Soviet and Nazi Intimidation Systems

The Soviet Bolshevist regime used intimidation and terror strategy as well. However, there was a very important difference. While the Nazi system made it loud and clear that only active opponents of the regime will be prosecuted and law-abiding citizens had nothing to fear, the Soviet system sent a message that anyone – even the diehard Bolsheviks – could be arrested, tortured and sent to the GULAG (or even shot) at any time.

This difference predictably and inevitably led to a very important difference on the battlefield in summer and fall of 1941. Where the Germans achieved the most spectacular victory and the Soviets (despite their enormous superiority in personnel and military hardware) suffered the most catastrophic defeat in the history of warfare.

And only colossal blunders by its commander-in-chief prevented the German Wehrmacht from winning the war on the Eastern front.


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