Author Topic: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER  (Read 2115 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron V: HELL FREEZES OVER
« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2020, 12:59:02 PM »
March 13, 1940, Finland asks for peace one day after the Soviet Red Army breaches the undefeatable Mannerheim Line. The war has lasted 105 days.

The Soviet Union receives the Karelian Isthmus; Finland keeps her independence.

The whole world is shocked by what is presented as the unbelievable weakness of the Soviet Union: the Red Giant cannot put down Finland, whose population is only slightly more than 3.5 million! Newspapers worldwide are filled with caricatures and reports of Stalin's utter lack of readiness for any war, no matter how small.

The first and loudest reports (per Suvorov) of the Red Army's poor performance in the Winter War, come from Stalin himself and by his inspiration in Soviet newspapers! Stalin's own court poet, Alexander Tvardovsky, suddenly starts speaking of the "infamous war", and for some reason Stalin awards him praises instead of executing him! Military men, writers, historians, and politicians come thus to believe that the Red Army has demonstrated a complete and utter lack of capability to wage war. This idea will be taught in military academies, schools, and universities for decades to come.

In 1944, the eventual Colonel-General L. Rendulic will fight for the Nazis in these same regions. In his memoir, "Commanding the Troops", p.189, he will recall, "In this forested and rocky zone the trees grow on disorderly piles of rock, which often reach as high as the average person and even higher. During the first reconnaissance ventures, I sometimes attempted to stray from the path and penetrate the forest, but was rarely successful. Most often this was possible only in a crawling fashion, on all fours... Movement through the rocks and between them is an extremely exhausting occupation. Only on rare occasions was it possible to go around the rocks. Any movement by car, even after the forest had been cleared, was out of the question. Even pack animals cannot pass through... Movement of troops and conduction of warfare in formations, applied to the usual settings, are completely inappropriate here. The region of marshlands and swampy forests is equally covered with trees. Movement through those areas is even more difficult than through the rocky-forested area."

Nazi opinions of the Soviet side of the Winter War will shift rather dramatically later. During the Battle of Stalingrad, Goering will publicly declare that the war the Soviet Union launched against Finland was "perhaps one of the biggest cover-ups in world history [...] [Stalin deliberately] sent to Finland a few divisions, equipped with obsolete weaponry, in order to hide the creation by the Soviet Union of an unprecedented war machine." (quoted in "The Winter War, 1939-40", Vol.1, p.376.)

At his June 22, 1942 table talk, Hitler will say, "Back home in Russia [away from Finland], they created an extremely powerful military industry... and the more we find out what goes on in Russia, the more we rejoice that we delivered the decisive blow in time! The Red Army's weaponry is the best proof that they succeeded in reaching extremely high achievements." (Piker's "Table Talks" collection, p.205.

Earlier on April 12, Hitler will declare at another table talk that "The entire war with Finland in 1940, just as the Russian advance into Poland with obsolete tanks and weapons and poorly clothed soldiers, was nothing other than a grandiose disinformation campaign, because Russia at that time controlled arms which made it, in comparison with Germany and Japan, a world power."

But as we shall soon see only a few months later in this year of 1940 (and as Suvorov himself acknowledges, somewhat inconsistently with his presentation of the aftermath of the Winter War in "Chief Culprit"), Hitler's estimation of Stalin's armed force will be already very high despite the apparent failures of the Winter War! -- so high that Hitler believes he has to risk a daring gamble to deliver that "decisive blow in time"...

Indeed, on Suvorov's estimation (in "Chief Culprit"), Stalin made one large mistake invading Finland: he had taken an obvious step toward Hitler's iron supply in (caught-neutral) Sweden!

The Red Army on Stalin's orders had gotten through the Mannerheim Line and had halted its advance. True, the Army now needed massive rest and refit, and true the rest of Finland isn't exactly welcoming terrain for armed invasion, but it wouldn't be like punching through the security pale. Stalin could have treated the remnants of the security zone as a Soviet Fortified Sector, with its traditional purpose in Soviet doctrine of acting as a secure launching pad for a Soviet invasion, and eventually renewed the advance of the Red Army -- in fact, he will try to do just this on June 22nd, 1941! But he could have done it much earlier, in 1940. From Finnish territory he could have bombed Swedish ore mines and railroads unhindered. No one could have stopped him, and he would not have needed to seize control of the whole nation to set up for this. He did not even need to further invade Finland at all for this purpose! -- he could have captured the Aland Islands between Finland and Sweden, and that would have shut down Hitler's main iron supply, dooming the Nazi warmachine with a Soviet victory.

But Stalin decides to let Sweden -- and even Finland!! -- continue supplying Hitler's war machine for a while longer.
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 #31 on: April 12, 2020, 01:01:18 PM »
Now that the Winter War has finished without a Finnish Soviet Republic: whatever will Otto Kuusinen do with his life? -- aside from hanging around in case he ever gets a(nother) chance to be the Democratic President of the Finnish Soviet Republic assigned by Stalin?

Well, he didn’t fail, because he never got a chance to succeed, and Stalin clearly likes him enough to keep him around through various purges of the Comintern and the pre-GRU (and only arresting instead of liquidating his wife Aino back in 1938 for connections to Richard Sorge). So Otto will go on to become a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (the CPSU) in 1941; and he’ll even survive to become a member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU in 1952!

What about his wife Aino? She had been an intelligence agent for the General Staff of the Red Army, but not around a lot after 1931; from then to 1933 she was in the United States illegally, and from 1934 to 1938 she was in Japan working with pre-GRU agent (and future Hero of the Soviet Union) Richard Sorge.

She’ll stay in jails and prison camps until 1955 (per Volkovski’s “Secrets and Lessons of the Winter War, 1939-1940”, p.138).


[Next up: UNBEARABLE DECISIONS]

(Yes the title is a pun, obviously. ;) )
« Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 11:32:34 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.