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Content available remote Pětiletky „druhé revoluce“: Rudá armáda a zbrojní průmysl 1928–1937
During the twenties, due to power struggles and to devastated and later only stabilized economy, Moscow could afford only a moderate increase of military expenditures. Their rapid growth started in the late 1920s, and mainly in 1931 and 1932 in response to the Far East tension and, in particular, in connection with the start of qualitative modernization of the Red Army. Its weapons and equipment, dating mostly from the prewar time and only exceptionally improved, were replaced with new types, and a new type of armed forces also appeared: armored and mechanized units. Another stage of modernization started in 1936, apparently in response to the international situation. The military budgets were rapidly growing, the arms and equipment introduced in the RKKA in the early 1930s were now, in accordance with the international trend, replaced with a new generation. However, further development was delayed, and in some cases even stopped by the political repressions. As a result, the USSR was unable to immediately follow the new international trends that appeared in the mid-1930s, and the next stage of rearmament started only just before the outbreak of the war.
A session of the War Council of the People's Commissar for Defence of the USSR, the highest supreme collegiate agency of the Red Army, held in Moscow at the beginning of June 1937, remains one of the most significant events in the history of the Great Purge carried out within the Soviet officer corps. It was upon this occasion that official information was given about the detention of Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevski and other high ranking Red Army commanders accused of espionage in cooperation with foreign military Intelligence aimed against the Bolshevik Party and the Soviet state. The article, based on documents in Russian archives, primarily a stenographic record of the War Council session, presents and analyses the declarations made upon that occasion by representatives of the Far Eastern Concentration of the Soviet Armed Forces - the Special Red Banner Far Eastern Army, the Trans-Baikal Military District, and the Pacific Fleet. Similarly to the rest of the Soviet military elite, none of the participants, headed by Marshal Vasilii Blyukher (Blucher) ), commander of the Special Far Eastern Army, undermined the thesis about the existence of a 'military-fascist conspiracy' within the Red Army, or the guilt of Marshal Tukhachevsky and his comrades. Blucher himself agreed to join a special Military Tribunal which issued death sentences several days after the War Council debates ended. Everyone condemned the accused, whom Stalin and the NKVD regarded as 'enemies of the people'. Some of the representatives of the Far Eastern Concentration, such as Commodore Ivan Fedko, former commander of the Maritime Group under the Special Red Banner Far Eastern Army, denounced consecutive officers as potential participants of the mythical conspiracy. The further fate of the commanders and members of the war councils of the Far Eastern Concentration of the Soviet Armed Forces proves that the contents of the declarations made by them at the June session did not exert greater impact upon their future. All, with the exception of the future Marshal Kiril Meretskov, former Chief of Staff of the Special Far Eastern Army, accused at the session of links with 'enemies of the people', became the victims of the Great Purge.
The Bratislava-Brno operation was the largest military operation on the territory of the current Slovakia. The 25th Guard Rifle Corps has also participated in the fights that took place in the context of this event. This work is dedicated exactly to this unit and its subordinate divisions. The focus is on the timeline of the operations lasting from crossing the river Vah until reaching the eastern outskirts of Bratislava. The advance of three Soviet divisions towards the capital of the Slovak state is described in the text, as well as the proceedings of the fights, the number of combat losses and dislocation during the offensive. The work is mostly based on the archive sources mainly coming from the Central Archive of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, which were only declassified a few years ago. This paper brings so a new perspective to the previously untreated theme.
On entering the territory of Poland, Soviet soldiers received strict orders to refrain from violence on Polish citizens. However, on crossing the former borders of the Third Reich no such orders were issued. For many of the expulsed Germans, incoming Poles and native inhabitants (Kashubians) excruciating days began. The article presents the role of Soviet war headquarters and the conduct of the Red Army Soldiers toward post-German property and Polish settlers as well as the violence and crimes committed against the population currently staying on that area. Descriptions of the events are well documented by source materials obtained from the archives and based on the recollections of the victims. The information contained in the article on crimes committed by Soviet soldiers, only to a small extent depicts the actual facts, which require further investigation.
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