Why the Red Army did so poorly against the nazis in the first years of the war and then steamrolled them completely?

Why the Red Army did so poorly against the nazis in the first years of the war and then steamrolled them completely?

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because Hitler was literally asleep

Because Stalin needed several years to build his infamous T-34s and USSR didn't expect Barbarossa i guess.

Stalin had pretty much gutted the military command prior and refused to believe it when the invasion had already started. There are other factors, but those are the specific failings of Stalin.

The red army got rolled because of a german surprise attack and and a combination of stalins officer purge and the remaining experienced officers being diluted by the massive increase in army size between 1938 and 1941.
the reason the germans fell apart from 1943 onwards is because the red army learned how to fight in the bad years of 1941 and 1942 and because of the massive material imbalance in favour of the soviets. 1942 was the worst year of soviet production and they were still out producing the germans 3:1 in infanty weapons, 4:1 in tanks and 2:1 in planes and it just kept getting more lopsided in favourof the soviets.

Yeah that's bullshit. The purges within the military were thoroughly justified. The only mistake Stalin made was to deploy the army in some sort of decentralized forward defense, whether that was a mere tactical mistake or he really didn't thunk Hitler would attack is open to interpretation.

I've read that they were expecting it, but when and where were always in question, and that the attack finally came after several false starts, false alarms, and Nazi spies fed the Soviets bogus intelligence via high officers within the Soviet military, specifically several generals that served the White Russians during the civil war.


It didn't help either that Hitler refused to allow his generals to tactically retreat, wasting hundreds of thousands of his best soldiers in failed hedgehog defenses of major Russian cities.

Idiots in power whose main goal was their own Party's survival, not the people's.

when you can't replace your men or equipment pointless last stand is stupider than usual

but enough about the nazi party

80% of soviet armor in 1941 was obsolete light tanks that were proven useless against modern antitank guns. T-26s would break down on the way to the front, BT7s couldn't penetrate panzer armor, T34s and KVs were new but tank crews were barely prepared to use them and there was not enough ammo for them.

They weren't. The army wasn't mobilized, and the armoured corps specifically were in the middle of being reorganized. The Nazis cut up everybody on the borders because they were good at fucking up supply lines and communication lines.

Major restructures of the armoured corps were supposed to take until 1942, but ofc the invasion meant they had to be used. The formations were unrecognizable in their state, so Soviet counterattacks were extremely limited in staying power. The infantry did better, but with zero mobile reserves, it meant that Soviet infantry would get encircled and have no relief.

Anyways, the Soviets did well in the SouthWestern front, the Germans had to divert most of army group centre to take them out at Kiev. It was necessary for the Germans to do this, don't trust any wehraboo lingering sentiments, 700,000 trained soldiers were posted in Kiev and fucking up Army group south and the Romanians.

At Moscow there wasn't even a contest, the Germans were exhausted and out of supplies, while the Soviets had 6 months to collect mobilized soldiers, equipment, and reinforcements. Then the Nazis lost, because before that point they were actually outnumbering the Soviets, and after Moscow the materiel superiority of the USSR and the military central planning was really showing. The Soviets spend 1942 rebuilding the armoured corps, and by Stalingrad the Nazis had lost the war.

T 26 and BT 7 were old but they were a match for panzer IIs and IIIs. What fucked over the Soviet tank force was a lack of radios and poor leadership.

Two reasons.

1. The same reason while Americans did so poorly against the Japs initially and steamrolled them lately.

2. Russian Imperial army were about 50 years backwards compared to Europe, not to mention Russian society and industry. Modern Soviet Army was complete around 1942.

it hurts

you can also post some iiww videos while discussing

i feel this

Really? I thought that the point of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was to push the border as far from the Russian heartland as possible in anticipation of just such a thing. Or do you mean they simply weren't expecting such an invasion at the time?

I did read this, too! Wasn't it something like only 1 in 20 infantry survived in the early stages of the invasion? There is a series on youtube called Soviet Storm if I remember right. One episode they talk about the difficulties both armies experienced fighting in the swamps and marshes of Eastern Russia, and how the terrain helped not only to stall the Germans but kept the Russians from being entirely annihilated.

You sound very knowledgeable, user-kun! My knowledge is made mostly of what little I've learned from documentaries orz. Can you recommend any good books on the subject?


Mao was able to crush Japanese forces with the same obsolete equipment, the problem was Stalin was sucking at commanding armies just like he did during the civil-war.

What's up with the shitty label at the bottom? I keep seeing pictures like this.

Oh yeah, Stalin knew a war was going to happen at some point, but it seems clear that he didn't think it'd be 1941.

I don't really know of anything casual. David Glantz writes good books that show the Soviet perspective well, he's the only English language historian that seems to use soviet staff studies and archives. But he's also really dry.

But that's strategic level milhist. If you want to read personal accounts, lots of Soviet memoirs and recollections were translated recently. iremember.ru/en/

Regardless of whether they were justified they happened, and they were a significant factor in the early failings against the Nazis, absolutely relevant in a thread asking why the Soviets completely failed in their initial defense against the Nazis.

I look forward to reading more. Arigatou yo~

At the beginning:
- Really shit weaponry
- subpar communications equipment
- Did not have heavy guns to deal with German heavy armor.
- Lack of intelligence gathering capabilities on the battlefield

- t-34 bitches
- German economy was not meant to fight war of attrition
- Russian winter
- Better industrial capacity than Germany to outproduce them in war materials.

how do I stop it

Hitler sneak attacked them and they weren't prepared for war.
Hitler overplayed his hand and tried to invade Russia in the winter. Meanwhile state capitalism was kicking into high gear on the war economy.

Soviet Union did not have good highly qualified military personnel early on, not until Zhukov came to promenance. When he did, Stalin did a smart thing and listened to him. Hitler, on the other hand, had plenty of talented generals, but as war continued, stopped listening to them and began micromanaging war efforts into oblivion with his asinine bullshit.

That, plus Soviets rapidly modernized and expanded their industry and technology, so by the end of the war they've outdone Germany in that aspect as well.


It's always winter in Russia.


Not true sometimes it is swamp season

Daily reminder that shit like this justifies purges sometimes. I'm actually surprised Stalin never took care of them earlier.

Would the war truly have been lost if Stalingrad fell, or was there some miraculous plan B that Stalin pulled out of his ass?

That image sucks. Tankies almost universally hate the Khmer Rouge on account of it being funded by the US.

Because Stalin was affraid the Japanese attacked in the eastern border, so he kept troops there for a while. When he saw the japanese were ocupied with the americans, he shifted everyone back to the european front.

Plus Hitler was dumb and instead of sending winter clothes to the frontline, he sent ammunition and weapons.

There's nothing wrong in that pic until #4

Wouldn't have mattered. No way the Germans have the supply lines to get to Baku afterwards. They're still pushed back, it just takes more time and lives.
Really, what happened in reality was pretty close to an absolutely miraculous best case scenario for Germany. Instead of speculating how their success could have been even more obscene, it's more worthwhile to note the degree to which they already got away with murder, and how easily they could have been stopped way earlier.

this, massive industrialisation and learning from/improving on german 3gw tactics is how they won. Also the sheer autism and Engstirnigkeit of the deranged drug-addled austrian helped

from 1918 until Kursk the krauts were the best army in the world, despite trials and tribulations. After Kursk the student had learned from the master and the Ivans have probably been holding that title to this very day.

Just pointing out that the Germans steamrolled everyone except the USSR because it was too big to Blitzkrieg. The French, Polish etc. weren't exactly stellar defenders either.

Because Stalin honnestly did not believe his buddy Hitler would betray him.
Seriously though. He had several reports of troops massing on the frontier and dismissed them.
And the purges ; at the start of Barbarossa the Red Army was severelly understaffed in terms of officiers.

Why did he won, though ? Several gross strategic errors by Hitler, notably dividing his front in 3, Stalingrad offensive in which Paulus had nobody to protect his flank, the winter, the extremely efficient partisan effort…

A semi-myth, the problem was the entire German logistical situation on the Eastern Front was one big SNAFU after another. Hitler ignored his logististians that were saying as they moved Eastward the demands on the logistical system would grow exponentially, the result was clothing and ammo getting stuck in the bottlenecks of the supply line.

Fuckin roses, even reddit knows more history than you do

Speaking of which, Russian rail was still using Imperial standard, which was just a bit wider than the European standard. So the Axis had to rebuild the entire thing.

Basically Stalin killed all his best generals and trusted the Nazis. Then for days refused to believe the invasion was real. Kinda just fucked over the USSR. Honestly it's a miracle the red army was able to overcome the Germans and their own command.

Lol A bt7 and t26 can bear a pander 2 and 1 but the 3 and 4s absolutely annihilated them. Unfortunately the Soviet Union invested a lot in light tanks because they theorized mobility was worth more than armor and gun strength, the assumption being that if your light tank can get behind a bigger one it could kill it easy. While theoretically it makes sense the Spanish civil war proved to destroy this notion. The creation of the t34 and KV 1 was a response to the failings of the BT series and t26 tanks. Unfortunately it takes time to phase out that much old equipment let alone training such a huge army in the new tank. Time the USSR ended up not having.



Due to a variety of reasons:
1: unpreparedness due to officer purges and lack of supply
2: Surprise; the germans had only recently moved those troops to the border after the Yugo campaign, and on june 21st near midnight, luftwaffe squadrons destroyed roughly 1200 planes on airfields before the attack started
3: Industry had to be modified to total war standings, from toasters to guns, tractors to tanks
4: In 1943, a military reform was made. Massive changes were put in place, to name a few: New, simpler ranking system, Set numbers for squad and section level organisation, Codified Hand Signals (important) new armament, and most importantly new-ish doctrine. They finally adopted Tukachevsky's 'deep battle' doctrine
5: newer, and more efficient equipment was being produced by 1943, like t-34 85's, IL-2's, and PPS-43's, as well as more standardised ammunition, and antitank/artillery
6: the battle of Kursk turned the german momentum. Newfags will tell you 'stalingrad=turning point of eastern front lmao' but the Armeegruppe Süd still had a bit of momentum, and Gruppe Mittel was pretty much fine, so they sent the bulk of their armoured forces into the kursk region, but gave the soviets too much time to prepare defences, and so lost the battle, and their momentum in the east. After this, the germans had been so heavily worn down by attrition that a year later in 1944, when operation bagration began, it took the soviets only a couple months to fight from Ukraine to warsaw, and steamrolled the german defences.
6(?): Morale; Every time the soviets held on to a city, or some hero was published, the people recovered a bit, and fought on harder, or worked harder. But for the germans once 1943 rolls around, there is defeat on every front,, and the people are becoming more and more demoralised, and terrified

that meme is wrong

really tho Hitler is to blame, he would re-route troops to nonsense places on a whim, the entire battle of Stalingrad didn't happen because of any real strategical reason, but because Hitler wanted to take the city with Stalin's name

How did total war work in the Soviet economy?

Not asking out of total befuddlement, but I am curious - where did the expertise come from that led to the innovation and prioritization of certain weaponry and its industrial manufacture?

Protoss Zealot rush. Zerg take a long time to kill the zealots, but eventually steamroll the 'toss with a fuckton of Hydralisks.


Because the soviets infiltrated America and subverted it in the 30s to fight on their side so the soviets were fighting with American fire power. They wouldn't have gotten anywhere without America.

I believe the tsars intentionally made the rail system incompatible with European standards, in case of a future invasion.



What an argument. It's just what I've read in Max Gallo's book.


Here's also a good lecture on the subject

The German army ignored their logisticans and stalled there initial advance. This gave the red army enough time to adapt to the new tactics which in turn gave them enough time to mobilize there industry. The Germans didn't go to war time economy until after the encirclement of Stalingrad. I don't think the purges had that much of an effect as the new officers would be just as clueless to defend against movement warfare as the old ones..

Uwaaa~ Thank you!! I'll try to watch it soon.

Yep, maybe not all of them, but some were in fact pro-german.

What's with the cringy music?

To explain the joke in case you're american

it's from some tv show

It's awful.

Looking at the Wikipedia page, along with other factors, probably that mostly the entirety of the professional Red Army was wiped out (2+million MIA or captured) really quickly, leaving Stalin with nothing but the sound of "CONSCRIPT TRAINING FINISHED" in his ears for the rest of the war, in Red Alert terms. But the rest are drafted men, as opposed to trained soldiers. No wonder that they lost so many extra men.

First one ehh, second one eehhhh.
Third one half-true, they used to happen all the time before agriculture got properly organized.
Fourth one Unruhe-tier

stalin was more afraid of a coup then war

Rosa would definitely have been murdered

what i cant figure out for myself is, how do you know if someone is simply very productive instead of exploitative? how do you know if you are being exploited or you are simply lazy, engage in capital consumption (spending money instead of saving, eating your breeding stock, etc)?
it is obviously easier to just say you are exploited instead of improving yourself
if everyone does this, claims he is exploited, and there's no mechanism to counter this, their existence has to be subsidized by productive people
you have more and more complainers, and less and less productive people
till the point where everyone is complaining, and no one is productive, everyone productive has been either killed or left the country or idk
and this is where starvation/officer-less army happens

because of geography
winter turned into swamp, supply lines got rekt by the swamp, and germans found themselves in a scorched earth wasteland with absolutely nothing to do as far as the eye can see, no way to repair mechanization, refuel, rearm, reobtain food

by Lenin? I doubt it

Not the French or the British could beat German blitzkrieg in the first years of war.