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#270115 - 05/25/14 09:11 PM Re: Seven year E & E in an evil societal collapse [Re: acropolis5]
yee Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 169
Originally Posted By: acropolis5

I suggest to you two fine books detailing the history of the Bielski Otriad. The earliest academic history by Professor Tec, titled "Defiance". This book was the basis for the fine movie of the same name. Also, a much later work, that had additional sources available, titled, "The Bielski Brothers". Both read like adventure novels.


Well,..., It's off to the library again! Sounds VERY interesting.

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#270117 - 05/26/14 08:47 AM Re: Seven year E & E in an evil societal collapse [Re: acropolis5]
quick_joey_small Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 513
Loc: UK
Defiance is an excellent book and Ray Mears aproaches what they went through from a survival view in one of his shows. Fascinating.

http://youtu.be/b1cM9wJo1Lc

qjs

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#270118 - 05/26/14 11:52 AM Re: Seven year E & E in an evil societal collapse [Re: quick_joey_small]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 831
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
There is an excellent 1986 documentary called "Partisans of Vilna" (Vilna is Vilnius, Lithuania, today). It is 130 minutes long, and documents the escapes from the ghetto, obtaining weapons, attempts to set up a defense of the ghetto, the formation of Jewish partisan bands by the escapees, and such things as the politics/fear by locals of "armed Jews" and the pressure by the Soviets to comply with their instructions.

Vilna (Vilnius) was one of the largest centers of Jewish culture in Europe before WW2. There are few if any Jews left there today.

The movie is very hard to find. I assume it may be on-line somewhere, (I saw a note on IMDB that it is available on Itunes). If you can find it, I highly recommend it.
_________________________
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

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#270119 - 05/26/14 12:30 PM Re: Seven year E & E in an evil societal collapse [Re: acropolis5]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
You can get it for $33 from http://www.partisansofvilna.org/buy.html on DVD. Way more expensive on Amazon. Not available on eBay, iTunes, or for download anywhere I could find.

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#270298 - 06/07/14 07:27 PM Re: Seven year E & E in an evil societal collapse [Re: acropolis5]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
you've hit on a common theme ... BUT hold on.
There seems to be some kind of assumption that a few million people in the USA can just load up their trucks, SUV's and Jeeps and head out to Idaho. Or places like that.

Is that really true?
Last time I checked - there are ALREADY people living in the forests and woods of Idaho. And although it might look like there's a lot of open space up there - there are also plenty of people who are more than willing to DEFEND it.

I'm suggesting that the idea that we can randomly INVADE all the national forests, parklands, and "desolate areas" is a bit more farfetched than we would like to believe. Want your own space ... you might be fighting a lot of other people to get it.

Does this make sense?

Pete


Edited by Pete (06/07/14 07:27 PM)

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#270303 - 06/07/14 11:27 PM Re: Seven year E & E in an evil societal collapse [Re: Pete]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Pete
Does this make sense?


You bet it does, at least to me.

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#270308 - 06/08/14 02:02 AM Re: Seven year E & E in an evil societal collapse [Re: Pete]
yee Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 169
Originally Posted By: Pete

I'm suggesting that the idea that we can randomly INVADE all the national forests, parklands, and "desolate areas" is a bit more farfetched than we would like to believe. Want your own space ... you might be fighting a lot of other people to get it.

Does this make sense?

Pete


Actually, having JUST finished Defiance about the Bielski Partisans, history does have a guide. I believe Belorussia has been contested territory for two World Wars in the 20th century alone. I am not familiar with the details but there were likely several older wars as Russia and Poland had a penchant for invading each other every few years during the 18th and 19th centuries.

In partisan brigades involved in combat (against each other, Polish Government-in-exile in London, USSR, Germans) fatalities ranged between 30-50%

In the Bielski otriad, in which there was as little combat as would be tolerated by the Soviets, there was an estimated 5% fatality rate and this was in a rural area (not desolate: farmland) in which two MAJOR armies and three governments contested the real estate.

It would appear that the Bielski defense plan would be to have sentries fire upon incoming enemy from a position several kilometers from the main camp. The sound of the weapons would allow the otriad to fade into the forest in guerrilla fashion rather than direct combat. The sentries lives would be sacrificed to give time for the otriad to escape. For a determined push, Bielski led his people deep into the swamp where Germans would likely go and hid on an island. How this would play out with modern imaging and satellites, I'm not sure.

The issue is how to FEED the up to 1200 people of the Bielski otriad. They did it by raiding neighboring peasants and retributions to those that betrayed Jews to the Germans. The apparent main purpose of firearms in the Bielski otriad was not for combating Germans but for raiding neighboring peasants for food. I suggest that this is NOT the "hearts and minds" treatment that Mao suggested earlier in this thread. I am not sure how Bielski pulled this one off. Perhaps the peasants had MULTIPLE forces, German and Soviet, to contend with that Bielski was able to feed his people without being betrayed to the Germans. Certainly what happened is not the typical imagined TEOTWAWKI scenario.

It would appear that larger groups such as the Bielski partisans fared better than smaller family sized groups. How many is required for a sufficiently large group, Tec's book does not explore.

BTW, the older book by Tec appears to be a better researched book than Duffy with a far superior bibliography with research using extensive primary sources (interviews, many of which were conducted by Tec herself).

What this has to do with a similar scenario in the USA is anyone's guess but as always, the winners and survivors will tell the tale. I suggest that LUCK has a lot to do with it but luck tends to favor the prepared.

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#270337 - 06/10/14 04:48 AM Re: Seven year E & E in an evil societal collapse [Re: acropolis5]
acropolis5 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/18/06
Posts: 358
yee: The Bielski Otriad did in fact, if not in pure theory, act like Mao's guerrillas, fish floating in the sea of peasants. One major maxim of the guerrilla is to become the government or at least the nighttime government of its area of operations. Think of the VC in then South Vietnam. Government levies " taxes". In this case , taxes in kind, food. They also traded with the peasants. Some farmers and professionals, non-Jews for the most part, supported them out of hatred for the Germans or nationalistic sentiment or based upon personal pre- war friendships or for ideological reasons. The peasants probably sequentially paid taxes to the day government, the Germans, as well. Remember the discussions between Tuvia and the Soviet commanders dividing up territory from which thy each could make exactions from the residents., to avoid resentment and overtaxation As governments, the Otriad , the Soviet partisans and the Germans, punished treason or treachery by the population. Hence the aggressive raids and the kill and burn missions described in both books.

As to which was the better book, I argue for a tie. Professor Tec's book was a marvelous academic history, underwritten by grant funding the Professor was able to string together. As a much earlier work and due to her expansive knowledge of the common languages, she got to interview more living participants. But, she did not get it all correct, e.g. She totally dismissed the maturing role of Aaron Bielski. She also did not go into great detail on the interrelationship with the Soviet Partisans and Command. That may not have been important since her goal was to record the sheer miracle of the Otriad's accomplishments. Also, for some unexplained reason, she did not discover the handwritten history, written in Yiddish, by Tuvia, in 1955 and deposited with the YIVO Institute in NYC. Access to that document was a prime reason that Duffy could write, so much later, but in great detail and in such a personal voice. I like to think of both books as compliments to each other.

Lastly, one of the most ironic facts of the whole history was the life arc of Tuvia. He rose from a shady farmer, smuggler, tough guy, womanizing social climber to a near messianic savior of his people, back down to disillusioned cab driver, making small living....And lo the mighty are laid low. In my conversation with Aaron's daughter, she recounted her family's many Sunday dinners at the " Uncles' " (Tuvia and Zus) homes, when she was a little girl. She is now 60ish. She said that often complete strangers would come in, dressed in their best clothing, introduce their families to the Uncles, then literally kiss the Uncles' hands in thanx for saving them and making their families possible and then they would leave the Bielskis to their dinner. How many of us can even dream to be worthy of such respect and adulation, despite our personal failures?

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#271723 - 09/20/14 05:07 AM Re: Seven year E & E in an evil societal collapse [Re: acropolis5]
quick_joey_small Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 513
Loc: UK

Defiance is on BBC 2 tonight at 9pm.

qjs

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#271725 - 09/20/14 02:50 PM Re: Seven year E & E in an evil societal collapse [Re: acropolis5]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Thanks for the tip!

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