One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

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Aida1
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Aida1 » 14 Aug 2019 12:37

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Aug 2019 22:08



To evaluate the cost/benefit of more ID's versus more mobile formations would require estimating something like:
  • 1. the "leakage rate" of OTL encirclements and the delta to that rate from more ID's
  • 2. the benefits of mobile divisions "continuing their advance" earlier
Re (1) - let's say 25% leakage of manpower OTL and 5% leakage of equipment (usually escapees had to abandon all heavy equipment). Most of that leakage was from the east-facing perimeter of the pockets through the overstretched mobile divisions before the ID's caught up, so more ID's doesn't solve the problem. Indeed, it's an argument for more mobile infantry. But even if standard ID's magically leaped forward with the mobile divisions and prevented ANY leakage from pockets, that's a ~25% delta to prisoners taken and a smaller delta to equipment losses. Compare that prisoner delta with enabling AGS to execute its own double envelopments: That would cause >100% increase in POW's, as AGS faced more Soviets to encircle than AGC. More mobile divisions enables either more pockets that leak or OTL pockets that leak less. The choice seems obvious to me.
It is not about leakage or not.It is about mobile divisions continuing their advance and any enemy that leaked being unable to get away as the front would move to far away from them.More ID's being available could have made it more easier to allow the mobile divisions to move on but even in the situation as it was it made sense to keep advancing without bothering about leakage..

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Cult Icon » 14 Aug 2019 12:46

What the "ideal" method was: Breakthrough, advance, and encircle with PzGruppe (as much as possible). Hold encircled forces until infantry divisions move up. Peel off of encirclement one by one and pass the baton to the newly arrived Infantry divisions. Infantry divisions reduce the pocket and process prisoners. Axis allied divisions-given their lower capabilities- were heavily involved in pocket reduction next to German infantry units.

In this fashion, depletion of PzGruppe is minimized and freed up for subsequent attacks. When the situation prevented a smooth transition and caused heavy wear and tear of the PzGruppe, it lowered the Army Group's future operational efficiency.

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Takao
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Takao » 14 Aug 2019 13:44

Aida1 wrote:
14 Aug 2019 07:37
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Aug 2019 07:10
Aida1 wrote:Would do you good to read Panzer operations by Hermann Hoth.
I've read it as well as Mannstein, Guderian, and the Halder diaries. Hoth is at least a better writer than Mannstein, who despite being a brilliant general is a terrible writer, a terrible person, and should have been hanged.

You and Jesk can continue to worship the German Generals; any intelligent person approaches their memoirs with skepticism of their factual assertions and knowledge that they completely lacked strategic insight.
From reading Hoth you could have gotten the insight that he would have wanted to keep advancing and not be tied down in cordoning off pockets. which is the reason why more IDs would have been useful.
Guderian makes a similar point in his book. He had to hold his panzers in place, while waiting for the following ID's to take over and reduce the Soviet pockets.

As such, motorized ID's are necessary, but only to get them in place faster for pocket reduction, not to participate in envelopment.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by David Thompson » 14 Aug 2019 14:18

A repartee opinion post from Aida1, containing unsourced generalizations about mobile units, was removed pursuant to forum rules and the warning posted above (at viewtopic.php?p=2217247#p2217247).

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by MarkN » 14 Aug 2019 14:23

Aida1 wrote:
14 Aug 2019 12:37
It is not about leakage or not.
On the contrary. This thread and TheMarcksPlan fantasy scenario(s) are utterly beholden to "leakage". Indeed, he has already pointed out that "leakage" and the motorized troops pushing too far ahead were key reasons for BARBAROSSA's historical failure and in his fantasy scenario, as uber games master, he will ensure personally that this is not allowed to happen in his fantasy scenario.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
16 Jul 2019 23:57
Barbarossa saw a constant struggle between Hitler and the generals wherein the latter wanted constantly to press ahead and the former urged attention to strategic goals - especially tight encirclement and capture of Red soldiers. Guderian was particularly bad in this regard: he opted to seize the bridgehead at Yelnya instead of focusing on closing the Smolensk pocket; his Minsk encirclement was particularly porous; even in Taifun more Russians escaped from his Bryansk pocket than from Vyazma. Guderian's panzer group had the highest losses and loss rates - likely due to his impetuous aggression. The Ostheer might have been better off sending Guderian to Africa with Rommel.
The reason for this is based upon TheMarcksPlan's fantasy scenario is centered upon the idea of numbers. More Red Army numbers have to be culled from the orbat as early as possible the improve the numbers ratio at the battle for moscow. "Leakage" cannot be tolerated.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Aida1 » 14 Aug 2019 14:43

MarkN wrote:
14 Aug 2019 14:23
Aida1 wrote:
14 Aug 2019 12:37
It is not about leakage or not.
On the contrary. This thread and TheMarcksPlan fantasy scenario(s) are utterly beholden to "leakage". Indeed, he has already pointed out that "leakage" and the motorized troops pushing too far ahead were key reasons for BARBAROSSA's historical failure and in his fantasy scenario, as uber games master, he will ensure personally that this is not allowed to happen in his fantasy scenario.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
16 Jul 2019 23:57
Barbarossa saw a constant struggle between Hitler and the generals wherein the latter wanted constantly to press ahead and the former urged attention to strategic goals - especially tight encirclement and capture of Red soldiers. Guderian was particularly bad in this regard: he opted to seize the bridgehead at Yelnya instead of focusing on closing the Smolensk pocket; his Minsk encirclement was particularly porous; even in Taifun more Russians escaped from his Bryansk pocket than from Vyazma. Guderian's panzer group had the highest losses and loss rates - likely due to his impetuous aggression. The Ostheer might have been better off sending Guderian to Africa with Rommel.
The reason for this is based upon TheMarcksPlan's fantasy scenario is centered upon the idea of numbers. More Red Army numbers have to be culled from the orbat as early as possible the improve the numbers ratio at the battle for moscow. "Leakage" cannot be tolerated.
And that is where he does not understand.Mobile formations need to keep pushing deep and not bother with cordoning off pockets.Enemy infantry may leak but they cannot reach the own lines if the front has moved too far away.So his basic assumption is wrong.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by ljadw » 14 Aug 2019 15:18

Cult Icon wrote:
14 Aug 2019 12:46
What the "ideal" method was: Breakthrough, advance, and encircle with PzGruppe (as much as possible). Hold encircled forces until infantry divisions move up. Peel off of encirclement one by one and pass the baton to the newly arrived Infantry divisions. Infantry divisions reduce the pocket and process prisoners. Axis allied divisions-given their lower capabilities- were heavily involved in pocket reduction next to German infantry units.

In this fashion, depletion of PzGruppe is minimized and freed up for subsequent attacks. When the situation prevented a smooth transition and caused heavy wear and tear of the PzGruppe, it lowered the Army Group's future operational efficiency.
This ideal method would fail when it would be used east of the DD line . And, it failed .

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by MarkN » 14 Aug 2019 15:44

Cult Icon wrote:
14 Aug 2019 12:46
What the "ideal" method was: Breakthrough, advance, and encircle with PzGruppe (as much as possible). Hold encircled forces until infantry divisions move up. Peel off of encirclement one by one and pass the baton to the newly arrived Infantry divisions. Infantry divisions reduce the pocket and process prisoners. Axis allied divisions-given their lower capabilities- were heavily involved in pocket reduction next to German infantry units.

In this fashion, depletion of PzGruppe is minimized and freed up for subsequent attacks. When the situation prevented a smooth transition and caused heavy wear and tear of the PzGruppe, it lowered the Army Group's future operational efficiency.
You write that that approach was the "ideal", but TheMarcksPlan has already explained that it failed. He had already explained that it failed because the pantser leaders were too keen to "peel off" and push on allowing "leakage" of the Red Army cadres. Thus they did not reduce the Red Army numbers sufficiently.

Moreover, TheMarcksPlan has offered his solution to this failure: the pantser leaders are to become inhuman robotic implementers of the games master directives which are to be more involved in preventing leakage. In otherwords, the solution in his fantasy scenario is for the pantser groups to become much more engaged in eliminating the encircled Red Army pockets and only move on when this is complete. This means the entire campaign will be drawn our to about 2 years.

At this point one of the many problems kicks in with his fantasy scenario. The more fighting the pantser groups do the more worn out their troops and equipment become. As you point out, depletion of the pantser groups is thus not minimized, it is maximized. In real life, the Heer was burned out offensively before Moscow. TheMarcksPlan himself has kindly evidenced this very phenomena.

This forum is still awaiting TheMarcksPlan's solution to how this is overcome in his fantasy scenario. How do TheMarcksPlan pantser groups maintain offensive capability when the historical pantser groups burned out - noting TheMarcksPlan pantser groups are required to incur far greater wear, tear and depletion in their effort?

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Aida1 » 14 Aug 2019 16:23

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Aug 2019 16:04
Aida1 wrote:Mobile formations need to keep pushing deep and not bother with cordoning off pockets.Enemy infantry may leak but they cannot reach the own lines if the front has moved too far away.
Oh I understand now. You just have no idea what you're talking about. You go on my ignore list with MarkN and the rest of the peanut gallery.
OH really.Once i get home i will delve into my books and give you some more detail about why your leakage idea is so wrong supported by quotes..You Will not be able to suppress your curiosity and will probably read my postings anyway.And markn made some good points .too.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 14 Aug 2019 21:24

I believe this ATL helps overall with Germany's logistics in Russia. German planners correctly identified that they could adequately supply their forces in western Russia - basically west of the Dnieper-Dvina line. Hence, it made sense for Germany to seek to destroy the entire Red Army west of this line, because that is where Germany could sustain adequate logistics. When sizeable portions of the Red Army escaped to the east (basically everywhere except AGC), this led to the enormous strain on German logistics where there weren't nearly enough rail lines to supply their armies in the east.

Thus, anything that would help encircle more Soviet armies in the early phases of Barbarossa, as in this ATL, would help Germany's overall logistical situation in the east.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by Terry Duncan » 14 Aug 2019 23:29

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Aug 2019 16:04
Aida1 wrote:Mobile formations need to keep pushing deep and not bother with cordoning off pockets.Enemy infantry may leak but they cannot reach the own lines if the front has moved too far away.
Oh I understand now. You just have no idea what you're talking about. You go on my ignore list with MarkN and the rest of the peanut gallery.

TheMarcksPlan.

Please cease making derogatory personal comments about other members here. There really have been sufficient warnings on this board over one or two recent threads to make it perfectly clear that senior staff (who have posted the rules on this subject several times so far) will not tolerate such behaviour and will ban offenders if that appears to be the only way to make people behave in a civil manner.

T. Duncan

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by David Thompson » 15 Aug 2019 00:30

A post from TheMarcksPlan, which contained personal comments about another poster, was removed pursuant to forum rules and prior warnings.

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 15 Aug 2019 05:45

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:anything that would help encircle more Soviet armies in the early phases of Barbarossa, as in this ATL, would help Germany's overall logistical situation in the east.
You're right that my ATL's earlier encirclement battles help German logistics and I did intend that.
But I also have a burden of showing that the Ostheer could have logistically supported my additional forces on the envisioned drive deeper into Russia. That's where the rail revisions come in, which follow from planning for a multi-year campaign.
It's not about making German logistics *good* - that's too much to ask IMO because the Germans sucked at logistics.
It's simply about setting up the obvious logistics conditions for typically-bad German logistics behind a slightly larger army in 1941, and then having better rail connections in 1942.
To this end I made a distinction between strategic and operational/tactical logistics in my last thread. The Germans didn't ignore logistics in the strategic picture - thus Operation Otto and putting 300,000t into Poland's rail system ahead of Barbarossa. This is an example of strategic logistics: the obvious need to move supplies into a war theater. It's analogous to the US shipping supplies to UK in advance of Overlord - just obvious that you have to do it.
In contrast, operational/tactical logistics is about the efficient distribution of supplies within a theater. At this the Germans have sucked since Prussian times and I don't change that cultural fact. Changing the strategic picture from a campaign measured in weeks to one of a couple years, however, creates an obvious need for strategic rail communications east of the DD line. Such a need wasn't obvious to OKH pre-Barbarossa because the strategic conception assumed supplying the full Ostheer for only a short campaign. Germany showed itself capable of at least addressing obvious strategic logistical needs in preparing for campaigns; a different strategic conception of Barbarossa would have entailed different planning for the different obvious strategic logistical needs.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 15 Aug 2019 06:15, edited 1 time in total.

ljadw
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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by ljadw » 15 Aug 2019 06:08

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
14 Aug 2019 21:24
I believe this ATL helps overall with Germany's logistics in Russia. German planners correctly identified that they could adequately supply their forces in western Russia - basically west of the Dnieper-Dvina line. Hence, it made sense for Germany to seek to destroy the entire Red Army west of this line, because that is where Germany could sustain adequate logistics. When sizeable portions of the Red Army escaped to the east (basically everywhere except AGC), this led to the enormous strain on German logistics where there weren't nearly enough rail lines to supply their armies in the east.

Thus, anything that would help encircle more Soviet armies in the early phases of Barbarossa, as in this ATL, would help Germany's overall logistical situation in the east.
This is not correct :the escape of portions of the Red Army to the east did not influence the outcome of Barbarossa .What decided the outcome of Barbarossa was the ability of the Soviet regime to mobilize very quickly its reserves and to send them to the front : between June 22 and June 30 5,3 million men were mobilised .Without this, the Soviet regime would collaps .Besides, the situation of AGC was not better than the situation in the north or the south of the front .
To encircle more Soviet armies west of the DD line would not help Germany .

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Re: One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 15 Aug 2019 06:09

Cult Icon wrote:
14 Aug 2019 12:46
What the "ideal" method was: Breakthrough, advance, and encircle with PzGruppe (as much as possible). Hold encircled forces until infantry divisions move up. Peel off of encirclement one by one and pass the baton to the newly arrived Infantry divisions. Infantry divisions reduce the pocket and process prisoners. Axis allied divisions-given their lower capabilities- were heavily involved in pocket reduction next to German infantry units.

In this fashion, depletion of PzGruppe is minimized and freed up for subsequent attacks. When the situation prevented a smooth transition and caused heavy wear and tear of the PzGruppe, it lowered the Army Group's future operational efficiency.
This is exactly correct.

Look at the early stages of the Smolensk pocket as of July 23rd:

Image

Note that all but 2-3 of the divisions starting to form the pocket are motorized (Hoth and Guderian had ~17 mobile divisions). The few foot-mobile formations even relevant to the Smolensk pocket are at the far western end.
As the battle progressed, the infantry divisions starting to enter the picture from the left relieved the mobile divisions and/or attacked at the far eastern end of the nascent pocket to close the trap.
Of particular importance to this discussion, note that even Stolfi thought logistical constraints would have prevented AGC from moving on Moscow until later in August, had Hitler made Moscow the target at that point.

So we have a situation where there is literally no pocket absent the mobile divisions, and where even the most rabid partisan of the "panzers forward" POV admits that the logistical situation could not have supported a further drive by the mobile divisions for several weeks. So how does prioritizing ID's over mobile forces work again? How do you form a pocket in the first place? How does more infantry, which hasn't even reached the battle yet, allow the mobile divisions to move on and ignore the enveloped forces? Even if the mobile divisions can somehow ignore the surrounded forces (which just sit and wait for the German ID's?), how do more ID's magically resupply the mobile divisions with fuel and ammo sufficient to outrun their supply columns?

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