Before delving into my extremely long article, please watch the documentary "The March of the Liberators".
Please note that this article may not be for everyone.
But if you are interested in the REAL causes of WW2, what really happened, then this should be fascinating for you.
March of the Liberators, part 1:
March of the Liberators, part 2
March of the Liberators, part 3
March of the Liberators, part 4
The March of the Liberators, part 5
The March of the Liberators, part 6
The trouble with historians is that they concentrate exclusively on the question of what happened, and never on the why it happened. This goes with a territory - that is what being a historian is all about; a sort of a journalist of the past, reporting the news as they happened, and not as they happen.
This leads to a problem, however.
Some facts get obscured by others, in effect they become forgotten, and so an unclear, muddled picture of the past emerges. Many historians, some because they are ordered to by their government, others because of nationalism, are inherently biased, and so pick and choose the reported facts. Many times, the original documents are missing, or kept stored in secret safes, never to be seen by the world's public as they would embarrass the country...
So a kind of a dogma, almost a religious cult, with all the heated passions, springs up about historical issues. Especially if it involves your country, which is pure as the driven snow, and would never, ever do bad (exception - if you lose the war, you are fucked, as it is commonly known that "the victors write the history books").
And so it was that the narrative, the evil Nazi Germany invaded the peaceful, innocent Soviet Union in World War 2 took hold.
Enter Icebreaker by Viktor Suvorov.
In 1939, due to Stalin's political maneuvering, Hitler is made to act the part of the "Icebreaker of the Revolution", and entangles Europe (and the world) in a global, terrifying war. The Soviet Union is officially not involved.
In 1941, Soviet Union was finishing a gigantic national mobilization, and getting ready to attack its then ally, Hitler's Nazi Germany (and German allies).
Lets look at the history in some detail.
The revolution in 1917 which happened in Tsarist Russia, overthrew the Tsar put the Bolshevik party in power. The Bolsheviks were communists - the followers of the theoretical ramblings of Marx and Engels (German philosophers), advocating a "socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of a classless, stateless society based on common ownership of the means of production" (Wikipedia Communism entry).
"Will it be possible for this revolution to take place in one country alone?
No." - Friedrich Engels, The Principles of Communism, 1847
The Bolshevik's faithfully followed Marx and Engels teachings on the need to change the world from the capitalist system into the communist one. Effectively, this meant a declaration of war by the Soviet Union against all non-communist countries in the world, to change their system of government.
"The bourgeoisie still rules over much of the world and so most Communist Parties and also the Communist International as the united party of the world revolutionary proletariat have to fight it." Communist 3rd Congress: The Organisational Structure of the Communist Parties, the Methods and Content of Their Work, 1920.
The Third Communist Congress quotes:
"Before the revolution, and even after it, we thought: either revolution breaks out in the other countries, in the capitalistically more developed countries, immediately, or at least very quickly, or we must perish. In spite of this conviction, we did all we possibly could to preserve the Soviet system under all circumstances, come what may, because we knew that we were not only working for ourselves, but also for the international revolution" 1921, 3rd Congress theses
"We Marxists do not belong to that category of people who are unqualified opponents of all war. We say: our aim is to achieve a socialist system of society, which, by eliminating the division of mankind into classes, by eliminating all exploitation of man by man and nation by nation, will inevitably eliminate the very possibility of war." Article in Pravda No. 93, written by Lenin
The bolshevik, later called the communist party of the Soviet Union - they saw themselves as the vanguard of the world revolution, because that was its raison d'etre (its reason for existence): from worldrevolution.org.uk:
"Lenin stressed, as Karl Marx had done before him, that in order for Socialism to succeed, capitalists would need to be overthrown in several advanced countries too. He took the lead in organising a new world revolutionary party, the Communist (Third) International in 1919 after the betrayal of the Socialist (Second) International. The Third International bound revolutionary parties from all over the world in a common fight to repeat the successes of October 1917 and open the road to world socialism."
After Lenin came Stalin. And an abrupt change happened in the Soviet Union's policies.
From the Wikipedia: "Socialism in One Country was a thesis developed by Nikolai Bukharin in 1925 and adopted as state policy by Joseph Stalin. The thesis held that given the defeat of all communist revolutions in Europe from 1917–1921 except in Russia, the Soviet Union should begin to strengthen itself internally".
So, all the revolutions that sparked up in European countries in the 1920's were defeated. Again, same article: "This theory was in an opposition to Lenin's beliefs that while a revolution may happen in one country, the final success of socialism in one country, especially in such a backward one as Russia, is impossible without proletarian revolutions in other, advanced countries of Western Europe".
So at first glance we have Stalin paying put to all talk of world revolution, and concentrating on internal national problems in the Soviet Union.
I am a big fan of taking a look at what a politician is doing, as opposed to what he is saying (The old adage of "When do you know a politician is lying? When his lips are moving!"). So let's take a look at what was happening in the Soviet Union when Stalin ruled it with an iron hand. Lets...
1928: Stalin overturns the Lenin policy of the capitalism lite New Economic Program (NEP - google it yourself). In this speech in 1928, Stalin explains himself: "The independence of our country cannot be upheld unless we have an adequate industrial basis for defence. And such an industrial basis cannot be created if our industry is not more highly developed technically".
What this lead to in practice, was that all the national resources went into heavy industry, such as iron mills, factories and the like. This left the ordinary people genuinely fucked. For example, the peasants experienced the joys of Collectivisation, which is a fancy word for the communist government thugs taking private farms away and putting all peasants into government run farms. And establishing quotas of grain and wheat production.
Failure to produce said quotas resulted in executions, and the policy itself resulted in mass starvation and cases of cannibalism. According to Robert Conquest in his book The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivisation and the Terror-Famine, this policy resulted in 7 million deaths.
Effectively then, Collectivisation was modern day work slavery, similar to American South exploitation of blacks. The policy itself resulted in millions of victims. This is a good webpage primer on the reality of communist rule . For a good scholarly study, read the preview of The Economic Transformation of the Soviet Union by Davis, Harrison and Wheatcroft. Highly recommended, and free to you online.
But the policy itself was successful. It made the Soviet Union into an economic powerhouse, despite the millions of dead, starving or resettled victims in the Gulags. This was observed by (then) Colonel Heinz Guderian, as he visited the Kharkov Tank Factory in 1933 (the two socialist countries, Germany and Russia, were allies back then): it produced 22 tanks per day. This is pretty staggering, as Germany entered WW2 with just 3195 tanks... Or about 159 days of just one Soviet factory production. This is taken directly from Icebreaker and Defense conversion Strategies by NATO ASI series.
By my standards, Stalin's industrialization was successful - it accomplished its goals to make the country into a modern military power. 22 tank produced per day in just one factory in one city... in 1933.
I will pause here and let you think on that for a second. Take a deep breath.
Ready? Moving on now...
Before there was WW2, there was the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Read up the bullshit version on Wikipedia, ponder them, and then come back here.
"For a long time, the primary motive of Stalin's sudden change of course was assumed to be the fear of German aggressive intentions." That was before Suvorov's Icebreaker book came out, that is.
First fact: Hitler's Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union attacked Poland together in 1939, as they agreed to in the pact. You can see some pictures of German and Soviet soldiers yukking it up in 1939 in Poland here and the actual documentary film here - the second link is recommended.
Second fact: Despite the Soviet Union being an ally of Hitler, and invading Poland together with Germany, the French and UK governments only declared war on Germany in 1939. They did not declare war on the second aggressor and Nazi ally, the Soviet Union...
I will let you think on that for a second. Take a deep breath, exhale...
OK, moving on.
So, to sum up the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact - Western Europe was at war with Nazi Germany, while the Soviet Union stayed aloof from the fracas. They were at peace.
But that is not the whole picture, far from the truth at all about that period of WW2. While Germany annexed the western part of Poland, the Soviet Union took over the eastern part, totaling 201,015 km² and a population of 13.299 million.
Hardly the action of a peace loving country.
In early 1940, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway. The peaceful and not involved in the raging world war Soviet Union, took over Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
What we see here are actions of two allies, two predators, two animals of the same ilk. But in popular WW2 schoolbook history, we somehow learn only about how Hitler's Germany was the evil country and the sole source of WW2. The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is explained as a play for time, to buy time to prepare by the Soviet Union for the inevitable German invasion.
I hope that the previous list of Soviet (and German) aggressions persuaded you that that view of WW2 history is bullshit.
If not, I will let Suvorov explain it all again:
In September 1939, the Soviet Union declared itself neutral and, during the 'pre-war period', seized territories with populations totalling 23 million people - not bad going for a neutral state.
The Red Army and the NKVD perpetrated fearful crimes in these captured territories. Soviet concentration camps were crammed with imprisoned soldiers and officers from a number of European countries. Officer prisoners, and not only the Poles, were shot in their thousands. This is not the action of a neutral state.
Here is a strange state of affairs. Germany attacked Poland, which means that Germany was the instigator of, and participant in, the European and then the World War. The Soviet Union did the same thing in the same month, but it does not judge itself to have been an instigator of the war. Nor does it consider itself even to have then been a participant in the war.
A Polish soldier killed in battle on Polish territory against the Red Army is considered a participant in World War II, as well as its victim, while the Soviet soldier who killed him is regarded as 'neutral'. If in the same
battle a Soviet soldier is killed, then it is judged that he has been killed not in wartime but in peacetime - in the 'pre-war period'.
To further set the stage, I will let Suvorov quote Pravda articles from these days when Nazi Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union were allies:
The foundations of the earth are trembling,' it wrote. 'The ground slips from under the feet of peoples and nations. Glows are afire in the sky and the thunder of guns shakes seas and continents. Powers and states are blown away just like chaff in the wind. How excellent it is, how extraordinarily wonderful, when
the world is shaken to its very foundations, when powers perish and greatness falls.' (Pravda, 4 August 1940) 'Every such war brings us closer to that happy time when murders among the people will no longer happen. (Pravda, 18 August 1940)
The Soviet newspaper article writers were bursting with unbridled joy and happiness that the capitalists are killing each other.
The Soviet general Krivoshin, who in 1939 took part in the Nazi-Soviet victory parade in Brest, Poland, had this to say:
"We have concluded a treaty with the Germans', he said, 'but this means nothing. Now is the most wonderful time to solve all world problems once and for all, and in a constructive way.' (Ratnaya ByV, Molodaya Gvardiya, 1962, p. 8)"
"Divide our enemies, meet the demands of each of them temporarily and then destroy them one at a time, giving them no opportunity to unite. (Pravda, 4 March 1941)"
This is what the outlook was of the hapless, unprepared for war Soviet Union, just trembling and cowering before the might of the mighty Wehrmacht.
I will pause again and let you process this information. Go to the restroom, grab a drink, make some popcorn, get some cookies... Ready?
Suvorov uses those two most dangerous weapons of all, logic and common sense.
He calmly states that, if the Soviet Union was interested in protecting its national territory, it would have kept Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia as buffer states, and warned Germany not to invade them. After all (using that dangerous common sense again) it would be very hard for Germany to invade the Soviet Union if they did not have a common border!
The apologists for the Soviet Union claim that the attack on Finland, the annexation of the Baltic countries (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia) was all done to protect the Soviet Union. That is a strange, weird il-logic - I do not think that if any other country attacked and took over another country, and then claimed it was for self defense, that that argument would work.
But this is the Soviet Union's history, and that argument is discussed and agreed upon in serious scholarly books and articles.
Suvorov then continues with his second logic and common sense attack on the biggest historical lie of WW2 (second only to Pearl Harbor - that blog post upcoming). Having gotten a common border with Germany, what should have happened is that the Soviet Army should have built their own version of the Maginot Line - it should have mined the bridges on the border, built bunkers, tank traps, machine gun nests, etc etc.
A country which is preparing its defence deploys its army deep inside its own territory, and not on its very frontier. The object is to prevent the enemy from destroying the main defending forces with one surprise attack. A defending side will normally build a security zone in the frontier areas in plenty of time; a zone where the terrain has been saturated with traps, engineered defences, obstacles and minefields. The defending side will deliberately avoid constructing anything related to industry or transport in this zone; nor will it keep any heavy military formations or large quantities of supplies there. On the contrary, timely preparations will have been made to blow up all bridges, tunnels and roads in this zone.
Once inside the security zone, the aggressor loses speed of movement, and his troops sustain losses before they even encounter the main forces of the defender. Only small but highly mobile detachments of the defending side operate in the security zone. These detachments spring ambushes, launch surprise attacks and then quickly withdraw to previously prepared positions. Light detachments create the impression that
they are the main force, compelling the aggressor to stop, deploy his forces and waste his shells on areas where there is nothing to hit. The light detachments, meanwhile, secretly withdraw to prepare new ambushes.
While the aggressor is waging an exhausting battle with the light detachments of the covering force, the main defending forces have time to prepare themselves to confront the aggressor from positions which favour defence.
So how does that work in practice, Mr. Suvorov?
(...)the Red Army itself created strong security zones on its own frontiers, particularly its western borders. Special government commissions inspected the country's western regions and determined which zones an enemy would find easiest to cross, and which would afford him most difficulty. Teams of bridge-protection guards, trained in demolition work, were made ready to blow up all the bridges in the
western regions. The 6o-metre long railway bridge at Olev, for example, could have been blown up by the duplicated explosion system in two and a half minutes. (I. Starinov, Miny Zhdut Svoego Chasa, Moscow Voenizdat 1964, p. 24)
Heavy pipe-lines, depots, water pumps, water towers, high embankments and deep cuttings were all prepared to be blown up. (Ibid, p. 18) By the end of 1929, 60 teams of demolition sappers, totalling 1,400 men, had been trained in the Kiev Military District alone. These had at their disposal '1,640 fully prepared sophisticated charges and tens of thousands of safety-fuse detonator sets, which were ready literally for instant use.' (Ibid, p. 22) Similar activity was also going on in other military districts.
In addition to the teams of demolition sappers which had been set up in the western regions of the country, railway-blocking battalions were formed. One of their tasks was to destroy the main railway junctions in the event of a retreat and to create defence obstacles on the main arterial routes by destroying roads and laying
delayed-action land mines lest the enemy should try to rebuild the roads. There were four such battalions in the Ukraine in 1932. (Ibid, p. 175)
Railway points crossings, communications equipment, telegraph wires and in some cases even the rails were got ready to be removed. (M. Tukhachevsky, Izbrannye Proizvedeniya, Moscow Voenizdat 1964, Vol. i pp. 65-67)
The Soviet security zone underwent continuous improvements. The number of targets prepared for demolition steadily grew. New defence obstacles were created: forest barriers; artificial reservoirs in front of defensive constructions; preparations were even made to flood some areas.
The Soviet Union then declared war on Finland and experienced a security zone on its own attacking troops.
The failures of the Red Army on this occasion were not simply the results of miscalculations by the Soviet
command. More important was the fact that the Finnish Army was prepared for defence, and ready to make sacrifices. The Finns had erected their security zone in front of their main line of defence. This zone - some 40-60 kilometres deep (Sovetskaya Voennaya Entsiklopediya, Vol. 6, p. 504) - was strewn with minefields and
defence obstacles. Snipers, sappers and light mobile detachments were extremely active.
Suvorov continues the narrative:
All the Soviet commanders who fought there expressed their admiration of the Finnish security zone. Foremost among them was K. Meretskov, who commanded the yth Army. (Na Sluzhbe Narodu, Moscow IPL 1968, p. 184) After he had finally overcome the Finnish security zone and had assessed its worth, Meretskov was appointed Chief of the General Staff. So how did he make use of his experience in order to reinforce the Soviet security zone which had been set up along the Soviet Union's western frontiers?
Meretskov ordered that:
1. The security zone which had previously been constructed along the Soviet Union's western frontiers should be dismantled, the teams of demolition sappers disbanded, the explosive charges removed, the mines rendered harmless, and the defence obstacles razed to the ground;
2. No security zone should be set up in the new lands;
3. The main forces of the Red Army should be moved right up to the frontiers, without a security zone to protect them;
4. The strategic resources of the Red Army should be brought from the heart of the country and concentrated directly on the frontier;
5. A vast works programme should begin at once to build a network of roads and airfields in western Byelorussia and in the western Ukraine: single-lane roads were to be made into dual-lane roads, the capacity of the roads was to be increased; and new roads leading directly to the German border were to be built.
That does not plan like a defensive zone to act as a buffer between Germany and the Soviet Union. That sounds like a country that is expecting an invasion of... tourists, not enemy troops. Why was this enormous programme of public works undertaken, why did the Soviet troops move towards the border when the defensive obstacles were "razed to the gound"?
Perhaps Stalin was counting on an already existing fortification, already built. Perhaps... The so called Stalin Line did indeed exist.
In the 1930s, thirteen fortified regions, or URs, were built along the Soviet Union's western frontier, in a strip of territory which was unofficially called the Stalin Line.
The basic element of the fortified regions was the DOT, or permanent fire position. In its issue of 25 February 1983, the newspaper Red Star gave a description of DOT No. 112 in the 53rd UR, situated in the Mogilev-Podolsk region. This was one of the completely standard DOTs in the Stalin Line.
It consisted of complex tunnelled fortification defences, which contained communication trenches, caponiers, compartments and filtration systems. It also had armouries, ammunition stores, food supplies, a medical unit, a mess room, water supply (which incidentally is still functioning), a recreation and reading
room, and observation and command posts. The armament of the DOT consisted of machine-gun positions with three firing embrasures. In these posts there were three 'maxims' mounted on special turrets and two single-gun caponiers with a cannon in each one.
Colonel-General A. I. Shebunin, another participant in that mighty work of construction, tells us that in the Proskurov UR alone, more than one thousand reinforced concrete defence-works were constructed in just three years.
OK, so there was an already existing "Maginot Line" in the Soviet Union.
Curious thing happened though:
"In Autumn 1939, however, when World War II began and a common frontier with Germany was established, all construction work on the Stalin Line was stopped. (V. Anfilov: Bessmertnyi Podvig, Moscow Nauka 1971, p. 35)"
"The garrisons in the fortified regions of the Stalin Line were first reduced in size and then disbanded completely. Soviet factories stopped producing armament and special equipment destined for fortification installations. The existing fortified regions were dismantled, and their armament, ammunition and all observation, communications and fire-control equipment were put into storage. (VIZH 1961 No. 9, p. 120)"
I do not know how future historians will explain this crime against our people. Present-day historians pass over this event in complete silence, and I do not know why. The Soviet government fleeced its people of many billions of roubles (no less than 120 billion, according to my calculations) in order to build fortifications, impregnable to any enemy, along the entire western frontier, from sea to sea, from the grey Baltic to the azure Black Sea. Yet just before war broke out, in spring 1941, powerful explosions thundered along the 1,200-kilometre-long stretch of fortifications. Strong double and single caponiers built of reinforced concrete, firing positions with one, two and three embrasures, command posts, observation
posts, and tens of thousands of permanent defensive installations were all blown up on Stalin's personal orders. (Major-General P. G. Grigorenko, VPodpol'eMozhno Vstretit' Tol'ko Krys, New York 1981, p. 141)
Summing up - the old fortification on the old Soviet frontier was dismantled, its troop levels reduced, its armament put into storage. The new frontier's defense zone was not built to compensate.
Besides, when defending yourself, two Maginot Lines are better than one, so even if you did plan to build a new Stalin Line on the new German-Soviet border, why in the world would you destroy the old one?
That common sense and logic again... Dangerous weapons indeed.
Instead of making bunkers and planting mines, the Soviet Army in 1939-1941 was busy training paratroopers. There were 10 Airborne Corps created pre war and during initial days of Barbarossa in 1939-1941 (quoted figures from soldat.ru forum)
In the course of the manoeuvres held in Kiev in 1935, a parachute assault force of 1,200 men was dropped, immediately followed by an air-landed assault force of 2,500 men armed with heavy weaponry including
artillery, armoured cars and tanks.
In Byelorussia in 1936, in the course of practising the same offensive theme, a parachute assault force of 1,800 men was dropped. They were followed by an air-landed assault force of 5,700 men armed with heavy weaponry. In the same year, the full complement of the 84th Rifle Division made an air-landed assault in the course of offensive manoeuvres in the Moscow Military Division.
Common sense and logic: paratroopers are not used in defensive, only in an offensive.
Need a break? No? Continuing...
Among the many defensive systems which the Soviet Union possessed was the Dnieper Naval Flotilla.
The formidable barrier formed by the Dnieper, the bridges ready to be detonated, and the river Flotilla working in cooperation with the field troops, artillery and air force, could have safely barred the way to the industrial regions of the southern Ukraine and the Soviet bases on the Black Sea. The German Blitzkrieg could have been stopped on the river-banks, or at least held up there for several months.
Instead of one defensive flotilla, Stalin then created two new ones, the Danube Flotilla and the Pinsk Flotilla. The Soviet Danube Flotilla was formed before the Soviet Union acquired an outlet to the Danube. In the course of Zhukov's 'liberation campaign' in the Romanian frontier regions, Stalin took Bukovina and Bessarabia from Romania. Right at the mouth of the Danube, a sector of the eastern bank of the river, some dozens of kilometres long, passed into the possession of the Soviet Union. The Danube Flotilla, which had already been set up in expectation of this event, was moved there immediately
The Danube Naval Flotilla included about 70 naval river vessels and launches, sub-units of the fighter air force, and anti-aircraft and shore artillery. The conditions where the base had to be built were frightful. The Soviet bank of the Danube Delta was barren and exposed. The vessels had to moor at open berths, with
Romanian troops sometimes only 300 metres away.
In the event of a defensive war, the entire Danube Flotilla would have fallen into a trap the moment hostilities began. The enemy could simply rake the Soviet vessels with machine-gun fire, preventing them from raising anchor and casting off. In a defensive war, moreover, the Danube Naval Flotilla would have had no useful function. Given its location, there were simply no defensive tasks for it to fulfil. The Danube Delta consists of hundreds of lakes, impassable swamps and hundreds of square kilometres of reed marshes. It is the last place through which an enemy would choose to attack the Soviet Union.
There was only one way to explain the siting of the Danube Flotilla; its purpose was to carry out combat operations upstream while Red Army troops were making a general advance. If you gather 70 river vessels in the delta of a great river, they have nowhere to go except upstream. This meant that they would have to operate on the territory of Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Austria and Germany.
The Danube Flotilla was of no use to anyone in a defensive war, and it was condemned to be destroyed immediately in its open moorings on a bank raked by enemy gunfire. In an offensive war, however, the Danube Flotilla would be a mortal danger to Germany. It only had to move 130 kilometres upstream for the strategic bridge at Chernavada to come under fire from its guns. That in its turn would mean that the flow of
oil from Ploesti to the port of Constanza would be cut off. Another 200 kilometres upstream and the entire German war machine would come to a halt simply because German tanks, aircraft and submarines would have been left without fuel.
Of course, the apologists for their version of history will tell us that everything that Suvorov writes about the flotilla was defensive in nature.
Which does not explain how, during the first day of the Axis invasion on the Soviet Union,
As soon as they learnt that the war had begun, the Soviet commanders put the finishing touches to their preparations to launch an assault landing operation. The action to be taken by the Soviet Flotilla commanders, and also by the commanders of the I4th Rifle Corps, whose divisions were concentrated in the Danube Delta area, and by the commanders of the 79th Frontier Detachment of the NKVD, had been
previously planned and worked out with great care. On 25 June 1941, the Danube Flotilla vessels, under cover of fire from the shore batteries and artillery of the I4th Rifle Corps, landed reconnaissance and sabotage sub-units of the NKVD on the Romanian bank. Regiments of the 5ist Rifle Division of the i4th Rifle Corps were
next to be landed. Members of the Soviet assault landing force acted swiftly and decisively. A complex operation involving river vessels, aircraft, field, shore and shipborne artillery, and sub-units of the Red Army and the NKVD had been successfully executed with clockwork precision. Everything had been prepared, coordinated,
agreed and checked many times over. On the morning of 26 June 1941, the red flag was hoisted over the cathedral in the Romanian town of Kilia.
Kilia was roughly 130 kilometres from Ploesti, where the Romanian oilfields were. The oilfields which supplied the German Army in WW2 in oil, which were necessary to Nazi Germany's survival... Which was understood by all the allies, as the US Air Force bombed it repeatedly. Germany got most of its oil from Romania (Ploesti refineries), and
synthetic oil production - see google answers. For the truly dedicated (like me!) nerds, look up The Role of Synthetic Fuel In World War II Germany. I disagree with the author that "Yet a High Command study in May of 1941 noted that with monthly military requirements for 7.25 million barrels and imports and home production of only 5.35 million barrels, German stocks would be exhausted by August 1941. The 26 percent shortfall could only be made up with petroleum from Russia. The need to provide the lacking 1.9 million barrels per month and the urgency to gain possession of the Russian oil fields in the Caucasus mountains, together with Ukrainian grain and Donets coal, were thus prime elements in the German decision to invade the Soviet Union in June 1941", as it is bullshit...
And here is why:
The Soviet Union provided its ally Nazi Geramny with 900,000 tons of mineral oil (yale.com article), per the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement.
OK, now we are getting into the nitty gritty. Take a break, get a drink of your favorite alcoholic beverage, and come back.
Exactly why did Germany invade the Soviet Union in WW2?
The pro-Soviet version of history postulates various explanations:
1) Germany did it for lebensraum, per the incoherent and rambling 'Mein Kampf'
2) Germany did it for economic reasons - to grab oil, coal located on Soviet territory
3) Hitler was craaaaaaaazy
Reason 2 is a no go, as the Soviet Union supplied Germany with everything it needed to kill Englishmen and their allies: oil, iron, food stuffs.
Reason 1 stipulates that Hitler was insane, which leads into reason 3. Hooray!
The logic of "official" WW2 historians is.... strange.
I already quoted Suvorov on how the Danube flotilla behaved during the first day of war. How did the rest of the Soviet Army behave?
John Erickson's The Road to Stalingrad: "Stalin agreed to a second directive being issued, Directive nr. 2(...) Signed by Zhukov as Chief of the General Staff, the directive stipulated 'active offensive operations'. (pg. 124)". This went over the Red Army communication system on 22 June, 07:15 hours.
Directive nr. 3, prescribed "nothing less than all three Soviet Fronts (Soviet Army Groups on the German frontier) taking the offensive" This directive went out on the Red Army wireless on 22 June, 21:15 (pg 132).
In the first hours following the beginning of the German invasion, the Red Army kept on trying to go over to the offensive. Modern textbooks call what the Red Army was doing counter-strikes and counter-offensives.
But it was pure improvisation. The problem of counter-strikes had never been worked through in any pre-war exercises, nor indeed had it ever been considered in theoretical terms: 'the subject of counter-offensive... had never been raised before the Great Motherland War'. (IVOSS (the official history of the 'Great Patriotic War'), Vol. i, p. 441)
Operations of the Soviet fleets in the first minutes, hours and days of the war show sufficiently clearly that they did have plans, but that these were not plans for defence. On 22 June 1941, Soviet submarines of the Black Sea Fleet immediately put to sea and headed for the coasts of Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. The same day submarines of the Baltic Fleet set sail for the coasts of Germany, with a mission to 'sink all enemy ships and vessels, in accordance with the rights of unrestricted submarine warfare'. (Order of Officer Commanding Baltic Fleet, 22 June 1941, Plot v Velikoi Otechestvennoi Voine, Moscow Nauka 1980, p. 279)
Beginning on 22 June, the air arm of the Black Sea Fleet carried out active combat operations in support of the Danube Naval Flotilla with the objective of opening a way upstream for the flotilla. On 25—26 June, surface warships of the Black Sea Fleet appeared off the Romanian port of Constanza and began an intensive
artillery bombardment with the obvious intention of making a naval assault landing. At the same time the Danube Naval Flotilla began to carry out assault landing operations in the Danube Delta.
On 22 June, the garrison at the naval base at Hanko, on Finnish territory, instead of going over to a stonewall defence, initiated some sustained assault landing operations, and held nineteen Finnish islands for several days. On 25 June, in spite of the enormous losses which the Soviet Air Forces had sustained in the first hours of the war, 487 aircraft belonging to the Baltic and Arctic Fleets launched a surprise strike at Finnish airfields. Again in spite of these enormous losses, the Soviet air forces conducted themselves with exceptional valour and aggression. On 22 June the ist Air Corps made a concentrated raid on military
objectives in Konigsberg.
None of this was improvisation. At 6.44 am on 22 June the Soviet Air Force was given the mission of operating in accordance with its plans, and for a few days it tried to do this. On 26 June, the 4th Air Corps began bombing raids on the Ploesti oilfields in Romania.
On 22 June 1941, the 4ist Rifle Division of the 6th Army's 6th Rifle Corps, without waiting for orders from above, crossed the state frontier near Raval-Russkaya. That same morning, and without waiting for orders from Moscow, Colonel-General F. I. Kuznetsov, officer commanding the North-West Front, ordered his troops to launch an attack towards Tilsit in East Prussia. This decision came as no surprise either to the headquarters staff of the North-West Front or to the officers commanding the armies and their staffs, for a version of the attack on Tilsit had been played out in headquarters exercises held a few days previously, 'and it was very familiar to the commanders of the formations and their headquarters'. (Bor'ba za Sovetskuyu Pribaltiku, Eesti Raamat, Tallinn 1980, Vol. i, p. 67)
the commanders at
tactical level were not entitled to know what their tasks would be, but in the senior headquarters, these tasks had been exactly defined and formulated, placed under seal in secret envelopes, and kept in the safe in every headquarters, up to and including the level of battalion. For instance, the Reconnaissance Battalion of the
27th Rifle Division, concentrated close to the frontier near the town of Augustow, was preparing to carry out combat reconnaissance in the direction of Suwalki. (Arkhiv MO SSSR, Archive 181, list 1631, item i, p. 128) The task of the Reconnaissance Battalion was to ensure the swift advance of the entire 27th Division from
near Augustow to Suwalki.
So using our two dangerous weapons - logic and common sense - let us attack now.
If the Soviet Union had no plans which the Army units could use in the event of an enemy attack on the country, if the military forces, when the enemy attacked, immediately went over the offensive themselves, when they were told by the Chief of Staff to attack, all Fronts, attack! ... What does that tell us the plans of the Soviet Union were in WW2?
Constantine Pleshakov, freely available in the USA, and at Amazon.com:
Stalin's decision to put the new defense line right on the border looked unbelievably foolish to Zhukov. He couldn't say so bluntly, but he was shockingly audacious in expressing his doubts. (...) The troops had also been placed too close to the border, where they could be hit by a sudden German attack. One area of Pavlov's military district, the Belostok salient, looked especially vulnerable, as the Red Army could easily be trapped by the attacking Germans.
It had been a while since a general had dared to doubt the wisdom of Stalin's decisions. The remarks caused an uproar. Pavlov venomously said that in Zhukov's military district the fortifications were being built right on the border as well. Voroshilov angrily advised Zhukov to mind his own business
Preparing for defensive warfare, a country never put its fortifications right on the border and never placed its army in narrow strips of territory like the Belostok salient, where it could be asily strangled by the enemy.
Only a few people in the room knew that Stalin's real plan was to skip defensive war altogether and strike at Germany first.
Joseph Stalin had many skeletons in his closet, but in January 1941 the preemptive war plan was his best guarded secret. (...) In strategic terms, an attack on Hitler looked both feasible and desirable. (...) Stalin was sure that the Fuhrer was still focusing on Britain, leaving his eastern flank relatively weak. Only after Germany finnished in the West, Stalin argued, would Hitler send the bulk of his troops to the Soviet Union's border. He didn't believe that Hitler would risk a war on two fronts, and common sense supported that view, since such strategic arrogance had cost Germany a catastrophic defeat in World War I
In the summer of 1940, under Shaposhikov's guidance, Vasilevsky started work on the preemptive strike plan. (...) The main task they envisaged for the Red Army sounded heavily preemptive: "to defeat the German forces concentrating in East Prussia and around Warsaw".
Vasilevsky was told to rewrite the draft. (...) In October, under Stalin's pressure, Timoshenko and Meretskov cancelled the attack in the north altogether (into Prussia and Poland - AG) and agreed that the Red Army should strike in the south (Romania - AG). Now the Army was expected "to cut Germany off from the Balkans in order to deprive it of paramount economic resources(...)" (i.e. Romanian oil from Ploesti)
The generals knew that the vozhd (leader, or fuhrer, in Russian - AG), favored the south as the major strategic theatre(...). The document suggested striking from the Ukraine and defeating the Germans' main force in southern Poland. The Kiev military district, transformed into a group called the Southwestern Front, was to lead the attack, its troops striking at Krakow (in German occupied Poland -AG) In accordance with Zhukov's megalomaniacal tendencies, the southwestern Front was to send about 1 million men and 8,000 tanks into battle. Romania would also be invaded.
The air force needed more planes along the frontier as well. The plan also noted that it was time to start working on the rear, establishing new hospitals and depots.
No date was given for the attack, but the document suggested finalizing preparations in 1942.
And then Rudolf Hess flew a Me-110 to Britain. Hess was a deputy fuhrer. What that meant, is that he was officially second in command to Hitler.
I will let you think on that for a minute. The number 2 person in Nazi Germany secretly flies himself to the UK, which is at war with Germany...
Back for more? OK!
Stalin, the ever suspicious, believed that Hitler and Churchill were secretly negotiating a separate peace. In 1940 this was a very attractive proposition to the British government, if you remember your official schoolbook version of history. According to Pleshakov, Stalin "simply couldn't believe that the second in command in the Nazi Party had just flown a plane to Britain to negotiate an alliance with London because he was insane." (pg 80). I am having my doubts too about that whole mysterious episode. But what happened officially was that Hitler declared Hess insane, the British imprisoned him, denied him any opportunity to give interviews, drugged him up to make him insane, then finally he was killed in Spandau prison long after the war.
Needless to say, Hess' (and possibly Hitler's) desperate plan to make peace with the United Kingdom failed.
Regardless, Pleshakov states that: "Hess' defection was a pivotal moment that spring. After it happened, Stalin decided to accelerate war preparations. Whatever precipitated Hess' flight, he was now no longer sure he had until the summer of 1942. The Red Army had to be able to move sooner than that." (pg 81).
The relocation of seven armies to the west wouldn't solve the problem of manpower. however, at least two more were needed. Also, many existing units were heavily understaffed. In May and June, 800,000 reservists were quietly drafted. All military schools were ordered to finish early that year so the young lieutenants could be sent to the west.
The accelerated buildup suggested that the army would be ready to strike by midsummer (1941 -AG). The seven armies were expected to be in place by July 10(...).
In total, almost 3 million soldiers were deployed between the Baltic and the Black Sea. That figure included eleven police regiments charged with imposing order on the territories that were to be occupied. (...) Soon the districts were to be renamed "Fronts", as the tentative war plan was envisioned. The existence of a Front unambiguously implied war. The Russian language had no word for a front line mega unit during peace time; only a fighting army could have such a thing.
By June 20, the Red Army Propaganda Directorate prepared a secret document. Pleshakov: "It was quite explicit, saying that it was useless to build defenses against the German juggernaut, as the example of a number of European countries had proved, and that the Soviet Union would therefore 'apply an offensive strategy' against Germany" (pg 84).
Mikhail Kalinin, president of USSR (a ceremonial function), addressed the graduates of the Lenin Military Academy on June 5, 1941: "War os the time when you can expand communism!"
The biggest obstacle to the truth about this portion of WW2 history are two arguments:
1) The apologists for the Soviet Union, who for various reasons want to see that country as a liberator of people oppressed under Nazi tyranny, just like the Western Allies were, do not want this to come to light.
2) The historians, who throughout their lives unerringly wrote one version of history, until it became so ingrained that it was considered heresy in professional historical circles to question the narrative.
There is also the third argument, that by arguing that Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union was in effect a pre-emptive war, that that somehow whitewashes Hitler and Nazi Germany's crimes, and so they are anti semitic in nature.
Which argument is simply bullshit.
Any amateur or serious student of history has to realize, that both Nazi Germany and Stalin's (and his successors) Soviet Union were tyrannical dictatorships, which used secret police to keep disent down, which both tortured their political opponents and random victims, which both imprisoned millions of people. Both killed millions of people.
It is true that this historical information is used by modern neo-nazis to somehow whitewash Hitler's actions. Well, it does not make it so to this amateur historian...
To me, rooting for one side or the other in the Soviet-Nazi war is akin to a situation when two gangs in your home city are fighting a turf war over drug territory. Which gang would you root for - the Bloods or the Crips?
Or perhaps you would realize that both of them are one and the same...
Must see online resources:
Icebreaker FULL book (since it is impossible to buy it in America - I did not place this work online though): Icebreaker, by Viktor Suvorov, real name Rezun At the link, look to the right, you can download this as a PDF document or text... Not that I am advocating an obviously illegal action of downloading a book unavailable in the market off the internet, and whoever placed the Icebreaker's full version in English on the web should be ashamed of themselves! Harrumph, my good sir (or madam)! Harrumph I say!
Google preview book: Pleshakov's Stalin's Folly
Biography of the "historian troublemaker", nom de plume Viktor Suvorov:
on the incredible internet resource Wikipedia.
Haaretz article on Mischa Shauli :
Mischa Shauli sat at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., completely beside himself. It had been years since the first time he heard about the existence of a document said to prove that Stalin, not Hitler, bore the main responsibility for World War II, and for years he had searched for it with all his skills as a professional detective. Shauli's last position was as Commander Shauli, Representative of the Israel Police in Russia. Previous to that he had been head of the police fraud investigation unit for the Southern District.
A few years ago Shauli read "Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War," by Bogdan Rozen. Rozen, who now lives in England, wrote it under the pseudonym of Viktor Suvorov. Shauli, impressed by the book, translated it into Hebrew and saw to its publication here.
From out of the sea of details, a coherent thesis emerges: Stalin dragged Hitler into war to force Europe into chaos and facilitate a communist revolution on the continent. According to Shauli, there is evidence to back up this theory, including a speech by Stalin himself as well as a report obtained by the U.S. Consulate in Prague. The report has been mentioned here and there over the years, but it has never been published, because no one knows where it is today.
Shauli, 59, believed that the definitive evidence was out there, hiding somewhere. He believed, and did not give up, repeatedly setting out to find it, going as far as Washington. No one is happier than he is today: The document is in his possession, and now the history of World War II may have to be rewritten: It was Stalin's fault.
The document, from October 1939, consists of three pages in English that purportedly reflect a dialogue in Moscow between a delegation from Czechoslovakia and a senior Soviet Foreign Ministry official. The Czechs tried to find out why the U.S.S.R. had signed the nonaggression treaty with Nazi Germany, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939. A few days later the Germans invaded Poland, and World War II began.
The Soviet official, Alexandrov by name, explained to the Czech delegation that had the Soviet Union signed an agreement with the West, Hitler would not have dared to launch a war, and without that war there would have been no possibility of imposing communism in Europe. He also listed the benefits to the Soviet Union of the pact with Nazi Germany, and of the war.
The veracity of the document must be proved, and even if it turns out to be genuine, its significance is worthy of debate. Mischa Shauli is continuing his investigation. No, he said this week, he does not fear that shifting responsibility for the war from Hitler to Stalin "acquits" Hitler; he is responsible for other crimes.