By Geoffrey Jukes

The epic battles fought at Stalingrad and Kursk have been pivotal occasions within the struggle at the jap entrance. After the catastrophic failure of the German offensives of 1942 and 1943, the Wehrmacht was once pressured onto the protective. by no means back wouldn't it regain the initiative opposed to the possible inexhaustible forces of the crimson military. yet how did this decisive shift within the stability of army strength at the jap entrance happen? this question has intrigued historians ever considering the fact that. during this unique and thought-provoking new examine Geoffrey Jukes reconstructs Soviet technique and operations at Stalingrad and Kursk in bright element. He seems backstage on the workings of the Soviet excessive command, on the roles performed by way of the critical crimson military generals, and on the overriding impact of Stalin himself.

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Before the end of May he issued an order on ‘Combat and political training of troops for the summer period of 1940’, which gave unit and formation commanders only ten days to submit plans for troop training, war games and practice firings, and decreed that they be based on training timetables averaging ten hours a day for infantry, nine for tank crews and artillery, and including fighting by night as well as by day. By June he had decided on five priorities: 1. plans for strategic deployment and mobilisation for war; 2.

Kuznetsov was the luckiest of the three, in that he survived the war. However, he was demoted to command of an army after less than four weeks, and apart from two weeks in command of the newly created Central Front in July–August, was never again given control of a Front. The problems facing promotees such as Kuznetsov, Pavlov and Kirponos were compounded by the fact that their predecessors, shot as alleged anti-Soviet conspirators, were suspected of having appointed likeminded officers to senior positions on their staffs, and most of those were also replaced, thus burdening the novice commanders of the most important frontier Military Districts with staff officers whom they did not know, and whose experience was often as limited as their own.

A. 6 per cent) had been arrested and charged. On a later occasion Shchadenko complained that 12,000 lieutenants had been dismissed but only 2,000 arrested, and said that ‘we should either Stalingrad to Kursk - Printer PDF:_ 22/11/2010 10:34 Page 25 Descent into Conflict 25 arrest everyone we dismiss or not demand dismissal of people whom we are not going to arrest’. 37 In April 1940 Shchadenko reported to Voroshilov on officer discharges each year since 1935. The figures were as follows: Table 2.

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