Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Icebreaker (Excerpts) by Victor Suvorov

Who Started the Second World War?

This question they answer differently. There is no unanimous opinion. Soviet government, for example, on this question changed its opinion repeatedly. On 18 September, 1939, the Soviet government in the official note declared, that the culprit of war is Poland. On 30 November, 1939, Stalin in the newspaper Pravda named still more "culprits": "England and France attacked Germany, after taking upon itself responsibility for present war". On 5 May, 1941, in the secret speech before the graduates of military academies Stalin named one more culprit- Germany. The circle of "culprits" was widened after the end of war. Stalin stated that all capitalist countries of peace began World War II. Before World War II all sovereign states of peace, except THE USSR, on the Stalin division, were considered capitalist. If we believe Stalin, the governments of all countries began the bloodiest war in the history of humanity, including Sweden and Switzerland, but excluding the Soviet Union. The Stalin point of view, about the fact that all are guilty, with the exception OF THE USSR, for a long time it held true in Communist mythology. The charges against entire peace repeatedly were repeated in the times of Khrushchev and Brezhnev, Andropov and Chernenko. In the times of Gorbachev the Soviet Union changed much, but the not the Stalin point of view about the culprits of wars. Thus, in the Gorbachev times the chief historian of the Soviet Army, lieutenant general P. A. zhilin Repeats: "the culprits of war were not only" the imperialists of Germany, but also entire peace "(The Red Star, on 24 September, 1985). I have the courage to state that the Soviet Communists charge all countries of peace with unbinding World War II only in order to hide its shameful role of incendiaries. Let us recall that after the First World War Germany lost the right to have powerful army and offensive armament, including tanks, heavy artillery and combat aircraft. In their own territory German commanders were deprived of the possibility to be prepared for conducting of aggressive wars. German commanders did not disrupt prohibitions until the specific time and they were not prepared for the aggressive wars on their ranges, they made this... in the territory of the Soviet Union. Stalin granted to German commanders all that, what they did not have a right to have: tanks, heavy artillery, combat aircraft. Stalin isolated training classes, ranges, shooting-ranges to German commanders. Stalin opened access to German commanders to the Soviet tank plants most powerful in the world: you look, memorize, imitate. If Stalin wanted peace, then he had to in every way possible prevent the revival of the offensive power of German militarism: indeed then Germany would remain the country weak in a military sense. Besides Germany, in Europe there would be Britain, weak in a military sense which does not have powerful land army; France especially expended almost its entire defense budget on defensive programs, raising the similarity of the Great Wall of China along its boundaries. And other countries weaker in the military and economic sense. In this situation Europe would be in no way so flammable... But Stalin some by purpose does not stint on facilities, forces and time to the revival of German impact power. Why? Against whom? Certainly, not against itself! Then against whom? The answer is simple: against entire remaining Europe. But to revive powerful army in Germany and so powerful a defense industry - this is only poldela. Even the most aggressive army itself does not begin wars. It is necessary besides entire fanatic, reckless leader, ready to begin war. And Stalin made very much so that precisely this leader would prove to be in the chapter of Germany. Stalin created Hitler, and he helped him take authority and be strengthened - separate large theme. I wrote the book on this theme. But speech is in front about this, and now we will only recall that Stalin persistently and persistently pushed the Nazis arrived at the authority to the war. The apex of these efforts is the Molotov -Ribbentrop pact. By this pact Stalin guaranteed Hitler freedom of action in Europe and actually opened the sluices World War II. When we by unkind word mention the dog, that bit of floor- Europe, give we will not forget Stalin, who grew dog, and then and it went down from the chain. Even to its arrival at the authority the Soviet leaders of narekli Hitler by secret title - Ice-breaker of Revolution. This name is precise and is capacious. Stalin understood, that Europe was vulnerable only in the case of war and that the ice-breaker of revolution will be able to make Europe vulnerable. Adolf Hitler, without realizing that, cleared the way to World Communism. Hitler demolished Western democracies by lightning wars, pulverizing and throwing about their forces from Norway to Libya. The Icebreaker of Revolution accomplished the greatest crimes against peace and humanity and gave Stalin the moral right to declare himself the liberator of Europe, after replacing the brown of concentration camp with red. Stalin understood, its not the one who enters war first, but the one who enters later, and yielded the shameful right to Hitler to be the instigator of war, and patiently awaited the moment, "when capitalists will fight between themselves" (Stalin, the speech on 3 December, 1927). I consider Hitler a criminal and villain. I consider him the its cannibal of European scale. But if Hitler was a cannibal, it in no way follows that Stalin was a vegetarian. Several is made, in order to expose the crimes of Nazism and to find hangmen, who completed heavy crimes under its flag. This work must be continued and intensified. But exposing fascists, we are obligated to expose the Soviet Communists, who encouraged Nazis to the accomplishment of crimes and intended to use the results of their crimes. In the Soviet Union have long ago been and thoroughly cleaned the archives, and that that also remained, to researchers almost it is inaccessible. To me I had luck entirely a little to work in the archives of the Defense Ministry OF THE USSR, but 4 is completely consciously archive materials barely I use. In me many materials from the German military archives, but also their 4 in practice I do not use. My main source - open Soviet publications. Even this it is completely sufficient in order to place Soviet Communists to the wall of disgrace and to plant them on the bench of defendants next to the German fascists, and that is in front. My main witnesses: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotskiy, Stalin, all Soviet marshals during the war and many chief Generals. Communists themselves recognize that by Hitler's hands they unleashed in Europe war and was prepared surprise blow according to Hitler himself in order to take Europe destroyed by it. The value of my sources consists of the criminals themselves speaking about their crimes. I know many defenders of the Communists will be located. Gentlemen, I caught Communists in the word and make it possible by it to protect independently. Victor Suvorov, December of 1987, Bristol

1. WAY to THE HAPPINESS We are the party of the class, which proceeds with the achievement of peace. To m.Frunze Marx and Engels foretold world war and its duration not less than 15, 20, 50 years. This prospect did not frighten. The authors of Communist Manifesto did not call the proletariat to avoid war, on the contrary, the future world war was desirable for Marx and Engels. War is the mother of revolution—World War the mother of World Revolution. The results of world war, Engels considered, will be the "universal exhaustion and the creation of conditions for the final victory of working class". Marx and Engels did not live before the World War, but in them was located an heir—Lenin. At the very beginning of the First World War the party of Lenin appeared for the defeat of its own country. Let the enemy ruin and destroy the country, let the government collapse, let them trample the national sacred things: the proletarians, as is known, do not have fatherland. In the ruined, conquered country where as more easily "war imperialistic to convert into the war civil". Thus, let the storm more strongly burst out! Lenin hoped that also in other countries will be located the real Marxists, capable of rise by "naduzkonatsional'nymi interests" to the fight against their own governments for the transformation of world war into the world Civil War. But such in other countries it did not be located, and therefore the prospect for world revolution moved aside into unattainable future. Nothing. If not World Revolution, then the first step toward it. Already in the fall of 1914 Lenin assumes unique the minimum program: if as a result of the First World War world revolution does not happen, then shred to detach. Not in entire peace, so although in one country. Nevertheless in what. First take one country, and to then use it as a base for the preparation for the New World War and development of revolution in other countries. "the conquered proletariat of this country will arise against entire remaining peace", kindling disorders and uprisings in other countries "or directly speaking against them with the armed force" ("about the slogan of the United States of Europe"). Advancing minimum program about the assumption of power in one country, Lenin does not lose prospect. For Lenin, as for Marx, World Revolution remains guiding star. But on the minimum program as a result of the First World War revolution is possible only in one country. But how then will occur world revolution? As a result of which? In 1916 Lenin gives clear answer to this question: as a result OF THE SECOND IMPERIALIST WAR ("the military program of proletarian revolution"). It can be, I make mistakes, but after reading much, that wrote Hitler, 4 he found decisively no indication thats Adolf Schicklgruber in 1916 dreamed about World War II. But here Lenin dreamed. Moreover, Lenin at that time theoretically already substantiated the need for this war for constructing socialism in entire peace. Events are developed swiftly. In the following year the revolution in Russia occurred. Lenin hurries into Russia. Here, in the whirlpool of confusion and vsedozvolennosti he and its small, but organized to a military footing party, seize by sudden revolution power of the state. Lenin's motions are simple, but they are insidious. At the first moment of the formation of Communist state Lenin declares "Decree on Peace". This very good for the propaganda. But peace to Lenin is necessary not for the peace, but in order to hold on to authority. Millions of armed soldiers gushed out from the front home after decree. By decree about the "peace" Lenin converted war imperialistic in the war civil, immersed the country into chaos, consolidating the authority of Communists and otvoyevyvaya gradually of territory and subordinating them to himself. The soldiers gushed out from the front played the role of the ice-breaker, which broke Russia. The result of Civil War was that desired already by Marx the "universal exhaustion", which allowed Lenin to hold and to strengthen authority. Lenin's motions in foreign policy not are less insidious. And here he uses the same principle: you fight, and 4 thus far to ponablyudayu from the side, and when you will weaken each other... During March 1918 Lenin concludes Brest peace with Germany and its allies. The position of Germany is already hopeless at this time. Does understand this Lenin? Certainly. Therefore signs the peace, which: - it unties to Lenin hands for dealing for strengthening of Communist dictatorship inside the country; - it gives to Germany significant resources and reserves for continuing the war in the West, which wasted both the Germany, and western allies. After concluding separate transaction with the enemy, Lenin betrayed the allies of Russia. But Lenin betrayed Russia itself. In the beginning of 1918 the victory of France, Great Britain, Russia, USA and other countries over Germany and her allies was already close and inevitable. Russia lost millions of soldiers in the war and had the complete right to be among of conquerors together with its Western allies. But this victory was not necessary to Lenin, world revolution is necessary to it. Lenin recognized that the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was concluded not in Russian interests, but in the interest of World Revolution, in the interests of the establishing communism in Russia and in other countries. Lenin recognized that "were placed the world dictatorship of the proletariat and the world revolution higher than any national victims" (report OF TSK TO THE VIII Congress OF RKP of (b)). The defeat of Germany was already a close one, and Lenin concluded the ‘peace’ on which Russia rejected its right to the role of conqueror, on the contrary, without the battle Lenin returns millions of square kilometers of the most fertile earth and richest industrial regions of the country to Germany, and on top of paid out a contribution in gold. Why?! Here’s why. Treaty of Brest-Litovsk made unnecessary million Russian soldiers, and these million by anyone not controlled people send by the houses, breaking on way of the basis of statehood and recently originated democracy. Brest "peace" became the beginning of the most severe Civil War, much bloodier and more severe than the First World War. Thus far each warred against each, Communists strengthened and enlarged their authority, and then through several years subordinated to itself entire country. Brest "peace" is directed not only against the national interests of Russia, but it is directed against Germany. On the sense and the spirit Brest "peace" - E.TO the prototype of Molotov -Ribbentropa pact. The calculation of Lenin in 1918 and the calculation of Stalin in 1939 is the same: let Germany war in the West, let it waste itself, and at the same time also western allies to the latter possibility. We will pay any price will help Germany to waste ourselves to the limit, and then... When on the order of Lenin in Brest signs "peace" with Germany, in Petrograd intensive work on preparation for the overthrow of German government occurs. At this time in Petrograd by the polumillionnym print run izdayetsya Communist newspaper in the German language "Die Fackel", even to the signing of Brest "peace" during January 1918 in Petrograd is created German Communist group "Spartacus". Newspapers "Die Weltrevolution" and "Die Rote Fahne" also were borne not in Germany, but in Communist Russia on Lenin's order, who signed "peace" with Germany. In the 20's the communism in Germany will take deep root. We will not forget, that to this applied hand Lenin and precisely at that moment, when Germany waged exhausting hopeless war in the West, but Lenin had with the German government "peaceful" agreement. The calculation of Lenin is precise: the German empire exhausted by war did not maintain the stress of war. War completes by the wreck of empire and by revolution. Lenin immediately annuls agreement. In Europe on the fragments of empires ruined by war Communist states, surprisingly similar to the Leninist regime of Bolsheviks, appear, Lenin rejoices: "we are on the threshold of World Revolution!" At this time Lenin rejected his minimum program, he no longer indicates the need for World War II, believing that the World Revolution can be completed already as a result of the First World War. Lenin creates the Comintern, which defines itself as the World Communist Party and sets as its goal the creation of World Soviet Socialist Republic. But it did not follow World Revolution. Communist régimes in Bavaria, Bremen, Slovakia and Hungary proved to be stunted and nonviable, the left parties of the western countries appeared weak and indecisive in the matter of seizure and retention of power, and Lenin only gave the, moral support. All Bolshevik forces were sent to the domestic front, to the fight against the people of Russia, who did not desire communism. Only in 1920 Lenin sufficiently strengthened his position inside Russia and he immediately throws enormous forces into Europe in order to push slightly revolution. The favorable moment in Germany was passed. Nevertheless Germany in 1920 was a suitable field for class war. Germany was disarmed and humbled. All ideals are scolded and abused. In the country the most severe economic crisis: during March 1920 Germany shook the general strike, in which, on some information, more than 12 million people participated. Germany was a powder keg, and only one spark was necessary... The official march of the Red Army (Budenniy March) includes the words: "you give Warsaw! Give Berlin!" The theorist of Soviet Communists Nikolai Bukharin in the newspaper Pravda proclaims the more decisive slogan: "directly to the walls of Paris and London!" But on the way of red legions - Poland. Between Soviet Russia and Germany there is no common border. In order to light up the fire of revolution, it was necessary to demolish the separating barrier—free, independent Poland. To the misfortune of Communists, at the head of the Soviet troops proved to be a commander who did not understand the essence of strategy, M. n. tukhachevskiy. The armies Of tukhachevskogo were broken in the environs of Warsaw and shamefully they ran. At the critical moment in Tukhachevekogo it did not prove to be strategic reserves, this solved the outcome of immense battle. The defeat Of tukhachevskogo was was random: after half a year prior to the beginning of Soviet "liberation march" in Warsaw and Berlin Tukhachevskiy "theoretically based" needlessness of strategic reserves in the war. Strategy has simple but inexorable laws. The major principle of strategy is concentration. Main "secret" of strategy - at the decisive moment, at the decisive point to concentrate the suppressing power against the most vulnerable place of enemy. In order to concentrate power, it is necessary to have it in the reserve. Tukhachevskiy did not understand this and paid for his incomprehension. But revolution in Germany it was necessary to put off up to 1923... The crushing defeat of the hordes Of tukhachevskogo in Poland had for the Bolsheviks very unpleasant consequences. Russia, which the Bolsheviks, it would seem, completely drowned in the blood and subordinated to their control, suddenly roused in the desperate attempt to throw out Communist dictatorship. Struck working Pieter - cradle of revolution. Workers require bread. Workers require freedom. Bolsheviks press working appearances, but the squadron of Baltic fleet suddenly appears on the side of workers. The sailors of Kronstadt, those same, which presented authority to Lenin and Trotskiy, require cleaning Communists from councils. The wave of peasant appearances gave a ride in the country. In the Tambovo forests the peasants created the well organized, but badly armed anti-Communist army. What zh, Tukhachevskiy, disentangle. And Tukhachevskiy by the strange blood washes off the disgrace of its strategic failure. The atrocity Of tukhachevskogo in Kronstadt became legendary. The monstrous destruction of peasants in the Tambovo province became one of the most terrible pages in the entire history of humanity. And the author of this page - Tukhachevskiy. THE XX century knows numerous great villains: Yezhov, Himmler, floor perspiration in a quantity of spilled blood Tukhachevskiy completely deserved place in one row with them, and on the time - Tukhachevskiy was their predecessor. In 1921 Lenin introduces new economic politics - THE NEP. In this policy not there was nothing new - this was good old capitalism. To Communists it was necessary to preserve authority, and they go to any relaxations, up to the introduction of the elements of free market. It is customary to assume that Kronstadt and Tambov - these are the main reasons, Lenin pushed to introduce the elements of a free market and to loosen the ideological reigns on society. I think that reason it is necessary to search for more deeply: in 1921 Lenin understood the First World War did not bring about world revolution. It is necessary, on the council of Trotsky, to pass to the permanent revolution, delivering impact after the impact on the weak components of free society and to simultaneously prepare World War II, which will bring final "release". Before the very introduction of the NEP during December 1920 Lenin spoke about the world war: "... the same new war is inevitable". And again recall Hitler. Note that in 1920 he spoke nothing publicly about inevitability and desirability for World War II. But here is the statement of Lenin at that time: "we ended one strip of wars, we must be prepared for the second". For this is introduced THE NEP. Peace - this is respite for the war. So says Lenin, Stalin so says, so says Pravda. THE NEP was a short respite for the future wars. To Communists it is necessary to bring its country into order, to strengthen and to consolidate power, to unroll super-power defense industry, to prepare the population for the future wars, the battles, the "liberation marches". They are busy with this. The introduction of the elements of a free market in no way indicated slackening of the preparation for World Revolution and World War II, which this revolution must give birth to. By the following year the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was created. The Declaration of formation of THE USSR stated, that THE USSR – it was only the first decisive step in the creation of the World Soviet Socialist Republic: a quantity of republics was planned to increase until entire peace becomes part OF THE USSR. Declaration about the formation BY THE USSR was the open and direct DECLARATION SOLDIERS TO ENTIRE REMAINING PEACE. This declaration acts, until now. Its no one abolished. Between the book of Hitler Meine Kampf and the declaration is a difference. Hitler wrote his book later, and it was the point of view of one person: MY fight. Declaration about the formation BY THE USSR - this is official document about the central objective of the enormous state: to destroy and to subordinate all the remaining states of peace.

Translated from Russian by Thomas B. Beattie
(Hamish Hamilton, London, 1990)

{p. 14} In 1933, the German colonel (later general) Heinz Guderian visited a Soviet locomotive engineering works at Kharkov. Guderian saw that, in addition to locomotives, the yard was producing tanks as a side product. The tanks were being produced at the rate of 22 a day.

When assessing the output of side products at one Soviet plant in peacetime, it must be remembered that in 1933 Germany was producing no tanks at all. In 1939, Hitler came into the Second World War with 3,195 tanks, that is, less than the Kharkov locomotive engineering works, working on a peacetime footing, produced in six months. When assessing the significance of an output of 22 tanks a day, it must also be borne in mind that in 1940, even after the Second World War had begun, the United States had in all only about 400 tanks.

What of the quality of the tanks which Guderian saw at the Kharkov engineering works? They were tanks which had been created by that American tank genius, J. W. Christie. Nobody, apart from the Soviet tank makers, appreciated Christie's achievements. One of Christie's American tanks was bought in the United States and sent to the Soviet Union under false documentation; the tank was described as an agricultural tractor. The 'tractor' was then produced in large numbers in the Soviet Union as a Mark BT - initials for the Russian words 'high-speed tank'. The first Mark BTs had a speed of l00 kilometres per hour. In the present day, there is not a tank crew anywhere which would not envy such a speed.

The shape of the hull of the Mark BT tank was simple and efficient. No tank at that time, not even those being produced for the United States Army, had a similar form of armament. The best tank in operation during the Second World War was the T34, a direct descendant of the Mark BT. The shape of its hull was a further development of the ideas of the great American tank builder. The principle of mounting its front armour plating in a sloping position was used, after the T34, on the German Panzer tank and then on all other tanks subsequently produced elsewhere in the world.

In the 1930s, practically all tanks in all tank-producing countries were designed and produced with the engine at the rear and the transmission system at the front. The Mark BT was an exception to this rule. The engine and the transmission system were both in the rear. It would take another quarter-century before the rest of the world understood the advantages of this structure.

The Mark BT tanks were continuously being improved. Their radius of action on one fuelling was increased to 700 kilometres. Fifty years later this is still a dream for the majority of tank crews. In 1936, Mark BT tanks produced in series were fording deep rivers underwater and along the river beds. Even now, at the end of the twentieth century, not all tanks used by the probable enemies of the Soviet Union have the same capability. Installation of diesel engines on the Mark BT tanks began in 1938. This was done elsewhere only ten or twenty years later. Finally, the Mark BT tank carried a weapons system which was very powerful for that time.

Having said so many positive things about the numbers and quality of Soviet tanks, one must note one minor drawback. It was impossible to use these tanks on Soviet territory.

The basic characteristic of the Mark BT tank was its speed. The quality so dominated all its other characteristics that it was even used in the name it was given.

The Mark BT is an aggressor tank. In all its characteristics, it is remarkably similar to the small but completely mobile cavalry warrior who emerged from the countless hordes of Genghis Khan. This great world conqueror vanquished all his enemies by delivering lightning strikes with great masses of exclusively mobile troops. Genghis Khan destroyed his enemies not, in the main, by force of arms, but by swift manoeuvre in depth. Genghis Khan did not need slow, sluggish knights, but hordes of light, fast-moving troops, capable of covering vast distances fording rivers and moving deep into the rear of enemy territory.

That was just what the Mark BT tanks were like. By 1 September 1939, more of them had been produced than any other tank of any other type by any other country anywhere else in the world. The mobility, speed and radius of action were bought at the price of lighter and less thick, though still efficient armour. Mark BT tanks could only be used in an aggressive war, only in the rear of the enemy and only in a swift offensive operation, in which masses of tanks suddenly burst into enemy territory, bypassing his centres of resistance and racing into the depth of his heartland, where there were no enemy troops, but where his towns, bridges, factories, aerodromes, ports, depots, con alld posts and communications centres were situated.

The strikingly belligerent qualities of the Mark BT tank were also achieved by means of using a unique system of tracks and suspension. On unmade roads, the Mark BT operated on heavy caterpillar tracks, but once on a good road, the tracks were discarded and it then shot ahead on wheels, like a racing car. It is, however, well known that speed is not compatible with cross-country performance. The choice is therefore between, on the one hand, a high-speed car which will go only on good roads, or on the other, a slow-moving tractor, which will go anywhere. The Soviet Marshals favoured the high-speed car. Thus, the Mark BT tanks were quite powerless on Soviet territory. When Hitler began Operation Barbarossa, practically all the Mark BT tanks were cast aside. It was almost impossible to use them off the roads, even with caterpillar tracks. They were never used on wheels. The potential of these tanks was never realized, but it certainly could never have been realized on Soviet territory. The Mark BT was created to operate on foreign territory only and, what is more, only on territory where there were good roads, as already observed.

Let us glance at the Soviet Union's neighbours. Then, as now, there were no good roads in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, China, Mongolia, Manchuria, or Northern Korea. Zhukov used Mark BT tanks in Mongolia, where the terrain is as flat as a billiard table. However, he used them only with caterpillar tracks and was dissatisfied with them. Off the roads, the tank tracks often raced round without gripping the surface, while the wheels, because of the comparatively great pressure they had to bear, whether they were off the road or even on unmade roads, simply spun round and sank into the earth while the tank remained stationary.

To the question, where could the enormous potential of these Mark BT tanks be successfully realized, there is only one answer: in central and southern Europe. The only territories where tanks could be used, after their caterpillar tracks were removed, were Germany, France and Belgium. To the question as to which is more important for the Mark BT tanks, the wheels or the caterpillar tracks, Soviet textbooks of that period give a clear-cut answer: the wheels. The most important characteristic of the Mark BT, speed, is attained on wheels. Caterpillar tracks are only a means for reaching foreign territory. For instance, Poland could be crossed on caterpillar tracks which, once the German autobahns had been reached, could then be discarded in favour of wheels, on which operations would then proceed. Caterpillar tracks were regarded as an auxiliary device which was supposed to be used only once in war, then to be discarded and forgotten. It is exactly like the parachutist who uses his parachute for the sole purpose of landing in enemy territory. Once there, he throws the parachute away so that he can operate without being burdened by a heavy load which he no longer needs. It was precisely this attitude which was adopted towards caterpillar tracks. Those Soviet divisions and army corps which were equipped with Mark BT tanks did not have on their complement any vehicles whose purpose it was to recover the caterpillar tracks which had been thrown away and bring them back. After the MarkBT tanks had discarded their tracks, they had to finish the war on wheels.

{p. 18} Some types of Soviet tanks were named after communist leaders, like the 'KV', for Klinl Voroshilov, and the 'JS' for Joseph Stalin. Most Soviet tanks, however, were given l a designation which contained the index letter 'T'. Sometimes, in addition to 'T', the index included the letter 'O' (which stands for the Russian word for 'flame-throwing'), 'B' (the initial letter of the Russian word for 'high speed') or 'P' (indicating 'amphibious')

Then in 1938, the Soviet Union began to work intensively on the production of a tank which bore the highly unusual index number of A-20. What does 'A' mean? There is not one Soviet textbook which gives the answer to this question and to date it remains undeciphered by many experts. For a long time I sought an answer and finally found it at Factory No. 183. This plant produced locomotives, but had other, less 'peaceful' production on the go at the same time. People with great experience at this plant say that the original meaning of the index letter 'A' in this case stood for 'Autostradnyi' - motorway. Personally I find this explanation convincing. The Mark A-20 tank was the latest development in the Mark BT family. The main characteristic of the Mark BT figured in its name, so why should the main characteristic of the Mark A-20 not be expressed in the same way? The purpose, I suggest, of the Mark A-20 was to reach the motorways on its caterpillar tracks and, once there, to discard the tracks, and convert itself into the king of speed.

At the end of the twentieth century the Soviet Union does not have one kilometre of highway which can be even remotely described as a motorway. Fifty years ago, and for long after that, there were no motorways in Soviet territory. Nor were there motorways in any of the countries which bordered the Soviet Union in 1938. One year later, however, in 1939, Stalin partitioned Poland under the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and thereby established a common frontier with a country which did have motorways. That country was Germany. It is said that Stalin's tanks were not ready for war. That was not so. They were not ready for a defensive war on their own territory. They were, however, designed to wage war on others.

As it was for Soviet tanks, so it was for Soviet aircraft in both quality and numbers. Communist falsifiers of the facts say nowadays that the Soviet Union did of course have many aircraft, but the majority were inferior. They were obsolete planes and they therefore could be disregarded. Let us consider only the contemporary Soviet aircraft- the MIG-3, the YAK-1, the PE-2, the IL-2; in doing so we shall in no way find ourselves discussing antiquated flying machines. Alfred Price was a British airman who, throughout his lifetime, flew 45 types of aircraft and logged more than 4,000 flying hours. This is what he thought of these 'antiquated flying machines':

{quote} The most heavily armed fighter in service in September 1939 was the Russian Polikarpov I-16, a progressive development of an aircraft which had first entered service in 1934 and fought in the Spanish Civil War. .. In terms of armament ... it had never been surpassed. ... {endquote}

{p. 115} CHAPTER 13

The Winged Tank

Training hundreds of thousands of paratroopers and providing parachutes for their use was only part of the task. Military transport planes and gliders were also required. The Soviet leaders understood this very well. That is why the parachute psychosis of the 1930s was also accompanied by a glider psychosis. Soviet glider pilots and their gliders were well up to world standards, and indeed higher. By the beginning of the Second World War, out of eighteen world gliding records, thirteen were held by the Soviet Union.

The best builders of Soviet military aircraft were sometimes deflected from their main work in order to make glider planes. Even Sergei Korolev, who was later to create the first sputnik, was set to work on developing gliders, which he did with great success. If builders of war planes and ballistic missiles were put to work on making gliders, the purpose was obviously not simply to win world records. Had Stalin been interested in breaking records, why did he not put the best minds to work on creating new racing bicycles?

{p. 116} That Soviet gliding was heading in a military direction is beyond dispute. Even before Hitler came to power, the Soviet Union had seen the creation of the first airborne cargo glider in the world, the G-63, made by the plane builder Boris Dmitriyevich Urlapov. Heavy gliders were invented which were capable of lifting a freight-carrying vehicle. P. Gorokhovsky even created an inflatable rubber glider; after they had been used behind enemy lines, they could be loaded on to a transport aircraft and returned to their own territory to be used again.

The Soviet generals were dreaming of throwing not only hundreds of thousands of airborne infantrymen into the West, but hundreds and possibly thousands of tanks as well. Soviet aircraft designers were looking hard for a way in which to realize this dream by the most simple and least expensive means. Oleg Antonov, who was later to design the largest military transport aircraft in the world, suggested that the ordinary tank, produced in series, should be fitted with wings and a tail unit, and its hull used as the framework for the whole of this surprisingly simple construction. This system was given the initials KT, which stood for the Russian words for 'winged tank'. The switchgear for the air vanes was fixed on to the tank cannon. The tank crew controlled the flight from inside the tank by means of turning the turret and raising the barrel of the cannon. The entire construction was astonishingly simple. Of course, the risks involved in flying in a tank were unusually high, but then human life was cheap.

The KT flew in 1942. There is a unique photograph of a tank, complete with wings and tailpiece, flying through the air, in a book (Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two, 1984) published by Stephen Saloga, a prominent Western tank expert.

{Here is the photograph, between pages 168 and 169: icebreaker-p.168-9.jpg}

Just before landing, the tank engine started up and its caterpillar tracks began revolving at maximum speed. The KT then landed on its own tracks and gradually braked. The wings and tailpiece were then discarded, and the KT became an ordinary tank again.

Oleg Antonov missed the beginning of the war with his winged tank; hostilities did not begin as Stalin had planned, and this extraordinary machine turned out to be just as unnecessary as the million parachutists.

{p. 117} The Soviet plane designers had their mistakes and failures, their frustrations and defeats. But their successes were beyond doubt. The Soviet Union entered the war with many times more gliders and glider pilots than the rest of the world put together. In 1939 alone, the Soviet Union had 30,000 trainees simultaneously under instruction in glider-flying. Piloting skills often attained a very high standard. In 1940, for example, a demonstration was given in the Soviet Union of a flight of eleven gliders being towed by one aircraft.

Stalin did everything to ensure that there were enough gliders available for his pilots. It was not single-seater sports gliders that he had in mind, of course, but multi-seater ones built for airborne assault. The end of the 1930s saw intensive competition between more than ten Soviet aircraft design offices to see who could create the best airborne assault glider. Apart from the winged tank, Oleg Antonov also designed the multi-seater A-7 airborne assault glider; V. Gribovsky invented the excellent G-II airborne assault glider; D. N. Kolesnikov designed a glider, the KZ-20, which could carry twenty soldiers; while G. Korbula was working on the design of a jumbo glider.

In January 1940, the Central Committee (that is to say Stalin) ordered that a Directorate for the Production of Airborne Assault Transport Gliders be set up under the Peoples' Commissariat for the Aviation Industry. 1940 was taken up with intensive preparatory work, but from spring 1941 onwards, mass production of airborne assault gliders began in the plants operating under this new directorate.

This burst of glider production has interesting implications. The gliders produced in the spring of 1941 would have to have been used in the summer of that year, or by early autumn at the latest, since it would have been impossible to keep them safe until 1942. All the hangars, and there were not very many of them, had long been crammed full of the gliders which had already been produced. It would have been simply out of the question to keep a great airborne assault glider in the open air for any length of time, exposed to the rains and winds of autumn, to frosts and to heavy snowfalls weighing many tons.

The mass production of airborne assault transport gliders in 1941 meant that they were intended to be used in 1941. If Stalin had intended to throw hundreds of thousands of his paratroopers into Western Europe in 1942, then the mass production of gliders would have had to be planned for 1942.

The glider is a means of delivering cargoes and groups of paratroopers without parachutes. Paratroopers equipped with parachutes are conveyed into the areas behind enemy lines by military transport aircraft. The best military transport plane in the world at the outbreak of war was the legendary American C-47 or 'Dakota'. This excellent aircraft, albeit under another name, formed the base upon which Soviet military transport aviation was built. For some reason or other, the United States government sold Stalin the license to produce it before the war, along with the highly complex equipment which it needed. Stalin took full advantage of this opportunity. So many of these C-47s were produced in the Soviet Union that some American experts believe that, when the war began, the Soviet Union had more of these aircraft than the United States did.

In addition to the C-47s, the Soviet Union also had several hundred obsolete TB-3 bombers, which had been down-graded to military transport aircraft. All the large-scale airdrops which took place in the 1930s were made from TB-3 aircraft. Stalin had enough of them to airlift several thousand parachutists and heavy weapons, including light tanks, armoured cars and artillery, simultaneously.

No matter how many military transport aircraft Stalin built, he would have had to use them intensively, day and night, over a period of weeks or months if he wanted to carry a great body of Soviet paratroopers into the enemy hinterland, and then keep them in supplies. This gave rise to the problem of how to keep the aircraft undamaged on their first trip, so that they could make subsequent runs. The losses of aircraft, gliders and paratroopers on the first trip could be enormous; on the second, they would be even greater, because the element of surprise would have been lost.

{p. 119} The Soviet generals understood this very well. It was obvious that a massive drop of paratroopers could only be achieved if the Soviet Union had absolute supremacy in the air. The newspaper Red Star stated quite categorically on 27 September 1940 that it was impossible to land these great numbers of parachutists successfully without air supremacy.

The Field Service Regulations is the basic document, graded top secret, which lays down the procedures for Red Army operations in war. The issue which was in force at the time was Field Service Regulations 1939, known as PU-39. It lays down simply and clearly that an 'operation in depth' in general, and a mass drop of parachutists in particular, can only be carried out in conditions where the Soviet Air Force has supremacy in the air. The Field Service Regulations, as well as the Operational Air Force Regulations and the Instructions on the Independent Use of Air Force all envisaged a vast strategic operation to be carried out in the initial period of the war, with the purpose of knocking out the enemy's air power. According to the design of the Soviet Command, air arms from various fronts and fleets, the air arm of the High Command and even the fighter arm of the Anti-Aircraft Defenses (PVO) all had to take part in that operation. These regulations considered that the element of surprise was the main guarantee of the success of the operation. The surprise operation to knock out enemy air power had to be carried out 'in the interests of the war as a whole'. In other words, the surprise strike at the airfields had to be so powerful that the enemy air force would not be able to recover from it before the war ended.

In December 1940, at a secret meeting attended by Stalin and members of the Politburo, a senior commander of the Red Army discussed the details of such operations. These were called, in Soviet jargon, 'special operations in the initial period of war'. General Pavel Rychagov, the officer commanding the Soviet Air Force, insisted on the necessity of camouflaging the Soviet Air Force's preparations in order to 'catch the whole of the enemy air force on the ground'.

It is quite obvious that it is not possible 'to catch the whole of the enemy air force on the ground' in time of war. It is only possible to do so in peacetime, when the enemy does not suspect the danger.


Monday, November 08, 2004

Preemption and Regime Change

The War was not pre-emptive. No treaty or Peace Agreement ended the Gulf War of 1991. Only a Ceasefire ended hostilities. Thus under International Law a state of War continued. The Ceasefire Agreement was violated numerous times during the intervening period by the former Regime. In 2002 the Ceasefire was suspended by United States & hostilities resumed. Further discsussion of so-called 'pre-emption' is irrelevent at this point since the former regime is no longer in power.

One must not confuse objectives in war with rationale. The objective was always clearly stated as 'regime change'. To confuse American policy objectives of regime change with rationale for such objectives as WMD, human rights abuses & democratization is putting the cart before the horse.

Wars are not pursued for 'reasons' they are prosecuted to achieve objectives. 'Reasons' for war are for the less initiated who must be convince or cajoled to support the effort. What is important is that the objective be satisfied. Thus removal of Sadam does not in itself achieve regime change. Regime change means supplanting the prior exisitng regime with something in its place, not merely a Transitional or Provisional authority. We would hope a democratic regime would take its place permanently, but history shows democracies are not set up in 6 months or 2 years and then the US can pursue an 'exit strategy'.

France began a policy of regime change toward Germany in 1871, a wish that Germany would become democratic and no threat to its neighbors. The French policy of regime change toward Germany took essentially 74 years and 2 world wars to achieve. France convinced others and built a system of alliances to achieve its purpose. And ultiumately Germany did become democratic. But in 1945 that was hard to see, it still took decades for the world to become convinced Germany was indeed democratic.

The states of the former Soviet Union, the Russian Federation in particular, suppossedly threw off the elements of the old regime more than a decade ago and adopted a democratic form of government. It remains to be seen if the Russian Federation will adopt democracy for its people or if the current period is really more akin to Germany's Weimar Republic.

As for Iraq, our committment is longterm, like it was to Germany, Japan, South Korea & Taiwan. In 50 years Iraq likewise will no longer have to be treated as an adopted child and can rightfully take its place among the community of naitons.

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