How bad would Allied casualties be if the Reich defeated the USSR?

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Richard Anderson
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Re: Soviets blundering into war

Postby Richard Anderson » 19 May 2017 20:26

BDV wrote:
Richard Anderson wrote: idiotic notion


Rules of conduct for thee but not for mee

Again, Junta is nowhere to be found.


Perhaps because there is nothing for the "Junta" to find.

Definition of idiotic. 1 : characterized by idiocy. 2 : showing complete lack of thought or common sense

Your notion of the Germans "baiting" the Soviets into an attack of Romania in July 1940 meets the definition.

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Re: Soviets blundering into war

Postby antwony » 19 May 2017 20:41

Richard Anderson wrote:Yep, and I usually allot these exercises all the thought they deserve. :D


I actually did some research for this reply, which I'm semi-ashamed of as this topic doesn't deserve it and I've other stuff to do


I'm not sure of the significance of committing naval infantry, but the problem for the Finns was of the "one more victory like this..." variety. While the victory at Ilomantsi may have stabilized the front, the government was already resolved to sue for peace and there simply wasn't much more space to trade for time if the Soviets decided to renew the offensive.


Soviet's had bigger fish to fry by July/ September. In June there were Guards Tank Armies using JS-2's and swarms of T-34/85 with the sky full of planes. By Ilomantsi the Russian were using divisions equipped with pre war T-26's and the Navy.

They were staging weaker, and weaker attacks further northwards, into less vital sectors, trying to outflank the defence.

If they'd continued that, those were battles Finland could fight. Ilomantsi was basically a re-run of the Winter War battles. The Soviet's were allowed to advance, then cut off, then (largely) destroyed.

But yes, I agree with general gist of your comments.

Finland wanted out and weren't going to get great terms.

_________________________________

Kingfish wrote:Those checks only matter if the final outcome is favorable to Finland, which it wasn't.


There was an even more unfavourable outcome for Finland, which never happened.

That was never Stalin's goal, so racking that up as a Finnish gain is irrelevant.


Stating what Stalin's goal was is, to me, pretty much for Pravda, as in, no one really knows and the truth will never come out.

The Teheran Conference had already happened and the Soviet Union had made clear it was going to cure the future Warsaw Pact countries of their bourgeoisie inspired concept of nation- states outside the Comintern. Actually, the Comintern may have ended by then. But, my general point still stands. You don't negotiate with Stalin

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Re: Soviets blundering into war

Postby Richard Anderson » 19 May 2017 21:19

antwony wrote:I actually did some research for this reply, which I'm semi-ashamed of as this topic doesn't deserve it and I've other stuff to do


Ditto. :D

Soviet's had bigger fish to fry by July/ September. In June there were Guards Tank Armies using JS-2's and swarms of T-34/85 with the sky full of planes. By Ilomantsi the Russian were using divisions equipped with pre war T-26's and the Navy.


Yes, which was why Soviet forces in the Isthmus and Karelia began reducing in July. The divisions left behind were those less capable of offensive operations.

They were staging weaker, and weaker attacks further northwards, into less vital sectors, trying to outflank the defence.


Its actually unclear why they were still attacking in Karelia, since by then the forces were being reduced. Reaching Viborg and the VKT line seems to have been the intended endpoint for the Soviet offensive.

If they'd continued that, those were battles Finland could fight. Ilomantsi was basically a re-run of the Winter War battles. The Soviet's were allowed to advance, then cut off, then (largely) destroyed.


Sure...until the Soviets re-committed the forces they began the offensive with in June and I don't doubt the Finns realized it too. They also knew there was no hope of the Germans sticking it out if the Soviet's got serious again. ISTR the Finns suffered something like 60,000 casualties that summer and could only replace about two-thirds of them?

But yes, I agree with general gist of your comments.

Finland wanted out and weren't going to get great terms.


Yep.

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Re: Soviets blundering into war

Postby Kingfish » 21 May 2017 14:52

antwony wrote:Stating what Stalin's goal was is, to me, pretty much for Pravda, as in, no one really knows and the truth will never come out.


Why bother with deciphering Pravda when the historical record provides all the clues you need?
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Re: Soviets blundering into war

Postby antwony » 21 May 2017 16:46

Kingfish wrote:
antwony wrote:Stating what Stalin's goal was is, to me, pretty much for Pravda, as in, no one really knows and the truth will never come out.


Why bother with deciphering Pravda when the historical record provides all the clues you need?


Apologies about getting all continental on you, but I think 100% agree and 100 % disagree with you're saying.

Or maybe there's two interpretations of what you said I can make. If you're saying the historical records all I need, I 100% agree. The entirety of Finland wasn't occupied during WW2 and its government's existence continued.

If you're saying that's a clue to what Stalin's goals were, I 100% don't care. I'd probably try and disagree, but fundamentally I don't care.

I remember a couple of years back I really pissed off a friend when I said of a popular singer (George Michael) that "he wasn't gay, but then he changed his mind". My friend went crazy and apparently I'm a homophobic a**hole for implying that people can choose to be gay as gay people are all born that way. Maybe she was right, it's not something I think about much as I don't really care either way and know I'm not homophobic.

Stalin wanted to occupy Finland, or not. Hitler knew what was happening at Auschwitz, etc, or not.

I don't really try and work out what leader's intentions were.

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Re: How bad would Allied casualties be if the Reich defeated the USSR?

Postby David Thompson » 21 May 2017 17:36

This thread is no longer productive due to poster misconduct, so it's locked.

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Re: How bad would Allied casualties be if the Reich defeated the USSR?

Postby David Thompson » 23 May 2017 05:18

This thread is reopened for civil and informative on-topic posts. Recent posts (from antwony, Michael Kenny, Richard Anderson, and Paul Lakowski) containing personal remarks about other members or uninformative repartee have been removed by this moderator.

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Re: Soviets blundering into war

Postby BDV » 24 May 2017 14:38

Richard Anderson wrote:Definition of idiotic. 1 : characterized by idiocy. 2 : showing complete lack of thought or common sense

Your notion of the Germans "baiting" the Soviets into an attack of Romania in July 1940 meets the definition.



So, as to avoid strawmen, as a pre-condition for a possible German rope-a-dope with Bolshevik Russia over Bessarabia Invasion of Holland and Invasion of Norway are supposed to not happen, saving Wehrmacht's rapid reaction capabilities. I proposed a confrontation between an already mobilized Wehrmacht/Germany and a Soviet Russia still in the throes of re-organization (military and industrial, at all levels), and re-armamaent (ALL major WWII Soviet weapon systems, with the exception of the Mosin-Nagant rifle were introduced in 1940-1942 timeframe), and which did not have the time to plunder the conquered territories.

In this scenario, before the PanzerDivisionen waltz in "to the rescue" somewhere in late July - early August, Bolshevik Russia's RKKA would be bloodied, in addition to the Winter War's 300k casualties, by an additional large number of casualties. These casualties would be the result of the attempt to quickly subdue the uppity Romanians, who are defending in a mini-version of Russia's layered river lines, and sport a road network not much above the one that gave Wehrmacht fits in their OstFront Adventure. In toto about ~500k casualties for RKKA before a single shot fired in anger by any of Schicklgruber's finest.

Please point out the specifics of what makes this proposition as "showing complete lack of thought or common sense".
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Re: How bad would Allied casualties be if the Reich defeated the USSR?

Postby Guaporense » 24 May 2017 19:26

Explorator wrote:
Explorator wrote:The real purpose of the Ardennes offensive, for instance, was not military, but political: by baring the Eastern Front of vital troops and assets, and halting the advance of the WAllies in the West, he hoped to demonstrate to them the danger of a Russian occupation of vast regions of Europe.


Richard Anderson wrote:It might be better if ill-informed opinion posted as fact were frowned upon.


Hitler himself said it to his closest associates. He was ill-informed, true, but this was what motivated him, and this is what counts at the end of the day.

Anyone attentively reading through his speeches and fireside ramblings can understand what made him tick. Contrary to received opinion, he was quite candid and he tended to stick to his simplistic and distorted world view. He seriously misread realities - as it turned out, Churchill and Roosevelt too, the former misunderstood his American allies, and the latter Stalin), but there was a system in his way of misreading them, based on certain elements of truth. In this case, he was convinced that the alliance of his enemies will not hold forever. He knew that the war was lost - some think as soon as December 1941 - and he gambled/played for time ever since.

Without reading primary sources - or worst still, ignoring what do not fit our narrative - it is indeed difficult to form an informed opinion. Unfortunately, even widely reputed, celebrated historians seriously misread some aspects of WW2 (let alone the authors of school textbooks and the public fed by them), because they are prisoners of the narrative formed during and after the war and strongly influenced by propaganda.


Indeed. In January 1945 the WAllies were scared to death of Stalin who was coming near Berlin while then were stuck in the WW1 frontlines for months. The Yalta conference was essentially the beginning of the Cold War.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Soviets blundering into war

Postby Richard Anderson » 24 May 2017 19:57

BDV wrote:So, as to avoid strawmen, as a pre-condition for a possible German rope-a-dope with Bolshevik Russia over Bessarabia Invasion of Holland and Invasion of Norway are supposed to not happen, saving Wehrmacht's rapid reaction capabilities. I proposed a confrontation between an already mobilized Wehrmacht/Germany and a Soviet Russia still in the throes of re-organization (military and industrial, at all levels), and re-armamaent (ALL major WWII Soviet weapon systems, with the exception of the Mosin-Nagant rifle were introduced in 1940-1942 timeframe), and which did not have the time to plunder the conquered territories.

In this scenario, before the PanzerDivisionen waltz in "to the rescue" somewhere in late July - early August, Bolshevik Russia's RKKA would be bloodied, in addition to the Winter War's 300k casualties, by an additional large number of casualties. These casualties would be the result of the attempt to quickly subdue the uppity Romanians, who are defending in a mini-version of Russia's layered river lines, and sport a road network not much above the one that gave Wehrmacht fits in their OstFront Adventure. In toto about ~500k casualties for RKKA before a single shot fired in anger by any of Schicklgruber's finest.

Please point out the specifics of what makes this proposition as "showing complete lack of thought or common sense".


Yes, by all means lets avoid strawmen.

You are ignoring the reality of where the Germans were at the end of June 1940. To "waltz in to the rescue" the Germans first need to:

a). Get replacements of men and equipment, especially for the Panzerdivissionen. They began the campaign with 554 PzI, 920 PzII, 347 PzIII, 280 PzIV, 118 Pz35t, 207 Pz38t, and 154 BeflPz...and lost 182 PzI, 240 PzII, 135 PzIII, 97 PzIV, 62 Pz35t, 54 Pz38t, and 69 BeflPz. Roughly 35% of their gun-armed Panzers. They received 48 PzI, 35 Pz35t, 36 Pz38t, 71 PzIII, 19 PzIV, and 8 BeflPz as replacements, leaving them at about 80% equipment strength. Most also had lost heavily in trained manpower.
b). Re-organize the Panzerdivisionen based upon the lessons learned in Poland and France, in a process that began in July and was not completed until c. February 1941. The first three new divisions began organizing in August.
c). Re-balance the Heer and other services in order to keep industry operating...thus the discharge of over 800,000 essential workers back to industry upon the fall of France. Four Landwehr and 15 Infanterie divisionen were disbanded as part of the program, while six other Landwehr divisionen were converted to occupation commands.
d). Deal with the unfinished question of England.
e). Resolve the simple fact that Germany was not Romania's ally at this time. It was not until the loss of Bessarabia that the fascists overthrew King Carol...until that point Romania was nominally aligned with Britain and France.

You are also ignoring the reality of the the Romanian military in 1940. It was doctrinally similar to the French, but worse equipped. They had some 126 LTvz35, 75 Renault R-35, and 75 FT17 tanks in two regiments and various detachments, 14 corps HQ, 19 infantry divisions, 16 reserve infantry divisions, 1 border guard division, 4 mountain brigades, and nine cavalry brigades...of which only 15 divisions were available to defend against the USSR. Another 14 looked to its mortal enemy Hungary and one watched Bulgaria. And of those, the equipment state was so bad that when it came time to mobilize for Barbarossa a year later, only 13 infantry and 1 reserve division could be fielded...after 1 infantry and 3 reserve divisions were disbanded in November 1940. I suspect your uppity Romanians are not remotely capable of doing a Finland on the Soviets.

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Re: Soviets blundering into war

Postby Kingfish » 24 May 2017 20:31

BDV wrote:So, as to avoid strawmen, as a pre-condition for a possible German rope-a-dope with Bolshevik Russia over Bessarabia Invasion of Holland and Invasion of Norway are supposed to not happen, saving Wehrmacht's rapid reaction capabilities.


Nix the invasion of Holland and the campaign in the West now takes on a whole new look, one that might preclude any hope of the Wehrmacht cavalry coming to the Romanian's rescue.

For one thing, would the Germans even attempt a drive to the channel with both flanks open? There would be no northern pressure to fix the BEF and French 7th army, leaving them free to pull off a much larger Arras counterattack.

These casualties would be the result of the attempt to quickly subdue the uppity Romanians, who are defending in a mini-version of Russia's layered river lines,


Again I ask, what is the point of refusing the Russian ultimatum when the strategy thus adopted is to concede exactly what the Russians wanted?
Lose the Tyka river line ( which the Romanians have no real hope of holding) and you have to fall back to the Prut - which means abandoning Bessarabia.
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Re: Soviets blundering into war

Postby T. A. Gardner » 24 May 2017 22:04

Kingfish wrote:Nix the invasion of Holland and the campaign in the West now takes on a whole new look, one that might preclude any hope of the Wehrmacht cavalry coming to the Romanian's rescue.


The invasion of Holland was largely predicated on a need to get quickly around the Belgian line of fortifications around Liege. Eben Emael was the key to that happening, and the Maastricht district was the key to letting the Wehrmacht advance into Belgium once the fort fell. Hence, the Netherlands had to be invaded.

Norway was the same way. The British and French forced Germany's hand on that by moving to occupy Narvik and cut off the winter route for Swedish iron exports. If the Allies hadn't forced that issue, Germany likely wouldn't have invaded Norway.

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Re: Soviets blundering into war

Postby Richard Anderson » 24 May 2017 22:20

Kingfish wrote:
BDV wrote:So, as to avoid strawmen, as a pre-condition for a possible German rope-a-dope with Bolshevik Russia over Bessarabia Invasion of Holland and Invasion of Norway are supposed to not happen, saving Wehrmacht's rapid reaction capabilities.


Nix the invasion of Holland and the campaign in the West now takes on a whole new look, one that might preclude any hope of the Wehrmacht cavalry coming to the Romanian's rescue.

For one thing, would the Germans even attempt a drive to the channel with both flanks open? There would be no northern pressure to fix the BEF and French 7th army, leaving them free to pull off a much larger Arras counterattack.


Damn, I missed that while focusing on the second half of the absurdity.

No Norway and no Holland means no Denmark either I suspect. So the entire German strategy rests on forcing HG A and B through Belgium along the Aachen-Liege-Namur, Pruem-St Vith-Bastogne-Sedan, and Trier-Luxembourg-Longwy axes, which is a likely recipe for logistical disaster. It means the sickle cut is executed as a jab through to Sedan by the Panzertruppen followed by the infantry. So no outflanking of the Belgian positions via Holland, which simplifies the allied task immensely. With 1er Armee halting the German advance at Gembloux-Hannut it allows the Belgians to stabilize their forces even with the loss of Eben Emael (if it is even attacked) and the 7er Armee and BEF are free to reinforce 9er Armee and attack the German breakthrough.

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Re: How bad would Allied casualties be if the Reich defeated the USSR?

Postby Richard Anderson » 25 May 2017 00:13

Guaporense wrote:Indeed. In January 1945 the WAllies were scared to death of Stalin who was coming near Berlin while then were stuck in the WW1 frontlines for months. The Yalta conference was essentially the beginning of the Cold War.


Your unsubstantiated opinion is not a substitute for facts and has no place in any discussion. It also has zero bearing on the discussion. Or is this just another of your trolling attempts?

As of "January 1945", the Western Allies were roughly 300 miles from Berlin, while the "closer" forces of the Soviets were roughly 300 miles from Berlin.

The Western Allies were never "stuck in the WW1 frontlines" for more than a few hours at most...the battlefields of the First World War were driven over during the pursuit.

The "Cold War" arguably began on 16 April 1947, when the term was first used. Meanwhile, the breakdown of the wartime alliance was predictable long before Yalta.

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Re: Soviets blundering into war

Postby T. A. Gardner » 25 May 2017 00:50

Richard Anderson wrote:
Kingfish wrote:
BDV wrote:So, as to avoid strawmen, as a pre-condition for a possible German rope-a-dope with Bolshevik Russia over Bessarabia Invasion of Holland and Invasion of Norway are supposed to not happen, saving Wehrmacht's rapid reaction capabilities.


Nix the invasion of Holland and the campaign in the West now takes on a whole new look, one that might preclude any hope of the Wehrmacht cavalry coming to the Romanian's rescue.

For one thing, would the Germans even attempt a drive to the channel with both flanks open? There would be no northern pressure to fix the BEF and French 7th army, leaving them free to pull off a much larger Arras counterattack.


Damn, I missed that while focusing on the second half of the absurdity.

No Norway and no Holland means no Denmark either I suspect. So the entire German strategy rests on forcing HG A and B through Belgium along the Aachen-Liege-Namur, Pruem-St Vith-Bastogne-Sedan, and Trier-Luxembourg-Longwy axes, which is a likely recipe for logistical disaster. It means the sickle cut is executed as a jab through to Sedan by the Panzertruppen followed by the infantry. So no outflanking of the Belgian positions via Holland, which simplifies the allied task immensely. With 1er Armee halting the German advance at Gembloux-Hannut it allows the Belgians to stabilize their forces even with the loss of Eben Emael (if it is even attacked) and the 7er Armee and BEF are free to reinforce 9er Armee and attack the German breakthrough.



This map shows the problem the Germans faced, clearly:

Image

The forts in red are equivalents of Eben Emael. The ones in blue are older pre-WW 1 forts that were restored and had some upgrades added to them. These forts, with the exception of Eben Emael generally didn't fall until late May, having held up the German forces facing them. The forces that overran Belgium bypassed this line by going through Maastricht Holland and over the Albert Canal that Eben Emael was built to defend against.

So, no invasion of Holland, and the pinning of the majority of the French and British armies moving into Belgium doesn't occur. That in turn means that there's a very good chance the panzer advance through the Ardennes fails or is blunted short of victory.


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