Talk:Eastern Front (World War II)/Archive 9

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Why are the soviet 1-2 million dead fast conscrips forgotten ? Blablaaa (talk) 23:16, 14 April 2010 (UTC) the "Wordl War II casualties" article gives 1.5 . they shoulöd be included.

Two Western scholars, Michael Ellman and S. Maksudov (Soviet Deaths in the Great Patriotic War: A Note. Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 46, No. 4, Soviet and East European History (1994), pp. 671-680) have analysed Soviet population losses during WWII. I reproduce their conclusions in full:
"(1) The majority of Soviet war deaths were non-military. Most of the Soviet citizens who died in the war were civilians.
(2) The official figure from 1990 onwards of the population loss of the USSR as a result of the war was 26-27 millions. This figure consists almost entirely of excess deaths. It also includes, however, to an uncertain extent, net emigration. It is an estimate of 'population loss during the war' and includes both victims of Soviet repression and Soviet citizens who died fighting on the German side. The figure of 26-27 million fits in well with current knowledge and seems relatively reliable. The main area of doubt concerns the possible underestimate of the population of the territories annexed in 1939-40 (and remaining in the USSR after 1945) and in 1944-45. This may well have produced an underestimate of the total population loss, but the underestimate of the number of war deaths would be less of an underestimate because of the substantial emigration from the newly annexed territories.
(3) The 26-27 million figure is not a complete estimate of the population loss by the territories which formed the USSR after 1945, since it excludes the population loss of almost 2 million Germans, Finns and Japanese expelled from (or who fled from) territories occupied by the USSR.
(4) The 26-27 million figure understates the demographic effect of the war since it excludes the results of the fall in the birth rate during the war. Allowing for this, the hypothetical demographic loss of the USSR resulting from the war at the end of 1945 (i.e. the difference between the actual population on 31 December 1945 and an estimate of what it would have been then in the absence of the war) is roughly 35-36 million. The precise figure depends on the counterfactual assumption made about the birthrate in the absence of the war (if the prewar crude birth rate is used it would be about 40 million) and the estimate used for wartime births. The total demographic effect at later dates is still higher.
(5) The current official figure for military losses is 8.7 million. There are reasons for thinking that, as an estimate of deaths caused by the war of those serving in the regular armed forces (including the border troops and internal troops of the NKVD) it is about 900 000 too high. On the other hand, it excludes deaths among conscripts captured before they reached their unit and deaths of non-conscripted fighters not in the regular armed forces, such as partisans, local anti-aircraft defences, police in frontier areas, militarised transport employees, militarised fire service employees etc.
(6) The main unresolved issues at present in this area concern the breakdown of non-military casualties, although some preliminary work has already been done on this."
My conclusion is that the figures presented in the article are correct and adding 1.5 million would be a synthesis. They are already listed as civilian losses.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:43, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
my conclusion is 1.5 million fast concrips are military. listing them as civilians is faking statistics and excluding 1.5 million soldiers is .... . the world 2 casualties page includes them , then this "subpage" should not do different . if u want do it different than u should discuss with the guys who decided to include them on the world war 2 casualties pageBlablaaa (talk) 23:46, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a source for itself. If most reliable sources state that the military losses of 8.7 million is a correct number (or probably even too high), we have simply stick to these sources. With regards to the WWII casualties article, it clearly separates military losses and conscript reservist losses, and it is correct, because these men even got no armament, were not assigned to any military units, and, by all commonsensual criteria were civilians.--Paul Siebert (talk) 03:48, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
i will ask the guys of the world war 2 casualties page what they think about the conscripts. i really dont understand why this page includes them and u dont want here on this subpage. That wiki is no source is correct but not what i mean. the world war 2 casualties page carefully written and i simply ask myself why u think u know it better like them. who decided here that conscripts are civilians? regarding the too low: even on the battle of kursk(43) research of red army soldiers graves show that many of them were not even listed men. but i guess we both will never know how much soviets really died. Blablaaa (talk) 08:22, 15 April 2010 (UTC)


Belarusian Central Rada was nominally the government of Belarus from 1943–44. Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia was a NGO. Both of them weren't states, therefore, I see no reason to include them into the Belligerent section.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:20, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

I partly agree. However, if this is the standard, why are the Polish Underground "State" and the Polish Committee of National Liberation listed as belligerents? Both of these could hardly be considered states, the former being a resistance movement, and the latter a "committee for liberation" (like the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia). This is a double standard at its worst. Lt.Specht (talk) 01:38, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

That is simple. Poland never surrendered, so it continued to be a belligerent from 1 Sept 1939 to May 8 1945. Therefore both the Polish Underground "State" and the Polish Committee of National Liberation may be considered successors of the pre-war Polish state. In addition, they performed really independent military activity and fielded a considerable amount of troops. Nothing of that was done by Rada or a committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia. Similarity in names is misleading in that case.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:11, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
In regards to the Polish Committee (which was only recognized by the Soviets), taken from its wiki page, "It exercised control over Polish territory re-taken from Nazi Germany and was fully sponsored and controlled by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics", "the Soviet Union started to transfer power in the Soviet-controlled areas of Lublin, Białystok, Rzeszów and Warsaw Voivodships to the PKWN. Actual control over those areas remained in the hands of the NKVD and the Red Army", "Similar events took place in many of the other East European states under control of the Red Army, as, for example, in Romania in March, 1945, where a Communist government was elected through a combination of vote manipulation, elimination and forced mergers of competing parties." Seems like a "State" on par with Rada and Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia (which did too field a large amount of troops and performed nominally independent, Russian Liberation Army, Rada also provied a significant amount of manpower and formed Commando units). The Polish Underground State could be arguably a belligerent, but the Polish Committee of National Liberation is no more qualified than Rada or the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia. Sources are needed for both the Underground State and the Polish Committee of National Liberation which claim they are belligerents, in my opinion, if both Rada and the Committee of Russian Liberation are going to be double standard-excluded from the infobox. Lt.Specht (talk) 02:54, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
Of course, the Polish Committee was recognized only by the Soviets (that, by contrast, didn't recognized the London Poles), however, it eventually laid a ground for formation of the new Polish state, People's Republic of Poland. The latter was subsequently recognized by other states (including Western democraties), that post factum legitimated the Commitee. With regards to Soviet control of Wojsko Polskie, I don't think a degree of such a control was higher than that of Anglo-American control of Free French forces.
By contrast, Rada was not recognized even by Germans themselves, they fielded no military troops in their own uniform, the Russian Liberation Army didn't exist until 1944 and it participated in almost no hostilities against the Red Army. In addition, the linkage between the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia and the Russian Liberation Army in unclear for me.--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:02, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
Belorussian Central Rada is about as much separate combatant as Reichskommissariat Ostland and Reichskommissariat Ukraine or even less. Although on other hand I am not really sure if comparison of Polish Committee and Free French is appropriate either. Anyway there seems to be annoying tendency to put as much separate combatants/commanders in infoboxes as possible, making infoboxes annoyingly long, and this article is pretty extreme case of that.--Staberinde (talk) 10:25, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
I didn't compare political autonomy of Polish Committee and Free French. My major point was that (at least, initially) French forces were subordinated to the Anglo-American high command, similarly to the Polish troops in East, that were subordinated to the Soviets. This fact, taken separately, means nothing.--Paul Siebert (talk) 13:39, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
I think it's appropriate to include the Free French into the belligerents box. After all, like Poland, it served on behalf of the Soviet Union, and it did take an active role within the campaign. Ricky id (talk) 10:01, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Bandera as a commander

Stepan Bandera shouldn't be listed as a commander as he was in charge of a political movement (OUN) not a state or an army. And Bandera was allied with Nazi Germany only until 1941 (basically when they advanced into Ukraine). I think he should be removed.

At least state that he was a commander on Germany's side until 1941. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:15, 26 May 2010 (UTC)


Rudger Overmans 1 million is estimated POWS killed Confirmed are 363,000

Overy clearly writes 3,6 Million confirmed killed

For Estimated Soviets POW killed then you get 5 million

But you can not compare estimated killed for one side and have confirmed, and even down graded for the other side

You are comparing 2 different things.

The estimated includes, people who died whilst they were surrendering, and there are no hard facts behind estimated just as the word says estimated.

But there are hard figures on 3,6 million Soviet POW killed in German camps from 41-45

And 363,000 German Pows killed in camps from 1941-1955 fifty five

Townssequal (talk) 21:46, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Can't really understand any of this. If you are citing numbers from Overy, which I believe you are, the numbers you are citing for German POWS is according to Soviet records, "Soviet records show...", which are hardly a neutral source. The number you also cite is only the number of German deaths as according to Soviet records, not all Axis deaths. Overmans also notes the official Soviet records number, then gives an independent estimation, which was in the article before. Coincidentally, the numbers given for Soviet deaths from Overy is "2.54 million to 3.3 million". The other two sources which were cited for Soviet deaths gave the figures of roughly 1.2–3.3 million, which wording was probably chosen before to include those estimations as well. Lt.Specht (talk) 08:56, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

The problem is that you are using confirmed Soviet powes dead by German hands, VS estimated Germans dead by Soviet hands, either you use confirmed German vs Confirmed Soviet which is 363K confirmed Dead German in soviet hands vs 3,6 million confirmed Dead Soviets by German hands OR you use estimated vs estimated, and do not mix the 2. And Rudger Overman Estimates that 1 million Germans were killed whilst surrendering or in transit to surrender and the same figure for the Soviets is 5,6 million, and in NO sources do they states that ONLY 1 million Soviet pows died, show me what page in what books says that. And you can not use the source that clearly says 3,6 million died, and use that exact same source to say 1.2 million died. Richard Overys Book Stalins Russia, Hitlers Germany clearly says 3.6 million it does not anywhere say 1.2 million or 3.3 million but 3.6 Townssequal (talk) 12:51, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Ukrainie as a belligerent.

I removed Ukraine from the belligerents' list. First, the source seems to be incorrect, the actual source seems to be not Abbott Peter, Pinak Eugene. Ukrainian Armies 1914 - 1955 (2004), OspreyPublishing, p41, but Peter Abbott, Oleksiy Rudenko Ukrainian Armies 1914-55, Volume 412 of Men-at-arms series Osprey Publishing, 2004 ISBN 1841766682, 9781841766683. Secondly, I do not understand what concrete source's statement supports the idea that UIA represented whole Ukraine (please, provide a quote). Thirdly, UIA involvement in Eastern Front hostilities insufficient to talk about it as a separate belligerent. --Paul Siebert (talk) 04:24, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Re: Silver bullet. Don't understand what do you mean. I always support a uniform application of similar criteria to all sides. If I missed something, please let me know.
1. Re: "A non-seperate UIA attacked both Germans and Soviets during the same period" 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Galicia (1st Ukrainian) had only one engagement with the Red Army (Brody). During that battle it fought with (not against) other German divisions, so I do not understand what do you mean. If you mean anti-partisan activity, I doubt it can be considered a separate belligerence.
Re: 2. See the section below.
Re: 3. I didn't remove Croatia because, by contrast to Spain, I found no information on that account (neither pro nor contra). However, you have to take into account that Croatia, by contrast to Spain, was an Axis country. One way or the another, it is not in the list now.--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:09, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
PS. Sorry, I just noticed it is still in the list. I am not sure if we really need to have it here, however I am still hot sure if its removal is completely justified. Let's discuss it if you want.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:29, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

I did not mistook the UIA and 14th SS for one unit. However, the 14th waffenSS division was the sole military unit composed from Ukrainians that was involved in more or less serious engagement with regular Soviet troops. With regards to UIA, it was just a was a group of Ukrainian nationalist partisans acting in behalf of theOrganization of Ukrainian Nationalists. The latter was a Ukrainian political movement, so it could neither represent the Ukrainian nation as whole (you are absolutely right here) nor be considered a separate belligerent (CPSU, or American Democrats weren't a separate belligerents in WWII).--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:56, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Re: 1. No. In actuality, I didn't mix them, my point was that 14th division was the only unit composed of the Ukrainians that was involved in more or less serious engagement with the Red Army. Contribution of other Ukrainian formed troops was too negligible to speak seriously about a belligerence.
Re: 2. Al-Qaida didn't claim it represented any nation. It represented itself, and, in that sense, can be considered a belligerent. It is impossible to compare relative military contribution of Al-Qaida in the Afghan war and UIA's contribution in Eastern Front.
Re: 3. I didn't compare UIA and US democrats. I compared OUN and democrats. Democrats, as a ruling party, waged the war against the Axis, however, not Democrats, but the US was a belligerent. We cannot list every political party, having or not having their own military wing, as a separate belligerent.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:18, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

By that logic Stepan Bandera shouldn't be listed as a commander as he was in charge of a political movement (OUN) not a state or army. And Bandera was allied with Nazi Germany only until 1941 (basically when they advanced into Ukraine). I think he should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:30, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

The overwhelming majority of Ukrainians fought in the RKKA. Statistically, they killed more axis troops than Americans. Bandera and such cannot serve as a representative of the Ukrainian people. With res[ect, Ko Soi IX (talk) 14:15, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Cold War Propaganda cliches

There are a lot of propaganda cliches in text.

  • "Nazi-Soviet pact" is completely incorrect. "Side A - side B pact" is usually considered as military pact. But it was non-aggression pact, not military one.
  • "Stalin refused to believe early arrival of war". No source for it.
  • "After Great Purge Stalin promoted unexperienced commanders". There is presumption that former commanders were more experienced. And which source claims it? Only Goebbels leaflets which were dropped to Soviet trenches in 1941. Executed high commanders had almost same experience as new commanders. For example, Tukhachevsky was born in 1893, Blucher in 1889, Timoshenko in 1895, Zhukov in 1896, Konev in 1897, Vasilevsky in 1895. Military service - since 1914. In Red Army - since 1917-1918. Where is difference? Maybe, Tukhachevsky was very experienced in 1920 when he was Front Commander? And Treaty or Riga was result of his "experience"?
    Also there is an assumption that unexperienced officers became after Great Purge. But unexperienced officers were result of expansion of Red Army. Red Army multiplied in 3-4 times in 1939-1941, so it created a lot of vacancies for officers.
  • "Stalin promoted obscurantists like Kulik who opposed mechanization". Yes, Kulik opposed. But he wasn't Narkom of Defence. Kliment Voroshilov and Semion Timoshenko were Narkom of Defence, and they reduced quantity of cavalry divisions. They were for mechanization of Red Army.
  • "Joseph Stalin bore the greatest responsibility for the disasters at the beginning of the war". Stalin became main military leader only on 8 August 1941. For which disaster he bore responsibility? Maybe, for Bialostok-Minsk pocket which was created before 3 July 1941? For Uman cauldron which was created in 2 August? For Smolensk and Roslavl pocket created in July 1941? Or maybe he bore responsibility for Viazma and Briansk pockets? Front Commanders promised Stalin to stop Wehrmacht under Viazma and Briansk, Stalin trusted to more competent Konev and Yeriomenko - and that's his guilt? Only battle of Kiev may be considered as result of Stalin decisions.
  • "Following the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland, the Baltic states and Bessarabia in 1939–40, Stalin insisted that every fold of the new territories should be occupied; this move westward left troops far from their depots in salients that left them vulnerable to encirclement". It's look like that Red Army didn't build bases in West Bielorussia, Ukraine, Baltic states and Bessarabia, that there wasn't Molotov Line there. It's comlete lie.
  • "Stalin was desperate not to give Hitler any provocation that could be used as an excuse for an attack; this caused him to refuse to allow the military to go onto the alert even as German troops gathered on the borders and German reconnaissance planes overflew installations." He allowed the military to go onto the alert - in the night from 21 June to 22 June.
  • "Stalin ensured that propaganda always mentioned his leadership of the war". Where is source?
  • "The German invasion therefore caught the Soviet military and leadership largely by surprise, even though Stalin did receive a message from his intelligence detailing information on the attack". Another myth. No intelligence message detailed the time and nature of attack. There was a lot of false alarm, and Red Army generals decided it was desinformation. And no source told about 22 June, no source told that the war would begin without declaration. On the contrary, Soviet intelligence wrote that Eastern offensive would begin only after fall of Britain or after German ultimatum. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:07, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Hello I notice you mention Cold-War cliches. But your list (the ones I am familiar with) would all seem to be correct. For example the Red Army and society was hampered by Stalin's purges. The Soviet and Nazi's cooprated in dividing up Eastern Europe, militarily in Poland. The Soviet Union was warned repeatedly that Hitler would invade by Churchill for example, but Stalin refused to believe it. Is this Russian histiography? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:58, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

The whole issue of the impact of the purges on the command structure and the ability of those who led the Red Army in 1941 is entirely speculative. Indeed, those in the high command who are credited with the success of the Red Army in 1945 are also those who are in command positions at the start of the war in 1941. Zhukov himself was Chief of Staff right through the preparations for the war, until July 1941, after which he was demoted temporarily.

It is ultimately very hard to say who bore the most responsibility for the disaster of June and July 1941, but I note that it is common to complain that the French lost in 1940 because all of their generals were old, and had outdated methodologies, while the exact opposite is argued about Russia in 1941, in that it is common to say that it was because the most "experienced" officers were purged.

To rephrase this argument could we say that the French lost in 1941 because their officers were the most "experienced", and the Russians got badly mauled in 1941 because they had new younger generals in command who supported modern theories of armored warfare? Indeed it was D.G. Pavlov who took the brunt of the blame for the loss at Bialystok and he was the most experienced armored warfare captain that the Russian possessed since he was chief of Russian armoured operations in Spain during the civil war.

More bluntly one might ask, perhaps the French general staff might have needed some purging, given the results that Gaemlin provided in 1940 for the French. He was indeed a very experienced officer.

Personally I think one has to look deeper into this riddle because in my view the mythology that command incompetence was the key to failure in 1941 was an idea that took root in 1941 when Pavlov and others were blamed for the disaster: on this basis D.G. Pavlov took the brunt of the blame. This view was largely accepted in official circles in the west at the time because Russia was so closely allied with the Western powers. After the war this view seems to shift slightly in the west, with the addition of the idea that the incompetence of command was the result of Stalin's purges.


Why is S. Bandera marked with polish flag? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:59, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Maybe it was changed because Bandera had Polish citizenship? -11:13, 24 July 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Reason for Germany's Defeat in Introduction

I think its too strong to say

The Eastern Front was decisive in determining the outcome of World War II, eventually serving as the main reason for Germany's defeat.

It could easily be argued that declaration of war on the USA was the main reason, if there is actually a main reason. Without US involvement, North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal would most probably have been lost to the Axis. There would have been no Italian Landing and no D-Day. Allied strategic bombing would be limited to night bombing by RAF Lancasters, and no British fighters could fly escourt beyond France. German industrial capacity would have been greatly increased, they would have had more resources to devote to the Eastern Front, they might have developed a strategic bomber force instead of focusing on fighter production etc. In any case the War would have lasted much longer and Germany would have had a much longer window to bring into mass production many of its more advanced weapons like the Elektroboat, Jet Aircraft....

All this is conjecture...but its enough doubt to show that the Eastern Front was not the main reason for Germany's defeat. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Patrickobi (talkcontribs) 09:31, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

I think it is perfectly apt that the Easter Front is listed as the main reason. So many other factors were crucial, and each can be argued its critical place in the scheme, but none resulted in so many casualties to Germany as did the Eastern Front. Binksternet (talk) 14:50, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Some scholars (e.g. Glantz) argue that after Stalingrad and Kursk the USSR was able to win the war alone (although at terrible cost). The opposite was not true: neither the US, nor the UR were able to defeat Germany had it been victorious in the East: imagine, Hitler's military plants moved to Ural, so no strategic bombing is more possible, Germany got an access to virtually unlimited resources (oil, grain, tungsten), 80% of Wehrmacht (not the pale shadow of the Wehrmacht's self that met the Americans in Normandy in 1944) relocated to Western Europe and Africa, Japan doesn't have to keep hre best fighting force, Kwantung Army, in Manchuria, and can relocate it, e.g. to Burma. Although the US would probably be able to protect themselves against German landing in any event, noone could guarantee survival of the Western democracies in that case. Therefore, the lede statement is quite correct.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:35, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Some scholars (e.g. Glantz) argue that after Stalingrad and Kursk the USSR was able to win the war alone (although at terrible cost) . after what? after stalingrad or Kursk. I highly doubt that glantz claims the red army was able to win the war after stalingrad without allies. Also never forget that the pure fact that great britain existed was enough to tie up german pretty much resources. Calling something the "major" factor would imply this factor alone was enough ? is this correct? my english is not perfect.Blablaaa (talk) 07:12, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, why do you think that Red Army couldn't defeat Wehrmacht after Stalingrad without Allies?

Six obvious things may be worth mentioning, just to put this in perspective, though to be clear, I do agree that the greatest damage to Germany was done by the Red Army (in the interests of honesty, I must admit my bias: I'm British). 1) They started out on the wrong side: The British Commonwealth and the French were fighting from 1939, the British Commonwealth being the only forces to fight Germany throughout (for over a year, this was done alone). On the other hand, the Soviets were fighting hand in hand WITH Germany for the first couple of years, and instead of fighting on behalf of others only responded when they themselves were invaded. Given that it was the independence of Poland that was the initial issue, it is only expediency and treaty technicalities that prevented a British and French declaration of war on the USSR as well, for the same reasons. 2) Geography: The Soviets were fighting on their home soil for the most part, only after Hitler had taken over their territory quite substantially - geography was a major factor in any case, the elimination making Russia and Germany neighbours - no Eastern D-Day was necessary. Moreover, Berlin is in the East of Germany, and hence nearer the USSR. 3) Numbers: More Germans died on the Eastern Front than elsewhere, but several times more Russians died - due to their Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, the Soviets had put themselves in a situation where they had to fight for their survival - a sixth (?) of their own dying. 4) Methods: Given this last point, their greatest advantage was a huge population and a dictator who didn't care about sacrificing this population: "One dead is a tragedy - a million dead is a statistic." 5) Focus: The Soviets were only fighting on this front, whereas the other allies were spread over the world - also fighting the Italians in Africa and more significantly the Japanese across the Pacific, an arena the Soviets had no involvement in until after the US bombed Hiroshima (and Russia still claims Sakhalin, spoils from this venture). 6) Most obviously, the damage to Europe inflicted by the Soviet government for the next several decades, and the massacres, genocides and war crimes committed by them, make the defeat of the Germans look almost pointless in Soviet-occupied territory. (talk) 00:39, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Hey, Cold War was over 20 years ago, but you're carefully writing that era's cliches about USSR:) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:11, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
I'd like reveal you some secrets. Berlin wasn't in the East of THAT Germany. Berlin was in the center of Third Reich. Before atomic bombing of Japan it suffered a lot of terror bombings with casual bombs. Japan surrendered only after Manchurian operation. "Every sixth was killed" - it was Poland, not USSR. 190 million (Soviet population) wasn't advantage before 300 million (Third Reich and conquered territories). Also I really want to listen to cruel stories, where USSR fought hand-in-hand with Germany for 1.5 years, why Britain and France couldn't declare war to USSR for Poland in 1939, but were ready to declare it for Finland in 1940, and what damage was inflicted by Soviet government in Eastern Europe.--12:37, 30 August 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Hey, don't get too annoyed - remember my opening sentence. First point: this is an historical article, so the state of the former USSR today is irrelevant. Which cliches in particular? That Stalin wasn't a very nice guy? Second point: yes, it's true - for much of the war Berlin was in the centre, but under the 3rd Reich Germany's geography changed quite rapidly, and probably wouldn't have extended quite so far East if the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact had not enabled it to. The point remains: Germany's and Russia's cooperative gobbling of Poland resulted in an immediate land boundary between the 3rd Reich and a more than twice as populous USSR, and Hitler's invasion (though initially successful due to the Soviet government's initial incompetence) was ultimate suicide. Third point: I doubt it was the Manchurian operation, since something rather more important happened on August 9 1945, other than that - and yet another thing happened three days before... and they were rather terrible, too. 3rd point: By 'every sixth was killed' I refer to the USSR, and I retract - an eighth is more accurate. Nevertheless it is clear a lot of good people died, and some would say far more than would have even under the circumstances, had the Soviet government and dictator of the time not had a murderous ideology. You seem to get quite emotional and rather incoherent towards the end of the paragraph, and I genuinely can't make out what you're getting at. The UK and US never declared war on the USSR over Finland. By the standards of 1939 they may well have, had they not had other issues closer to home to deal with. Finland allied itself with Hitler briefly to save itself from Stalin, just as the UK allied itself to the Stalin to save itself from Hitler. Finally, are you asking what damage was done by the Soviet government in Eastern Europe? From the kulaks through to the gulags, and decades of murderous economic, religious and personal oppression resulting in deaths by the shipload? The propaganda wasn't THAT convincing, was it? But let's not make this discussion page a political fight blog (possibly too late). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:49, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Notice that up to 80% of German divisions were destroyed by Soviets. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:50, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Is the postal stamp an adequate alternative for the Reichstag photo?

I don't think it is. Firstly, it is a primitive picture which only schematically depicts the historical photo. This is like presenting a sketch of Guernica, made by a child, as a free equivalent of the Picasso's painting. Secondly, the post stamp was issued in DDR, now non-existent Soviet puppet state, which also diminishes the value of this picture.
In summary, although I appreciate J Milburn's efforts to find a free equivalent, the image provided by him is hardly an adequate equivalent.--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:34, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

It would probably be better to continue this discussion there [1].--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:25, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
No, it wouldn't. I've now understood at least part of your last post. Honestly, completely honestly, do we need another massive long discussion? Ok, the image I added may not be ideal for a number of reasons, but at least it's free. This article does not seem to suffer too terribly from the overuse of non-free content, which is a great thing- let's try and keep it that way. J Milburn (talk) 00:46, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
File:Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R77767, Berlin, Rotarmisten Unter den Linden.jpg may be a better alternative than the postage stamp. If there is any one article where the Raising a flag over the Reichstag should go, it is the Battle of Berlin. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:47, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Belligerents Question?

Does anyone know why the Hellenic State is listed as a Belligerent, they didn't send troops surely did they? I haven't heard this before. Free France listed as being on the Soviet's side because they contributed a fighter squadron, but so did Great Britain (according to the Free French Fighter Squadron wikipage, I am afraid to say I haven't heard this before) but is not listed. Why not the British Empire and the United States which provided substantial aid (which Stalin and other leading Communists said won the war I believe but not sure who said they said that!) and naval forces deliverying aid (and took substantial casualties for the British at least) to the Soviet Union in convoy (as well as the Anglo-American bombing raids which is listed as being the most effective help offered by the Wesren Allies in Soviet/Russian textbooks I believe). Why for example isn't Vichy France listed (which definetly sent troops in a Legion) and Indeed (Fascist) Spain? If the Hellenic State is listed what about Fascist volunteers like Leon Degrelle should they get a mention (I notice that on some of the battles in the Second Gulf War 'Foreign Jihadis' are listed, maybe something like that is needed?)? On the other Side The Soviet Union is listed but what about the various 'Free Forces'(i.e. Communist controlled) they set up such as Polish and Czechslovakian, there were Austrian and German 'Committees' too (the German one did field troops at the end of the war certainly). I suppose in the same logic there were the puppet Russian forces Germany at the end of the war too. What about Estonia and Latvia both sides conscripted forces there as well as various formations in the SS towards the end of the war. What about the 'Forest Brothers' who fought both the Nazi's and the Communists in the Ukraine and (to a smaller extent both) in the Baltic states when the Germans were retreating? Should a mention of the (Communist) Partisans be mentioned? Including the Polish home army which was an ally at times with the Soviet Union and an enemy before (presumably in the 1939-41 occupation though I don't know this for a fact) and afterwards? What about the amaller Polish Communist underground-army. The Warsaw Gehetto uprising and Jewish Partisans? The various Yugoslavian Partisans (he Eastern Front eventually reached here after all)? The SOE (including Jewish members from the Mandate of Palastine) and also the OSS. Crikey! This is getting confusing! It was meant as more of a question rather than a rant honest! What do people think. Is there a format that should be followed for this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:50, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

I dont think it makes much sense to mention the Hellenic state. It was only a puppet government without much support and didnt sent any troops. If we add them we have to add other Axis puppet governments like Serbia, Albania, Macedonia and so on too, despite they had no significance for the eastern front. StoneProphet (talk) 14:24, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Occupation and repression

Please proove that unknown corpses on the picture

Victims of Soviet NKVD in Lviv, June 1941.

are political prisoners and unknown place is Lviv in june 1941. If not, delete it or change description (killed jews etc.).

Also, note that this article is about eastern front, including heroic and bloody struggle with fascism, this article is not dedicated to Stalin repressions. It is not political ring for polish "patriots" etc., so if you are crazy about Stalin-thrillers and corresponding blablabla you can go to relevant page and troll there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Please note that political statements are to be avoided in Wikipedia (see WP:NPOV). This image is derived from book Lwów pod okupacją sowiecką (Lviv under Soviet occupation) by Jerzy Węgierski (published in Warsaw, 1991) and I see no reason to question its authenticity. DJ Sturm (talk) 15:38, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I am sure that this is an interesting book and Jerzy Węgierski is true przekopatriot, but can you, or, maybe, Jerzy Węgierski proove that corpses are 1)political prisoners 2)executed by NKVD 3)in Lviv. However, I think that it is off-topic, and should be removed and placed in appropriate article anyway. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
The book by Jerzy Węgierski is enough proof for us until we see another book which refutes it. Binksternet (talk) 05:40, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

There is a whole article No need to place this content in each page you see in wiki.

The following pictures were added in order to better illustrate the section:

File:Hjalmar Mäe welcomes soldiers of 20th Waffen-SS Division 1944.jpg
Hjalmar Mae welcomes soldiers of Estonian 20th Waffen-SS Division
Map from Stahlecker's report entitled "Jewish Executions Carried Out by Einsatzgruppe A". Estonia is marked as "judenfrei"

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:34, 25 November 2010 (UTC)


Ok, this article has real problems with ideology generally.

This is an article to do with a military conflict between two major powers during WWII on the Eastern Front At the beginning of the article the reader starts of with a lengthy explanation of the terms of use of the term "World War Two -- Eastern Front -- Great Patriotic War, which is boring, and seems to be the result of some discussions people are having about calling the war by its "Soviet/Russian" name and the generally accepted western English name. Is it really necessary to do this right at the beginning of the article? Can't this be trimmed down, with section spun off on "naming" to other pages?

More importantly, we move to the "Ideologies" section and what we have is a few "theoreticals" about why the Soviet Union and National Socialist Germany hated each other. I don't see any similar discussion of politics in any other section about WWII about what was made Hitler despise the French "ideology" and I don't think we need one here. Why?

Case in point about the problem of discussing "ideology" in this "military" article is the segment that claims Stalin paid "lip service" to spreading Marxism and Leninism globally, while plotting to make "socialism in one country" and using "socialism in one country" as "excuse to industrialize". This is highly, highly theoretical, theoretical and political, not to mention ideologically disputable. I mean (seriously) did Great Britain use "capitalism" as an "excuse" to "industrialize"... and does one really need an "excuse" to industrialize? What does industrialization have to do with "socialism in one country", as opposed to "world socialism". What were they supposed to do? De-industrialize in order to create "world socialism"? Bit silly, that.

These issues are way to complex and "ideological" to compress into a single paragraph, and these subjects deserve their own pages to do service to them, and they do not really have a place in a discussion of the grand strategic and military activities in this front in WWII. If people want to do deeper research into the complex issues of National Socialism under Hitler, and Soviet ideology under Stalin, they can look for those subjects elsewhere.

This article should try and restrict itself to the main lines of the actual military conflict. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:10, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

I do not agree. Every problem can be compressed into a few sentences. The article would lack dimension if it had only combat activities sections. Part of the causes of the war were the ideologies. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 17:15, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Sure, and that should be properly contained in the more general article about World War II, not an article about the "Eastern Front" which is a specific military operational theater of World War Two. You will not find similar discussions of ideologies in Wikipedia pages relating to other theaters of operations, such as the Normandy invasion, which begins simply with an introduction, a discussion of the strategic parameters of those operations, and then Allied perpetration and German preparations and so forth. Same with the article on Fall Weiss, which offers a brief summary of the basis of the territorial dispute. The articles on Fall Gelb and Fall Rot are similarly lacking in any discussion of fundamental ideological disputes between the parties.

This article seems to be doing too many things at once. It is either a discussion of the "Eastern Front", as a military operational theater in World War two, or it is actually an article on "the Great Patriotic war" more generally speaking, in which case it should be titled as that. Indeed, the article should decided what it really is, since it seems redundant in the context of the existing article about "Operation Barbarossa".

If one intends to create an article about the general political basis of the conflict between the Soviet Union and Germany in 1941 beyond military affairs, then it should not be called "Eastern Front". "Front" is specifically a precise military term. Eastern Front, should simply redirect to the Barbarossa article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:37, 25 December 2010 (UTC)


I removed the US from the infobox, because economic aid hardly can be considered as belligerence. --Paul Siebert (talk) 04:32, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Number of Soviet citizens fleeing the Nazi German invasion

Perhaps the numbers of Soviet citizens that were forced out of their homes by Nazi Germany should be added, the estimates are:

  • Contemporary Soviet military affairs: the legacy of World War II, Page 4

Jonathan R. Adelman,Cristann Lea Gibson Another 17 to 25 million people fled eastwards in the path of the German advance in 1941 and 1942

  • The Bread of Affliction: The Food Supply in the USSR During World War II

William Moskoff page 30-31 Gives 16,5 milion

  • US intelligence perceptions of Soviet power, 1921-1946

Léonard Leshuk page 182 In fact though, 20 million was close to the true number of for the post-Barbarossa formal evacuation

Since it seems the largest forced movement of people during the time of WW2 and its aftermath, this perhaps should be added.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 00:09, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Is there any way to find out how many of those millions left their homes voluntarily and how many were victims of deportations (see population transfer in the Soviet Union)? DJ Sturm (talk) 03:22, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Most deportations (except deportation of Volga Germans) took place later, so most probably these 20 million people left their homes voluntarily (or they were the military plants' personnel).--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:04, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
I do not mean they were deportations. I mean that they were forced by Nazi agression.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 10:25, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
As Soviet sources repeatedly described 1941 deportations as "evacuation", I believe that those numbers may include 1941 deportations from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova. DJ Sturm (talk) 13:13, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
These deportations occurred mostly before June 22. The total number of deported after that date was negligible as compared with the number of 20 million.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:47, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, well, we can't be sure that the numbers MyMoloboaccount gave us are only about what happened since June 22, especially if they come originally from Soviet sources. DJ Sturm (talk) 18:28, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
I think MyMoloboaccount should present the quotes from these sources to demonstrate in what context these figures are mentioned. Regarding the validity of the sources, these books seem to be written by Western scholars. If you believe they are not reliable, please, provide an evidence.--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:35, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Template:"Romanian military actions in World War II" on eastern front articles

Hi, I would like to invite some editors for discussion of the use of this Template:Romanian_military_actions_in_World_War_II template, which is spreaded on eastern front articles, here: Template_talk:Romanian_military_actions_in_World_War_II. StoneProphet (talk) 16:47, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

"during the later phases of the conflict"

"during the later phases of the conflict" is in the lead, so it needs to be strong and solid. As far as we know, there was substantial Lend-Lease (and other) support to the USSR from quite early in the campaign, and the support continued until 1945 at least (that's three or four years of support) so I'm puzzled by this caveat in the lead. Can we remove it? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 04:09, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

According to Alexander Hill, The Journal of Military History 71 (July 2007), p. 773–808, only Britain provided help for the USSR in 1941-first half of 1942. American help was essentially limited with thawing of the Soviet assets and allowing them to purchase some armaments and materials. In addition, the USA provided far more help for the UK than for the USSR. However, since British help started to arrive almost immediately after Barbarossa started and, despite its limited scale, had played substantial role during the most critical WWII battles (Moscow and Stalingrad), the "during the later phases of the conflict" refers to the US only. I don't think we need to remove it, just to re-phrase. In addition, since I have no idea on what "financial aid" the lede is talking about (Lend-Lease was a material aid), I removed that.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:39, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I think this is an improvement. However, there is still an issue of emphasis here. The Eastern Front lasted approximately four years, and as I understand it, of that four years, the USA provided help for approximately three years, and the UK for closer to four. The current phrasing could leave the reader wondering if the USA aid was only for the final year or final couple of years of the conflict. It also disrupts the flow of the lead somewhat.
I think the best place for making fine distinctions about how much aid was provided and for how long, is in the body of the article, not in the lead. However, at present, it's in the lead but not discussed at all in the body! How about moving discussion of this (the timing of the aid, not the aid itself) to the relevant section in the body of the article, maybe incorporating the source you mention? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 12:17, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Sorry for not answering immediately. I agree with this your suggestion. What concrete text do you propose?--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:06, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Mistake in the description of one of the photographs on the main "Eastern Front (World War II)" wiki page

One of the description of a photograph on this page suggests that the tanks shown are Tiger 1s. This is incorrect. The photograph is either of a Panther or late model Mark 4 tanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tulsa90 (talkcontribs) 18:42, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Judging by the description of original photograph provided by Bundesarchiv, it is Tiger I. It is definitely not a Panther (the barrel shape is different). It can be (theoretically) Panzer IV, however, it more resembles Tiger I. In any event, if you want to change the caption, please, provide a source.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:00, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

New photos

RIA Novosti donated 100 new photos to Commons. They would be great in this article. [2] USchick (talk) 21:55, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Ukrainian insurgent army were not collaborators

It was built as a military guerrila force against Nazi and communists. (talk) 14:07, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

I agree. If collaborationism is cooperation with enemy forces against one's country, then fighting for the independent Ukraine was not collaborationism, even if partially sharing the same goals with Germans. DJ Sturm (talk) 14:27, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
That is hardly correct. Since no independent Ukraine existed during this time (independent East Ukraine was a co-founder of the USSR, and it voluntarily joined it in 1922, and West Ukraine was a part of Poland, which was annexed to the UkrSSR), their country could be either the USSR (for Eastern Ukrainians), or Poland (for Western Ukrainians). Since Germany was at war against both these countries, any collaboration with Germany is a collaboration with enemy forces. The fact that Ukraine would become independent in future does not change a situation much.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:59, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
The independence of Ukraine is irrelevant here. The UPA troops did not consider themselves neither Polish nor Soviet citizens.--Jaan Pärn (talk) 17:54, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
I understand that. However, do you think self-identification matters in this case? If we take Estonia as an example, we can speak about the citizens of the illegally annexed state, who continued to consider themselves as the citizens of this state, not of the USSR. That fact, not the future re-gaining of independence by Estonia does not allow us to speak about any treason when we discuss Estonians and the USSR during the WWII. However, during the WWII time Ukraine was one of the members of the USSR, and both Eastern and Western Ukraine was a part of this state. Of course, Ukrainian insurgents could consider themselves not the Soviet citizens. However, that does not change the fact that the Ukrainian state did exist during that time, and that it was a part of the USSR, and no other Ukraine (except some self-declared semi-state entity, which was not recognized by anyone) existed during that time.--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:11, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Moreover, following your logic, everyone who claims that he is not a citizen of some certain state (despite his actual legal status) is automatically immune against any accusation in collaboration with enemy of this state...--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:19, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Estonia is a bad example here. Perhaps the involvement of the Palestine Liberation Organization during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be more accurate for people without citizenship. You would not treat the organisation fighting for the unrecognised Palestinian State as Arab collaborators and traitors of Israel just because the latter may have technically considered them Israeli citizens, would you? This article lists the Ukrainian nationalist commanders separately, indicating separate belligerency. They genuinely regarded themselves as citizens of an independent Ukraine, rendering their Polish or Soviet citizenships a mere technicality. This is not a matter you can just formally dismiss.
However, where the Estonian example does apply, is the common situation where an (unrecognised) state has two or more enemies at a time, who are in turn enemies to each other. The traditional concept of collaboration does not apply here, as fighting an enemy would end up on the other enemy's side sooner or later. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 09:12, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
By contrast to Palestine, Ukraine was a state that legally and voluntarily joined the USSR as a co-founder. The annexation of Western Ukraine was questionable, however, (i) it is not questionable now (noone questions the fact that this land belongs to Ukraine as a successor of the UkrSSR), (ii) the goals of the Ukrainian nationalists was not to create the independent state in West Ukraine, but to convert the existing state (East+West Ukraine, i.e. UkrSSR) into the non-Communist independent state. In other words, their action were aimed against the existing Ukrainian state entity (which had equally the same rights as other founding members of the USSR had), so they were insurgents. Although insurgence is not a treason per se, collaboration with the enemy of the current state authorities is. --Paul Siebert (talk) 20:38, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
PS For sources, see, e.g. John A. Armstrong. Collaborationism in World War II: The Integral Nationalist Variant in Eastern Europe. The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 40, No. 3 (Sep., 1968), pp. 396-410. The author speaks about OUN's "affinity" towards Nazism, about strong influence of Italian fascism on EE nationalists, and about their "collaboration" with Nazi, although sometimes "reluctant".--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:54, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
I won't argue against the sources. My point was that I can understand why it is complicated to assess the insurgents as collaborators. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 09:02, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the subject is rather complicated, and, in my opinion, both categorical statements ("they were collaborators" and "they were not collaborators") are oversimplification.--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:45, 18 July 2011 (UTC)


Would it be fair to list Spain as an Axis belligerent, flag and all? It's contribution was certainly up there with Slovokia and Croatia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:43, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

This question has already been discussed. See talk page archives. Although some Spaniards did participate in the Eastern front hostilities as the Wehrmacht soldiers, Spain did not. This country was neutral, its role was just to authorise some of its citizens to take a personal oath to Hitler and to join German armed forces.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:52, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Military casualties

According to German casualties in World War II, German casualties on Eastern Front were 2,742,909 dead as of 12/31/1944. This article says the number was 4,000,000. Both pages are citing the same source, R. Overmans. Is there explanation to this inconsistency?—Евгений Пивоваров (talk) 08:38, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

There is no inconsistency here, because the Eastern Front hostilities ended in May 9, 1945, not in December 12, 1944. In 1945, more than 60% of German troops fought against the Red Army, and, accordingly, more than a half of total casualties in 1945 were sustained in the East. Added together, these figures give 4 millions. --Paul Siebert (talk) 15:47, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
This should be correct. I personally believe that even a larger part than 60 % of the German casualties in 1945 come from the Eastern front, because it was a slightly different kind of war, and the picture I have is that desperation was far more significative in the Eastern parts of Germany.EriFr (talk) 05:45, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Military casualties II

I have a question about the number of German POW dead in Soviet captivity. Of the 2,008,000 men listed as missing or unaccounted for after the war Overmans states that it seems "plausible while not provable" that half (~1,000,000 men) died in Soviet custody. I have never figured out how this statement corresponds with the 363,000 men listed as total number of men dead in Soviet capitivity? EriFr (talk) 20:06, 30 August 2011 (UTC)


fascinating article. but i wonder if many of these writings of the Eastern Front are not missing a bit of the ordinary picture. take the photos for example. most are of fancy german tanks and airplanes. but what of this quote from Horses_in_World_War_II article?

"Infantry and horse-drawn artillery formed the bulk of the German Army throughout the war; only one-fifth of the Army belonged to mobile panzer and mechanized divisions"

Pictures like these are probably more representative of the experience of the average person:

Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-289-1091-26, Russland, Pferdegespann im Schlamm.jpg
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-217-0473-23A, Russland-Süd, Verladen von Pferden.jpg

i don't feel like i have a good feel for where to put this information into the article, but i thought it might be interesting to discuss the issue. Decora (talk) 16:40, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Information about importance of the Eastern Front

I'm sorry but I took the liberty to collapse the discussion above. If valid and/or useful points were made during this discussion, please summarize them below. --ElComandanteChe (talk) 21:19, 6 November 2011 (UTC)