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Stalin's Order No. 270

APACHERAT

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Stalin's War Against His Own Troops

The Tragic Fate of Soviet Prisoners of War in German Captivity


At dawn on June 22, 1941, began the mightiest military offensive in history: the German-led Axis attack against the Soviet Union. During the first 18 months of the campaign, about three million Soviet soldiers were taken prisoner. By the end of the conflict four years later, more than five million Soviet troops are estimated to have fallen into German hands. Most of these unfortunate men died in German captivity.

A major reason for this was the unusual nature of the war on the eastern front, particularly during the first year -- June 1941-June 1942 -- when vastly greater numbers of prisoners fell into German hands than could possibly be accommodated adequately. However, and as Russian journalist Teplyakov explains in the following article, much of the blame for the terrible fate of the Soviet soldiers in German captivity was due to the inflexibly cruel policy of Soviet dictator Stalin.

During the war, the Germans made repeated attempts through neutral countries and the International Committee of the Red Cross to reach mutual agreement on the treatment of prisoners by Germany and the USSR. As British historian Robert Conquest explains in his book Stalin: Breaker of Nations, the Soviets adamantly refused to cooperate:

"When the Germans approached the Soviets, through Sweden, to negotiate observance of the provisions of the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war, Stalin refused. The Soviet soldiers in German hands were thus unprotected even in theory. Millions of them died in captivity, through malnutrition or maltreatment. If Stalin had adhered to the convention (to which the USSR had not been a party) would the Germans have behaved better? To judge by their treatment of other 'Slav submen' POWs (like the Poles, even surrendering after the [1944] Warsaw Rising), the answer seems to be yes. (Stalin's own behavior to [Polish] prisoners captured by the Red Army had already been demonstrated at Katyn and elsewhere [where they were shot]."

Another historian, Nikolai Tolstoy, affirms in The Secret Betrayal:

"Hitler himself urged Red Cross inspection of [German] camps [holding Soviet prisoners of war]. But an appeal to Stalin for prisoners' postal services received a reply that clinched the matter: 'There are no Soviet prisoners of war. The Soviet soldier fights on till death. If he chooses to become a prisoner, he is automatically excluded from the Russian community. We are not interested in a postal service only for Germans'."

Given this situation, the German leaders resolved to treat Soviet prisoners no better than the Soviet leaders were treating the German soldiers they held. As can be imagined, Soviet treatment of German prisoners was harsh. Of an estimated three million German soldiers who fell into Soviet hands, more than two million perished in captivity. Of the 91,000 German troops captured in the Battle of Stalingrad, fewer than 6,000 ever returned to Germany.

As Teplyakov also explains here, Red Army "liberation" of the surviving Soviet prisoners in German camps brought no end to the suffering of these hapless men. It wasn't until recently, when long-suppressed Soviet wartime records began to come to light and long-silenced voices could at last speak out, that the full story of Stalin's treatment of Soviet prisoners became known. It wasn't until 1989, for example, that Stalin's grim Order No. 270 of August 16, 1941 -- cited below -- was first published.



Continue -> Stalin's War Against His Own Troops
 

TheDemSocialist

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Stalin was a brute. A necessary brute? That has always been up to debate.
But by far he was no military genius.
 

Henrin

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Stalin was a brute. A necessary brute? That has always been up to debate.
But by far he was no military genius.
*Rubs eyes* Good old Lenin nonsense right there.
 

TheDemSocialist

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There has never been any such thing.
There is very much a debate around this idea. Such as if Stalin was so brutal to his own people would they have in fact won WW2 with a less totalitarian brutal leader. Also there is very much a debate if the majority of the Middle East can infact be stable without autocratic or totalitarian leaders. Its very much up in the air for debate and the debate has been going on in history and political science.
 

TheDemSocialist

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*Rubs eyes*
Never said he was necessary. Just saying its a debate that has been going on for a very long time in the historical community.
 

Henrin

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Never said he was necessary. Just saying its a debate that has been going on for a very long time in the historical community.
The crap you said is pretty much the same dumb ass belief Lenin had. Guess where that lead? Stalin.
 

Spartacus FPV

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There is very much a debate around this idea. Such as if Stalin was so brutal to his own people would they have in fact won WW2 with a less totalitarian brutal leader. Also there is very much a debate if the majority of the Middle East can infact be stable without autocratic or totalitarian leaders. Its very much up in the air for debate and the debate has been going on in history and political science.
I don't... that isn't... what?
 

TheDemSocialist

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The crap you said is pretty much the same dumb ass belief Lenin had. Guess where that lead? Stalin.
:doh
Dear god no i didnt. I stated there is a debate in a historical community if Stalins leadership style was necessary for the Soviets to win WW2. Such as massive industrialization, throwing everything they had behind the war effort.
Notice i didnt take a stand or you even ask me what my belief was.
 

Bodhisattva

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Can you blame Stalin? Hitler never returned Stalin's cappuccino machine after all!
 

cpwill

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:doh
Dear god no i didnt. I stated there is a debate in a historical community if Stalins leadership style was necessary for the Soviets to win WW2. Such as massive industrialization, throwing everything they had behind the war effort.
I got my undergrad in history, wrote extensively on Operation Barbarossa, and studied under Russian specialists - I don't recall any such debate. It seems that it is dismissed as easily as pointing out that the greater mass production and throwing of resources into the war effert actually happened in the non-Stalinist United States.
 

cpwill

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Can you blame Stalin? Hitler never returned Stalin's cappuccino machine after all!
That was Stalins' own fault for using Hitlers' tools without asking permission.
 

Bodhisattva

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I got my undergrad in history, wrote extensively on Operation Barbarossa, and studied under Russian specialists - I don't recall any such debate. It seems that it is dismissed as easily as pointing out that the greater mass production and throwing of resources into the war effert actually happened in the non-Stalinist United States.
I majored in history as well with an emphasis in WWII and I don't recall that debate either...
 

APACHERAT

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:doh
Dear god no i didnt. I stated there is a debate in a historical community if Stalins leadership style was necessary for the Soviets to win WW2. Such as massive industrialization, throwing everything they had behind the war effort.
Notice i didnt take a stand or you even ask me what my belief was.
The leadership style of Stalin was the same during WW ll as it was before WW ll.

Stalin started purging the soviets army's officer corps before Hitler even came to power. Socialist like Stalin were always looking for scapegoats, it's part of Marxist revisionism.

Come to think of it, Obama has purged over 197 flag officers and field commanders from the military in the past five years and his scapegoats seem to have been G.W. Bush and Fox News.
 

ecofarm

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There is very much a debate around this idea. Such as if Stalin was so brutal to his own people would they have in fact won WW2 with a less totalitarian brutal leader. Also there is very much a debate if the majority of the Middle East can infact be stable without autocratic or totalitarian leaders. Its very much up in the air for debate and the debate has been going on in history and political science.
That's inhuman (and basically racist) BS. What a scumbag position.
 

SayMyName

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The assertion is that Stalin is too blame for what the German army under Hitler did to their Russian prisoners? A nation is responsible for its own actions in war. Once attacked, the Russians, like the US today, did not need to negotiate with terrorists or those sponsoring it in order to expect proper treatment of prisoners. The blame here lies only with Germany, the Germans, and their leadership. They were justly destroyed for their actions in the end.
 
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Ben K.

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Institute for Historical Review? The premiere Nazi war crime denialist web-site?

There's not even any references.

I'll give the OP the benefit of the doubt of simply being ignorant of source checking, rather than being a Nazi sympathiser.
 

TheDemSocialist

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That's inhuman (and basically racist) BS. What a scumbag position.
1.)Its not my position
2.)Its not racist and nor is it my position
3.)It equates to the position of "some people are not ready for democracy"
 

TheDemSocialist

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I got my undergrad in history, wrote extensively on Operation Barbarossa, and studied under Russian specialists - I don't recall any such debate. It seems that it is dismissed as easily as pointing out that the greater mass production and throwing of resources into the war effert actually happened in the non-Stalinist United States.
There is very much of discussion if the ends justified the means when Stalin industrialized and the result it lead to WW2.
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/academic/harrison/public/hwj90postprint.pdf
 

TheDemSocialist

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I don't... that isn't... what?
Its a historical debate see above posts.
And yes its also a political science/theory debate if some countries need a slow gradualism into democracy and that some need dictators or autocratic leaders to develop.
Notice how none of these are my positions im just merley bringing up the debate.
 

TheDemSocialist

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The crap you said is pretty much the same dumb ass belief Lenin had. Guess where that lead? Stalin.
:doh
Dear god its not my ****ing position! I'm merely bringing it up for debate.
 

Red_Dave

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There is very much a debate around this idea. Such as if Stalin was so brutal to his own people would they have in fact won WW2 with a less totalitarian brutal leader. Also there is very much a debate if the majority of the Middle East can infact be stable without autocratic or totalitarian leaders. Its very much up in the air for debate and the debate has been going on in history and political science.
They probably would have won it a lot quicker if half of his officers hadn't been purged before the war.
 
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