Col. Pete Warden and the B-52

The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber first flew in 1954 and remains in active service. It is considered one of the greatest aircraft ever built.

Col Henry Edward “Pete” Warden

Henry Edward “Pete” Warden, had not planned on a military career, but when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 he abandoned his postgraduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and joined the Army Air Corps. He subsequently earned his wings in June 1940 and shortly thereafter deployed with the Twentieth Pursuit Squadron to Nichols Field in central Luzon in the Philippines. He was primarily a P-40 pilot, but after a few months he also became the depot inspector. When the Japanese attacked on December 8, 1941, leaving Nichols Field untenable, he was forced to move with parts of the depot team to the outskirts of Manila in an attempt to prolong resistance. After the main Japanese landings in Lingayen Gulf two weeks later, Gen. Douglas A. MacArthur, the commander in the Philippines, ordered national and local forces to withdraw to the Bataan Peninsula, declaring Manila an open city. However, Warden chose to stay behind enemy lines in order to salvage aircraft that would otherwise be lost during the immediate retreat. His team managed to save eight; Warden himself flew the last aircraft out of Manila only hours after the Japanese entered the capital.

Brig. Gen. Harold H. George, the air commander responsible for the region, then instructed Warden to take a few enlisted men to the island of Mindanao to find, assemble, and save more aircraft. Warden soon discovered three aircraft in packing crates, and while test-flying one he shot down what appears to have been a Japanese “Betty” bomber. With the end of the resistance in the Philippines in May 1942, Warden left for Australia, where he assembled, modified, and overhauled aircraft at the Fifth Air Service Command. He soon proved himself an innovative officer who achieved results, although not necessarily by following the technical manuals and procedures.

When he returned to the United States after almost four years in the Pacific, he was assigned to Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio-“the engineering center of the Air Force.” At that time the air force was engaged in fierce debates over whether it should focus on a bomber with straight wings and propeller-driven engines or one with swept wings and turbojet engines. The latter would be able to fly at higher altitudes and at high speed, which would make it more effective within the zone of engagement. However, aircraft with turbojets consumed far more fuel, and their shorter range would require a large tanker fleet for air-to-air refueling. The preliminary design program for the XB-52 indicated that costs would be high. Air force leaders also disagreed about the size of the aircraft and confronted considerable uncertainty about the quality of jet engines. Moreover, while the B-36 propeller plane could be delivered immediately, the B-52 would take years to develop.

In May 1945 Col. Donald L. Putt, chief of the Bombardment Branch, appointed Warden as the chief of the branch’s engineering division, with responsibility for running the Northrop XB-35 and the Convair XB-36 programs. Warden strongly identified with the three-bomber concept, which involved light, medium, and heavy bombers, stating, “the most important of the three airplanes is the heavy [bomber], whose mission will be the delivery of the special bomb load to the strategic target system.”

When Boeing was awarded a contract to build an experimental long-range heavy bomber Warden became the designated project officer and the leading spokesman for a new generation of bombers based on turbojet propulsion. His unrelenting support for both the B-47 and the B-52 gained him friends and enemies alike, and earned him the reputation as “one of the founding fathers of the B-52.” According to Walter J. Boyne, the author of Beyond the Wild Blue, Warden exercised far more authority than he actually had when he told Boeing, on October 21, 1948, to design the B-52 with jet engines:

Pete Warden undoubtedly knew that he had more information on aircraft and engine projects than any other individual, and that to advance the USAF’s need for a long-range bomber, he was responsible for making value judgments, causing programs to happen, and then seeing to their approval. In the case of the long-range bomber, Boeing had not been able to get the required range from the B-47-size jet bomber projects they were investigating. Intuitively, they felt that a larger, turbo prop bomber would have the required range. Unfortunately, the Wright T-35 turboprop engines, although they had been increased in power, still did not provide the necessary range, and worse, would not be ready for production until four years later in 1952. Warden apparently considered all this, urged Pratt & Whitney to pursue what became the J57 engine, and once he had their commitment, instructed Boeing to design a very large aircraft based on the J57. The B-52 was the result.

Lori S. Tagg, author of Development of the B-52, dedicated her book to Pete Warden, and insisted that the United States owes a considerable gratitude to this “progressive and persuasive jet-nut.” Boeing may have completed the design drawings and engineering, but Warden and his small staff played an important role in keeping the B-52 project alive at crucial times despite heavy criticism.

As the new bombers went into production and test flights, Gen. George C. Kenney, the commandant of Air University, requested that Warden join a research program at the Air War College. In late 1953, after Warden had been promoted to the rank of colonel at the age of thirty-eight, his technological insight and operational grasp caught the attention of Brig. Gen. Bernard A. Schriever, who personally ensured that he was put in charge of long-range planning at the Air Warfare Systems Division in the Pentagon. Maj. Gen. Donald N. Yates, commander of the Air Force Missile Test Center at Patrick AFB, also seems to have been impressed with Warden, arranging for him to become the deputy commander for tests in 1957. Three years later, Schriever, as the three-star commander of the Air Force Research and Development Command at Andrews AFB, made certain that Warden was given a central role in reorganizing what would become the Air Force Systems Command.

In this position, Warden became eligible for promotion to general rank. However, Warden was not one to play the political games required: he operated on the philosophy that it was easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission, and when the Air Staff wanted him to do something he considered a waste of effort he silently ignored it. His involvement with the B-52 also defined him as a controversial figure, one who could not be fully controlled. Given Warden’s maverick tendencies, the Promotion Board voted against him, and Warden retired from the air force in 1964, at the age of forty-nine. Shortly thereafter he became the corporate director of plans for North American Aviation; he stayed with the company for six years before he and his wife, Joanna, decided to devote their full time to managing their 550 acres of farmland near Columbus, Mississippi.

B-52s – The Last Argument of Presidents


The Rise of Jan Sobieski

Portrait of John III by Jan Tricius

Sobieski meeting Leopold I, by Artur Grottger. The Battle of Vienna took place at Kahlenberg Mountain near Vienna on 12 September 1683 after the imperial city had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months. The battle was fought by the Habsburg Monarchy, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire, under the command of King John III Sobieski against the Ottomans and their vassal and tributary states. The battle marked the first time the Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire had cooperated militarily against the Ottomans, and it is often seen as a turning point in history, after which “the Ottoman Turks ceased to be a menace to the Christian world”. In the ensuing war that lasted until 1699, the Ottomans lost almost all of Hungary to the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.

In the late 1650s Polish King Jan Kazimierz prepared a project for constitutional reform, in the belief that the crisis of the Swedish wars might predispose the szlachta to accept a strengthening of state power, particularly as, since he had no heir, the interregnum after his death was bound to be critical and possibly dangerous. At the instigation of the Queen, he proposed that his successor should be elected in his lifetime, vivente rege.

This was a red rag to the szlachta. Its right to elect the king was a cornerstone of the constitution, and any election carried out during the lifetime of a reigning monarch smacked of manipulation. In this instance it meant, as the Queen fully intended, that the French candidate nominated by the court would win. The szlachta were suspicious of the Queen’s influence, and the Habsburgs, who were alarmed at the idea of the Bourbons establishing themselves in Warsaw, did everything they could to whip up feeling against the proposals.

The project for parliamentary reform, which included earlier suggestions on voting by two-thirds majority, the removal of the sejmiks’ control over the deputy they had elected, a permanent annual tax, as well as the project for electing a successor vivente rege, came up before the Sejm of 1658. It foundered on minor points. The court party continued to press the issue in the following years, without success. The Queen, who believed that if all else failed a coup might be staged, was placing Frenchmen in key posts in the army. At the same time, Marshal Jerzy Lubomirski, who was in league with the Habsburgs, began to threaten rebellion if the court party persisted with its planned reforms. Following an attempt to impeach him in the Sejm, he rallied part of the unpaid army and groups of discontented szlachta and in 1665 staged a rebellion in the manner of Zebrzydowski. The court party decided to fight it out, and their troops were routed at Mątwy in 1666.

Not long afterwards, Jerzy Lubomirski came and begged the King’s pardon, which was duly granted. The whole affair had been just as pointless as the Zebrzydowski rebellion, and severely dented the prestige of the crown and of Jan Kazimierz himself. Louise-Marie died in 1667, and with his principal moral support gone, the ailing King abdicated two years later. Shortly after, he left for France, where he ended his days as Abbot of St Germaindes-Prés.

The election which followed was the first at which serious disturbances took place. The two principal candidates were Philip Wilhelm, Prince of Neuburg, the Habsburg favourite, and Charles de Bourbon, duc de Longueville. The szlachta who assembled at Warsaw were in no mood for ‘foreign autocrats’, and overwhelmingly voted for a Polish alternative, Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki, son of the fire-eating scourge of the Cossacks, Prince Jarema. The new King was in a difficult position. Resented by the disappointed pro-Habsburg magnates and despised by the former court party, who openly referred to him as ‘le singe’, his only power base was the szlachta who had elected him. But their vote had been a protest against attempts to limit their freedom and against foreign interlopers rather than a vote of confidence in him. There was little he could do except reign.

Large Tatar tchambouls hunted unmolested as the Sejm ignored alarming reports reaching it from Hetman Jan Sobieski, who was doing his best to police the south-eastern marches. In August 1667 he challenged a combined Tatar and Cossack force of some 25,000 with an army of 14,000, more than half of it made up of his own household troops, and defeated them at Podhajce. But this victory only served to obscure a storm that was brewing as the Ottoman Porte prepared a new onslaught on Europe.

In 1672 Sultan Mehmet IV invaded at the head of a substantial army, and the Commonwealth was given a rude awakening when the seemingly impregnable fortress of Kamieniec Podolski fell to his assault. It had been defended by no more than two hundred infantry and a troop of horse, and most of its cannon had remained silent, since there were only four gunners. This level of neglect was symptomatic. There was no army with which to stem the progress of the Turkish host, and Poland could do nothing but sue for peace. The Sultan imposed the humiliating Treaty of Buczacz, which detached Kamieniec with the whole of Ukraine and Podolia from the Commonwealth, and demanded a yearly tribute. This stirred the Sejm to vote money for a new army, which provoked protest from the Porte, and another Ottoman army gathered under the Grand Vizir, Hussein Pasha of Silistria.

King Michał fell ill, and as he lay dying in Warsaw Castle, Hussein Pasha’s janissaries prepared to cross the Dniester into a Poland which faced the prospect of a new election. The King expired on 10 November 1673, and on that very same evening Hetman Jan Sobieski drew up his troops outside the Turkish camp at Chocim. On the morrow he attacked and annihilated the Ottoman army in a brilliantly executed action, news of which travelled rapidly back to the capital. The principal candidates for the throne, Charles of Lorraine, François Louis de Bourbon, Prince de Conti, and James Stuart, Duke of York (the future James II of England), were eclipsed by the aura of glory surrounding the returning hero. The szlachta assembled on the election field voted overwhelmingly for Sobieski.

Jan Sobieski, who ascended the throne as Jan III in May 1674, was an energetic man of forty-five. From his close-cropped head and his jewelled fur cap to his soft yellow boots with their silver heels he was every inch the Sarmatian magnate, and he had all the virtues and vices that implied. Since his baptism of fire at Beresteczko in 1651 he had seen service against each of Poland’s enemies in turn. Although he had commanded a 3,000-strong tchamboul of Tatar allies against the Swedes in 1656, it was the Tatars and the Turks who were his most constant and savage foes. His forebear ear żółkiewski had been slain at Cecora, his elder brother had fallen in the massacre at Batoh; the crusade against the Infidel was part of his life. Yet he spoke Tatar and Turkish and loved the amenities of the East.

At the same time he built himself an Italianate palace and collected European works of art with discrimination. He was well read in Italian and French literature, and he was one of Poland’s best letter-writers. He wrote to his French wife, Marie Casimire de la Grange d’Arquien, every day or two for twenty years, whether he was at home or on campaign, letters full of verve as well as gallantry, referring to himself as ‘Céladon’ and his wife as ‘Astrée’ or some other heroine of French literature. This Sarmatian galant was a curious mixture: he was pious, almost superstitiously so, and managed to combine this with a strong dose of cynicism. He was greedy and not always scrupulous in his private affairs, but faultlessly correct in public life. He was as ambitious and dynastically minded as most fellow magnates—there is a portrait of his son (who was not christened Konstanty for nothing) wearing Roman costume and leaning on a classical shield bearing the Sobieski arms, inscribed with the words In hoc signo Vinces (‘In this sign you will conquer’)—yet he was not ruthless in the pursuit of his aims.
Jan III was a fine soldier, combining personal bravery and dash with tactical skill and a good strategic sense. He was strong and agile, quite capable of spending days in the saddle and nights under the stars, in spite of the obesity which came with age. In politics too he lacked neither enterprise nor vision. He calculated that the way to win the necessary authority to deal with internal questions lay through a successful foreign policy, and he set about constructing one.

As the political nation had never conceived a vision of its international role, the Commonwealth had no active foreign policy, only a reactive one, and no system of alliances. This had not presented a problem while it was strong and its neighbours weak, but the values in this equation had altered fundamentally.

In the south and east, the Cossacks and Tatars, who had in the past been no more than a minor nuisance, could now combine with the Turks or with Muscovy to create a formidable threat. An even greater threat loomed in the north—Sweden. This had in the past been engaged in a struggle against Danish and Dutch dominance of the Baltic and against Poland and Muscovy over its eastern shores, but it had come out of the Thirty Years’ War as a major player on the international scene.

The Polish Commonwealth’s pool of potential allies was limited by the fact that its policy was fundamentally pacific and it had little to offer in the way of an army. The Habsburgs had expended much energy in the first half of the century to bring Poland into their orbit and use it as an ally against Sweden. From the 1640s France had taken an interest in Poland as a potential ally against the Habsburgs, but the Francophile court party had failed to bring this about. Three decades later, as Louis XIV engaged in his struggle with the Habsburgs, he again looked to Poland. And Jan III saw in this an opportunity, not just to reaffirm the power of the Commonwealth and gain the prestige necessary to carry out some fiscal reforms, but also to further his own dynastic aspirations.

In 1675 he signed the Treaty of Jaworów with France, which offered to finance an invasion of Ducal Prussia (which Jan III hoped would be given to his son as a hereditary vassal duchy) while her other ally, Sweden, invaded Brandenburg. France undertook to neutralise the Habsburgs and persuade the Ottoman Porte to give back Kamieniec and other lands ceded by the treaty of Buczacz. Sweden duly went into action against Brandenburg, but the Polish forces were not able to invade Prussia because Turkey not only refused to give back Kamieniec, but launched a new offensive into Poland. The large army which had been assembled was used not against Prussia but against the Turks, who were defeated at żurawno in 1676. By the time this operation was complete, Sweden had made peace with Brandenburg, and the opportunity had passed.

In the following decade, the Sultan proclaimed a new jihad and a large Ottoman army advanced into Europe. It invaded the Habsburgs’ Hungarian provinces and, in the summer of 1683, laid siege to Vienna. This provided a fresh opportunity to gain the support of France, which welcomed the Ottoman assault on the Habsburgs and would have rewarded Poland for conniving at their defeat. But the Commonwealth could not countenance the possibility of the Porte conquering a swathe of Central Europe and taking up a threatening position along the whole of its southern frontier.

As Grand Vizir Kara Mustapha approached Vienna Jan III signed a treaty with the Emperor, and the Sejm voted a levy of 36,000 troops in Poland and 12,000 in Lithuania (which never turned up, since Hetman Jan Sapieha had no intention of assisting the King). At the end of August the fifty-four-year-old King set out at the head of his army, at the beginning of September he met up with and took command of the allied troops from various parts of the Empire, and on 12 September he routed the Kara Mustapha under the walls of Vienna.

The Turks retired in disorder, but the campaign was by no means over, and Jan III pursued the retreating Turks into Hungary. The majority of Hungarians had gone over to the Ottoman camp for anti-Habsburg reasons, and the King saw an opportunity of detaching Hungary from Austria and creating a new ally for the Commonwealth. On 7 October he lost the first battle of his life, at Parkany. Although he defeated the Turks two days later, it proved difficult to conclude the campaign. Meanwhile, opposition to further prolongation of the war was mounting at home. Once again the King, now beginning to feel his age and suffering from gallstones, had to abandon his plans.

‘Future generations will wonder in astonishment,’ King Jan lamented in the Senate in March 1688, ‘that after such resounding victories, such international triumph and glory, we now face, alas, eternal shame and irreversible loss, for we now find ourselves without resources, helpless, and seemingly incapable of government.’

The Pirate Earl

John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford
Born: September 8, 1442
Died: March 10, 1513
Braintree, Essex, England (Age 70)

The first of the irreconcilable Lancastrians to break ranks was John de Vere, Earl of Oxford. Not quite twenty when his father and eldest brother had been executed by John Tiptoft, making him head of the family, John had initially been attainted but Edward IV later relented, allowing him to take possession of the earldom in 1464. In 1465 he officiated at Elizabeth Woodville’s coronation, acting as her chamberlain. In spite of this, it is likely that Oxford’s loyalty was always suspected and when trouble began in 1468 he was swiftly arrested and imprisoned within the Tower. Released in early 1469, by the middle of the year he had joined Warwick and Clarence in their efforts to remove Edward, perhaps reminded of the treatment that the king had meted out to his father and brother.

The readeption of Henry VI saw Oxford carrying the Sword of State for Henry’s re-coronation on 13 October 1470. Appointed Constable of England in place of John Tiptoft, Oxford oversaw the trial and execution of the man who had condemned his father and brother. When Edward IV attempted to return it was Oxford’s men, led by his brother Thomas, who prevented the Yorkists from landing in Norfolk. Unlike many staunch Lancastrians, Oxford did not baulk at following Warwick and his flank performed extremely well at Barnet, routing his opposite number but then losing discipline as they celebrated their victory prematurely. When Oxford returned to the battlefield it was to chaos as his men were mistaken for Yorkist forces and attacked. Amid cries of treason, he finally fled the battlefield and rode north.

Remaining in Scotland for only a short period, Oxford sailed for France, by which time Margaret had left and her cause lay broken in a field outside Tewkesbury. Edward IV was fully restored and all of Oxford’s allies, Lancastrian and Neville, were gone. Although remembered as the archetypal Lancastrian, John de Vere’s alliances were less clear during the period surrounding the readeption. John had married Margaret Neville, sister of Richard, Earl of Warwick, and his early involvement in Warwick and Clarence’s plans to unseat Edward in favour of his younger brother suggests that not only was he fixated upon a Lancastrian restoration, but the removal of Edward was his primary concern.

John de Vere had been engaged in piracy in the English Channel since shortly after his arrival in France. He spent almost two years raiding Calais, harassing English shipping and stealing from merchants. The earl appears to have made a good living for himself as a pirate, while simultaneously causing trouble for his enemy Edward IV. In May 1473 he radically altered his tactics, and it is likely that his mother’s rough treatment contributed to his decision to act more directly.

George Neville, Archbishop of York, was to find himself another victim of Edward’s determination to sweep his kingdom clean. The archbishop did not possess the military might to threaten Edward but he was a wealthy and influential man. He had made peace with Edward, handing the capital and King Henry over in 1471, but a little while later Warkworth recorded that he became a focus of Edward’s efforts to ensure his own security. In 1472 George was at Windsor with the king enjoying the hunting, high in the favour of the restored king and bucking the fate of his brothers. Edward told the archbishop that he would honour him by visiting his manor at Moore to sample the hunting there and George, overcome with excitement, hurried home to make preparations. He called for all of his plate and goods that he had placed in hiding after Barnet and Tewkesbury and borrowed heavily to make ready to receive the king. He purchased enough food and drink for his visitors to stay for several days and awaited the king’s arrival on the appointed day in April.

The day before Edward was due to arrive a messenger brought a summons for George to go instead to the king at Windsor immediately. The archbishop obliged and on his arrival found himself arrested for high treason, charged with aiding John de Vere, Earl of Oxford. Sending George across the Channel to Hammes Castle at Calais, an unlikely destination for one genuinely suspected of assisting a pirate rebel at large in the Channel and frequently attacking Calais, Edward despatched several of his men to Moore where they seized all of the archbishop’s neatly gathered treasure. His properties were transferred to Edward, his mitre was broken and the jewels used to make a new crown for Edward. Much of the wealth was passed to the infant Prince Edward, the king’s son and heir. What George Neville had so carefully built over decades was lost in a single day. Although he was released in 1475, George died in poverty and disgrace the following year.

Oxford attempted to land an invasion force on the Essex coast near St Osyth in May 1473 but was repelled. Sailing west along the coast, he eventually arrived at St Michael’s Mount, just off the southern tip of Cornwall. Set atop a tidal island, St Michael’s Mount is the English counterpart of the French Mont Saint-Michel. At low tide there is a beach connecting the fortress perched atop the rocky mount to the mainland, but at high tide it becomes an island with no bridge connecting it. John, along with eighty other men, including two of his brothers, seized the monastery and dug themselves in. Precisely what John hoped to achieve is worth considering, with Lancastrian hope long gone. It is feasible that he was seeking to resurrect a previous alliance with George, Duke of Clarence, whom he believed could still be tempted to topple Edward, having come into possession of his own large Warwick portion.

In September, word reached Edward that Oxford was moving about Cornwall and was receiving a warm welcome. The king sent orders to Sir Henry Bodrugan, chief landowner in the area, to lay siege to St Michael’s Mount and deal with Oxford. Bodrugan duly did as he was instructed, but each day at low tide the Earl of Oxford’s men would come out of St Michael’s Mount under a flag of truce to parlay with Bodrugan before returning to the security of the fortress, which Warkworth claimed could be defended by twenty men against all the world for as long as their provisions lasted. Eventually, on one of his forays out of St Michael’s Mount, Oxford complained that his provisions were running low. At this, Bodrugan had fresh supplies brought to the earl and the mount was restocked.

When Edward heard of Bodrugan’s mismanagement of the siege, he was furious, and sent one of his squires of the body to replace Sir Henry. When Richard Fortescu arrived at the end of December he met angry resistance from Bodrugan but laid siege to the mount. Almost every day the two sides fought, Fortescu losing men and occasional truces being called for a day or two. During the truces Oxford’s men were offered pardons and grants of land if they would abandon the earl so that finally less than a dozen were willing to stay with Oxford. On 15 February 1474 Oxford was forced to surrender St Michael’s Mount. When Fortescu entered he found enough provisions to have lasted many more months. Warkworth believed that Oxford’s willingness to speak to the less friendly Fortescu was his undoing, quoting an old saying that ‘a castle that speaks and a woman that will hear, they will be gotten both’.

Oxford was taken into custody and sent to Hammes Castle at Calais to be imprisoned indefinitely. John de Vere’s part in the story of the Wars of the Roses was far from over but he would be removed from action for a decade now. John de Vere, the pirate Earl of Oxford, scaled the walls of Hammes Castle and jumped from the top into the moat. The water was only shoulder depth and John was swiftly recaptured. It remains unclear whether this was an attempt to escape or to end his own life. John had been a natural Lancastrian but was also Warwick’s brother-in-law and had supported the earl’s attempts to place George upon the throne before the readeption. An implacable enemy to Edward as much as a supporter of any other particular cause, all of his hopes appeared finally lost. It may have been an attempt to gain his freedom but the timing makes a resigned bid to end his life possible too.

Patton: As viewed by Allied and Axis leaders

On February 1, 1945, Eisenhower wrote a memo ranking the military capabilities of his subordinate American generals in Europe. Bradley and Army Air Force General Carl Spaatz shared the number one position, while Walter Bedell Smith was ranked number two, and Patton number three. Eisenhower revealed his reasoning in a 1946 review of the book Patton and his Third Army: “George Patton was the most brilliant commander of an army in the open field that our or any other service produced. But his army was part of a whole organization and his operations part of a great campaign.” Eisenhower believed that other generals such as Bradley should be given the credit for planning the successful Allied campaigns across Europe in which Patton was merely “a brilliant executor”.

Notwithstanding Eisenhower’s estimation of Patton’s abilities as a strategic planner, his overall view of Patton’s military value in achieving Allied victory in Europe can best be seen in Eisenhower’s refusal to even consider sending Patton home after the slapping incidents of 1943, after which he privately remarked, “Patton is indispensable to the war effort – one of the guarantors of our victory.” As Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy told Eisenhower: “Lincoln’s remark after they got after Grant comes to mind when I think of Patton – `I can’t spare this man, he fights’.” After Patton’s death, Eisenhower would write his own tribute: “He was one of those men born to be a soldier, an ideal combat leader . It is no exaggeration to say that Patton’s name struck terror at the hearts of the enemy.”

Bradley’s view of Patton was decidedly negative. Patton received scant praise in Bradley’s memoirs, in which the latter made it clear that had he been Patton’s superior in Sicily in 1943, he not only would have relieved Patton of command immediately but “would have had nothing more to do with him”. The two men were polar opposites in personality, and there is considerable evidence that Bradley disliked Patton both personally and professionally. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appeared to greatly esteem Patton and his abilities, stating “he is our greatest fighting general, and sheer joy.” On the other hand, Roosevelt’s successor, Harry S. Truman, appears to have taken an instant dislike to Patton, at one point comparing both him and Douglas MacArthur to George Armstrong Custer.

For the most part, British commanders did not hold Patton in high regard. Field Marshal Alan Brooke noted in January 1943 that “I had heard of him, but I must confess that his swashbuckling personality exceeded my expectation. I did not form any high opinion of him, nor had I any reason to alter this view at any later date. A dashing, courageous, wild and unbalanced leader, good for operations requiring thrust and push but at a loss in any operation requiring skill and judgment.” One possible exception was Montgomery. Although the latter’s rivalry with Patton was well known, Montgomery appears to have admired Patton’s ability to command troops in the field, if not his strategic judgment. Other Allied commanders were more impressed, the Free French in particular. General Henri Giraud was incredulous when he heard of Patton’s dismissal by Eisenhower in late 1945, and invited him to Paris to be decorated by President Charles de Gaulle at a state banquet. At the banquet, President de Gaulle gave a speech placing Patton’s achievements alongside those of Napoleon. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was apparently an admirer, stating that the Red Army could neither have planned nor executed Patton’s rapid armored advance across France.

While Allied leaders expressed mixed feelings on Patton’s capabilities, the German High Command was noted to have more respect for him than for any other Allied commander after 1943. Adolf Hitler reportedly called him “that crazy cowboy general.” Many German field commanders were generous in their praise of Patton’s leadership following the war, and many of its highest commanders also held his abilities in high regard.

Erwin Rommel credited Patton with executing “the most astonishing achievement in mobile warfare.” Generaloberst Alfred Jodl, chief of staff of the German Army, stated that Patton “was the American Guderian. He was very bold and preferred large movements. He took big risks and won big successes.” Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring noted that “Patton had developed tank warfare into an art, and understood how to handle tanks brilliantly in the field. I feel compelled, therefore, to compare him with Generalfeldmarschall Rommel, who likewise had mastered the art of tank warfare. Both of them had a kind of second sight in regard to this type of warfare.” Referring to the escape of the Afrika Korps after the Battle of El Alamein, Fritz Bayerlein opined that “I do not think that General Patton would let us get away so easily.” In an interview conducted for Stars and Stripes just after his capture, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt stated simply of Patton, “He is your best.”

Mocenigo Family

War of Chioggia, (1378–1381)

Noble Venetian family, of which various sons served their republic as admirals and doges over several centuries. An early notable admiral was Tommaso Mocenigo (1343-1423). As a young officer under the great Venetian admiral Vettore Pisani, he fought during the losing 1379 campaign to drive Genoese forces under Andrea Doria from Pola; Pisani personally prevailed upon Mocenigo to bear news of the defeat back to Venice. Tommaso Mocenigo, as captain, together with Venetian admiral Carlo Zeno, fought successfully to break the Genoese blockade of Chioggia in 1381, and as admiral he led the Venetian fleet against the Turks during the Crusades, evacuating remnants of the retreating Christian army after their defeat at Nicopolis in 1396. He served as Venetian ambassador in Padua and Lombardy, as well as to the court of Hungarian King Sigismund. He was elected doge in 1414, replacing the strictly autocratic rule of his late predecessor, Michele Steno, with a balance of wisdom, serenity, and power. In 1416 came the welcome news that the Venetian fleet had routed the Turks at Gallipoli, after which Mocenigo made peace with the vanquished foe, later organizing a united front of Italian states in a campaign against Hungary.

Pietro Mocenigo

Pietro Mocenigo (1406-1476), one of the greatest Venetian admirals, is credited with restoring the Venetian navy after a period of decline. He began his naval training early and rose steadily through the ranks. By 1448 as a commander he was dispatched with Captain Paolo Loredan to Albania to propose an accord with Venice to Skanderbeg, who welcomed the alliance against the Turks. In 1470 Mocenigo performed the unhappy task of arresting fellow Venetian officer Nicolo Canale for the loss to the Turks of Negroponte (now Evvia; also Euboea) in the Aegean Islands. Negroponte had been a Venetian colony since the thirteenth century.

Mocenigo reorganized the Venetian fleet and for four years (1471-1474) waged nearly constant war against the Turks in the region, finally defeating them in Albania at Scutari (now Shkoder), where their attempted blockade was shattered. Returning to Venice after this long and successful campaign, Mocenigo’s fame catapulted him into the Doge’s Palace, where he sought until his death in 1476 to procure and ensure a lasting peace with the Turkish foe.

A later notable figure of this lineage was Lazzaro Mocenigo (1624-1657), whose rather brief career in the navy of Venice was nonetheless a succession of triumphs and valiant acts. In 1655, his ships routed the fleet of the Turkish commander, Mustapha, and in the battle Mocenigo lost an eye. Returning to the Dardanelles a year later, Mocenigo again defeated the Turks, and for this and other feats he was made Procurator of St. Mark, promoted, and given an equestrian award. On his third outing to the Dardanelles (1657), now as commander of the fleet, his ship’s magazine exploded, and a falling yard struck Mocenigo in the head, mortally wounding him.

Navy of Venice

Situated on islands in a lagoon at the northern extremity of the Adriatic Sea, the Republic of Venice depended upon sea power for prosperity and survival. Founded during the collapse of the Roman Empire, Venice retained ties with the Byzantine Empire and resisted incorporation into the medieval Germanic Holy Roman Empire.

In the age of the Crusades Venice battled both Muslim powers and Italian rivals. With its fleets Venice defeated the attempt of the Normans of the Two Sicilies to dominate the Byzantine Empire. Then in 1204 it diverted the Fourth Crusade to the conquest of Constantinople. Venice enjoyed a favored position in the eastern trade, which it generally maintained even after the Byzantines recovered Constantinople.

Detail of the Arsenal area. J. De Barbari, 1500, Venice, Museo civico Correr

The need for specialized war galleys caused Venice in 1104 to establish a government-run arsenal and develop Europe’s first regular navy. The patricians who dominated Venice willingly captained its galleys and fleets. To control the Adriatic and the sea routes to the east, Venice established strongholds on the Dalmatian coast, Corfu, and the Greek coast, and colonized Crete and several Aegean islands. In 1480 Venice acquired Cyprus.

Venice emerged victorious in its struggle with Genoa and Padua over the eastern trade in the War of Chioggia of 1379-1381, in which the Venetians mounted for the first time cannon on their galleys. Threats from Milan drove Venice to acquire a mainland empire that stretched from Padua to Bergamo. Piracy remained a perpetual problem.

Under a supreme Captain General of the Sea, Venice’s fleet was organized into squadrons for operations against Uskoks (Dalmatian pirates), patrol of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas from Corfu under the Captain of the Gulf, and defense of Crete and Cyprus. As many as 50 galleys might have been operational at any time. Extra hulls were mothballed in the arsenal, and for a major war 200 galleys might have become operational. While the elite volunteered to command, seamen and rowers came to be conscripted throughout the Venetian Empire, and marine infantry were hired from the Italian mainland or Germany.

Sir Arthur Knyvet Wilson, Third Baronet (1842-1921)

British admiral. Born on 4 March 1842 in Swaffham, Norfolk, Arthur Wilson entered the navy in 1855. He served as a midshipman on board the ship of the line Algiers in the Black Sea during the 1853-1856 Crimean War and again during the 1856-1860 Second Opium War with China. This early baptism of fire had a marked effect on his later style as a leader.

In 1870 Wilson was appointed to the committee set up to investigate the new torpedo invented by Robert Whitehead. This began a lifelong interest in underwater warfare. When a torpedo training school was established on board the HMS Vernon at Portsmouth in 1876, Wilson was put in charge of the instructors; he returned to command the school in 1889. In between these appointments, he commanded the experimental torpedo-boat carrier Hecla in the Mediterranean and participated in the 11 July 1882 bombardment of Alexandria. He fought ashore in the 1884-1885 campaign in the Sudan. At the 29 February 1884 Battle of El Teb, he rallied the troops when the British square broke under a determined attack. Subsequently he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Wilson’s interest in underwater warfare was practical as well as theoretical. He was responsible for a number of inventions, including a system for aiming torpedoes accurately and the submerged torpedo tube, a key element in the future design of the submarine. He also designed the first armored train, employed during the 1882 Egyptian campaign.

In 1901, by then a vice admiral, Wilson took command of the Channel Squadron, and was so successful that his tour of duty was extended until 1907. During this remarkable six-year period he raised the fighting efficiency of the fleet to an unprecedented level, with regular and realistic training, even in the most adverse conditions. He was a superb seaman, renowned for his physical and moral toughness-the sailors called him “Old `Ard `Art”-who drove his ships and men hard.

In 1907 Wilson was promoted to admiral of the fleet and appointed first sea lord. But it was not a happy time. Ill-suited to a desk job, he soon found himself at odds with the energetic young First Lord Winston S. Churchill and left after only two years. However, he returned to the Admiralty in 1914 and remained there throughout World War I, refusing any official post or even a salary. He finally retired in 1918 and died at his home in Swaffham on 25 May 1921.

A reserved, undemonstrative man, Wilson has been overshadowed by the more glamorous and self-publicizing Admiral Sir John Fisher. Certainly, in terms of matériel, the Grand Fleet of 1914-1918 was Fisher’s creation; but in terms of seamanship, tactics, and morale, it was Wilson’s baby.

Vladimir Triandafillov (1894–1931)

Vladimir Triandafillov was killed in an aircraft crash on July 12, 1931 and was buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. The quality of his work was realised late during World War II, when Georgy Zhukov said that his success was due to closely following Triandafillov’s deep operations doctrine.

First published in 1929, Triandafillov’s Kharakter operatsii sovremennykh armii (The Character of the Operations of Modern Armies) has long been considered a major and comprehensive contribution to Soviet military thought. In the introduction to the first edition, Triandafillov states that his aim is nothing more than an examination of the sum of all those elements that characterize the operations of modern armies. The extent of Triandafillov’s analysis is indeed impressive, and he provides valuable insights into how a future war could be conducted.

Based on data available in the 1920s, he begins his analysis by considering the matériel foundation of armies and weapons; then he addresses a whole series of questions pertaining, inter alia, to the conduct of deep operations. Overall, his analysis bears the stamp of Marxism-Leninism, and Triandafillov provides candid insights into the nature of war waged by the Soviet state in pursuit of its ideological goals. Triandafillov also warns that, “since the material basis being examined in the present work is mainly characteristic for the start of a future war, all the author’s tactical and operational assumptions and conclusions mainly pertain to the operations of the first period of this war.” In view of what actually occurred on all fronts during World War II, Triandafillov’s qualification proved to be accurate. Regarding later periods, all that can be established are general trends. What this implies is that any analysis of the first phase of a future war is critical for both attacker and defender. Again, this was manifestly the case after 22 June 1941 and the eventual assault on Moscow.

Triandafillov’s book was issued in three editions, the last two of which were published after his death in 1931. In view of the fact that his book was considered valuable because of “its correct [pravil’naia] Marxist methodology” (as stated in the introduction to the second edition), one might assume that this protected the author. However, even if he wrote a book that satisfied the ideologically correct requirements of Marxism-Leninism, Triandafillov shows no signs of the intellectual slavishness that would become the norm after 1937 and do such damage to Soviet military thought. One cannot know whether Triandafillov would have been cut down by Stalin’s Terror, but along with Frunze, Tukhachevskii, and others, he certainly falls into a category of Soviet military thinkers who regarded military professionalism as a virtue and as essential if Soviet goals were to be achieved. Military professionalism requires an independence of mind without which rigorous analysis becomes impossible and military theory cannot be formulated and distilled. In 1937, however, these Clausewitzian postulates, taken for granted in all other major armies, aroused Stalin’s suspicion because they were perceived as a threat to his final consolidation of power.

A key question for the modern army is whether it should be a mass army, in excess of a million strong, or whether quantity should be sacrificed or reduced for quality. A small, professional army acquires a sense that it is special, that it is an elite force. From a Marxist-Leninist perspective, this is potentially dangerous because it risks Bonapartism. To achieve the goals envisaged by Triandafillov, large armies are required, but this leads to problems of quality and training. Triandafillov argues, “The idea of conquering modern states by small numbers of troops, even if motorized is naïve. Such an army, having penetrated into the depth of an enemy country, runs the risk of being isolated, if, at the same time it is not supported by a much stronger army.”

Countering the British military theorist Fuller, Triandafillov sees specific advantages in a large, mass army—the so-called nightmare army—because it possesses all the necessary technical means to solve the problems of modern war. According to Triandafillov, Fuller’s misgivings about the nightmare army are prompted by fear of the inevitable proletarian revolution, a fear that arises from a lack of trust in the masses that have become class-conscious. In Triandafillov’s rejection of Fuller, and in Triandafillov’s less than convincing arguments about the nature of capitalist societies and their succumbing to fascism, there are ideas of merit that have special relevance for 1939–1945:

The provision of the best conditions for the conduct of freedom of maneuver and of the broad tactical and operational art will not be achieved by returning to the numerically smaller armies of armchair strategists but by the corresponding increase in the mobility of million-strong armies by means of improving the technology of transport (the use of road transport, six-wheeled vehicles, a wider development of railway communications and so on). That country which is compelled out of political considerations to return to a numerically smaller army, as a result of a lack of trust in the masses, cannot reckon with the possibility of its being able to conduct a major war.

This assessment points to the type of army that actually emerged from Germany’s final renunciation of the Treaty of Versailles and Hitler’s rise to power. The treaty provisions resulted in a much smaller German army and one that, at least for the time being, was denied a whole range of weapons. In other words, the Weimar German army bore some resemblance to the numerically small but professional army rejected by Triandafillov, even if it was temporarily denied the equipment envisaged by him. The provisions of Versailles notwithstanding, the German army was still able to study the nature of future war and conduct various exercises and small-scale trials. Guderian’s advocacy of the panzer bears witness to the fact that the theoretical analysis was conducted at the highest level and that there was openness to new ideas from whatever source. This theoretical work illustrates that time spent in reconnaissance is never wasted. To put it another way, time spent considering the nature of future war is not wasted and is, in fact, one of the primary duties of a professional corps of staff officers. Such work was conducted in Germany even within the limits imposed by the Treaty of Versailles.

The theoretical work carried out by officers such as Guderian bore fruit when it eventually became possible to translate plans and ideas into realities with the construction, testing, and creation of panzer divisions. Critically, the ethos of military professionalism maintained during the Weimar years not only facilitated the rapid expansion of the German army (and other service arms) when the time came but also ensured a high standard of quality. This totally vindicates the requirement for a thoroughly professional corps of staff officers dedicated to studying all questions related to war. Thus, by 1939, Germany had built a large, high-quality, and well-led army—something not envisaged by either Fuller or Triandafillov. This state of affairs strongly implies that had Stalin not succumbed to ideological paranoia and violence in 1937 and torn apart the theoretical and practical development initiated in the 1920s, the Soviet Union would have been in an incomparably stronger position in 1941.

Conceptualizing the formation and professionalism of Western armies based on the belief that their soldiers are in some way “committed to capitalism,” Triandafillov misconstrues or cannot grasp the reasons why men serve. Some soldiers serving in Western armies may grasp the fundamental differences between privately owned and state-owned means of production, but such men are not normally motivated to join the military by such bloodless, economic abstractions. Rather, they are motivated by a sense of duty, patriotism, and adventure, by the intense emotional experiences and comradeship offered by war. Even if one conceded that the motives for pursuing international revolution in accordance with Marx, Engels, and Lenin were somehow morally and intellectually superior to the pursuit of war out of a sense of patriotism and a desire for adventure, that motivation to serve in the Raboche-Krest’ianskaia Krasnaia Armiia (Workers-Peasant Red Army [RKKA]) confers no superiority when it comes to mastery of the art of war. What made the Wehrmacht so formidable was that it managed to fuse outstanding military professionalism with a commitment to the ideas of National Socialism. Here, we can see a conspicuous failing of Marxist-Leninist analysis, which had no obvious and convincing conceptual framework to accommodate or explain the masterful political manipulations of highly charismatic leaders such as Adolf Hitler and their rise to power.

The degree to which Triandafillov’s Marxist-Leninist-based analysis misconstrues the nature of Western societies—and, above all, the Soviet Union’s future opponent—is evident in his description of what he considers the main weaknesses of Western societies: “This, of course, does not mean that the bourgeoisie has succeeded in or will succeed in eradicating those preconditions determining the unreliability of the armed masses in capitalist countries. Class, national and other contradictions which are undermining the capitalist system will not only remain but in the course of a war will inevitably grow to an extreme limit of aggravation and will, in all probability, lead, and not in one country alone, to unavoidable social shocks.” This is wishful thinking born of Marxism-Leninism.

Triandafillov devotes much space to developing his ideas on the shock army (udarnaia armiia). His use of the term is based on the formation of the German army in World War I that advanced through Belgium to the Marne and the advance of the Red Army to the Vistula in 1920. A shock army is an army designed to advance on the main axis, and Triandafillov stipulates that it “must be organized in such a manner that it is able, using its own forces, to conduct a series of consecutive operations from start to finish. It must possess all the resources which would permit it to overcome any resistance on the part of the enemy both at the start as well as during the course of the operations being undertaken.” The demands on shock army commanders are considerable. They must grapple with changing circumstances after the start of the battle as the enemy reacts: the enemy gains strength, the density of the front increases, and hastily prepared defensive positions appear on the lines of advance.

With regard to the width of the front, Triandafillov, basing his analysis on the final stages of World War I, asserts that a modern defense is so resilient that it cannot be broken by attacks on a narrow sector of the front. The reason for this failure, according to Triandafillov, is that such a blow engages only an insignificant part of the enemy’s forces, and enemy reserves will be used to create a new front to envelop and quarantine the attackers. Crucial to the defender’s ability to counter a breakthrough is his use of the rail network to deploy reserves to the threatened sector. Given the defender’s ability to respond in this manner, Triandafillov concludes that an attacker can achieve a successful penetration only where he is able to pin down large enemy forces and place himself in an operational situation that gives him an advantage over the defender.

However, even when a massive concentration of force is deployed on a narrow front, a major offensive success is unlikely, mainly because of the resilience of the defense and the defender’s ability to withdraw his forces in good time. The way to break the defense is by a combination of blows, with consecutive operations carried out at great depth. The aim here is to encircle the enemy and destroy or capture his forces. Based on the mobility constraints on the western front in World War I, Triandafillov’s proposals for breaking the defense are reasonable. Unfortunately, he makes no allowance for the increased speed and armament of tanks, and since Triandafillov does not envisage tanks taking a dominant role in an assault, he makes no allowance for the effect of mass armor in contrast to mass infantry. As was the case in the summer of 1940, the speed of the German advance meant that it was able to overwhelm the defenders before they could react. Again, Triandafillov’s ideas about defensive operations—with special attention to reinforced zones and, above all, to the carrying capacity of the rail network—are silent on how these installations might be bypassed and how to counter the rail network’s vulnerability to air attack. In fact, when he considers the costs of war—resources, high casualties, and loss of equipment—Triandafillov envisages a future war as being similar to World War I, but on a far more destructive scale. Nor does he see this as a war of maneuver. On the contrary:

In the future it is necessary to expect the long-term growth in casualties. The phase of mobility in the world war cannot in this regard be considered to be characteristic for future operations. Quite the reverse in fact; the character of future battles in terms of the saturation of automatic fire, the correlation between the forces of the attack and defense, the scale of the use of airpower and chemical weapons will bear a much closer resemblance to those battles out of which were formed the operations of 1918 on the western front.

Implicit in his remarks is the recognition that casualties were reduced in the mobile phase of World War I. When contemplating the defensive systems envisaged by Triandafillov, the options for the attacker are indeed sobering, but the problems are not insurmountable. To overcome these problems, the attacker must be original, innovative, bold, and willing to try new ideas and take risks; he must develop new ways to solve problems, including the use of psychological weapons, special forces, and sophisticated deception and trickery; he must have a command system that encourages leadership and initiative at all levels. This summary does not describe the state of the Red Army in 1939–1941. For all the difficulties envisaged in the deployment of shock formations (udarnye gruppirovki), Triandafillov argues that “deep and crushing blows remain the most decisive means of strategy in attaining the goals demanded by the war.” Confronted with the apparently insurmountable problems of deep operations, military planners may succumb to what Triandafillov calls “operational opportunism,” by which he means the tendency to reject “active and deep blows” in pursuit of “the tactics of staying put and inflicting short-range attacks, operations characterized by the modish word ‘attrition’ (izmor).” The correct way forward for operational art, argues Triandafillov, is not to limit voluntarily the depth of consecutive operations but to maximize all avenues in order to destroy the enemy. In his words: “The correct resolution of this question will inevitably be linked with the total exploitation of possibilities for the development of decisive blows at a maximum depth which are permitted by the physical and psychological condition of the troops and by the conditions arising from the restoration of roads and supply.” In other words: “The art of the strategist and the operational staff is correctly to perceive the limit in the forcing of human and material resources beyond which may lead to the breakdown of the troops, resulting not in victory but in defeat.”

One of the main reasons Triandafillov so forcefully advocates the concept of deep operations is that he considers them an effective means of achieving the revolutionary goals of Marxism-Leninism. Small states—those he dubs somewhat contemptuously “Lilliput states”—can be easily crushed, whereas larger states can be destabilized and weakened. Major blows against larger states can lead to “the creation of objectively favorable conditions for societal-political shocks in the enemy’s country.” Moreover, “deep and crushing blows remain one of the most reliable ways to transform a war into a civil war.”

Triandafillov’s analyses of the “form of the blow” are remarkably prescient in terms of the German army’s actions in 1941. Operating against an enemy with a wide front and an open rear, the correct approach is to deploy concentric advances that can lead to the destruction of enemy forces. Speed of the advance is essential here, and the role of large armored formations and mechanized infantry is obvious, since they can outstrip the nonmotorized infantry’s ability to withdraw. When the enemy can be pushed back against a neutral border, sea, mountains, or impassable terrain such as marshes, one shock group (udarnaia armiia) will suffice. Whether using one or two shock groups, the aim is to destroy the enemy’s manpower. In summarizing the theoretical requirements for the conduct of such operations—well-organized rear echelons, a high level of training, troops accustomed to rapid and deep movements, and a command stratum in charge of the situation, all of which secures a high level of tactical mobility—Triandafillov provides an accurate description of what the German army achieved in 1940–1941 and the Red Army emphatically did not.

As an orthodox Marxist-Leninist, Triandafillov attaches great importance to the role of agitprop. He also envisages the possibility that troops will be cut off from their main forces and will have to fight in encirclement. Thus, Triandafillov acknowledges that encirclement (okruzhenie) is a fact of modern war; unlike attitudes in the Red Army between 1941 and 1945, it is not something that should be regarded with suspicion by Soviet security forces. Overall, the conditions of this future war will impose enormous strain on the troops, requiring that they understand the nature of the struggle. The nature of a future war waged by the Soviet Union will be a revolutionary class war, necessitating that close attention be paid to the troops’ political indoctrination before and during the war. Triandafillov concludes: “And only the army which knows for what it is fighting and knows that it is protecting its vital [krovnye] interests, is capable of that.”48 That Triandafillov can characterize these interests in terms of blood is most unusual for a Soviet military thinker espousing the Marxist-Leninist cult of class and class war, since there is a distinct echo of the themes of Blut und Boden in NS ideology.

Mindful perhaps of the role played by antitsarist subversion and agitation in undermining the Russian army in World War I, Triandafillov maintains that the same subversive activity must be conducted among enemy troops in any future war so as to exploit what he sees as the inevitable class, national, and other contradictions and, ideally, to provoke civil war. In addition, every effort must be made to win over the civilian population and explain to them the nature of capitalist exploitation, although Triandafillov makes no provision for the treatment of those civilians who remain skeptical of Marxist-Leninist promises about the socialist commonwealth. Such skeptics would be well advised to hide their views, given what Triandafillov envisages after the fighting is over: “A huge burden of work falls on the political apparatus of the army with regard to the sovietization of the territories recaptured from the enemy.” Sovietization is the process whereby all institutions in the new zones are brought into line with Marxist-Leninist ideology. It amounts to a thoroughgoing purge of all those in positions of power, influence, or authority who are deemed to be hostile, anti-Soviet elements. In practice, it meant mass arrest, deportation, incarceration, dispossession, and execution, the fate endured by Poland and the Baltic states after September 1939. Sovietization also anticipates, and provides a template for, NS Gleichschaltung.