When most people think of the Red Army circa 1942 they imagine a war machine on the rise, and blessed with fleets of wordclass T-34 medium tanks. On the one hand it's true that by the spring of 1942 Soviet tank factories cranked out far more T-34's than they had during the nadir of Soviet fortunes late in 1941. But, for a number of reasons (including both T-34 losses at the front as well as the decision to parcel out T-34's in independent tank brigades versus concentrating them in the Tank Corps) there were never enough of these reliable, well armed armored fighting vehicles to go around.
Dr. Boris Sokolov's Marshal K.K. Rokossovsky offers a unique look at not only the life of one of the Red Army's top Second World War era senior officers, but also interesting insight into a Red Army at war.
Last month I posted a short write-up on Auschwitz, which I visited in September of last year. In addition, at the website's World War II gallery I posted fourteen photo's I took at Auschwitz, and corresponding detailed descriptions amply illustrating these German initiated crimes against humanity. In addition, I have also published a detailed look at the former German concentration camp at Terezin in the Czech Republic (which I visited in 2013) and repeated articles, book reviews, and pictures amply detailing the horrors of the Holocaust, the individuals who suffered or fought against the
Early in December 1941 German led Axis forces had driven to the gates of Moscow. However, the Red Army counter-attacked their overextended enemy. Soviet armies drove the Wehrmacht and its Axis allies back across the entirety of the front, and put the nail in Operation Barbarossa's coffin. Nevertheless, by early in January 1942 most of the initial Soviet counterstrokes had fizzled to a halt, and for good reason.
In just over six months of warfare the Soviet Union had lost control over 40 percent of its population, a third of its heavy industry, and staggering military losses reaching nearly 5
Regardless of your feelings about automatic rifles and their place in modern society, there is no denying the military utility of such weapons as brutally efficient killing machines. And of the innumerable automatic rifles created in the past seventy five years perhaps none had the impact of Mikhail Kalishnikov's reliable, simple, and effective AK-47 (and its modern variants).
On December 23, 2013 former peasant, World War II veteran, and eventual Lt. Gen. Mikhail T. Kalashnikov passed away in Izhevsk, the capital of the Russian republic of Udmurtia.
For those of you who don't know Why Germany Nearly Won: A New History of the Second World War in Europe is about to be published in the United Kingdom by Casemate. As such, Casemate recently interviewed author Steven D Mercatante regarding such topics as how he became interested in World War Two, whether he was nervous about challenging the conventional wisdom on the reasons for the outcome of the War in Europe, and more.
For instance, the interviewer asks "In contesting a widely accepted theory based upon the inevitability of Germany’s defeat, were you nervous of what the response would be
World War II enthusiasts will almost assuredly find interesting our newest guest author's work: The T-34 in WWII: The Legend vs. The Performance. Author Nigel Askey graduated from the University of Sussex, in the UK, with an honours degree in physics. Since the early 1980s he has taken a keen interest in military history and military simulations. In 1997 he worked as a consultant for Talansoft Inc, on war games in their Campaign Series.
The technical superiority of the T-34 (with a T-34/76 pictured here) in 1941,and during WWII in general has become the stuff of legend. Its apparent superiority has become so entrenched in the psyche of post WWII authors that it is now assumed without question. Some go as far as to claim the T-34 as “the finest tank of the twentieth century”, and that the T-34 “rendered the entire fleet of German tanks as effectively obsolete”.
However, if battle performance was, and indeed still is, the ultimate determinant of the effectiveness of any weapon system, then unlike some
Part II of our series on the human cost of the Second World War in Europe detailed Eastern Europe and Poland’s immense suffering. Part III now turns to the country that bore perhaps the worst of Nazi Germany's aggression; the Soviet Union and its Red Army.
Beginning with military losses, the Red Army suffered 29 million casualties during the Second World War; including 11,444,100 killed, missing, or captured with 8,668,400 killed in action. These figures utterly dwarf those of any other of the war’s major military establishments. Even capture meant death for much of the War.
This is the second in a series of posts detailing the human cost of the Second World War in Europe. Today we take a closer look at the toll in Eastern Europe.
In spite of the staggering human loss and destruction across all of Western and Southern Europe it could barely compare to the horror of Eastern Europe’s devastation. For example, Romania lost 500,000 people, 200,000 of which were civilians, or more people than the United States lost during the entire war but with a population a fraction of the American's size.