132

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 every day about the growing power of Nazi Germany. What must be remembered is that ...


94

I can think of a list of things which either excelled at the time or were feats not matched in the whole war. The T-34 and IS tank lines. Not just the tanks themselves, but also focusing on two hulls. The Yak-1 series fighter aircraft. The Il-2 ground attack aircraft. The PPSh-41 and PPS submachine guns. Tremendous use of artillery. The production miracle ...


89

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, ...


81

The USSR didn't tend to go in for economic competition, but it made good use of intellectual competition and competition for prestige. It was also relatively good at creating organisations that did a specific thing, and kept on doing that. The competition between the MiG and Sukhoi fighter design offices, for example, was quite significant, driven by ...


71

The official designation for that particular device was the RDS-220. The nickname Tsar Bomba was an appellation applied by the West, rather than the designers of the bomb (who - according to the site linked above - apparently referred to it as Big Ivan, or simply the Big Bomb). According to the information on nuclearweaponarchive.org, The nickname Tsar ...


71

Wikipedia article on the Winter War The 3 top Soviet officers (apart from Stalin): Kliment Voroshilov: died 2 December 1969. Semyon Timoshenko: died 31 March 1970. Kirill Meretskov: died 30 December 1968. Since Stalin died 5 March 1953, it is rather obvious that there were officers (at least three of them!) involved in the Winter War who were not executed ...


67

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 include: ...


61

Khrushchev wanted to... test his political power to please the Ukrainian population 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 stake was very little at ...


59

I can't speak to the specifics of the Soviet Union, but I want to address the opening assumption of the question. Generally, Communism believed in economic central planning, with each field being serviced by one "company" (to avoid waste). This is untrue of (or at least unnecessary for) both communism and centrally planned economies. A centrally planned ...


56

Location of Conflicts This is because fundamentally, the Cold War was about which ideology would dominate the world. Both sides wanted to export their ideology, or perhaps more importantly, stop each other from doing so. To this end they were willing to fund, supply, and equip forces across the globe with the right (or ostensibly right enough) ideological ...


53

Because the Japanese Government surrendered on 15 August. Naturally, the Japanese military was ordered to lay down their arms. For Manchuria this meant the much-reduced Kwantung Army, which accordingly surrendered as a unit to the advancing Soviets. There is a surprising amount of confusion over when exactly the surrender took place. A quick search found ...


53

You are correct. Parts of the Wehrmacht were mechanized, but the vast majority was foot infantry with horse drawn logistics. Most soldiers walked towards Moscow, and back. World War II German Military Weaknesses: Logistics German Logistics: Could the Germans Support an Advance into the Moscow-Gorki Space in the Summer of 1941? The WWII German Army was 80% ...


52

The Germans were concerned that carrier pigeons would be used to communicate with Soviet forces. Carrier pigeons were used extensively during both World Wars. From the Rostov-on-Don tourism website: Черевичкин Виктор Иванович (1925–1941) – ростовский пионер-герой. Когда немцы в 1941 году взяли Ростов-на-Дону, они приказали городским владельцам ...


52

There are a few recorded instances of Soviet penal troops being intentionally sent over mines, at least according to survivors: It is hard to judge whether there was a deliberate sacrifice of penal soldiers, but Pyl’tsyn describes how Batov, commander of the army to which his penal battalion was attached, deliberately sent its soldiers—all of them ...


50

The secret police was key to the Soviet government (so-called Chekism), so its structure changed frequently in response to state political needs. CheKa: The "Emergency Commission" was formed in 1917, at the start of the Civil War, and was structured as appropriate for such a time - most notably, it was empowered to act extrajudicially. After the Civil War ...


48

There is quite some strange quotation mixing up the interpretation. My version of that book reads: An ancient L.A.C. had been trying to fill his lighter from a large petrol tin. He does it by tilting the tin with the result that the petrol spills over the lighter whereupon he keeps flicking it to see if it is already working. There is a terrific bang; the ...


47

The answers to 1, 2 are very simple. The Soviet Union presented itself as a "communist paradise." That is, a country where life was better than in capitalist countries. This was the main justification for communist power and social order. People traveling abroad could immediately see that this was not the case. When this had become evident to a sufficient ...


47

The overall answer is that the Soviets were not rich in railways and destroyed much of it as they retreated. The Germans anticipated this, and had railway commandos rebuild much of the Soviet trunk lines and some feeders to standard gauge. They also maintained several of the wide gauge lines if captured intact and with enough rolling stock. Some efforts, ...


47

Although the whole anti-"rootless cosmopolitan" campaign is now widely accepted as being antisemitic in nature, at the time it was framed as being directed against people who "lack patriotism and mindlessly worship the Western culture" - who, incidentally, were Jewish (at least, an overwhelming majority of them were). Thus, the picture depicts a literary ...


46

Company vs Design Bureau It's important to distinguish between a company and a design bureau. Organisations such as MiG (Mikoyan-and-Gurevich Design Bureau), Yakolev (JSC A.S. Yakovlev Design Bureau), Tupolev (OKB-156 or Tupolev Design Bureau) and Sukhoi (OKB-51 / Sukhoi Design Bureau) where, as the names suggest, "design bureaus." They designed aircraft, ...


44

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 their side to fight communism rather than ...


43

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 ...


43

In Russian Language the word "Tsar" has also another, non-literal meaning. Examples are: "Tsar-pushka" (king of the guns), the largest (in caliber) existing gun, and "Tsar-kolokol" (king of the bells), the largest bell in the world. Both the gun and the bell are currently in the publicly accessible part of the Kremlin, (and were there during the last two ...


40

Trotsky, as the leader of the Fourth International, was a direct competitor to Stalin as the Leader of the World Worker Movement. Stalin needed all the communists to be subservient to him, especially during the World War. Squabbles between Stalinists and Trotskyists inside the Spanish Republicans cost them dearly and demonstrated that Trotsky was still a ...


39

1932 There are two chief interpretations of the 1932 Soviet famine, or especially the more infamous Ukrainian component, the Holodomor. That the famine was at least partially caused or exacerbated by Soviet policies is well established. The main difference between the schools of thought is the degree to which Soviet authorities perpetuated or even ...


39

Lithuania fell under Soviet occupation in 1940, but the Soviets were promptly evicted by Operation Barbarossa. So in practice, the Lithuanian SSR was established only in late 1944, after the Baltic Offensive. It would have been stranger for Moscow to entrust East Prussia to this fledgling government, who would've had their hands full setting up shop in ...


37

During World War II, the USSR used nearly 200,000 horses in active cavalry fighting. The Russians' retention of large units of cavalry long after this ancient arm had been abandoned by other major armies gave the planners and the Red Army greater flexibility in operations over difficult terrain, and particularly in severe weather. Horses could operate in ...


37

SHORT ANSWER Jodrell Bank's first 'coup', tracking Sputnik 1 in 1957 (without Soviet assistance), put it in the news and helped secure funding. It also led to a congratulatory telegram from the Soviets. After doubts were expressed about Luna 1 (Jan 1959) being real, the Soviets sent the coordinates for Luna 2 (Sept 1959) to Jodrell Bank head Bernard Lovell ...


36

First of all, aircraft carriers are expensive. Russia (compared to USA) was never resource-rich enough to be able to afford the expense; neither was USSR. Second of all, Russia (or rather USSR) had no motivation. USA's main geopolitical goal is to safeguard seabourne trade routes; and to prevent strong competitors from arising and commanding great sets of ...


36

I'm wondering if Hitler or others conceived of this possibility when they were planning Barbarossa? (Note: much of this is derived from Wikipedia, I don't have the referenced sources.) It seems they conceived the opposite. They were so confident the Soviet army would be unable to function without their supplies from European Russia that they would stand ...


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