Suppressed secrets of battle for Stalingrad finally revealed




 
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November 11th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 

Topic: Suppressed secrets of battle for Stalingrad finally revealed


I found this rather interesting especially the bit that refutes Antony Beevors work.

Suppressed secrets of battle for Stalingrad finally revealed

By Tony Paterson 5:30 AM Saturday Nov 10, 2012


The date was January 31, 1943. The place was the basement of the shell-shattered Univermag department store in the Soviet city of Stalingrad. And it wasn't the forlorn and exhausted faces of the Nazis that stuck in the minds of the soldiers from the Soviet Red Army as they opened the underground warren in which Adolf Hitler's traumatised military commanders were hiding.
"The filth and human excrement and who knows what else was piled up waist high," recalled Major Anatoly Zoldatov. "It stank beyond belief. There were two toilets and signs above them both read 'No Russians allowed'."
The legendary yet horrifically decisive battle of the same name had just ended in bitter and humiliating defeat for Hitler's 6th Army. It was to be only a matter of time before Nazi Germany capitulated.
Lieutenant Colonel Leonid Vinokur was the first to spot the decorated commander of the German troops lying in a corner. "He lay on the bed when I entered. He lay there in a coat with his cap on. He had two-week-old stubble and seemed to have lost all courage," he remembered. The commanding officer was Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus.

The graphic first-hand accounts of the Volga River battle which claimed the lives of 60,000 German troops and between half a million and a million Red Army soldiers are part of a collection of hitherto unseen interviews with Russian Stalingrad combatants which have been published for the first time.
The Stalingrad Protocols were compiled by the German historian Jochen Hellbeck, who gained access to several thousand interviews with World War II Red Army soldiers, held in archives at the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow.

The accounts, which were originally intended as a record of the Soviet Union's "Great Patriotic War", are so candid and disturbingly graphic that the Kremlin published only a small portion of them after 1945, preferring to opt for more orthodox Stalinist propaganda. The "protocols" languished in Moscow's archives until 2008, when, acting on a tip, Hellbeck was able to gain access to 10,000 pages of them.
The accounts suggest the invading German army's murderous and brutal occupation of the Soviet Union was one of the prime motives behind the Red Army's ferocious counter-offensive. A Soviet sniper called Vasily Zaytsev tells his interviewer: "One sees the young girls, the children who hang from trees in the park - this has a tremendous impact."

Major Pyotr Zayonchovsky recalls finding the body of a dead Russian comrade who had been tortured by the Germans: "The skin and fingernails on his right hand had been completely torn off. The eye had been burned out and he had a wound on his left temple made by a red-hot piece of iron. The right half of his face had been covered with a flammable liquid and ignited."
Historically, the protocols have been hailed as significant because they cast doubt on claims made by the Nazis and later by the Soviet Union's Cold War opponents that the Red Army's soldiers only fought so resolutely because they would otherwise have been executed by the Soviet secret police.

In his acclaimed 1998 account, Stalingrad, the British historian Anthony Beevor puts the number of Red Army soldiers executed by their own side during the battle at 13,000. He also points out that more than 50,000 Soviet citizens fought on the German side at Stalingrad alone. However, Soviet documents obtained during the compilation of the protocols suggest there were fewer than 300 executions by mid-October 1942 - 3-months before the German defeat.

Whether some of the interviews were given purely for Soviet propaganda purposes remains open to question. Those given by political officers suggest they played an important role in providing the inspiration to fight. There are accounts of them distributing leaflets during the height of battle depicting "the hero of the day". Brigade Commissar Vasilyev recalls: "It was viewed as a disgrace if a communist was not the first to lead the soldiers into battle."
Hellbeck notes in his edition of the protocols that on the Soviet side at Stalingrad, the number of card-carrying Communist Party members rose from 28,500 to 53,500 between August and October 1942 and that the Red Army saw itself as politically and morally superior to its Nazi opponent. "The Red Army was a political army," he told Der Spiegel magazine.
Yet Stalingrad took a dreadful toll, even on the victorious Red Army heroes who managed to survive World War II's bloodiest battle.
Survivors of Stalingrad committed suicide years later.
Independent
By Tony Paterson

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news...ectid=10846314
November 14th, 2012  
LeEnfield
 
 
Don't all countries hide their mistakes, just look at America in WW1 when the Generals ordered mass attacks on 11th November 1917 and thousands of Americans died. The American Government covered this up by saying that that died earlier in the month
November 15th, 2012  
BritinAfrica
 
 
I read of an incident where Japanese troops fought alongside British and Gurkha troops using Japanese tanks, big guns and aircraft against Indonesian insurgents in December 1945. The British troops refused to fraternise with the Japanese, while the Gurkha's admired their efficiency.

Information on this incident is pretty scarce for some reason.
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November 15th, 2012  
beitou
 
Didn't the British also use Japanese troops in 1945 to help put down the early VC, when they occupied Vietnam before the French came back?
November 15th, 2012  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beitou
Didn't the British also use Japanese troops in 1945 to help put down the early VC, when they occupied Vietnam before the French came back?
Quite possibly, beitou, I have also heard of Japanese troops protecting Allied POW's from Indonesian insurgents before the war ended.
November 15th, 2012  
LeEnfield
 
 
A large number of Japanese troops were used by the British in French Indochina and they had a VC business under control until the French took over
November 15th, 2012  
VDKMS
 
war is a very complex thing.
November 15th, 2012  
BritinAfrica
 
 
My dad had a couple of friends who served in Burma, they both remarked that the Japanese were very good soldiers. I suppose they would be if they wanted to die for Hirohito.
 


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