Author Topic: IceBreakChron IX: THE DAY BEFORE  (Read 2754 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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IceBreakChron IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« on: June 16, 2020, 05:26:51 PM »
For the prior thread of my Icebreaker Thesis Chronology project, click here.

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


The day before the Day of Truth is here: one day before Barbarossa.  :hide: :timeout: :wow:


The Soviets will be so busy today, and a final overview of Soviet positions is so important for understanding the contexts of what will happen 'tomorrow', that I'm giving this day its own thread! -- which I'm planning to finish on June 21st of the current year, 2020.

Let's get to Suvorov's (previously rather scattered) notes on this day...
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 IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2020, 05:41:14 PM »
On Rails Toward Catastrophe
--------------------------------

June 21, 1941: the day before Hitler launches Operation Barbarossa. Molotov, as directed by Stalin, is trying to meet with German leadership yet again, for peace talks.

Soviet historian Anfilov, in his "Immortal Feat", p.185, says that the Politburo spends this day in a secret session, "grappling with supremely important matters of state and military issues."

Details of this secret meeting are, understandably, sketchy. We can be sure they were not grappling with fighting against a Nazi invasion tomorrow; that will take them by surprise!

Scattered records, including from Anfilov, indicate that, for example, they decided to add the BM-13 mobile multiple rocket launcher to the Red Army in mass production, as well as its M-13 rockets of course, and organizing the production into rocket-launching artillery units. These are the famous "Katyusha" units, Stalin's Pipe Organ, and their decision to mass produce those now is certainly interesting, but not exactly a "supreme matter of state and military"!


Pre-GRU chief Golikov reports to the Politburo today on the massing of enormous numbers of Nazi forces on the Soviet frontier, huge stockpiles of ammunition, the redeployment of Nazi airpower (which seems to be finished by now), German deserters, and much, much else. Golikov knows the numerical designations of virtually all Nazi divisions; he knows the names of their commanders; he knows their locations. He know the name of the operation is "Barbarossa". He even has heard (from Sorge) that the Nazi invasion begins tomorrow! -- which he also reports to Stalin and the Politburo! (Presumably not the source.) This certainly counts as a supreme matter of the state and the military!

However, Golikov also goes on to report that despite all this, the Nazis have not yet begun to prepare for invasion -- based on the secret data he shares only with Stalin. But he shares it regularly, including today, and Stalin is up to date.

Someone at the meeting asks: how far will Golikov vouch for his conclusion that Barbarossa isn't ready to go tomorrow?

Golikov replies: he would give his life for the information and, should he be mistaken, the Politburo would have cause to do with him precisely what has been done with every single one of his predecessors.

Barbarossa will start ten to twelve hours after Golikov bets his own life that it won't.

But, he and Stalin remain well aware that Hitler has not sent at least fifteen thousand sheepskin coats to even one of those divisions on the border; no winter-grade kerosene; no winter-grade gun oil. Hitler clearly is not planning to conquer western Russia this year -- even though everything else at the border looks like he is about to attack.

Reassured through Golikov's confidence, even in the face of all the other data, especially because Stalin solidly agrees with Golikov that his secret data must surely predict when-if-ever Hitler intends to conquer western Russia -- which couldn't possibly be done this year in any case -- the Politburo goes on to discuss and implement more of its own plans on the border.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2020, 06:23:43 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 IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2020, 06:00:07 PM »
Per Lieutenant-General Zhilin, Correspondent Member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, in "Great Patriotic War [1941-1945]", p.64, "On June 21st, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (of Bolsheviks) took the decision to create front formations based on the western border military districts."

This is a ratification to formally and (more) publicly pronounce a decision made at least as far back as February -- the creation of five western Fronts from Military District HQ staffs -- and already secretly put into action on June 13th. In other words, now that the Front HQs are in place and ready to go (mostly...!), the Soviet Government has decided to publicly, or anyway less secretly, call them Fronts.

Remember, in Soviet military doctrine, Fronts only exist where active fighting exists, and especially where the Soviets are about to initiate the active fighting -- ideally by invading across the border through the Fortified Sectors of their Military Districts. Declaring these areas to be Fronts, in any public (or relatively public) way, must signal to all observers the start of lethal, not practice, Soviet military operations.

Of course, the Politburo doesn't instantly lean out the windows and yell this information into the air outside the Kremlin: it will take a day or two before the news gets out. As it happens, the Red Army needs a day or two more to get its Front HQs fully activated with personnel. But once that happens, Soviet military action will formally start across the entirety of their borders with the Nazis: a military action five Fronts long, which won't involve expecting the Nazis to be attacking.
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 IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2020, 06:05:21 PM »
What else is the Politburo doing today? Creating a General Headquarters from high command, as per Major-General (later Colonel-General) Pokrovsky's memoir article in JMH, 1978, #4, p.64. In the Soviet military structure, General HQ is the ultimate authority governing the Armed Forces in wartime. This makes perfect sense if Fronts are now being more-or-less publicly established: the time has come for the Soviet Union to go to war. Not a defensive war, of course; they will be grievously surprised in less than 24 hours, and dither around trying to understand what to do if the Nazis are invading them!

Also today (as reported by General Ivanov and Major-General Shekhovtsev, in JMH, 1981, #9, p.11), "the Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (of Bolsheviks) conferred upon the Chief of the General Staff Zhukov overall leadership of the Southwestern and Southern Fronts, and, for Northern Front, conferred the same on Deputy People's Commissar of Defense General Meretskov."

Meretskov just happens to have ended his whirlwind tour of all border areas since June 13th (or perhaps starting a little before then), at Northern Front HQ in Leningrad, or rather at the border area of (secretly already assembled) Northern Front with Leningrad MD's commander Popov, nominally Northern Front HQ commander up to now. In this case, Northern Front also includes the Finnish border areas -- where Meretskov had invaded back at the end of 1939! -- but Meretskov seems to be given overarching command oversight of the Northwestern Front as well.

Zhukov's most recent direct military action happens to be the invasion of parts of Romania, capturing the land where the Danube Fleet is preparing to invade somewhere. Zhukov still has a lot to do in Moscow, as might be expected, so he won't leave General Staff before tomorrow, and will still be here when Hitler invades.
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 IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2020, 06:08:30 PM »
So the Armies being parked in Military Districts, some of them from other MDs farther eastward, are today (on June 21st, 1941) being put under Front HQs, comprised of "Special Military District" commanders (some of whom didn't even know until recently that they had such armies in their MDs yet!) And some of the key Fronts are being put under multi-Front commanders. And everyone is being put under General HQ, now activating today for wartime operation.

Strictly speaking General HQ commands the Front HQs (or the multi-Front HQs), and those generals command the Army generals and so on; but does General HQ happen to have any units directly under its command?

Yes indeed! Pokrovsky in his 1978 memoir article lets his readers indirectly know that General HQ was set up on June 21st (or set up beforehand but officially launched today), by telling us that today he has been assigned as the Chief of Staff for "General Headquarters Group of Forces". First Deputy People's Commissar of Defense and Marshal of the Soviet Union Budyonny commands this Force Group.

So, what forces comprise this Force Group? The Second Strategic Echelon Armies! -- now conveniently trundling past Moscow on their way to the newly established wartime Fronts!
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 IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2020, 06:19:15 PM »
Will General HQ be based in Moscow? That might be smart for a defensive war, or for its initial phases, but not for the kind of war the Politburo has been building up to and which it is activating today. No, General HQ will be set up near Vilnius -- not in deep defensive bunkers, of course, like the Zhiguli bedrock-bunkers, because General HQ isn't meant to stay there long. Pokrovsky is already there setting up.

The new Soviet Main Forward Command Post ("GPKP" in Russian acronym) is almost exactly the same distance from the Nazi border forces, as Rastenburg in East Prussia from the Soviet border forces. Who is in Rastenburg? Hitler is arriving there today to oversee the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union tomorrow.

Is the new Soviet Main Forward Command Post a bunch of tents out in a field? Ha, no, that would be silly! -- other army headquarters and even Front HQs get those, not the GPKP!

No, the Main Forward Command Post is a set of railway cars covered by several NKVD armored trains, plus three more trains from the People's Commissariat of Communications.

Unlike a set of tents in a forest, or even a set of tents in a field, the GPKP provides relative mobility -- relative because the tracks are jammed with incoming armies right now, and with outgoing empty cars to bring in more armies and supplies! But in theory the GPKP can move itself to be near major war developments. The GPKP already has a number of meticulously screened and camouflaged stops, which are themselves already hooked up to government communication lines. The communication equipment on the trains just have to be plugged in upon arrival.

In a war of defense against a major air power, like for example Nazi Germany, this would be practically the same as Russian Roulette! -- the command staff might as well be clicking revolvers at their heads every six or four hours! But just like the Oberkommand Heer when setting up a railway headquarters to oversee the invasion of Poland, Stalin isn't planning for that kind of war.

Back on June 6th, Nazi high command had uncovered (cough) "secret" plans to move the Soviet government east to Sverdlovsk. A few days later, the government began secretly moving west to somewhere on the rail line between Minsk and Vilnius, but closer to Vilnius. That's why Pokrovsky is already there, ready to activate General Headquarters. The People's Commissar for Communications, Communication Forces Marshal Peresypkin, is also arriving today to check whether the advanced comms teams have gotten everything already ready already, for when his commander arrives with his commander's HQ team.

This is all very standard according to Soviet, and indeed worldwide, protocol for setting up a headquarters, whether at company size or a front of armies; and whether the newly activating HQ is in a bedrock-bunker under the Zhiguli mountains, or in a mobile armored train group outside Vilnius. But what rank is this HQ? General HQ, the ultimate military command for a war. And which of Peresypkin's ultimate military bosses is on the way? He only has one boss: the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars -- Comrade Josef Stalin.

Peresypkin travels to the borders of East Prussia cloaked in understandable secrecy, riding an ordinary, regularly scheduled train, in a day coach attached to the end. The encrypted cables Peresypkin receives from Moscow are signed in his own name! Later in 1972 (in "Communications", p.17) he will recall, "Literally on the very eve of the war, Stalin directed me to go out to the Baltic republics. For some reason, I saw a connection between this critically important assignment and imminent military developments." Well, duh! He's going out to a Special Military District where a wartime Front already exists, to check final comms for General HQ -- the ultimate Soviet combat operations center! The only reason that the Marshal in charge of all communications in the Soviet Union would be going to a General HQ, would be to handle wartime coordination of military, governmental, and state communication systems. "The evening of June 21, 1941, together with a team of senior officials from the People's Commissariat for Communications, I left for Vilnius. We were en route when the war began..." More on this 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 IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2020, 06:23:16 PM »
Wings the Day Before
------------------------

Soviet close support strike aircraft and fighter groups, following Lapshinsky's strategy and training dating back at least twelve years, are massed right on the Axis border today, with runways pointed appropriately.

For example, the 123rd Fighter Regiment has its field base a little more than a mile (2 km) from the German frontier. Like many other such regiments, once they are climbing after takeoff, they are already supposed to be over Axis territory. Having done whatever it is that close support aircraft are supposed to do this close to the border when aimed at enemy territory (cough!), they will be able to return to base very quickly -- so quickly that if perhaps they needed to rearm, having also quickly expended all their air-to-ground ammunition, they wouldn't even necessarily need refueling!

In 1951, Major V. Khmelev will describe his experiences (in the June 17, 1951 issue of "Posev", page number uncited), "The bomber aviation air bases [were] located no further than 80km from the new German-Soviet border. It was at that time clear to every Soviet soldier and officer that the entire Red Army was feverishly preparing for aggressive operations of unheard-of dimensions." But not aggressive operations to defend against a Nazi attack tomorrow.
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 IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2020, 06:34:29 PM »
Only 249 of the famous IL-2 armored super-ground-attack aircraft have been produced by June 21st, 1941. Eventually they shall be the single most-produced warplane in the history of the world (up to 2012's edition of "Chief Culprit"), but Stalin's insistence on removing the defensive rear-seat gunner has delayed their mass production (along with some political factors to be discussed later with the Su-2 and its family).

Hitler, by comparison, has zero such aircraft. The total of such aircraft produced by the rest of the world already today: also zero. The total of such aircraft produced by everyone except Soviet Russia by the end of WW2: also will be zero.

490 Soviet Pe-2 dive-bombers have been produced by June 21st, 1941 (per Medved and Khazanov, "Dive Bomber Pe-2", 1999, Part I, p.16). These surpass Hitler's dive bombers in all major categories (such as being 75 km/h faster than the Ju-88 and 100 km/h faster than the He-111, which isn't meant to be a dive bomber by the way.) Hitler has fewer than 490 Ju-88s positioned on the front; but they are all ready to go, while the Pe-2s are still being delivered and in transit.

Hitler has 1129 fighters of all types ready to fight in Barbarossa tomorrow. Stalin has 1309 of the newest MiG-3 fighters, some still in transit for delivery (see later example), per Kozhevenikov's "Command and Staff of the Air Forces of the Soviet Army in the Great Patriotic War", 1977, p.16. Beyond those, Stalin also has 322 of the newest LaGG-3s, and 399 of the newest cannon-armed Yak-1 fighters (per "USSR Aircraft Industry, 1917-1945", 1992-94, Vol.2, pp.41, 235.) Each of these models is equal or superior (per Suvorov) to the best German models available on this day.

Only(!) about 600 of the Su-2 "Ivanovs" have been produced by June 21st, 1941, assigned to eight air regiments located in the western border military districts. Many are still parked at plant airports or are on the way to their places of deployment. Officially, only 80 of these craft will be lost in all of World War II! -- out of only(!) eleven hundred ever produced -- out of a plan of up to 150,000! By November 19, 1941, they will be ordered to stop production.

This was the only aircraft Stalin ever gave his most important nickname, the "Ivanov"; the one plane that he constantly described as necessary and unavoidable. Why had he only produced a few hundred? To open the production line in peacetime, gain experience, fly the planes, and test them in small conflicts. The plan is to start the serious mass production for filling Stalin's order, after the sudden first strike, like a sudden mobilization reserve, somewhat like the soon-to-be famous Shpagin submachine gun, the PPSh: it has been created, tested, and approved before today, but not put into mass production yet. This epic submachine gun will start mass production soon after tomorrow -- in a situation where Stalin no longer sees reason to produce a hundred and fifty thousand blue-sky light close-support flying rocket artillery platforms anymore.

Stalin hasn't prepared similar levels of fighter coverage for the Su-2 and its successors (including the best close-support craft of WW2, the epic IL-2); so in a defensive war, the unarmored Su-2 just cannot be used as well as the armored IL-2. Those resources would be, and will be, better spent producing the IL-2.
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 IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2020, 06:56:35 PM »
Soviet and, following after, western historians will routinely explain this choice to cease production of the Su-2, by the aircraft being obsolete, and indeed being obsolete by tomorrow morning (June 22nd, 1941). But how can an aircraft only one year into production from the legendary Sukhoy geniuses, with no comparable aircraft anywhere in the world, be obsolete?!

Equally legendary Sukhoy apprentice V.B. Shavrov will write (per Suvorov) the fullest and most objective history of the development of Soviet aviation, "The History of Aircraft Design in the USSR, 1938-1950", and his comments on page 50 are typically schizophrenic: he has no problem critiquing any aircraft made by him, or his team, or other teams, but regarding the Su-2, "its creators cannot be reproached for anything; the plane corresponded to realistic demands that appeared [my emphasis] only until the war."

In other words, Shavrov has nothing bad to say about the Su-2 -- everything was fine with Stalin's personal "Ivanov" project, up until this very day of June 21, 1941. By dawn tomorrow, however, the demands being met by this craft with unqualified success up until today, will instantly become "unrealistic".

Several months later, the Japanese will surprise-attack the United States at Pearl Harbor, using only 183 aircraft. Less than a quarter of that total will be fighter cover. The correct inference is that they do not plan many American fighters to launch; but possibly some may do so because the primary targets are the navy ships, not the airfields, and the Japanese have no ground forces to help keep American airpower on the ground. And so it happens.

There is nothing remarkable about the Nakajima B-5N models which will punch Pearl Harbor -- roughly equivalent to the Su-2 but with vastly much less firepower (due to being carrier planes). But in a surprise attack, their effect is awesome. Like the Su-2, the B-5N resembles a fighter more than a bomber: a low-wing monoplane, which gives it the ability to fly so low that the faces of their crews can be seen from ships and from the ground. The B-5N will carry less than a ton of explosives, but each drop will be made at point-blank range. They are "planes of the clear sky". The model's heroic days will be over after Pearl Harbor, and after the strikes on South Pacific islands for surprise invasion.

Hitler's own winged jackals, the Ju-87 Stukas, have been tearing up Europe in surprise attacks since September 1st, 1939. The 1941 variant is quite superior to its originator, with a 1500hp motor and a nominal 1000kg payload (or 1800kg for short-range strikes in weather proper for takeoff). But it is inferior to the Su-2 in several regards. And its models could not be very effectively used in the Battle of Britain: England kept watch for them coming in, and they could be massacred on the way back out, and most importantly there was no sudden land strike to secure any struck British airfields. Hitler ordered them to stop being used above Britain -- so were they totally obsolete aircraft now, unfit for continued production much less continued usage in their designed roles? Not at all! They excelled again this year (1941) in the surprise strike campaigns against Yugoslavia, Greece, and Crete. And they are about to do so again tomorrow -- now in Soviet Russia with an invasion army behind them.

The Stukas will not need record-breaking performance to reign supreme until Soviet aviation gets sufficient fighters into coverage; but they will practically disappear after that.
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 IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2020, 11:06:29 AM »
Altogether, back on June 1st, 1941, the total operational Nazi military aircraft of all kinds was 6852, including 823 recon planes, 2017 single-engine fighters, 232 double-engine fighters, 2141 bombers, 401 dive-bombers, 719 transport planes, 133 communication planes, and 286 planes of all sorts assigned to the Navy (per "Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg" (The German Reign and the Second Worldwar), 1979, 5/1, p.555.) But Hitler is fighting on many fronts already, from the North Atlantic to the Egyptian border.

Against the USSR, Hitler is prepared to launch tomorrow 3520 war planes of all kinds (bombers, fighters, recon, transport, and comms), plus 307 Finnish, 393 Romanian, and 48 Hungarian military planes of all kinds: total 4268 planes. (per "The Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945: Military History Essays", 1998, Vol.1, 113. Also "Geschichte des Luftkriegs, 1910 bis 1980" (History of the Airwars), 1981, page unsourced.)

Counts vary, however, so Suvorov also supplies the data provided by German scholar O. Groehler, regarded as the most reliable among the majority of historians (according to Suvorov): against the USSR tomorrow, Hitler has deployed 945 bombers, 400 dive-bombers and ground attackers, 1036 single-engine fighters, 93 two-engine fighters, 120 long-range recon (for air fleets, not counting air recon assigned to land formations), 252 transports, 674 other forward based aircraft (the majority being short-range recon assigned to land formations). The transports evidently refer to air force personnel and supplies, not dedicated airmobile assault aircraft (including jumpers and gliders) which would be counted separately. Counting aircraft designed to destroy the enemy on the ground and in the air, the tally comes to 2474 or 2510 Nazi fighting craft ready to go, including craft such as the Hs-123 biplane single-bomb dive bomber. (Often mocked by Suvorov, although to be fair it's probably better than the Soviet bi-plane dive bomber which will be famously used soon by the "Night Witches".)
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 IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2020, 11:11:56 AM »
Against this 2510 (or less) of all Nazi fighting models (air to air and air to ground), Stalin has 2769 of the newest comparable fighting models (IL-2, Pe-2, MiG-3, Yak-1, and LaGG-3) ready to fight, but not all of them delivered to the airbases yet. (This total doesn't count units still in production or in post-production certification tests, but does count units ready to ship and in transit.)

The Soviet DB-3f, 1940 model, has a range of 3300km with a normal bomb cargo; its 1941 model, redesignated the Il-4, with the upgraded M-88B motors, has a range of 3380km. Hitler does not have this type of aircraft either. Even back in 1936, the original DB-3 had set several world records for bomber combat performance. On this day, Stalin has one thousand eight hundred and forty-six DB-3f units (probably counting the 1941 IL-4 upgrades, Suvorov is a little unclear) ready to fight, and (being mostly an older variant from 1940) generally in place to fight (not in production).

In other words, Stalin has more 1946 Superfortress-level lifting-strength bombers ready to fight today, just in this one model, than Hitler's combined bombers of all types attacking the Soviet Union tomorrow.

Altogether there are several thousand (total unreported by Suvorov) of the seven next-newest fighting aircraft models, including along with the Er-2 and the DB-3f/IL-4, the Su-2 "Ivanov" ground attack (about 600), Pe-8 (only a handful, being the aborted TB-7 super bombers), Yak-2, Yak-4, and Ar-2. The Er-2 bomber has a range of 4000km; Hitler will not have a bomber with this range until the very end of the 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 IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2020, 11:19:10 AM »
Since we're talking about bombers capable of lift loads comparable to the 1946 American Superfortress (after the war), let's compare Stalin's heavy bombers ready to go today, with Hitler's heavy bombers ready to go.

On this day, Stalin still has 516 TB-3 heavy bombers in the Soviet airforce plus another 25 TB-3 within Soviet Naval Aviation. Considering that 819 were built between 1932 and 1938, it's a little difficult to tell if Suvorov means that these 541 still have bombing assignments, or if these are the several hundred TB-3s (plus TB-1s and other converted bombers) being used as paradrop and airborne assault delivery craft in the Airborne Armies. (His citation either way comes from Kotelnikov's article "Flagship of Stalin's Falcons", in Aviatsia i Vremia #4, 1997, page uncited.)

Suvorov implies strongly in "Chief Culprit" (at least) that these 516 still had bombing duty, not airmobile assault duties. Its normal bombload range of up to 2250km (improved since 1930 initial design? -- or its eventual maximum design in 1938?), and its bomb load of up to 4 tons, plus eight defense machine guns, still place it in the top class of bombers for 1941. True, its speed of 288 km/h, practically unthinkable for a bomber in 1930, now seems slow by Soviet standards on June 21st, 1941.

But now, let us compare this 'obsolete' Soviet heavy bomber (if it is still bombing?) with Hitler's newest heavy bomber:

..........there is no comparison, because Hitler's heavy bomber development program crashed in 1936 after the death of its proponent, Walther Wever. Hitler concentrated on producing medium and light and dive bombers after that.

Well, okay, let's compare it with Hitler's best obsolete heavy bomber:

..........also no comparison, because Hitler never got any into service! On this day, Hitler has no bombers with four engines at all. Hitler has no bombers at all with a 4000km range. Hitler has no bombers at all with a 4 ton bombload. Every single one of Hitler's heavy bombers have zero speed, because they don't exist.
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 IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2020, 11:32:22 AM »
Fine, then -- let's compare medium bombers ready to go today.

Stalin on June 21, 1941, has 324 SB (mid-range) bombers... ...um, wait...

Sorry, no, that's Hitler with 324 Ju-87 Stukas ready to fly tomorrow in Barbarossa. They are comparable to the Soviet SB in range per bomb load (if the prevalent Ju-87B-1 is compared with the SB 1941 with its M-105P engines), but the SB is about 70 km/h faster.

The Soviet SBs after the war will be listed as being obsolete starting tomorrow, June 22nd, and sometimes thus left out of the accounting for Stalin's preparations. But if the SBs are obsolete, so are the Stukas!

Comparing the 'obsolete' SBs with the 324 equally 'obsolete' Stukas which Hitler has ready to go today for Barbarossa tomorrow, Stalin has SIX THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTY-SIX equivalent-or-rather-slightly-better-than-Stukas. (Suvorov seems to cite this figure comparing numbers, from "Luftwaffe's Wings: Combat Aircraft of the Third Reich (Part 4)", 1995, p.41.)

For every single one of Hitler's Stukas, Hitler has twenty SB dive bombers ready to go tomorrow.

The SBs are twin-engine light level bombers, however, not tactical close-air support craft like the Su-2 or IL-2. There are several variants of Tupolev's SB class, mostly the SB-1 and SB-2, the newest being the Ar-2 (listed among the seven less important newest aircraft types above). It will suffer the most casualties of any Soviet aircraft in WW2, but will continue to serve until 1943 (in increasingly specialized roles). It was, of course, expected to operate without any fighter coverage whatever; but unlike the Stuka -- and unlike the Nazi twin-engine Junkers-88 which it compares more directly with -- it does carry six 7.62mm machine guns for all-points defense.
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 IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2020, 11:38:09 AM »
On June 21st, 1941, Stalin will have 4226 fighters in the western border regions, of which 1635 are the "Ishachok" (little donkey) Polikarpov I-16, plus another 344 I-16s in the Northern, Baltic, and Black Sea Fleets (per Mikhail Maslov's "Fighter I-16", 1997, p.33). It started production in 1937 with both cannon and machine gun armament. It still had the most powerful weapon system among fighters in the world only two years ago (September 1939), twice surpassing the Bf-109e and almost three times the Spitfire-1. Among all prewar fighters in the world, it alone had armor protection around the pilot. The Spitfire never received cannon during the Battle of Britain; and the great American Mustang and Thunderbolt fighters will never get cannon at all!

The I-16 has an amazing standard lifting power of 553 horsepower per ton of weight, a world record that on this day before Barbarossa still has no equal, and which will not be equaled by the end of the war. (The Spitfire Mk-IX and the Bf-109K will come close, but only when operating at a temporary overcharged state which their engines can only handle for seven minutes.) The original liquid cooled engine of the I-16 has however been replaced with an air-cooled engine (based on the American Wright Cyclone design) which cannot be disabled through coolant-leak damage. The I-16 despite upgrades does stay behind the Bf-109 in speed, but easily defeats it in horizontal maneuverability, managing a 360 turn in 17 seconds while the Nazi fighter needs 25.

Aircraft have somewhat advanced in two years, including in Soviet Russia, but not so much as to render the I-16 obsolete; it remains in production until 1942, with an overall combat (non-trainer) production of 7103 units (plus 3189 trainers, known as the UTI-4).

Maslov's book on the I-16 reports that the Nazi pilots did not regard the I-16 as obsolete at all, teaching each other to fly fast zooms against it rather than getting into a turning duel (or worse trying to outclimb it). The German catchphrase was "one should not corner a rat", referring to the plane's Spanish front nickname Rata.
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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    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: IceBreakChron IX: THE DAY BEFORE
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2020, 11:42:28 AM »
Stalin on this day has the obsolete Polikarpov I-153 Chaika biplane fighters (total production 3437, operational number the day before Barbarossa unreported by Suvorov). Unlike the I-13's 17 second turn, this 'obsolete' Soviet fighter takes only 12 seconds; and it can reach a 5km cruising height one minute faster than a Bf-109. It is however even slower than the I-16.

How old was this thing?! Its first flight was in 1937 (or 1938, claims differ), and it entered production in 1939, just in time to be a premier fighter plane for the Soviet blitz of Mongolia. It will stop production this year, 1941, for somewhat obvious reasons! -- but notice that this is actually a very new model craft.

Why bother making it?! Partly because Stalin expected to swarm the sky with agile cheap fighters against nearly empty opposition; and also because in the early years of WW2, newly produced biplanes were proving unexpectedly difficult for fast monoplanes to dogfight with! The I-16 had had some trouble during the Mongolian blitz, against the Japanese Nakajima Ki-27 Nate, for example, but the I-153 could stay on par.

Unlike many biplanes, it could retract its undercarriage (albeit manually); and it was given four ShKAS machine guns, each one capable of vomiting out 1800 rounds per minute. Most of the 3437 produced models of this very recent aircraft (an update to the I-15 and I-15bis), would be in operation on this day.


It should be stressed in fairness, that Suvorov likes to poke fun at the Nazis for using various biplanes in Operation Barbarossa, deriding them as primitive craft; but Stalin's Soviet Union was still producing staggering numbers of them when WW2 started. Almost as many of these punchy little biplanes are around the day before Barbarossa, as the total number of all Nazi military aircraft, including non-combatants, on the Eastern Front!

(Nor are these to be confused with the Po-2 biplanes, primarily used in their U-2 designations since 1928 for crop dusting and as trainers, soon to be made most famous as low-level bombers by the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, the Night Witches.)
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.