Bureaucratic incompetence and Stalin’s purges combined in 1940 to leave the Red Army almost entirely without armoured auxiliary vehicles. A welcome addition to the highly popular Images Of War Series, covering Soviet efforts to provide an adequate range of armoured vehicles – Very Highly Recommended
NAME: Images of War, Red Army Auxiliary Armoured Vehicles 1930-1945, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives FILE: R3367 AUTHOR: Alexey Tarasov PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: soft back PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Pre-WWII, WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, Great Patriotic War, Stalin purges, armour, auxiliary armoured vehicles, bridge layers, flame throwers, recovery vehicles, tracked vehicles, half-track vehicles, wheeled vehicles, Red Army, Soviet Union ISBN: 1-52678-598-6 PAGES: 148, extensive B&W illustration through the body of the book, featuring rare photographs IMAGE: B3367.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/ez9a43e3 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: Bureaucratic incompetence and Stalin’s purges combined in 1940 to leave the Red Army almost entirely without armoured auxiliary vehicles. A welcome addition to the highly popular Images Of War Series, covering Soviet efforts to provide an adequate range of armoured vehicles – Very Highly Recommended
Stalin’s paranoid obsession with purging all areas of Soviet life to protect his power was to place the Soviet Union in great danger. The lack of strong military leaders had a crippling effect on the Red Army and this combined with an incompetent bureaucracy, managing the design, production and procurement of equipment, left what remained of the military capability in very poor shape. The pact between Hitler and Stalin that made WWII inevitable was never regarded by either side as anything more than a stop-gap. Stalin believed that the Germans would overplay their hands and be beaten in the West, leaving Germany open to invasion from the East. Hitler always regarded the Soviet Union as the space into which the Germans could expand. When Hitler’s forces surprised everyone, including themselves, by sweeping through the Low Countries and France to the Channel Coast, it should have been ringing loud alarm bells in Moscow. Even on the eve of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Stalin ignored warnings from the British about the German forces massing on his frontier. As they rolled over the start line and advance at lightening speed into the vast area of the Soviet Union, all Stalin could do was try to slow the advance to give time to evacuate industry and key people eastward beyond the range of German bombers. There has been much debate about the fighting units and their tank force, but what has gone almost without mention is the parlous state of Soviet armoured auxiliary vehicles, vital in supporting mobile armoured forces by bringing up ammunition fuel and people, laying bridges and providing specialist vehicles, such as flame throwers. The author has provided a very effective text introduction, captions and extended captions to support an excellent selection of rare images, charting the course of development from 1930 and detailing the vehicles that would eventually provide the support necessary for the counter attack and advance to Germany.