In July it was reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin had fired the entire leadership of his Baltic Fleet, a purge on a scale not seen since Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s bloody purges of the 1930s. At that time Stalin decapitated his army and navy, killing most senior officers. It often has been said that the Germans concluded that the huge Soviet military machine was no longer likely to be effective, hence that a quick invasion of the Soviet Union could succeed. It failed, but by a narrow margin, and at a horrific human cost to the Soviets.
World Naval Developments - What Was Behind Putin's Stalin-Style Purge?
By Norman Friedman