The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

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sitalkes
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Re: The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

Post by sitalkes » 15 Jun 2016 06:32

BDV wrote:
sitalkes wrote:Van Creveld says that the length of the supply line magnified the demands on logistics, and a frontline division in Russia needed 700 tons a day
I would like the original quote. Germans delivered significant amount of concrete/fortification material to the front in 1942, as Soviets troops found out during Mars and Maliy Saturn.
I don't have the book with me right now but my notes suggest Martin Van Creveld, Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007) pp 153, 159, 185

Also have a look at this: http://www.mnstarfire.com/ww2/history/l ... ision.html

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Re: The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

Post by clifford13 » 15 Jun 2016 19:14

Adequate air supply, and reinforcement of Rommel with captured French vehicles in 1941 [ALL of them] just might have done the trick. Italians had some 250,000 men in garrison in Lybia area, but otherwise useless due to a lack of transport and tanks. Reinforced early on, worked up into Mechanized infantry divisions with the p-107 half tracks and Lorraine full tracked APC / Carriers, the might have made the Arab uprising succeed , and opened up the southern flank of Russia, with some 4 million Turks as allies...

https://www.facebook.com/notes/clifford ... 1239129191

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Re: The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

Post by BDV » 15 Jun 2016 20:08

As I mentioned Axis (mostly German) deliveries to Ostfront included a large quantity of items not usually encountered in an army's consumption (rebar/concrete, wood). That may well explain the 700 ton/division number. Or not.

That's why the exact quote was essential.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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Re: The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

Post by Erwinn » 24 Jun 2016 12:06

clifford13 wrote:Adequate air supply, and reinforcement of Rommel with captured French vehicles in 1941 [ALL of them] just might have done the trick. Italians had some 250,000 men in garrison in Lybia area, but otherwise useless due to a lack of transport and tanks. Reinforced early on, worked up into Mechanized infantry divisions with the p-107 half tracks and Lorraine full tracked APC / Carriers, the might have made the Arab uprising succeed , and opened up the southern flank of Russia, with some 4 million Turks as allies...

https://www.facebook.com/notes/clifford ... 1239129191
Turks were starving and had a low quality army facing Germans in Tracia. How would you expect they'd find 4 million men?

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Re: The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 24 Jun 2016 13:14

clifford13 wrote:Adequate air supply, and reinforcement of Rommel with captured French vehicles in 1941 [ALL of them] just might have done the trick. Italians had some 250,000 men in garrison in Lybia area, but otherwise useless due to a lack of transport and tanks. Reinforced early on, worked up into Mechanized infantry divisions with the p-107 half tracks and Lorraine full tracked APC / Carriers, the might have made the Arab uprising succeed , and opened up the southern flank of Russia, with some 4 million Turks as allies...

https://www.facebook.com/notes/clifford ... 1239129191

It was already in the OTL not possible to reinforce the Axis forces in NA (NOT Rommel),why should it be possible in the ATL ?

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Re: The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 24 Jun 2016 13:26

And it is not correct to say that there were 250000 Italians in Lybia in 1941, who were useless due to a lack of transport and tanks :at the end of february 1941 the Italian army in Lybia had 105000 men reinforced till june by 47000.

They were also not useless due to a lack of transport/tanks : there were 8 Italian divisions and they were in Egypt at the end of 1941 .In june 1941 the Italians had 280 tanks and 8600 lorries .

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Re: The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

Post by 2020hindsight » 21 Jul 2016 16:24

The tonnage estimates are a bare minimum even in the best case. Getting even minimal amounts of artillery ammunition into Stalingrad would have taken up most of the planes available. As was pointed out above, the problems start with the logistics to and from the airfields, and then there is the little question of maintaining total air supremacy while the transport planes fly. Regarding the latter, the Luftwaffe never had enough planes, or planes that were big enough. The Me323 Gigant was not all that much use, the Tante Ju was too small, and there were not enough of them.
Then there is the question of how long this has to be done. Even if Goering really had managed to deliver 500 tons or more per day, there is still the issue that the encircled 6th army was being pushed back steadily. The same applied just over a decade later at Dien Bien Phu. I saw somewhere the comment that the 6th army was lost once it was encircled and the weather changed. I think it could only have been saved if it has been allowed to withdraw early on, but of course Hitler was adamantly against that.

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Re: The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

Post by PassandReviewofWW2 » 10 Aug 2016 17:07

The German 6th Army may have held out for several more weeks, the Airlift cold not supply failing Morale, German Soldiers began to question the German Command Claims that the Russian Bear was ready to collapse, and ONE MORE attack would bring final victory.
Another Factor was the German Army Infantry Strength on the Eastern Front was becoming depleted , compared to Russian Armies that were beginning to appear in prodigious numbers.
In the Personal Accounts of Von Manstein and Guderian, Hitler was convinced that the German Generals were deliberately feeding him pessimistic personal sentiments of defeatist opinion, instead of stating Military Probabilities that could be had by staying put.
Hitler began to suspect the entire situation on the Eastern Front was being falsely presented by German Generals jealous of Hitler taking all the credit for everything

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Re: The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

Post by BDV » 15 Aug 2016 13:39

PassandReviewofWW2 wrote:The German 6th Army may have held out for several more weeks, the Airlift cold not supply failing Morale,

Well, it's surprising what being properly fed, having the proper ammo for weapons, and seeing your wounded kameraden efficiently evacuated to the back will do for Morale.

That requires a well organized and properly executed airlift plan, tough.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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Re: The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

Post by T. A. Gardner » 15 Aug 2016 19:55

To do this would require that the Luftwaffe / Wehrmacht put in place from the beginning several things they lacked in part or whole:

1. Sufficient all-weather airfields at both ends of the supply runs to handle the available aircraft. Inside the pocket there were two marginal all-weather fields (Pitomnik and Bassargino) along with three marginal, improvised fields (Gumrak, Karpovka, and Stalingradskii). This means planes realistically can only land in iffy weather on two fields and even then the chances for accidents, etc., is very high.

2. Landing is necessary to meet the supply requirement. Dropping canisters for recovery will result in a much more limited amount of material arriving. There is also an issue with sufficient canisters being available for this.

3. The Wehrmacht / Luftwaffe lack almost entirely the means to quickly build all-weather airfields and maintain them operationally. Wehrmacht civil engineering capacity is not going to handle the job, particularly inside the pocket. Building of such airfields would have required months of previous work towards that end by thousands of engineering troops.

4. A all-weather navigation system in place to allow the planes to fly in poor weather. The Germans have nothing like the British / US Rebecca - Eureka portable homing system. The closest they come is something like Lorentz or Knickebein and not all aircraft have the equipment fitted to use these.

5. A maintenance and supply system in place that would allow 75% + of their available aircraft to fly each day. Historically, the Luftwaffe amassed between 400 and 600 aircraft for the airlift at any point. The sortie rate most days was shy of 100, or about 25% of the available planes were flying. That rate is abysmal.

So, how would all five of the above occur to allow the Luftwaffe to effectively supply 6th Army? That doesn't even count in operational losses from crashes, etc., or enemy opposition.

I really think it is a very big stretch to come up with a way for the Luftwaffe to supply 6th Army by air. You have to collect all the "if's" in the world to make it work.

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Re: The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

Post by BDV » 15 Aug 2016 22:45

Overall, organization.

- preemptively improving Salsk (useful for supporting all supply operations south of Volga-Don Canal)

- a small emergency supply force of 30-50 SM82s (ordered in Spring 1942) (here it would be dedicated to Salsk-Pitomnik route).

- Tatsinskaya based Ju52s would supply the other airports

dedicated staff planning and exercises starting in July in case of "Winter Surprise"


P.S. What I am trying to get at is that once the fateful decision to push the frontline as far out east as physically possible was made, meaning far beyond the Axis possibility to repair the supply network and supplying the needed defensive materiel, tools to mitigate the logistic shortages should have been put in place. Not only "high falutin" stuff like navigation beacons and a (small) fleet of capable transporters, but low-level stuff like single use drums (reinforced cardboard) to help airdrop non-sensitive stuff like foodstuff.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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Re: The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

Post by T. A. Gardner » 17 Aug 2016 05:06

The single biggest problem the Germans had was they were operating out of what were by Western Allied standards crap airfields. All their airfields were compressed dirt and grass. They weren't all-weather hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete. The Germans had nothing like Marsden matting

Image

Or laying a waterproof barrier and steel mesh surface:

Image

And, they entirely lacked stuff like this:

Image

Just having airfields that could operate in any weather, would ensure that planes could land and take off safely, and that maintenance could be done in something other than an open field would have made a huge difference to the efficiency of the airlift.
The pocket, initially, was large enough that with good airfields the planes could have landed, unloaded, then flown out loaded with wounded, etc. That would have made more difference than being able to drop more materials simply because that method is inefficient by comparison.

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Re: The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 17 Aug 2016 07:12

The most important point is missing in this discussion,and I am very surprised that no one is mentionning it .

It is not the number of aircraft, maintenance, fuel, etc,all things for which ,as one can expect, the army was blaming the LW : it was the availability of supplies to supply the encircled forces (some 170000 Germans ) AND those who were not encircled (also some 170000) and the daily arrival and the presence of these supplies was the responsibility of the army,responsibility the army succeeded to get rid of ,by concealing and hiding the whole thing :there are mysteriously,but not surprisingly, no figures about the number of supplies that were daily available .

If the Stalingrad forces needed daily 600 tons, and the LW supplied only 100 tons, it is easy to blame the LW, but if there were daily only 300 tons available, the conclusion is that the army also has a big part of responsibility in the whole thing .

Already BEFORE Uranus,the conclusion was that it would be quasi impossible to supply the 330000 men of 6th army,if the fighting continued .If this is true, the LW was given a mission impossible.

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Re: The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

Post by T. A. Gardner » 17 Aug 2016 08:45

ljadw wrote:The most important point is missing in this discussion,and I am very surprised that no one is mentionning it .

It is not the number of aircraft, maintenance, fuel, etc,all things for which ,as one can expect, the army was blaming the LW : it was the availability of supplies to supply the encircled forces (some 170000 Germans ) AND those who were not encircled (also some 170000) and the daily arrival and the presence of these supplies was the responsibility of the army,responsibility the army succeeded to get rid of ,by concealing and hiding the whole thing :there are mysteriously,but not surprisingly, no figures about the number of supplies that were daily available .

If the Stalingrad forces needed daily 600 tons, and the LW supplied only 100 tons, it is easy to blame the LW, but if there were daily only 300 tons available, the conclusion is that the army also has a big part of responsibility in the whole thing .

Already BEFORE Uranus,the conclusion was that it would be quasi impossible to supply the 330000 men of 6th army,if the fighting continued .If this is true, the LW was given a mission impossible.
If you go with the daily tons given in Muller The German Air War in Russia pg 96-98, most days the Luftwaffe couldn't manage to fly in 100 tons, often less. Even if the supplies were available and plentiful, the lack of operational aircraft (rates ran at 25% or less typically), the inability to fly many days, and the almost appalling condition of the airfields and support services at both ends pretty much doomed the effort.
Now, a lot of that falls back on the Wehrmacht's inability to do civil / construction engineering. That's as true for the airfields as it is for the rail system and roads. The Wehrmacht didn't put enough attention into constructing the means to supply their troops in the field as they should have.

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Re: The 6th Army received adequate air supply at Stalingrad

Post by ljadw » 17 Aug 2016 11:49

T. A. Gardner wrote: Even if the supplies were available and plentiful, the lack of operational aircraft (rates ran at 25% or less typically), the inability to fly many days, and the almost appalling condition of the airfields and support services at both ends pretty much doomed the effort.

This is true, but, OTOH, one can ask the question that, if more aircraft would be operational,there would be more supplies available . The point that when a build-up was organised by Milch, (=more operational aircraft) this did not result in the transport of more supplies,is suggesting that the original problem was with the number of available supplies,for which the LW could not be blamed,and that the LW only was increasing the problem .

The following is from Germany and WWII (Tome VI) : "The supply situation of 6th army-as indeed that of the other armies in the area of AGB-was therefore exceedingly tight during the weeks prior to the opening of the Soviet offensive,in many respects it was quite catastrophic ."

The whole problem of the air supply of Stalingrad is since 70 years discussed very partially (for obvious reasons) , the air supply of Stalingrad can not be discussed apart from the supply of the 170000 men who were not encircled .

What should have priority is the available supplies;than one could look at the difficult question of how much was needed(the estimations are diverging from 300 too 750 tons daily),one should also not forget to double this figure: if Stalingrad needed daily 750 tons, so did the other part of 6th army that was not encircled ,and finally one could look at the number of supplies that arrived at the cauldron .


And there is also the tricky question if after Uranus, the forces outside Stalingrad did not have priority at the expense of those in Stalingrad .

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