Archive Awareness Blog on Red Army AFV numbers in Operation Barbarossa

BarbarosaOver at the Archive Awareness blog, Peter Samsonov has posted an interesting summary of data from “Order in Tank Forces: What happened to Stalin’s tanks?” by Dmitriy Shein.  In the post, he challenges the commonly held idea that the Red Army had 26,000 tanks at it’s disposal in 1941 versus only 4000 AFVs of the German invader.  In a series of charts, Shein shows the number of those tanks that were in the Western districts as well as what state of functionality they were in.  When taking into account these various factors, the Red Army had, according to Shein,  roughly 7000 – 7500 functional tanks available for battle on June 22nd, 1941.  And while that is still a numerical advantage over the tank forces of the German invader, these Red Army tanks of 1941 were hampered by a number of shortages, particularly in fuel trucks and certain types of ammunition.  In other words, the tanks of the Red Army were woefully prepared to repel an invader.  And while most histories note these issues affecting the “26,000” strong Soviet tank force in 1941, it’s interesting to see the numbers broken and explained.

Read the full blog post here.

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