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Subject: Soviet entry into WW2 rss

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Geoffrey Engelstein
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I'm toying with a design of a strategic-level WW2 game. In all games I'm familiar with that start in 39 (A3R, WIF, WaW, TK (I think), HW, etc), if the Axis do not attack the Soviet Union by a certain time, the Soviets still enter the war against German.

I know that alternate history is always tricky, but is there any historical basis for this? Or is it just a game-balance factor?

Geoff
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Hello Geoffrey,

I suggest you read: Constantine Pleshakov - Stalin's Folly ... is EDIT OK ... not illuminating and very documented, but you can read it, evaluate it, get an opinion but you'll not become a Nazi or a Communist, will simply have some more informations.

Bye

Filippo
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Filippo Chiari wrote:
I suggest you read: Constantine Pleshakov - Stalin's Folly ... is illuminating! and very documented.

Revisionism. Which only achieves displaying the Soviet Union as the aggressor and Nazi Germany as conducting a faux-"self defence".

The author himself states he has no evidence for these claims.

Pleshakov's Folly.
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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AFAIK there's been no definitive 'proof' of Stalin's intention to attack Germany at a specific point in time. The Soviets were well aware of the German build-up on their common frontier, as well as German 'violations' of the Pact (e.g. forces in Finland, 'guaranteeing' Rumanian territory after the Soviets annexed Bessarabia and Bukovina, and the Vienna Award of part of Transylvania to Hungary). However, Stalin still hoped to put off war for another year at least. Stalin gave a 'private' speech to Red Army officers in which he apparently 'warned' them to be prepared for a war in 1942. Whether he planned on initiating it or merely expected Hitler to is uncertain.

So, in the final analysis, such a rule for Soviet entry is probably part speculative and part for game play purposes.
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I'm sorry for Mr Mueller, but hasty analysis create prejudices.
I suggest the reading of this book, I would not say it contains the absolute truth that none of us mere mortals can actually know.
And especially do not want to start another controversy, thanks.
Regards

Good read, Geoffrey.

Filippo Chiari

EDIT: See my correction above.
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Sean McCormick
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Stalin's Folly is not a good book. That said, there is no question that the USSR was in an offensive deployment, particularly in the south where they could threaten the oilfields of Ploesti, and the foreign policy was unapologetically aggressive in 1939-40. Molotov's territorial demands did much to convince Hitler to speed up the attack that he wanted to launch in any case.

Does that mean the Soviets were going to attack Germany? No. I certainly don't think it was likely in 1941, and would only have happened in 1942 if the Germans had shown some sort of weakness that was unlikely at that juncture. But it's certainly not outside the realm of possibility. It certainly wasn't scruples that kept them from doing so, but rather the acknowledgment of German strength.
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Filippo Chiari wrote:
I'm sorry for Mr Mueller

I appreciate your concerns about my sanity. I do indeed get quite angry about neo-fascist historical revisionism; it's not good for my health.

Of course the clash between Fascism and Communism was inevitable. But history is a fact and if someone comes along reversing the attacker-defender roles, they'd better have some evidence for it, because doing so entails quite far-reaching implications.
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Simon Mueller wrote:
Filippo Chiari wrote:
I'm sorry for Mr Mueller

I appreciate your concerns about my sanity. I do indeed get quite angry about neo-fascist historical revisionism; it's not good for my health.

Of course the clash between Fascism and Communism was inevitable. But history is a fact and if someone comes along reversing the attacker-defender roles, they'd better have some evidence for it, because doing so entails quite far-reaching implications.


I agree with Simon that stories alleging the Soviets were going to attack Nazi Germany and that the German invasion of June '41 was essentially pre-emptive are poppycock. Not because Stalin was a nice guy. Because the Soviet Union was not ready for war. NOT to say Stalin/the USSR would never have dreamed of attacking Nazi Germany. But it was NOT on for 1941/42, that's for sure.

As for the OP question, I guess most game designers don't think it would be a very good WW2 game if the Axis could thru the simple act of not attacking Russia, keep the Russians out of the game!

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Troy Adlington
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I always thought World in Flames had a good answer for this.

As the Soviets build up, the Reich must keep more and more units on the Soviet's frontier or the USSR (sensing weakness) is allowed to attack.

So you CAN do a VS England First Strategy (either via Med or by direct invasion, or both) But the Russians will keep you honest.

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Sean McCormick
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Simon Mueller wrote:
Filippo Chiari wrote:
I'm sorry for Mr Mueller

I appreciate your concerns about my sanity. I do indeed get quite angry about neo-fascist historical revisionism; it's not good for my health.

Of course the clash between Fascism and Communism was inevitable. But history is a fact and if someone comes along reversing the attacker-defender roles, they'd better have some evidence for it, because doing so entails quite far-reaching implications.


Well, the reason the clash was inevitable wasn't because of Fascism and Communism per se, but because of one Adolph Hitler, whose pet project was subjugating Russia. No Hitler, no war. But that applies to pretty much the entire ETO.
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Umberto Colapicchioni
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Wargames » Forums » General
Re: Soviet entry into WW2
Some links:

http://fpp.co.uk/online/03/04/Stalin_plans.html
http://www.wintersonnenwende.com/scriptorium/english/archive...
http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v19/v19n6p40_Michaels.html
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Sean McCormick
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virtuali wrote:


Generally speaking, when David Irving is endorsing a book, you should walk in the opposite direction.
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Kevin Nesbitt
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I've done a LOT of study on this very subject, and nothing I've ever found gives me any reason to believe that Russia would have declared war on Germany. There was far too much exchange of both information and goods right up until the moments that war was declared to suggest Stalin was planning anything like that.

The only way that I can see the Russians declaring war on Germany at any point in WW2 would have been if the Allies (without Russia) managed to beat back the Germans to the point where Stalin would realize that he's free to take over the rest of Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia and the rest of the Balkans. However, the chances of WWII ending in total German defeat seems VERY unlikely without the contribution of the Russian forces. Even less likely if you consider the possibility of the continued cooperation/trade of Germany and Russia which likely would have occurred.
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Kevin Nesbitt
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Agreed about the David Irving comment by the way. I don't think any historian takes him seriously, and I can't believe anyone would want him endorsing any of their own historical research.

Unless this is a different David Irving than the one I'm thinking of?
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Sean McCormick
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otrex wrote:
Agreed about the David Irving comment by the way. I don't think any historian takes him seriously, and I can't believe anyone would want him endorsing any of their own historical research.

Unless this is a different David Irving than the one I'm thinking of?


Nope. These are all neo-Nazi sources.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_for_Historical_Review
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Paul Denhup
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May I suggest:

John Lukacs's book: June 1941 Hitler and Stalin (Yale University Press, 2006) which in chapter 3 ("Stalin") he deals with this very issue.

For valuable insight into the German planning in dealing with Russia before Operation Barbarossa:

German Strategy Against Russia 1939-1941, by Barry A. Leach, Oxford University Press, 1973.



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Geoffrey Engelstein
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bleakgeek wrote:
I'm toying with a design of a tactical-level Gettysburg game. In all games I'm familiar with that start the 1st of July (TSS, TDC, G:HTo/tC, G:LGG, FL, etc), if Heth does not attack Buford by a certain time, Reynolds still joins battle against the Confederates.

I know that alternate history is always tricky, but is there any historical basis for this? Or is it just a game-balance factor?

Roland


Well, I'm glad to see this thread has moved in such a productive direction.

I understand that exploring the effect of different actions is part of what is intriguing about war games.

However this pre-programmed 'trigger' of Soviet entry in most games seems to be on a different level. Apparently it has not annoyed historical gamers all that much, as so many games feature it. But I think it would be interesting to play a game where the involvement of the Soviets or even (at the risk of careening into a different rut) the US.

I think WIF had the most mechanism for players to manipulate the timing, but even so both events had to happen during the course of the game (IIRC -- it's been many years).

Geoff
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The Soviet "trigger" in games is for two reasons:

1) Germany would likely win any WWII wargame where a major enemy suddenly isn't playing.

2) If you're the player playing Russia, chances are you're also playing USA/Britain/France... so why wouldn't you want Russia involved? This means that the German player is going to be prevoked into launching Barbarossa at the most opportune moment for fear that if he does not, the Russian player will attack Germany at the trigger moment, having built many more divisions by then.

Even more motivation if the game has several players, one of which is playing *just* Russia. How fun would it be to sit back and never see any action all game?

It's certainly a tough balance if you're going to try to make this work historically in a game, and not just "for the sake of a good game" as most games are currently designed (Europe Engulfed, Advanced Third Reich etc). Certainly there would be some extremely reckless moves that Germany could have done that would have provoked Russia. Off the top of my head I'd say occupying Turkey would have been one of those.

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Steve Arthur
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I think Stalin thought that war with Germany,one way or the other was inevitable be it by sudden assault or slow accumalation of crises leading to an attack by either...his inbuilt paranoia would never have let him believe otherwise...where Hitler fooled him was in the timing in coming before he was ready...there was a lot of appeasement on Stalin's part as he played for time repositioning,modernising and rebuilding the Red Army after the Great Purge...the non-agression pact was just the most obvious manifestation of this stalling process...as to wargame design...really for any game that tries to simulate WW2 in Europe you need three players...Stalin himself was definitely playing his own game...
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J.L. Robert
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Now, this is a personal opinion, and I have no references to it

But I believe that Stalin NEEDED Germany to be the aggressor. Stalin was much more shrewd than people want to give him credit for. And he did not want Hitler to gain any sort of global sympathies by being a "victim" of Soviet aggression. Also remember that ties with the Western Allies weren't all that deep; a Soviet offensive may have risked the Soviets' standing with Britain and the U.S.

In addition, it'd have been a matter of national will. The Soviet workers would certainly not have been as zealous had they attacked first. An offensive would not have made fighting for The Motherland as vital, and the importance of a Great Patriotic War would have been lessened. Allowing the Germans to strike first gave the Soviet workers a resolve, much like how American industry responded to the Pearl Harbor attacks.
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Steve Arthur
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J.L.Robert wrote:
Now, this is a personal opinion, and I have no references to it

But I believe that Stalin NEEDED Germany to be the aggressor. Stalin was much more shrewd than people want to give him credit for. And he did not want Hitler to gain any sort of global sympathies by being a "victim" of Soviet aggression. Also remember that ties with the Western Allies weren't all that deep; a Soviet offensive may have risked the Soviets' standing with Britain and the U.S.

In addition, it'd have been a matter of national will. The Soviet workers would certainly not have been as zealous had they attacked first. An offensive would not have made fighting for The Motherland as vital, and the importance of a Great Patriotic War would have been lessened. Allowing the Germans to strike first gave the Soviet workers a resolve, much like how American industry responded to the Pearl Harbor attacks.


Agree with all of this to some extent...remember how Stalin used the moral high ground of Russia doing all the fighting 'alone' to pressure the allies over a second front and at the leaders conferences near the end...
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J.L.Robert wrote:
Now, this is a personal opinion, and I have no references to it

But I believe that Stalin NEEDED Germany to be the aggressor. Stalin was much more shrewd than people want to give him credit for. And he did not want Hitler to gain any sort of global sympathies by being a "victim" of Soviet aggression.


Didn't stop Stalin from trying naked aggression against Finland. The world was loud with support for this tiny, free country. Britain and France almost declared war with the Soviets over it. Just imagine how different WWII would be then. As it happened, Britain and its commonwealth nations ended up declaring war against Finland a year later.

I remember reading that Stalin intended the Nazi-Soviet Pact only to last until 1943, when he felt he would be ready for war. I can't name where I read this, though.
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Charles Vycichl
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interesting discussion, there is the dogma of the peace loving Soviet Union according to the Gospel of Saint Marx
 
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Charles Vycichl
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Simon Mueller wrote:
Filippo Chiari wrote:
I suggest you read: Constantine Pleshakov - Stalin's Folly ... is illuminating! and very documented.

Revisionism. Which only achieves displaying the Soviet Union as the aggressor and Nazi Germany as conducting a faux-"self defence".

The author himself states he has no evidence for these claims.

Pleshakov's Folly.


You are right, comrade SIMON MUELLER, we shall purge ruthlessly these revisionist warmongering capitalists from the surface of the earth and of the universe .

It is more than revisionism, it is a true heresy and a blasphemy to dare to suggest that in any imaginable circumstances the peace loving paradise of workers, the Soviet Union, under the enlightened leadership of comrade Stalin, could be an agressor.

Never at any time in history did the Soviet Union or any other peaceful communist countries ever initiate an agression war as stated in the vile propaganda of the hate mongering revisionists.

It is a fact that in many instances the Soviet Union and these countries were compelled to act defensively out of pure altruism to protect the international proletariat and working class and they were entirely right to do so

Yes to think otherwise is pure revisionism and shall be punished with an immediate death penalty delivered by a NKVD firing squad.

I am glad to see that there are still healthy class conscious marxist-leninist people thinking like you and me in this corrupt capitalistic world!
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