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German losses vs. West and East

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BD old buddy,

Yep, you got that right, that was a response. One of my better, I thought. However, I will be delighted to raise my game, as you so charmingly put it, if you tell me:

1. Which fronts it was Khruschev commanded.

2. The difference between a Soviet front and a Soviet field army.

3. Why it is the Soviet tool industry was incapable of manufacturing a truck.

4. If that was the case, who was it that made the Zil, KraZ, URAL, and MaZ series of wheeled cargo vehicles.

5. Whether you read "Das Reich" by Max Hastings.

6. Whether you read ANY book by David Glantz.

7. Why Soviet cavalry pants have floppy thighs.

These are pretty simple questions. Well, all but the last one. My advice, answer as quick as you can. If you don't, the list is only going to get longer.

[/qb]

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Originally posted by blue division:

If you keep arguing FlamingKnives, I can turn you around and have you pointing the other way, without you even knowing it.

;)

Only in your head.

I remain at a loss as to how the existence of large numbers of Russian trucks in 1941 proves that US supplied trucks were instrumental in deep operations in the latter half of the war.

Perhaps its important to remember that movement is relative. For example, the Sun appears to move across the sky but we know that the position of the sun remains constant while the Earth moves.

You appear to have gone from "US trucks were key to Russian deep operations" and "USSR didn't make many trucks" to quoting sources that state that the US contributions were in fact in the minority of trucks used by the Soviet Union. While I would refrain from making conclusions as to the state of the debate, you do see how this sort of thing could hurt your argument?

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I notice that you haven't read the last paper I sent you.

It is one thing to give lots of sources, another to read them.

Please go away and read the bit that said US trucks were used at the front, USSR ones in the rear.

NB. The USSR plant was stuff shipped from the US. Almost certainly old plant, from the twenties, and therefore very unreliable compared to what was coming off the lines in Detroit in the 1940's.

Therefore the more reliable trucks were used at the front. If you look at photos of ZIL's you will see what I mean about them being 'last years model'. Look at a GMC 6x6, and it is modern.

If I trying to teach you something, please at least read what I have provided you and digest it.

My statement about the USSR not having any trucks is therefore correct, as I was talking about in the context of the front. Of course the Soviet Union had trucks, but it is noticeable that it did not have nearly enough to win the war in the manner it did in 1944. That is why they were at the top of Stalin's shopping list, with tanks and aircraft and food.

I have brought you to acknowledge that trucks were used at the front to move troops about.

That in itself is a success. Perhaps now we can move forward into having a sensible debate about the USSR and its conduct of the war.

No more miraculous conversions of the Red Army from 1942 to a world-beating force in 1944. Yes, they did improve. But there are a lot more factors involved than just this.

Its been a long road, but we are getting there.

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Originally posted by Bigduke6:

BD old buddy,

Yep, you got that right, that was a response. One of my better, I thought. However, I will be delighted to raise my game, as you so charmingly put it, if you tell me:

1. Which fronts it was Khruschev commanded.

2. The difference between a Soviet front and a Soviet field army.

3. Why it is the Soviet tool industry was incapable of manufacturing a truck.

4. If that was the case, who was it that made the Zil, KraZ, URAL, and MaZ series of wheeled cargo vehicles.

5. Whether you read "Das Reich" by Max Hastings.

6. Whether you read ANY book by David Glantz.

7. Why Soviet cavalry pants have floppy thighs.

These are pretty simple questions. Well, all but the last one. My advice, answer as quick as you can. If you don't, the list is only going to get longer.

Is this a response?

Please raise your game. [/QB]

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Originally posted by flamingknives:

You appear to have gone from "US trucks were key to Russian deep operations" and "USSR didn't make many trucks" to quoting sources that state that the US contributions were in fact in the minority of trucks used by the Soviet Union. While I would refrain from making conclusions as to the state of the debate, you do see how this sort of thing could hurt your argument?

We are talking about the Russian Front and the advance in 1944.

Everything you have written above here is irrelevant, as I have just pointed out that the trucks were largely American.

Please read the sources given and come back later.

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Originally posted by blue division:

My statement about the USSR not having any trucks is therefore correct, as I was talking about in the context of the front. Of course the Soviet Union had trucks, but it is noticeable that it did not have nearly enough to win the war in the manner it did in 1944. That is why they were at the top of Stalin's shopping list, with tanks and aircraft and food.

Or, alternatively, it was horsefeathers, as you've just moved the goal posts. We've gone from US trucks being the only ones available to being the only ones at the front.

At no point have I claimed that trucks had no effect whatsoever. Rather, my point is that the US truck contribution was not such a large factor as is repeatedly played up. Soviet deception, strategic awareness and skill in the operational art were all more important. Lose any one of those and it will do more damage to the Soviet war effort than removing a part of their truck fleet.

Let's look at the deep ops of late '44, as you've chosen to narrow the field to this area. US trucks are used on the front line* and contribute to the operation (which I've never denied). What would happen if these trucks are suddenly not available? The Soviets still have the skils to carry out this kind of operation, and, by moving their own trucks forward, having shifted the balance of production to build more trucks, if necessary.

The operations proceed in largely the same manner. The prescence of the US trucks aided the operations but their abscence would not have prohibited them.

Feel free to change the focus again. I enjoy these little diversions.

*I'll point out that you've made an unwarranted assumption here - that trucks used on the front line are the better ones. It could be that the ones used on the front lines are more likely to be destroyed and so you use the less valuable ones

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The assumption is quite correct. Soviet trucks were 2x4, while US trucks were 6x6 or 6x4, or sumfink. Vastly more capable in cross-country movement. This increased Soviet tactical movement capabilities to a point that the Wehrmacht never enjoyed. It had some operational consequences, particular during Bagration, as pointed out by Dunn, but it was much less important during the following major operations in areas with less tricky terrain, such as L'vov-Sandomierz, Vistula-Oder, or Berlin and Prague. My guess is that it will have played a role during Iassy-Kishinev, although there the change of sides of the Romanians and the remote location of the army group as a whole probably contributed much more to making it the stunning success it was.

The basic 'trucks played a role' was never in dispute. The current smokescreen put up by our friend who presumably just graduated from Midvale Debating School for the Gifted is of course that it was. And that Chruschtschow murdered Operation Mars, of course. That one still has me giggling.

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Ooo, my bad. But then I'm no great scholar of the Eastern Front.

Andreas, surely now the Great Debater will now be able to claim victory (again) because, as we all know, tactical maneuver is the be all and end all of WWII combat. ;)

Still, make those 6x4s the Russian 4x2 varieties and how much difference do you get?

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Not a lot, IMO. As I said, it was very much tied to terrain considerations. Essentially it enabled them to bypass some chokepoints.

If they had never had laid their eyes on 6x4s they would probably have been able to innovate a different way out of the problem. They seem to have managed well enough in other areas.

E.g. prior to having lots of US trucks, they used T60 and T-70 tanks to move ATGs in tactical situations with tricky terrain (balkas) during Saturn (that is the operation that Chruschtschow did not get involved in, because he was too busy at Rzhev :D ).

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In his book, Hell's Gate, Nash comments on the importance of Studebakers in improving Soviet supply mobility at Korsun. IIRC it was directly related to artillery ammunition re-supply. Without a thorough index I can't find the exact quote.

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Andreas,

For the record the Soviets manufactured the heavy-load trucks you are talking about. The main marks as far as I know were:

ZiS-5V - a six-wheel, two-axle vehicle

ZiS-151 - a ten-wheel, three-axle vehicle

GAZ-AAA - a ten-wheel, three-axle vehicle

The last was a license-built version of a Ford AA truck, I believe. I am not arguing there were lots of them, but the technical capacity to produce the vehicle was there.

BTW as it happens in a previous life I had some experience with trucks, and as far as I know the main thing extra wheels and axles give you are carrying capacity. Load distribution and all that.

I was always taught that if you want to get a wheeled vehicle across bad terrain it's a toss-up whether wheels are paired or no. But more axles is always better, obviously.

The main advantage of U.S. trucks to the Soviet war effort, besides the simple Soviet automotive capacity thereby saved for tank production, was as you are no doubt aware on the maintenance side.

U.S. vehicles were more reliable, their parts were more robust, they were designed for ease of maintenance, and there is a ready parts distribution system already configured to prioritize the parts that break.

Compare this to the typical Soviet approach to automotive manufacturing - here's your vehicle and once you drive it, it's no longer our problem - and it is pretty easy to see why the Studebaker is so loved in the FSU even to this day.

My sloppy two cents on Iassy-Kishenev is that the Germans were in such a strategic noose that the Soviets would have overrun their position, if their supply had been on reindeer sleighs.

On Bagratian, Lvov-Sandomirz, Vistula-Oder, and Berlin, it occurs to me that as the Red Army moved west paradoxically its supply situation improved to some extent, as the roads got better. So I would argue that, relatively speaking, large numbers of trucks had more value to Soviets during summer '44, because at that point the battlefield was still the Soviet Union. Just something I thought of.

Second to last, on the subject of Soviet tanks towing things, Katukov's memoirs (which I am sure Blue Division has read) have a pretty funny story about how when 1st Guards Tank Army was forming in winter '43, they had to move from "A" to "B" and there weren't enough trucks for the infantry, and the snow was a meter or two deep.

Katukov had the bright idea of using tanks to break trail, haul, and carry troops, but the problem was Soviet armor employment rules forbade using tanks for that, outside of a combat situation. Katukov and the Red Army armor rules guy eventually took their arguement to Stalin, who ruled in favor of Katukov.

This might be considered proof the Soviets were capable of dealing with transportation/supply problems without the benefit of scads of Studebaker trucks, but to keep BD's blood pressure under control I'll leave the anecdote on the level of grog trivia.

Finally, no post of mine on this topic would be complete without an update of "questions Blue Division refuses to answer". As I predicted, it got longer. Talk about yer foot sandwiches.

1. Which fronts it was Khruschev commanded?

2. What exactly were the command errors Khruschev committed during the Rzhev/Mars operation?

3. How it was Khruschev managed to interfere in the Rzhev/Mars operation, considering his own memoirs say he was at Stalingrad at the time?

4. The difference between a Soviet front and a Soviet field army?

5. Why the Soviet tool industry was incapable of manufacturing a truck?

6. If that was the case, who was it that made the Zil and GAZ series of wheeled cargo vehicles?

7. Whether BD read "Das Reich" by Max Hastings?

8. Whether BD read ANY book by David Glantz?

9. How it was that tens of thousands of Soviet-built trucks were destroyed by German direct fire during the course of the war, seeing as BD argues "US trucks were used at the front, USSR ones in the rear."?

10. Why Soviet cavalry pants have floppy thighs?

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Originally posted by Bigduke6:

Finally, no post of mine on this topic would be complete without an update of "questions Blue Division refuses to answer". As I predicted, it got longer. Talk about yer foot sandwiches.

1. Which fronts it was Khruschev commanded?

2. What exactly were the command errors Khruschev committed during the Rzhev/Mars operation?

3. How it was Khruschev managed to interfere in the Rzhev/Mars operation, considering his own memoirs say he was at Stalingrad at the time?

4. The difference between a Soviet front and a Soviet field army?

5. Why the Soviet tool industry was incapable of manufacturing a truck?

6. If that was the case, who was it that made the Zil and GAZ series of wheeled cargo vehicles?

7. Whether BD read "Das Reich" by Max Hastings?

8. Whether BD read ANY book by David Glantz?

9. How it was that tens of thousands of Soviet-built trucks were destroyed by German direct fire during the course of the war, seeing as BD argues "US trucks were used at the front, USSR ones in the rear."?

10. Why Soviet cavalry pants have floppy thighs?

Please read all of this stuff yourself. This is a discussion forum, not a tuition one.

There are plenty of very good books now aviable that have been written since the archives have been opened. Yuo should read some.

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Originally posted by flamingknives:

Or, alternatively, it was horsefeathers, as you've just moved the goal posts. We've gone from US trucks being the only ones available to being the only ones at the front.

The US trucks were the only ones that could have been reliable enough and have the off road capability to suit the military. They also didn't burn 1/4 gallon oil for every 1 gallon diesel.

We are talking about WWII remember? Or perhaps you have digressed again.

Please stay on subject, don't talk about horsefeathers.

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Originally posted by Andreas:

The basic 'trucks played a role' was never in dispute. The current smokescreen put up by our friend who presumably just graduated from Midvale Debating School for the Gifted is of course that it was. And that Chruschtschow murdered Operation Mars, of course. That one still has me giggling.

It's time to move on Andreas.

Perhaps you should look at my quote from Cicero, about when you don't have an argument resort to personal abuse.

I suggest you absorb it.

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Originally posted by Bigduke6:

BD, I am glad to hear you have read "Das Reich" and so are in a position to make an intelligent comment on the book...wait, you HAVE read the book, right? :eek:

So you have read this book, written by a journalist as a hobby.

I wouldn't brag about this one too much BigD.

It ain't winning you much confidence over here.

Please read a book written by a historian, rather than a political journalist.

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Originally posted by Bigduke6:

On Bagratian, Lvov-Sandomirz, Vistula-Oder, and Berlin, it occurs to me that as the Red Army moved west paradoxically its supply situation improved to some extent, as the roads got better.

Can you tell us all how moving away from your supply sources improves your supply situation, please?

Is this the fruit of your carefully considered 'research'?

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Originally posted by blue division:

Can you tell us all how moving away from your supply sources improves your supply situation, please?

The distance between factory and frontline gets longer. True.

The road situation between supply depot and front units improves. Also true.

Is this the fruit of your carefully considered 'research'?

This could have been an interesting thread if it hadn't become personal...

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Leopard2,

I ain't saying that the supply definately got better. Only maybe - it's a question of whether the improved roads compensate for the distance from yer railheads. Just some food for thought.

And I personally am enjoying this thread immensely. BD is priceless, he really is.

And BD, yes I have read a history book or two in my time. For instance Glantz. Which brings me right back to the old listeroo, and yes folks it keeps right on growing. At this rate we're going to displace the Space Lobsters thread!

1. Which fronts it was Khruschev commanded?

2. What exactly were the command errors Khruschev committed during the Rzhev/Mars operation?

3. How it was Khruschev managed to interfere in the Rzhev/Mars operation, considering his own memoirs say he was at Stalingrad at the time?

4. The difference between a Soviet front and a Soviet field army?

5. Why the Soviet tool industry was incapable of manufacturing a truck?

6. If that was the case, who was it that made the Zil and GAZ series of wheeled cargo vehicles?

7. Whether BD read "Das Reich" by Max Hastings?

8. Whether BD read ANY book by David Glantz?

9. How it was that tens of thousands of Soviet-built trucks were destroyed by German direct fire during the course of the war, seeing as BD argues "US trucks were used at the front, USSR ones in the rear."?

10. Why Soviet cavalry pants have floppy thighs?

11. Where is the web site that will tell me why Soviet cavalry pants have floppy thighs?

12. Why does Max Hastings qualify as a political journalist?

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Originally posted by Leopard_2:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by blue division:

Can you tell us all how moving away from your supply sources improves your supply situation, please?

The distance between factory and frontline gets longer. True.

The road situation between supply depot and front units improves. Also true.

Is this the fruit of your carefully considered 'research'?

This could have been an interesting thread if it hadn't become personal... </font>

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Originally posted by Bigduke6:

Leopard2,

I ain't saying that the supply definately got better. Only maybe - it's a question of whether the improved roads compensate for the distance from yer railheads. Just some food for thought.

And I personally am enjoying this thread immensely. BD is priceless, he really is.

And BD, yes I have read a history book or two in my time. For instance Glantz. Which brings me right back to the old listeroo, and yes folks it keeps right on growing. At this rate we're going to displace the Space Lobsters thread!

1. Which fronts it was Khruschev commanded?

2. What exactly were the command errors Khruschev committed during the Rzhev/Mars operation?

3. How it was Khruschev managed to interfere in the Rzhev/Mars operation, considering his own memoirs say he was at Stalingrad at the time?

4. The difference between a Soviet front and a Soviet field army?

5. Why the Soviet tool industry was incapable of manufacturing a truck?

6. If that was the case, who was it that made the Zil and GAZ series of wheeled cargo vehicles?

7. Whether BD read "Das Reich" by Max Hastings?

8. Whether BD read ANY book by David Glantz?

9. How it was that tens of thousands of Soviet-built trucks were destroyed by German direct fire during the course of the war, seeing as BD argues "US trucks were used at the front, USSR ones in the rear."?

10. Why Soviet cavalry pants have floppy thighs?

11. Where is the web site that will tell me why Soviet cavalry pants have floppy thighs?

12. Why does Max Hastings qualify as a political journalist?

Yawn...

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Originally posted by Bigduke6:

Leopard2,

I ain't saying that the supply definately got better. Only maybe - it's a question of whether the improved roads compensate for the distance from yer railheads. Just some food for thought.

I am going to start keeping a list of these, BigDuke.

These are priceless - you should start writing your own books, I think.

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Originally posted by Bigduke6:

9. How it was that tens of thousands of Soviet-built trucks were destroyed by German direct fire during the course of the war, seeing as BD argues "US trucks were used at the front, USSR ones in the rear."?

12. Why does Max Hastings qualify as a political journalist? [/QB]

Point 12 - do you know who Max Hastings is?

Point 9 - what is your point? I am assuming there is one actually.

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