Viktor Suvorov . Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II

17 years since the appearence of his famous Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?, Suvorov published his second book in English Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II about Stalin’s alleged plans to conquer Europe and establish communist rule on the continent. “Icebreaker”, and several follow-up volumes (Day M. When did WWII begin?, Cleansing. Why Stalin Decapitated his Army?, The Last Republic. Why Soviet Union lost WWII, The Suicide. Why Hitler attacked Soviet Union?, Taking my Words Back, Shadow of Victory, The Sacred Business – published in Russian), ignited a firestorm of controversy both in German and Russian historical science, and two last decades were spent in major feud between adepts of traditional history of the Second World War and revisionists. Fortunately, “Chief Culprit” is not a second volume of “Icebreaker”, it’s an updated version, where old claims are revisited, and many more new claims added, so it’s not necessary to read Icebreaker first. To the delight of his readers, this time Suvorov included the list of the sources he is using, which makes easier to follow his logic and check foundations of his claims.

No doubt, Viktor Suvorov is a very gifted, imaginative writer, and his new book can be  recommended to anybody, who is interested in conspiracy theories about the origins of the Second World War and communist attempts to establish world domination. Author describes the very consistent, meticulously thought-out Soviet strategy to include Europe in the communist world order, first using Hitler’s Germany as a tool to crush European independent states. According to Suvorov, this attempt would have all chances to succeed, if not Hitler, who, increasingly alarmed by Stalin’s acquisitions in Eastern Europe (Baltic States, parts of Romania and Finland), started German large-scale offensive on June 22 1941, which caught Stalin’s armies in the middle of their own offensive deployment, disrupting Soviet plans of conquest and, eventually, world domination.

Unfortunately, Suvorov is not a historian, as he was quick to admit himself, and any of his books, Chief Culprit included, can’t be categorized as a historical research and belongs more to the realm of iconoclastic speculations. If an academically trained researcher would prefer to collect all necessary sources, and only then move to the more or less balanced and well-supported conclusions, Suvorov, on the contrary, starts from his hypothesis, and then proceeds to the facts, supporting his views, without mentioning everything that isn’t.

There is no piece of evidence to support Suvorov’s signature claim that “Stalin fathered Nazi Germany and put Hitler in power”. Brief period of military cooperation between Soviet Union and Weimar Republic in 1920s was fading even before Hitler became a Reichchencellor in 1933 and soon was cancelled altogether. And indeed, from Stalin’s point of view, miniscule army of Weimar Germany, without Panzer Force, Air Force and Navy would be much easier target than Hitler’s Wehrmacht in 1941.

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June 22 1941: a Preemptive War?

What is “Preemptive War”? If anyone has a “right to strike first”, before becoming a victim of supposedly imminent aggression? Well, when a war already started, it seems perfectly acceptable to initiate any strike, attack, or offensive, if necessary. But can we extrapolate preemptive actions on tactical and operational levels, appropriate in a war time, to the situation, which existed before the start of the hostilities? If the answer is “yes”, any war can be interpreted as preemptive and then, as justifiable.

Let’s take, for example, Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. Japanese military rulers always stated that Admiral Nagumo’s strike was preemptive, as a result of it American threat was diminished, and offensive capabilities of US Pacific Fleet were effectively crippled, at least for the time being.

Germans also stressed that both first and second world wars were in fact preemptive strikes against Russia. On June 22 1941, and again on October 3 1941 Adolph Hitler justified his campaign in the East by mentioning laundry list of Soviet divisions, mind-boggling numbers of tanks and airplanes, amassed on the western borders of the USSR by the beginning of his “Unternehmen Barbarossa”.

However Hitler clearly missed the point. If only Stalin started the war first, table would be turned on Russia instantly with Hitler triumphantly assuming a mantle of Europe’s savior, “knight in shining armor”, “I told you so” true defender of European civilization against Asiatic barbarities. Germany would be able to recruit many more allies and received much more resources than it managed to get eventually. That’s why Stalin preferred to wait, even though Soviet Union has more forces on the western borders than Germany, at least up to the end of May 1941, and contingency plans of the Red Army General Staff were ready since September 1939, when Stalin absorbed West Ukraine and West Byelorussia, parts of the Polish state since 1921. In fact, infamous Soviet orders to keep calm and not provoke German response at any cost were issued to prevent Germany from receiving status of innocent victim, obliged to thwart unfolding communist aggression.

Certainly, “Do not fall for any provocations” set of orders pushed Soviet battle readiness back to extremes. Soviet fighters let German air reconnaissance planes roam above the whole length of the new common border between Soviet Union and German Reich with impunity; ammunition stayed locked in the Red Army “Special Military Districts” warehouses; frontier fortifications were not prepared properly and many not even manned by the beginning of hostilities; airfields were not moved back and were not camouflaged; military signal nets, which relied heavily on the civilian phone lines, was easily put out of action by saboteurs; Red Army officers were sent on the regular summer vacations as far away as to Crimean and Caucasian resorts; artillery units were conducting training exercises in the summer camps, where most of it was bombed to smithereens and overrun by the German onslaught; units were not supplied with maps, so sometimes they had to use school atlases or trophy maps, taken from Germans, etc. On and on this list goes.

But all this contributed to the Allied point of view at Nuremberg Trials, where Germany was charged as an aggressor. Receiving comments from the German defenders that they waged not aggressive, but preemptive war  against Russia, American judge responded that fact of the matter is: Germany, not Russia started the war in the East. Simply put, “intention” to be prepared for war, does not count the same as actually going to war. And that settles the matter.

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“Where Did the Towers Go?” by Judy Wood

“Where Did the Towers Go?” by Judy Wood

10 years is quite a time span to construct more or less plausible explanation for what really happened with WTC. Officially, however, we have nothing more than 9/11 equivalent of the “lone assassin and his magical bullet” theory. For years we were asked to believe that all horrendous destruction at WTC site was caused by two airplanes, driven into towers by Islamist fanatics. Fuel ignited on impact, spilled down and supposedly weakened buildings structures to the point that they suddenly “avalanched” on itself with the free fall speed, “dusting” and evaporating as they go.

Well, aviation fuel basically is kerosene. Perhaps not everyone has seen kerosene before and some tend to assign some magical properties to this substance, probably equaling it to all-consuming evil greenish goo, which makes casual appearances on the Scy-Fy channel. But I am glad to report that there is nothing mythical about kerosene. This is a substance, known since 1850s. My grandma used to cook meals on the portable kerosene stove, and it was burning safely, if needed, for hours, without any steel “dustification”, people jumping out of the windows, metal constructions twisting, cars rusting a mile away, and steel safes, power generators, truck engines, kitchen processors, chairs, tables, elevators, refrigerators, bathroom fixtures and file cabinets disappearing before the eyes of the bewildered spectators. Those who pointed at the discrepancies between reality and its official explanation were marginalized and labeled as unpatriotic “thruthers”, uber-leftist idiots, whose outlandish fantasies were delightedly plagiarized and repeated ad nausem by an every enemy of the modern civilization.

But Dr. Wood was not to be distracted. She doesn’t assign blame, but rather painstakingly cataloging all things, events and artifacts which are plainly contradictory to the laws of physics as we know it. “Where Did the Towers Go” is a very bold and honest book, not only an example of forensic research of the unknown, but a reminder what to be a true patriot really means.

The book is not without its limitations, though, related both to the content, and to the presentation.

The most obvious, and understandable fault, is the lack of explanation. What caused all this so unusual destruction? We haven’t been told. Manipulation with the matter? Ether anomalies? “Direct energy” transmission? 1980s Star Wars paraphernalia? “Tesla howitzers”? Updated “Die Glocke” of SS General Kammler fame? Something else? All of the above? In the end we are left with the huge collection of unexplained and mostly unstructured phenomena, still waiting for someone to “make sense” out of it.

Creating “Where Did the Towers Go?” Dr. Wood transformed her huge website into a book form almost “as is”, and it shows. Presentation is quite uneven, sometimes even chaotic, and not easily digestible. Visuals are breathtaking and unique, graphics is exemplary, but pictures exist by themselves, without receiving much textual support from the narrative, sometimes even used as a substitutes for explanations. Author sometimes jumps from one subject to another, then coming back again, promising to elaborate more on the certain issues, but hundreds pages later, etc. Perhaps more structuring and careful editing will be needed for the new editions.

However, putting all these things aside, “Where Did the Towers Go?” by Judy Wood is unquestionably unique and incredibly rich source of information, standing apart from everything, written for the last 10 years. We can only hope that this important research will be continued.

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USSR and responsibility for the start of the Second World War

USSR and responsibility for the start of the Second World War

Embassy of USA in Estonia commented on the issue recently in the “Speeches and Articles” segment of the Embassy website (http://estonia.usembassy.gov/sp_082310.html):

“August 23, 2011

Seventy years ago today Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union ensured that Europe and the entire world was placed on an inexorable path to war. In signing the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union, more infamously known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the two totalitarian regimes also agreed to Secret Additional Protocols that carved up Europe into respective spheres of influence.”

In fact, issue of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is much more complicated.

First, Molotov-Ruibbentrop Pact shouldn’t be taken out of context of the grand political picture. Just a year before Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Britain and France made “peace in our time” agreement with Germany in Munich and Hitler gobbled up Czechoslovakia under the pretense of defending German minority in Sudetenland, effectively extending his own “sphere of influence” in Central-Eastern Europe. There is no doubt, that Hitler, emboldened by his major diplomatic success, decided to replicate this move, now against Poland. However, it’s highly unlikely that Britain and France will ever agree with the notion, that their Munich “pacification” paved an “inexorable path to war” on the continent and both major powers share the guilt for the beginning of the Second World War.

At that time nobody could predict, if the new world war will start after Germany invade Poland, or there will be yet another round of pacification, now on Polish expense. If Hitler hoped to get away with his gamble the same way he did in Austria and Czechoslovakia, Stalin, who felt that his hands were untied by the failed negotiations with British-French delegation in Moscow, was more than happy to delay USSR’s entry in conflict for almost two years. He may use this time for his advantage, comfortably sitting on the sidelines, supplying German war machine, and waiting for a proper moment to attack his new partner as soon as Germany will be blooded on the Western Front, the way it did during the First World War.

Certainly, Stalin couldn’t be satisfied with just watching the rapid transformation of the Soviet Union from international Bolshevik pariah-state to the most-sought after ally. Inactivity was deemed as suicidal, since in that case USSR could eventually follow the way of Czechoslovakia and Poland, and Stalin started his own preparations for the war: mobilization, unleashing of war industry and improving Red Army’s strategic and operational positions. As it soon turned out, for Stalin the process of creating “spheres of interest” meant nothing less than returning renegade states, created in Versailles, back into the fold of new edition of the Russian Empire. In June 1940 two most important Versailles signatories unexpectedly found itself on the ropes: British army was evicted from the continent and defeated France became a reluctant German ally. Stalin saw this development as an opportunity to make his own move. Hitler never thought that Stalin would interpret Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact as a go-ahead for Soviet territorial acquisitions, and in July 1940, as soon as Soviet rapid takeover of Baltic States became a reality, he became frustrated enough to order the first variant of Barbarossa to be drafted. By the fall of 1940 Stalin entrenched himself in two very important salients, protruding far to the west: Polish-Lithuanian (Byalostock) Salient along the border of East Prussia, and most importantly, Western Ukrainian (or Lviv) Salient, where he could threaten not only to cut East Prussia from the rest of Germany, as was prescribed by the Red Army’s plan, but capture important Silesia industrial region, and most of all, destroy Romanian oil industry.

In theory, both salients would make formidable natural defensive “bastions” against German hypothetical attack, if used correctly. However Stalin hadn’t envisioned this “defense” scenario, which for him was synonymous to “defeatist”. Later, as an afterthought, Stalin was complimented with creation of 500-km long defense zone, extended from the old border to the west, and that extra space undoubtedly increased spatial “friction” and put additional strain on the German offensive. Unfortunately, this effect was almost cancelled by the hostility of the “sovetized” population of the new territories, unreliability of the newly raised “aboriginal” divisions (during his interrogation General Pavlov cited treachery of the Lithuanian divisions as one of the main reasons for Soviet defeat in Byalostock pocket), and disarmament and abandonment of the URs (Fortified Areas) and other military installations on the old border.

Second, in general, the very conception of the “nation-state”, even smallest, born by the French Revolution, remained quite foreign for both Germany and, especially, for the Soviet Union and now Russia. As a result, interests of small Baltic states, stuck between major competing powers and ideologies were blatantly disregarded. This certainly constitutes a major issue in our days, and in fact,United Nations was created, with USSR as one of five founding nations, exactly in order to solve this problem. However it wasn’t quite worrisome if judged against political and moral criteria, existed even as recently as 70 years ago. Propensity to treat current norms of international law as ahistorical, meaning always existed, can lead to some interesting speculations.

For example, what we have to think about Estonian and Latvian divisions, fighting on the Bolshevik side during the civil war in Russia? Were they volunteers, supporting the planet-wide proletarian dictatorship, which then quite logically used the territories of these very countries to stage another round of the world revolution, doing exactly what Baltic volunteers reportedly dreamed of just 20 years before? Or were they just a bunch of mercenaries, guns for hire, lavishly compensated with the funds, looted by Bolsheviks from the Tzarist Russia coffins?

Or, no doubt, that the bloody Napoleonic Wars, if judged from the moral grounds of 2011, would qualify as war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, and such, and if they happened now, Emperor would found himself in the dock of Hague International Court of Justice, with thousands of eager witnesses and pending lawsuits from millions of mistreated and misplaced from all over Europe.

Or, taking it to the extreme, if we set our sites on the Greek Mythology, wouldn’t it be appropriate to charge Heracles post factum with the cruel treatment of endangered species for slaughtering Hydra of Lerna and on top of it, ticket him for sanitation violations incurred during the cleansing of the Augeas stables?

Well, Heracles, reportedly, passed away many thousands years ago, Napoleon died in 1821, Stalin in 1953, Hitler in 1945, Estonian and Latvian Red Army mercenaries (if there are any left alive) already retired, so this is a bit too late to lecture them all about their criminal deeds. We live now in quite a different world, and it’s about time to move on.

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“Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny” by R.H.S. Stolfi

“Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny” by R.H.S. Stolfi

New biography “Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny” by R.H. S.Stolfi will be published in October 2011, available for pre-orders now on amazon.com. Stolfi is well-known for his “NATO under attack”, written with his co-author von Mellentin in 1980s, revisionist “Hitler’s Panzers East”, brilliant, but taken apart by mainstream critics, and follow-up companion, excellent “German Panzers on the Offensive Russian Front, North Africa 1941-1942″.

In  “Hitler’s Panzers East” Stolfi argues that the turning point of the Second World War came in the beginning of August 1941, when German Army, after successful reduction of Smolensk Pocket stood idly in mere 300 km from Moscow from 3 August to October 1,  waiting when sideshow operations in Leningrad and Kiev areas will be completed. If only Hitler ordered full-scale attack directly on Moscow around August 5, USSR capital could be taken, Soviet Armies in the North and Eastern Ukraine, unable to fight for long with inverted fronts, could collapse, and Stalin’s Empire would eventually crumble in 1942, or earlier.

From the military point of view Stolfi’s analysis is quite plausible. Well-known facts, if taken without prejudice, tend to support his views. Germans were able to come perilously close to Moscow in November 1941, taking Krukovo and Krasnaya Polyana suburbs and even making foray in the city proper on the bridge across the Volga Canal, less than 1 mile distance from the “Rechnoi Vokzal” subway station on the line, leading directly to Kremlin. In August situation was much more favorable for the Germans than in November. More available German forces, less Soviet, no “Siberian” troops from the East, no T-34s in noticeable numbers, no even makeshift defensive positions, no mud on the roads, clear skies for Luftwaffe support, longer days for panzer and motorized infantry operations. All these factors could lead to the even larger version of the “Great October Panic” and prompt eviction of Soviet forces from the Moscow Defense Area. According to Stolfi all this never happened in reality not because of increasing Soviet resistance, but due to Hitler’s “siege” mentality and peculiar conservative, “hedge” mindset, manifesting itself in his over-cautious decisions and propensity for the lesser, secondary, sideshow operations.

Hopefully, with Stolfi’s help, we will be getting more insights into the mind of one of these “Hegel’s impossibly rare world historical personalities”. Please standby for the forthcoming AllWorldWars review.

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