Monday, April 30, 2012

Two years of experience

The Soviet command faced a dilemma: to attack or to assume defence? All the options and every scenario had been thoroughly examined. It was the collective wisdom, the creative work of experienced, seasoned during two years of the war military commanders and staffs, from the front level to the Supreme Command, that helped to adopt the only proper solution. While analyzing intelligence data on the enemy's preparations, fronts, General Staff and the General Headquarters gradually came to the idea of switching to a deliberate defense. That issue had been discussed many times in late March and early April at the State Defence Committee and the General Headquarters. We discussed the issue thoroughly and comprehensively by telephone with Deputy Supreme Commander G. K. Zhukov, who was on the Kursk Salient, at the headquarters of the Voronezh Front. As a result, on April 8th, G. K. Zhukov sent to the Supreme Commander a detailed report assessing the situation, and outlining considerations for the plan of action in the Kursk Salient. More >>>

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

September uprising

While the Red Army was marching through the north-east Bulgaria to the cheers of the local population, 300km away, in Bulgaria's capital, more important events took place. The government of Konstantin Muravyev, trying to save its control over the country, severed diplomatic relations with Germany and asked the Soviet Union for cease-fire. Yet, those decisions were already hopelessly late. The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Workers' Party (communists) and the General Revolutionary Staff of the People's Revolutionary Army of Liberation (NOVA) deemed that moment best for the final armed uprising. It took place on 9 September 1944 at 2:00 in Sofia. More >>>

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Strike southward

The utter rout of the American battleships in Pearl Harbor furnished Japanese forces' superiority over the joint naval forces of the United States, Great Britain, Holland and Australia in the Pacific Ocean, and enabled the offensive in the south, namely the Philippines, Malaya and, eventually, Dutch East Indies. Therefore, within few hours after the strike on Pearl Harbor, Japanese ships showed up off Malaya and the Philippines, while the fleet coming back from Pearl Harbor attacked American bases on Guam and Wake. Those two islands make somewhat a bridge between Hawaii and the Philippines, and therefore their seizure would break the natural link between the Pacific Fleet and the Asian Fleet. More >>>