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Did Stalin plan WW2 to take over Europe?

January 14 2012 at 7:31 PM
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johnUK  (Login Holytsar)

 
Institute for Historical Review

Institute for Historical Review

New Evidence on the 1941 'Barbarossa' Attack:
Why Hitler Attacked Soviet Russia When He Did

  • Stalins Falle: Er wollte den Krieg ("Stalin's Trap: He Wanted War"), by Adolf von Thadden. Rosenheim: Kultur und Zeitgeschichte/Archiv der Zeit, 1996. Hardcover. 170 pages. Photos. Bibliography.
Reviewed by Daniel W. Michaels

Until his death in July 1996, Adolf von Thadden was a prominent and respected figure in German "right wing" or "nationalist" (conservative) circles.note 1 In this, his final book, this prolific writer concisely and cogently explains why Hitler was compelled, for both political and military reasons, to launch his preemptive strike against the Soviet Union when and how he did. "Stalin's Trap" is also his final legacy to future generations, a sort of testament to young Germans.

For decades the prevailing and more or less official view in the United States and Europe has been that a race-crazed Adolf Hitler, without warning or provocation, betrayed a trusting Josef Stalin by launching a treacherous surprise attack against the totally unprepared Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Von Thadden's book -- which is based in large part on recently uncovered evidence from Russian archives, Stalin's own statements, and new revelations of Russian military specialists -- persuasively debunks this view.

Many Soviet documents captured by the Germans during the course of the war, as well as German intelligence reports on the Soviet buildup in 1941, amply justify Hitler's decision to strike. Presented before an impartial tribunal, this evidence surely would have exonerated the German military and political leadership. Unfortunately, all of these documents were confiscated and kept by the victorious Allies.

In his lengthy December 11, 1941, speech declaring war against the United States, Hitler described in detail the Soviet menace, which was being aided and abetted by Britain and the (still officially neutral) USA. In this historic Reichstag address, the German leader said:note 2

"Already in 1940 it became increasingly clear from month to month that the plans of the men in the Kremlin were aimed at the domination, and thus the destruction, of all of Europe. I have already told the nation of the build-up of Soviet Russian military power in the East during a period when Germany had only a few divisions in the provinces bordering Soviet Russia. Only a blind person could fail to see that a military build-up of unique world-historical dimensions was being carried out. And this was not in order to protect something that was being threatened, but rather only to attack that which seemed incapable of defense ...

"When I became aware of the possibility of a threat to the east of the Reich in 1940 through [secret] reports from the British House of Commons and by observations of Soviet Russian troop movements on our frontiers, I immediately ordered the formation of many new armored, motorized and infantry divisions ...

"We realized very clearly that under no circumstances could we allow the enemy the opportunity to strike first into our rear. Nevertheless, the decision in this case was a very difficult one ...

"A truly impressive amount of authentic material is now available that confirms that a Soviet Russian attack was intended. We are also sure about when this attack was to take place. In view of this danger, the extent of which we are perhaps only now truly aware, I can only thank the Lord God that He enlightened me in time, and has given me the strength to do what must be done. Millions of German soldiers may thank Him for their lives, and all of Europe for its existence.

"I may say this today: If the wave of more than 20,000 tanks, hundreds of divisions, tens of thousands of artillery pieces, along with more than 10,000 airplanes, had not been kept from being set into motion against the Reich, Europe would have been lost ..."

During the great Nuremberg trial of 1945-1946, former high-level Third Reich officials testified about the background to the Barbarossa attack, describing the Soviet threat in 1941, and the staggering amounts of war materiel they encountered after their forces penetrated Soviet territory. But this evidence was brusquely dismissed by the Tribunal's Allied-appointed judges.

Von Thadden cites, for example, the Nuremberg testimony of Hermann Göring:note 3

"We learned very quickly, through our close relations with Yugoslavia, the background of General Simovic's coup [in Belgrade on March 27, 1941]. Shortly afterwards it was confirmed that the information from Yugoslavia was correct, namely, that a strong Russian political influence existed, as well as extensive financial assistance for the undertaking on the part of England, of which we later found proof. It was clear that this venture was directed against the friendly policy of the previous Yugoslav government toward Germany ...

"The new Yugoslav government, quite obviously and beyond doubt, clearly stood in closest relationship with the enemies we had at that time, that is to say, England and, in this connection, with the enemy to be, Russia.

"The Simovic affair was definitely the final and decisive factor that dispelled the Führer's very last scruples about Russia's attitude, and prompted him to take preventive measures in that direction under all circumstances."

As von Thadden also relates, General Alfred Jodl, one of Hitler's closest military advisors, similarly testified before the Nuremberg Tribunal about Germany's "Barbarossa" attack: (note 4)

"It was undeniably a purely preventive war. What we found out later on was the certainty of enormous Russian military preparations opposite our frontier. I will dispense with details, but I can only say that although we succeeded in a tactical surprise as to the day and the hour, it was no strategic surprise. Russia was fully prepared for war."

Allied authorities at Nuremberg denied to the German defendants access to the documents that would have exonerated them.note 5 Germany's military and political leaders were hanged, committed suicide, or were deported to the Soviet Union for slave labor or execution. As a result, the task of setting straight the historical record has been left to others, including scholars in Russia and the United States, as well as such honorable Germans as von Thadden.

Further evidence cited by von Thadden about the German-Russian clash was provided by Andrei Vlassov, a prominent Soviet Russian general who had been captured by the Germans. During a conversation in 1942 with SS general Richard Hildebrandt, he was asked if Stalin had intended to attack Germany, and if so, when. As Hildebrandt later related:

"Vlassov responded by saying that the attack was planned for August-September 1941. The Russians had been preparing the attack since the beginning of the year, which took quite a while because of the poor Russian railroad network. Hitler had sized up the situation entirely correctly, and had struck directly into the Russian buildup. This, said Vlassov, is the reason for the tremendous initial German successes."

No one has done more than Viktor Suvorov (Vladimir Rezun), a one-time Soviet military intelligence officer, to show that Stalin was preparing to attack Germany and the West as part of a long-range project for global Sovietization, and that Hitler had no rational alternative but to counter this by launching his own attack. (note 6) In "Stalin's Trap," von Thadden discusses and confirms Suvorov's analysis, while also citing the findings of other Russian military historians who, working in archives accessible only since 1990, support and elaborate on Suvorov's work. These include retired Soviet Colonel Aleksei Filipov, who wrote "The Red Army's State of War Preparedness in June 1941," an article published in 1992 in the Russian military journal, Voyenni Vestnik, and Valeri Danilov, another retired Soviet Colonel, who wrote "Did the General Staff of the Red Army Plan a Preventive Strike Against Germany?," which appeared first in a Russian newspaper, and later, in translation, in the respected Austrian military journal, Österreichische Militärische Zeitschrift.

On the 46th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe, the influential Moscow daily Pravda (May 8, 1991) told readers:

"Unrealistic [Soviet] plans of an offensive nature were drawn up before the war as a result of an overestimation of our own capabilities and an underestimation of the enemy's. In accordance with these plans we began deploying our forces on the western frontier. But the enemy beat us to it."

More recently, two prominent European historians, one German and one Austrian, have presented further evidence of Soviet preparations for an attack against Germany. The first of these is Joachim Hoffmann, who for many years was a historian with the renowned Military History Research Center in Freiburg. He lays out his evidence in Stalins Vernichtungskrieg, 1941-1945 ("Stalin's War of Annihilation"), a work of some 300 pages that has appeared in at least three editions. The second is Heinz Magenheimer, a member of the Academy of National Defense in Vienna, and an editor of the Österreichische Militärische Zeitschrift. His detailed book has recently appeared in English under the title Hitler's War: German Military Strategy, 1940-1945 (London: 1998).

Von Thadden also reviews a series of articles in the German weekly Der Spiegel about Soviet plans, worked out by General Georgi Zhukov, to attack northern Germany and Romania in early 1941. Commenting on this, Colonel Vladimir Karpov has stated:

"Just imagine if Zhukov's plan had been accepted and implemented. At dawn one morning in May or June thousands of our aircraft and tens of thousands of our artillery pieces would have struck against densely concentrated enemy forces, whose positions were known down to the battalion level -- a surprise even more inconceivable than the German attack on us."

Stalin's Speeches

Von Thadden cites and quotes at length from several speeches by Stalin, as well as from an order he issued in 1943. According to the author, these show that Stalin -- like his predecessor, Lenin -- always considered war to be the ultimate vehicle by which to promote world Communist revolution and usher in the global dictatorship of the proletariat.

Perhaps the most revealing of these speeches is Stalin's address to a Politburo meeting on August 19, 1939. Delivered to an intimate circle of associates, it shows his astute but utterly cynical evaluation of political forces, and reveals his cunning foresight. (To this writer's knowledge, no American historian has yet taken public notice of this speech.)

Stalin delivered this speech just as Soviet officials were negotiating with British and French representatives about a possible military alliance with Britain and France, and as German and Soviet officials were discussing a possible non-aggression pact between their countries. Four days after this speech, German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop met with Stalin in the Kremlin to sign the German-Soviet non-aggression pact.

It is important to point out here that Stalin could have prevented war in 1939 by agreeing to support Britain and France in their "guarantee" of support to Poland, or simply by announcing that the Soviet Union would firmly oppose any violation by Germany of Polish territory. He decided instead to give Hitler a "green light" to attack Poland, fully anticipating that Britain and France would then declare war on Germany, making the localized conflict into a full-scale, Europe-wide war.

In this speech, Stalin laid out his shrewd and calculating view of the European situation:

"The question of war or peace has entered a critical phase for us. If we conclude a mutual assistance pact with France and Great Britain, Germany will back off from Poland and seek a modus vivendi with the Western powers. War would be avoided, but down the road events could become dangerous for the USSR. If we accept Germany's proposal and conclude a non-aggression pact with her, she will of course invade Poland, and the intervention of France and England in that would be unavoidable. Western Europe would be subjected to serious upheavals and disorder. Under those conditions, we would have a great opportunity to stay out of the conflict, and we could plan the opportune time for us to enter the war.

"The experience of the last 20 years has shown that in peacetime the Communist movement is never strong enough to seize power. The dictatorship of such a party will only become possible as the result of a major war.

"Our choice is clear. We must accept the German proposal and politely send the Anglo-French mission home. Our immediate advantage will be to take Poland to the gates of Warsaw, as well as Ukrainian Galicia ...

"For the realization of these plans it is essential that the war continue for a long as possible, and all forces, with which we are actively involved, should be directed toward this goal ...

"Let us consider a second possibility, that is, a victory by Germany ... It is obvious that Germany will be too occupied elsewhere to turn against us. In a conquered France, the French Communist Party will be very strong. The Communist revolution will break out unavoidably, and we will be able to fully exploit this situation to come to the aid of France and make it our ally. In addition, all the nations that fall under the "protection" of a victorious Germany will also become our allies. This presents for us a broad field of action in which to develop the world revolution.

"Comrades! It is in the interest of the USSR -- the workers' homeland -- that war breaks out between the Reich and the capitalist Anglo-French block. Everything should be done so that this drags out as long as possible with the goal of weakening both sides. For this reason, it is imperative that we agree to conclude the pact proposed by Germany, and then work that this war, which will one day be declared, is carried out after the greatest possible passage of time..."

The Soviet leader's daring calculation to use Germany as an "icebreaker" for war was, von Thadden says, "Stalin's trap."

A version of this speech has been known since 1939, but for decades it has been widely dismissed as a fraud. However, in 1994 Russian historians found an authoritative text of it in a special secret Soviet archive, and quickly published it in a prominent Russian scholarly journal, as well as in an academic publication of Novosibirsk University.(note 7) Shortly after this August 1939 speech, von Thadden points out, Stalin ordered a two-year military mobilization plan, a massive project that culminated in the summer of 1941 with powerful Soviet forces poised to strike westwards against Germany and the rest of Europe.

On May 5, 1941, just seven weeks before the German attack, Stalin delivered another important speech, this one at a ceremonial banquet in the Kremlin to graduates of the Frunze Military Academy. Also attending were the members of Stalin's "inner circle," including Molotov and Beria. During the war, von Thadden relates, the Germans reconstructed the text of this speech based on recollections of captured Soviet officers who had attended the banquet.

As von Thadden notes, a number of historians have predictably denied its authenticity, rejecting it as a product of German propaganda disinformation. However, several years ago Russian historian Lev Bezymensky found the text of a portion of the speech, which had been edited for anticipated publication, in Kremlin archives. He published this text in a 1992 issue of the scholarly journal Osteuropa.

In this speech, Stalin stressed that the recent peaceful policy of the Soviet state had played out its role. (With this policy, the Soviet Union had greatly extended its borders westward in 1939 and 1940, absorbing some 30 million people.) Now, Stalin bluntly announced, it was time to prepare for war against Germany, a conflict that would begin soon. He cited the tremendous buildup of Soviet military power, both in quantity and quality, during the last few years. The recent German "occupation" of Bulgaria, and the transfer of German troops to Finland, he went on, are "grounds for war against Germany."

Stalin said:

"Our war plan is ready ... We can begin the war with Germany within the next two months ... There is a peace treaty with Germany, but this is only a deception, or rather a curtain, behind which we can openly work ...

"The peaceful policy secured peace for our country ... Now, however, with our reorganized army, which is technologically well prepared for modern warfare, now that we are strong, we must now go from defense to attack.

"In fully defending our country, we are obliged to act offensively. We most move from defense to a military policy of offensive action. We must reorganize our propaganda, agitation, and our press in an offensive spirit. The Red Army is a modern army, and a modern army is an offensive army.

"The motto of a peaceful policy of the Soviet government is now out of date, and has been overtaken by events ... A new era in the development of the Soviet state has begun, the era of the expansion of its borders, not, as before, through a peaceful policy, but rather by force of arms. Our country has available all the necessary conditions for this.

"The successes of the German army are due to the fact that it has not encountered an equally strong opponent. Some Soviet commanders have falsely overestimated the successes of the German army ...

"Therefore, I propose a toast to the new era that has dawned in the development of our socialist fatherland. Long live the active offensive policy of the Soviet state!"

In the face of all the new evidence that has become available in recent years, von Thadden contends here, obviously it will be necessary to reexamine the long-standing official interpretation of the war.

To shore up the beleaguered "establishment" view of the Hitler-Stalin clash, a group of concerned scholars met at an international conference in Moscow in 1995. Historians from Europe, Israel, the United States and Canada met with their Russian counterparts to coordinate the "official" line, in both Russia and the West, on the German-Russian clash and its origins. These historians simply ignored most of the abundant and growing body of evidence for the revisionist view of this chapter of history, including the Stalin speeches and other evidence cited by von Thadden, or the recent substantiating findings of Russian historians.

To show that even "establishment" scholars can change their view about this chapter of history, von Thadden cites French historian Stéphane Courtois. (note8)

"I work for a reevaluation of Stalin. He was the greatest criminal of this century. But at the same time he was the century's greatest politician: its most competent and most professional. He understood best of all how to utilize all means in the service of his goals. From 1917 onwards, he had a global vision, and sticking to his project, he achieved it ... Of course, one can easily say that Hitler unleashed the war. But the evidence of Stalin's responsibility is shattering. Stalin wanted to eradicate anyone who opposed the Marxist-Leninist social order."

"Because of the resistance of German soldiers," concludes von Thadden, "the Russians and the Anglo-American 'liberators' met each other not in western Europe, but rather on the Elbe in central Germany."

 

Notes

1. Von Thadden wrote numerous articles and essays, and was a co-publisher of the Coburg monthly Nation und Europe. Other books by him include Zwei Angreifer: Hitler and Stalin, 1993; Adolf Hitler, 1991; Die verfemte Rechte, 1984; Guernica: Greuelpropaganda oder Kriegsverbrechen?

2. "Hitler's Declaration of War Against the United States," The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1988-89 (Vol. 8, No. 4), pp. 389-416.

3. This portion of Göring's testimony, given on March 15, 1946, is in the IMT "blue series" (Nuremberg), vol. 9, pp. 333-334. On March 27, 1941, Serbian officers in Belgrade, with backing from Britain, and possibly also the United States, overthrew the pro-German Yugoslav government of prime minister Cvetkovic. The new government, headed by General Simovic, quickly concluded a pact with Moscow. The subsequent German invasion of Yugoslavia, launched on April 6, delayed the Barbarossa attack against the USSR by several weeks. See: Germany and the Second World War (Oxford Univ. Press: 1995), vol. 3, pp. 480, 498, 499.

4. This portion of Jodl's testimony, given on June 5, 1946, is in the IMT "blue series," vol. 15, pp. 394-395.

5. See David Irving's study, Nuremberg: The Last Battle, reviewed in the July-August 1998 Journal of Historical Review. See also, M. Weber, "The Nuremberg Trials and the Holocaust," Summer 1992 Journal, pp. 167-213.

6. Suvorov's first three books on World War II have been reviewed in The Journal of Historical Review. The first two, Icebreaker and "M Day," were reviewed in Nov.-Dec. 1997 Journal (Vol. 16, No. 6), pp. 22-34. His third book, "The Last Republic," was reviewed in the July-August 1998 Journal (Vol. 17, No. 4), pp. 30-37.

7. A portion of this speech is quoted in part in the Nov.-Dec. 1997 Journal of Historical Review, pp. 32-34, and in the July-August 1998 Journal, p. 31.

8. Works by Courtois include Histoire du parti communiste français (1995), L'etat du monde en 1945 (1994), Rigueur et passion (1994), 50 ans d'une passion française, 1991), Qui savait quoi? (1987), and, perhaps best known, Le livre noir du communisme: Crimes, terreur, repression (1997).


About the Author

Daniel W. Michaels retired from the US Department of Defense after 40 years of service. He is a Columbia University graduate (Phi Beta Kappa, 1954), and a Fulbright exchange student to Germany (1957). He writes from his home in Washington, DC.


From The Journal of Historical Review, May-June 1999 (Vol. 18, No. 3), pp. 40 ff.


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johnUK
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Russian Specialist Lays Bare Stalin's Plan to Conquer Europe

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January 14 2012, 7:37 PM 

Institute for Historical Review

Institute for Historical Review

Review

Russian Specialist Lays Bare Stalin's Plan to Conquer Europe

  • Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?, by Viktor Suvorov (Vladimir Rezun). London: Hamish Hamilton, 1990. Hardcover. Maps. Photos. Source references. Index.
Reviewed by Joseph Bishop

It sometimes happens that the most significant historical works are virtually ignored by the mainstream press, and consequently reach few readers. Such is the case with many revisionist studies, including this important work by a former Soviet military intelligence officer who defected to the West in 1978. Even before the appearance of this book, he had already established a solid reputation with the publication of five books, written under the pen name of Viktor Suvorov, on the inner workings of the Soviet military, and particularly its intelligence operations.

In Icebreaker Suvorov takes a close look at the origins and development of World War II in Europe, and in particular the background to Hitler's "Operation Barbarossa" attack against the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Since its original publication in Russian (entitled Ledokol) in France in 1988, it has been published in an astonishing 87 editions in 18 languages. In spite of its importance to the historical record, Icebreaker has received very little attention in the United States. The few reviews that have appeared here have been almost entirely brief and dismissive -- a shameful treatment that reflects the cowardice and intellectual irresponsibility of a "politically correct" scholarly establishment.

According to the conventional view, Hitler's perfidious attack abruptly forced a neutral and aloof Soviet Russia into war. This view further holds that a surprised Stalin had naively trusted the deceitful German Führer. Rejecting this view as political propaganda, Suvorov shows Stalin's personal responsibility for the war's outbreak and progression. Above all, this book details the vast Soviet preparations for an invasion of Europe in the summer of 1941 with the goal of Sovietizing central and western Europe. Suvorov is not alone in his view. It is also affirmed by a number of non-Russian historians, such as American scholar R. H. S. Stolfi in his 1991 study Hitler's Panzers East: World War II Reinterpreted (reviewed by me in the Nov.-Dec. 1995 Journal).

In spite of rigid Soviet censorship, Suvorov has succeeded in digging up many nuggets of valuable information from publicly available Soviet writings that confirm his central thesis. Icebreaker is based on the author's meticulous scouring of such published sources as memoirs of wartime Soviet military leaders, and histories of individual Soviet divisions, corps, armies, fleets, and air units.

'Second Imperialist War'

A central tenet of Soviet ideology was that the Soviet Union, as the world's first Marxist state and bulwark of "workers' power," would eventually liberate all of humanity from the yoke of capitalism and fascism (the "last resort of monopoly capitalism"). While Soviet leaders might disagree about the circumstances and timing of this process of global liberation, none doubted the importance of this objective. As Suvorov notes: "For Lenin, as for Marx, world revolution remained the guiding star, and he did not lose sight of this goal. But according to the minimum program, the First World War would only facilitate a revolution in one country. How, then, would the world revolution take place thereafter? Lenin gave a clear-cut answer to this question in 1916: as a result of the second imperialist war ..."

Initially the "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" was made up of only a handful of constituent republics. Lenin and the other Soviet leaders intended that more republics would be added to the USSR until it encompassed the entire globe. Thus, writes Suvorov, "the declaration accompanying the formation of the USSR was a clear and direct declaration of war on the rest of the world."

Hitler understood this much better than did the leaders of Britain, France or the United States. During a conversation in 1937 with Lord Halifax, one of Britain's most important officials, he said: "In the event of a general war [in Europe], only one country can win. That country is the Soviet Union." In Icebreaker, Suvorov explains how in 1939 Stalin exploited the long-simmering dispute between Germany and Poland over Danzig and the "Polish Corridor" to provoke a "second imperialist war" that would enormously expand the Soviet empire.

Stalin anticipated a drawn-out war of attrition in which Germany, France and Britain would exhaust themselves in a devastating conflict that would also spark Communist uprisings across Europe. And as the Soviet premier expected, "Icebreaker" Germany did indeed break up the established order in Europe. But along with nearly everyone else outside of Germany, he was astonished by the speed and thoroughness with which Hitler subdued not only Poland, but also France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Yugoslavia and Greece. Dashing Kremlin expectations that a "second imperialist war" would quickly usher in a Soviet Europe, by July 1940 Hitler was effectively master of the continent.

Soviet Preparations

Throughout history, every army has had a basic mission, one that requires corresponding preparations. An army whose mission is basically defensive is accordingly trained and equipped for defensive war. It heavily fortifies the country's frontier areas, and employs its units in echeloned depth. It builds defensive emplacements and obstacles, lays extensive minefields, and digs tank traps and ditches. Military vehicles, aircraft, weapons and equipment suitable for defending the country are designed, produced and supplied. Officers and troops are trained in defense tactics and counter-offensive operations.

An army whose mission is aggressive war acts very differently. Officers and troops are trained for offensive operations. They are supplied with weapons and equipment designed for attack, and the frontier area is prepared accordingly. Troops and their materiel are massed close to the frontier, obstacles are removed, and minefields are cleared. Maps of the areas to be invaded are issued to officers, and the troops are briefed on terrain problems, how to deal with the population to be conquered, and so forth.

Carefully examining the equipping, training and deployment of Soviet forces, as well as the numbers and strengths of Soviet weaponry, vehicles, supplies and aircraft, Suvorov establishes in great detail that the Red Army was organized and deployed in the summer of 1941 for attack, not defense.

Peculiar Tanks

Germany entered war in 1939 with 3,195 tanks. As Suvorov points out, this was fewer than a single Soviet factory in Kharkov, operating on a "peacetime" basis, was turning out every six months.

By 1941 everyone recognized the tank as the primary weapon of an army of attack in a European land war. During this period, Suvorov shows, the Soviets were producing large quantities of the well armed "Mark BT" tank, predecessor of the famed T34 model. "BT" were the initials for the Russian words "high speed tank." The first of this series had a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour, impressive even by today's standards. But as Suvorov goes on to note, this weapon had a peculiarity:

"Having said so many positive things about the numbers and quality of Soviet tanks, one must note one minor drawback. It was impossible to use these tanks on Soviet territory ...Mark BT tanks could only be used in an aggressive war, only in the rear of the enemy and only in a swift offensive operation, in which masses of tanks suddenly burst into enemy territory ...

"The Mark BT tanks were quite powerless on Soviet territory. When Hitler began Operation Barbarossa, practically all the Mark BT tanks were cast aside. It was almost impossible to use them off the roads, even with caterpillar tracks. They were never used on wheels. The potential of these tanks was never realized, but it certainly could never have been realized on Soviet territory. The Mark BT was created to operate on foreign territory only and, what is more, only on territory where there were good roads ...

"To the question, where could the enormous potential of these Mark BT tanks be successfully realized, there is only one answer: in central and southern Europe. The only territories where tanks could be used, after their caterpillar tracks were removed, were Germany, France and Belgium ... Caterpillar tracks are only a means for reaching foreign territory. For instance, Poland could be crossed on caterpillar tracks which, once the German autobahns had been reached, could then be discarded in favor of wheels, on which operations would then proceed ...

"It is said that Stalin's tanks were not ready for war. That was not so. They were not ready for a defensive war on their own territory. They were, however, designed to wage war on others."

Airborne Assault Corps

Similarly designed for offensive war are paratroops. This most aggressive form of infantry is employed primarily as an invasion force. Germany formed its first airborne assault units in 1936, and by 1939 had 4,000 paratroops. And the USSR? Suvorov explains: "By the beginning of the war [1939], the Soviet Union had more than one million trained paratroopers -- 200 times more than all other countries in the world put together, including Germany.... It is quite impossible to use paratroopers in such massive numbers in a defensive war.... No country in history, or indeed all countries in the world put together, including the Soviet Union, has ever had so many paratroopers and air assault landing sub-units as Stalin had in 1941."

As part of the planned invasion, in early 1940 orders were given for large-scale construction of airborne assault gliders, which were produced in mass quantity from the spring of 1941 onward. The Soviets also designed and built the remarkable KT "winged tank." After landing, its wings and tailpiece were discarded, making the KT instantly ready for combat. The author also describes a variety of other offense-oriented units and weapons, and their deployment in June 1941 in areas and jumping-off points right on the frontiers with Germany and Romania. All these weapons of offensive war became instantly useless following the Barbarossa attack, when the Soviets suddenly required defensive weapons.

Suvorov tells of a secret meeting in December 1940 attended by Stalin and other Politburo members at which General Pavel Rychagov, deputy defense minister and commander of the Soviet air force, discussed the details of "special operations in the initial period of war." He spoke of the necessity of keeping the air force's preparations secret in order to "catch the whole of the enemy air force on the ground." Suvorov comments:

'It is quite obvious that it is not possible to 'catch the whole of the enemy air force on the ground' in time of war. It is only possible to do so in peacetime, when the enemy does not suspect the danger.

"Stalin created so many airborne troops that they could only be used in one situation: after a surprise attack by the Soviet air force on the airfields of the enemy. It would be simply impossible to use hundreds of thousands of airborne troops and thousands of transport aircraft and gliders in any other situation."

Suvorov also reports on the dismantling in June 1941 of the Soviet frontier defense systems, and the deployment there of masses of troops and armor poised for westward attack.

Stalin Preempted

During the period just prior to the planned Soviet invasion, the USSR's western military districts were ordered to deploy all 114 divisions, then stationed in the interior, to positions on the frontier. Thus, remarks Suvorov, June 13, 1941, "marks the beginning of the greatest displacement of troops in the history of civilization."

Such a massive buildup of forces directly on the frontier simply could not be kept secret. As Suvorov notes, Wilhelm Keitel, Field Marshal and Chief of Germany's armed forces High Command, spoke about the German fears during a postwar interrogation: "All the preparatory measures we took before spring 1941 were defensive measures against the contingency of a possible attack by the Red Army. Thus the entire war in the East, to a known degree, may be termed a preventive war ... We decided ... to forestall an attack by Soviet Russia and to destroy its armed forces with a surprise attack. By spring 1941, I had formed the definite opinion that the heavy buildup of Russian troops, and their attack on Germany which would follow, would place us, in both economic and strategic terms, in an exceptionally critical situation ... Our attack was the immediate consequence of this threat ..."

In 1941, Admiral N. G. Kuznetsov was the Soviet Navy minister, as well as a member of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party. In his postwar memoirs, published in 1966, he recalled: "For me there is one thing beyond all argument -- J. V. Stalin not only did not exclude the possibility of war with Hitler's Germany, on the contrary, he considered such a war ... inevitable ... J. V. Stalin made preparations for war ... wide and varied preparations -- beginning on dates ... which he himself had selected. Hitler upset his calculations."

Suvorov comments:

"The admiral is telling us quite clearly and openly that Stalin considered war inevitable and prepared himself seriously to enter it at a time of his own choosing. In other words, Stalin was preparing to strike the first blow, that is to commit aggression against Germany; but Hitler dealt a preventive blow first and thereby frustrated all Stalin's plans ...

"Let us compare Keitel's words with those of Kuznetsov. Field Marshal Keitel said that Germany was not preparing an aggression against the Soviet Union; it was the Soviet Union which was preparing the aggression. Germany was simply using a preventive attack to defend itself from an unavoidable aggression. Kuznetsov says the same thing -- yes, the Soviet Union was preparing for war and would inevitably have entered into it, but Hitler disrupted these plans with his attack. What I cannot understand is why Keitel was hanged [at Nuremberg], and Kuznetsov was not."

Suvorov believes that Hitler's preemptive strike came just two or three weeks before Stalin's own planned assault. Thus, as Wehrmacht forces smashed Soviet formations in the initial weeks of the "Barbarossa" attack, the Germans marveled at the great numbers of Soviet tanks and other materiel destroyed or captured -- an enormous buildup sufficient not just for an assault on Germany, but for the conquest of all of Europe. Suvorov writes

"Hitler decided that it was not worth his while waiting any longer. He was the first to go, without waiting for the blow of the 'liberating' dagger to stab him in the back. He had begun the war in the most favorable conditions which could possibly have existed for an aggressor; but given the nature of Stalin's grand plan, he could never have won it. Even in the most unfavorable conditions, the Red Army was able to 'liberate' half of Europe ..."

As devastating as it was, Hitler's assault was not fatal. It came too late to be successful. "Even the Wehrmacht's surprise attack on the Soviet Union could no longer save Hitler and his empire," Suvorov writes. "Hitler understood where the greatest danger was coming from, but it was already too late." With great effort, the Soviets were able to recover from the shattering blow. Stalin succeeded in forming new armies to replace those lost in the second half of 1941.

As Suvorov repeatedly points out, the widely accepted image of World War II, and particularly of the roles of Stalin and Hitler in the conflict, simply does not accord with reality:

"In the end ... Poland, for whose liberty the West had gone to war, ended up with none at all. On the contrary, she was handed over to Stalin, along with the whole of Eastern Europe, including a part of Germany. Even so, there are some people in the West who continue to believe that the West won the Second World War.

"... Stalin became the absolute ruler of a vast empire hostile to the West, which had been created with the help of the West. For all that, Stalin was able to preserve his reputation as naive and trusting, while Hitler went down in history as the ultimate aggressor. A multitude of books have been published in the West based on the idea that Stalin was not ready for war while Hitler was."

A Soviet Europe?

An intriguing historical "what if" is to speculate on the fate of Europe if Stalin, and not Hitler, had struck first. For example, a less rapidly successful German campaign in the Balkans in the spring of 1941 could have forced the postponement of Barbarossa by several weeks, which would have enabled Stalin to strike the first blow.

Could German forces have withstood an all-out Soviet assault, with tens of thousands of Soviet tanks and a million paratroopers? With the advantage of striking first, how quickly could Stalin have reached Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Rome and Madrid? Suvorov writes:

"It would be a mistake to underestimate the enormous strength and vast resources of Stalin's war machine. Despite its grievous losses, it had enough strength to withdraw and gather new strength to reach Berlin. How far would it have gone had it not sustained that massive blow on 22 June, if hundreds of aircraft and thousands of tanks had not been lost, had it been the Red Army and not the Wehrmacht which struck the first blow? Did the German Army have the territorial expanse behind it for withdrawal? Did it have the inexhaustible human resources, and the time, to restore its army after the first Soviet surprise attack?"

Partially answering his own question, Suvorov states: "If Hitler had decided to launch Operation Barbarossa a few weeks later, the Red Army would have reached Berlin much earlier than 1945."

Suvorov even presents a hypothetical scenario of a Soviet invasion and occupation of Europe, replete with Stalinist terror and oppression:

"The [Soviet] troops meet endless columns of prisoners. Dust rises on the horizon. There they are, the oppressors of the people -- shopkeepers, bourgeois doctors and architects, farmers and bank employees. The Chekists' [NKVD] work will be hard. Prisoners are cursorily interrogated at every stopping place. Then the NKVD investigates each one in detail, and establishes the degree of his guilt before the working people. But by now it has become necessary to expose the most dangerous of the millions of prisoners: the former Social Democrats, pacifists, socialists and National Socialists, former officers, policemen and ministers of religion.

"Millions of prisoners have to be sent far away to the east and the north, in order to give them the opportunity, through honest labor, to expiate their guilt before the people ..."

In Suvorov's scenario, a camp called Auschwitz is captured early on by the advancing Soviets. In response to the question, "Well, what was it like in Auschwitz, pal?," a Red Army man replies: "'Nothing much, really' The worldly-wise soldier in his black jacket shrugs his shoulders. 'Just like at home. Only their climate is better'."

Actually, "what if" historical speculation is normally uncertain because key factors are often simply imponderable. In this case, one such factor is Soviet morale. While it is certainly true that Soviet troops fought bravely and tenaciously in 1941-1943 defending their home territory, they may not have fought with the same fervor and morale in an invasion of Europe. The tenacity and endurance shown by Red Army troops in Hungary and Germany in 1944 and 1945 is not necessarily indicative, because these soldiers were bitterly mindful of more than two years of savage fighting against the invaders, and of stern occupation, on their home territory.

Another imponderable is the response of Britain and the United States to an all-out Soviet invasion of Europe. If Soviet forces had struck westward in July 1941, would Britain and the United States have sided with Stalin and the USSR, or would they have sided with Hitler and Germany, Italy, France, Romania, Finland, Hungary, Denmark, and the rest of Europe? Or would Roosevelt and Churchill have decided to remain aloof from the great conflict?

Anyway, when Hitler did launch his preemptive strike against Soviet Russia, Roosevelt and Churchill immediately sided with Stalin, and when the Red Army took half of Europe in 1944-45, neither the British nor the American leader objected.

What can now be stated with certainty -- thanks to the work of Suvorov and other revisionist historians -- is that in smashing the great Soviet military buildup in 1941, Hitler dashed Stalin's plan to quickly conquer Europe, and that, in spite of his defeat in 1945, Hitler saved at least the western half of Europe, and tens of millions of people, from the horrors of Soviet subjugation.


The Author

Joseph Bishop studied history and German at a South African university. Currently employed in a professional field, he resides in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and three children.


From The Journal of Historical Review, Nov.Dec. 1997 (Vol. 16, No. 6), pp. 22.


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Mihail
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January 15 2012, 11:11 AM 

It is common knowledge in Russia, that Stalin intended to launch a pre-emptive war against Hitler, and indeed Soviet forces were being arrayed to attack Germany. This is why there were so many Soviet casualties in the first months of the war, because the Soviet forces were preparing to attack and not defend. Overall, this Stalin's "the best defense is attack" strategy was completely correct in view of Hitler's pre-planned "Libenstraum" aggressive strategy to take over the USSR and all the Slavic countries and turn all Slavs into slave labour (which he made no secret of), but the timing was wrong, had Stalin attacked sooner, it is likely that the war would have been over in less than a year, there would be much fewer casualties (both on the Soviet and German sides), and the entire Europe would have been under Soviet control. Which means no EU, and no NWO. British and Amerikkkan influence in Europe would have been minimalized, and we would have had a more-or-less united Eurasia. The world would have likely been a much better place. Even the Germans would be much better off, since Stalin never considered Germans to be an inferior race, like Hitler considered the Slavs to be.

 
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johnUK
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Re: Did Stalin plan WW2 to take over Europe?

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January 15 2012, 6:42 PM 

It is common knowledge in Russia, that Stalin intended to launch a pre-emptive war against Hitler, and indeed Soviet forces were being arrayed to attack Germany.

Then that is another thing to have looming over Russias head that it was responsible for WW2 along with the Circassian genocide occupation of the Caucasus and the Caucasus war and raids and capture of Central Asia.

The WW2 myth is what gets Russia together as a unified country under a joint ideology.

Like the enforced guilt of Srebrenica hanging over the heads of Serbs for which they cannot take action against there own domestic Muslim population or Kosovo the same can be said of Russia and her western neighbours and Muslim immigrant populations from Central Asia and the Caucasus.

This is why Russia needs to be dismantled along favourable lines and new countries created and identification of Russians as new ethnic groups.

..had Stalin attacked sooner, it is likely that the war would have been over in less than a year, there would be much fewer casualties (both on the Soviet and German sides), and the entire Europe would have been under Soviet control. Which means no EU, and no NWO.

I dont think a global terrorist police state Communist system would have been preferable to the NWO who as Stalins murder showed would have been NWO anyway.

 
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Mihail
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January 16 2012, 3:24 PM 

You sound like a NWO-apologist or a CIA agent. Stalin's system was a bit harsh, but those were harsh times, and with such countries as a unified Germany, Italy and France in our camp it could have evolved into something bigger and better. One thing for sure, is that we would have no gay pride parades in Europe today, Islamic immigration into Europe would be banned, and Europe's cultural values (that today have been torn to shreds by the criminal Anglo-Amerikkkan elite) would be preserved. If you don't believe me just look at Eastern Europe, under USSR's leadership--no muslim immigration (muslim religion in fact was basically banned), no gay pride parades, and cultural and historical values were promoted. Just look how many people the NWO has murdered in Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc... It's one big terrorist machine--and now its willing to murder Amerikkkan citizens without trial or jury (in Stalin's time at least some semblance of due process was in order). But the real difference between Stalin and the current criminal anglo-amerikkkan oligarchs is that Stalin had principles and ideals, while the current anglo-amerikkkan mass murderers have neither, and are just thieving thugs. Stalin built a powerful empire, he brought education and health care to millions of people who had neither, he lifted dozens of millions of people out of poverty. The current anglo-amerikkkan elite has done just the opposite, destroying the middle class in the West, and plunging millions of people into new poverty, destroying health care system and making it affordable to the select few, and degrading the educational system, all the while murdering millions abroad. So whose rule is worse? Stalin who built an empire, or the current anglo-amerikkkan elite that's in the process of destroying one.

You can't rewrite history, nor can you destroy Russia--as much as you try. We are not Serbia, precisely because we can nuke your terrorist NWO empire to h*ll. Nor is there any damocles sword hanging over our heads, as long as our nukes are operational, and have the cities of your criminal empire in their sights. Serbia is a defeated country--it was militarily defeated by NATO. Russia is an undefeated country. This is the difference. It's amazing that you still don't get this obvious point.

It is fact that Hitler attacked the USSR first, and was going to attack it, whether Stalin would launch his pre-emptive attack or not. It is also well known that the British supported Hitler. So the true criminals are the anglo-amerikkkan elite, that supported and appeased Hitler.

What you don't understand is that history is written by winners, and your crumbling NWO is in no position right now to rewrite history. One day, not too far from now, your mass-murdering Bushs, Obamas, Klintoons along with the Soroses, Rothchilds, Rockefellers and company will be remembered for crimes similar to Hitler's, but only after your NWO is completely destroyed and dismantled, and the anglo-amerikkkan oligarchs brought to justice. We'll start dismantling your empire with the crisis-ridden EU!!! Your empire is crumbling on its own, so all Russia has to do is to nudge it in the proper direction, to make it crumble in such a way, as is in our interests, and prevent it from doing something dangerous and homicidal (like attacking Syria or Iran).

 
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johnUK
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Re: Did Stalin plan WW2 to take over Europe?

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January 16 2012, 8:12 PM 

You sound like a NWO-apologist or a CIA agent. Stalin's system was a bit harsh, but those were harsh times, and with such countries as a unified Germany, Italy and France in our camp it could have evolved into something bigger and better.

It would never had worked as you would have needed a police state apparatus to simply keep it in line just like the USSR not to mention the massive amount of foreign subversion like what was done with East Germany.

One thing for sure, is that we would have no gay pride parades in Europe today, Islamic immigration into Europe would be banned, and Europe's cultural values (that today have been torn to shreds by the criminal Anglo-Amerikkkan elite) would be preserved. If you don't believe me just look at Eastern Europe, under USSR's leadership--no muslim immigration (muslim religion in fact was basically banned), no gay pride parades, and cultural and historical values were promoted.

Yes but they also didnt have any national identity our culture to speak off which everyone hated the USSR and I will remind you that Russians post Soviet problems were based on the foundations laid by the Communist regime especially in the 1980s.

Just look how many people the NWO has murdered in Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc... It's one big terrorist machine--and now its willing to murder Amerikkkan citizens without trial or jury (in Stalin's time at least some semblance of due process was in order).

Apart from Iraq and Serbia all those people and places help support Chechen jihadists over Russia. And how many people did the Soviet murder and kill?

Communism killed over 100 million people.

But the real difference between Stalin and the current criminal anglo-amerikkkan oligarchs is that Stalin had principles and ideals, while the current anglo-amerikkkan mass murderers have neither, and are just thieving thugs.

What principles and ideas that of Lenin and Marx?

Stalin built a powerful empire, he brought education and health care to millions of people who had neither, he lifted dozens of millions of people out of poverty.

Only due to America industrial input during WW2 and poverty only to an extent.

The current anglo-amerikkkan elite has done just the opposite, destroying the middle class in the West, and plunging millions of people into new poverty, destroying health care system and making it affordable to the select few, and degrading the educational system, all the while murdering millions abroad. So whose rule is worse? Stalin who built an empire, or the current anglo-amerikkkan elite that's in the process of destroying one.

Cmon now the US economic system that is not used as a weapon against target countries has lifted more people out of poverty. Look at the former USSR or West Germany compared to East or South Korea compared to North.

Chinas economic boom was due to implementing US free market reforms.

You can't rewrite history, nor can you destroy Russia--as much as you try. We are not Serbia, precisely because we can nuke your terrorist NWO empire to h*ll. Nor is there any damocles sword hanging over our heads, as long as our nukes are operational, and have the cities of your criminal empire in their sights. Serbia is a defeated country--it was militarily defeated by NATO. Russia is an undefeated country. This is the difference. It's amazing that you still don't get this obvious point.

Russian society has become rotten to the core with the post Soviet decimation of the country and simmering separatist movements and with no good political movement or ideology to replace Putin centralise system that keeps the country together.

It is either far left anarchists or idiotic nationalist/fascist right who are far worse then even the left.

It is fact that Hitler attacked the USSR first, and was going to attack it, whether Stalin would launch his pre-emptive attack or not. It is also well known that the British supported Hitler. So the true criminals are the anglo-amerikkkan elite, that supported and appeased Hitler.

Yes but you admitted it was a pre-emptive strike that Stalin was planning to overrun Europe.

What you don't understand is that history is written by winners, and your crumbling NWO is in no position right now to rewrite history.

But you agreed with the article I posted as well as the Circassian genocide which will be a major thing they can used against Russia that this Anton Surikov character was helping to promote. Cherkees are Circassians right?

[linked image]
Anton Surikov -- Mansour Nathoev
Rt. Colonel of GRU, commander of the "security service" of the Cherkess Congress. Received special training in guerilla war and psychological operations.

One day, not too far from now, your mass-murdering Bushs, Obamas, Klintoons along with the Soroses, Rothchilds, Rockefellers and company will be remembered for crimes similar to Hitler's, but only after your NWO is completely destroyed and dismantled, and the anglo-amerikkkan oligarchs brought to justice. We'll start dismantling your empire with the crisis-ridden EU!!! Your empire is crumbling on its own, so all Russia has to do is to nudge it in the proper direction, to make it crumble in such a way, as is in our interests, and prevent it from doing something dangerous and homicidal (like attacking Syria or Iran).

The Mafia which is controlled by western intelligence and has a large investment in the global economy already will take control in which the hidden Empire will be stronger than ever.

No way will the US allow Russia or China become a dominant player in the global stage that why they are preparing for WW3 now that they have all the pieces in place.

 
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Mihail
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January 17 2012, 2:25 PM 

We'll see. You greatly overestimate US and its capabilities and underestimate Russia and China. You also greatly underestimate the extreme financial and economic problems facing the US and EU, that Putin talks about in his pre-election article (too bad there is no translation available--he really puts things in perspective), and the total incompetence of the anglo-amerikkkan criminal oligarchy. I doubt very much that US will launch WWIII, because neither Obama nor Romney are suicidal. They don't even have the courage to attack Syria or Iran, with Obama backing down from even holding joint military maneuvers with Israel, in the face of resurgent Iran. Basically the US is yesterdays super-power. It is becoming weaker and weaker by the year, mired deeper and deeper in fundamental economic meltdown, out of which there is no hope of emerging. Read what LaRouche thinks about this. He also seems to agree with what I and Putin believe about Russia being resurgent, and US declining, under the criminal oligarchical elite. But LaRouche is hysterical about WWIII--I believe that this is exaggerated. Putin said it perfectly--the US is no longer able to maintain global stability, while Russia and China are not yet able to maintain it.

But US is in no shape to fight WWIII. According to the New York times, it would face very serious casualties even in a war against Iran, with many of its warships and aircraft carrier being sunk in a naval excercises, simulating Iranian corvette attack on the US navy with Russian-made Yakhont supersonic anti-ship missiles that can evade Aegis system.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/13/world/middleeast/us-warns-top-iran-leader-not-to-shut-strait-of-hormuz.html?emc=eta1


Against Russia, even in a purely conventional war, US would face crippling casualties from Russian Yakhont cruise missiles and Iskanders, its aircraft would be blown right out of the sky with S-300, S-400 systems, and Russia's Su-27's and Mig-29's and if we add the nuclear element, US would face total annihilation. The AMD defense is all hype, and everyone knows it. That's why neither Obama, nor Romney will launch WWIII, you will see. And if they don't launch, it is only a matter of time before US slowly melts down, becoming a second tier power.


The latest news is that the US is withdrawing over 10,000 troops from Europe. Hardly an appropriate way to prepare for WWIII, don't you think--they will only have 30,000 US troops in Europe left. Should be no match for Russia's almost 1 million man army, especially with Europeans not very enthusiastic about fighting for a criminal anglo-american oligarchy, and also scaling back their defenses. The US ABM defense is all hype, with latest tests proving that new Russian nuclear ballistic missiles with maneuverable warheads could overcome it, while Yakhont cruise missiles could easily sink the Aegis cruisers maintaining the defenses, while the Iskanders could take out the land ABM targets and can be fitted with tactical nuclear warheads (BTW there is a top secret new Iskander-K which could launch nuclear tipped intermediate-range ground-to-ground cruise missiles, but even regular Iskander ballistic tactical missiles are capable of in-flight evasive maneuvers).

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/14/world/europe/europe-weighs-implications-of-shrinking-us-troop-presence.html?scp=31&sq=Iran%20wargames&st=cse


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9K720_Iskander

 
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