Not everything I’ve written in the last few posts was intended as a counterpoint. Suvorov painted a clear picture of a Soviet Union preparing for the invasion and subjugation of Europe, and presented large amounts of data in support of that picture. My intention here had been to give people a glimpse of that picture; a task which seemed more worthwhile than getting into a nitpicky, point-by-point argument with someone who hasn’t yet read Suvorov’s book.
An admirable intention, but I don’t think you realize how unconvincing your arguments are. Most of your posting so far has contained irrelevant information on the specifications of the Soviet Union’s armoured vehicles, as if these alone are proof that Stalin was planning to invade in 1941. Several posts later, you still haven’t once addressed my counterpoint that an invasion would have been practically impossible amidst the refit and reorganization of the Red Army.
I must also take issue with the assertion that the Soviets started the war with better tanks.
The Soviet Union’s best tanks (KV series) were much, much better than Germany’s best tanks (Panzer IVs). An argument could be made that in 1941, a KV-1 or KV-2 was worth about ten German tanks. The Soviets’ production of 1300 KV-1/KV-2 tanks in 1941 could have balanced out a total German tank production of 13,000 for 1941. Germany produced 3,600 tanks in 1941, which means that Soviets’ KV production for 1941, alone, provided about 3.5x the combat value of Germany’s total tank production for that year.
This is exactly what I’m talking about. My VERY NEXT SENTENCE after the one you quoted above was an admission that the T-34 and KV series tanks were objectively better vehicles, and for some reason you decided to spew out 4 paragraphs saying how much better they were and talking about production numbers. This kind of selective quoting and response is generally looked down on in discussion forums, you shouldn’t do it.
Rather than idly speculating on whether I’d “misrepresented” that or any other source, you should have clicked on the link (which I’d provided) to see for yourself what the source had indicated. Had you done so, you would have seen that I’d simply copied and pasted a sentence from the Wikipedia article; and that the surrounding context did not negate the clear and obvious meaning of the sentence in question.
I didn’t click your link because I’ve read enough scholarly work and memoirs on this subject to know that your assertion was erroneous. Wikipedia is notorious for unreliable information, it is by no means a gold standard to hang up your argument.
On June 22 1941, the Soviet Union had 13,500 military aircraft near the Nazi-Soviet front, as opposed to 4,400 for Germany. During the ensuing months, the Soviets would lose 21,000 military aircraft, as opposed to 3,800 for Germany
This is not a counterpoint. Nothing in the above two sentences contradicts the fact that the Luftwaffe was spread incredibly thin on the Eastern Front and was only capable of local air supremacy. It absolutely could not be responsible for destroying the vast bulk of the T-26 series tanks as you earlier stated.
Had both sides’ aircraft, artillery, anti-tank weapons, and other non-tanks somehow been excluded from the eastern front, the Soviets’ tanks would have annihilated the Germans’. The T-26 was not a great tank, but neither was it horrible. The main gun of a T-26 could penetrate 35 mm of vertical armor from a distance of 1000 meters. The main gun of a Panzer III could penetrate 44 mm of vertical armor from a distance of 1000 meters. The Panzer III had significantly thicker armor than the T-26. (As one would expect, given that the Panzer III was a medium tank, and the T-26 was a light tank.) I’m not trying to suggest that a somewhat older Soviet light tank, like the T-26, was the equivalent of a German medium tank like the Panzer III. (It wasn’t.) But the fact that the (light tank) T-26’s armament was 80% as good as the (medium tank) Panzer III’s suggests that even the Soviet Union’s least powerful, light tanks were still pretty good.
Who cares what would have happened if both sides were missing their aircraft, artillery, and anti-tank weapons? That’s not relevant to our discussion at all, and there is no way for you to know what would have happened had they been absent. The fact that you believe the Soviets would have walked through the Germans without these shows how elementary your understanding of the Eastern Front really is. The technical fallout rate of the Soviet vehicles was astronomically large, and German success in Barbarossa had just as much to do with poor Soviet leadership and training as it did with the professionalism and skill of the Wehrmacht. These very large and substantial factors to the outcome of the fighting in 1941 are not at all affected by some absurd hypothetical where aircraft, artillery, and field guns are missing.
I had to read a very big chunk of Suvorov’s book before becoming convinced Stalin had planned to invade Germany in '41. Light, amphibious tanks were far better-suited to offense than defense. In '41, the Soviet Union had more light, amphibious tanks than Germany had total tanks.
Again you’re harping on the amphibious tanks. The existence of these vehicles is not evidence of a Soviet invasion in 1941. I don’t know how many times i’m going to have to say that.