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Subject: Historical basis for Russian Commisar? rss

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Ien C.
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I've come to enjoy playing with the Russian Commissar a lot more than I thought I would. The need to think ahead, and the inability to react immediately most of the time, while often frustrating, can be interesting and satisfying when things work out.

I'm now wondering what is the historical basis for the Commissar. From what I can tell from a bit of Google searching, the Russians used political commissars embedded in the military to enforce discipline. I'm wondering if they actually got involved with on-the-ground tactical decisions, telling generals what to do day to day? Were those orders actually relayed from some central HQ, causing bureaucratic delay and the inability to quickly react to situation the ground? Any other historical insights to help understand how the Russian Commissar works in M'44?

Note I ask out of curiosity, not because I think M'44 is or should be more than a stylized "simulation" of history.

 
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Benjamin Symons
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Shortly before the war, Stalin had a lot of the high ranking officers in the Soviet military killed because he feared a coup d'état. Therefore the army was led by less experienced officers at the start of the war and the Communist party kept a very close eye on the army.
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Jaime D.
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SammySnijbonen wrote:
Shortly before the war, Stalin had a lot of the high ranking officers in the Soviet military killed because he feared a coup d'état. Therefore the army was led by less experienced officers at the start of the war and the Communist party kept a very close eye on the army.


Absolutely accurate. If you read for instance some episodes of the Winter War, you'll read almost in every chronicle how terrible were those Political Commisars, when talking about strategical & tactical skills.

Take a look in here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_commissar

Cheers
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Skolo
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wiki is not always a good source of info.
you can read about Zampolit here for example

http://www.mvep.org/zampolit.htm
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Jaime D.
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skolo wrote:
wiki is not always a good source of info.
you can read about Zampolit here for example

http://www.mvep.org/zampolit.htm


True, but it may orientative. If we wanna be accurate, we should then get a history book or something like you have pointed us out.

Cheers
 
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Jesse Rasmussen
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Almilcar wrote:
skolo wrote:
wiki is not always a good source of info.
you can read about Zampolit here for example

http://www.mvep.org/zampolit.htm


True, but it may orientative. If we wanna be accurate, we should then get a history book or something like you have pointed us out.

Cheers


History books are famously skewed based on what nation the history class is teaching for! They are actually not the best source of information either, in most cases. If we want to get to the bottom of this, we should be looking for primary sources (people who wrote or talked about it and where actually there).
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mark selleck
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I have been studying history for a number of years now and I have found that reading a number of books relating to a subject. Although official histories can sway toward that nation, the key is to read books released by all nations involved as well as independent releases.

Primary sources are excellent as well though interviews that took place decades after the fact can not be taken as gospel (Band of Brothers used mainly firsthand accounts taken from veterans sometime after WW2 and there are a number of errors in the history because of this).

Primary sources taken from government archives are probably the best primary source as they tend to be official documents.
If firsthand accounts are going to be used normally it is best to have a number of accounts from different people that confirm the same thing.
Combining History books and primary sources will give you a very good idea of what happened.

Though I have found that reading books like i explained above, official histories of all nations and independent releases gives a pretty clear picture too as once you have a bit of experience researching you can normally read between the lines and see what doesn’t fit.

As for the commissar rule it basically represents orders on the ground having to be sent through the commissar for approval before they could be acted on. (Commissars in general didn’t hesitate to shoot officers who failed to use this chain of command or officers who just failed)
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