Stalin & World War II

Bryan A Case godwin at umich.edu
Tue Aug 9 14:08:33 MDT 1994


Um, not to travel too far from the major idea of this list , but-
I must disagree with some historical assertions about Russia and
invasions.  First of all, environmental conditions hit Russians (and
their associates) just as hard as the invaders.  Are Russians gifted with
some genetic ability to not be frozen?  Sure, if the invaders are stupid
and from warm-weather climes, *and* the Russians are all hardy denizens
of Murmansk, maybe - but keep in mind that Russian supply systems are
usually rotten.  The huge size of Russia hurts their own armies'
movements and supplies just as strongly, if not more so - think of the
delays caused by Stalin's reinforcing the front by shifting trans-Ural
forces - quite a march, eh?  Many many Russians died during Napoleon's
invasion due to climate - the russian army was too shattered to conduct a
serious pursuit of the fleeing Grande Armee in early 1813.
	Secondly, the Germans invade Russia in WWI and won.


--Bryan A. Case a/k/a Bryan.Case at um.cc.umich.edu a/k/a godwin at umich.edu--
	"I have come to die for your sins," Jesus told a stooped figure
passing him on the road.
	"Then what am I to die for?" the old man asked.
	Jesus took a small notebook from his pocket and copied the
question.  "If I may have your name and address," he said, "an answer
will be sent to you."
				-A.J. Langguth, JESUS CHRISTS

On Fri, 5 Aug 1994 Steve.Keen at unsw.EDU.AU wrote:

> I'm no expert on Russia, let alone its role in the war; but I would be
> more willing to ascribe its winter a role in defeating the two countries
> foolish enough to invade it in recent centuries, as well as its size
> and the difficulty of maintaining supplies across such a distance, than
> to put all the credit on Soviet industrialisation.
>
> One thing that I have looked at is Fel'dman style industrialisation,
> which emphasises the maximum possible effort on heavy industry, with
> the promise of an eventual bonanza in comsumer goods. The policies--
> which are essentially those of sustained DISproportionaility (pardon
> typos--I'm "suffering" from cold hands during what passes for a winter
> in Australia)--work only so long as there are under-utilised resources,
> be they labor or commodity inputs. As soon as full capacity is reached,
> Fel'dman style growth becomes instant stagnation.
>
> However, if there is slack, then Fel'dman policies rapidly fill the gap.
> This explains why the one 5 year plan the Soviets ever exceeded (all
> the rest were far from met) was the one after WWII--when there was so
> much to rebuild, and so much surplus labor.
>
> It could also justify why the industrial machine was suitable to fighting
> the Germans during the war: gaps in productive vcapacity were rapidly filled.
> But the policy of moving as much industrial capacity east as possible
> enforced by Stalin prior to the war also kept the gaps under control.
>
> So overall, I'd rather think that we can thank (a) Hitler for being
> foolish enough to invade Russia in the first place (b) Russia for
> being so close to the North Pole and so big, rather than having to
> support Stalinism.
> Cheers,
> Steve Keen
>


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