On Auckland and Leningrad

Written By: - Date published: 3:36 pm, May 24th, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: act, activism, history, local government, national - Tags: ,

barbarossa-tank-2The modern blitzkrieg [lightning war] was first tested in the Spanish civil war, refined in the invasions of European states that marked the beginning of WWII, and applied successfully in more recent invasions in the Middle East. A blitzkrieg’s success comes from the speed of its prosecution, from which it gets it name.

The speed of a blitzkrieg gives attackers the advantages of surprise and fierce, well-resourced and coordinated engagement with an opposition that is not yet fully mobilized.

The blitzkrieg requires the use of substantial force to overwhelm and shock opposing forces into disarray and quick submission. This is achieved by the carefully coordinated application of technically superior forces focused on a particular point, with its breech followed by deep incursions and large encirclements. The strategy also requires optimal conditions for speed, to maximize the efficacy of the attack force and to minimize logistic complications. The most successful examples have been conducted in summer months, where summer is the optimal season for waging a campaign. Blitzkriegs attempted too soon before the onset of winter have failed spectacularly, most notably in Operation Barbarossa.

Barbarossa failed because it faced unexpectedly fierce opposition from the onset, thus turning the tables of surprise, and because the strength of opposition caused delays in achieving the campaign’s objectives. That delay saw the campaign stretch on well past summer and autumn until the brutal Eastern European winter ensured any benefits the attackers might have had of speed and optimal impact were gone. The attackers became bogged down, bludgeoned, and eventually left with no gains, but substantial losses in material, morale and perceived invincibility. The whole bloody disgrace cost 15 million lives, roughly two thirds defenders and one third attackers.

hide-and-banksThe NACT government is attempting Roger Douglas’s preferred attack plan once again, but the conditions are nowhere near right for this strategy to work.

The government never had much of a summer, and what it did it squandered on the beaches of Hawaii. There is little evidence of a carefully coordinated, technically superior and concentrated force. Opposition will be substantial. A particularly harsh political and economic winter has already arrived and it will be much longer, much darker and much colder than usual.

It might have worked for them in the past, but this time the strategy is wrong for the conditions and will fail.

17 comments on “On Auckland and Leningrad”

  1. Zaphod Beeblebrox 1

    The problem with this analogy is that Stalin would have had to start the invasion of his own country. The RC was Helen Clark’s creation.
    Lets face it, the regionalisation of services has been on the cards for a long time. The problem is that it has been hi jacked and taken to the extreme by individuals who don’t understand the nature of the beast and who come from a right wing ideology.
    Even National MPs are staring to realise that we cannot centralise every service and that local input counts.
    Rodney had better be careful, he may turn around and find his army has deserted.

  2. Ianmac 2

    The timing does appear to be strange but in the Budget next week will they pull one out of the hat? My brother always said that elected Governments aren’t stupid. They know what they are doing. In this case they certainly have a wealth of advisers so what will they produce to rock the people into wild and noisy support? Tune in next week for the next exciting episode of Superkey and his Merry Band of Robbers!!

  3. Anthony Karinski 3

    “Ich frage euch: Wollt ihr den totalen Krieg?”

    I hope you’re right. Don’t think Rodney’s war cry will be met with the same resounding “Yes” that Goebbles’ did. More likely it will be an overwhelming “No!”

  4. It will be interesting to see how big the Hikoi tomorrow in Auckland turns out to be. I think that the government has under-estimated the opposition to their Super-City dream, and in particular how they’re ramming it through.

    • Anita 4.1

      Yeah, I’m interested in the weather effects too 🙂 On the one negative side the weather is shite, on the positive many of the hikoi paths have travel-by-car which is a useful countermeasure. On the so-so side the weather’s been crap for days, so people might be used to it by now, or they may have decided several days ago to only go if the weather gets better.

    • The Baron 4.2

      Yes, well I think both sides are waiting to see whether this is going to be a massive outpouring of Auckland angst; or just a few malcontents blocking traffic.

      I seriously doubt it will be as large as the Foreshore and Seabed Hikoi though… how did that one end up? Oh that’s right – legislation went through regardless.

      Petty point scoring aside, I think that both could be examples of how powerful our unicameral parliament can be at times… bring back the Legislative Council!

      • mike 4.2.1

        “both sides are waiting to see whether this is going to be a massive outpouring of Auckland angst; or just a few malcontents blocking traffic.”

        Definitely the latter judging by the news tonight

    • QoT 5.1

      ‘Cept for that whole “tactic first used in Spanish civil war and incidentally first conceived by British strategists” thing, sure.

  5. The foreshore & seabed one was a bit more strictly Maori than this one seems to be though. I don’t (I think) have any Maori in me, so would have felt a bit odd in the last Hikoi – yet I will be there tomorrow and I’m sure that I’ll feel right at home protesting against the Super-City being bulldozed through.

    That “broadness” should add to the numbers I think.

    The Hikoi should walk across the Harbour Bridge tomorroway – that would make it two pedestrian crossings in two days! Wayne McDonald from NZTA would be crapping himself.

  6. QoT 7

    Barbarossa also failed because Russia is f*cking HUGE, so encirclement was much more difficult than it had been in France, because the Germans bombed the railways to shreds and thus screwed their own supply lines, and because Hitler ignored his generals’ advice and prioritised taking Stalingrad over getting to Moscow. The Russian troops were thoroughly screwed from the get-go thanks to the Stalin’s hankering for purging everyone with strategic talents.

    I thoroughly agree with this post, I just also have to live with a WWII nut.

  7. BLiP 8

    Dopey me can’t find the details of the last stretch of the hikoi tomorrow – anyone know where abouts I can join for the last couple of miles or so?

  8. Johnty Rhodes 9

    Problem with this anology is that the masses are not behind Stalin (aka Labour/Greens) in defense of the 7 councils and you have no Georgi Zuhkov to plan defence against the Blitzkreig. Anyway Moscow was the great prize im 1941, not St Petersburg. I wonder what will happen to the partisans left behind the frontline running from the Bombays to Orewa?

  9. the sprout 10

    the simple point, dear Johnty, is that a blitzkrieg requires several ducks to be lined up in a row, and optimal conditions for those duckies to do their business.
    there is no need for a Zhukov when these conditions aren’t met, the attack will fail because the preconidtions are not met.

  10. Swampy 11

    Godwin’s Law. Who invented and is most notorious for blitzkrieg.

  11. Swampy 12

    Anyone who believes this nonsense is a fool. You suppose that the National government wants to lose the 2011 election? Of course with a local government election in 2010 and many National MPs elected from around Auckland there is no likelihood of anything as claimed happening.

    I think basically I really have to ask who believes this nonsense, Roger Douglas may be back in Parliament but he is really out on a limb, and Rodney has not got enough clout by himself to push what is claimed through, they are just a minority partner in the government.

    Yet there is so much of this cant being put out by leftist politicians that you have to think of them as foaming at the mouth really, who is the more extreme?

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