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"Can Soviets Be Counted as "Allied"?" Topic


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1,121 hits since 6 Jan 2013
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Tango 2 3 Ditto Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 12:40 p.m. PST

Hi folks,

I'm creating a table in a simple application (for my own wargaming stuff) that lists possible combatants for scenario generation or a vehicle/gun characteristics list. I have a characteristic called "Nation" and one called "Ally". The list looks like this:


Allies Australian
Allies British
Allies Canadian
Allies French
Allies New Zealand
Allies Soviet
Allies US
Axis German
Axis Hungarian
Axis Italian
Axis Japanese
Axis Romanian
Axis Vichy French


Does classifying Soviets as "Allied" make enough sense from the point of view of distinguishing between the "traditional" opponents in WWII?

Finns would be difficult to classify, though I'd probably put them as Axis my little application is not restricted against having allied or axis powers opposing each other.

Would you recommend another term? I can't think of one.

Thanks in advance for any comments.
--
Tim

AONeill06 Jan 2013 12:49 p.m. PST

I think location and date are critical.
You pick where and when you're fighting and that defines who can be your allies. Several switched sides.

kreoseus206 Jan 2013 12:51 p.m. PST

and ooohh

link

and ooh some more

link

Cyclops06 Jan 2013 12:58 p.m. PST

From a British point of view:
Did we fight the Soviets? No. Would we if given the chance? No. Allies.
Did we fight the Finns? No. Would we if given the chance? Yes. Axis.
Simples (unless it's pre 6/1941 when it's a bit of a grey area).

kreoseus206 Jan 2013 12:58 p.m. PST

Would Poland count as an allied nation ? Belgium, Holland ? South Africa.?

Finland fought against USSR and in one instance, Britain, but may or may not count as axis, depending on your definition.

anleiher Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 1:00 p.m. PST

Perhaps Co-belligerent better describes the Soviets. They did after all invade Poland with their German "co-belligerents" then liquidate the Polish officer corps. They routinely interned US airmen which fell into their hands and subjected them to harsh interrogation.

Not the same relationship as the Brits and Americans shared.

Personal logo Tango 2 3 Ditto Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 1:16 p.m. PST

Thank you for your thoughts, folks.

What I'm trying to do is group different countries into two basic groups of traditional us versus them. Andy is right in that for many it depends on time. While I can account for that with a time period look up table, it gets kind of time consuming to set up the structure for that. grin

It might be just as well to just go with country without the qualification of "side", I think. What I was trying to accomplish was in an overall catalogue of vehicles by country was list the Axis or allied ones first and then the other.
--
Tim

Katzbalger06 Jan 2013 1:26 p.m. PST

If you end up including the Poles, you'd have to have at least three entries: 1939 (independent), Brit-supplied, Soviet-supplied. Same for the Czechs (except for the independent part). And then there's the Slovaks…

The French need at LEAST four entries? 1940, Brit-supplied, Ami-supplied, and Vichy.

Italians get the Axis and Allies label--some at the same time.

And no Chinese, Greeks, Yugos (of different varieties), Spanish, aside from the other nations already listed?

Not sure what you are really using your chart for, so I like what O'Neil said (pick a place and time--and that determines allies).

As for the Sovietrs--there was a plan in place by the Brits to provide support for the Finns against the Soviets--so they COULD have been belligerants if the Winter War had gone on for a little longer.

Rob

pas de charge Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 1:41 p.m. PST

As others have stated, the key problem with this idea is that some countries (for example Italy and Romania) were both Axis and Allied at different stages of the war.

Also, not all relationships were that simple. The Soviets were seen as potential enemies by Britain and France in 1939 and remained so for the British until the day that Hitler carried out his second most stupid act by invading the USSR. Britain came very close to sending military help to Finland during the Winter War as the Soviets were seen as being German allies.

donlowry06 Jan 2013 2:06 p.m. PST

I'd call the Soviets co-belligerants. It's not like any Soviet troops were likely to show up in France -- or vice-versa. Also, the Soviets did not declare war on Japan (or vice versa) until very late in the war.

Other additions to your list:
Axis Slovaks (Slovakians?)
Allies Yugoslavs
Allies Greeks
Allies Brazilians
Allies Palestinian Jews
Allies – Indians (i.e. British India: Gurkhas, Sihks, etc.)

Personal logo doc mcb Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 2:13 p.m. PST

The enemy of my enemy is the enemy of my enemy.

Lots of ideologically-induced blindness, plus the normal American naivete, made many in US imagine that good ol' Uncle Joe Stalin was our ally. Even though he never acted like it.

When I teach causes of WWII, I stress the rise of aggressor nations. Stalin's Soviet Union was as evil and guilty as the German Nazis and Italian Fascists and Japanese whatever-they-were. Finland and Poland prove that.

But of course once a general conflict broke out there was a reshuffling.

rvandusen06 Jan 2013 2:33 p.m. PST

In the case of the Yugoslavs it becomes even more complex.

Partisans-Allied-Partisans can be from any Yugoslav nationality

Chetniks-Allied AND Axis

Slovene Home Guard-Axis

Croats- Axis

Bosnian Muslims- Axis

Serbian Home Guard- Axis

A civil war within a civil war within a world war.

Fuebalashi Dakasonomichi Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 2:46 p.m. PST

When I teach causes of WWII I stress that the USA was as evil as Germany and Japan.

;)

sillypoint06 Jan 2013 2:59 p.m. PST

IMHO During the Second World War the Soviets were allies. They may not have subjugated their forces under the command of one leader, they may have been belligerent at times and acted in their own interest. However, they sacrificed lives in battles against a common enemy, allied lives were lost in the Baltic in an effort to re-supply them. When planes flew or were forced to land in Russia, crew were not interred, in contrast to what would have occurred if they had landed in a neutral state. Berlin was not advanced on because …anyhow, I think we're over thinking it roll a d4 on a 4+ we'll count them as allies.

thosmoss06 Jan 2013 3:25 p.m. PST

> It's not like any Soviet troops were likely to show up in France

They were there, fighting for the Germans (or at least doing the jobs of occupying troops) and showing incredibly poor morale against invading Allies after D-Day. You could of course simply rate them as German Troops, but their mothers would have been horrified.

GarrisonMiniatures Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 3:54 p.m. PST

But they did show up in Iran:

link

GR C1706 Jan 2013 3:55 p.m. PST

thomoss, those were "Hiwis" as the Germans called them. They were Soviet defectors, and did not fair well upon there forced return to Russia. (Many Indians were serving on the Atlantic Wall as combat troops as well, as they wanted to fight the British.)

As for France not serving in Russia, the pilots of Groupe de Chasse 3 or "Normandie-Niemen" would disagree. They would become the second highest scoring fighter group in the Red Air Force.

In the end the Russians belived themselves allies and were treated as such.

tuscaloosa06 Jan 2013 4:20 p.m. PST

"Stalin's Soviet Union was as evil and guilty as the German Nazis"

This topic is periodically debated on every military history board I've seen, and there are a great many arguments which could go on and on.

Let it suffice to say (though it won't) that I, and many others, believe Stalin's Soviet Union was not as bad as the Nazis. Because Stalin killed whoever was a threat to him, or whoever stood in the way of his continued monopoly on power. Hitler killed certain classes of people simply because of who they were. For me, this represents a difference in degree of evil.

Super Mosca06 Jan 2013 5:37 p.m. PST

"Stalin's Soviet Union was as evil and guilty as the German Nazis"

Just because your ally commits terrible war crimes and crimes against their own population, does not mean that they are any less allies.

Alliances shift and change.
the Soviet Union was no longer an ally of English-speaking nations after 1945 and certainly looked after it's own interests more than that of it's allies during the war. During the war the Soviets were our allies.

-Kosta

Etranger06 Jan 2013 6:02 p.m. PST

The Soviets were allies during WWII (at least after 22nd June 1941), in my book. As Churchill put it "
If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons. "

Ryan Toews06 Jan 2013 6:35 p.m. PST

You might want to check with your provincial DMV for their definition of "ally" when applying for Veteran's plates. Here in Manitoba one of the requirements for eligibility is service in the "Canadian Forces, or an allied force, or in the Merchant Navy or Ferry Command during World War II or the Korean War".

When I was waiting for my driver's license to be renewed I asked whether a Russian emigrant that first flew in the Red Air Force in WWII and then again in the Korean War would qualify for Manitoba Veteran plates. When the office manager finally returned from phoning head office I was told not to be such a troublemaker. It was fun while it lasted, but I still don't have an answer.

Now I wish I had thought about the French…

Personal logo doc mcb Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 7:41 p.m. PST

Stalin's artificial famine in the Ukraine was as great an evil as the Holocaust.

Lion in the Stars Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 9:00 p.m. PST

"Stalin's Soviet Union was as evil and guilty as the German Nazis"

This topic is periodically debated on every military history board I've seen, and there are a great many arguments which could go on and on.

Let it suffice to say (though it won't) that I, and many others, believe Stalin's Soviet Union was not as bad as the Nazis. Because Stalin killed whoever was a threat to him, or whoever stood in the way of his continued monopoly on power. Hitler killed certain classes of people simply because of who they were. For me, this represents a difference in degree of evil.


The problem is that in his paranoia, Stalin killed people who were not threats to his own power and who were vital to the protection of his nation.

I pretty much buy the 'Mandate of Heaven' theory of rulership: As the ruler of a nation, your duty is to make the nation as great as possible. To strip a nation of capable defenders is to weaken a nation, and to weaken a nation is against the ruler's duty. To starve a nation is just as criminal.

11th ACR06 Jan 2013 9:14 p.m. PST

Look at it this way: link
And like this: link

Personal logo Meiczyslaw Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 10:14 p.m. PST

Let it suffice to say (though it won't) that I, and many others, believe Stalin's Soviet Union was not as bad as the Nazis. Because Stalin killed whoever was a threat to him, or whoever stood in the way of his continued monopoly on power. Hitler killed certain classes of people simply because of who they were. For me, this represents a difference in degree of evil.

Your history is in error. Stalin eliminated classes of people because they did not fit into his vision of a Socialist State, and did so deliberately and systematically. Just because he was a dictator doesn't mean that he wasn't a true-blooded socialist. In fact, the two tend to go hand-in-hand.

Some Chicken07 Jan 2013 2:11 a.m. PST

Soviet Russia was a strange bed-fellow for the Western Allies but allies they were in my view. Attempts were made at a high level to co-ordinate strategy (e.g the various Moscow, Teheran and Yalta conferences) and eventually Churchill found himself somewhat marginalised by Roosevelt in favour of Stalin. The Western Allies also made significant sacrifices in blood and material to supply the Soviet war effort, which (on my definition at least) shows Russia was seen as more than a co-belligerent.

Other additions to Ditto's and downlowry's lists:

Allied – South Africa and Rhodesia
Axis – Bulgaria (until it was overrun by the Soviets)

Black Bull07 Jan 2013 3:01 a.m. PST

Bulgaria is a strange one as i don't think they declared war on the Soviets certainly they had an ambassader in Moscow in the dark days of winter'41 and only fought in occupied Yugoslavia and Northern Greece.

Allied Palestinian Arabs, the Palestine Regiment had 5 battalions 3 Arab and 2 Jewish one of the Arab served as LoC troops in North Africa just like the 2 Jewish ones

Dynaman878907 Jan 2013 5:25 a.m. PST

Although we might have considered the soviets our allies in WWII, they never thought of us as allies. My father was in the Murmansk convoys and never had anything good to say about his time in Russian ports. (granted he had precious little to say about it at all)

Personal logo zippyfusenet Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 5:27 a.m. PST

Bulgaria is a complicated case.

Bulgarians to this day are very friendly and grateful to Russians for aiding their liberation from the Turks. A Bulgarian friend tells me that in WWI, Bulgaria joined the Central Powers to fight Romania and Serbia, but never-never-never allied with the Turks. No how. No way.

In WWII, Bulgaria joined the Axis attack on Yugoslavia to liberate Yugoslav territories that they considered their own. They also ethnically cleansed those territories. Bulgaria didn't declare war on Russia and didn't participate in Barbarossa. In 1944, when the Red Army reached the Bulgarian border, the Royal government was overthrown in a bloodless coup by the Bulgarian Socialists. The new Workers and Peasants' government allied with Russia to chase Axis forces out of their corner of the Balkans. They still didn't get to keep any of the Yugoslav territory they had seized – Tito got it all back, along with the surviving population.

We considered Bulgaria an Axis county. My Bulgarian friend further remarked that his own mother was nearly killed in an American bombing raid on Sofia. Apparently we bombed Sofia a number of times.

Personal logo Martin Rapier Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 5:59 a.m. PST

What does 'Third Reich' have to say about all this?

Allied – UK & Empire/Commonwealth, USA, France, Russia
Axis – Germany, Japan, Italy, Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Vichy, Finland

which is close enough to the list in the OP.

Despite British & French preparations for war with the USSR in 1940 and Rumania, Bulgaria and Italy joining the allies later in the war.

Griefbringer07 Jan 2013 6:24 a.m. PST

Finland fought against USSR and in one instance, Britain, but may or may not count as axis, depending on your definition.

Finland also fought against Germany from September 1944 onwards.

And during the Winter War, Germany tried to hinder under nations from sending men and volunteers to Finland, though not being formally at war with Finland itself. For further confusion, Italy wanted to send some aid to Finland, to fight against Soviet Union, while their co-Axis Germans wanted to prevent them from doing it. As it was, at least some Italian fighter pilot managed to make it to Finland in time to join the combat.

What I was trying to accomplish was in an overall catalogue of vehicles by country was list the Axis or allied ones first and then the other.

Considering how vehicles and weapons were sold, lisenced, copied and/or captured back and forth, you might get crazy with such an effort.

For example, the Vickers 6-ton tank was a British design, but not actually used by the British military. However, in the 30's it was sold to Finland, sold or lisenced to Poland, and built (with or without lisence) in Soviet Union as T-26. There may have been also some other countries obtaining them in the 30's.

And once the war started, things just got more confused. Germans managed to capture a number of Polish tanks (including the Vickers 6-ton tanks), and in 1941 there were lot of T-26 captured by various belligerents on the eastern front.

And then you get into such scenarios as a T-34 first employed by Soviet Union, captured by the Germans, sold to Finland, and used by the Finnish army first again Soviet army and then against German army.

Personal logo Klebert L Hall Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 7:37 a.m. PST

Of course the Soviets were Allies.
-Kle.

CPBelt07 Jan 2013 9:01 a.m. PST

I've always seen the Soviet government as the enemy of my enemy is my friend, never a true "ally." In game terms, though, go for ally.

Personal logo Tango 2 3 Ditto Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 9:35 a.m. PST

Thanks so much to all. grin It's great to see such wide ranging discussion.

It's not meant to be something that will be released to others, so I can just add to the table if and when we want to deal with combatants we've never gamed before.

When choosing forces for a scenario, the application does not restrict to choosing only AFVs and equipment for the country in question. For instance, if I choose a side is German, the default list I'm shown of equipment to choose from is filtered for German initially, but I can choose to change or remove the filter in order to choose other stuff that might be captured or from another country. If I wanted, the application will let me have a side listed as Andorra (if I had that country in the table) with all Japanese tanks. Andorra's list of equipment would show nothing with the Andorra filter, but I'd change it to Japanese or just remove it to choose other countries stuff.

I have gone ahead and removed the Ally column from the table and nations will just be listed alphabetically as will the the equipment by nationality when a data sheets are printed. I normally just print data sheets only for a side's equipment, however, so the player(s) has no inkling of what might be facing him other than the scenario intelligence briefing for that side.

Again, thanks so much for the discussion and I look forward to any other posts that might follow.
--
Tim

Personal logo vtsaogames Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 10:05 a.m. PST

"Japanese whatever-they-were"

I think militarists would cover it. If you want to be more specific, Militarist/Nationalist/Shintoist.

They broke the mold of the time, not having One True Leader, but instead a swarm of squabbling high-ranking officers divided between Army and Navy. They drank their own Kool-Aid.

Soviets were Allies, regardless of their crimes.

donlowry07 Jan 2013 10:35 a.m. PST

You could of course simply rate them as German Troops …

Yes, I would. They were in the German army under German commanders wearing (presumably) German uniforms.

As for the Soviets, they ran their front(s) and France/UK, later US/UK, ran the others. So, again, not likely to see both on the same gaming table except for the last few days of the war as both fronts squeezed the Reich like a tube of toothpaste.

tuscaloosa07 Jan 2013 4:18 p.m. PST

"Stalin eliminated classes of people because they did not fit into his vision of a Socialist State, and did so deliberately and systematically."

Not true. But an argument that is tangential to the thrust of this discussion, so I shall let it pass.

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