The Cold War versions – ‘AirLand Battle’, ‘AirLand Battle 2000’, and ‘Follow-On Forces Attack’ – of the ‘Deep Battle’ concepts developed by Germany and the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s, caused the flare-up of rare criticism within the community of defence experts and, in particular, friction between the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army and, on a broader spectrum, between the USA and its European allies. Thanks to recently declassified documents, we can now also add the CIA to the chorus of critical voices; the CIA’s scepticism provoked serious disagreements with General Rogers, the then Supreme Allied Commander for Europe. The likely inadequacies of the various forms of Deep Battle for fighting the Soviet threat, along with the total or partial absence of external factors that normally drive the changing of military doctrines, suggest the existence of more prosaic, parochial reasons for their ideation and adoption.
Jews joined the Soviet partisan movement spontaneously, after escaping from various ghettos in Lithuania and Belarus. Most of them had no military background, but they were eager to take part in fighting and revenge. They had to adjust to harsh living conditions in the forests and suffered hostility and antisemitism on the part of locals and non-Jewish fellow partisans. Internal relations amongst different political and ideological groups were often problematic as well. This article focuses on specific violent events which occurred in the Rudniki forests near Vilnius, Lithuania, and specifically on one controversial case study: the execution of the partisan commander Natan Ring in early November 1943, by his brothers in arms. Ring was suspected of collaboration with the Germans while he served as a Jewish policeman in the Vilnius ghetto. Based on the testimonies and memories of former partisans, recorded at different times between the end of the war until the present, the article rethinks morals and behaviour in that unique space and time and how the event has been perceived over the years which followed.
From 1914 to 1917, in severe weather conditions on the icy Baltic Sea, Russian and British submariners contested control of the sea lanes with the German Imperial Navy. Their accomplishments were largely forgotten after the war’s end. However, the Russo-British Baltic Submarine Flotilla played an important role in the war at sea in the First World War. Most significantly, in 1915 the Flotilla wreaked havoc on German naval planning and nearly cut Germany’s critical iron ore imports from Sweden. The results would lead to a strategic crisis in the German Imperial Admiralty Staff and delay Germany’s attempt to break the British blockade until 1916. Here, the significance of the Russo-British Baltic Submarine Flotilla to the broader strategy of the First World War – and its later impact on strategy in the Second World War – is re-examined.