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View Poll Results: Was it a good idea to shoot retreaters.

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Thread: Shoot our Men

  1. #1
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    Default Shoot our Men

    Do you think the Soviet Union had a good idea of shooting the retreaters. What kind of losses did they have with this technique.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GermanSoldier View Post
    Do you think the Soviet Union had a good idea of shooting the retreaters. What kind of losses did they have with this technique.
    Do you actually have an authoritive source that this approach was used?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bas View Post
    Do you actually have an authoritive source that this approach was used?
    I guess there is a logical way into looking at this. I don't have any proof saying that this approach was used, but that contradicts everything that I've learned.

    I'm not saying that it did happen, but I think there is a 50/50 probability that it did.
    asrg


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    When Russia lost Stalingrad they made an offensive to get it back. When they would retreat in Stalingrad the machine gunners, officers, and remaining soldiers would shout them.
    If you watch Enemy At The Gates you will see a brief scene that shows you how they did it. It is also a great movie.
    Good Conduct Medal
    "The Russian colossus...has been underestimated by us...whenever a dozen divisions are destroyed the Russians replace them with another dozen."
    General Franz Halder-Army Chief of Staff-August 1941

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by GermanSoldier View Post
    When Russia lost Stalingrad they made an offensive to get it back. When they would retreat in Stalingrad the machine gunners, officers, and remaining soldiers would shout them.
    If you watch Enemy At The Gates you will see a brief scene that shows you how they did it. It is also a great movie.
    Neat movie but hardly a historic source. It has several inaccuracies (aside from the whole sniper duel it is based on).

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang Von Gottberg View Post
    I guess there is a logical way into looking at this. I don't have any proof saying that this approach was used, but that contradicts everything that I've learned.

    I'm not saying that it did happen, but I think there is a 50/50 probability that it did.
    Part of the problem there Wolf, is that until recently most of our information on the Red Army came from German sources, since the Russian archives were closed to the West (the whole Cold War thing).

    Also because of the Cold War there was a certain amount of Western propoganda against the Soviets (terriable soldiers can only win through mass numbers and have poor moral to the point that they were shot in the back if they retreated.... etc).

    Did the Red army shoot cowards, you bet they did, so did every other army, after all disciplin needs to be maintained. Were some officers more ruthless than others? Possibly. But it didn't happen on the scale as was shown in Enemy at the Gates.

    Remember the Germans didn't need to employ such tactics, neither did the Americans, Italians, English or any other army so why should the Russians need to? If anything they would be more motivated since they were fighting for their raw survival!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bas View Post
    Part of the problem there Wolf, is that until recently most of our information on the Red Army came from German sources, since the Russian archives were closed to the West (the whole Cold War thing).

    Also because of the Cold War there was a certain amount of Western propoganda against the Soviets (terriable soldiers can only win through mass numbers and have poor moral to the point that they were shot in the back if they retreated.... etc).

    Did the Red army shoot cowards, you bet they did, so did every other army, after all disciplin needs to be maintained. Were some officers more ruthless than others? Possibly. But it didn't happen on the scale as was shown in Enemy at the Gates.

    Remember the Germans didn't need to employ such tactics, neither did the Americans, Italians, English or any other army so why should the Russians need to? If anything they would be more motivated since they were fighting for their raw survival!
    All very correct.

    But didn't the Soviets have what were called "penal battalions?"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GermanSoldier View Post
    When Russia lost Stalingrad they made an offensive to get it back. When they would retreat in Stalingrad the machine gunners, officers, and remaining soldiers would shout them.
    If you watch Enemy At The Gates you will see a brief scene that shows you how they did it. It is also a great movie.
    Really great movie?
    This is the lates worst shit which i've ever seen. Moreover this is pure racist-biased propoganda which showed Red Army ( which win battle for stalingrad like idiots who mass died under NKVD mashingans).

    Cheers.

    "I decide who is a Jew and who is an Aryan "- Hermann Goering

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    All very correct.

    But didn't the Soviets have what were called "penal battalions?"
    Yes the Soviets had Penal Battalions as did many nations. But you cant tell me the Soviets didnt shoot retreating men in these. They were usually sent on suicide missions anyhow. Draw fire will other better equiped troops could manouver.

    101st Airborne

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bas View Post
    Part of the problem there Wolf, is that until recently most of our information on the Red Army came from German sources, since the Russian archives were closed to the West (the whole Cold War thing).

    Also because of the Cold War there was a certain amount of Western propoganda against the Soviets (terriable soldiers can only win through mass numbers and have poor moral to the point that they were shot in the back if they retreated.... etc).
    Hi bas. That's very correct.
    The problems of study of Red army in the west is that you wrote indeed.
    Did the Red army shoot cowards, you bet they did, so did every other army, after all disciplin needs to be maintained. Were some officers more ruthless than others? Possibly. But it didn't happen on the scale as was shown in Enemy at the Gates.
    Endeed the Enemy at the Gates had nothin real basis. There is some of propogandic clishes in this film:
    1.The NKVD units (murder of retreat soldiers) just escorted the troops via the Volga and protect them. Practically all NKVD unit officer were killed by Germans in there.
    2.The Red Army was showed as a big "penal battalion"( They run to the attack under mashingans) - this is FULL SHIT in Stalingrad there NEVER were the PENAL BATTALIONS.
    3. The Red Army soldier go to the attack whithout rifles and ammunitions - FULL SHIT.
    If it was happaned the officer who responsable for supplies would be shooted immediatelly.
    4. The Red Army attacked strong german position- this is STUPIDEST idea in this film.
    Indeed the Germans ATTACKED the soviet position till the december ( when begin the offencive for the surround of germans). Unlike the Germans soviet soldied DEFENCED THE BUILDING IN STalingrad. Its primary task was simply hold the position as strong as they could.
    Acoording fact above i can conclude that this film was made for people which absolutly don't know the history of WW2.
    Moreover recently the comitete of Veterans of Stalingrad brought an action agaisn one of russian TV-channel for demonstration the Enemy at the Gate in ether. The veterans were
    outraged by the calumny to the soviet soldier in the battle for Stalingrad. They wrote a letter to the magazin where thay umasked the lie in theis film.
    Remember the Germans didn't need to employ such tactics....
    Hay bas. do you know the story of appearing the "penal battalions"?
    They first penal battalions was formed by Germans during the winter russian Moscow cont-offensive in december 1941. BTW this tactic proved its effectiveness for the Red Army. Germans penal units fight more desperately..
    After that the Stalin orderd to form it in the simular units in Red Army. There wer spesial companies and battalions for the officer ans privates who had a different violation of discipline.
    Considering the condition of cruel fight in Eastern front this decision look rational.

    Cheers.

    "I decide who is a Jew and who is an Aryan "- Hermann Goering

  11. #11
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    Here is the translation of the order 227 that is regardet to be the begining of the "pennal batalions". Please see my comment for this order below.

    ORDER #227 BY THE PEOPLE’S COMMISSAR OF DEFENCE OF THE USSR
    Moscow, 28 July1942


    The enemy feeds more and more resources to the front, and, paying no attention to losses, moves on, penetrates deeper into the Soviet Union, captures new areas, devastates and plunders our cities and villages, rapes, kills and robs the Soviet people. The fighting goes on in Voronezh area, at Don, in the Southern Russia, at the gates of the North Caucasus. The German invaders are driving towards Stalingrad, towards Volga, and want to capture Kuban and the North Caucasus with their oil and bread riches at any price. The enemy has already captured Voroshilovgrad, Starobelsk, Rossosh, Kupyansk, Valuiki, Novocherkassk, Rostov on Don, half of Voronezh. Some units of the South front, following the panic-mongers, have abandoned Rostov and Novocherkassk without serious resistance and without order from Moscow, thus covering their banners with shame.

    The people of our country, who treat the Red Army with love and respect, are now starting to be disappointed with it, lose faith in the Red Army, and many of them curse the Army for its fleeing to the east and leaving the population under German yoke.

    Some unwise people at the front comfort themselves with arguments that we can continue the retreat to the east, as we have vast territories, a lot of soil, many people, and that we will always have abundance of bread. By these arguments they try to justify their shameful behaviour at the front. But all these arguments are fully false, faked and working for our enemies.

    Every commander, every soldier and political officer have to realise that our resources are not infinite. The territory of the Soviet Union is not a wilderness, but people – workers, peasants, intelligentsia, our fathers and mothers, wives, brothers, children. Territory of USSR that has been captured by the enemy and which enemy is longing to capture is bread and other resources for the army and the civilians, iron and fuel for the industries, factories and plants that supply the military with hardware and ammo; this is also railroads. With loss of Ukraine, Belorussia, the Baltics, Donetsk basin and other areas we have lost vast territories, that means that we have lost many people, bread, metals, factories, and plants. We no longer have superiority over enemy in human resources and in bread supply. Continuation of retreat means to destroy us and also our Motherland. Every new piece of territory that we leave to the enemy will strengthen our enemy and weaken us, our defences, our Motherland.

    This is why we have to eradicate the conversations that we can retreat without ending, that we have a lot of territory, that our country is great and rich, that we have a lot of population and we will always have enough bread. These conversations are false and harmful, as they weaken us and strengthen the enemy, for if we do not stop retreating, we will be left without bread, without fuel, without metals, without raw materials, without factories and plants, without railways.

    The conclusion is that it is time to stop the retreat. Not a single step back! This should be our slogan from now.

    We need to protect every strongpoint, every metre of Soviet soil stubbornly, till the last droplet of blood, grab every piece of our soil and defend it as long as it is possible. Our Motherland is going through hard times. We have to stop, and then throw back and destroy the enemy, whatever it might cost us. The Germans are not as strong as the panic-mongers say. They are stretching their strength to the limit. To withstand their blow now means to ensure victory in the future.

    Can we stand and throw the enemy back toward west? Yes, we can, as our plants and factories in the rear areas are working perfectly and are supplying our army with more and more tanks, planes, artillery and mortars.

    So what do we lack? We lack order and discipline in companies, regiments and divisions, in tank units, in the Air Force squadrons. This is our major drawback. We have to introduce the strictest order and strong discipline in our army, if we want to save the situation and defend our Motherland.

    We can no longer tolerate commanders, commissars, and political officers, whose units leave their defences at will. We can no longer tolerate the fact that the commanders, commissars and political officers allow several cowards to run the show at the battlefield, that the panic-mongers carry away other soldiers in their retreat and open the way to the enemy. Panic-mongers and cowards are to be exterminated at the site.

    From now on the iron law of discipline for every officer, soldier, political officer should be – not a single step back without order from higher command. Company, battalion, regiment and division commanders, as well as the commissars and political officers of corresponding ranks who retreat without order from above, are traitors of the Motherland. They should be treated as traitors of the Motherland. This is the call of our Motherland.

    To fulfill this order means to defend our country, to save our Motherland, to destroy and overcome the hated enemy.

    After their winter retreat under pressure of the Red Army, when morale and discipline fell in the German troops, the Germans took some strict measures that led to pretty good results. They have formed 100 penal companies that were comprised of soldiers who broke discipline due to cowardice or instability; (emphasys is mine - Egorka) they have deployed them at the most dangerous sections of the front and have ordered them to redeem their sins by blood. Further on, they have formed around ten penal battalions comprised of officers who had broken discipline due to cowardice and instability, deprived them of their decorations and put them at even more dangerous sections of the front and ordered them to redeem their sins by blood. And finally, the Germans have formed special guards units and deployed them behind unstable divisions and ordered them to execute panic-mongers at the site if they tried to leave their defensive positions without order or if they tried to surrender. As we know, these measures were effective, and now the German troops fight better than they fought in winter. What we have here is that the German troops have good discipline, although they do not have an uplifted mission of protection of the Motherland, and only have one goal – to conquer a strange land. Our troops, having defence of defiled Motherland as their mission, do not have this discipline and thus suffer defeat.

    Shouldn’t we learn this lesson from our enemy, as our ancestors learned from their enemies in the past and overcame their enemies? I think that we should.

    THE SUPREME COMMAND OF THE RED ARMY ORDERS:

    1. The military Councils of the fronts and first of all front commanders should:

    a) In all circumstances decisively eradicate retreat attitude in the troops and with an iron hand prevent propaganda that we can and should continue the retreat to the east, and this retreat will not be harmful to us;

    b) In all circumstances remove from offices and send to Stavka for court-martial those army commanders who allowed their troops to retreat at will, without authorization by the Front command;

    c) Form within each Front 1 to 3 (depending on the situation) penal battalions (800 personnel), where commanding, senior commanders and political officers of corresponding ranks from all services, who have broken discipline due to cowardice or instability, should be sent. These battalions should be put on the more difficult sections of a Front, thus giving them an opportunity to redeem their crimes against the Motherland by blood.

    2. The Military Councils of armies and first of all army commanders should:

    a) In all circumstances remove from offices corps and army commanders and commissars, who have allowed their troops to retreat at will without authorisation by the army command, and send them to the Military Councils of the Fronts for court-martial;

    b) Form 3 to 5 well-armed guards (barrage) units (zagradotryads), deploy them in the rear of unstable divisions and oblige them to execute panic-mongers and cowards at site in case of panic and chaotic retreat, thus giving faithful soldiers a chance to do their duty before the Motherland;

    c) Form 5 to 10 (depending on the situation) penal companies, where soldiers and NCOs, who have broken discipline due to cowardice or instability, should be sent. These units should be deployed at the most difficult sectors of the front, thus giving their soldiers an opportunity to redeem their crimes against the Motherland by blood.

    3. Corps and division commanders and commissars should:

    a) In all circumstances remove from offices regiment and battalion commanders and commissars who allowed their troops to retreat at will without authorisation from divisional or corps command, deprive them of their military decorations and send them to the Military Councils of fronts for court-martial;

    b) Provide all possible help and support to the guards (barrage) units (zagradotryads) of the army in their work of strengthening discipline and order in the units.

    This order is to be read aloud in all companies, troops, batteries, squadrons, teams and staffs.

    The People’s Commissar for Defence
    JOSEPH STALIN

  12. #12
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    The order consist of two parts. The first is the motivation and the second is the actual order to action.
    In the first part indeed very good explanation of the situation on the front and what was going on in the army i nsummer 1942. Very well formed concepts that is strait to the point and can be understood by the most Red army soldiers. Very little real propaganda statements (more or less not a single word about communism and such).

    Second part is what actually was supposed to do. Again nothing really unhuman in the order it self (it in fact could not be to unfair because it was a public order). Of course very brutal. And for sure many (probably 2 -3 tousands, I guess) people were killed for no reason.

    When trying to alalyse this ortder please remember that neither UK nor USA never (in the latest time) experienced enemy on their soil. You can not understand the intence of the strugle which led to these extreme measures.
    The only alternative is peace!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Egorka View Post
    When trying to alalyse this ortder please remember that neither UK nor USA never (in the latest time) experienced enemy on their soil. You can not understand the intence of the strugle which led to these extreme measures.
    The only alternative is peace!
    Right mate.
    Moreover our UK/US friend even didn't know what's this the Gernan occupation and henocide of civilians.
    The Gernan politic on the occuped territories of USSR was terribly unhuman. I have already wrote it was the common practice SS to kill 20-30-50 hostages for the every killed german soldiers by partisans. ( it was a special Germans order)
    The West know a lot about Germans atrosities in French ( like Oranudor village) but a not much people know that there were a handreds simular villages were in Ukrain, Belorussian and Russia.

    cheers.

    "I decide who is a Jew and who is an Aryan "- Hermann Goering

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Egorka View Post
    Here is the translation of the order 227 that is regardet to be the begining of the "pennal batalions". Please see my comment for this order below.
    Well maybe its the translation but I see this could be read many different ways..........so maybe there was no mass execution of ppl that retreated but im sure there could have been shot fired at own troops in order to motivate. Maybe more extreme given some scenarios.

    This is what the arguement is ............ was there "mass" execution of retreating soliders or not? I dont me 1000's I mean cases of 5-30 ppl at once or so. Not if ppl were shot for cowardice. All armies did that. Albeit some more than others.

    101st Airborne

  15. #15
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    They certainly were desperate times and for such an order to be issued verifies the scale of defeats leading up to Stalingrad.

    Yes I agree the Soviet army has been portrayed in a very poor light(particuarly during the Cold War), but I don't agree German atrocities on Soviet soil were totally scoffed at, because there was too much evidence of such atrocities. Yes some mainstream press did gloss over the facts, but there were sources pointing out the barbourous actions of the SS in particular.

    Regards Digger

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