Stalin's Keys to Victory: The Rebirth of the Red Army
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Stalin's Keys to Victory: The Rebirth of the Red Army

by Walter S. Dunn Jr.
     
 

Most military historians have difficulty comprehending the miracle that took place in late 1941 and early 1942 in the Soviet Union. In the summer of 1941, the German Army routed the Red Army as it had routed the Polish, British, French and other armies in 1939, 1940, and early 1941. None had been able to withstand German might more than a few weeks. When Hitler

Overview

Most military historians have difficulty comprehending the miracle that took place in late 1941 and early 1942 in the Soviet Union. In the summer of 1941, the German Army routed the Red Army as it had routed the Polish, British, French and other armies in 1939, 1940, and early 1941. None had been able to withstand German might more than a few weeks. When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, his legions quickly overcame the Soviet divisions they met, and it appeared to most that Hitler would succeed as he had before. A major portion of the prewar Red Army had been completely annihilated, millions of prisoners taken, and the most populous and developed provinces of the Soviet Union occupied by the Germans and their allies.

In September, the Germans surrounded and captured a huge bag of divisions east of Kiev, only to encounter a flood of new Red Army divisions when they redirected their intentions on Moscow. In short order the Wehrmacht broke through this line, and approached within sight of the outskirts of the capital. There, they were surprised by a massive offensive mounted by even more new divisions. Other countries had surrendered after losing one army, let alone two. The Soviets came back with a third—which sent the Germans reeling to the rear. How was this possible?

Dunn's detailed examination shows that, far from carelessly throwing thousands of disorganized, untrained men into battle, the Soviets wisely used the resources at hand to resist and drive back the invaders once the initial shock had been absorbed. He reveals how the Soviets systematically trained men as replacements for casualties in existing units, often renaming the unit (a move that confused German intelligence then and continues to confound historians today). Unit integrity was as significant in the Red Army as in other armies. Men were not robotic clones, and each had strengths and weaknesses. Knowing this led to unit integrity and success on the battlefield. Tracing the formation and commitment to battle of Soviet units, regardless of the changes of designation, is crucial to understanding the success and failure of Soviet operations—and Stalin's keys to victory.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Despite taking horrendous casualties, losing one-third of its population to German occupation, having most of it armament factory destroyed, the Soviet Red Army was able to rally and eventually overcome their Nazi invaders during World War II. Independent researcher and retired museum curator Dunn investigates the reasons for this remarkable military achievement, particularly focusing on the ability of the Soviets to recruit and train capable divisions in relatively short periods of time." - Reference & Research Book News

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780275990671
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/30/2006
Series:
Praeger Security International Series
Pages:
194
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.50(d)

What People are saying about this

Tom Johnson
"Stalin's Keys to Victory provides the reader with a concentrated set of valuable information showing the 'keys' to the victory of the Red Army. The manpower replacement system, the production of weaponry, and the formation of new units are explained and illuminated in a single volume showing their connection with the combat operations. The book allows a better understanding of the condition of the Red army to be seen, and traced, through the entire period of the Great Patriotic War. It, along with Walter Dunn's other books on World War II, should be on the shelf of anyone who is seriously studying the 'Eastern Front'."

Meet the Author

Walter Dunn, Jr. is an independent researcher and retired museum curator. He has published a dozen books on World War II and on colonial and local history.

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