do the divisions of three NKVD armies, four naval fleets, the air force, the vast number of minor detachments scattered around, and everyone in every part of the arms industry. Also, the Far East troops need to be fed to keep watch in case Japan decides to start skirmishing with hundreds of tanks and planes again -- though admittedly these two armies are no longer strong enough to wrestle at that level anymore; Stalin has ruined their ability to protect the Far East from Imperial Japan. Also, there's a liberation crusade invasion being set up for Iran -- an invasion plan so undisputed, it's sometimes being used as an excuse to explain some of the troop movement to the western border instead!

All those armed troops need food. All their logistic support, ten times their number, needs food.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #48 on: June 20, 2020, 04:14:28 PM »
The Soviet Union had better be doing a gangbusters job providing food for its people by now!

"Despite major strides made in agricultural development on the eve of the war, for a number of reasons the grain problem remained unresolved. Government grain procurement and storage were not fully meeting the country's food requirements." (JMH, 1961, #1, p.102.)

Oh. Huh. "Not fully meeting" Russia's food requirements, sounds not-good; but, how much are they not-fully meeting those requirements? Meeting 90% of full requirements? 80%?

Central Committee Member Zveryev, appointed by Stalin as the People's Commissar of Finances, in "Ministerial Proceedings", p.188), provides some comparison for context: "By early 1941, our cattle herds still had not come up to the 1916 level."

Peacetime cattle herds in Soviet Russia in 1941, after a quarter century of socialist rule in the international paradise of workers and peasants, are fewer than when Russia had already suffered so hard through two years of World War One, that Lenin and his militant Marxist socialists were (correctly!) sure they could ride a civil war erupting in March 1917, through the October Revolution against the tsars, and install themselves as absolute authorities over all Russian resources, property, and means of production!

After making major strides recently in agricultural development, Stalin's government has managed to improve food production far enough to return to a revolution-sparking two-years-of-disastrous-world-war level of starvation, by the standards of twenty-five years ago.

It used to be worse than this under Stalin's management! -- "major strides" have been made, after all! But relatively-better is still, in this case, fatally bad.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #49 on: June 20, 2020, 04:19:57 PM »
Stalin has destroyed the Soviet Union to get all these pieces in place.

The best outcome is that his armies will starve and freeze to death over the winter, thus reducing the mouths to feed in the nation he has ruined, but also reducing manpower to grow more food.

His one hundred and ninety-one divisions are unlikely to allow themselves to starve to death. Many divisions worth of troops just came out of starvation-level gulags (starvation level even by 1916 ruined-by-World-War-One standards!) looking like skeletons.

But who is going to take away their weapons? A mere three armies of death squad divisions with tanks and howitzers?!

The Second Strategic Echelon troops have no winter quarters; even First Echelon doesn't have those anymore. They have no winter gear. They don't even have bases ready to camp them, much less train and feed them. The armies of the Second Strategic Echelon, even though far from all of them are former gulag prisoners, have nowhere to go. But they are going nowhere westward, as fast as Stalin can arrange it!

Stalin can't feasibly call his divisions back, First or Second Echelon either one, in time to avoid fatal disaster for the Soviet government -- even assuming their reversal of direction wouldn't instantly snag up everything on the overstrained Soviet logistic system. And Stalin can't feasibly keep those troops on the border, which would be actually worse than trying to send them any significant fraction of them back home over the next six months.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #50 on: June 20, 2020, 04:21:46 PM »
In May 1940, Major-General Vasilyevsky became Deputy Chief of the General Staff's Operations Division, "working on the tactical portion of the Soviet Armed Forces strategic deployment plan for the northern, northwestern, and western sectors" (per the Soviet Encyclopedia, Vol.2, p.27.) A year and a half later he becomes a Marshal of the Soviet Union, and he, not Zhukov, runs the Red Army during the final years of Stalin's life, as Chief of the General Staff. Naturally, as a member of Stalin's tyranny, the moment Stalin dies his days of high office will be over, but he survives afterward.

Speaking about the first half of 1941 in JMH, 1978, #2, p.68, he will write, "We had to shake off fears that a great hue and cry would be raised in the West about allegedly aggressive ambitions on the part of the USSR. We had reached... the Rubicon of war -- and had to take a resolute step forward."

So, the aggressive ambitions would no longer be merely alleged! Cross that Rubicon forward: no going back.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #51 on: June 20, 2020, 04:27:00 PM »
Stalin might have gotten everyone back home in time for winter, and even perhaps enough of the troops back home in time for harvest (still with having wrecked the railway logistics for the Five Year Plan), if he had sent First Echelon home at the start of May -- instead of sending out the one month moving preparation order on May 5th (when he took over the public leadership of the Soviet Union!) to move both Echelons as close as possible to the Nazi border -- and, of course, if he had canceled the orders sent out back in February for Second Echelon to prepare.

But having sent out those orders (with much fanfare about some great destiny to finally be achieved thereby) back on May 5th, the momentum cannot now be reversed without total disaster for Stalin and his Soviet system.

Just as Shaposhnikov cautioned in the 1920s; just as he would have continued to talk about when, in mid-August 1939, the Politburo summoned the Supreme Soviet to enact two years of universal conscription: mobilize that conscription by any significant amount, and the nation must make war to live.

Millions and millions of armed draftees and professional troops of the highest training, are about to be standing around together, waiting --

waiting ---

waiting for the food to run out by October.


Stalin must go forward into the breadbasket of Europe, that very summer, or the Soviet Union dies.

Or, Hitler must rid Stalin of enough mouths to feed, that very summer, one way or another.


From Stalin’s Collected Works, Vol.5, p.225, “In the condition when we are surrounded by enemies, a sudden attack from our side, an unanticipated maneuver, quickness, decides everything.”


Next up: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 07:01:58 AM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.