Soviets invade the allies during operation downfall.

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Pauh the federalist, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    I haven't seen any particular evidence that lend-lease fuel was vital for Soviet ground vehicles (certainly the Soviets had more then enough domestic production: from what I can find, the Red Army's annual consumption of automobile gasoline averages 1/3rd their yearly production and their annual consumption of diesel averages 1/6th of production) and the Soviets had secured the means to produce more then enough aviation fuel in 1945-46 thanks to their repurposing of captured Romanian/German capacity and its transportation to Siberia as well as several refineries of American origin that had been built during 1943-45 under lend-lease. So claims that the Soviets will run out of fuel due to the suspension of lend-lease in a Unthinkable situation don't have much in the way of foundation.

    Most studies have found that was a distribution issue, not a food supply issue. The Soviets were actually even exporting food to feed Eastern Europe in this period.
     
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  2. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the timing; I'd agree with you in general about a 1947/1948 scenario but absolutely not in 1945. Romanian production had been reduced by 95% due to bombing by the Fall of 1944 and little, if any, repairs had been undertaken by the Summer of 1945. The removal of German plants, meanwhile, began in the late 1940s and wasn't completed until after 1950. For 1945, removing LL AV fuel reduces Soviet supply by somewhere in the vicinity of 40-60%. This is big, as Deep Battle was pretty reliant on air support.

    This explains itself, as the distribution issue was the fact that their agricultural sector had yet to recover to Pre-War levels, Lend Lease was cut off in late 1945, and they were exporting to Eastern Europe when they couldn't feed themselves.

    On the whole, I've definitely come to more align with your views with regards to 1947/1948 being the ideal time to strike. 1945, however, would be absolutely disastrous on all levels.
     
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  3. Aber Well-Known Member

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    Just one is enough

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  4. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    Best information I can find indicates the removal of German industrial infrastructure in general began almost immediately upon their capture and was completed before the end of 1946, not after 1950. I can't find anything to substantiate your claim about Romanian repairs, one way or the other.

    "Distribution issue" stemmed from Soviet grain requisition and rationing policies and not from any lack of harvest. No source I've read on the issue attribute the end of lend-lease or say that the Soviets were incapable of feeding themselves in late-1945. Indeed, The 1947 Soviet famine and the entitlement approach to famines comes right out on the first page in saying that the Soviet food stocks were sufficient to feed all who died.

    I wouldn't call it disastrous (well, not in the short-term. Obviously in the long-term, it’s catastrophic), but I wouldn't call it ideal either. It would go rather better in the OPs scenario then hauling off in June or July of 1945, since Operation Downfall would be sucking American forces into the Pacific and thus the forces in Europe would be pretty weak by late-'45/early'-46. The fact the US is still at war and hasn't demobilized it's conventional and atomic forces, however, would allow them to turn around much faster then would be the case if the USSR waited for post-war demob.
     
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  5. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis, Catalysts and Catalysis:
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    As for the Romanians, this is pretty interesting I think:
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    Basically the Soviets were looting it, the industry was in shambles and then completely and utterly collapsed in 1948.

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    Agricultural production remained below Pre-War levels and was actually dropping in many areas while into 1944 about 25% of Red Army rations were Lend Lease in origins. Already, this suggests they would struggle to feed themselves, no matter the distribution system; now add in the fact they had to feed their newly won conquests in Eastern Europe.

    The U.S. didn't start pulling out in strength until essentially the start of July which means they where somewhere still around 2 million or so in Europe by the likely time of Operation Downfall.
     
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  6. Luminous Headwing Consulting

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    Would Operation Coronet have even gotten the go ahead if there was a Soviet Invasion during Olympic? The troops would be needed in Europe; securing southern Kyushu would have provided many of the requisite bases for further bombings of Japan - combine that with the naval presence blockading the islands, the second invasion may be delayed and Japan allowed to whither on the vine.
     
  7. MattII Well-Known Member

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    Hm, so the Soviets attack an enemy capable of flattening cities with impunity, and expect to just waltz on through them?
     
  8. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    That doesn’t contradict anything I've said. While it confirms the aviation fuel capacity of the Siberian plant, there's nothing there about the timeframe with which the dismantling of the East German/Polish equipment and their subsequent reconstruction in the Siberian plant took place.

    It is interesting, especially since it manages to contradict your earlier claim that “little to no repairs had taken place” in 1945. A production increase of more then a million tons is a far cry from that. Overall, your figures indicate that the Romanians had around 3,000,000 unexported, unconsumed tons of oil products during 1945 that the Soviets could have requisitioned had they felt the need, a notable proportion of which would undoubtedly include high-octane avgas.

    The lowered production figures relative to pre-war production are not what's relevant. What's relevant is production figures relative to what is needed to avoid starvation. On that front, the paper makes it clear that Soviet resources were adequate enough from the very first page with the line "During the famine, surplus stocks in the hands of the state seem to have been sufficient to feed all of those who died of starvation." The paper's calculations on what is needed vs what was available further backs this up: it calculates on page 628 that "the prudent minimum level of grain stocks at 1 July 1947 to ensure the survival of the population dependent on the rationing system was somewhere in the range 2–3 million tons". Comparison with the figures provided by the tables on page 606 shows that this is about 1/3rd to a half of the excess stocks the Soviets had available during 1947 and roughly 1/5th of what they had available in 1946. The conclusion is pretty clear: the Soviets have enough to feed everybody even with the termination of lend-lease, it's just a matter of distribution.

    And of course, they could always follow the Nazis example and not feed large portions of Eastern Europe if they have too.

    US Army strength figures peg total manpower strength worldwide by November 1945 (including USAAF) at around 5 million. Assuming proportions deployed were the same as in May of 1945, that would leave the US army with 1.875 million in Europe. Of course, the continuing war against Japan would have it's own repercussions on this figure: on the one hand the US won't be releasing men from the military, or at least not as fast, but on the other many of those men would still be pulled from Europe... they'd just go to the Pacific, instead of back home. Probably would be little different all told.

    The corresponding figures for the Soviet military's strength shows that their strength actually increases in the May-July period by around a half-million before finally falling off from August onwards, with the figures reaching just shy of 8 million by November 1945 which, again assuming similar proportions to that of May 1945, would give them ~4.5 million in Europe. Of course, if the Soviets are planning to attack in the late-autumn of '45 then they could slow down or even refrain from such a demobilization and the figures would undoubtedly be closer to that of summer 1945... although then again, the WAllies might notice that, wonder why, and start drawing conclusions.

    The US couldn't flatten Soviet citizens with impunity. They'd have to deal with the Red Air Force first.
     
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  9. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    The shipments of grain and other supplies from the western allies will stop.
    Russia will run out of spares for western supplied equipment.
    And they will starve.
     
  10. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    Seeing as the Soviets were producing such spares domestically since 1944, that's unlikely.
     
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  11. Hammerbolt Well-Known Member

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    Soviet logistics ran on Lend-Lease trucks and railyard materials; even then, by 1945, it was having to stop to marshall supplies and troops for any ofensive. So yes, Lend Lease was vital. And, with a central/western european rail network wrecked by the war, the truck-bourne supply system will grind to a halt.

    But even if, by some miracle (ie, the US doesn't fix the atom bomb) it does manage to get to the Atlantic... then what? It's virtual lack of an ocean-going navy means the US/UK can go anywhere up and down the coast, while convoys will travel untouched. Meanwhile, B-29s and Lancaster/Lincolns flying at high altitude will start pounding any place where soviet troops and/or supplies are gathering.
     
  12. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    It directly states only three of the plants were operational in 1946 with two of said three in the British zone, with none of the ones used to construct the Siberian plant in operation.

    It does not contradict anything, in fact it directly states the Romanian industry was in an extremely bad state and the Russians essentially looted to the point it outright collapsed in 1948. Production while under Soviet occupation was consistently under WWII levels as well, so talking about production increases is misleading. As for what production existed in this time-frame, it's important to note that during WWII Germany produced 1,950,000 tons of aviation gasoline annually but all sans 50,000 tons was produced synthetically via the hydrogenation of coal; in other words, no AV Gas production existed within Romania. As well, for domestic production, can you cite me how much Tetraethyl lead the Soviets were producing at this time? It's all well and good they had American plants built during WWII, but they still needed 558,766 gals of "Ethyl Fluid" (Likely Tetraethyl) under Lend Lease which raises very big questions of whether what plants they do have would be able to produce without this American import.

    The paper you are citing is from 2000, Hunger and War is a much newer with access to better sources pretty much spells out how this is impossible; Soviet agriculture had yet to recover, had been collapsed since 1941 and starvation only began to abate in late 1944 thanks to Lend Lease food shipments which continued into the fall of 1945:

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    Somehow, during this time, they had managed to build up a stockpile despite having the Red Army, their own population and now Eastern Europe to feed? Doesn't seem likely. Further, in this regard, does the idea that 2-3 million tons of grain in stockpiles sound sufficient to make up for the entire famine given what we know about Soviet 1940 production:


    The Soviet Economy and the Red Army, 1930-1945, by Walter Scott Dunn -

    "By November of 1941, 47% of Soviet cropland was in German hands. The Germans had 38% of the grain farmland, 84% of the sugar land, 38% of the area devoted to beef and dairy cattle, and 60% of the land used to produce hogs. The Russians turned to the east and brought more land into cultivation. In the fall of 1941, the autumn and winter crops increased sharply in the eastern area. But despite all efforts, farm yields dropped from 95.5 million tons of grain in 1940 to 29.7 million tons in 1942. Production of cattle and horses dropped to less than half of prewar levels and hogs to one fifth. By 1942, meat and dairy production shrank to half the 1940 total and sugar to only 5%. Farm production in 1942 and 1943 dropped to 38% and 37% of 1940 totals."

    Finally, a very good question: if the Soviet system was so inept, or deliberately malicious IOTL to not disburse the grain, why do they magically become so ATL?

    Sure, which leads to the question of "How fast do Soviet logistics collapse?". They've already got probably 100,000 partisans between the Baltics, Ukraine and Poland alone and very quickly the U.S. will dominate the air war.

    So almost exactly what I said, yes.
     
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  13. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    What are you talking about? Here, let's look at what you posted again:

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    Only the circled part is relevant to our discussion, which centers on the Siberian plant and it's capacity of 1,000,000 tons of aviation fuel, more then enough to meet Soviet air force demands. None of the rest of the section is of any relevance. As one can see, there is no timestamp of any sort as to the timing of dismantlement and subsequent reconstruction in Siberia. That the plants weren't operational isn't relevant. Why would they be? They were dismantled after all so as to build the Siberian plant. What is relevant is whether the Siberian plant was operational and for that the source has nothing to say one way or the other.

    The rest is a complete irrelevancy, as it was never part of my argument so I don't know why your talking about it.

    How is it at all misleading? Your claim was, and I quote, "Romanian production had been reduced by 95% due to bombing by the Fall of 1944 and little, if any, repairs had been undertaken by the Summer of 1945". If that was true, then the 1945 production should have at least remained at around the same level as it was in 1944, if not lower. Instead, when we look at it shows production mid-way between it's 1944 and rest-of-WW2 figures, which means it was apparently half-repaired. That it then later was dismantled and collapsed does not contradict. Your next point about most German avgas coming from their synthetic industries is much better... but why didn't you lead with that?

    I can't find any data on this one way or the other. It's possible, likely even, that the Americans helped the Soviets establish/expand domestic production of Tetraethyl and the acquisition of German synthetic industries would also undoubtedly make it's contribution but without any documentation to that effect we can't say for sure one way or the other. I'll try and ask some people I know if they can dig anything up there.

    The paper I am citing is dragging out raw Soviet data from Soviet archival sources that is actually relevant to the time period and is much better at examining the 1946-47, whereas the Hunger and War which does not address the 1946 and does not offer any citation for it's claims about lend-lease ending being a contributing (as it's prevaricating answer indicates). If we can't take the data gathered by the people in charge of the Soviet Union's grain procurement, then there is no reliable sources on this matter and we can't say anything at all about the famine other then it happened.

    Again, I can't help but marvel at your tendency to look to completely irrelevant periods of time when it came to production figures. Since when is 1943 the same as 1946 or 1947? Where is the relation of the actual production in 1946-47 to what is actually required to feed everyone?

    Well, there is the fact that being in an actual war might focus it's attention on feeding the domestic fringes rather then exporting food to a foreign country. Of course, it might still not. But then that raises the question of why this famine would matter? It hit the fringes of Soviet society, yes, but it didn't affect Soviet warmaking capacity IOTL or even Soviet reconstruction... so why would it suddenly do so IATL?

    Well, how long did it take Nazis logistics to collapse to the much larger number of partisans operating in it's rear? And wishful thinking about the nature of air warfare not-withstanding, it will probably take years for the Americans to start to dominate the air war.

    Almost, yes. Of course, this leaves the Soviets with a numerical superiority roughly the same as they had over the Germans during Bagration assuming the Soviets demob to a similar level as OTL. Given that, the Soviets do probably inflict severe losses upon the Americans and push across West Germany, the Low Countries, and deep into France before running out of steam. I doubt they make it all the way to the Atlantic, but Paris might be in reach.

    If the Soviets do not demob, of course, then the Soviets numerical advantage is similar to that as the Vistula-Oder Offensive. In that case, the Red Army probably does wind up cooling it's boots in the Atlantic.
     
  14. MattII Well-Known Member

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    A Red Air Force totally focussed on tactical combat, and lacking much in the way of night-fighting capability. Also, they're not targeting Soviet cities, they're targeting Soviet supply dumps.
     
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  15. FBKampfer Ardent Arguer

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    The Soviets are hosed. The US had crippled German infrastructure by that point and could readily immobilize Soviet mechanized units.

    The Soviets had utter garbage for aircraft, inferior tanks, and less equipment. Especially against lavishly equipped US formations, the Soviets are going to get 1941 style bloody noses.


    After forces are shipped back to Europe, a French-Anglo-American force punches through poorly supplied Soviet forces and meet a landing somewhere near Buchenwald, and they lose half of their forces, crippling either their armies or their economy for the duration of their war with the Allies.


    The Soviets were about out of steam after taking Berlin. The UK was tired but able to carry on for some time if necessary. And the US was just warmed up when production started to be ramped down in 1944 as it became apparent Germany's defeat was imminent.


    Soviets are so screwed Uncle Joe would shit his pants if he knew how subpar his armies were in 1945.
     
  16. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    Yes I do know what I posted, hence why I'm confused at how you failed to look at the second paragraph I cited which explicitly states only one plant was operational in the Soviet zone and it was not one they deconstructed for transport IOTL.

    No, you've seem to forgot what the point was and it's not the capabilities of the Siberian facility:
    At this point, you need to make a citation that proves your claim because my own research shows something entirely different.

    Uh, no. The source in question states it was not repaired and we know by 1948 it utterly collapsed. For someone who has argued with me extensively on the issue of German material production in 1944/1945, you should understand quite clearly how this can work; we know German production going into the fall of 1944 was on the increase but it was due to utterly collapse by the following Summer because of loss of inputs and the bombings.

    Because I'm arguing on multiple points. Further, do I take your stance on this as a concession on the AV Gas? Genuinely asking here, because if not I'd suggest AHF but I'm sure you've already messaged Art probably.

    It directly addresses the immediate period leading up to the famine and it is unequivocal on the issue of Lend Lease:

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    Actually, this raises a major point that I need to correct myself on; previously I stated Lend Lease was providing just a fifth of all rations to the Red Army in 1944 but in the 1944-1945 period it was actually still 40%. Unquestionably now the issue is the Soviets submit to starvation in 1945.

    You misunderstand the point; if Soviet production was 95 tons in 1940, I real doubt the 2-3 million tons in storage could prevent starvation, especially given the above bit on Lend Lease.

    Because if the issue was a matter of being inept, a war does not magically fix that incompetence and if it was malicious in origin nor does a war change the decision to do so. I'd also think mass starvation would have a hell of an effect on the Red Army's fighting ability, no?

    Between the Baltics and Ukraine alone there is probably 150,000 partisans compared to just 180,000 against the Germans at the height of the Great Patriotic War. As for the air war, they have no AV gas and the Anglo-Americans have yet to demob their air forces. Given that, no question the Reds lose the air at best in a few weeks, and they'd never hold air superiority in the first place.

    No, absolutely not and I know you know better than this. Army Group Center had its armored divisions stripped from it, had massive artillery shortages, had just 44 fighters, was in a forward position on the largest front of the Wehrmacht in Russia, and had a commander who refused to allow surrenders and did not accept intelligence that contradicted his beliefs.

    In absolutely no respects does this equate to the Anglo-American-French-etc forces in Germany in 1945.

    Again, no.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
  17. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    Because, as I've said, those plants are irrelevant to my argument. They aren't the plants which we are discussing and which would be relevant to the actual Soviet production in the scenario. The relevant plant here is the Siberian plant, constructed from the Blechhammer, Politz, and Auschwitz plants, and your post gives zero indication of when it came online.

    Although since we're on the subject, do we have any idea what the productive capabilities of the Schwarzheide plant were? That could be good to know, even if it's only additive to the Siberian facilities production (and maybe those American refineries as well).

    Except it is? If the Siberian facility goes online in 1945/46 and can provide a million tons of high-octane Avgas to the Soviets annually, then that by itself is in excess of their annual needs by about 250,000 tons and the whole supposition of the Soviets having to suddenly ground around half their air force becomes total persiflage. Not to mention the Soviets successfully overrunning western Germany would mean the sudden acquisition of the rest of German synthetic and refining capacity, which could then be transported back to the USSR if not immediately utilized for their own purposes.

    I don't have anything which specifically gives the dismantlement of the Blechhammer, Politz, and Auschwitz plant occurred and the subsequent reconstruction at the Siberian plant, but Osjerski in his book indicates the period of major stripping of industry from Eastern Europe in general occurred in 1945-46. Given that the wording is general, it is possible that some specific industries were stripped out later on a smaller scale.

    Hmm... so you would describe the '45-'46 production figures as sort of the last gasp of the failing system? Fair enough. I can see it.

    I've already poked around AHF a bit but can't find anything on actual late/post-war production, although maybe I'm looking in the wrong sections. Hard figures on Soviet high-octane avgas production for 1945-1950 are apparently impossible to pin down: the best I can find are CIA estimates which, while the numbers they provide are in excess of what I know the Soviets consumed during the war, are known to have serious accuracy issues. I've had to resort to back-end calculations based on consumption to determine possible minimums. If your asking if I concede on the Avgas issue in regards to the Romanian plant? Then yes, because I was unaware that the Romanian plants did not produce high-octane Avgas.

    Great, except additional harvests occurred in 1945. What evidence do you have that those did not provide enough food?

    You seem to be a bit confused about which figures are which. The amount in storage wasn't 2-3 million tons. That's the rough amount that was estimated to be needed to feed those who died. When it comes to storage, the Soviet state began the year with 6.8 million tons in the reserve and procured 29.6 million tons for a total of 37.7 million tons. Total usage of the state grain reserves comes out to 31.1 million tons, leaving the state with a reserve of 6.6 million tons by the end of the year. This is purely grain from the stores of the Ministry of Procurements and excludes grain released from the stores of other agencies (such as the Ministry of Food Reserves). So the numbers show that the reserves of just one ministry of the Soviet Union had around two-three times the amount of grain needed to prevent the famine. The food simply didn't make it's way to the people who needed it.

    It didn't OTL: there is no evidence that the much more severe wartime famines had any impact on larger Soviet society or the fighting performance of the Red Army.

    Okay and? You've just admitted that the Soviets are operating with less partisans then the Germans were and the Germans didn't exactly see their supply chains totally disappear to those larger partisan forces. Your claims about avgas remain rather unfounded (even ignoring the production argument, do you think Soviet stockpiles magically vanish into the aether the moment war begins?) and while Anglo-American air forces are not yet fully demobbed by ATL November 1945, they would in the wrong place and can't exactly teleport from over the Pacific. It would take months to transfer back (assuming the US doesn't decide to keep them in the Pacific until Japan's defeated) and even once they get over here, they still have to fight the Red Air Force and the history of air warfare suggests that'll be a attritional struggle of years, contrary to the fantasies of people who don't understand strategic air war.

    I'm not talking about Army Group Center, I'm talking about the whole of the Eastern Front: even in the places the Germans were supposed to be stronger, the Soviets scored crushing victories. Given that the Anglo-American mechanized and artillery formations would be some of the first to be demobbed or transferred (don't need them for occupation and they could be put to more productive use invading Japan), the armor and artillery ratios will likely be as favorable, if not more so, to the Soviets as against the German army. I've already dealt with the air issue up there. Having a commander would be more of a benefit and WAllied intelligence against the Soviets tended to be poor so it's not like there's much for them to go on.
     
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  18. goalieboy82 Active Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  19. CalBear Your Ursus arctos californicus Moderator Moderator Donor

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    Uh...

    The Soviets would, in short order, have faced literal starvation without Lend Lease had they kept the Red Army at full strength. Most food production had fallen by more than half, much of it by 75%, as vittually every able bodied male was taken out of agricultural slots and put into the Red Army.
     
  20. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    Soviet food production had fallen to 75% (well, more like 70% but that's quibbling) by 1942-43, but in '44 it recovered to about 50% of the 1940 figures so obviously the lack of able-bodied men did not prevent Soviet agriculture achieving recovery.