Re: "Ivan's War, 1939-1945"
I'll have to pick up a copy of that book, Polish. It sounds very interesting indeed. The Red Army in the early years of the war, as you mentioned, was composed almost entirely of conscripts, led by inexperienced officers. In the late '30s Stalin had liquidated nearly all of his experienced Army officers in purges based on his (I still think) paranoia. When the Germans first attacked it was a walk-over. Combat, however, is much like evolution only one hell of a lot quicker. Those who learned sometimes survived; those who did not became just one more unmarked grave on the Russian Steppes.