Author Topic: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER  (Read 2116 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2020, 12:00:35 PM »
December 1939, the first "Ivanov" short-range bombers roll off the production line; they will start arriving at Red Army Air Force bases next month (January 1940) as the Su-2 (in honor of the design team leader Sukhoy).

While various Soviet and Western historians classify it as a light recon craft, it enters production as BB-1, "Blizhniy Bombardirovschik model 1". This means "near bomber" or "close-in bomber" or "short-range bomber" (stationed like a neighbor next door to the target). Coincidentally, the first "B" happens to sound like German "blitz". ;)

As its designer Shavrov reports, Stalin always intended it as a quick single-engine close-support bomber. He wouldn't have given his special emergency telegraph nickname to a mere light recon plane! Nor would he have planned an eventual production of one hundred to one hundred fifty thousand light recon planes! -- for which purpose it is designed to be better suited for mass production than any other airplane in the world.

It could of course be used as a tactical recon plane, but it possesses great firepower: four ShKAS machine guns in the wings (which at this time holds the world record in firing rate), plus hard points and an internal bomb bay capable of carrying up to 1300 lbs of bombs, or more importantly up to ten 82mm or even 132mm caliber rocket propelled shells! -- the same shells soon to be shot by the famous "Stalin's Pipe Organs" or "Katyushas", the BM-8 and BM-13. Those are not even in production yet, but these aircraft are meant to become flying rocket batteries. The design could be, and will be, upgraded significantly into other Su-x models, which will somewhat obscure in subsequent statistics how many of these "obsolete" fast-flying rocket batteries will be built and deployed by June 1941.

The Su-2 has two crewmen, a pilot and a navigator-bomber. Each crewman has separate controls, so that every craft can be used for training and combat equally. Some later models will be given a fifth ShKAS gun in a floor panel so that the copilot can help with any ground strafing. A sixth gun for rear defense will be added after June 1941, when this tactical bomber will need to defend itself after all in a sky that is not clear.  ::)

As Major Anatoly Pushkin (later a Lieutenant-General) recalls, as commander of the 52nd Air Regiment, "the SU-2 was also great because it did not need airbases. It could take off and land on any even field." Marshal Ivan Pstygo: "The Su-2 made a strong impression -- it was a bomber, but looked like a fighter -- small, compact, beautiful." Hero of the Soviet Union M. Lashin flew the Su-2. "It is a light plane, flies well, maneuverable, extremely durable. It took [a] long time for the Su-2 to burn. It never burst into flames like a torch." Why not? Hero of the Soviet Union V.I. Strelchenko explains, "The Su-2 did not burn even when its fuel tank was damaged -- the carbon dioxide defense helped."

It will fly at up to 320 mph during 1940 upgrade testing, but officially will expect 301 mph in operation.

Sukhoy starts the "Ivanov" into production in two factories, soon to add a line in a third factory. Orders are prepared at other factories to switch to the Su-2 upon immediate notice. But Stalin does not order the mass production to start yet: even Soviet propaganda would not be able to hide or downplay the production of one hundred to one hundred and fifty thousand close-support bombers! -- not least because such aircraft will necessarily presuppose a proportionately sized ground force capable of helping remove enemy airforces and capture enemy airbases!
« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 10:04:18 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

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

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

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

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2020, 12:03:08 PM »
1939: remember the Palace of the Soviets, which is to be built where the Cathedral of Christ the Savior once stood (now demolished for the Palace)? The place large enough to receive representatives from all nations in the world once they become Soviet Socialist Republics, under control of the Kremlin government? The foundation was completed this year, having removed the rubble and old foundations of the cathedral.


December 25, 1939: "Pravda" prints a friendly telegram from Stalin "To the Head of State of Germany Herrn Adolf Hitler".

Right below Stalin's message of friendship, another Pravda article talks about Europe now being "a dumping-ground for corpses, a pornographic spectacle, with jackals tearing one another apart". But it is Hitler against Europe: he must be one of the pornographic jackals! -- whom on the same page Stalin prints a friendly telegram to!

Also, it might seem odd that jackals tearing one another apart on a dumping-ground for corpses could be regarded as sexually arousing as a "pornographic spectacle"! -- but remember the context of Lenin's Marxism, embraced and promoted by Stalin (thus Stalin-Leninism). The capitalists and imperialists must weaken each other first in a second imperialist world war before the final worldwide workers' revolution can be successfully launched. The pleasure of watching this happen, knowing what it’s supposed to be leading toward, is supposed to be intense.

Merry Christmas, 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 V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2020, 12:12:24 PM »
Meanwhile, as military geeks might recall, by Christmas 1939, the Soviet Union was mustache-deep into its own "pornographic spectacle", so to speak.  ::)

I thought I should provide a little context of what else interesting was going on (and being said in Soviet propaganda!) at the end of 1939, before discussing...


The Winter War
-----------------

The Finns refuse to cede their first, best, and only line of defense against Soviet invasion; so Stalin orders the Red Army to crush Finland.

This runs against all conventional military wisdom: the Mannerheim Line and its security corridor are regarded by every army in the world as impossible to beat, especially in winter!

...well, regarded as impossible by every army but one...!  :D  :arr: \m/


November 26, 1939, a few days after the somewhat-Finnish Communist 106th Rifle Corps (actually the Soviet 106th Rifle Division) gets converted into the more politically correct 1st Alpine Rifle Corps of the Finnish People’s Army; and a few days after the Soviet 7th Army finishes converting into the only Soviet strike army in the area, led by the talented Leningrad Military District Commander Meretskov (who has been personally scouting the Finnish border with Central Committee representative Zhdanov since January)...

all of a sudden, seven artillery shells fly in from the Finnish side of the border and explode on the Soviet side, killing three privates and one junior officer! (Details are supplied from the Diplomatic note of the USSR Government, handed to the Envoy of Finland, concerning provocative shelling of Soviet troops by Finnish military units, printed in “Izvestia”, November 27, 1939.)

Finland’s government declares that no shell could have come from the Finnish territory, because Finland has no artillery near the border; and furthermore their government invites experts from neutral countries for further investigation and even a joint committee of Finnish and Soviet experts.

But now Finland has attacked (cough) the Soviet Union, so the Red Army must "defensively" strike back in “retaliation”!

Soviet newspapers explode with coordinated and directed rage: "We will repel the Finnish invasion!" "We will respond to the aggressor's blow with a threefold one!" (So, a twenty-one gun salute...??) "We will destroy the band of pests!"

...well, they're certainly welcome to try.  >:D

Welcome to hell, Red Army. Stay warm if you can.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 10:07:11 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

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

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

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

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2020, 09:52:16 AM »
November 30, 1939, after a brief but intense artillery preparation, the Red Army crosses the Finnish border into the security corridor, also called (by Suvorov in "Chief Culprit") the "security pale". They will certainly be bled white there...!

The main strike, as expected, is launched upon the Karelian Isthmus, but secondary strikes are launched along the entire Soviet border from the Baltic Sea to the Barents Sea far above the Arctic Circle.

Radio Moscow declares that the Finnish people have risen up against the Finnish capitalists, and so the Red Army is going in to assist the uprising. The Red Army's objective is to seize the capital of Helsinki by December 21, 1939: Stalin's 60th birthday.

An NKVD detachment, following out the current refinements of the Triandafillov invasion strategy, clandestinely infiltrates Finland, striking and capturing the city and port of Petsamo.

The first small village taken by the Red Army itself is Terioki. Finland's new Communist government immediately arrives from Moscow to start running the nation! -- led by Finland's new Democratic un-elected President for the people, the terrorist operative and deputy pre-GRU chief Otto Kuusinen. Along with his previously mentioned crew, he brings his son to keep the records and protocols. Naturally they all speak Russian; but don't worry, comrade: all those new records and protocols for the new people's Finnish government are also kept in Russian!  ::)

The temperature tonight on the first day of the invasion will reach 39 degrees below Celsius zero. This will not be the low point.  :hide:


November 30, 1939: on the same day Stalin invades Finland, the French press agency "Havas" prints a leaked report of the August 19th Politburo meeting -- the one where the Politburo summoned the Supreme Soviet to enact the Soviet Union's first universal conscription on the justification that the second world war had already started -- as evidence that Stalin plans to invade Europe after encouraging the nations to fight one another into exhaustion, i.e. "[the second world] war must be prolonged as long as possible to exhaust the warring parties".

Stalin denounces this as "a sheer invention and lie", blaming England and France for creating the war by "ganging up" on Germany, and noting that when Germany approached France and England with peace proposals (after "the opening of hostilities"), the Soviet Union openly supported Germany's peace proposals. Stalin declares that the Soviet policy "held and continues to hold the view that ending the war at the earliest possible moment would mean enormous relief for all countries and peoples."

Stalin might acknowledge this is technically true, but that acknowledgement doesn't contradict Stalin's Marxist-Lenin strategy of prolonging the war to exhaust its members! At no time in his reply (fully quoted by Suvorov, not here) does Stalin explicitly deny the gist of the Politburo meeting; much less bring up the protocols of the Molotov Pact with Germany, which by now Russia has fully enacted (as the other nations are well aware, though not about the secret agreement to do so) by seizing control of half of Poland, even being handed over some key eastern portions taken by Germany!

Stalin's published writings (somewhat cited by Suvorov) demonstrate from his speeches that he was lying and misdirecting about Soviet policy in his reply to the Havas report. It should also be noted that when Stalin says he openly supported Germany's peace proposals, he supported them in the context of blaming Britain and France for using Germany's invasion of Poland as a pretext for invading and conquering Germany! -- while Stalin (temporarily) promoted Hitler as a hero for worker justice freeing Poland from capitalistic oppression, encouraging other nations to let Hitler (and, by the way, Stalin) do whatever they wanted to Poland!

As Nikolai Krushchev will put it later, speaking about this time (cited in "Ogonek" #30, 1989, p.10), "According to this agreement, it turned out that Hitler started the war. This was beneficial for us from the military and from the moral standpoint. With his actions, he would provoke war with France and England, by going against Poland. We could remain neutral." This echoes Stalin's August 19th Politburo speech.

As A. Avtorkhanov will describe it in "Origins of Partocracy", 1973, p.356, "Stalin turned out to be a rare strategist who planned history, a phenomenal tactician who organized victories under a foreign flag and with foreign hands."
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

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

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

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

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2020, 11:38:29 AM »
December 1, 1939, Finland's new un-elected Democratic Republic government establishes diplomatic ties with the USSR, one day after the invasion has started.

December 2, 1939, now that Finland has properly Communistic diplomatic ties between its new un-elected Democratic Republic government in the village of Terioki and the Soviet Union, its new President and his ministers set up an "agreement on mutual help and friendship between the Soviet Union and the Finnish Democratic Republic." The agreement is signed by Comrade President Kuusinen, and Comrade Molotov, printed in two copies, one for each nation -- both copies are only in Russian, not Finnish, of course. Comrade Kuusinen also signs in Russian, using the Cyrillic alphabet.  ::)

Now surely everything is perfectly legal! -- all the Red Army must do is march victoriously into Helsinki and overthrow the capitalist running dog pigs who illegally hold the Finnish people in the chains of injustice and oppression etc.!

December 4, 1939, from Goebbel's diary (per "Admissions and Revelations [etc.]", p.196), "The Russian Army is of little value."
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

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

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

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

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2020, 11:47:03 AM »
December 13, 1939: the Soviets have been using the Winter War as a combat testing ground for their next generation of heavy tanks, testing three different models, specifically to see how they will fare in some of the worst 'anti-tank' terrain in the world, where tank operation is regarded as theoretically impossible: absent roads, obstacles hidden under piles of snow, tangled-thick forests, swamps, deadly defensive fire, vast minefields, anti-tank ditches, steel hedgehogs, scarps and counterscarps, plus cold that can cause steel to crumble.

All three test models (the KV-1, SMK, and T-100) perform brilliantly, but for overall considerations the Soviets choose the KV-1 to start production today. (Notably Suvorov doesn't report the KV-2 being included in the test batches, but it wasn't designed for fighting in terrain.) Production on the T-35 heavies stopped this year, but after the Winter War they are all shipped back to factories for a final upgrade of their armor to 80mm. Final weight for the T-35, 50 tons.

Initial weight for the KV-1 is 47 tons. The KV has the first true anti-shell armor in the world, at 75mm frontal (which can be further reinforced). The KV's wide tracks allow its weight distribution to be useful in snow and mud -- as tested in Finland! It has a 600 horsepower diesel engine, surpassing all foreign tank engines in power, reliability, and economy. Diesel also drastically reduces the chances of a tank catching fire. The KV receives a long-barrel 76mm model F-32 gun, unrivaled in the world at that time. The Nazi Panzer IV's short-barrel 75mm has an initial speed of 385 m/s, which is very good, but which is meant to be an infantry support weapon. The KV-1 has a muzzle speed of 662 m/s, which improves precision of firing and kinetic punch upon impact.

I will note here in passing that Suvorov never once (up through Chief Culprit anyway) addresses the most obvious shortcoming of diesel: it combusts by pressure alone, not by pressure and sparking, which is why diesel engines are notoriously difficult to start in winter! Still, it isn't as though Russians are ignorant of winter effects, including on chemicals, so for now I'm presuming they found some way to get around that, perhaps with special formulations of diesel -- a topic Suvorov will bring up in a different but crucially important context a couple of winters from now...


December 19, 1939: today the Red Army starts taking initial delivery of the first KV-1 tanks; also the epic medium T-34 tanks; and the seaworthy T-40 seaworthy equivalent to the Panzer II.

Notice that this is only six days after choosing the KV-1 over its competitors! -- the first models have rolled off the line and have been transported to Soviet military units somewhere. Probably not in Finland, I would suppose. ;)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

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

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

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

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2020, 11:51:28 AM »
December 21, 1939, Stalin's 60th birthday.

The Red Army's victory parade into Helsinki, as a present for his birthday, will have to be delayed somewhat. They are currently busy doing the impossible.

The security corridor stretches 25 to 65 kilometers deep into Finnish territory (per the Soviet Military Encyclopedia, Vol.6, p.504), all up and down the border. That's before you get to the Mannerheim Line itself. The good news is that the Line itself doesn't extend farther north than Lake Ladoga. The bad news is that this doesn't matter, as the Finns are well aware: even if Soviet forces get past the security corridor north of Ladoga, they will have no way to bring logistics with them. This can only be sort-of feasibly done along the Karelian corridor near Leningrad.

Average temperatures during their invasion are -21 to -24 degrees Celsius -- sometimes warmer, sometimes colder, skewed admittedly by readings a thousand miles north, beyond the Arctic Circle, where the Soviets are also invading.

Not a single army in the world has conducted an offensive, even a failed one, under a temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius.

Whether north or south of the lake, the security corridor is saturated with hyper-active snipers (essentially real-life Rambos!), mine fields, and barriers. The bridges, such as they are, are all new, only a couple of decades old at most -- because they all have had explosives inserted into their supporting beams during construction! The first sappers checking the bridges can't detect them, and even if they did it wouldn't matter: the explosives are rigged to blow upon removal attempts.

The snipers are picky and accurate about who they go after: officers, sappers, truck drivers. These casualties paralyze a troop column; then the hidden mortar teams can pot shot them, or a light machine gun team can set up for briefly raking clusters. North of Ladoga, where the security corridor isn't as thickly defended, the Soviet 44th Rifle Division loses every single officer in one day, and gets locked down on three parallel roads; bridges blow ahead of them, bridges blow behind. Get off the roads? Onto what?! On both sides of the road lie boulder fields, forests, and extensive unmarked minefields; and sappers trying to clear or even detect those mines get sniped!

The Karelian corridor is much worse. In total, on the Karelian Isthumus alone, the subdivisions of the Finnish Army destroy 143 bridges and viaducts.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

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

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

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

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2020, 11:58:59 AM »
The good news, such as it is, is that Red Army divisions already previously reached the Mannerheim Line itself in only two weeks!

They arrived, of course, suffering heavy losses, inflicting almost none. Morale, broken; no ammunition, no fuel, no supplies. They needed thousands of tons of heavy artillery shells to break through the line; but their heavy artillery guns, and shells for that matter, have been trapped far behind them. So there isn’t much the first to arrive can do, other than wait, in range of the Line's own weapons now.

The 7th, 8th, and 9th Soviet Armies were not enough to breach the security corridor and "help the Finnish people cast off the oppressors' yoke": so three more were deployed, 13th, 14th, and 15th. They had been intended to exploit the breakthrough into Finland; but they were needed just to reach the main Finnish defensive line in time for Stalin's birthday!

After 25 nightmarish days to move only 25 to 40 miles, the Red Army reconstitutes itself in front of the Line: a brilliantly camouflaged defense structure, well integrated into the surroundings, stretching 135 km in width -- and up to 30 kilometers in depth! Right flank, the Baltic Sea; left flank, Lake Ladoga. In total, the Line includes 2311 concrete, ironclad, and wooden defense structures.

Beyond the minefields, the anti-tank trenches, the granite obstacles, the concrete tetrahedrons, the barbed wire strung in ten, twenty, thirty rows, stands hill 65.5 -- as an example. It is protected by forty-seven rows of thick barbwire on metal stakes, connected to mines. In the final row, the metal stakes are actually railroad tracks driven into the ground.

Behind these rows of barricades are concrete casemates. Every single major construction stores ammunition and fuel, and comes complete with warm sleeping quarters, a restroom, a kitchen, a dining room, running water, and electricity. Aside from these standard areas, tunnels lead (with communication wires) to command posts and hospitals, all below ground, all under concrete and snow, all toasty warm.

Don't forget, the security rangers in the corridor approaching the line are almost all still active, too, even though many of their reinforced ambush sites have been destroyed in the push up to the Line. Nevertheless, they, too, still have their redoubt bunkers where, after spending days out sniping and raiding the Soviets, they can return to comfortable quarters, where a bowl of hot soup awaits them, and where they can rest. An operating table well below ground awaits them if they are wounded, along with a clean, dry, and warm recovery bed.

The rangers wait as well in another security pale behind the first line of bunkers; behind that, another warm and inviting fortified line; and so on. The walls of these bunkers are at least one and a half meters of concrete, perhaps two meters, poured from the "600" brand: every cubic meter uses 95 kilograms of steel armature. Above-ground the walls are covered with armor plates, and buried under multi-ton granite boulders covered with soil. All are camouflaged and hidden, especially by tall, thick pine forests, twenty years old, planted or replanted above the casemates. Machine-gunners, riflemen, and artillerymen wait within and behind the steel and concrete forts. The embrasures are so deep that Finns can shoot at point-blank range while the Soviets think they are under long-range fire.

The Soviets meanwhile, by comparison, must make do with trying to amputate legs within the thin cloth wall of a hospital tent in minus 30 temperature. Outside it is minus 40. Also outside are the light mortar teams lining up shots on those tents. Don't bother trying to dig in somewhere: in Finnish December, the ground is frozen as hard as granite. Anyway, don't bother trying to amputate that leg either: in such cold, the wounded die too quickly from relatively light blood loss.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

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

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

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

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2020, 12:02:13 PM »
The snow cover is not too bad by Russian standards, up to 1.5 meters. No army had ever tried a massive invasion in this much snow before, however. Under the snow are the swamps, unfrozen thanks to the nice thick snowy insulation (and thanks to the heat radiating from chemical reactions in the swamps). Aside from the swamps are the lakes, many unfrozen for the same reason. Even where they are frozen, there is only a thin shell, enough to support a person perhaps, but not a car or truck, much less a tank. On the thousand mile front there are a thousand such lakes. "The theater of operations consisted of 50 percent woodlands, 25 percent water, some swampland, and only about 10 percent of the total surface could be crossed by tanks." (Per "The Winter War, 1939-40", Vol.2, p.53.)

How can you tell what is a lake and what is a field? Step out onto the sparkly white fluff and find out for us, Comrade! Ah, good, good, it is not a lake or a swamp! You have found a field of granite boulders instead! At least it isn't a minefield this time. Well, move along: complete darkness falls at four o'clock here in Karelia; up north there is no daytime at all.

Any place where trees can grow, there is a forest as cold and hard as iron, fortified by obstacles, and by anti-infantry and even anti-armor devices. Manmade obstacles are worked into the natural surroundings with great skill. Streams and small rivers crisscross the region with high cliffs for shores, all scarped. Bridges have been blown long ago. All paths leading toward bridges have been mined, and snipers haunt them. Aside from impeding movement, artillery spotters cannot work within it: you can hear the shells fly overhead, but where did they land? There is no visible horizon. The spotter must move up to the very field the shells are supposed to fall in. Of course, the Finns have no such problems: every battery has drilled in these areas for twenty years or more, and all the troops know by heart the data for precision shelling.

Soviet artillery, pretty useless; Soviet tanks, a good area for testing but not for fighting; Soviet air force, only able to fly one day out of four. Snowfall and blizzards on the other three days. When it can fly, the air force has a hard time seeing anything: locating troops in a forest is a rare occurrence under good conditions, but this forest appears like an even surface!

Wait, smoke over there, from their stoves! -- bombs and rockets kill decoy fires.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

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

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

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

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2020, 12:09:08 PM »
Rejoice! A pillbox has been located! -- only one of the bases for the security zone patrols, but that’s better than nothing. This by itself has cost many Soviet lives. Let us call it #0031. You can see from the designation number how many of such things might be expected...

Now let it taste Soviet artillery, specially designed for destroying such things! Bring up the 203mm B-4 howitzers, and the 280mm B-5 mortars!

-- bring them up where?!

The pillbox (above an underground base) is far off the roads and paths of course. There can be no direct fire, only indirect. The artillery spotters must approach through minefields, snipers, and other obstacles. The heavy guns themselves must get off the road and travel some distance on the snowy boulders and lakes to find good areas to set up and shoot: areas the Finns long ago predicted, and prepared themselves beforehand. More time and lives lost securing the tubes into their positions for firing.

The 203mm howitzer weighs 19 tons in travel-ready position, but only 17.7 tons when battle-ready: whoops, not there, that's a swamp! The 280mm mortar weighs 19.7 and 18.4 tons respectively: no, no, that's a boulder field, somewhere else. Not in that minefield! Sigh, bring up more artillerymen. Fortunately, the total travel weight can be spread out since these are too large to travel assembled. Unfortunately, the pieces must be brought into position by tractors: ah, that driver is gone, shot by a sniper! Get in there, comrade, you know how to drive a tractor, yes? No?! Then learn!

Where are the shells? The howitzer shell weighs 100 kilograms; the mortar shell, 246kg. But several tens of kilograms of gunpowder are needed to push one shell of such size out of a barrel and far enough to be useful. For shells of this size, the gunpowder charges are separate, and come in powder bags, just like in naval guns: don't get them wet in the snow and blizzards, or they will be totally wasted! Hopefully an enemy shell will not land in these several tens of tons of gunpowder in silk bags.

One thousand and forty-three howitzer shells later, pillbox #0031 ceases resistance; this also requires 116 mortar shells.

One hundred thirty-two thousand eight hundred and thirty-six kilograms of shells! -- for one pillbox! They had to be brought in wooden crates, of course, each crate weighing 200 to 300 kilograms; which means trucks on narrow dirt roads, and from there off the roads, who knows how far, to where the guns can set up in range.

The ideal firing rate for such a howitzer is one shell per minute, but Finnish winter weather requires twice as long. Those 1043 shots needed 2086 minutes or almost thirty-five hours?! -- no, don't be silly, firing at a constant rate is impossible! One can only shoot during daylight, the few hours of a Finnish winter day, and not in blizzard conditions, or it is impossible to correctly direct the fire. Also, the troops need rest, and only specialists can really operate these monsters.

Fortunately, each heavy artillery battalion has three batteries of such howitzers; unfortunately the weapons are so large that each battery only has two guns. Still, if all six guns were shooting, that reduces the time to eliminate the pillbox. Oh, did we find a good place for one such gun? Now find a good place for each of the other five; and for the 280mm mortars. Not too close either! -- aside from interfering with each other, we are definitely going to draw counterbattery and sniper fire, and the occasional light-machine gun raking! This will delay us in destroying that pillbox.

Now what...!? Ah, the five-ton barrel of the howitzer has overheated, and must stop shooting for a while. Good thing it's so cold here... no, wait, that makes things worse! -- because the barrel drastically heats up from drastic cold and back again. Is it time to replace that five-ton barrel already?? Where is the next replacement?!
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

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

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

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

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2020, 12:13:12 PM »
Shelling Finnish pillboxes isn't always as easy and successful as against #0031 here.

Against pillbox #0011, for example, the Soviets needed 1322 specially designed bunker-buster 203mm howitzer and mortar shells, almost two hundred tons. By 'needed' I mean the pillbox soaked up all that ammo: it still outlasted all the guns, only partially damaged!

What about a Soviet combat engineer crawling under the crossfires? How much can he feasibly crawl with? Ten kilograms? Obviously not going to work. Try five thousand five hundred kilograms, and let us know when you're done.

Good? Now, die pillbox!

-- ah... no, not enough yet. Go pack a larger pile, comrade.

(Suvorov references "The Winter War, 1939-40", Vol.2, p.222, for some part of this. Unsure if all those kilograms were manpacked to the pillbox under fire, or if some trucks managed to drive up nearby.)


As a reminder... December 25, 1939: Stalin, through Pravda, sends friendly holiday greetings to Hitler, and on the same page rhapsodizes about the pornographic spectacle of jackals tearing each other apart in 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 V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2020, 12:15:44 PM »
December 28, 1939: Stalin prompts a decision to call up 546,400 men to the Red Army's western Military Districts -- despite being in the middle of disbanding twice as many men until January 1940!

There is a significant difference however: the high watermark of Soviet mobilization (5,289,400), reached back in September shortly after universal conscription was announced, was mostly a paper preparation for a possible emergency later. It could be stopped as easily as it started, and it would have been more of a desperation move in the event of a declaration of war against the Soviet Union for Stalin's aid to Hitler.

These troops, instead, are filling out a few actual armies to fight.

During this time, 375,000 young men of five junior conscription ages are also drafted for the Volga, Ural, and Siberian Military Districts. Stalin's Politburo has plans for them, decided upon back in late August and early September, and these troops will start those plans.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

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

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

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

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2020, 12:19:39 PM »
1940: Soviet fighter and bomber airfleet training manuals continue to focus teaching one massive ground strike instead of dogfighting.


January 1940: the Central Committee (run by Stalin) decides to set up within the People's Commissariat for Aviation Industry (also known as the Aviation "Narkomat", from the Russian abbreviation in English letters), an office responsible for turning out troop-carrying gliders. Later in 1940, the Soviet Union will set a new record for towing 11 gliders with one aircraft; but this office isn't tasked with creating test gliders from the many competing specs, nor even for creating the training (yet still troop-sized) gliders necessary for the civilian glider-training program. Those have long since been done already. This office is meant to create and guide factories in mass-producing military quality gliders for use by the airborne corps. The scale is so huge, that they will need until spring 1941, simply to start production!

From the "Military Gazette", 1940, #4, pp.76-77: "Airlifted forces will achieve impact in mountain theaters of war. There, with troops, headquarters and logistics especially dependent upon roads, airborne forces can be used to seize commanding high ground, gorges, passes, junctions and the like along the enemy's rear communication and supply lines. The ultimate effect can be extremely significant... Outside the context of an offensive operation, air-dropping forces hardly serves any useful purpose at all."

It might sound super-insane to be talking about paradropping anyone, especially significantly useful troop numbers, in MOUNTAINS! But such Gazette articles are not mere theory in the Soviet system; they are state organs controlled for the purpose of instructing and reinforcing ideas.

The relevant concept here, is that the Soviet military understands (and wants to be sure its readers understand) that airborne action is necessarily offensive in nature; and that the Soviet military is so devotedly infatuated with airborne power that they're seriously considering dropping large numbers into mountainous terrain despite the crazy risks of doing so. After all, the Nazi Green Devils do it!

All this raises the question of which mountains, exactly, the Soviet generals have in mind...
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 12:44:03 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

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

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

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

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2020, 12:46:53 PM »
January 1940: the pre-GRU sends Richard Sorge another message inviting him to come home and be shot in the head as a procedural caution. His reply, "Gratefully accept your greetings, and wishes regarding leave. If, however, I do take leave, it will immediately curtail information." By now he ranks as a defector.


January 23, 1940: Goebbels certainly feels like his earlier assessments are accurate! From "Admissions and Revelations", p.199, "The military strength of Moscow is almost insignificant."


February 1940: the 52-ton KV-2 tank, having been tested “under military conditions” (Suvorov presumably means during the still ongoing Winter War after all?), enters production this month.

It has some serious problems in operating on any gradient, or in other field "tank" conditions, but it hasn't been designed to fight in the field. It has been designed to trundle along good roads to bust up thick defenses, with a 152mm howitzer shooting a concrete-destroying shell that weighs 48.7 kg at a muzzle speed of 529 m/s. (There are also reports of an experimental 50.8 kg shell.)

Colonel-General Franz Halder, the Chief of the General Staff of the Nazi land army, will simply disbelieve the KV-2 exists! -- until Barbarossa starts (per Halder's "War Diary, 1939-1942", 1971, entry for June 24, 1941.)

The KV-3 and KV-220 will be created far enough to subject to government test, though not for acceptance; and prototypes for the KV-4 (90 tons) and even KV-5 will be designed before Hitler's attack, although not produced for testing.
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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  • Posts: 18502
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2020, 12:53:18 PM »
March 12, 1940: if the Soviets, who have been busy dismantling their own partisan forces upon the signing of the Molotov Pact, needed any fresh reminders of Slavic defense strategies and tactics, they now have it. The Mannerheim Line was regarded by military leaders worldwide as impossible to breach. 7th Army Commander Meretskov writes later ("In the Service of the Nation", p 184) about the security corridor's awe-inspiring nature.

But today, hell freezes over: the Red Army does breach it!  :wow:

One hundred twenty-six thousand eight hundred and seventy-five Soviet troops and officers have been killed in action, including missing presumed dead, and deaths from wounds and disease. This doesn't include 188,671 wounded. 58,370 have been ill; 17,867 frostbitten (per G.F. Krivosheev editing Russia and the USSR in the Twentieth-Century Wars: Armed Forces Losses (A Statistical Study), 2001, p.213).

Despite this blatant example of the pure lethality of slavic security corridors and partisan tactics, married to modern technology and industry, even on the limited capabilities of Finland, Stalin does not resurrect the Soviet partisan groups. He will not recreate the partisan groups until autumn of 1941, after failing to halt the Nazi invasion. They will then operate as originally planned, in an epic defense behind enemy lines! -- but they will have to rebuild from nothing, taking until 1943 and even 1944 in some areas to reach full planned strength and operation. They could have been put into full strength and operation within a few days of June 22, 1941; but Stalin had decided in September 1939 that he didn't need or even want partisan defenders anymore.


Meanwhile, what has the Nazi Wehrmacht been doing this winter? Hitler wanted them to attack France in February 1940, but the German generals looked at the weather in France and sabotaged orders from High Command to invade! As an article in the May 20, 1990 issue of "New Russian World" puts it, p.95, "Here, luckily, nature intervened and forced the postponement of the set date, which between the fall of 1939 and the end of January 1940 changed fifteen times." -- and moreso afterward! German generals were unprepared to fight in France's spring weather even in April!
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.