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WWII myth

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    Posted: 05 Sep 2013 at 14:57

One of persistent WWII myth is that the Red Army enjoyed staggering numerical advantage over Axis forces on the eastern front.

If we compare Human resources of Axis country versus Soviet Union, it is difficult to understand haw this myth has persisted for so long.

Population of Soviet Union in  June 1941 was 196,716,000. This include newly acquired population of Baltic states, Eastern Poland and territory gained from Romania.

Axis population base was as below;

The Third Reich census of May 1939-population 79,375,281. This included with Saargebiet (Saar district)  (since 1935), with Austria and Sudetenland (since 1938), with Memelland acquired from Lithuania (since March 1939)

Additionally,  Germany acquired population of 1,100,000 Polish ethnic German

approximately (my estimation)  450,000 Ethnic Germans from Protectorate of Czech and Moravia France,  Belgium,  Netherlands and Yugoslavia should be taken under consideration.

This will give total German population on territories controlled in June 1941  by III Reich close to 81,000,000

 

Slovakia-population in 1941-2,750,000

Hungary-9,350,000

Romania-13,6000,000

 

Finland (not member of Axis but actively participated in Eastern Front fighting)-3,710,000

 

Total population of Axis Countries and associates in June 1941 was approximately 110,000,000 vs population of Soviet Union approximately 196,000,000.

For clarity, I have not included Italians(Italian army in Russia)  and Spanish Blue Division as well as SS divisions formed from different nationalities such as French, Nordic countries, Croatia, Ukraine, Russian renegades and so on.

During first months of Barbarossa,  Germany occupied  all Baltic states,  Belarus Ukraine territories of Eastern Poland and part of Western Russia with population as below;

Lithuania-2,879,070

Latvia-1,995,000

Estonia-1,134,000

Eastern Poland-13,000,000

 Total population loss by Soviet Union Including western Russia-(my estimation) will be in the range of 50,000,000 less population evacuated east during the mass evacuation of industry beyond Ural. This number is unknown but, taking as an example Baltic States, this evacuation did not exceed  20% including mobilized soldiers.

Taking above under consideration, unoccupied Soviet Union population was in the range of 150-160 millions.

Soviet Union industry employed only Soviet Union citizens where  Germany used human resources of entire Europe to supply workforce for German economy.

Where the myth of overwhelming Soviet superiority in numbers come from?



Edited by Goral - 05 Sep 2013 at 17:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harburs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Sep 2013 at 16:12
Your numbers are all estimates and speculation. You need to bear in mind that Soviet soldiers were defending their motherland, but German mercenaries had not such a motivation. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Sep 2013 at 17:32
The axis used part of their ressources both to fight in the west and as reserves. In Norway alone I have seen it was not much less than 300.000 very good standard troops, that basically was "waiting" for eventual invaders to the end. USSR with time received important material assistance from abroad (mainly US and British equipment, weapons etcetera). And the Soviet population and ressources of its west at the beginning of war should not just be "excluded", since it was both part of USSR material ressources at the date of invasion, and base for its manpower, and gave the axis problems and significant losses from day one. They were even a "ressource" for USSR when occupied by germans since there was significant partisan activites. And likewise the german occupied parts of Europe and North Africa was a mixed "blessing": on the one hand a sorce for economic exploitation and to a lesser degree a source of manpower. On the other hand requiring a lot of ressources both material and manpower to hold, to defend and build defences, and some to suppress  any resistance and opposition.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Sep 2013 at 17:37
Originally posted by Harburs Harburs wrote:

Your numbers are all estimates and speculation. You need to bear in mind that Soviet soldiers were defending their motherland, but German mercenaries had not such a motivation. 

No,Harburs, they are not estimates (with the sole exception of 20% evacuated population from Eastern part of Soviet Union. The other numbers are based on relevant censuses.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Sep 2013 at 17:58
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

The axis used part of their ressources both to fight in the west and as reserves. In Norway alone I have seen it was not much less than 300.000 very good standard troops, that basically was "waiting" for eventual invaders to the end. USSR with time received important material assistance from abroad (mainly US and British equipment, weapons etcetera). And the Soviet population and ressources of its west at the beginning of war should not just be "excluded", since it was both part of USSR material ressources at the date of invasion, and base for its manpower, and gave the axis problems and significant losses from day one. They were even a "ressource" for USSR when occupied by germans since there was significant partisan activites. And likewise the german occupied parts of Europe and North Africa was a mixed "blessing": on the one hand a sorce for economic exploitation and to a lesser degree a source of manpower. On the other hand requiring a lot of ressources both material and manpower to hold, to defend and build defences, and some to suppress  any resistance and opposition.

Lend and lease program and war economy is not part of this OP.

It is a common myth, especially in former Axis countries that they have been fighting against vast numerically superior Red Army.

This was not the case in 1941 and 1942. At this time both sides were numerically comparable. Stalin was so short of manpower that  he mobilized women for active service including combat units at the front.

In 1942 there was 800,000 women in Red Army.

Talking about occupation of western Europe, in 1941-42 there was a very little combat units in those countries at that time, only very limited police force were necessary to control local populations.

The drainage of manpower from German army started with operation Torch ( before that Rommel forces in Africa were very limited numerically) and invasion of Sicily.

Norway occupational forces were increased to circa 400000 in 1943 when possibility of Allied invasion  in this region was considered by Hitler as very likely (it was favourite pet plan of Mr. Churchill, never seriously considered by military leaders).

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 2013 at 11:40

Just to put last word regarding numerical strength of German vs. Soviet force, we should compare their numerical strength.

In January 1944 the German Armed forces were at a peak of their manpower strength and numbered (without other axes forces) 9,500,000 soldiers. Approximately 2,500,00 were on Easter Front (surprisingly low number) bolstered by 700,000 anther axes troops.

At the same time, Red Army numbered 6,400,000 (this number include all in total in  at all areas (eg Iran occupation, guarding extensive Soviet border and watching Japanese Army in Northern China

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2013 at 12:32

Myth no 2.

Destruction of  heavy water transport from Norsk Hydro by Norwegian resistance prevent German from building their own nuclear weapon.? This myth (as many other) has been created by film industry. By the way, Heavy water is not necessary to build Uranium nuclear bomb such as Hiroshima bomb. It was necessary to run  nuclear reactors producing plutonium so Nagasaki bomb was created from plutonium manufactured in nuclear reactors modified by Heavy Water.

Refer to

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIIHzpzBErM


In reality, Germany were so far behind that they did not have a chance to create nuclear device for many years.

One of the reason is the expulsion of scientist of Jewish ethnicity from German Universities and in general, emigration of  scientist (see below) from Europe to US.

 

Between 1901 and 1932, Germany had 25 Nobel Laureates in Physics and Chemistry while America had only five.

During the fifty years that followed, Germany had only 13 Nobel Prize winners while America boasted 67.

 

Most prominent Manhattan scientist of European origin;

 

Leo Szilard was born in Budapest, Hungary, on February 11, 1898. He left Germany in 1933 because of anti-Jewish laws. With the news that German with Enrico Fermi, to see if the scientists discovered nuclear fission, Szilard immediately set up a series of experiments, in collaboration theory was correct.

 Enrico Fermi was born in Rome, Italy on 29th September, 1901. Won the Nobel Prize in 1938 and immediately emigrated to America, primarily to escape Mussolini’s fascist dictatorship. He lead the team that created the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

 Stanislaw Ulam was born on April 3, 1909 in Lvov, Poland. He fled Poland in 1939 and found a position at Princeton. Invited by Hans Bethe, he arrived at Los Alamos in 1943. He developed the ‘Monte-Carlo’ method, which greatly aided in creating an atomic bomb

 Albert Einstein born in Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879. In 1933 he renounced his citizenship for political reasons and emigrated to America to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton. He became a United States citizen in 1940.take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton. He became a United States citizen in 1940

Eugene Wigner born in Budapest, Hungary, on November 17, 1902, naturalized a citizen of the United States on January 8, 1937. He worked with Fermi at the Metallurgical Laboratory, from 1942 to 1945 determining whether a fission-induced chain reaction was possible.

 Edward Teller born in Budapest, Hungary in 1908. Immigrated to US 1935 and became a citizen in 1941. Considered, “the father of the hydrogen bomb”, he credits Werner Heisenberg with launching his career in physics.

 Hans Betheborn in Strasbourg, Germany on July 2 1906. He lost his university position because his mother was Jewish, then emigrated to England in October 1933. He moved to Cornell University in the US in 1935. As the director of the theoretical division for the Manhattan Project, his group calculated how much fuel was needed for the bombs.

Emilio Segré was born in Tivoli, Rome, on February 1, 1905. Emigrated to the US in 1938 and lead the Radioactivity Group at Los Alamos. Their discovery of spontaneous fission of plutonium led to the reorganization of the Laboratory in the summer of 1944.

 John von Neumannwas born December 28, 1903 in Budapest, Hungary. He moved to Princeton University in 1930 and in 1943 von Neumann began working on the Manhattan Project, where he tackled the immense calculations required for construction of an atomic bomb.

James Franckwas born in Hamburg, Germany, on August 26, 1882. Escaping Nazi Germany, he ended up as Director of the Chemistry Division of The Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago, which was the center of the Manhattan District’s Project.



Edited by Goral - 14 Sep 2013 at 13:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2013 at 07:45
Myth no.3 The Polish cavalry charge against German tanks

The most likely origin of the myth is a skirmish at the village of Krojanty on the first day of the Nazi invasion of Poland. Polish lancers, whose units had still not been motorised, did indeed charge a Wehrmacht infantry battalion but were forced to retreat under heavy machine gun fire. By the time war correspondents got there, some tanks had arrived and they joined the dots themselves.”
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/06/myth-of-polish-cavalry-charge

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2013 at 12:55

Myth no.4

The Wehrmacht  did not participate in German war crimes.

Please read the  Spiegel (German periodic) article (link below).

How much did the Wehrmacht soldiers know about the Holocaust? Noticeably more than they were later willing to admit. To this day, the Wehrmacht's participation in the Holocaust remains disputed. The exhibition "War of Extermination. The Crimes of the Wehrmacht," which the Hamburg Institute for Social Research took to several German cities between 1995 and 1999, consistently triggered angry protests. Some critics claimed that the entire undertaking was a sham because a few images had not been displayed in the correct chronological order.

The Holocaust is generally mentioned peripherally in the conversations between German soldiers that have now been viewed in their entirety for the first time. It is only mentioned on about 300 pages of the transcripts, which, given the monstrosity of the events, seems to be a very small number.

One explanation could be that not many soldiers knew about what was happening behind the front. Another, much more likely interpretation would be that the systematic extermination of the Jews did not play a significant role in the conversations between cellmates because it had little news value.

When conversations do turn to the extermination process, the emphasis tends to be on questions of practical implementation. There are hardly any passages in which the listeners are surprised by what they are hearing. Almost no one indicates that the stories being told are somehow unbelievable or that he is hearing them for the first time. "It can be concluded that the extermination of the Jews is common knowledge among the soldiers, and to a far greater extent than recent studies on the subject would lead one to expect," write Neitzel and Welzer.

Details of the Holocaust

The transcripts contain comprehensive details about the exterminations, including the mass shootings, the killings with carbon monoxide in specially prepared trucks, and the later disinterment and incineration of the bodies as part of "Operation 1005," with which the SS sought to eliminate the traces of the Holocaust starting in 1943.

Hardly any soldier says that he was directly involved, but many talk about what they saw or heard. The accounts are often astonishingly detailed and, in any case, much more precise than the information German investigators could later glean from witness testimony. In April 1945, Major General Walter Bruns describes what happened during a typical "Jew operation" he witnessed.

Bruns: "The trenches were 24 meters long and about 3 meters wide. They had to lie down like sardines in a can, with their heads toward the middle. At the top, there were six marksmen with submachine guns who then shot them in the back of the neck. It was already full when I arrived, so the ones who were still alive had to lie on top, and then they got shot. They had to lie there in neat layers so that it wouldn't take up too much space. Before this happened, they had to turn in their valuables at another station. The edge of the forest was here, and in here there were the three trenches on that Sunday, and here there was a line that stretched for one-and-a-half kilometers, and it was moving very slowly. They were standing in line to be killed. When they got closer, they could see what was going on inside. Roughly at this spot, they had to hand over their jewelry and their suitcases. A little farther along, they had to take off their clothes, all except their shirts and underpants. It was just women and little children, like two-year-olds."

Of the around 6 million victims of the Holocaust, no more than half died in the death camps. About 3 million people died in the ghettoes or were killed by hand, often by a shot to the back of the neck, which made it necessary to create special firing squads. In principle, soldiers in the Wehrmacht were exempt from performing these tasks, which were handled by special SS units and police battalions.

No Attempt to Keep It Secret

Many of the reports revolve around the unreasonable demands imposed on the marksmen, the monotony of the work, in which the firing squads had to be relieved every few hours "because of overexertion," and the special challenges of this type of piecework. The shooting of small children was seen as problematic, not for ethical reasons but because they wouldn't stand as still as the adults did.

Many Wehrmacht soldiers became witnesses to the Holocaust because they happened to be present or were invited to take part in a mass shooting. In one cell conversation, army General Edwin Graf von Rothkirch und Trach talks about his time in the Polish town of Kutno:

"I knew an SS leader pretty well, and we talked about this and that, and one day he said: 'Listen, if you ever want to film one of these shootings? …I mean, it doesn't really matter. These people are always shot in the morning. If you're interested, we still have a few left over, and we could also shoot them in the afternoon if you like."

It takes some sense of routine to be able to make such an offer. The fact that the people involved did not try to keep their activities a secret demonstrates how much the perpetrators took for granted the "mass shootings of Jews," as one of the POWs in Trent Park called it. In fact, something resembling execution tourism developed in the conquered territories. In addition to soldiers who were stationed nearby, local residents also came to witness the killings, sometimes even bringing along their children.”

 

Please read all part of this article

·                         Part 1: Nazi War Crimes as Described by German Soldiers

·                         Part 2: Allies Hoped to Discover Military Secrets

·                         Part 3: Boasting about Their Exploits

·                         Part 4: 'We Threw Her Outside and Shot at Her'

·                         Part 5: Wehrmacht Soldiers Knew about the Holocaust

·                         Part 6: A Terrifying Social Experiment

 

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/rape-murder-and-genocide-nazi-war-crimes-as-described-by-german-soldiers-a-755385-5.html

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2013 at 13:41

Myth no. 5

Soviet Union was be unable to defeat Germany without L&L materiel.

 

The German campaign on Easter Front was already lost at the end of Barbarossa. Failure of Operation Typhoon confirmed that German war machine was unable to defeat Soviet Union.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2013 at 14:32

Anastasias Mikoyan (Mikoyan's main assignment throughout the war was supplying the Red Army  with materials, food, and other necessities. In practice he was Stalin’s Commissar for war material allocation) admitted that in his estimations, L&L materiel shortened war by at list 18 months.

IMO, the war without L&L for Soviet union will lst much longer and will cost nation of Soviet Union dearly.  There is a high probability that Stalin will not accept such enormous butcher’s bill and could seek negotiated peace with Herr Hitler.

This will radically change history as we know it.



Edited by Goral - 25 Oct 2013 at 14:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 2013 at 05:06
Originally posted by Goral Goral wrote:

<p ="Msonormal">Just to put last word regarding numerical strength of German
vs. Soviet force, we should compare their numerical strength.



<p ="Msonormal">In January 1944 the German Armed forces were at a peak of
their manpower strength and numbered (without other axes forces) 9,500,000
soldiers. Approximately 2,500,00 were on Easter Front (surprisingly low number)
bolstered by 700,000 anther axes troops.



<p ="Msonormal">At the same time, Red Army numbered 6,400,000 (this number
include all in total in  at all areas (eg
<st1:country-region w:st="on">Iran</st1:country-region> occupation, guarding
extensive Soviet border and watching Japanese Army in <st1:place w:st="on">Northern
China</st1:place>. 





Hello Goral

The only time the axis had any parity with the Red army in the east was when Typhoon was launched when the total number of troops was slightly tilted to the German side, particularly after the Vyazma encirclement. However the Red army was still mobalising and we know for sure it mobalised some 9 million men in 41 alone in addition to the 5 million regulars at the start of the war. That's 14 million men the crushing majority of them in the Red Army which is about the same number recruited by the German army throughout the entire war.

As for the 2.5 million you quote above (as well as the 9.5 million which is not accurate), this includes all forces, Heer (army), Luftwaffe (air defense units were attached to the Luftwaffe which had 1 million men in Germany proper by 44), Kriegsmarine and the SS organisation including the dozen or so security divisions. The actual number of combat troops in the east never was more than 2.5 million during the height of Barbarossa. In 44 it was close to 1.9 million.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 2013 at 13:40


Al-Jassas 
The only time the axis had any parity with the Red army in the east was when Typhoon was launched when the total number of troops was slightly tilted to the German side, particularly after the Vyazma encirclement. However the Red army was still mobalising and we know for sure it mobalised some 9 million men in 41 alone in addition to the 5 million regulars at the start of the war. That's 14 million men the crushing majority of them in the Red Army which is about the same number recruited by the German army throughout the entire war
I Have never said that Germany had superiority in number. What I said is that the Red Army did not enjoyed have overwhelming superiority in number. and the human resources of Soviet Union were not much bigger than Axis countries.
Al-Jassas 
As for the 2.5 million you quote above (as well as the 9.5 million which is not accurate), this includes all forces, Heer (army), Luftwaffe (air defense units were attached to the Luftwaffe which had 1 million men in Germany proper by 44), Kriegsmarine and the SS organisation including the dozen or so security divisions. The actual number of combat troops in the east never was more than 2.5 million during the height of Barbarossa. In 44 it was close to 1.9 million.
I said "Armed Forces" that obviously include all branches of military organization such as Luftwaffe SS and Kriegsmarine
The highest number of military personnel on Easter Front was in January 1944 at it was around 3 millions plus 700,000 of other axis countries soldiers.Later that year, after Operation "Bagration" and destruction of German Army Group Mitte, the number dropped to aprox.2 million quoted by you.




Edited by Goral - 01 Nov 2013 at 13:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Nov 2013 at 12:25
Very interesting;
In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the U.S. entry into the war at Pearl Harbor, eminent historians Gerhard Weinberg, William Hitchcock and Mark Stoler discuss popular perceptions of the war and recent research that challenges many of them. They present new insights into the personalities and events of that time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2013 at 05:36
Originally posted by Goral Goral wrote:



The highest number of military personnel on Easter Front was in January 1944 at it was around 3 millions plus 700,000 of other axis countries soldiers.Later that year, after Operation "Bagration" and destruction of German Army Group Mitte, the number dropped to aprox.2 million quoted by you.





Hello Goral

I dug up some numbers for you (well someone else did the painful work I am just merely quoting them and if you want I will PM the link) from different sources (Krivosheev for Soviet strength and Zetterling and others for German and axis) .

The Red Army in 44 had 6.8 million men with lows in that year of 6.3 million after Bagration. Due to attrition, and yes, the sacrifice did start to catch the Soviet Reserves, the numbers peaked again to 6.6 million early in 45 only to drop to 5.7 million with 0.5 million allies (Mostly Poles as you know).

The German figure was highest in Feb. of 44 with 2.4 million for German troops in the east. This number quickly fell by Bagration to 2.1 million due to pressure from the West and South not to mention casualties. It also doesn't include Axis allies but from other sources the Romanians who contributed the most peaked at 400k in Nov 42 and again during the invasion of Romania which started around April 44 when almost all their troops were there and added nothing to German troops in other more important sectors, in fact they were a drain on the Germans anchoring some of the best German armoured units in Romania when they were need the most in Belorussia and Northern Ukraine.

Finally a note on the numbers, these numbers differ widely and are not an accurate portrayal of what was going on on the ground. Just as we know now that only 3.5 million of the 5.5 million Soviet troops were actually deployed to the Front on June 22, 41 and even less when taking the actual number of engaged troops the numbers above vary due to differing definitions between different authors. Soviets and Russian authors tend to exaggerate German troop numbers and usually calculate the nominal strength rather than the actual one while German and western authors try to keep the 3:1 parity as hard as possible and twist numbers to get it. Now the cold war is over the rift is narrowing but will never go.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2013 at 18:57
Hi Jassas
I think that we missed the point. The thread is about myth of overwhelming Soviet numerical superiority over German invaders. I did not want to prove that Germans had a numerical superiority over Soviet Army. They did not. However we must admit that Soviet did not have a massive numerical advantage as many German Army apologist suggest. The numerical advantage of Red Army was achieved by ruthless mobilisation of elderly man (I think that upper age limit for Soviet conscript was 55years . Additionally, Soviet conscripted millions of young women for auxiliary services as well as service in combat units.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Dec 2013 at 13:24
Coming back to myth no1 regarding “overwhelming Soviet numerical Superiority” over invading German and Axis armies I would like to quote “Europe at War” by Norman Davies
‘Soviet statistics were notoriously wayward-perhaps deliberately so. And German estimates of opposing forces invariably exceeded Soviet declarations. Historians have to resort complicated balancing acts.”

Below are his estimates of forces at Eastern Front
June 1941
Red Army 2.9 millions-German estimates thereof 4.7 mln.
German forces 5.5 mln.
German sources 3.2 mln.

July 1943
Red Army 6.44 millions-German estimates thereof 13.2 mln.
German forces 5.32 mln.
German sources 3.1 mln.


January 1945
Red Army 6.0 millions-German estimates thereof 12.4 mln.
German forces 3.1 mln.
German sources 1.8 mln.

As above figures are showing, we can not trust German or Soviet primary sources as they often are tinted with propaganda and self delusion. As Norman Davies said above, only complicated analyses coul estimate a real correlation of force at Eastern Front.
But the German apologist claims about staggering Soviet numerical advantage is a a myth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2013 at 22:45
Myth no. 6
Soviet Union huge oil industry was capable of satisfying needs of Soviet Armed Services during WWII.

At the beginning of WWII, Soviet Air Force was based on aircraft if early and mid 30’s design. This aircraft were designed to use older type of aero engines requiring lower quality of aviation fuel, usually 74 octan gasoline.
The production of up-to-date types of military aircraft such as: Yak-1, MiG-3, and LaGG-3 fighters; the Il-2 ground attack aircraft; and other airplanes whose use demanded they be supplied with quality high-octane gasoline.
In the period from 1 January1939 to 22 June 1941 alone, Soviet domestic aircraft works turned out 17,745 military planes, of which 3,719 were of the latest types with modern engines. At the same time, deliveries of fuels and lubricants from Soviet refineries, which continued to remain stuck at their earlier levels, were unable to satisfy the rapidly growing fuel needs of the Soviet armed forces (including those of the air force) in terms of either quality or quantity.
In 1940, a total of 29,414 million tons of oil was processed at domestic refineries, but only 883,600 tons of aviation gasoline were produced by Soviet refinery due to obsolete technology employed.
Of the 883,600 tons of aviation gasoline produced domestically in 1940, an overwhelming proportion was aviation fuel with low octane numbers of 70 to 74.
This was almost good enough for obsolete domestically-produced aircraft, but it was only 4% of the demand for B-78 aviation gasoline necessary for modern Soviet build aero engines.
(it must be mentioned that 100 octane gasoline was already produced in USA ant this gasoline used by Spitfires engines gave British the edge over Luftwaffe in Battle of England).
It was under unsatisfactory conditions such as these with regard to supplies of aviation gasoline that the Soviet air force entered the initial phase of the World War II on 22 June 1941.
On June 29, 1941, Foreign Minister Molotov sent a telegram to Konstantin Umansky, the then Soviet ambassador to the United States, asking him to explore the possibility of importing warplanes and modern facility to produce high octane fuel for aviation needs.
From June to the end of October 1941, USA delivered 156,335 short tons of aviation gasoline, of which 25,185 tons were avgas with octane numbers above 99; 130,729 tons were avgas with octane numbers from 87 to 99; and 87,421 tons were avgas with octane numbers up to 87.

United States, and Great Britain at a conference held in Moscow on September 29 - October 1, 1941signed protocol (so called First Moscow Protocol) for monthly deliveries of 20,000 tons of petroleum products for the Soviet air forces (high-octane aviation gasoline, octane-boosting avgas additives, and lubricants and motor oils).
At that time, for various reasons, the production of crude oil in Soviet drop from 31 million tons in 1940 to 19.3 million tons in 1945. This aggravated the difficult situation in the oil industry's refining sector, which turned out to be incapable of fully satisfying the growing demand for high-octane aviation gasoline.
For the duration of WWII, 2,159,336 short tons of petroleum products were delivered from the United States. The amount of high-octane aviation gasoline, converted into the metric system, was 1,197,587 tons, including 558,428 tons with octane numbers above 99.
One other important item: the Soviet Union also received 267,088 tons of automotive gasoline; 16,870 tons of kerosene; 287,262 tons of fuel oil; 111,676 tons of lubricants; 5,769 tons of paraffin; 4,788 tons of chemical additives; and 999 tons of other products.
Conclusion; The Soviet Air Force would be greatly handicapped without supply of high octane fuel from Western Allies. It would take a lot of sacrifices to wrestle air superiority from Luftwaffe without these delivers.(They will probably prevail at the end but for enormous human and materiel cost)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2013 at 15:23
Myth no 7

German U-boats were very close to win the Battle of Atlantic and starve Great Britain out of War.

In 1917,during unrestricted submarine warfare of Kaiser U-boats, UK was close to starvation due to U-boat horrendous success in sinking cargo ship bound to UK ports.
This situation was not repeated during WWII.
At no time, during WWII, British supply of food, row materials as well as war materiel was fall below satisfactory level.
British Merchant Navy entered the war with roughly 3000 ship totalling 17.5 million gross register tons . By the end of 11941, with US entering the war,1400 American ships with tonnage of 8.5 million GRT were added to overall strength of merchant fleet. Additional 483 ships has been acquired from German occupied European countries plus 137 ships acquired from requestioned war prizes from the enemy countries.
British yards were building new ships at the rate of 2 mln. GRT. This expansion of Merchant navy more than compensated the losses of 1124 ships (including neutrals sailing with British war cargo), totalling 5.3 million GRT.
As the result,The Merchant Navy effectively increased the size from 3000 ships to3600ships totalling 20.7 mln. GRT (effective increase by 3,2 mln GRT at the beginning of 1941).
After 8 of December the might of American industry, especially modular ship construction devised by Henry Kaiser turn the tide decisively in British favour.
   The major factor in battle of Atlantic was moving the cargo into UK ports. As Clay Blair calculated, 99% of all ships sailing in convoys reached their destination safely. Out of 43526 ships sailed , 272 were sunk by U-boats. This figures do not include ships sailing independently, having left convoys ether to “straggle” (fall behind or to “romp” (sail ahead).
Offcourse there was many sinking of merchant ships by commerce riders, mines and aircrafts but the total sinking never reached the level which would seriously affect British war Effort.
All figures are based on John Keegan "intelligence in War".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Dec 2013 at 11:34
Myth no 8

Allied were capable to win only after assuring overwhelming advantage in materiel and menpower.



As there is an element of truth in this myth the early Allied Victories (decisive for further conduct of war) were achieved with parity or materiel/menpower disadvantage of Allied site.
Most notable Battles won by Allied Forces against stronger or equal Axis opponents;
1.     Battle of England. Luftwaffe was actually stronger numerically than RAF.
2.      The Battle of Moscow first stage (stoping the German Advance-see operation Typhoon) was achieved by Soviet Army despite numerical inferiority to advancing German.
3.     Battle of Midway was won by US Navy despite overwhelming Japanese superiority in the area of operation around Midway Atoll.
4.     Stopping of advancing German 6th Army at the city centre of Stalingrad was achieved by numerically inferior Soviet 62 Army.


Edited by Goral - 30 Dec 2013 at 11:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Dec 2013 at 10:18
To above list Battle of Coral Sea (may 1942) should be added. Japanese Imperial Navy has been forced to retreat despite numerical advantage over US-Australian fleet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Dec 2013 at 19:52
Still, the overall picture, at least after USA became direct participant, is of solid allied superiority: Industrial and agricultural output, manpower, raw matierials (especially oil), territory. The only areas where axis - or rather Germany -  seems to have some superiority:probably some military training and professionalism (though I know less about it), and some technologies (Rocket science).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Dec 2013 at 22:35
Main advantages Germans had was psycological ones; German people's wish for the reckoning of WWI and ideological propaganda. They also played good on presenting themselves as an invincible professional and high tech army. This helped them in battles a lot.
the single postmodern virtue of obsessive egalitarianism
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jan 2014 at 06:52
Originally posted by Goral Goral wrote:

Myth no 8

Allied were capable to win only after assuring overwhelming advantage in materiel and menpower.



As there is an element of truth in this myth the early Allied Victories (decisive for further conduct of war) were achieved with parity or materiel/menpower disadvantage of Allied site.
Most notable Battles won by Allied Forces against stronger or equal Axis opponents;
1.     Battle of England. Luftwaffe was actually stronger numerically than RAF.


Never seen anyone doubt that. In any case you should also mention the high attrition rate in the previous battle of France which denied the Germans even higher superiority. Some of the best German pilots were killed there.

Originally posted by Goral Goral wrote:


2.      The Battle of Moscow first stage (stoping the German Advance-see operation Typhoon) was achieved by Soviet Army despite numerical inferiority to advancing German.


Not exactly. The Germans were only superior after the Viazma encirclement when they were forced to stop at Mozhaysk and Volokolamsk around the 20th of Oct. because of bad weather and road conditions. Then the superiority was about 1.5 to 1. They only began to advance on Moscow again on Nov. 15th. By then the Red army had mustered 58 divisions and 1700 tanks in excess of the 1.2 million men already committed to the battle, the German effective strength was roughly 900k with no reserves.

Originally posted by Goral Goral wrote:


3.     Battle of Midway was won by US Navy despite overwhelming Japanese superiority in the area of operation around Midway Atoll.


The Americans had the same number of air craft carriers and more planes than the Japanese plus additional air craft carriers and submarines in reserve and close to supply stations. It was as Yamamoto himself said a done deal.


Originally posted by Goral Goral wrote:


4.     Stopping of advancing German 6th Army at the city centre of Stalingrad was achieved by numerically inferior Soviet 62 Army.


The 6th army wasn't just fighting the 62nd army, it was fighting Chuikov's 64th, Tolbukhin's 57th and Galanin's 24th and a couple of other armies I forgot. The battle for the city itself was only conducted by a small segment of the 6th army, the LI and part of the XIVs army corps. The rest of the 6th army forces were fending off attacks north and South of the City.

Al-Jassas
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jan 2014 at 08:46
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

Still, the overall picture, at least after USA became direct participant, is of solid allied superiority: Industrial and agricultural output, manpower, raw matierials (especially oil), territory. The only areas where axis - or rather Germany -  seems to have some superiority:probably some military training and professionalism (though I know less about it), and some technologies (Rocket science).



Very true.
But until second half of 1942, the Axis war machine enjoyed advantages and most of battles fought at that time were characterised by Axis dominance or at least parity in manpower and materiel (if not quantity that for sure quality). Than, in second half of 1942 the industrial might of USA change this equation dramatically.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jan 2014 at 09:16
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by Goral Goral wrote:

Myth no 8

Allied were capable to win only after assuring overwhelming advantage in materiel and menpower.

As there is an element of truth in this myth the early Allied Victories (decisive for further conduct of war) were achieved with parity or materiel/menpower disadvantage of Allied site.
Most notable Battles won by Allied Forces against stronger or equal Axis opponents;
1.     Battle of England. Luftwaffe was actually stronger numerically than RAF.


Never seen anyone doubt that. In any case you should also mention the high attrition rate in the previous battle of France which denied the Germans even higher superiority. Some of the best German pilots were killed there.


So were allied pilots taking part in Battle of France. Attrition of RAF was as high as Luftwaffe.
Quote

Originally posted by Goral Goral wrote:


2.      The Battle of Moscow first stage (stoping the German Advance-see operation Typhoon) was achieved by Soviet Army despite numerical inferiority to advancing German.


Not exactly. The Germans were only superior after the Viazma encirclement when they were forced to stop at Mozhaysk and Volokolamsk around the 20th of Oct. because of bad weather and road conditions. Then the superiority was about 1.5 to 1. They only began to advance on Moscow again on Nov. 15th. By then the Red army had mustered 58 divisions and 1700 tanks in excess of the 1.2 million men already committed to the battle, the German effective strength was roughly 900k with no reserves.



Right, for counteroffensive Soviet regained numerical advantage. But at the Gate of Moscow they have been numerically inferior and still manage to stop advancing Germans. The myth of bed weather is used as an excuse for Axis apologist. The weather was equally bad on both side of frontlines.
Quote

Originally posted by Goral Goral wrote:


3.     Battle of Midway was won by US Navy despite overwhelming Japanese superiority in the area of operation around Midway Atoll.


The Americans had the same number of air craft carriers and more planes than the Japanese plus additional air craft carriers and submarines in reserve and close to supply stations. It was as Yamamoto himself said a done deal.


interesting.
I always thought that 4 is not equal 3+2. (3 US Carriers vs 4 heavy +2 light Japanese carriers). Japanese Carrier based aircraft were better than US airplanes (this changed dramatically later in the war)

Correlation of forces was as below;
US Navy
3 carriers
~7 heavy cruisers
1 anti-aircraft cruiser
15 destroyers
233 carrier-based aircraft
127 land-based aircraft
16 submarines
Japanese Imperial Navy
4 carriers
2 battleships
~15 support ships
248 carrier-based aircraft[
16 floatplanes

Did not take part in battle (clear Japanese mistake and bad tactical management)
2 light carriers
5 battleships
~41 support ships
 
Quote

Originally posted by Goral Goral wrote:


4.     Stopping of advancing German 6th Army at the city centre of Stalingrad was achieved by numerically inferior Soviet 62 Army.


The 6th army wasn't just fighting the 62nd army, it was fighting Chuikov's 64th, Tolbukhin's 57th and Galanin's 24th and a couple of other armies I forgot. The battle for the city itself was only conducted by a small segment of the 6th army, the LI and part of the XIVs army corps. The rest of the 6th army forces were fending off attacks north and South of the City.



For the record. Chuikov was commanding 62 Army (not 64).
62 Army was defending crucial City Centre and at the beginning of battle was 54,000 strong. German 6th Army assigned 25 divisions with over 100,000 men against this Army only.-Source "Hitler War on Russia" by C.D.Winchester
Quote

Al-Jassas
 
OBS:
Edited for correct syntax on the "quote's" - improving readability.
 
~ North


Edited by Northman - 03 Jan 2014 at 04:37
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