Author Topic: IceBreakChron III: PREPARING THE WAR  (Read 3882 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2020, 08:31:25 AM »
Maslov's article "Dreadnought", in "M-Hobby" magazine, #5-6, 1997, pages 9,11, reports that Stalin prepared an order for one thousand TB-7 bombers to be prepared by November 1940. The initial launch order would have started serial production in eight lots for a total of fifty-one aircraft at Kazan Aircraft Factory #142, which had modern equipment, purchased in the United States (and probably set up by American contractors). This would be a test-run for teething out any production problems; the factory at this time has the capability to produce up to one hundred TB-7s a year. Other factories would have switched over to similar amounts annually to meet the schedule.

But Stalin doesn't signed the order, despite authorizing the preparation of the order.

To be more specific, Stalin signs the order later; then cancels the order soon afterward. Then signs again; then cancels again -- four times in total! (This can be found for example in Ozerov's "Tupolev's Sharaga", 1971, p.47. Suvorov doesn't quote specific dates for whatever reason.)

Each time the industry can put out three or four aircraft before the cancellation; each time everything has to be started again. (A tractor or railcar factory can switch to mass producing tanks a lot more easily than aircraft-works can switch over to other aircraft!) The last major component installed, as might be expected, is the fifth engine with its portable oxygen distribution system; but each time Stalin cancels, only one aircraft, on average, will be that far along, the others being finished out quickly without the all-important fifth engine. (Per Ratkin's "Mir Aviatsii", (aka "World Aviation), #1, 1996, p.15, only four will be produced before Barbarossa with the fifth engine.)

On June 22, 1941, the TB-7 series will not be in production; Stalin will finally order its production and stick with it. But by then the amazing bomber will be a little obsolescent: belt-driven superchargers on each engine will supersede a fifth motor (so that fighters, for example, will be able to operate at such heights, even though still not very well until jet aircraft reach the speeds necessary to keep sufficient air-volume going over their wings -- another reason why heavy bombers perform generally better at high altitude than smaller craft!)

Clearly Stalin wanted a strategic air fleet -- in fact before mid-1936 he'll have two air armies and a third on the way (and another three on the way after that)! But why does he delay, and why keep canceling the TB-7? Perhaps Stalin couldn't get the numbers he wanted by November 1940? Eventually of course no, because he kept delaying and canceling production, but what about in 1936? Production of heavy bombers is as perfected by this time in the Soviet Union, as Ford's automobile factories had become in the United States. Millions are dying of hunger in the Soviet Union, but they lead the world in production of heavy bombers! Is the TB-7 or at least its innovative engines too difficult and new in design to produce in the quantities required?

The TB-7 (Pe-8) designer Petliakov is certain, at this time, that Soviet industry could fill the order. So is Alexander Mikulin, creator of its engines. So is Tupolev's deputy Kerber, and other Soviet experts such as E. Shekonov, S. Eger, S. Leshcenko, and E. Stoman the chief engineer for the factory that produces the first models, as well as I. Nezval the head technologist for that factory. Petliakov's design peers, Shavrov and Tupolev, agreed that one thousand could be produced by November 1940. Their confidence is based not only on their own competency, and not only on the assurance of being gulag'd and/or shot if they mis-estimated (or couldn't get it done upon order), but also from the Soviet Union's record of strategic bomber design dating back before the Soviet Union itself and indeed before World War I! (A point on which Suvorov expresses great national pride.) After all, the TB-7 has been designed to be the successor of the epic record-setting TB-3 strategic bomber, which can be produced at an average of 3 per day. (The TB-3 will eventually break its own previous world-record production rate, with 819 produced between 1932 and 1938 when the series will be ended.)
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 #31 on: April 06, 2020, 09:18:06 AM »
When no one threatened the Soviet Union, Stalin took bread from dying children (by selling off the grain) to produce, among other things, one thousand heavy bombers -- along with all the support necessary for them (remember Alexander's most-nervous-men vs Tukhachevsky!): air academies, pilot schools, technical schools, air bases, learning centers, test sites; theory of their military use is developed, combat experience is obtained in local conflicts and with grandiose training exercises; all the personnel for any two or three armies (more specifically for three armies plus another three on the way), from command staff to machine-gunners, from navigators to engineers, to photo-analysts; not only pilots, but meteorologists, aviation medics -- all this, and everything more, has been done already for the existing heavy bomber fleet!

But when Hitler appears nearby, not only does Stalin stutter on producing the revolutionary TB-7, but in November 1940, the original target month for finishing one thousand TB-7 aircraft -- Stalin will order the Soviet air armies to be disbanded!  :o :o :o

Five corps and three separate divisions will remain on the day of Barbarossa, but they won't be organized as strategic offensive weapons -- and indeed the strategic bombing fleet was never, ever going to be a defensive weapon aside from perhaps deterrence (for which Stalin didn't use the TB-7, keeping its existence as a bomber as secret as possible).

While TB-7s would have been useful in a defensive war, that still would have been as an untouchable strategic weapon against civilian targets to destroy Germany's infrastructure while their armies chewed through, and choked on, any massive Soviet defenses. A war of attrition would be deadly for the Nazis; entirely winnable for the Soviets. But Stalin will (eventually) choose not to produce a TB-7 fleet.

Airplane designer General Alexander Yakolev, a personal advisor to Stalin, will later (in his memoir "Life's Task", 1973, pp.168, 182), recall how Major-General A. I. Philin, the chief of an Research and Development center for the Soviet Air Force, argues with Stalin in favor of the necessity of producing a fleet of TB-7s -- and does so n the presence of many other people, which is tantamount to suicide! "Philin demanded [the fleet], a few others supported him. In the end, Stalin conceded, saying, 'OK, let it be your way, though you have not convinced me.'" This will be once of the times Stalin orders their production run to start, and then later cancels it before more than two or three can be completed; whereupon some other brave soul will talk him into it again.

Stalin can order millions of the best peasants exterminated -- no problem, no second thoughts. Purge the Red Army command staff? No problem. Sign a pact with Hitler?! No doubts! -- rather a record-breaking signature of gleeful excitement! (We'll be getting to that later.)

Deciding whether or not to produce a (new!) fleet of currently unbeatable super-bombers with the money earned by starving millions to death...? A very difficult decision. One Stalin reverses nine times.
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 #32 on: April 06, 2020, 09:27:51 AM »
Stalin obviously wants those bombers, but keeps waffling away and eventually decides solidly against them. Why?

Suvorov offers a few reasonable guesses, to which I'll add a few more, all mutually reinforcing, compiled together below.

1.) A strategic deterrent only works where the deterrent can reach; and a whole other hemisphere beyond that reach could start devising effective defenses before Soviet republics arrive in range to hold populations hostage.

2.) Relatedly, past history even in 1936 (and certainly confirmed going forward), indicates that strategic aviation sets off an arms race to defeat the aviation, which will eventually beat the bombers unless enough of a war is already going on, on the ground, to hamper such research and development. The bomber won't forever get through, despite the famous inter-war maxim otherwise, and there are limits to how far bomber technology can outpace interceptor tech.

3.) Relatedly again, Stalin was himself a big fan of rocket technology, so would have understood that rocket missiles would soon be the most cost-effective way of ruining his bomber fleet, within a few decades. And he would not be able to terrorize the world to put itself under him within a few decades; not sufficiently enough to offset the costs of keeping the bomber fleet up to date. (This is why missiles steadily replace bombers eventually as the strategic deterrent weapon of choice.)

4.) On a related cost basis, by 1936 Stalin has already been murdering his own people to set up the infrastructure to create ground armies. You can go get more food from other people (and reduce your own mouths to feed, in the worst case) by using land armies. You can't very effectively do that with a bomber fleet, which at best threatens to (or actually does) destroy the enemy's infrastructure for processing and distributing (if not growing) food. Land armies can and sometimes do damage that, too, but more selectivity for sparing such things is possible. (Also land armies deliver manpower locally for recovering damaged infrastructure as quickly as possible.)

5.) This arrives at the most well-attested reason for why Stalin would keep delaying and canceling strategic bomber production: Soviet military doctrine has been focusing on close air support for invading armies since at least 1929. On that basis, strategic air power is a waste of time, resources, and manpower, which could be creating, distributing, and supporting close support aircraft instead.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 09:29:53 AM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

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

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

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

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: IceBreakChron III: PREPARING THE WAR
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2020, 09:36:44 AM »
While there were strong proponents for this shadow of death, and obvious strategic benefits (enough to sink unthinkable money earned from unspeakable tragedies into creating and supporting three air armies of them already), there had always been opponents to strategic air aviation, and powerful ones. These include all four Red Army General Staff Commanders, from the General Staff's inception last year (1935) onward: Egorov, Shaposhnikov, Meretskov, and last (before the Nazi invasion) but far from least Zhukov himself. Many important aviation generals agreed, including P.V. Rychagov, F.K. Azhanukhin, and F.P Polynin. People's Commissar for Defense Timoshenko, the chief political leader of the military (under Stalin himself), also opposed the TB-7. Designer and advisor Yakovlev, already mentioned, himself opposed it avidly. Beyond these, almost all Soviet military theorists, starting with Triandafillov, opposed strategic bombing.

The chief argument against spending resources on heavy bombers, however, comes from Brigade Commander Alexander Nikolaevich Lapchinsky, the leading Soviet theorist of air warfare, author of several brilliant works on the theory of military aviation. He agreed, simply put, that bombing the enemy's resources and workers and means of production, is good; but taking control of them is even better!  :D Similarly, bombing an enemy's roads and bridges makes excellent sense, unless military doctrine dictates invading the enemy; then you don't bomb them but take them over intact -- ideally by airborne assault to secure them from enemy destruction, and to hamper the enemy using the routes themselves! Do you wish to demoralize enemy populations? Strategic bombing does this, no one will deny; but advancing your troops will do moreso, with other benefits besides!

Thus Lapchinsky has been recommending to Stalin to direct all efforts of the Red Army, not to undermine the military and economic capabilities of the enemy, but to capture and use them.

Thus the objective of Soviet aviation must be to open the road for the Red Army and support their rapid advancement.

He also, by the same theory, has been staunching recommending starting a war with a sudden crushing attack by Soviet aviation on enemy air bases, without giving them a declaration to prepare by. The speed and power of the strike must be strong enough to create Soviet air supremacy within the first few hours or even practically a "blue sky" situation: no enemy air power, including interceptors for future close air support and airmobile attacks. For this work, Soviet aviation needs light, maneuverable planes, so that pilots can come close to find his specific targets and strike them precisely without hitting his own troops.

If we plan to blow up our neighbor's house, in other words, we need a crate of dynamite -- no doubt! But if we only want to kill our neighbor and take over his house, we need smaller and more precise tools. Soviets need a plane that will always be based nearby, on any dirt airfield, on call from the front line, able to return quickly to rearm and refuel and strike again.

Could you not build as many of such planes, such as Petliakov's own Pe-2 (a small, fast, maneuverable, twin-engine dive bomber), as you need for this strategy, and also a fleet of Pe-8s? No, taught Lapchinsky, impossible: all resources, all efforts, all personnel, must be concentrated on achieving and supporting the central goal of the Soviet Air Force: obtaining at least air superiority, ideally air supremacy or even air totality, through a sudden attack on enemy air bases. Once you have that, there is no need to bomb cities and factories.
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 #34 on: April 06, 2020, 09:39:19 AM »
Stalin tried to have both strategies for a long time, up to this year (1936); then will try over nine changes of mind to go back to having both strategies.

But eventually he will make his choice, and commit to it: which air doctrinal focus works best with his overall strategic doctrine? Close air support; not strategic bombing: the same iron logic as his chief socialist rival, Hitler, who never got around to developing strategic air power to begin with! -- thus he will, incidentally, fail the Battle of Britain when all he can try to do is use tactical support for strategic bombing purposes, without his invading armies.

Hitler will not need to destroy the bridges of Paris, nor Paris itself with all its treasures (and resources and means of production). He will not need to destroy the shipyards of Brest; the tank and artillery factories of Cherbourg, Chaumont, and Bourges; the airplane factories of Amsterdam and Toulouse. He captures them more-or-less intact, to strengthen the military-industrial might of the Third Reich. For his blitzes, he needed small dive bombers and (eventually) fighter-bombers: a single engine Ju-87, or a dual-engine Ju-88 (which can double as a good level-bomber, too. But not strategic.)

Don't worry, though! -- Stalin has plenty of use planned for those increasingly aging record-achieving bombers already produced: as airmobile and parachute assault craft. In Byelorussia this year, a training operation drops 1800 rangers to be followed by another 5700 airmobile troops with heavy weapons. Later the same year, the Moscow Military District will airland the entire 84th Rifle Division (more than ten thousand troops) intact. The Field Rules of the Red Army for 1936 (PU-36), Article 7, states that the use of airborne assault troops can only be made in the course of offensive operations and only in conjunction with regular troops advancing against the enemy.

1936: Hitler, planning an offensive war, creates an airborne assault arm to strike deep into an enemy's unprotected rear area by surprise. Starting from nothing this year, these will number 4000 by September 1939 when Hitler invades Poland. Mussolini's militant Marxist-socialist fascists, perhaps coincidentally, will be the only other nation to develop airborne troops before WW2; on the day Hitler invades Poland, Italy will have seven hundred trained parachutists.
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 #35 on: April 06, 2020, 09:44:59 AM »
Summer 1936, so does Stalin have particular ideas about how to achieve his desired close-air support role, for which he is (barely) willing to sacrifice a strategic bombing superiority dating back to the early days of flight in pre-Soviet Russia?!

Yes he does!

Aviation designer Viktor Shavrov, part of Sukhoy's design team, recalls (in his "History of Aircraft Design in the USSR, 1938-1950", p.45), that during this season Stalin gathers the design team at one of his dachas, greets them with hospitality, no doubt reminds them tacitly if not explicitly that they are not currently under arrest in a gulag somewhere, and then gives them the task to construct an airplane under the codename "Ivanov".

Many other groups are at this dacha, too, and will work simultaneously in competing for project "Ivanov", such as the groups of Tupolev, Neman, Polikarpov, Grigorovich, Petlyakov, Arkhangelsky, Myasishchev, Mikoyan and Gurevich, Lavochkin, and Grushin. There is no airplane yet, the designers have not even picked up their pencils, but Stalin has already told almost every Soviet aircraft design team what he expects from it, and what the name of the plane will be: the Ivanov. Why that name?

"The codename 'Ivanov'," explains Shavrov, "was given according to Stalin's order. It was his telegraph address." What Shavrov means, is that during his reign (both secretly as the mere Party secretary, and more overtly later), Stalin uses a special codename, "Ivanov". Sometimes a minister, ambassador, general, admiral, or marshal, would receive a cable, which would begin simply with "Comrade Ivanov orders..." The highest-ranking leaders of the Soviet Union know that this order must be obeyed at any cost, quickly, precisely, and within the indicated deadline. There was only one price to pay for an imprecise or untimely fulfillment of "Comrade Ivanov"'s orders: one's life.

In turn, every high ranking minister and officer could at any moment write a letter or telegram and send it simply to the address: "Moscow. Ivanov." Bypassing all steps, without delays, the message would be laid directly on Stalin's desk.

Not only has Stalin personally issued the order to design this aircraft, he names it after his most authoritative and deadly codename! -- the only airplane in the history of Soviet aviation to be given this designation. The nickname itself is a shadow of death, in Stalin's personal context.

Polikarpov's presence should be noted. He has been designing and building record-breaking Soviet fighters, including this year the I-16, the first mass produced high-speed monoplane in the world, and he is already hard at work designing more powerful machines. There is a race for the best fighter for a next world war already on, and every minute is worth its weight in blood. But Stalin orders him to drop all his work on the creation of the next fighter, and to concentrate on creating the "Ivanov" instead.
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 #36 on: April 06, 2020, 09:50:50 AM »
So what is this "Ivanov" design, to which Stalin gives his own deadliest name, which he instructs all his best designers to compete for?

Stalin explains his demand thus: "samolyot chistogo neba", a clean sky aircraft.

He means he expects this aircraft not only to operate in a sky clean of enemy fighters, but to clean the sky of enemy fighters.

How? By record speed, record altitude, record range, maneuverability, some combination?

No, no, a speed of 375 km/h near the ground will be fine, and let us say 460 km/h up in the sky. Those are good speeds, very good speeds, but record-breaking performance is not required this time. Stalin only demands durability, firepower, and the simplicity for any "Ivan" to fly it -- and for Soviet factories to mass produce this warplane in numbers surpassing all warplanes of all types in all nations of the world combined. Enough numbers for every Ivan in Russia to have one, so to speak.

Specifically, he is planning to produce one hundred to one hundred fifty thousand of the Ivanovs.

Sukhoy's biographer L.M. Kuzmina explains (in "Chief Designer Pavel Sukhoy", 1983, p.57), "Stalin formulated the task in the following way: the plane must be very simple to produce, so that there could be as many planes as there are people in our country with the name Ivanov." Stalin plans to produce the largest series of planes in human history: a series of light bombers, simple to fly, literally as numerous as the mobile horsemen of Genghis Khan. Their goal to survive? -- help wipe out all enemy aircraft on the ground with a surprise attack against any and every enemy nation. They are explicitly not expected to fly in a sky with enemy airplanes; so they are not designed to fly in a sky with enemy airplanes. They must be designed to destroy all enemy aircraft before the aircraft reach the sky.

Pavel Ospovich Sukhoy will fulfill Stalin's demands to the highest level among the competing teams, preparing a simple airplane with powerful weapons that can be mass produced to give support to advancing waves of tanks and paratroops, creating an air terror above territories rendered defenseless against them.

Meanwhile, Stalin starts training as many pilots as Ivanovs in Russia! They have simple training, to fly in clear skies, decent weather, against no enemy planes. Take off, make a few adjustments in course perhaps, pick some targets on the ground, blast, turn around, fly home, land in a field (no airbase required), make a report while your craft is reloaded -- so close to the enemy that they do not need to spend much time refueling -- and off again. No need for acrobatics, no need to fly at night, no need to navigate well or to adjust to new situations.
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 #37 on: April 06, 2020, 09:54:43 AM »
The question will now arise: why would Stalin's plan be any better than Tukhachevsky's plan to build fifty to one hundred thousand tanks?

1.) These planes will be useful, while the baby training tanks of 1928 would not have been.

2.) Stalin has made great strides in hyper-industrialization since then (at murderous cost to his civilian population).

3.) Stalin understands and expects what will be necessary to have this close-support swarm. Much of the underlying infrastructure has already been produced for the strategic air fleet; it can be adjusted, even more effectively, for this close-air support fleet.

4.) Stalin doesn't dream of building this fleet in one year. Or even in five years. He'll have a reasonable number ready to go in June 1941 (along with more complex CAS craft), but only a drop compared with a hundred thousand. He only intends to start mass producing the "Ivanov" (and successor craft) once he goes to war. So they won't be sitting around doing nothing as a drag on the economy; they'll be going directly to helping seize and secure supplies and means of production.

This does raise the curious question of whom he intends to surprise-attack with so many simple blue-sky rocket pack swarms, after he goes to war...!
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 #38 on: April 06, 2020, 09:55:39 AM »
March 5, 1936: Stalin, from his article in Pravda: "History tells us that when any state wants to go to war with any other, it will start by looking for borders across which it can reach the borders of the country it wants to attack."

Four years later, Stalin will have conquered and removed the nations between himself and German held territory, even between himself and East Prussia.
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 #39 on: April 06, 2020, 09:57:32 AM »
April 17, 1936, a very different shadow of death looms nearer...

N.I. Muralov, who has been since 1917 the commander of the Moscow Military District (politically the pre-eminent MD in the Soviet Union for obvious reasons), is arrested. This is a shocking development: it was under Muralov's cover that Lenin and Trotsky shifted the government they had captured in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) to Moscow in 1918!

This is the start of Stalin putting pressure on the remaining old guard appointed by Trotsky or even Lenin to high positions, heretofore untouchable. Muralov's career goes back to the time of Tukhachevsky's appointment to command of the 1st Army of the East (based in Moscow) after his secret meeting with Lenin and Trotsky.

June 9, 1936, Division Commander D. Shmidt (one of the trained German Communist commanders) is arrested. He is a friend of Tukhachevsky.
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 #40 on: April 06, 2020, 10:02:18 AM »
July 18, 1936, as the preliminary to Stalin's Great Purge of the military is heating up, a radio station in the Spanish Morocco city of Ceuta, transmits several time this sentence: "The skies above all of Spain are clear."

This is the code to begin the militant uprising against the Spanish Republic. The Spanish Civil War has begun.

At first General Josť Sanjurjo leads the uprising; after his death General Francisco Franco takes over.

While around 80% of the military will eventually join the coup, at first the troops have to come home from the Spanish colonies, especially from North Africa. Hitler allocates twenty of his new Ju-52 military-transport planes, which for three months make continuous trips from Morocco to Spain and back (per Vodopianov's "Friends in the Sky", 1971, p.147.)

More specifically, the author of "Luftwaffe's Wings" will write on p.20, "Between July 28, 1936, and the end of August of the same year, the three-engine Junker Ju-52 aircraft transferred a total of 7350 soldiers and officers, as well as some military units and machine guns, from Africa to Spain. The planes made 461 flights, often with over-limit cargo. An additional 5455 troops were transferred during 324 such flights in September; then 1157 more troops during 83 flights in October. Later on, Hitler noted that 'Franco needs to erect a monument, honoring the Ju-52 as the aircraft responsible for his victory in Spain!'"

This is the first mass transport of troops by air in history, saving the uprising in its most critical early stage.

After this (per Maiski in "Spain, 1918-1972: A Historical Sketch", 1975, p.210), "Eighty percent of the armed forces -- 120,000 soldiers and officers and a significant part of the civilian guard -- found themselves on the side of the uprising."

Mussolini and Salazar, the dictators of Italy and Portugal, will also be aiding Franco. Altogether Italy will send 150,000 soldiers and officers; Morocco 90,000; Germany, 50,000; Portugal 20,000; including 2700 artillery guns; 1150 tanks and armored cars; and 1650 airplanes. (Per JMH #7, 1986, p.85)

Does Stalin remain on the sideline? Not at all! But his contributions will be explained later.
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 #41 on: April 06, 2020, 10:04:40 AM »
August 14, 1936, Corps Commander Primakov is arrested. He had been under Tukhachevsky's command back in 1920, in the campaign to occupy Poland, and had survived Tukhachevsky's own purges by his faithfulness to Stalin and to Tukhachevsky. (He will later be tried and executed at the same time as Tukhachesky.)

August 15, 1936, one day later, Brigade Commander M.O. Zyuk, leader of the 25th Chapaev Division, is arrested.

August 20, 1936, Corps Commander Putna is arrested, another future co-defendant with Tukhachevsky.

September 2, 1936, Corps Commander S.A. Turovsky is arrested.


September 7, 1936: although Stalin is in the middle of an extended waffle about whether to keep expenses going on the legendary Soviet (and even Russian) strategic bomber legacy, that sure isn't stopping designers from continuing to work on two-engine medium-sized level bombers meanwhile! Today, Illyushin's DB-3 model raises 2000 kilograms to an altitude of 11,005 meters. This record (among others) is officially registered by the International Aeronautical Federation (French acronym FAI), and will remain unbeaten throughout World War II. The record will only be beaten in 1946, and not by any similar two-engine bomber, nor even by the American four-engine B-17, but by the B-29 Superfortress!


September 25, 1936, Division Commander Y.V. Sablin is arrested.


October 1936, Trotsky, from his Bulleten Oppozitsii (Opposition Bulletin), #52-53, p.42, after evaluating Stalin's cooperation with Weimar Germany and then his support of Hitler in various ways, including in the recent elections: "Without Stalin there would have been neither Hitler nor the Gestapo!" This is a restatement of his July 1933 conclusion.
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 #42 on: April 06, 2020, 10:09:58 AM »
October 15, 1936: Stalin has sent V.A. Antonov-Ovseenko as general consul of the Soviet Union in Barcelona, to help the Republic. Antonov-Ovseenko is one of the original surviving members of Lenin's gang, who stormed the Winter Palace in 1917 and personally arrested the provisional government; whereupon, having helped overthrow the legal government, he got a seat in the illegal government recognized by none of Russia's allies at the time but only by her enemies, Germany and Austria.

So how does Ovseenko help the Republic? He begins by recommending that the Republic should hide its gold reserves in Moscow.

Roman Khrapachevskiy, in his article "The Spanish Gold of the Kremlin", for "Russkiy Focus", #7, May 14, 2001, gives more details. By 1936, Spain's gold reserves amounted to more than 600 tons, most of it stored in the cellars of the Bank of Spain in Madrid. After consultations with Soviet representatives (meaning Ovseekno and his operatives), the Republic approached Moscow with the request to "accept for storage" the gold of the Republic of Spain. The official reason for this was the threat of of the mutineer's takeover of Madrid earlier this month. Today, prime minister Francisco Largo Caballero, and treasury minister Juan Negrin, approach the Soviet Government with the suggestion to "accept for storage" more than five hundred tons of gold. Stalin, the former professional bank robber, immediately orders the evacuation of the Spanish gold reserve. From the minutes of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the VKP(b) (the "workers communist party of bolsheviks"), meeting on October 17, 1936, "Paragraph 56. Comrade Rosenberg's issue. [Note the Red German in the Politburo.] Determination: to authorize Comrade Rosenberg to reply to the Spanish Government that we are ready to accept the gold reserve for storage, and that we approve the evacuation of this gold by our ships returning from [Spanish] ports."

After the political decision is made the operation begins in full swing: on October 20, the cable with the approval will come to Spain, and the gold will be loaded onto Soviet ships from the 22nd to the 25th, in Cartegena. Total cargo, 510 tons of gold.

The Soviet Union will treat the gold as a down-payment on Soviet weapon systems and other aid sent to help the Republic; but once the Republic ceases to exist, Stalin will keep the gold. (Or rather, use it for his own purposes.)
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 #43 on: April 06, 2020, 10:16:22 AM »
Meanwhile, Stalin has appointed Jan Karlovich Berzin to the position of chief military advisor for the Spanish Republican Army. Berzin commands the 4th Directorate of the General Staff of the Red Army -- in effect he's in charge of the current version of the pre-GRU, the Soviet military intelligence organization. He's an incredibly high-ranking officer to be sent on such a mission!

According to "Russkiy Focus" #7, 1971, p.77, overall Berzin oversees the transfer and deployment in Spain of 772 pilots, 351 tankers, 100 artillerists, 2065 commanders of various ranks, 222 general military advisors, and 204 interpreters. (Suvorov's accounting gives the impression that these are all part of the 2065 commanders, e.g. 351 tank commanders. However, they don't add up to 2065. It's possible he means that 2065 troops were sent, the balance other than these being 416 officers of various ranks, but mistranslated into English. Hard to tell.)

Additionally the NKVD, the People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, and other administrations, will contribute several hundred more Soviet diplomats, intelligence and counterintelligence officers, saboteurs, journalists, agitators, party workers, and military industry specialists.

The total number of volunteers, including civilian specialists, will be around three thousand (per "History of the Second World War, 1939-1945", vol.2, pp.54-55); plus 648 warplanes; 347 tanks; 60 armored cars; 1186 artillery weapons; 20,486 machine guns; and 497,813 rifles.

Per A.P. Yaremchuk's "Russian Volunteers in Spain, 1936-1939", 1983, p.12 (Russian edition), Republican Spain received shells, cartridges, bombs, military equipment, food supplies, fuel, lubricants, and medications from the Soviet Union. Soviet merchant ships sailed out of Black Sea ports, crossing the entire Mediterranean (with no military naval bases or naval support) to reach blockaded Spanish shores, followed by Italian and German airplanes and warships, which of course reported their positions to Franco's blockading warships, airplanes, and subs.

Aside from the chief of the pre-GRU himself, Stalin also sends the most promising lieutenants, captains, and colonels of the Red Army, already noted by Stalin for promotion pursuant to their performance in Spain. Suvorov says the majority of them will quickly rise in rank after their return from Spain. For some examples, in just a few years (starting rank unreported) R.Y. Malinovsky will become a Marshal of the Soviet Union and the Minister of Defense; K.A. Meretskov will also become a Marshal and the Deputy People's Commissar of Defense; N.G. Kuznetsov will become the chief Admiral of the Soviet fleet, Minister of the Navy, and a member of the Supreme High Command throughout the coming Great Patriotic War. In addition to over twenty future Marshals of the Soviet Union, Army Generals, and Colonel-Generals, over forty of those who fought in Spain later became Lieutenant-Generals, Vice Admirals, Major-Generals, and Rear Admirals. (Suvorov provides a further footnoted list of examples; some relevant names mentioned elsewhere in his material include N.N. Voronov, Chief Marshal of Artillery; F.A. Rychagov, Lieutenant-General, head of the Central Command of the Red Army's Air Force, deputy of the People's Commissar for Defense; I.I. Proskurov, Lieutenant-General of the Air Force, and the next to last chief of the pre-GRU; P.I. Batov, Army General, after commanding the 9th Special Rifle Corps (the first Soviet amphibious assault corps); and A.I. Rodimtsev, a Hero of the Soviet Union in Spain, cavalry Colonel transferring into command of the 5th Airborne Assault Brigade, heroic Guards commander in defense of the final Soviet territory of the Volga at Stalingrad, eventually a Colonel-General.)

As just noted, eventual Chief Artillery Marshal N.N. Voronov fought in Spain as a young officer, later being one of the first to interrogate F. Paulus in the ruins of Stalingrad, the first German field general to be taken prisoner in history. Suvorov is, and remains, a bit of a fanboy for Voronov, but while reading his memoir for school ("Serving in the Military", 1963, p.80) a certain statement from Voronov shocked and wounded him: "The [1936] events in Spain deeply upset the Soviet people. Very crowded meetings and gatherings of workers took place in Moscow and other cities. Soviet people expressed their brotherly solidarity with the Spanish people, who were fighting against wild bands of fascists. During a short time workers and farmers donated millions of rubles to raise funds for the Spanish fighters."

Three years before this, in 1933, the Soviet Union had been ravaged by a famine terrible even by famous Soviet standards, leading to the eating of cadavers and cannibalistic murder. The Soviet people could not and so did not hold meetings and collect aid for their brothers, sisters, and neighbors were dying of hunger by the millions, while Stalin exported grain abroad by the millions of tons. In 1936, slave labor flourishes in the Soviet Union with millions of people in concentration camps and prisons, and the Soviet people could not express sorrow or outrage for them. But Stalin expects and encourages them to work up politically correct outrage for the Spanish, and to demonstrate their ideological commitment to the hope of communism someday after Stalin, by donating what few kopeks they have managed to secure under Stalin.

During the course of the war, several thousand children of Spanish Communists will be transported to the Soviet Union, trained to become secret fighters in Latin America and Africa for exporting military revolution and overthrow of regimes. One group will be assigned to protect, and to spy on, Fidel Castro for example. This tragic enslavement and brainwashing of children, donated by (or stripped from) their parents to the Soviet state, could be considered standard Soviet behavior; but even foreign volunteers arriving in Spain to support world revolution willingly, will be quickly enslaved by the system! Immediately upon arrival in Spain, their passports and all other documents are taken away from them, making the volunteer an armed slave, for whom escape was virtually impossible. Their papers will tend to be burned in warehouses and the transports caught in the line of fire, and yet the documents will miraculously survive these disasters to arrive (without their owners' knowledge of course) back in the Soviet military intelligence network to serve as a basis for thousands of fake papers from fifty-four nations.
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 #44 on: April 06, 2020, 10:18:42 AM »
End of 1936: by now, standard Soviet BT tanks can cross deep riverbeds. This is aside from 2627 T-37A tanks which can float across riverbeds (and long lakes, if necessary, during severe storms, as well as ride rapids!)

No future Allied or Axis nation can still field a tank that compares in armor, weaponry, and horsepower to the standard 'speed' tanks. This year, however, the T-37A floating tank stops being produced.

It has been replaced by the T-38, a significantly better floating tank!  :D Stalin will produce 1375 of these until 1939 (per Karpenko's "Review of National Armor-Tank Technology, 1905-1995", 1996, p.200). Kremlin historians will call this tank obsolete as well, on the day of Barbarossa, but how could tanks only two to five years old be obsolete when the only comparable tanks anywhere in the world are five to eight year old models of the same nation?! They will still be totally useless when Hitler invades, of course, but they are not designed to fight an invasion.

Most of these 4002 floating tanks will still be operational on June 22, 1941, equivalent or even slightly superior in numbers to the total invasion force of the Nazi tanks.
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.