Crofoot, Craig. The Order of Battle of the Soviet Armed Forces: The Sleeping Bear, volume 1, part one: 22 June 1941. West Chester, OH: The Nafziger Collection, 2001.
Introduction; photos; diagrams; tables
In the year 2000 Craig Crofoot set out on the long road
toward self-publication of a forty-eight volume series covering the
complete Soviet order-of-battle during the Great Patriotic War of
1941-1945, and we published a review of his first Soviet OB
volume in October 2000. Crofoot's second self-published volume was
planned for January 2001. However, there have been a few twists and turns
and bumps in the road.
Before completion of the second OB volume, Crofoot made
arrangements to have The Nafziger Collection undertake publication and
distribution of the series. Earlier this year this revised edition of the
original Soviet OB volume was released by Nafziger, now billed as "volume
1, part one." Subsequently, disaster struck Crofoot's computerized OBs when
"lightning hit my apartment building and fried my computer (even with a
surge protector) so right now I'm trying to rebuild my files." In the
meantime, Crofoot has announced that when Nafziger's publication of the
series resumes, it will be co-authored by Paul Dunigan and the first
release will be a third edition of the first volume of the OB covering 22
June 1941. Nafziger, by the way, also advertises two volumes by Crofoot
with very similar titles, The Soviet Order of Battle: Volume 1, Part 1:
The Northern Theater of Operations, 22 June 1941- 1 Jun 1942 and The
Soviet Order of Battle: Volume 1, Part 2: The Northern Theater of
Operations, 1 July 1942 - 1 April 1943, but these are different books
from the "Sleeping Bear" volume(s).
So what we have here is a book which is simultaneously
the second edition of a book we reviewed a year ago and a volume which
looks like it will be superseded by a third edition. Here's a quick
run-down of the differences between the new version and the original (and it might be helpful to glance at our review of the first edition before proceeding).
Most importantly, the first volume has been split into
two parts. Only part one was made available for review, and apparently part
two of the first volume of the second edition has never been published.
The second edition adds two new organigrams at the very
beginning of the booklet: "Soviet Security Forces Command Structure, 22 June 1941" and
"Soviet Army Command Structure, 22 June 1941." These complement the
original organigram which has been retained and renamed "Soviet Army
Headquarters, 22 June 1941."
Like the first edition, the second edition begins OB
coverage with "Northwestern Front, 22 June 1941." The new edition adds a
photo of the front commander (and that addition is true of all the Front/District
listings in the new version). Otherwise, the data is identical, but with an
expanded footnote including information on where the Front was
deployed plus information on NKVD units in the area. The OB coverage then
continues as in the first edition with army by army listings (8th, 11th,
27th) for Northwestern Front with no appreciable changes.
Following the army OBs for the Front, Crofoot adds
several very detailed tables not found in the original edition:
"Artillery and Mortar Totals"
"Manpower, Small Arms and Transportation Totals"
All these tables are sub-titled "in the Baltic Special
Military District (Northwestern Front), 1 June 1941." The first two tables
contain columns for "readiness categories" and rows for specific models of
hardware (such as "T-34 line," "T-34 with radio," "122mm Howitzer M1909/30"). The aircraft table contains columns for "operational," "non-operational,"
and "combat crews" with rows for specific aircraft models (such as "DB-3,"
"DB-3a," "MiG-1"). The fourth table includes categories such as "rifles and
carbines," "cargo trucks," "tractors," and "horses." Here's a partial
example of one of the tables from the Western Special Military District:
This sequence of Front information, subordinate armies,
and tables of hardware and manpower continues for each Front (and each army
within each Front). Unlike Northwestern Front, other HQs can reveal
substantial revision. For example, Western Front now shows 20th Mechanized
Corps (which had not previously appeared within that Front) as a "Front
Ground Asset" with 26th Tank Division, 38th Tank Division, 210th Mechanized
Division, and 24th Motorcycle Regiment.
Following listings for the "Reserves of the Headquarters
of the Main Command (Stavka GK)" come more new tables.
"Movement Status of Forces of the Stavka Reserves" shows
columns for each army (and "separate elements") and, within each of those,
additional columns for "point of origin," "en route," and "point of
destination" with rows for component corps, divisions, separate regiments,
and separate battalions. This reveals where in the movement process units
were (but not exactly which unit). No date is given for this table, but it
must be either 1 June 1941 or 22 June 1941.
"Numerical Composition of the Forces of the Stavka
Reserves" shows the same columns, but provides rows with numeric totals for
manpower, tanks, artillery, and other weapons. Again, no date is given.
Just as in the first edition, after the Fronts (and their armies) and the Stavka forces, Crofoot lists the Soviet Military Districts (and their armies).
For the Military Districts, new tables are given with
artillery and mortar totals, tank totals, aircraft totals, and manpower
totals just like for Fronts.
Unlike the original edition of volume one, which was
published in one part, the first part of volume one of the second edition
ends with the Volga Military District, so the Urals, Central Asia, Siberia,
Transbaikal, and Far Eastern MDs and their components are not included.
This part of the new edition also excludes all the Navy data from the
The new edition adds a lengthy list of "Corps and
Division Commanders" for 22 June 1941 with unit, name and rank of
commander, and higher HQ to which the unit was assigned. This is shown in
numeric order by unit, so it also acts as a very handy reference for
finding to which corps/army/front any division was assigned on this date.
Finally, the first part of the new edition contains no
That concludes a side-by-side comparison of the first
and second editions of the first volume of the series. While the actual OB
material is not much changed, the new tables mean that overall the second
edition provides vastly more data than the original. In fact, while the
original amounted to 79 pages in total, just the first part of the second
edition includes 127 pages.
The bottom line? Well, several conclusions can
- The second edition is much improved over the first edition.
- However, because it looks like the second part of the first volume of
the second edition hasn't beenand won't be?published, the
second edition remains incomplete.
- Because Crofoot tells us the third edition of volume one will
contain even more newly discovered OB information, those in no immediate
hurry might be best advised to wait for the next version to arrive when the
author recovers from his computer melt-down.
In any event, it will be nice to see publication resume
and this series get back on track. Crofoot still has a long road ahead of
him, but if he can maintain enough forward momentum, these books will
certainly pay off for readers, researchers, OB enthusiasts, and wargame
Available from online booksellers, local bookshops, or
directly from The Nafziger Collection.
Thanks to Nafziger for providing this review copy.