History of the Second world war are so complex and multifaceted that it is often difficult to separate truth from fiction and propaganda from actual statistics. Even the number of dead and wounded can not be accurately set – scientists and researchers have reported a figure of 28 to 43 million people. But one thing they agree: the red Army’s losses were significantly greater than those of the Wehrmacht. The reason is called the unwillingness of the “peace” of the Soviet Union to the war, the sudden rapid attack Hitler. But how close these statements are to the truth? Talking about surprises wrong, Stalin was not stupid, and his care is confirmed by many witnesses. The USSR, rather overestimated his own power, did not consider Germany as a serious enemy.
Technical equipment: with the war than Germany and the USSR
In reality, Stalin knew about the danger emanating from Germany, and were preparing, creating, for example, the food base in the Volga, which could be useful “in case of possible complications in the field of international relations.” The number came down the Assembly line of tanks for ten years, was increased seven times. However, to achieve the German indicators failed, the Soviet Union’s level of armament was lower than in the First world, a 152-millimeter howitzers were only 690 shells. Their total number reached 10 million by 1942, while the Wehrmacht was 18 million shells. Germany produced two times more powder than the Soviet defense industry until 1944. On the arms of the Soviet Union was still a lot of obsolete tanks BT-2 and BT-5, and light tankettes T-37 and T-38. Heavy tanks are able to effectively fight on equal terms with the modern German, was only 15% of the total. On secondary lines the situation was even worse. A simple example: “the Second Baltic front depth of fire damage amounted to no more than 800 metres. The German artillery could hit targets at a distance of 3-4 kilometers. In order to get close to the enemy, had to go under fire.” Another sad excerpt from the statistics: “up To 70% losses in the ranks of the red army had shrapnel wounds” (historian K. Gaivoronsky). Stalin later wrote that he wanted to defer the beginning of the war until 1942, the end of the five-year plan, but Hitler started the offensive sooner. Germany rightly feared the Soviet Union, and the Barbarossa plan was, rather, a desperate attempt to maintain superiority, and so successful implementation surprised even the leadership of the Wehrmacht.
Personnel are of great importance, especially if we are talking about officers. A competent commander capable of inflicting damage to the enemy, maximally saving the lives of soldiers. The layman is guided by emotion and will ruin people actually wonder. But experienced officers were not. As of 1917, the number was 216 thousand people. The beginning of the war with Germany was only a few hundred. And the most experienced of them died in military disaster of 1941. The Bolsheviks did not trust the members of the Russian officer corps, so they were shot, exiled, or deprived of the opportunity to occupy leadership positions in the army. Those who retained their positions, had sufficient combat experience. Moreover, many of them are so afraid of senior management that were ready to leave soldiers to die, but not to deviate from the order. Most clearly these events are described in the memoirs of Nikolai Nikulin, veteran decorated, which in the 311-th infantry division came to Berlin. “There are no such fortresses which could not take Bolsheviks” – the slogan of troops were sent to storm the impregnable heights. “Not one step back” – retreat could be the reason for the punishment chain of command. And contrary to stereotypes, the problem was not Stalin or the generals. In war the middle part of the commander, members of the NKVD often had the worst traits of human nature, caring only about his well-being.
Prisoner means a traitor
The inhabitants of the occupied territories, as well as captured soldiers instantly lost the trust of the government. Their welfare is not cared for, moreover, it was believed that they had betrayed the country, got scared and showed cowardice and the shame can be washed away only with blood. There is historical documentary evidence of the bombing of camps with Soviet prisoners of war planes of the red army. A vivid example – “black blazers”, the inhabitants of the liberated Soviet Union from occupation by the Wehrmacht areas. Men were sent to fight the first line, not giving any firearms, or even shape. Encountering the German machine gunners with a pitchfork in his hands, they died in the first battle, since escape was not possible, because for them there were ZO (protective forces). This attitude to prisoners of war in many respects became the reason of mass betrayal – of the survivors are almost two and a half million 950 thousand prisoners have joined the notorious anti-Soviet ROA. In 1943 the red army managed to turn the tide in their favor. Formed a “seasoned” officers, commanders have learned from the mistakes. And now the Germans began to report enormous losses, the disruption of food supplies and falling morale in the army. But the price of this experience is too high – millions of dead fathers, sons, brothers, wives, sisters and daughters of those who have not seen the cherry blossoms in may 1945.
Source: Why the loss of the red Army was more than the Nazis
© Russian Seven russian7.ru