In reviewing the present state of the battles in the East, which have been going on for the past two months, we must put our strategy in the foreground. This is not “hold our position,” but rather: “No breakthroughs,” “do not allow an opening to Soviet agricultural regions,” and “destroy as many enemy troops, weapons, and war matériel as possible.”
Our tactics are governed by the knowledge that the desperate Bolshevist offensive is the result not of careful and considered planning, but rather gives all the signs of a nervous and worried manner of war leadership, which therefore displays ruthlessness, brutality, and murderous methods. Stalin and his lackeys no longer care if the millions of soldiers they have already lost are replaced in the shortest possible time by unimaginable masses of new victims for slaughter. Their goal is to keep going, whatever the cost. They pay no heed to the cost, whether in people or matériel, weapons or machines.
The number of tanks we have destroyed in recent weeks as of 1 September was 14.095, the number of aircraft 5,712, of weapons destroyed or captured, 2,450. We also captured 72,555 troops.
The total of those captured is but a small percentage of Soviet deaths. This is of decisive significance in our present battle. It makes no difference if we hold or give up a particular area or give up useless land to prevent a dangerous breakthrough. On average, our front in the East is 1,000 to 1,500 kilometers from our eastern border (including the Generalgouvernement). We hold the territory that is the agricultural heartland of the Soviet Union, and also hold areas critical to the Soviet war leadership.
The English weekly Statist discussed the Soviet Union’s war economy in its 7 August issue:
“To keep the military events in the east in the proper perspective, it is essential to remember the losses the Soviets have suffered over the past two years. They surrendered vast territories, invaluable war materials, factories, agricultural regions, people, and transportation lines. Now that it is possible to consider the German advance objectively, it must be granted that losses to such an extent must necessary lead to the economic collapse of Soviet Russia.
Fifty million people alone have been lost in the regions captured by the Germans. That has visible impact on economic and industrial production. The Soviet Union has lost 15 million hectares, more than a third of the its entire agricultural land. They also most over 35 millions tons of corn, and a third of their pre-war production of wheat.
The industrial losses the Soviet Union has suffered are even worse. According to reliable estimates, the occupation of the Ukraine and the Donetz Basin alone cost them over 50% of prewar coal production, 60% of iron ore, iron production, steel and rolled iron, and about a third of its production of machinery. The Ukraine formerly provided 60% of the Russian supply of aluminum, which is critical for modern industrial production.
The Soviet Union’s new factories behind the Urals cannot begin to cover these losses. The remain coal and steel center is 2,500 kilometers from the central front, and is therefore of no great help. The result is a continuing shortage of coal in the Ural area. And the new economic facilities behind the Urals suffer from insufficient electrical generating plants.”
This detailed report from an English magazine is confirmed by many recent enemy statements about the food situation. A Turkish newspaper recently interviewed a traveler from Kuibyschew about the conditions in that area, and reported that the population still depends on bad bread and water. Bread was no longer available every day. Even Soviet soldiers, who until last winter were relatively well fed and clothed, now give a rather forlorn and unhappy impression.
The Edinburgh newspaper Scotsman, at the end of a discussion of American Lend Lease aid for the second quarter of 1943:
The Soviet Union has not produced enough foodstuffs to cover its own needs for a long time. The food supplies from the United States to the Soviet Union are not enough to cover the shortages.
As a result, civilian rations are far too small. Even favored industrial workers get less than two pounds of meat a month. In large cities, there is no milk, and butter is available only rarely.
An English pilot, recently returned from the Soviet Union, told similar things to the English newspaper Daily Express. Among other things, he reported that the old and those to weak to work no longer receive meat or other essential foodstuffs. All they get is dried bread, about 200 grams a day.
This Englishman further reported that 67% of factory workers in the Soviet Union are women and 25% boys between 14 and 18. On average, only 8% are men.
The resulting impact on the Soviet civilian population is reported by Watson Jones, another English reporter returning from the Soviet Union. In the English British Medical Journal, he reported:
The life of Moscow’s population is so drab and poor that it overshadows everything else. The faces of people on the street are expressionless and hopeless.
The population goes out in torn clothing and bad shoes. The people’s suffering is written in their faces.”
Just as in the past, the Bolshevist system is trying to conceal the true cause of its people’s vast misery, which is the result of its policies, through brutal waves of murder and terror, keeping people afraid and terrified, and thereby passive. On 2 September, Moscow radio strongly criticized Soviet collective farms. It accused the leaders and the enslaved forced laborers of inadequate efforts and insufficient enthusiasm. That is doubtless the beginning of one of the notorious Soviet “cleansing actions” that the new Soviet terror organization, the NKVD, will take up now that the GPU had to be eliminated when it became too notorious, as had the Cheka before it.
As a result of the desperate Soviet situation, admitted even by its allies, the Western plutocrats have sung Stalin’s praises even more loudly than before. He is demanding that the English and Americans take action to finally relieve the hard fighting in the east. The Soviets view terror attacks by English and American flyers on German civilians as wholly inadequate.
A series of articles and commentaries in Soviet newspapers has made this particularly clear. The News Chronicle recently reviewed Bolshevist thinking, and stated:
“It is entirely understandable that Soviet demands for a second front are growing more impatient every day. Bolshevist losses are terrible. The Soviets accuse us (the English and Americans) of planning precise field campaigns and experimenting with bombing, while the Soviet Union bleeds to death.”
English military commentator Cyrill Falls agrees with Russia’s call for a second front, and wrote:
Both from the moral and material standpoints, the Western Allies owe it to the Soviet Union to make greater war efforts. It is senseless to ask the Soviets to see things through British-American eyes. The operations in the east are costing the Soviets enormous sacrifices and losses. The Germans are mounting a powerful defense, and one has to grant that German soldiers are the best in the world. As a result, German resistance is extraordinarily strong, perhaps unbreakable. Under these conditions, Soviet calls for a second front are entirely justified.”
The News Chronicle has particularly close relations to the Soviet embassy in London. In its issue of 24 August, it considered relations with the Soviet Union in depth, saying among other things:
“One has to grant that the British-American side has little to say about the Soviet standpoint. For two years, the Soviet army has born almost the full brunt of the land battle in Europe. It is still fighting, but its losses have grown to gigantic size. The Soviet Union therefore constantly demands a second front in order to defeat Germany in 1943. If that does not happen, the Soviet Union sees no hope for the future. But how have England and America answered thus far?
1. With Africa, 2. with Sicily, 3. with air attacks on German civilians, and 4. with war shipments to the Soviet Union. This may be fine if one is playing chess, but it is not the right way to wage war. With regards to the Soviet Union, one cannot ignore the fact that time no longer favors the Allies.
The Soviet Union’s losses are so great that even the Soviets believe that they will bleed to death while the Allies play at war. What good will it do to launch the perfect field campaign in 1944 if the Soviet Union is no longer able to wage offensive war?”
From all these reports, two things are clear:
1. The Soviets themselves see no way, given current conditions, to break through the German front and secure the agricultural land they need.
2. Growing Soviet desperation leads them to demand effective military support from the Western Allies. They, however, hold back from any effective and decisive intervention in the face of German preparedness. They pretend that their tactical and military actions have great significance, whereas in the more realistic view of the Soviets, the Anglo-American war effort is meaningless and insignificant.
Recently, England and America have countered impatient Soviet demands with criticism of the results of the current Soviet offensive, already in progress for more than eight weeks. Radio and press reports in both countries have said that “So far, there have been no dramatic breakthroughs,” certainly not in proportion to the huge losses in men and matériel.
A lead article in the Daily Express on 2 September said:
“Even if the Soviets succeed in gaining small amounts of territory, the price is far too high. In view of the determined German resistance, there have been no quick and speedy withdrawals anywhere along the long front. Each mile demands hard battle. These difficulties are caused not only by the battles themselves, but also by the extraordinarily bad communication lines to the rear, since the Germans destroy or render unusable everything that they give up, in particular all the railway lines and roads.”
The neutral world, too, has clearly recognized that the determined German defensive battle in the East must be viewed as a complete and total German victory. The Bulgarian newspaper Novo Vreme writes:
“Soviet mass attacks have allowed the German military leadership to use a strategy of flexible defense that preserves its own forces while costing the greatest possible losses to the enemy. This strategy is extraordinarily successful, as the huge Bolshevist losses in troops, tanks, aircraft, weapons, etc., proves. The minor territorial gains that the Soviets have made, on the other hand, are completely insignificant. What is important is that the Soviets have not succeeded even once in breaking the German front and forcing German troops to retreat. Each German withdrawal is planned, following a carefully prepared and intentional decision.”
The Observer sees the result of the battle in this way:
“In at most five to six weeks, the notorious Russian fall will bring a halt to all major operations on the Eastern Front. It cannot be expected that the Soviets by then will have had any kind of decisive success.”
This overview, based on a selection from many enemy and neutral voices, allows us to evaluate the situation clearly. The situation, in fact, is as we described at the beginning. The goal of German operations in the East is:To stop the Soviets from breaking through the German front and thereby gaining access to the Ukrainian harvest. Up until now, this goal has been fully attained.
The Exchange Telegraph summarized the situation in these words:
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“We cannot expect that the war will end with a breakthrough along the German front, or one back in the Reich itself. Hitler has held on to the old striking force, and hard and costly battles still awit us.”