The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

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KDF33
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Re: Logistical feasibility of an early advance on Moscow

Post by KDF33 » 05 Apr 2021 03:33

stg 44 wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:02
You're forgetting the XXXIX motorized corps from 3rd PzG that went to AG-North and fought basically from the Luga Line to cutting off Leningrad and then drove back to AG-Center late in September. So I think that means all of its corps and it's air support, VIII Fliegerkorps, was committed to battle on the northern flank, though half of that went to AG-North from August-September.
I'm not. XXXIX. Armeekorps (mot.), with 3 divisions, quite obviously left Panzergruppe 3 to join Panzergruppe 4, and therefore no longer had to be supplied by Heeresgruppe Mitte.

If we look at divisions, instead of armies of fluctuating composition, we get this:


Transferred to Heeresgruppe Nord:
  • 1 Panzer division: 12.
  • 2 Infanterie divisions (mot.): 18., 20.

Retaking Velikiye Luki (22-29 August) then Abwehrschlacht:
  • 2 Panzer divisions: 19., 20.

Abwehrschlacht:
  • 2 Panzer divisions: 7., 10.
  • 1 Infanterie division (mot.): 14.

With Guderian to Kiev:
  • 4 Panzer divisions: 3., 4., 17., 18.
  • 3 Infanterie divisions (mot.): "Das Reich", 10., 29.


Note that the 7 mobile divisions advancing on the Kiev axis were supported in their advance by 7 Infanterie and 1 Kavallerie divisions, for a total of 15. That corresponds pretty neatly with what HGM's quartermaster predicted could be supplied from the Minsk depots with the transport available: 14 - 17 divisions, depending on the composition of the units involved.

See Halder diaries, vol. 6, entry for 15 July 1941.

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by History Learner » 05 Apr 2021 03:58

KDF33 wrote:
04 Apr 2021 03:44
At some point in August, yes.
Glad we are in agreement here.
Tell me where the mobile formations of Heeresgruppe Mitte were on August 19th then on October 2nd, and you'll realize how wrong that statement is.
2nd Panzer Army is near Starodub, with no real effective opposition to them and in between the collapsing Central Front and Reserve Front, in an open flank from which they merely need turn East to exploit. 3rd Panzer might be slower to launch off, but it's definitely within its capabilities to do such soon.
I don't want the citations for chapter 10. I want the specific sources from which he derives his operational ratios.
...which is why I gave you all of the citations for Chapter 10, from which the citation was drawn from.
The late August / early September series is the only data I have that shows operational readiness among all the Panzer formations.

Jentz only provides the full series on operational numbers (not %) for two of HGM's nine Panzer divisions, the 10. and the 12. For the relevant dates, data shows:

10. Panzer: 176 on 21.6, 88 on 1.8, 125 on 11.8, 150 on 21.8, 152 on 1.10
12. Panzer: 234 on 21.6, 95 on 1.8, 98 on 11.8, 94 on 21.8, 74 on 1.10 (the last date with HGN)

Note that 10. Panzer had 175 tanks in total (operational + repair) on September 4, whereas 12. Panzer had 131 on August 26.

The point is that Panzer formations were at 90% to almost 100% readiness on June 22. The mobile units that destroyed 5 Soviet armies at Vyazma were at a similar rate of readiness. None of the Panzer formations of Heeresgruppe Mitte were close to that level in mid-August, and would have required some R&R time to get there.
Which I will grant, by saying five to six days of rest, same as occurred in early August before 2nd and 3rd Panzer Armies went on continuous offensive action for six weeks. Likewise, we have to consider the position of the Soviets at this point; Glantz shows they only had around 350 operational tanks at this point in Reserve and Western Fronts.
The important figure is the readiness rate, not total numbers.
I'd rather have 1,000 total tanks with only 40% operational rate than 350 tanks with a 100% operational rate.
That's your assumption. In the OTL, the Panzer formations involved in the Vyazma encirclement were either fresh formations (2., 5.) or had 15-20 days of R&R (1., 6., 7., 10., 11., 20.). The one formation with less than 2 weeks of R&R (19.) was kept in reserve at the beginning of Taifun.
No, it's what AGC achieved in early August and based off Nigel Askey showing roughly 26% of their tanks were in field workshops, which generally had a turn around of less than a week depending on the conditions present; given AGC was fairly static outside of its mobile arms and thus had a stable rear area situation, conditions were good in August.

Further, I have absolutely no idea where you are getting 15-20 days of rest, given the Kiev encirclement wasn't even achieved until September 16th and Typhoon jumped off October 2nd, meaning at absolute maximum they would have 16 days of rest. Even that did not occur given, among other things, the need to travel back to Army Group Center so not much rest or refitting there, but actually more wear and tear.
Those figures are for the whole front, not just for Heeresgruppe Mitte.
And you were citing multiple Panzer Divisions not even attached to AGC, so I fail to see your point?
Incorrect. I'll explain it step-by-step:

1. STAVKA asks Fronts and independent Armies for personnel strength reports.
2. Fronts and independent Armies proceed with a head count.
3. STAVKA receives the individual reports.
4. STAVKA combines them to arrive at an overall figure for the operational army.
5. On that basis, STAVKA sets rations for the next month.

There are no estimates here.
Which, as Per70 has already pointed out, has quite a few flaws in it as evidenced to the ration reports not matching reported strengths by almost 100%.
I did no such thing.
You did here:
KDF33 wrote:
31 Mar 2021 05:45
What you propose is jumping off, almost immediately, from your positions in front of Smolensk, without a pause to build-up supplies or restore operational numbers. Besides, in August the entire HGM amounts to 55 divisions, including your units that will hold against Central Front.
Realistically though, 2nd Army under Weichs is already collapsing them by August 20th, so no real need to change this.
They're not. Personnel strength reports are not derived by subtracting casualties and adding reinforcements; they're just a head count.
Evidently not, as noted by Per70. Beyond that though, it doesn't refute the claim; if you are failing to record casualties properly, you're not getting an accurate headcount.
That's one way to frame it. Another would be that unsupported mobile formations racing ahead of their infantry tend to make shoddy pockets.
An odd claim to make, specifically in 1941 given Kiev and then the V-B encirclement.
How am I counting Central Front? None of the data I've presented includes Central Front, which was dissolved on August 26.
Again, you did here:
KDF33 wrote:
30 Mar 2021 05:21
Here's a comparison of the manpower of the relevant Soviet Fronts between early September and early October:

West + Reserve: 1,002,000 / 920,000
Bryansk: 294,000 / 294,000

Total: 1,296,000 / 1,214,000
A lot of Bryansk Front's strength was from formations from the defeated Central Front.
It's your scenario. When do you pull it out?
Let's say August 23-25th, shall we?
HGM reserve: ~100 tanks
Panzergruppe 3: ~500 tanks
Panzergruppe 4: ~800 tanks
Panzergruppe 2: ~700 tanks

For a total of ~2,100 tanks, which is virtually identical to what Heeresgruppe Mitte had on June 22. Note that this stands for total figures, not operational numbers.
Okay, thank you. AGC (which didn't have Panzer Army 4 in June) entered combat with 1,780 AFVs in June, 4th Panzer at the same time had around 600 tanks in June, for a combined total of 2,380 tanks. If you want to fact in operational rates, let's say 75% for ATL August and 90%, as you've stated, for October which comes out to 1,785 for the former and 1,890 for October, a difference of about 100 AFVs.
Where do you assemble the mobile units? What are your groupings?

Then you should look up where those places are on Google Map. And also contrast that distribution with that of Taifun.
4th Panzer providing flank security, 3rd Panzer Army mobilizing at its historical jump off point, and 2nd Panzer Army going east from Starodub. Infantry armies keeping the Soviets pinned in the center.
Panzergruppe 2 is not even facing Western and Reserve Fronts at the time.
Exactly, which is excellent because attacking the enemy head on in their lines is not only against German doctrine it's also incredibly incompetents in general. Rather, as STAVKA noted this meant there was a gaping hole in Soviet lines which Guderian could exploit in a flanking attack, allowing him to move around Reserve Front and thus conduct a proper encirclement while 3rd Panzer Army supported by 4th Panzer Army seeks to do the same to the North.
XXXIX. Armeekorps (mot.) had time to recuperate. Guderian was pushing against Bryansk Front, which had less than a third of the strength of the forces arrayed on the Moscow axis, for a similar frontage.
Good, see above; this means Guderian can easily get into the rear area of Reserve Front.
You are reading far too much into a throwaway line by Glantz.

I conclude that you have no evidence to provide.
Besides citing the premier Western expert on the Soviet side of the Eastern Front directly saying what I am, a point you previously agreed with openly? Of the two of us, I'm the only one with a citation, you're just dismissing with no evidence in counter.
Southwestern Front wouldn't be retreating for months. Besides, in 1941 the Germans had such limited replacements that they grew ever-weaker simply by virtue of being in combat, whether on the offensive or the defensive. Without the destruction of Southwestern Front in September, Heeresgruppe Süd will continue to weaken without destroying as many Soviet formations nor capturing as much territory as in the OTL.
How do you know they won't be? Beyond that, as StG 44 has pointed out, the claim the Germans weakened over 1941 just isn't supported by the documentation; OKH had reasonably predicted losses up to December of 1941 and had replacements for about 80-90% of losses sustained on hand for such. Further, how exactly is AGS being weakened if its opponents are retreating? How are they weaker if they have a more condensed, less over extended front?
What are you talking about? What is a "central mobilization point"? Look at this map. Why would the Soviets be unable to form a solid front on the Moscow axis?
Because the Moscow axis is in German hands? Which meant supplies and mobilized formations from the other cities could assemble at Moscow for one organized location.
Quote?
His Operation Typhoon book, Page 294.
Nope. At best you've swapped Moscow for Kiev in September. Then October sees the Soviets saving 100,000s of MIAs over the OTL because you have no follow-up.
You get V-B in late August/early September and then can turn Panzer Group 4 back to the North to take Leningrad and eliminate the Soviet forces there for a follow up. Beyond that, though, to focus on the destruction of armies is to make the same mistake the Germans did; destroying Soviet armies without eliminating the economic means of building new ones is a pointless affair. Taking Moscow and Leningrad not only collapses the Soviet infrastructure network, it also eliminates roughly 40% of Soviet industrial capacity in 1940 values at a time when it had already lost 40% historically.

Yes, Southwestern Front has probably survived, at least in 1941. What happens in 1942 after months of low supplies and the inability to source new replacements? With Army Group Center and and Army Group North largely secure and thus enabling a pincer movement from AGS from the West and AGC from the North against it?
1) The Fronts facing HGN/HGS would suffer lower casualties than historically.
In the case of AGS, sure, but that works both ways as I've already noted. On the otherhand, you have yet to submit a compelling argument for AGN's front.
2) Why would they be deprived of reinforcements?
Because you said so yourself when I asked why you posted the divisional list from September of 1941? See here:
History Learner wrote:
30 Mar 2021 18:56
I'm not sure what this is supposed to prove, given only four of these divisions were sent to oppose AGC. Are you proposing they all do? In which case Army Group North is able to take Leningrad in August/September and Army Group South is going to have an absolute ball of a time in Ukraine.
To which you replied:
KDF33 wrote:
30 Mar 2021 23:00
These divisions were sent where the Germans were attacking in September, in the north and in the south. Had the Germans been attacking in the center, that is where, presumably, they would have been sent.
So which way is it? Do the divisions have their historical deployment zones or not? In which case, AGN is facing a much, much weaker opponent come October, when 4th Panzer Army is rotated back into its sector.
Attack with what? You've transferred Panzergruppe 4 to HGM, and HGS's mobile formations will be completely burned out in the fall. Do you propose hammering away with your infantry, à la Great War?
Okay, first, taking the statement at face value how exactly did AGN go on the offensive IOTL with a "burned" out 4th Panzer Group? Why would Panzer Group 4 be burned out here is an even better question? Further, why can't AGN go on the offensive with a hypothetically burned out 4th Panzer Army, if we take that at face value? We've established they did go on the offensive IOTL, and here the Soviet forces facing them are weaker, if we take your original claim of Soviet force deployment.

Finally, for all the claim of a Great War outcome, it's notable Central Front was destroyed historically by von Weich's with 2nd Army, which was not a Panzer Army mind you.
1) In what world does HGN/HGS take lower losses?
A world where Southwestern Front retreats, from the Kiev bulge in August, meaning no heavy combat for AGS to take its historical losses in; if nobody is shooting at them, how are they taking combat losses? For AGN, if they are sitting on the defensive on the Luga Line, how exactly are they taking more losses, especially if we accept your argument they won't go on the offensive?
2) Why are Soviet forces facing them weaker?
Because, in the case of AGN, you yourself specified they don't' receive reinforcements in September. If you're not replacing losses, you're growing weaker as a force.
The onus of proving your case is on you. You're arguing for the ATL, after all.
Except we're not arguing my case, I am questioning a specific point you made:
KDF33 wrote:
02 Apr 2021 05:47
Not necessarily. For some factories, it is shorter to transit through Kirov than through Moscow.
Can you provide data for this?
Those 20 divisions do not represent the totality of Soviet reinforcements - just the fresh divisions.
Then by all means, do enlighten us; I think you will find Soviet force creation in general was weaker in September than most of 1941.
Seriously? How are you going to push the Soviets back without mobile formations?
Beyond the fact 4th Panzer Army could be returned, again see the situation with von Weich's and his 2nd Army in August historically.
A grand total of 2 divisions: 26th rifle and 46th cavalry.
You are, again, moving the goalposts. To cite your own table:

From Arkhangelsk Military District:
-286th rifle division, to Leningrad Front

From Moscow Military District:
-27th cavalry division, to 4th Army

From Orel Military District:
-294th rifle division, to Leningrad Front
-29th cavalry division, to Reserve Front
-31st cavalry division, to Reserve Front

From Kharkov Military District:
-393rd rifle division, to Southern Front
-411th rifle division, to Southern Front

From North Caucasus Military District:
-157th rifle division, to Separate Coastal Army
-38th cavalry division, to Southern Front

From Transcaucasian Front:
-4th rifle division, to Southern Front
-136th rifle division, to Southern Front
-47th mountain rifle division, to Southwestern Front
-76th mountain rifle division, to Southwestern Front

From Volga Military District:
-46th cavalry division, to Northwestern Front

From Ural Military District:
-313th rifle division, to 7th Army

From Siberian Military District:
-49th cavalry division, to Southern Front

From Transbaikal Military District:
-114th rifle division, to 7th Army

From Far Eastern Front:
-21st rifle division, to 7th Army
-26th rifle division, to Northwestern Front
-32nd rifle division, to 4th Army


That's actually nine divisions, and effectively means 4th Army never gets its second formation which historically occurred in September of 1941. Funnily enough, this was one of the Soviet armies that protected Tikhvin, which again validates my point.
You're again presenting no data. How much supplies did the northern theater consume? What was the capacity of the residual railways? What would be the impact of Leningrad being able to maintain significant production? How much would a static front reduce supply requirements?

Also, what is your timeline for the fall of Moscow?
I am, again, stating what you previously conceded, which was lower capacity for the railways. Do I have the exact data? No, but I do have Glantz saying the loss would be fatal.
This is confused. HGN wouldn't have a manpower advantage over its Soviet counterparts. There's also no reason why they wouldn't receive reinforcements in September. Finally, they would also take lower losses.
You've already established they wouldn't receive September reinforcements. In August of 1941, Soviet force counts around Leningrad (Including 7th Army but not counting 14th Army around Murmansk) constituted roughly 38 divisions to 26 Divisions for Army Group North; adding in the Finns with their seven divisions would thus equal 34 Axis to 38 Soviet. This is OTL totals, for the record, and we've already established no Soviet reinforcements in September but 2nd and 5th Panzer could be added to AGN since Moscow has been taken.
Now you may transfer Panzergruppe 4 back to HGN after Moscow, but again what would be your timeline?

How long do you expect it to take to capture Moscow, anyway?
I will make a post specifically about this.
You do realize all but two of the divisions used to counter the Tikhvin drive came from the northern theater, right? The Germans simply attacked where the Soviets were weak, the latter shuffled in-theater forces to face them, and then the Germans were driven back to their starting lines by superior Soviet forces.
And said Northern theater received at least nine divisions in September before the offensive started that won't happen here, removing the 4th Army that opposed the offensive historically and you've also removed those two divisions that reinforced them historically during the attack; that's a net loss of 11 Soviet divisions from this combat axis.
You take this snippet: "[Leeb] was to attack through Tikhvin to Lake Ladoga to sever Leningrad's last rail links to Moscow and completely encircle the city."

And from it build a scenario where the Soviets can't stand north of Moscow if the capital falls.

This is reading far too much into a throwaway line that isn't even about the overall northern theater.
An odd claim, and to remind you and the audience what is actually said by Glantz:

Image

Rather than a throwaway line, it is an entire paragraph and you left out the closing statement by Glantz which is the main thrust of my argument: "In either case, Leningrad's fate would then be sealed."

Glantz has no doubts about what would happen and, as I have quoted upthread, previously you conceded such as well.
Last edited by History Learner on 05 Apr 2021 04:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Logistical feasibility of an early advance on Moscow

Post by History Learner » 05 Apr 2021 04:06

KDF33 wrote:
05 Apr 2021 02:33
That's a poor argument, on multiple counts.

1. Panzergruppe 2 and 2. Armee were in operation with ~15 divisions against comparatively weak Soviet forces. The terrain was also not "rougher" on the southern than on the central axis.
I'm not sure how one can make that claim, given the Kiev encirclement immediately followed while Central Front was destroyed at this time. Specifically on the terrain, the area (Gomel, for example) is in the Pripyet Marshes and the infrastructure at the time on the North to South route was very poor:

Image
2. Panzergruppe 3 was hardly undertaking large-scale offensive operations. The Velikiye Luki operation lasted barely more than a week and involved 2 corps with half-a-dozen divisions advancing less than 100 km. For all practical purposes, ~35 of HGM's 50-some divisions stayed on the defensive in August - September.
So, in other words, all of their mobile arms in the form of 2nd and 3rd Panzer were conducting operations as well as 2nd Army under von Weichs? Also, this leads to the weird position for yourself of having previously claimed AGC is widely dispersed; which way is it, KDF?
3. There's a difference between fighting static defensive battles with "hand-to-mouth" logistics and advancing hundreds of kilometers as part of a general offensive. If your supply depots are still in Byelorussia rather than Smolensk, your truck columns will have far greater distances to cover to keep your spearheads supplied.
And we know by late August, 24 trains per day were at Smolensk and 2nd Panzer Army was able to advance deep into the Ukraine while 3rd Panzer was conducting mobile operations. At absolute most, the Germans got a week or less to stockpile supplies, which can be replicated here.
You need to drop the argument about Panzergruppe 3 being on the offensive, because at the army-level it most definitely wasn't.
I'm not sure how 50% of its strength-taking your claim of two Corps-isn't an offensive. Again, however, I am content to accept this if only because it puts you into an uncomfortable position as to your arguments concerning an August advance on Moscow.

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by KDF33 » 05 Apr 2021 05:48

I'm sorry to have to point this out, but some of what you've just posted demonstrates your ignorance of even basic facts. I'll just point out the most egregious assertions.
History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:58
2nd Panzer Army is near Starodub, with no real effective opposition to them and in between the collapsing Central Front and Reserve Front, in an open flank from which they merely need turn East to exploit.
Here you forget the existence of Bryansk Front, created on August 14 to cover that very flank.
History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:58
Further, I have absolutely no idea where you are getting 15-20 days of rest, given the Kiev encirclement wasn't even achieved until September 16th and Typhoon jumped off October 2nd, meaning at absolute maximum they would have 16 days of rest. Even that did not occur given, among other things, the need to travel back to Army Group Center so not much rest or refitting there, but actually more wear and tear.
Here you conflate the Vyazma with the Bryansk pocket.
History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:58
And you were citing multiple Panzer Divisions not even attached to AGC, so I fail to see your point?
Here I'm unsure what you're on about, but I suspect you're unaware of which Panzer divisions HGM controlled in October.
History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:58
Which, as Per70 has already pointed out, has quite a few flaws in it as evidenced to the ration reports not matching reported strengths by almost 100%.
Here you put words in per70's mouth, who was merely asking for explanations for the apparent discrepancy he found.

You completely miss the fact that Art provided that explanation, with figures closely matching that of the GKO decree of September 11.
History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:58
Evidently not, as noted by Per70.
Here you again put words in per70's mouth, which is really bad manners.
History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:58
4th Panzer providing flank security, 3rd Panzer Army mobilizing at its historical jump off point, and 2nd Panzer Army going east from Starodub. Infantry armies keeping the Soviets pinned in the center.
Here you demonstrate your ignorance of the conditions that led to the formation of the Vyazma pocket.
History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:58
Exactly, which is excellent because attacking the enemy head on in their lines is not only against German doctrine it's also incredibly incompetents in general. Rather, as STAVKA noted this meant there was a gaping hole in Soviet lines which Guderian could exploit in a flanking attack, allowing him to move around Reserve Front and thus conduct a proper encirclement
Here you again forget about Bryansk Front.
History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:58
Beyond that, as StG 44 has pointed out, the claim the Germans weakened over 1941 just isn't supported by the documentation; OKH had reasonably predicted losses up to December of 1941 and had replacements for about 80-90% of losses sustained on hand for such.
Here you lose all connection with reality.
History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:58
Finally, for all the claim of a Great War outcome, it's notable Central Front was destroyed historically by von Weich's with 2nd Army, which was not a Panzer Army mind you.
Here you forget about Panzergruppe 2.
History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:58
Beyond the fact 4th Panzer Army could be returned, again see the situation with von Weich's and his 2nd Army in August historically.
Twice.
History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:58
You are, again, moving the goalposts. To cite your own table:
Here I assume this accusation is because I responded to your cite, that was specifically about Northwestern Front, when in fact you (presumably) meant the overall northern theater?
History Learner wrote:
03 Apr 2021 02:35
You have already, as noted, suggested the September reinforcements to Northwestern Front do not occur
I'm not moving the goalposts. I responded to what you wrote. You're imprecise in your language.
History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 04:06
Specifically on the terrain, the area (Gomel, for example) is in the Pripyet Marshes and the infrastructure at the time on the North to South route was very poor:
Here you demonstrate that you don't know in which area Guderian's drive to Kiev occurred.

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Re: Logistical feasibility of an early advance on Moscow

Post by stg 44 » 05 Apr 2021 13:17

KDF33 wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:33
stg 44 wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:02
You're forgetting the XXXIX motorized corps from 3rd PzG that went to AG-North and fought basically from the Luga Line to cutting off Leningrad and then drove back to AG-Center late in September. So I think that means all of its corps and it's air support, VIII Fliegerkorps, was committed to battle on the northern flank, though half of that went to AG-North from August-September.
I'm not. XXXIX. Armeekorps (mot.), with 3 divisions, quite obviously left Panzergruppe 3 to join Panzergruppe 4, and therefore no longer had to be supplied by Heeresgruppe Mitte.

If we look at divisions, instead of armies of fluctuating composition, we get this:

Transferred to Heeresgruppe Nord:
  • 1 Panzer division: 12.
  • 2 Infanterie divisions (mot.): 18., 20.

Retaking Velikiye Luki (22-29 August) then Abwehrschlacht:
  • 2 Panzer divisions: 19., 20.

Abwehrschlacht:
  • 2 Panzer divisions: 7., 10.
  • 1 Infanterie division (mot.): 14.

With Guderian to Kiev:
  • 4 Panzer divisions: 3., 4., 17., 18.
  • 3 Infanterie divisions (mot.): "Das Reich", 10., 29.


Note that the 7 mobile divisions advancing on the Kiev axis were supported in their advance by 7 Infanterie and 1 Kavallerie divisions, for a total of 15. That corresponds pretty neatly with what HGM's quartermaster predicted could be supplied from the Minsk depots with the transport available: 14 - 17 divisions, depending on the composition of the units involved.

See Halder diaries, vol. 6, entry for 15 July 1941.
I did say that 39th corps was detached to AG-North repeatedly. A wrench in your division calculations though is that AG-Center was fighting heavy defensive battles on top of the march south by Guderian et al. That and the Velikiye Luki operation. But I wasn't simply talking about supplies, but also wear and tear and lack of down time for the engaged units.

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by stg 44 » 05 Apr 2021 13:31

KDF33 wrote:
05 Apr 2021 05:48
Here you put words in per70's mouth, who was merely asking for explanations for the apparent discrepancy he found.

You completely miss the fact that Art provided that explanation, with figures closely matching that of the GKO decree of September 11.
The conversation in that thread goes on after Art's post however and Per70, at least as I'm reading his post, produced a chart with all the non-army units that would be included in overall front strength. That chart really indicates some very important differences in Soviet and German numbers, namely the inclusion of air defense and air support in Front rations, which AFAIK the Germans did not do with their strength counters when counting up things like Iststaerke since the Luftwaffe units (among others) weren't considered part of the army. IIRC RAD units were also not counted in reports like that either. That would mean Soviet numbers are inflated if we use GKO numbers relative to German Iststaerke numbers and more comparable strength numbers are those of adding up the total army strengths on the Soviet side like Art did:
The report by Pokrovsky and Bagramyan from 2 October on the other hand quotes complete numbers for 4 armies (5, 21, 26, 27). In particular in the same folder (229/161/103) there is a draft document with the following numbers:
21 Army: 79 575 in combat units, 16 739 in combat support units, 5 887 in services of supply. Total 111 977
5 Army: combat units - 72 874, combat support - 10 986, services of supply - 7 426, replacement - 2 538. Total 100 448 men
26 Army: combat - 66 735, combat support - 9 416, supply - 7 153. Total 83 440
37 Army: combat - 97 526, combat support - 4 617, supply - 6 616. Total 108 759.
...
So the SW Front had 673 183 men as of 1 September 1941 without 21 Army. Of them 398 368 in five armies and 5 Cav. Corps and the remaining 274 817 in elements under Front HQ. Including 21 Army (79 575) total 752 760 men. It doesn't include wounded in hospitals and non-Red Army elements (NKVD, NKPS railroad engineers and some others). If you add them you will probably arrive to something like 850 000.
That's why I wanted the Red Army figures, not GKO ration strength.

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by historygeek2021 » 05 Apr 2021 13:50

History Learner wrote:
05 Apr 2021 03:58

Taking Moscow and Leningrad not only collapses the Soviet infrastructure network, it also eliminates roughly 40% of Soviet industrial capacity in 1940 values at a time when it had already lost 40% historically.
So now Leningrad and Moscow have gone from 20% of Soviet industrial capacity to 40%? Sources please. Also, the Soviets managed just fine in the OTL with Leningrad producing almost nothing but small arms (cited earlier), and managed to evacuate 500 factories from Moscow within 2 weeks after the Vyazma pocket was encircled (see Stahel - Operation Typhoon, Chapter 7). They could do the same in Stolfi's ATL.
An odd claim, and to remind you and the audience what is actually said by Glantz:

Image

Rather than a throwaway line, it is an entire paragraph and you left out the closing statement by Glantz which is the main thrust of my argument: "In either case, Leningrad's fate would then be sealed."

Glantz has no doubts about what would happen and, as I have quoted upthread, previously you conceded such as well.
Glantz isn't even discussing the fall of Moscow in the excerpt you posted.

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Re: Logistical feasibility of an early advance on Moscow

Post by KDF33 » 05 Apr 2021 16:21

stg 44 wrote:
05 Apr 2021 13:17
A wrench in your division calculations though is that AG-Center was fighting heavy defensive battles on top of the march south by Guderian et al.
Truck column capacity required for 14 - 17 divisions on the advance: 26,000 tons
Truck column capacity required for 35 divisions holding the line: 2,500 tons

Truck column capacity available: 30,700 tons

Source: Halder diaries, volume 6, page 242.
stg 44 wrote:
05 Apr 2021 13:17
That and the Velikiye Luki operation. But I wasn't simply talking about supplies, but also wear and tear and lack of down time for the engaged units.
19. and 20. Panzer divisions had 2+ weeks of R&R before the Velikiye Luki operation.

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Re: Logistical feasibility of an early advance on Moscow

Post by stg 44 » 06 Apr 2021 13:56

KDF33 wrote:
05 Apr 2021 16:21
stg 44 wrote:
05 Apr 2021 13:17
A wrench in your division calculations though is that AG-Center was fighting heavy defensive battles on top of the march south by Guderian et al.
Truck column capacity required for 14 - 17 divisions on the advance: 26,000 tons
Truck column capacity required for 35 divisions holding the line: 2,500 tons

Truck column capacity available: 30,700 tons

Source: Halder diaries, volume 6, page 242.
Not sure what that has to do with anything considering that page refers to the situation in mid-July, not mid-August when Smolensk had already been linked up to the rail system and was receiving train supply. Also the 30,700 is for continuous supply, not counting the 1/3rd of trucks down for repair and would come back online periodically. Also you left out the range. That 17 division advance is what would be required for an advance all the way to Moscow, not multiple armies to Vyazma.

KDF33 wrote:
05 Apr 2021 16:21
stg 44 wrote:
05 Apr 2021 13:17
That and the Velikiye Luki operation. But I wasn't simply talking about supplies, but also wear and tear and lack of down time for the engaged units.
19. and 20. Panzer divisions had 2+ weeks of R&R before the Velikiye Luki operation.
Even if they did it would be immaterial to this thread, because with a POD on August 19th 3rd Panzer Group would still have that full period of relative rest and start offensive operations east at the end of the month. They'd still have time to do their OTL VL operation and then attack again, as historically they (LVII corps) were in action continuously after that in September in support of LVI corps of 4th Panzer group as far as the Valdai Hills taking pretty heavy losses in the process at least according to Hoth's book. So in fact by September 3rd Panzer group would actually be in better shape than they were historically by October.

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by History Learner » 08 Apr 2021 05:25

KDF33 wrote:
05 Apr 2021 05:48
I'm sorry to have to point this out, but some of what you've just posted demonstrates your ignorance of even basic facts. I'll just point out the most egregious assertions.

Here you forget the existence of Bryansk Front, created on August 14 to cover that very flank.
I really haven't, because at this point it was still mostly on paper and most of its forces would be drawn from the shattered remnants of Central Front and about 55,000 reinforcements over the course of August. The Soviets were under no allusions about this either, as Glantz points out in Chapter 8 of Volume I of Barbarossa Derailed:
Because the forces of Zhukov’s Reserve Front were still attacking El’nia, the OKH cancelled plans for any further advance eastward across the Desna River as counseled by Guderian and left it to Bock to decide whether or not to abandon the El’nia bridgehead, and when. The OKH did so because Vietinghoff’s SS “Das Reich” Division and “Grossdeutschland” Regiment were still in the line near El’nia and would remain there until 18 August, thus depriving Vietinghoff’s motorized corps, which had been in near constant combat since 22 June, of much needed time to rest and rehabilitate its forces. Meanwhile, Stalin assigned Zhukov’s reinforced Reserve Front the multiple tasks of backing up the Western Front, eliminating Army Group Center’s bridgehead at El’nia, and continuing to fill in and defend the growing gap between the Western and Central Fronts southward from El’nia to the region northwest of Briansk. From the Stavka’s perspective, the obliteration of the defenses of Golubev’s 13th Army along the Sozh River and the withdrawal of Gordov’s 21st Army toward Gomel’, both of which were now threatened with encirclement in the Gomel’ region, permitted a sizeable gap to form between the Western Front east of Smolensk and Southwestern Front defending Kiev. ​

For the moment, however, the Stavka expected Zhukov’s Reserve Front and the remnants of Efremov’s Central Front to help fill this gap. Compounding the Stavka’s problems, on 11 August it received news that General V. I. Kuznetsov’s 3rd Army, which it had reestablished by 1 August and deployed on the western bank of the Dnepr River west of Gomel’ to protect the Central Front’s left flank, was withdrawing without authorization to do so.19 Reacting angrily, Shaposhnikov sent a scathing message to Timoshenko, the Main Western Direction commander: Despite the absence of overwhelming enemy superiority, Kuznetsov is continuing to withdraw without proper resistance, at the same time creating a serious situation for Potapov [5th Army on 21st Army’s left flank]. The front’s military council must compel Kuznetsov to fight as he should and not abandon his positions to the enemy without a fight. This situation cannot continue any longer.20 When reinforcement of the Reserve Front and threats to the Central Front and 3rd Army proved inadequate to solve “the Guderian problem,” on 14 August the Stavka acted even more decisively to block Guderian’s southward advance by forming the new Briansk Front to plug the gap between the Reserve and Central Fronts and assigning the “fighter,” General Eremenko, as its commander. By doing so, it also kept its hopes alive for a new and more powerful offensive against Army Group Center.​
Here you conflate the Vyazma with the Bryansk pocket.
Given I didn't even mention Vyazma or Bryansk, for that matter, I have no idea how you came to such a conclusion unless you did not actually read what was posted. I was responding to your claim all of the divisions for Operation Typhoon received 15-20 days of rest by point out it is completely impossible for such to have occurred, given the Kiev encirclement was not accomplished until September 16th and then Typhoon started on October 2nd. That is a maximum of 16 days, but when you factor in 2nd Panzer Army needing time to break off contact and then travel back to AGC's sector, it becomes clear not even 15 days of rest was possible, to put it mildly.
Here I'm unsure what you're on about, but I suspect you're unaware of which Panzer divisions HGM controlled in October.
Evidently you are not either, because I was pointing out you previously cited Panzer Divisions not even attached to AGC, which was what I was responding to.
Here you put words in per70's mouth, who was merely asking for explanations for the apparent discrepancy he found.

You completely miss the fact that Art provided that explanation, with figures closely matching that of the GKO decree of September 11.
And said discrepancy suggests issues with the GKO degrees for deducing Soviet strength returns; as he put it, where are the 400,000?
Here you demonstrate your ignorance of the conditions that led to the formation of the Vyazma pocket.
Which are all present here, as noted, up to almost the exact same tank strength for AGC and open flanks to exploit. If you feel otherwise, please explain; just saying I'm wrong without offering further context is meaningless and does nothing to advance the conversation.
Here you again forget about Bryansk Front.
See earlier citations.
Here you lose all connection with reality.
No, I have not, and it's very telling you have yet to provide a compelling argument against him or, for that matter, Gregory Liedtke's work. Personal invectives against me do not count nor advance the conversation.
Here you forget about Panzergruppe 2.
Which didn't do the action, it was von Weich's Army.
Twice.
Again, are you going to offer any sort of actual counter argument or have we reached the point we need to end this dialogue because the only thing you have to offer is to say I am wrong without providing context?
Here I assume this accusation is because I responded to your cite, that was specifically about Northwestern Front, when in fact you (presumably) meant the overall northern theater?
Well given we are talking about the area around Leningrad in general, that was always yes?
I'm not moving the goalposts. I responded to what you wrote. You're imprecise in your language.
Respectfully, this is a cop out and you know it.
Here you demonstrate that you don't know in which area Guderian's drive to Kiev occurred.
Of the two of us, I am the one that posted a map of the region and noted the location of Gomel within the defined area. If you feel otherwise, the proper response in a debate is to attack the argument, typically by showing evidence to the contrary, rather than attack the person making the argument because the latter move does nothing to advance the conversation, is a basic lack of respect, and is a tell tell sign you don't have anything in counter so are resorting to a logical fallacy.

So I'll ask again like I did earlier: if you feel you can no longer continue this discussion in good faith, we can end it here. Such is better before it becomes unduly heated, as you seem want to do at this point from this post.

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by History Learner » 08 Apr 2021 05:31

historygeek2021 wrote:
05 Apr 2021 13:50
So now Leningrad and Moscow have gone from 20% of Soviet industrial capacity to 40%? Sources please. Also, the Soviets managed just fine in the OTL with Leningrad producing almost nothing but small arms (cited earlier), and managed to evacuate 500 factories from Moscow within 2 weeks after the Vyazma pocket was encircled (see Stahel - Operation Typhoon, Chapter 7). They could do the same in Stolfi's ATL.
I have explained this to you at least twice, over two different threads and it's honestly quite basic. Leningrad and Moscow have 20% of Soviet production in 1940 values i.e. the USSR as a whole. In 1941, historically, the Germans occupied or destroyed 40% of the overall Soviet industrial base; the idea the Soviets were able to easily and effectively evacuate all of their industry is a myth. Anyway, if your industrial base has been reduced by 40%, that remaining 60% is now your 100% in 1941 values. If you include their immediate environs, it rises to about 40% of the 1941 values of industry in the two. As noted, Leningrad actually had quite high output in 1941, as noted by Soviet records; it was only in 1942 that production collapsed.

As for the idea they could evacuate industry quickly, see my earlier citation from Askey which shows they had no ready plans to do such for Moscow. How they were able to in October was because, as Askey notes, they had a two month break period which enabled them to plan and begin enacting an evacuation strategy.
Glantz isn't even discussing the fall of Moscow in the excerpt you posted.
Yes because we were discussing the impacts the fall of Moscow would have on the ability of Leningrad to survive. He does, however, specifically mention that the loss of railway connections to Moscow would doom the city; you don't have to cut the railways to Moscow if you have taken Moscow itself, no?

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by KDF33 » 08 Apr 2021 07:45

History Learner wrote:
08 Apr 2021 05:25
So I'll ask again like I did earlier: if you feel you can no longer continue this discussion in good faith, we can end it here. Such is better before it becomes unduly heated, as you seem want to do at this point from this post.
You're right, my last post had an excessively harsh tone. My apologies. I'll keep this one factual.

I'll first address your point about Taifun, and the rest in a further post.
History Learner wrote:
08 Apr 2021 05:25
Given I didn't even mention Vyazma or Bryansk, for that matter, I have no idea how you came to such a conclusion unless you did not actually read what was posted. I was responding to your claim all of the divisions for Operation Typhoon received 15-20 days of rest
I never claimed that all the divisions that took part in Taifun had 15-20 days of rest. I wrote in post 100: "In the OTL, the Panzer formations involved in the Vyazma encirclement were either fresh formations (2., 5.) or had 15-20 days of R&R (1., 6., 7., 10., 11., 20.). The one formation with less than 2 weeks of R&R (19.) was kept in reserve at the beginning of Taifun."

Vyazma-Bryansk is kind of a misnomer: in truth there were three major encirclement battles in October, running from north to south: Vyazma, Bryansk and the Sea of Azov. The respective POW yields are:

1. Vyazma: 515,294
2. Bryansk: 146,631
3. Sea of Azov: 106,332

Sources for Vyazma/Bryansk and Sea of Azov.

Vyazma alone represented the lion's share of the POW yield and was, along with Kiev, the culminating point of the German effort in 1941. Unlike the Bryansk and Sea of Azov pockets, the Vyazma encirclement was accomplished using well-refreshed formations executing a shallow double-envelopment on a narrow section of the front. These are very specific conditions, and it would be a mistake to automatically assume that success on a similar scale would have been attained had circumstances been different. With the exception of Kiev, itself the product of very specific (and favorable) circumstances, the Vyazma victory was a vast improvement over what the Germans had heretofore accomplished in 1941.

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by historygeek2021 » 08 Apr 2021 17:36

History Learner wrote:
08 Apr 2021 05:31

Yes because we were discussing the impacts the fall of Moscow would have on the ability of Leningrad to survive. He does, however, specifically mention that the loss of railway connections to Moscow would doom the city; you don't have to cut the railways to Moscow if you have taken Moscow itself, no?
Glantz is discussing the complete encirclement of Leningrad, not the loss of the Moscow railways. Leningrad had railway connections to Vologda and Yaroslavl that would have remained open even if Moscow had fallen.

http://users.tpg.com.au/adslbam9//Railways1941.png

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by stg 44 » 08 Apr 2021 18:38

KDF33 wrote:
08 Apr 2021 07:45
Unlike the Bryansk and Sea of Azov pockets, the Vyazma encirclement was accomplished using well-refreshed formations executing a shallow double-envelopment on a narrow section of the front. These are very specific conditions, and it would be a mistake to automatically assume that success on a similar scale would have been attained had circumstances been different. With the exception of Kiev, itself the product of very specific (and favorable) circumstances, the Vyazma victory was a vast improvement over what the Germans had heretofore accomplished in 1941.
Against well rested, refreshed, dug in Soviet troops who had at least 3 weeks to prepare for the German attack after they ceased their September offensive. The Soviet forces won't be that as of the 3rd-4th quarter of August.

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Re: The Soviets retreat from Kiev in early September 1941

Post by per70 » 08 Apr 2021 22:34

History Learner wrote:
08 Apr 2021 05:25
And said discrepancy suggests issues with the GKO degrees for deducing Soviet strength returns; as he put it, where are the 400,000?
To clarify, the intent of the linked post was to discuss the massive discrepancy between the two reports.
Which I believe the thread did to a certain extent.

To summarize.
- SWF had about 450 000 troops in its combat formations
- Or about 530 000 troops if we include support units in the armies
- In addition about 240 000 in support units under Front HQ control. A list of units - both combat and support - was provided here
- 30-40 000 wounded in hospital (estimate by Art)
- Various other uniformed personell from NKVD, NKPS etc which might or might not be included in the ration calculations.

Add them all up, and you get close to the 850 000 ration report number.
At the same time, if you want to compare the strength of SWF against other numbers often founds in books, you have to be careful to avoid comparing apples to oranges.

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