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Post The Suvorov Thesis: Stalin's Invasion Plans in 1941
Created by John Eipper on 09/23/17 4:36 AM

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The Suvorov Thesis: Stalin's Invasion Plans in 1941 (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 09/23/17 4:36 am)

There's a strange irony here. During the Cold War the West believed that Stalin wanted to invade Western Europe, and some still believe that Putin wants to invade Europe now (?). But these same people not want accept the idea that in 1941 Stalin was really willing to invade.

JE comments: The Cold War fear of the Soviets has a logical source.  After 1943-'45, the Western allies knew what the Russian Steamroller could do.

Has anyone come up with a thesis for Suvorov's thesis--i.e., that Stalin, in 1940-'41, was preparing a westward onslaught?  At first glance, the Suvorov view does nothing other than "justify" Hitler's invasion of June '41.


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  • Suvorov Thesis; Did Stalin Have a Nervous Breakdown? (Cameron Sawyer, Russia 09/24/17 9:47 AM)
    John E wrote on September 23rd: "At first glance, the Suvorov view does nothing other than 'justify' Hitler's invasion of June '41."

    Hah! At first glance, second glance, and third glance--that's all the "Suvorov" view does. John has put his finger on it. If you dig even a little bit into the history of the Soviet Union during this period, you will see how little there is in the "Suvorov" view. It is no accident that this view has been perpetuated by neo-Nazis and their ilk while being mostly ignored by serious historians.


    A great ideological debate inside of Marxism-Leninism in the first decades of the 20th century was the importance and timing of world revolution. The theory did not accommodate very well the idea that one country would forge ahead for a long period of time, while the rest of the world languished in a previous stage of their historically inevitable development towards Communism. But the wave of Marxist revolutions after the end of WWI were crushed one after the other, leaving Soviet Russia as the sole Marxist state. This led to an internal crisis, with the internationalist faction, led by Trotsky (and Zinoviev and Kamenev), calling for "permanent revolution," and the more pragmatic wing, led by Stalin, developing the isolationist theory of "socialism in one country."


    We know how that turned out. One important fact which many have missed in the history of this era is how weak Stalin felt his position to be. He saw enemies everywhere, and did not imagine that the people supported his rule. This is what was at the heart of the exceptional brutality of Stalin's rule in the 1930s. When the Germans finally attacked in 1941, he disappeared, leaving it to Molotov to speak to the nation by radio. Here's a good article about it, which plausibly theorizes that Stalin had a kind of nervous breakdown: http://www.historyinanhour.com/2011/07/01/stalins-breakdown/ . When after three days, Molotov together with other colleagues of Stalin's came out to Stalin's dacha to try to convince the Leader to come back to work, Stalin thought they had come to arrest him.


    Is this the man who was plotting to invade Germany himself? Of course not. The degree of Stalin's terror of armed conflict with the Germans is well documented. Although the alliance between the Soviets and Nazi Germany went much further than just dividing up Poland between them, war between the two dictatorships had been widely expected for years before it actually broke out, and the Soviets were arming as fast as they could. But Stalin clung to the hope that Hitler would not attack, right up to the very end, dismissing numerous intelligence reports which showed that an attack was imminent. Stalin was so much afraid of provoking Hitler, that he refused to call for a general mobilization and refused to position military forces forward in a configuration which would have made the initial defense against Barbarossa somewhat effective.


    A good survey of historical work on this question can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_offensive_plans_controversy .


    Fast forward to the end of the Great Patriotic War. Did the Soviets want to keep rolling on to conquer Western Europe? I have studied the period up through 1945 pretty deeply, but not the period afterwards (yet). Maybe some WAISer has better knowledge. In May, 1945, Stalin certainly had the military power to roll on and conquer Western Europe--if he had decided to simply keep going after the fall of Berlin. It is possible that the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was partially aimed at discouraging Stalin from doing just that. But as far as I know, there is no historical evidence that there was ever any serious plan to do so, with or without Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Pretty soon after that, both actors in the Cold War were nuclear armed, and so the game became something rather different. Both sides had war plans based on nuking the other side to radioactive ash, followed by different kinds of invasions. It does not seem that either side ever thought that was a good idea, at all, notwithstanding fictional characters like Kubrick's delightful Jack D. Ripper.


    Now that Russia has abandoned socialism and world revolution and all of that to become, at least nominally, a capitalist democracy just like us, to boot a Christian but religiously tolerant Republic, there is no ideological reason whatsoever for conflict with the West. So why would they ever want to invade us? Beats me.


    JE comments:  WAISer Boris Volodarsky has met Viktor Suvorov (real name:  Vladimir Rezun).  Boris is traveling at present, but will join the discussion when time permits.



    Cameron Sawyer says that Stalin refused to position his forces in a position that would have slowed or stopped Barbarossa.  Suvorov places a staggering number of Soviet divisions on the Western border by June 1941--118 divisions of infantry and 40 motorized brigades, according to Eugenio Battaglia's summary.  Given a presumed division size 10,000, that would be well over a million troops.  Is this accurate?  Many of them, as we know, would soon become POWs.

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    • Other Historians Support Suvorov Thesis (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 09/25/17 3:53 AM)
      Two other Russian historians have confirmed Suvorov's thesis: V. L. Doroshenko and R. S. Bushuyeva. This latter historian discovered the speech of Stalin of 19 August 1939.  I hope that those who doubt the Suvorov thesis will read Stalin's speech. It is quite clear and very logical.

      It also may be worthwhile to study the "Documents on the political machinations of Russia," with all German Reports on the fact (I have the Italian version published in 1941; there should be an English version).


      Furthermore a clear indication is the Soviet Treaty with the new Yugoslavia of 6 April 1941 (but with the official date of 5 April to show that the Axis was attacking a friend of Russia), with the promise of supplying arms for the fight against the Third Reich. After the defeat of 17 April 1941, the Serbian pilots took refuge in the USSR.


      This part of history with its great implications is always forgotten by modern historians. Why?


      The Suvorov thesis is supported by the Institute of Historical Review in Newport Beach, California. Of course this Institute is revisionist, but history is continuous revisionism. Otherwise it is a religion with fixed dogmas and quite often (at least in Europe) with its Inquisition Courts which persecute those who do not obey the dogmas.


      It has been said: "The Suvorov view does nothing other than 'justify' Hitler's invasion of June 1941."


      So what? Of course it justifies Hitler's invasion, but only from a point of military strategy, not of morality.


      And was Stalin such a nice fellow who needs to be protected? Why was he nice until 1945 and then became evil afterwards? There is something wrong in the "official history."


      The Suvorov thesis is not appreciated at present in Russia, as Putin has used the memory of the Great Patriotic War to revive Russian society and the army after the crisis of the 1990s.


      Maybe it is better to forget "Evil" and "Good" and examine only facts, which, of course, may be bad or good.


      JE comments:  Historians are not in agreement about the existence of the 1939 speech.  Wikipedia sums it up in its title:  "Stalin's alleged speech."  Even if we accept its veracity, very much changed in the world between August '39 and June '41.


      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalin%27s_alleged_speech_of_19_August_1939


      Let's discuss Eugenio Battaglia's frank statement:  If Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union was "justified," what does this change?  Are revisionists trying to portray Hitler as somehow less demented or suicidal?  Interestingly, mainstream history leaves open the "what if" of Hitler not invading Russia.  Then, just possibly, he would have won the war.  Suvorov et al. make Hitler's defeat a foregone conclusion.

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      • Suvorov Again: Barbarossa and a "Fanciful Thesis" (Cameron Sawyer, Russia 09/25/17 2:12 PM)
        The fanciful thesis of the amateur historian who calls himself "Suvorov" (after the great Russian general of the 18th century; his real name is Rezun), that Stalin was just about to attack Germany when Barbarossa was launched, cannot be taken seriously in light of the actual disposition of forces and materiel in June, 1941, when Barbarossa started.

        An invasion of Germany, as opposed to a static defense of the border, would have required transportation assets in place and stockpiles of materiel ready to be transported. It would have required tanks and other equipment being in ready condition, and full mobilization of manpower. Quite a lot of records have survived describing the real situation, and none of these conditions existed. In fact; Stalin was not even properly mobilized for static defense, as he was terrified of provoking Hitler. Hitler was making large-scale preparations to invade the Soviet Union in 1940, and a vast quantity of documentation of this has survived (and reports of which reached Stalin on a regular basis, too); no such preparations were being carried out by the Soviets. There are even German intelligence reports which have survived, confirming the disposition of Soviet forces.



        Stalin's alleged speech of August 1939, doesn't prove anything at all. How does Eugenio Battaglia think that it in any way supports the "Suvorov" thesis? Here is the alleged reconstructed text: http://theeasternfront.org/mein_sozialismus/downloads/articleI.pdf . The "reconstructed" text sounds authentic to me--Stalin sees France and England as enemies, clings to his alliance with Hitler, dreams about a "Sovieticized" Germany, expresses fear of a German attack, but imagines supporting Germany in the war against the West in any case--and urges concluding an alliance with Germany, as he in fact did. Not a word about invading Germany.*



        Stalin's terror of a war with Hitler is well documented, as are a multitude of Soviet assessments that they were not ready for a war with Germany. Stalin feared that Hitler would attack, and this fear was reasonable, considering that Hitler had been talking about acquiring "Lebensraum" by conquering the Soviet "Red Beasts" and "Untermenschen" since Mein Kampf in 1924. There is no documentation whatsoever to show any actual preparations to invade Germany, nor any planning. According to "Suvorov," the fanciful Soviet attack was only 3 weeks away when Barbarossa started. This is just silly.



        Note also that, on top of all of the foregoing, a vast conspiracy of silence would have had to exist among the thousands of Soviet military and civilian officials who would have had to be involved in the planning and preparation of such an action. In fact there is a great deal of historical material showing what was going on inside the Soviet leadership during this period. Molotov himself lived into the Perestroika period--oh, how I would have loved to meet him--and wrote quite frank memoirs on the subject, excerpts in English here: http://ciml.250x.com/archive/ussr/molotov/english/molotovremembers.pdf



        "All the history books say that Stalin miscalculated the beginning of the war. To some extent, but it was impossible not to miscalculate. How could you know when the enemy would attack? We knew we would have to deal with him, but on what day or even what month [...] It is known there were fourteen dates. We are blamed because we ignored our intelligence. Yes, they warned us. But if we had heeded them, had given Hitler the slightest excuse, he would have attacked us earlier. We knew the war was coming soon, that we were weaker than Germany, that we would have to retreat. The question was, retreat to where--to Smolensk or to Moscow, that's what we discussed before the war. We knew we would have to retreat, and we needed as much territory as possible. We did everything to postpone the war. And we succeeded--for a year and ten months. We wished it could have been longer, of course. Stalin reckoned before the war that only in 1943 would we be able to meet the Germans as equals. But there were the intelligence reports [...] What is written about this is contradictory. From my point of view, there couldn't have been another beginning for the war. We delayed it and, in the end, we were caught asleep; It turned out to be unexpected. I think we could not have relied on our intelligence. You have to listen to them, but you also have to verify their information. Intelligence agents could push you into such a dangerous position that you would never get out of it. Provocateurs everywhere are innumerable. That's why you cannot trust intelligence without constant and scrupulous checking and rechecking. Some naïve people, philistines, have written in their reminiscences: the intelligence agents spoke out, deserters from the enemy crossed the border [...] You couldn't trust such reports. But if you were too distrustful you could easily go to the other extreme. When I was the Predsovnarkom I spent half a day reading intelligence reports. The only thing missing was the date of the invasion! And if we had trusted these reports [and gone on a war footing] the war could have started much earlier. The task of intelligence was to report in a timely manner. On the whole everyone expected the war would come and it would be difficult, impossible for us to avoid it. We delayed it for a year, for a year and a half. If Hitler had attacked us half a year earlier, you know, bearing in mind our situation then, it would have been very dangerous. So it was impossible to begin obvious preparations without revealing to German intelligence that we were planning serious measures. We took many serious steps, but still not enough. We didn't have time to finish very much. Some think Stalin should have to answer for all this. . . . "



        Also totally absent from the historical record is anything in the German sources, which indicates that Hitler was doing anything in June, 1941, other than executing the plan for Operation Barbarossa, an aggressive attack on the Soviet Union, in fulfillment of ideas expressed clearly already in Mein Kampf, intended to conquer territory and resources and Lebensraum for the German people, and to rid the world of Bolshevism. Concerning the actual military planning process for Barbarossa, I recently read this most interesting document, a US Naval War College paper: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a279709.pdf


        For a serious historical analysis of these events, see David Glantz's Stumbling Colossus--The Red Army on the Eve of World War. Glantz is one of the foremost experts on the Soviet military, and was the founder of the US Army Foreign Military Studies Office. Glantz wrote some of the deepest and best works I've ever read on WWII, including When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler and Initial Period of War on the Eastern Front.



        The "Suvorov" thesis caught the imagination of a great number of "alt right" types around the world--offering a conspiracy theory and coverup of "facts" which were supposed to be "uncomfortable" to "politically correct" versions of the history of the war. Joachim Hoffman, in Germany, created a furore with his Stalins Vernichtungskrieg, which draws on Suvorov's ideas. But Hoffman himself admitted that there is no evidence whatsoever in the German historical records, that Hitler thought that Stalin was preparing to attack him. So how could Barbarossa have been a defensive, preemptive attack?



        *Russian historians dispute the authenticity of the alleged Stalin speech on the basis not only of the lack of any documentary evidence for it, but also on the basis of the passage about Hitler's willingness to cede Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary to the Soviet sphere of influence. The argument is made that in 1939 such a thing would be simply unthinkable--Hungary was a firm ally of Germany at the time, and went on to participate actively in the war on Germany's side. This does seem to be an obvious anachronism invented after the war. But in any case, nothing in the alleged speech supports the Suvorov thesis anyway.


        JE comments:  The necessity of a "vast conspiracy of silence" sinks Suvorov's thesis in and of itself.  Even allowing for the probability that most of the million-plus Soviet troops on the border in June 1941 didn't survive the war, there would have to be thousands of silent voices for Stalin's invasion plans to stay secret until now--or at least, until Suvorov.

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        • Suvorov One Last Time; on Molotov (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 09/26/17 9:03 AM)
          It seems that the discussion on Suvorov is getting a bit old, with each of us sticking steadfastly to our positions.

          However a few clarifications can be made.


          About the German official historical records claiming Stalin's willingness to attack, we can easily refer to:


          "Documents on the political machinations of Russia," 1941.


          "German White Book," July 1941.


          The "alleged" speech of Stalin of 19 August 1939 was published by the Agency "Havas" in Paris on 27 November 1939, again through the instructions to the Communist Parties of France and Belgium by the newspaper Ordre National (Paris) on 11 December 1939 and finally by the Journal of Geneva on 12 July 1941. It seems difficult to dismiss such a speech as "alleged."


          In the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Hungary was never mentioned. A division of areas of influence was mentioned north of the borders of Lithuania while for Poland (in case of possible future changes), the division was more or less the old Curzon Line plus Bessarabia.


          The USSR instead grabbed also Bucovina and Lithuania but was repelled by Finland.


          When Molotov later met Hitler on 14 November 1940 he asked for Bulgaria, the Turkish Straits and Romania. Hitler flatly refused, stating that an attack on Romania would mean the intervention of the Third Reich in defense of Romania. It was a clear move by the Soviets to reach Yugoslavia, which could be considered an ally against the Axis and to encircle Germany.


          Probably it was at this moment that the Third Reich had the final confirmation of the hidden plans of Stalin.


          JE comments: We have indeed probably worn out this discussion, but let us move on to Molotov. In brief--how did he survive longer than any Old Bolshevik? He died in 1986, at the ancient age of 96.


          Our own Ronald Hilton chatted with Molotov at least once--in the mid 1950s. Here's a comment from 2006. In an earlier WAIS post, RH had described him as "charming." Historians prefer a different adjective: ruthless.


          http://waisworld.org/go.jsp?id=02a&objectType=post&o=12779&objectTypeId=7029&topicId=185

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          • Hitler's Plans for War against the Soviets, 1933 (Angel Vinas, Belgium 09/27/17 3:28 AM)
            I´m putting the finishing touches to my future book (written with three colleagues) but have followed the discussion on Suvarov from a certain distance.

            I congratulate Cameron Sawyer for his explanations. He´s shown in my view remarkable patience. Now I see that the official Nazi books have been brought to the fore to challenge Cameron's patient arguments. It´s too much for me.


            Hitler´s machinations to make war on the USSR date back to the moment he was appointed Chancellor of the Reich, i.e. 30 January 1933. Obviously he had already expounded his aims in Mein Kampf. As Chancellor one of his first actions was to give doctrine to a selected group of Reichswehr generals at a formal private dinner. The daughter of the host was a member of KPD intelligence and two weeks later Stalin could read her report. One can presume he wasn´t amused.



            Instead of regurgitating Nazi propaganda, it´s more useful to read the history of the Nazi preparations for the invasion in 1941. They go back to the previous summer.



            Let me underscore a point which I think has not yet appeared in this tiring discussion: Hitler applied to the Soviets a variant of the same gimmick which he used in 1939 to justify the attack on Poland. In this case the alleged penetration of Polish troops to take hold of a German radio station so as to broadcast propaganda against the Third Reich. Hoch, dreimal Hoch!


            JE comments:  Is it just me, or does Ángel Viñas have a new book every couple of months?  Congratulations again, Ángel!


            Have the history books recorded if the daughter-spy of Hitler's dinner host was caught?  I cannot imagine her fate being a happy one.


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            • Hitler's Dinner Party, 3 February 1933 (Angel Vinas, Belgium 09/29/17 3:57 AM)
              John E asks a question about the fate of the KPD agent who transmitted to Moscow Hitler´s war plans, after the 1933 dinner party.

              It´s known. She survived the war. Unfortunately I have no time to trace her movements, but it's an easy task.



              WAISers are referred to the, in my view, clearest account of the dinner in Andreas Wirsching's "Hitlers Rede vor den Spitzen der Wehrmacht am 3. Februar 1933," to download from http://www.ifz-muenchen.de/heftarchiv/2001_3_5_wirsching.pdf



              It is, if you permit me to say, great fun.


              JE comments:  Drats; I'm going to miss the fun, since I don't read German.  (My niece recently introduced me to an acronym popular among today's youth:  FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out.)


              Will anyone in WAISworld send us a quick summary?  Do we know what was on the menu?  Did the KPD mole take notes?

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          • Barbarossa and Suvorov Again (Istvan Simon, USA 09/29/17 3:39 AM)
            Eugenio Battaglia has sent several posts defending the Suvorov thesis, which claims that Stalin had planned an westward invasion prior to Barbarossa.  Suvorov's writings are conjecture, because he has no proof, and in fact there is ample evidence that his theory is just plain wrong.

            Germany's attack on the Soviet Union was not preventive. This is an absurd statement, convincingly refuted by Germany's own war archives. Eugenio must read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William Shirer, which contrary to Suvorov is real history, with documents and footnotes to original German documents which convincingly prove without the shadow of a doubt that Suvorov's writings are garbage.


            Hitler gave the order for the German military staff to prepare for operation Barbarossa years before the actual event, and before the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union was signed, which proves that Hitler had no intention of following what his foreign minister had just signed.


            Contrary to Hitler, Stalin was so confident in this piece of worthless paper, that he rebuked very clear, forceful and correct warnings from British intelligence that he was about to be attacked by the Germans, as indeed happened. This was also mentioned by the excellent posts by Cameron Sawyer, Tor Guimaraes, and Angel Viñas. Cameron adds very interesting details to the Russian side of the history of these events. (My original post on this topic was sent September 22, and thus before the posts by Cameron, Tor, and Angel were published in WAIS.)


            So Stalin was caught with his pants down by the Germans, so to speak, who indeed got quickly to the doors of Moscow. Stalin murdered many a Russian general for this, but he should have murdered himself for this criminal neglect of the defenses of the Soviet Union. Indeed, as Cameron Sawyer mentioned, when Molotov came to see Stalin, after the Germans had attacked, Stalin thought that he was about to be arrested. He should have been, and perhaps then millions of Russian lives would have been saved.


            In any case, it is clear from all of the above that Suvorov's writings are not politically incorrect truth, as Eugenio imagines them to be, but the ravings of an imaginative mind--wrong, and definitely not history.


            In a later post Eugenio mentioned the Neo-Nazi propaganda site Institute of Historical Review. It is truly absurd that such a disreputable site is mentioned in WAIS as if it published serious history. It does not.  It is simply Nazi propaganda.


            JE comments: I'm often too enamored of "what ifs," but had Stalin been arrested by his own Politburo after Barbarossa, how would the war have changed?  They should have arrested him in 1933 or earlier.  That certainly would have spared millions.

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            • What if Stalin Had Been Arrested after Barbarossa? (Tor Guimaraes, USA 09/30/17 5:26 AM)
              I love "what ifs," and John Eipper often comes up with some interesting ones. His latest: "Had Stalin been arrested by his own Politburo after Barbarossa, how would the war have changed?"

              We must remember that nasty Stalin was considered to be the father of modern Russia and then of the USSR. He was a crafty manipulator of people, as were Attila, Hitler and Saddam Hussein. Stalin had emerged victorious from a prolonged, violent power struggle, and the Politburo in those days was totally dominated by him. After he had purged the Russian army of those he believed were loyal to Trotsky, and had Trotsky killed in Mexico, Stalin had no rival.


              I am not sure he really thought he was being arrested when the Politburo members came to his dacha outside Moscow. I believe he was genuinely shocked by Barbarossa, and realized the enormous blunder he had made ignoring warnings, and also how desperate the situation had become for Russia. Hiding incommunicado was necessary for him to compose himself, but no one had the moral authority to arrest him. They were all his puppets, partners in crime so to speak, like Hitler's henchmen. Amazingly, once the visitors told him they needed his leadership, he did become a new man, even able to galvanize Russian public opinion in his strange Georgian accent.


              The answer to JE's question is totally dependent on who would have replaced Stalin. There was no one else. For all his faults, Stalin was a practical man and a good learner. He was not a crazy megalomaniac like Hitler. Zhukov had a few difficulties with him at first, but after a tactical military disaster or two Stalin learned to led him run the military show. Also Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill learned to deal with each other fairly well except a few disagreements about the conduct of the war and post-war politics. Amazingly the rabid anticommunist Churchill said Stalin never broke his promises made during political negotiations about how to divvy up the postwar world. Roosevelt had more problems with Churchill's insistence in keeping the British empire while preaching about democracy.


              JE comments:  Stalin was undoubtedly a better promise-keeper than Hitler, but that's faint praise.  Wasn't there an understanding among the Allies that after the war, the nations of Eastern Europe were to have elections and self-determination?


              As for our "what if," who could have replaced Stalin in 1941?  Molotov?  The army was in absolute disarray at the time, making a military takeover unthinkable.  Tor Guimaraes is probably correct:  there was nobody.

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      • Hitler-Stalin's Brief Pact (Tor Guimaraes, USA 09/26/17 6:54 AM)
        To me the most interesting question regarding the Hitler/Stalin short-lived love affair was Stalin's behavior just before and after Hitler betrayed him.

        A Soviet spy (Sorge) from Tokyo warned Stalin about the likely invasion and he ignored it. British intelligence warned him about the invasion, but he chose to think it was a ploy to get him to attack Germany first. Immediately after Barbarossa started, Stalin was temporarily out of commission. Did he have a nervous breakdown? Was it a ploy to flush his internal enemies to come to the surface even though he had already executed thousands of Russian military leaders? Either way that is strange behavior by someone thinking about military aggression against then superpower Nazi Germany.


        From another perspective, the US also knew a preemptive Japanese attack was coming and smartly or luckily at least moved the aircraft carriers out to sea from Pearl Harbor. On the other hand, the Russians obviously were caught flat footed by a 3 million-strong German invasion on three fronts: North, Central, and South. Guderian (Central thrust) cut through everything toward Moscow until Hitler ran over him and ordered him to move South in a supporting role, giving Zhukov a chance to defend Moscow before the next onslaught. I believe a third of the Soviet air force was destroyed in a few days, most still on the ground. Now, this looks like a big surprise to me.


        A major fact against Suvorov's thesis is declared intent: Hitler clearly stated his determination to invade Russia before even being in power, and this notion remained key to Nazi long-term strategy. Also contrary to Suvorov's thesis, if Stalin was thinking to attack the German juggernaut that just conquered nations all the way to the English Channel (including France's strong army), and almost completely destroyed the British army if not for the Dunkirk evacuation, he would have been crazy, not the cold, calculating, ruthless person he really was.


        JE comments:  When Molotov and Co. arrived at Stalin's dacha a few days after Barbarossa, Stalin thought he would be arrested.  This, according to several sources recently cited by Cameron Sawyer (and here by Tor Guimaraes).  Would such a palace coup have been possible?  This is a massive "what if?"  Would the Soviets have behaved any differently in WWII in a post-Stalin regime?

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