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"Russian Tank Sabotage in Stalingrad?" Topic

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20 Mar 2020 1:16 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Russian tank Savotage in Stalingrand" to "Russian Tank Sabotage in Stalingrad?"

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2020 8:49 p.m. PST

"Our tank units and formations take heavy losses, and losses in tanks for technical reasons outweigh losses in battle. On the Stalingrad Front, over 6 days of fighting, despite having superiority in tanks and artillery, in 12 of our tank brigades out of 400 tanks 326 were lost, out of those 200 were lost for technical reasons, and the majority were left on the battlefield. Similar examples can also be found on other Fronts. Considering this kind of rates of breakdown inconceivable, the Stavka considers this the be caused by covert sabotage and destruction on behalf of tankers, who either seek out small faults with their tanks or create them themselves in order to keep away from the battle, abandoning their tanks on the battlefield. At the same time, poorly established control over materiel and tracking of whether or not tanks perform their duties in battle in tank units allows this criminal and unacceptable behaviour to continue.
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"…Was there any follow up to this? Would like to know if it was truly tankers trying to avoid battle or just the factory and logistic QC was lacking."


Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2020 9:35 p.m. PST

My guess would be very poor QC and little to non-existent maintenance, due to the times, and very little logistical, and/or repair support.

They didn't even have trucks for a lot of their forces, so the infantry had to walk, or ride into battle on the tanks.

Same went for the Germans too, so it isn't too surprising.

Only US and Brits really had decent truck-borne logistics in the needed numbers, and even the USA was strapped for logistics support in the second half of 1944, as their units out-ran their supply lines, and petrol supplies. Patton was told to stop to permit things to improve, and he and Monty were fighting over fuel allocations back then, due to the lack of proper ports captured after D-Day.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2020 12:54 p.m. PST



Legion 419 Mar 2020 3:00 p.m. PST

I agree Thresher … Many probably rolled out of the factories just an accident waiting to happen mechanically. If an AFV can't even make it to the battlefield before breaking down is just as bad as not have an AFV at all. And if maint/recovery assets were poor, your army is in a lot of trouble. But the USSR "cleaned up" it's act and we know the rest …

Simo Hayha19 Mar 2020 5:09 p.m. PST

They dug in a fair number of tank in and around stalingrad which tells me that they knew they were short on, ammo, fuel and maintenance. One could certainly bring into question the amount of training available to tankers at the time as well. I wonder if they even fired live rounds before going into battle.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 Mar 2020 12:19 p.m. PST

So… no sabotage to avoid war/dead?… (smile)


Legion 420 Mar 2020 1:16 p.m. PST

amount of training available to tankers at the time as well.
Limited or poor training along with fuel and ammo shortages … could certainly have some disastrous effects. Good thing the USSR had the numbers until they had the all they needed to push the Germans and their allies out of Mother Russia.

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