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O/T An interesting documentary on Bagration


Terkin
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As a slight off-topic I would like to suggest you guys to watch this short (<1 hour) documentary made by Russian studio several years ago. it uses documentary footage, reenactors and CGI.

It was translated to English. I found all the series interesting, but here's an episode that specifically addresses Operation Bagration.

Maybe some of you will find anything new (at least, I know Chris will, when he hears "Bagration" pronounced correctly. :P)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6UkVl3ZFuI

ps

I hope it's not against the rules to post links to videos from youtube in this section? if it is, please excuse me and just delete the thread.

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What I find interesting is that the Soviets chose a celebrated Tsarist military commander from the Napoleonic wars as the namesake for the strategic operation. It may also be offset by the fact that Pyotr Bagration was a descendant of the Georgian royal dynasty of the same name(Stalin being Georgian as well). The Communist Party stepped into the background throughout late 1942 until late 1944, allowing the country to call upon their Tsarist roots in defense of the Motherland. You can argue the politics of it all, but I find it an interesting historical sidenote.

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This series is actually pretty good. I enjoyed watching all 18 episodes. I've watched the Bagration episode a couple of times since CMRT covers it (but not too much detail). The narrator kept say operation "Bah-grAh-tee-un". Now the geek in me needs to know the proper pronunciation. "Bah-grAh-tee-un" or "Bah-gray-shun"?

Edit: after reading the above post, I'm guessing Bah-grAh-tee-un.

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This series is actually pretty good. I enjoyed watching all 18 episodes. I've watched the Bagration episode a couple of times since CMRT covers it (but not too much detail). The narrator kept say operation "Bah-grAh-tee-un". Now the geek in me needs to know the proper pronunciation. "Bah-grAh-tee-un" or "Bah-gray-shun"?

Edit: after reading the above post, I'm guessing Bah-grAh-tee-un.

Considering the the fact that he consistently mispronounces bielarus, I wouldn't put much creedence in his pronounciation.

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The narrator kept say operation "Bah-grAh-tee-un". Now the geek in me needs to know the proper pronunciation. "Bah-grAh-tee-un" or "Bah-gray-shun"?

It sounded to me like he was saying bag-RAT-eeun. I think the accent is on the last syllable, so it would be bah-graht-ee-ON, though the ON might sound more like AWN in English. Hopefully a native speaker can chime in.

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What I find interesting is that the Soviets chose a celebrated Tsarist military commander from the Napoleonic wars as the namesake for the strategic operation. It may also be offset by the fact that Pyotr Bagration was a descendant of the Georgian royal dynasty of the same name(Stalin being Georgian as well). The Communist Party stepped into the background throughout late 1942 until late 1944, allowing the country to call upon their Tsarist roots in defense of the Motherland. You can argue the politics of it all, but I find it an interesting historical sidenote.

There were several other Sov operations named after Russian military leaders, for instance the Sov counter-offensives after Kursk were called Operations Polkovodets Rumyantsev and Kutuzov.

Also, for what it is worth, at some point (not sure if before, during, or after Operation Bagration), Stalin called Rokossovsky, the Sov general in command of the front on the south face of the battle, his Bagration. I don't fully understand the reference, maybe because both Bagration and Rokossovsky were non-Russian (Georgian and Polish, respectively).

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Once you get the cyrillic it's not too hard to figure pronunciation. Aside from a few un-accented vowels, it pretty much sounds like it looks in Russian.

Yeah, but sometimes it's hard to figure out where to put the accent...I'm still not sure with Bagration.

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There were several other Sov operations named after Russian military leaders, for instance the Sov counter-offensives after Kursk were called Operations Polkovodets Rumyantsev and Kutuzov.

Also, for what it is worth, at some point (not sure if before, during, or after Operation Bagration), Stalin called Rokossovsky, the Sov general in command of the front on the south face of the battle, his Bagration. I don't fully understand the reference, maybe because both Bagration and Rokossovsky were non-Russian (Georgian and Polish, respectively).

If memory serves me correct, this is only part of the statement. It went something along the lines of "I have no Suvorov, but Rokossovsky is my Bagration."

Stalin was stating that he had no military geniuses under his command of the Napoleon, Moltke, Suvorov, etc calibre. I wouldn't say this is true, (Vasilevsky and Vatutin were both excellent), but Stalin hated to give such praise. However, in comparing Rokossovksy to Bagration, Stalin was saying that he was a reasonably skilled commander that was extremely tenacious and courageous. That is what Bagration is known for, by the way. He held the Russian far right together at Austerlitz and was killed in action at Borodino, courageously facing the French main effort, if I remember correctly.

Again, going off memory, the comparison arose during the planning phase of Operation Bagration. Stalin wanted a less risky, straight push through Bobruisk. Rokossovsky favoured a double envelopment and then exploitation. After giving Rokossovsky some time to 'change' his mind, Stalin again strongly urged that Rokossovsky use a single thrust. Rokossovsky nevertheless stood his ground and said that a double envelopment was preferable.

Hence the courage and tenacity similar to Bagration. Note that during 1940 Rokossovsky had been imprisoned and tortured by the regime and suffered all sorts of trials during the early war period. So standing up to Stalin like this took considerable courage and resolve, and Stalin recognized this. Plus Rokossovsky had an impressive military record to back up his argument.

In the end, Rokossovksy proved to be correct and 20 Pz.D showed considerable confusion in response to Roksossovsky's duel thrusts. I hope this provides some insight into it.

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Of the Soviet front commanders in WWII I have to tip my hat to Rokossovskii. He possessed finesse in his planning and execution and was much more conscious of casualties than someone like Konev or even worse, Zhukov. Chernovsky was also of similar mold to Rokossovkii but was younger. I do like Vatutin too though his life ended during the war from an ambush by Ukrainian nationalists.

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Of the Soviet front commanders in WWII I have to tip my hat to Rokossovskii. He possessed finesse in his planning and execution and was much more conscious of casualties than someone like Konev or even worse, Zhukov. Chernovsky was also of similar mold to Rokossovkii but was younger. I do like Vatutin too though his life ended during the war from an ambush by Ukrainian nationalists.

Indeed, "Bandera's Bandits" did us military enthusiasts a great disservice by killing Vatutin. I've always wondered what post-war memoirs by Vatutin would have been like, considering he had a brilliance for mobile warefare right up there with Manstein. It would have been interesting, of course, to compare Vatutin's memoirs directly to Manstein's, as they were frequent opponents in south Russian and Ukraine. Alas, he did not survive long enough for this to happen.

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