Author Topic: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER  (Read 2694 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« on: April 11, 2020, 10:07:40 AM »
For the prior thread of my Icebreaker Thesis Chronology project, click here.

For the Table of Contents and Introduction thread, click here.


A Discontented Winter
-------------------------

September 28, 1939: the demarcation line for dividing up Poland is fixed. Ribbentrop signs the map as Foreign Minister of Germany -- his signature has force of law. Molotov signed the non-aggression pact in all the right places, but doesn't sign the map, despite being head of the Soviet Government and Minister of Foreign affairs. Stalin has no official business at all signing such a thing, no more than, today, Nancy Pelosi or Mitch McConnell would have, as the leaders of their respective American parties. But he's there, of course, and he's handed a pen.

Stalin is so excited at this deal, eliminating a neutral buffer zone between him and his greatest local enemy, as well as creating hundreds of miles of new borders with him, that he slashes the tail end of his signature across 58 centimeters of the map, 23 inches! (Might be a world record signature length?)

The secret protocols won’t be revealed to the world until the Nuremberg Trials (and only partially then, moreso later), at which time the defense lawyer for Rudolph Hess will argue that Stalin should also be on trial by the same standards as the Nazi leadership. (The Nuremberg judges will not accept this.)


September 29, 1939: Stalin directs a total of 1,613,803 troops to be retired from the Red Army, between now and January 7, 1940. The intentions of the Western Powers are clear: they will hold Hitler alone responsible for the invasion and rape of Poland, and will try to convince Stalin to help them by sending him support to defend himself from Nazi aggression.

Continuing to draw both guns (so to speak) would be suicidal for Stalin in several ways, at this time. Or rather, to keep drawing them this fast...
« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 09:36:14 PM 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.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2020, 10:14:59 AM »
September 1939: in his memoirs later ("A Soldier's True Story" or "Warriors' Stories", 1962, p.8 ), Brigade Commander Semion M. Krivosheyn (or Krivoshein), commander of the Soviet 25th Mechanized Corps at the time of the Soviet invasion of Poland during the Nazi invasion of Poland, recalls how he arranged a joint Soviet-Nazi parade in Brest.

This is such an unexpected and unusual event, especially after years of Soviet propaganda declaring Hitler the greatest enemy of Soviet Russia, that no Soviet commander would take the challenge of developing any specific details of such a parade, which after all is a political military manifestation of the intentions of both nations to the rest of the world. All details have to be passed up the chain of command for vetting and approval -- ultimately by Stalin himself. One such detail is Krivosheyn's publicity photo with a friendly-smiling Hans Guderian! (Who is holding his hands behind his back.)

At this time Guderian is a Lieutenant-General, commanding a panzer corps. Krivosheyn is only a BrigCom, two effective ranks under him, when etiquette should require the Soviets send an equivalent officer; a Corps Commander, such as nearby 4th Army Commander Vassiliy Chuykov, for example. (The new Soviet General ranks have not been established by Stalin yet.)

Stalin's choice for arranging the parade, and the photo opp, is perfect as an insult: he could send a ComCor commanding an Army, but sends a BrigCor; who only several months earlier had been fighting Nazi panzers in Spain; and who moreover... is Jewish!  :coolsmiley:

This means Stalin was not being nice to the Nazis out of fear of provoking an attack; it means Stalin had no fear of insulting Hitler and the Nazis.

Was the equally friendly Commander Krivosheyn naive? Was he fooled by the Nazis?

He remarks to his deputy after having arranged the joint Soviet-Nazi parade in Brest, "We pacted with the Germans, but that means nothing... Right now is absolutely the perfect time, finally and constructively, to resolve all world problems..." In Soviet doctrine, all world problems would be solved when the Red Army triggers and supports a worldwide revolutionary war by the workers against the property owners, bringing all nations as newly socialized republics under command of the Communist International and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

In his memoirs, Krivosheyn treats his comment to his deputy after the parade as only a joke: a joke about how the fall of Poland and alliance with Nazis creates a perfect opportunity for the Red Army of the USSR to conquer the world.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 09:38:49 PM 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.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2020, 10:44:47 AM »
Autumn 1939: as soon as Poland has been partitioned and the new shared border with Nazi territory has been established, Stalin starts directing large numbers of his troops to abandon their well-developed permanent bases back beyond the previous border, and to move up to the new border.

This makes some sense on the face of it, because despite the non-aggression pact and especially the subsequent Friendship Pact, Stalin and every Soviet leader is very well aware that Hitler is Hitler and the Nazis are Nazis! -- and therefore as fellow post-Marxian revolutionary socialists they have the same goal of instigating and leading the workers to rise up against the property owners (rather than waiting for this to happen naturally by instinct according to Marx's original theory), supporting or providing this by armed invasion and conquest of territory so as to bring all property, materials, and means of production, eventually under the socialist control of Hitler.

One subtle difference is that Hitler doesn't seem to talk or authorize much talk, about Marx's communist stage which is supposed to follow the socialist government tyranny-for-the-people someday in the vague and distant future, unlike Soviet propaganda; but in any case, the militant socialists understand each other's threat.

Moving increasingly large numbers of troops up to the new border doesn't quite make sense of Hitler's threat, however, in some other ways:

1.) Stalin himself orchestrated removing the huge buffer zone of neutral Poland between himself and Hitler (which of course Hitler in turn agreed with, somewhat greedily and/or for short-term political convenience). Making friends with Poland and helping them gear up to defend against Hitler's aggression would make a lot more sense! True, the Poles know that they can't trust the Soviet Union, but Stalin could still have used them as a buffer zone to prepare a defense against Hitler's aggression. You could reply that Stalin knew Hitler was going to invade Poland sooner or later and so arranged to add some defensive space for Russia in Eastern Poland by taking an active role in suggesting that if Hitler is wary about going after Danzig and the Polish Corridor (so as to create a proper thoroughfare to Eastern Prussia), then the Soviets would help take down Poland, providing a deterrent to other nations getting involved at this first open armed Nazi conquest of a foreign power. However...

2.) ...that theory doesn't work because Stalin immediately throws away the extra defensive space he gained, by moving increasingly large numbers of troops, out of well-developed defensive positions, and up to the border! If they were creating new well-developed defensive positions, that would be different, but...

3.) ...building even well-developed defensive positions up next to the border is a bad idea if you don't build up supporting areas behind the front defensive line, which Stalin isn't doing; and moreover...

4.) ...Stalin isn't even building well-developed defensive positions up next to the border!

The troops are certainly very busy at construction; Suvorov cites several sources (such as the "History of the Second World War", Vol.4, p.27; "The Order-of-the-Red-Banner Byelorussian Military District [official history]", p.84, and Sandalov's "Assignment: Moscow", p.41) as examples of what they are building and why: they have no bases here, so everything has to be rebuilt and reequipped -- supply hubs and depots, airbases, the railway network (more on this and other construction soon), communication lines and centers, repair and construction of barracks and camps, new practice areas, gunnery ranges, and tank driving courses.

The MD history says the 3rd, 4th, and 10th Armies are hard at work in this area. But Stalin hasn't released funds for barracks to amount to anything, as Sandalov recalls, so the troops who can't fit in previous Polish barracks (even with new bunks stacked four-high), must make do being quartered in warehouses or even in dugouts. This is a serious problem for the coming winter!

Notice that these descriptions don't mention any defensive constructions (aside perhaps from the dugouts). That might only reflect Suvorov cherry picking his data and avoiding such references; although on the other hand, Suvorov doesn't emphasize at this point a lack of defensive construction -- he might only be emphasizing how hard Stalin is cramming troops up onto the new border area, faster than they have room to effectively be camped.

In fact the troops, under orders from high command, will be constructing defenses, even some expensive ones, on the border. More about those defenses and what else they'll be working on, later.

Meanwhile, it could be worse: what if all new divisions arriving at the border, or being created there, weren't setting up for the winter at all...!?
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 V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2020, 10:48:58 AM »
Autumn 1939: by 1939, all bridges over the Dnepr River had been solidly wired to detonate upon an enemy invasion. Moreover, an entire flotilla had been created, 120 ships, including eight armored river 'monitors' (250 or 260 tons depending on the two models employed, and cannon up to 130mm!), for the purpose of keeping an invader from even crossing much less bridging the Dnepr after the bridges are detonated; along with anti-aircraft batteries and heavy guns along the banks, and nearby aircraft prepared to support a river defense. This could hold up a Nazi invasion for several months at least -- Germany was absolutely not prepared to deal with a river fortified to this level.

But Stalin orders the Dnepr bridges de-mined, and the flotilla disbanded.  :o

He has no use for guarding the Dnepr or even its bridges anymore, after Hitler starts the Second World War; and if he leaves the mines in place without guards, a revolution against the Soviet tyranny might destroy the bridges instead.

So, will that river fleet be put into drydock storage somewhere? -- surely not scuttled!?

Oh, don't worry, they won't be scuttled. Stalin has plans for them; which we'll be getting back to later...  :coolsmiley:
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 V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2020, 10:51:27 AM »
October 1939: the Soviet 6th Armored Brigade consists of more than 250 BT series tanks, commanded by Colonel M. P. Pavelkin. This month they ride from Khalkhin-Gol river in Mongolia (site of the recent blitzing curb-stomp of the Japanese Sixth Army by Zhukov) to Uru-khan, covering a distance of 670km, averaging 150km per 24-hour period, in a total of 39 operational hours (not all at once of course), with tracks removed and the tanks moving on wheels! -- and not on autobahn quality roads to say the least!

The brigade is awarded the Red Banner Order for this successful maneuver.


In less praiseworthy news...

October 5, 1939: the Baltic State Republic of Latvia is forced to accept a mutual assistance pact with the Soviet Union, granting the Soviets the right to station between 25 and 30 thousand troops on Latvian territory.
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 V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2020, 11:18:03 AM »
October 25, 1939: now that Nazi troops have moved out of the Polish territory ceded to the Soviet Union by the secret protocols, and the Soviet “liberation” pacification of Eastern Poland has been underway for a while, it’s time to look for the next liberation crusade!

The target should of course be on a Soviet border; ideally it should be a tough fight for practice; and it should reduce the strength, or even better outright eliminate, some ally of Germany without provoking the Nazis into a new war yet.

The obvious choice is Finland.

Stalin’s diplomats demand the Finns cede the disputed Karelian Isthmus northwest of Leningrad, offering a piece of territory twice the size in exchange: 5528 square kilometers for 2761 square kilometers!

However, there is one small problem: the Finns are well aware that Karelia is a direct gateway to the capital of Finland and to all its largest ports and most populated regions. The geography of Finland only lends itself for invasion one way: through Karelia. In theory the Finns could go after Lenningrad, and of course in Soviet doctrine such a “Fortified Sector” would be considered a staging point for invasion. But that would be national suicide as everyone is well aware; and the Nazis aren’t threatening to team up with neutral Finland to pressure Leningrad yet.

Finland has been fortifying this area for 21 years against Soviet invasion; and since 1929 has been putting practically all military budgets into this epic defensive security corridor, now known as the Mannerheim Line. Military experts from all countries of the world unanimously agree at this time, that hell would freeze over first (so to speak) before any army, taking any amount of time, could break through the Mannerheim Line.

In other words, Stalin demands Finland hand over her first and only main line of defense against Soviet invasion, not only with past history of Soviet invasions nearby, but with the Soviet invasion and pacification of Poland recently staring at the world! This would give Stalin passage through the Line without one even one shot, at the cost of twice as much worthless ground where no one lived and which no one needed -- which could, after all, be reclaimed under Soviet control once Finland has been welcomed by the Red Army as the newest Soviet Socialist Republic!
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 V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2020, 11:21:10 AM »
Stalin has been preparing a Communist Party revolution and takeover in Finland. The Red Army 106th Rifle Division is organized today, staffed by Finnish and Karelian Communists living in the Lenningrad Military District (per N.L. Volkovski and editors “Secrets and Lessons of the Winter War, 1939-1940”, 2000, p.141-44; and Boris V. Sokolov’s “Secrets of the Finnish War”, 2000, pp.63-70.)

The goal of this Division is to provide the appearance of a large number of Finnish Communist patriots, homeland boys who love their nation and only wish to support it. It consists of two twin regiments, numbering in total 13,405 personnel.

However, there are not enough Finns and Karelians wishing and able to join (or forced to join), even to fill out the officers, so naturally Russians are assigned as the remainder. “Russians” includes “Ukrainians” from the opposite side of European Russia!

Just as naturally, a Finnish Communist division mostly made up of Russians and even Ukrainians doesn’t look like a devoted force of Finnish patriots, so of course the non-Finnish officers and many of the troops are enlisted under Finnish and Karelian names:D For example, the corps’ chief of staff, Brigade commander F.N. Romanov is enlisted as Raikas; and the headquarters political department chief, Regimental Commissar V.P. Tereshkin is given the new temporary name of Tervonen.
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 V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2020, 11:26:25 AM »
November 11, 1939, from Goebbel's diary, "The Russian army presents no value. The army is poorly commanded, and it is even more poorly armed." ("Admissions and Revelations: Nazi Leaders on the Third Reich's War against the USSR: Secret Speeches, Diaries, Memoirs", a government publication in Smolensk, 2000, p.195.)

Goebbels was of course notorious for believing his own propaganda; but he records Hitler's stated opinions, too (same page in the archive), "[Hitler] once again notes the catastrophic state of the Russian army. It can hardly be used for military action."


November 23, 1939, shortly before the start of the Winter War. The 106th Rifle Division, even staffed and manned with a bunch of fake Finns, doesn’t look or at least sound important enough to be declared the national army of Finland and used as a propaganda weapon (as well as a military weapon) against the legal government.

So the division was reorganized during the past month to be the 106th Rifle Corps. The commander is still a Divisional Commander rank, A.M. Anttila; and its two “divisions” are still the twin regiments, now pretending to be divisions.

This is still regarded as too clumsy a piece of propaganda because, first, it’s still called a Red Army Rifle Corps  ::) ; and second, at this time the Soviet Union only has 56 Rifle Corps! :uglystupid2: :crazy2:

Someone realizes that if anyone takes this Corps seriously, the implication would be that the Soviet Union is secretly building another forty-nine rifle corps (at least), which might be bad for politics!

So today, the 106th Red Army Rifle Corps is quickly renamed again, to be the 1st Alpine Rifle Corps of the Finnish People’s Army! (There are no "Alps" in Finland, but “alpine” is an accepted way to talk about a mountain warfare group during this time.)

Stalin has prepared a new Communist government as well, in accordance with long-standard Soviet invasion doctrine (dating back at least as far as the lately executed Tukhachevsky), which can at any moment be popped in and propped up by the Red Army, and sent to Helsinki in accordance with “the will of the people”, cough. ;)

DivCom Anttila of the Red Army has been assigned as the Finnish “minister of defense”. Deputy pre-GRU chief Otto Kuusinen is still on deck to be the “President of the Democratic Finnish Republic” or whatever nice non-tyrannical title the new nation will get before being inducted as a Soviet Republic.
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 V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2020, 11:29:45 AM »
November 23, 1939: at a meeting of the Wehrmacht Supreme Command, Hitler (unsourced by Suvorov) points out that the Nazi government can launch a war against the Soviet Union, only after war in the west has been concluded.

Every German schoolboy knows Germany must lose a two-front war; and Hitler's National Socialism, by being (like Italian Fascism, and Soviet Communism) a militant post-Marxian socialism, has in effect declared war against the world: a war to bring all property and materials, and all means of production, under the control of whoever stands at the top of the Nazi government. So Hitler can expect no allies among the Great Powers, and precious few significant allies elsewhere.

His two largest competitors on land are France, with whom he shares a border, and the Soviet Union, with whom he just created a border. If he wishes to avoid a two-front war, who will be easier to conquer the quickest under current circumstances? The obvious answer is France, and her Continental allies, also securing the coast against opportunistic British invasions.

Thus Case Yellow (Fall Gelb) and Case Red (Fall Rot) are planned for next year's campaigning: the seizure of property and production control, of the northern coastal areas, and then of central France.
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 V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2020, 11:33:53 AM »
November 1939: Stalin disbands Polish defensive partisan detachments and removes Polish officers (sometimes fatally) from Polish military forces under his control. This makes sense as part of his sovietization plans, and also to keep military units from forming a resistance. It also means he has no interest in forming a true cooperative effort to rescue the Poles from the Nazis, including plans for using them defensively against Nazi invasion.

Beyond that, however, Stalin throughout autumn 1939 has also been disbanding Soviet Russian partisan groups! Their arms and ammunition and explosives taken away, secret hiding places and depots dug under, bases gutted. Stalin does not expect to use even Soviet partisans on defense anymore; and as in Poland he will not leave such areas usable by internal anti-communist uprisings.

From the title-drop of Military Intelligence Colonel Professor Starinov's memoir, "Mines Awaiting Their Moment," p.40, "Safely hidden in the ground, arms and explosives were awaiting their moment. Before it had come, though, hidden [Soviet] partisan bases were gutted, unquestionably with the full knowledge and probably on the direct order of Stalin."

V.I. Boyarsky, in his "The Guerilla War: A History of Lost Opportunities" (published in Moscow and in Minsk in 2001), will write (on page 60), "Whole caches of weaponry, ammunition, [and] explosives, intended and kept hidden for partisan forces, were liquidated. The network of partisan training schools, along with their very competent leaders, were eliminated. Only the few partisan leaders who confronted the fascists in Spain kept their places. Among them were A.K. Sprogis; S.A. Vaupshassov; N.A. Prokopyuk; I.G. Starinov; and others." (This language, of liquidation and elimination, suggests the removal is part of one of Stalin's ongoing purges of the pre-GRU and NKVD.)

Hero of the Soviet Union NKVD Colonel S.A. Vauphsassov is an ethnic Lithuanian (last name normally spelled Vaupsas in Lithuanian but Russified for official documents and historical literature), who will be a veteran of Soviet political terrorism in Poland and Spain, and who at this time commands an NKVD detachment of partisans in Byelorussia until they are disbanded in this autumn of 1939. How does he explain the orders to disband the Soviet partisan system? From "Tense Times at the Cross-roads: A Checkist's Memoirs", 1971, p.203, "Against the menacing backdrop of those prewar years the prevalent doctrine was to fight a war on enemy territory... a doctrine decidedly offensive in nature."

Now that the Soviets have more successfully invaded Poland, Vauphsassov will be assigned to NKVD SpecOps formations tasked with "cleaning territory of hostile elements" in the course of the Soviet "liberation crusades", until the summer of 1941.


Speaking of the prevalent doctrine being to fight on enemy territory, Stalin in autumn of 1939 creates three more regiments of new paratroop forces in the Moscow Military District, each consisting of three battalions of five to seven hundred parachutists each, plus another several detached battalions of similar numbers (per "Moscow Military District", 1985, p.177).
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 V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2020, 11:40:23 AM »
November 1939: in a strict sense, "armies" are metaphysical creations, organizing divisions and then corps (of divisions) together for command and logistic purposes, whereas these smaller "containers" may themselves be devoid of actual soldiers at the time. This explains some of the deviation between Suvorov's reports of ludicrous numbers of divisions, corps, and armies on one hand, and other reports that such armies were paper shells unfit for much combat -- yet. The containers are organized first, then filled out later; but aside from propaganda purposes the existence of the containers does indicate the intention (which is why Stalin will later keep secret for as long as he can, most of the Armies he creates after the 15th one. We'll see why later...)

We can see examples of the varying quality and strengths of Soviet armies, on the border of Finland, being deployed for moving into position several weeks before "Finnish aggression". 13th and 15th Armies will arrive soon to help crack through the security corridor; but already moving onto or already on the lines are...

14th Army -- no corps, two rifle divisions.
9th Army -- no corps, three rifle divs.
8th Army -- no corps, four rifle divs.

These are essentially small to medium-sized corps, dressed up as armies (to be filled out later theoretically), and they all have undistinguished or inexperienced commanders. "Finnish Militarists" will not bother aggravating these weak "armies" a few weeks from now.

7th Army -- this has the 10th Tank Corps (660 tanks!), three tank brigades (330 tanks each!), the 10th, 19th, 34th, and 50th Rifle Corps (each with three divisions); a stand-alone reserve brigade; eleven separate artillery regiments not counting artillery regiments already integrated into corps and divisions; several separate tank battalions; some separate whole artillery divisions(!!?); and an air component.

Merely in rifle divisions, 7th Army by itself is as strong as the other three put together! Plus it has all those other things, totally lacking in the other three armies put together!

One of Stalin's favorite generals, the highly competent Meretskov, commands this army. In fact, he has been scouting the Finnish border all year as the Leningrad Military District Commander (converting into the front commander for this invasion -- notice this because we’ll be coming back to it much later on a much, much larger scale, involving Meretskov again), and he has brought along the most promising commanders currently available, such as for example future Marshal of the Soviet Union Govorov (head of 7th Army's Artillery Staff).

What is this army?!

This is what the Soviets internally (not in official designations) call a "strike army". Its purpose is to be an elite and totally offensive invasion force. It is also the Army that "Finnish militarists" will aggravate with a few "armed provocations" of bursts of artillery, provoking a "retaliatory strike". How amazingly convenient!

However, once upon a time, the 7th Army had been just as much of a mere corps, of a few divisions, as the other three. Meretskov had arrived from Lenningrad MD headquarters with some more corps and attachments and so had converted it into a strike army. This not only allowed flexibility of deployment, it also served a political purpose: on paper, all the armies look weak and non-threatening. Strike armies only exist in Soviet doctrinal theory -- until presto, a normal army suddenly changes into a strike army! The same 7th Army, the most powerful single Soviet Army in December 1939, will go back a few months later to no corps, four rifle divisions.

In formal terms, all armies are labeled alike, and none are labeled as "strike" armies. (Eventually in WW2, some armies will be officially labeled “shock” armies, when designed for the same purpose: to punch through enemy defenses and create cover for other armies to arrive and deploy behind. By then, naming them openly will be politically expedient for morale!) Some are converted to strike armies by the addition of Armored and/or Mechanized Corps; others start out that way.
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 V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2020, 11:43:52 AM »
Stalin after invading Poland, by the way, has instituted the propaganda move of re-designating tank groups (corps and divisions) as "mechanized" groups.

Why? Because the West now has plenty of harsh examples of tank-heavy "Panzer Groups" being used for offensive action, but "mechanized" can refer to tracked infantry in Western nomenclature. This is only a convenient naming convention; Stalin's "mechanized" divisions and corps are as tank-heavy as he cares to make them at any time. The deletion of "tank" from the name of a corps, is followed by an increase in the number of tanks in the corps. Pre-1941 Soviet doctrine indicates that a fully operational Mechanized Corps must have 1031 tanks (not counting other armor): simply adding one such corps to a thin paper army converts it, by itself, into the Soviet equivalent of a German Panzer Group.

In the 1920s, Soviet experts used the term "invasion armies" for similar organizations (up to the standards of that time). Soviet diplomacy was doing its utmost to establish "normal relations" for the nations it had openly pledged to conquer and convert to Soviet Socialist republics, especially neighboring countries, and so in the 1930s the un-diplomatic term "invasion army" had been replaced by "strike army". But (as noted in the Soviet Journal of Military History 1963, #10, p.31) "strike armies" were still "invasion armies"; the name had merely been changed for political propaganda. Formally the armies still weren't called "strike armies", and the concept had been adjusted so that regular small arguably peaceful armies could be rapidly converted to (and deconverted from) strike armies, without calling them strike armies.

1939 WPRA Field Manual: "The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army [WPRA] shall be the most aggressive of all the armies that have ever attacked."
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 V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2020, 11:48:50 AM »
December 19, 1939: today the Red Army starts taking delivery of production models of the T-34.  <:-) :bd:

Nazi Field Marshal von Kleist will recall, "Their T-34 was the best in the world." Major-General von Mellentin will agree: "We had nothing equal to the T-34." Field Marshal von Eundstedt will also regard the T-34 as the best tank in the world.

It is the only tank in the world created before World War II, which will not be considered obsolete after the war; it will fight for decades. No other tank, even developed during WW2, will have such a long service lifespan, not even the legendary Sherman.

60 years later, the leading authority in the field of designing armored technology, British Professor Richard Ogarkovets, will consider the world's tank-building industry to remain fully under the influence of the ideas incorporated into the T-34.

Leading British historian and military theorist, B.H. Liddell Hart, will write "None of our tanks could compare with the T-34."

French General G. Bouche, "The arrival of the T-34 tank, significantly superior to German tanks, greatly surprised the Germans."

Germany, the homeland of Rudolph Diesel, will not be able to design a sufficiently powerful diesel engine for its tanks; and during the war, thanks to the Allied naval blockade, Germany could not import the raw materials needed for steel alloys on par with the quality of the Soviets (per Guderian's "Panzer Leader", 1974, p.276). The T-34 comes standard with a diesel engine specifically designed for it. Also standard, a 76mm gun, with an L-41 proportion (41x the caliber in length), the most powerful tank gun of its time; and will remain so throughout Barbarossa. (The KV-2 and a late model T-28 have larger weapons, but are not designed as tank guns; they're mobile turreted artillery pieces.) It has an ideal body shape for a low profile, angled deflection of incoming shots, and a low specific ground pressure (weight spread out across track width, so it doesn't sink so far into mud or deep snow). Its weight distribution, powerful engine, and track design, will let it outclass all German tank performance characteristics through the start and the end of the Great Patriotic War: overall speed, acceleration, cross-country ability, loose surface ability (sand, mud, snow).

On top of everything else it can be easily mass produced, easily used, and easy to repair. Weight for armor and/or weapons can be increased significantly without significantly altering its performance characteristics -- thanks primarily to the key principle of Soviet tank design since the late 20s, make the best engine possible first.
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 V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2020, 11:50:59 AM »
This year, Soviet armies also received units of the BT-7M tank. Soviet historians will soon insist this tank arrives as obsolete -- compared to the cutting edge T-34. ;)

On tracks over unpaved roads, it can run for 520 km; on tracks over paved roads, 630 km; and after shedding its tracks, it could run on paved roads 1250 km. (per Pavolv, Zheltov, and Pavlov, "Domestic Armored Vehicles", p.182) No other tank in the world has such a range on December 19, 1939; no other tank in the world has such a range sixty years later!

The 'obsolete' BT-7M has a 500hp diesel engine. No other nation will be able to create such an engine before the end of the war. Some tanks of other nations are switched to diesels eventually, but only using weak automobile engines; everyone else (outside the Soviet Union) must use carburetor gasoline engines, making their tanks extremely vulnerable to fires and dependent for their higher fuel consumption and lower mileage on a more refined and expensive fuel.


On this day, the Soviet Union also starts taking deliveries of the first KV-1 (and apparently KV-2) units. More on these later; suffice to say they will be the most powerful tanks in the world throughout the first half of World War Two, without equals, despite some of their weaknesses (particularly the KV-2, which is only weak against other tanks -- not against the bunkers it is designed to roll up to and shatter.)
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 V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2020, 11:56:04 AM »
Last but not least, the Red Army starts receiving T-40 tanks today. In its class, it is also the best in the world, and will have no equal. 227 of them will be produced by June 21, 1941. It has a new body shape, never seen before, and weighs 5.5 tons. It is armed with a heavy-caliber DShK machine gun, and a regular DT machine-gun. A variant, the T-40S, comes with a 20mm automatic cannon instead of the heavy machine gun. It is roughly equivalent to the Nazi Panzer II.

But the PzII cannot float.

Soviet historians will declare the T-40 obsolete on June 22, 1941, when some models have not even had their paint dried! But between these and their predecessors, Stalin will have around FOUR THOUSAND floatable tanks on June 22, 1940, capable of swimming across the English channel! -- in stormy weather! -- while shooting!

No nation by 2019 will have tanks which can do that, much less 4000 of them. Hitler invaded Poland with fewer comparable PzI and PzII tanks, which couldn't float three meters!

But don't worry, Stalin has other designs in the work than 4000 floating Panzer Is (and a few PzIIs). For example, the PT-1 and its variants weighs 14 tons and would come standard with a 500hp engine, a speed of 90km/h on land with shed tracks, 62 km/h with tracks still on, and the previously established standard of 6 km/h floating on the water (per Karpenko "Review of National Armor-Tank Technology", p.189). It would have been armed with a 45mm cannon, and four machine guns, carrying a crew of four men. In other words, Stalin's engineers are already designing a hybrid of their fully amphibious floating tank, and an early BT speed tank.

It will be fully designed, and fully tested in production models! -- but Stalin will not order it into production: after June 22, 1941, sailing wheeled speed tanks across rough water the width of the English Channel, will not be in the plans anymore.
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.