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Invading Russia

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Genghis View Drop Down
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  Quote Genghis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Invading Russia
    Posted: 23-Dec-2004 at 17:50

Three great militaries, that of Charles XII's Sweden, the Grande Armee, and the Wehrmacht have all invaded Russia and failed. 

What, in your opinion caused their defeat, and how would you invade Russia?

In my opinion, it has always been the logistical hardships imposed by the Russian winter and spring coupled with the extreme vastness of the country, nothing too novel.  I think the mistake by all three of the invaders was trying to take Russia all at once, they advanced too deep into Russia while inadequately prepared and then found himself fighting across a massive country without enough logistical support.  Thus, I would say that one cannot overtake Russia in one fell swoop, so I wouldn't even try.

Here's my plan to invade Russia from the traditional starting point of Eastern Europe:

Phase I:

First, I would send a minimum of 27 divisions to take Moscow and thus cut Russia in two (few railways to the east of Moscow run north to south), my divisions in the Ukraine and the Baltic would be sent on diversionary attacks and then told to settle down and defend after they've penetrated perhaps 60 or so km past the frontier.  After taking Moscow, a buffer zone of about 100 km would be created around the city, the frontlines would be fortified, and supply lines would be expanded and winter stockpiles created.  After this, I would settle down and defend during the winter and muddy spring, allowing the Russians to launch offensives I would destroy.  Throughout the winter, air attacks would be imperative to work to destroy russian industry and disrupt transportation

Phase II:

Once the spring mud has gone, I would launch an offensive with the aim of driving toward Astrakhan and Caucas Mountains.  Then, I would halt again, defend throughout the winter, and expand supply lines in the south.

Phase III

This phase would be much like the earlier two phases except now the target is the Volga river valley and Northern Russia.  This phase would involve an attack north from Volgagrad and one east from Moscow converging on Kazan.  St. Petersburg would also be taken.

Phase IV:

This phase might be able to be launched before winter, for at this time the Russians are probably on the brink of total collapse.  This phase would simply be the capture of the remaining major population centers in Russia and perhaps an advance into western Siberia if it is needed.

I think that this slow and methodical conquest would eliminate most of the problems that have defeated the massive campaigns that have aimed at defeating Russia on an impossible timetable.



Edited by Genghis
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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2004 at 04:56

It's strange, the three greatest invasians in history and all characterised by one thing. The invader didn't really have any idea of what they were doing, just some vague notion of total conquest without a concrete idea of how to do it.

 

In 1854/5 Britain and France invaded Russia and won. But they had a clear plan. Take the Crimea, Russia's gateway to the Black Sea and main trade route and stop it's Atlantic trade with a naval blockade. The objectives were limited, a naval theatre (Britain's strength), a manageable size  force easiliy suppliable from the sea, no winter to worry about and the vast expanses of Russian a problem for Russia not the invaders because the Russian army must cross Russia from Moscow.

Effect wise, it bankrupted Russia and had more effect than the simple taking of vast tracts of empty space like the other three invasions and Russia capitualated.

Russia can be beaten, it just takes  a decent plan.  Sound generals just seem to get overrawed by the prospects invading Russia and do things they would never do against any other country.

If I was invading Russia, I'd target the oilfields in the South. Take them and sit and wait. A small defensible, suppliable, area of Russia. The emphasis on Russia then would be to attack, all the time running out of oil.



Edited by Paul
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2004 at 14:06

Nice strategy to invade Russia indeed. But it seems you forgot to watch your back. How do you due with the revolts in the occupied regions and protecting your supply line ?

You'd need a very very large army to keep advancing and defending the occupied area. So you'd also need a massive economy too.

A country could spend anything it has to defend itself, but it's not sufficient for a country to spend so much on an invasion. 

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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2004 at 15:36
Originally posted by Paul

In 1854/5 Britain and France invaded Russia and won. But they had a clear plan. Take the Crimea, Russia's gateway to the Black Sea and main trade route and stop it's Atlantic trade with a naval blockade. The objectives were limited, a naval theatre (Britain's strength), a manageable size  force easiliy suppliable from the sea, no winter to worry about and the vast expanses of Russian a problem for Russia not the invaders because the Russian army must cross Russia from Moscow.

that was no invasion, the allies only helped the ottomans against Russias interests on the Balkans. if the allies would have come with the intention to take land, they would have met with failure, like the one after WW1. the only sucessful invasion of russia was by the mongols.

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  Quote Slickmeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2004 at 19:39
I suggest that you not try to invade Mother Russia.
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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2004 at 19:44
Originally posted by Temujin

that was no invasion, the allies only helped the ottomans against Russias interests on the Balkans. if the allies would have come with the intention to take land, they would have met with failure, like the one after WW1. the only sucessful invasion of russia was by the mongols.

 

I believe that was the point. Taking vast tracts of wortless land is a liability to the invader.

The allies did invade, did take land. Only a small piece of land more vital than much of the rest of Russia combined. A sustained occupation of this land would have ruined Russia, crippled it' industry, destabilised the government and sent the army into decay. The ideal conditions for a successful invasion. Anybody who plans to invade Russia should start this way. That's why Russia capitualated, it didn't to the 3 other invasions, which shows how seriously they took it.

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  Quote Infidel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2004 at 07:17
And how about invading the US?
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  Quote dark_one Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2004 at 13:10
Im retty sure that none of is here can solve a problem that the greatest strategists of all time could not. Remember that the Railway would be sabotaged adn all the indsutry moved to the middle eastern region. So while you deal with constant revolts the Russian government builds up the army. Also keep in mind that you would need the population of China or India to take Russia and hold it all for any amount of time.
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  Quote Genghis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2004 at 21:07

Originally posted by nike

How do you due with the revolts in the occupied regions and protecting your supply line ?

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  Quote Genghis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2004 at 21:09

Originally posted by dark_one

you would need the population of China or India to take Russia and hold it all for any amount of time.

That's true, but I can't think of any conceivable way a country without a several million man army could defeat Russia, regardless of how brilliant their plan is.

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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Dec-2004 at 08:45

Originally posted by dark_one

you would need the population of China or India to take Russia and hold it all for any amount of time.

Actually Britain occupied India for 2 centuries despite only having less than 2-3% the population of India.

Have you ever heard of divide and rule. Russian's don't exactly need an excuse to start fighting with one another. Some large quantities of arms given to the right people and they'll conquer themselves.

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  Quote Sarmata Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Dec-2004 at 02:28
all three of those capaigns didnt succeed, however you failed ot mention one campaign that succeeded to a certain extent and the only reasoon of failure was the invading countries lack of support to the army...Im talking about Poland.... http://www.ipfw.edu/ipfwhist/syllabi/h201/textimages/page41. jpg
Stanislaw Zolkiewski triumphed over a greta battle at Kluszyn a battle that shines a glorifies the Husaria,when a Polish army of about 6,000 give or take, defeated an army of about 30,000 Russians, give or take. Successfully taking Moscow, and almost successful to putting the Polish King's son, Wladyslaw IV on the throne as Czar. The Poles laid a great defeat to Russia as well as killing many people as I have read in different sources. The reason for the eventual retreat of the army was that Poland itself did not give enoug money to support the army that needed reinforcements and supplies, also some Russian peoples were afraid of conversion of there religion, from orthodox to roman catholic which led to some uprisings eventually the Polish army retreated.....damn Szlachta
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  Quote dark_one Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Dec-2004 at 06:30
 Well Russia's campaign to conquer poland (during our civil war) also failed due to lack of support, particularly by Stalin who remembered how fanatical the Poles were at trying to destroy Russia (using sabotage and assassination) and knew what lay int he Future, namely war with germany which would permit conquest of Poland.
Also noticed that in your first map you are creating the perfect scenario for your troops to be encircled and either forced to surrender over a long period of siege or be gone with the rest of Moscow after intense bombardment from both artillery and aircraft. Another thin you didn't mention anything about the size of your army, what countryyou're attackign as and international onvolvement.. 


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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Dec-2004 at 07:14

Originally posted by Sarmata

all three of those capaigns didnt succeed, however you failed ot mention one campaign that succeeded to a certain extent and the only reasoon of failure was the invading countries lack of support to the army...Im talking about Poland.... http://www.ipfw.edu/ipfwhist/syllabi/h201/textimages/page41. jpg
Stanislaw Zolkiewski triumphed over a greta battle at Kluszyn a battle that shines a glorifies the Husaria,when a Polish army of about 6,000 give or take, defeated an army of about 30,000 Russians, give or take. Successfully taking Moscow, and almost successful to putting the Polish King's son, Wladyslaw IV on the throne as Czar. The Poles laid a great defeat to Russia as well as killing many people as I have read in different sources. The reason for the eventual retreat of the army was that Poland itself did not give enoug money to support the army that needed reinforcements and supplies, also some Russian peoples were afraid of conversion of there religion, from orthodox to roman catholic which led to some uprisings eventually the Polish army retreated.....damn Szlachta

You are talking about Muscovy during the Times of Trouble,  while dark_one is talking about the unified nation of Russia, which is quite another thing. During the Times of Trouble everybody were picking on the Russians who were busy fighting each other; the Swedes for example captured Novgorod and marched into Moscow and held it for a time, and ended up taking all Russian land around the Gulf of Finland.

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  Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Dec-2004 at 10:49


The syupply lines are stretched while trying to cover a larger extension of territory.

Instead of to exhaust the troops running the risk of deplet the provisions, I would say that a conquer by stages will be a better strategy. Specially, when the winter gets closer.

I would also try to keep closer to the shores instead of going in land, in case I need to pull back or get supplies faster and at the same time, to cut any possiblity to allow to the russians to get supply or reinforcements.

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  Quote dark_one Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Dec-2004 at 10:59
 You have no idea how fanatical we are. Morale would be on Russia's side for the entire war if we won a sigle battle.
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  Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Dec-2004 at 11:09


No doubt about it.
Russia has standed for their freedom and defeated professional and large armies.
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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Dec-2004 at 12:21

Originally posted by Jalisco Lancer



No doubt about it.
Russia has standed for their freedom and defeated professional and large armies.
Regards

Freedom? Most of the soldiers who defended Russia against Karl XII and Napoleon were serfs, basicly slaves. Their usually hard lives rendered them tough soldiers, not any superior morale. As for a more modern version of Russia, like the USSR, you could argue like that though, I suppose.

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  Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Dec-2004 at 12:40


Hi Styrbion:

The fact that a goverment is corrupt, it is not an excuse for not fighting for the national soverignity. I would rather prefer to ally with a political enemy than an foreign invader.

Spain was invaded in 1812 by Napoleon. At that time, Fernando VII was the king of Spain. One of the most uncompetent kings ever. That didn't diminish the fervor of defend the motherland agaisnt the Napoleon troops.

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  Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Dec-2004 at 12:40


Hi Styrbion:

The fact that a goverment is corrupt, it is not an excuse for not fighting for the national soverignity. I would rather prefer to ally with a political enemy than an foreign invader.

Spain was invaded in 1812 by Napoleon. At that time, Fernando VII was the king of Spain. One of the most uncompetent kings ever. That didn't diminish the fervor of defend the motherland agaisnt the Napoleon troops.

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