The Generalissimo
28 April, 2011

It must be too immature and irrelevant to speak about the outstanding military talent and the commanding brilliance of the man who lost three times as many people in the war as his defeated adversary. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.
GJ – In the Second World War the Georgian gene-pool was seriously injured. Out of the 700 thousand recruited young men 300 thousand fell on battlefields. Among all the Soviet republics Georgia was the one who had suffered the biggest

human losses. What was the entire death toll in the War all over the Soviet Union?
SM – The Soviet Union lost 27 million people in World War II. No other country which participated in the War had suffered the human losses equal to that. Not even Germany which started fighting as early as 1939 and was involved in two fronts.  Just imagine the imprudence of Soviet high command and their lack of concern about a soldier’s life – they lost three times as many people as Germany, given that the Soviet Army won the War and the German army lost it. Meanwhile, there is a lot of talk going on about Stalin’s greatness and his brilliant and talented command.
GJ – Stalin even received the military rank of a generalissimo, didn’t he?
SM – Yes, he did indeed, but I think it is too immature and irrelevant to speak about the outstanding military talent and the commanding brilliance of the man who lost three times as many people in the war as his defeated adversary. There were innumerable operations which were erroneously planned and prepared during the War. At the first stage of the War the fronts were closed; planes were eliminated before they took off; tanks were destroyed before they were cranked up; soldiers dropped their weapons before they made shots and escaped the battlefields. Wouldn’t those facts speak volumes about the situation? Shouldn’t they make us think a little deeper over the state of affairs at that time? Right in the first days of the War three million Russians surrendered to Germans as prisoners of war. What statehood and what military geniuses are we talking about here? 
GJ – The biggest paradox is that Stalin had directed all his efforts and the entire economic potential of the country towards the creation of a powerful military machine and its further strengthening. You have noted many times before that agriculture and industry as well as many other fields of economy remained practically undeveloped under the Soviet rule. . .
SM – The fact of suffering the biggest human losses in the War meant that the Soviet military machine was good for nothing. Towards the end of the War the Soviets introduced certain improvements concerning their military technology, but the Soviet Union could not even approximate the level of Germany in terms of the nuclear energy development – the Germany who was severely defeated in the War. Regardless Stalin’s efforts of many years to build heavy industry in the country, which by the way was being done at the expense of developing the agriculture and mid-size business, the result was way lower than satisfactory.
GJ – How could technology develop in a country of harsh purges and violations where people were scared and depressed?
SM – You are right! Dictatorship was rampant in Germany too, but the German dictatorship was inspired with the idea of nationalism where the specialists of various fields were motivated and encouraged by national-patriotic ideology. In Germany, nationalism grew into fascism, but some of them may still be calling it patriotism. For a comparison’s sake, a regular American scientist was interested in a scientific discovery whereas a Soviet scientist was motivated only by fear; and fear, as you might agree with me, is a feeling which usually deteriorates the quality of man’s creative activity. No matter how talented Soviet scientists might have been, they were still unable to keep pace with Western scholars – and that was natural – because their motivation was fright and concern for survival, not just passion for scientific discovery and creative quest therein (Continued in the next article on the same page).

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