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WWII Soviet Armed Forces

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Soviet WWII poster: In the skies, on the land and in the sea.

Skies, Land and in the Sea

At the initiation of Operation Barbarossa, the Soviet Navy outnumbered the German Navy in both the Baltic Sea and Black Sea. The Soviets possessed a clear advantage in the numbers of aircraft, tanks artillery and troops. However, the majority of these were outdated, and in ill repair.


The large number of Soviet troops were poorly led, due in part to Stalin's Purge of the 1930s, when a large number of officers were executed or imprisoned to cleanse the Soviet military of suspected conspirators, leaving fewer officers with adequate training. Tactics were also outdated.


The Soviet army was in a transition period of attempting to institute more advanced tactics and organization and modern tanks and aircraft were being produced in the factories but production was initially disrupted when the majority of these factories were dissembled and shipped east of the Urals to put them out of reach of the Germans.


And Russia had been completely taken by surprise when the Germans attack in June of 1941. Within hours of the initial strike, there were horrendous Soviet losses. Most of the western Soviet Air Force was destroyed, and much of the western Red Army was annihilated, or trapped behind enemy lines. As the German invaders moved eastward, Stalin initiated a scorched earth policy to burn or destroy anything that might aid the Nazis as they moved eastward, including farms, buildings and supplies. The Russians used winter as an ally, and the severe Russian winter of 1941-1942 caught the Germans unprepared, suffering from frostbite and lack of food. German troops also found themselves fighting not only at the front but also at the rear, where the Soviet partisans engaged them with guerrilla warfare.


Soviet officers and soldiers were ordered not to retreat or surrender; punishment was severe, some facing a firing squad. By 1942, the relocated factories were reconstructed and put into production. supplying modern military equipment to the Soviet military. Russia also had begun receiving aircraft, trucks, combat vehicles and weapons from the American Lend-lease program.


The tide turned in favor of Russia with the hard won victories at Stalingrad and Kursk. Poster shows Soviet air, army and navel victories against Nazi Germany. Translation reads, "In the skies, on the land and in the sea".


*Disclaimer: World War II posters, insignias and documents of Nazi Germany, Russia, Italy, and Japan, are displayed on this website as historical documents of the time period. They are not intended to promote or condone any political, racial, military, religious, or social views and/or actions. This website does not condone genecide.



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