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Old 09-01-2010, 02:32 AM   #1
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Awards to the South-West Front

I read the memories of Marshall Bagramjan. One interesting keynote from the book. Till November 1941 the whole South-West Front awarded only 399 awards to soldiers.

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Old 09-01-2010, 08:31 AM   #2
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Re: Awards to the South-West Front

Interesting factoid, but understandable since it was reeling from retreat and destruction. This from Wikipedia:

The Southwestern Front was on the main axis of attack by the German Army Group South during Operation Barbarossa. At the outbreak of war with Germany, the Front contained the Soviet 5th, 6th, 26th, and 12th Armies along the frontier. 16th and 19th Armies were in reserve behind the forward forces. These forces took part in the tank battles in western Ukraine and were surrounded and destroyed at the Battle of Uman and the Battle of Kiev (1941) in August and September 1941.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:06 AM   #3
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Re: Awards to the South-West Front

Definitely a crazy figure--considering the enormous loss of life on that front. But yeah, this and the Western front weren't in favor with Stalin for some time. The fate of general Pavlov and his command is especially tragic. Was Pavlov really incompetent as portrayed in many memoirs?

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Old 09-02-2010, 01:15 AM   #4
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Re: Awards to the South-West Front

Originally Posted by Pobeda45 View Post
Was Pavlov really incompetent as portrayed in many memoirs?
Probably not; his nickname was the "Soviet Guderian" when he was head of the RKKA's armored directorate in the 1930s, so someone saw talent there. During the fighting his command was not incompetent so much as overwhelmed. In all respects he seems to have used his forces based on Red Army principals and practices that, when up against the Germans in 1941, were entirely inadequate. It wouldn't have mattered who commanded Western Front in June 1941; anyone executing the orders from high command and following the strategy defined in the case of German attack would have seen the same result.

Pavlov was a scapegoat when the Red Army's strategy (and by inference the party's) was shown a failure.
Steiner: "Why do you want it so badly? It's just a worthless piece of metal. Look."
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:05 AM   #5
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Re: Awards to the South-West Front

They did say that the biggest failing the Red Army had was it was only trained in advance, They had no idea whatsoever how to retreat successfully until they had learnt the rather difficult lesson which destroyed up to 80% of it's strength in only a few weeks running into months. I am reminded now of Stalin's order to the Leningrad front asking if the men were fully equipped and since they were to start digging their own graves. Retreat was a 4 letter word but not even Cnut could hold back the tide.
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