Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

50

We have to delve into two spheres to address this question, the political and the military. Militarily, the Japanese fought a series of border skirmishes with the Soviet Union at Khalkhin Gol (located along the Manchurian - Mongolian border, Mongolia then being a "People's Republic" and puppet of the Soviet Union) through early summer to early autumn 1939, ...


49

I'm not sure there is any direct evidence that it was strategically a bad idea. Strategically it made sense to attack the Soviet Union while they were weak and unprepared for war. Hitler knew that as he made progress on the Western front that Stalin grew more and more nervous everyday about the growing power of Nazi Germany. What must be remembered is ...


31

TL;DR Khrushchev wanted to (1) test his political power, and (2) to please the Ukrainian population, and (3) to shift the rebuilding cost to the Ukrainian republic. Khrushchev wanted to test his political power If anyone would wanted to challenge Khrushchev, just rising to power, his controversial idea and hollow arguments would be a perfect occasion. The ...


29

The Soviet Union had three seats in the UN. In addition to the Soviet Union itself, two of the Soviet republics had seats: Ukraine and Belarus. This obviously didn't make much sense given that neither of them was an independent state at the time. So it can only be viewed as a way for the Soviet Union to increase its weight in the UN. This was one of the ...


27

By this time, Germany controlled the entire European peninsula, and it was very hard to see the Allied forces coming back from that. Hitler told one of his generals in June 1940 that the victories in western Europe "finally freed his hands for his important real task: the showdown with Bolshevism" [from here]. Reasons to attack the Soviet Union ...


16

Germany always wanted to attack and defeat Soviet Russia. There is an ideological battle between Fascism and Communism. Germany really thought that Russia was the enemy of the world. Some Germans believed, such was the evil of Communism, that when they started the eastern front, the English would come over to there side to fight Communism rather than ...


15

Basically, you've given the answer yourself in the question: handwatches were a very rare thing in Soviet Russia at the time and it is small wonder that they became the soldiers' favourite trophy, especially since handwatches were highly portable and could be kept by the soldier himself. As to why handwatches were so rare in Russia - well, that was a ...


14

No! The Cold War was the standoff between the Capitalistic USA and Communistic USSR. Communism lost. What remains is corruption within the former communist country (Russia). The War in Ossetia was over oil (a distinctly capitalistic move) not ideology (spreading Communism) as it would have been were the Cold War still ongoing.


14

There were in fact several domestic attempts to assassinate Stalin. Source November 16, 1931. Ogaryov met Stalin on the Ilyinka str. near house 5/2 and tried to pull out his gun, but was stopped by a member of pre-KGB. In early 1930-s, there was a society of people who called themselves "Klubok" (something like "a roll, a ball" if translated into ...


14

Churchill was not Prime Minister when the MRP was announced or when it went into effect. He wasn't even in the government at all. He was in Parliament, but mostly an exile due to his bellicose views. It was the war that forced the Conservative government to take him in, and he didn't become Prime Minister until after France was invaded, well after the ...


14

I thought for sure he had actually killed someone himself, and early on around the Tflis bank robbery period there were times he almost did. But Simon Sebag Montefiore recently wrote a biography on Stalin's earlier years (Young Stalin, 2007, Vintage Books), and he states a few times that Stalin himself never pulled a trigger during his whole life (that ...


12

The relationship between Ataturk and Lenin created a minor controversy in Turkey in 2008, when the Atatürk Thought Association used a banner showing them side by side: A public prosecutor's office in İstanbul has reportedly launched a probe into the Atatürkist Thought Association (ADD) over its use of a banner showing Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder ...


12

Unlike Soviet ground forces the fleet was well prepared at the beginning of German invasion and did not panic or wait for orders. For example as early as August 1941 Baltic fleet air force bombed Berlin from the island Ezel. In 1941 Baltic fleet placed 12047 mines. In 1943 the Finns together with the Germans successfully placed a net across the Gulf of ...


12

Sometimes it deliberately wasn't kept secret from the enemy. This is from William Taubman's Khrushchev: The Man and His Era, about the Cuban missile crisis in 1962: At 10:00 A.M., Washington time, when the quarantine went into full effect, the U.S. strategic Command moved from Defense Condition 3 to DEFCON 2, one level below that of general war. For ...


12

There was a Autonome Sozialistische Sowjetrepublik der Wolgadeutschen (Russian Автономная Советская Социалистическая Республика Немцев Поволжья, English Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic) From Wikipedia: The republic was created following the Russian Revolution, by October 29 (some claim 19th) Decree of the Soviet government, Volga ...


11

The original source for the stories you heard is apparently the book "Scorpion Down" by Ed Offley. The book's statements are questionable to say the least and this book review makes a good point. I checked what the Russian sources say about K-129. This 2008 interview with Viktor A. Dygalo, the commander of the division that K-129 belonged to, covers this ...


11

As I understand it, the ratio of Soviet to Axis losses was something like 6 or 7 to 1 in 1941, perhaps 2 to 1 in 1942, and (close to) 1 to 1 in the latter part of the war. This includes not only German losses, but those of allies (principally Hungarians, Romanians, and Italians.) So Soviet to German totals would be higher. The Germans got off to a strong ...


11

NKVD means Narodny Komissariat Vnutrennih Del, that is People's Comissariat of Internal Affairs. It was just a general internal affairs department. Although it included law enforcement agencies, it on the other hand included firefighters and civil registry services too. Now GPU/OGPU was the secret police which sometimes was a part of NKVD, and sometimes was ...


11

As others have pointed out, it will never be possible to answer this question conclusively based on documents, because the Soviet officials have always been eager to downplay (for the propaganda reasons) the importance of the Allied contribution to the war in general and Lend-Lease in particular, so all the official Soviet sources are suspect (as, by the ...


10

Japan was interested in extending its influence in Asia and for that it had to confront either USSR or USA. While I don't think that the exact reason for choosing USA is known, Japan was at a clear disadvantage when battling USSR: while the Soviet Union had established overland supply line for its troops in the far east (Trans-Siberian Railway) the Japanese ...


10

Yes, in 1944 there was operation Zeppelin, a German plot to assassinate Stalin. Also, Beria supposedly claimed to have killed Stalin, although it's more likely that this is a reference to him delaying treatment after Stalin had a stroke. While Stalin was responsible for the imprisonment and executions of many Russians, it is also worth remembering that ...


10

Baltic fleet: There were a whole bunch of mines laid by Germany and their co-belligerents Finland and Sweden shortly before the Great Patriotic War began, which did not help the naval forces in Leningrad. This and the fast German advance up the Baltic coast prevented the Russians making my use of their surface fleet in open water. See the wikipedia page. ...


10

I trust David Remnick's Lenins's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire as a source, which includes this passage: To begin with, Gorbachev himself was still convinced of what he called the "rightness of socialist choice." He continued to see Lenin as his guiding intellectual and historical model. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that ...


9

They had a treaty beginning in 1941, after a few skirmishes along the area in question. They were also a member of the Tripartite Pact, which they remainded a member of even after Germany attacked the Soviet Union references: Wikipedia


9

If Germany decided to invade Poland to get back East Prussia that it lost to Poland after WWII - would it be a war of independence? One needs a lot of fantasy to call the Polish–Soviet War (this seems to be the official name of the conflict) a war of independence. In 1919 Poland was already independent - it gained its independence with the Treaty of ...


9

The Panama Canal was closed to Soviet warships for the duration of the Cold War. On December 6, 2008, the destroyer *Admiral Chabanenko" became the first Russian or Soviet military vessel to transit the Canal since 1944. Soviet-flagged civilian vessels seem to have been permitted, at least for a while. A Canberra Times article from 22 April 1948 reports ...


9

Antony Beevor's Stalingrad contains some supporting material on perceived weaknesses of the Red Army esp. following Stalin's domestic purges: Such confidence [in the success of Operation Barbarossa] was, in many ways, understandable. Every foreign intelligence service expected the Red Army to collapse. The Wehrmacht had assembled the largest invasion ...


9

Yes, in fact there are many accounts by Soviet armed forces members themselves which either heavily insinuate or directly claim that such rapes did occur. The best account material is from Vasily Grossman, in his book "Writer at War". Grossman was with the front line units of the 8th Guards Army as a journalist and would've seen such acts first hand. He ...


9

The USSR growth rate during the 50's was not exceptionally high. The claims of 5-10% growth, although certainly theoretically possible, were simply not true, but Soviet propaganda. Real growth rates during the 50's and 60's were rather 3-4%, with an average of 3.4%. This is lower than both average OECD and average global growth during the same period at4%. ...


8

One reason was that the Prague Spring leaders paid "lip service" to Communism and Soviet rule throughout. In essence, they weren't (officially) trying to overthrow the Soviet regime so much as they were trying to "modify" it. This had some acquiescence of the Soviet Union, who was trying a modest series of reforms (post Khrushchev), until things "got out of ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible