Why the Soviets won WW2, 65 years before It even started

13 Jul 2018 12:36 128
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When people speak about the Second World War they too often focus on the immediate years surrounding the war, without researching the far peripheries of history. We hear about the immediate policies that shaped the war, or the immediate consequences after the war, such as the Cold War, however historians of the war never really go far back in history to highlight the critical junctures that almost predetermined the war. Yes I said that right: predetermined. I know I have another video on the myth of Soviet numerical superiority, but that is not the same thing about the concept of reserves. Something I actively tackle in this video.

You see people tend to forget the long term importance of conscription and how it is managed in order to secure a large enough shadow army in order to garrison the far reaches of each state. This is no more apparent than in the Soviet Union which was by far the largest country in the world. Even if the Soviets had a much larger army than the Axis, they could not effectively use it all without a concrete reservist system. And that is where the universal military training act of 1874 comes on.

This video covers nearly 3 centuries of warfare in order to highlight the critical factor that really determined the war. Sure... oil was very important, bu it would have never even been a factor in the Great Patriotic War, had the Soviets not had reserves. Reserves come before everything else, because if not, then we'd be experiencing a Franco-Prussian style war on the onset of 1941.

Russia A History by Gregory Freeze
A History of the Soviet Union From the Beginning to the End by Peter Kenez
When Titans Clashed by David Glantz and Jonathan House
Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Organisational and Statistical Analysis by Nigel Askey
A Nation in Barracks
Conscription, Military Service and Civil Society in
Modern Germany by Ute Frevert
Jews and the Imperial State: Identification Politics in Tsarist Russia by Eugene M. Avrutin (Page 61 for Russian reserve figures)
Prussia and the revolution of the Reserve army: A forgotten lesson of war by Wilbur E Gray
Warfare and Armed Conflicts, A Statistical Encyclopedia of Casualty and Other Figures, 1492–2015, 4th ed. by Michael Clodfelter
The Civilian Experience in German Occupied
France, 1940-1944 by Meredith Smith
Google Dictionary
Stalingrad to Berlin: The German Defeat in the East by Earl F Ziemke
Moltke and his Generals: A Study in Leadership by Quintin Barry
The Franco-Prussian War 1870-71 Volume 1. 'The Campaign of Sedan' by Quintin Barry
The Crimean War by Clive Ponting
Red Nations: The Nationalities Experience in and after the USSR by Jeremy Smith

RIA Novosti archive, image #844 / Zelma / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Wikimedia Commons
Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-10887 / CC-BY-SA 3.0


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