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Guest Post: Russia’s World War II Experience Needs To Be Better Understood

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Submitted by Brad Shaeffer

Russia’s World War II Experience Needs To Be Better Understood

I’m not sure what prompted me to consider this subject on my commute this morning, but it probably has to do with my reflecting on Memorial Day just passed.  That and the fact that crude oil continues to trade around $100/bbl and the implications for energy prices going forward—for the consumer and the countries who supply them.  One of those countries is Russia which produces 12% of the world’s oil.  As one whose company sometimes does business with Russian firms, I’ve found it helpful to understand their mind-set as I do any foreign customer whose worldview originates from a different vantage point than my own.  And one thing I have learned is that the Russian historical narrative of World War II is far different than ours.  I must say that when it comes to what they once referred to as “The Great Patriotic War” their memories are more accurate in my view.
 
It has been an article of faith among many Americans, young and old, that the United States “won” World War II.  And clearly our contribution in men and materiel was indispensable to the Allied victory…especially in the Pacific of course.  But because of Cold War tensions immediately following the end of the conflict, Americans were never really given an accurate portrayal of how the victory in Europe against Nazi Germany went down.  This is by no means a shot at our brave veterans who fought and suffered and left behind their heroic comrades in the deserts of Africa, the mountains of Italy, the fields of France, the canals of Holland, or the snows of the Ardennes.  But the simple fact is that eight out of ten Wehrmacht personnel were killed by the Red Army.  And the Russians in turn suffered an astounding 23 million dead in just four years repelling the German invaders who launched what would result in, by far, the largest and bloodiest land battles in human history.  That is just under 14% of their total population.  Every family in that country was impacted by the war in some way.  It is the equivalent of us suffering an unexpected invasion by a massive army hell bent on our annihilation and being forced to fight in a war in which almost 42 million Americans lose their lives.  When you consider the national trauma we felt at the murder of 3,000 of our fellow citizens on 9/11, the psychological impact of our absorbing such a blow as did Russia in the 1940s would be unimaginable.

The costliest battle the US fought in the war, the Battle of the Bulge, resulted in 90,000 American casualties (19,000 KIA) in fighting throughout the winter of 1944-45.  This is a noble and ghastly sacrifice no doubt.  However, in just the first twenty days of  “Operation Barbarossa,” the German code-word for the 3.9 million man, 3,600 tank, 2,900 aircraft  blitzkrieg across 600 miles of the Russian frontier launched on June 22, 1941, the Red Army suffered over  two million killed…that is 100,000 deaths every day for just the first three weeks of the war.

The ferocity and cold blooded brutality of the Ostheer (Germany’s Eastern Front army)  attack on Russia was unlike anything our armed forces would ever face on a mass scale, save perhaps the American experience against the vicious Japanese onslaught in the Philippines.  The general order passed down just prior to the invasion by the German High Command Chief of Staff, General Halder, echoing the words of Hitler at a pre-invasion meeting of some 200 senior officers, best sums up the tone of the war in the East.  “We must forget the concept of comradeship between soldiers…This is a war of annihilation.  The war will be very different than that in the West.  In the East, harshness today means lenience in the future.  Commanders must make the sacrifice of overcoming their personal scruples.” [My emphasis added].

By 1945 when their soldiers stood upon a conquered pile of smoking rubble and corpses that was once the Nazi capital of Berlin – the taking of which would cost the Russians yet another 300,000 lives – the Soviet Union could count their dead at over fifty-five times those of their US allies. In that time the Red Army had pushed the Ostheerback 1,300 miles from the Volga River and engaged and destroyed over 600 German divisions as compared to 175 on the Western Front…formations that Hitler could not commit to repel the Western Allies in Normandy.  One wonders how the war in Europe would have played out had the Soviet-German Non-aggression Pact remained in place.  But with two of the world’s most brutal and megalomaniacal dictators with two of the world’s most powerful armies facing each other, the war in the East was a fait accompli—which though a catastrophe for both nations, was a blessing to the American, British, and Canadian troops who landed against a much weaker opponent on D-Day than would have otherwise been the case.

It is an old axiom that the war in Europe was won with British brains, American brawn, and Russian blood.  A lot of Russian blood.  The names of Smolensk, Minks, Kiev, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Kursk, Sevastopol. and a thousand other lesser known locales are written in the blood of their people.  This very real history to them is what drove what we in the U.S. often viewed during the Cold War as manic Soviet paranoia.  Unfortunately it was Stalin’s cynical excuse for drawing his iron curtain around the satellite states of the Warsaw Pact to provide a buffer should any nation cast its coveting eyes towards Russia again.

By no means am I excusing communist barbarism and have written many times about my unwavering conviction that communism was the single worst evil of the 20th Century.  Indeed Josef Stalin needs to be remembered in our schools and universities for what he was: the greatest mass murderer in human history.  But one can both put Soviet communism in its proper place while at the same time honor the very real heroism and sacrifice of the millions of Russians who fought not for the Georgian butcher, but to repel the brutal invaders from their motherland.   To deny this history is to place one at a disadvantage when dealing with those with whom we must share this world.  Especially in this age of globalization and ever growing energy inter-dependence.

As is the case throughout the Allied world, the Russian veterans of the war are dying off at an accelerated rate.  Still, the scars left by that conflict remain and indeed are much deeper to that nation than we can possibly fathom. Given the immensity of their suffering and their over-weighted responsibility for crushing Hitler and his legions at the cost of tens of millions of their own citizens, it is understandable that the Russians may still be wary of certain segments of the West that brought them so much misery in the past.

 

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Wed, 06/08/2011 - 01:52 | 1349745 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Stalin's ghost would be helpfull. However Mikhail Gorbachev, is among the living.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 06:45 | 1349989 max2205
max2205's picture

And if we didn't do anything to Stalin, why are we going to murder Gadafi??!!! We bully the weak and pander to real murderers

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 08:10 | 1350136 Sam Clemons
Sam Clemons's picture

Isn't that the exact nature of bullies?  Won't pick a fight that isn't easy to win.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:46 | 1350785 narapoiddyslexia
narapoiddyslexia's picture

Anyone wishing to understand the Russo-German War of 1943 needs to read Why The Allies Won, by Richard Overy, Norton, 1995. 'Nuff said.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:52 | 1351134 caconhma
caconhma's picture

This is another piece of the past Soviet propaganda. It is indeed true that more than 30 millions Soviet people perished during the WWII. It is also true that Soviets defeated the NAZI Germany.

But it also true that

  • The Stalin communist & sadist & imperialist regime started the WWII. Remember that Soviets were expelled from The League of Nations (LON) for its aggressive war against Finland.
  • It was Stalin who signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact to start the WWII and to usurp Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, parts of Poland,  Romania, and later the entire Europe
  • Stalin was prepared to attack Germany. It is not a secret any more. Stalin started the general & total mobilization for a war 8 months before the Nazi invasion. It was Stalin who massed the 7 millions strong Red Army on the German boarder with 15,000+ tanks, 17,000+ combat air-crafts, and ~400 divisions (verces 200 German divisions). The Stalin armies were positioned for an attack, so, there were no  preparations for any defense. If Stalin built its defences as he did under Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, the NAZI invasion would be stopped on the Soviet boarder without the human catastrophe for the Soviet people.
  • The Stalin regime did not want peace. It was preparing for endless wars. Stalin militarized the Soviet economy in early 1930s preparing for aggressive wars.
  • As a matter of fact, the Blitzkrieg tactic and strategy was not developed by Germans. It was developed by Soviets in late 1920. The Germans learned it from Soviets. Remember that after the WWI Germany could not have an army and air-force, consequently, Wehrmacht secretly trained in USSR.
  • Finally, why was the Nazi invasion so successful in spite of the overwhelming Soviet military capabilities and manpower? There are two reasons: (1) Nazi army was better trained (2) Soviet Red army did not want fight for sadistic Soviet dictator Stalin and his jewish commissars. This is why, when Nazi were close to Moscow, Stalin appeal to the Russian patriotism. He called Russian people to fight and save the Russia Motherland and he succeeded.
Wed, 06/08/2011 - 13:53 | 1351608 Matxeu
Matxeu's picture

Coincidentally, my perusals this week revolve around the unspoken truths of WWII.  Any reads you recommend?

 

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 16:09 | 1352215 Jaciems
Jaciems's picture

source?

i have trouble believing some of this especially "As a matter of fact, the Blitzkrieg tactic and strategy was not developed by Germans. It was developed by Soviets in late 1920. The Germans learned it from Soviets. Remember that after the WWI Germany could not have an army and air-force, consequently, Wehrmacht secretly trained in USSR."

unlike the germans, the russians didnt mass their tanks together, they split em up throughout different divisions which goes against blitzkrieg tactics and is one of the reasons they got raped by ze germans so youre saying that the ruskies developed a great strategy which they didnt even bother using? their tanks didnt even have 2 way radios which was essential for blitzkrieg....

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 16:24 | 1352265 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Fuller did pioneering work that was later taken up by Guderian. Tukhachevsky did independently develop a theory of "Deep Operations"....

It is ironic that even as late as Jan. 44 (Cherkassy), the Soviets were leery of "Deep Operations" after getting back slapped by Manstien in early '43... Blitzkrieg only works if an armoured counter riposte is not possible... Cobra and subsequent breakout is perhaps the best example. Hell, the Germans almost got their heads cut off at Arras in 1940...  

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 20:57 | 1353175 A Broken Bear
A Broken Bear's picture

Largely Spot on (disagree with the Blitzkrieg) How do you capture and kill so many soldiers if you caught the Soviets by surprise. Clearly the Soviets were massing together and there is sufficient evidence to support the arguement that Hitler simply pre-empted Stalins attempted invasion.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 09:00 | 1350287 Doode
Doode's picture

First accurate account of what really happened in the WW2 I have read in years. Great job Mr. Schaeffer! Saving Private Ryan while was well intentioned skewed perception of the general public in a very disturbing way.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 09:53 | 1350526 Living_Stone
Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:00 | 1350880 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

 

The only History that Americans need to understand when it comes to Tyler and his People are!

 

1.       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2LG-ASco6o

2.       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=429l13dS6kQ

3.       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coiTJbr9m04

 

 

That is ALL the information that any American with a Brain needs to know. For those that think I am kidding.. you are fucking sheep!

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 13:49 | 1351604 He_Who Carried ...
He_Who Carried The Sun's picture

I think that's bullish for treasuries, is it?

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 13:39 | 1351554 He_Who Carried ...
He_Who Carried The Sun's picture

Who is this Brad Shaeffer anyway? A Journalist? A quick google search brought up a lot of plumbing services...

When I read stuff like "The ferocity and cold blooded brutality of the Ostheer (Germany’s Eastern Front army)  attack on Russia was unlike anything our armed forces would ever face on a mass scale, save perhaps the American experience against the vicious Japanese onslaught in the Philippines." 

Then it is immediately clear from what heavily biased "school" of thinking he comes from. Do you know how many Russian soldiers wore German uniforms even before they "defected" to the Germans? They were ordered to infiltrate German positions and kill as many as possible. This is in part what Hitler referred to: The Red Army would not adhere to western style of warfare at no point. A lesson already learnt during the Finnish campaign and earlier during the fighting in the Baltics 1918/19. The casualty ratio at the Eastern Front was 4,8:1 - You wouldn't want to suggest that this reflects the high regard of human life among Russian leadership, would you? They did not care about a simple soldiers life with the Kommissars from well behind pointing loaded machineguns at their back to hinder defection! Another thing learnt in 1918/1919.

Besides, Mr. Shaeffer, I don't like your tone. Do you think that throwing atomic bombs on civilian population was not VICIOUS, not "cold blooded brutality"? Mymy! What do you know about real warfare or for that matter of its history? Not much, I suppose!
Learn to read French, German, Italian and last not least some Russian and get a hold of some first hand accounts. If you mention the Battle Of The Bulge only, you don't do justice to those who have fallen in Italy which has seen very "vicious" fighting from both sides as well.
Now, of course did the victory provide a lifeline to subsequent Russian Dictators. Perhaps From what we know today: The British should have allowed the Germans to take St.Petersburg in 1919 and Patton should have marched on in 1945. A lot of blood and tears could have been spared. My five cents.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 01:39 | 1349749 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Singapore +15.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:44 | 1349797 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

lol + Y/C...  

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:54 | 1349803 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Thank you? Are we good? I really respect your input. You are Damn smart!

    YEN   I am +15! no joke.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 01:39 | 1349751 fxrxexexdxoxmx
fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

The loss of life by soldiers of Stalin's paradise might have been lessened had military commanders not shot infantry who hesitated when attacking armoured vehicles with handguns.

Sending infantry against mechanized armor simply to eliminate the number bullets available to the Germans might have also lessened the deaths of those who fought for family and home under Stalin.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 03:55 | 1349845 A Man without Q...
A Man without Qualities's picture

The policy of executing soldiers that had become detached from the main body, on the basis that they might be spies meant that once you were cut off, you were screwed.  When Paulus' sixth army was encircled at Stalingrad, there were 50,000 Russians in German uniform, who had decided to defect rather than face a bullet from the NKVD.

As an amateur student of the eastern campaigns in both wars, it always stuns me how more brutal the fighting was and how the Russians were repeatedly burdened by poor leadership.  Once stunning example of this, which was a major contribution to the massive casualties at the start of Operation Barbarossa, was Stalin's state of denial that the Germans had attacked, such that he refused to order his airforce to take off and launch counterattacks.

But we should never ignore the significance of the American supplies shipped to Russia by the heroes of the Arctic convoys.  Particularly the felt boots and the supply trucks, which were vital to the Russian army.

If anyone wants to read a good book on Operation Barbarossa, I'd recommend "war without Garlands," by Robert Kershaw, though it is more concerned with the German experience...

http://www.amazon.com/War-Without-Garlands-Operation-Barbarossa/dp/07110...

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:17 | 1350661 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

Russia's smartest most experienced generals were eliminated in the purges of the late 30s. Since then evidence has come out that the German secret service made up a lot of phony incriminating documents and planted them in Russia, in other words the Germans used Stalin's paranoia to liquidate the generals and leaders they feared most.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 09:33 | 1350423 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

It would also have helped Russia to have not agreed with Hitler on the partitioning of Poland, giving Nazis territory right up to Russia's borders. In fact, simply by not believing Hitler and instead arming themselves to fight Germany in Poland she would have done alot to reduce her own casualties. Then, there's the purging of the Russian military shortly before the war that left her with damned few competent commanders, competent ones being the most feared as agents of revolution. Of course, with millions of citizens for cannon fodder, why risk overthrow from competent generals just because they're capable of winning more with less? The sad truth is that Stalin trusted Hitler above his own military, and that desire to hold onto power nearly lost an entire nation.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:08 | 1350917 Vacca
Vacca's picture

I believe Stalin was worried that Japan was going to launch an attack in the East and he didn't want to fight a war on two fronts. That would explain why he tried to appease Hitler in the west. When Japan refused to follow Hitler into Russia, a lot of Stalin's military was freed up.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 15:09 | 1351932 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

The premise of "Japan following Hitler into Russia" presumes an overarching plan within the axis to defeat Russia, orchistrated by Hitler, which some on this board deny. Whether Stalin's military was ultimately freed up without an eastern front against Japan is not material to Stalin's plans since Stalin had no say in it; it was the US and China who took Japan's eye off the ball. Stalin got lucky. Luck is not a strategy.

Maybe if the US had not entered the war after Pearl the USSR would have been partitioned, and China defeated by Japan as well, if that was Japan's choice. With the necessary resourced being secured on the continent and most fighting to be done on land, who could have stopped the Imperial Japanese Army push into Asia? 

If Stalin was worried about Japan he would have had no choice but to prepare to fight two fronts, but apparently he failed to even prepare for one UNLESS the unfathomable loss of life was coldly calculated.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 13:51 | 1351599 He_Who Carried ...
He_Who Carried The Sun's picture

Since Poland gave the pretext for declaring war on Germany, why do you think has war not been declared on Russia, who - from a Polish point of view - were just as much agressors violating international law as were the Germans? Start thinking!

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 15:11 | 1351954 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

I'd like to reply but I can't make out your point.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:16 | 1350962 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture

the slaaughter doesn't make sense.  all those potential borrowers and credit card holders..........gone.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 01:50 | 1349752 10kby2k
10kby2k's picture

The perception that Pearl Harbor was unprovoked (embargo was placed on Japan prior) to motivate a country (United States) to enter a war to which they were ambivalent is in the same vain that Russia (which initially greeted Germans as liberators--until they took their food and raped their women), forced the Germans into winter where they were decisively pushed back and eventually defeated. I believe that the real depiction of history is that Americans didn't want war (until we forced the Japanese to attack) and that the Russians were given 13 counties (the iron curtain) during the Yalta conference for being the key in the Germans defeat.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:09 | 1349769 XenoFrog
XenoFrog's picture

Keep in mind that the embargo was well earned, as Imperial Japan was gobbling up oil to keep their war machine in China going.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 03:59 | 1349847 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Xeno, point taken, but the embargo went way beyond the US refusing to sell oil to Japan.  We threatened other nations, especially Mexico and Holland after they began inking deals with the Japanese following our unilateral embargo.  That was what pushed them into the Dutch East Indies and a Pacific War, when they had been steadfastly gearing up for a war against the Soviets.  The time to stop them/embargo them/punish them would have been following the Mukden Incident in '33 but since we wanted no part in the League of Nations, their resolution of condemnation went unheeded - largely because the US insisted on selling the banned materials to Japan even past the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, the sinking of the Panay and the Rape of Nanjing.  The best treatment on this is a book called "Bankrupting the Enemy" (Edward S. Miller), which lays out a solid case that the US baited Japan into conflict throughout the 30s as a ploy for market control in China and general Pacific hegemony, but got in way over our heads ie tweaked the tail of the samurai.  Miller's not a fringe author - he wrote the definitive work on America's War Plan Orange and (I believe) was an oil executive for many years before retiring to his scholarly pursuits.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:31 | 1350717 snowball777
snowball777's picture

That you believe most of Eastern Europe was there to be "given" at Yalta speaks volumes as to your predisposed perspective of American exceptionalism.

What's the real distinction between the US stealth support of the German war machine and their stealth support of Mujahadeen in Afghanistan?

Where would the US be today, if the rest of her competitors had not been monkeyhammered and forced to turn on bended knee to the US in order to rebuild?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vXleoEBDho

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:07 | 1350902 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

it is like the Drill Baby Drill Crowd.. why would we want to be the only Country left with a Large supply of Oil in the end?

 

DUUHHHHHHHHH?!! I dont know George?? why would we?

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:09 | 1350922 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

what we suffer is a HUGE number, better yet what we drown in.. what saturates our every fucking pore.. is stupid, a bunch of fucking idiots who want to play checkers in a chess world!

 

I just want to burn the board, so that no one can play ever again. High hopes to be sure.

 

Trix are for kids you silly-fucking-rabbits!

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 01:50 | 1349755 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Thanks for the reminders and my biological clock!  10k by2k, we need to discuss history.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 01:58 | 1349761 MarketMinds
MarketMinds's picture

How very odd i just was watching this BBC doc on the subject at hand.

shows both the russian sacrifice and the crimes committed by stalin.

good watch if you got 5hrs to burn

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/world-war-2-behind-closed-doors/

 

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 03:59 | 1349846 A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000
A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000's picture

HHHHMMMM. Watch a 5 hour documentary or take the kids to the beach like I promised?

 

I wonder ...

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:31 | 1349884 cossack55
cossack55's picture

No Corexit or Cesium-137 on the BBC stuff.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:02 | 1349764 10kby2k
10kby2k's picture

I had to walk out of the movie 'Pearl Harbor' for such a biased and I believe totally untruthful depiction of history. My son actually listened to me when I told him what I knew as the truth and it made sense to him.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 07:17 | 1350021 Dapper Dan
Dapper Dan's picture

Do you realize that the movie Pearl Harbor was released 3 months before the  911 attacks?

The movie was co produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (friend of Bush) and Michael Bay (propaganda Films)

Jerry did lots of work after 911 for the Bushies.

http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=jerry_bruckheimer_1

 

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 14:08 | 1351665 Matxeu
Matxeu's picture

I found the timing odd myself

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 09:47 | 1350493 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

When are people going to accept the fact that it was our government's use of secret traction engines to propel Oahu careening into the Japanese fleet that forced the Emperor's hand? Clearly, we see a Jack Ryan playing a huge part in Pearl Harbor, and we know a Jack Ryan swiped a sub from the Ruskies, when his boss was Lord Vader himself (can't overemphasize that point), that had the silent traction engines. It certainly doesn't look good for Jack. I don't think we really know Jack.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:06 | 1349767 Crab Cake
Crab Cake's picture

I find it truly amazing how little people know of History in general. However, as important as Russias ww2 History is, I would argue the 70s and 80s Russian devolution is where we need to be looking. The US today is suffering many of the symptoms that the USSR did when it finally collapsed in on itself. What a shame the US, we, couldnt give up the Cold War when we won it; instead having to create new enemies and reasons for the military industrial complex to continue to exist. On a side note to the article above... We're damned lucky, and by we I mean humanity in general, that Germanys forces were controlled by the idiot Nazi class. Time and again the politicos didn't listen to their field commanders; if they had it would be a much different world. For example Barbarrossa was supposed to be a two prong, not three prong, offensive that claimed the resource rich south and the political seat in the North. It was also supposed to begin in the Spring, not Summer. Hitler delayed the offensive and sent three forks out to Leningrad, Moscow, and the Southern fork. Had he followed the Generals suggestions Moscow would have fallen long before winter came, Leningrad encircled and cut off instead of beseiged, and the southern arm wouldnt have bogged down. This is just one example of politics before military prudence that, thank god, hamstrung the mighty German Wermacht.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:22 | 1349783 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

I still say the Soviet Union - even fallen to Hitler - was too big for the Germans to effectively occupy and conquer. They, as you, expected reistance to cease after Moscow fell. Ha! It would have been a guerrila war for decades tying down millions of troops.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 03:00 | 1349807 Crab Cake
Crab Cake's picture

That may well be, but Russia proper is pretty much adjacent to Europe. It would have been a resistance fight in the hinterlands, not the urban grinds that ultimately broke the German army. In addition, under a successful more focused Op Barbarrossa, I dont see Europe ever being reclaimed. The only reason the US and UK had a fighting chance at a land invasion was because the Wermacht broke its teeth in the East fighting in stupid ways. Also the Luftwaffe was in many ways superior to the Allied air forces. Without the insane British air attacks and attrition in the East air superiority would never have been gained. A quick decisive political victory would have effectively ended the whole theatres front, and fortress Europe would have been truly impregnable. Lest we not forget that our jet air force and NASA came from German technologies. Given even a couple of more years Germany would have been fielding jet aircraft and probably had the homb. Again, thank goodness for stupid Nazi politicians trying to run the war because the German forces of the day were unmatched toe to toe.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:02 | 1349853 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

How right you are.  All one has to do is look at the mini-plan in operation in the General Government in Poland.  It was to be genocide, followed by ethnic cleansing, followed by Germanic pioneers taking wagons east. Hitler was obsessed with the US Manifest Destiny idea (basically called "lebensraum" in German) and would have depopulated White Russia, the Ukraine, and mostly likely have drawn an (easily defensible) battle line at the Urals.  As you say, impregnable.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:34 | 1349887 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Hitler didn't read the fine print in his US history book. He should have airdropped blankets impregnated with small pox into the soviet cities.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 05:08 | 1349920 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Undone by the small print...

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 05:49 | 1349954 falak pema
falak pema's picture

What is amusing in all this monday morning quarterbacking of the WW2 saga is that history makes it clear that building an "impregnable fortress" in Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, as elsewhere, is a pipe-dream; as all empire builders find out. Not only is it challenged from out side but more importantly, from inside, and that is always inevitably the main reason why it dies. So you can blanket small pox to marginal populations to remove the pimple on the "Winning of the West"...but you can't obliterate 150 million that easily. Nor stop the entropy effect of power concentration bringing absolute corruption to the imperial ambition of holding the pure, true fortress against all comers.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 06:59 | 1349999 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Very true.  And it's important to remember that the Nazi governing apparatus was so rotten at it's core that it's continued existence would have been in doubt even with a successful military campaign in the east.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 07:50 | 1350068 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Beyond doubt. +111

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 08:31 | 1350189 Forward History
Forward History's picture

Bottom line, given another few years Hitler would have been removed as whatever was affecting him (Parkinson's, most likely), would have led to his overthrow. Himmler would have definitely made a move. When that happened, you'd see a civil war break out within the Third Reich, probably culminating in internal uprising of occupied cities, and a wounded army that would have had no choice but to pull back to its core holdings. End result? Large Reich, for sure, and perhaps a different enemy for the Cold War, but one that would have eventually fallen to its knees.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 09:19 | 1350352 Orly
Orly's picture

"...whatever was affecting him (Parkinson's, most likely)..."

My understanding is that it was the effects of neurosyphilis.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/74776.php

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 09:48 | 1350495 falak pema
falak pema's picture

God, you women are so deep into the intricacies of unspoken sexual truths...its amazing!

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 12:03 | 1351183 Orly
Orly's picture

I tried the poulet au citron.  It was very nice.  The flavour takes you back at first but as you eat, the more you realise you're addicted to this stuff!

Merci bien!

:D

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:25 | 1350701 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

Multiple daily drug injections didn't help.

When the wife of one of his top people expressed concern for his health at the amount of drugs he was using, he smiled at her lack of medical knowledge and explained that since the drugs were injected directly into his veins, they had no effect on his body.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:52 | 1350830 Arthor Bearing
Arthor Bearing's picture

Read Phillip K. Dick's "Man in the High Castle" for an alternate history where Japan and Germany win WWII. When Hitler succumbs to syphilis and is no longer capable of ruling, Martin Bormann takes over

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 06:58 | 1350001 A Man without Q...
A Man without Qualities's picture

Yes, the Luftwaffe actually had superior engines to the RAF, but they did not have access to high quality crude to make 100 octane fuel, which is why their performance at altitude was inferior.  So, this was why going into South towards Baku made sense for them.

But the Germans did have operational jet fighters....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Me_262

 

 

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 07:50 | 1350066 earnulf
earnulf's picture

Nazi Germany had several opportunitites to "put the cat in the bag" and thanks to the politicians playing as soldiers, blew nearly every one of them.

The early victories over outdated and weak opponents, including the French and their Maginoit Line (Static defenses were so middle ages) inflated the German Egos far too much and pushed out the cooler military heads that had won those battles.

Had the Luftwaffe continued taking out radar stations and airfields, the RAF would have lost the air battle through attrition, giving the Germans air superiority over England.

The Germans, had they devoted the efforts to one or two promising fighters, could have fielded a squadron of jet fighters by 1943, 44 at the latest.

Had the Allies not had a decent spy system, the Germans could have well developed the nuclear bomb and we know what Hitler would have accomplished with that in his back pocket.

American contributed more than just military might.   Food, supplies, clothing, tanks, airplanes, fuel, everything needed to fight was shipped to our allies.     While Russia Bled, America built day and night to support her and our allies at the time.     We knew who Stalin was, what he had done, and yet we supported him to fight a bigger threat.    There are so many interwoven threads in history of our support for dictators that one quickly understands while politics is all about slinging mud.

Wonder why we can't see the bankster theat now as they work to take over the world....

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:23 | 1350678 optimator
optimator's picture

The German aircraft industry also did not have access to the rare metals needed for jet engines, hense the problems with these engines, failures, and short engine hours.  Lack of those metals also hindered production of piston engine superchargers.  And, in 1941 all the military manufacterers were told to discontinue any designs, projects, that would not come to fruition in six months.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:18 | 1349873 theprofromdover
theprofromdover's picture

..Soviet Union too big to control..

Yes and no. Stalin, with not very many people on his side, managed to do that pretty effectively and brutally.

An organised German Civil Service might have brought a higher standard of living to the poor peasants of Russia, and also got the natural resources out of the ground.

We should be very grateful that the Russian people made the sacrifice, otherwise we might all be speaking Reich now.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:28 | 1350697 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

It's hard to say how the Russian people would have resisted German occupation as opposed to the repressive Stalin regime.

We would not be speaking German if the Russians didn't beat Germany back on the eastern front.  Germany did not want war with the U.S. and certainly didn't have the means to invade and occupy U.S. soil.  That is absurd.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 09:17 | 1350361 optimator
optimator's picture

Hitler's plan was to subjugate Russia to the urals after a peace treaty leaving Soviet Asia a separate entity.  Fast moving armored units were to keep the peace and any guerrila war would have eventually dried up with no outside support.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:14 | 1350941 Vacca
Vacca's picture

Hitler was expecting Japan to attack Russia in the East when he attacked in the West. Instead, Japan rufused as it thought the US would rapidly sue for peace when it's fleet was destroyed at Pearl harbor, so it held off showing it's hand until the Pearl harbor attack. I wonder what history would look like if Germany and Japan had co-ordinated attacks on Russia?

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 15:18 | 1351983 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

China absorbed and assimilated conquerer after conquerer for centuries.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 03:29 | 1349826 Broomer
Broomer's picture

The US today is suffering many of the symptoms that the USSR did when it finally collapsed in on itself.

You might want to read this:

Closing the Collapse Gap


Wed, 06/08/2011 - 07:31 | 1350035 BillyBoy22
BillyBoy22's picture

I had a professor in university who's was from a belorussian village that changed hands like 15 odd times in ww2.  He pointed out that the reason they survived that, as well as the collapse of 1989, was that the people were only a half generation at all times from peasant life, and could resort/revert to subsistance agriculture extremely quickly and efficiently.

 

Unfortunately, I do no see the same in the US right now.  I hope I can get to the midwest corn country before the fall comes.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:44 | 1350229 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

"people were only a half generation at all times from peasant life, and could resort/revert to subsistance agriculture extremely quickly and efficiently."

i hungout with some russian friends last night and we came to the very same observations.   one also gave me an excellent folk tradition to detoxify tap water : put some silver in a glass decanter and let it soak.   great use for your maples, eagles & pandas while they're sitting around collecting dust earning 20%.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:07 | 1349770 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 So tell your son the truth. Tell him what it is, and be honest! Be a father.

        Teach your son how to shoot a gun and mine for gold!

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:32 | 1349888 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Planting food crops might also be a wise course of edumacation.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 06:05 | 1349968 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Goog point. ( good point)

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 05:54 | 1349960 falak pema
falak pema's picture

shoot a gun to rob the native and mine a ton to rob mother earth. That is a true conquistador of old.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:02 | 1350871 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Start with reading and the value of labor.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:07 | 1349771 The Answer Is 42
The Answer Is 42's picture

Yes, Russians fought like sons of bitches.

Every society since the beginning of time glorifies itself about war. US is no exception. And the people always want to believe in such self-rightious, glorified stories. US people is of course no exception. But it's reassuring to see people being able to see outside of the brainwashing tub.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:13 | 1349772 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union built enourmous military machines and attacked each other ruthlessly. The Soviets were planning to invade Germany, many do not realize this - Hitler just attacked first.

I don't know what else needs to be said on this. No need to "emphasize" or better understand something that is part of history and cannot be changed.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:16 | 1349775 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 You did a great job. You told the truth!

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 03:45 | 1349840 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

As a military historian, I've never heard of that before.  Can you support it?  Everything I've ever seen has said that after Stalin purged his officer corpshe was singly focused on his Five Year Plans, steel,wheat, and hydroelectric production, and ideological and political control to the point of paranoia.  Certainly not war materials production.  He traded oil in the millions of barrels to the Nazis right up until May of 1941 and when the NKVD tried to warn him of massed German formations appearing on the border he had them shot.  Have you not heard of this?  This is not someone who was preparing for a fight to the deathStalin's motto was "Socialism in one country" and he had no intention of waging a war against someone as strong as Germany.  The Finns, Bessarabia, and the Japanese at Nomonhan were more in his league.

As an aside, with due respect for the article's author (great piece) and to Stalin's paranoid psychosis, Mao was actually a much worse mass murder.  Had Stalin beat by many millions, sad to say.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:23 | 1349878 css1971
css1971's picture

I have come to redefine the word "leader".. "Führer" auf Deutsch.

Leaders appear to fall into two main groupings; mass murdering, psychopathic, self serving narcissists, or corrupt, incompetent, self serving narcissists.

 

The key words associated with "leader" being "self serving narcissists".

 

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:56 | 1349905 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

Speaking of "leaders" I think the one currently ours could be termed "the douche"

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 09:48 | 1350478 BigJim
BigJim's picture

If he had Italian ancestry and a larger jaw we could refer to him as 'Il Douche'

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:35 | 1349891 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Have seen that mentioned as a conclusion by various German commanders during the early days based on amount of troops and equipment near the borders. Have seen it mentioned lately by some historians in various books, but am pretty sure supporting documents have never been opened by the Russians if they still exist.  

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 05:53 | 1349957 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

I do know that the Soviet spy Richard Sorge stationed in Tokyo had been sending the exact date of invasion but Stalin didn't listen.  Bletchly Park had confirmation through Ultra that they also passed on to the Soviets.  Certainly the Sorge dispatches arein the Soviet archives if they are still around.  The Japanese uncovered that particular gem, but too late in the war to do them or the Germans any good.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 09:26 | 1350375 optimator
optimator's picture

The Russian Army was in an offensive position with forward airfields lined up with aircraft wingtip to wingtip.  Trains loaded with armor.  Germany's attack was a pre-emptive one.  An army is most vulnerable when forming up for an offensive.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:46 | 1349898 shortus cynicus
shortus cynicus's picture

The plan to attac on german forces was called mobilisation plan 41, codename "operation storm". First version signed on 18.09.1940 and finally accepted on 16.05.1941.

http://www.historytoday.com/john-erikson/barbarossa-june-1941-who-attack...

 

http://www.suworow.pl/obrobione/operacja_burza.jpg

 

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 05:06 | 1349919 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Very interesting article.  Thank you for posting that. I think that my above assertions still stand.  The Red Army was in no shape for major operations(offensive or defensive) on the(ir) western front in the spring or by July 6, 1941. The map of a planned invasion shows units that did not exist in strength in those positions in June of '41 and it would have been a miracle to position them and launchin a month's time, especially in light of the better quality of German SigInt and air force scouting.  The text of the article seems to bear this out, in the end:

But it was essentially what the Red Army went haltingly to war with in June, based on a maldeployment dating back to October 1940 and the strategic design founded in the January 1941 war games. Three initial directives dated June 22nd-23rd prescribed ‘counter-blow’ objectives culled from the war games. Stalin had neither the intention nor the capability to embark on ‘preventive war’. His ‘war avoidance strategy’ ruled out a pre-emptive strike, and even militated against timely defensive moves lest they be construed as ‘provocations’.

I'll look further, but sometimes overzealous researchers or nationalist apolgists will seize upon war plans as being actual battle plans.  This may be the case here as undoubtedly the Red Army General Staff had planned contingencies, especially with a leader as mercurial as Stalin.  

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 06:35 | 1349979 falak pema
falak pema's picture

When I was a youngster I met Marechal Boudienny of the Soviet Army at a national day reception thrown in the mid-sixties in Moscow at a diplomatic function. He came to it like all the military brass who were heroes of the Soviet Union and who attended these functions; where they showed off their medals and drank free champagne and ate lots of caviar. It was part of the dull diplomatic life of official functions amongst a bored diplomatic community  who had nothing else to do except go to the Bolshoi and to each others national day receptions, where they met and toasted the military brass and apparatchiks of the Brezhnev/Kosygin days. This Boudienny character was impressive, had a large white handle bar mustache and liked to wink at all the pretty women, glass of champagne in hand. He had led the cavalry charges during their great revolution and is alleged to have done the same in 1941 during operation Barbarossa against german panzers; resulting in huge losses in his cavalry divisions, to the point that Stalin relieved him of his command, all hero that he was! I asked the embassy translator to question Boudienny on his role (he was trying to chat up my mother so I felt a diversion was necessary and justified). To my great surprise the Marshall gave me a long ten minute summary which said "we fought very valiantly against these treacherous Nazis. We were taken by surprise as our leader Stalin had NEVER HAD ANY INTENTION OF ATTACKING NAZI GERMANY, SINCE THE 1939 ALLIANCE".  This is a main actor of that drama who says this off the cuff at a moment when his sole desire is to seduce a diplomatic chick, much to my adolescent annoyance! For what its worth, this is a true sincere statement that I heard with my own ears. (I din't think that translator was lying as my mother says she vaguely followed the gist as she spoke some russian after three years there. Anyways...she spoke enough to turn that impressive mustache on!)

 

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 07:13 | 1350013 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Wow.  You actually met the guy. I didn't even know he was still alive in the mid-60s. Do you know if there is an English (or Japanese) language biography of him?

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 07:58 | 1350088 i-dog
Wed, 06/08/2011 - 08:19 | 1350139 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Lol, he must have been eighty two when I met him! He looked less than 70! He was impressive! All that vodka kept him young...like a conserved mummified icon!

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 08:49 | 1350254 i-dog
i-dog's picture

I would suggest that it was his "winking at all the pretty women" that kept him so young. :)

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 09:58 | 1350550 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

"...but sometimes overzealous researchers or nationalist apolgists will seize upon war plans as being actual battle plans."  

 

Excellent point.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:25 | 1350706 optimator
optimator's picture

The Red Army was in shape for offensive operations, the Premier mass produced tank of WWII was the T-34, already in production in 1940.  Soviet armor vastly outnumbered the German armor, it was the Russian armored tactics that did them in.  Read some of the German encounters with the Russian KV-1 and KV-2 early in the war.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 15:37 | 1352067 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The Russian Army of 1944 was a far different cry than that of 1940. The Russians showed their offensive capabalities pre-Barbarossa in Finnish Winter War... it was not a pretty site...

T-34 first appeared at Smolensk....helluva surprise for the Germans...I do think you overestimate the offensive capabilities though for the time. Even in spring of '42 at Kharkov, it was clear the Soviets were not yet ready.

 There is a great recount of a single KV-1 holding up the advance on Lenningrad in the "Panzer Operations", Gerhard Raus's Ostfront memoir... 

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 06:42 | 1349990 Optimusprime
Optimusprime's picture

You are a "military historian" who has never heard of Suvorov's books?

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 07:10 | 1350010 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

That's right.  Not until this very day.  I'm glad to see so many people are current with the back-and-forth scholarship of the Eastern Front in WWII. I never studied it in any detail myself beyond the major studies.  I study Japanese naval history and Japan's 20th century history in general and stay very current on that narrow topic.  When I ventured back to topics on the Eastern front last summer I went through "Armageddon" as I've been interested in the conclusion of the war of late.  No mention of Suvorov.  I've been reviewing his work (it seems he just has the big one, Icebreaker) and the academic commentaries on it since the topic came up this evening and it seems there's no consensus on it and it's an ongoing research topic for Russian and other scholars.  It's fun to get back into an area I've neglected for a long time and challenge what I know.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:43 | 1350774 tired1
tired1's picture

Here's a bit of history for you:

'During the Russo-Japanese War, in 1904 and 1905, in perhaps his most famous financial action, Schiff, again through Kuhn, Loeb & Co., extended a critical series of loans to the Empire of Japan, in the amount of $200 million.[3] He was willing to extend this loan due, in part, to his belief that gold is not as important as national effort and desire, in helping win a war, and due to the apparent underdog status of Japan at the time; no European nation had yet been defeated by a non-European nation in a modern, full-scale war. It is quite likely Schiff also saw this loan as a means of avenging, on behalf of the Jewish people, the anti-Semitic actions of the Tsarist regime, specifically the then-recent pogroms in Kishinev.'

During the Russo-Japanese War, in 1904 and 1905, in perhaps his most famous financial action, Schiff, again through Kuhn, Loeb & Co., extended a critical series of loans to the Empire of Japan, in the amount of $200 million.[3] He was willing to extend this loan due, in part, to his belief that gold is not as important as national effort and desire, in helping win a war, and due to the apparent underdog status of Japan at the time; no European nation had yet been defeated by a non-European nation in a modern, full-scale war. It is quite likely Schiff also saw this loan as a means of avenging, on behalf of the Jewish people, the anti-Semitic actions of the Tsarist regime, specifically the then-recent pogroms in Kishinev.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 06:08 | 1349773 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 War has one outcome. China knows that!

  Here we go. That one ass. I love Donkeys. It's a girl.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 08:39 | 1350205 Forward History
Forward History's picture

Please, this thread is about the Russians, but you don't have to drink to them at 8:30 in the morning :)

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:29 | 1349774 10kby2k
10kby2k's picture

Russia would have stopped at their borders if they were not promised the imperialism of the 13 countries that created the iron curtain and have let the western world fend for themselves....possibly leading to the war spreading to American soil, or the German/Allies killing each other off leaving the door open for Russia to be the conquerers. What huge decisions were made during this period. It shows that humans do have some control over their destiny and the decision to let ONLY Lehman fail and Bear Stearns be taken over by JP Morgan has led the way to huge deficits which was just a kick of the can until we face up to the real problem of living within our means and a proper execution from our government. History will judge those decisions harshly.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:18 | 1349780 Roaming Uranus ...
Roaming Uranus Looking For Klingons's picture

10kby2k and Yen Cross -- both are out of touch and baffoons.  Stop waisting time with the pitter patter non-sense.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:56 | 1349805 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 WHY?

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 03:43 | 1349837 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I have never, Nor would I put you down. I am a man of my word,  I will never JUNK you.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 06:10 | 1349972 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  It's  a girl!

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:25 | 1349781 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Russia was backed up, and lost Millions of lives. The german scumbags tortured people, and I'm not Jewish. It breaks my heart.  My family fought in Korea and Viet Nam.

    People are getting FED UP!

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:32 | 1349789 Roaming Uranus ...
Roaming Uranus Looking For Klingons's picture

Yen,  you are correct.  People are starting to get Fed up, but not for the reasons mentioned here. 

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 03:02 | 1349806 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 So, you have a heart? I'm impressed. A leader in the making.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 06:12 | 1349974 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Boys are friends. It's a Girl. I never cheated.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 09:00 | 1350284 falak pema
falak pema's picture

a girl on the cross?

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 09:52 | 1350519 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture

you are obviously a product of the dumbed down american school system

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:28 | 1349785 BeeTee
BeeTee's picture

"It has been an article of faith among many Americans, young and old, that the United States “won” World War II."

It is completely disrespectful to Russians and Europeans, as well as naive, to suggest that the States "won" WWII.

The event was too complex for painting in black and white.  For example, the US lost 0.3% of its 1939 population, whilst Russia lost 14%.

In my opinion, the only real "winner" was the British Empire.  They alone stood up to the Germans, although they knew their actions would result in bankruptcy.  They fought for their democracy as well as that of their neighbors, and it was morally right to do so.  I can see why they are often pissed when their European cousins give them the cold shoulder! 

The US joined later and it was financially astute for them to do so.  In 2007, the UK finally paid back all its war debt to the US.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4757181.stm

 

 

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:11 | 1349861 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

What the heck?  The British Empire?  Theynever even recovered from WWI properly.  The "empire" such as it was crumbled within 15 years (Malayan insurgency anyone?) and the British people were robbed and emasculated by 40 almost unbroken years of Labour Party socialism.  At Bretton Woods the British lost all control of their fingerhold on world finances, were sent reeling back from the Suez when Ike said boo, and were penetrated to the highest levels of government by the Philby Group and other Soviet agents.  My hand is getting tired of typing but I'm not short on examples...are we talking about the same British Empire?

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:31 | 1349883 theprofromdover
theprofromdover's picture

Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes.

I think all BT meant was, they tried to do the right thing in WWII.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 05:39 | 1349943 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Well, I'll certainly concede that.  The tragic irony is they went to war to defend Poland and Roosevelt pressured them to sell Poland out to placate Stalin at the end...tragic, that.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 08:04 | 1350113 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Poland was firmly in Stalins hands... and possesion being 9/10th or some such...Sad tale for the Poles.. 

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 08:32 | 1350191 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Real politik at it's most grim.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 08:41 | 1350219 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Zackly...and Roosevelt wanted Soviet participation in the Pacific front, the A-bomb was not a done deal yet.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:31 | 1349786 Peter K
Peter K's picture

What I think is needed is to greater understand the German's from their WWII experience. I think that their view of WWII is a lot different than that of the US also;)

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:49 | 1349900 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

When I was 14 I was hitch-hiking home (30 miles) from another town.  I was picked up by an old guy in a pickup truck as I walked down the rocks at the narrows in Victorville.

His truck was pretty old and decrepit, and it kind of balked along the desert road at a pace just above a trot.  Got to talking to the guy and noticed his accent and asked where he was from.  He said Germany and then launched into telling me about fighting as a soldier in the WWII German army.

I was a military brat and had instant respect for any soldier.  So I would ask questions and listen to the old man tell me about being enlisted as a kid because that was what was expected by everyone.  His family had endured the hyperinflation just prior to his birth and they had cheered the national rebound that all the industry had brought.  When Hitler came to power, they saw him as the 'one' that would fix all the problems and burdens in place from WWI.

His dad had painted houses and his mother had been a hausfrau (spelling?). And since he was the only son, his place was to help both his family and nation by enlisting in the army with a substantial part of his wage being peeled off to his parents.

I asked how he could support something that, today, seems so evil.  He said he didn't know.  At the time it was just a way to make a living and rebuild his nation and family.  Then it seemed to just be little things that would change over time, until he was suddenly sent to the russian front.  He said he had killed many (he stressed 'many') russian soldiers.  And broke into tears.  I asked about the concentration camps, the decimation of jews, the denials...he said he simply didn't know about them because he had been in Russia and was only a corporal in the infantry.

We got so involved in talking that he drove me past his turn-off and took me on out to Dead Man's Point to let me out.  From there I walked the rest of the fifteen miles home, thinking about being a kid in that era.  (I also discovered, in the dark, a previously unknown cholla cactus patch that covered acres behind the dry lakes)

The next day I told my career USAF SMSGT dad about the guy and the talk I had.  He asked if the old dude was OK, when I left the truck and I said he seemed to be.

The same day the guy called to make sure I made it home Ok.  He talked with my dad (who was much too young for WWII) and told him he was impressed by my honest questions and absolute respect.

Five years later I met my soon-to-be future Best Man's father.  I got to talking to him and somehow hit a nerve about his very faint accent.  He told me he was german and that he had lost his first wife and all four children during WWII to the nazi soldiers.  They had come to their house one night and cleared everyone out.  The whole neighborhood was cleared out, the houses were ransacked, teen aged girls were stripped and raped in front of the family and neighbors.  The soliders were brutes that kicked in doors and dragged women out by their hair.  Husbands were bayonetted low in the guts then forced to stand with their families.  Counts were taken and then the men and boys were sent to trucks while the women and small children remained behind.

He said he never saw his family again.  (Now I remember what set him off..."Hogan's Heros" came on TV).  While AI sat there listening to him go off in his rant, I was this clean cut, blonde haired, blue eyed, well muscled young man sipping one of his beers.

"They make a comedy of this, as if that time was funny and there were ways to beat them."

He rolled up his left sleeve and showed me his numbers and said it wasn't funny.  There was no way to beat them once they had you.

That he hadn't paid attention to things going on around him and that none of the rumors and stories made any sense.  No one would be that mean or evil to regular people, he was a nobody why would he be involved in such affairs.  He was not into politics or listening to the news.  He played with his kids and worked (don't know what he did) and paid his bills.  But they came for his family anyway, for no reason, in the middle of the night.

I think his name was David Pearlstein (not sure about the first name) father of my best man, Mike.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 05:41 | 1349948 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Powerful stories! Thanks for sharing!

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 06:04 | 1349965 Antipodeus
Antipodeus's picture

OldPhart,

I found your comment almost as moving as the article itself.  Thank you.

A Not-Quite-So-Old-Phart ;=)

 

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 08:03 | 1350110 PY-129-20
PY-129-20's picture

I am a German. My grandfather fought in WW I and WW II. In WW-I he was a young man, almost a child and he had to fight as a machine gunner. It should change his life and his perspective on war, which is somewhat ironic. Our family history was linked to the Prussian military and I can understand why he thought that war was a kind of great adventure, that you could get honour and fame with it. As I said he was almost a child and the war was almost over. He fought in Italy (Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo), France and Belgium.

When the war was over, he was a different man. War was not an adventure. War was not a way to earn fame or even honour.

Believe it or not, but he was not a fan of Hitler (not every German was - though I had family members that obviously supported him and hoped he would change the country for the better.) He voted for the SPD (Otto Wels), although he was disappointed of politicians. He was angry about the current state of Germany and he knew that Weimar-Germany was a weak country. But he didn't think Hitler could change the country for the better. When Hitler won, he was accepting it and I think he later regretted to have been so passive. But he had a family and he had other worries than politics at that time. Being part of the state, he had to join the party at some point between 1933-1939. He was not enthusiastic about this, in fact, he disliked it. But again, he had a family, a wife and five children, one was disabled (which played a role later on).

Every German of that time will tell you that they didn't know what was happening to the Jews. For some it might be true, but I wouldn't believe it. Most people simply ignored it, some people enjoyed it, blaming jews for the Great depression, >international banking cartell< was a term that also was used by Dr. Goebbels. Read some of his writings and you will see how they manipulated the public oppinion in a very clever fashion.

When the war started, my grandfather was terrified. He knew what war was like. He had fought that war when he was a young man, now he was in his best years (born 1899, joined WW-I 1917 (18 years old), joined WW-II in 1939 (40 years old) as some people would say. He was recruited as an officer (a kind of platoon leader), because of his experience and his professional background.

Like my other grandfather, he fought in Russia. He was well respected and he tried to do the best for his men. He hated the war in Russia, he thought it was terrible decision and I know that they feared the Russians. They respected the Americans, though, because they cared about their people. But the Russians under Stalin didn't - they sent people straight into machine gun fire and it didn't matter to them. Not every German soldier was raping or killing Russian people for his own pleasure, but it is true that many commited these crimes. The war in Russia was brutal. I wasn't there and I can only tell you what my grandfather said. With every passing week, and more and more getting into winter, mood was getting darker.

One day, they got a new officer, a young man. My grandfather didn't like him, because that man was not taking care of his men, sending them almost into suicide missions and he was a brainwashed NAZI, a true Hitler fanatic. It would be a long story, but he got into a fight with this man and he was imprisoned because of this fight. As I said, my grandfather was a well respected man in his company and people visited him often and tried to help him. I think he had more than one helping hand.

Finally, after three months, he was sent home. As I've written, they had five children. One was mentally challenged. When T-4 had started, they had refused to sent her away. It worked for a while until it didn't. So this child was killed by the euthanasia programme.

I never could get to talk more about this. It was a sensitive topic. A dark stain on our family history. Three of his brothers died in Russia. A minority felt that he had betrayed his country, a French part of our family refused to talk to their German relatives for a long time.

In the last months of the war, he was recruited again to lead the local Volkssturm unit, consisting of old men and teenager. When the Americans came, he refused to fight them and surrendered without firing one shot. This was not without danger, because the local mayor had threatened him and his men that everyone would be shot by SS, if they would refuse to fight. But my grandfather knew that war was over. As I said, they respected the Americans and were glad that they could surrender to them. My father always said that American soldiers treated the children very kindly, giving them chocolate bars and all the stuff they hadn't seen for a while.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 08:48 | 1350247 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

what an intense story.   may your grossvater be resting in peace.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:00 | 1350560 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Thanks, OldPhart and PY-129-20. Gripping testimonies.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:09 | 1350933 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Great zeitgeist tap!

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 09:30 | 1350408 optimator
optimator's picture

All the German generals wrote their memoirs after the war, blaming Hitler for all the military mistakes that were made.  It has only been recently that we've seen the war from the Russian side.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:37 | 1349791 bigwavedave
bigwavedave's picture

I did not happen like that at all. Ask Tom Hanks.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:40 | 1349793 10kby2k
10kby2k's picture

If you believe the movie Pearl harbor, then you believe Barak, Ben & Timmy and are loved by GS.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 03:06 | 1349810 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 That was a great movie,cinematography and all!

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 03:18 | 1349815 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 It really was a good movie! Reminds me of Catalina.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:13 | 1349863 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Better to be thought of as a fool...

I'll tell Ben Affleck his fan was backing him up on ZH. That'll cheer him up.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 12:43 | 1351349 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

LOL

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:55 | 1349804 Ample liquidity
Ample liquidity's picture

Right. As a Finn (and grandson of two wwii veterans) I'd like to weigh in on the "accuracy" of their history writing, particularly when it concerns WWII. My favourites : molotov-ribbentrop is not mentioned anywhere (look it up if you're russian educated), and Finland disgracefully attacked the peaceful Motherland in 1939 (nevermind the fact that Finns were outnumbered 3-1 in infantry and 150-1 in tanks, not to mention fighters, and germany hadn't even declared war on Russia yet).

There are estimates that Russian Katyushas killed more Russian infantry than German bullets 42-45 (as mentioned above: attack tanks with infantry and then blow the entire area to kingdom come).

Not doubting the heroism of the rank and file, but calling Russki history "more accurate" is a stretch. Well, more accurate than Peter Pan perhaps..

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:11 | 1349865 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

God bless the Finns and their Winter War.  True heroes to a man (and woman.)

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 03:02 | 1349809 Smu the Wonderhorse
Smu the Wonderhorse's picture

This is, I think, one of the best articles to appear on ZH (and there have been a lot of good ones). The conventional Western perception of WWII is grossly inadequate. Indeed, the Russian effort in defeating Nazi Germany marked an important beginning of the end of Bolshevik Communism and a return to Russian national self-consciousness -- which is why Communism was so supported in the West before WWII and Russia vilified afterward, because Communism was essentially a Western export imposed on an imprisoned population. The US-led West has been far more anti-Russian in the post-Cold War era than anti-Soviet in the pre-WWII Communist era.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:06 | 1350580 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture

thats gobbledy gook

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 03:18 | 1349818 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Alright U ) I own a 599gto, and a ZO6. Happy now?

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 03:57 | 1349848 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I bought my First Italian car when I was in my late 20's .   I love art!

    Yen Cross

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:06 | 1349860 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  Best Wishes.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:13 | 1349869 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

I like these kind of articles and the discussion they generate.  All that technical trading hoo-ha makes me dizzy.  

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:18 | 1349871 HL Shancken
HL Shancken's picture

Yes, you're goddam right it needs to be better understood. What follows are excerpts of an interview given by Viktor Suvorov, author of Icebreaker and many other books. The naive Russophile Mr. Schaeffer would do well to read Suvorov if he would like to know the truth of the matter that has him repeating the Soviet Communist Party line.

 

...The idea that Hitler attacked the Soviet Union is the only pillar that their ideology rests upon. This is a justification for everything. Invasion of Afghanistan - Why? Because we were attacked by Hitler. Why is there no meat in the stores? - Because we were attacked by Hitler. We entered Czechoslovakia in 1968 - Why? Because we were attacked by Hitler. All is excused by Hitler's attack. My Icebreaker [book] put a wedge into this story. Imagine, I have 56 books on the subject of debunking my book Icebreaker. It's very important for them to stifle independent voices, independent historians, of which I am one. How do they stifle these voices? You strike at the author in some way, or you take an agent approach - by bribing, intimidating, knocking out his Web site. And they publish ridiculous dirt under my name. ...

 

...There was only one book allowed on the history of the war in Stalin's time, and that book was written by Stalin: J.V. Stalin, On the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union. ...

 

...We were attacked by the Germans 70 years ago. But until this day, the deployment of the Soviet troops at the moment of the attack is still a state secret in Russia. Those tanks were written off long, long ago. The veterans lost their lives. But the position of 3rd and 9th armies is still a secret. The maps of the airfields were never published, ever. It is still a state secret how many airfields we had, and how many aircraft were deployed. Why? Because if they publish all this, it will be clear to everybody that it was Stalin who contemplated the war, and that the Soviet Union started the Second World War, because Soviet Union policy required the war. If we admit that the Soviet Union helped Hitler come to power, if we admit the Soviet Union developed Hitler's robust economy, then there will be too many questions to answer. Not just military questions, but ideological and political and geographical, and many others. It is not just the Russian General Staff, but the KGB, SVR and the Russian president himself, and those who are behind the Russian president...

 

...They wanted a revolution, even in Chile. Why would the Soviet Union need Chile, Mozambique, or Sudan? - As soon as any of these places started to burn, the Soviet Union was there with brotherly help. What made Stalin different from Trotsky was that Stalin wanted, first, to industrialize the empire; and then, on this basis, to develop a colossal army. Stalin wanted to nurture a Fuhrer in Germany who will aggressively stomp Europe, and strangle it. And then, when the Fuhrer finally invades Great Britain we will stab him in the back. It all went according to plan until Hitler realized what was awaiting him, and struck first. That's all. ...

 

This interview was conducted in Russian.

Conducted by Marina Kalashnikova and Viktor Kalashnikov for Zaxid.net 24.03.2011

Viktor Suvorov (real name Vladimir Rezun) was born 20 April 1947 in the village of Barabash Khasan district of Primorye Territory in Russia. He was a Soviet spy, defector, and former captain in the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Soviet armed forces (GRU). Today he is an historian, researcher and writer. Resident in the UK, he lectures at military academies in Western Europe.

 

http://jrnyquist.com/Suvorov_Part_1.html

 

http://thefinalphaseforum.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=44

 

 


Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:29 | 1350616 zero intelligence
zero intelligence's picture

In speeches that followed Operation Barbarrossa, the invasion of Russia, Hitler said that he feared a Russian invasion. Of course it could be baloney, but nevertheless that's what he said.

With that said, WWII was mostly a fight between the Germans and Russians. The invasion of Russia began on June 22, 1941. After the Germans had been beaten up by the Russians for three long years on the Eastern Front, the U.S. entered the war for the first time on June 6, 1944, the D-Day landing at Normandy. VE-Day, or "victory in Europe day," when the Allies accepted Germany's unconditional surrender, was May 7, 1945. The U.S. was involved in Europe for less than a year.

Here is an excerpt from a speech by Hitler on December 11, 1941:

 

 

"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 ..."

 

 

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v18/v18n3p40_Michaels.html

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 10:32 | 1350737 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

Suvorov also wrote a good set of books on the Soviet Red Army and their Spetnatz program.   

Never looked at Special Operations the same way again after reading some of the training methods used there.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:18 | 1349872 Midas
Midas's picture

I learned much about this from Dan Carlin at dancarlin.com. Look for his audiofiles "Ghosts from the Ostfront" I think it is worth the listen. You are right, we underappreciate the sacrifice of the Russians, but you also forgot to mention the incredible suffering of the Poles. Dan Carlin calls them the double victims. They took it from both sides.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 08:45 | 1350221 Forward History
Forward History's picture

"Ghosts from the Ostfront" is honest, frank, and extremely well done, and I was hoping someone would mention it. Great, great, great series.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 11:59 | 1351145 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

i listened to those too, they were great

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 08:44 | 1350233 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Gotta sympathise with the Ukranians as well, esp. in light of the collectivization of agriculture that occurred earlier... 

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:23 | 1349876 HL Shancken
HL Shancken's picture

Here is Suvorov explaining the Second World War to a class at the United States naval Academy.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7zVLfjWzmE

 

http://thefinalphaseforum.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=44

 

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:25 | 1349877 magpie
magpie's picture

http://www.faz.net/artikel/C32436/wegen-atomausstieg-stromkonzerne-befue...

i for one, welcome our new Moscovite overlords. Though i am not sure who really fought the good fight last time around, the earless funny bunny in Japan can accomplish a fire sale of industrial assets and total energy codependence.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 04:25 | 1349881 HL Shancken
HL Shancken's picture
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars The History Book of the 20th Century, November 19, 2005 By  Arkadiy Dubovoy (Virginia) - See all my reviews This review is from: Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War? (Hardcover)

It is safe to assume that if you have not read Viktor Suvorov's Icebreaker (or, at least, are not familiar with his ideas), you don't understand the last 85 years of the world history.

Viktor Suvorov was trained as a military intelligence officer at the time when soviet military intelligence was the best in the world (probably still is). In the late seventies Suvorov defected to England, where he wrote several books about soviet army and intelligence. By all accounts (friends and enemies alike), Viktor Suvorov possesses encyclopedic knowledge about military theory and history, particularly the history of World War II. His knowledge and analytical ability are astounding.

Published first in the eighties, Icebreaker was the first in Suvorov's series of historical books. By the year 2000, it was translated into 27 languages and published more than 100 times. Icebreaker is a book about communist preparation and execution (however poorly, but not for the lack of trying) of the biggest crime in the history of mankind, World War II. Because of that, in addition to its historical value of showing communist conspiracy as a true cause of WWII, Icebreaker is probably the best, most convincing anti-communist book ever written. Suvorov neither uncovers any secrets, nor does he simply catalogue the crimes. He analyzes communists' own words and innumerable well-known facts to show communism as the darkest, most evil episode in the human history.

Before you start reading this book, however, keep in mind several important things.
First, this relatively small book is an overview of many very complex political, historical, and military events. The most important of the ideas had been expanded by the author in his later books (see below). The sheer number of dogmas and controversies Suvorov takes head on is mind-boggling, and this is why the author must occasionally abbreviate his arguments. As a result, the book may seem cursory to unprepared readers.
Second, Icebreaker was written in Russian and intended for Eastern European readership. In order to be immediately understood, the book does assume certain cultural background, i.e., familiarity with the history and cannibalistic rituals of communist regimes. I am not implying that western readers will not understand the book, to the contrary, I think that an interested western reader will benefit enormously from reading this book.
Third, Icebreaker, when it became available, was an instant tremendous success in the former USSR and all Eastern Block countries. In Eastern Europe Icebreaker became de facto 20th century European history textbook and the basis of common popular understanding of the events leading to WWII and its immediate aftermath. It would be foolish to disregard the opinion of people who actually lived through the events.

Some reviewers accuse Victor Suvorov of being a "Hitler apologist." This preposterous statement was fabricated by the soviet special services for western use. In Russia KGB mostly emphasized Suvorov's disloyalty to the regime and, therefore, his general untrustworthiness and never mentioned "his love of Nazis" as a critical argument. They knew it would never fly in Russia because Russian readers never sensed even a whiff of sympathy toward Nazis in the book. (Majority of people, by the way, doesn't realize how much perception of German fascists in the United States and England differs from that in Europe and Russia). I personally don't see how Suvorov's argument that Stalin killed more people than Hitler (and intended to kill a lot more) makes Hitler a hero. Generations of western intellectuals made careers out of spreading KGB lies, but, unless, of course, you hope to secure a tenured position, there is no need for you to repeat this nonsense. It is shameful. Please, don't do it.

Some reviewers seem to be hung up on BT controversy and such. Icebreaker is full of technical information, and some details may be proven inaccurate by further research. This "bait and switch" trick is used to make people judge the whole book by comparing width of tank treads. Please remember that this book is not about military technology, although it is described in great detail and used often to prove author's position.

There are at least five other successful history books written by Viktor Suvorov where he greatly expands and clarifies some of the main themes of Icebreaker:
1. Day "M": When did WWII begin? (a detailed account of Soviet preparations for the war),
2. The Cleansing (a very convincing explanation for the events known as "senseless decimation of Red Army officer corps before the war"),
3. The Suicide (an interesting exploration of Hitler as military leader and the myth of German readiness for the war in the East),
4. The Last Republic (in depth analysis of the geopolitical plans and intentions of the Soviets between the World Wars),
5. The Shadow of Victory (documents Marshall Zhukov as a monstrous war criminal that he really was).
As of now, I have not been able to find any indication of these books published in English.

Currently there is only one used copy of Icebreaker available for $450, and none of Suvorov's other history books are available in English translation. The content of Icebreaker alone is not sufficient to explain this virtual prohibition of the book, which is a very unusual and extraordinary measure for a modern western society. There is no question that Icebreaker is a controversial book: the whole libraries of western historical analysis of WWII are shown as garbage. Still, this is not enough. The explanation may be that the book gives detailed description of the process used by the professionals to analyze political and historical events using widely available, open-source information: Icebreaker is written as an intelligence report and presents a clear application of the intelligence analytical process. This book may teach you how to think. Now, that is dangerous. Combine it with the powerful anti-communist thrust of this book, and... Oh, well, some things cannot be permitted.
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http://www.amazon.com/Icebreaker-Who-Started-Second-World/dp/0241126223

 

http://thefinalphaseforum.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=44

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 06:54 | 1349993 ConfederateH
ConfederateH's picture

Interesting reading HL.  How do the Bilderbergs fit into this?  Isn't there a contradiction between them and the Soviets?

 

Q: Can you tell us something about your involvement in the Swiss banking business?

A: I have worked for Swiss banks for many years. I was designated as one of the top directors of one of the biggest Swiss banks. During my work I was involved in the payment, in the direct payment in cash to a person who killed the president of a foreign country. I was in the meeting where it was
decided to give this cash money to the killer. This gave me dramatic headaches and troubled my conscience. It was not the only case that was really bad but it was the worst.  It was a payment instruction on order of a foreign secret service written by hand giving the order to pay a certain amount to a person who killed the top leader of a foreign country. And it was not the only case. We received several such hand written letters coming from foreign secret services giving the order to payout cash
from secret accounts to fund revolutions or for the killing of people. I can confirm what John Perkins has written in his book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man". There really exists just a system and Swiss banks are involved in such cases.
 
 Q: Perkins book is also translated and available in Russian. Can you tell us which bank it is and who was responsible?

 A: It was one of the top three Swiss banks at that time and it was the president of a country in the third world. But I don't want to give out to many details because they will find me very easily if I say the name of the president and the name of the bank. I will risk my life.
 
Q: You can't name any person in the bank either?

A: No I can't, but I can assure you this happened. We were several persons in the meeting room. The person in charge of the physical payment of the cash came to us and asked us if he is allowed to payout such a big amount in cash to that person and one of the directors explained the case and all others said ok you can do it
.
 Q: Did this happened often? Was this kind of a slush fund?
 

 A: Yes. This was a special fund managed in a special place in the bank where all the coded letters came in from abroad. The most important letters were hand written. We had to decipher them and in them was the order to pay a certain amount of cash from accounts for the assassination of people, funding revolutions, funding strikes, funding all sorts of parties. I know that certain people who are Bilderbergers were involved in such orders. I mean they gave the orders to kill.

Q: Can you tell us in what year or decade this happened?
 
A: I prefer not to give you the precise year but it was in the 80's.
Q: Did you have a problem with this work?
 
A: Yes, a very big problem. I could not sleep for many days and after a while I left the bank. If I give you too many details they will trace me. Several secret services from abroad, mostly English speaking, gave orders to fund illegal acts, even the killing of people thru Swiss banks. We had to pay on the instructions of foreign powers for the killing of persons who did not follow the orders of Bilderberg or the IMF or the World Bank for example.

Q: This is a very startling revelation that you are making. Why do you feel the urge to say this now?

A: Because Bilderberg is meeting in Switzerland. Because the world situation is getting worse and worse. And because the biggest banks in Switzerland are involved in unethical activities. Most of these operations are outside the balance sheet. It is a multiple of what is officially declared. Its not audited and happening without any taxes. The figures involved have a lot of zeros. It's huge amounts.
 
Q: So its billions?
 
A: Its much more, its trillions, completely unaudited, illegal and besides the tax system. Basically it's a robbery of everybody. I mean most normal people are paying taxes and abiding by the laws. What is happening here is complete against our Swiss values, like neutrality, honesty and good faith. In the meetings I was involved in, the discussions where completely against our democratic principles. You see, most of the directors of Swiss banks are not locals anymore, they are foreigners, mostly Anglo-Saxon, either American or British, they don't respect our neutrality, they don't respect our values, they are against our direct democracy, they
just use the Swiss banks for their illegal means. They use huge amounts of money created out of nothing and they destroy our society and destroy the people world wide just for greed. They seek power and destroy whole countries, like Greece, Spain, Portugal or Ireland and Switzerland
will be one of the last in line. And they use China as working slaves. And a person like Josef Ackermann, who is a Swiss citizen, is the top man at a German bank and he uses his power for greed and does not respect the common people. He has quite a few legal cases in Germany and also now in the States. He is a Bilderberger and does not care about Switzerland or any other country.

Q: Are you saying, some of these people that you mention will be at the up-coming Bilderberg meeting in June in St. Moritz?

A: Yes.

Q: So they are currently in a position of power?

A: Yes. They have huge amounts of money available and use it to destroy whole countries. They destroy our industry and build it up in China. On the other hand they opened up the gates in Europe for all Chinese products. The working population of Europe is earning less and less. The real aim is to destroy Europe.
 
Q: Do you think that the Bilderberg meeting in St. Moritz has symbolic value?  Because in 2009 they where in Greece, 2010 in Spain and look what happened to them. Does this mean Switzerland can expect something bad?

A: Yes. Switzerland is one of the most important countries for them, because there is so much capital here. They are meeting there because apart from other things they want to destroy all values that Switzerland stands for. You see it's an obstacle for them, not being in the EU or Euro, not totally controlled by Brussels and so on. Regarding values I am not talking about the big Swiss banks, because they are not
Swiss anymore, most of them are lead by Americans. I am talking about the real Swiss spirit that the common people cherish and hold up.
Sure it has symbolic value, as you said, regarding Greece and Spain. Their aim is to be a kind of exclusive elite club that has all the power and everybody else is impoverished and down.

Q: Do you think that the aim of Bilderberg is to create a kind of global dictatorship, controlled by the big global corporations, were there are no sovereign states anymore?

A: Yes and Switzerland is the only place left with direct democracy and its in their way.  They use the blackmail of "too big to fail" as in the case of UBS to put our country in big debt, just like they did with many other countries. In the end maybe they want to do with Switzerland what they did with Iceland, with all the banks and the country bankrupt.

Q: And also bring it in to the EU?

A: Of course. The EU is under the iron grip of Bilderberg.

Q: What do you think could stop this plan?

A: Well that's the reason I speak to you. Its truth. Truth is the only way. Put a light on this situation, expose them. They don't like to be in the spotlight. We have to create transparency in the banking industry and in all levels of society.

Q: What you are saying is, there is a correct side to the Swiss banking business and there are a few big banks that are misusing the financial system for their illegal activities.
 
 A: Yes. The big banks are training their staff with Anglo-Saxon values. They are training them to be greedy and ruthless. And greed is destroying Switzerland and  everybody else. As a country we have a majority of the most correct operating banks in the world, if you look at the small and midsize banks. Its just the big ones who operate globally that are a problem. They are  not Swiss anymore and don't consider themselves as such.

Q: Do you think it is a good thing that people are exposing Bilderberg and showing who they really are?
 
A: I think the Strauss-Kahn case is a good chance for us, because it shows these people are corrupt, sick in their minds, so sick they are full of vices and those vices are kept under wraps on their orders. Some of them like Strauss-Kahn rape women, others are sado maso, or paedophile and many are into Satanism. When you go in some banks you see these satanistic symbols, like in the Rothschild Bank in Zurich. These people are controlled by black-mail because of the weaknesses they have. They have to follow orders or they will be exposed, they will be destroyed or even killed. The reputation of Strauss-Kahn is not only killed in the mass media, he could
be killed also literally.

 Q: Since Ackermann is in the steering committee of Bilderberg, do you think he is a  big decision maker there? 

A: Yes. But there are many others, like Lagarde, who will probably be the next IMF head, also a member of Bilderberg, then Sarkozy and Obama.  They have a new plan to censor the internet, because the internet is still free. They want to control it and use terrorism or what ever as a reason. They could even plan something horrible so that they have an excuse.

Q: So that is your fear?

 A: Its not only a fear, I am certain of it. As I said, they gave orders to kill, so they are capable of terrible things. If they have the feeling they are losing control, like the uprising now in Greece and Spain and maybe Italy will be next, then they can do another Gladio. I was close to the Gladio network. As you know they instigated terrorism paid by American money to control the political system in Italy and other European countries. Regarding the murder of Aldo Moro, the payment was done thru the same system as I told you about.

 Q: Was Ackermann part of this payment system at a Swiss bank?
 
A:  (S m i l e) ... you are the journalist. Look at his career and how fast he made it to the top.
 
 Q: What do you think can be done to hinder them?

 A: Well there are many good books out there that explain the background and connect the dots, like the one I mentioned by Perkins. These people really have hit men that get paid to kill. Some of them get their money thru Swiss banks. But not only, they have a system set up all over the world. And to expose to the public these people that are prepared to do anything to keep control. And I mean anything.
 
Q: Thru exposure we could stop them?

A: Yes, telling the truth. We are confronted with really ruthless criminals, also big war criminals. Its worse then genocide. They are ready and able to kill millions of people just to stay in power and in control.

Q: Can you explain from your view, why the mass media in the west is more or less completely silent regarding Bilderberg?
 
A: Because there is an agreement between them and the owners of the media. You don't talk about it. They buy them. Also some of the top media figures are invited to the meetings but are told not to report anything they see and hear.
 
Q: In the structure of Bilderberg, is there an inner circle that knows the plans and then there is the majority who just follow orders?
 
A: Yes. You have the inner circle who are into Satanism and then there are the naive or less informed people. Some people even think they are doing something good, the outer circle.
 
 Q: According to exposed documents and own statements, Bilderberg decided back in 1955 to create the EU and the Euro, so they made important and far reaching decisions.
 
 A: Yes and you know that Bilderberg was founded by Prince Bernard, a former member of the SS and Nazi party and he also worked for IG Farben, who's subsidiary produced Cyclone B. The other guy was the head of Occidental Petroleum who had close relations to the communists in the Soviet Union. They worked both sides but really these people are fascists who want to control everything and everybody and who gets in their way is removed.
 
Q: Is the payment system you explained outside of normal operations,
compartmentalized and in secret?
 
A: In those Swiss banks the normal employees don't know this is happening. Its like an own secret department in the bank. As I said these operations are outside of the balance sheet, with no supervision. Some are situated in the same building, others are outside. They have their own security and special area where only authorized people can enter.

 Q: How do they keep these transactions out of the international Swift system?

 A: Well some of the Clearstream listings were true in the beginning. They just included fake names to make people believe the whole list is fake. You see they also make mistakes. The first list was true and you can trace a lot of things. You see, there are people around that discover irregularities and the truth and they tell it. Afterwards of course there are law suits and these people are forced to shut up.  The best way to stop them is to tell the truth, put the spot light on them. If we don't stop them we will end up as their slaves.

 Q: Thanks you for this interview. 

 

http://www.henrymakow.com/revelations_from_a_swiss_banki.html

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 09:02 | 1350180 i-dog
i-dog's picture

Wow ... junked for pasting a very interesting interview! Somebody doesn't want us to read this (particularly since it rings VERY true). ;)

"How do the Bilderbergs fit into this?"

Don't get too excited by the Bilderbergers - they are still only a high-level operational management committee (in corporate terms). They are neither the equivalent of a 'board of directors' nor do they comprise any of the 'shareholders' at the top of the pyramid. Attendance varies each year and, though there are many invited participants in key government and corporate positions, they are all simply appointed positions within their respective governments and corporations. These participants do wield considerable power at the time of their attendance, but are entirely disposable and easily removed if they were to take a wrong step (ask DSK...or JFK).

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 09:35 | 1350428 Orly
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