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23 February 2018

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Babak Makkinejad

The 10th Siberian Rifle Regiment, 10,000 men, was destroyed in a single day in Stalingrad, at the site were the Motherland statue stands today - if I recall correctly.
Zukov stated in his memoirs of the absolute and severe "discipline" in the early days of the war.

Pavlo

SmoothieX12,

A want, but not a will.

This is seems to be the case among Ukrainians of all regions and political persuasions - Maidanauts and anti-Maidanauts alike want one thing or another but lack the will to achieve it.

fanto

at DianaLC at 47
your personal story reminded me of a nice book - The Story of Low German & Plautdietsch - by Reuben Epp (Reader´s Press, 1993) - the history of migrations of Mennonites from NW Germany and Netherlands in 17th Century, and in 18th Century via Danzig to Russian Volga region is very interesting and not well known. The `Sibiriaks` (those who were deported to Siberia by Soviets) ended up in Canada if I remember correctly. Thanks for your input.

Fred

mikee,

Which continent was that? I don't recall Europe being part of America's "Manifest Destiny".

Tel

Smoothie, here's what the guy wrote: "Until close to the very end, the Nazi regime did not have to threaten to murder German soldiers to force them to fight."

And your response: "Wehrmacht executed own soldiers in thousands.IIRC in 1944 alone something around 10,000. For people who have no grasp of realities of Eastern Front it is beyond their intellectual and mental capacity to have real understanding of what it was."

Now I'm pretty sure that 1944 would fall into the category of "close to the very end" although the exact turning point might be a matter of opinion. At any rate, just throwing this idea out there, but if you spend more time reading and thinking about what other people write, it might reduce your need to be abusive.

Here's another Stalin quote for you (translated of course):

"The Red Army and Navy and the whole Soviet people must fight for every inch of Soviet soil, fight to the last drop of blood for our towns and villages...onward, to victory!"

Hmmm, fight to the last drop of blood, not much wiggle room there.

Here's another Bloshevik motivational technique: hold the families hostage to ensure compliance, they used this right through from the Russian Civil War, through WWII, it was standard Red Army practice. You being a great expert on Russia of course already know all about this, but since you choose to selectively ignore such things, it falls upon the bumbling ignoramus such as me to bring it up, lest it be forgotten.

Another Stalin quote:

"There are no Russian prisoners of war. The Russian soldier fights on till death. If he chooses to become a prisoner, he is automatically excluded from the Russian community"

Sounds like a charming guy, not only was he completely uninterested in any sort of prisoner exchange, he explicitly requested Hitler to execute these traitors who not long ago were Russians, but suddenly became nobodies.

Then there was the mass killing of political prisoners without trial inside the USSR by the NKVD, perhaps that might have left the surviving Russian soldiers somewhat fearful, what do you think? Remind them of what might happen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NKVD_prisoner_massacres

From wikipedia -- Deaths, in excess of 100,000. That was in just 6 months during 1941.

Then there was this "scorched earth" policy, which was a weapon slowing the German advance, but which also betrayed Stalin's absolutely ruthless disregard for civilians in all circumstances.

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v06/v06p-91_Sanning.html

"The measures taken by the Soviet Union between 1940 and 1942 aimed not only at furthering the Soviet war effort, but also at harming the German enemy even at the cost of huge losses of life among Soviet civilians. The Soviet scorched-earth strategy included the deportation of millions of men, women and children; the resettlement and reestablishment of thousands of factories; the withdrawal of almost the entire railway rolling stock; the-annihilation of raw material depots; the removal of most of the agricultural machinery, cattle and grain stocks; the systematic destruction, burning and blowing up of the immovable infrastructure, inventories of all kinds, factory buildings, mines, residential areas, public buildings, public records, and even cultural monuments; and the intentional starvation of the civilian population which remained behind to face German occupation. It was basically a policy which unscrupulously used the civilian population as a strategic pawn. The extent and timing of this policy action is confirmed by so many sources that no real difference of opinion exists in this regard. What is strange is how scantily it has been covered so far in the scholarly literature. Until now, this policy has not been analyzed to the extent it deserves with an eye to identifying the party responsible for the conflict, nor to appreciating the German difficulties in prosecuting a war along established civilized lines, nor to assessing the claims of German brutality in Russia, nor to sizing up the numerical potential of the alleged German genocide of Soviet Jews, or indeed, of the Soviet Slavs."

As this author points out, those great experts on Russia (such as yourself) don't disagree over whether it happened, but they just consistently forget to mention the suffering inflicted.

Why is it that Stalin not only evaded any penalty for his war crimes, but his crimes are downplayed? Who does that?

Tel

https://historicaltribune.wordpress.com/2016/09/22/stalins-order-227-unarmed-human-shields-used-as-defense-order-270-no-surrender-fight-to-the-end-or-be-shot-by-command/

"Between the years 1941-1942 alone, up to 200,000 Red Army soldiers were executed by the NKVD. However, since Order No. 227, the Battalions were increased in number and men within each increased also. Estimates on how many Red Army prisoner/soldiers, “Deserters” and “Panic-mongers” were executed throughout the war, are estimated between hundreds of thousands to a million… but one cannot truly know the true loss of life under these Orders."

He also mentions the arrest of family members used as punishment, and the penal battalions (shtrafbats) sent to die, but might as well use up the enemy's bullets instead of Russian bullets.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shtrafbat

"The total number of people convicted to penal units from September 1942 to May 1945 was 422,700 very few of whom were known to have survived the war."

Wikipedia also points out there's no available reference for the rumour that shtrafniks were sent to battle unarmed, but you can safely presume they got the worst equipment available at the time.

Note that the Nazi's used similar tactics, and Wikipedia cites numbers in the 10's of thousands, so it was on a smaller scale to what Stalin was doing. Obviously the strategy was somewhat successful, that's Total War for you.

Adrestia

“Russians just are NOT farmers.”

Sorry, but that's not true. Russians are always picking mushrooms and when I try that I probably kill myself with the first meal.

I know some (older) Russians that are not professional farmers, but musicians. Every time they show me their gardens I'm impressed with the amount of knowledge they have of plants, herbs, growing techniques etc. Not only to eat, but also to use as medicine.

In The Netherlands (and we are a huge and very exporter of agricultural products) the general population hardly has any knowledge on agriculture, only the couple procent that work and research has that. We started losing and transferring that knowledge in the late middle ages as we had already had 40+% urbanization then in Holland (the western provinces)

DianaLC

You, yourself, may be seeing history through a different lens, and so you may be as "ignorant" as you think I am.

I should have used the past tense and written "were" not farmers. I did write that my ethnic group was brought in first under Catherine the Great (the late 18th century) and then under Alexander I. Go back to that time period.

Catherine the Great had starving people and, since she was German and knew what was happening in Europe with the last phase of the Reformation, with so much fighting and bloodshed, she invited the farmers there to come in and farm in peace in Russia. She cleverly settled them in separate villages--a Lutheran village here, a Catholic village there, a Baptist village elsewhere, etc., to prevent religious fighting.

When they arrived in Russia, the lad was much like it was in the U.S. as the Western part was first being settled. The prairie land was root bound. There were no trees. She told them they had to farm. They spent the first years just preparing the land for farming and planting trees. They lived in dug-outs underground. They endured Mongol raiders. In some cases whole villages were wiped out. The same happened--except for the Mongol raiding--when they were brought in under Alexander I to the steppes above the Black Sea after Russia took that land from the Ottomans and into the area around Ukraine now. There were some who called themselves Bessarabian farmers. I just use the term from my history books here in my personal library.

Yes, of course I understand that the Bolsheviks were using their ideas of socialism to confiscate the grain reserves, but it does show their lack of understanding farming. A farmer must always prepare for crop failure for some reason--drought, pests, etc. The grain was kept for replanting when such things happened. The grain that was confiscated could have been used to alleviate the suffering from the drought by feeding and use for replanting. The Dust Bowl here in the U.S. was caused by weather conditions, but the dust was caused from poor farming practices that did not thin The stupidity of the last czar was also at fauth. (I had a great-uncle who was taken by his soldiers in the middle of the night to fight in his stupid war with Japan. He ended up spending a year in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Until he died here in the U.S., which our people called the "Good Stepmother," he kept a photo of Teddy Roosevelt on his wall since he had brokered the end of that war.

The socialist/communist revolution which was brewing as my families "illegally" left Russia (it was against the law at the time)then brought the Bolsheviks down, and they were in many cases as bad as the Mongols had originally been. They came in the night and dragged out the older sons and murdered them. They beat the old men. And, yes, they took the grain that might have been used to alleviate the two great famines that killed millions of people because they had no sense about the reason for the grain reserve.

If Russians had been such good farmers, Catherine the Great and Alexander I would not have felt the need to bring in farmers from Europe.

I know about the feudalism before, the Cossacks, etc. They treated their peasants like animals and so those peasants had no incentive to do the farming in the way the Germans eventually did and helped--as I said--to make Russia a grain exporter--at one time being called the bread basket of the world.

When the NY Times star reporter went to Russia to report on the famine, he as reporters from the NYT do now, decided all he needed to do was hobnob with that famous socialist/communist (head bolshevik devil) Stalin, who told him there was no famine. He came back and wrote what Stlain said. Luckily others finally got the truth.

Bolsheviks / mongols, tartars--whatever. My elders who had escaped having to deal with the terror they inflicted in the villages talked of them as if they were devils. I simply wrote that the way we young people who knew only America heard the word interpreted it as meaning something like "devils." I did learn what the word meant later as I studied history. I gave me no desire for socialism or communism.

I will not be anyone's useful idiot, and I shake my head at the spoiled young people here in America who feel socialism is the form of government that will save them.

Where is the USSR now? It's well known that with large socialist/communist uprisings and takeovers, famine will follow and millions will die.

Do not just jerk your knee, as the saying goes, and begin insulting someone you have never met. Read for the meaning behind what is written.

Take your socialism/ communism and become the useful idiot you are destined to be under those forms of governemtn.

Dave

I find this adulation of a former KGB Colonel to be mind-boggling.
Putin spent his entire professional carreer destroying innocent people's lives.
Ronald Reagan is turning in his grave over this fact.

Publius Tacitus

Dave,
Adulation? What are you talking about? And what is your evidence that he has "destroyed innocent people's lives?"
If he did his work properly as an intel officer no one not cleared to know would know what he did and the results.

Dave

The history of the KGB is well established. Spying on and trumping up charges against innocent people did indeed destroy innocent people's lives.

Fast forward to today where independent, anti-Putin journalists often end up dead under mysterious circumstances. Putin's thugs routinely beat gay rights activists.

And the most troubling aspect in my opinion of Putin's dictatorship is the hacking of our election systems which General McMaster says can no longer be credibly denied.

Putin is a very dangerous man in a very dangerous world. And lets not overlook his war crimes and genocide in Syria.

Flavius

Excellent article, loaded with unpleasant reality.
The question in my mind is whether our contemporary politics vis a vis all things Russian reflects entrenched ignorance, habits acquired during a time and USSR that no longer exist, corrupt domestic political opportunism, indifference, inertia, sloth, what?
Does it matter? The net effect is the same: high danger.
The hope of improvement appears to lie in Russian forebearance and that is not a good thing.
By what mechanism does accountability come to the Beltway bureaucracies that have been crating this mess since 1989, really. If we haven't already, we are on the verge of completely, blithely, blowing the end of the Cold War.
Clinton, Bush, Obama, and now Trump - history will not be kind to these political punters.

Publius Tacitus

Dave,
Are you really this obtuse? Guilt by association and innuendo may work in your fantasy world. Here, we prefer facts and evidence. The KGB, like the CIA, is an intelligence organization that has engaged in some unsavory activities. Linking Putin to those activities simply because he was a "KGB Colonel" is not proof. You made the claim, not me, that Putin destroyed "innocent people's lives." I asked for proof. You provided none. Instead, you deflected and went off on a rant.
So, here's another chance. Specifically which "innocent" lives did Putin destroy?
And, with respect to "war crimes and genocide in Syria"? Are you mad or just delusional. Russia is operating in Syria in accordance with international law. They have been officially invited in. It is the United States and the UK who are providing illegal weapons to rebel forces and have put troops into Syrian territory without permission. Go spread your propaganda elsewhere.

 jld

And eating babies for breakfast!!!
Yeah! Yeah!
Ahem...
A bit short on actual arguments.
What EXACTLY are you expecting from your dumb statements?

SmoothieX12

Now I'm pretty sure that 1944 would fall into the category of "close to the very end" although the exact turning point might be a matter of opinion. At any rate, just throwing this idea out there, but if you spend more time reading and thinking about what other people write, it might reduce your need to be abusive.

I don't need to "think" about baloney since records of instant executions in Wehrmacht by Field Gendermerie go as far back as winter of 1941-42. As an example, there are many records (such as memoirs of ober-lieutenant Kurt Steiger among many). So, I am not interested in discussing let alone "thinking" of anything from someone who doesn't know his facts. Obviously you never heard about Wehrmacht soldiers being provided "incentive" for going on the attack at Stalingrad by means of being shot at from the rear by own German "friendlies". So, you may stop your verbose propaganda here and get to study, as I already stated, a real history. You are not here to present the sound case.

SmoothieX12

-- Agree. Four years after the US-arranged Maidan revolution "Prices for products doubled. ... The incomes of the average Ukrainian, however, did not increase, and even fell

True, but the moment of truth which is coming for Ukrainians is not even the fact that the country will be split--this is an unstoppable process by now. What is the most shocking for them is the fact which only begins to sink into their minds--that overwhelming majority of Russians do not need, do not want and try their best to avoid any dealings with Ukraine and Ukrainians. Some parts of Eastern Ukraine may still be salvageable in a very long run, but that is about it. Not a Ruble of "investments" should be spent on that hell-hole by Russia. I omit here purely military-strategic issue of which neither EU nor US were aware, they never are--no qualifications for this, when they unleashed what is now moving inexorably towards true fascist state. Let Merkel deal with it.

SmoothieX12

A want, but not a will.

Whole modern Ukrainian state and Ukrainian "culture" are built on "wants" and fantasies derivative of those wants. Basically a total delusion. In the end, what else is expected from proud heirs of Sumerian civilization, which also founded Troy.

https://topwar.ru/80161-ukrainskiy-istorik-do-nashey-ery-ukraina-kormila-ves-obitaemyy-mir-naryadu-s-drevnim-egiptom.html

SmoothieX12

Just to illustrate, 10th Rifle Division of NKVD was one of the first to face-off units of 6th Army near Stalingrad. In the time period from late August to early October 1942 this Division was reduced to two companies, as an example. BTW, this were those very people who are associated with Zagrad Otryady. I, of course, may also recall Rodimtsev (13th Guards Rifle) Division which just crossing Volga lost something on the order of 80% of personnel (IIRC). People sometimes lose the grasp of the scale that in Stalingrad Battle in 4 months the number casualties on both sides, including civilians of Stalingrad and suburbs reached 1.9 million people. This never was a "regular" war--it is the war which still defines, profoundly at that, the world we live in.

DianaLC

I could ask you to look up the Web sites for the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.

Most of my information comes from the many books I have on the subject of my ancestors. I could give you titles, but I doubt you would take the time to get those books and read them.

Droughts and famines have many causes. Both of those in Russia, the one in the 20's and the Holdomor meant the deaths of millions of people because the Russians didn't care about the farmers at the time when they took the reserves. They didn't have the slightest intention of doing anything but taking the grain up the Volga to the cities and leaving the villages to starve. The starving would have been cut far shorter, too, if Saling had told the world the truth. Famines occur when crops fail, but famines don't last as long when farmers can quickly grow more crops.

those other two that you mention had different causes, so you should do some research yourself.

And I truly dislike your tone about my ancesters. These were people who were very religious and knew the meaning of the Ninth Commandment.

Sociolists seem to me to be the ones without a logical brain.

Read "Wir wollen Deutsche Bleiben." Don't worry, it's in English. That covers mostly the Volga German communities. It's by George J. Walters

Read "The Volga Germans: In Russia and the Americas; From 163 to the Present" By Fred C. Koch

I grew up in my church here attending church where we sang out of the "Volga Gesang Buch."

But, I think you will also find much information from the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.

You will probably be afraid to do any of this reading because then all your sociolist mis-education may cause you some cognitive dissonance. And I notice you don't mention the famine that occurred after the communists took over China. How about the food situation in North Korea?

You also don't want to admit the many many Russians who died working themselves to death under Stalin, do you? I believe he cused the death of more Russians than he did of Nazis.

One thing my teachers never did was accuse me of believing fairy tales, as I graduated first in my high school class and I received a full turition scholarship for my undergrad based on my test scores and graduate with honor, as I did for my M.A. program.

Your implication about my grandparents' and great grandparents' honesty makes me angrier than you implication about my knowledge.


English Outsider


Dave - "Putin is a very dangerous man in a very dangerous world. And lets not overlook his war crimes and genocide in Syria."

Imagine someone in the house across the road is shooting at your house. The shooter has his family living with him and has dragged in some innocent neighbours so that if you shoot back you're putting lives at risk that shouldn't be at risk.

How do you cope with that? Do you shrug your shoulders and accept you and your family are always going to exposed to his fire? Do you try to get the innocents out of the way before you fire back? What if the shooter won't let the innocents go?

This is the position as it was in most Jihadi occupied areas of Syria. It is the position in Damascus even now, with artillery fire coming into civilian areas out of Jihadi occupied areas.

Both the Americans and the forces supporting the Syrian Government had to cope with such situations many times. This is not the place to go into comparisons of how well the various sides managed, nor am I by any means the best qualified to do so, but I can assure you, having followed as well as I could Aleppo and Raqqa and many other such operations to get the Jihadis out of population centres, that the Russians coped as well as anyone and I believe better than most.

mikee

There are only seven. You should be able to figure it out.

Fred

Mikee,

Sounds like you're feeling lots of inherited resentment. Feel free to move to a one where you can feel guilt free.

mikee

I feel no guilt, just see the world as it is and not as portrayed on the boob tube.

Babak Makkinejad

Yup, like Mongols across the Iranian plateau.

English Outsider

(75)

SmoothieX12 - "The best in hypothetical scenario of "invading" Ukraine Russia can hope for is majority of silent and very openly or tacitly hateful population..."

Absolutely. I remember the time when Strelkov was retreating and one assumed the Ukrainian irregular forces were going to mistreat the population in the area he had had to abandon. I think that did happen but at the same time I heard from a friend whose relatives lived in Sloviansk. The relatives were immensely relieved that they were now under Kiev again.

In other words this is a bitterly divided population, even in the East.

It didn't have to happen. Of that I am convinced. Pre-coup opinion polls showed all of the Ukraine with the exception of the Crimea more or less reconciled to staying in the Ukraine as it was, and most wishing to do so. That country had it in it to become one of the most prosperous in Europe. There was intense popular dissatisfaction, that is true, but it was dissatisfaction on both sides of the divide with the mafia style corruption in the Ukraine, no matter which party ruled. Mozgovoy was right when he said, at the height of the conflict, that if those fighting against him knew who the real enemy was the fighting would stop tomorrow.

The correspondence on this thread gives a glimpse of the intensity of the old and not so old passions and animosities simmering in the pre-coup Ukraine. Potentially the place was a powder keg. But powder kegs don't have to explode and I am now certain that it was the EU and NATO intervention that set it off. The spectacle of both blithely pursuing their "geo-political" aims, unaware or even making use of those deep animosities, is I believe one of the most shameful spectacles in our history. Making use of the more nationalistic elements as street fighters and then as an ersatz military was yet worse. It was that time, watching the Western politicians and media glossing over or even justifying what had been done, that I and I think many others realised it wasn't only the Ukraine that was in deep trouble.

I think that's a painful realisation that comes across also on the Colonel's site. Most here, I believe, are deeply proud of their country and of the fighting forces that defend it. Yet at the same time we must witness our countries engaging in evil acts and our fighting forces put to uses we deplore. How can one not feel conflicted loyalties in those circumstances, particularly when so many of our respective fellow countrymen are unaware of or even approving of what is being done?

We've gone a long way down. The foreign policy of the old America, the America of Kennedy's inaugural speech that offered reasoned hope to all, has been taken over, to speak plainly, by a cabal of Eastern European Russophobic refugees or their descendants or adherents. For those looking on from outside the beacon of hope to the world has been replaced by the planetary scourge of a vast military, uncontrolled by it's own people and serving who knows what intricate and discreditable ends. The America of the Little House on the Prairie has been replaced by the Shtetl on the Potomac and there seems no end to it.

And worse, if that's possible, in Europe. My Europe, the Europe of the civilised and the creative, has been replaced by the leaden rule of derelict ideals opposed by forces that hark back to the worst times in their history. There's not much to come out of that conflict between two sides neither of which offer any true hope. And England, my England? Still there, I believe, I know, but how shamefully it trails the juggernaut and how eagerly we undertake the squalid tasks entrusted to us.

And like some ancient Morality Play, we see the consequences of our dereliction played out in real time on the borders of our continent. The old Ukraine, that corrupt and riven state but with such possibilities for the future, we have smashed past hope of reconstruction. As its people - a great people, I have always felt, and either side of the divide - drive deeper into poverty and strife we will not save them. We seem incapable even of saving ourselves.

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