Friday, February 2, 2007

Stalin and the Soviet-Finnish War, 1939-1940 by E.N. Kulkov

A great source for understanding why the Winter War turned out to be such a disaster for the Red Army. You will have a chance to see the opinions of Regimental commanders, artillery commanders, cheifs of engineer troops, divisional commanders, front commanders, tank brigade commanders, and so on and so forth. You will see Stalin's reaction to various problems encountered int he field and his opinions and suggestions, some of which did in fact take place (like a mention that the KV's future gun should be a 75mm gun, an upgrade from the 45mm).

A surprise for me was the fact that many of the recruits did not even know how to use their guns, the amount of catridges used throughout the war was way below regular usage, artillery many times had to pick up the slack. Intelligence was lacking to a degree, the Mannerheim line was underestimated by many and recon was not undertaken. Many times the same roads were used for many formations, resulting in day long traffic jams and the result being offensive operations being put off. Communications were a large problem, much of it taking place in the open with the result that Finns knew all the units they were facing as well as their commanders and positions.

Many more details are disclosed, in the end an expensive buy but the accounts given will shed new light on why what happened to the Red Army took place. The potential was there, many times it just wasn't tapped into and exploited to produce the desirable results for the Red Army.

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