Author Topic: IceBreakChron X: THE DAY OF TRUTH  (Read 3174 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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IceBreakChron X: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« on: June 22, 2020, 07:00:02 AM »
For the prior thread of my Icebreaker Thesis Chronology project, click here.

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


The Day of Truth dawns, June 22nd, 1941 -- the other side of the summer solstice, the longest day.

Suvorov's extended piecemeal argument sets up the (vasssstly extended!) context for what's going to happen today, and why it's happening. So for all practical purposes, he's done with his argument when he reaches this point.

But he does provide numerous snapshots of things happening today, and over the next few days, and months, and years, which hearken back to points of his argument. This data, unfortunately, tends to get shuffled around topically instead of chronologically in Icebreaker (especially) and Chief Culprit, just like the rest of his presentation!

So I've collected these parts of his data, too, into as much of a chronological order as I can piece together or figure out (or make a few guesses about. ;) )

I found along the way it's handy, for narrative emphasis, if I focus on the Soviet side of the fighting first, and then on the Nazi side; although obviously both narrative 'tracks' will involve the other side of the fighting, too.

This thread will follow the Soviet side. The parallel thread for the Nazis, will be AGAINST THE POWER THAT RISES IN THE EAST.

I hope to do justice to the accomplishments of each side under their various circumstances, which will look like I'm being a Nazi fanboy or a Commie fanboy. Both sides committed atrocities, even to their own people though especially against each other -- the Wehrmacht, too, not only the SS; the Red Army, too, not only the NKVD. And both sides have "alligator" or "mafiosa" governments as Suvorov likes to say: both sides have "cannibal" leaders who live by eating other people (figuratively though still to death in many cases). If one alligator is fighting another alligator, that doesn't mean one alligator is a good alligator and the other one is a bad alligator; if one mafiosa boss is fighting another mafiosa, that doesn't mean one is a good mafiosa and the other is a bad mafiosa. And each side's government use each other's side obvious supervillainy to (try to) excuse and justify their own supervillainy.

Keeping that in mind: the troops on each side were legitimately fighting to keep the tyrants on each side from taking over and enslaving the world. And they were legitimately fighting to protect their own families and friends and people from being harshly enslaved or even exterminated by the other side.

Reality is messy and complicated. That's how things are.

So, having kept in mind the historical contexts of each side, I'm not going to focus on the evil atrocities on each side, but rather more like a wargame between opponents, so as to provide a proper proportion for what each side was able to accomplish against each other during the East Front / Great Patriotic War.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 06:10:19 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 X: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2020, 07:06:24 AM »
June 22, 1941: Hitler launches Operation Barbarossa.

In 1941, Admiral Kuznyetsov (not the MD and Front commander) is People's Commissar of the Navy of the USSR (a perch loftier than Zhukov's), Central Committee member, and a member of High Command General Headquarters from the moment it was formally established -- last night! (But which had been secretly operating as far back as May 13th.) In his memoir "On the Eve", p.321, he will write, "For me, one thing is beyond dispute: not only did Stalin not rule out the possibility of war with Hitler's Germany, on the contrary, he saw such a war as... inevitable. Stalin conducted war preparations -- extensive and multi-faceted -- based on a timetable he himself had set. Hitler upended these calculations."

The Chief of the General Staff Academy General Ivanov, and a group of leading Soviet historians, will later write a scientific study together, called "The Opening Phase of the War", in which Ivanov on p.212 not only acknowledges that Hitler struck a pre-emptive blow, but also, "The fascist-German command managed, literally in the last two weeks before the war, to steal a march on our forces."

You can get, so to speak, an extra movement phase snuck in somehow to reach an area before someone is ready to defend against you, or to get in place to defend before the attack arrives; I think Suvorov goes too far in claiming that it's impossible to steal a march on someone getting ready for defense (or even preparing to counterattack). Other factors must count toward whether either or both sides were preparing to attack.

How do we know Hitler was preparing to attack? -- not merely by noticing that he attacks today! The signs for preparation have been evident for weeks or even months; and of course we also have documentation to check later. The same is true (by Suvorov's extended argument) for Stalin.

Ivanov's conclusion about stealing a march is presented in a context (unquoted, unfortunately) about Hitler's strike being pre-emptive. It is, at least, totally impossible to 'steal a march' on a force long-prepared to defend in all directions against an attack. As Suvorov quips, try to steal a march on a porcupine and see what happens!
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 X: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2020, 07:36:10 AM »
Shots Fired
------------

The People's Commissar for all Communications in the Soviet Union, Marshal Peresypkin, is on the way to the Mobile Command of General Headquarters, activated the night before, with a team of hand-picked experts from his staff. His task force had gathered on the morning of June 21st, near the Politburo, waiting only for Peresypkin to be sent out and depart for the (recently activated) wartime Front. They knew they were going to Minsk; by now they know they're going to somewhere closer to Vilnius.

They weren't the only subordinate task forces created by key Soviet leaders to be gathered at the Politburo on June 21st, however. A number of other such task forces are still hanging around, waiting for their leaders to join them on the way to Vilnius (though they don't know the exact destination, just toward Minsk). Who are they waiting for? Central Committee member, People's Commissar for State Audits and Army Commissar 1st Class Mekhlis; People's Commissar for Internal Affairs (i.e. the NKVD chief), Politburo candidate, and Commissar General of State Security Beria; and People's Commissar for Defense, the current Marshal of the Soviet Union Timoshenko -- along with other leaders.

At 6 am, the bureaucratic task forces hanging around the Kremlin, are told they will not be going to the western frontier: Hitler has started the war, and they won't be needed there now. So they weren't heading westward to prepare to stem such an invasion.

Presypikin, already at Orsha Station with his crew, receives an encrypted cable from 'himself' back at Moscow: "GIVEN CHANGED SITUATION DO YOU NOT DEEM NECESSARY RETURNING TO MOSCOW."

Yes, he does; he deems it so necessary that he leaps from his nice traveling rail car and commandeers the first truck he can find! The chief communications official of all the Soviet Union, does not have the slightest business being at General Headquarters, the command center for the entire Soviet Military, after Hitler attacks.


Wait, at 6 am? How early did Hitler start his surprise attack? 3 am? 2?! midnight?? There are time differences after all, even if all Soviet administrative and logistic clocks have been set to Moscow time a few days earlier. Memoirs of some of the officials hanging around the Kremlin are clear; they actually heard about it at 5 am! It took about an hour to call off their trip.

The formal answer is simple enough. As Zhukov reports, in "Recollections and Reflections" 1969, p.248, "Hurrying into the office came Molotov: 'The German Government has declared war on us.' Stalin slumped into his chair, digesting the news."

Suvorov says that when he was eagerly reading Zhukov's memoirs in 1969 as a Soviet Army Lieutenant, those lines sent him reeling, nearly knocking him right out of his chair.

Why? -- had Suvorov, an educated Soviet officer, never once heard that the Nazis declared war on the Soviet Union and invaded in 1941?!

Actually, no, never once had he heard that. From earliest childhood he had been taught that Germany had attacked, of course, but without declaring war. Every Soviet book said it: "without a declaration..." Every Soviet newspaper, too, the moment talk turned to the War, hammered home: "without a declaration..." Every propaganda outlet, all the experts, and relying on them hundreds of millions of people the world over, had heard and believed and repeated together, "Germany attacked Russia without declaring war."

But that was a lie.

Zhukov casually reveals the lie in 1969, thinking only of the dramatic impact Molotov made upon them all at the time: Germany has declared war.

That's why the various task forces of aides hanging around the Kremlin waiting to accompany their leaders to the General HQ armored train mobile command station, heard about it at 5am.


Specifically, on June 22, 1941, at 4:00 am (Soviet military Moscow time, not local Berlin time), Imperial Minister of Foreign Affairs von Ribbentrop summoned the Soviet Ambassador to Germany Dekanozov, who was also the Deputy People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, and handed him a memorandum detailing the reasons for Germany's attack on the USSR. This "Note of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany to the Soviet Government" carried three attachments, explaining the Nazis' political justifications for their declaration of war. In short, and as Propaganda Minister Göbbels soon read on the air (5:30 am Moscow time), then Hitler some hours later (once most of Berlin was normally awake), they cited (with those three supporting attachments), active subversion against Germany by Soviet Intelligence; hostile propaganda aimed by the Soviet Government against Germany in violation of signed treaties; and colossal Red Army force concentrations on the frontier.

At the same time, in Moscow, Ambassador of Germany to the USSR, Count von der Schulenburg, called for an immediate meeting with People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, Molotov, and handed him precisely the same memorandum and accompanying documents: declaring war over both diplomatic channels at once. This is why by 5am, the news has reached the aide task forces waiting around to depart for General HQ.

Stalin and his government will never refute the charges; per Suvorov, they will never even try, nor their official successors, down to today.

What Stalin and his government do, is actively ignore the declaration of war.

On June 22nd, 1941, at 7:30 am, Radio Moscow broadcasts a statement by the Soviet government, opening with, "Germany has attacked the Soviet Union without declaring war and without citing any grievances."


Suvorov claims that this line from Zhukov was what first got him interested in seeing if anything else in Zhukov's memoirs ran against the official story to the start of the Great Patriotic War; and from there, questions led to the memoirs of other Soviet generals, admirals, and marshals; from which he developed the Icebreaker thesis. In "Chief Culprit", he says that the primary reason for his decision to defect to the West in 1978 was to make his discoveries available to the Russian people and to the world.
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 X: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2020, 07:41:23 AM »
At Brest, the first cannon shots zip straight into the headquarters of Major-General Puganov, commander of the Brest-based Soviet 22nd Mechanized (tank) Division (of the 14th Mechanized Corps, 4th Army, Western Front).

Whether he happens to be there or not (Suvorov is unclear), he is about to have a very bad day.

This is why you don't park your divisional headquarters, or any headquarters (maybe not even company HQ), right on the border with your enemy -- if you're on defense. Unless, like Guderian over there across the river, who also parked his HQ right on the border, you weren't planning on being on defense when the shells start flying.

But at least this is only (only!) a divisional headquarters, right? Even the Soviets wouldn't be dumb enough to put a Front HQ with its command staff right up next to the border...?

In his memoir, "On the Northwestern Front", p.173-174, Major-General Zotov, in charge of the Front's combat engineers (and later becoming the Corps of Engineers Lieutenant-General), recalls how Northwestern Front Commander Colonel-General Kuznyetsov spent virtually all of June 1941 hanging around 125th Rifle Division headquarters. The Front's Military Council was there, too; it was simply a convenient place for leaders from all nearby HQs to meet -- more convenient than the actual Front HQ a little farther in the backfield, so that Kuznyetsov won't have to traipse back and forth to tour the border from there.

Thus, 125th Rifle Div HQ became the practical location of Northwestern Front HQ, and Kuznyetsov is here on June 22. The only problem is that 125th Div HQ is so close to the border that "the very first shell aimed at it was a bullseye"!

What absolute morons! -- morons just like Guderian, Manstein, Rommel, and Kleist, who also have moved their HQs, either practically or in fact, straight up to the border, where they can best prepare for, and direct, the start of the invasion today.

Such as where exactly to send those first cannon shells to knock down the Soviet doors.
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 X: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2020, 10:00:35 AM »
Zhukov, in his "Through Three Wars", p.141, remembers speaking to Southern Front commander General Tulenyev, just moments after the Nazis start invading. "Reported it to Stalin," Zhukov tells Tulenyev -- meaning the military action; they already know about the declaration of war through Molotov, "but he still doesn't believe it, thinks it's a provocation by German generals."

Stalin's disbelief is well-known, documented, and accepted in subsequent histories. Not just Stalin, but Molotov, Zhdanov, Beria, all refuse to believe the Nazis are really invading. Red Army generals from Front level on down are not only caught by surprise, but aren't even fighting back yet: anti-aircraft guns stand quiet, Soviet combat air patrol fighters are ordered not to shoot down Nazi planes, orders are passed down to company leaders and under to take ammunition away from First Echelon troops so that they will not shoot the invasion -- because despite his report, even Zhukov, and his boss Timoshenko, also largely discount the possibility of Nazi invasion.

But based on prior information, what is Stalin thinking?

Despite Soviet propaganda soon (repeated in Soviet and non-Soviet histories down to today), he has to know what the Nazi preparations on his border really mean: not defense but invasion. The Nazis did the same thing (but less extensively) before prior invasions; and they match Soviet invasion doctrines and practices before now (including what Stalin himself has been doing for months and even years for preparations at the border, in synch with Soviet invasion doctrine).

Stalin's intelligence operation checking for Nazi winter weather preparation, necessarily requires that he fully expects a Nazi invasion! -- and of course, Stalin ordered Golikov to justify his position (and life, tacitly) by figuring out a foolproof way to tell when, or even if, Hitler was going to go, because Golikov's pre-GRU military intelligence (corroborated by other Soviet intelligence assets) reported Hitler's details for invasion within 10 days of Hitler signing off on it.

But Stalin is wrong about Hitler's strategic goal for invasion, which only requires (thinks Hitler and his generals) three weeks of operation. (On two weeks of supplies!) So the winter kit signals never show up before Barbarossa.

Once these pieces are in place, Stalin's surprise is very understandable, everything lines up. But why would Stalin specifically think this was only a provocation? Stalin and his high command think Hitler is trying to trick Stalin into invading, but why?

Unfortunately, Suvorov never tries to explain this expectation of 'provocation', at least not in Icebreaker nor in Chief Culprit. So I can only make some educated guesses.

Stalin wouldn't lose support because, unlike his prior fake provocations (as excuses for him to invade somewhere), this would be very obviously something the Nazis are doing. Moreover, Stalin would know that Hitler and his generals would know, that the Nazis are in no position to defend against a serious invasion from Russia: they're all in blitzkrieg invasion mode themselves!

Part of the explanation for Stalin's guess about "provocation", would of course be Stalin's mistake about the goal of Nazi invasion at this time, so he's grasping around for some explanation other than conquest and occupation; and his own prior strategies involved (fake) 'provocations', so that's what he's familiar with. Stalin would be judging Hitler's public declaration of war by the same category: a provocation to see if Stalin will start invading.

But another answer is that he expects (somewhat correctly) that Hitler doesn't know just how much power is already massed on the border, but rather that Hitler must know about some levels of troop deployment in the Soviet backfield; the whole point of the two TASS Statements (one in May and one in June) was to try to spoof Hitler about what exactly those are. Stalin would be correctly expecting that Hitler doesn't know how extensive those troop movements are, but more importantly Hitler would know that the Soviet invasion on the border isn't ready to go yet.

Stalin is guessing, with some real reasons, that Hitler is trying to goad Stalin into invading before his sixteen border armies (not all of which Hitler can see yet anyway) are fully up to power. The Nazis are out of defensive arrangement right now, but unlike Stalin they're no longer strung out on logistic transport, and they haven't set up their military hardware to be cripplingly overspecialized for blitzkrieg surprise invasion; so they could theoretically provoke a counter-invasion and then convert temporarily to defense (probably with strong mobile elements thanks to those four Panzer Groups). And Stalin could pretty easily be aware of the implications of the force composition difference: he does in fact listen to his trusted generals (not only Zhukov) and he does in fact trust his generals more than legendarily expected.

Both those factors would explain Stalin's guess about 'provocation': casting about for some invasion rationale other than what he expected, in theories and practices he's familiar with.

(Again, this is not so much Suvorov's analysis in Icebreaker and Chief Culprit, and more my analysis from Suvorov's work. Perhaps Suvorov has more to say about this in his current final book on the topic, Razgrom / Defeat.)
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 X: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2020, 11:28:05 AM »
Liepaya Naval Base, in Latvia, sits less than 65 miles from East Prussia. It has many submarines packed like "sardines in a box" (according to uncited "Soviet admirals" as well as "captured German documents"), ready to sally out to join the Baltic Sea Fleet; but the Fleet is already on the move as of yesterday, with orders for combat action against "enemy" lines of communication! So these subs weren't meant to be used against the "enemy" in the Baltic supply lines. Or not yet. The official History of the Soviet Navy, on page 138 of the volume "The Fleet in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945", will openly explain later that the sub base was being prepared for Soviet Navy offensive warfare.

Liepaya (sometimes spelled in English Liepaja) does have the only Soviet Marine brigade, several-thousand strong -- the largest group of Soviet Marines then in existence -- but they aren't deployed to defend against invasion, and can only die heroically as a speedbump. The Nazi invasion will reach Liepaya before the end of the day, and fighting will start by June 23.

According to Admiral Kuznetsov's orders, all reserves of shells, mines, torpedoes, and ship fuel have been transported to the German borders here at Liepaya, and to the Romanian borders in the river ports of the Danube. Thus, aside from everything else, three quarters of the Baltic Fleet's fuel reserves will be lost here at Liepaya.

Consequently, the Baltic Sea Fleet is ordered to pull back from its combat mission, launched last night, and try to find some protection. The Nazis will dump a few hundred mines on the shallow accesses to the naval bases, and the Soviet Baltic Fleet will stay in place without action at sea, supporting the defense of Leningrad.
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 X: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2020, 11:40:07 AM »
On the Northern Front, the garrison at Hanko Soviet naval base, located on Finnish territory under a 30-year lease extorted thanks to the Winter War, does not hunker down on defense. They begin intensive assault-landing operations, seizing no less than 19 Finnish islands! -- for a few days.

Farther south, 1st Aviation Corps carries out a massive strike on military targets in Königsberg, East Prussia. This, by the way, was no improvisation. Farther south, at 06:44 am, the 1st Aviation Corps of the Soviet Air Force is ordered to go into action as planned. Their first plan is to carry out a massive strike on strategic military targets in the Nazi backfield of Königsberg, East Prussia -- not to hit close air support targets rolling into the Soviet Baltic Republics. At least these strategic bombers manage to get their first mission done on the list! The bombers for the close-air support are having trouble getting off the ground, due to their pilots being sniped at by Nazi sharpshooters, their airfields being bombed, and then being overrun by the blitz on the ground.


Nearby, Northwestern Front Commander Colonel-General Kuznyetsov, unbidden by Moscow, orders his troops to launch an attack aimed at Tilzit in Eastern Prussia. Fortunately they had rehearsed this attack in headquarter exercises a few days earlier, as reported in "Fighting for the Soviet Baltics", p.67: the operation "was quite familiar to formation commanders and their staffs." Also fortunately, later this evening high command will order him to do the same thing, unaware that he has already been doing what he had been told to practice doing earlier: hit Tilzit in Eastern Prussia.


Farther south, Western Front Commander General Pavlov orders an attack on Suwalki, in accordance with his prewar orders, long before the order arrives from Moscow. Fortunately, Western Front knew long before now that their most immediate mission once someone started the war, would be to encircle the German force group around Suwalki. Combat assignments have been spelled out for all senior Soviet commanders. (Tactical-level commanders weren't given such secret instructions, of course.) For example, according to the USSR Defense Ministry Archives, Collection 181, Register 1631, Dossier 1, p.128, 27th Rifle Division's intelligence battalion, massed by the border in the area around the city of Augustov, was getting ready for combat recon targeting Suwalki, so that the rest of 27th Division could move swiftly from being parked around Augustov to Suwalki. NKVD border guards have removed the wire on the Soviet border (Nazis already did that on their side weeks ago, to get ready to invade.) 3rd Army Commander Lieutenant-General Kuznyetsov as well as Corps of Engineering Lieutenant-General Karbyshev (a High Command representative) had spent hours upon hours reconnoitering German territory from Soviet border posts. Karbyshev was training assault teams in how to disable and neutralize reinforced-concrete enemy defense facilities. Massive firepower was concentrated around the Augustov area.

More than that (as previously reported), Soviet troops have already been crossing the Augustov canal to deploy on its western banks along a narrow strip between the canal and the border river Prut (from which the barbed wire had already been pulled, by border guards on both sides.) Daybreak today finds thousands of Soviet soldiers parked in this strip! -- the 164th Rifle Division, and the 96th Mountain Rifle Division, 28,000 troops together with their headquarters, ready to go forward! They have even brought their hospitals forward with them, so that the first wounded Soviet troops will get the quickest treatment! Hitler's own troops are ready to go in just the same way, pressed up to the very border -- just not on this strip, which after all is Soviet territory.

And also a deathtrap.

Hitler attacks first, and so the Soviet troops are the ones to perish in a sudden firestorm. They have nowhere to fall back: behind them is the canal, and the first thing the Nazi airforce does is bomb the bridges leading to safety. Not that this would matter much: to the north, the 1st Panzer Group breaks through and encircles the entire Western Front, cutting off this strip from any help or anywhere to safely retreat. Nobody in the strip has prepared even foxholes or trenches for the hospitals, much less for themselves. Battalion commander Sviridov, with the 164th, will recall (accidentally unsourced by Suvorov?), having survived the slaughter, looking at the bridge across the Prut onto Nazi territory: “The bridge! We kept it in order to advance, and now we can’t blow it up... All my military training was mostly done under the motto: only advance! Retreat was considered shameful, and we were not taught how to retreat. Now, when we were forced to retreat, we had no experience. We had to learn this art under terrible enemy fire.” General K. Galitsky stresses later that the Soviet command did not believe a Nazi attack was even possible, whereas Soviet forces were being trained to carry out an offensive operation.

Pavlov, meanwhile, loses 738 aircraft in the first few hours of the war, and has no blue-sky air supremacy in which to use his remaining aircraft. He still tries to attack Suwalki with what he has: he has no other plan.


Much farther south, 41st Rifle Division, 6th Rifle Corps, 6th Army, isn't waiting for orders on high, but follows prewar plans: they cross the international frontier near Rava-Russkaya. Their 102nd Rifle Regiment invades along an 8 kilometer front, according to the standing plans, penetrating 4 to 6 kilometers.
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 X: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2020, 11:48:59 AM »
In the gentle and rolling East Carpathian hills, two Soviet Armies have been concentrated, the 12th Army and the 26th Army; the 19th Army has been secretly deployed behind them; the 18th Army is being squeezed in on the other side between the 12th and the super-strike 9th Army. The 12th has been converted steadily since 1940 into a mountain army, and has provided the 26th with a spare mountain division; the 19th behind them has several official mountain divisions.

These armies are lightly armed and loaded with gear for the heavy mountains ahead of them across the river San; both of which they have been intensely training for, not for defending on the plains, and they have no plans for defending their flanks. They must go west to be of any use, into the Czech and Romanian mountains, one army to hit each, the third (26th Army) to act as a followup assault, or to help 9th Army hit the 1st Panzer Group from the side perhaps (although the 26th does have a spare mountain division just in case. So does the super-strike 9th Army.)

No German is fool enough to directly attack these armies from deep in the mountains ahead of them; and (as eventual Lieutenant-General Bagart Arushunyan acknowledges later in a 1973 JMH article) the Soviet High Command knew perfectly well there would be no attack from in front through those mountains.

Instead, the Nazis are attacking from the sides.

Once the Soviet leadership realizes this is the general Nazi offensive starting by surprise, the two armies are ordered to run from the mountains instead of running into the mountains. But they have nowhere to run: the 19th Army is in their way. They are smashed from the flanks by the 1st Panzer Group on one side, and by supporting Romanian forces on the other side.

Bagramayan will write later (JMH, 1976, #1, p.55), "Knowing the Eastern Carpathians helped us gain a clearer understanding of how acutely necessary it was to move with utmost speed to turn lumbering rifle divisions..." into giant well-entrenched deathtraps, for slaughtering invading forces? No, "...into slimmed-down mountain ranger formations." Why? Because normal rifle divisions are "hardly nimble and ill-adapted to operations in high terrain".

But giving them elite training would at least help them on defense, right? True, but their training, and more importantly their gear and organization, had not been directed for even mountain defense; and they were caught not even really in the mountains yet. The result? "At the beginning of the War [i.e. the Barbarossa invasion], after all, these divisions were forced to fight on level ground: reconfiguration mountain-style had weakened them." Bagramayan gravely takes responsibility for his "unwitting mistake". He had trained, outfitted, and configured them for action in mountains of a type found hundreds of miles westward; they had to try to be saved by running eastward, abandoning any and all equipment useless in a flat area. They could only die bravely, and elitely, where they were found.


So, the very weak 1st Panzer Group hits Lutsk on June 22nd, then Rovno and Berdichev, quickly cutting off the 6th Army, the 12th Army (mountain), and the 26th Army.

Wait, very weak?! -- well, by Soviet standards yes: this Panzer Group only has 799 tanks after all (not counting other armored equipment), and they are mostly obsolescent (the earlier versions of the PzIII and PzIV models) or outright obsolete (any PzII models).

While the Soviet armies in the bulge panic and start running into each other, the 1st Panzer Group thrusts into the open, unprotected operational space in the Soviet rear, crushing air bases, staffs, and hospitals, picking up tremendous quantities of Soviet weapons, fuel, ammunition, food, and medical supplies. The three Soviet armies are soon left without fuel or ammunition, and unlike human beings a machine absolutely will not work on starvation rations. The entire Soviet Southwestern Front, the strongest Soviet front, crumbles after one rather weak blow -- but this same blow also threatens the Southern Front!


Suvorov, a little schizophrenically (since he shows elsewhere that he knows what Hitler was trying to do: destroy the armies fast enough to trigger the downfall of the Soviet government), thinks Hitler was odd to try to throw only one Panzer Group into conquering all of Ukraine, Moldavia, Crimea, Donbass, Don, North Caucasus, and Trans-Caucasus -- with only 799 worn out tanks! (And all their support, of course, including infantry boots on the ground. And hundreds of thousands of horses!)

But after effectively destroying three Soviet armies in their way (each of them at least as large as a whole Panzer Group), which had no orders or preparations for defense, the 1st Panzer Group wheels left and races into the Soviet backfield to outflank the super-strike 9th Army, hitting it from behind. Pure disaster engulfs the ultra strong 9th Army: it was not prepared for defense.

The epic 1st Panzer Group attack will go on to quickly capture the undefended Soviet fleet bases, the Donbass region, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, and Dnepropetrovsk, all practically unprepared for defense despite being enormous industrial production areas set up near the borders.

"Having lost them," Suvorov dryly quips in Icebreaker and Chief Culprit, "the Soviet Union managed to only produce one hundred thousand tanks afterward." Vastly much more than Nazi Germany; but the production in tanks and other vehicles (warships, aircraft, artillery), would have been several times much more again otherwise!
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 X: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2020, 06:23:08 AM »
19th Army, with its mountain ranger divisions, manages to run away eastward, even farther away from the mountains, as the 1st Panzer Group hits. Along its withdrawal, it picks up another Mountain Ranger Division which on June 21st was arriving by rail from Turkestan: Colonel Kuliev's 21st Mountain Cavalry. (Yes, mountain cavalry!) The 19th Army is thrown into Byelorussia with the newly attached 21st Mountain Cavalry, where they meet an embarrassing end. After all, Mountain Divisions in a Mountain Army are not designed to defend in swamps.

By this enflanking move, the 1st Panzer Group links up with the 2nd Panzer Group to surround and pocket another four Soviet Armies: 664,000 prisoners (not counting dead casualties) and with them equally huge quantities of arms and supplies.

Suvorov thinks that this was a stupid though necessary move since doing so sacrificed the blitzkrieg tempo, meaning now they could not start moving toward Moscow before October in the Rasputista of rain, dirt, and mud. But of course, if the strategic goal was to destroy seven armies and wreck several more nearby, NOT to conquer western Russia before winter, then the Panzer Groups succeeded brilliantly.


Was the genius Zhukov somehow simply unaware that packing the Lvov bulge full of armies pointing the wrong way (straight toward the oil fields), could only be a disaster on defense?!

Major-General Andrey Vlassov who is commanding the 4th Mechanized Corps in the Lvov bulge on June 22nd, 1941, doesn’t think so. After his escape from the bulge, he’ll be ordered to take command of the 2nd Shock Army ("shock" being the new designation for strike armies), attempting to relieve Stalingrad in 1942: thereby ordered to complete an operation that he had not prepared, that he had not started, and that the Nazis had already foiled. Vlassov will be taken prisoner, and during interrogation on August 8, 1942 (per the Soviet military newspaper “Red Star” (aka “Krasnaya Zvezda”), October 27, 1992, page uncited), the report will say, “Regarding the question of whether Stalin had intentions to attack Germany, Vlassov declared that such intentions undoubtedly existed. The concentration of troops in the LvoV region [in June 1941] points to the fact that a strike against Romania was being planned in the direction of the petroleum sources... The Red Army was not prepared for the German invasion. Despite all the rumors about the operations conducted by Germany, in the Soviet Union nobody believed in such a possibility. During preparations, the Russians meant only their own offensive.”

Forty-nine years later, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Military Forces, General Makhmut Gareev (from the collection of articles published as the book “Courage”, 1991, p.253), will write about the Lvov bulge, “A main blow to the flank in the main alignment of the [Nazi] troops, delivered in the direction of Krakow, would have allowed us to cut Germany off from the Balkans in the very beginning of the war, to deprive her of the Romanian oil, and to separate the allies.” Further on from the Krakow region, after the grateful Poles have received even Soviet armies with flowers (from two years of being occupied by the Nazis), this thrust which by itself would end WW2 with a Soviet victory, would logically turn north, freely advancing to the Baltic Sea in the Nazi backfield, cutting the northern set of forces from Berlin; being protected in turn by the Oder River to the left, and by the Vistula River to the right. True, any such thrust would have been vulnerable to the 1st Panzer Group in Southwestern Front’s own backfield, but with the Soviet Western Front (and Northwestern, in East Prussia itself) landing their own crushing surprise first strike blows, the southernmost Panzer Group would have been cut off from its own supplies and other lines of communication. There could still be a real question of which snake would eat the other’s tail first! -- but then of course the 1st Panzer Group itself would have been smashed from the side by other Soviet armies upon launching a Soviet blitz.

“On the other hand,” continues Gareev, “carrying out the main blow [of a Soviet first strike] on the joint flanks of the Western and Northwestern fronts [would have] led to a frontal attack in difficult conditions against heavily fortified defense positions in East Prussia, where the Germany army could offer fiercer resistance. And totally different conditions, and consequently different objections, could have arisen if the strategic plans were to lead defensive operations to deflect aggression early in the war. In this case, no doubt, it was more advantageous to have main forces in the strip of the western front. But such a course of strategic actions was not planned.”

In his own Red Star article on the topic, July 27, 1991 (page uncited), Gareev will also judge, “The areas for the concentration of primary efforts were not chosen by the Soviet commanders in the interests of strategic defense operations, but for entirely different means of action.” A strategic defense operation was not even foreseen, much less planned and prepared.
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 X: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2020, 07:19:55 AM »
During his memoirs of Barbarossa, "Overcome", eventual Colonel-General Sandalov (at that time Chief of Staff for the 4th Army) includes notes he took during the first three days, such as, "Am putting an army blocking squad there" and "They were stopped by blocking squads." (pp. 108, 143) These are the NKVD blocking squads dedicated to attacking Red Army troops, from the rear if necessary, to keep them fighting instead of retreating. The Nazi attack caught Russia by surprise, yet the Soviet government already had blocking squads ready to hit their own Soviet army comrades!

The 4th Army will really need those blocking squads in the first three days, because 4th Army is caught asleep today by the Nazi blitzkrieg over the bridges -- bridges the Poles had wired to be destroyed, but from which Sandalov (following orders from higher up) had removed the dynamite. With the 4th Army caught by surprise and far out of defensive configuration, they themselves are destroyed instead of the bridges, providing the Nazis access to the rear of the super-strong Soviet 10th Army which receives an epic defeat thereby, allowing Guderian to race toward Minsk. Sandalov, the man in charge of those bridges, will not be put up against a wall and shot for catastrophic dereliction of duty, nor even as a scapegoat for poor orders from higher up. On the contrary, he is promoted eventually to Colonel-General, winning distinction in many operations, thanks to his chief character-trait: meticulous preparations to the last detail, leaving nothing to chance.

That 10th Army had ample supplies of fuel at forward depots and railway cars -- all of it stripped away in the first few minutes and hours of combat today, according to then-Lieutenant-General (later Colonel-General) Boldin, Deputy Commander of the Western Front, in his "Pages Out of My Life", p.92.

This is the work of the 1st and 3rd Panzer Groups, pocketing, panicking, and pinching off the 3rd Army, 10th Army, and fatal parts of the 4th and 13th Armies, altogether almost 30 divisions. The Soviet Western Front collapses even more quickly than the Southwestern Front!
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 X: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2020, 07:32:09 AM »
Surprise, Motherlanders!  >:D
---------------------------

A large part for why the Nazis are winning so strongly early in Barbarossa, is because the troops and their material were still entrained, which happens all up and down the front at the start of Barbarossa and for some days and even a few weeks afterward. You might expect the Red Army to get the heck off the trains to meet the attack, which does happen to some extent, but many of their forces stay entrained, or barely disembarked in manpower and light arms, as though they expected to quickly load back up and continue railing westward.

Eventual Major-General Iovlyev, then commander of 64th Rifle Division, of the 44th Rifle Corps, 13th Army: "When war began half of 64th Rifle Division's troop trains were en route." (JMH, 1960, #9, p.56)

Colonel (eventually General) Ivanov, Ops Commander for the 13th Army HQ, talks about Major-General Biryuzov's 132nd Rifle Division: "The enemy suddenly attacked the train which some of the Divisions forces and its headquarters contingent were using to get to the front, forcing them to join battle right from their wagons and platforms." ("Red Star", August 21, 1984)

Was Major-General Biryuzov shot for being so stupid as to be caught on his trains? No, he will eventually become a Marshal of the Soviet Union, and in his memoir "With Cannons Rumbling" (p.21) will remember later, "At the very last moment we were integrated into 20th Mechanized Corps. Neither a Corps commander nor a chief of staff did I see, nor, incidentally, did I even know where its command center was. Conducting operations to our left was Colonel Grishina's 137th Rifle Division. It had arrived from Gorky... Our neighbor on the right was thrown into battle right aboard its railcars, just as we were, with not all troop trains yet at their unloading destinations."

"War caught the bulk of 21st Army's formations on trains stretched out over a huge swath from the Volga to the Dnepr." ("On the Motherland's Orders: Where Combat Took 6th Guards Army in the Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945", p.5.) The “6th Guards Army” of his book’s title doesn't exist yet, by the way; it's currently a group of airborne forces still training in the backfield, who will be parceled out with the other airborne forces as elite ground forces throughout the war, some eventually collected into the 6th Guards Army.

From the "History of the Second World War [1939-1945]", Vol.4, p.47, "20th, 21st, and 22nd Army divisions were en route [to the western border on June 22nd]. Massing of General Konyev's 19th and General Luskin's 16th Army was incomplete."

"War surprised 63rd Rifle Corps en route. Only the first few trains managed on 21st June [the day before Barbarossa] to reach the stations at Dobrush and Novo-Belitsa, close to their offloading destinations. Those behind them approached in no more than extremely piecemeal fashion, reaching various stations near Gomel by the first few days in July. A number of Corps units, however, such as all the regiments of the 53rd Rifle Division, did not even reach Gomel, but were shunted northward instead." (JMH, 1966, #6, p.17)

Colonel (later General) Shtemyenko, of the Ops Section for the General Staff, from his "General Staff During the War Years", p.30: "A steady stream of troop trains flowed west and south-west. Now one, now another among us was dispatched to unloading stations. Trying and constantly changing circumstances frequently forced us to stop the offloading and send trains on to some other station. Division command and staff sometimes got off one place, regiments elsewhere or even at several different points quite far apart." This separation of command from the troops was common.

Kovalyov from "Transport During the Great Patriotic War", p.59, "A colossal pile-up of wagons had many junctions all but totally paralyzed. At most stations just a single track stayed open to let trains through."

Anfilov from his "Blitzkrieg Bust" (p.463), "Enemy aviation systematically hit railway stations and tracks, disrupting transport schedules. Rather often, unloading took place not at the stations intended, but elsewhere. On occasion, units landed in neighboring armies and were pulled into battle there."

Eventual Colonel-General Klemin will later (JMH, 1985, #3, p.67) talk about how even a few weeks later in early July, "Sitting on the tracks were forty-seven thousand wagons carrying war material."

These are only a few samples of thousands of similar observations and reflections which Suvorov says he has found.

None of these entrained troops and equipment and supplies, of course, were loaded on June 22nd and sent to the front lines, although this is the impression propaganda likes to give later, which subsequent historians have picked up and passed on. This had all been loaded up weeks or even a few months ago, and sent westward; and that loading didn't happen on a dime phone call either! -- preparations for embarking go back practically into 1940.

After June 22nd, the call from the front will be for nothing but empty wagons to haul stockpiles already on the ground, of weapons, ordnance, fuel, and other war supplies, already concentrated along the border: they are trying to take it away from being captured by the Germans.

The 16th Army has been on the rail since late May from the Trans-Baikal region (moving secretly at night per the explicit orders he had received); its commander, gulag veteran General Lukin, is already fighting near Shepetovka, while most of his army headquarters (packed up and shipped out last, in accordance with standard procedure when expecting to detrain in victorious but ongoing active combat) is still back beyond Lake Baikal! -- his army is stretched out for thousands of miles on the rail, and the tail has barely begun moving yet if at all! Even after his HQ eventually arrives, the communications battalion for his entire army will still be en route.

Even so, the 16th is the first, or among the first, of the Second Strategic Echelon armies that the Nazis to run into, and this surprise -- indeed the Nazi distress and shock -- is well documented in captured and surviving German reports. They thought that Stalin had put practically everything up against the border to be captured and destroyed out of phase. Now these fresh, well-equipped, expertly-led armies, highly dedicated to winning (or at least to proving their loyalty to the Motherland and to Stalin's government), are completely ruining the plans of Hitler and his Panzer Generals! It is not for nothing that they earn the respect of the Panzer Generals, especially the previously unseen 'black units' which the Nazis now start facing, strongly salting the Second Echelon: units made of soldiers with powerful arms, calloused hands, shaven heads, hollow cheeks. They haven't gone through Nazi concentration camps yet; but they have gone through Stalin's gulags.
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 X: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2020, 02:15:33 PM »
Suvorov's critics tend to reply to his general contentions, that the armies he claims are stacked up at the front are actually weak shells. This is both true and false; three million troops are already at the front, but some armies are also (relatively) weak shells. But they aren't weak shells in the prior Soviet sense of being ready and waiting as an army which is only a weak corps of a few infantry divisions assigned to it, which can be suddenly beefed up into a strike army, able to punch into enemy territory and act thus as "cover" for weaker invading armies to enter enemy territories behind. Instead, all sixteen of the armies have been assigned full covering (i.e. strike, i.e. invasion) army forces, and some have been assigned super-strike forces, with optional plans to bulk those up even farther. The troops for all sixteen covering (strike, invasion) armies are all on the way; these aren't simply hopeful forces for plans someday which may or may not happen. Hitler catches most of the forces on the way; in some cases the infantry are detraining out into fields! But they are already on the way, and have been for weeks or even months.

And there is now an even worse complication for the rail system happening: Zhukov as the Soviet Chief of Staff put his strongest armies south of the Polesye swamp area, aiming toward the Nazi oil fields, while Hitler put three of his four Panzer Groups north of Polesye aiming to concentrate maximum force against the relatively-weaker Soviet armies massed on that side (on the road from Berlin to Moscow, basically). Thus the strongest Nazi blow is landing where the Soviets are weakest; consequently, the Red Army has to urgently send railway trains with divisions, corps, and armies, from the Southwestern Front to the Western Front -- under heavy Nazi bombing raids!

When/if they arrive at the Western Front area, still under heavy bombing of the Soviet lines of communication by the Luftwaffe, the trains are unloading the troops straight into battle. So for example, the 16th Army (the first of the Second Echelon stumbled upon by the Nazi forces) had been advancing from the Trans-Baikal region to the Ukraine, south of the Polesye swamp area, and had just started unloading when Hitler strikes. So part of the 16th is caught still mostly on the trains trying to deal with the blitzkrieg directly, while part are rushing back onto the trains to try to get several hundred miles northward -- along swampy railroad lines not built for backfield movement of armies laterally across the front as in a defensive strategic preparation!

As noted earlier, the headquarters staff of the 16th arrives at Smolensk, but the communications battalion is still far back along the trains coming from the Trans-Baikal, and without communications the headquarters cannot direct its forces. The same thing will be happening with the 19th Army for the same reasons, rendering it also “headless” in the teeth of the Nazi blitz; so for example its artillery are all unloaded in one place while the ammunition for the artillery is somewhere else locked up in rail wagons. Tanks are over here, their repair crews are over there, their fuel is somewhere else...
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 X: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2020, 02:20:37 PM »
June 22, noon: Soviet Government Deputy Head and USSR People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Molotov, delivers a radio address to the Soviet people, declaring, "Without citing any grievances and without declaring war, German forces attacked our country..."

But remember, Molotov himself had received the declaration of war from the Nazi Ambassador in Moscow (as true also simultaneously in Berlin, where Ribbentrop handed over the same declaration). It was Molotov who had brought the news to Stalin and Zhukov: Germany has declared war on the Russia, bringing them the received list of grievances, in three supporting attachments.

Later during the Nuremberg trials, a key point by Soviet prosecutors will be that Nazi Germany, and Ribbentrop specifically, never gave a declaration of war and so also never any grievances. Whatever the prosecutors did or did not know, the judges accepted their denial that Molotov and Dekanozov had ever been given declarations of war by Schulenburg and Ribbentrop respectively. Thus as part of the eventual verdict, "On June 22, 1941, without a declaration of war, Germany..." (from the "Nuremberg Trial of German Major War Criminals," Moscow, 1960, Vol.5, p.569.) Partly on this ground, Ribbentrop was hung.

"Red Star", the flagship publication of the Soviet Red Army, and later of the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense, kept up this charge throughout the life of the Soviet Union, but in November 25th, 1998, it acknowledged Germany did declare war. In its June 23, 2001 edition, the same newspaper specifies, "Accusations against the USSR were raised in a memorandum Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs Ribbentrop handed to the Soviet ambassador in Berlin on 22 June 1941 at 04:00."

Even in 1975, however, at the height of the Cold War, the official Soviet "History of the Second World War", Vol.4, p.31, will acknowledge that, in relation to the declaration handed over by Schulenberg, "cast in the same mold was a memorandum Ribbentrop handed the Soviet ambassador in Berlin on June 22nd. It asserted the Soviet Government had been trying to bring about the disintegration of Germany from within and was on the verge of launching aggression against it."

Suvorov goes on to claim that Ribbentrop was convicted and hung for being held responsible for direct and immediate involvement in unleashsing a war of aggression. Ribbentrop could have been tried and hung for his part in presenting the declaration of war to the Soviet Union, but then the charges would have had to change, and then the question of those charges would have had to be examined. In effect, Suvorov claims that Ribbentrop was essentially not indicted for anything. But Soviet prosecutors, being managed by Stalin and Molotov in the background, still insisted he had to die. Suvorov charges that the Soviet prosecutors ginned up Ribbentrop's death, because he wouldn't testify for the prosecutors that the Soviet Union wasn't about to attack; that the Soviet Union was unprepared for war and posed no threat; and that he didn't hand the Soviets any declaration of war.

Whether or not Suvorov is correct to go so far, the point seems to be this: that the Soviet Union must now try to convince the next people on the European border, that the Soviet Union wasn't massing ludicrous troops on their prior border to get ready to take over Europe.
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 X: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2020, 02:23:50 PM »
June 22, evening: 4th Air Assault Corps Major-General Zhadov (as he recalls in his memoir "Four Years of War", p.16), summons Captain A.I. Goryachev, the aide to the chief of operations sector of the corps staff.

"'Do you know what gold is, Comrade Captain?'" Zhadov asks the captain.

"He was dumbfounded by such an unanticipated question, but nevertheless answered, 'I have an idea, but I never had any gold.'

'Not true,' I said to him. 'A parachute was given to every Red Army soldier and commander. This is our nation's gold. Do you know where there are thousands of parachutes sitting out in the open? In the forest, one kilometer east of the river Berezina. Organize the transportation of this precious material to the rear!"

Captain Goyachev finds trucks, and under machine-gun fire from the advancing Nazi troops, brings the parachutes safely out.

For this, Captain Goyachev receives a medal! -- but those parachutes are never used again.

Note that these parachutes are not carefully folded up in a hanger ready to use, although tens of thousands have already been prepared that way today. These are beyond the hangars, ready for troops to pick up while they're briskly marching to field-capable aircraft next to the forest. Those parachutes were intended to be packed up onto someone's back in an airplane within a day. Perhaps a speed deployment exercise was planned for the day after the Politburo formally activated wartime Front HQs and the wartime General HQ...?  ^-^ ::)
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 X: THE DAY OF TRUTH
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2020, 02:28:41 PM »
June 22, evening: the Red Packets, "M-Packets", distributed in mid-May to Soviet commanders on the German-area borders, after the top secret May 5th directive about being prepared to launch lightning strikes to route the enemy and move military operations onto enemy territory, still wait in the safes of every Soviet Commander. They can only be legally opened upon receiving an order from Stalin. But Stalin, neither directly in his new public post, nor indirectly through Timoshenkov, has given the order to open them. Nor will any such order ever be given.

Rokossovsky relates in his memoir ("A Soldier's Duty") that under Article 58, unauthorized breaking of the Red Packet seal meant a firing squad.

Yet at their own risk, some desperate commanders did open the Red Packets. Perhaps they were emergency orders for defense, and due to the chaos, including the Luftwaffe striking at Command and Control junctures, the orders to open the Packets had just not arrived?

Eventual Major-General Gretsov, or his commander at the time, dared to open one, as he will report later in the JMH, 1965, p.84 (number/volume not given): "We did, of course, have detailed plans and instructions as to what to do on 'M'-Day... all of it timed down to the minute, the last detail... All those plans were on hand. Unfortunately, nothing in them addressed what to do, if the enemy suddenly went on the offensive."

The top Soviet leaders already know this, of course; they wrote the detailed orders. That is why even a simple "Open your packets" command is never given. All their M-day plans, all their packets, all timed down to the minute, to the last detail, are no longer of any use, once the Nazis strike.

Initial orders from the top do come through; but not "defend" and not even "counter-attack". Only "attack" (where not withdrawing to try regrouping for an attack somewhere else). But even these attack orders do not connect with the M-Day Red Packet attack plans! The attack orders are improvised.

(Suvorov will later entitle one of his books on the Icebreaker thesis, "The Day M" or "M-Day", but it remains untranslated to English.)
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.