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Offline JasonPratt

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IceBreakChron VIII: THE GREATEST IN ALL HISTORY
« on: May 29, 2020, 05:31:25 PM »
For the prior thread of my Icebreaker Thesis Chronology project, click here.

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


At long last we have arrived at entries for June 13th, 1941 -- which I'll try to time to be done on our current June 13th this year. After which, the entries will seriously spike to try to be done in time for June 22nd. Just like the final moves in Stalin's Grand Strategy preparation!  :coolsmiley:

So, why is June 13th so important? -- enough that references to this day dwarf the recollections of June 22nd (the catastrophic invasion of Russia by the Nazis) in officer memoirs and interviews afterward?? And why did I title this thread "The Greatest In All History"?

I think I've already said why in some earlier posts, but I'll be explaining it again soon. Allow me some cheap drama meanwhile!  ;D

Tomorrow's first entry for this day in history will be (relatively) more mundane, and fairly brief, but I decided to set up the thread and its crosslinks tonight.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 08:55:55 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.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron VIII: THE GREATEST IN ALL HISTORY
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2020, 09:32:15 AM »
June 13, 1941: nine days before the Nazi invasion, the head of the Foreign Press Department of Germany's Propaganda Ministry, Karl Böhmer, is standing before a Nazi People's Tribunal; because back on May 24th, he had let an intoxicated tongue wag about future relations with the Soviet Union -- for which he had been immediately arrested.

Now he labels his utterances as drunken ravings: of course there will be no war between Germany and the Soviet Union! He is punished harshly.

Goebbels complains in his diary about Hitler personally taking care of this case, because doing that calls too much attention to the Soviet situation.
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 VIII: THE GREATEST IN ALL HISTORY
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2020, 09:30:45 PM »
Since I'm likely to be out of pocket at odd times 'tomorrow' (May 31st current history), I'm posting the next entry a couple of hours early, strictly speaking. ;)


June 13, 1941: nine days before the Nazi invasion, TASS (the Soviet news agency, run by the government, ultimately by Stalin) puts out a story announcing the start of full redeployment of the Second Strategic Echelon to the western areas of the USSR.

The Soviet government doesn't call this what it truly is, of course: TASS claims this is a routine transfer of reservists heading for maneuvers.

In reality:

it is the single greatest logistic triumph in all of human history!

-- after the previous one, for moving elements of the First Strategic Echelon to the western border.

Why is this one greater when the prior one involved moving more divisions? Because the Second Echelon aren't the only divisions on the move. More on this soon.

The TASS statement also asserts, "Germany is abiding by the terms of the Soviet-German non-aggression pact as unswervingly as the Soviet Union," which is very strictly true although phrased in a misleading way (since both sides are preparing to torch that pact fatally), and adds, "these rumors [about preparations underway for a German invasion of the USSR] are clumsy propaganda concocted by forces hostile to the USSR and Germany, keen on unleashing war on a still wider scale..." Who are these hostile forces? "British Ambassador to Moscow Cripps", "London", and "the English press". Leading Soviet newspapers will print the report the next day (June 14th).

After the war ends in 1945, Stalin will purge the TASS, but not on charges of treasonously misleading the Soviet people to be unprepared for a Nazi invasion. And anyway, not only does the report bear his signature style, but he had to have approved a draft. This is why afterward not only the Western press, but even the Soviet press -- still under Stalin's tight control! -- will ridicule Stalin himself for this report.
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 VIII: THE GREATEST IN ALL HISTORY
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2020, 07:52:47 AM »
This leads to the question: who is Stalin even trying to convince here, that rumors of an invasion by Germany are only clumsy falsehoods made by traitors and enemies, particularly the British government (down to names of ambassadors), who want to see the World War spread to Russia?

He has not been telling this to his military commanders; he has been telling them to get ready to fight, and to fight hard, and to disregard any propaganda about peace, and lately also to be ready for surprises! Eventual Marshal of the Soviet Union Vasilyevsky will later say in his memoir ("Life-Long Cause", p.120), that the June 13 TASS statement was "followed by no fundamentally new instructions regarding the Armed Forces nor any revision of decisions already adopted." Nothing changed for the General Staff's job, nor in the People's Commissariat for Defense (the Narkomats), and "nothing was supposed to change... But because no directives followed it, we quickly realized that [the TASS statement] was irrelevant both for the armed forces and for the nation as a whole." (My emphasis.)

(Note: in “Chief Culprit”, the footnotes for chapter 34, which focuses on June 13, 1941, are badly out of synch, leading to problems with citations, starting here. In “Icebreaker” the footnotes are correct but not as extensive. I've done my best to resynch the Chief Culprit footnote references, a task which quickly gave me blinding headaches! -- but I may have missed a few.)

The USSR Ministry of Defense Archives, Collection 344, Catalogue 2459, Dossier 11, p.31, is a sample of orders coming down to military districts, for example in the Baltic MD, opposite in character to the TASS report; thus also in military newspapers (as reported by Vice Admiral Azarov's memoir "Odessa Under Siege", p.16.)
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 VIII: THE GREATEST IN ALL HISTORY
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2020, 07:36:00 AM »
According to Khvostov and Major-General Grylev, writing in "Communist", 1968, #12, p.68, on June 13th, Molotov summons the Nazi ambassador to Moscow and hands him the text of the TASS statement.

Meanwhile, in London, the home and origin of this infamous conspiracy (according to the TASS release), Soviet Ambassador Maisky meets with British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden -- but not to throw a tantrum and demand the recall of British Ambassador Cripps!

Instead, they have a friendly discussion about the steps Great Britain would take to help the Red Army "if in the near future war breaks out between the USSR and Germany": the same phraseology and word order of the TASS Statement, not specifically if Germany attacks Russia! ("History of the Second World War 1939-1945", Vol.3, p.352)

Among the specifics: direct use of British air power in combat operations to support the Red Army, military supplies, and military command coordination between the two countries.

Remember, the Soviet Union currently stands not only in a non-aggression treaty but even a Friendship Treaty with Nazi Germany! -- and on this very day the USSR is blaming the British government and its ambassadors for spreading false rumors of crazy-strong Nazi and Soviet military buildups on the border, for the purpose of goading the two sides into war with each other!

Stalin does not abrogate the Nazi Friendship Treaty; he tells Molotov to tell the Nazi ambassador that they are still fast friends, while handing him his own copy of the TASS Statement, and uses the TASS Statement to unmask "those who want to widen the war".

Maisky will later, after the war, write "Who Helped Hitler", blaming Great Britain and France, Hitler's victims, for "countless victims and sufferings" by, supposedly, helping Hitler start WW2.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 09:13:01 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.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron VIII: THE GREATEST IN ALL HISTORY
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2020, 06:26:55 AM »
Also on June 13, 1941, nine days before the Nazi invasion, the remaining eight specter armies (after the historical 17th, breaking the prior Soviet record dating back to Lenin's Revolution!), activate for organized operations: 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 24th, the 25th (against Japan), and the 28th.

Some will be rolled up immediately to help the First Strategic Echelon (the 23rd having been already activated for this purpose); others (including the previously activated 16th Army, itself matching the previous record for maximum Soviet armies) will be part of the Second Strategic Echelon.

Are these normal armies (perhaps even only small or medium sized rifle corps in effect)? -- or strike armies?

Typically they are two corps of three divisions each, not a strike force and a little small for conventional armies, but some are receiving special training (like airborne assault operations for the Siberian 24th.) Most will have no mechanized corps (i.e. tank corps by Soviet political nomenclature), but that makes sense for the distances that most will have to be railed, including over (or off) the Urals. But there are standalone mechanized corps in the west which can be added to beef up any army; and the armies forming off the Urals will have tanks. Once the "covering armies" of the First Echelon have taken up their beachhead positions (analogically) on enemy territory, their own mechanized corps can be transferred to the leaner Second Echelon anyway. But some, like the 16th and 19th armies, will be strike and super-strike armies (with mountain strike capabilities for the 19th). More on these later.

(Suvorov is a little porous about which armies count as First or Second Echelon, due to some of the Armies after the 15th being slated for immediate support of the front-line covering armies. The 17th and 25th Armies are slated to stay in the Far East in case Japan gets frisky again.)

Note that, according to the Central Archive of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation, Fund 16, Index 2951, Case 406, Sheets 109-19, three of these armies by themselves (the 21st Army from the Volga MD; the 22nd Army from the Urals MD; and the 16th Army from the Trans-Baikal MD), need a total together of 939 railroad trains! "Trains" is how Suvorov's English translation of "Chief Culprit" describes them; even for three armies that seems excessive, so perhaps he meant 939 railroad wagons? No, he means trains (from his description a little afterward in the same chapter 34 of “Chief Culprit”, though on a different topic): "thousands of railroad cars are needed for the transfer of even one army. They have to be sent to the station of departure, loaded with the army, heavy weapons, and reserves [and all kinds of supplies], and then cross thousands of kilometers." So yes, he means around eighteen thousand rail cars for these three out of the total eight armies. (As will be seen later, while one of the new armies is supposed to stay behind to help guard the Far East, in practice most of its troops will be deployed west, too.)
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 VIII: THE GREATEST IN ALL HISTORY
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2020, 07:12:10 AM »
To reiterate, on June 13th , 1941, the Soviet Union launches the largest troop transfer in human history so far! -- even down to the present day!

Why? Because everything of the 56 divisions already deployed up next to the border (in the previous record troop transfer of human history!), is ordered to move even closer, as far as humanly possible: they don't have far to go, but their orders for synchronized movement were sent one month earlier (May 13th) along with the other more distant preparations. On top of that another 114 divisions of the First and Second Strategic Echelon, whether near the border or still much farther back in-country, are ordered to move up to the border. (The other 21 divisions are NKVD, already at the border, so effectively also First Echelon but not counted that way by Suvorov, which also affects his tallies occasionally.)

Five of the eight missing but now activated armies immediately deploy westward (per General Shtemyenko's "General Staff during the War Years", p.26): "Right before the beginning of the war, under the strictest secrecy, additional forces began to gather in the border forests. Five armies were transferred from the depth of the country toward the borders." The other three armies are being readied (per General S.P. Ivanov's "Opening Phase of the War", p.211.)

Why not all eight at once? Partly because one of them is intended to stay near Japan; but mostly because February, March, April, and May, had already seen freakish record-breaking levels of railway military transport bringing troops westward. Now another 77 tank, motorized, and rifle divisions (of the Second Strategic Echelon), plus hundreds of unattached reserve regiments and battalions, are on the move from the Far East westward: even after years and even decades of preparation, there aren't enough railcars and rail wagons for all the armies! (cf G.D. Plaskov's "Artillery Thunder", 1974, p.125.)

For example, from “Transport in the Great Patriotic War, 1941-45”, 1981, p.41, "From May through early June, the USSR transport system had to trans-ship some 800,000 reservists... These transport operations had to be conducted under cover..."  It is interesting that this citation describes these as reservists; does the author mean this statistic isn't even counting the troops of the standing core of the divisions?

From eventual Colonel-General Lyudnikov (JMH, 1966, #9, p.66), "In May... an airborne corps was massed in the Zhitomir area and forests to the southwest." Marshal Bagramayan from his JMH article (1967, #1, p.62), on May 25th, "Our forces welcomed the command of 31st Rifle Division from the Far East... During the latter half of May an order came down from General Staff directing us to take in from North Caucasus Military District the command of 34th Rifle Corps, four 12-thousand strong divisions and one mountain ranger division... In short order we had to find room for virtually an entire army... At the end of May one after another troop train started pulling into the district. Ops turned into something like a dispatch center flooded by information about arriving troops." By June 13th, not enough railcars had returned back east (from prior trips west) to embark everyone; only the strong majority of armies could go.
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 VIII: THE GREATEST IN ALL HISTORY
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2020, 11:45:40 AM »
Meanwhile on June 13, 1941, as previously noted, the armies of the First Strategic Echelon already stacked at or near the western border, start shifting on this day even closer to the border. Currently they number only (!) three million troops, but their numbers are growing steadily.

Eventual Marshal of the Soviet Union Kurkotkin will later write (in Soviet Armed Forces Logistics in the Great Patriotic War 1941-45, p.216), that central stockpiles suddenly empty out at this time, with virtually no clothing and footgear remaining.

Why? -- because the military units marching toward the international border are carrying with them all their reserves of clothing and footwear.

He means armies, corps, and divisions, on the Soviet western front, are hauling around clothing and footwear for millions of reservists who aren't even there -- yet.

This means their leaders expect multi-millions more to come get their clothing and boots from the First Strategic Echelon: not from the supply depots, more safely in the rear, from which the reservists could safely deploy to fill out defensive formations.
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 VIII: THE GREATEST IN ALL HISTORY
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2020, 09:13:29 AM »
Whoops, forgot yesterday's entry!

Part of this shift toward the border by the First Echelon (and early arrivals from the Second Echelon), involves corps headquarters stepping into a second stage of redeployment. Forests near the border have already been chosen by the corps' Operations Sections; approved by the senior commander of each corps; and cordoned off by initial security sweeps. Starting today (June 13th), engineers and communications types arrive to start setting up screening and comm systems. The comms officer for each HQ will eventually arrive to make sure everything works; then the HQ contingent itself will appear.

Suvorov notes that in the later recollections of marshals, generals, and admirals, their details about June 13th unquestionably dwarf their details about June 22nd. This is partly due to the organizational activation of the remaining specter armies (up through the 28th); partly due to the remaining Far Eastern Armies being told to embark and get moving westward that very day (except at night, not during the day, with unprecedented levels of secrecy); partly due to the armies already on the border having been told a month ago that today they will start moving even closer to the border -- and partly due to a technical detail in their operational orders.

Major-General Biryukov of 186th Rifle Division, 62nd Corps, Urals Military District, is a typical example (from a JMH article, 1962, #4, p80), "June 13, 1941, we received from military district headquarters a directive "of special importance", in accordance with which the division was to move to a 'new camp'." Biryukov himself puts quotes around 'new camp', by the way: he knows perfectly well he isn't talking about a new camp; not a new permanent station anyway.

"Where the new quarters would be, was not divulged even to me, as division commander. In fact, only while passing through Moscow did I learn our division was to be massed in the forests west of Idritsa." That new location is in Byelorussia; deploying in forests, means a secret deployment, just like the Nazis have been doing, and will continue to do, on their side of the border. They will join the 22nd Army container organization activated on this day (Lieutenant-General Yershakov in charge).

According to the History of the Red Banner Ural MD (1983, p.104), the 186th is one of the last to roll out. "The 112th Rifle Division was the first to begin loading. On the morning of June 13th, the train left the small railroad station... Other trains followed. Then began the loading of units from the 98th, 153rd, and 186th Rifle Divisions." After the 186th, the 170th and 174th Rifle Divisions followed, then artillery, sapper, and finally anti-tank units (the only properly defensive units in this army!)
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 VIII: THE GREATEST IN ALL HISTORY
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2020, 09:22:06 AM »
The technical detail here in their operational orders, which will draw special attention in memoirs and interviews later, is the term "of special importance".

This is a technical term in the Soviet military (per Suvorov), similar to secret or top-secret, with two differences: first, "special importance" orders are the highest level of security documents capable of leaving the Kremlin (the next more secret being "secret file", for which only one print is made, never to leave the Kremlin); and second, "special importance" orders are never given to division-level formations in peacetime, only in wartime, and then only in situations of (as it says) special importance. Some divisions in four years of war afterward never received such ultra-secret wartime orders.

But plenty of division-level units get that "special importance" order on June 13th! -- including, for example, all the divisions in the Urals Military District.

One of many such records of that order, is the "Directive from the People's Commissar for Defense of the USSR and the Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army, to the Military Council of the Kiev Special Military District", kept in the Central Archive of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation, Fund 16, Index 2951, Case 21, Sheets 20-21. This directive, signed by Zhukov and by his superior Timoshenko, orders the "transfer [of] all deep-rear divisions, and corps commands with the corps formations, to new camps closer to the state border..." There's the 'new camp' term which Biryukov archly emphasized, by the way. "[K]eep the transfer of troops completely secret. March at night and conduct tactical training [along the way]. Take along with the troops all movable reserves of ammunition and fuel."

This is referring to the five rifle corps and four motorized corps camped behind the four more forward armies already in the Kiev MD. According to this directive, the 31st, 36th, 37th, 49th, and 55th Rifle Corps started moving to the border. These aren't opportunistic paper corps either: each is three divisions with 966 artillery (guns and mortars), 2100 machine guns, and more than 2000 automobiles (trucks and cars), plus 50,000 troops and officers. Thus five corps total a quarter of a million men. That doesn't even count the four motorized corps yet, but the order applies to them, too!
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 VIII: THE GREATEST IN ALL HISTORY
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2020, 09:25:40 AM »
Bagramayan, at this time a colonel and the chief of operational staff at the Kiev MD, will write in his memoir “How the War Began”, pp.64, 77, "We had to prepare all operational documentation that dealt with moving five rifle and four motorized corps," the ones just mentioned, "from the positions of permanent location to the border zone." The 'new camps' aren't regarded as permanent locations.

"[...] They took with them everything necessary for action. The move was conducted at night to secure secrecy."

Remember, there are four armies stacked up to the Kiev border already! -- Bagramayan back on May 25th was already having difficulty receiving all the new troops up there, including for example the four 12-thousand strong divisions and one mountain ranger division of the 34th Corps.
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 VIII: THE GREATEST IN ALL HISTORY
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2020, 06:33:42 AM »
Eventual Colonel-General I.I. Lyudnikov, at this time a colonel in command of the 200th Rifle Division of the 31st Corps (and remember what that "200th" designation casually implies by the way!), is carrying out this order under Bagramayan's orchestration of all this mess -- after receiving his own surprise arrival troops back in May! From his autobiography “Through the Eye of the Storm”, 1973, p.24, "The district order that came down to Divisional Headquarters on June 16th, 1941, directed us to move out on a full campaign... in full deployment... and mass together in the forests 10 to 15km northeast of the border town Kovel. The move was to be made secretly, only at night, on forested terrain."

Colonel (later Lieutenant-General) Plaskov commanded the artillery for the 53rd Division of the 63rd Corps, stationed on the Volga River. A fine defensive position, if they had been preparing for defense, but they've been training to move out. On this day, (as he writes in "With Cannons Thundering", p.125), Military District Commander Gerasimyenko called all senior command personnel to Corps Commander Petrovsky's office. Plaskov remembers that he and his fellow commanders were "a little edgy" because "something major was up", and the normally calm and unflappable Petrovsky was agitated.

Petrovsky orders them to fully mobilize the corps and gear them up to wartime strength using their iron reserves and all assigned personnel not yet called in. The MD Commander hinted they were merely moving on maneuvers, but everyone understood differently: not once had they ever gone on practice maneuvers with their full iron reserves of live ordnance and supplies, and with all reservists (who cycle in and out of training so that they can be busy in the fields or in factories or wherever. Harvest time is coming and they will not be available for harvest! -- despite prior years of murderous famine.)
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 VIII: THE GREATEST IN ALL HISTORY
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2020, 07:33:30 AM »
June 13, 1941: during prior preparations, new factors unique to the Second Strategic Echelon were being introduced -- the aforementioned "black" uniforms. As the Nazis (themselves no strangers to elite black uniformed troops!) eventually start running into the unexpected Second Echelon, they will find regiments, battalions, and brigades wearing unusual black uniforms. Some divisions and even corps have so many of these units, that the Nazis will informally dub them "black divisions" and "black corps"; and as a general rule the Nazis shall quickly come to regard them as hard and dangerous fighters.

On this day, for example, General Remezov of the Orlov Military District is completing the conversion his MD forces into the core of the 20th Army, receiving in much of the Moscow Military District forces under his command -- and also 69th Rifle Corps, known soon to the Nazis as a 'black corps'.

Suvorov, before his defection, was allowed to attend a party for Military District Headquarter veterans, featuring the retired General Remezov. He kept very quiet, appreciatively listening to tales of the Great Patriotic War among the veterans. Friendly arguments broke out, he noticed, upon diverging details that each seemed to know about and so, naturally, that each wanted to learn more about from other officers.

One feisty veteran colonel at this party, wanted General Remezov to publicly explain why the 69th Rifle Corps, in his 20th Army, was known to the Nazis as a Black Corps. Suvorov noticed that Remezov kept changing the subject to his command of the 56th Army (not the 20th) later in the winter of 1941, when many of his troops had to use the black greatcoats of railway workers due to a lack of provisions (captured by the Nazis of course).

That wasn't what the veteran colonel was asking about, and Suvorov implies he never gets a straight answer from Remezov. But as noted in earlier entries, the "black" units are predominantly or entirely comprised of gulag troops, typically with commanders who also had been imprisoned in the gulags -- and still bearing the older style of Russian "Commander" ranks (and uniforms and insignia) rather than the new Soviet General ranks.
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 VIII: THE GREATEST IN ALL HISTORY
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2020, 07:26:14 AM »
Edited to compile this entry with the grand finale for June 13th, since topically the final portions all go together.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 09:29:08 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.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 18505
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: IceBreakChron VIII: THE GREATEST IN ALL HISTORY
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2020, 09:36:05 AM »
June 13, 1941: it must be stressed, and will be stressed again, that the orders sent out a month ago for the interior Military Districts, to activate at this time, involve more than only the interior MDs converting directly into Armies and deploying westward.

Something similar is happening at five border Military Districts: the MD headquarters are converting to Front headquarters, and except in the case of Leningrad's MD (which is set farther back between two other Fronts, but which still becomes the Northern Front vs Finland) they are deploying forward secretly from their decent (and even impressive) command bunkers, to hasty camps closer to the border.

Specifically, on this day the People's Commissariat for Defense orders headquarters of these Military Districts to activate as Fronts (which, per Suvorov, don't exist in Soviet doctrine unless the nation is at war in active combat operations) and move out to field command posts, leaving behind the expected second-deputy commanders required by Soviet military doctrine for administering Military Districts during Soviet invasion operations.

Leningrad doesn't receive orders to move its converted Front HQ forward, so doesn't need and doesn't get the second deputy commander for backfield organization. But from this day forward (until the disaster of Hitler's invasion collapses things backward for different areas), the Baltic will have a secretly established Northwestern Front, commanded by MD General Kuznyetsov, from a recently established secret base near Panevyezhis; and also Baltic's Military District will continue under Kuznyetsov's newly created second deputy Safronov, still headquartered in Riga. (Suvorov dryly quips that this is like having two bosses in one communist party, or two dons in the same mafia!)

In his later Collected Works, p.196 of "On the Northwestern Front [1941-1943]", Major-General P.M. Kurochkin, then in charge of communications for Northwestern Front, later a Lieutenant-General in charge of Soviet Communications Forces, will write, "In the Panevyezhis area, headquarters command and office staff started to arrive. District Command, in fact, became Front Command, though until the war began it formally kept its District label. Left in Riga was a group of generals and subordinate officers given responsibility for running the district." For example, while Kurochkin personally heads Front communications, his own deputy Colonel Akimov is running the original Baltics MD counterpart.

Naturally, this secret redeployment of MD HQ toward the border as the new Northwestern Front was no practice maneuver! -- as Kurochkin was well aware. From his "Front Calling", p.117, "We were setting up the tactical super-structure for running combat operations." From page 115, same memoir, "All planning documents, frequencies, call letters, and authentication codes were kept at military district headquarters for distribution to the troops in the event of war. With radio stations dotting the district numbering a good several thousand, militarizing their operations would have taken at least a a week. Before that task could be completed, time ran out."

Notice, on June 13th Kurochkin doesn't know time is running out yet: switching peace-time communications over to providing war-time Red Army support was all activated, not on the hypothesis that an enemy might suddenly attack and force all but instant conversion, but on the premise that Moscow would send a warning signal at a time of its own choosing.

Kurochkin throws himself into getting comms up and running for the still-secret Northwestern Front, handling it "as though a series of tests". To avoid rousing the enemy's suspicion with any sudden flare-up of chatter over new military channels, he uses the civilian land-line net; but this will not be much of a strain,  because back in 1939, the government-run communications system was totally militarized, subservient to the armed forces, by the People's Commissariat for Communications, answering directly to the Commissariat for Defense. The overall national communications network became a key component of the military communications system, with USSR Communications Commissar Peresypkin becoming an official deputy to the Red Army Communications Chief.


Rounding out the remaining three Special Military Districts, Byelorussia will have a secretly established Western Front commanded by MD General Pavlov from a forest command post near Lyesna Station; and also Western Special Military District will continue under Pavlov's newly created second deputy, Lieutenant-General Kurdyumov, still headquartered in Minsk.

Ukraine will have a secretly established Southwestern Front, commanded by Colonel-General Kirponos, from a clandestine command center in a string of dugouts hastily thrown up near Ternopol; and also Kiev Special Military District will continue under Kirponos' newly created second deputy, General Yakovlev, back in their wonderful and massive bunker complex in the Kiev suburb Brovary. Bagramayan will later attest, in his memoir "Thus the War Began", p.83, that Zhukov dispatched a special encrypted cable "to keep this [newly activated arrangement] top-secret, and accordingly to warn military district headquarters personnel." The remaining MD staff are put on notice to keep their lips zipped about anything like an alternate military authority in Kiev Special MD.

Last but not least, Odessa will have a secretly established Southern Front, commanded by MD Colonel-General Cherevichenko; and also Odessa Military District will continue under Cherevichenko's recently filled second deputy, Chibisov.
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.