53

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 ...


35

Despite the 'distraction' of World War II, Trotsky's assassination was widely reported and commented on, but the 'interest' did not last except among Trotskyists. The Stalin's Soviet Union responded to Trotsky's death by condemning him with a lengthy list of his supposed crimes, and official communist parties around the world toed the line. Elsewhere there ...


34

Actually some of the answer is found on Wikipedia, but in the pan-Mongolism article: In 1943, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office predicted that the Soviet Union would promote the idea of a Greater Mongolia to detach China's Inner Mongolia and East Mongolia from Chinese influence.[46] A year later, the then-Soviet satellite Tuvan People's Republic ...


33

Question 1: Were Soviets invited to the Marshall Islands to observe the first hydrogen bomb detonations? No. By 1952 the Cold War has begun, the US was at war with Soviet proxies in North Korea and the Soviets had tested their own nuclear bomb August 29, 1949. While 1952 was the first hydrogen bomb test it was the sixth series of nuclear tests conducted ...


28

The most serious discussion of the matter (that I could find) appears in the book Кузин В.П., Никольский В.И. "Военно-морской флот СССР: 1945–1991." — СПб.: Историческое Морское Общество, 1996. V.P. Kuzin, V.I. Nikolsky, "Soviet Navy, 1945-1991", St-Peterburg, 1996. The book itself is rather thorough (well over 600 pages). The condensed version (as ...


27

As I see it, the value of the Soviets telegraphing they indented to honor their treaty with the Czechs would be to call the German's bluff. The Czechs were no push over and the German army was not ready. With a promise of Soviet troops it's possible the Czechs would have decided to fight and the Germans would not have invaded. How possible was it to for the ...


26

Leonid Brezhnev addressed the American public on radio and television the 24th of June, 1973. His speech can be read here and also here. There is a clip of the speech (seemingly wrongly dated 25th of June) on YouTube. He begins with: I highly appreciate this opportunity of directly addressing the people of the United States on my visit to your country. ...


26

The USA could be confident that the USSR would learn about the hydrogen bomb test from atmospheric sampling. It's possible to detect extremely low levels of radioactive isotopes in the atmosphere, some of which are characteristic of nuclear explosions. Doing this sampling has given important clues to some countries' nuclear weapons development programs, so ...


24

There were 3 power centers in the USSR: Party, Secret Police (VChK, GPU, NKVD, NKGB, MGB, KGB), and Army. All were very different. Party: no "muscle" (except for the KPK), but officially infallible and supreme in media Secret Police: best informed (both internal and foreign affairs), can eliminate any individual, but relegated to secondary status by ...


20

The 1976 date appears to be a transcription error. Not only is the 1970 date more frequent in English literature, the two Russian language sources below (that appear to be independent) agree on a death date of June 12, 1970. Great Chemists - BELOUSOV Boris Pavlovich https://elementy.ru/nauchno-populyarnaya_biblioteka/434667/Boris_Belousov Numerous other ...


17

Most obvious parts of the lend-lease for an average Soviet soldier were food (especially canned spam etc.) and trucks. Meat conserves and trucks were well familiar not only to the soldiers but also to the rest of population, this was the most common source of meat at the time of war. The word "studebaker" became a Russian word for a generic large truck. Not ...


16

You're talking about the period 1945-1955, during which modern notions of deterrence were not yet in place. The symmetrical guarantee of mutually assured destruction was not fully in place until about 1955. There was actually a considerable period in the aftermath of WW II during which the US's nuclear capability was basically a bluff -- they had no ...


13

As a Russian who was raised in Russia, I would like to add one theory that is quite popular in Russia, but is apparently almost unknown in the West. The theory attempts to address the root cause of the collapse of the USSR and to explain why communism is fundamentally faulty. In short, the theory says that communism gives rise to "отрицательная селекция" (...


13

It would appear no money was paid out to the communist party, but it wasn't directly paid the the individuals heirs either. Any funds associated with the Peoples Temple cult were located in a lengthy search, then court proceedings established payment rates to cover the massive amount of claims made against this group. An extensive discussion of the process ...


11

The complete transcript of all the communication of Yuri Gagarin with the command center during the flight on April 12, 1961, as well as the transcript of everything Gagarin recorded with the tape recorder he had on board the space ship was published in the Russian language in the official journal of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in April 1991. ...


11

Actually, there was a famous Soviet movie from 1966, Береги́сь автомоби́ля, whose plot centers around car insurance: The main character sells car insurance during the day and steals the insured cars at night and, after selling stolen cars, donates the proceeds to orphanages. (No, he is not crazy, he even has a document certifying his sanity.) The movie is ...


11

Destruction of the Red Army and a feint towards Moscow While it is absolutely true that oil was the primary strategic goal of Fall Blau and indeed of whole the German offensive effort in 1942, way to achieve that goal was more complex. The Germans did enjoy a slight numerical superiority at the beginning of Barbarossa, due to the Soviet losses and piecemeal ...


10

I would not say so. The German advantage was in a superior doctrine and training at all levels, as well as better communications (availability of radios). Their officers and soldiers (infantry, tankers, pilots) spent more time in training before arriving at the front and they were taught a better tactics. Of course, using Stukas as flying artillery gave ...


10

The first question is what does one mean by Volga: Volga is a large river with many tributaries, the main one is Kama, which at some point (say, near the city of Perm), comes quite close to Ural mountains, see the two maps below. So, if Volga means the entire "Volga basin", then indeed there is not much in between at the nearest point. However, in ...


9

Lawyers always existed in Soviet period and theoretically could be hired. However the Soviet period lasted more then 70 years and the situation changed many times. For example, in 1934 penal code, the "terrorists" were deprived of their right of defense. And in general, the Soviet state was famous for systematically violating its own laws. In many political ...


9

The Soviets were always extremely paranoid, in no small part because they expected NATO (and specifically the USA) to have the same aggressive attitude towards them as they had towards NATO. In other words, the Soviets fully expected the USA and its allies to launch a first strike on the USSR at the earliest opportunity when the USA considered it a fight ...


9

USSR did allow private property over personal-use items, which included cars and even houses or apartments. What was not allowed was private property over commercial or industrial assets ("means of production"), or private business (they turned a blind eye towards self-employed stuff like tutoring or handyman services) There was personal insurance in Soviet ...


9

German Plans for amphibious landings in the Black Sea at Taman and Tuapse in support of Fall Blau in 1942. Kriegsmarine Marinefährprahme (MFP) in the Black Sea. (from Kriegsmarine: The Forgotten Service) Fuhrer Directive 43, issued on 11th July 1942, which detailed Plan BLUCHER, the proposed operations of the German 11th Army in crossing the Kerch Strait ...


9

Soviet Union did not have a barcode system, at least not one with any significance. However, GS1 Russia was founded in 1990, so technically you could say that it was possible for some soviet goods to receive barcodes in that last year before USSR was gone. However, the linked photo is not from soviet times. It's a photo of a modern Soviet-themed shop. The ...


9

It is very difficult or impossible to compare. By some standards almost all Soviet citizens were poor. By other standards they were OK. There is no adequate conversion rate of the Soviet rouble. Prices in roubles were not true market prices: most of them were arbitrarily established by the state. Many things were cheap but not easily available. Let me ...


8

First, there was no real notion of a first strike as it is known today. That's tied to ICBMs and the declared intention of both the US and USSR at the time (and Russia now) to allow an attacker to get a strike in before retaliation, in the very real interest of avoiding launching a counterstrike based on a mistake in the surveillance radars. This would not ...


8

At USSR times, there was so called GosStrakh system (short form of Gosudarstvennoe Strakhovanie, aka Government Insurance). From 1946, it started car insurance program as well. However, as any other insurance company, it had very contradictory reputation.


8

If this was considered, it has left no trace in written history. It is not mentioned in the relevant volume of Germany and the Second World War (Volume VI/II, pp. 843-863, "The Decision for Operation Blue"), nor in Warlimont's memoirs (pp. 226-233 of Inside Hitler's Headquarters, 1939-45) or Doenitz's (Searched the whole electronic text, no mention of ...


8

As @sempaiscuba said in the comments, this image was used in a presentation for the course Crisis and Conflict: From a World War to a Cold War by Marshall Cavendish Education. You can find the presentation here: https://slideplayer.com/slide/6620291/ The notes to this particular slide explain the intended message behind this image: Using this ...


8

This question betrays misunderstandings about human nature, let alone USSR & PRC politics. Some people are ambitious. Ambition isn't always bad, but it can be, especially in an environment that does not value human life. Some people are both ambitious and reckless, and will keep climbing even if it puts them and others in danger. More to the point, in ...


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