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V Stalins War 1939-1943
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V Stalins War 1939-1943

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This session covers the Mongolian prelude to WW II through Stalingrad

This session covers the Mongolian prelude to WW II through Stalingrad

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  • 1. !!!" !#$%&'$ Stalin’s SSSR session v Stalin’s War; 1939-1942 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 2. Major themes of this session • Introduction:1939-War with Japan • Germany; the Vital Threat-1922-1939 • War Postponed; August 1939-June 1941 • Debacle; June-December 1941 • Seesaw; 1941-September 1942 • Stalingrad, War of Rats; September 1942-January 1943 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 3. A Little Known War With an eye towards Hitler’s insatiable appetite, Stalin cleverly avoids the prospect of a two-front war with both force and diplomacy Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 4. Mongolia Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 5. Mongolia Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 6. Baron Roman Nickolai Maximilian von Ungern-Sternberg (1886-1921) • born in Graz, Austria of a noble Baltic German family • tsarist cavalry captain in WW I • during the Civil War he fought both Reds and Whites in Siberia as a brutal independent warlord supported by the Japanese • his goals included restoring the Russian monarchy and the Mongolian Khanate • 1921-executed by the Reds Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 7. Mongolian Peoples Republic (1924-1996) • 1924-after the deaths of von Ungern-Sternberg and his nominal religious leader and king, Bogd Khan; the Reds proclaim a Mongolian People’s Republic with Soviet military support • 1928-Khorloogiin Choibalsan assumes power. He begins collectivization of livestock. • in the 1920s, approximately one third of the male population are Buddhist monks in about 750 monasteries • with encouragement from his Soviet sponsors, Choibalsan follows the patterns established by Lenin and Stalin • only after Gorbachev will Mongolia move away from Communism towards the West Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 8. Khorloogiin Choibalsan--Mongolia’s Stalinist dictator (1895-1952) • like Stalin, he was originally trained for the priesthood, in his case, as a Buddhist monk • 1919-in travels in Siberia he became radicalized by Russian revolutionaries • 1921-with others, founded the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party. Became deputy war minister • came to dominate the party and launched the “Great Repression” (climax,1936-37) of party rivals, landowners, and especially monks and monasteries • deaths are estimated between 22,000 and 35,000 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 9. The Khalka River winds from north to south near the tip of a flat grassy salient of Mongolia that juts about 100 miles eastward into Manchuria. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 10. The Khalka River winds from north to south near the tip of a flat grassy salient of Mongolia that juts about 100 miles eastward into Manchuria. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 11. Khalka River In the 1930s, Manchuria’s Japanese overlords regarded the river as an international boundary line: Manchuria to its east, and Outer Mongolia -- then a protectorate of the Soviet Union known as the Mongolian People’s Republic--to the west. Those on the Mongolian side of the border claimed that the line ran some 10 miles east of the river, near the tiny hamlet of Nomonhan. While the precise location of the border meant little to the nomadic Mongols who had followed their herds back and forth across the river for centuries, the Kwantung Army, the elite Japanese force that controlled Manchuria, took a different view. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 12. Descendants of Russia’s Conquerors Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 13. • April, 1939-Japanese major Masanobu Tsuji drafted an order to deal with the Mongolian border incursions: • “where boundaries are not clearly defined, area commanders will establish boundaries on their own” • that in the event of an armed clash “the army will fight until victory is won, regardless of...the location of boundaries” •”it is permissible to enter Soviet territory, or to trap or lure Soviet troops into Manchuokuan territory” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 14. Outcomes • July, 1939-the Japanese local commander decided to destroy a Mongolian cavalry unit in the disputed region • the conflict which this ignited lasted four months, involved more than 100,000 men, hundreds of tanks and aircraft • the future World War II commanders, then major Tsuji and Soviet general Georgi Zhukov, would play critical roles in the years to come • one leading Japan on the road to Pearl Harbor • the other fending off the Nazi blitzkrieg against Russia in 1941 and ultimately leading the Soviet Union to victory Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 15. Zhukov Tsuji Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 16. • Tsuji’s attack plan (left) intended to strike the intruding force “like a butcher’s cleaver dismembering a chicken” • the 23rd Division would cross the river and move south to block a Soviet retreat while Yasuoka’s strike force; 2 tank regiments, a motorized artillery regiment, a crack infantry regiment would attack the Soviet presence in the disputed area • through faulty intelligence, the Japanese failed to appreciate that the Soviet forces had been significantly strengthened. After initial successes, Japan was forced to withdraw. Both sides prepared for the rematch. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 17. Even more astonishing • this little-known campaign helped pave the way for the Nazi invasion of Poland • August, 1941-at the height of the battle for Nomohan, the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact protected Stalin from a two-front war just as it did Hitler • it kept the USSR out of the intra-capitalist war in Europe so that Hitler felt free of the danger of a two-front war which had doomed Imperial Germany two decades earlier • it stunned the Japanese who had allied with Germany (1936) and Italy (1937) in the Anti- Comintern Pact. The so-called Axis Powers were now no longer aligned against the USSR • and Stalin proceeded to unleash his full fury against the Japanese in Manchuria Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 18. • mid-July--in the weeks following the initial battle, Japan brought up almost all the heavy artillery in Manchuria for a major artillery duel • August--Stalin assembled a massive force with a fleet of 4200 trucks to deliver the 55,000 tons of supplies it required. The nearest railroad was 400 miles away. • Zhukov’s plan (right) was to pin down the Japanese force and encircle it, then destroy it (hat tip to Shaka Zulu) • 19 August--with the Nazi-Soviet Pact “in the bag,” Stalin gave him the green light Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 19. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 20. For Japanese soldiers, surrender is not an option Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 21. • 0545 20 August--the Russian offensive opened with massive artillery and bombing “like the gongs of hell” • the Japanese fought fiercely against overwhelming odds • 30 August--only some 400 survivors, including Major Tsuji, escaped Zhukov’s iron ring after 10 days ferocious fighting • after four months of fighting each side had lost 50,000 men KIA or WIA • the Japanese militarists had gained deep respect for the Red Army Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 22. fast forward--two years later, Fall, 1941 • Major Tsuji, now a Lieutenant Colonel, is a key member of the operations staff at Imperial General Headquarters • America increases the pressure on Japan and Hitler approaches Moscow after terrific initial successes • in Tokyo debate rages between the Northern Strategy and the Southern Strategy: • follow Hitler’s urging to attack the Soviet Union • or attack British and French colonies in Southeast Asia, which would mean war with the United States • Tsuji’s memory of the “gongs of Hell” at Nomonhan made him an eloquent advocate of the Southern Strategy Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 23. fast forward--two years later, Fall, 1941 • when Japan made the decision for the Southern Strategy, their opening move was to destroy the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor • Stalin’s top spy in Tokyo, Richard Sorge, signaled Moscow that Japan would not attack the USSR • only then did the desperate Stalin pull his Far Eastern forces to defend Moscow • 15 infantry divisions, 3 cavalry divisions, 1,700 tanks, and 1,500 aircraft were moved west under the command of General Georgi Zhukov • the first week of December, 1941-Hitler was stopped short, in sight of Moscow and Japan attacked Pearl Harbor • it was the decisive week of World War II, the week that ultimately doomed the Axis Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 24. Germany; the Vital Threat- 1922-1939 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 25. Germany; the Vital Threat- 1922-1939 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 26. Lenin’s double-edged foreign policy • From the beginning, Lenin proceeded on two tracks against the capitalists: • the official legal track--traditional state diplomacy through the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs • the revolutionary track--with deniability, not officially the acts of the Russian government, but secretly supported or even controlled by Moscow • January 1918-the Spartacist revolt in Berlin • March 1918-Bela Kuhn’s communist take-over in Hungary • April 1918-the Bavarian Soviet Republic Spartakus • 1921 & 1923-the German communist uprisings in the Ruhr and Saxony Berlin 1918 • the Soviet-Polish War--a single failed “third track;” to bring the Revolution by war Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 27. Lenin’s double-edged foreign policy • From the beginning, Lenin proceeded on two tracks against the capitalists: • the official legal track--traditional state diplomacy through the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs • the revolutionary track--with deniability, not officially the acts of the Russian government, but secretly supported or even controlled by Moscow • January 1918-the Spartacist revolt in Berlin • March 1918-Bela Kuhn’s communist take-over in Hungary • April 1918-the Bavarian Soviet Republic • 1921 & 1923-the German communist uprisings in the Ruhr and Saxony • the Soviet-Polish War--a single failed “third track;” to bring the Revolution by war Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 28. Rapallo, 1922 Chancellor of Germany Joseph Wirth (2.from left) with Krassin, Tschitscherin and Joffe from the Russian delegation. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 29. Rapallo, 1922 • 16 April-two pariah states, Weimar Germany and the RSFSR, soon to be the USSR, break out of diplomatic isolation • publicly, all that the Rapallo treaty created was diplomatic recognition and to “cooperate in a spirit of mutual goodwill in meeting the economic needs of both countries” • 29 July-a secret annex allowed Germany to train Russian staff officers and develop its own armor (Panzer) and air (Luftwaffe) forces on Russian soil in violation of the Versailles Treaty • both states viewed the French as their primary opponent • France had constructed a Cordon Sanitaire between the two consisting of defense treaties with Poland, Rumania, Czechoslovakia and Hungary Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 30. Zinoviev and the Comintern • March1919-founded after the failures of 1918, the Third Workingman’s International, the Communist International or Comintern was to be the catalyst for the World Revolution • Grigori Zinoviev was appointed Chairman of its Executive Committee but Lenin was the guiding spirit until his death in 1924. Four congresses were held • 1926-after Zinoviev lost power, Bukharin led the Comintern • during the twenty-five years of Stalin’s leadership only three congresses were held: • 1924-endorsing the denunciation of Trotskyism • 1928-eliminating the influence of Bukharin and the right Bolsheviks • 1935-proclaiming the policy of the Popular Front Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 31. Stalin, holding no post in the Government [Sovnarkom], never addressed any congress of the Comintern….Only the initiated knew that the public debates and votes were of little significance, and that no major decision of the Comintern had any validity unless it was approved by Stalin….he regarded the regular congresses as a waste of time….As in the Russian party, so in the Comintern, the caucus gained absolute predominance over the whole body of the movement. Deutscher, Stalin, p.396 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 32. Stalin, holding no post in the Government [Sovnarkom], never addressed any congress of the Comintern….Only the initiated knew that the public debates and votes were of little significance, and that no major decision of the Comintern had any validity unless it was approved by Stalin….he regarded the regular congresses as a waste of time….As in the Russian party, so in the Comintern, the caucus gained absolute predominance over the whole body of the movement. Deutscher, Stalin, p.396 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 33. The debacle of German communism in 1923….In the summer of that year the Politburo and the Executive of the Comintern hotly debated the German crisis provoked by the French occupation of the Ruhr and the galloping devaluation of the German currency. Some of the Bolshevik leaders saw the approach of the ‘German October.’ Heinrich Brandler, the leader of the German Communist Party (KPD), arrived in Moscow to consult the Executive of the Comintern on strategy and tactics….[Stalin’s] view on the German situation...a strong disbelief in the chances of German communism….‘Should the German government topple over now...and the Communists seize hold of it, they would end up in a crash….In my opinion the Germans [that is, the KPD] should be restrained and not spurred on.’ Deutscher, op. cit., pp. 393-394 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 34. The debacle of German communism in 1923….In the summer of that year the Politburo and the Executive of the Comintern hotly debated the German crisis provoked by the French occupation of the Ruhr and the galloping devaluation of the German currency. Some of the Bolshevik leaders saw the approach of the ‘German October.’ Heinrich Brandler, the leader of the German Communist Party (KPD), arrived in Moscow to consult the Executive of the Comintern on strategy and tactics….[Stalin’s] view on the German situation...a strong disbelief in the chances of German communism….‘Should the German government topple over now...and the Communists seize hold of it, they would end up in a crash….In my opinion the Germans [that is, the KPD] should be restrained and not spurred on.’ Deutscher, op. cit., pp. 393-394 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 35. 1923-Germany; attempted coups, Left & Right • later in the year the turmoil increased. Trotsky, Zinoviev and Radek incited the KPD to act • Heinrich Brandler returned to Germany with a series of contradictory goals: • organize revolution against the Social Democrats (SPD) • join the SPD government of Saxony, then start the revolution there • naturally, the result was failure • 8 November--in Munich an obscure fringe politician made headlines with his Bierkeller Putsch and then seemed destined to return to what Trotsky had called “the dustbin of history” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 36. 1925-1929; Good Times/Bad Times & the “Third Period” • with the Dawes Plan and economic “Stabilization,” the revolutionary moment passed • even with his increasing power in government, Stalin was not able to weaken the ties to what he considered to be the useless body of the Comintern • for their part, the European communists were more likely to side with Trotsky and Zinoviev and the Left Opposition • but Stalin was able to turn the Comintern gradually into a “wholly owned subsidiary” of his Moscow apparat by using the subsidies to the foreign parties, “Moscow gold” • by the end of the decade the Comintern could be relied upon to “turn on a dime” when the Kremlin changed the Party Line • but could the Party Line turn quickly when the Crash and the Great Depression came? Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 37. the Nazi threat • as late as the year when Hitler destroyed the oldest Marxist party in the world, the Party Line was still that the Social-fascists (the SPD!) were the greater threat. No cooperation with other leftists • 1930-Trotsky, exiled on Prinkipo Island, with no espionage service, began warning about the Nazis as if his hair was on fire! • he correctly predicted Hitler’s threat to the USSR should he come to power • 1934-finally, Stalin recognized the threat and began the Line of the Popular Front Torchlight procession celebrating Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor, 30 January 1933 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 38. Picasso’s Guernica, 1937 In the Paris World’s Fair, emphasizing the horrors of aerial bombing of civilians by the Nazi allies of Franco Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 39. the Popular Front; 1935-1939 • first as a call to unite against fascism with other left parties • June 1936-June 1937--the greatest such success was in France with Leon Blum’s Socialist government • 1936-the grim Spanish Civil War was a proxy war between the Left and the Right which drew volunteers worldwide • it also was a proving ground for the weapons and tactics of Italy, Germany and the Soviet Union • the brutal Terror at home now added “fascist” to the list of epithets attached to the “enemies of the people” Nazi poster picturing the sea of blood which the Communists were pouring out in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1938 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 40. the Popular Front; 1935-1939 • first as a call to unite against fascism with other left parties • June 1936-June 1937--the greatest such success was in France with Leon Blum’s Socialist government • 1936-the grim Spanish Civil War was a proxy war between the Left and the Right which drew volunteers worldwide • it also was a proving ground for the weapons and tactics of Italy, Germany and the Soviet Union • the brutal Terror at home now added “fascist” to the list of epithets attached to the “enemies of the people” Nazi poster picturing the sea of blood which the Communists were pouring out in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1938 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 41. Along with military aid like this T-26 tank came NKVD men who purged the Republican ranks of Trotskyite “deviationists.” Social-Democrat George Orwell became so disillusioned with the Cause that he wrote his classic anti-Stalinist works. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 42. War Postponed; August 1939-June 1941 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 43. With Lenin and Stalin looking on, Foreign Minister Molotov signs the Molotov-Ribbentrop War Postponed; August 1939-June 1941 Pact, 23 August 1939 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 44. Stalin could scarcely have fashioned a more perilous arrangement in which decisions of state might be taken. He alone took the supreme decisions. On his mental acuity depended the fate of his country and peace in Europe and the Far East. Most leaders would have lost sleep over this….Not Stalin. He was supremely self-confident now that he had liquidated those prominent intellectuals who had made him feel edgy and--deep down in his mental recesses--inadequate. He learned fast and prided himself on his mastery of detail. He had never lacked willpower. Service, p. 397 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 45. Spring 1939; Things Go Smash! • 15 March-Hitler seizes the rest of Czechoslovakia making a mockery of Chamberlain’s “peace in our time” Nazi troops enter Prague; 15 March Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 46. Spring 1939; Things Go Smash! • 15 March-Hitler seizes the rest of Czechoslovakia making a mockery of Chamberlain’s “peace in our time” • 23 March-Hitler adds the Memel district to East Prussia • 31 March-finally Chamberlain draws the line at Poland in a speech in the House of Commons • 17 April-Stalin made two moves in opposite directions: • he offered Britain and France an alliance and military convention to guarantee Poland against aggression • the Soviet ambassador in Berlin cautiously broached the subject of a Russo-German rapprochement Memel stripped from Lithuania • which would “bite” first? Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 47. By the end of June Stalin’s manoeuvres in Berlin as well as in London and Paris had seemingly come to a standstill. In all capitals there was the same distrust and the same playing for time. But in the silent multilateral trial of nerves, Hitler’s nerves seemed to give way first…. On 22 July the Russians agreed to talk….But three days later London and Paris at last agreed to send their military mission to Moscow…. The Anglo-French military mission delayed its departure for eleven precious days. Deutscher, Stalin, pp. 433-434 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 48. 24 August 1939 ---------------------------- This Polish cartoon heaps scorn on Ribbentrop as Stalin and Molotov gloat Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 49. Probably, in Hitler’s own mind, the Russo-German Pact represents no more than an alteration of time-table. The plan laid down in Mein Kampf was to smash Russia first, with the implied intention of smashing England afterwards. Now, as it has turned out, England has got to be dealt with first, because Russia was the more easily bribed of the two. But Russia’s turn will come when England is out of the picture -- that, no doubt, is how Hitler sees it. Whether it will turn out that way is of course a different question. George Orwell, from a review of Mein Kampf in The New Statesman, March, 1940 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 50. The secret protocol dividing the spoils Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 51. 1 September 1939 the most destructive war the world has ever seen begins Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 52. Stalin at first refused to sanction the movement into [Polish] territory….The reason was that the USSR and Japan remained at war in the Far East, and the military risk of deploying forces in eastern Poland was too great until the two countries made peace on 15 September. The Red Army moved into Polish territory two days later. Service, pp. 402-403 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 53. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 54. The bloody “The scum of assassin of the earth, the workers, I believe? I presume? Poland Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 55. A second agreement--the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Demarcation--was agreed on 28 September. Stalin demanded not only Estonia and Latvia but now also Lithuania as part of the Soviet sphere. He aimed both to recover the land of the Russian Empire and to secure a compact area of defence for the USSR. Hitler, who was already thinking about attacking France, quickly acceded. Service, pp. 402-403 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 56. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 57. The Winter War The Shelling of Mainila (Finnish: Mainilan laukaukset) was a military incident on November 26, 1939, where the Soviet Union's Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila (located near Beloostrov), declared that the fire originated from Finland across a nearby border, and claimed losses in personnel. The Soviet Union gained a great propaganda boost and a casus belli for launching the Winter War four days later. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 58. 250,000 Russian troops under the cover of a coordinated air and artillery bombardment crossed into Finland to begin one of the least publicized and most costly campaigns in the annals of military history. It would be a "walk over;" General Meretskov estimated it would take only 10 to 12 days for his 26 well equipped 14,000 man divisions to reach Helsinki. Russian propaganda had been so convincing that it was felt that the Finns would be waving flags and welcoming the Red Army with open arms. Opposing him were nine poorly equipped 11,000- man Finnish divisions. Robert Maddock, Jr., “The Finnish Winter War” http://kaiku.com/winterwar.html Tuesday, March 30, 2010
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  • 71. The Winter War of 1939 is a footnote in most histories. Yet it had great importance in the outcome of World War II. Hitler watched as the Finns humiliated the Russians and believed that Germany could crush his Eastern neighbor. Although publicly claiming a great victory, Stalin realized that it had been a military fiasco. He reinstated many Army officers, returned their rank and privileges and reduced the importance of political commissars. His reorganization was just in time to prevent Hitler from taking Russia. Timoshenko said, "The Russians have learned much in this hard war in which the Finns fought with Heroism." Admiral Kuznetsov concluded, "We had received a severe lesson. We had to profit by it." Khrushchev summed it up, "All of us and Stalin first and foremost sensed in our victory a defeat by the Finns. It was a dangerous defeat because it encouraged our enemies' conviction that the Soviet Union was a colossus with feet of clay . . . We had to draw some lessons for the immediate future from what had happened." Robert Maddock, Jr., “The Finnish Winter War” http://kaiku.com/winterwar.html Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 72. Military shake-up -- not a moment too soon! • part of the Tsaritsyn clique, survived the Army Purge of 1937-38 to become the senior general • after Voroshilov’s incompetent conduct of the Winter War, he replaced him • March 1940-given massive forces, he compelled the Finns to surrender • May 1940-becomes Narkom for Defense and a Marshal of the Soviet Union • aware of the need to modernize and mechanize, Семён Константи́нович Тимоше́нко he pushed through reforms and tightened Semyon Konstantinovich Timoshenko February 18, 1895 – March 31, 1970 (aged 75) discipline Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 73. “Polandization” of the Baltic Republics • Spring 1940-Stalin was horrified at the ease with which Hitler chewed up Denmark & Norway, the Low Countries, and France! • he resolved that he immediately needed to put his defenses in order, and as far forward as possible • he had already brutally rounded up the leadership classes in his part of Poland--execution, deportation or prison • now it was the turn of the three Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania • 3,5 &6 August-Stalin “accepts” the “request” of Communist puppet governments to join the USSR Plaque commemorating the Victims of Soviet NKVD in Bauska, Latvia. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 74. the Countdown to 22 June • December 1940-as late as this Zhukov and Timoshenko were having to debate Budyonny over tanks versus cavalry! after Poland! after the Blitzkrieg in the West! • April 1941-as the intelligence of German preparations increased, Stalin became more anxious. He wouldn’t be ready for war until 1943.He tried appeasement. • Zhukov objected to moving armaments from the Fortified Areas to deeper positions. If the Germans attacked soon, neither position would be ready. Stalin’s cronies prevailed. • June 1941-as the reports of German activity reached a crescendo, Timoshenko and Zhukov begged Stalin to order a full alert. • “No, that would be a provocation. We have 149 divisions. Well, isn’t that enough? The Germans don’t have so many…” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 75. Debacle; June-December 1941 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 76. Debacle; June-December 1941 German liberators? Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 77. 0430 22 June 1941- Barbarossa Stalin’s murderous “chickens come home to roost.” He had gutted his own army leadership during the Great Terror. Would Timoshenko’s rebuilding hold? Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 78. On the same day that Napoleon’s Grand Army had invaded Russia 129 years earlier, Hitler’s over three million soldiers--Germans, Croats, Finns, Romanians, Hungarians, Italians and even Spaniards backed by 3,600 tanks, 600,000 motorized vehicles, 7,000 artillery pieces, 2,500 aircraft and about 625,000 horses, were crossing the border to engage the Soviet forces of almost equal strength, as many as 14,000 tanks (2,000 of them modern), 34,000 guns and over 8,000 planes. The greatest war of all time was about to begin in the duel between those two brutal and reckless egomaniacs. And both were probably still asleep. Montefiore, p. 359 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 79. On the same day that Napoleon’s Grand Army had invaded Russia 129 years earlier, Hitler’s over three million soldiers--Germans, Croats, Finns, Romanians, Hungarians, Italians and even Spaniards backed by 3,600 tanks, 600,000 motorized vehicles, 7,000 artillery pieces, 2,500 aircraft and about 625,000 horses, were crossing the border to engage the Soviet forces of almost equal strength, as many as 14,000 tanks (2,000 of them modern), 34,000 guns and over 8,000 planes. The greatest war of all time was about to begin in the duel between those two brutal and reckless egomaniacs. And both were probably still asleep. Montefiore, p. 359 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
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  • 81. “Hitler won’t attack”--Denial • Reports of German aerial recon over Soviet cities, reports from diplomatic spies like Richard Sorge in the German embassy in Tokyo… But intelligence was “stovepiped.” Secretive Stalin alone interpreted it. • Stalin was convinced that the threat had passed.He believed that by late June the Germans had missed their chance. He was overconfident in his own analytic powers • But, indeed, Hitler had planned to strike a month earlier. Mussolini’s botched war with Greece over Albania had required German help. • the conquest of Yugoslavia had pushed Barbarossa back • Still, Stalin continued to believe the reports that morning were some kind of “conspiracy within the Wehrmacht.” “Contact the German ambassador” • as more than 1,000 Soviet aircraft were destroyed on the ground, Stalin refused to authorize war until hours later. Even then, “don’t cross the border with counter attacks” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 82. Denial-->Despair-->use of Terror • as the scale of the military defeat became clear over the next few days, Stalin had to accept that there would be no successful counter attacks • his bellicosity turned to rage. “This is a monstrous crime. Those responsible must lose their heads.” • there had to be cowards or traitors, just as he had explained problems with the economic failures a decade earlier • 4 July-Marshal Pavlov, commander of the Western Front, was arrested. Under torture he implicated others. 18 days later the four commanding generals were shot. • so many telegrams flooded in asking permission to shoot traitors that they blocked the NKVD office in Moscow. “Try and shoot your own traitors.” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
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  • 85. Order No. 270 “I order that (1) anyone who removes his insignia...and surrenders should be regarded as a malicious deserter whose family is to be arrested as a family of a breaker of the oath and a betrayer of the Motherland. Such deserters are to be shot on the spot. (2) Those falling into encirclement are to fight to the last...those who prefer to surrender are to be destroyed by any means available while their families are to be deprived of all assistance.” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 86. Order No. 270 “I order that (1) anyone who removes his insignia...and surrenders should be regarded as a malicious deserter whose family is to be arrested as a family of a breaker of the oath and •Stalin’s firstborn, Iakov Djugashvili, a betrayer of the Motherland. Such deserters are taken prisoner on 16 July when his to be shot on the spot. (2) Those falling into artillery battery was overrun. encirclement are to fight to the last...those who prefer to surrender are to be destroyed by any • his father’s reaction: “The fool--he means available while their families are to be couldn’t even shoot himself!” deprived of all assistance.” • Iakov’s wife Julia was arrested. Their three year old daughter wouldn’t see her mother for two years Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 87. above-Iron Crosses awarded at Bialystok; upper right-Soviet A-20 tanks destroyed along a dirt road; lower right-endless lines of the millions of Soviet prisoners Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 88. 28 June -the fall of Minsk--> ”...the gravest crisis of his career”-Montefiore • 26 June-the Politburo, in a secret decision, had Lenin’s body removed from the Mausoleum and taken to Tyumen in Siberia • 28 June-the Germans completed the encirclement of 400,000 Soviet soldiers in Minsk, the first of many such kesselschlachten (kettle- or cauldron-battles) • Stalin, accompanied by Molotov, Mikoyan and Beria, made a midnight visit to headquarters • he confronted Timoshenko and Zhukov in quiet fury. They broke the news that once again the rout was so grave that they had lost contact with the commanders at the front • Stalin returned, profoundly depressed:”We @#$%ed it up. Lenin left us a great state and we his successors have $&*$ed it all up.” • he became so depressed that he withdrew to his dacha for two days (29 & 30 June) and had to be begged to head the State Defense Committee Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 89. above-Nazi soldiers pass a burning village outside Smolensk (a propaganda postcard) upper right-Victory isn’t cheap; German tanks. lower right-artillery,”the king of battles” (another propaganda postcard) Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 90. Mikoyan Vosnesensky Bulganin Khrushchev Voroshilov Andreyev Kaganovich Beria Shvernik Molotov Malenkov Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 91. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 92. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 93. By August huge areas were behind enemy lines Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 94. Gehimmler Gehoering In Russian all four names start with the letter ( (geh) . The swastika is formed with the four gehs. The slogan at the bottom, “All start with Geh” seems pretty innocuous until you learn that geh is the polite abbreviation for govno which means excrement. Gehitler Gehoebbels Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 95. Stalin calls for partisans (above) behind German lines Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 96. GLORY TO THE HERO PARTISANS. WE DESTROY FASCIST REAR AREAS Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 97. Hitler shifts his strategic goals southward Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 98. Kiev--Hero City? • May 1945-Stalin designates four hero cities: • Leningrad, Stalingrad, Sevastopol & Odessa • 1961-for political reasons, Kiev is added • 1972-during my teaching exchange, many Ukrainians commented that they felt it was undeserved Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 99. Smolensk Minsk Kiev Red Square--60th Anniversary in 2005 23 million dead 80% of males born in 1923 didn’t survive the war Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 100. RUSSIAN UKRAINIAN Kikes of the city of Kiev and vicinity! On Monday, September 29, you are to appear by 08:00 a.m. with your possessions, money, documents, valuables, and warm clothing at Dorogozhitskaya Street, next to the Jewish cemetery. Failure to appear is punishable by death. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 101. The last Jew in Vinnitsa This picture from the fall of 1941 shows that the Army was clearly implicated in “the final solution” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 102. !"#"$ !%#"& '%(&(!#)$ GOROD GEROI LENINGRAD (HERO CITY LENINGRAD) • 900 Days from August 1941 to January 1944 • unparalleled famine deaths caused by blockade and disruption of utilities, water and energy supply • deaths of 1.5 million civilians (only 3% from German bombs and artillery) • evacuation of 1.4 million more, mainly women and children, many of whom died during the evacuation due to starvation and bombardment • economic destruction and loss of life on both sides exceeded those of the battles of Stalingrad, Moscow or the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 103. !"#"$ !%#"& '%(&(!#)$ GOROD GEROI LENINGRAD (HERO CITY LENINGRAD) • 900 Days from August 1941 to January 1944 • unparalleled famine deaths caused by blockade and disruption of utilities, water and energy supply • deaths of 1.5 million civilians (only 3% from German bombs and artillery) • evacuation of 1.4 million more, mainly women and children, many of whom died during the evacuation due to starvation and bombardment • economic destruction and loss of life on both sides exceeded those of the battles of Stalingrad, Moscow or the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 104. “...people died like flies” but “history would never have forgiven me had I given up Leningrad” A.A. Zhdanov Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 105. “...people died like flies” but “history would never have forgiven me had I given up Leningrad” A.A. Zhdanov Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 106. “...people died like flies” but “history would never have forgiven me had I given up Leningrad” A.A. Zhdanov Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 107. “...people died like flies” but “history would never have forgiven me had I given up Leningrad” A.A. Zhdanov Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 108. “...people died like flies” but “history would never have forgiven me had I given up Leningrad” A.A. Zhdanov Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 109. “...people died like flies” but “history would never have forgiven me had I given up Leningrad” A.A. Zhdanov Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 110. “...people died like flies” but “history would never have forgiven me had I given up Leningrad” A.A. Zhdanov Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 111. “...people died like flies” but “history would never have forgiven me had I given up Leningrad” A.A. Zhdanov Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 112. “...people died like flies” but “history would never have forgiven me had I given up Leningrad” A.A. Zhdanov Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 113. “...people died like flies” but “history would never have forgiven me had I given up Leningrad” A.A. Zhdanov Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 114. “...people died like flies” but “history would never have forgiven me had I given up Leningrad” A.A. Zhdanov Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 115. “...people died like flies” but “history would never have forgiven me had I given up Leningrad” A.A. Zhdanov Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 116. “...people died like flies” but “history would never have forgiven me had I given up Leningrad” A.A. Zhdanov Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 117. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 118. •before committing General Winter, Stalin called upon Marshall Mud •by late October the temperature dropped and frostbite began •at least when the mud froze, the Nazi army could move once again Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 119. MOSCOW Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 120. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 121. Happy Moskvichanki dig an anti-tank ditch Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 122. WE DEFEND MOSCOW! upper right snow-covered anti-tank devices; lower right-anti-tank artillery Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 123. Seesaw; 1941-September 1942 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 124. December, 1941. Soviet troops in winter gear, supported by tanks, counter-attack German Seesaw; 1941-September 1942 forces Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 125. Marshal Zhukov directs the counter-offensive Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 126. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 127. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 128. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 129. Stalin was launching a wave of counter-attacks along the entire front. He quite reasonably presumed that Hitler would again attack Moscow but the Führer actually planned a powerful summer offensive to seize the grain of the Ukraine and, more importantly, the oil of the Caucasus. But Stalin’s real fault lay in his raging overconfidence; he lacked the resources for this vast enterprise which, instead of capitalizing on his Moscow victory, handed Hitler a constellation of stunning victories that led to the ultimate crisis of Stalingrad. Montefiore, p. 411 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 130. VOLKHOV FRONT Stalin was launching a wave of counter-attacks along the entire ZHUKOV’S front. He quite reasonably presumed that Hitler would again attack SUCCESSFUL Moscow but the Führer actually planned a COUNTER-ATTACK powerful summer offensive to seize the grain of the Ukraine and, more importantly, the oil of the Caucasus. But Stalin’s real fault lay in his raging overconfidence; he lacked the resources for this vast enterprise which, instead of capitalizing on his Moscow victory, handed Hitler INITIALLY a constellation of stunning victories that led to the ultimate crisis of SUCCESSFUL COUNTER-ATTACK Stalingrad. Montefiore, p. 411 KERCH COUNTER-ATTACK SEVASTOPOL COUNTER-ATTACK Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 131. 1942-“...a constellation of stunning [defeats]…” • January-Voroshilov’s counter-attack at Leningrad on the Volkhov Front. Germans counter-attack! Stalin dispatched Mehklis to find culprits for the failure • March-Stalin ordered a counter-offensive from Kerch towards the center of the Crimea to relieve the besieged Sevastopol • Mekhlis gleefully took command of these 250,000 men • “In this sensitive and complicated battle, Stalin had exchanged an inept and corrupt drunkard for an inept and incorruptible maniac.”--Montefiore Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 132. “...would become Stalin’s secretary and one of the most despised men in Soviet history…”-Louis Rapoport • born in Odessa of Jewish parents • “a military Mephistopheles, compared to a ‘shark’ and a ‘gloomy demon.’ Even Stalin called him a ‘fanatic,’ fount him hard to restrain…”-Montefiore • 1918-as a commissar in the Crimea executed thousands • 1930-Stalin appointed him editor of Pravda, • 1937- Voroshilov brought him into the Narkom for Defense to help with the Army purges Lev Zakharovich Mehklis • 1941-became a commissar again with grim 1889-1953 results Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 133. Krim-scene of Commissar Mehklis’ disaster German-held territory Kerch Peninsula Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 134. Manstein’s Offensive; 8-20 May 1942 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 135. Manstein’s Offensive; 8-20 May 1942 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 136. Manstein’s Offensive; 8-20 May 1942 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 137. Manstein’s Offensive; 8-20 May 1942 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 138. Manstein’s Offensive; 8-20 May 1942 the near complete destruction of Soviet defending forces. Three armies (44th, 47th, and 51st), 21 divisions, 176,000 men, 347 tanks, and nearly 3,500 guns were lost.[7] The remains of the force were evacuated. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 139. Sevastopol--Real “Hero City” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 140. Sevastopol--Real “Hero City” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 141. Sevastopol--Real “Hero City” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 142. Sevastopol--Real “Hero City” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 143. Sevastopol--Real “Hero City” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 144. Sevastopol--Real “Hero City” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 145. Sevastopol--Real “Hero City” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 146. Sevastopol--Real “Hero City” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 147. Sevastopol--Real “Hero City” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 148. Sevastopol--Real “Hero City” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 149. Sevastopol--Real “Hero City” The Germans claimed over 90,000 Red Army soldiers had been taken prisoner, and an even greater number killed. However these claims seems an overstatement….A more reasonable estimate puts the Soviet losses at 90,000 captured and 11,000 dead. Although a success in the end, the operation had taken much longer than the Germans had imagined. Operation Blau, Army Group South's advance towards Stalingrad and Caucasus was just beginning, and the German offensive would not have the 11th Army to support them. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 150. 1942-“...a constellation of stunning [defeats]…” • January-Voroshilov’s counter-attack at Leningrad on the Volkhov Front. Stalin dispatched Mehklis to find culprits for the failure • March-Stalin ordered a counter-offensive from Kerch towards the center of the Crimea to relieve the besieged Sevastopol • Mekhlis gleefully took command of these 250,000 men • “In this sensitive and complicated battle, Stalin had exchanged an inept and corrupt drunkard for an inept and incorruptible maniac.”--Montefiore • 12 May-Khruschev and Timoshenko launched a counter-offensive to retake Kursk. The Germans encircled and captured 250,000 men and 1,200 tanks Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 151. Blow upon Blow 1,044,742 Prisoners...6,271 tanks & 10,131 artillery pieces…. and in the East alone more than 6,000 enemy aircraft destroyed. The land which our troops have taken from the Soviets is greater than the British Island Until the Opponent lies annihilated on the floor Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 152. Dizzy with over-confidence, Hitler divided his forces into two: one pushed across the Don to Stalingrad while the other headed southwards towards those Caucasian oilfields. When Rostov-on-Don fell, Stalin drafted another savage order:”Not One Step Backwards,” decreeing that “panic-mongers and cowards must be liquidated on the spot” and “blocking units” must be formed behind the lines to kill waverers. Nonetheless, Hitler’s Southern Army Group A broke into the Caucasus. On 4 and 5 August, Stalin, Beria and Molotov spent most of the nights in the office as the Germans took Voroshilovsk (Stavropol), racing towards Grozny and Ordzhonikidze (Vladikavkaz) in the Caucasus and, on the Volga, approached Stalingrad. Paulus’s Sixth Army was poised to take the city and split Russia in two. Montefiore, p. 417 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 153. Nazi raid on the Northern Caucasus • Stalin warned oil boss Baibakov-”Do you know that Hitler has declared that without oil , he’ll lose the war? ...you’re responsible on the pain of losing your head for ensuring no oil is left behind” • the field at Maikop was expertly blown up with hours to spare • Beria was despatched to the Caucasus to stiffen that front with terror • the German advance petered out at Ordzhonikidze as the battle for Stalingrad drew off more and more resources Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 154. STALINGRAD MAIKOP ORDZHONIKIDZE Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 155. Strange Bedfellows; Churchill & Stalin-12-14 August 1942 • as the crisis battle approached, Churchill came with bad news • there would be no Second Front in Europe anytime soon • Stalin was cold, implied cowardice. Churchill bristled, reminded him how Britain had fought alone, • then offered the consolation, Operation Torch that November would open a front in North Africa • Stalin reminded him of his role in 1919 • but it was all love and kisses at the drunken farewell Despite smiles for the camera, all dinner. After all, they were in this together. To the death! was not sweetness and light at this first meeting Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 156. Stalingrad, War of Rats; September 1942-January 1943 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 157. Stalingrad, War of Rats; September 1942-January 1943 view from the Soviet side of the Volga Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 158. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 159. the “meatgrinder” mindset still from “The Enemy at the Gates” costly mass assaults-”blood equals time” Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 160. Soviet soldiers storm a ruined factory Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 161. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
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  • 177. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 178. Bulganin Zhukov Voroshilov Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 179. At 0720 on the misty morning of 19 November, the 3,500 guns of the northern sector opened up. When this Jupiterian thunderclap was unleashed, the earth shook thirty miles away. A million men, 13,541 guns, 1,400 tanks and 1,115 planes smashed into Hitler’s forces. Montefiore, p. 432 Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 180. Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 181. Within four days of the launch of Operation Uranus, the German Sixth Army, 330,000 men was encircled in what Stalin called “the decisive moment of the war.” Montefiore Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  • 182. Tuesday, March 30, 2010