Germany’s War by John Wear, Part I: The Allied Conspiracy to Originate World War II, Chapter 1: The Chief Culprit: Josef Stalin & the USSR https://www.amazon.com/GERMANYS-WAR-Origins-Aftermath-Atrocities/dp/0982344899/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1CODKQLIYA3ZW&keywords=john+wear+germany%27s+war&qid=1578315223&s=books&sprefix=John+Wear%2Caps%2C169&sr=1-1
Viktor Suvorov, The Chief Culprit, https://www.amazon.com/Chief-Culprit-Stalins-Grand-Design/dp/1591148065/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Viktor+Suvorov&qid=1578315399&s=books&sr=1-1
Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, is widely interpreted by historians as an unprovoked act of aggression by Germany. Adolf Hitler is typically described as an untrustworthy liar who maliciously broke the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact he had signed with the Soviet Union. Historians usually depict Josef Stalin as an unprepared victim of Hitler’s aggression who was foolish to have trusted Hitler. Many historians think the Soviet Union was lucky to have survived Germany’s attack.
This standard version of history does not incorporate information obtained from the Soviet archives. The Soviet archives show that the Soviet Union had amassed the largest, most powerful, and best equipped army in history. As we shall see in the following discussion, the Soviet Union was on the verge of launching a massive military offensive against all of Europe. Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union was a desperate preemptive attack that prevented the Soviet Union from conquering all of Europe. Germany was totally unprepared for a prolonged war against an opponent as powerful as the Soviet Union.
INTRODUCTION TO VIKTOR SUVOROV
Viktor Suvorov is a former Soviet military intelligence operative who defected to the United Kingdom in 1978. Suvorov joined the Soviet army as an 11-year-old, and for the next seven years attended the extremely tough Military Boarding School. After graduation, Suvorov was chosen for the Frunze High Command Army School in Kiev, where he graduated in three years with honors. Suvorov’s work as an intelligence operative was noticed. He was sent to the Soviet Army Academy, which was the Soviet Union’s most secret military academy. The curriculum at the Soviet Army Academy was extremely intense and was designed as a test; those who excelled would get the most interesting intelligence assignments.
Suvorov had been taught to notice strange occurrences, anomalies, and exceptions to the rules. Suvorov noticed that no matter what happened in the Soviet Union, the government and media always tried to conceal the negative aspects and show the positive. You could not find any negative news about the Soviet Union. Everything was always fine, culture was flourishing, the quality of life was getting better and better, the Soviet Union would soon surpass the United States. A magnitude
7.3 on the Richter scale earthquake that leveled the city of Ashkhabad was not reported; those who spoke about the earthquake were arrested and put into prison for spreading false rumors. Even catastrophes such as the Chernobyl disaster were not reported. After an international investigation exposed the Chernobyl disaster, the Soviets claimed that the Chernobyl accident was completely insignificant and no one should pay any attention to it.1
Suvorov noticed one exception to these rules: June 22, 1941, the day Germany attacked the Soviet Union. All Soviet sources talk about the blatant unpreparedness of the Red Army for military action. Soviet sources said that the Soviet army had no good commanders, that Soviet tanks and airplanes were outdated, that the Soviet Union was totally unprepared for war, and that Stalin was stupid to have trusted Hitler. Suvorov was taught by his intelligence training to look for incoherence.
This magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale earthquake occurred on Oct. 6, 1948 near Ashkhabad in the Soviet Union. Soviet censorship did not allow this earthquake to be reported in the media. The earthquake caused the collapse of brick buildings, concrete structures and the destruction of freight trains. A correct death toll of 110,000 from this earthquake was eventually reported in 1988. PHOTO: WWW.LIST25.COM
He asked: Why was it that the Soviets, who would hide all other mistakes, accidents, and catastrophes, make such a tremendous effort to emphasize the mistakes of the Soviet Union in June 1941?
Suvorov soon realized that Communist historians and propaganda masters had gone out of their way to hide any details that would enable an outsider to construct the reality of what was happening in the Soviet Union at the beginning of the German invasion. Suvorov found a way to re-construct this reality. While a student at the Academy, Suvorov wrote an independent research paper entitled “The Attack of Germany on the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.” Suvorov explained his interest in the subject by saying to his professors that he wanted to study how Germany prepared for the attack so that a horrible tragedy of this kind would never happen again. The topic of Suvorov’s research was approved and he was given access to closed archives. Suvorov was extra careful not to reveal the real interest of his research.2
Suvorov discovered that the Soviet version of World War II history is a lie and that it conceals the Soviet Union’s responsibility for planning the start of the war. The Red Army in June 1941 was the largest, best equipped army in the history of the world. The concentration of Soviet troops on the German border was frightful. If Hitler had not invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, the Soviet Union would have easily taken over all of Europe. German intelligence correctly saw the massive concentration of Soviet forces on the German border, but it did not see all of the Soviet military preparedness. The real picture was much graver than Germany realized.
Suvorov first published his findings in English in 1990 in the book Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War? The book quickly sold out, but the publisher refused to print further editions. It quickly became apparent that the Western academic community was as reluctant as the Communists to accept Suvorov’s new interpretation of World War II. However, with the collapse of communism and the Soviet Union, Icebreaker and Suvorov’s later books sold in large quantities. Beginning in 1990, Suvorov began to receive a flood of letters from all over the world. People provided Suvorov with their unique insights and sent him copies of documents in support of his theory. Many of these insights, as well as evidence from newly published materials, are incorporated in Suvorov’s latest book The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II. Before summarizing the evidence in Suvorov’s book, I want to mention that Suvorov does not believe that traditional methods of historical science are needed to understand the Soviet Union. Suvorov regards the Soviet Union as a criminal conglomerate. The Soviet leaders have committed innumerable acts of atrocity against their own people and people of other countries. This is why for Suvorov the history of the Soviet Union should be studied using methods of criminology and intelligence rather than classical historical research. The first rule of intelligence is: do not believe what is demonstrated to you; seek what is hidden. Suvorov states that Soviet leaders were demonstrating the unpreparedness of the Soviet Union for war. What Soviet leaders were hiding was a massive military offensive designed to take over all of Europe.3
INDUSTRIALIZATION, COLLECTIVIZATION OF THE SOVIET ECONOMY
The Soviet Union adopted a Five Year Plan in 1927 for developing industry. The main focus of the first Five Year Plan was not the production of arms, but rather the creation of an industrial base which was later used to produce armaments. The military emphasis was not so noticeable in these first five years. The Red Army had 79 foreign-made tanks at the beginning of the first plan; at the end of the first plan it had 4,538 tanks.4 The second Five Year Plan that began in 1932 in the Soviet Union was a continuation of the development of the industrial base. This meant the creation and purchase of furnaces, giant electricity plants, coal mines, factories, and machinery and equipment. In the early 1930s, American engineers traveled to the Soviet Union and built the largest and most powerful enterprise in the entire world—Uralvagonzavod (the Ural Railroad Car Factory). Uralvagonzavod was built in such a manner that it could at any moment switch from producing railroad cars to producing tanks. In 1941, an order was issued to produce tanks, and Uralvagonzavod without any delays began the mass production of tanks. Uralvagonzavod produced 35,000 T-34 tanks and other weapons during World War II.5
The third Five Year Plan that began in 1937 had as its goal the production of military weapons of very high quality in enormous quantities. The Soviet Union under Stalin was highly successful in achieving its goals, and produced superior military weapons on a grandiose scale. For example, the Chelyabinsk tractor factory was completed in the Urals, and similar to Uralvagonzavod this factory was built in such a way that it could begin producing tanks at any time. The Chelyabinsk tractor factory was called Tankograd during the course of the war. It built not only the medium T-34 tanks, but also the heavy IS and KV tank classes.6
A third gigantic factory, Uralmash, was built not far away in Sverdlovsk. This factory is among the top 10 engineering factories in the world. The Soviet net of steel-casting factories was greatly expanded in order to supply these three giant factories in the Urals. Magnitogorsk, a city of metallurgists, was built in addition to a huge plant the main output of which was steel armor. In Stalingrad, a tractor factory was also built that in reality was primarily for producing tanks. Automobile, motor, aviation, and artillery factories were also erected at the same time.7
The most powerful aviation factory in the world was built in the Russian Far East. The city Komsomolsk-na-Amure was built in order to service this factory. Both the factory and the city were built according to American designs and furnished with the most modern American equipment. The American engineers sent to Komsomolsk to install the equipment were astounded by the scope of the construction.8
One secret of Soviet success in building its military was the use of terror to control the Soviet population. Communists shut down the borders of the Soviet Union, making it impossible to leave the country. Secret police also unleashed a fight against “saboteurs.” Any accident, breakage, or lack of success in a production line was declared to be the result of an evil plot. The guilty and innocent alike were sentenced to long prison terms. Those who were named “malevolent saboteurs” were executed.
The terror improved worker discipline and eliminated any need to fear strikes and demands for higher wages on the part of workers. Also, the terror caused millions of people to be sent to concentration camps. Concentration camp inmates constituted a slave labor force that could be sent anywhere in the country without having to be paid. The development of the remote regions of Siberia and the Far East would have been impossible without the millions of inmates deported to work in these regions. The Soviets planned in advance the number of prisoners that would be needed for the next year, and would place an order in advance with the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD) to obtain the needed workers.9
The second secret of Stalin’s industrialization success was the vast resources available in the Soviet Union. Valuables amassed over the centuries such as paintings, statues, icons, medals, precious books, antique furniture, furs, jewelry, gold, platinum, and diamonds were all mercilessly confiscated and sold abroad. The Soviet Union also had every sort of resource in almost inexhaustible quantities. Timber exports, gold mining, coal, nickel, manganese, petroleum, caviar and furs were all used to pay for Soviet industrialization. Western technology was the main key to success. The Soviet Union became the world’s biggest importer of machinery and equipment in the early 1930s.10
Stalin also sent large numbers of prominent tank, aviation, and artillery engineers to prison, accusing them of being spies. The task assigned to the engineers was straightforward: create the best bomber, tank, cannon, engine, or submarine in the world and you will receive your freedom. Fail and you will work in a gold mine where inmates did not live too long. The engineers did not have to be paid, but were still highly motivated to create the best weapons in the world to obtain their freedom. Stalin’s spies also supplied these talented engineers with the best American, German, British, and other designs in the given field. The engineer could choose the best design, and based on it create something even more outstanding.11
The lives of the people in the Soviet Union were not improved with the Soviet industrialization. Basic necessities such as pots and pans, rubber boots, plates, furniture, cheap clothing, nails, home appliances, matches and other goods all became scarce. People had to wait in long lines outside the stores to obtain these items. Stalin let his people’s standard of living drop extremely low to focus practically all of the Soviet Union’s industrial production on military expansion.12
Stalin also began his bloody war against peasants, which was called collectivization. Units of the Red Army would herd peasants and their families into railroad cattle cars and transport them to Siberia, the Urals, or Kazakhstan, where they were thrown out into the cold on the bare steppes. This operation was ordered by Stalin and executed by his deputy Molotov. Many years later, when Molotov was asked how many people were transferred during collectivization, Molotov answered: “Stalin said that we relocated 10 million. In reality, we relocated 20 million.”13 The Soviet collectivization of 1932-1933 is estimated to have resulted in 3.5 to 5 million deaths from starvation, and another 3 million to 4 million deaths as a result of intolerable conditions at the places of exile.14
STALIN’S PREPARATIONS FOR WAR: TANKS
Tanks were planned to be the spearhead for the Soviet offensive against Europe. Stalin built and mass-produced the best tanks in the world as he built Soviet industry. The Red Army produced the T-28 tank in 1933. Not a single German, British, American, French, or Japanese tank from the 1930s could match the T-28 in terms of weapons, armor, engine power, or the ability to cross water barriers underwater.15
The Germans started producing the Pz-IVA, the most powerful German tank of the first half of World War II, at the end of 1937. The T-28 tank was superior to the German tank in all respects except one: the T28 fired shells with an initial speed of 381 m/s, while the German PzIVA tank fired shells with an initial speed of 385 m/s. In response, starting in 1938, the Soviet T-28 tanks were produced with a new L-10 gun that fired shells with an initial speed of 555 m/s. The L-10 Soviet tank gun was unrivaled in Germany or anywhere else in the world. Despite being outstanding in comparison with all foreign tanks, after the war Soviet historians and generals called the T-28 tank obsolete.
On Dec. 19, 1939, the Red Army introduced the T-34 tank. Entire volumes of rave reviews of the T-34 tank have been published; its debut caused a sensation at the beginning of the war. The T-34 surpassed any German tank in all parameters: speed, acceleration ability, cross-country ability, tank gun, ideal body shape, powerful diesel engine, and wide caterpillar tracks. In addition, unlike other tanks, the T-34 could be easily mass produced. Any large-scale automobile factory could be converted to produce this tank. Also, the production of the T-34 tank did not require a highly qualified workforce.16
Communist historians acknowledge the remarkable qualities of the T-34, but attempt to show the unpreparedness of the Soviet Union by stating that only 967 T-34s existed in June 1941 at the time of the German invasion. However, Suvorov shows that the Soviet Union had 1,400 T-34s at the time of invasion. During the second half of 1941, Soviet industry produced another 1,789 T-34 tanks. More importantly, in 1942 the Soviet Union produced 12,520 T-34 tanks, while in Germany the production of an analogous tank had not begun. The mass production of the T-34 provided the Soviet Union with major advantages over Germany in tank warfare during World War II.
The German equivalent of the T-34 was the Panther, which first appeared in the summer of 1943 during the tank battle at Kursk. The Panther had design flaws compared to the T-34. First, the T-34 had a diesel engine, while the Panther had a carburetor engine. A diesel engine is more economical and less susceptible to fire. Second, the Panther did not have the engine and transmission located in the rear of the tank. As a result, the Panther was too large and weighed 44.8 tons when it was supposed to weigh 30 tons. With its dimensions and weight, the Panther was easier to hit, had weaker armor protection, and could not compete with the T-34 in anything related to mobility. The T-34 surpassed the Panther in maneuverability, acceleration, and cross-country mobility, which are all parameters needed for offense.17
The Panther’s main flaw, however, was that its complex design made it unfit for mass production. Only 5,976 tanks of this model were produced during the war. The Soviet Union produced nine T-34s for every Panther Germany produced. In fact, the Soviet Union produced more T34 tanks during World War II than tanks of all types were produced in Great Britain, Germany, and Japan put together.18
The Soviet Union was the first country in the world to produce a heavy tank. The first Soviet heavy tank, the T-35, was produced in series and entered the ranks of the troops in 1933. In 1941, no other tank outside the Soviet Union could even approximately compare with the heavy T-35. The T-35 surpassed every other tank outside the Soviet Union in terms of weapons, armor, and engine power. Moreover, the T-35 exerted much less pressure on the ground than the German tanks, which meant that it had greater mobility and did not sink in snow, mud, or soft ground. Despite being in a class by itself compared to all other foreign tanks, Western and Soviet historians declared the T-35 tank to be obsolete and did not mention it in statistics.19
The T-35 tank was replaced by the KV-1 and KV-2 heavy tanks, which weighed 47 and 52 tons, respectively. The KV was the first tank in the world with a true anti-shell armor. The wide caterpillar tracks of the KV allowed it to fight on almost any terrain in any weather condition, and its 600-horsepower diesel engine surpassed all foreign tanks in power, reliability, and economy. The tank guns of the KV far exceeded the capacity of any other tank produced outside the Soviet Union. The KV later turned into the IS-1 and then the IS-2, the most powerful tank of World War II.
Designers of the Soviet heavy tanks accomplished a technological feat: they almost doubled the thickness of the armor and installed a gun that was three times more powerful, while staying in the same weight class of the heavy tank. Stalin had a remarkable pair of tanks: the most powerful heavy tank by far in the world, and an excellent mass-produced medium T-34 tank. The availability of tens of thousands of T-34 tanks allowed them to be used anywhere. The availability of the heavy tanks supported the battle capabilities of the medium T-34 tanks. The crews of the T-34 could fight confidently, knowing that they had the support of a powerful KV or IS tank behind them.20
The German failure to design a good tank for mass production inevitably led to defeat in World War II. Gen. Heinz Guderian wrote after the war: “. . . The Russians would have won the war even without the help of their Western allies and would have occupied the whole of Europe. No power on earth could have stopped them.”21
The German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 resulted in the destruction or abandonment of thousands of Soviet tanks. The Communist historians explained this catastrophe very simply: the tanks were obsolete and therefore useless. Suvorov states that this explanation is nonsense. The “obsolete” Soviet medium T-28 and heavy T-35 tanks far surpassed every other tank outside of the Soviet Union. The Soviet T-34 tank is widely regarded as one of the best tanks of all time. The Soviet KV tank was the most powerful tank in the world during the first half of World War II.22 How can tanks be obsolete when there is nothing else of comparable quality anywhere else in the world?
The Soviet Union also built an entire family of BT tanks—the BT-2, BT-5, BT-7, BT-7A, and BT-7M. BT stands for bystrokhodnyi (high-speed) tank. At the beginning of World War II, the Red Army had 6,456 BT tanks, as many as all other operational tanks in the rest of the world. The BT tanks were well designed, heavily armed for their times, had standard bullet-proof armor, and used a diesel engine which made the tanks far less vulnerable to fires. The first BTs had a speed of 69 mph; today most tanks would still be envious of such high speeds. Nevertheless, Soviet historians categorized these tanks among the obsolete models, so obsolete that until 1991 they were not even included in statistics.23
The disadvantage of BT tanks is that they could only be used in aggressive warfare on good roads such as the autobahn in Germany. The BT tank’s most important characteristic—its speed—was achieved through the use of its wheels. The wheels of the BT tank made it impossible to use the BT tank successfully off the roads, or on the bad roads of the Soviet Union. In the battles fought on Soviet territory, thousands of BT tanks were abandoned. Historians say that Stalin’s BT tanks were not ready for war. This statement is not true. The BT tank was ready for an offensive war on German territory, but not for a defensive war fought on its own territory.24
The Soviet Union also built an outstanding family of amphibious tanks: the T-37A, T-38, and T-40. By June 22, 1941, the Soviet Union had over 4,000 amphibious tanks in its arsenal. By comparison, to this day Germany has never built any amphibious tanks. Amphibious tanks are useful in offensive operations to cross rivers and seize bridges before the enemy can blow the bridges up when threatened with a takeover. If there are no remaining enemy bridges, amphibious tanks allow an army to cross the river and establish a bridgehead on the other side of the river. Amphibious tanks are useful in offensive operations; they are of little use in a defensive war.
When Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, it had a total of 3,350 tanks on the Eastern Front, all of them inferior to the Soviet tanks and none of them amphibious. Yet historians called the Soviet amphibious tanks obsolete.25 The Soviet amphibious tanks in 1941 became unnecessary and played no role in the war. But the question remains: Why were the amphibious tanks developed and built? Why did Stalin need 4,000 amphibious tanks which could not be used in a defensive war? The obvious answer is that Stalin planned to use the amphibious tanks in a massive military invasion of Europe.
SOVIET AVIATION AND AIRBORNE ASSAULT TROOPS
Stalin could have averted World War II by developing large quantities of the heavy high-speed, high-altitude TB-7 bomber. This bomber had a strong defense system consisting of 20-mm cannons and 12.7-mm heavy machine guns. The TB-7 was the most powerful bomber in the world; bombs of the largest caliber could fit in its large bomb compartment. However, the TB-7’s most remarkable quality is that it could fly at altitudes between 10,000 and 12,000 meters, where it was untouchable by anti-aircraft artillery and could not be reached by the majority of existing fighters. A Soviet delegation headed by Molotov in the spring of 1942 was able to fly over Germany in a TB-7 without being detected by German anti-aircraft defenses.26
Stalin needed only to produce 1,000 TB-7 bombers and announce to selected countries that the Soviet Union would use these untouchable TB-7 bombers to destroy any country that attacked it. Suvorov says that Stalin signed the order to produce the TB-7 four times, and four times he canceled the order. Stalin was advised to direct all efforts of the Red Army not toward undermining the military and economic capabilities of the enemy, but toward taking the enemy over. The Red Army’s objective was to destroy the opponent’s armies. Soviet aviation was designed to open the road to Soviet armies and support their rapid advancement.27
If Stalin was preparing for a defensive war, he should have ordered his plane designers to create the best fighters in the world, capable of defending the skies over the Soviet Union. But fighters did not interest Stalin. Stalin ordered his fighter designer to drop all his work on the creation of a fighter and start developing a light bomber, named the Ivanov originally, and later the Su-2 in honor of its creator, P.O. Sukhoi.
The ideal combat plane Stalin developed was a light bomber de-signed to operate free of enemy resistance. Record-breaking characteristics were not required; Stalin demanded only simplicity, durability, and firepower. Stalin planned to create a plane that could be produced in numbers exceeding all warplanes of all types of all countries in the world. Literally, Stalin planned to build as many light bombers as there were small but mobile horsemen in the hordes of Genghis Khan.
Germany carried out a preemptive strike on Soviet air bases when it invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Hitler’s preemptive strike did not permit the Su-2 to do the work it was primarily designed to do. The Su-2 was ineffective and not needed in a defensive war. Production of 100,000 to 150,000 Su-2 planes had been planned for conditions in which the Red Army would deliver the first attack, and nobody would hinder production of the plane. Hitler’s invasion ruined Stalin’s plan. Production of the Su-2 was stopped, but the Soviet Union produced tens of thousands of planes later in the war that were much more complex in terms of production than the Su-2.28
When Germany invaded the Soviet Union it could only send 2,510 airplanes, including many outdated planes and assorted aircraft used for transport, communications, and medical purposes. The Soviet Union had 2,769 of the newest models Il-2, Pe-2, MiG-3, Yak-1, and LaGG-3. The Soviet Union also had seven additional new types of planes: the Ar2, Er-2, Su-2, Pe-8, Yak-2, Yak-4, and Il-4. Aside from the 12 newest models, the Soviet Union also had the “obsolete” TB-3 and SB bombers, and the I-16 and I-153 fighters.
The Soviet air force exceeded that of Germany both in plane quantity and plane quality at the start of the war. Suvorov asks: Why then in the first stage of the war did the Soviet air force lose air superiority from day one? The answer is that the majority of Soviet pilots, including fighter pilots, were not taught dogfighting. Soviet aviation was designed to conduct one grandiose, sudden, aggressive operation to crush the enemy’s air force on the ground in one raid and obtain air superiority. Hitler’s preemptive strike prevented Soviet aviation from accomplishing its planned aggressive operations of unheard-of dimensions.29
Airborne assault troops were also part of Stalin’s plans. According to the official Communist Party newspaper, Pravda, on Aug. 18, 1940, the Soviet Union had more than 1 million trained parachutists at the beginning of the war. Airborne assault troops can only be used in the course of offensive operations and only in conjunction with regular troops advancing against the enemy. In light of declassified documents, it is clear that Pravda lowered the number of Russian paratroopers to 1 million to calm fears of Soviet aggression. The actual number of trained parachutists in the Soviet Union at the beginning of the war was arguably closer to 2 million. Never before had the world seen such large-scale preparations for offensive war.30
The Red Army needed an air armada of transport planes and gliders to deliver hundreds of thousands of paratroopers. Soviet factories started the mass production of cargo gliders beginning in the spring of 1941. On April 23, 1941, Stalin and Molotov signed an order to accelerate the production of an 11-seat glider with a deadline of May 15, 1941, and of a 20-seat glider with a deadline of July 1, 1941. The gliders that were produced in the spring of 1941 had to be used by the latest in the early fall of 1941. Gliders had light and fragile bodies and wings and could not be parked outdoors. Keeping a huge cargo glider outdoors during fall winds and rains would harm it beyond repair. Since all available hangars were already full with previously produced gliders, the mass production of gliders in the spring of 1941 meant that they had to be used either in the summer of 1941 or early fall at the latest.31
Cargo warplanes are used to deliver assault forces with parachutists to the enemy’s rear. Soviet war-transport aviation used the American Douglas DC-3, which was considered to be the best cargo plane in the world at the start of World War II, as its primary cargo plane. In 1938, the U.S. government sold to Stalin the production license and the necessary amount of the most complex equipment for the DC-3’s production. The Soviet Union also bought 20 DC-3s from the United States before the war. In 1939, the Soviet Union produced six identical DC-3 aircraft; in 1940, it produced 51 DC-3 aircraft; and in 1941, it produced 237 DC-3 aircraft. During the entire war 2,419 DC-3s or equivalent planes were produced in Soviet factories.32
The Soviet gliders and transport planes would be easy prey for enemy fighters if the Soviet Union did not secure complete air superiority. The Red Army had to begin the war with a massive air attack and invasion against the enemy’s air bases. Tens of thousands of paratroopers could then be dropped to seize and control key bases and strategic sites. Any other scenario was not viable. Instead, it was Hitler who carried out a preemptive strike, and Stalin’s strategy to strike the first blow was aborted. The Soviet Union’s carefully designed plan to mount a massive air offensive followed by an assault of airborne troops had to be abandoned in the desperate rush to fight a defensive war.33
Suvorov discusses what happened to the Soviet airborne forces that could no longer be used in an offensive war. Ten air assault corps, approximately 100,000 to 150,000 men, had been originally sent to the trenches to help stop the German troops. The rest of the over 1 million paratroopers were kept in reserve and used as needed as regular infantry soldiers. These reserves were used to help stop German advances in the direction of the Caucasus, at Stalingrad, in the violent battle at Kursk, and in other crisis situations during the war.34
SOVIET PREPARATIONS FOR OFFENSIVE WAR
In the years 1937-1941, the Soviet army grew five-fold, from 1.1 million to 5.5 million.35 An additional 5.3 million people joined the ranks of the Red Army within one week of the beginning of the war. A minimum of 34.5 million people were used by the Red Army during the war.36 This huge increase in the size of the Soviet army was accomplished primarily by ratification of the universal military draft in the Soviet Union on Sept. 1, 1939. According to the new law, the draft age was reduced from 21 to 19, and in some categories to 18. This new law also allowed for the preparation of 18 million reservists, so that the Soviet Union continued to fill the ranks of the Red Army with many millions of soldiers as the war progressed.37
Several age groups were drafted into the Red Army at the same time; in essence, all of the young men in the country. The duration of army service for the majority of the draftees was two years, so the Soviet Union had to enter a major war within two years. If war did not start by then, all of the young people would have to go home on Sept. 1, 1941, and then there would be almost nobody left to draft. It is extremely difficult to maintain an army of this size without a war; the army does not produce anything and consumes everything produced by the country. Stalin knew when he established the draft that in two years, in the summer of 1941, the Soviet Union must enter into a major war.38
On Jan. 11, 1939, in preparation for war the Soviet Union created four new People’s Commissariats: one for the shipbuilding industry, one for weapons, one for the aviation industry, and one for ammunition. The Shipbuilding Commissariat undertook strictly military projects from the moment of its founding. Also, on May 25, 1940, the following numbers of civilian ships were handed over to the military: 74 to the Baltic fleet, 76 to the Black Sea fleet, 65 to the North Fleet, and 101 to the Pacific fleet. By June 22, 1941, the Soviet Union also possessed 218 submarines in its ranks and 91 more in shipyards, all of which matched up to the best world standards.39
Stalin’s more than 200 submarines and the rest of his navy were ineffective at the start of the war because it was an attack fleet. Stalin’s navy was built for aggressive war and could not be used effectively in a defensive war. Entirely different ships with entirely different characteristics are needed for defense: submarine hunters, picket boats, minesweepers, and net-layers. The armament of the Soviet ships was also designed exclusively for participation in a war of aggression. While armed with powerful artillery, mine, and torpedo equipment, Soviet ships had quite weak anti-aircraft armament and defenses.
Soviet generals had planned to begin the war with a crushing surprise attack against the enemy’s air bases that annihilated his aviation. When Germany attacked first, the Soviet navy’s lack of anti-aircraft defenses was a major liability. The Soviet war effort was also hurt by the fact that all of the navy’s reserves of shells, mines, torpedoes, and ship fuel had been transported to the German borders and were quickly seized by the Germans when they invaded the Soviet Union.40
The Ammunition Commissariat was created as a separate ministry to take care exclusively of the production of ammunition. This ministry had to determine where to locate all of the new factories that would be producing shells, gunpowder, cartridges, missiles, and other weapons. If Stalin had planned to conduct a defensive war, the new ammunition factories would have been built either behind the Volga River or even farther inland in the Ural Mountains. But no defensive options were ever discussed. Since Stalin planned to conduct an offensive operation into a war-devastated and weakened Europe, all of the new ammunition factories were built near the western border regions of the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union lost almost all industry capable of producing new ammunition at the beginning of the war. From August to November 1941, German troops took over 303 Soviet ammunition factories as well as mobilization reserves of valuable raw materials located in those factories. These factories produced 85% of all output from the Ammunition Commissariat. All of these resources went to Germany and were used against the Red Army. The Red Army also lost an unthinkable amount of artillery shells in the border regions of the Soviet Union at the start of the war. However, Stalin’s prewar potential was so great that he was able to rebuild his ammunition factories behind the Volga River and in the Urals, and produce all of the ammunition needed to defeat the German army.41
The seizure of Stalin’s supplies was a tremendous benefit for Germany, but Hitler needed to shift Germany’s own industry to a wartime regime. Hitler waited until January 1942 before he made the decision to gradually begin the shift of industry from a peacetime to a wartime regime. Stalin, on the other hand, began setting Soviet industry on a wartime regime back in January 1939. Despite losing 85% of the ammunition of the Ammunition Commissariat, the Red Army used 427 million shells and artillery mines and 17 billion cartridges during the war. To this one can add innumerable hand grenades, land mines, and air bombs. Imagine what the outcome of World War II would have been if Stalin had been able to use 100% of his ammunition arsenal.42
In the summer of 1940, Stalin brought Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania into the Soviet Union, and concentrated his forces in that region on the border of Eastern Prussia. The occupation of these Baltic countries by the Red Army made sense only if there were plans for an aggressive war against Germany. The Red Army transferred its air bases to the very front edge of the German border. From the air bases in Lithuania the Soviet air force could support the advance of Soviet troops to Berlin. The Soviet navy also transferred primary forces and reserves to naval bases established in Tallinn, Riga, and Liepaja. Since it was a short distance from Liepaja to the routes taken by German vessels carrying ore, nickel, and wood to Germany, a strike from this area could be sudden and devastating.43
The Soviet Union annexed Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina in 1940. From Bessarabia the Soviet air force could keep the Romanian oil industry, which was the main supplier of oil to Germany, under constant threat. Northern Bukovina was needed because it had a railroad of strategic importance that had a narrow gauge track which enabled it to be used by railroad cars from all over Europe. The Soviet Union used a broad gauge track. Soviet locomotives and trains could therefore not be used on the narrow gauge tracks of Central and Western Europe. In a Soviet invasion of Europe, Stalin would need many locomotives and trains with a narrow gauge to supply his troops that were quickly moving westward.
During the course of the Bessarabia campaign, the Soviet Union captured 141 locomotives, 1,866 covered train cars, 325 half-covered train cars, 45 platforms, 19 cisterns, 31 passenger cars, and two luggage cars. But this was not enough for Stalin. At the Soviet-Romanian talks in July 1940, Soviet representatives demanded that Romania return all captured mobile railroad units.
On July 31, 1940, Romania agreed to transfer 175 locomotives and 4,375 cars to the Soviet Union by Aug. 25, 1940. None of these trains would have been needed in a defensive war. Stalin needed these trains seized in Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina in an offensive war designed to take over all of Europe.44
In the summer of 1941, the Red Army began using the new multiple-launcher rocket weapons BM-8 and BM-13. These unusual weapons were called “Stalin’s Pipe Organs” or “Katyusha.” In August 1941, the Red Army added the BM-8-36 multiple-launcher rocket artillery system, and in the summer of 1942, the BM-8-48 rocket artillery system was added. A salvo from one BM-13 was 16 rocket-propelled rounds of 132mm caliber, while a salvo from the BM-8 was 36 rocket-propelled rounds of 82-mm caliber. One battery consisted of four to six BM-8s or BM-13s. Usually one target was fired upon by a group of batteries or regiments. Hundreds or even thousands of missiles covered a huge territory almost simultaneously, creating an avalanche of fire accompanied by a wild roar and noise. The devastating psychological impact of these terrible weapons was a highly unpleasant memory for any German soldier who was on the Eastern Front.45
Despite losses sustained in the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the Red Army continued to expand its use of the multiple-launcher rocket weapons BM-8 and BM-13 during the war. On June 1, 1941, the Red Army had seven BM-13 rocket launcher vehicles. By Sept. 1, 1941, the Red Army had 49 of these weapons. By Oct. 1, 1941, the Red Army had 406 BM-8s and BM-13s. The count would eventually mount into the thousands, and this weapon became a weapon of mass destruction. The Soviet Union managed to quickly supply its army with the new system of multiple-launcher rocket weapons despite heavy losses in its industrial and raw material bases.46
The Soviet Union in 1941 was preparing for an offensive war against Europe. In the first half of June 1941, the Soviet 9th Army was the most powerful army in the world. The 9th Army appeared on the Romanian border on June 14, 1941, in the exact place where a year ago it had “liberated” Bessarabia. If the Soviet 9th Army had been allowed to attack Romania, Germany’s main source of oil would have been lost and Germany would have been defeated. Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union prevented this from happening. The unjustified concentration of Soviet troops on Romanian borders presented a clear danger to Germany, and was a major reason for the German invasion of the Soviet Union.47
On May 5, 1941, Stalin made it clear to his generals that the SovietUnion would be the aggressor in a war with Germany. At a banquet a Soviet general toasted Stalin’s peaceful foreign policy. Stalin intervened:
“Allow me to make a correction. A peaceful foreign policy secured peace in our country. A peaceful foreign policy is a good thing. For a while, we drew a line of defenses until we rearmed our army [and] supplied it with modern means of combat. Now, when our army has been rebuilt, our technology modernized, [now that we are] strong [enough] for combat, now we must shift from defense to offense. In conducting the defense of our country, we are compelled to act in an aggressive manner. From defense we have to shift to a military policy of offense. It is indispensable that we reform our training, our propaganda, our press to a mindset of offense. The Red Army is a modern army, and the modern army is an army of offense.”
The general who made the toast to Stalin’s peaceful foreign policy was discharged a few days after the banquet.48
On June 13, 1941, TASS broadcast that “Germany was following the conditions of the Soviet-German pact as flawlessly as the Soviet Union,” and that rumors of an impending German attack on the USSR “were clumsily fabricated propaganda by the enemies of Germany and the USSR, interested in broadening and prolonging the war.” The TASS announcement also stated, “Rumors that the USSR is preparing for war against Germany are false and provocative ” However, the reality is that Soviet troops were already traveling to the western border. June 13, 1941, marked the beginning of the biggest organized movement of troops, arms, ammunition, and other military supplies in history.
For example, the First Strategic Echelon of the Red Army had 170 tank, motorized, cavalry, and rifle divisions. Fifty-six of them were already located right on the border and could not move any farther ahead. All of the remaining 114 divisions began to move toward the border in the wake of the reassuring TASS announcement on June 13, 1941.
This massive troop movement could not have been defensive. Troops preparing for defense dig themselves into the ground, close off roads, establish barbwire barriers, dig anti-tank trenches, and prepare covers behind the barricades. The Red Army did none of these things. Instead, the additional Soviet divisions began to hide in the border forests just like the German troops preparing for invasion. The TASS announcement was made solely in an attempt to falsely allay German fears of a pending Soviet invasion of Europe.49
Suvorov also dismisses claims that the Soviet Union did not have qualified military leaders in 1941. Stalin did conduct a purge of the military from 1937-1938, but reports that 40,000 military commanders were executed are an exaggeration. Soviet documents show that 1,654 military commanders were either executed or died in prison while awaiting trial during 1937-1938. Since the officer corps of the Red Army in February 1937 numbered 206,000, less than 1% of the Soviet Union’s officers died in Stalin’s purge. Soviet military commanders in 1941 were well-qualified to lead Stalin’s war of aggression against Europe.50
Suvorov also mentions that Soviet soldiers and officers were issued Russian-German and Russian-Romanian phrase books as part of their preparations for an invasion of Europe. Thousands of Soviet troops did not think to get rid of this compromising evidence when they were captured in the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The Russian-German phrase books were composed very simply: a question in Russian, followed by the same question in German written in Russian letters, then in German in Latin letters. If the Soviet soldier did not know how to pronounce the needed German phrase, he could point to the corresponding lines in the book and the Germans could read the lines themselves. The phrases indicated that the Soviets were planning to conduct an offensive war in Europe. For example, some phrases asked: “Where is the burgermeister? Is there an observation point on the steeple?” There were no burgermeisters or steeples in the Soviet Union. These questions are relevant only if the Soviet soldiers were in Germany. Here are other examples: “Where is the fuel? Where is the garage? Where are the stores? Where is the water? Gather and bring here [so many] horses [farm animals], we will pay!” These questions and phrases would not be relevant on Soviet soil. Other revealing phrases are the following: “You do not need to be afraid. The Red Army will come soon!” These phrases are also not relevant for a war conducted on Soviet soil.51
SOVIET MILITARY OPERATIONS PRIOR TO JUNE 22, 1941
The Soviet Union engaged in a number of military operations prior to Germany’s invasion on June 22, 1941. All of these operations showed substantial military strength that the Soviet Union was able to hide from most of the world.
In the beginning of May 1939, an armed conflict occurred between Soviet and Japanese troops on the border between Mongolia and China near the river Khalkhin-Gol. The Soviet Union controlled Mongolia. Japan occupied the adjoining Chinese territory. Nobody declared war, but the conflict escalated into battles fought with the use of aviation, artillery, and tanks. On June 1, 1939, the Soviet Union officially declared, “We will defend the borders of the Mongolian People’s Republic as we defend our own.” The next day Gen. Zhukov flew from Moscow to Mongolia to take command of the Soviet and Mongolian troops.52
Stalin armed Soviet troops in Mongolia with the most modern weapons, including the BT-5 and BT-7 tanks all armed with the most powerful tank cannon of that time. Soviet armored automobiles were also armed with the same powerful cannon. Some of the best Soviet pilots were sent to Mongolia and established air superiority above the theater of operations. The Red Army used long-range bombers, and for the first time I-16 fighters successfully used air-to-air RS-82 rocket missiles. The Red Army also had the newest and best artillery, howitzers, and mortars in the world.53
During the course of endless exhausting battles, Zhukov decided to end the conflict with a sudden and crushing defeat of the Japanese army. On Aug. 20, 1939, at 5:45 AM, 153 Soviet bombers under the cover of a corresponding number of fighters carried out a surprise raid over Japanese air bases and command posts. An extremely intense and powerful artillery barrage joined in immediately and lasted almost three hours. Soviet aviation carried out a second raid during the course of the artillery action, and at 9:00 AM Soviet tank units broke through Japanese defenses. Zhukov had conducted a classic encirclement operation. On the fourth day of the attack, the circle drawn around Japanese troops was tightened and the rout of the Japanese army began. There had never been such a crushing military defeat in all of Japanese history.54
The Soviet operation at Khalkhin-Gol, which is sometimes referred to as the Nomonhan Incident, was brilliant in its planning and execution. It totally surprised the Japanese—during the first hour and a half of battle, the Japanese artillery did not fire a single shot and not a single Japanese plane rose into the air. Khalkhin-Gol was the first blitzkrieg of the 20th century. It was the first time in human history that large masses of tanks were used correctly to strike in depth, and it was a prime example of the use of unseen concentration of artillery in tight areas of the front. The defeat of the Japanese army on the Khalkhin-Gol thwarted Japanese aggression in the direction of Mongolia and the Soviet Union. In the fall of 1941, during months critical for the Soviet Union, the Japanese remembered Khalkhin-Gol and did not dare attack the Soviet Union.55
For obvious reasons, the Japanese did not report their defeat in Mongolia to the world. Since there were no international observers and journalists in Mongolia, few people knew about the operation at the time. Stalin also ordered silence concerning the impressive Soviet defeat of the Japanese army. Stalin ordered silence because he was preparing the same sort of defeat on a much grander scale for all of Europe. Stalin’s interest lay in concealing the might of the Red Army, and making the world believe that the Soviet army was not able to conduct modern warfare. Stalin wanted to catch Hitler and the rest of Europe off-guard and not scare them.56
On Aug. 23, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed a nonaggression agreement called the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This agreement guaranteed that Hitler would not have to fight the Soviet Union if Germany invaded Poland. A secret agreement also discussed the division of Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union in the event of war.57 Hitler attacked Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, and Great Britain and France declared war on Germany on Sept. 3, 1939. The Soviet Union waited until Sept. 17, 1939, to attack Poland from the east. Stalin’s troops committed similar or worse atrocities in Poland than Germany, but Great Britain and France did not declare war on the Soviet Union. The fault for beginning the war fell upon Germany, and world opinion considered the Soviet Union to be innocent in starting the war.
Suvorov states that even the German blitzkrieg in Poland failed. On Sept. 15, 1939, two weeks after the start of World War II, the activity of the German air force dropped substantially, and the German army was almost completely out of fuel. The Soviet army attacked Poland on Sept. 17, 1939, to save the German blitzkrieg and allow the partition of Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union.58
Another reason the Soviets waited until Sept. 17, 1939, to invade Poland is that the ceasefire with Japan ending the Nomonhan Incident was not signed until Sept. 15, 1939. The Soviets wanted to ensure that they no longer had to fight Japan before they invaded Poland.59
In October 1939, Stalin’s diplomats continued the Soviet Union’s territorial aggression by demanding the cession of the Karelian Isthmus from Finland in exchange for a territory twice the size of the isthmus. Stalin’s demands were rejected because the Karelian Isthmus is a direct gateway to the capital of Finland. The geographical disposition of Finland is such that any aggression against Finland from the Soviet Union could come only through the Karelian Isthmus. For this reason, starting in 1918, Finland began an extensive buildup of defensive fortifications and obstructions on the Karelian Isthmus known as the Mannerheim Line. Finland spent practically all of her military budget for the 10 years preceding the war on the completion of the Mannerheim Line. Stalin’s diplomats in essence had demanded that Finland hand over to the Red Army all of her heavily fortified defenses in exchange for swampland and marshy woods no one needed.60
Stalin issued an order to crush Finland when Stalin’s demands were rejected. After a brief but intense artillery softening-up, the Red Army crossed the Finnish border on Nov. 30, 1939. The Red Army first encountered a security pale full of traps, barricades, obstacles, and minefields. The entire space was filled with granite boulders, concrete blocks, forest blockages, scarps and counterscarps, anti-tank trenches, and bridges wired with explosives ready to be blown up by the Finnish border patrol. Finnish snipers and light mobile squads were fully active and operating to the best of their capacity. The Red Army took two weeks and suffered heavy casualties before it passed through the security pale. After overcoming the security pale, the Red Army reached Finland’s main line of defense—the Mannerheim Line. The line was a brilliantly camouflaged defense structure, well integrated into the surroundings, and stretching up to 30 kilometers in depth. In addition to innumerable minefields and anti-tank trenches, the Mannerheim Line contained 2,311 concrete, ironclad, and wooden defense structures, as well as granite boulders and hundreds of rows of thick barbwire on metal stakes connected to mines. The fighting on the Mannerheim Line was especially tenacious. The Red Army finally broke through the Mannerheim Line on March 12, 1940, after suffering colossal casualties: 126,875 soldiers and officers killed, 188,671 wounded, 58,370 ill, and 17,867 frostbitten.61
All military experts prior to Finland’s war with the Soviet Union had declared that breaking through the Mannerheim Line could not be done by any army. The Red Army had done the impossible. Furthermore, the Red Army broke through the Mannerheim Line impromptu in winter without any preparation for such limiting conditions. The military experts of the West should have recognized the amazing warfare capabilities of the Red Army. If the Red Army could break through the Mannerheim Line in the winter, then it was capable of crushing Europe and whoever else got in its way. Instead, military experts of the West declared the Red Army to be unfit and unprepared for war.62
Only three months after the Soviet Union ended military operations in Finland, the three Baltic nations, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, surrendered to Stalin and became republics of the Soviet Union. The governments and military leadership of these three Baltic countries had carefully watched the war in Finland. They correctly concluded that the Red Army could not be stopped by any number of casualties, and that resistance to the Soviet Union was futile. Therefore, the three Baltic nations surrendered without firing a shot. With the addition of these three neutral countries, the Soviet Union advanced its borders to the west and made it easier for the Soviet Union to conduct an offensive operation against Europe.63
Stalin also issued an ultimatum to the government of Romania to give up Bessarabia. Realizing that resistance was futile, Romania handed over both Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union without even organizing lengthy talks.64 Thus, within less than a year, the Soviet Union destroyed a Japanese army in Mongolia, took over the eastern part of Poland by military force, conducted an extremely difficult and successful invasion of Finland, forced the Baltic nations of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia to join the Soviet Union against their will, and took possession of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina from Romania. These Soviet military conquests and ultimatums expanded the Soviet Union’s territory by 426,000 square kilometers, approximately equal to the surface area of the German Reich in 1919.65 These Soviet military operations prove that the Soviet Union was extremely powerful and aggressive. The Soviet Union was well-positioned to launch a massive offensive against all of Europe after these military conquests.
STALIN REMOVES DEFENSIVE BARRIERS; PLANS OFFENSIVE WAR
After the division of Poland by the Soviet Union and Germany, Soviet troops could have created a powerful barrier on the new Soviet-German border. In 1939 conditions for defense along the Soviet-German border were highly favorable: forests, rivers, swamps, few roads, and lots of time. However, instead of making the area impassable, it was quickly made more penetrable. The Red Army tore down previously existing fortifications and buried them under mounds of ground. The Soviet Union also stopped producing anti-tank and anti-aircraft cannon. The Soviet Union had huge land mine production that could have been used for defense, but after the new borders with Germany were established this production was curbed.66
The Red Army also dismantled the security pale created earlier on the old western borders, and failed to create a new security pale on the Polish territory annexed to the Soviet Union. The Red Army in Finland learned the hard way that a security pale could ease the position of the defense and complicate the position of the aggressor. All Soviet commanders expressed their awe at the Finnish line of defense. The Soviet Union had to expend a huge amount of time, strength, resources, and blood to cross the Finnish security pale. However, the Soviet Union dismantled its security pale in 1940 because it was not interested in conducting a defensive war.67
The Soviet Union also constructed new railroads and railroad bridges in the western border regions. Almost all railroad troops were concentrated in the western border regions. The railroad troops worked intensively to modernize old railroads and build new ones right up to the border. Simultaneously with the construction of railroads, automobile roads were built in the western regions. The Red Army was building railroads and roads from east to west, which is usually done when preparing for advance, for a quick transfer of reserves, and for further supplying the troops after they crossed the borders. All of this work was designed for offense and hurt the Soviet Union in a defensive war. When Germany attacked the Soviet Union, German troops used the roads, bridges, supplies, rails, and sectional bridges constructed by the Soviets in the western regions to aid their advance into Soviet territory.68
The Soviet Union also destroyed its partisan movement in the late 1930s. Soviet leaders knew that partisan tactics could win a war against any aggressor. With the largest territory of any country in the world, Soviet territory naturally facilitated partisan warfare. In the 1920s, Stalin created light mobile units and stationed them in the woods in the event of a German attack. These partisan units were comprised only of commanders, organizers, and specialists that acted as a nucleus. At the very beginning of a war, each peacetime partisan unit would expand into a powerful formation numbering thousands of people.69
The Soviet peacetime partisan groups had secret bases created in impenetrable forests and islets amid the swamps. In an emergency, the partisans could easily disappear from any attackers into the mined forests and swamps, which were impassable to the enemy. Soviet partisan units were formed in the Soviet security pale, where during retreat of Soviet troops all bridges would be blown up, tunnels buried, and railroads and communication channels destroyed. The partisan groups were trained to prevent the enemy from restoring the destroyed infrastructure. In addition, some partisans were trained for undercover activities. These partisans did not retreat to the forests, but stayed in the cities and towns with the task of “gaining the trust of the enemy” and “offering him assistance.”
In the Soviet Union’s invasion of Finland, the Red Army encountered the Mannerheim Line, a security pale before it, and light squads of partisan fighters within. The light ski units of Finnish partisans carried out sudden strikes and then immediately disappeared into the forests. The Red Army suffered tremendous casualties from these strikes. All of the Red Army’s modern technology was useless in a fight against an enemy that evaded open battle.
However, having learned a cruel lesson in Finland, Stalin did not change his mind and create partisan units in the western regions of the Soviet Union. As the Soviet Union’s industrial and military might grew, Stalin planned to fight enemies on their soil rather than on Soviet land. In the second half of the 1930s, defense systems and partisan units became unnecessary for the Soviet Union.70 Stalin reestablished partisan units only after Germany had invaded the Soviet Union.
From 1926 to 1937, the Soviet Union constructed 13 fortified regions along its western borders known unofficially as “the Stalin Line.” There were many differences between the Soviet Stalin Line and the French Maginot Line. Unlike the French Maginot Line, the Stalin Line was built in secrecy and not publicized. The Stalin Line was much deeper and was built not only to stop infantry, but mostly to stop tanks. The Soviets also used huge quantities of steel and granite boulders in addition to concrete. The Stalin Line was built from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south and could not be bypassed. Finally, unlike the Maginot Line, the Stalin Line was not built at the very border, but farther into Soviet territory.71
The 13 fortified regions on the Stalin Line were built for defense and came at a tremendous cost in effort and money. Each fortified region was also a military formation that could independently conduct military operations during a long period of time and in isolated conditions. In 1938 it was decided to strengthen all 13 regions by building heavy artillery installations within them. The Soviet Union also started construction of eight more fortified regions. Then, when the MolotovRibbentrop Pact created a common border between Germany and the Soviet Union, Stalin ordered further construction of the fortified regions to stop. The existing fortified regions were disarmed, and everything connected with defense was dismantled and destroyed.72
The construction of a new line of fortified regions began during the summer of 1940 on the new Soviet-German border. These new regions were unofficially referred to as the Molotov Line, but they were never finished. The defense buildup on the new borders proceeded very slowly, while the destruction of the Stalin Line was surprisingly fast. When Germany attacked the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, the Molotov Line was not yet built. Soviet generals and marshals after Stalin’s death unanimously expressed their anger. They asked: How could Stalin liquidate and disarm the fortified regions on the old borders without building the necessary defenses on the new western borders? The answer is that Stalin was not planning to fight on his territory; Stalin was planning an offensive war against all of Europe.73
Another defense system of the Soviet Union was the Dnepr military flotilla. All Dnepr river bridges were mined before 1939 and could be thoroughly demolished so that nothing would be left to restore. The Dnepr military flotilla was created in the early 1930s to prevent the establishment and crossing of temporary bridges across the river. The flotilla included 120 warships and motorboats, as well as its own air force with shoreline and air defense batteries. The Dnepr flotilla could securely close off the roads to the industrial regions in the south of Ukraine and to the Black Sea bases of the Soviet navy. A German attack could be stopped on the Dnepr line, or at least held up for several months. However, when Hitler attacked France, Stalin ordered the removal of mines from the Dnepr river bridges and disbanded the military flotilla. The Dnepr flotilla could only be used in a defensive war on Soviet territory, and Stalin did not believe he needed it.74
Stalin divided the defensive Dnepr flotilla into two flotillas: the Danube flotilla and the Pinsk flotilla. The Danube flotilla would be useless in a defensive war. In an offensive war, however, the Danube flotilla could be deadly for Germany. It only had to sail 300 or 400 kilometers up the river to the strategically important bridge at Chernavoda, where it could disrupt the petroleum supply from Ploiesti to the port of Constanza. The entire German war machine could be stopped simply because German tanks, planes, and warships would be out of fuel. However, when Germany attacked the Soviet Union, the Danube flotilla found itself cut off from Soviet troops without the possibility of retreat. Most of its ships had to be sunk, while gigantic supplies were either destroyed or left behind.75
The Pinsk flotilla would also be difficult to use for defense. The Pinsk flotilla had 66 river warships and cutters, a squadron of airplanes, a company of marines, and other units. In the defensive war of 1941, the Soviets had to blow up and abandon all of the ships of the Pinsk flotilla. However, in a war of aggression, the Pinsk flotilla could have used the newly constructed canal from Pinsk to Kobrin, which would then allow its ships to reach the Vistula basin and head further west to the German rivers. In 1945, a Soviet admiral reached Berlin with his flotilla.76
The records of a conference of the Soviet High Command held in Moscow from Dec. 23, 1940, through the evening of Dec. 31, 1940, also indicate that the Soviet Union was planning a massive offensive against Europe. This extremely secret meeting was attended by 274 of the highest-ranking leaders of the Red Army. Most of the speakers discussed the importance of the new tactics of sudden surprise attack. Defense at the primary locations of attack was not foreseen, even theoretically. The Soviet military leaders made it clear at the conference that they had no established contemporary defense theory. Soviet military leaders also did not work on questions of defense after the conference. The goal of the
THE STALIN LINE: German soldiers inspect a bunker on the Stalin Line during Operation Barbarossa in 1941. The Stalin Line was largely disarmed after the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Stalin ignored defensive fortifications in his plan to invade and conquer all of Europe.
Red Army was to conduct grandiose, sudden, offensive operations that overwhelmed the enemy on its own territory.77
During the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Yakov Iosifovich Dzhugashvili, the son of Stalin, was taken prisoner by the Germans. Stalin’s son was searched and questioned. A letter dated June 11, 1941, was found in his pockets from another officer stating: “I am at the training camps. I would like to be home by fall, but the planned walk to Berlin might hinder this.” German intelligence officers asked Yakov Dzhugashvili to clarify the statement about the “planned walk to Berlin.” Stalin’s son read the letter and quietly muttered: “Damn it!” Obviously, the letter indicates that Soviet forces were planning to invade Germany later that year.78
German intelligence officers also asked Stalin’s son why the Soviet artillery, which had the best cannon and howitzers in the world, fired so poorly. Stalin’s son truthfully answered: “The maps let the Red Army down, because the war, contrary to expectations, unfolded to the east of the state border.” The Soviet maps were of territories in which the Red Army planned to advance, and were useless for defending the country. Storages of topographic maps located unreasonably close to the border were either destroyed by the advancing German army or by the retreating Soviet forces. In 1941, the Red Army fought without maps, and the Soviet artillery could not fire accurately without maps.79
Every Soviet commander, starting with regiment level and higher, had in his safe a so-called “Red Packet,” which contained the plans for war. When Germany invaded, the commanders opened their “Red Packets,” but they did not find in them anything useful for defense. The Red Army had neither prepared for defense nor conducted any training in defensive operations. The defensive operations of the Red Army in the summer of 1941 were pure improvisation.80
The actions of the Red Army during the first days of the war speak best about Soviet intentions to conduct an offensive war. Up until June 30, 1941, Gen. Zhukov insisted on advance and demanded that commanders of Soviet forces aimed at Romania and Hungary exclusively attack. Zhukov stopped the attack only when he and his colleagues concluded that his armies could no longer advance. On June 22, 1941, several other Soviet commanders also followed prewar plans without awaiting orders from Moscow, and attacked the following regions: the Rava-Russkaya region, Tilzit in Eastern Prussia, and the Polish city of Suvalki.
The actions of the Soviet fleet during the first days of the war also show with sufficient clarity its plans for offense. On June 22, 1941, the submarines of the Baltic Fleet sailed toward the shores of Germany with the objective of sinking all enemy ships and vessels according to the rules of unrestricted warfare. No exceptions were made, not even for medical vessels sailing under the Red Cross flag. Soviet submarines from the Black Sea Fleet immediately sailed into the sea toward the shores of Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey. On June 25 and 26, 1941, the Black Sea fleet’s cruisers carried out an intensive artillery raid in the vicinity of the Romanian port of Constanta. At the same time, the Danube military flotilla began an assault in the Danube river delta. The garrison of the Soviet naval base Hanko also conducted intensive assault operations during the beginning of the war, taking over 19 Finnish islands in the course of several days.81
The Soviet air force also acted in an aggressive manner at the start of the war. On June 25, 1941, despite losses suffered during the first days of the war, Soviet air forces bombed all known air fields of the southern part of Finland. On June 23, 1941, acting according to plans, the Soviet long-range bomber air force carried out a massive attack against military targets in Koenigsberg and Danzig. Soviet long-range bombers also began to bomb the Ploiesti oil fields in Romania on June 26, 1941. After a few days of raids, the amount of oil Germany obtained in Romania was reduced almost in half. If Hitler had not attacked first, the Soviet air force would have been much more dangerous, and could have totally paralyzed the entire German war effort through its strikes against the oil-producing regions.82
Further evidence that the Soviet Union was planning to attack Germany is provided by Andrei Vlasov, a Soviet general who had been captured by the Germans. During a conversation in 1942 with SS Gen. Richard Hildebrandt, Vlasov was asked if and when Stalin had intended to attack Germany. Hildebrandt later stated: “Vlasov responded by saying that the attack was planned for August-September 1941. The Russians had been preparing the attack since the beginning of the year, which took quite a while because of the poor Russian railroad network. Hitler had sized up the situation entirely correctly, and had struck directly into the Russian buildup. This, said Vlasov, is the reason for the tremendous initial German successes.”83
STALIN’S ROLE IN ELEVATING HITLER TO POWER & CREATING WAR
Suvorov states that Stalin paved the way for Adolf Hitler to come to power. Stalin read Mein Kampf and realized that Hitler’s main goal was to liberate Germany from the chains of the Versailles Treaty. Stalin understood that if Hitler tried to free Germany from the Versailles Treaty, both France and Great Britain would interfere, because France imposed the treaty in alliance with Great Britain. Stalin’s tactic relied on eliminating one enemy with the hands of another. If Germany entered into a war with Great Britain and France, other countries would be pulled into the war and great destruction would follow. The Soviet Union could then invade Europe and easily take over the entire continent.84
In 1925 Stalin declared that World War II was inevitable. Stalin’s goal was not to start the war or be a participant at the start of the war, but to enter the war last and tip the scale in the Soviet Union’s favor. Stalin thought that Hitler, who made enemies with the French and the Jews, would be the perfect vehicle to start a war in Europe. In the German parliamentary elections of Nov. 6, 1932, neither Hitler’s party (NSDAP), the Social Democrats, or the Communist Party obtained a majority of the votes. At the end of 1932, the NSDAP was out of money and facing bankruptcy. It looked as if Hitler’s time would be up, and that he would be finished as a politician. However, Stalin ordered the German Communist Party to go against the Social Democrats and open the way for Hitler to take power in Germany.85
Suvorov agrees with Hitler that the Versailles Treaty was extremely unfair and degrading to Germany. The Versailles Treaty demanded from Germany virtually complete disarmament. The number of armed forces was fixed at 100,000, all military drafts were abolished in Germany, the General Staff and all academies were disbanded, and the creation of a new General Staff and academies were not allowed by the treaty. Germany lost the right to have heavy artillery, tanks, and aviation (including blimps). The submarine fleet was completely abolished, and the surface naval fleet was cut drastically. Germany was forbidden to have chemical weapons and supplies of poisonous gas. The majority of German fortifications were blown up, and the treaty forbade all import into Germany of any weaponry or war materiel. The treaty required arms production to be under international control.86
Central and Western Europe was in such a debilitated state after World War I that a major war could not arise because no nation was capable of starting one. To avert war in Europe, all the Kremlin leaders had to do was to make sure that the Versailles Treaty was not breached so that Germany would stay disarmed and weak militarily. But the Kremlin leaders did the opposite. The Soviet Union helped Germany secretly reorganize its army. The German government was allowed to create secret design bureaus and training centers on Soviet territory. Germany was provided access to Soviet factories that produced tanks and airplanes so that the Germans could look, memorize, and copy the designs. The Soviet government eventually gave German commanders all that was forbidden by the Versailles Treaty such as tanks, heavy artillery, war planes, training classes, and weapons testing and shooting ranges.
On April 15, 1925, an agreement was signed to create a secret air force center for training German military pilots in the Russian city of Lipetsk. Germans who went to the German aviation school in Lipetsk had their names changed and were formally discharged from the Reichswehr. Planes designed for training and testing secretly arrived at Lipetsk by non-stop flights at high altitudes. By the end of 1933, the school in Lipetsk had trained 450 German pilots and air force personnel, many of whom later entered the core of the Luftwaffe command staff. Over the years, numerous German airplane models were also secretly developed and tested for Germany in the Soviet Union. The Luftwaffe was born in the Soviet city of Lipetsk as part of Stalin’s plan to prepare Germany for a new world war.
In 1926 Stalin also created a tank school for the Reichswehr near the Soviet city of Kazan. In Kazan future German generals mastered the art of modern tank warfare. Stalin also made sure that German engineers and designers did not fall behind other European nations in technological and scientific advancement. Stalin ensured that all amassed scientific and technological knowledge and experience were made available to newly starting German creators of military weapons. An agreement was also worked out in the 1920s creating production facilities in the Soviet Union for the German war industry, masked as Soviet-German enterprises. Germany could not have armed itself for a second world war without Stalin’s help.87
Stalin’s first attempt to start a major war in Europe occurred in July 1936, when Gen. Francisco Franco led a militant uprising against the Spanish Republic. Gen. Franco was provided military aid by the dictators of Germany, Italy, and Portugal—Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Antonio Salazar. Stalin sent to the Spanish Republic 2,065 military commanders of various rank as well as 648 warplanes, 347 tanks, 60 armored cars, 1,186 artillery weapons, 20,486 machine guns, 497,813 rifles, and numerous supplies. After almost three years of fighting, Gen. Franco won the war and Soviet military advisers were evacuated.
Suvorov states that Stalin did not count on victory in the Spanish war. Stalin’s goal was to start a major war in Europe by drawing Great Britain and France into the war in Spain against Germany, Italy, and Portugal. Soviet propaganda screamed in outrage that children were dying in Spain while Great Britain and France did nothing. Stalin’s agents asked: How can Great Britain and France show such heartless indifference to the death and suffering of so many Spanish children? However, Stalin’s political agents, diplomats, and spies were not able to spread the war in Spain beyond its borders. Stalin executed many of his spies and diplomats for their failure. By the end of 1938, Stalin dropped all of his anti-Hitler propaganda to calm Hitler and encourage him to attack Poland.88
On Aug. 11, 1939, British and French delegations arrived in Moscow to discuss joint action against Germany. During the course of the talks, British and French delegates told the Soviets that they were very serious in their guarantees to Poland. If Germany attacked Poland, Great Britain and France would declare war against Germany. This was the information that Stalin needed to know.
On Aug. 19, 1939, Stalin stopped the talks with Great Britain and France, and told the German ambassador in Moscow that he wanted to reach an agreement with Germany.89 On that same day, Aug. 19, 1939, a secret meeting of the Politburo took place. The following are some excerpts from Stalin’s speech:
“If we accept Germany’s proposal about the conclusion of a pact regarding invasion, she will of course attack Poland, and France and England’s involvement in this war will be inevitable. Western Europe will be subjected to serious disorders and disturbances. Under these conditions, we will have many chances to stay on the sidelines of the conflict, and we will be able to count on our advantageous entrance into the war. It is in the interest of the USSR—the motherland of workers—that the war unfolds between the Reich and the capitalist Anglo-French bloc. It is necessary to do everything within our powers to make this war last as long as possible, in order to exhaust the two sides. It is precisely for this reason that we must agree to signing the pact, proposed by Germany, and work on making this war, once declared, last a maximum amount of time.”90
On Aug. 23, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement which led to the destruction and division of Poland and the beginning of World War II. The Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement instigated the war in Europe that Stalin had long planned and prepared for. The nations of Western Europe became mired in a destructive war while the Soviet Union remained neutral. Stalin’s role in unleashing World War II was quickly and thoroughly forgotten. Stalin even received substantial aid from the United States and Great Britain after Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Ultimately, at the end of the war, Poland did not gain her independence, but was given over to the Soviet Union along with all of Central Europe and part of Germany.91
The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact began to unravel when Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov arrived in Berlin on Nov. 12, 1940. Molotov presented to Hitler a long list of ridiculous territorial claims on behalf of the Soviet Union. Molotov demanded strongholds in Yugoslavia, in the Adriatic Sea, in Greece, in the Bosporus and Dardanelles, in the Persian Gulf; he demanded that countries south of the Baku-Batumi line, in the direction of the Persian Gulf, be given over to Soviet control, including eastern Turkey, northern Iran, and Iraq.92
These territorial claims were repeated on Nov. 25, 1940, when the Soviet Union proposed a peace pact between Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Soviet Union. Molotov also demanded naval bases on the Danish side of the straits of Kattegat and Skagerrak, and from Japan the renunciation of its oil concessions in the province of Northern Sakhalin. The German ambassador to Moscow was told on Nov. 25, 1940, that Germany had to withdraw its troops from Finnish territory immediately. Molotov repeatedly reminded Hitler that without Soviet raw materials German victories in Europe would have been impossible. Hitler and his officials were surprised by such extraordinary demands and did not respond.
Hitler stated to Molotov in their talks that the Soviet Union’s takeover of Northern Bukovina violated their pact about the division of spheres of influence. Molotov replied that the Soviet Union did indeed violate the previously reached agreement with Germany, but that it would not give up what it got from Romania. Moreover, Stalin wanted Southern Bukovina and Bulgaria. Hitler again reminded Molotov that they had agreed about the division of Europe back in August 1939. Molotov replied that it was now time for a new division of Europe that would give an advantage to the Soviet Union. Hitler brought up questions of safety from a Soviet invasion of Germany’s oil supply in Romania and other territory crucial to Germany. Molotov did not give a satisfactory reply, and further discussions were in the same tone.93
Hitler had been preparing for an invasion of Great Britain when Stalin demanded new territories in Europe—territories on which Germany’s economy and armed forces depended completely. After Molotov’s departure, Hitler gathered his most trusted subordinates and clearly let them understand that he planned to invade the Soviet Union. On June 21, 1941, Hitler wrote a letter to Mussolini: “Russia is trying to destroy the Romania oil field The task for our armies is eliminating
this threat as soon as possible.” The Soviet threat to the Romanian oil fields is a major reason why Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union was not at all a struggle for Lebensraum (living space).94
WHY HITLER’S INVASION OF THE SOVIET UNION SURPRISED STALIN
Stalin had three separate independent espionage agencies working for him. The total power of these agencies was colossal, and testimonies abound about the might of Stalin’s espionage. These Soviet espionage services had penetrated into leading German military and political circles. Soviet military intelligence managed to gain access in Germany to the most secret information from the highest levels of power. Given these facts, the question is: “How could Hitler have surprised Stalin with his invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941?”
Suvorov says that Hitler knew that it had become impossible to conceal his preparations to invade the Soviet Union. Therefore, Hitler said in secret, in a way that Stalin could hear, “Yes, I want to attack Stalin after I have finished the war in the west.” The Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces (GRU) also made extensive studies of all the economic, political, and military aspects of the situation and concluded that Germany could not win a war on two fronts. The GRU concluded that Hitler would not begin a war in the east without first finishing the war in the west. The head of the GRU submitted a detailed report to Stalin on March 20, 1941, which concluded that “the earliest possible date on which operations against the USSR may begin is the moment following victory over England or after an honorable peace for Germany has been achieved.”95
Soviet intelligence knew about the massive concentration of German troops on Soviet borders, the locations of all German divisions, the huge ammunition supplies, the movements of the German air force, and many other things. Soviet GRU agents knew many important secrets, including the name of Operation Barbarossa and the time of its inception. Yet on the eve of the German invasion, Soviet intelligence reported that preparations for invasion had not yet begun, and without these preparations it was impossible for Germany to begin the war.96
Soviet intelligence believed, with good reason, that a country needed serious preparations to fight the Soviet Union. One of the vital things Germany would need to fight the Soviet Union was sheepskin coats so that its troops could survive the Russian winter. All GRU agents in Europe gathered and analyzed information on sheep in Europe, and on the main sheep-breeding centers and slaughterhouses. As soon as Hitler decided to attack the Soviet Union, Soviet intelligence thought that Germany would order industry to begin producing millions of sheepskin coats. This would be reflected in rising sheepskin prices, and sheepskin coats would be delivered to German divisions. However, sheepskin coats were never delivered to any divisions of the German army.
Soviet intelligence also reasoned that the German army would have to use a new type of lubricating oil for its weaponry and motor fuel for its vehicles for the extremely cold Russian winters. The lubricating oil Germany usually used would congeal in the frost, component parts would freeze together, and the weapons would not work. The normal German motor fuel broke down into incombustible components in heavy frost. The quantities and type of liquid fuels possessed by Germany were not sufficient to conduct deep offensive operations in the Soviet Union. Germany was not even conducting research in the field of creating frost-resistant fuels and oils.
The GRU closely followed many other indicators for warning signals of a German invasion. German soldiers needed boots, warm underwear, sweaters, special tents, hats, heaters, skis, ski wax, masking robes, devices for heating water, and frost-resistant batteries. The German army also needed tanks with broad caterpillar tracks, thousands of cars that could drive in poor road conditions, and so on. The German army had none of these. Outside of a great buildup of German troops on the Soviet border, Germany had made no preparations for war against the Soviet Union. Since the German army had not taken reasonable actions to prepare for war, Stalin and his agents did not believe that Germany would invade the Soviet Union.97
However, Hitler launched his invasion of the Soviet Union without making reasonable preparations. Hitler realized that he had no choice but to invade the Soviet Union. If Hitler had waited for Stalin to attack, all of Europe would have been lost.
Suvorov states in The Chief Culprit that both German and Soviet forces were positioned for attack on June 22, 1941. The position of the divisions of the Red Army and the German army on the border mirrored each other. The airfields of both armies were moved all the way up to the border. From the defensive point of view, this kind of deployment of troops and airfields by both armies was stupid and suicidal. Whichever army attacked first would be able to easily encircle the troops of the other army. Hitler attacked first to enable German troops to trap and encircle the best units of the Red Army.98
HITLER’S DECISION TO INVADE THE USSR & OTHER COMMENTS
Suvorov’s book The Chief Culprit fails to mention Adolf Hitler’s speech on Dec. 11, 1941, declaring war on the United States. This speech provides important corroborating evidence why Hitler attacked the Soviet Union. Hitler states in this speech:
“When I became aware of the possibility of a threat to the east of the Reich in 1940 through 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. The human and material resources for them were abundantly available. . . .
“We realized very clearly that under no circumstances could we allow the enemy the opportunity to strike first into our heart. Nevertheless, the decision in this case was a very difficult one. When the writers for the democratic newspapers now declare that I would have thought twice before attacking if I had known the strength of the Bolshevik adversaries, they show that they do not understand either the situation or me.
“I have not sought war. To the contrary, I have done everything to avoid conflict. But I would forget my duty and my conscience if I were to do nothing in spite of the realization that a conflict had become unavoidable. Because I regarded Soviet Russia as a danger not only for the German Reich but for all of Europe, I decided, if possible, to give the order myself to attack a few days before the outbreak of this conflict.
“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 this 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.
“Several nations have been destined to prevent or parry this blow through the sacrifice of their blood. If Finland had not immediately decided, for the second time, to take up weapons, then the comfortable bourgeois life of the other Nordic countries would have been quickly ended.
“If the German Reich, with its soldiers and weapons, had not stood against this opponent, a storm would have burned over Europe that would have eliminated once and for all time the laughable British idea of the European balance of power in all its intellectual paucity and traditional stupidity.
“If the Slovaks, Hungarians and Romanians had not also acted to defend this European world, then the Bolshevik hordes would have poured over the Danube countries as did once the swarms of Attila’s Huns, and [Soviet] Tatars and Mongols would [then] force a revision of the Treaty of Montreux on the open country by the Ionian Sea.
“If Italy, Spain and Croatia had not sent their divisions, then a European defense front would not have arisen that proclaims the concept of a new Europe and thereby effectively inspires all other nations as well. Because of this awareness of danger, volunteers have come from northern and western Europe: Norwegians, Danes, Dutch, Flemish, Belgians and even French. They have all given the struggle of the allied forces of the Axis the character of a European crusade, in the truest sense of the word.”99
Hitler’s speech confirms Suvorov’s thesis that the German invasion of the Soviet Union was for preemptive purposes. Hitler’s attack was not for Lebensraum or any other malicious reason.
Hitler’s speech also mentions an important point not discussed in The Chief Culprit: numerous brave men from northern and western Europe volunteered to join Germany in its fight against the Soviet Union. Volunteers from 30 nations enlisted to fight in the German armed forces during World War II.100 These volunteers knew that the Soviet Union, which Suvorov calls “the most criminal and most bloody empire in human history,”101 could not be allowed to conquer all of Europe.
Suvorov states in The Chief Culprit that by exposing Stalin’s aggressive endeavors, he is not attempting to exonerate Hitler. For Suvorov, Hitler still remains a “heinous criminal.”102 However, Suvorov does make it clear that Hitler’s preemptive attack of the Soviet Union prevented Stalin from conquering all of Europe (page 103). Suvorov also clearly shows that it was Stalin and not Hitler who broke the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement. As Frederick the Great of Prussia once stated, “The attacker is the one who forces his adversary to attack”(104).
As brilliant as Suvorov is in exposing the historical lies of the corrupt Soviet regimes, his book contains a major contradiction. Throughout The Chief Culprit, Suvorov states that Germany did not have the strategic resources needed to successfully conduct a sustained military conflict. Furthermore, many of Germany’s strategic resources came from militarily vulnerable sources. Germany’s iron ore came mostly from northern Sweden, its lumber from Finland and Sweden, and its nickel supplies from Finland.105 Germany’s primary source of oil came from Romania, and this Romanian supply of oil was never enough for Germany to effectively conduct a sustained military campaign.106 All of these raw materials were vulnerable to attack from the Soviet Union. Suvorov states that Germany’s lack of raw materials not only prohibited it from conducting a two-front war, but also from conducting a prolonged single-front war. Germany’s only hope for victory was a blitzkrieg—the quick defeat of an enemy.107
Despite Germany’s inability to successfully fight a prolonged war, Suvorov makes statements in his book as if Germany was attempting to conquer the world. Suvorov states: “In that same year, 1939, Hitler began his war for global domination,”(page 108) and “Hitler went after world domination in September 1939 with just six tank divisions.”(109) Hitler never had the resources or military to obtain world domination. Hitler was not even aware that his attack of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, would turn into anything more than a local conflict. If Hitler had known that his invasion of Poland would result in a major world war, he never would have invaded Poland.
Suvorov also implies that Hitler attacked Poland because Poland refused to satisfy Hitler’s aggressive demands. Suvorov states: “Hitler demanded a review of the Versailles Treaty. In accordance with this treaty, Eastern Prussia was separated from the main part of Germany, and the city of Danzig was declared a free city. Hitler demanded to be given a corridor through Polish territory to build a highway and a railroad between East Prussia and mainland Germany. Additionally, the city of Danzig was to become a part of Germany. The Polish government refused to satisfy Hitler’s demands.”110
This analysis is simplistic and misleading. As we will discuss in Chapter Three, it would be more accurate to state that Poland, with the backing of Great Britain, refused to negotiate with Germany and adopted policies that forced war between Germany and Poland.
1 Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, Introduction, pp. xv-xvii.
2 Ibid., pp. xviii-xix. 3 Ibid., pp. xxi-xxii. 4 Ibid., p. 23.
5 Ibid., p. 25.
6 Ibid., pp. 25-26.
7 Ibid., p. 26.
8 Ibid., p. 26.
9 Ibid., pp. 23-24.
10 Ibid., pp. 23-25.
11 Ibid., p. 26.
12 Ibid., pp. 26-27.
13 Chuev, Felix, Molotov: Master of Half a Do-
main, Moscow: Olma-Press, 2002, p. 458.
14 Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 27.
15 Ibid., p. 41.
16 Ibid., pp. 42-44.
17 Ibid., pp. 44-45.
18 Ibid., p. 45.
19 Ibid., pp. 46-47.
20 Ibid., pp. 48-49.
21 Guderian, Heinz, Panzer Leader, New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1952, p. 283.
22 Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 50, 56.
23 Ibid., pp. 51-52.
24 Ibid., pp. 52-53.
25 Ibid., pp. 55-57.
26 Ibid., pp. 32-33.
27 Ibid., pp. 34, 38, 40.
28 Ibid., pp. 64-65.
29 Ibid., pp. 69-72.
30 Ibid., p. 73.
31 Ibid., p. 76.
32 Ibid., p. 77.
33 Ibid., pp. 77-78.
34 Ibid., pp. 79-80.
35 Ibid., p. 94.
36 Ibid., p. 239.
37 Ibid., pp. 125-126.
38 Ibid., pp. 123-126.
39 Ibid., pp. 127-128.
40 Ibid., pp. 128-129.
41 Ibid., pp. 131-132.
42 Ibid., pp. 133-135.
43 Ibid., pp. 150-152.
44 Ibid., pp. 156-157.
45 Ibid., pp. 58-59.
46 Ibid., p. 59.
47 Ibid., pp. 196-197.
48 Ibid., p. 205.
49 Ibid., pp. 207-217.
50 Ibid., pp. 92-97.
51 Ibid., pp. 257-258.
52 Ibid., p. 105.
53 Ibid., pp. 105, 116-117.
54 Ibid., pp. 114-115.
56 Ibid., p. 116.
57 Ibid., pp. 282-284.
58 Ibid., p. 118.
59 Koster, John, Operation Snow, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2012, pp. 34-35.
60 Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 136-137.
61 Ibid., pp. 137-140.
62 Ibid., p. 144.
63 Ibid., pp. 144-145.
64 Ibid., p. 145.
65 Hoffmann, Joachim, Stalin’s War of Extermination, 1941-1945: Planning, Realization, and Documentation, Capshaw, AL: Theses & Dissertations Press, 2001, p. 31.
66 Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 162.
67 Ibid., p. 165.
68 Ibid., pp. 166-167.
69 Ibid., p. 168.
70 Ibid., pp. 168-169.
71 Ibid., pp. 171-172.
72 Ibid., pp. 171-173.
73 Ibid., pp. 173-176.
74 Ibid., pp. 190-191.
75 Ibid., pp. 191-192.
76 Ibid., pp. 193-194.
77 Ibid., pp. 184-186.
78 Ibid., p. 258.
79 Ibid., pp. 258-259.
80 Ibid., pp. 252-253.
81 Ibid., pp. 253-256.
82 Ibid., p. 254.
83 Michaels, Daniel W., “New Evidence on the 1941 ‘Barbarossa’ Attack: Why Hitler Attacked Soviet Russia When He Did,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 18, No. 3, May/June 1999, p. 41.
84 Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 20-22.
85 Ibid., pp. 29-31.
86 Ibid., p. 7.
87 Ibid., pp. 17-18.
88 Ibid., pp. 98-104.
89 Ibid., pp. 106-108.
90 Ibid., p. 109.
91 Ibid., pp. 111-112.
92 Ibid., p. 278.
93 Ibid., pp. 181-183.
94 Ibid., pp. 159, 183.
95 Ibid., pp. 244-247.
96 Ibid., p. 248.
97 Ibid., pp. 248-250.
98 Ibid., p. xx.
99 “The Reichstag Speech of 11 December 1941: Hitler’s Declaration of War Against the United States,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 1988-1989, pp. 395-396.
100 Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, p. 7.
101 Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, p. 58.
102 Ibid., p. xi. 103 Ibid., p. 159.
104 Franz-Willing, Georg, “The Origins of the Second World War,” The Journal of Historical Review, Torrance, CA: Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 1986, p. 108.
105 Suvorov, Viktor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008, pp. 146-149.
106 Ibid., pp. 158-159.
107 Ibid., p. 112.
108 Ibid., p. 65.
109 Ibid., p. 87.
110 Ibid., p. 106.