It all comes down to squad leadership. If in doubt (and who isn’t once in combat!) the German squad leader will know his Commander’s Commander’s intent (his 2 – up), and he will also know he will be praised, indeed expected, to use his initiative. Whereas the Russian sergeant, will be lucky if he knows what his platoon commander’s intent is, let alone his company commanders! Should he exercises his initiative, which he will never have been trained to do, he can expect suspicion if he is successful, and punishment if he is not. His default position, which has gotten him his present rank, is to stick doggedly to his orders, no matter how invalid they may have become. If in doubt, go to ground and await further orders. If its important, someone will come….
That’s not to say there is evidence that at the higher echelons – division, corps and army command, the Russians were starting to permit, even encourage initiative and mission-orientated orders from 1943, but I don’t think this ever filtered down to squad level…
As for the rest, as said above, the Germans have more firepower. As for adversity and courage, well, as Dennis Showalter explains brilliantly in his Blood and Armour there’s not much to choose between both armies’ individuals soldiers realising their best chance of survival is to stick to each other and fight it out…
- This reply was modified 7 years ago by Sparker.
'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'