Martin Kahn, ‘From Assured Defeat to ‘The Riddle of Soviet Military Success’: Anglo-American Government Assessments of Soviet War Potential 1941–1943′
At the beginning of the Soviet-German war in June 1941 most Anglo-American Government officials believed in a swift collapse of Soviet resistance. When the collapse did not materialize assessments gradually changed and a more realistic outlook on Soviet war potential was eventually produced. But it was not until the late summer of 1943 that the Anglo-Americans finally believed in a more sustained Red Army offensive effort against the Germans, and even then US observers still underestimated Soviet strength. During the whole period 1941–1943 British observers generally had a relatively more realistic apprehension of Soviet capabilities. The Anglo-American perceptions and the change in perceptions, considering the whole context of World War II, had implications for the Western Allied war effort.
The fate of Moscow is considered to be one of the major factors determining the outcome of Operation Barbarossa in 1941. Historians have, for a long time, tended to focus on the battles, which took place for the city during this period. The role of the Soviet capital in terms of its importance to Hitler’s overall strategy is, however, less well known. The article explores this aspect of the Soviet-German war, which has been largely neglected in postwar literature. It demonstrates that Hitler never regarded Moscow as a priority, nor did he intend to occupy the city.
Aleksandr A. Maslov, ‘Red Army Generals Repressed during the Soviet-German War, 1941–1945, Part 2: The Western and Northwestern Axes, July–September 1941’
One of the most sordid and obscure aspects of the Soviet-German War, 1941–1945, involved the repression of Red Army senior officers, who, in Stalin’s eyes, failed to fulfill their duties to the Motherland. This article, the second part in a multi-part series, exploits hitherto secret archival documents to ‘raise the veil of secrecy’ from this tragic aspect of the war, which took its greatest toll of senior Red Army military leaders during the disastrous Barbarossa campaign in the summer and fall of 1941.