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Old 08-26-2013, 11:48 AM
 
14,781 posts, read 37,917,475 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soupson1 View Post
“In the Soviet Army,” said Stalin, “it takes more courage to retreat than advance.”
People love these little nuggets about the Red Army, but they are largely untrue. This particular quote comes from the US Ambassador Averell Harriman who reported that Stalin said it to him. The context for the time was during the height of the German invasion and was in regards to Stalin's "no surrender / not one step back" orders. While those are widely quoted people often don't realize they were rapidly rescinded and often contained little clauses about "no retreating without orders". Many liberated Soviet POW's or units the escaped encirclement by retreating were not punished but simply re-processed back into the military when possible.

The one thing that was different was the use of penal batallions. These were formed from men that committed some sort of infraction, committed a crime or displayed cowardice. These units were often used in the vanguard of assaults, to breach defenses, clear minefields, etc. These penal batallions were guarded by SMERSH units and the SMERSH units would fire on people in the penal batallions who tried to run away under some circumstances. The use of these batallions was actually copied from the German Wehrmacht who had long made extensive use of penal batallions to perform similar tasks. Regular units/men were kept inline under threat of being sent to a penal batallion. Penal batallions were kept inline under threat of death for not performing their duty. If one performed well in a penal batallion they became exonerated and could rejoin a regular unit. Several "Hero's of the Soviet Union" (equivalent to being a Medal of Honor recipient) were at one time sentenced to penal batallions.

This image of NKVD forcing regular units to charge positions under threat of being shot with a machine gun is largely incorrect, yet persists; much like the soldiers being sent into battle without rifles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delahanty View Post
And Chairman Mao was worse than both of them. Heck, he killed so many of his own people historians can't even give a number.
This has been debated before. What I will say is that you really need to read into how the numbers were determined and then in the case of Mao place them into the context of the size of the population. This thread explored several of the claims and how the numbers are reached. None of it was intended to exonerate either person, just place it into perspective.

Mao Zedong: Hero or villain?
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:51 PM
 
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R[quote]ussian national character that differs from German national character when it comes to scrutiny, efficiency and attention to details, made life easier for Soviet citizens during authoritarian regime.
/QUOTE]

You know I'm not so sure about that. Stalin not only socked it to the Wehrmacht he socked it to his own people no matter where they lived. Winning the war against the Wehrmacht was one thing but he also fought a war with his own people and those that were in former lands occupied by Germany got it real bad. Why? Stalin, the paranoiac's paranoiac, believed that those living in those lands corrupted them with collaboration, treason and also picking up foreign (non-Soviet) ideas. And mind that these people fought against the Wehrmacht as partisans! The NKVD were instrumental in carrying out Stalin's repriosals agaisnt those who were thought disloyal. They also did deportations. Under Stalin's boot, being 'Soviet' didn't automatically offer full protection from his wrath. And prisoners, even they were under the suspicion as well. The NKVD was there too questioning them aftwer imprisonment.

Stalin and Adolf, two war-mongers, in a dirty dirty business.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:07 AM
 
Location: rural USA
123 posts, read 238,611 times
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I dislike the way Stalin gets so much of the blame for the USSR's atrocities in popular culture. The whole Bolshevik system of government was rotten to the core, basically evil, anti-human, before they even won the Russian Civil War.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:46 AM
 
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Quote:
I dislike the way Stalin gets so much of the blame for the USSR's atrocities in popular culture.
Are you suggesting that perhaps the biographies are missing something with him? Not taking something into account in portraying and analysing his behavior?
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:37 AM
 
18,314 posts, read 15,376,318 times
Reputation: 8040
[quote=travric;31138493]R
Quote:
ussian national character that differs from German national character when it comes to scrutiny, efficiency and attention to details, made life easier for Soviet citizens during authoritarian regime.
/QUOTE]

You know I'm not so sure about that. Stalin not only socked it to the Wehrmacht he socked it to his own people no matter where they lived. Winning the war against the Wehrmacht was one thing but he also fought a war with his own people and those that were in former lands occupied by Germany got it real bad. Why? Stalin, the paranoiac's paranoiac, believed that those living in those lands corrupted them with collaboration, treason and also picking up foreign (non-Soviet) ideas. And mind that these people fought against the Wehrmacht as partisans! The NKVD were instrumental in carrying out Stalin's repriosals agaisnt those who were thought disloyal. They also did deportations. Under Stalin's boot, being 'Soviet' didn't automatically offer full protection from his wrath. And prisoners, even they were under the suspicion as well. The NKVD was there too questioning them aftwer imprisonment.

Stalin and Adolf, two war-mongers, in a dirty dirty business.
Again - you don't quite understand apparently that it was not a well-oiled machine German style.
Just because the country was huge, disorganized as usual ( don't take all those "orders" at the face value; there is that time between the order and the fall season, when the roads to the next city/village simply become impassible, and by the time they become functional, the one who issued the order might have been already dismissed or dead.) The NKVD was efficient in the big cities, but it was not as omni-present and worked at full swing all over the place. You make it sound as ALL partisans were methodically sent to labor camps or executed, or everyone in the country that was "disloyal" ( whatever that means) was exterminated. All this was happening sporadically, depending on the local authorities, here and there ( paranoia is not the best rout to consistency.) So it was not that methodical, efficient and well-calculated machine in a much smaller country that Germans had. So I still think they've had it worse.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:05 AM
 
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Again - you don't quite understand apparently that it was not a well-oiled machine German style.

Well really I don't care about it being a 'well-oiled machine'. I'm only focusing on the 'facts'. Living under both of the criminal regimes was detrimental to the lives of their citizens and their enemies. The concept of 'worse' off is kind of ridiculous if you really think about it.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:53 AM
 
18,094 posts, read 15,414,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choo_choo_train_lol View Post
I dislike the way Stalin gets so much of the blame for the USSR's atrocities in popular culture. The whole Bolshevik system of government was rotten to the core, basically evil, anti-human, before they even won the Russian Civil War.
Imperial Russia was no utopia either for most people; I would say it was an outright horrific place to live for many people.
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Imperial Russia was no utopia either for most people; I would say it was an outright horrific place to live for many people.
Just as the peasants in Russian society, Nicholas got a taste of what life could be like too, eh? His class was living well but it couldn't save him from those who wanted to make a 'new' man. One thing about Russia and we can inlcude Germany, I'd suggest that no matter who you were you couldn't hide. it was like all the 'bases were covered' in those countries when the center didn't hold.
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