Author Topic: IceBreakChron III: PREPARING THE WAR  (Read 3582 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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IceBreakChron III: PREPARING THE WAR
« on: April 05, 2020, 01:38:16 PM »
For the prior thread of my Icebreaker Thesis Chronology project, click here.

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


Forward the Air, Forward the Ground, Forward the Defensive Line
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

1930s: during this time (from 1926 to 1937), Stalin creates thirteen defensive Fortified Sectors along the USSR's western borders, unofficially nicknamed "the Stalin Line".

The Fortified Sectors are designed and built by the foremost fortification expert of the 20th century, Professor Dmitri Karbyshev, who in 1940 will be awarded the rank of Lieutenant-General of engineering troops. During this same period, he also constructs fortified regions in the Far East and the Trans-Baikal region -- field strongholds still in use in the twenty-first century (down as far as the publication of "Chief Culprit")! The Soviet military newspaper Red Star ("Kraznaya Zvezda"), in an September 8, 1990 article, will describe one of these surviving works: "This is mono-concrete. Solid cast. The depth of the walls is up to one and a half meters. For half a century, they have been there, but even today not a single shell could take them... Roofs of casemates have a low-profile. Ammunition. Command. Disel engines. Batteries. Filters. An automatic heating system... In this shell, filled with instruments and arms, one feels as if in a giant buried tank or a submarine hidden underground."

Each FS is a military formation with a corps' firepower but a brigade's manpower, spread from 60 to 110 miles across and from 20 to 30 miles deep. Each FS is a modern update to the classic Russian/Slavic defensive security zone, with complex systems of steel-reinforced concrete compartments underground, created for depots, power stations, field hospitals, command centers, and communication hubs, linked by an equally complex web of tunnels and walkways, plus covered connecting trenches linking the underground facilities. There is also an intricate web of railroads for bringing in materials, maneuvering armored trains, and quickly transferring reserves to the troops.

Each FS also offers strong armored combat facilities, and is designed to fight for extended periods while cut off from other Fortified Sectors; able to fire in any direction independently, as well as being able to support nearby Sectors. "Red Star" describes later (Feb 25, 1983), one of these Long-Firing Points, this one surviving from the Stalin Line itself, LFP #112 of the Mogilyov-Podolsk FR, as follows: "This was a complicated fortified underground structure, consisting of communication passages, caponiers, and compartments. In there, one could find arms, ammunition, foodstuffs, a mess hall, running water (be the way, still in working condition [thanks to stainless steel construction]), a 'red corner' [for propaganda], [and] observation and command posts. The LFPs sport triple-port stationary-roller 'Maxima' machine-guns, plus two semi-revetments each with a 76-mm cannon."

Colonel-General Shebunin, in his memoir "Toughed-out Together", p.58, recounts how in three years the Proskurovsk FS alone is raised as "a mighty line of defense, which counted more than a thousand various military field strongholds. Many objects were so thoroughly masked that even from close up it was difficult to guess their real designation." Many of them are protected by artificial water barriers. Colonel R.G. Umansky who also helped construct the Stalin Line will write about multi-kilometer underground structures in the Kiev region (in his "On the Threshold of War", 1960, p.35).

Those are the average type; they range from giant fortified ensembles, to small, armed constructions with one or two machine guns. Major-General P.G. Grigorenko, who participates in the construction of the Stalin Line, describes in his memoirs one of the other Mogilyov-Podolsk strongholds: "Nine firing points, connected by underground passageways, were on the high shores of the Dnestr and kept the river and the opposite shore under dense gun and machine-gun fire." (from his "Nothing But Rats Underground", p.140.)
« Last Edit: April 05, 2020, 01:49:00 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 III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2020, 01:40:28 PM »
The Fortified Sectors are the Soviet equivalent to the French Maginot Line, but far more extensive (stretching from the Black Sea to the Baltic, and much deeper into its nation's interior) and far more secret: the construction went on simultaneously in several areas cordoned off by the NKVD, but all but one would be decoys. Not only the local population but the construction workers had a very vague understanding of what was being built and where.

The Maginot Line has been created primarily to stop infantry; the Stalin Line is being created to stop armored assaults while punching back against air assault. Unlike the Maginot Line, which was built right up against the enemy border, the Stalin Line is built deep inside Soviet territory providing a proper security corridor within which teams would operate to frustrate an enemy advance long before the enemy would come up against the main defenses; thus also giving the defenders time to prepare to repel their invaders. All approaches to the Stalin Line are mined and prepared for detonation, including all bridges. The tight security and camouflage of their construction, unlike the Maginot Line, meant that an invading enemy would often be up into defensive firepower range for surprise ambushes, not only by the rangers of the security corridor but even from the main emplacements of the line!

The Stalin Line does not have solid walls like the Maginot Line. Thoroughfares between the sectors can be shut off quickly, but they also invite the enemy to try penetrating through between the fortresses -- to be destroyed by continuous withering fire on the enemy's own flanks.

The Stalin Line costs the Soviet Union gargantuan effort and materials for the first two of the Five-Year Plans. In 1938, all 13 Sectors will be topped off with heavy artillery batteries, equally shielded and internally supported; while another eight Fortified Sectors will be approved for construction (apparently subdividing command into smaller areas) and 1028 new combat stations created.
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 III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2020, 01:43:04 PM »
Eventual Major-General P.G. Grigoryenko, a colonel at the time but one of the constructors of the Stalin Line, explains one more vast and crucial difference between the Fortified Sectors and the Maginot Line (in "Nothing but Rats Underground", p.140):

"Only the naive see defense as the prime mission for Fortified Sectors. No, we build Fortified Sectors the better to prepare for offense! They are meant to provide effective cover for deploying our strike forces, repel any enemy attempt at disrupting the unfolding of attack, and, once our troops go on the offensive, back them up with withering fire."

These defensive marvels of the age are not meant, in Soviet doctrine, primarily for defense against invasion, but for supporting invasions from the Soviet Union, toward their oriented directions: mostly westward into central Europe.

Currently the plan, therefore, is both to strengthen the ultimate defensive power of the back end of the Stalin Line, and to build forward to the state borders of the Soviet Union, in order to use the Fortified Sectors as springboards for invading the neighbors of the Soviet Union.

This plan, in case you're curious, will be altered rather substantially...
« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 01:49:37 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 III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2020, 01:50:40 PM »
December 27, 1932, internal passports are introduced in the Soviet Union. Without them, it is impossible to work, find a place to live, or even travel around inside the nation.

The passports are only assigned to city dwellers. Soviet peasants, who are the majority of the population, are not supposed to receive any. That is because the purpose of the passports is to help counter the flight of the peasant population from starving regions into cities or other more prosperous parts of the nation.

This further enslaves the peasants, so that even the ones not trapped in kolkhoze farming communities, or in concentration camps (not even counting prisons), cannot leave their areas: they must live and die where their owners demand.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 01:49:02 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 III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2020, 01:54:53 PM »
Throughout the 30s, despite the dire famine created by the Five Year Plans, every single city park (according to Suvorov) has its own parachute tower, and parajumper badges are promoted as (per Suvorov) "an absolutely indispensable symbol of masculinity."

A badge cannot be awarded for simply jumping off a parachute tower. A man has to make multiple successful jumps from actual aircraft, and before he is even allowed to try that he has to pass proficiency tests in running, swimming, shooting, grenading (both for distance and accuracy), scaling obstacles, using anti-chemical devices, and many other skills not needed for a carnival amusement ride.

This is no amusement fad. This is combat infantryman training for civilians, at a pre-elite level.

Remember Alexander's most-nervous-men vs Tukhachevsky's naive tank-rush strategy? This is no pie-in-the-sky plan (despite what parachutes may look like ;) ) with no logistic support.

Stalin is selling off national grain reserves during a horrifying famine to pay for parachute technology; to build giant silkworks and parachute factories; to build parachute kilns and warehouses; to raise basic introductory parachute towers in every city park; to span the country with a network of air bases and aeroclubs and thousands of instructors for training those civilians to be, in effect, combat infantry paratroops (who need to be fed with the vanishing grain to be kept healthy for signing up with the program); and to manufacture, maintain, and prepare the gear and weaponry they will need for their training -- not to mention the gear and weaponry they will need if for some reason Stalin decides someday he needs two million parachute-capable soldiers with pre-elite boot camp training drafted from the citizenry to form a few dozen airborne and air-mobile assault corps. (Air-mobile troops aren't intended to be airborne rangers, of course, but still need and receive parachute training for emergencies.)

According to the Communist Party Archive of the Institute of Party History, Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Ukraine, Fund 7, Index 1, Case 1330, sheet 12, in less than two years (from April 1934 to February 1936), 427,000 parachutists will be trained in the Ukraine alone.
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 III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2020, 02:03:40 PM »
1932: this year in Soviet tanks, the first of the "BT" series goes into production, the BT-2.

The "B" stands for bystrokhodnyi, or "high speed". Just like the original "fast-food" restaurants were once called "bistros", these are meant to be high-speed tanks.

The Soviet T-34 will be a direct descendant of the BT series. The principle of a sloped location of the frontal armor, and of sloped armor generally, will be used on the tanks of other nations around the world, starting with the Nazi Panther. The principle of the transmission as well as the engine being in the rear, will NOT be adopted by other nations until the mid-1950s.

Until the late 30s, the BT model series will feature a 45mm cannon, capable of penetrating the armor of any foreign tank at combat distances. Great Britain and Germany won't start arming their tanks this strongly until 1942 and 1943.

Stalin will produce thousands of early BT models before upgrading to the BT-28; along the way he will have 154 BT-7As manufactured and armed with newly designed 76mm KT-26 cannons. When Hitler eventually invades Poland, no tank outside the Soviet Union, including the Nazi tanks, will have weapons of comparable caliber.

The early BTs will only have bulletproof armor, like the early tanks of other nations; and some of these merely bulletproof tanks will still be in operation at the start of Barbarossa -- along with some merely bulletproof Nazi tanks! (Except Stalin will have many more of them.) BT armor will be upgraded more quickly than the armor of Nazi tanks, however, as will be seen later.

Soviet designers operate, starting here and going forward, on a simple first principle that the engine is the heart of the tank. Give every tank the best engine possible first, and then you have leeway to add whatever armor and weapons you wish.

The first operational BT tank, the BT-2, has a relatively weak Soviet engine, however: only a 400 horsepower M-5 engine! This naturally beats the 1928 model of Soviet tank (roughly equivalent to the later Panzer I) all to hell. But by the new Soviet standards, 400 horsepower is only a good start. This will soon be rectified!

Meanwhile other nations will not be producing anything even close to a 400hp tank engine until well after Hitler invades Russia; Germany will start producing such tanks toward the end of 1942. Currently Germany's best tank has zero horsepower, because Nazi tanks don't exist yet! (Aside from any dinky practice models built for them in the Soviet Union to train their upcoming Panzer Generals of course. The Soviets will naturally keep those test models.)

Even with 'only' 400 horsepower, the specific power of the BT is 36.4hp per ton of mass (per "Military and Numeric" etc., p.241). Soviet and post-Soviet publications aren't always reliable due to propaganda, but the January 17, 1998 issue of "Krasnaya Zvezda" will later report from Soviet records that early "BT units could jump over obstacles to a distance of 15 to 20 meters, and a few could do it to a distance of 40 meters." Footage and snapshots of these stunts still exist; but after Barbarossa Soviet historians will categorize these tanks among obsolete models, so that until 1991 they will not even be included in statistics! -- thus helping demonstrate that the Soviet Union was not preparing for war, by ignoring the existence of such tanks.

In Nazi Germany, the tank with the highest specific power will be the PzIII-J: 13.9hp per ton. Germany will start producing it in April 1941, as their top tank-killing armored fighting vehicle for that production year. It will be radically undergunned even by the standards of the 1932 BT-2 (though it will have better armor). The PzIII-J won't have any better specific power than its earlier -A variant, prepared before invading Poland, and it will still have the best power to weight ratio of all German tanks in 1941. The PzIII's specific pressure, by the way, is 0.94 kilograms per square centimeter: so of course it will sink the mud like a stone! Still it will have the best specific pressure available among Hitler's tanks -- once he ever gets around to building any.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2020, 04:26:30 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 III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2020, 04:49:52 PM »
Welcome to 1933! Soviet fighter and bomber airfleet training manuals continue to focus teaching one massive ground strike instead of dogfighting.

1933: Tupolev experiments this year with mid-air refueling for the TB-3 heavy bomber, still the top such aircraft in the world. It sets several world records while in production, including high altitude cargo flights of 5, 10, and 12 tons.

The TB-3 design will become the basic model for this class for many decades to come; and will be produced from 1932 to 1938 (per Riabchikov and Magid's "The Becoming", 1978, p.132)
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 III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2020, 04:52:34 PM »
May 10, 1933, after a third and fourth contest (with Stalin being the most prominent jurist) for the design of the Palace of the Soviets to be erected on the destroyed foundations of Christ the Savior Cathedral, Boris Iofanís draft is declared the winner. Stalin had already chosen Iofanís draft, with some personal alterations of his own, back on August 7th, 1932, however!

Lenin was no longer supposed to be standing on top of the tower, by the way, only a hammer and sickle -- that was one of Stalin's personal alterations -- but monuments to Lenin, Marx, and Engles would be in front of the palace.

During the fourth contest in the intervening winter, the statue to Lenin returned after Stalin declared that the Palace is supposed to be a monument to Lenin. This is also when the height beneath the statue was increased to 415, in order to compete better with the Eiffel Tower.

So the final design has been completed: 415 meter pedestal (with the Palace of the Soviet Assemblies as the base of the pedestal), 100 meter Lenin statue.

Construction will be quite another thing. Stalin is busier on other projects right now than a monument to Lenin.
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 III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2020, 04:55:13 PM »
July, 1933: now that Hitler has taken over political leadership of Germany, with help directed from Stalin by the German Communist Party, which Hitler will busily extinguish -- what does Trotsky think of this development?

Per Trotsky's Opposition Bulletin, Vol.35, p.11, "Without Stalin, there would be no Hitler. Hitler was preparing for war... The strike against the West [by Stalin!] in the near or far future could only be realized in the conditions of a military alliance between Fascist Germany and Stalin." Whoops!

From this point (the earliest Suvorov cites), if not earlier, Trotsky changes his complaints about Stalin: watch out, Stalin really is planning to invade and conquer Europe after all! Except, Trotsky currently just sounds old, bitter, and crazy with this about-face. A military alliance between Hitler and Stalin?!? Pfft, please, if you're going to be jealous, at least sound reasonable...

Anyway, Trotsky of all people has now said that there's no point worrying about Stalin being able to invade the world unless he allies with Hitler first, of all people, and obviously that isn't going to happen!
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 III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2020, 05:09:30 PM »
1933: Colonel Heinz Guderian, now under Hitler's Chancellorship and Nazi Party oversight, tours a steam engine factory in Kharkov, where on a sideline of production he watches tank production, designed by the American J. Walter Christie, at a rate of 22 tanks per day.

At this time, Germany has not made one single tank, due to treaty restrictions, which is why Germans such as Colonel Guderian are in Russia instead of Germany, training for tank warfare. Germany will later invade Poland with fewer than half the tanks this one Russian factory is already able to produce in peacetime as a sideline in one year. By 1940, the United States in peacetime, although gearing up with WW2 already raging, will have a total of almost 400 tanks: less than 18 days' worth of production from this single Soviet production sideline in peacetime seven years earlier.

These are the next generation of Soviet "BT" tanks, based on plans bought from Christie, and then smuggled into Russia using false papers designating it an agricultural tractor in 1930. In 1933 these units can reach speeds, on superhighway caliber roads, untracked, of 62.5 miles per hour, once the power governor is uninstalled, as per Milson's "BT Series", 1971. (Some Western experts consider the top speed more like 70 mph. Earlier BT models, being lighter, could indeed reach that speed: over 110 kmh.) On flat Soviet roads, the untracked top speed is still almost 54 mph, with the governor installed -- which has to be kept installed, otherwise the engine will destroy the transmission on the Soviet roads (and offroad)! In hillier areas, top speed is just under 44mph.

The BT has been and always will be designed with both the engine and transmission in the back, a superior design 25 years ahead of general acceptance among other nations. It will receive further design innovations before 1941. From these will come the legendary light armored Soviet BT units of the Cold War, superior to all Western designs of their time, as recon and armored personnel carriers.

The current next-generation BT tank adopted by the Soviet Union is the BT-28 (sometimes only called the T-28). No future Allied or Axis nation can currently compete with this model in armor, weaponry, or horsepower.

The first Soviet heavy tank also starts production in 1933, the T-35. It weighs 45 tons, very large for this time, and requires an eleven man crew. Why eleven men?! -- because this is the only five-turret tank in the world which has been produced far enough to be assigned regular crewmen. Its armor is 30mm thick, relatively heavy for the time; and it has three main guns plus six machine guns! It will be produced for service until sometime in 1939, with some improvements along the way.

Hitler came to power this year with zero German tanks -- aside from the practice tanks they've been building and training with in Soviet Russia! Stalin's Red Army already has four thousand tanks going into 1933, after those terrible 1928 tanks have been deprecated and removed from service.

By the end of 1933, Hitler's Germany, converting into Nazi Germany, will still have produced zero tanks (aside from the etc.) Stalin will have produced another 3819 more tanks of all types and modifications (per "Domestic Armored Vehicles: Twentieth Century", Vol.1, p.17)

That's not far short of EIGHT THOUSAND tanks for the Soviet Union by the end of 1933. They aren't trash either; far from it. They're currently the best quality tanks in the world, by far. They'll still be better than practically all tanks in the world eight years later, assuming they're used correctly.

You may be asking yourself: but doesn't Stalin have crappy tanks equivalent to Panzer Is? As a matter of fact, a significant number of those 7800-tanks-by-the-start-of-1934 will be produced in the second half of this year, equivalent in performance to the Panzer I tanks which don't even exist yet!

Well, sort-of equivalent...
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 III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2020, 05:14:57 PM »
August 11, 1933, the T-37A starts being delivered to the Red Army. It weighs only 3.2 tons -- less than some Soviet cannons on tanks of this time! It has a 40hp engine, and a maximum speed of 36 to 40km/h but only on paved roads. It wears only bullet-proof armor, and crews only two troops; one to drive, and one to operate its only weapon, a single machine gun.

What absolute trash! This tank isn't even as good as the Panzer I training tanks which Nazi Germany will mostly field when going to war against Poland in September of 1939! Why has Stalin allowed this to not only get into production but even to be delivered to Red Army troops for assignment and use?!

Ohhhhh, because it travels 6 thousand meters an hour on water. Not underwater. ON water.

This is the first regularly used fully amphibious tank in the world (per the "Complete World Encyclopedia of Tanks, 1915-2000", 1999, pp.123-23.)

It must be acknowledged that the British firm Vickers-Armstrong built the very first truly amphibious tank in 1931, designated the Vickers-Carden-Lloyd A-4. It is considered the progenitor of all amphibious tanks, but it was never added to the British armed forces arsenal. Single units were sold to China, Japan, the Netherlands, and Thailand.

The Soviet T-37A, by contrast, is out there slugging and trying its best in exercises and troop training. No one else in the world will have anything comparable in service until the Japanese in 1941 start mass producing their own amphibious tank (based on their research dating back to the 1920s, and partly on reverse engineering the Vickers A-4). The United States will eventually create amphibious LS-Ts (Landing Ship - Tank), with which they will successfully invade Northern France and the Pacific islands. But as fine as those machines will be, they will be ten years down the line, or eleven rather; and despite some having light tank turrets, they won't really be tanks -- they'll be very large amphibious armored personnel carriers, incapable of doing much on land after dragging up onto the beach.

The aforementioned Panzer I will start deploying from production to Nazi armed forces next year in 1934. It will be roughly the same in size and capabilities as the T-37A, maybe better offroad, but it won't be able to float.

When it comes to this oldest, lightest Soviet amphibious tank, compared to the best, most powerful Nazi amphibious tank ever made, there can be no comparison, of course: because the Nazis will never have a floating tank! -- not at this time, not later before the war, not when Hitler attacks Russia, not throughout the East Front war, not when Soviet tanks are rolling into Berlin. Germany will enter the 21st century reunited from being half under Soviet occupation, still with no floating tanks.

In fact, there is not even any comparison between the oldest Soviet amphibious tank with the best current non-floating Nazi tank in service in 1933, because the Nazis have zero tanks in service at this time!

Considered only by itself, the T-37A beats all Nazi tanks in 1933 -- by existing and being functionally deployed in service at all!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2020, 05:17:35 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 III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2020, 05:28:08 PM »
1932 through 1933: historical literature and documentary sources offer different numbers of the demographic losses resulting from Stalin's collectivization policies (started in the winter of 1928) and its consequential famines.

Suvorov regards the following ranges most justified: 3 to 4 million people dying of harsh conditions at the places of exile (both naturally and from human repression), plus another 3.5 to 5 million from famine.

Cannibalism has flourished in the country.

Stalin has been selling millions of tons of grain each year to accumulate currency to produce weapons in mass quantities. Per Rogovin's "Hunger" in "The Power and the Opposition, 1928-1933", before collectivization Stalin exported (in net trade) less than one hundred thousand tons of grain in 1928.

Succeeding years tally 1.3 million tons in 1929;

4.8 million tons in 1930;

5.2 million tons in 1931;

then only 1.8 million tons in 1932;

and only 1 million tons in 1933.

This was partly due to lack of peasants to produce the grain; partly due to the collectivization processes themselves; and partly due to record American yields causing global grain demand to plummet along with grain prices -- but Stalin would not net-import the cheap grain grown elsewhere to feed his people.
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 III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2020, 05:30:54 PM »
End of 1933: Per JMH #10, 1982, p.75, "By the end of 1933, the Red Army had one air assault brigade, four mobile paratroop units, twenty-nine separate battalions, and several companies that altogether numbered about ten thousand men."

Why, you could put together an airborne assault division with that!  :D ^-^


End of 1933: this is the final year that Stalin allows (and encourages) pilots for the German government to train in the Soviet Union. Final tally is close to 450 pilots -- not only air recon observers, but fighter pilots and bomber squads!

Many of these Soviet-trained pilots will enter the core of Reischsmarschall Hermann Goering's command staff. In effect, the core of the Nazi Luftwaffe has been born in the Soviet town of Lipetsk.

Planes designed for training and testing, arrived by non-stop flights at high altitudes; all the Germans who went to the German aviation school at Lipetsk were formally discharged first from the Reichswehr, and their names were changed. Pilots who died from accidents were shipped back by sea through Leningrad's port in containers labeled "mechanical parts". Their relatives were not, of course, told the true causes of death.
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 III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2020, 05:38:42 PM »
Not a lot to talk about in 1934: Soviet fighter and bomber airfleet training manuals continue to focus teaching one massive ground strike instead of dogfighting.


January 26 through February 10, 1934, Stalin at the 17th Party Congress says that the rise of "fascism" -- "I speak not about fascism in general, but about fascism of the German type" -- would be a "terrorist dictatorship", and Stalin stresses that "the revolutionary crisis will increase faster [since] the more the bourgeoisie gets confused in its combinations and tactics, the more it employs terrorist methods." (Stalin prefered to call Nazis fascists so as not to emphasize the "socialist" and "workers" identification of the Nazi Party, although the original Italian fascists of Mussolini are also militant Marxian socialists.)


1934: no future Allied or Axis nation can still compete this year with the Soviet BT-28 tank model in armor, weaponry, and horsepower.

Nazi Germany does start producing tanks (at home!) this year, starting with the training Panzer I tank, roughly equivalent to the 1928 Soviet practice model.

Over the next five years, Hitler will produce a total of 2,683 tanks (per "Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two", p.261).

Stalin's factories from 1934 thru 1938, over the same period minus 1939, will produce 14,284 tanks, to add to the 7800ish tanks he already has (per "Domestic Armored Vehicles: Twentieth Century", Vol.1, p.17.)

Specifically, in 1934 the USSR produces 3556 tanks;

in 1935, 2994;

in 1936, 3906;

in 1937, 1558;

in 1938, 2270.

None of these tanks are worse than the BT series and the heavy 45-ton T-35; they all feature improvements in some way.


Don't let those numbers just glaze by you, by the way. Hitler will one day invade the Soviet Union with significantly less than four thousand tanks; not with significantly more than TWENTY-TWO THOUSAND!

And remember the vengeance of Alexander's most-nervous-men vs. Tukhachevsky's one year tank-spam. What do those twenty-two thousand tanks by 1938 represent logistically in other things going on...?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2020, 05:47:53 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 III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2020, 05:57:26 PM »
Never Stop Never Stopping
------------------------------

Quite a bit more to talk about in 1935, but let's start as usual for emphasis: Soviet fighter and bomber airfleet training manuals continue to focus teaching one massive ground strike instead of dogfighting.

1935: the Red Army stages several air assault training operations in Kiev.

That sounds blase, but consider how many air assault training operations all other nations on earth combined this year will stage: ZERO!

One typical operation involves dropping 1200 airborne rangers followed by the landing of 2500 airmobile troops bringing heavy weapons, including artillery, armored cars, and small tanks. (It should be kept in mind that the Soviet armored cars will outperform Nazi tanks in many regards, including armament, up through Hitler's invasion of Russia.)

This is typical of many grandiose maneuvers shaking up the western region of the USSR in the 1930s. Only one theme (per Suvorov) is developed in each maneuver: "Deep Penetration", a sudden attack by gigantic masses of tanks deep into "enemy" territory. In every training exercise, the sudden attack of land troops is always preceded by a surprise attack of Soviet aviation on the "enemy" air bases, followed by a drop of the paratroops to take over the air bases. Following the first wave of parachutists, a second wave of assault troops, with heavy weapons, lands using transport aircraft to secure the captured bases.

When Suvorov calls the tank numbers "gigantic masses", keep in mind that Stalin is going into this year with significantly more than ELEVEN THOUSAND tanks already in service, and is cranking out more at equivalent speeds. Not all those tanks are being used in the super-combined-arms practice operations, of course, but by any metric several hundred tanks would still be a gigantic mass and Stalin has tanks to spare.
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.